Forever 18 - A Kasey Keller Story

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  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
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    That's what a team with the 'guts' should do.

    After the loss against the Rapids, there was little we could do today against the Chivas USA apert from winning.
    Well, it's half time and we aren't... We aren't winning yet, I hope.

    The first half hasn't been bad at all: ditching the 4-3-3 that didn't live up to the expectations during the last match, Freddie resorted to the 4-1-4-1 he often uses when Fredy is not available.
    The results have been noticeable: Denni hit a post, and their keeper Kennedy did a great save to prevent Cameron from scoring the 1-0 goal:
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    On the other side, they only got dangerous with a couple of shots by Luyindula from outside, and nothing more.

    Now an assertive Freddie is talking to the team: "Just don't rush things, OK? We can do it, we can score. We just don't need to fret when we see our opponents near, and everything will be alright. Now go out there and show some guts!"

    The boys actually listened to Freddie, and enter the pitch for the second half with an even more aggressive mentality. By the 15th minute of the second half, Kennedy had to perform two other saves and their defence is now frightened anytime we enter their half.

    Minute 80: after dominating the entire match, we concede one single counter-attack. Luyindula fires the ball upfront for Ángel, whose shot is confidently stopped by Frei:
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    Plot twist: Ángel goes down after firing the shot, probably because of a collision with Wahl, which you can see close to him in the photo. The referee calls for a penalty, a decision met with complete disbelief from our defenders and from our keeper. Luyindula on the ball... Goal. 1-0 to the Chivas USA.

    But the Sounders decide to fight back, deeming the result unfair. And that's when Cameron finds Rosales on the right with a great threaded ball. Rosales lifts his head up, sees Denni Avdić in the middle and performs a low, accurate and powerful cross that Denni collects and sends past Kennedy for the equalizer:
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    We did it! We equalized! With so little to go, the result doesn't change anymore from here and the final result is 1-1.
    Still, I really like what I've seen from the guys after going 1-0 down. They showed courage, they showed determination, and that's what a team with the 'guts' should do.
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Good way to bounce back from the loss. Sounds like it was a soft pen but with so little time left you did well to equalise.

    Onwards and upwards :)
  • Dean
    840 posts Semi-Pro
    Poor Freddie haha, good job he didn't watch the penalty against the Rapids, might have pushed him over the line.

    Good to fight back for the point when going behind must have been demoralising.
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Shame about the loss to Colorado but playing the Mile High Club...er, I mean playing a club a mile above sea level can be tough. :p A little disappointed with the draw against Chivas, you know how much I hate them, but at least you got a point. :)
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Onwards and upwards :)
    Hopefully! The next match is against the Columbus Crew, they're currently mid-table in the East with 19 points... And hopefully they'll have the same 19 points also after the match. :grimace:

    Dean wrote: »
    Poor Freddie haha
    You can say it loud. I know what it feels like (same kind of headache here)... At times you can bear it, other times it's atrocious. :scream:

    Virtual_K wrote: »
    A little disappointed with the draw against Chivas, you know how much I hate them, but at least you got a point. :)
    Seeing the premises, I consider myself lucky that I got a point against them! :joy:




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    What happened to Fucito?

    I mean, he doesn't score much anymore but when he does it's always a work of art. Like today.

    Freddie decided to ditch his 4-1-4-1 for a match and resorted to a 4-4-2 with Avdić and Fucito upfront.
    Not much happened in the first half, apart from an occasion in which we could see Stefan, wearing the white shirt he expressly asked Adidas for, reaching out for Cunningham's shot with his left foot and deflecting it to a corner.
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    This was pretty much the only occasion of the match and the teams went in the locker room on the 0-0.

    The second half couldn't be more different: straight away, we tried to attack and, as soon as Fucito gathered the ball, Chad Marshall had to take him down with a harsh tackle to prevent him from going on a run:
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    Marshall's tackle was useless though, as Avdić collected the loose ball and sent it upfield to Alonso, who scored the 1-0 goal past Hesmer with a powerful shot right at the top corner with the CenturyLink Field exploding.

