Forever 18 - A Kasey Keller Story

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  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
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    I seriously hate you, guys... Like, really.

    I mean, you can't make me suffer like that. A couple of weeks ago, a fan said that seeing the Sounders in April felt like "being on a rollercoaster". Well, he was damn right.

    It's half time here at the CenturyLink Field and this match between the Sounders and Real Salt Lake has already got everything it would need to become a classic: a wonder save by Frei (who else?) against Espindola, a soft penalty which Le Toux managed to fire into row Z, complaints on either side... Especially when Borchers (who else?) tripped Denni Avdić near the short side of their box and the referee said 'play on'.

    But let's start from the beginning: they arrived in Seattle determined to keep on marching towards the Supporters' Shield, and that's why they tried to do since the very first minute of the match.

    Minute 5: only Heaven knows how, but Parke completely forgot about Espindola in the middle of the box. Once he received the ball and fired it towards Frei's goal with the outside of his right foot, we all thought it was going to end in... But not Stefan apparently:
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    Shortly after it was our turn to get forward, only to be caught on the back foot when they countered. Tyson Wahl apparently brought Espindola down right into the box: penalty.
    Nearly every Sounders player instantly got around the referee to complain, but the decision didn't change.
    Luckily enough for us, Le Toux decided to kick it way over the bar.

    We gathered some courage and finally tried to sting them too, and we just managed to do so with Denni Avdić. He received a very good ball by Rosales, tried to enter the box from the right but got almost cropped by Borchers:
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    The referee said 'play on' and we only got a corner, which Rosales kicked in the middle of the box to no avail.
    That was the last chance before half time.

    Now that the second half has just got underway, and that we are attacking with more purpose, things start looking way better.
    It's minute 60 when Denni Avdić forces Rimando to perform a great save, he just tips the ball out from the top corner:
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    The following corher kick is the game changer: from the right, Rosales crosses it in the box. Parke chests it down near the limit of the box, and fires a powerful shot along the ground that goes in past Rimando. It's the 1-0!

    They visibly suffer from the hit, and it's us again scoring: minute 75, Avdić shields a great ball just outside the box then knocks it to Evans, who scores. 2-0 for the Sounders!
    If you wonder where you've already seen that goal, the answer is against Toronto: it's been almost the same goal.

    Once again, even without scoring, Denni proved crucial. And now, let's take on the Earthquakes!
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Superb result. Avdic didn't score but seemed like he had a good game again.
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Excellent win. This might be the start of a run to the top, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, there is still that team from Hollyweird (and I don't mean that **** product known as Chivas USA :o ).
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    Superb result. Avdic didn't score but seemed like he had a good game again.
    Thanks! :)

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    there is still that team from Hollyweird (and I don't mean that **** product known as Chivas USA :o ).
    Soon we'll be coming for you, don't worry. Run, instead.




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    So, is this really the right beginning?

    Flashback to three hours ago: it's a wonderful afternoon in San Jose. The Buck Shaw stadium is packed, but there's a person missing. Freddie had to stay home with a devasting headache, so it's Lauren going to the bench with me as his assistant.

    The match starts well, as we start pressuring them straight away and Denni forces Busch to perform a great save after just five minutes of play:
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    We proceed to dominate throughout all the first half, not finding the net because of some awful luck, and because they tear down every player of ours which happens to have the ball at his feet. At minute 35, for example, Alonso has to leave the pitch with a bruised ankle thanks to this wonderful challenge from behind:
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    Lauren is starting to get nervous, and his unrest is becoming more and more visible as minutes go by, but the best is yet to come.

    Second half, things don't change a bit. We create, they try to stop us with harsh and mistimed tackles anytime we get to the ball first. The match becomes nervous, and yellow cards start to pile up on either side... And then it happens: ten minutes before the final whistle, Denni Avdić is taken down in the middle of the box by Morrow. The defender didn't even get close to the ball.
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    Lauren explodes. He suddenly rises up against the referee and starts shouting and raving about him not awarding the penalty. As soon as the ball crosses the side line the referee gets close and, to no surprise, firmly asks Lauren to leave the bench.
    Lauren was 100% right on that call, it was a stonewall penalty and any average, or even slightly below par, referee would've seen it. I'm completely sure of it.
    Yet, Lauren has to leave the bench and he doesn't stop complaining as he walks away.

