Road Report: Highs and lows ...
June 3, 2008
Following a two-game road trip filled with highs and lows, defender Justin Thompson checks in with his report from Montreal and Rochester that includes a personal account of his first goal of the season.
Here is the second edition of Justin's Road Report:
Thursday, May 29 – 6 a.m.
Here we are on our second road trip of the season... We head off to Montreal with retribution and lots of goals on our minds! It's been a rough couple of weeks, but we know that tough times don't last, tough people do!
Friday, May 30 - 1 p.m.
Our hotel's close proximity to the new Saputo Stadium allowed us to check out the venue prior to our match tonight. And boy, were we ever impressed! Hats off to the Montreal Impact; it's nice to see another organization in our league with the infrastructure and ambition equal to our own. We won last year in Montreal 1-0 after being out-played and out-chanced. However a gutsy performance with our backs to the wall saw us smash and grab three points. Montreal only has seven points from seven games and for a team with high expectations, we know things will change for them very quickly. We need to make sure that their luck doesn't change until after we're back over the border!
Saturday, May 31 – 12 a.m.
Get in!!! Professional sports are all about winning, and that's exactly what we did tonight! We felt our game plan went off without a hitch in the first half … We tried to turn their defenders early with long balls, which created space in the middle of the park for our playmakers to express themselves. It paid off when we finally got our first set-piece goal of the season! It was Scotty (Thompson) who launched a long throw into my head which I was able to flick into the danger area of their box. After a poor clearance from their defender, and some good blocking skills by Bags, Brownie calmly volleyed it home for a 1-0 half time lead. The second half was very different as their desperation forced them to throw all kinds of attackers forward and we ended up on the back foot, defending for our lives for the rest of the game. It wasn't pretty and we can't rely on that performance, but in the end, we got the job done!
Saturday, May 31 – 9 p.m.
We arrived into Rochester at 5:30 a.m. this morning! It's safe to say that we all spent most of the day catching some shut-eye as it was hard to come by on the bus ride... not to mention the five-hour card game at the back of the bus! We did a short training session this afternoon to shake the legs out and then headed out for a team dinner. It seems like the boys are in good spirits and I'm optimistic that we can get a win tomorrow night and put us back on top of the table.
Sunday, June 1 – 10 p.m.
Well, that didn't go according to plan. We lost 2-1 tonight in what can only be described as a disappointment. We came out feeling good, but we lost the coin toss and started the game playing into a gusty wind. The elements made it very difficult for us to clear our lines and it paid off for Rochester when they went ahead on 14 minutes. In the second half, Gregor played in a great free-kick which deflected to Miguel Guante who in turn redirected it onto the Rochester net. Their keeper made a reaction save and I was in the right place at the right time to smash home the equalizer. We weren't playing our best stuff, but we got back into the game and thought we had done enough to at least get a draw. We were dealt a cruel blow late in the game when again Delicate, who had caused us problems all day, provided a cheeky pass to Johnny Menyonger who slotted home the game winner.
The boys are all pretty disappointed as too many of us had a poor game tonight. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make the play-offs and we're still on target to achieve that. It's difficult to pinpoint, but we seem to be showing pockets of really great stuff, but not consistently enough. Having said that, we've still been able to get points even when we're not playing our best football. So, its onwards and upwards from here with two huge games this weekend starting with Minnesota on Miller Lite Thursday, and then away to the league leading Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Thanks for your continued support and we hope to see you at PGE Park on Thursday!!
Posted by: Justin Thompson