For the record, and in the name of keeping sunshine from developing any more ulcers than he’s already got, this is going to be my last late post (at least for some while). I’ve just come out of a three and a half our administrative meeting, during the latter stages of which I was having vivid and intrusive thoughts of self-harm. Just a note to any of you out there working in an administrative leadership capacity: failure to provide coffee for a meeting that kicks off at 7:30 in the morning is covered under the Geneva Convention.
It’s probably for the best that it’s just about the end of the season, as the wear and tear has really begun to take its toll. Futty has apparently gone under the knife to take care of a meniscus problem. It was pretty clear that he had some long term niggle, so the whole thing isn’t much of a surprise. In similar new, Brunner has had surgery on his ankle that will keep him down until preseason next year, in all likelihood. This too was not totally surprising. How often has it been the case that a player comes back from a long term injury only to do himself in another way. It’s most often the case that leg injuries breed other leg injuries, as people’s bodies try to compensate for disruptions in the normal system. Brunner, on the other hand, came back from having his bell well and truly rung just long enough to tear something at the complete other end of the map.
The big question ahead of our season ending tilt with San Jose is: what is up with Hanyer Mosquera’s knee. According to the good people over at Stumptown Footy, Mosquera has a tight iliotibial band in his right leg. This condition was probably aggravated by Mosquera getting lowbridged like four times by Sanvezzo in the first half of the match with the Caps. Anyway, according the SF, he’s had a shot and hopes to be able to play in the last match of the season. I’m not sure I wouldn’t just shut him down at this point. The match with SJ, while not totally meaningless, doesn’t have a lot on the line for a guy like Mosquera, whose continued presence in the squad is not in doubt. He probably can’t make this a lot worse, but trying to run through a game when you’re not 100% can often lead to other adverse (and possibly more long term) consequences. On the other hand, it’s not like we have a lot of other warm bodies we can stick back there, so I suspect he’s going have to suck it up for the final 90 of the season.
David Horst came out with the following comments about winning the Cascadia Cup after yesterday’s closed training session:
It felt awesome. It is just, it's nice to get something out of the season. I know a lot of people are saying that it was still a crap season, but there are a lot of teams that have crap seasons that don't get anything out of them and at least we got this out of it.
I think it is a good stepping stone going into next year as well. You know, you get that road win, get some confidence going forward. The guys looked good. Better late than never to get that road win, so I think that we are really excited about winning the rivalry this year.
(Quote provided, once again, by the good people at Stumptown Footy)
I couldn’t agree more. There are crap seasons and there are crap seasons. Crap seasons where you end up coming out of it with a bit of silverware, especially one that you’ve denied to two of your most bitter rivals, are intrinsically better than pretty any other kind of crap season that could be imagined. This is really the first times since our ignominious ejection from the league cup that we’ve actually played for something and won it. It is hard to substitute any other experience for a match that actually determines something. The season, viewed in terms of our league position, ebbed away like the tide over the first couple of months of the season. It wasn’t something where we really were confronted with the situation in a particular moment; we just came to live it week in and week out. The match against Vancouver was the first match in months in which there was a decisive outcome to be confronted, and it should also not be forgotten that we also managed to avoid joining one of the less prestigious groups in the history of the league: teams that have gone a whole season without winning on the road.
Winning something, something tangible like the cup that is, is the kind of event that has the capacity to beget some salutary effects. Too often in this long and unsatisfying campaign, the feeling that the lads had nothing real left to play for seemed painfully in evidence during matches. The 5-0 tonking we got away to Dallas in the dog days of summer is probably the most painful example of this. The Timbers team that ran out that day looked gutted from the opening whistle. I remember saying to someone watching the match with me, “Tonight it’s not a question of if, but of by how much.” And so it was.
Actually feeling the appropriate pride in the shirt through being able to hold a cup up in front of your supporters is the kind of thing that can (can mind you) revive the competitive spirit in a side that’s been beaten down. I am not such a pollyanna as to suggest that this constitutes a turning point. It is, at best, the beginning of the beginning. Soon Caleb Porter will take the reins, and what will happen then is anybody’s guess. Well, I suppose that Darlington Nagbe has at least some idea, but even he must know that this is a new level with new parameters for Porter, successful as he has been at the college level.
Well, that’s me for today. I’m off to find some coffee and an IV bag to put it in.