Nov 082013
 

I have tried to delay writing this review because I wanted to be able to write it without mentioning the referee.

But I can’t. Not completely, anyway.

The Stats

HESC 01B White

West Houston Inter Milan

1

Goals

2

5

Shots

9

5

Shots on Goal

5

4

Corner Kicks

2

8

Fouls

1

0

Yellow Cards

1

 

These stats are far from perfect. There were scrambles in both boxes, especially W. Houston’s and especially late in the game, where I just couldn’t tell if we had taken shots or who it was that had done so.

The Referee

To say he was perplexing is to put it mildly. I really don’t get what he was doing. Calling the handball on Alex? From 20 yards away on a field where the lines have been almost completely washed away and the AR is not signaling for an infraction? That set the day in motion. If I told you that that Express had a player exit the game with a bloody nose while W. Houston had a player receive a yellow card (on a different play), and then told you the fouls were 8:1, would you guess it was Express that was whistled 8 times? We’ve struggled with referee decisions before, and I’ve always said we have to play “better than the referee”, but I have to admit this game made it almost impossible to do so.

Almost.

The truth was, even though you could argue the referee was highly favorable to West Houston, we had plenty of chances to at least tie the game up, but we weren’t sharp enough, or fast enough, or clinical enough on the final play. We have to be hungrier for goal than we showed on this day. So I do feel that in many ways the referee gave the game to our opponents with his calls (phantom handballs and elbows, when our players are elbowed hard enough for blood to be produced and suddenly he’s blind; and the handball called on Theo was also ridiculous), we had the ability to steal that win back and we didn’t do so.

Soccer in Houston’s Three Stars of the Game

  1. João Moreira – No one can claim João doesn’t get stuck in. He fights for everything, he calls for every ball to be passed to him. But he’s not being selfish, as his perfect assist for Luis’s goal shows—he wants to make things happen for the team, not for himself. Great work from João.
  2. Sean Lau – I guess it’s a sign of respect when an opponent elbows you in the face because he can’t get past you without doing so. A typically strong day in right back for Sean, with no help from the referee.
  3. Kenji Chevray – I thought Kenji had, offensively, one of his strongest games of the season. I am used to seeing him fight from his right wing position to stop the other team from scoring, and attempt to pass well when he has the ball, but I felt both his decision-making and his confidence to go forward in attack took a big step forward this game, and that it did so against a strong opponent is a great sign. Well done from Kenji.

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