Loyal blog readers, I've managed to somehow make it back here for my third installment, so I thank you for giving me the platform to blabber on a little longer.
I probably shouldn't be writing my blog right now because I have to come clean and I admit that my mind is elsewhere. I'm not 100 percent focused on the task at hand because, truth be told, I am a Manchester United fan.
At this moment I am currently sitting on my absurdly comfortable couch, legs propped up on the matching ottoman, shirt off (lovely visual for all you ladies) and eyes fixated on my TV as the mighty Red Devils go for their record-setting 20th Premier League title. I'm happy because they are currently putting on a first-half clinic against Brad Guzan (what a season he has had for Aston Villa, by the way) and Aston Villa, up 3-0 and coasting. But I'm also upset because Robin van Persie clearly doesn't like me and I've never even met him! He just completed a hat trick inside a half hour and his second goal had "I'm going to upstage Dax on national TV" written all over it.
The only reason he didn't take a touch and pass the ball into the corner like 99.3 percent of other players around the world would have done is because he clearly saw my goal over the weekend and just wanted to show me how a proper left-footed volley is supposed to be hit. It's just flat out cruel is what it is.
I get it, Robin, you have a better left foot than me, no need to rub it in. Anyways, I became a Man United fan because of the one and only Paul Scholes. He was one of the most elegant midfielders I had ever seen play. To top it off, he was tough as nails. It's the perfect combination for who I wanted to model my game after. Well that, and he is a red head. Someone a small, awkward, ginger boy like myself could aspire to be like (sorry, Alexi Lalas). Thanks for the inspiration, Paul!
Anyway, it was a very busy time in Red Bull land this past week.
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Having three games in seven days, as we did, is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it means less practice and more playing. It's a chance to move on quickly from a poor performance, or it's a chance to build confidence off a good one.
On the other hand, it's a true test of your team's mental toughness, fitness and depth. Luckily for us, we were able to come out of the week with six out of nine points, which is always a good haul against teams in your own conference. It started with a great performance on the road against D.C. United.
Being that D.C. is one of my former employers, I can tell you that beating a team you used to play for is one of the best feelings you can have as a player. "Thank you, Captain Obvious!" I know you all are saying right now, but it still needed to be said. Ask any player that has been traded and they will tell you the same thing.
Trust me, I know there are hundreds of different things that go into trades in this league, but the mindset I had after being traded was basically, "This team doesn't think I'm good enough to play for them and I'm going to prove them wrong." That is why beating a former team, especially a rival of your current team, feels a little bit more special than a normal win.
Shout out to Thierry for getting me an assist in that game. I'm a pretty smart guy and I have learned that if you just pass the ball to him somewhere around the box, more often than not he's going to make you look better than you actually are. So thanks, man, I'll take it!
P.S. I didn't see one critter (Pontius not included) scampering around the RFK confines during our stay this time, so big thumbs up to pest control in the nation's capital!
Also, I want to go on record saying that I have nothing but respect for the entire D.C. United organization. I certainly don't hold any hard feelings towards them in the least bit, it's just the nature of the business. Plus, they got the MVP of the league that year for me. Hell, I would have probably traded me too!
Our midweek encounter with Sporting Kansas City was a frustrating one to say the least. It was one of those games where nothing seemed to be clicking offensively and, when you play a team as defensively sound as SKC, that is a recipe for disaster. The team's frustration boiled over towards the end of the game, with Juninho receiving a red card for foolishly kicking the ball at Jimmy Nielsen for his amazing ability to move at a snail-like pace during restarts.
Now, clearly, Juni was in the wrong for what he did but I did take something away from that incident. It is obvious that Juni's accuracy is still lethal, we can't deny that. It is only a matter of time before he hits one of those trademark free kicks right into the top corner. I have come up with a brilliant idea to help him along in this quest.
I'm going to order a few giant Fatheads of Mr. Nielsen's face, place them in the top corners of both goals and watch Juni go to work. Is this legal? I hope so, because I would look like a genius. I expect him to be in double digits for goals off set pieces by mid-summer. While that would be amazing, I'm obviously joking. Kind of.
Our final game of the week was against the New England Revolution and it was very emotional for obvious reasons. I always struggle to comprehend how people are capable of such heartless acts like the one we witnessed in Boston this past week. This is a feeling that is immediately followed by a great sense of pride in my country for how many true heroes are out there and who step up when tragedies like this happen. Full credit to the Revs for playing a hard-fought game under incredibly difficult circumstances. They gave us all we could handle, it just happened to be a night where everything went our way. (Other than that pesky own goal. Great finish though, Brandon!)
As I mentioned earlier, I scored my second goal of the season. Sometimes thoughts of challenging Jamison Olave for the Golden Boot enter my mind, but then I realize that there are only so many times you can close your eyes, shoot, and have the ball go in the net. I come back to reality after that. Other than Mr. Cisse from the Revs trying to decapitate me, I'd say it was a pretty good week in Red Bull land.