USL Eastern Conference Championship at Louisville last night between the Lou City Purple and Red Bull II.
|And so it begins.|
|Ownby (of course) gets this ball, lets it bounce, spins, and back-kicks it past the player in front of him and under the goalie.|
|Intercepted throw in.|
|Greg Ranjitsingh - the eventual hero of our saga.|
2. That crowd went the most nuts I've ever seen anybody get at a soccer match.
3. The refs are pretty lucky that Lou City won because otherwise they were going to need a National Guard escort back to their cars.
4. The refs were generally allowing a pretty rough game to be played and that favored Red Bull II because they were playing much rougher than the Purple.
5. I don't know that the Red Bull player shoving the Lou City guy down before he could shoot in the box was a penalty or the RB guy coming down on the Purple player's head with his cleats was, but shoving a guy head first into the wall is a major penalty in HOCKEY and the ref refused to call it.
6. Over 10,000 people at the stadium and it was rockin'.
7. The Oscar phenomenon: For the matches I've been coming up for, I've noticed that the people in my section absolutely love Oscar Jimenez. They root for the others, but they are obviously fond of Oscar. Today, I saw why. While all the other players were still celebrating people in my section flooded the rail and he came over and shook and slapped hands with fans back and forth across the section (including mine). And it wasn't just some fan service thing. It was plain to see that he was there to share the joy of it all.
8. The Red Bull had a suspicious number of "cramps" at times the Purple started getting on a roll in the second half. At one point, when the ref wouldn't stop play for one guy down another went down and play got stopped. The crazy faithful were holding up red cards, but the ref never did.
9. Holy cow, the Red Bull put in a man so big in the second half that the people across the aisle from me instantly started calling him Gigantor. He wasn't fast and he wasn't particularly skilled in ball handling, but he was a head taller than everyone else and bounced every single ball that was in the air back up field from his defensive position. It took Lou City a good portion of the second half to realize that nothing in the air was going to go their way and adapt its offense to go around him.
10. For the last three Lou City matches in the playoffs I've driven 4+ hours to come up and watch the match. How do I get rewarded? The Championship game is going to be MONDAY, 13 November 2017 at 9:00 p.m. So, I guess next weekend's minor league money will be spent at the Knoxville Ice Bears or Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. Unfortunately, I doubt I'm the only person who will miss the game because of its date and time. The people walking out behind me were locals and they were not happy because, y'know what, THEY HAVE JOBS AND SCHOOL and didn't want to come to a match starting that late on a weekday.
11. Up to this gaff, the USL has run a far better playoff than the MLS. Let's face it, the only reason people are watching the MLS playoffs, with their dumb two game setup and poor matches, is to see if the Crew and its fans can stick it to the Scumbag Owner who bought the team in bad faith and is trying to steal it from them. #SaveTheCrew And if it can't be saved in the MLS save the name and the old, cool logo (the owner can have the doodle) and bring them to the USL (the better league anyway).