Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rd 5: A Tie? What Do I Know

The Crew v. Union game finished knotted up at 1:1. X, for some out there.

I was in Baltimore this past weekend. I haven't watched the match yet. Here is how the Crew's Round 5 game went for me:

--Saturday, April 6th, 4:05 PM--
Hanover, Maryland. 7th Floor of The Hotel Arundel Preserve. Getting ready with other groomsmen. Fumble through Twitter for lineups for a second, unsuccessful.

--4:06 PM--
Get text from friend; "Arrieta's on the bench".

--4:06:01 PM--
Put my phone away.

Right about here I figured that Dominic Oduro got the start. Last week, during the Massive Report Podcast, I am on record stating that Jairo Arrieta is the correct choice to start up top. Arrieta had a brace the last time the Crew took on Philly in Columbus.

There are a few out there that were enammored with Oduro's performance against DC a couple weeks ago whilst Arrieta was international duty. Oduro is a 1 goal every 4 regardless of who he plays with. Arrieta was 1 in 2 last year. It's not like Oduro just started playing MLS ball this year. His record is proven and does not deviate.

I was frustrated by Robert Warzycha's decision to keep Arrieta on the bench. Exasperating the problem was the fact that it looks like he lost his starting spot because he was on international duty.

--5:25:ish PM--
After a couple drinks and waiting for the bridesmaids to arrive for pictures I turn on the game on my phone. 0:0. Watched about five or so minutes of flat play. No energy from the Crew but could have been a bad spell.

I start fielding a few questions from the other groomsmen about Major League Soccer. Most of these guys have spent significant time in other parts of the world. All have lived in South America. Another currently in Africa. The best man, from Charlotte, NC. All are fairly well off.

None seem to care about MLS but it wasn't due to not knowing about the sport... one in the group knows some of the finer details of the financial fair play in Europe and another knows about the MLS DP rule. None of them, however, pay regular attention to MLS except for the occasional DC United game (even hough one is actually a member of the legendary La Barra Brava, as my brother is.. incidentally).

"Not enough teams," one says.

"No relegation," says another. "It'd be more interesting, like other countries."

"Need more teams."

--5:50 PM--
Check Twitter. Philly had scored, wedding about to start. One of the other groomsmen's wife's water just broke. True.

The wedding is beautiful. The groom is from Maiden, NC. I went to Campbell University with him and we became close friends and have stayed in touch since. He married a beautiful woman from Benin, Africa (near Ghana) who is currently a resident at Johns Hopkins.

--8:00 PM OR SO--
Get asked by an entrepreneur in Africa who traveled back to the US for the wedding "hey, who won the game?" I check my phone. "A tie." The guy who asked is from Toledo, OH. A Browns fan. He spent significant time in Bolivia and was telling me stories about a 'classico' they have down there. Apparently booze isn't allowed into Bolivian stadiums but that didn't stop those creative enough to get it in.

In fact there was some of Bolivia's finest spirits at my table.

The speeches are given. Most of it is in French. I recall taking the groom up to early DC United games in the late 1990s. A favorite; Marco Etcheverry.

From there popular music plays and the 200+ in attendance start to dance in what is the best reception I have even been to.


On my way back today I swung through Northern VA to see my parents for lunch. Around there I pulled up Adam Jardy's latest in the Columbus Dispatch. I see the word 'listless' and decided that I'll catch up with it when I get back to the paper waiting for me in German Village.

In the panhandle of West VA I pulled up MLS Live to listen to match (not watch!). It worked surprisingly well till it got blocked around Zanesville, OH. Dwight and Duncan weren't changing the 'listless' start.

I'll catch up with it tomorrow evening but for tonight I decided it would be interesting to jot down what I know of the match before viewing it myself.

Jairo Arrieta not starting combined with the 'listless' 1st half is almost enough for me to chalk this one up to classic poor man management by the Crew coaching staff.

Just now I looked up the sub pattern. I see Arrieta came in at the half... over correction again. To the players it makes it look like he was benched for going on international duty. Same old and all of that. Makes no sense. The small 10k crowd is fitting.

How about I write a post on Helltown about this game without watching it.

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