I like traditions, and since posting my post-game thoughts is quickly turning into one (at least, for me), here's thoughts on the SKC match.
- It's nice to see some offense. Great poacher goals from McInerney. His hustle since being inserred into the lineup is also nice to see.
- I'm not a Lio Pajoy fan by any stretch of the definition, but wow oh wow - the guy who sits next to me hates him so much, I look like a Pajoy cheerleader by comparison. Sheesh. "The only thing Pajoy is good at is going offside." "The only reason they let Pajoy take the kick is so he can pad his stats and they can justify signing him." So, I feel somewhat compelled to defend him. Here goes... his game has vastly improved since the Union switched to the 4-3-3 formation. During the 2nd half of Saturday's match, he was tracking way back on defense - much deeper than a forward should, normally. He was putting in effort, and doing what was needed to help the team win. Lots of folks (including me) lament the loss of Le Toux. But let's not forget that Le Toux was also very good at going offside.
- Speaking of Pajoy (sort of).. maybe it's because I'm a sentimental fool, but I would've liked to have seen Hoppenot take the PK. He earned it with his hustle, in my opinion. It all worked out in the end, though. I'm liking what Hoppenot brings to the game late.
- To the guy who sits two rows in front of me: I hate to be the guy that has to explain the rules to you, but... please understand - a player being in the offside position doesn't matter until that player affects the play. Yes, there were times in the 2nd half (and probably 1st, too - but KC's offense was right in front of us the 2nd half) where KC players were in the offside position. No, the sideline ref didn't blow it by not putting his flag up. Offside is not a complicated rule. Please learn it, so you can stop looking like a fool...
- Carlos Valdes is a beast.
- Brian Carroll continues to amaze me. He's clearly not a fast player. He's clearly not a strong player. Yet he continues to show his soccer smarts, and is just about always in the right place at the right time to make a play. And then on top of that, he gives it everything he has. And that, right there, is why a seemingly slow not-particularly-strong player can constantly make plays.
- Garfan seems to have a weakness I'm a bit concerned about. He seems (to me at least) to have trouble going backwards on balls in the air. It reminds me a little bit of watching somebody play outfield for the first time, and they're not quite sure how to play a fly ball. On balls over the top on his side, he seems to get caught between whether to back pedal or turn and run. Hopefully, it's nothing - just a fluke or funny observation on my point. Because I have no doubt that if it's a real problem that the scouting by other teams will pick up on it.
- Okugo looks good. He got caught out of position a time or two that I noticed in the 2nd half, but recovered well.
- One concern I had for the game was the amount of possession SKC had. And they had a fair number of chances to go along with all the possession. They got lucky once or twice, and MacMath made some great saves on a few other chances.
- I thought Adu had a really weak game.
- And finally, an open question from last week's list: If the Union (and SKC) play a 4-3-3, why do they announce it as a 4-4-2? The PA announcer announced 4 mids and 2 forwards for SKC, just like for the Union. Is there some reason for it? Or just one of those things?
Looking forward to tonight's match!