It was not a good weekend for the house teams here at the Tanner Ba’. Let’s start across the pond in Aberdeen…
Ross County F.C. v. Aberdeen F.C.
…where Ross County F.C., winless in their first six matches this season, made it an unlucky seven as they lost 3-0 to hosts Aberdeen. So that’s seven losses to open the season and a goal different of -15 (twice as bad as the club with the second worst goal differential), and, of course, sole possession of last place in the Scottish Premiership. Descriptions of County’s performance against Aberdeen have included words like, “listless, “unfocused,” and “poor.” And those are just the descriptions I can post on a family-oriented website such as this. Oh, and Scott Boyd got hurt, because why wouldn’t our most consistent player in a weak back line get hurt? Also, County’s only legitimate goal scoring threat this season, Liam Boyce, never even gets off the bench?!
I’m willing to take another swig of the club Kool-Aid and say that the new managerial team of Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds simply need more time to turn the club around, but the club’s next three matches are against Dundee F.C., who lost for the first time this season over the weekend, Inverness Caldeonian Thistle F.C., who are tied on points with first place Dundee United F.C., and Celtic F.C.. It is, unfortunately, entirely conceivable that they could arrive at St. Mirren Park in Paisley to play the Saints (currently second bottom in the table) on October 25 with zero points from their first ten matches of 2014-2015. At that point it relegation may be mathematically closing in on them.
That said, County have a chance to get back on their feet on Tuesday night when the face Championship side Hibernian F.C. at home in the third round of the League Cup. Part of me hopes that a few good performances in the various cups will rebuild the players belief in themselves and that there will be a knock-on effect to the club’s performance in league matches. Then again, any further involvement in any of the various cups could also stretch even more thinly a roster that is already- obviously- struggling mightily with the demands of the Scottish top flight.
New England Revolution v. Columbus Crew
Despite what Revolution color man Paul Mariner said, this was an ugly, chippy match. If there was any justice it would have ended in a 0-0 draw and all parties concerned would have moved on to their next matches. Instead, there was a lot of yelling, pushing and shoving, and bad officiating (in both directions) by referee Ted Unkle, who lost control of the match early and never really got it back. The only bright spots for either side were a few spectacular saves by New England’s Bobby Shuttleworth and a sublime free kick from Columbus’ Federico Higuain just after half time that gave the home side the win.
Luckily events elsewhere involving clubs in the Eastern Conference generally softened the blow for the Revolution and they remain firmly in the playoffs ahead of their away match in Kansas City this Friday. A win against Sporting would jump the Revolution up to second place, tied on points with SKC.
I guess I could write a little more about the Revolution’s match, but frankly it was tough to sit through the first time and I have to go grocery shopping.