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).
I think we're all a bit sore from Saturday, but time marches on as it ever does, so let's go over some things in advance of the Tauro match. I'll frame all this in quotes from Kreis, Johnson and Beckerman, all of which are from interviews with Bill Riley on ESPN 700. Go check 'em out, as they provide some great listening.
"If you spend all your time talking about a result, you forget to talk about all the things you need to do to get a result." — Jason Kreis
It's a tough one, isn't it? We're not as bad as we've seemed lately — I'm sure of that. Jason, of course, knows things we don't — especially about locker room attitudes — but we as fans perhaps should be wary of this as well. It's not enough to simply win, but to do the things necessary to win. Obviously enough, this doesn't dictate our actions, but it does make a difference in how we look at the game.
The worse our run gets, the harder it will be to claw our way out of it. The focus shifts from playing well to winning, and I'm thoroughly convinced that the latter only comes when the former is fulfilled. But at the same time, it's hard not to focus on the result, isn't it? Times like these, I'm glad I'm not a professional footballer. The pressure right now is rather intense.
"It's a real challenge. There are no more second chances. This is it." — Will Johnson
Is this much pressure good for our side? I don't know. Perhaps not. Perhaps so. There are a lot of ways to answer that question, aren't there? We've harped on and on about our side being incredible with our backs to the wall, but those times are so infrequent, I don't know that we can form a real assessment of it. I don't think we're lacking in mental strength — much the opposite, really — but we need more than just a fighting attitude right now.
I reckon we're going to come out of this just fine. I think we'll pull something out of this match without much trouble, but we'll have to play well. We have to cut out our defensive lapses, and we absolutely have to win this. A draw won't do. I know we don't try to draw at home — and I can really respect that attitude, although it does sometimes hurt in a big way — and that has to remain the case today.
"We just need a win for the morale of our team, for the fans. It feels better when you win." — Kyle Beckerman
Mentality might be a concern. If we, as fans, are down on things, imagine how the team must be. They're the ones out there fighting for 90 minutes and failing to pull a point. Let's keep in mind: Our lack of effort hasn't been the issue. Perhaps it was in the US Open Cup match, but aside from that, I struggle to see where that's been the problem. Perhaps I'm a bit wide of the mark on this, but our problems have been of a different nature.
When it comes down to brass tacks, our mentality will be tested tomorrow. They're sort of the LSAT of the soccer world, these group stage games. These are the times where your nerve and skill will be put to the hardest test, and if you don't put forth your best foot and whatnot, you're doomed. Doomed, I say. Anyhow, enough of that doomsaying, right? I've always been a bit more of a soothsayer in this sort of world.
"We must win tomorrow night. I'm very interested to see what kind of response we get." — Jason Kreis
Does Jason doubt this team's abilities? Perhaps. He has time and time again harped on the team about certain things — mentality, stability, hard work, boldness, other Jason Kreis sorts of traits — but it's hard to discern whether that's him acting as the face of the club and emphasizing those traits, or if he's trying to send a message to our boys, or perhaps for some other reason.
Anyhow, that's enough idle speculation. I'll have a match preview tomorrow morning, and then it's off to the match in the evening. I hope your voice has healed enough to be effective — let's get loud.