Friday, October 31, 2008

Seven steps to Heaven

A quick detour to Scotland and the Bhoys. Those who know me know about my love for Celtic FC, the true Hoops ( My blood boils when people refer to Dallas as the Hoops. Morons.). This is a goal from the the Bhoys' 3-1 win over Kilmarnock in Scottish Cup play earlier this week. Seven passes (seven!) until Aiden McGeady slots it home. Even if you're a Rangers fan, you've got to appreciate how fun this is. Enjoy.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

The "I" in team

You wouldn't know it from looking at the results over the last month and a half, but we have three games left in what really is the worst stretch of the schedule all season for the Men in Orange. With games in no less than five countries, thousands of miles of travel, multiple games of high pressure, drama and significant consequence, Dynamo are meeting a challenge unlike that faced by any MLS team ever.

And now it's time for me to come clean on my reaction. No matter how tough it has been for the team, I have literally loved every second of it.

Now, to be perfectly frank, had Dynamo come to this stage of the Great Gruelfest with more losses than wins, I would have been screaming bloody murder. No one would have been louder than I in raging about the rank unfairness of it all, how the MLS schedule-makers are a bunch of no-brained morons who can't realize the obvious importance of international play in the growth of the MLS brand, how, despite all evidence to the contrary, the league refuses to accept the reality of the what growing the game here really means beyond adding a new squad in every podunk burgh in North America.

And I know all of that is true beyond a shadow of a doubt. But thanks to the team-making skills of Dynamo Chief Operating Office Chris Cannetti (i.e. the guy who makes every coin), the game management of Dom Kinnear (the guy ON every coin) and the total, unflagging commitment of our heroes in Orange (the coins in question), we enter the final three games of this stretch unbeaten, with the No. 1 seed in the west and on the verge of qualifying for knockout stage play in Champions League.

And it has been brutal on the guys, no question about it. But if it were up to me, and I had to have them do it all over again, I have to come totally clean here and admit that as a supporter I wouldn't change a thing. (Other than the hurricane part of it. I mean, I'm not crazy.)

How many times have we all left Robertson Stadium wishing there was another game tomorrow night? How many times have we Just. Not. Gotten. Enough. of watching and cheering the team on to wins? How many times have we just wanted the feeling at Robertson to last on well into the night, to keep going and going until the last bit of juice has been squeezed out?

Well fellow Planeteers, since Sept. 23rd, we have gotten all of that and more. And make no mistake about it, it has taken all the Dynamo can give to make it happen, and over the next five weeks, they are going to have to keep going to make it even better, to find the pot of gold again that makes this all worthwhile.

After all of this, there are four home games remaining, Wednesday against Pumas, the first playoff game Nov. 9, the Western Conference championship match Nov. 16 and the rescheduled CL match against L.A. Firpo Nov. 26. (Add to this four away dates, to las chivitas Saturday, El Salvador next Tuesday, the first playoff game Nov. 2 and one last little date in Carson, California on Nov. 23rd.)

Eight games in five-and-a-half weeks, right on the heels of eight over the last four. Call me a torturer, call me unsympathetic, call me one who delights in the hardships of my beloved team, but among all other things, call me There.

And as a wonderful postscript, walking into the Dynamo game Saturday, enjoying the heck out of the great giveaway scarf that my 11-year-old says is "The best giveaway ever.", season book partner mister3d takes a look at the tag on the scarf and says "Hey, that's me!" And there he was, the guy holding up the scarf with a towel over his head (maintaining his secret identity) on the tag. And even though my first reaction (to be totally and brutally honest here) was "Hey, I was standing right next to him there. Where am I? (I know, I am a cad.), I have to say that I am absolutely thrilled about the whole deal. I think I'll frame the tag after I get him to autograph it! Read more!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dyna-tunes for sale

Saw this post over at Dynamo Planet. For those of you who just can't get enough of those rockin' Robertson tunes from El Battalon, now you'll be able to hear them at all times. I'll definitely by hookin' up with one of these beauties.

