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Sunday Morning Scribe: Dallas Musings


Sunday morning and the coffee's flowing, but while my brain is busy trying to absorb enough caffeine to help me make it until noon, I'll bat out some keyboard-assisted footy drivel amid phone solictations, random dog barking, and the steady stream of a ten-year-old's exhortations to come see "...the best Youtube clip ever!"

It's all fractured moments of clarity punctuated by the usual comings and goings of daily life -- as long as the "goings" aren't left on the kitchen floor by the dog, I figure I'm ahead of the game.

Watching the WC - Dallas match last night, it's painfully obvious to me that the soccer community needs a number of new metrics if we are to better assess the game. Sure there's stats galore if you're into the superficial aspects of any match such as SOG, FK, YC, FC, FS, and POS...but what about the truly vital stats, the ones that actually reveal the experience that was the game? These keys to understanding are so cutting-edge that even OPTA doesn't acknowledge their existence. So without further ado, let's take a closer look, shall we? New for 2012 are three new metrics:

  • GAGA: Giveaways (that are subsequently) Given Away. Since the idea for this one hit me somewhere around the 27' mark last night, I'm forced to confess that I don't have much in the way of accurate match data to provide, but I'm pretty damn sure that the Whitecaps recovered possession only to turn it over to Dallas immediately thereafter more often than a 15 year-old boy "thinks about" Selena Gomez each day.
  • NPSTF: Number of Pellets Stuck to Face. The easy winner last night was FC Dallas forward Brek Shea. Dropped at one point by Martin Bonjour, I think. As he rose to his feet again, the cameras zoom in to show the big Texan's long sweaty blonde locks nicely framing the 208 black turf pellets clinging to his alabaster cheeks. (I'd have used albino-like, but apparently you can't use the "a-word" in Vancouver)
  • NTWSFTV: Number of Times the Wife Stands in Front of the TV. We didn't buy a 52" HDTV so that I could admire her latest find at Lee Valley while she stands directly in front of the screen. Note to self: apologize to wife later today for snapping at her, acknowledge hurt feelings, express undying love, and see if she wants to come look at 70" screens with me after she's done being mad.

Taking a Tumble

4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, 4-1-4-1: Like a master safecracker, Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie has been turning the tumblers methodically through the young season, looking for the right combination to get the best performance from his men on the pitch. Saturday's 4-1-4-1 look, complete with a revamped personnel package, seems like a promising choice for the Caps whenever they're without big target man Eric Hassli. The last time the Whitecaps went with something similar was in Philadelphia, when Hassli was out due to a foot injury.

Shea All Agrumble

Whitecaps' RB Y. P. Lee continues to impress. At just 5' 9", he was given the gargantuan (literally) task of shutting down Dallas' left mid Shea, who stands 6' 3". Lee's lockdown was so impressive that the visitors moved Shea over to the right side in the second half.

Next up, Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew, Apr. 28

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