It’s been awhile; yes I’ve been slacking, so let’s get right down to business hitting the highlights and lowlights of the Pacific Northwest sports scene.
The Sounders FC had put together a run of ties that kept dropping them slowly down the standings. A big loss 2-0 against Chivas USA hurt badly but the team put that behind them to dominate San Jose 2-1. Despite giving up the first goal to DC United last night, Seattle roared back to take a 3-2 lead late into the match. Coach Sigi Schmid slowly removed his strikers Montero, Ljungberg, and Jaqua to load up the midfield and defense for the waning minutes. That backfired when Tyrone Marshall, the veteran leader of the backline who has been Kasey Keller’s right hand man, headed the ball past Keller on a cross for an own goal that gave DC United a tie and a point that frankly, they didn’t deserve.
While the Sounders have been losing points, they have been collecting red cards at an alarming rate. The team leads the MLS in red cards with five in 14 games played, many for what seem like very thin circumstances. Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of European soccer, but I get confused with the MLS refs on how they decide on giving a card. In Europe, the refs do a lot more verbal cautioning during the match, leaving the yellow card as a final warning. A red card is rare and only for the most grievous of fouls. Seattle has more red cards this season than Arsenal (3 in 38 matches) had all of last year. In comparison, Arsenal had a total of 95 yellow cards in 38 matches. Seattle currently has 31 yellows in 14.
Over in the American Football land, Seattle ended minicamp on a high note. No one was injured, Matt Hasselbeck and TJ Houshmandzadeh looked good as a tandem, and all the players commented on how tough it is to learn a new system after having the old one in place for so long. New head coach Jim Mora broke tradition by allowing the players to keep their playbooks instead of turning them in as normal when checking out of camp. That’s quite a change from the normal paranoia that runs rampant in the NFL with playbooks. If nothing else, it means that no one can blame the new system if the Seahawks stumble out of the gate.
So the Lakers won the NBA Championship. Congratulations to them. I set a new personal record by watching exactly zero minutes of the NBA this year. It was tough for me, I had to work hard at it but I suffered through the pain and made my goal. Yes, I am still raw about the treatment Seattle got from the league by ripping out the Sonics, but that’s not the only reason. This month, Seattle should have gotten to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Sonics winning the NBA Championship. We should have spent the year reminiscing about Jack Sikma, Downtown Freddie Brown, Slick Watts, Lonnie Shelton, Paul Silas, DJ Dennis Johnson, JJ John Johnson, and Lenny Wilkins beating the Washington Bullets with hard work and teamwork. We should have been hearing stories about how Paul Silas would set a pick and then help you up while Lonnie Shelton would set a pick and then dare you to get up.