Goalkeeper's Log: Here goes nothing

Hello and welcome to Goalkeeper's Log 2004-1. (Oops! My Star Trek side is coming out again.) Our wonderful media relations department approached me to write this weekly diary. When Jed Mettee asked if I would write a column of 500 words once every two weeks, I agreed. Then Seth Burton came up to me the following day thanking me for agreeing to write a weekly column of 750 words each week! Great media "relations" guys!

I was wondering how to write this when it struck me that this must be a huge honor. I mean there are two Stanford graduates in the locker room, a five-time MLS Champion and a Nike poster boy (Arturo Alvarez - I bet you thought I meant Landon Donovan!). However, I guess I could look at it from a different angle: we do have three Santa Clara graduates (did any of them graduate?), an E-Dog, a Great Dane and a Beast. So what better than to choose a Canadian, eh? Here goes nothing ...

Dear Diary,

Round two of MLS is over and we have yet to win or score a goal in free play. I would have thought a game between two attacking teams would produce some goals but that makes three 0-0 ties in the past five games against the Chicago Fire. It must be the great goaltending! I'm a firm believer that when you go down to 10 men that any points you can take away from the game are well-deserved. However, it was our home opener and a game we wanted, so the feeling in the dressing room was a little gloomy.

The week leading up to the Chicago game was a little disjointed with all the injuries we have been suffering on and off the field. Troy Dayak and Ramiro Corrales were questionable starters right up to Friday and a few others are nursing knocks.

The first half we gave Chicago too much time and they exploited the space in behind our defenders. This caused us a few problems, but we adjusted at halftime and limited their opportunities. I have to thank Troy and Wes Hart for their tremendous headers in injury time - both those clearances saved a valuable point for us.

I must admit that I was disappointed in the attendance, but definitely not the noise of the crowd. They were loud and behind us from the moment we stepped on the field for the introductions. It makes a huge difference when our fans are behind us, especially in our tight venue where visiting teams hate to play. I hope they continue to get behind their team.

We had an optional practice on Monday. Being one of the older (oldest) players, that usually means I might or might not attend. On some teams I have been on, "optional" means "do not attend," but on this team it seems as if the majority of players come out. The training on an optional day is usually a little more relaxed than a scheduled practice. The "Boss" (Dom - head coach Dominic Kinnear - hates that) keeps an upbeat session which always ends with some sort of shooting. It can become competitive, especially when the goalkeepers continue to dominate the shooting sessions!

Tuesday and Wednesday are normal session days and we travel Thursday to Boston. We train Friday and then play on Saturday on Fox Sports Net in the evening. The Chicago performance was a lot better than the D.C. United game so we should take some confidence that we are moving in the right direction. If we continue to improve our performances I'm sure the results will reflect our efforts.

Goodbye, beloved diary.

- Pat