13 September 2005

Copa Sudamericana: DC United vs. Frank Black and the Catholics

Tonight's game is interesting for multiple reasons. Once again, the annoying MLS vs. The Rest of the World measuring stick will be employed. Nowak and DC United are probably smarting from the UNAM Pumas debacle. MLS from the Real Madrid fiasco. So there is pressure on DCU to come out of this game ahead for the second leg.

What do we know of Catolica? From what I've pieced together on Big Soccer, MLSNet, Steve Goff, and other web sources, here's what I think I know:

  • Catolica plays a 3-5-2 like United, emphasizing speed on the ground but not as much passing.
  • They're tops in the Chilean league, but have shown some vulnerability in recent games to strong defense.
  • They have DCU film to study, and have identified Moreno and Gomez as threats.

Hmmm... Not much to go on, but the 3-5-2 suggests that the midfield will be clogged. That makes distribution from Rimando (probably) or Perkins (possibly) a key to this game, as good distribution will help DCU's attack more so than in other games. DCU needs a result, and will have some fresh players on the attack with Moreno having served his red card suspension, and Ben Olsen also getting some rest will be major pluses. I would expect to see Boswell in defense, though whether he's in as CB or somewhere else is up for anyone's guess.

Frank Black was better with the Pixies, I never really dug the twangy work he did with the Catholics. DCU 2-1, but that's going to make leg #2 tough.