Stream of Consciousness: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps

The encyclopedia says Steam of Consciousness is "a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought process." In other words, DJ watches games, and writes down what comes to mind. Sometimes prescient, sometimes odd, and almost always entertaining.

Nice. Vancouver looks nice. I get the impression of a clean, pleasant, scenic place to live. And, though located in a foreign country, I gather they speak English. Which is a plus.

Empire Field, as I understand it, is a temporary facility, which will only be used until a state-of-the-art mega-stadium is completed. But, why would you want to leave Empire for a mega-stadium? Empire is beautiful. The field is a bit narrow, and the sight lines are slightly marred by steel columns in places, and the grass is made of horrid plastic but overall it looks like a really good place to have a soccer team.

The width and composition of the pitch can be fixed easily enough. I'm not sure what modern engineering can do about getting rid of support beams, but if that was the only problem with the place, you'd still have yourself a major league facility.

I'm guessing it has something to do with peripheral matters like luxury boxes, dressing rooms, and practice facilities. Anyone who is up to speed on this topic is welcome to set me straight in the comments.

I'm watching the Vancouver home feed on MLS Match Day Live, and I just heard the announcer call Brek Shea “Shea Brek”. Which I guess is forgivable since on a national telecast, the DE (Designated Englishman) commentator called Dax McCarty “McCarthy” all night.

Mind you, I am merely observing, not criticizing. We're none of us perfect, after all.

Speaking of imperfection, MLS Match Day Live is buggy as all get out. It just cut off, and gave me a message saying “Your Session Has Timed Out, Please Log In Again”. How can your session time out when you're six minutes into the game? In fact, why would my session time out at all, ever? This is not the first time MDL has failed me this season, either. Get it together, MLS, or I will be forced to write an especially pointed and strongly worded letter. And you don't want that.

Daniel Hernandez and David Ferreira have both taken hard shots to the melon from this awful plastic Adidas ball and had to shake the cobwebs off as a result. Daniel actually had to come off the field for a minute. Coincidence, or indictment of plastic soccer balls? You be the judge.

Plastic grass and plastic soccer balls. What is the world coming to?

Vancouver scores first, from a terrific header by Michael Boxall, who I have never heard of until just this moment. Earlier today I was watching a replay of the Seattle-Colorado match and the announcer said no team has lost this season in MLS when scoring the first goal. Like my normally pessimistic nature needs that kind of encouragement, right?

Fortunately, I missed the part of SEA-COL where poor Steve Zakuani got his leg broken. I hate watching that kind of thing ever since I saw Lawrence Taylor end Joe Theismann's career years ago. Blood doesn't gross me out, but seeing legs bend in ways God didn't intend them to bend makes me dizzy and nauseous.

I hope this doesn't end Zakuani's career. I feel somehow that Dema Kovalenko is at fault here, but I can't quite articulate why.

Oh, hey! I was about to complain about the slow starting ways of this team, but before I had a chance to get all glass-half-empty up in here, we get a PK from a handball in the box. Excelente.

Oh. Or not. David Ferreira misses the PK. I would have bet good money against that happening. I would have bet the ranch, if I had a ranch.

This is why I avoid Las Vegas for the most part. I'm a terrible gambler. And while I know it is the basest kind of solipsism, I would swear that me betting on something makes it less likely to happen. In fact, in times of drought, I try to keep my car windows down at all times, as a public service.

Once again, we see an FC Dallas side that is playing nice attacking soccer, getting plenty of chances, but not finishing. Except for the Colorado game, it seems to be a theme so far this year. I have to think, though, that it is a style that will pay off in the long run. In baseball terms, this is more like a team batting slump, as opposed to a lack of quality hitting.

But, leaving the future and rejoining the present, FCD goes in in to halftime, once again, trailing. Harumph.

The Vancouver supporters are in fine voice, and it got me to wondering about the existence of Canadian Football Hooligans. Could there be a more anti-stereotypical concept? I think this is the seed for either a good situation comedy, a Harry Shearer mockumentary, or at very least a skit for the next reunion of The Kids In The Hall.

David Ferreira just took a hard foul and seems to be hurt. He's holding the area around the achilles tendon, and is in extreme pain. To use the word agony would not be hyperbole.


I know this isn't a non-contact sport, and I don't want it to become one. But on the other hand, if two star players are lost in one weekend to rash challenges, it may be an indication that something needs to change.

To be fair, the challenge here wasn't dirty in the least, though it was from behind, and clumsy; and I didn't see Brian Mullan's challenge on Steve Zakuani, though Mullan got a straight red for his trouble. So it may be I'm overreacting, but you can't have this league become known as a place where it's open season on skilled players, and hope to prosper.

And, as if the Universe was trying to give the team a tiny bit of positive Karma for their troubles, George John scores from a Brek Shea corner moments after David gets stretchered off the field.

1-1, 54th Minute. Eric Avila in for David.

Now George John is hurt. He was tripped by Eric Hassli , and landed hard on his arm, hurting his elbow. According to the home announcers, he “fell down on his own.” Heh.

Things seem to be working better with Brek playing the left side of midfield rather than in the back. The late comeback last week seemed to start when he was pushed up from defense to mid in the second half.

Jackson is giving Vancouver all sorts of trouble with his overlapping runs from the right side of the defense.

Is the white spray paint the referees are using an optional practice? I see it in this game, but in others I haven't. Anybody know the scoop?

Stop . . . Avi Time.

Eric Avila scores the go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute! Collecting a loose ball, taking a couple touches and drilling a diagonal shot from just outside the penalty area. This kid is SO good off the bench. He comes in late, and plays with confidence and audacity. I love it. He probably hates it, because it just means he'll start less, but, man, he's a super-sub.

Two minutes to go. Vancouver pressing. Come on boys. Come on.

Four minutes of extra time. Guh.

Yeah, road win! And from a goal down, at that. Awesomely good win. Much needed. Depressing about David, though.

See you next week for the Galaxy.