there is something admirable about reveling in defeat and the irish do it better than any nation. after going down 4 nil to spain, thanks to a slashing cesc fabregas shot off the far post, the irish faithful belted out a rendition of the fields of athenry in acceptance of the loss but also seeming protest to the defeat. yes, they had been singing the folk anthem throughout the match, but it was merely a warm up for the 85th minute. the hope of getting away with stealing trevelyane's corn was well and duely doused and the irish knew they were on the boat home
i may not enjoy defeat. in fact, as many others likely do, i absolutely detest when the timbers lose. however, i am sympathetic to those moments of anguish gripped with the loss of hope. perhaps that is why so easily i slip into chorus on "can't help falling in love." regardless of the inevitable result, my hope remains steadfast. too often, when going into the final ten minutes of a match, i believed the timbers would retain their composure and finish a game strongly, without shipping free goals to the opposition. and too often i have watched leads disappear in the 80th minute.
not that we need to question why these let-downs continue to occur, when watching our combined defensive play the answers are obvious, but after a while one begins to believe a curse looms over a team and they are doomed to failure. several individuals have made pathetic and impotent connections between elvis and the failure of the timbers to retain a lead. the desire to find an answer for the failure outside the obvious is understandable, but a song does not play defense. sure frustrations can be attributed to the song, making the song as palatable as chipped beef on toast. but those associations are as disparate as the associations i once made with the use of blue crayons to a bad case of stomach flu. while i still avoid blue crayons, i understand how irrational my avoidance is. in the face of being irrational, i still sing, as the irish sing, expressing my love in the face of frustration, because i understand something other than a song causes the mishaps.
personally, no game was as frustrating as this year's loss to the galaxy. the timbers had a lead only to relax and give the galaxy a decisive win. if you recall, and how could you not, the timbers took an early lead against the galaxy thanks to kris boyd. they held that lead into the 44th minute, when brunner was beaten by robby keane and landon donovan drilled home the equalizer. the score remained even until the 83rd minute when things fell apart. donovan connected with beckham, who took advantage of sparse and lazy defending.
well, this sunday the timbers return to los angeles for the second of three games against the galaxy. as annoying as the unbalanced schedule may be, this is the lot we were given thanks to the mls brain-trust headed by don garber, mensa member. fortuntately, the galaxy are suffering from injuries to key players and absences of others. notable losses are edson buddle and robby keane. while missing their primary striking duo, the bigger blow to the galaxy has been the absence of greg gonzales to a knee injury. since his injury, the galaxy have had a revolving door in the central defense. during his absence they have used meyer, boyer, lopes, keat, leonardo, and gaul to fill the void next to de la garza. each new pairing has been as inadequate as the last, and teams have taken advantage of their deficiencies. frankly, the galaxy have had a difficult time attempting to emulate the timbers and have been nowhere near the form that brought them the 2011 championship.
with a revamped forward pairing, the timbers might be able to take advantage of the galaxy's defensive frailties. might. the timbers have scored one goal from open play since the last time we faced the galaxy. and though they create chances, they have failed at creating the types of chances necessary to involve the million-dollar-man, kris boyd. with danny mwanga now in the side, the timbers will look to a foyle more likely to pull defenders off boyd than perlaza was able to do. if so, i imagine boyd will be able to knock a few in.
while the irish comforted my sense of inevitable failure, yesterday, the spaniards gave me the belief that failure can lead to triumph. if fernando torres can score two goals in a match, i am confident the timbers can accomplish similar heights of achievement.
with that, have a great day.