Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's..... Your impromptu liveblog of the Red Bulls v. Real Salt Lake MLS match!

Ho-boy! Why not?? *crickets*

Yes, that's right, in a league where the New York Red Bulls are playing in the Western Conference (muh?), it's a liveblog of the Western Conference Final! Will I be able to stay awake? Will I change the channel? Will it actually be a decent match? Let's find out, shall we....

Pregame Welp, the pregame program has started. Apparently it's really cold in Salt Lake City (what a shock). Highlights of the program so far was Landon Donovan accepting his fifth MLS player of the year and basically saying, "yeah I'm off to Bayern," and then an actually pretty funny VW ad (Episode 2 "Juice Boxes"). One of the RSL players is talking about his wife who has a terminal disease.... great, it can only get better from here.

Right, so your starting lineups coming up as soon as I can find them. And, if you want to read a liveblog from someone who actually cares about the game, here's Ives.

Pregame Ugh, I'm bored already.

Pregame Found the lineups!

RSL: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Kyle Beckerman, Dema Kovalenko, Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Clint Mathis, Yura Movsisyan. Bench: Chris Seitz, Ian Joy, Andrew Williams, Tony Beltran, Kenny Deuchar, Robbie Findley, Fabian Espindola

NYRB: Danny Cepero, Chris Leitch, Carlos Mendes, Kevin Goldthwaite, Diego Jimenez , Dave Van den Bergh, Dane Richards, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Luke Sassano, Juan Pablo Angel, John Wolyniec. Bench: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Gabriel Cichero, Andrew Boyens, Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas, Mike Magee, Macoumba Kandji

1: And they're off. Salt Lake City crowd seem happy. Bless those Mormons.

2: On the plus side the pitch doesn't have American football hash marks, so my eyes are bleeding like the normal MLS match. I'm waiting to see if either team can string together more than 10 passes in a row. Anyone want to give me odds? I'd say 3:1 that it doesn't happen.

4: RSL is attacking. Oh, feel the excitement!

7: Yup, not much happening.

9: Wolyniec had a nice breakaway for the Red Bulls but it was well-saved low and left. Red Bulls get a decent header on the resulting cross. Slightly promising.

11: Red Bulls play kind of a controlling style, a la Arsenal, and RSL play more of a counter-attacking style down the wings, a la Aston Villa. So, it's basically like this morning's match except the players seem to be running in molasses and can't complete a pass. Oh that's right, it's exactly like Arsenal this morning.

13: Color me shocked, but there are honest to god traveling Red Bulls supporters in the crowd.

15: Just when I was starting to wonder what was on another channel, there's some action. Red Bulls make an inch perfect sliding tackle in the box, then turn the ball over on the next play, almost creating an open shot for RSL that predictably fizzles.

17: Clint Mathis is officially a cock. He receives a threaded pass between the defenders that's just a little bit beyond his reach, and so Mathis proceeds to yell at the other player. Okay dude. Just keep yelling I'm sure he'll get it perfect next time.

20: Comical play with players flopping all over each other in a man pile that ends in a wasted free kick for RSL. Pretty much the entire game has been in the Red Bulls half. Sideline commentator says that Red Bulls having trouble deciding who to pick up on the backline. Isn't that what the manager is supposed to tell them before the game?

23: Rojas on for Ubiparipovic who I guess has a hamstring knock

25: Movsisyan has a break on the left and makes a driving shot on goal that's well saved. RSL still attacking down the wings.

28: GOAL 1-0 Red Bulls! Van der Bergh scores off a Wolnyac pass squared into the box. Angel set up the play with a very nice pass down the left. Quite professional! Can RSL equalize?

32: RSL defense looks pretty shaken. Meanwhile, Dane Richards appears to be a pretty good player for the Red Bulls.... Good pace and control down the wing.

35: A lot of flopping around in the box by RSL. The Italians would be proud.

37: And just like that Dane Richards is down and it doesn't look too good. He got taken down on a late tackle, yet somehow play keeps going and RSL gets a free kick going the other way. Richards is up now.

39: RSL off the post on the free kick! Okay, I will admit that this is actually a pretty decent game. I watched the Crew Fire match the other day and it was horrid, but this is, you know, kind of exciting. Lots of open play and lots of plays in the box. MLS, you are not utter shit afterall.

42: RSL's Russell bumped into a Red Bulls player and is now down on the ground holding his shoulder. The dude looks pretty solid so that was a comical "injury." RSL would do well to grow a pair.

44 Goldwaite picks up a yellow for a late tackle against Morales, who is by far the best player for RSL. Free kick is swung into the box but nothing comes of it. Game is petering out a bit. 2 minutes extra time.

Halftime NY Red Bulls up 1-0. Not the worst half of football I've ever watched. Somewhere around Bolton v. Hull quality-wise.

I think the quality of commercials on Fox Soccer Channel pretty much speak volumes... Gotta love those international calling card ads. And now FSC replayed the interview with Lando, who again intimated that he's likely to play for Bayern Munich.

Salt Lake City have a marching band on the field for halftime. During the Columbus Crew match I spied cheerleaders. I'm not a purest at all, but those things really seem out of place. Meanwhile, there's been tons of streamers thrown onto the pitch. Why did MLS have to pick that tradition to copy? Annoying.

Oh, and they also show lots of Proactiv ads. Does this mean that FSC's largest demographic are pimply foreigners?

46: Second half starts with (Will) Leitch with a nasty bodycheck on a RSL player. I like the fact that these two teams are playing pretty physical.

