Who Were Those Footballing Gods, and Can We Keep Them Here?
What a crazy emotional week. The week the Earthquakes are celebrating 30 years of history, and the talk is that the move to Texas is a done deal. The day before the rally to save the team, and the word is that the deal has gone down already. It turned out there was a thirty day reprieve. But, oh, thirty days! Thirty days to fine a new local owner? Nuts!
I was happy to see the good turn-out at the rally, and noted which mayors could be bothered to show up, and which mayor couldn't be bothered to so much as send a statement across the street. The players who came seemed to be genuinely touched by the support.
If you know any millionaires with cash burning a hole in their pocket, or just want to help out anyway you can, buzz on over to Soccer Silicon Valley, our last best hope for the Quakes.
The good news part is: this has always been a team that plays best when its back is against the wall and it is a little bit angry. Saturday night the lads came out a little bit angry. And wow. I'm in awe. Just awe.
Meanwhile, Back on the Pitch
Box score: Quakes 3 Dallas 0, goals by Corrales, Gibbs (og), Ching.
Dallas were out-played, out-hustled, and out-classed. Sure, Gibbs had a disasterous night (I have always been spectacularly unimpressed by Gibbs and can't begin to fathom what Arena sees in him). But there were stretches of this game where the Quakes were slicing passes around the Dallas players like they were orange cones on the training field, for minutes at a time. Corrales played the best game of his life. Ekelund was on fire (a passion that cost Dallas' starting goalkeeper a shiner and a trip to the X-ray room early in the match), running at goal (!) and making quick one touch passes to move the ball up the field. Donovan showed us his speed running out of midfield, and his vision making the passes that make the goals. (He seemed to forget how to shoot for himself, but hey, if he can feed Ching like that, I'm not crying about it.) Mulrooney was manhandled all over the field, and still managed to come up with the ball. The only Quakes player who had anything close to a poor game was Cochrane, who probably didn't deserve the second yellow he actually got, but would have got the second yellow he deserved sooner or later. Some of the attacks the Quakes put together in this game we jaw-droppingly pinch-me beautiful, as good as I've ever seen anywhere. Dallas were unlucky not to have got a goal of their own: some of their attacks looked dangerous. But the Quakes were unlucky not to have had a couple more too.
If we have to lose this team, I'd rather remember them this way. Stay mad, guys. Show them what a champion looks like.