Fire coach Veljko Paunovic held his weekly media call Tuesday and said some darn crazy things. Well, one crazy thing.
Despite 14 shots on goal all season, nine of which came in the first game, Paunovic said the offensive abyss that is the Fire attack is "not frustrating." The team could literally not be any worse in that department. They are indeed at the very bottom of the MLS barrel in that category.
I understand the need for coach speak. There is no reason for Paunovic to publicly hit a panic button or throw his players under the bus (though if that bus was fueled by shots on goal, none of the players would be seriously injured by being thrown under said bus because the bus would not be moving).
However, Paunovic has shown a more spirited side in public comments, even putting more weight on Sunday's game because the Fire had their honor hurt in the season opener. It would probably be refreshing for fans to hear the head man come out with some stronger thoughts on the offense needing to improve and create more chances.
The reason Paunovic said the team is not frustrated by the lack of offense is, in part, because of the solid defense. The defense has been great and that is great, but it doesn't really take away from my frustration with the offense, nor do I see why it would for the team. That's like me saying Bakers Square pot roast isn't so bad because their apple pie is great! No one wants Bakers Square pot roast. The offense is pot roast. Make it apple pie, please.
There is a guy named Harry Shipp coming to town that Fire fans kind of know. It would be prudent to show the Fire offense can operate without the guy they willing shipped to another country.
Anyway, let's get on to some other nuggets:
- Paunovic said the two incoming signings would help the team attack. You, whoever you are, could probably help the team attack, but I get the point. While not naming those two players, they are Michael de Leeuw of FC Groningen and Khaly Thiam of MTK Budapest. De Leeuw should be a starter in short order and Thiam has a cool name so I am willing to give him a chance.
- One area of improvement Paunovic said could help the attack would be in getting the ball into the final third more quickly. He said the team exerts too much energy just to get the ball into that area and then loses it. As long as "more quickly" doesn't mean bombing passes to no one from the center backs, then I am all for it.
- John Goossens is on the mend and should be getting more minutes in the next game. I like it.
- David Accam is also on the mend and will probably still get no minutes. I don't like it.
- Paunovic praised Rodrigo Ramos and said the young defender asked a whole bunch of questions about how to best prepare for David Villa. Apparently it worked kid. Villa didn't score.
- Paunovic called Montreal a very good team and a tough team. If Paunovic ever calls any team something other than that in a pregame media call, that team must be really, really awful.
- Brandon Vincent is getting some minute management right now because of his whirlwind start. Going from the college season to the combine and then two stints with national teams along with the MLS season has put a bunch of miles on his legs already this year. Seems smart.
- Eric Gehrig is also improving and fighting for a starting spot, according to Paunovic. I am positive we will see Gehrig at some point, probably soon, but I don't think he'll be starting anytime soon.