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Going Undercover in Jamaica: Getting the Scoop on Omar Cummings

Taking a look at our new acquisition, Omar Cummings, and the impact he can have this season. Also, The Grinch, and other random musings.

Justin Edmonds

Some of you may have thought that the loss to LA drove me into exile. Others may have surmised that I abstained from writing any DT posts for fear of completing 1,000 words of only tears. Still, a few might be asking who the hell I am.

The answer is no, a little bit,

The whole truth is that, foreseeing the impending addition of Omar Cummings, Dynamo Theory sent me undercover to Jamaica to get a better understanding of our newest striker. In the guise of a man on his honeymoon, arm-in-arm with his smokin' hot wife, yours truly braved 6 AM departure time, a flight showing only "Arthur Christmas", and Jamaican traffic in order to serve you, the reader.

Sort of. Okay, that's a lie. But a convenient one. It turns out, my trip to Jamaica consisted of teaching bartenders how to make a mint julep, sitting by the beach, and trying to drink away any moment of my first semester in medical school. Regardless, I'm back, baby. With a fresh tan, a ring on my finger, and some statistics that will blow your minds.

Our fearless editor already gave us some insight as to what type of player Cummings is, but what type of goalscorer is Omar?

As that linked story points out, Omar is essentially Carr 2.0. In my mind, he's what Calen could become with another year of experience, and what we had all hoped he could be barring that fateful injury. Now that Omar is here, he's our guy. For a quick comparison of their 2012 season:

Cummings: 6 goals, 2 assists in 23 starts (28 total games)
Carr: 4 goals, 2 assists in 17 starts (26 total games)
Playoffs- 1 goal and 2 assists in 4 starts

At first glance, their stats are essentially even. Cummings ended up with about 200 more minutes played for the season, while Carr played on a team that was, for all intents and purposes, better at giving him opportunities. If we delve a bit more into the goals scored by Omar, some interesting insights can be gained.

  • 3/25 vs. NYRB: Perfect finish on a breakaway down the middle of the pitch. I would hesitate to call this very un-Kandji-esque.
  • 4/2 vs. Chicago: Nice run into the box, stopping short of the defenders to find space and bury the cutback.
  • 4/21 vs. LA: What can only be described as a beastly run and finish.
  • 7/7 vs. Seattle: Came on as a sub to pull one back.
  • 7/14 vs. S. Oklahoma: Classy finish near post on the break.
  • 9/23 vs. Vancouver: Put back a rebound from an extremely tight angle.
Namely, he brings a ton of diversity when it comes to goals. He has a breakaway, nice tap-ins off crosses, and shows a ton of strength on the ball near the box. Granted, if we look at most strikers you'll see a smattering different types of goals, but Colorado needed Omar to score in many ways, and he did just that. With a more consistent team, full of weapons, Cummings will have the time to pick his spots and points of attack. That's exciting.

For an opposite perspective, we should also look at the games where Omar failed to find the back of the net. To do so, I checked out the 5 games where he had 5 or more shots on goal without scoring.

  • 3/10 vs. Columbus: Should have had 2-3 goals. Missed on a breakaway.
  • 8/4 vs. RSL: Started at the top of a 4-4-1-1.
  • 9/14 vs. LA: Came on as a sub.
  • 9/30 vs LA: Extremely active throughout, including this great hold up play.
  • 10/6 vs. San Jose: Another great hold up play.
If you watched the videos, I hope I saved you from some of the monotony of your work day. If not, there's a few things that can be learned from these so-called poor games, both positive and negative. Ever the optimist, I'll start with the good. Namely, look at the teams he's facing in these games. Besides Columbus, all of them made it to the playoffs, and all would have been heavy favorites against Colorado. In both the second LA match and the San Jose match, Cummings came close to finding the net, and did plenty to put pressure on teams stocked with talent. What I mean is, he morphs his play into target and playmaker when the situation demands it.

On the negative side, you need only look at the Columbus match. Yes, it was still a win for Colorado, but he could have easily netted a hat trick before a single goal was scored.

Overall, Cummings looks to be ready and able to take advantage of prime service in Houston. He will not be getting the lion's share of attention with the offense, instead fitting into a two-pronged attack with Will. However, his ability to score in a variety of ways, and his propensity to showing up in big games, could do wonders for another push towards a successful playoffs.

