Friday, August 26, 2011

Seattle 1, Monterrey 0: 'Nuff Said

Alvaro Fernandez says, "Eh Dallas? You want history? I got 'ya history right heee." (I know he's not an Italian mobster. But it just works better).

Just when you think MLS has popped the cork on some history and plopped back on a recliner to take stock of the full measure of its accomplishment, Seattle storms Castle Monterrey and, well, did it again a week later. Another MLS club in Mexico, another 1-0 win. Down go the defending champs. Who's starting the MLS owns Mexico chants? Too soon?

We debate which win was better because this is the capital-I Internet and that's what we do. FC Dallas will forever have its name in bold in this corner of the MLS annals, but that would be a disservice to the enormity of the Sounders' accomplishment. Pumas fielded a reserve side while this Monterrey team, generally thought of as the best in Mexico, had all six bullets chambered on Tuesday. Both Aldo De Nigris and Humberto Suazo (The Scourge Of Salt Lake City) headed up Monterrey's attack for 90 minutes, De Nigris out-jumping SFC's back line and Suazo carving into Seattle's half with those dangerous runs of his. 

No, it was Seattle that fielded the reserve side. Nate Jaqua and Pat Noonan partnered up top, a strike force that probably wouldn't scare Akron. Osvaldo Alonso wasn't subbed on until the second half. Sigi Schmid had two natural left backs, Tyson Wahl and Leo Gonzalez, manning the back line at the same time. Monterrey hoarded possession to the tune of an astonishing 68-32. And yet, like a hummingbird pecking down a redwood, it was Noonan to Fernandez on a counterattack and even the rowdiest of Mexican fans were struck dumb with astonishment.

Monterrey twisted itself into the ground in the second half in its attempts weasel in a goal, but the back line packed in deep and repelled wave after wave. Schmid was jubilant post-game, and for good reason. This was not a typical Sounders gameplan, and he knew it. Seattle is so possession based that the idea of conceding possession and constricting the game to its own half is a dirty thought. But as Helenio Herrera proved in the 60's at Inter and Jose Mourinho upheld some 40 years later at the same club, anti-football against superior sides can get results. And this did. FCD gets the necessary plaudits for being the first. But Seattle gets more for being the best. So far.

Elsewhere... we broke our unbeaten run in CCL play, but it took a match between MLS foes to do it. This is some run we're enjoying. Through two match days, MLS is a robust 8-1-1. FCD, LA and Seattle all took maximum points from their games, while TFC and Colorado are both well in contention to advance.

- FCD sort of beat TFC twice this week
- Can you pronounce Alajuelense on the first try? Can you spell it on the fifth?
- The Rapids bunkered for a point... take that as you will

- Will Parchman 

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