Thursday, August 6, 2009

8/7/09: Smitty's Smartass Preview: San Jose Away



So, if you've noticed the lack of posting on my part this week, I apologize, but have a good reason. You see, this weekend, we're throwing a 90's party. That's right, Casa De Smitty will for one night be transformed into a land of Doc Martens, flattops, and acid-washed jeans. In fact, you have to dress 90's to get in. Mrs. Smitty is either going as Hillary Clinton or Monica Lewinsky (C'mon, you know which one I'm rooting for. I love real estate scandals! ) Me? I may be stretching the bounds, but I've decided to go as Fat Fred Durst, in a tribute to both NOFX and people who have no taste. Basically, I'm dressing like normal, but wearing white Adidas sneakers and a red backwards cap. Not crazy about the soulpatch, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

The thing is, I've been listening to a lot of 90's music trying to figure out a mackin' playlist (Which is stressful, by the way. Butthole Surfers or Cake? Creed or Anything Else? Nevermind, it's way easy.) It's weird hearing a song and remembering things for no reason other than that song was playing when you heard it. Or, for that matter, remembering how excited I was to wear my Reebok Pumps and silk shirt on the first day of school. And for the hater out there, please realize there was nothing to be ashamed about while wearing a silk shirt. Nothing.

Still, it wasn't THAT long ago, either. The 90's aren't something only a handful of people remember; most of us were there, and don't need pictures to remind us of the good times. I found myself still thinking it was possible Dad was coming home with a Pizza! Pizza! from Little Ceasars as the fam sat down to watch TGIF for the umpteenth time. Not gonna happen, but, again it wasn't THAT long ago. And what if you could do it over? Would you have paid more attention when Michael Jordan was playing? Seen Nirvana live? Bought Goldeneye for Nintendo 64 the second it came out?

Well, that's the existence for your die-hard San Jose fan. They had Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos Dominic Kinnear, Pat Onstad, Eddie Robinson, and Brian Ching. Between 2001 and 2005, they either were in the top 2 at the end of the regular season or won MLS Cup every year except 2004. They had history, until it was ripped away from them. And now?

Well, they're coming back. But imagine if the run the Houston Dynamo had (are still having?) was tacked onto the end of what San Jose already did? D.C. would still be the most storied team in MLS, but you can bet every 'Quakes/United match would be required viewing.

So this weekend, when you watch this game the Crew are playing against San Jose, just remember: they should have been very good. And that way, it will be all the more sweet when we kick their ass.

Game 20: At San Jose


The Quakes road to the playoffs...


What You Need to Know: San Jose just beat Seattle Sounders F.C. 4-0 last weekend. Take that, expansion team! Know your role. Don't be surprised to hear a few Quakes fans spouting off about how Barcelona's 4-0 win against the Sounders was almost as impressive as theirs. St. Joseph fans are a might delusional.

Chance of Making the Playoffs: About the same as San Jose convincing Lionel Messi to stick around after their double-header matchup with C.D. Guadalajara to discuss a transfer fee.

And say what you want about him coming to Columbus, Quakes fans, but when Lionel Messi was growing up, he had a Guillermo Barros Schelotto poster in his room. Fact.

Topical Insult of the Week: San Jose couldn't score with Paula Abdul even if they found her in the hotel bar at 2:30 in the morning watching re-runs of American Idol, screaming "I taught the Jacksons how to dance. I sang 'Forever Your Girl', Simon! Opposites Attract, dammit!!" Nor would they want to.

-Crew Notes

- Frankie Hejduk and Guillermo Barros Schelotto are out this week. I expect Frankie to be at Claddaugh's if he didn't travel with the team, practicing for his turn as celebrity bartender at Tuesday night's gathering at Park Street Patio. As for GBS? I'm sure he knows the Crew can handle San Jose with "no problem", which is why I would bet he DVRs the game so he can get one last nosh of fried butter grease on a stick at the Ohio State Fair.

- With the team nearing full strength, Robet Warzycha has a lot of attacking options to consider. And that's without Emilio Renteria, who could be signed as early as next week. Will Moreno crack the starting lineup this week? Given his late game form last week, where he did manage to be relatively dangerous, I say yes.

- The Crew need points this weekend, as they get pretty distracted in the next few weeks. CONCACAF Champions League will give the squad all the testing it needs, and the group of death (Saprissa, Cruz Azul, and Puerto Rico Islanders) will command their full attention. Plus, with Chicago and Houston squaring this weekend, and Houston dropping last night's contest to Jeff Cunningham (oh, and that team he plays for) 1-0, the Crew (with a win over SJ and Houston tying Chicago) regain control of the Supporter's Shield with a game in hand over the Dynamo. Fingers crossed.

Game preview is here.

Prediction: The Crew feed off the large crowd that should be on hand for the 2nd match, and get out early to a 2-0 lead before the 30th minute. Goals from Robbie Rogers (c'mon!) and Alejandro Moreno carry the Crew, and they hang on for the 2-1 win.

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