    Not long after, it was Mike's time to shine: receiving a great through ball by Alonso, Mike entered the box and then fired a teleguided shot to the bottom corner with the outer part of his foot:
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    Once again, an explosion of joy followed the goal, when Fucito rushed towards the ECS to celebrate.
    Shortly after he had the chance to score his brace, but bear in mind he's still the good old Mike after all: he managed to kick the ball out for a goal kick when he was undisturbed on the penalty spot.

    Some people never learn... :joy:
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    That's more like it, even with that wasted chance at the end ^^
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    All right, Magic Mike came through against the Crew. Well, maybe not so magic after that miss. :D
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    That's more like it, even with that wasted chance at the end ^^
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Well, maybe not so magic after that miss. :D
    You know, it's not Mike's fault... It's me who's still poor at finishing even after playing FIFA for years. :joy:

    Meanwhile, also June has ended and this means one thing: we're halfway through the season. And on the other hand, the transfer market is about to open so we could possibly snatch a couple of players to strengthen ourselves for the other half. Meanwhile, we enjoy a not-so-bad third position in the Conference.

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  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Not sure you'll catch Salt Lake, but I guess you're only half-way through the season. LA Galaxy can be overtaken though, would be nice.

    Interesting to see what you do in the transfer market.
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Both RSL and NY are off to the races, but let's see if Seattle can put together a run to cut into that lead in the West; still plenty of games left to play.
  • Wyojasond
    11581 posts Has That Special Something
    Just catching up again on all the stories. Not a horrible run of form. Division title slipping away, but team continues to look strong at the back.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
    Not sure you'll catch Salt Lake, but I guess you're only half-way through the season. LA Galaxy can be overtaken though.
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Both RSL and NY are off to the races.
    Yeah, that's what's happening unfortunately... RSL are just running away with the Conference Title...

    Division title slipping away, but team continues to look strong at the back.
    Yeah, and I'm really proud of what my man Stefan is doing...

    Today even more! Frei named MLS 2016 MVP

  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
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    "I've known it all along", Freddie said.

    ...but you had to wait a lot to see Denni unleash all of his potential, didn't you?
    After the good display against the Columbus Crew, it's time for a Cascadia classic: the boys travel to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps.
    The Canadian team currently sits at the bottom of the table, having gathered only 12 points in 16 matches so far.

    When we enter the pitch and the referee blows the kickoff whistle, they try to make clear straight away that it isn't going to be an easy match for us. Chiumiento, indeed, makes sure to leave the sign of his studs on Parke's leg:
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    Despite them only trying to break the flow of our game instead of building their own, it's us who score first thanks to another wonderful play by Fucito.
    Mike receives a great ball just outside the box, goes in slightly on the left, drives a defender crazy with a couple of feints, gathers some space for the shot but then, instead of shooting, crosses it to the other side of the small box to Avdić who knocks the ball past Cannon, totally undisturbed. It's the 1-0!
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    Shortly before the half time break, Denni decides to do all by himself, firing a powerful screamer from just outside the box to score the 2-0. And it's a brace!

    The second half starts in a completely different way. Atiba Harris receives a great ball from Hassli and proceeds to score the 1-0 past Frei, who could do nothing about it.
    Shortly after, Chiumiento goes down in the box after colliding with Mears, and the referee calls for a penalty.
    Mustapha Jarju steps to the spot, begins the run-up, fires a powerful shot...
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    And Stefan saves! He denies them the equalizer with a wonderful save, reaching the ball under the bar and deflecting it out of danger.

    This is the finishing blow for Vancouver, who crumble to the extent they'll not manage another shot on goal for the reminder of the match.
    On the other side, it's Fucito breaking free at minute 85: he outruns his defender, he enters the box... He can shoot... Then he raises his head, looks to the other side of the box and passes the ball to an oncoming Denni Avdić, who only has to knock the ball in the open goal for his hat trick. It's 3-1 baby, Denni scored all of our goals today. Standing ovation at minute 89 when Freddie calls him back on the bench, man of the match award and a ball to carry home after the final whistle.

