Where did the summer go? And FWIW, DC summers are indeed soggy, muggy miserable affairs, but damn…I remember whining about the end of the European campaign after the Champions League final like it was 5 minutes ago.
I spent a lot of time with surprisingly persistent projects at work, writing book reviews and working on writing for other outlets, so if you were starting to follow this site and were disappointed by the lack of upkeep/posts–I apologize and I assure you that during the season I’ll be writing as much as humanly possible.
I got to see Borussia Dortmund kick off their Bundesliga title-defense in emphatic fashion as they thrashed Hamburg 3-1 in a match that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. People on Twitter, and I think Phil Schoen might even have whispered this around the edges so that Ray didn’t bludgeon him on global television, were starting to question/wonder if Dortmund might just be suitable competition for Barca this year in Europe. Dortmund looked like a bruising, expertly constructed machine already in mid-season form and it was even more impressive that they looked so strong and assured without Nuri Sahin, an important catalyst in their side last season who was sold to Real Madrid, and their injured trigger-man Lucas Barrios. Dortmund’s passing was rhythmic and lethal as they swarmed Hamburg’s penalty area pretty much at will. I also like the framework and philosophy with which they seem to be building this squad — i.e. grooming and cultivating young talent within an expressive framework, while ignoring the overpriced, superfluous Bendtner90210s of the world. I’m very excited to see what this side adds to the Champions League.
On Saturday, I watched Schalke 04 get humiliated by Stuttgart and the only thing I can really say about it is wow–Jermaine Jones looked like a completely different player than the tempestuous, vaguely explosive midfielder who showed flashes of brilliance for the USMNT during the Gold Cup this summer. Not that he was the reason Schalke lost or looked so poor, but I was really hoping/expecting to see more from him. Stuttgart put together some nice stretches of play and certainly look capable of surpassing their bottom of the table finish last season.
I watched a little of Bayern’s match on Sunday via ESPN3 and it was fairly dreadful. Didn’t even stick around to catch the howler heard ’round the world.
It was great to see at least one European league commence play and restore the lazy equilibrium of my Saturday mornings. I like the Bundesliga and I hope to post more about it.
Stay tuned for some EPL previews, rants and jokes.
It’s good to be back!