Forever 18 - A Kasey Keller Story

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  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
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    Average strikers are a dime a dozen...

    ...at least according to Freddie Ljungberg. Yesterday, during Freddie's usual pre-match talk with the press, a journalist asked him about Denni Avdić and his apparent goal drought, and this is how Freddie answered her: "You know, there's plenty of average strikers on the market: I'd say that average strikers are a dime a dozen right now. Yet, Denni isn't your average striker. He has something special, and if you give him a little more time to get used to his new teammates and to the way they play he might aswell surprise you. Feel free to mark my words!"

    With these premises, the guys enter the pitch in a packed CenturyLink Field being ready to rock for the match against Chicago Fire.
    The match heats up straight away, when Jhonny Hurtado makes sure to leave an imprint of his studs onto Grazzini's right calf. The referee sees everything and doesn't seem to like it, awarding a free kick to Chicago in a dangerous position and commanding Hurtado to shut up and quit his complaints:
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    Luckily enough, Frei is able to save the free kick with little effort. On the other side, the Montero-Avdić partnership is starting to click, and Fredy is able to serve a couple of good balls to the Swede, who doesn't manage to scare Ricketts anyway.
    The good ball arrives at minute 41, when Denni Avdić collects a great through ball by Montero with a diagonal run and finally slots it past Ricketts for his first MLS goal ever. Hopefully, it's the first of many.

    The second half starts with us attacking and trying to increase the gap: around minute 50, it's Fernández getting free on the left and delivering a sweet cross to our captain Alonso, who just arrived from behind unmarked. OSvaldo has the time to put himself in a good position and to aim to the far post with a header. The ball bounces off the post and dances on the goal line (and I hear a couple of people going "No! Not this **** again!" behind me on the stands), but this time it eventually goes in, with one of their defenders desperately trying a last ditch sliding clearance:
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    That's it! It's 2-0 to the Sounders... And this will also be the final result.
    We've been convincing all along, we're still unbeaten and we haven't conceded a goal yet... And we were not even wearing our cyan kit tonight, go figure!
    And speaking about the cyan kit, rumour has it that Stefan Frei tricked Adidas into making a custom white and grey version of it, so he could sport it as an away GK kit. It's not been seen yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was true.
  • JTS900
    230 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Good result!
  • Ashy
    7398 posts Big Money Move
    Just watched that video of the double bar shot a few games back wow what a miss! 2 clean sheets in the last couple of games and a win there, the cyan hit has done it again!
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    Great 2-0 win, quite a dominant performance in the end and still not conceded. Seems Freddie knows what he's doing.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    JTS900 wrote: »
    Good result!
    Great 2-0 win, quite a dominant performance in the end and still not conceded.
    Thanks guys! Indeed it's been a very good match, hopefully we built some momentum! :)

    Ashy wrote: »
    Just watched that video of the double bar shot a few games back wow what a miss!
    Yeah, I couldn't believe it at the beginning but... It's been a good footballing moment anyway. :)

    Meanwhile, as we reached the end of March, it's time for the first monthly report... I believe that Real Salt Lake will be even more difficult to take down than they were last year...

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  • Virtual_K
    1006 posts Professional
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that insane shot in the video; talk about bad luck. :/
    Sounders defense are really locking in to start the season. Let's hope it continues. The offense is starting to click, so we'll see if Seattle can do some damage in their upcoming fixtures.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Sounders defense are really locking in to start the season. Let's hope it continues.
    Ahem. whistlenew.gif




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    All your base are belong to us... Not really.

    To those who don't know the videogame from which the title of this blog entry is taken: shame on you. To all the others: welcome to another part of the RGB journey, a part I would have eagerly spared you if I had been able to. That's right, our first defeat of the season.

