Metro gets pounded in the Puget Sound, 3:0
March 19, 2009
Metro fans, it seemed, were justified in feeling outraged earlier this week when the oddsmakers made Seattle a slight favorite in their debut match. Surely, the fans thought, this was a mistake on the handicappers' behalf, born from the optimism surrounding the new team in the Pacific Northwest. After all, this was mostly the same Metro unit that made it all the way to MLS Cup just four months ago, and Seattle would be missing their star player for the first few games of the year.
As it turned out, the oddsmakers were absolutely correct to give the nod to the upstart Sounders squad, as they demolished the supposedly improved Metro to the tune of 3:0. Other than a couple short periods of promising play, there is little else to add about the game. Each of the eleven men that wore red and white had at least one moment of idiocy on the pitch; for a few of these athletes that moment appeared to stretch across ninety minutes (to be fair, a couple were spared this fate through substitution).
Instead of rehashing the entire embarrassing affair in detail as we typically do, we'll treat you to a little anecdote. Driving home after the season-ending loss last November, we began to agonize over what had just taken place. Sure, we were glad that the team had even made it that far in the competition after having been so dismal most of the year, but on the other hand it was our first chance at the title in thirteen mostly miserable years of existence. Worrying that our only chance for the foreseeable future might have passed, our thoughts quickly turned to our prospects for returning to the final next year, and it was at that point we came to a troubling realization.
"What if they didn't learn anything?", one of us suggested. "What if the staff overlooks the mostly subpar regular season effort and assumes that based on their fortunate postseason charge, all is well with how things had been run all year and there doesn't need to be a great deal of upheaval?" We pondered the notion for a long moment, exchanging worrying looks between us. "That's entirely possible," the other eventually replied, "but I can only hope that doesn't prove to be the case." Little was said after that exchange, our silence an agreement that indeed all we could do as outsiders is hope for the best.
Obviously we disagreed with some of the moves that were made in the offseason. We began to fret when once again we heard that some of the newly-acquired players might be asked to play positions that they may be unfamiliar with. This time it seemed different, however. The words coming from the front office and the coaching staff seemed to indicate a unified front this year, unlike the disjointed and confusing statements that were issued during the previous offseason. We began to believe that our hope that had been reluctantly put forth in early November and nurtured throughout the winter had not been misplaced.
Unfortunately, on the evidence of the season opener it appears our many of our niggling fears may well be legitimate. While we may be hurt and concerned at the moment, we're going to cling to that hope, take the high road and not offer any extreme knee-jerk reactions as we have been known to in the past. It does seem reasonable though to think that the defending Western Conference champions should have shown a little professional pride against the Western Conference's newest team. Alas, it was not to be this night, and instead we'll have to settle for a combination of that old yarn about it being a long season in this league and last year's surprising late-season performance to keep us placated until next Saturday.
Lineup: Cepero, Goldthwaite, Petke, Boyens, Mendes, Pietravallo, Ubiparipovic, Rojas, Kandji, Richards, Angel. Subs: Hall, Borman.