23 April 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.04: At New York Red Bulls


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "D.C. United enjoyed plenty of entertaining moments during its 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at Giants Stadium, a result that kept the club undefeated after four matches and left its rivals still searching for a win."
The Star-Ledger, Frank Giase: "The defeat culminated a week in which the focus was more on the comings and goings of front office personnel and the coach's job security rather than soccer."
MLSNet, Jonathan Nierman: "While [Eskandarian's] finish might not take home Sierra Mist Goal of the Week honors, Eskandarian's actions after scoring his second goal of the season surely land him on the short list for Celebration of the Year. He made his way back to the D.C. bench and found a waiting Red Bull energy drink. After one big swig, Eskandarian spat out the sugary energy drink and shook his head."
Herald News, Ives Galarcep: "It was a beating that felt all too familiar and seemed all too inevitable."
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Ian Penderleith: "Here's the astonishing thing about the DC United performance. Three of their most offensive players in Freddy Adu, Jaime Moreno and Christian Gomez all had virtually anonymous games..."
Bruce's Belly: "...I’m increasingly certain that the Red Bulls will continue to be a league embarrassment for the remainder of this year. I’m a DC United supporter, and I’ll admit we’ve got a decent side, but we’re not as good as we looked on Saturday."

The Good

  1. Taking Posession - Ben Olsen and Brian Carroll both had trememndous games in disrputing the New York attack and helping move DC United's point of attack in the offensive third. They both filled in nicely when called to form a defensive line, and made great forward runs of their own. This game was won in the midfield, it was just the forwards that finish the team moves.
  2. Adverse Conditioning - I knew the game was going to be a DC win, despite the lack of scoring, when I saw United adjust to the high bounces on the Meadowlands turf and slick conditions a good twenty minutes before anyone on RBNY seemed to have a clue about how to deal with conditions. When DC seems more at home than the home team, especially in inclement weather, then things are going to be good.
  3. Troy Perkins - Another solid outing. A rare defensive lapse lets in the late goal, but otherwise a decent effort.

The Bad

  1. Defensive Dribbling: Facundo Erpen, I know you had a brilliant goal. You needed to get that, since too frequently you were trying to take unnecessary touches in the defensive end. I have no problems with the needed touches designed to move around forward pressure, but it seemed to me you (well, everyone on the back line at least once, but you primarily) were caught with the ball at your feet too often. Given the problems RBNY was having with posession, there is no reason not to clear the ball 40 yards.

Man of the Match

Brian Carroll: I know, Alecko had two goals, and Facundo's shot was brilliant. And against Chivas, I didn't give Ben Olsen the man of the match after Jamie Moreno scored two goals. However, as I said earlier, this game was won in the midfield, and Carroll was amazing in his work there. Alecko, nothing to take away from you man, but someone was going to score on the day even if you didn't.

Moreno Watch: The Quest of the Best of All Time

Jamie Moreno was very quiet this game, having one decent run that culiminate with a shot off Meola's face for a corner kick. Over in Houston, Jason Kreis nearly added goal #102 on a free kick, only to see his shot go off both posts before bouncing out. So, it remains as before: Kreis 101, Moreno 96.

Final Thoughts

There's pretty much only one thing that people want to talk about, and that is the Alecko Eskandarian celebration. Yes, the one where Eskandarian took a drink of Red Bull, then spit it out. Was it a bit tacky? Sure, but what celebrations aren't? As if the infamous, yet brilliant, "RFK Homerun" celebration wasn't a classic "Look at me as I show up the home team" moment. It was, and it was great. Ditto for Alecko. When Steve Goff writes, "It was a humorous moment in a league that often lacks personality," that says something. Since the celebration was written up in the game incident, it is possible the league could fine him. Whatever. If they do, all DC United supporters should hold a bake sale to help pay off the fine. I'll make cookies.

There were only two potential downsides. The first is that given the celebration was early in the game, it was possible it could serve as an energizing moment for RBNY. It didn't. The second downside was that Mo Johnston should have called for a drug test on Alecko the moment that swill entered his mouth.

There is much more to say about this game, and the first four games of United's season. Oh yes, we shall get to it all this week.


At 23 April, 2006 12:14, Blogger Kali said...

I'll contribute to the bake sale too...

I'm still wondering what Alecko said about Eric Wynalda's mom to make him be so bitchy though.

At 23 April, 2006 16:31, Anonymous Matt said...

The celebration was childish and dumb...

It's fine to do silly things..but it's poor taste to direct anything at your opponent.

That kind of celebrations will get you wacked with a cleats up tackle.

The fact the the Red Bulls didn't respond is further testimony to their downward spiral.

I'd have stuck my foot up his ass first chance I got....

I'm glad Esky is back though..I'll forgive him cause he's young..and is scoring goals!!

At 23 April, 2006 22:09, Anonymous john said...

Is it just me or is Ben Olsen trying to do the quick restart off free kicks every time now, after his national team goal?

At 24 April, 2006 04:52, Anonymous Paul said...

I guess Esky's celebration is analogous to T.O.'s little diddy when he slammed the football on the Dallas star--logo bashing. I don't think Esky's was as bad, probably because he plays for my team. w00t! I hope it ends up being one of the clips they replay in twenty years when the DC/NY rivalry rises to the level of Redskins/Cowboys or Yankees/Sox. Or am I crazy?

At 24 April, 2006 09:55, Blogger I-66 said...

Eric Wynalda was all over Alecko and it was kinda ridiculous, to be honest - give the kid a break! I think Wynalda's still mad at John Harkes and, therefore, angry towards United as a whole.

And if Bunch of Bull doesn't want Alecko to celebrate like that, maybe they should stop him from scoring.

At 24 April, 2006 12:26, Blogger J Fitty said...

If MLS is thinking about fining Alecko for the Red Bull celebration, that will be completely bogus and hypocritical. If you look at MLSnet.com goal of the week nominees, Alecko's first goal is one of the choices. It can't be for the quality if the goal. His second goal and Walker's goal were much better goals. But because of his celebration, it is up for goal of the week. I hope MLS does not reward the goal by putting it up for goal of the week because of the celebration, and then fine Esky for the celebration.


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