22 August 2005

Under the Milky Way Tonight

(Above: What's in the box? Pain!)

DCU 2 : 3 Galaxy

It's one thing to lose on just one defensive breakdown. It's a another when you a beat by a team that raises its game to a level and destroys you.

It's something else entirely when your team plays poorly for 90 minutes, playing underneath the level of the opposition. The Galaxy, to give them some credit, played decently. It is said of Landon Donovan that he only plays for 45 minutes. Sadly, it was minutes 40-85, and he played well enough to get two goals. If there was anyone on the Galaxy that was truly on, it was Cobi Jones, who made himself a pest throughout the entire game and made some devastatingly effective runs. That being said, the Galaxy were not, as a team, brilliant.

No, the problem was a DCU team that was flat. Flat awful. For a team that prides itself on passing, the number of inaccurate balls were staggering. For a team that prides itself on toughness, this team nearly gave up after the 70th minute, crossbar shots aside. For a coach that prides himself on smart coaching, some of the moves bordered on inexplicable. This was subpar in pretty much every aspect. Jamie Moreno manages to take a defender on the line, gets by him with a nifty move, but then decides not to shoot or pass but rather, go back and fake out the defender again. Quaranta didn't seem to find the ball much. The midfield play was sloppy, and the defense was erratic and flighty. It was embarassing.

So why? Is this fatigue from fixture congestion? Better hope not, since it won't get any easier from now on. Maybe it was heat differential. For the last month, DCU was training in hot weather and then played games in heat and humidity. Most of the previous week was cool though, so perhaps the humiture was more of a problem. My guess is that Josh Gros found some of those moody albums by The Curch and Cure from the 80s and was playing them pre-game. Everyone had a sort of lethargy that can be explained by exposure to a guitar driven melancholy rock about distances and broken hearts.

If I had a guess on what happened, it was a team wide falter in concentration. They're thinking of the Open Cup, the game against the Revs next week, two players going to Spain, and somehow the game against the Galaxy slipped through the cracks. I hope that's what the problem is, because getting you attention back is easier than getting strength back if you're beat.

Was there any good?
  • John Wilson played well, coming on for Clyde Simms (who never looked comfortable on the ball). Glad to see that his injury seems to be fading. Wilson was a bright light in an otherwise difficult game.
  • Christian Gomez also put out a good effort, buzzing around the field. He created some turnovers and chances, which gave DCU more of a chance than they deserved.
  • Josh Gros was running well and making those nifty interceptions to start counters before he was subbed out. Probably the brightest spot in the midfield.

The bad?

  • Boswell / Defense. Put the own goal aside. That was a difficult situation that no one should hold Boz responsible for. Even once you ignore that, though, this was one of Boswell's worst games in his rookie year. Galaxy players at the top of the box were able to move the ball off their feet way too easily. Players on the wing were left unmarked (especially Cobi). If we're going to ignore Boswell's own goal, then we're also going to ignore Prideaux's goal, which was a decently played set piece. Still, the defense had problems with shape, marking, and with playing the ball forward.
  • Moreno / Quaranta / Walker: While the midfield wasn't moving the ball forward enough, none of the forwards seemed to be showing for the ball particularly well.
  • Midfield Defense has been a problem all year, but you can't let Galaxy players have as much time as they had from 30 yards out. The midfield seemed flustered by the defensive line's play, and spent too much time playing too deep and giving up space on the outside.

All in all, one of the most disappointing games of the season.


At 22 August, 2005 11:45, Anonymous Joe said...

I don't understand why Gros was subbed out in the first half. He was having a great game, I thought. Hopefully he wasn't hurt...

Quaranta just plain sucked the other night. I hope Freddy gets his earned starting spot back when he's ready. Maybe we'll see him Wednesday night...

At 22 August, 2005 11:46, Anonymous Joe said...

Sorry meant that Gros was subbed in second half...

At 22 August, 2005 11:50, Blogger D said...

I agree that Gros's sub made no sense what-so-ever. Peter was flustered last night. So flustered he even tried to answer the questions during the in-game interview, as opposed to the usual non-answer.

At 22 August, 2005 11:51, Blogger Eric PZ said...

I guess it's to be expected that we saw the match a little differently. :)


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