    Definitely not a bad day for Denni.
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Crucial penalty save to stop their momentum and a third goal just the icing on the cake. Pretty good match.
  • Ashy
    9737 posts League Winner
    Good last two results, just caught up with everything. I have to say Salt Lake are way too good for the league, battle for 2nd is hotting up though, think if you keep this up you might end up as runners up
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Crucial penalty save to stop their momentum and a third goal just the icing on the cake. Pretty good match.
    Yeah, I must say I'm amazed by what Frei managed to do till now since I bought him. We really bought the right player at the right time. :)

    Ashy wrote: »
    I have to say Salt Lake are way too good for the league, battle for 2nd is hotting up though, think if you keep this up you might end up as runners up
    Yeah, RSL are in a league of their own... Way better than last year too! Since they bought Le Toux from Philadelphia, they've become a superpower... That guy's a bloody goalscoring machine... And he used to play for Seattle! :cry:
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
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    Goodbye, sweet bench... You'll be missed...

    That's right, the one against DC United will be my last match on the bench at the CenturyLink Field, and the last one in an MLS match at least for now. There will be a cup match against Houston mid-week, then Lauren's ban will expire and he'll be bach at Freddie's side during the matches.
    The guys have promised me an unforgettable performance today to make my last home match on the bench as enjoyable as possible, let's see if they manage to deliver. With Avdić being in such a form, nothing is impossible... Especially because DC United aren't exactly facing a good spell of form.
    Freddie decided to go for the 4-4-2 once again, with Avdić and Fucito upfront, and it's Denni being dangerous straight away with a shot that Hamid watches fly by and end out by inches for a goal kick. Great judgement by their keeper.
    Shortly after, though, Denni finds Mike with a great through ball, and Mike delivers. Minute 11, Mike Fucito brings us ahead!
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    Bill Hamid could only brush against the ball, which goes in along the ground for the 1-0. He almost reached it, but it was not enough.
    Shortly after we have a clear-cut chance to make it 2-0, a goal easier to score than to miss: Avdić gets free on the limit of the box, fires a shot which Hamid deflects with a great save, but the ball goes exactly towards Fucito that only has to head it in the open goal...
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    But he fires it out for a goal kick. That's the Mike Fucito I know! :joy:
    The first half ends with us 1-0 ahead: to be honest, the DC United haven't been anywhere inside the stadium.

    The second half starts in a similar fashion, with Hamid denying Denni Avdić the 2-0 goal in a couple of occasions, then performing a freat save against Evans.
    Minute 75, Fucito finds Avdić all alone in the box. Avdić doesn't stop it perfectly, allowing Kitchen to recover, but he dribbles him and shots a powerful strike that hits the post.
    Denni is absolutely on fire though, and the goal is in the air. Indeed, it comes at minute 87, when Fucito enters the box from the left, passes it to Rosales just outside the box, and then Rosales finds Avdić cutting in from the right.
    The Swede this time controls it perfectly and places it on the far post with the outside of his right foot:
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    It's 2-0, baby! The Sounders have just won their third league match in a row. And knowing they're willing to bring me out for dinner tonight, I believe they have the right to celebrate here.
    Post edited by ale85bg on
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    3 from 3, getting a nice little run going. Wonder if you'll keep it going..

    I predict a 2-0 loss in your next game :D
  • Wyojasond
    11581 posts Has That Special Something
    On a great little streak right now. Hopefully it continues, but generally that just means your set for a losing streak now. Lol
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    I predict a 2-0 loss in your next game :D
    Hopefully it continues, but generally that just means your set for a losing streak now. Lol
    Well, you may have a point. Or, more likely, several of them:
    • We'll be facing Houston, a team we've already lost to at the beginning of the season.
    • We'll do so away from the CenturyLink Field.
    • We'll be most likely doing heavy rotation as it's a mid-week cup match.
    I already see myself subbing in some starters out of desperation at the beginning of the second half, hoping they could turn the game around! :joy:
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Dear journal,

    what a night it has been.
    We went out celebrating with the lads after the victory against DC United and Rosales suggested to meet at Fred's wine bar "for a change". This triggered an epic response from Alonso: "For a change? Really? You, Pappa and I have been there so many times during the last year that the IRS asked us to move our residence there, go figure!"

    Despite Alonso not being that happy, though, we all agreed that going to visit Fred's wine bar was a good idea. Fred is a die-hard Sounders fan and former player of the Sounders Academy, and the bar is always crowded with fans so we knew they would also like the idea a lot.
    Could there have been a better place? I suppose not.

