WeeFuse’s Weekend Round-Up!
It was only eight short weeks ago that Ross County F.C. were propping up the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table and in danger of losing touch with the rest of the table.
Yet, here we are, in the first week of April and County gone seven matches without a defeat, they have won six of those matches, with only league leaders Celtic having earned more points over the same span of matches. They have done it by scoring early and holding on, they have done it by falling behind and clawing their way back, they have done it at home and away, they have done it against teams in the top half of the table and the bottom half of the table, and more often than not, and most impressively, they have not done it not so much with ease, as with a growing and hard-earned confidence.
I saw this first hand when, despite what the 2-1 final score might have suggested, County ran rough-shod over a Kilmarnock club that was undefeated in its last seven matches and it happened again yesterday when, even with a penalty not given and a goal disallowed they defeated fourth place Dundee United at Tannadice and did it in a way that suggested that they never considered that there could be a different, lesser, outcome. This was not a case of swagger or bravado, but of a growing realization that they belong in the Premiership again next year and more than most of the other clubs in the bottom half of the table.
Most compelling of all, however, is the feeling that Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds may have figured out something that Derek Adams- for all of his successes- never did: how to bring in players at mid-season who can not only do the job, but who the club would like to sign beyond the end of the season. Yes, there have been some forgettable acquisitions- some made by McIntyre, some made before his arrival- but the fact is that there do not need to be sweeping changes made for 2015-2016 if County manage to avoid the drop this year. Boyce, Quinn, Woods, De Vita, Curran, Irvine, Fraser, Reckord, Kiss, and Gardyne only begin a list of players the club would do well to re-sign, extend, buy outright rather than loan, etc.. Some steps have already been taken along these lines already and that is a positive thing. Add to this the return to health- and hopefully form- of Richard Brittain, Rocco Quinn, Ben Frempah, etc. and it might not take much more than a few strategic summer signings to have this club in the top half of the table next season.
Here are the things you need to know about the New England Revolution’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids this weekend in easy to digest sentence fragments.
- Bobby Shuttleworth (above) is quickly becoming one of the best shot stoppers in MLS. He had several “Save of the Week” efforts in this match.
- Colorado coach Pabol Mastroeni looks like a character from a Wes Anderson movie.
- Colorado should officially change its name from “Colorado Rapids” to “Hapless Colorado Rapids,” yeesh are they bad.
- New England may already be a top five MLS club and that’s without Jermaine Jones in the line-up, and he may be back as soon as next weekend.
- Oh, and Juan Agudelo did something…
Let me go ahead and recap that highlight for you because the Rapids announcers don’t seem to impressed: Kelyn Rowe wins the ball on the sideline, see Agudelo making a run, hits a hight deep ball toward him which Agudelo takes out of the air with his left foot extended and then using the outside of his right foot, chips the keeper.