    On his way out, he suddenly rushes to a group of opponents warming up and confronts one, almost grabbing him by the neck.
    "What did you say, you filthy t***er? Say it again now! I dare you!"
    It's Gordon, who tries to hit Lauren with a slap in response.
    They eventually get in a rumble only to be separated by Gordon's teammates, and I clearly hear Lauren say "Call me like that again and I'll call you an ambulance, you p*!ck!" before getting escorted out.
    Knowing that Lauren likes to practice boxe and knowing something about his turbulent youth, I would be careful if I were Gordon.

    I have to send in Fucito for a limping Avdić, and the match then proceeds to its end, with no team being able to score.
    0-0 away from home, against a side that only tried to destroy (literally, if possible) our football instead of building their own, isn't a bad result. Still, it's not the way I thought my managerial career would begin.

    And that's why I'm now on the phone with Freddie, trying to explain him that Lauren (which is sitting at my side fuming and hardly keeping his composure) is most likely getting a touchline ban for several matches to come.
    Hopefully, Freddie will allow me to take over for Lauren while he's suspended.
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Eventful 0-0 there. Not a bad point, but I think Lauren needs to calm down a bit :D

    Any long terms injuries or just knocks?
  • Ashy
    9724 posts League Winner
    Two more clean sheets and 4 points in the last couple of games, not too bad but not what you need if you are to catch up with the best. I'm sure Freddie will give you the opportunity to be on the touchline with him if Lauren does get banned, could be good for you!
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    Eventful 0-0 there. Not a bad point, but I think Lauren needs to calm down a bit :D
    He's always had this attitude as far as I remember (didn't he have a fight with Vieira also back when he was playing at Arsenal?)... I've always liked him anyway so I'm forgiving him. :joy:
    Aaaand... Luckily they're just knocks. Denni will be unavailable for the next match, Alonso should be fine. :)

    Ashy wrote: »
    I'm sure Freddie will give you the opportunity to be on the touchline with him if Lauren does get banned, could be good for you!
    I'm divided now. Hoping Freddie's headache goes on forever or hoping he comes back for the next match, the derby against the Timbers?
    Meanwhile, Lauren surely won't be on the bench for some time...

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    Post edited by ale85bg on
  • Wyojasond
    11546 posts Has That Special Something
    Great article man B)
  • Ashy
    9724 posts League Winner
    Good write up again, love the little details and it sounds like his reaction was justified after what was said
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Hmm, Gordo is normally a pretty cool dude. Maybe he said tape because he thought Lauren was the trainer. :p
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Nice article mate :)
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
    Great article man B)
    Nice article mate :)
    Ashy wrote: »
    Good write up again, love the little details and it sounds like his reaction was justified after what was said
    Thanks guys! Lauren always seemed to get all fired up a little too easily, and Gordon looks like enjoying bugging opponents for the sake of annoying them (see here) so it looked like the perfect match. :joy:

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Hmm, Gordo is normally a pretty cool dude. Maybe he said tape because he thought Lauren was the trainer. :p
    No doubt he's a good lad... Apparently he says bad things in the heat of the moment though. :p

    By the way, sorry for being absent... I got away for the weekend and I didn't have the laptop with me. Updates will begin to come again later today. :grin:

  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2016
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    Memories... Memories everywhere.

    I got a call from Freddie earlier today: Lauren got a two months touchline ban for assaulting San Jose's Gordon last week on his way off the pitch, and this means it's me going on the bench instead.
    As we walk out of the tunnel onto the pitch, a river of memories almost submerges me: the ECS, the Eastside Supporters, the North End, and the Gorilla FC... They're all there and they're making the CeturyLink Field a noisy bedlam... I wish I was still playing.
    Of all, especially the Gorilla FC Supporters are roaring and chanting non-stop to support Lauren.

    We then sit down on the bench. Freddie is nervously chewing a gum on my left, on my right there's Denni Avdić, who's unfortunately not eligible to play thanks to the knock he received against San Jose. Osvaldo fully recovered, but Freddie decided not to risk him: Fucito and Evans start instead.