    Indeed, as soon as we entered the bar we received an ovation by the patrons. After sitting down, it was Lauren to order for everyone: cheese and wine as a starter, then everyone would choose for himself (apart from Rosales, Pappa and Alonso: Fred knew exactly what to bring them with no need for the order):

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    As soon as Fred brought the starters, Freddie Ljungberg's face turned pale.
    "Are you... Are you trying to KILL me perhaps? Red wine and cheese, this will send me straight to the E.R.!"

    Freddie was right: had him taken a sip of red wine or a piece of cheese, and a migraine would've most likely turned him into a zombie for several hours (if not a couple of days).
    He once told me about what he feels when it happens, and it must be terrible. Really, really terrible. No wonders he stays way clear of red wine and cheese.

    Lauren turned to him with his glass of wine already half empty and said "Oops, I forgot..."
    Shortly after, Rosales and Alonso offered to drink Ljungberg's wine on his behalf because "you know gaffer, we really do care about your health".
    I also got to eat some of his cheese, so fair play to Lauren who had a great idea ordering that starter, whether it was done on purpose or not.

    The dinner went on pretty well, we made some photos with the fans and had a lot of fun. And you know, time flies when you're having fun: a little after two in the morning I decided to call it a night and go home... But I didn't sleep much: the phone buzzing woke me up at 7 this morning. You wouldn't believe this when you'll see it, dear journal. It was Sigi.

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    Now I'm honestly divided and I don't know what to do at all. Seattle is my city, and the State of Washington is the place I would love my kids to grow in...
    But an assistant manager position, in a team I have fond memories of, with a manager with which there's always been a huge mutual trust, a friend with which I get on wonderfully... Sounds too good to be true.

    And, not to even mention, I'd also have the chance to get back in my castle!
    I wish you could help me choose, dear journal...
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Big opportunity. Think moving on would be a good choice.
  • JamieC
    803 posts Semi-Pro
    A big opportunity that would be hard to turn down, plus the experience that you would get to better yourself.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
    Big opportunity. Think moving on would be a good choice.
    JamieC wrote: »
    A big opportunity that would be hard to turn down
    Yeah, probably you're right... Meanwhile, Kasey's with the team in Houston for the cup match, his last match on the bench before Lauren's ban expires... Let's see what happens!




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    All your base are belong to us... Reprise!

    Do you remember the last time we went to Houston? When we went ahead, then conceded twice in a handful of minutes to lose the match? That's right, our first defeat of the season.
    Today, that defeat is going to be avenged. Or at least I hope.
    Being a mid-week match, in a month which is already packed with league matches, Freddie decided to field some reserves to have some starters rest ahead of the next league match which is just three days away.
    So Frei, Alonso, Avdić and Rosales among the others are sitting with us on the bench: the only starters on the pitch are Pat Ianni (who wears the armband today), Álvaro Fernández and Geoff Cameron. The rest of the team is made of rotation players like Fucito, Scott and Friberg, of reserve players like Boss, González and Nate Jaqua, and of youths: for the first time Stinson and Nungaray are fielded in the starting XI.

    Despite being weakened in so many positions, it's us who control the match in the first half. At minute 10 Jaqua outjumps Hainault, connects with a great cross by Fernández and fires it over the bar with a header.
    Pretty much the same happens ten minutes later, this time it's Fucito's volley ending too high.
    The first half ends with some bad news for us: both of our side midfielders have to leave the pitch injured. Vic Nungaray with a dislocated shoulder, Fernández most likely with a twisted ankle. Pappa and Rosales in, remember those names.

    Second half is soon underway, and the plot doesn't change: we control the match. Unfortunately, we are also open to their counters, mainly because Stinson lacks some experience and the craftiness that's necessary in his role. During one of those counters, Garey manages to fire a shot on goal from good position, but Terry Boss says 'no'.
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    Pappa on the other hand is on fire, and he often outpaces his defender and bursts into the box from the left. In one of these occasions, Hainault brings him down. Penalty!
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    The complaints of our opponents are useless, it was a stonewall penalty all the time.
    Rosales on the ball... Top corner, impossible to reach for Hall. 1-0!
    It's not over yet, as we keep pushing on the throttle. Minute 85, Rosales places a sweet cross in from the right, Hall is late to the appointment with the ball, and decides that if he can't grab the ball he'll grab Cameron's head:
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    Geoff goes down, the referee says 'play on' in the disbelief of our players and to the relief of theirs.

