I've added the date to the title of this Monday post because I had a look at my post archives, and it has become awfully difficult to make sense of ever since I essentially stopped posting on all days but Mondays. I hope this will help. If not, I'll have to try to get more regular with my posting.
Speaking of keeping regular, I'm drinking coffee right now, and I'd give anything to be drinking out of the mug pictured above. I've always had a fascination with Stalin (not in a bad way) and I'd love to be the proud owner of a mug with such a humourous and puntastic use of a murderous dictator's name.
On to the soccer.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark
Actually, nothing is particularly rotten that I know of. But when my friends and I were travelling there, we pulled out this line with the measliest of excuses.
Something most definitely not rotten (I guess it was ripe, or maybe even still green) was Atiba Hutchinson's performance for Danish giants FCK over the weekend. Trailing 1-0 late in the 2nd half, Hutchinson scored twice, 10 minutes apart, to give the Copenhagen side the win.
I'm told the goals were rather nice to look at, so anyone with links to a video clip should post them forthwith.
All's well that ends well
The first round of the USL-1 playoffs ended well for both the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact. Vancouver entered the proceedings as the lowest seeded of all playoff teams, with Montreal just above them in the standings. Both faced an impressive Carolinian opponent: Montreal taking on the southerners from Charleston, and Vancouver taking their chances with the northern-based team and improbably-named RailHawks.
The two-legged aggregate scores were Vancouver 1 - Carolina 0, and Montreal 4 - Charleston 1.
- On Thursday, a late goal by phenom Randy Edwini-Bonsu (see beginning at 2:30 in this clip) saved the full three points for the Whitecaps at Swangard. They then managed a 0-0 draw in Cary which included a first-half penalty-save by Jay Nolly.
- Montreal started scoring goals on Thursday at Stade Saputo and didn't stop on Sunday. Scorers throughout the two-legged match were David Testo, Rocco Placentino, Nevio Pizzolitto, and Tony Donatelli, whose surnames, when combined, sound like a potent all-Italian law firm.
The comedy of errors
Though they managed not to lose on the weekend, Toronto FC did find new ways to frustrate fans. Needing points whenever and however they could get them in order to make a playoff berth somewhat less unlikely, TFC twice blew a one-goal lead before settling for a 2-2 draw in Chicago.
Nick Garcia, in particular, deserves to be singled out for his part in the two Chicago goals, though Stefan Frei was caught in no man's land on the second as well.
Not surprisingly, a well-known TFC blogger is finding ways to spin this positively. For the sake of Julian de Guzman, Ali Gerba, Nana Attakora and the few other TFC players I like, let's hope he's right.
Much ado about nothing (Eredivisie report)
It was rather a nothing weekend in the Dutch top tier. As is becoming far too commonplace, AZ were losers, while the other three of the big four -- Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV -- picked up 3 points.
In the pool competition, I dare say that I didn't look too closely, but as far as I can tell, none of the selected scorers found the back of the net this weekend.
With naught else to write about, how about some Canadian content: Marcel de Jong played 90 minutes in a 4-1 loss by Roda to RKC Waalwijk, while Jacob Lensky continued his impressive run with 90 minutes of his own for FC Utrecht who beat my boys AZ 1-0.
Canadian soccer blog post I enjoyed this week: I linked a few of the posts I enjoyed this week above, so do yourself a favour and click on them.
Non-soccer blog post I enjoyed this week: Fucked Up nooit in The New York Times
This post from a Dutch music blog takes a survey of how problematic it has become for the 'newspaper of record' to discuss this rising indie popcore act without offending their no F-bomb editorial policy. The band's recent Polaris prize triumph makes the balancing act all the more difficult.