Will Parchman synthesizes through bleeding eyes so that you may be entertained
If you ever wanted to know what a cupcake tastes like after it was shipped to camp, kneaded by a benevolent German for a month and repeatedly sat on by Taylor Twellman, GIRD THY LOINS YE TROUBLEMAKERS. 2013 is here (please refer to the excellent Dr. Sweatpants’ previous TSG starting XI for pointers on what that should look like). First, our XI tonight for the maple syrupy Canadians (who most certainly cannot have our German cupcakes) in a Houston that Eddard Stark would loathe (“WINTER IS… wait, what the hell is this place? Why are my pantaloons sweaty in January?”). Is this like, reverse Mexico? Send the polar bears to Swamp City? Your logic is strange, Sunil Gulati. But I like it.
First of all, Kyle Beckerman has apparently trademarked his name. I have no idea what that means. Secondly, Brad Evans. Interesting. Third time in the last four years he was in Camp Cupcake, and we’ll see if a solid year in Seattle carries over. My immediate guesses: Beckerman sitting deep, Zusi on the right, Davis on the left, EJ top left and Wondo top right. Looks kind of like a 4-4-2 diamond depending on where Evans settles. Probably over Beckerman.
Interesting tidbits: Josh Gatt is on the bench. There’s no way he doesn’t play in the second half, but I totally agree with Davis starting in his place. This is actually a really solid lineup, and more or less what I expected with a few exceptions (Tony Beltran being one, and Evans). I think the biggest surprise is the omission of Mix. Kid can’t seem to catch a break. Without a club, he obviously didn’t make a big enough impression on JK. Need to see big games from Zusi and Gonzalez, who are both on the cusp of a first-team starting gig (Gonzo for Boca and Zusi for Donovan’s corpse). Also very interested to see Besler.
Ah yes, here we are. Glenn Davis aside TAYS! on the play-by-play. The finest purveyor of the pocket square this side of the Mississip. A 4-4-2 diamond as I expected (pat pat), with Evans advanced (?). Prime spot for Feilhaber to sub in late in the second half. If we don’t see him I’m mutinying. He deserves a shot to prove he belongs in the side for qualifiers. I will fight the Mad German for his right. To party.
Good lord there is nobody at this game. Now that ESPN has picked up El Tri through the Hex, we get to be depressed about team support now. Good. Good. More for you and me.
O Canada rings through the BBVA Compass and a flag with a leaf on it flutters in the wind. A flapjack falls into syrup. Somewhere, a solitary hockey goal falls through the ice. A child gets a free checkup.
John Candy does a dirt angel in his grave
A single eskimo cries. I just caught Wondo in the pregame lineup singing the National Anthem with the cheekiest smirk I’ve ever seen on a human. Scrolling through his mind: “God I hate Canada. Did I leave the stove on? No. No, I did not. I’m so damn awesome.
Game time. Lets roll.
‘1 – Already some shakiness from Morrow, who was caught too far up on the left. The fullbacks are probably the shakiest piece of this group (WE. ARE. AMERICA.), so it’s imperative they stay sharpish.
‘3 – Glenn Davis: “Jakovic, living on the edge.” I get the feeling Canada will resemble Patrick Swayze in Point Break all night. Just all screaming and presidents masks and craziness.
‘5 – DID YOU SEE THAT SQUARE PASS FROM THE MATTY BEEZ???? God I want him to be good tonight.
‘6 – Holy mother of DeRo. Catches up to a dangling cross and rips at Sean Johnson, though luckily he zips it right at SeanJean. First shot to the Ice Munchers. Tony Beltran. What. Are. You. Doing. Perk up you monkey. This isn’t the Democratic Republic of Mars.
‘9 – Brad Davis dumps a free kick into Canada’s wall to kill a promising set piece. What? I thought he was perfect?
’11 – Oh what a ball from Beckerman, who drove Davis into the box with just a point-perfect touch. Anyone who thinks Beckerman is useless in the attacking third doesn’t watch him play enough. He’s silk when he wants to be. But Davis’ cross died at Evans. Think that might be a weak link tonight. At least as long as Evans is on, which might not be super long.
’14 – Brad Evans and Tony Beltran need to form a support group. Davis and Zusi are now both pinching in to supplement the lack of facilitation in the middle. This is OK as long as Morrow and Beltran keep pushing high. Against Canada, this will probably work. Against real soccer humans, probably not. I think both are probably just nervous. Might take 20-25 minutes for them to settle down.
