NC COURAGE NCFC

A Comparison: NCFC, Courage and Game Of Thrones

Everything before the word ‘but’, is horseshit.

Over the weekend, my Twitter feed was literally set ablaze by two topics:

First, the men and women of North Carolina Football Club both pulled out impressive wins, which lead to a flood of #6PointSaturday celebrations.

And then, of course, Daenerys Targaryen came down from the sky and opened a can of whoop ass the likes of which have not been seen since the late 90’s heyday of Austin 3:16.

The following is a futile, tongue in cheek attempt of combining the two (Spoiler: if you are not a Game of Thrones fan or are behind a few episodes, you might want to skip this one).

That’s what I do: I drink, and I (think I) know things.

When the starting lineup for both teams was announced about an hour before kick, it left many scratching their heads.  Both the use of a very inexperienced squad for the men (featuring 18 y/o Jose Carranza & 21 y/o Dre Fortune) against the spring season champions, Miami FC, coupled with the inclusion of four Courage players who just returned from a very busy international break, seemed questionable at best.

Valar Morghulis.

Early into Season 2 of GOT, Arya Stark begins the heartwarming nightly ritual of reciting a list of people she plans to kill.  The names residing on her list formed a sort of ‘Westeros Who’s Who’ ranging from trained killers to royal family types who had almost completely wiped out everyone she ever loved. At the time it seemed quite delusional, especially when shortly after we were all a witness to the Red Wedding.

Fast forward to this season: A 17 year old Arya single handedly eliminates the entire Frey house.

While Saturday was certainly no George RR Martin level bloodbath, the youth of NCFC proved many of us (including myself) very wrong.  The Oaks held onto a 2-0 lead well into stoppage time when a penalty kick, followed by a shot deflection tied the game at 2-2.

Heartbreak.

This would be a draw that felt like more like a loss. Jon Snow was dead. Then, somewhere around 5 minutes into stoppage time, a Red (wo)Man named Christian Ibeagha (of the old gods or the new?) drilled home the header that would bring our 3 points back to life.

3-2 NCFC Final.

Dracarys.

Back to the Courage.

Earlier I mentioned that the Courage started 4 players who’d just returned from the Tournament of Nations with the U.S. Women’s National Team.  Of those four, Lynn Williams saw the least amount of playing time, only being called on for around 17 minutes in the previous match. Unfortunately, with the exceptional forward depth the USWNT currently enjoys, it was the largest amount of time Williams received this call up. Some might have even forgot Lynn Williams was there…sitting on a bench made of dragonglass…ready to unleash hell at any moment.

Surely not?

Going into this match, the Courage found themselves usurped from the top of the table for the first time since Match Day 1, only due to their previous game being canceled due to weather.

Surely Seattle wouldn’t forget about the Reign of the Targaryens, would they?

If so, they were made painfully aware that they’d successfully awoken the dragon as Lynn Williams buried the first and only goal of the match to give the Courage a 1-0 victory.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

“When the starting lineup for both teams was announced about an hour before kick, it left many scratching their heads.” – A dumbass named Ryan.

Yes, the starting lineups for both teams raised more than a few eyebrows, but to quote UNC alum, Rasheed Wallace: “Ball don’t lie.”

The results went our way this weekend and the words of Ygritte were never more welcomed.

Both teams have added depth over the past two weeks from clubs as far away as Botafogo, by way of Brazil, and Bayern Munich of the Iron Islands (aka Germany). How does this play into the previous week’s lineup decisions?  (see stanza title)

Maybe these lineup selections hurt the Courage (who have 3 games in the next 11 days).

Maybe not.

On the inverse: The men also have 3 games in the next 11 days and perhaps having rested key players leads to fresher legs in the coming weeks.

Credits:

When one looks at the table for the NWSL, the Courage sit in 1st place.  When one looks at the Fall table for the NASL, the Oaks also sit tied for 1st place. I’d like to predict how this Game of Thrones will end, but…

Everything before the word ‘but’ is horseshit

Yes. Yes is it.