Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Estadio Ricardo Saprissa or Agincourt?

Let me see if I get this straight:

1. Saprissa rested their top side this weekend while Dynamo played a tough 3-3 draw at home against their archrival.

2. Dynamo is without Stuart Holden, Eddie Robinson and Pat Onstad (injury) and Bobby Boswell (yellow accumulation) for tonight's match in Costa Rica.

3. Saprissa is 0-4-1 all time against MLS clubs at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa and has never lost to an MLS club in a series.

4. The stadium is large, covered with artificial turf and the surface is uneven. It will also be filled with crazed fans, some with a reputation for throwing hard metal objects at opposing players.

Did I miss anything?

5. Oh yeah, the two teams are knotted in aggregate 0-0, so tonight's winner moves on while the loser goes home.

As Apollo IX commander Jim McDivitt said "Sounds like fun! I can't wait!"

Looking over the game, I can conceive of almost no reason to think that Dynamo can go down to Costa Rica tonight and come back winners. And yet, that is EXACTLY what I expect them to do, and apparently what they expect of themselves.

"For us, it's a matter of coming in here and having a winning attitude," Kinnear said. "We know they have a good team, but we also have a good team, and if we didn't think we could win, we would not be in this tournament."

I generally hate pregame analyses.

"KEYS TO THE GAME: To win the team must have a winning attitude. They must go out there believing they can win."

"I think you're right on the money there Biff."

So in that spirit I predict that the team that wins tonight will be the one that either scores the most goals in play or in a shootout. How's that for pregame analysis?

In all seriousness, though, Saprissa is not 1972 Brazil. They are a beatable team, though it will take a total effort to do so. I look at this and see a task not that dissimilar to the one that faced new Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and the 1995 Houston Rockets. Down 3-1 in the Western semis to Phoenix, after losing Game 4 here at the Summit, the Rockheads faced a near-impossible task. But on the plane to Arizona, Hakeem turned to Mario Elie and said "Y'know Mario, let's go down there and surprise them." And that's exactly what they did, ruining that team by winning Game 5 in Pho., Game 6 back here and Game 7 in 'Zona with Elie's Kiss of Death stake in Joe Klein's heart to finish Game 7.

The truth is below, and while I know all about probabilities, and all about the task tonight, I also know that this is a sport and these guys are proud professional athletes, and champions to boot. Forza!


Daryl said...


I'm pumped up as well, I think our boys will absorb the crazy fans energy and take the game to these crazy costa rican assholes!



Martek said...

I agree Daryl. Look for more creativity on the attack and Ianni and Mulrooney in center back playing their minds out. MOM: Brad Davis.

I know all this sounds completely homer, but so what? Go go Dynamo!