’17 – Nick Rimando is the right linesman! Did anybody else see that?? I guarantee you he snuck on the field to slip advice to Tony B. This is like the best/worst buddy cop movie ever made. Someone sign Nick Nolte to play Rimando. This game has been pretty blasé so far. How could you tell?
’21 – Simon Thomas’ clearance just then looked like that four-eyed kid in your 4th grade kickball class who wore green khakis to the field and accidentally kneed a half-mile an hour pitch into his face. I’m pretty sure Canada is that kid all growns up. Possession is 70-30 right now with Brad Evans on the field. Just, you know, FYI.
’25 – Nothing happening at all in the middle right now. Wondo is having to drop too deep to cover for Evans, and Beckerman is (rightly) reticent to step too far up so he can protect his inexperienced center backs. The easiest fix is to replace Evans. If anybody comes off at half, it’s him. Evans is lost in Mordor somewhere asking an orc for directions to Houston.
’33 – This game is the soccer equivalent of a Ben Stein lecture on Ben Stein’s breakfast choices. I HATE.
’35 – Feilhaber comes into this game a rips open the thin veil separating space and time from the feeble machinations of our human minds. Evans puts his feet up, scratches himself, farts.
’37 – NOTHING IS HAPPENING.
’38 – Screw this. I’m looking at cat videos on YouTube. (Fuck yeah, VAN HALEN!)
’40 – Now I’m getting my wife to explain to me how she’s cooking her muffins. HOW SHE’S COOKING HER MUFFINS. She’s chilling the butter right now, you guys. If you were concerned.
’42 – I just Wikipedia’d “Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina.”
’43 – Corner kick! Something’s happening! Noise! Brad Davis kick! And nothing. Superb.
HALFTIME – Guys. I have no words. For God sakes, get Feilhaber on the field. Warm up Gatt. Get Twellman off his rocker. Sub on a half-drunk member of the AO. I don’t care. Get a damn clown if you have to. At least then we can laugh at him clopping around in his huge red shoes trying to link up play. See? I’m laughing now. Thanks for nothing, jerks. I’m getting a muffin.
’46 – Hier kommt DIE FEILHABER. He comes in for Beltran and Gatt for Wondo. 4-3-3 here. More vertical passing into the dangerous areas. More speed and creativity on the pitch. I need to be a damn coach. Brad Evans for the fail. Do we ever see Wondo again?
’47 – I just had a thought: Ian Darke would be completely shredding this game to ribbons right now. Glenn Davis, you’re on blast. Cue up those zingers. Wait, on second though, maybe not. That’s my job. ESPN needs a professional snark-o-meter run by yours truly. It would just me my face occasionally popping up in the left corner mid-game yelling things at everybody. CAN’T WAIT.
’49 – So Brad Evans is at fullback now. The guy you originally employed to pull the creative strings? He’s at fullback. Your creative midfielder. Fullback. Fullback. Just a salad. Just a salad.
’50 – Tays makes his first howler. “I think it’s a credit to this Canada side.” No. No. A thousand times, Pocket Square, no.
’53 – WHOA SOMETHING HAPPENED SORTA! And it was DIE FEILHABER who started the move (AHA!). He plays Johnson through with a silky touch, and EJ finds Davis, whose shot whizzes wide. That was kind of a chance. And Feilhaber started it.
’55 – When Zusi and Davis’ free kicks look like me rain-dropping NBA-range 3’s onto grandmothers at the park, you know it’s been a good night.
’59 – PREDICTION: Will Bruin is going to come on for EJ and he’s going to run around like an epileptic bear and do nothing. As soon as I say that, EJ deposits an Evans cross into the Gulf. You guys, I’m on my game tonight.
’63 – Looks like its Agudelo coming on. Ale Bedoya on for Zusi, who looked really not very good.
’65 – Announced crowd of 11,737 is really happy with their decision to do what they did tonight.
’66 – Benny Feilhaber has been the best player on the field for the US in the second half, and it isn’t particularly close. Floppy-shoed clown guy is a close second.
’70 – Can we just have Benny and DeRo bare knuckle this out to save us all another 20 worthless minutes? Is anyone else playing?
’72 – Josh Gatt runs fast.
’74 – Aha! Bruin for EJ. Now for that epileptic bear thing…
Minutes 75-90 – MINE EYES HAVE SEEN TERRIBLE THINGS. UNSPEAKABLE THINGS.
Let’s cut to the quick, because I don’t want to write any more on this failure pile and you don’t want to read any more about this heaping garbage pit. Winners: my wife’s muffins. Kyle Beckerman (COPYRIGHT). DIE FEILHABER. Clowns. Losers: your eyeballs. Everybody everywhere.
Dear god, please end.