I'm starting to hate Colorado Springs.
Not just their USL team, the Switchbacks, but the city itself.
Before you pipe up with something like, "But Matt! You've never been!" — well, I'd like to respond. First, why do you know I've never been? And second, it's certainly not because of the dot on the map along Interstate 25.
It's because Real Monarchs have played the team five times — five! — already. It's June. The team played their first match against them during preseason, and a further three times in USL play.
Every time the two come up against each other, the matches have been a little dull. Even the seven-goal "thriller" (in which Real Monarchs lost 5-2) featured seven goals scored on mistakes inflicted by the condition of the pitch, which looked like somebody had taken a snow-blower to the a nearby neighborhood, only to have blown the snow atop an empty-for-halftime field.
The team has now played their state-over "rivals" in February, April, and May. They'll play them in June, too. One time, they played each other back-to-back. They'll also play against each other in August. At this rate, they should probably just cancel the other matches and replace them with this matchup, because that's how the rest of the season has felt. I understand this "travel time" thing (much more than the "time travel" thing, but that's another story), but just interspersing the schedule a little more might have been nice.
But think back to a Real Monarchs - Colorado Springs match. Do you remember anything aside from that snow? It's fantastic that there are these teams close by, and that there are even these relatively independent teams in the league. But it would be nice if more of them in the West played even remotely interesting soccer. Or — and stay with me here, because this will seem outlandish — it would be nice if Colorado Springs Switchbacks played interesting soccer.
It's not that I'm upset about the losses. I'm not particularly. Would I like Real Monarchs to win more often? Sure. That sounds nice. But if I have to watch another 1-0 loss to a defensively staunch team, I might just implode. ("Great," you're thinking. "About time." I know, I know.)
All I want is a little creativity, some inspired play, something — anything! — from our vaunted opposition — not another boring loss to a boring team. Yeah, I know Real Monarchs share some of that burden, but frankly, they've been plenty exciting even if they haven't scored properly. They're creating chances and building play.
Anyway, here's hoping things change and Real Monarchs just smash Colorado Springs and their boring, boring players on Saturday. If not, we'll be in for a long night.