    Not that we started bad today in Houston: as usual we controlled the match from the beginning, like always very tight at the back, and we almost managed to score with a powerful strike by Fredy Montero. Tally Hall did a wonder save, managing to tip the ball over the bar.
    We didn't have to wait much for the following chance though: Minute 31, Denni Avdić hit the outside part of the post with a shot along the ground, with the ball going out for a goal kick. It was only the prelude, the goal came at minute 43, when Avdić slotted a wonderful finesse shot past Houston's keeper:
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    The ball went in near the far post, causing an explosion of joy in the away stand from which I was watching the game. This would also be the result at the end of the first half.

    The second half brought bad news to us: Jeff Parke had to leave the pitch swearing in pain after receiving a harsh tackle, five minutes into play. Pat Ianni stepped on the pitch for him but he didn't even have the time to fit in with the match, that we conceded:
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    Boswell found Garey with a pinpoint pass, Garey managed to sneak through Ianni and Hurtado and fired a shot that Frei just couldn't reach. 1-1, and they weren't done there.
    With a stunned Sounders side, Houston took advantage of it and won a corner during minute 63. When the ball got crossed in Hurtado tried to clear it but he stumbled instead, leaving it there for Boswell to collect and to fire past Frei. 2-1 to Houston, they turned the game around.

    Freddie's shouts from the bench, added to the ones by Jeff Parke who also was on the bench following the match with an ice bag on his knee, helped our defence to regain the correct shape and to prevent them from scoring again, but we just couldn't do it anymore either.
    The match ended 2-1 for Houston, our first defeat of the season. The good thing is that we controlled the match for more than an hour, the bad thing is that losing the focus for as little as fifteen minutes costed us the three points.

    And the next match is against the defending champions, NY Red Bulls: Freddie's definitely got some work to do, especially on our mentality.
    Post edited by ale85bg on
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    Woops :o

    2 goals conceded so quickly. Next game will tell us whether it's just a blip, let's hope it is.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    2 goals conceded so quickly. Next game will tell us whether it's just a blip, let's hope it is.
    Two in four matches are not many, after all. And he was unbeaten in more than 300 minutes before conceding twice in 15 so I really cannot say anything bad to him! :joy:




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    I'm starting to believe Freddie knows what he's talking about.

    Do you remember when Freddie said that there's plenty of cheap average strikers on the market, but that Denni Avdić isn't one of them? After seeing the goal Denni scored today, I'm starting to believe he was right.
    We took on the NY Red Bulls today, fully charged also thanks to Freddie who once again highlighted our strengths in the pre-match talk to the team: "We know we can stop them: we've only conceded in one of the four matches we've played so far, and I expect you to not concede today. I know you can do it!"

    No surprise then that we didn't attack much in the first minutes of the match. Yet, we didn't allow a single shot towards Frei's goal. THe first chance of the match came at minute 29, when Denni Avdić collected a great cross by Rosales from the right and fired a shot. His volley ended high over the bar though.
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    We didn't have to wait much anyway: once again Avdić claimed all the spotlights upon him when, after receiving a great cross this time from the left, he let the ball run in front of him and proceeded to finesse it past Rost without having it touch the ground.
    There was a single spot in which he could put the ball, and he did. 1-0 to the Sounders! Against the defending champions, no less!
    From there to the end of the first half we managed to put up with their fierce reaction and to avoid conceding, as per Freddie's request.

    They didn't give up though, and in the second half Stefan Frei had to perform a wonder save against Rodgers to prevent them from scoring:
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    Lindpere placed a wonderful low ball from the left, with Rodgers being quicker than Ianni to reach it, but he didn't take into account Frei's perfect rush out of the posts. If we add the other two saves he did from there to the end of the match, we can surely say that he saved our day today.

    Stefan's tally is now a grand total of four clean sheets in five matches, that's quite impressive. Even better than I would have ever imagined.
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    If Frei and Avdic stay healthy you will go far. Another very good result.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    If Frei and Avdic stay healthy you will go far. Another very good result.
    Thanks pal! :)




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    Must be a reason why I'm king of my castle... No more, apparently.