    From the beginning, we realize that Montero is the main man today. He protects the ball, he serves assists, he does everything the team needs. Minute 15, he plays a sweet ball to Rosales which is through on the right.
    His shirt gets pulled, but the referee saye "play on" and Mauro doesn't actually take it really well:
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    No worries though: just a few minutes later it's Montero to keep Perkins busy with a screamer from outside which Perkins deflects over the bar for a corner.
    Before the end of the first half there's also time for a little magic by Tyson Wahl, who makes fun of Lowry with a trick which receives a roar by the fans in response:
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    The second half starts in a similar fashion, with us attacking and almost dominating the match.

    The results of this domination eventually come, but not that easily. It's minute 65 when Fucito receives a ball on the right. He enters the box, he gets to the limit of the six yard box, he performs a feint which Perkins falls for...
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    And then he dribbles around two defenders and knocks the ball in the back of the net. One of the best goals I've ever seen, I've hardly ever been so happy to see Mike on the pitch!
    Freddie is jumping up and down like he's crazy, the fans are going mad, and shortly after Freddie's running towards the ECS in joy... What. A. Moment.

    It's still us who attack, without letting them do anything good. It's a pleasure to see the boys play today... The only downside is that Fredy Montero has to leave the pitch with a knock shortly before the final whistle.

    And if you ask me, the final whistle just seems to come too early, I would've enjoyed another hour of dominating the derby: time flies when you're having fun!
  • Ashy
    9724 posts League Winner
    Nothing like dominating your derby opponents, hopefully Montero isn't out for long either, bet it was great to be right there on the bench amongst it all again
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    I've hardly ever been so happy to see Mike on the pitch! Ha! Poor Mike. Good result against Portland, although I'm not sure you mentioned the opponent other than it being a derby. Glad Keller is on the sideline. He needs to be in the center of the action if he wants to take over next season. ;) ... ;)
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
    Ashy wrote: »
    Nothing like dominating your derby opponents, hopefully Montero isn't out for long either, bet it was great to be right there on the bench amongst it all again
    Yeah, it was definitely great. And being there to see the guys win the derby has been even better! :)
    No worries about Montero, it was just a knock.

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    I'm not sure you mentioned the opponent other than it being a derby.
    Are you saying that I didn't mention the Plonk...erm, the Timbers in the entry? Not even once? Wonderful.




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    When all of your plans go south... Literally.

    We all know the Sounders aren't the most consistent team in the MLS. They've probably never been, and they'll hardly ever be. So, we all knew the undefeated run had to end sooner or later.
    It ended today, when we lost against the Galaxy: our bus is traveling in the sunset to bring us back to the airport, but we do return home with our heads held high.

    With Real Salt Lake slowly building some gap at the top, we moved south to LA to play the match which would decide if either us or them could eventually try and battle RSL for the Western Conference title.
    With Ricketts not playing anymore for the Galaxy, Bruce Arena sent Josh Saunders in goal. The rest of their lineup was similar to the one they employed last year, the most obvious difference being that they couldn't rely on Beckham this time, as he was suspended after receiving a red card.
    Of the two, we were the team who had changed the most in the meantime: Frei in goal, Mears at the back, Cameron in the midfield and Denni Avdić returning upfront are now instrumental players for us and were all fielded from the beginning today.

    And it was Cameron to bring the first danger to the goal defended by Saunders: at minute 15 he fired a powerful shot from the distance, which the keeper reached with his fingertips and deflected out for a corner:
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    They looked stunned, and we had another chance shortly after, this time with Montero who hit the post.
    For the remainder of the first half it was us controlling the match, but then it happened: minute 45, Chad Barrett received a great through ball and proceeded to finesse it past Frei for the 1-0. Right before half time, what a joke.

    During the break Freddie tried to rebuild the team's morale and to give some confidence to the guys, and it looked like working.
    We started the second half attacking with even more determination than before, and Montero found Rosales in a favourable position for the shot. When everyone was already thinking it would go in, the shot got deflected by the last defender:
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    Then, we just couldn't do anything anymore: we built and controlled, but upfront nothing worth noting happened after the occasion Rosales had.
    Freddie's shouts from the bench, his substitutions (Fucito in for Montero and Evans in for Cameron) were to no avail, and the match ended with LA winning 1-0.

    If I had to say what I think, I'd say that I'm still impressed with how the guys played today. Saunders made a coupe of great saves, we hit a post, we almost won every challenge... Yet it's not been enough. It's still a good starting point to rebuild from, though.

