Superliga Final: Joy, Pride, The Moment

Life gave me a hard, unwelcome shag last night: I won’t bore you with the details on the assumption that you don’t want to hear them; the main thing is, this will be (comparatively) brief and I won’t be posting today with my accustomed relish and volume.

Taking the nouns in the sub-title in order:

JOY
To my delight, the online video feed worked flawlessly last night: no hiccupping video, no long pauses, not even an pixilation.  Instead, I enjoyed smooth, TV-esque viewing.  Huzzah!

PRIDE
Coping with the aftermath of that shag meant I caught the game from the 60th minute forward.  While I can’t speak to the first half, I’ll celebrate the second, when I saw one of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) worst teams give one of Mexico’s best an entirely respectable fight.  Good on ya, Los Angeles.  All y’all played to the credit of the league.

THE MOMENT
Raise your hand if you thought Landon Donovan wasn’t the guy to take the decisive penalty kick.  My hand is raised.

Here’s the thing: I literally jumped out of my chair when Pachuca’s player shanked his attempt off the crossbar.  This was ME cheering for LA, for crissakes.  But then I saw Donovan, who had spent some time before taking his kick getting his legs limbered by a trainer; no less significant are the very reasonable doubts regarding Donovan’s composure under pressure.

But the question lurking behind that one poses no less a problem: if not Donovan, then who?  That Abel Xavier, a defender, stepped up and fluffed the following PK makes it hard to figure where else one might look.  After looking at MLSnet.com’s match report and reviewing the names of the eleven players on the field at the relevant time, I confess myself stumped.  As captain from the BB era (that’s Before Beckham), Donovan really had to take that kick.  I just wish he didn’t.

The biggest surprise for me, though, was Edson Buddle’s kick.  Holy crap, son.  Where did that come from?

Well, CF Pachuca takes the first Superliga title.  So be it.  I’m mainly glad it was a good game and look forward to next year’s.

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