In my travels as a supporter, my often negative tone when writing or talking about the Goats has always been evident. This examiner doesn’t hide them. I say it as it is. I don’t like something, you’ll know about it. So I get called annoying. So others tell me to be quiet. Others proclaim their pity for me and even dare me to jump to their side of the hall.
I made a commitment long ago to this team. Even when I had every right to make the jump across the hall, I didn’t. Like the truest sports supporter, you make your bed, and lie in it for the rest of your life (unless the team is contracted or relocated and what not but that’s a topic for another day).
This team sucks!
Kick the ball, stupid!!
Do your job!!!
What was that??!!
Who the hell do you think you are??!!!
...All things I’ve said, and am entitled to say, while watching and supporting the team be it in person or on the other side of the screen. I’ve paid for my tickets (well, some of them). Any person holding that piece of paper can form whatever opinion that they want to form. No one has to agree. It’s your right to say it whatever it may be. Blind support does not equal support. So when the team trades away a player for money, or releases him for no reason, I stop for a second to scratch my head. Do I get upset? Yes. Can I do anything about it once it’s done? No. Can I complain about it? Darn straight.
The Goats make it hard for me to care about them. Does it mean I support the team any less? Of course not. Like a glutton for punishment, I come back for more. Still though, pointing out their shortcomings and ineptitude should be seen as a sign that I care and not that of a "hater". Speaking of shortcomings and ineptitude, they don’t explain themselves when it comes to player movements. They don’t service the fans (what little of us remain). We can’t see them on TV unless they are on Unimas. This examiner has to look at the screaming mug of a neighbor’s player high in the sky everyday driving home from work. Where is the similar promotion for the Goats (it was being done a couple of years ago)? Can’t grow the fanbase (or stop it from shrinking) if you don’t tell people that you are playing, or that you exist. The Goats appear to be as irrelevant as can be. The neighbors are far from perfect (15 seconds of TV news time, small blurbs in the newspaper, no championship parades, etc… all in a city of 4 million) but people know they exist. Even if only in brief passing. They might even be able to name a player or two. Their average attendance in the 20,000 range is respectable (though for a back to back champion it should be better). Despite opposition from The Clippers, Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, Ducks, Angles, USC and UCLA, they’ve managed to shuffle their way into the crowded sports market that is Los Angeles. When people are asked about Chivas, they think about Guadalajara. Cry all you want about building an identity and what have you, but it’s the truth. You know that truth, the one deep down in places you don't talk about at parties.
Those who have supported this team have endured a lot in the last few years. Pressure from friends, other fans, and even family to just give up and move on. Yet rather than moving on, we continue on, even if the inevitable end is near (which this examiner believes to be the case). We remain, lighting the lone candle and beating the drum relentlessly through the night as we slowly go down with the ship together.
Portland – History was on their side today. After sweeping the Timbers last year (twice in Portland) the Goats had shown that winning at Jeld Wen Field was a possibility. Of course that was practically a completely different team then. So how would this one fare? Would it build on what last year’s team had started?
Advertisement Sadly, no. The same team that showed up in April continues to appear in May. Two weeks in, and they have already been out-scored 7-0. Today’s first goal came from Costa Rican International, Rodney Wallace, on a text book counter-attack. 1-0 to the Timbers. And that’s how the 1st half would end. The worst was yet to come.
The 2nd half saw Jose Correa replace Giovanni Casillas. Newest Goat Martin Ponce (who I at first thought was Miguel Angel Ponce for some reason) made his debut as a 2nd half substitute, replacing Marvin Iraheta. By the 65th minute, Jose Rivera had replaced Tristan Bowen. Unfortunately the added offense was not enough as the Timbers made it 2-0 a mere 5 minutes later. The Timbers would slice through the non-existent defensive line to set up Diego Valeri. Goal number 3 for Portland came courtesy of Will Johnson as stoppage time started.
“It’s tough to go through, but we can either have our heads down or keep fighting,” defender Steve Purdy-Ramos told MLSsoccer.com. “Next week at home, we have to get a result. That’s the bottom line. These things happen in the league; you go through your ups and downs."
If 3-0 wasn’t enough to make any Goats supporter do a facepalm, then the embarrassing shot of Mario de Luna shoving a ball boy (regardless of who was in the right) certainly made you do a facepalm. The team already gets the worst press in the league. Shoving kids and getting a yellow card won’t do the team, or its supporters any favors.
So what’s next for our train-wreck……errr…. I mean team? Real Salt Lake comes to the Rental (it’s what I’m calling the Stub Depot Palace) next week. They seem to have the Goats beat everywhere, so set your expectations to low. No TV as always, and the free video stream on cdchivasusa.com is not reliable. So get out to the stadium and support the team. Tickets are adequately priced, and the “El Super” chain of markets may have vouchers for free tickets with your grocery purchase.