15 May 2010

17 Syllables Is All They Get

FC Dallas?  OK-
What was wrong with Burn?  Oh yeah:
Present tense verb or rash!

Give it a shot in the comments...

05 May 2010

Still Not From New York

Somewhere between the despair of three straight defeats, along with the midweek return fixture, time has been difficult to come by.  But fear not, my numerable loyal readers, An Un-Civil Union will get back on schedule and rise again!  SO without further ado:

For me, these early Union losses have existed on separate temporal and emotional planes. The grim realities of our struggling team and their dropped points aren't as apparent when live and in person with fellow supporters, whether via pub screens or brand new aluminum bleachers piled on top of New Jersey swampland.

(And don't let any PR spinster fool you. The sparkling new Red Bull Arena shines in just a shockingly grimy location. I swore their parking garage was rigged to blow for a new Michael Bay movie.)

In person, I end up screaming and singing for about the first 75 minutes, expelling too much carbon dioxide until I feel a bit lightheaded. Then I get so nervous I can barely watch. I have no answer for people who think soccer is boring anymore. I feel the tension of a 0-0 game from the first kick. The traveling experiences have been great, so I can't imagine how much better it could get with even a point.

It's a shame our boys are wasting good road efforts, because they could have taken something from their arduous, travel heavy opening third of the season.

The following recap is based on their hometown(?) feed by the MSG Network.

Nowak down on the field for the first time since the Polish tragedy. He was obviously hit very hard personally. Glad to see him back pitch-side.


Good Guys (4-2-3-1): Seitz, Harvey, Orozco, Salinas, Arrieta, Torres, Miglioranzi, Jacobson, Fred, Le Toux, Moreno

Jerks (4-4-2): Coundoul, Miller, Ream, Petke, Hall, Nielsen, Lindpere, Robinson, Richards, Angel, Ibrahim

Tina Cervasio, sideline reporter, looks like one busted House Wife of New Jersey. Those are exceptionally large hoop earrings for a soccer telecast. You can't get that tan in Newark naturally.

On Angel: “You need to feed the beast...” But the beast has nothing to drink...because they have no cups...

Highlighting the Union's poor defensive record in their infancy: 6 goals shipped in 3 games. Califf out on a red card. 0-2-0 on the road. (But 1-0-0 at home!)  At least we're unlikely to see any tedious 0-0 results this season.

Le Toux tripled his goal output a single game, versus one in his previous 29 MLS matches.


1'  “Look at the Red Bulls cheering section. The Sons of Sam...err Sons of Ben here as well.” He mentioned the SoB's because he wasn't used to singing or cheering at Red Bull Arena.

1'  Terrible giveaway by Harvey provides the all-too-familiar warning signs.

2'  The fans at midfield in Red Bull Arena all came dressed as the logo painted on the seats!

4'  New Jersey's first corner allows the Union to break out. Torres outlets to Moreno, who carries from midfield before finding Le Toux for the first threat of the match. Le Toux gently rolls the ball along the ground for the gracious Coundoul. He really should have done so much better with that. First chance blown.

5'  Union doing a good job in the attacking half working their possession, but Torres' fancy feet get snuffed out inside the box. This theme recurs in the first half before he is subbed off.

7'  Salou finds plenty of time and space for himself at the top of the Union eighteen yard box. His curler to the far post is too ambitious for his skill level, but I doubt Seitz was ever getting their either. A stalemate of inability.

9'  “One of the things they'd like to do his finish the whole match with eleven men.” Indeed. Other acceptable outcomes include having more goals than the other team. But no ejections is good too.

10'  Torres connects with Moreno again, who connects with Le Toux, again, who fluffs his lines, again. This time, his dummy lives up to its name and the chance evaporates. Sebastien is missing either the skill or confidence he showed in D.C. United game.

12'  Salinas releases Le Toux down the left flank, who finds Moreno at the top of the box. Le Toux gets it back and misses wide by at least five yards. This game should have been put away before the fifteen minute mark.