Ruining The Grinch: Part 1

Let me be clear, when I grew up, the only Grinch movie I watched was the original. Dr. Suess' cartoon and a narrator. However, I recently married into a family that is decidedly pro-Jim Carrey Grinch. That presented a constant debate throughout our relationship, but was something I wanted to clear up post-vows. So we watched Jim Carrey's Grinch a week or so ago. For the most part, it was funny-ish? A lot of the things my wife laughed at (read: quoted before Carrey said it, then laughed at herself) were things where you just "had to be there" or at least "had to grow up with it". Which is fine, I can appreciate that.

But as I continued to watch the movie, there were some frankly horrifying realizations that came to mind. Being a full-length movie, including some origin tales for the Grinch, I was honestly a little terrified at the implications that arose. I'll start with one such realization, and cover the other two later this month.

It's all his parents' fault.

The nice thing about this movie is that you get a good glimpse at Little Grinch, and what drove him to become this sort-of-villain we all know. The flashbacks begin with baby Grinch floating down with a bunch of other infants towards his future parents' home. Unfortunately, his crib lands not on a doorstep, but in a tree. The Grinch, then, is left to watch through a window as his parents' and many guests party the night away - even dropping keys into a fishbowl for what can only be described as the prelude to a Who-riffic swingers party.

However, The Grinch is eventually found, and raised by a lovely couple. He's green, hairy, and has a propensity for eating plates and plotting to kill Santa Clause. Still, he has a nice twinkle in his eyes, and if anything can only be described as a little genius. My first question is: who named him The Grinch? Its not as if that was a common adjective beforehand, and even if it was, there is no reason to believe that an infant would ruin Christmas. If it was a made up Who-ish word, why "The Grinch"? Why not Grinch, or even something that doesn't make him sound like the bastard progeny of Grendel? That's only setting him up for his eventual descent into villainy.

Cut to elementary school, where he is made to be a laughing stock of his class. In response, he leaves and climbs the mountain overlooking the town, where he builds a home out of a cave.

Problem: where were his parents, the police, or anyone in all of this? Its not as if he's running away from a murder charge. He is maybe 10 years old, albeit green and furry, and just ran away to live on top of a mountain in the middle of a perpetual winter. That is the definition of a cry for help! Did anyone look for him? Was a search party formed?

No. Because the town didn't want a green monster on its hands, and his parents were all-too-willing to go along with it. Thus, The Grinch was left to his own devices, loved by none and all too aware of that fact -- for 20+ years. No wonder he hated Christmas. No wonder he hated The Whos.

On USMNT Call-Ups

Yahoo. Yahoo for me, yahoo for you, yahoo for school! - Billy Madison

As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about the recent USMNT call-ups, specifically the three Dynamo members that will take part in the action (Davis, Bruin, Hall). I expect, with the first ever USMNT game to be played at BBVA coming up, that Klinnsman is partially pandering to the local crowd, and perhaps even hoping to quell any criticism about not giving enough chances (read: any) to Brad. However, if they can get PT, I would expect Davis and Hall to make a significant impact. As far as Bruin goes, I think he will benefit greatly from the camp. I can't see him breaking into the team for any WCQs, but it will be great for him to play at this level after being snubbed during Olympic Qualifiers.

Philosophical Question of the Day

There is a great collection of essays by Chuck Klosterman entitled "IV" that I read recently. Near the end of it, he starts throwing out random hypotheticals with no explanation and no answer in return. I think I'm going to try that this year. Comment on them below, and if you have any you would like me to post just tweet them my way (@Clutchcitysteve) and I'll take a shot at one a week. Okay. Here we go:

You have discovered a machine that allows you to become any animal known to man, past or present. You could fly the skies as a hawk, swim like a dolphin, or even hunt brontosauruses as a velociraptor. Anything. You will get one full day in your new animal body. However, while you're flying, swimming, hunting, etc., the animal you chose switches places with you - effectively taking over your body for the day. Do you use the machine, and if so, what animal would you choose? Or does the idea of your body stalking prey at the local H-E-B scare you away?

Apropos Reggae Video of the Day

Belated, but whatever.