Welcome to the latest installment of "Gio's Random Thoughts". Every week, I will unleash some observations about what the Impact and the MLS. Some good, some bad, some ugly. So kick back, relax, crack open a bottle of water and enjoy!
* Bernardo Corradi needs to register his elbows as lethal weapons. He almost killed an opponent only 3 minutes into his first MLS appearance.
* Let's make one thing clear: Politics and Soccer don't mix. The only language my coach needs to speak is SOCCER. Everything else is secondary. Period.
* I understand that it's an Olympic year but can we please have Zarek Valentin with the team for more than 3 days at a time? Maybe the U-23 US National team should send all Impact fans a free Valentin jersey as a thank you for our patience. Or a fruit basket. Or some Oreos.
* Can someone please remind Justin Braun that he is 6'2'', 200lbs? He should a bully in the box. Maybe Corradi can teach him how to throw an elbow or two.
* Speaking of Braun... he should be forced to put $5 in a jar every time he goes farther than 25 yards away from the opposing goal. He needs service. He needs to get the ball and shoot right away. Shouldn't have to think about defence or creating chances. Just finishing.
* Vancouver's Darren Mattocks burned himself cooking. What dish was he preparing where human flesh is an ingredient? Upon learning about this, a Whitecaps' intern was given the task of finding delivery menus for every restaurant within a 30km radius of Mattocks' home. I wonder if, upon hearing of this incident, every MLS team has offered free cooking lessons to their rookies.
* Andrew Wenger confirmed me to yesterday (via Twitter) that he doesn't cook, he does the dishes. Zarek Valentin does the cooking. What's the worse injury that you can get cleaning dishes? Dry skin? Dishpan hands?? I'm not too worried.
* Jesse Marsch really needs to go to the Church of Fucito. He may be 5'9'' and 165 lbs but the guy is a straight up tank. With Sanna Nyassi and Felipe creating from the midfield, Fucito will GLADLY go crash and bang with the defense to open up even more room for Braun. Fucito may be our offense's savior (Church of Fucito - Offensive savior - get it?)
* Still not convinced with having Justin Mapp in the starting XI. On the other hand, Lamar Neagle is worthy of a shot.
* Anyone else impressed by the Wenger/Corradi combo in the home opener? If there was another 10 minutes on the clock, I'm convinced they would have scored.
* The Big O is old. Ancient. No cell service, no data service and a horrible sound system. I didn't understand a single word. The crowd couldn't participate with the player intros either. All that being said, it was a beautiful thing seeing all those great Impact fans united!!
* I almost felt bad for the Chicago fans that came to the game. ALMOST. They were given one of the worse sections in the Big O to watch their team. I hope the team reserves the same treatment for when TFC comes to town. In fact, I hope they sold them tickets for Saputo Stadium, even if the game is being played at the Big O.
* Josh Gardner's last minute shot was so hard that the net is still shaking. 10$ says that he'll practice that shot at least 25 times this week.
* Congrats to Felipe for making the MLS team of the week. He's a feisty competitor who is starting to turn heads with his great plays and hardnosed attitude. He's also becoming a pain in the other team's rear. A player other teams' fans love to hate but would take on their team anyday!
* You should download the new Around The League podcast (@atlcsrn on Twitter) today. I'm one of the contributors this season. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!!