As some of you are aware, we (EB) have been working on getting a CD out for a while now. The CD features 7 tracks from songs we sing in the stadium performed by a group that plays Cumbia Villera music direct from Argentina. Im not trying to oversell it but its like winning the 2006 MLS Cup in Frisco and the 2007 MLS Cup in DC combined, so you should get a copy! Its only ten bucks and we will be selling it in front of the stadium by the ticket booths or you can find us at our usual tailgate spot at the north west corner of the parking lot, accross the street from Popeyes on Scott.To hear a sample of some of the songs included on the album you can check the EB site at or you can check out our EB Music Myspace page at Profits from the sales will fund EB efforts in supporting the Dynamo.

And here's a little taste:

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dynamo MVP talk

With just three MLS regular season games remaining, I have yet to see much talk about the season MVP. Perhaps it's my background in baseball, but I think the MVP of the season should be distinct from the whomever might be the MVP of the playoffs. So in that vein, here we go.

When you take the team down to the areas of the field, I think 4-5 realistic candidates emerge.


First, let's take a look up top. Brian Ching leads the team in goals scored and I think there' no getting around the fact that he has bee a monster up there all season. Even when he isn't scoring, the Flyin' Hawaiian is drawing the attention of the defense, creating openings for his teammates and then passing to the open guy. If a major element of MVP consideration is making your teammates better, then Ching has that in spades. In pure numbers, let's look at this: 12 goals and five assists in 22 games, 21 of which he started. He has three game-winning goals and one game-winning assist. Only Brad Davis (more on him in a sec) has a better combined total there (1 GWG and 4 GWAs). From the forward corps, Chingy clearly is the representative in this discussion.


Brad Davis has been a real force when he's been in the game. He's played in 23 games, tied for fourth on the team with Captain Wade-merica, and has been an assist machine. The consistent quality of his deliveries into the box both in the run of play and on set pieces has been devastating to opponents. He instills confidence in his teammates and is a constant threat. He leads the team in assists with eight, three better than anyone else.

Dwayne De Rosario's immediate impact on any game could be best seen in the San Francisco clash last week. That goal he scored in the 88th minute will forever be etched into my mind. As soon as he came on, both teams had a charge put through them. We all just knew that the game had been elevated. How many players in MLS can you say that about? His numbers have been pedestrian -- second on the team with five goals and he also has only two assists. But his influence clearly goes beyond the numbers. Easily on just about anyone's Best XI in MLS at anytime. He's also the only Dynamo player to actually convert a penalty kick this year.

Brian Mullan was a co-winner of this award last year, and deservedly so. Mully's runs are amazing, but all too often you wind up with "Wow, what a move!" quickly followed by "Damn, what happened?" As a generator of chances, he's unparalleled. As a finisher, well.... Numbers-wise, three goals and five assists is nothing to sneeze at, but Ithink he'll wind up in Honorable Mention this year.

Also getting votes: Ricardo Clark. He and Shalrie Joseph are the best holding midfielders in the league. Simple as that.


It's time for me to come clean. After the Pan-Pacifics, the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the first week or two of the season, I was ready to call a quick and nasty end to the Bobby Boswell era. Well folks, that's why Dominic Kinnear is where he is and I'm sitting over here at a computer. Boswell has become the anchor for the second-best (maybe even THE best at this point) defense in the league. The guy is a titan of toughness in there, has been impressive at shutting down so many opposing threats and lighting a fire under the rest of the defense. He's still prone to the occasional brain fart, but how many time have we seen him make up for it on the very next play with a fantastic stop or put down of opposition attack? Earlier in the season, when the offense Just. Could. Not. Score. it was Bozzie that kept us in game after game. No one else on the defense (other than perhaps Wade Barrett?) has been so consistent, so healthy and such a monster.


What more is there to say about Pat Onstad, the best keeper in the history of this league? Maybe he's been a little slower of step than last year, but with a second-best in the league GAA of 1.08 on a team that started as slowly as they did this year, folks, you are looking at excellence personified.

If I had to rank these candidates right now, I'd go;

1. Ching
2. Onstad
3. Boswell
4. Davis
5. De Rosario

When you score more than twice as many goals as the second place guy on your team while still being away for US MNT duty and maintaining your health the way Ching has never done in his career, you get my vote. Still, there are three more MLS games for these other guys to come up with some amazing heroics that could alter my vote. What do you think? Read more!