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Defensive? Thanks For The Compliment
New York Post, November 19th, 2008 1:15PM

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RB New York has made it to Sunday's MLS Cup Final on the back of some impressive defensive performances in the playoffs. Some observers are unhappy when defensive teams succeed, but it's a different matter if you're actually on that winning team.

"When people say about me that I'm a defensive coach, I take that as a compliment rather than as a criticism," NY coach Juan Carlos Osorio told Brian Lewis. "In the well-rooted sports, defense means titles. It wins titles. And I'm very pleased with the way the guys are performing now."

Dutch forward-midfielder Dave van den Bergh was more forthright, looking back on the two defeats his much-praised native country suffered in successive World Cup finals in the 1970s. "You were the best team, but so what? In 1978 we were in the final again [after losing to Germany in 1974], the best-playing team there and lost to Argentina. Who cares? We'll take that ring and put it away on ice. I'd rather win ugly than lose beautifully."

Van den Bergh said he'd "heard the same thing about Italy, and nobody takes away the fact they've won four World Cups. Italian teams are always ugly teams. Who gives a [damn]? All you see is four World Cups." That soccer fans still talk breathlessly of that great Dutch side, while Italy's style of play has been historically reviled, perhaps means nothing to van den Bergh. But then his favorite movie, according to his profile on mlsnet.com, is The Godfather. We appeal to Dave's son Ryan to rent the DVD of the Disney film "Cars,'" where, in the words of the synopsis at Internet Movie Database, "Chick Hicks is given the Piston Cup, but he is jeered and taunted by the crowd for his [unsporting] actions -- making it a hollow victory at best."

 

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