Soccer Outsider: United-Seattle match diary, player ratings

We may not have to put up with our current group of strikers much longer. The MLS transfer window opens July 9, and management has been strongly hinting at a purchase. They have roster spots and cap space; they’ve been evicting more foreigners (Rafael, Sanchez, Augusto) than Arizona. The good news is that we’re going to buy someone to replace Rafael, Sanchez, and Augusto. The bad news is that the purchase will be made by the same people who bought Rafael, Sanchez, and Augusto.

How pumped were you for this match when you heard that DeLeon and De Rosario are out? Finally we get to see what this team looks like with less offensive firepower and panache. The lineup that’s going to set the world on fire is: Willis | Korb, Woolard, White, Riley | Porter, Kitchen, Rochat, Nyassi | Pontius, Pajoy. Get ready for some July 3 fireworks.

Here’s kickoff from Seattle, where they’re experiencing that period of summer when the weather is so beautiful that it almost makes the other 50 weeks worth it.

5’ – Djimi Traore, Obafemi Martins…the Premier League is to MLS five years later what the Mickey Mouse Club is to rehab five years later.

7’ – Can we bring back the grass that Seattle installed for the World Cup qualifier? It looks like they’re playing in a bouncy castle.

9’ – DeLeon isn’t playing but DeLeon’s hair is. It’s attached to Eddie Johnson.

16’ – Either Daniel Woolard’s head or Daniel Woolard’s hat just came off. If it was his head, play should have stopped.

17’ – Great save Willis! You know how attractive women are randomly approached to be models? Does Joe WIllis get randomly approached to be a Civil War re-enactor?

19’ – Goal Seattle! Martins was lingering on the line and suddenly got behind the defense. I’m not sure if it was Riley or White that lost track of him, but somebody’s Spidey senses should have been tingling.

26’ – Pajoy is so far offside on the play that when he came into frame I thought he was a fan running onto the field.

33’ – Pajoy stands so far offside that it indicates a lack of confidence. He knows that for him to score he’ll need a perfect through-ball and a bout of temporary blindness from the linesman.

Halftime: 1-0 Seattle. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something. So United is only a game or two away from mastering not scoring and boring the pants off of me.

49’ – Has United scored off of a cross all year? Why even bother sending them in?

52’ – On the one hand, another goal for Seattle would mean another loss for United. On the other hand, it would mean I could spend the next 40 minutes cleaning out that electrical closet I’ve been meaning to get to, because this team will never, EVER score TWO goals.

56’ – There’s a shot on goal by Pontius. Probably our high-water mark.

63’ – No, THAT shot on goal by Pontius is our high-water mark. Good work from Pontius – maybe he can do it all himself.

69’ – Pajoy shoots 30 yards over the bar. Forget this: electrical closet it is.

75’ – I’ve got this cable that’s the red, white, and yellow plugs on one end, and then it looks like an earphone plug on the other end. Does anyone have any idea what that goes to?

81’ – If I have an AC adaptor from an old phone, will it work for pretty much anything, or will the voltage be a problem?

85’ – Does anybody know if you can Ebay an old laptop casing? Is there any market for that?

90’ – I’m realizing that cable companies never ask for their remote controls back; when you move you can just – goal Seattle – you can just keep them and they don’t say anything. I’ve got five.

Full time: 2-0 Seattle. There: clean and organized. This is the most useful match United have played in a while.

Player ratings:

Willis: 7. Every time I peeked out of the electrical closet he was making a good save.

Korb: 4. Needs to do a better job keeping the ball.

Woolard: 6. Another game in which Daniel Woolard was one of our best players. That’s not what you want.

White: 5.5. When White goes in for a tackle, he really goes all-in. He’s got a fire to him. White seems like the kind of guy who will eat an atomic pepper if there’s a jar of them at the table, because hey: you can’t let the pepper win, right?

Riley: 3. I was glad he made a second defensive mistake, because it seemed unfair to dwell on the first one.

Porter: 4. Needs to do a better job keeping the ball.

Kitchen: 5.5. Is he improving? It’s hard to tell because the team around him keeps changing.

Rochat: 5. I thought the Swiss were supposed to be masters of defense; the main thing he brought to the midfield was his ball skills.

Nyassi: 4. Needs to do a better job keeping the ball.

Pontius: 7. It’s not an exaggeration to say he was the entire offense tonight.

Pajoy: 2. As useless as an old laptop casing.

Townsend: 4.5. He looks like a third or fourth striker and also looks like the best striker on the team.

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Steven Goff · July 5, 2013