    Don't you hate it when you're asleep in the middle of the night and your phone starts buzzing, waking you up from a wonderful dream in which you were leading your country to a 2-0 win in a World Cup final? I do.
    Apart from dreaming to be still playing which is rather normal, I must remember to turn off this bloody iPhone from now on if I leave it on the bedside table.
    Well, let's see who it is. Surely it's something urgent, so late in the ****...Damn you, Sigi!
    It's actually Sigi Schmid from the other side of the world. Is he even aware of the concept of 'time zones'?

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    Well, apparently Sigi already found a job in Germany: it means that I'm setting up a trip to Mönchengladbach to meet an old friend, and to give him the keys to my beloved castle. You don't want me to tell how much I spent buying it after the initial one-year lease, but trust me: it's been worth.
    Maybe I'll also get the chance to spend a couple nights in there once again, even if the main guest bedroom is two stories up a tight spiral staircase, with no bathroom, and the shower is down in the bloody basement.

    Time to do some workout, dear ol' Kasey. Gotta be prepared to those damn stairs, they used to be a nightmare.
  • JTS900
    230 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Another great result and clean sheet too!
  • Ashy
    7398 posts Big Money Move
    Quite a few clean sheets so far this season which is good, would of been nice to go on an unbeaten run for longer than 3 games though, I agree about Salt Lake, they look like title favourites
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    Things worked out fine for Sigi then.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Ashy wrote: »
    Quite a few clean sheets so far this season which is good, would of been nice to go on an unbeaten run for longer than 3 games though, I agree about Salt Lake, they look like title favourites
    JTS900 wrote: »
    Another great result and clean sheet too!
    Thanks guys! I'm working on the "undefeated run" side of things... Consistency hasn't always been our main strength unfortunately...

    Things worked out fine for Sigi then.
    Well, when I heard Keller had a castle there, I thought I just had to include it here! :joy:




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    There's something strange there...

    Or at least, there's something I don't understand. This is the mach I was supposed to be seeing, there's no doubt about it. The Sounders are facing Sporting Kansas City, I can see Frei, Mears, Evans, Scott... There are also Alonso and Fernández, yet there's something that doesn't feel right to me.
    We haven't ever had a white kit, to begin with. So I don't know why Brad is wearing one:
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    And the captain armband? Isnn't it supposed to be onto Alonso's arm? Then, why am I on the bench, wearing my cleats and with my keeper gloves in my right hand? And why is Sigi calling me now and asking me to wake up?

    "KK? Wake up KK! THe match is about to begin! Bring out the laptop!"

    I look at the digital clock on my bedside table: it's like ten to 3 in the morning. He holds a 3G Internet stick in his left hand and two bottles of beer in the right one. What the Hell is happening?

    Then I realize. I landed yesterday at the Düsseldorf Mönchengladbach airport: I met with Sigi, brought him to the castle, showed him around, and then helped him bring in his luggage.
    Now I'm in that damn guest roon at the second floor and I'm wondering how on Earth Sigi manage to climb up here.
    And it's STILL three in the morning. Why cannot he wake me up at a normal time for once?

    We go down to the living room, only to find that the match has already begun and we're now in the half-time break. Why doesn't he even get a time zone right?

    By looking at the highlights, I see Fredy Montero got injured and Freddie sent Cameron in instead, moving to the 4-1-4-1 formation he used often in the preseason. Denni Avdić missed the usual sitter and he's now going to the bench, being replaced by Fucito. Sigi looks at me and says "Good luck KK; you're gonna need it with Mike all alone upfront".
    Unfortunately, he knows a lot about football.

    The second half flies away without anything really remarkable: without our starting duo upfront and with Mike apparently forsaken between the enemy lines, it could be foreseen.
    Then, it happens: a long clearance gets intercepted by Bunbury who uses his strength to outjump Ianni and to shield the ball. A through ball to Kamara on the left, he's alone...