  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Great Derby win there. Shame the run had to end against LA Galaxy. Conceding just before half time forces you to change things up a bit, looks like it didn't help though. At least it was a very narrow loss though, as you said yourself it's a good starting point to rebuild from.
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    If the run had to come to an end, it couldn't have ended with a better team. :p (Sorry, couldn't resist). I suspect you're like me and can get a little emotional with some of these games, but it's the role playing that makes them more fun. :) Loss is not that bad, there are still plenty of games left for payback.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    At least it was a very narrow loss though, as you said yourself it's a good starting point to rebuild from.
    Definitely. We've played a very good match and we lost just because of my abysmal accuracy when shooting. :joy:

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    I suspect you're like me and can get a little emotional with some of these games, but it's the role playing that makes them more fun. :)
    You're definitely right. Sometimes I really get "drawn in" by the match. This, unfortunately, also leads me to lose my cool and try rushing things from time to time to make up for errors I made earlier in the match, but it leads to even worse errors usually.
    You know what they say: a stitch in time saves nine, but it certainly isn't the Sounders' case.

    Still it's a little shame because hadn't we lost against LA we could've had an undefeated month...

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  • Ashy
    9724 posts League Winner
    Mixed results to end off May, 4 points out of 9 and ending with a loss to LA. only 3 points behind them with few games remaining you might be able to finish 2nd
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Red Bulls running away with the East again? Please, somebody beat them. :p
  • Wyojasond
    11546 posts Has That Special Something
    NYRB and RSL, just proving to be heads and tails above everybody :s
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Ashy wrote: »
    Mixed results to end off May, 4 points out of 9 and ending with a loss to LA. only 3 points behind them with few games remaining you might be able to finish 2nd
    Well, there's still a lot to play indeed. Yet, finishing 2nd or 3rd doesn't change much (2nd and 3rd are matched against each other in the playoffs) so trying not to drop to 4th should be more of a concern now.

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Red Bulls running away with the East again? Please, somebody beat them. :p
    NYRB and RSL, just proving to be heads and tails above everybody :s
    And we defeated both of them! There's not much to do, we're not consistent enough... And we're not scoring as much as last year despite having a stronger team.
    On the bright side of it, though, we're also conceding less. I must say Frei has really been the right guy purchased at the right time. :)
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
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    A convincing win or a huge loss?

    Dear supporters,
    the match has ended a while ago but I still can't rejoice despite the win: Fredy Montero has been brought out on a stretcher straight after the 1-0 goal and rushed to the Grace Hospital after sustaining an injury at his backbone.
    I don't know anything more than this at the moment, but I promise I'll keep you updated.

    Still, my duty is to narrate the match to those who didn't have the chance to see it, so here it is.
    After losing against LA despite playing convincingly, we got to host FC Dallas today at the CenturyLink Field, another match against another playoff contender.
    With Cameron out, Freddie sent Evans and Alonso on the pitch in the midfield, not without some discontent from Friberg who lately claimed several times he feels he's not playing enough.

    The move seemed to be the right one, as Alonso like usual started tracking the opponents as deep as he could into our half, often reaching the limit of our box. They looked like suffering a lot from this.
    On the other side, once again we created a lot but couldn't find the net, especially thanks to Seitz who performed two great saves on Denni Avdić in the first twenty minutes of play:
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    As you can see in this occasion, their defenders also liked to make sure Denni would never be alone, and this fierce marking would eventually go on for all the match.
    So, with Denni closely marked, the only chance Fredy had to unlock their defence were short passes in the space to reach our midfielders on their runs.

    This proved pretty effective at minute 38, when a good ball by Montero to Evans got deflected in the last useful split-second by Shea, who prevented our midfielder from reaching Seitz all alone.

    It happened again at the beginning of the second half, when Fredy received a good ball just outside their box, controlled it and played it on to Alonso who came running from behind and fired it home:
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    During the celebrations, no-one noticed Fredy being down in pain. Only the replay shown on the giant screen allowed us to see what had happened. We saw Fredy being tripped by Shea after passing to Alonso, both falling and Shea stomping hard on Fredy's back, unintentionally, while falling.
    Of course, this replay had the effect of instantly turning the noisy cheering of the fans into a murmur of concern, and then into a loud applause while Fredy was brought out of the pitch.

