Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Taking out the Purple Monster tonight

Professional athletes are different kinds of humans than the rest of us. I still can't get that loss to the Revs out of my brain. Every time I close my eyes I see teenage Gambians coming from all corners. Weird.

But my point, and I do have one somewhere around here, is that pro athletes within 24 hours, and some in even less time than that, can put all of that behind them pretty quickly. Boy I hope so, because Dynamo host Saprissa tonight at Robertson. It will be my first home game of the year and due to out of town commitments, my last one until May 10th unless the Orange can best El Monstruo Morado in the two legs and move into the Champions Cup final. And ince is the last ever edition of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, remember, the team that wins it are the cupholders FOREVER!

(One aside, you may call me a betrayer of all things MLS for writing this, but I was thrilled to see Pachuca beat DCU 2-0 last night. After last year's three games against los Tuzos, I would dearly love to see Dynamo play them again. As I've written about before, last year's SuperLiga game against those guys was the best I had ever seen.)

Now, as to Saprissa, the Purple Monsters are, as has been written all over the place, no easy mark. The Costa Rican side, who play in front of what is, apparently, a band of hooligans who brained an Atlante player with a roll of coins in the CCC quarterfinals, will be without three key players: leading scorer Alejandro Alpízar (shoulder), keeper José Francisco Porras (knee) and midfielder Walter Centeno, who is suspended. So, seeing as how we would like to avoid going into the war zone (and I always thought the Costa Ricans were the most peaceful people on the planet. I guess that's outside Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.) next week with anything other than a commanding lead, Dynamo needs to CRUSH these guys.

(Of course, that's probably an unfair dig. Bernardo Fallas is an expat Tico and he seems a decent sort. And Jamie Trecker had wonderful things to say about them in his book about the 2006 World Cup. So my comments above are directed only at morons who throw batteries and coins at players. Futbol's too good for them.)

Can they do it? Well, after an early scare, it looks as if Eddie Robinson will indeed be playing tonight. Unlike in the Revs game, we have Rico Clark anchoring the midfield, though Mullan, Brad Davis and Holden apparently are all out. This should leave us looking like this:

Ashe-Clark-De Rosario-Mulrooney

The subs off the bench will probably be, in order, Generalissimo Caraccio, Pat Ianni and Geoff Cameron. Though if we're even or struggling to score late, Cameron comes in before Ianni.

The Web is awash in advances on this game today. You can read my favorites here, here and here.

But y'know, another reason I really hope Dynamo beats these guys, I have to admit, is that seeing as how their nickname is the Purple Monster, they have infected my brain with this song and I can't stop. The only cure, Orange goals, lots and lots of them.

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