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    But Stefan Frei saves! They had pretty much only this chance, but Stefan just made sure they wouldn't profit from it.
    Shortly after this wonderful saves, there's the final whistle. We may not have won, but we could have easily lost there... So I'm not that sad.
  • Virtual_K
    1006 posts Professional
    Interesting footage with Keller. In his case, a man's home is his castle. Let's hope Sigi doesn't clog the toilets. :D Sporting KC is not an easy team, so a point on the road is not bad. Sounders keep their streak alive. :)
  • JamieC
    530 posts Sunday League Hero
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Interesting footage with Keller. In his case, a man's home is his castle. Let's hope Sigi doesn't clog the toilets. :D Sporting KC is not an easy team, so a point on the road is not bad. Sounders keep their streak alive. :)

    He is definitely going to clog the toilets :joy:
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    Streak continues. Sounds like you didn't create much so not a bad point really. Looks like a simple 1 on 1 in the picture, lucky not to have conceded. Seems Frei is settling in well.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Sporting KC is not an easy team, so a point on the road is not bad.
    Sounds like you didn't create much so not a bad point really.
    Thanks guys! Yeah, getting a point in KC has been a good result! :)

    JamieC wrote: »
    He is definitely going to clog the toilets :joy:
    Indeed he looks like he eats a lot. All that food must end up somewhere and I don't think the castle has a golf course Sigi could use the same way DMC III used to. :grimace:




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    Does anyone know how to insta-forget things?

    ...because that's what I want to do now.
    I rushed things a lot in the past 24 hours in order to land at the Sea-Tac in time for the match against the New England Revolution, but now I wish I hadn't done it.
    As soon as I entered the stadium, I saw something I didn't like: during the pre-match warmup it looked to me that the guys were not focused enough, a little light-headed. After 20 years of career, I can definitely spot who is training seriously and who isn't. And the guys definitely weren't.

    That became absolutely clear to everyone in the stadium when, after no more then 15 minutes from the beginning of the match, the Revolution scored. Following a corner, the ball was crossed right into Lekić's path and the striker headed it in. No chance for Frei, 1-0.
    I could hear Freddie's and Lauren's shouts from where I was, and rightly so: indeed, both Hurtado and Parke looked completely asleep on that corner.

    Unfortunately, their shouts don't bring any noticeable result: the only real chance we had during the first half was a cross by Neagle, which Denni Avdić reached with the tip of his right foot. The ball ended wide by several inches.
    Shortly after, another cross by Neagle got catched by Shuttleworth before Avdić could deflect it towards New England's goal with a header:
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    From there on, our atatcking force became weaker and weaker, and it eventually disappeared completely twenty minutes into the second half, when Denni Avdić got subbed off for Nate Jaqua.

    I spare you the rest of the match: if you were at the stadium too, you already know it's not been entertaining at all.
    All I say is that we didn't concede anymore just thanks to Frei, and the final result has been 1-0 to the New England Revolution.

    Ending the month with a loss isn't a good thing of course, but the good thing is that we now have a week to get our act together for the next match in Toronto, hoping that things would be different then.
  • Wyojasond
    7585 posts League Winner
    I've gotten way behind again in this. Frei seems to be fitting in well. Loved the part about Kellers castle. Lol
  • Ashy
    7398 posts Big Money Move
    edited November 2016
    Team cannot score lately :( Unlucky to lose to New England, Frei doing a job for the team keeping the goals out or to as little as possible, shame the rest of them can't do their job :D
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    Poor loss there to end the month. Sure you'll bounce back when the next game comes around.

    Looked very solid overall.
  • Virtual_K
    1006 posts Professional
    Does seem like scoring is a problem. I think Keller should be on the sideline next to Freddie, a calming presence but someone who has insight on the team having played with them last season.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Ashy wrote: »
    Frei doing a job for the team keeping the goals out or to as little as possible, shame the rest of them can't do their job :D
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Does seem like scoring is a problem.
    Yeah, it looked like Denni Avdić finally settled when he scored three in three matches, but apparently he's on a drought again. Let's see what happens next.

