I have a short time before I have to head out to the Pride viewing party, so I'm just going to drop some bullet point reactions before going back to look at any analysis or review tape from today's match. Look for a full "Good, Bad and Ugly" post late tonight or tomorrow.
- Batista's fitness no question - the 34-year old went the full 90 minutes on a hot pitch in Florida in his first start.
- Poor passing - one of these days I may actually count passes... no, I'm not going to to that--but I would estimate half the passes kicked by Orlando City players were intercepted by Revolution players.
- Confusing ending - After the match on the drive home, I heard Tom Traxxler and Jeff Radcliffe talking about how there was a possible hand ball on the Molino goal, and the hand ball called against Carrasco was borderline. I was behind the New England goal in the second half, and all I saw was that Carrasco was inside the 18-yard box, so I thought the awarding of a PK was fair. Since Carrasco's body shielded my view of where the ball hit him, if the ball did not go off his arm, I will have to wait to see video for more proof.
- Great crowd size - Over 36,000 reported over twitter during the match. With Chamber of Commerce weather and a mid-afternoon start, there should have been a good crowd, and I'm glad so many people came.
- Poor crowd behavior - I don't care how bad the refs are, if you paid for a ticket it doesn't give you the right to throw things (other than celebratory streamers) on the pitch. I'm in the "eject them, arrest them, and ban them for life from attending future matches" camp when it comes to how to deal with any idiot jackwagon that throws bottles or cans on the pitch toward opposing players.
- Bad officiating - I think both clubs got away with fouls that weren't called during the match, and it's obvious from the post-match radio broadcast that there were plenty of controversial calls during the added time period at the end of the second half.
- Result disappointing, but it "feels" deserved - After the opening score on the brilliant forced foul in the box by Baptista in the first minute, Orlando City seemed to be on their heels the whole match. The first goal by New England had a kind of inevitable feel to it because they got so many chances in front of our goal all half. In the second half, Orlando City was more aggressive but still not as crisp and sharp on their passing and buildups as I would like to see. By the time it reached the 90th minute and we were tied at one it felt like a deserved result based on our poor play and the scrambling defensive efforts that were required by Bendik and the back line. The fact that both teams scored in extra time seemed a bit of very exciting but strange run of play, and I'm not sure how fairly it was all adjudicated. But until I see more I have to say it still feels fair.
What do you think? What are your initial reactions to the match if you attended and haven't had a chance to see a full replay yet? If you watched on TV, what did I miss from being in the stands that multiple camera angles could have shown me? Let me know in the comments below.