Definitely the last time I try to do two matches in one article.
Didn’t take either of the matchday buses, on account of I convinced my buddy to come and he wanted to drive – he’s been told to lay off the sauce for medical reasons and didn’t want to be tempted by “hooligans” (we must be getting older).
We got general admission seats – which apparently means we can’t sit on the bleachers that they show on TV until 15 minutes have passed. Brilliant. I’m sure that looks great on the live-feed. We stood by the fence near the corner flag and I started filling his head with Pro-Canadian Footy propaganda as best I could (he’s a casual TFC fan). He mentions that a few of the Eddies he recognizes from their time with TFC’s Academy. I suppose they’ve been set up long enough that we should be seeing dividends paid now. Cool. He seems impressed that Dean Shiels used to play for Rangers. We both agree that scorers never forget how to score (later in the match Shiels agrees as well).
We make our way up to the middle of “Big Blue”, soon after which Corea scores a beauty. My companion is impressed further. Ataboy Dusty. Coming through when it matters for me. This was as complete of a performance as I’d seen from the Eddies so far this year, and I don’t just say that because they got the result. Their possession was solid and they spent much of the first in PR’s end. Snowflakes were starting to come down now, and I tried to share a picture of it, but it didn’t quite capture it. The toques and scarves looked great on the highlights though. Real Canadian-like.
Shiels scored in the second (a pretty greasy one but I’m sure he doesn’t care) and I will say he played very well in this game – was moving the ball very quickly and getting a little upset with some of his teammates for not doing so. I maintain that he’ll be a great signing once he settles in a bit.
Word to the wise, wear your winter boots for the spring games (if you’ll be sitting still). I wore thin little vans, which might has well have been cinderella’s glass slippers for all the good they did me. At 90 minutes I was chilled to the bone, and up 2-0 we started heading for the gates. The 2-1 goal was nothing. A nice play, but emotionally meaningless.
Miami. Well. Miami are not Puerto Rico. This much is clear. No knock on PR, but you can tell by the way the announcers talk about them that Miami have very high expectations. It comes across in the way they play. I don’t have salaries in front of me, but I got the impression from listening to these guys talk about their team that they look down their nose a little bit at Edmonton, and that a home game against us was an expected win. Classic Edmonton, really. We’ll see what happens when the make their way out of the swamp and come up north.
I thought the Eddies soaked up the pressure decently for the first 20 minutes or so, crossbar notwithstanding. Anything other than a draw or a 1-0 road win against Miami was going to be difficult for the Eddies though. Gotta get back to basics, especially on the road. As soon as I heard Poku’s name though, I was concerned. I saw a decent amount of him watching TFCs games with NYCFC and I was shocked how quickly he got the boot once Viera replaced Kries. He’s got skills.
Their second goal was definitely a bit of a miscue in the Eddies midfield. I’ll chalk that one up to fatigue and personnel turnover. It wasn’t their finest hour, but it’s a loss, moving on.
I heard Zebie might get a shot in midfield. He mentioned that he used to play there and was having fun. I say give it a go. I’ve always felt midfielders have to have good relationships with the rest of the team, and he’s been around long enough that he should know everyone pretty well. At this point what do the Eddies really have to lose?
In terms of keepers, give the young guys a shot. Konopka hasn’t exactly stood on his head so we might as well give the kids some starts. Perhaps it’ll be a spark. Seems worth rolling the dice.
Lastly, and I hate talking about this, but please, stay optimistic about this season. The oilers are still in the midst of a playoff run, and that’s always going to take precedent for the average Edmontonian. It’s also been quite cold. This is the first and last time I will utter anything about attendance, and here’s why:
I went through a stretch a couple years ago where I had been single a little too long. Not in a good way. I’m as red-blooded as the next male, and I wasn’t getting what I needed. True story: my Columbian-Canadian friend had been in a similar rut and he took me aside and told me there was an old saying his uncle told him back home that loosely translated to “Those who show their hunger never eat”. Seems simple I know, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
Let’s not be the horny and useless 21-year old I was. When it comes to attendance, remember, those who show their hunger never eat.