    Poor loss there to end the month. Sure you'll bounce back when the next game comes around.
    Oh that's true. Toronto are facing some difficulties at the moment, so I hope we could profit from it (sorry @bhurst99 but we need points! :grimace: ).

    I've gotten way behind again in this. Frei seems to be fitting in well. Loved the part about Kellers castle. Lol
    Thanks! Yeah, Stefan is doing great, really great... To the extent that he's earned the first page photo in this month's review:

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  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
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    Home, sweet home...

    It's nice to relax once in a while. That's why I decided not to go to Toronto with the fans and to stay home with my son Cameron (no, not the Sounders midfielder... I'm not that old, and you're not funny!) and my dog Rufus instead. Of course, Kris and Chloe decided to have a women-only day at the mall when they knew we were watching the Sounders on TV.
    This means we got to order pizza for lunch (no way I was gonna battle against the stove, forget it), and we're now eating it in front of the TV as the teams are entering the pitch.

    Ten minutes into the match and I almost choke on a slice of pizza: Fredy Montero goes down in pain after colliding with an opponent and has to be subbed off. Freddie brings Evans in for him, and once again switches to a 4-1-4-1. Not having a reliable backup CF isn't that great apparently.

    The first half drags itself to completion with little to no emotion apart from a brilliant save by Miloš Kocić to prevent Avdić from scoring the 1-0 goal.

    The second half is completely different, though: they start attacking and putting our defence under pressure, and eventually they break through. Minute 59, Koevermans brings Toronto ahead when he collects a short clearance after a corner and finesses it past his former teammate Frei.

    Differently from what happened against the New England Revolution, though, Freddie's shouts from the bench revive our boys who start playing like they know. We close them in their half first, and almost in their box shortly after. The equalizer is just a matter of time, and it eventually arrives at minute 73 when Denni Avdić is perfect in chesting down a long ball by Cameron (no, not my son you fools!) and to knock it to the oncoming Evans, who goes for the shot:
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    Far post, powerful, accurate. No chance for Kocić who has been superb anyway throughout all the match so far. 1-1, all squared again.

    To no surprise it's him again to deny us the winning goal when he tips a header by Avdić over the bar in the stoppage time: man of the match, hands down...
    ...and I'm starting to believe that the cyan kit is not as lucky as we thought it was in the beginning. Yet it's still beautiful.
  • Ashy
    7398 posts Big Money Move
    edited November 2016
    Not the result you wanted but it should keep you close to 2nd place, Salt Lake look incredible so far they are building a big gap!
  • Greenman019
    2364 posts Fans' Favourite
    That Cyan kit is both ugly and unlucky. Ditch it now :D

    (Could have been worse I guess)
  • Virtual_K
    1006 posts Professional
    A lot of managers would be satisfied with a draw on the road during an inter-conference match. RSL is off to a great start but there is still plenty of time for the Sounders to throw a wrench in the works.
  • Wyojasond
    7585 posts League Winner
    1 point is better than none, but certainly disappointing not to come away with the win :|
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    RSL is off to a great start but there is still plenty of time for the Sounders to throw a wrench in the works.
    Ashy wrote: »
    Salt Lake look incredible so far they are building a big gap!
    It's our chance to put a spoke in their wheels indeed, as they're our next opponents. :)

    That Cyan kit is both ugly and unlucky. Ditch it now :D
    No way. It will stay here for all the season (mostly to avoid kit clashes, it looks like a lot of MLS teams had a green GK kit in FIFA 13, and that's where I got the 2012 MLS kits from).

    certainly disappointing not to come away with the win :|
    Yeah, especially because their only goal came from an error of our defence.
    Well, there's plenty of time to make up for this mistake in the next matches... Starting from the clash against Real Salt Lake. Wish us luck!

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