Some random thoughts about the San Jose match, while I wonder how much longer I can carry the "Soccer Newb" title...
- I've been with the Union since the first home game. This is the first time a loss made me feel sick to my stomach.
- At this point, I've seen quite enough of the "Pajoy as a lone striker" experiment. It's a complete and utter failure. I would very much like to see them switch back to a two striker tandem. It's not like they don't have the options available for it. I thought McInerney and Mwanga played exceptionally well together Saturday evening. I'd love to see them get more time, but really I'll take any combo the technical staff want to toss out there. I think Pajoy and Martinez could also be an interesting combination. Hoffman has talent. Whatever - just give me two forwards, both of whom are actually playing forward. (I make that last point because the team insists on announcing Freddy Adu as a forward; he's not playing forward, so please cut the BS.)
- Speaking of Pajoy, on the positive side of things he seemed to me to be taking more of a leadership role on the field. There were several instances where I saw him playing "traffic cop," directing the mids where to run and such. I don't recall seeing him do that in previous matches.
- I thought Herdling looked OK, but I need to see more. He definitely didn't shy away from rough stuff, which is a good thing in this league.
- My seats are in section 109 - basically, right behind the visitor's bench. At least three times in the first half, Freddy Adu or Sheanon Williams were wide open along the left flank, with their arm in the air. And the pass was never even tried. The opportunities to stretch the field wide were there.
- Gaddis seems to be picking up confidence, which is good. The most important confidence he seems to be gaining is knowing that his speed can cover a lot of mistakes. I think that's a good lesson for him to learn - it makes him dangerous.
- Dear Peter Nowak/John Hackworth: Make sure Gomez takes all the free kicks that are in dangerous positions on the field from now on, please. I really don't want to see Freddy Adu taking those kicks. (Though I will say, he had a dangerous one in the first half.)
- I'm all in favor of throwing the kitchen sink at the opposition to get the equalizer - even if that means pulling out Gaddis in favor of another attacker (Hernendez on Saturday - an odd choice, I thought, but I don't get paid to make the touggh choices). However... once you get the tying goal, please please please do not ever put Hernendez back at left back ever again. Pretty please? Hindsight is 20/20 and all, but I really would've preferred pushing Valdes out to the left and slotting Okugo or Gomez into the center back spot. At that point of the game, we don't need the LB to make runs down the field; we need him to defend. I'd really like to have a defender in that position. I understand Valdez isn't an outside-type defender. But I'm looking to bunker in at that point and be happy taking one point from the best team in the league.
- Possession seemed to be terrible Saturday. I haven't looked at game stats, but I wouldn't be surprised if SJ had somewhere between 65 and 70% possession.
- Did I mention... I felt physically ill at the end of the match? blech...
So... there's my thoughts. Feel free to point out what I have wrong and why - I enjoy the learning experience.