Pat Onstad

Goalkeeper's log 2004-II

the inside of the post -- we came in at half unrewarded.

One of the biggest differences in levels of play all over the world is the ability to finish chances. It is something the American team has improved on dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years and is the reason that they have become successful on the world stage. There are many other countries in CONCACAF that are just as technical, but their ability to finish opportunities is not near the level of the United States, Costa Rica or Mexico. Hence the success of these teams in recent World Cups. As usual, I digress.

The biggest worry I have in a game like this past weekend is the missed opportunities. In the back of my mind I am wondering if those are the only opportunities we are going to get and if so will we get punished for not finishing them. Sure enough only five minutes into the second half New England got on the board. This is where self-doubt usually comes into a team's psyche, but this team has never blamed one another nor not believed in one another. That is a credit to the excellent character of this squad. As they say, "We Believe," and six minutes later we were ahead, 2-1, and eventually 3-1 winners. Second half linescore: three chances, three goals. It's a funny game.

Congratulations to Dwayne De Rosario and Arturo Alvarez for their first goals of the year and special congratulations go to Brian Ching for his goal on the same pitch were he suffered that terrible Achilles rupture eight months ago. Well done, Brian.

It was great to have Chris Brown join us on the trip. He has an accurate and deceptively hard shot. I found out the hard way by picking a few shots out of my net on Friday. He is going to make us a better team and also make the battle for playing time even more competitive.

Although the other results did not really go our way we did move up in the table. It is important not to be chasing teams throughout the season, so hopefully with another good week of training and a continued improvement in our performance, Saturday will give us an opportunity to gain some more points.

Au revoir, diary.


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