The Fight Recap - It's been a little over 24 hours and while a 3 goal shutout loss always stings, what really caught my eye was the in-game quarrel involving Jackson and Nigel Reo-Coker.
The whole incident started in the 66th minute when Jackson was stopped by NRC and Tony Lochhead's double team. You'll notice the slightest of nudges by NRC but based on Jackson's ensuing fall and Oscar-worthy somersault, he makes it seem as if NRC gave him a right hook to the gut. It appears it was just a moment of frustration by the Brazilian by not being able to beat the double and make it into open space. Run of the mill soccer, right?
Once NRC gains possession, Jackson finds him like a slow heat-seeking missile with revenge on it's mind. As NRC square passes to Nathan Sturgis, Jackson's easily within range to stick his left leg out to deflect the pass, but instead of keeping his right leg back and out of harm's way, he brings it forward and effectively scissors NRC down with what appears to be malicious intent to injure.
Here's where the "drama" escalates.
As NRC struggled to free his leg and pushes down on Jackson (can you blame him?), Jackson takes that as an insult, kicks him from the ground, and stands up to push NRC once again. As the refs arrive, Jackson then headbutts him and then gives him the emasculating slap to the face.
As soon as this incident happened, all I could think of is if MLS ever takes self-defense into account. NRC, like all soccer players, makes a living off his healthy legs and there was no doubt Jackson intended to be reckless there. Sure, you could be a stickler and say that NRC never should've pushed Jackson and kept his cool, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a professional athlete react in a more reserved manner after such an uncalled for challenge.
Frankly, I'd be surprised if NRC didn't file an appeal and have the red card reversed. It also wouldn't be surprising, if Jackson was given a multiple game suspension. Not good for a Toronto side trying to contend for a playoff spot.
One last thing, keep in mind the score is 3-0 at the moment and NRC plays for the league's whipping boy, making Jackson's actions that much more of a low blow. Kudos to Leandro Barrera for coming to the aid of NRC to add to his team-leading "3rd assist" of the season and confronting Jackson, but too bad it doesn't count for fantasy points.
Cubo: Subtitles Not Necessary - Chivas USA has been promoting a contest where fans can win a trip to Guadalajara to watch a CGUAD game in person. The promotion comes in both English and Spanish it's especially good to see Cubo gradually becoming a true bilingual. Well done.
On the other hand, it's a bit regressive to see CUSA still going out of their way to promote CGUAD's interests. Other than the name and colors, I thought we were done with that.
Cubo's 2...er....4 Game Suspension - You'll probably remember Cubo getting a red card against the Galaxy back in late August. He was set to serve a 2 game suspension (an additional game was added) which would've made him available for the Sporting Kansas City game on September 12th, but we have yet to see the Mexican striker back on the field.
According to MLS, suspensions don't count when players aren't available to play and with Cubo away on international duty, he had to wait until he was actually back with the team. We're now looking at a September 27th return, which would mean Cubo would've been away 27 days, or 4 total games. Not good, when it happens to be the face of the franchise.
Captain Marvin? - Hate to admit it, but the name doesn't exactly strike fear or charisma (sorry Marvin's out there). Giving Marvin Chavez the armband for Sunday's game was just an odd choice considering Chavez hasn't shown much in terms of leadership or production this season. It's also a mystery as to why Dan Kennedy didn't go back to getting full ownership of the captaincy once Captain America Carlos Bocanegra went down.
A Luke Moore Reunion - Just for the record, it doesnt make sense to frame this observation as "Moore gets his revenge on CUSA" for the mere fact that he was given an opportunity to play for CUSA after going goalless in Turkey and followed it up by continuing that streak during 6-game stint with CUSA. A true poacher, as exemplified by his 47th minute goal, he never would've worked playing alongside Cubo, but then again, no one else has. That said, glad to see him find success in Toronto and hope he keeps things going.
Go Big or Go Home - One of the many reasons Chelis was so liked in Goatland was because he never minded the risk of losing ugly if it meant the team would have a better chance at scoring goals, winning games, and presenting its fans with a product worth watching (remember that 3-man backline?).
In contrast, Wilmer Cabrera, like his predecessors Robin Fraser and Martin Vasquez, seems to doing the complete opposite. With a budget roster, he's thrown in the towel since day one, preferring to stack the defense and cross his fingers that the opposition makes a mistake. This emphasis on defense and disorganized counters now leaves us with not only seeing long scoreless streaks, but with the inability to stop the opposition from scoring multiple goals on a weekly basis (CUSA has now allowed 3+ goals in their last 5 games and have scored only 2 in their last 10).
I mean, doesn't it feel like deja-vu hearing Cabrera continually reiterate his usual "We're almost there, the guys are trying, it's a process" sentiment in his post-game presser? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Cabrera supporter and feel the problem is bigger than coaching, but adjustments in mentality definitely need to be made, especially when you have a player like Cubo on the roster.
CUSA's 2014 campaign cares too much about not losing instead of focusing on trying to win. Not only has it not worked, but it's definitely not fun to watch. Some will say Cabrera's only working with what he has, but it's not like Chelis had weapons either. In times of struggle, and let's face it we're at rock bottom, people can appreciate some cojones.
It's been a rough season and a rough 10 years. How about throwing the fans a bone these last 6 games and finish with something worth supporting. Why not end this fiasco with a bang.
Or at least try to.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!