FanPost

Looking ahead (by looking behind)


For the faithful, this last week has carried mixed results, literally and otherwise. Wednesday's scrounged and scrapped win against Kansas City produced, as Alan Greenspan said of the 1990's dot.com boom, a feeling of irrational exuberance. The lads had carried the day without Villa, Ring and an innumerable supporting cast against a stingy defense and superb keeper. What couldn't this team do, even if hobbling without close to a full bench?

Perhaps Coach Viera thought so too, as he started nearly the same lineup against Portland on Saturday. Alas, as this site's Sam Dunn warned, "You can bet that Diego Valeri is itching to school the Maestro with some And-1 Mixtape moves. Vieira can’t let that happen." Well, it wasn't just Valeri, but Pirlo got scorched and that was the match, as things turned out.

It also turned out that Pirlo might be useful in foul weather, which slows down the game for everyone and maximizes what he still brings to the club. Unfortunately, Saturday evening sported beautiful weather and field conditions, and Pirlo's liabilities were evident right through his substitution off.

That was hardly the whole, or maybe even the main, story of the night. If David Villa's injury is more serious than the club has let on, it's understandable enough that smoke and mirrors would be the order of the day. But the average fan might expect some word on Alex Ring's status in advance. Ring, for those not on hand Saturday night, was not even on the bench. And Ring, for those who have not been on hand all season, has been a titan in midfield. A little transparency would not hurt.

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