Yesterday marked the first day where MLS, EPL, and the Bundesliga all converged again in the space-time continuum which meant I literally did nothing except watch soccer yesterday. Four games. And that doesn’t include the two I’m watching today! This is how it will be until the end of the MLS season in October (unless Toronto miraculously make the playoffs which seems… unlikely).
Liverpool 1 – Sunderland 1
Liverpool were great in the first half, tragic in the second. The only pre-season game I bothered watching was the one against Valerenga and new boy Stewart Downing was impressive in that one and continued to be impressive against Sunderland. I am a fan. (My sister thinks that this is because I’m not sold on Charlie Adam and thus need to place my affection somewhere.) No idea what happened to them in the second half. Maybe Roy Hodgson showed up in the dressing room at the break to wish them good luck in their new season, I don’t know.
Newcastle United 0 – Arsenal 0
This was, perhaps not unsurprisingly, not a rematch of the classic 4-4 draw from last season that was exciting and hilarious and wonderful to watch. Newcastle makes me sad because they keep selling all their top guys (to Liverpool, haha!), except for Joey Barton who I’m beginning to think they couldn’t sell if they tried given his rage issues. I like watching Arsenal play for the same reasons it must be frustrating for their fans: that fear that even in the last minute they might find a way to screw things up. This game was not fantastic.
Wolfsburg 0 – Bayern Munich 1
Yes, let’s score in the second half extra time just to stress me out further. BAYERN, WHY. It’s three points, I won’t complain.
Toronto FC 1 – Real Salt Lake 0
First time I’ve been able to see Torsten Frings play live!! The atmosphere last night was pretty good and I don’t know whether or not I should find it disturbing that randomly playing your new viking captain as a centre back, a position he has never played before, actually works. Is Frings just that good? Is everyone else just that bad? Is it a combination of factors that I, as someone with no tactical soccer training, am too unsophisticated to think of? (Let’s go with the third option.)
Frings is just so boss, I can’t even deal with it. There was one moment where the linesman had called a corner for Real Salt Lake, Frings yelled at him, and the guy actually changed his mind and gave Toronto a goal kick! My sister was like “Wait, arguing actually worked for once?” Apparently!
One of the things I love about TFC games is that if you don’t have a TFC jersey, it’s not weird to wear a kit of some other non-MLS team. EPL teams are usually well represented, but I think that Frings brings out all the Bundesliga fans because in addition to die Mannschaft kits we sometimes encounter, we saw people in Werder Bremen, FC Köln, and Hamburger SV kits.
Since Frings is not the only player on the team, Jaoa Plata continues to impress with his speediness and goal scoaring. Stefan Frei was out injured so the back-up keeper Milos Kocic played and earned the hideously fugly Man of the Match award. What the hell are people supposed to do with these things? If I played professional soccer, it would be enough for me to want my hard work and talent to go unnoticed just to avoid winning the damn thing. (In the fictional world in which I play professional soccer, I am amazing.)