When I got up this morning there were some things on the "to do" checklist.
1. Make it to Toyota Park.
2. Advance to USOC Final.
3. Completely destroy my voice over 90 minutes of singing.
I just got home. It is 12:26 AM and I've got a recap to finish. Lets do this.
Sebastian Grazzini: What can I say, this guy has been fantastic since arriving in Chicago. His first half performance was very good. A well taken penalty earns Sebastian another goal. Also, if I'm not mistaken, Grazzini made the pass to Nyarko that forced the penalty in the first place. Well done Sebastian. A hamstring issue forced him to miss the second half. The team clearly was not as crisp during his absence.
As if Grazzini's play is not awesome enough check out this post game quote "I’m very happy with the coaching staff, my teammates and the people who work for the club. They all make me feel like I’ve been here for a long time. Every game the team has gotten stronger and I’m just very happy that I’ve been able to contribute my little grain of sand to what we’re trying to build here." Little grain of sand. There are a lot of goals and assists packed into that little grain.
Dominic Oduro: Another excellent finish from Dom. This guy is crushing it right now. Put in a hard shift tonight. The ovation he received when he was subbed off was well earned. Richmond took it to him as much as they could, but in the end Dom was superior.
Patrick Nyarko: Another high level performance from the Ghanaian winger. Worked hard offensively and defensively giving everything he needed to. Had another shot on goal tonight that was better than his usual. Another new twist to Nyarko's game is his physicality has increased. He is winning balls out of scrums on what looks to be improved leg strength. Happened on Saturday and happened again this evening. A very tough player to bring down when he is on the ball. Nyarko's game continues to improve. Now if he can just develop an above average shot with one of his feet he will be lethal.
Marco Pappa: Strong defensive effort from Marco tonight. Was able to play both sides of the ball well for the first time in a long time. I thought his offensive contributions were good this evening. Nothing stellar but good. His play is starting to round back into form during a crucial part of the season. I couldn't be happier about this development.
Logan Pause: The captain got a wake up call early in the game as he was tackled hard on the side of the field and no foul was called. After that play he was all over the place tenaciously defending and playing some inspired ball. We all expect Logan to put in solid workman like shifts every game. That is what he does. The thing is when Logan gets up for a game he becomes a tenacious defender with somewhat of a mean streak. That Logan Pause is always welcome. Perhaps he can come out and play a bit more?
Thoughts on everyone else:
I didn't think anyone was bad tonight. Dan Gargan tired as the game went on but continued working hard throughout. I don't think I've ever been happier to see one of our defenders put his upper torso between another players legs to stop their momentum to the ball. This was a Dan Gargan defensive maneuver in the first half tonight.
Sega may have tired a bit as well but that was not nearly as noticeable as Gargan. Anibaba and Gibbs were their usual rock solid self (note I missed the goal live and have yet to see the replay so yeah feel free to hammer me in the comments). Johnson was OK tonight but I don't know that he was ever really tested. Daniel Paladini was solid as Pardo's replacement for the evening. Early in the first half I was a bit concerned as he was a bit to to involved and appeared to be overwhelmed. As the first half went on Paladini calmed down and his play stabilized.
Another fantastic evening of soccer at Toyota Park. Winning is so awesome.
I expect to see you, yes you, in Seattle. I don't care what you have to do to get there. Train, plane, boat, helicopter, bicycle, hang glider, or any combination of those will do. Just f***ing get there.
Dear Seattle, we are coming to do you wrong.