What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
Well, then, it's match day eve once again, and hopefully this one will come out a little nicer and less, well, angst-producing than the last one. Or the one before that. Oh, boy. Yes, things have been going a little wrong lately, but that's no reason to suspect that everything's going wrong and that we need to trade away all our players.
Sure, we haven't been perfect defensively, but from the way people are talking about our defenders, they've just gone haywire and turned into robots that need to be immediately turned off. Or, you know, like horses with broken legs. There's no reason they need to be shipped off to the glue factory.
Here's some perspective: Our goal differential is the second-highest in the league. We've been struck with injuries from many sides in many areas. We play an adventurous style. We don't bunker. Yes, given those considerations, we're not doing so badly. Does Nat Borchers need a little time to rest? Surely, yes. Chris Schuler's foot injury struck at the worst possible time for that. But it is what it is. Does Jamison Olave, too, need a little rest? Sure. I'll buy that. But does that mean they're permanently crocked? Good grief, no. If they go several years like this, sure, I'd buy it. But three months worth of evidence is hardly evidence at all.
Beyond our defense, it's worth remembering that we're a team that defends, well, collectively. Everyone should be defending at their best, and for that, we need everyone on the pitch at something approaching full-strength. Injuries across the pitch affect this matter.
So next time you complain about our defenders not looking up to snuff, maybe consider things a little more in-depth. The solution clearly isn't "trade away our best players." It's incredible that I've seen that suggested in various avenues.
So, sure. We don't look as defensively stalwart as we did in 2010 — but the league does look stronger in attack than perhaps it ever has. Goals overall are up — does that mean we should just slaughter the defenders on every side? Or should we praise the attacking football on display? I'm clearly leaning toward the latter.
Tinkering with the side is not the option. Being upset because we're signing auxiliary sorts of players, players with good potential who haven't fulfilled it yet — well, it's just bizarre. If every signing we made was a marquee signing, well, we'd be releasing them shortly after, as they wouldn't at all fit our salary cap restrictions. Or our squad restrictions. Or common sense.
Anyhow, there's that. I'll stop complaining now. (Only for a moment. Just you wait.)
* * *
Right, the boys are all in a very rainy Columbus, and if all goes well, there won't be any delays to tomorrow's kickoff owing to weather. Not that I think we'll end up with delays anyway, but you know, it's something I worry about. I blame Vancouver.
Our traveling side included Enzo Martinez, which is nice to here, but it didn't include Ned Grabavoy, Jamison Olave or Kyle Beckerman. The Becks, of course, is suspended following a strangely given yellow card (it had to happen sometime, though) and will return for the Seattle match. If I had to pick a match for him to miss, this one probably would have been it.
That means Yordany Alvarez comes in, and I'd imagine we'll also see Will Johnson and Jonny Steele in box-to-box spots. We might also see Javier Morales, which would be quite nice, although Luis Gil should also be ready to play in that spot if there are fitness concerns at play. Maybe this leaves room for the entries of Sebastian Velasquez and Enzo Martinez late in the match — we'll see on that one. Perhaps we can play a rather Spain or Barcelona-inspired 4-6-0 again. I doubt much I'd be disappointed if that happened, so long as it produced or came at the tail end of a blowout win. Oh, to dream.
I'll touch more on all that tomorrow, though. Don't you worry, the rambling's not over yet. Well, I mean, it is for today. But not in general. Oh, bother.