Head coach, in absentee
July 12, 2011
As Metro fans, we've been through a lot during the past 16 years (on the field, we'll leave out the other discussion for now). And, to be honest, the past 16 years have not exactly been pleasant. Oh sure, we have our share of great victories, incredible comebacks, and amazing players, but our trophy case is as barren now as it was 16 years ago.
So there has been a lot of... crap. A lot of bad games, terrible performances, fecal players, and too many losses to count. That being said, it's hard to think of a bigger disgrace than today's 4:0 loss to Chicago in the Open Cup.
And it's not the scoreline, although it is the first time in team history that they lost an elimination match by four goals. It's the effort, or lack there of, that was put in.
And we're not talking about the players, the poor backups trotted out against Chicago's first team. The players were not put in position to succeed. We're talking about whoever put them into this position.
Now, let's just say that we are rather happy with the job Erik Soler and Hans Backe have been doing since they've been hired. After the debacle of 2009, they re-energized the team and the fanbase. And we don't know if the orders to ignore the Open Cup came from Soler, or Backe, or someone above them. And we don't know whose decision it was for Backe -- AND first assistant Jan Halvor Halvorsen -- to not travel to Chicago. But it stinks to high heavens. It's disrespectful. And disgraceful.
The Open Cup might not be the MLS Cup, but for a franchise that hasn't won squat, winning a real trophy should not be frowned at. And these were the quarterfinals, meaning Metro was only two wins away from appearing in only the third final in team history, and three wins away from their first title. Three wins that the current team -- the starters, not the backups, God bless them -- is fully capable of. Three wins from a title which was deemed unnecessary by whoever was the decision maker here.
Instead, we get excuses about a crowded schedule. A schedule made busier by a trip to London later this month for a friendly tournament which will line the pockets of Red Bull but will do little otherwise. A tournament where, we're sure, the first team will be trotted out. A tournament that... well, we hope Thierry Henry will have fun seeing some old friends.
The Open Cup is no more. The Supporters Shield seems implausible at this point. MLS Cup, that Holy Grail, is the only potential silverware that remains this year. Let's hope they take the rest of the season seriously. Let's hope they don't take making the playoffs for granted. Let's hope that the postseason sees a better effort than last year. Let's hope.
For all we have is hope.
Hope and disgrace.