I needed a bit of time before I could write about the Open Cup. Part of it was due to being busy at work while the other part was recuperating from the game. By now, everyone has pretty much said everything that needs to be said. I’ll give some quick thoughts.
I still really hate Seattle
The Sounders’ sportsmanship was really lacking on Tuesday night. Several players spent several minutes on the floor faking injuries in order to waste time. I believe only one player actually had to come out of the game as a result of his injury. It was amazing seeing Yedlin rolling around on the ground one minute and sprinting up the field the next. Shame on you Sounders.
I really don’t like Clint Dempsey. When he wasn’t throwing a tantrum on the ground like a petulant child, Clint was busy throwing elbows and shoving players. Sure, I like enforcers who aren’t afraid to get dirty. However, Clint can’t foul someone one minute and then get enraged that the ref doesn’t call contact against him the next minute. Stars of this league act as though the ref should cater to everything they do.
How about any of you? Does anyone feel more of a rivalry against Seattle after this match?
I was really surprised and disappointed that Okugo did not play. He would be one of the first names down on my starting XI. We really missed his physicality and intelligence on the field. He really could have helped lock down the center of the pitch.
For the most part, the subs really disappointed me. In particular, Fred came on far to late to really make an impact on the game. Pedro proved he just isn’t a strike. He really went head to head with Marshall, but it just isn’t natural for him. However, depth is the biggest problem. We don’t have players like Obafemi Martins and Marco Pappa coming off the bench. Part of this is due to Hackworth building a shallow team. Part of this falls on Curtin.
Since Jim took over, he has relied on the same small core of guys. We have seen very little squad rotation under his tenure. Players like Wheeler, Pfeffer, and McLaughlin have not been able to get minutes under Curtin. I don’t expect them to be stars or instant problem solvers, but they would have helped. However, if they had played under Curtin, they could have been options off the bench.
I’d rather Wheeler have replaced Casey so that we had a real striker up top rather than someone learning the position. Ribeiro would have been able to come on in midfield in place of Fred. Pfeffer or McLaughlin could have taken Cruz’s spot.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20. Few of us would have made this claim Tuesday morning. Regardless, adding depth to this team and then actually playing this depth need to be steps going forward.
We need a striker
We all know Casey doesn’t have it in him to play a full 90. Who else is behind him? Ribeiro? He’s not a striker and never will be. Brown? He is still really raw. Wheeler? He seems to be in Curtin’s doghouse. Hoppenot? Thank God he is in Curtin’s doghouse.
We have a serious need for a striker. Casey is a role-player at this point in his career. While a DP striker is the obvious solution, I would also like to bring along an academy guy like Darius Madison. Now is the time to integrate a youngster into this team.
What do you think?
How do you feel about Seattle after this game? Should Okugo have played? Did you agree with the subs? What direction do we go for striker?