    It's too late for them to come back though, the match ends 1-0 for us... Not before another injury though: Stinson is forced to leave the pitch limping after feeling some pain in his calf muscle. Hopefully it's nothing major.
  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Very good considering you played something of a second string side. Might even keep this run going now in the next one in 3 days time.
  • Dean
    840 posts Semi-Pro
    Damn, you're on a fine run of form at the moment! Castl... I mean Gladbach would be a great move. :)
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    Good cup win over Houston despite getting battered and bruised. While the easy answer for Keller might be to make the move to Gladbach, he should consider that MLS is a league on the rise and Seattle is a team on the cusp of becoming elite in the league (if they could just win an MLS Cup ;) ). Rumor has it that MLS will be adding teams in New York, LA, Atlanta, Minnesota, and possibly Miami, so there is plenty of reason to stay in the league and help his team over that final hurdle.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Might even keep this run going now in the next one in 3 days time.
    Dean wrote: »
    Damn, you're on a fine run of form at the moment!
    Hopefully we'll be able to string together another couple of good wins against Philadelphia and Kansas City... And then it'll be already time to take on the NYRB again, trying to replicate the exploit of the first part of the season. :)
    Virtual_K wrote: »
    Rumor has it that MLS will be adding teams in New York, LA, Atlanta, Minnesota, and possibly Miami, so there is plenty of reason to stay in the league and help his team over that final hurdle.
    We are still waiting for Montreal to join the league, go figure! :joy:
    Imagine leaving for Germany and coming back after some years finding out that the likes of Montreal, NYCFC, Orlando have joined the league and... Wait, where have the Chivas USA gone? :scream:
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    edited December 2016
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    Honestly, I don't want to go back!

    I feel kinda strange today. For the first time in two months, I'm not travelling with the team today but I'm comfortably sitting on the couch with my son Cameron to watch another away match, with the women going out for shopping once again.
    Watching the guys enter the pitch and not being there with them is bad, it gives me the blues: I miss being on the bench indeed, I miss it more than I would admit.

    With Pappa playing instead of Fernández which is still injured, and without Avdić feeling off-colour and missing his second match in a row, the guys start the match in a great fashion, closing the opponents in their half for the first some twenty minutes.
    Minute 25: Mike Fucito receives a good ball just outside the box in a central position, he knocks it on the left for Pappa who enters the box and goes down:
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    "Get up and play on" says the ref. Freddie is fuming, so is Pappa and so is our captain Alonso, but the decision has been made: we need to keep playing.
    The first half doesn't offer much after that, and the teams go in the locker room with the match still being a goalless draw.

    When we enter the pitch for the second half, the roles seem pretty specular. They attack, and it's only thanks to Parke and Ianni that we don't concede.
    And when they can do nothing about Mwanga trying an acrobatic volley from inside the box, it's Frei who denies him the 1-0 goal:
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    Then, slowly we regain the control of the match. Jaqua first tries a shot from way out that doesn't really worry Mondragón, then collects a cross by Rosales but his header is too weak to cause any damage. Shortly after it's Pappa's turn to be dangerous in front of the goal: his shot from the penalty spot ends wide.
    When the end of the match seems near, we have one last chance with Fucito, but his 'rabona' hits the bar:
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    In compensation, the bowl of chips I was holding hits the floor as I bring both of my hands on my head in disbelief. Kris won't be so happy seeing the chips all over the place when she comes back.

    Shortly after, the referee blows the final whistle: not a bad result for us after all, but we could've won this. We probably should have, indeed.
    Now, time to clean up the mess in the living room before Kris returns home from shopping.
  • Virtual_K
    1704 posts Play-Off Hero
    "Imagine leaving for Germany and coming back after some years finding out that the likes of Montreal, NYCFC, Orlando have joined the league and... Wait, where have the Chivas USA gone?"

    I didn't look at the East table close enough to realize Montreal was missing, and I totally forgot about Orlando, LOL, that's what happens when you fail to make the playoffs, you are quickly forgotten.

    Let the chips fall where they may!
    Tough draw but a loss would have been tougher to swallow. :)
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