29 May 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.09: At Kansas City Wizards


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Pete Grathoff: "Along with the win came a stranglehold on first place in the East."
MLSNet, Thomas Foote: "United had most of the right answers in the first half."
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Chad Reynolds: "The dagger in the heart of the Wizards was a Bobby Boswell goal in first half stoppage time, as KC had controlled play and threatened much more than DC, but couldn't quite find the scoring touch. "
The Kansas City Star, David Boyce: "...But a two-goal loss is harder to swallow, especially when all three of D.C. United’s first-half goals could be considered soft."
bLCKdgRd: "I do know that rewarding Simms a PK for his airball and fall in the box was the single worse refereeing decision I've seen since, oh, the last time Terry Vaughn refereed a DCU game."
A Little Less Conversation: "DC's offense was spectacular even without the goals."

The Good

  1. Welcome, Defensive Managers- The defense is starting now to come together. Erpen and Boswell had their finest game as a tandem, working together as best as I've seen them do all year. Clyde Simms, newly healthy, is proving that he is capable as a holding midfielder. Brian Carroll has needed a partner for two games, and it is nice to know he's here.
  2. Forget triangles, think 5-pointed Stars - It seemed that since 1999, DC has been searching for the new Magic Triangle to replace Etch - Moreno - (Lassiter / RDA / Rammel...). Only now they have a veritable buffet of scoring combinations. The triangle is so last century man, now we like to think of Gros - Gomez - Adu - Moreno - Eskandarian, pick any three at any time. That's something to be giddy about. Giddy.
  3. Charging Local Rates- Like pretty much everyone else in MLS, Kansas City's scouting must have said "long balls down the wings will kill United." Fortunately, for once the defense, aided by some up-top pressure, were able to deal with the long balls and make them more difficult to deliver.

The Bad

  1. Posession was not nine-tenths - Piotr Nowak actually noted this in his post game interview, but while United survived the second half with long clearences out of the box, they needed to really capture and posess the ball. It was the one thing that made this game not a model to take forward.
  2. The Refs - Sure, it evened out, but that's damning with faint praise. Kansas City was unduly harmed by the PK that was awarded (isn't that the precise moment when the ref should turn to the AR who might have had a better view and confer?) Eskandarian? Robbed. Sealy? Offside. (Yes, he was. When the ball was played, the only person between Sealy and the goal was Adu, meaning there were not two defenders. That's the definition. He was passively offside until he received the ball, at which point he was off. When the header went into Adu, he was behind Perkins.) Everyone can gripe.

Man of the Match

I want to give this one to Freddy Adu, who got one assist, send the long ball into Simms that earned the PK, and also made the initial run before dishing the ball to Moreno who earned the foul on the first goal. Then he did play decent (if not great) defense the second half. I really think he earned it. But there's also the matter of...

Moreno Watch

Jamie gets two goals, while Jason Kreis saves RSL with his one. Moreno deserves credit for getting onto the end of Gomez's service, and for almost being automatic from the spot. Man of the Match, and closer still on the all-time list. Kreis - 103; Moreno - 99

Final Thoughts

I'm going to hold off on final thoughts this week, and instead address some things in subsequent posts. There is much to talk about. The only thing I will say is this: This game was not critical to the Eastern Conference standings, as United has a lot more to do in that area. This game was critical in maintaining the quest for the Supporter's Shield, as United now stays within distance of FC Dallas. That's the real import of this game. A loss, and United was still very much in the picture for top seed in the East, but would also have a huge gap in the quest for that automatic Champions Bid.

Note: An earlier version of this post misattributed the Post article to Steve Goff. It has been corrected. Also, "The Good #3" was mistakenly not replaced from a previous debrief. That has also been corrected.


At 30 May, 2006 00:14, Anonymous Michael N. said...

The Post article is by Pete Grathoff not Goff..

At 30 May, 2006 07:49, Blogger D said...

That's what I get for using a template...

Thanks for the notice. Corrected.

At 30 May, 2006 09:44, Anonymous SE Podcast said...

It should also be pointed out that Moreno won the free kick for the third goal, too.

At 30 May, 2006 10:00, Blogger D said...

A valid point. Moreno was also 3 for 3 in goal participation.


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