By all accounts my playing career could be described as a conservative stay at home right back that was smart with defensive positioning, a good one v one defender, an above average passer of the ball, and a guy that may or may not have been known as a rougher player. There is nothing special in that description though…so where does my credibility come from then?
Clearly it isn’t Wikipedia…it has me listed as winning only three MLS Cups…. apparently the author of that page didn’t feel I deserved the fourth ring for some reason. It obviously doesn’t stem from the fact that it took Rob Stone, Cristian Miles, and Thomas Rongen six years to learn that my name wasn’t in fact Craig WAY-BELL! It certainly doesn’t stem from the fact that I was once introduced to one of my teammates fiancé as Scott Waibel….even though we had played together for a year and a half. (don’t worry Albright, it was a simple mistake and I’ll never tell a soul)
This years MLS cup is finally one that the “critics” should love. It presents two offensive teams that play quickly and aggressively going forward. Both teams boast great weapons in the attacking half and very consistent and solid defensive presences in their back lines. Both teams have great role players that tenaciously go about their jobs and play with venom on both sides of the ball in an effort to free up the “stars” within their elevens. Both teams are coached by remarkably confident, organized, and calculated coaches that have the courage stick to their guns, even when the going looks tough. So the question is, what separates these teams from one another at the end of the day and why do I think that KC will win the Cup in the end?
Before you RSL fans get too upset, hear me out! I know you have the better big game goalkeeper. I love the match up of the midfields and I do believe RSL will have the majority of the success in the midfield third. The problem is, that in the end, I believe that KC will end up with the better scoring chances and be more goal dangerous on the day. As much as the middle of the field may define the possession advantage, I just don’t think that is where the game will ultimately be decided.
On top of that, the speed and ability that Dwyer and Sapong possess scare even the stingiest of defenses. They both possess the ability to create their own opportunities. On a day when the field will be frozen solid, the advantage certainly falls to the attacking players that put themselves in great spots to collect balls wide and run at defenders. Yes, I do realize that Morales is equal to anyone in this league with regards to running at back lines but hey…I have to choose right? I expect these guys to hang out in the channels a bit more and let the game come to them on Saturday.
I also like KC’s ability to be dangerous on all set pieces in the attacking third of the field…again with the weather conditions possibly limiting the footing of defenders I really like Besler and Collin’s ability to get on the end of a Zusi serve early in the game.
Only a fool predicts a final score in sports so I will certainly avoid making that mistake, but in a perfect world where I had my way I would be able to predict one more detail about the game. While I didn’t pick this guy to hoist the Cup, I still believe that Kyle Beckerman will be the best player on the field on Saturday. He is experienced and has a ton of quality that can even show up in the worst of weather. He is also rugged, the most competitive player that will put a jersey on their back for MLS Cup 2013, and possesses a head of hair that commands respect from those of us that lack warmth on top of our head!
Here’s to an awesome MLS Cup and a 50% chance at glory!