48: Another bodycheck by the Red Bulls. Decent shot by Angel that's saved. And now there's a flare on the pitch. Am I starting to fall in love with the Red Bulls and MLS?

51: Johnson clears the ball for RSL with a totally unnecessary bicycle kick. Why not?

53: And now it's just kicking about, turnovers, and Clint Mathis yelling at people.

54: Gotta say that one of the reasons that this game has been tolerable is that the ref -- who I'm told by the commentators was voted the best ref in MLS -- has done a nice job of letting the players play yet still maintaining control. The EPL could actually learn something there.

56: I might have lost my bet. RSL string together close to 10 passes, then Russell takes a wicked shot from 25 yards out that Cepero saves with an excellent dive to the right. Game is still pretty open and fairly compelling.

59: Findley on, Kovalenko off. Mathis, it should've been you.

61: Kobi Jones, who's the color commentator, says that Mathis can defend when he wants to. Er, okay. So far all he's done is push people and yell.

64: Nice to have you fellas join me. To answer your questions, Deuchar still on the bench. And those lines are the American footy lines that they've actually painted over. Free kick for RSL about 15 yards outside the box, Mathis volleys right at Cepero who pushes the ball away.

66: How did he miss it? Olave has an open goal and sends it over! Granted he's a defender, but still that was the equalizer right there.

68: Richards with a breakaway but he sends it right. Oof, should've done better. There's definitely another goal coming in this game, even with the Red Bulls playing very defensively now.

71: RSL had about three crosses in a row into the box, but no one there on the end to put it away. Wow, and just like that Movsisyan has a breakaway and his shot from just inside the box is saved by Cepero who had come out of goal. RSL with their fifth corner that Mathis sends in low. He's still yelling at people.

75: Sassano is down on the pitch and the clock keeps on a tickin'.

76: Sassano is replaced, RSL with a half-hearted pass into the box that drifts out of play... the ball comes back and RSL earn another corner. Ball pings around for a while until the Red Bulls finally clear. Whew!

79: Wow, Movsisyan receives an unmarked pass in the box and sends the ball into orbit. RSL have had their chances, but no one seems to have any composure to put it away.

81: Again how did RSL not score??? Open play, goalkeeper beat and they hit the post! And now RSL earns another free kick just outside the box!

83: The free kick comes into the box and Russell sends his free header wide of the goal, despite the blue smoke bomb. Lamers.

84: Another free header goes wide of the goal for RSL.

86: Red Bulls are playing 11 men deep. Meanwhile, RSL earn another free kick just outside the box. Yes, broken record here. Where will RSL send this one?

88: Into the wall (actually Angel's face) and out of bounds. The quick corner is cleared, and now Leitch is rolling around on the ground. And now here come the smoke bombs.

90 Movsisyan's dive in the box comes to naught. Now another corner for RSL and 4 additional minutes. Again right in front of goal and it doesn't go in. Here comes Deuchar for Mathis (should've done it a long time ago)

92: Richards takes the ball into the corner for the Red Bulls to kill some time.

93: The ball bounces high just inside the box but Deuchar merely clips Leitch, who's now down on the ground again. He is up again but earns a yellow for his troubles.

94: Morales hits the post again, Deutchar sends the ball over and that's it!

FULL TIME 1-0 Red Bulls. Peep peep peep Red Bulls into the MLS Cup. Wow, I'm breathless. What a great match. Three shots hit the post for RSL, the Red Bulls hang on to win, open exciting action up until the end.

Stick around for my liveblog of SNL...

11:30It's a crappy Joe Biden impression. I miss MLS already.

Goodnight all!


Mike Georger said...

its never a good thing when im fairly confident i could easily take a sports league's supposed best player

ü75 said...

I had no idea this was on. Come on Western Conference champs RBNY!

ü75 said...

OOh. Nice save.

I just got here. Is Deuchar in, or is he still on the bench?

Goat said...

Does anyone know what those lines on the field are? I suppose they're better than having UTES written across the goal mouth but still.

ü75 said...

Rugby (Union, I think) lines.

Goat said...

U75--They got that in Utah?

Goat said...

Shoulda been 2-0 RBNY. Richards blew it.

Goat said...

Maybe the smoke got in his eyes.

ü75 said...

I was wondering why myself, but yeah, that's what those are. The dashed 10 meter lines give it away.

Nice smoke bomb on the field, assholes.

Goat said...

I'm not sure who my Crew matches up better against but I kinda want RBNY to win just so I don't have to see Clint Mathis again. Although I think the juxtaposition of his assholish personality and his girly voice is rather comical.

Goat said...

Max Bretos: "That would be a great shot in Gaelic football but not here in the Western Conference final." What a tool.

ü75 said...

What a tool, indeed.

What a miss.

Goat said...

Am I the only one whose picture keeps going out?

ü75 said...


And yes, Deuchar is on too late. If he is on by the 75 minute mark, I switch allegiance. Too late now.

Goat said...

Leitch goes down like he's just learned that the Cardinals have traded Rick Ankeil.

ü75 said...

Wow. What a finish.

Spectator said...

Yeah wow that actually was a really good match. Totally ruined my intent to make fun of MLS, but well worth it!

Daniel said...

the lines aren't American Football lines....RSL's stadium is built soccer-specific, opened mid-season this year, the fans there are really proud....I grew up in Utah, left as soon as I could, but a good buddy from High School is a season ticket holder and he can't believe he can finally drink at matches (old stadium was on a college campus).