    Montero out, Friberg in, we switched to the 4-1-4-1 yet another time. It proved effective though, as Alonso in front of the defence is a bloody bulldog and no calf is safe when he's around.
    The only time he could do nothing to stop them, as he was temporarily off the pitch after taking a hit, Nimely managed to outpace Hurtado and to get one-on-one with Stefan Frei... But Stefan is Stefan:
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    Our great keeper once again put himself between the opponent and the goal, and performed another great save with his left foot.
    This was the last chance of the match, and Stefan helped us record another shutout, and to come back to winning ways after the defeat against LA.

    Now, let's just hope Fredy's injury isn't that bad...
    Post edited by ale85bg on
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
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  • Canagliadel
    81 posts Park Captain
    Oh my God! A broken tailbone means severe pain..I'm feeling bad for Fredy :(
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Bad break (pun intended), but at least you got the win. :D ... :| ... :'(
    On the bright side, if Seattle make the finals, Fredy should be able to at least come off the bench.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Oh my God! A broken tailbone means severe pain..I'm feeling bad for Fredy :(
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    On the bright side, if Seattle make the finals, Fredy should be able to at least come off the bench.
    Thanks guys! Yeah, hopefully he'll be back for the playoffs... Still, 5 months look like an entire eternity.
    Well, I guess we'll have to find a suitable replacement in the summer transfer window then. :'(
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    A nice win but horrible injury, 5 months is a very long time. Might be able to get a back up in the window like you said.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
    A nice win but horrible injury, 5 months is a very long time. Might be able to get a back up in the window like you said.
    Unfortunately it's exactly so. I don't know why a broken tailbone takes so much to heal according to EA, but that's what we'll have to deal with.
    Meanwhile, Fredy's absence was pretty noticeable today against the Rapids...




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    Why can't we do things properly for once?

    That's it, this match has been a disaster... Sort of, at least.
    Without Montero, Ljungberg decided to go for a 4-3-3 with Evans, Cameron and Friberg in the midfield. Upfront there were Pappa and Neagle as wingers, with Denni Avdić in the striker role. At the back, we had Frei in goal (who else?) and a backline composed by Mears, Iannu, Hurtado and Wahl.
    I don't know what went wrong at minute 15, but that's when a shot by Cummings bounced off Hurtado's shin and went in with Frei being powerless:
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    That unlucky goal had the effect of stunning us, to the extent that we didn't manage a single shot on goal in the first half. To add insult to injury, Cummings also scored the 2-0 goal transforming a penalty in the stoppage time. Pretty soft penalty, and I'm being good.

    You don't even imagine how much Freddie shouted during the half time break in the locker room: I was having a one-on-one talk with Frei, but Freddie's shouts were so loud that Frei could hardly hear my suggestions.
    At one point Freddie sat down, closed his eyes and mumbled something like "no, not again... Bloody aura..."
    One of his proverbial headaches: impaired vision, nausea and then a pain "so strong that you'd want to tear a part of your head off", at least this is how Freddie described it once. Wonderful, exactly what we needed.
    "Do you see what you've done? You're giving me so many headaches that I'm going to go insane because of you! Now go out and show me you can do better than this... Even if I'll be barely able to see you from now on."
    Freddie tried to laugh despite his conditions, and we then left for the pitch.

    Straight from the kickoff we made sure they knew things were going to be different. Alonso replaced Friberg, and it was him to play a wonderful ball to Cameron, who tried a shot:
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    Unfortunately, Pickens said 'no'. A handful of minutes later, Denni Avdić got tripped in the box and went down. Penalty!
    Avdić collected the ball and placed it on the spot. Feddie was sitting on the bench, right beside me, with his head in his hands... And it was better this way so he didn't see what Denni did:
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    That's right, Denni Avdić missed the penalty by firing the ball straight against the bar.
    It didn't take long for him to recover though, as he eventually scored the 2-1 goal collecting a great cross by Neagle and powering it past Pickens.

    Unfortunately, things wouldn't change anymore and this means we lost the match.
    And if you wonder... Freddie is alright. He texted me a couple of minutes ago: he's crawling back and forth between his bedroom and the bathroom because of the nausea, but he'll survive. He's been having these migraines since he was a teenager after all.
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