Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Pan Pacific-it's only preseason, it's only preseason.

I was able to watch most of the Galaxy/Gamba Osaka match and the first 45 of the Dynamo/Sydney FC contest. I must remember to temper my reactions with the mantra, it's only preseason, it's only preseason, and early preseason at that, but...damn!

Clearly the soccer gods have audited David Beckham's karma balance sheet and have concluded that some readjusting is in order. The man is in some sort of shiny soccer purgatory and it is painful to watch. He is paying for something and the gods must have their play. The match last night was awash in moments of pure malice from the fates.

One of the better of these illustrative moments came in the first half when Beckham's well-placed cross found the chest of a dumbstruck Kelly Gray and the ball thumped innocently to the ground, a threatening moment turned into painful comedy.

It's not that I want the galaxy to win, on the contrary but I would prefer them to lose courageously. I can only imagine what is going through Beckham's mind as all these earnest simple plodders huff and puff about him. What must Ruud Gullit be thinking?!

The artifical field simply played the galaxy; there were moments where I expected the team to pick up the ball and forfeit. As I sympathetically watched I made a mental note to adjust my expectations for the second game. How can I put this gently, the field played the galaxy but somehow the dynamo played the field.

The class difference between the PPC MLS teams was evident simply in this regard alone. I think Gamba Osaka will bring more to the field than Sydney FC, for a variety of reasons, but the field was the field and this speaks volumes of the galaxy's skill set.

Here comes the mantra, it's only the preseason, it's only the preseason and it's wise to remember how the Dynamo looked sharp and electric in the 2007 preseason Concacaf Champions Cup and then was anything but in the opening months last season.

Putting aside all this useless commentary, it was fantastic to be once again watching the dynamo run around. Oh how I missed that raver's hunter's orange burning itself into my eyes. Viva Naranja!

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