Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sign You Should FREAK OUT, Man.

Contributing Editor Graham Fox

With the losing start to Sporting Kansas City’s season, I’ve noticed a lot of people are starting to freak out. People are calling for Vermes head, everyone in the starting lineup is being questioned (except Jimmy Nielson), and in general, fans are FREAKING OUT man.

Fortunately, the reasons to not freak out are plentiful. There are plenty of games to go including lots of home games, other teams have played more games than us and they’ve all had the chance to get points at home, Omar Bravo will be back soon, the forwards seem potent, and there’s the opening of a brand new stadium to look forward to. Heck, if Sporting had won instead of lost to Vancouver they would be mid-table and there would be a feeling of cautious optimism instead of impending doom.

So if being bottom of the table after playing 5 away games isn’t the right time to freak out, when should you?

Times it’s OK to Freak Out About Your Team

1. Anytime you lose by more than 4 goals.
Losing a natural part of any team sport. Obviously, sometimes you win, sometimes you draw, and sometimes you lose. However, some losses are giant red flags that something is fundamentally wrong with the team. Anytime you lose by 5 or 6 goals, either heads are going to roll, ticket refunds will be announced, mass apologies are on their way, or the team will live in denial and call it a fluke.

No matter how the team perceives the loss, there are some serious, serious problems that aren’t being solved.

2. Anytime your leading goal scorer is a defender.
There are really only a few positions that should be your leading goal scorer. 1) A forward or 2) Some type of really good attacking midfielder. Everyone else should contribute. In fact, the more the goals are spread around a team the better. However, when a defender leads your team in goals scored there are big problems with your attack. With a defender leading, there’s no way anyone on your team is winning the Golden Boot this year.

3. Anytime your players fight with each other on the pitch.

Communication and teamwork is the key to a winning team. But when teammates start communicating with their fists, well, something is very very wrong.

4. You have a very low shots and shots converted numbers.

Just because you don’t put many shots on goal doesn’t mean you have a bad team. We’ve all seen games where one team has 15 shots and the other has 2, yet the team with 2 scored on each shot. However, when you can’t get a shot off and when you do, the shot hits small children running around on the upper concourse, there are some serious problems brewing.

5. Your defense is giving up goals faster than Toronto goes through coaches.

Good teams are built on a stingy defense. A solid back-line keeps a team in the race for a playoff spot even when goals are hard to come by. They give the team somewhere to lean when all the goal scorers are injured or they are in the midst of a long road trip. But if your defense is making catastrophic back passes and waiting for the other person to clear the ball, you are in for one long sad season.

6. The whole management team has been replaced with foreign coaches.
While this doesn’t necessarily hold true in other leagues, there is no sign that tells you you’re about to have a horrible, horrible season like replacing all the coaching staff with foreign staff members who don’t have any Major League Soccer experience.

This one is so bad you can pretty much write off an entire season. Get ready for some serious depression as you wait for year two. If you’re unlucky, they’ll fire him after the inevitably bad first year and then replace him with another foreign coach with 0 MSL experience!

7. The coach starts trying wild formation and player changes.
Well if a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3 aren’t working, and we’ve tried a 5-3-1-1 what if we just put everyone in a 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 built with a combination of our youth team and reserve team to form a human centipede?

8. You have a player/coach.
How often does that work out?

9. Tell me your “freak out” signs.
What signs tell you the season has taken a horrible, horrible turn and has in fact been turning horrible lo these many months?

If you’re freaking out, give the Random Rab track below a listen and take a deep breath. He’s touring the US with Shpongle right now, so you might get the chance to see him live if you get on it now! Plus you’d get to see the now legendary Shpongle and newly legendary Shpongletron.

The Riddle

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Anonymous James Starritt said...

I'm still freaking out because the Sportings are giving up goals faster than Mo Johnson makes bad trades. Leaking on average 2.4 goals a game and with the next big thing being Julio Cesar ack! Watch him get a start over Besler today ...


11:55 AM  

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