13'  Fred's aggression gives the Red Bulls a free kick from the touchline. The ball falls right to Seitz from an unidentifiable head, and it's all easy in the end. The Sons of Ben get behind every positive touch of the ball from the keeper with a rudimentary chant based on a classic tradition from The Man Show.

14'  Another corner for New Jersey. Lindpere's delivery is swallowed by Setiz' meaty paws.

15'  Idle NJ announce chatter about Seitz. Kindly references a couple of “horrendous blunders,” the mildest of descriptions the disasters Seitz has created or inspired.

16'  Harvey gets away with a reckless sliding challenge. Even if it was clean, I don't trust Harvey making those kinds of decisions. Nervy on the right side of defense.

17'  Jacobson, Miglioranzi, Torres, and Salinas each have blame in passing that ball out of bounds. I am offering free English lessons to get the Union on the same linguistic page.

18'  Nielsen with a powerful drive along the ground from 20+ yards, easily stifled by Seitz. Err...SURPRISINGLY EASILY stifled by Seitz.

20'  Union playing their special brand of competent, but aimless possession, over a minute of “buildup” leading to a long ball straight to Coundoul.

21'  Torres has a pop from 30+ yards that sails a few feet over the crossbar, and the head of an unconcerned Coundoul.

24'  Le Toux again dummies to no one.

I was at the game singing and screaming. I can't say I remember our possession being this toothless.

25'  Torres floats nothing more than idea into the box for Le Toux, who is officially no longer in the world beating form he showed in his hometown Philadelphia debut, to be certain.

28'  Wow! A cannon blast from Lindpere is saved only by a teammate's head at extremely close range. Salou takes a facial of the most painful and useless variety. I'm just saying, if those two previously had any beefs, that was a full on declaration of war. With teammates like that, who needs teammates, right?
It's still good the fifteenth time, too.

29'  Miglioranzi tries a FIFA 10 360 spin and accordingly gifts back possession.

Flashback to Califf's red card. He admits he would have given the card himself. Unlikely.

32'  Good work by Harvey holding down that flank. Better play from Orozco as well, who does well to push forward after an interception. His give and go with Fred leads to another wasted cross by Torres.

35'  New Jersey corner. Angel's pass expectedly weak and cleared. Cries for a penalty on Harvey and it'd be hard to argue. Harvey closed him down like Dawkins before driving Salou's hips to the turf.

37'  New Jersey get a free kick in a dangerous position for a foul on Salou. “You Suck Seitz” chants from the supporters there. Actually, your free kick taking sucks. Nielsen's first strike is blocked by the wall, before the next try is blown for offides.

40'  If anything happens, I'll mention it, I swear.

41'  Miller's Cross(ing) is poor.

Oh boy Seitz's lapse against De Rosario's free kick revisited. That was horrible.


41'  At this moment, Seitz basically erases that memory with a gem out of the top drawer. He throws his humungous frame at the turf just in time to stop Angel's goal. Lindpere found room for Angel to run into, and Angel should have opened the scoring.

Re-reading these notes, that praise was pretty exaggerated. It was a genuinely competent save.

44'  Moreno marauds as quickly as he can, and he and Le Toux FAIL TO CONNECT AGAIN.
New York counter, and Salou tries to cross the face of goal to Angel. Not a good pass.

NO STOPPAGE TIME? ABWUH! Never seen that before. But the time would have favored NJRB, so it was a sound decision.


“My thoughts are good if you're a Philly fan! I'm Not!” The NJRB announcers aren't too bad.

SUBSTITUTION:  Zimmerman on, Torres off.


46'  Zimmerman makes an impact in his first minute. His cross is too high for Le Toux, who fails to adjust his feet and unbalances himself.

48'  The Union back line typically struggles in playing the ball amongst each other. This holds true. Not the consistency I would hope for.

49'  I'm not too pleased by Nowak's orders for Fred. Every time I want him to push the play, he holds it up. He's doing a good job of making sure the back four don't keep the ball, but he's not driving the offense fast enough.

50'  Zimmerman's shot is wide, but that was a very poor giveaway from Ream and should have been punished.

