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The Monday After Vancouver: Succulent Strikes

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Winning is fun. Winning when you absolutely need to win is more fun.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I love being wrong about players when I say they're terrible, even if just for a bit.

Don't get me wrong: Je-Vaughn Watson isn't about to turn into Michael Essien or anything, but as Drew pointed out, his last few games are a marked improvement. Yes, we've been through this bit before when earlier in the season he didn't look all that terrible and in fact made a few nice contributions. But let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. He might go back to being the ol' Watson next game, but for now Mr. Watson's sublime goal quickly answered Vancouver's opening strike in a way that is really hard to replicate.

There are few things more crushing than an early goal, and even fewer things more rousing and invigorating than the quick reply goal. Just as quickly as the other team's momentum builds and they start to believe, it just as quickly evaporates and turns into frustration.

I'm not sure what possessed Watson to play with such confidence, but that confidence is a major factor in what is usually lacking in his game. His lack of commitment to either tackle or attack is one of the things that make him ineffective, and that was absent this match. It showed.

But enough about Watson, as there are no less than two other goal of the week candidates, and one of them will certainly win.


Mauro's volley? Perfect technique, and it's hard to find a nicer goal this week outside of Jair's goal. We're paying Mauro big bucks to be more of a playmaker and an engine, so goals like that are always a bonus.

There's nothing really to be said about Jair's goal. The only thing that comes out of my mouth when I try to describe it is some sort of primal, ecstatic, guttural noise. Arms are flapped wildly as well, as I try to describe the angelic qualities of the ball's flight.

I know some naysayers will say "harhar but Ousted was so far off his line" but that only shows that they've never kicked a soccer ball in their life. Getting that ball to fly on that exact path, from that distance, is so far beyond the realm of normal skill that it isn't fair to peg it on Ousted. Ousted didn't have any reason to believe anyone would try to take a shot from the middle of the field, much less get the ball go in. It's not uncommon for a keeper to be well off his line should a break occur and he needs to charge the ball. Ousted was not awfully positioned.

So yeah, that was a ridiculous goal. Goal of the year candidate, and it wouldn't surprised me if he won.

The goals aren't the whole story though. The team looked different. It's not true to say things are now solved, as Dallas has a big hole to climb out of. It's a good way to start though. Beating Vancouver was a minimum requirement to save the season. Now that the minimum requirements have been met, it's time to start ticking off the boxes that involve beating good teams and maintaining momentum.

Taming the Rapids

Colorado is a team I envy for many reasons.

They stole our MLS Cup from us, or it sure feels that way. The 2010 Rapids are referred to as (by American media types) one of the worst teams to ever win the MLS Cup. It's no secret that many FCD fans are bitter about how that went down. I want to hate them.

But with Oscar in charge, and the way they are doing business nowadays, it just isn't possible. Not to mention I have met some pretty swell Colorado fans on twitter and on blogs. I know that members of the DBG have become BFF with many of the folks over in C38.

Gone is the UFC team masquerading as a soccer team. They have been replaced with talented kids and a few misfits. Chris Klute, Dillon Powers, Clint Irwin, and even moonshooter Deshorn Brown are all likable for various reasons, and all of those reasons involve Colorado giving them a chance. Who doesn't love the an underdog that values hidden talent?

This weekend though, it's war.

Dallas is fighting for its playoff survival and it needs every last point. Mauro Diaz, David Ferreira (he has also looked better), Erick, and Castillo will need to look as good as they have been. If this team continues this trend, it could be a great sign of things to come.