for the regular readers of this blog you may know that magadh and i were such fans of mad magazine when younger that we decided to play spy v spy in our adult lives. our battles have strained international relations and i am certain angela merkel has spent a fair amount of hair loss in discussions with our infamous man on the run. so it should not come as a surprise that we are at it again.
currently, and unfortunately, i feel more like inspector clouseau as i am hunkered down waiting magadh’s arrival than i do the black spy. it is mighty lonesome in this blind, and a bit ridiculous. of course i should have remembered that when you wait for magadh to appear as scheduled you wait and wait and wait and wait. clocks never seem to bother the man–there is greenwich mean time, pacific standard time, hawaiian time, and then there is magadh time. international man of mystery he may be, he still excels at slacking. however, defending the honour of this blog is important and so i shall wait even longer if that is what it requires.
unfortunately, waiting for an mls caliber defense to arrive in portland has become a tedious joke. even with personnel changes the punchline still remains. now, i like a good joke that starts with this famous intro: a man walked into a bar with a poodle under one arm, a salami under the other, and six-pack of budweiser dangling from his belt. but the poodles that have graced our beloved green kits have taken some turds on the floor. even if they have been described as upgrades, inexplicably we have seen the same results.
however, one player i feel that has outperformed his teammates in the few games we have seen him play is joe bendik. aside from naively coming off his line against seattle in the first 20 seconds after replacing the injured ricketts, i think he has done well. he commands the air, he seems to yell at the defenders in front of him, and he has great composure and confidence. all qualities necessary to make a name as an elite keeper, or, in this case, and mls keeper. when ricketts came in as the upgrade and the tutor emeritus for the younger keepers, naturally many assumed the heir to his horrible goal kicks would be jake gleeson. gleeson is a national team keeper, he started a few matches for the timbers last season and impressed as he did. but since then he has been a gigantic void in the team roster and a permanent participant of the underground cribbage game that takes place in the physio room. so much talk takes place discussing gleeson that many of us have failed to notice the qualities of bendik.
i will admit, i was first troubled by bendik’s large proportions. he appeared to enjoy a good buffet menu which i am sure is ok if you are training to take on takeru kobayashi, but standing between the sticks against annoying twats like fredy montero requires a bit more self-restraint in the food-line. i thought he could benefit from a paleo diet, even a cardboard diet, or simply taking up a good week’s worth of bulimia. thankfully, it appears that over the summer he has taken control of those urges and slimmed down.
now he is the timbers starting keeper. and, frankly, of the keepers the timbers currently have on roster, he seems the most obvious choice for a number one. mike toshack seems to agree with my assessment.
He has been our number two goalkeeper since May. He has won that spot and he has been there. I see all over the newspapers at he is our number three, but he has been on the bench since May. He has worked hard and he has earned that spot…
some might point to the late goals given up against san jose and the two goals awarded to salt lake as evidence he is not up to the task. however, the last two road games had little to do with his efforts and everything to do with the efforts of those mugs in front of him.
against salt lake he was faced with two superb free-kicks. the second there was little he could do about, and the first was simply a wall of handbags. against san jose he was let down not only by his defense but also by the tactics of the interim ginger. wondolowski’s first goal was a gift thanks to horst’s enthusiastic yet dumbtastic defending (yes, i meant dumbtastic). the second was thanks to an errant header by mosco. neither would have occurred had the centerbacks done their job properly. which can be said about jewsbury against salt lake. but the less said about jewsbury the better.
indicative of his efforts and the work he has put into the unnoticed aspects of the game is the fact bendik will get the start on saturday while jake gleeson sits. yes, jake has been hampered by some injuries, but if he is able to play and if he is the supposed chosen one i am sure he would be out there and not bendik. do not expect me to immediately jump on the joe bendik for president of club and country bandwagon, but some credit where it is due. i think he has earned his spot for the remaining games and would hate to see calamity ricketts resume his tenure for the remaining games once healthy.
alright, positive waves out there, i will now return to cleaning my m40t as i await magadh’s arrival. all the hansels and gunthers in the bundesnachrichtendeinst should be on alert for the surprise awaiting my dear old pal, magadh, following his dc united primer. only the rockets fired by dwayne de rosario should cause him more trepidation.