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van Buyten wins Angela's heart... and respect.

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I would first like to thank loyal reader and most wonderful analytical commenter, Luke for dropping me a line while I was away. I didn't actually go on strike while Mark was off on suspension or sitting on the bench, even though that might be what some of you thought. ;) I was starting to consider it, but I didn't. Not because I don't adore Mark because I do, but there is a certain Belgian that keeps me watching even when Mark isn't playing. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that I'm a sport's junkie and it is about the beautiful game as well. It's good that all my mental powers have reached Klinsmann and Daniel is finally off the bench, never mind the fact that he's given reason after reason for Klinsmann to play him. We'll just say it was all my good vibes and all that. :)

I have been away because I caught a bit of a cold and we had a death in the family. I actually missed the Bayern vs Cologne match, but it is sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched. GolTV decided, for whatever half baked reason, to air that match in the afternoon. Not in the morning like usual. This was the day that I had to travel to the city (I am a rural, rural out in the middle of nowhere rural girl) for a celebration of a wonderful life and person who we had just lost. And since I had to leave at 11am and Gol wasn't showing the match until 3pm... You can figure out the rest.

Today wasn't a much better day for me. I was hard at work, but had the match streaming and as though to say welcome back to me, not only did Klinsmann put Mark back in his rightful position as Captain, but once again I found myself rewarded with Daniel starting. It's no secret that Mark and Daniel are my favorites, but we'll put the Greek God good looks aside for a moment and be honest here. I know there are some of you that don't see it and that's okay, we're all adults here and we're all entitled to our own opinions, but this is why I continually say that Daniel should not be sitting on the bench.

Fifteen minutes into the game, Schweini launched a free kick that was found in the air by van Buyten and he headed it home. I was SO pleased to see him score. All his hard work is paying off. And Klinsmann better take notice. He has earned my respect for so many different reasons. Last season when he was getting next to no playing time, he came into every game he could playing all out. There was never a complaint about being on the bench. There was never any slack in is game because he wasn't getting to play regularly or a full 90 minutes. There was just Daniel. Stepping onto the pitch and always giving Bayern 110%.

Then the rumors started and I wanted to go into hiding. The rumors of his leaving Bayern. I did not want him to go, but I wouldn't have blamed him for leaving either. No one wants to spend their career sitting on the bench. But, he did what any self-respecting player would do. He trained and he worked hard. He gave his heart and soul every opportunity that he got. Unlike certain players who take it upon themselves to complain every chance they get and continue to have poor outing after poor outing without trying to better themselves, Daniel actually strives to be the best that he can be and it shows in each and every game. There is something so completely worthy of respect when a player is unhappy with his role but instead of running his mouth, he continues to perform and continues to try to better himself. Working harder and harder until it gets noticed. His best effort has finally paid off with a goal. And my heart, which I'm sure he's just super thrilled about and will finally have a good night's sleep. ;)

Today, he is my hero. And it was a very welcome change from all of the happenings in my life lately. Other than Daniel's goal today, there wasn't much else worth looking at. The Luvin fellow from Steaua Bucharest needed a little more than a yellow. The majority of the injuries to Bayern came from him. Miro was hurt and Podolski came on for him at the half. No yellows for the Bommer... the new nickname for Mark. It's curious really. I still think I'm right in saying that the Bundesliga refs are just too quick to book him. How can the same person play the same style of play at the National level and not get booked yet he breathes funny or looks in the wrong direction in the Bundesliga and he's booked. Curious.

Anyways, I digress. Overall, the play was better again. The team seems to be starting to gel and Klinsmann's plans are coming into view. I expect that they'll have a good run in the CL and I hope that the line that played today will continue to play. AND if this didn't put an exclamation point on the ability of van Buyten then I've got a pen and paper ready to start a petition to Klinsmann. One American girl takes on the world for her boys. :)