Did I mention blogging would be light yesterday?
My wife and I had an enjoyable day trip to the Twin Cities, capped off by watching my first English Premier League team in live action.
I might have chosen a more competitive venue instead–the young miss would have been excited, perhaps, to see her favorite stateside player. If I had known in advance, I might have booked tickets for that match instead.
As it was, I saw what was a preseason tilt for my favorite overseas team, and they didn’t look like they were clicking at all. Minnesota is considered “second division” in the US. But they took advantage of a miscue in the 8th minute for their first goal. And they put together a pretty passing play off a free kick just before halftime to widen that margin to a final 2-0 score.
Image above: after the game, my wife asked what I was doing walking in the opposite direction from the way in. Swansea defender Chico Flores was signing things, participating in selfies, and chatting with fans like a few of his teammates. “Are you getting an autograph,” my wife asked as she rummaged in her purse for a pen.
“No,” I said. “Let the little kids do that.” We kept walking.
Manager Garry Monk on the result:
Without taking anything away from Minnesota because they deserved the victory. Our energy levels just weren’t there tonight. But while we always want to win because winning breeds confidence, we can’t let the result detract from a very successful two weeks for the boys. They have worked extremely hard and the level we are at is very good because of that training. But perhaps the 90 minutes tonight was a bit too much because of the work we’ve been doing.
I’ve been very hard on them and enjoyed seeing them sweat. The boys know that if they hurt now and they get through the tough periods then they’ll be fitter for it and in a better place to go into the season.
I saw a lot of work from Jonjo Shelvey in midfield, but not much result. The local press thought the Swans had much better of it in terms of possession. Maybe true. But the home side pulled everybody back to defend, and didn’t hassle the Swans on the ball on the other side of the center line. And they didn’t need to. It was a great lockdown from the home team, and they took full advantage of their two best chances.
Swansea kept targeting Nathan Dyer on the right side in the first forty-five minutes with very little to show for it except throw-ins and goal kicks. I did think they had nine corner kicks to maybe none for Minnesota. But there was nothing like the threats I’ve seen on Premier League set pieces from tv this past year. In the second half, there were a few more combination passing sequences to watch. But the home team held and I recall only one save all game for the Minnesota keeper. And he didn’t have to move for it.
Hopefully for my team, they were tired, and that was all. I didn’t see their new player, Bafetimbi Gomis as a capable replacement for Wilfried Bony, last season’s top scorer. Last year, Bony got a lot of balls and a lot of attention in the penalty area, and helped create some havoc. Gomis had very few touches, comparatively. He did talk with fans after the game, not far from Mr Flores.
Got home by 2AM. Construction on the interstate. Stopped at a fast food place that shall go unnamed. Thought I would pick up a quick coffee for the road. They had run out and needed to brew a new pot. Nice.