I've never actually used the gallery feature on the new SB Nation, since I've never been much of a photographer and have never had the need. Fortunately, I was given a lovely opportunity when a reader by the name of Patrick Shea got a hold of me prior to the Seattle game and said he would be attending and possibly sending me a batch of pictures via his photographer, Mr. Keith Cirillo.
They're in, and they're good. Patrick also sent me a few words as well post-game:
Chris!I just voted for Drew, of course. Landslide. He won virtually every head duel, like he usually does. He scored and cleared the ball off the line with a challenging nodder nearby. But most of all I heard that tone of voice he and everyone used in 2010 during our post-game interview in Seattle. After going up one, he said, letting them equalize is "minus-two points." Oscar said the entire group looked like guys who knew they had three points in their grasp.With top trialists that Oscar is apparently grooming for opposing organizations now (e.g., Doyle), trainings these days are 30-plus strong with quality players throughout fighting for friggin' Reserve Time no less. I'm as excited about the Rapids' depth as I am about the USMNT. I haven't done a final count of players who overlapped recent WC qualifiers and Gold Cup (any?), and all these guys are showing some challenge (20-plus quality dudes). Most of all, I feel that players who have historically shown glimmers of genius but have fallen short at crunch time are now primed to actually deliver. Bradley and Dempsey will give their reliable quality; these are not the guys I'm talking about. It's Donovan, EJ, Altidore, and a host of other guys who frankly lost my belief and now earned it back. I trust that Klinsey will create an aggregate chemistry where the group will exceed its collective potential through peaking and earning respect for each other. The USMNT has alternated Cup finals like Jeckyl/Hyde for more than a decade (great in 1994, the first team to ever finish 32nd in 1998, awesome in 2002, shyte in Germany, and whatever in South Africa). For them to peak, I think Klinsmann will do like he did with his German players in 2006. Those guys basically over-achieved, and they played a way that no one thought they could play. I think he'll do it with our guys this time.
Thanks to Patrick and Keith for sending these in, good stuff.