I really don’t understand MP sometimes. Or rather, I feel that I understand him all too well. He’s probably a good guy when you meet him in the flesh (I have never had the pleasure) but he simply must stay off of Twitter. There are some humans whose consciousness is simply unsuited to that particular mode of communication. I mention this because he put up a tweet the other day which seems to be a joke about Sigi Schmid’s weight, or his love of food, or whatever. As a goof it’s just not very funny. But, more importantly, much as the green slime from Sodo inspire the same kind of feelings in me as the prospect of French kissing a badger, there is just no point in this kind of thing. I’m all for saying nasty things to an opponent. I’ve certainly been chucked out of a few places for doing so. But to be effective it has to be either a) obviously very funny or b) backed up by some show of actual superiority.
Much as it was pleasant to take a little piece of the Sounders down in Tucson, that and $2 will just about get you a cup of coffee. Not only have we had rather more preseason game preparation, but it was also a match in which we played a lineup that was rather closer to what our actual regular season setup in going to be (aside from the fact that Tucker-Gagnes played right back). I know the whole issue of the tweet is a minor thing and will, in all likelihood, soon be forgotten. But one never wants to give an opponent the opportunity to deal out some comeuppance. There are those of you out there who will say that this doesn’t really merit our attention, and you’re probably right. Still, it’s just the kind of thing that one generally oughtn’t to do.
Speaking of developments with our northern rivals, they seem to have taken Mikael Sylvestre on for a trial, now that his cuppa with us is done. I never thought that I would be uttering the following words, but I really wish that the Timbers would sign Sylvestre. It gives me only a modicum of comfort to know that sunshine and I have friends among the Seattle Arsenal mob who will feel the same sort of discomfort at his proximity that we do. However that may be, I think it’s pretty clear that he showed the requisite level of skill and ability during his brief stint in our camp. I understand that bringing him in creates a bit of a log jam at center half, but perhaps a bit of serious competition for playing time wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I have confidence in Horst and Mosquera, both individually and as a pairing. I’m less sanguine about the prospect of Jean-Baptiste getting significant time, as he would do if either of the aforementioned picked up an injury. Tucker-Gagnes could also chip in, but who among us could view the prospect of throwing someone straight out of college into the setup? Sylvestre might not be available on terms that we will work for us financially. I simply have no way of knowing. The thought of seeing him lining up in a Sounders jersey causes my gorge to rise.
Whatever it is that we decide to do in terms of personnel, we will have some extra cash with which to do it. This is a result of the fact that Eric Alexander has been shifted to the Energy Drinks for…wait for it…allocation money. Those hardy souls among you who have read what I have to say with regularity will remember that I have not exactly been the president of the Eric Alexander fan club. He’s who reminds one of those motivational posters that one sees at work about unspectacular people working unspectacularly to get a job done. You can’t fault the guy in terms of effort. But he simply is not quite good enough to assert ownership over a starting spot at left wing, and the number of times that he came off the bench to any good effect can be number on one hand. Mayhap I would have preferred to see him go somewhere besides New York. In my heart of hearts the Kenny Cooper thing still rankles. Admittedly, he was moved on when there was still some prospect of getting a reasonable return out of Kris Boyd. But Cooper went on to pot 18 goals for the Drinks, while Boyd turned out to be the footballing equivalent of a handful of magic beans.
While we’re on the subject of strikers, I would like to say that I am feeling intense guilt about the situation with Bright Dike. The other day I made some idiotic comment about the possibility that he might be able to come back from injury in a matter of weeks rather than months. I should know better than to say things like that, especially when it refers to someone who is having surgery to repair a knee injury. As it turns out he’s done until August (at least) and I have a feeling that I put the whammy on the guy. I take full responsibility for this.
Dike is another guy of whom I’ve been pretty critical. Or perhaps it would be better say that I’ve been skeptical of his ability to be the kind of guy who can carry the scoring load for a team with serious aspirations to contend. I talked a little the other day about what the loss of Dike might portend for our attack. Clearly, this is a time when other players have a chance to make their case for a more extensive role. You would think that this would be the time that Danny Mwanga would make play for more time, if only on the basis of the tools that he has. Still he hasn’t impressed, and moreover it’s not really clear to me that he represents the way forward in terms of the offensive style that Porter wants this team to play. The answer could be Ryan Johnson, who had at least a modicum of success during his time with the Quakes (less so up in Toronto). The fact that we’re now taking a look at the young Belizean striker Deon McCauley may render some clues about which direction things are going to take. He’s a player less in the Dike/Mwanga mode (big, hold up player) and more like Nagbe (small and mobile). With the improvements that have been effected in midfield this might portend a full commitment to an offense that attacks the top of the penalty area using running and through balls. To my mind this fits well with the overall attacking approach that we are building now.
Ok, I’m off. I promise to do my best not to jinx any more of our players.