01 June 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.10: Columbus Crew


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "The second-half uprising was spurred by what Nowak said in the locker room during halftime: absolutely nothing."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "But despite an impressive 6-1-3 record and a seven-point cushion atop the Eastern Conference tables, United are far from satisfied"
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Jimmy LaRoue: "After Nowak gave his team a halftime measure of silent lucidity, United came out roaring to start the next 45 minutes. "
The Columbus Dispatch, Shawn Mitchell: "Columbus bumbled, stumbled and bobbled its way to the fifth four-goal loss in team history, tying the mark for its largest margin of defeat."
bLCKdgRd: "Gomez, given room, is wonderful - why opposing coaches aren't employing the strategy of smothering and hacking Gomez like Chicago did last playoffs puzzles me. Columbus may just not have the defensive personnel, but if you're going to let DCU string pass after pass and complete long elaborate plays you deserve to lose 5-1."
Quarter Volley: "...a scoreline like that is less the norm than a freak occurance" -- Yes, I completely agree with this. See Final Thoughts.
A Little Less Conversation: "Columbus came out and tried to run up and down the sidelines like they did the last game. Only this time DC was ready and shut down the flanks..."
DC Sun Devil, Brian Garrison: "I wanted to run on the field in the first half and smack half the United players for looking lazy, and in the second half I wanted to run on the field and hug every one of them."

And, the result of the bet with MLS News and Views...

MLS News and Views: "DCU is the most superb team in MLS today, and is by far the best team that one can possibly root for. " -- Thank you sir, that will do nicely. You have conducted yourself as a gentleman, and I salute your honor.

Final Thoughts

Stupid blogger ate the previous version of this debriefing, and I didn't have a saved copy. Grrrrr... Still, here's the gist: Josh Gros, you are my man of the match for all the reasons used so well Brian at DC Sundevil. There was lots of good, but please someone watch that back-post. Boswell and Namoff, I'm looking at you.

This result was a fluke, as two of those goals were odd (EZ's OG and Filomeno's goal with a great through ball from Ngwenya come to mind). We've written before that large margins of victory are probably suspect and do not truly reflect relative talent levels the way lost of small result do, and this game provided an example of that.

Also, Ian Penderleith at MASR is right:

The truth is, they look quite good in a mediocre league. There are still too many defensive lapses and too many careless, broken-down plays for it to be maintained that they are totally dominating MLS, despite the stats. This is, in fact, good news for the team. It's better to be simmering in late May if you can be ready to really step up when it matters most--later in the year.

True. Still, if United continues this way for the next six games, we have to seriously start thinking that the team we're watching might be as good, or even better, than the 1998 team. Not yet, and a loss against the Revs would certainly put the kibosh on such reasoning for a bit, but the fact that we are more than 10 games into the season, that United is good but can still improve, and that the possibility still exists out there for a truly magical season? I'll take that.


At 01 June, 2006 12:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'd feel better about this victory if Columbus hadn't had a 5th string goalie in the net. Still, a strong showing from DCU.


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