50'  CRAPOLA. Salou's head finds the end of Hall's beautifully lofted cross, and the ball goes past a charging Seitz on his way to clobbering Jordan Harvey. Salou ran a good 25 yards after giving it up to Hall, and was unmarked the whole way. The player who wanted the ball the most scored. Seitz is hardly to blame for that one.

54'  Harvey takes a kick in the chest and somehow gets called for a foul.

56'  Some nice play from the Union, including a classy ball from Fred for Moreno, but the Red Bulls keep their shape, eventually absorbing a weak effort on goal from Zimmerman.

58'  Even when the Union get their possession to penetrate the penalty box, they find a way to not shoot.

59'  Possession is won back by Le Toux, who neatly leaves the ball for Fred. He spots Moreno's run down the right flank, while Le Toux begins his charge to the back post as soon as he crosses midfield. From the away support's vantage point, high in the opposite end, I smelled what's on and just started screaming “Le Toux! Le Toux!” over and over, until he eventually receives a sweetly swept ball across the goalmouth and taps in for the equalizing GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

Spotting that goal before it happened is another first for having a team to support in person. My memory for that moment of the day is just pure MDMA, running up and down the row, hugs and high fives for new friendships and Le Toux's now to-be-expected brilliance.

60'  SUBSTITUTION: Mwanga on, Jacobson off.

62'  Union, again, work possession up to the edge of the box. Fred's look for Harvey is too strong.

64'  Mwanga's shot is blocked and turned over after a long buildup sequence. He has failed to impress after being the first pick in the draft.

66'  PENALTY. After a real lull following the Union's goal, a seemingly innocuous cross from Limpere is erroneously handled by Orozco, whose sight may have been disturbed by the tricky shadows over the field. No real questions about the decision. Yet another unlucky break for the Union. Angel converts from the spot, and the Union concede a penalty in back to back games. I have a suspicion that Seitz will end up saving his fair share of penalty shots, though. He guessed correctly again, but this shot and De Rosario's from a week ago were unstoppable.

68'  SUBSTITUIONS: Ubiparipovic and Borman replace Nielsen and Miller.

69'  Good decision by the linesman to call Salou's run offsides. Salou doesn't hear the whistle and continues the breakaway anyway. I remember being personally offended at his insistence at flaunting the official's authority.

70'  YELLOW CARD to Petke for a cynical trip on Orozco. Union take it quickly, and give it away just so. Torres' creativity is sorely missed, but I understand lacking confidence in his composure.

73'  Harvey gets away with a vicious lunge on Salou's heel. Trainers on, slow to get up.

74'  Union finally get a corner. Followed by another. Moreno and Orozco somehow combine to get the ball deflected wide from just a yard or two short of the joy line. The ensuing corner is whistled after some contact, the third time being no charm.

77'  Red Bulls take their turn to waste some nice counterattacking play. Much obliged.

79'  SUBSTITUTION: McInerney in, Harvey out

80'  Poor header from Arrieta back to Seitz truly frightening. Seitz does well enough to get rid of the danger, but these are the mistakes that will cripple confidence and maybe even a season.

83'  Lovely stuff from the Union. Moreno and Fred link up, and perhaps Fred should have shot from inside the box while unmarked(!), but he floats a ball to Jack Mac's dome and he just can't put it away.

84'  HAHAHAHA update from the House Wife on former Red Bull and present USMNT striker Jozy Altidore's red card for Hull City. Altidore's stupidity is somehow comforting considering our own red card woes.

87'  Angel gets too excited by his good fortune, and comically fumbles his shot over the net.

89'  Union allow the Red Bulls to knock the ball around their attacking half, with no real pressure or urgency to win the ball back..

THREE minutes added on. Not going to be enough.

90'  Seitz does a great job of blocking Ubiparovic's shot, because he wasn't getting any help to be sure.

90'  The ball lands at Zimmerman's feet, as the Union get one last gasp at a point, but he runs out of time, and so does the team.

2-1,  DEFEAT.