04 June 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.11: New England Revolution


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Dan Steinberg: "Powered by a first-half goal from Jaime Moreno, a composed defense and a steady performance from keeper Troy Perkins, United maintained its Eastern Conference dominance..."
The Washington Times, John Haydon: "There seems to be no stopping Jaime Moreno."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "Seemingly intent on extracting a handling miscue from Perkins, New England rained high crosses into his box from both sides as the match wound down. But the third-year netminder held his nerve, then salted away the result with a sure-handed collection of Cancela's late free kick."
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Jimmy LaRoue:"It wasn't Saturday night at the fights, but with bloodied lips and hot tempers, it was hard to tell the difference..."
The Boston Globe, Fluto Shinzawa: "'It's tough when you come to a place like this,' said Heaps, whose team fell to 3-4-2. 'They get penalty kicks here. They get calls here. It's an uphill battle.'"
Poplar Point Perspective: "The defense was much improved and kept Tewllmann largely invisible throughout the game."
bLCKdgRd: "Here's what's important: regardless of whether he [Moreno] was or wasn't offside, once the ball was at his feet, he abused Reis."

The Good

  1. Taylor Twellman, Nowhere Man: How many times do you hear "A striker only has to be dangerous for one minute out of ninety?" Well, Twellman was dangerous for about ten seconds. He was denied service, he was expertly marked by the back line and Carroll and Simms, and while he's a goal scorer with his head, he doesn't quite have the talent of Eskandarian on the volley to put his one chance away. A great defensive effort.
  2. Tactics: Piotr Nowak with another strong coaching performance, as he adjusted to the Revolution's early pressure, used his subs well, and salted away the victory.
  3. Jamie Moreno and the 101st Fighting Goalscorers: The offside is questionable, though I tend to agree that he was barely held onside by the far defender as later replays showed (here we saw the advantage of nice and parallel mowing patterns). His run was great, and his shot at an angle was the kind that seems destined for heartbreak, except that he put it on frame. Great goal.
  4. Adu, Playmaker: He doesn't get a goal, he doesn't get an assist. And it is completley unfair. At some point, the "This was Freddy Adu's breakout game" post will be written. Still, it is fair to say that this has been his breakout season. He is a player, and not just a placefiller, but a legitimate threat. He has arrived, and the stats will follow. His defense is amazingly better from last year (did you see him clear a ball out of the box on his head?) He can play on the left, right, and center. He loses the ball a little too often, but even that's vastly reduced from "Freddy takes the pass, a bump, falls down, and loses the ball." It is stunning his development this season.

The Bad

  1. Mental Fatigue: Piotr may not want to admit it, but pretty much everyone on the pitch was not as sharp as they've been. There were a number of passes sent just off the market, odd decisions, and balls given away too easily that suggest that this team was fatigued. I can't blame them for that, and I'm happy they fought through it.
  2. The Game Itself: An ugly affair, not very enjoyable to watch. Part of this had to do with DC's fatigue, part with the Revolution's chippy and ugly tactics. Still, you can only complain about not seeing the beautiful game when you're winning. I'd rather win ugly and lose pretty.

Moreno Watch

Jamie gets another, and with Kreis picked up only an assist in the RSL spanking of Chicago. Now that Jamie is within two, I may have to add a running talley to the "At a Glance" section for the season. I can't think of any other sport where you've had two people going at each other to set the all-time scoring record. The closes is the Sosa/McGwire challenge in baseball. This could make the season really fun to watch all over. The standings: Kreis 103; Moreno 101.

Man of the Match

The game was won by defensive effort, so a defending player should take credit for it. Troy Perkins patrolled the air so well I expected him to give traffic updates to WTOP on the eights. The defense, led I think by B. Caroll, Boswell, and Simms, neatly shut down the Revolution pressure, by both stopping service before it happened, and marking people out of the play so that balls had to be played into space away from the attackers in order to not make it a 50-50 challenge. Josh Gros continued his physics defying perpetual motion machine attitude. Ultimately, while cases could be made for all, Clyde Simms was slightly more active all over the field, so he'll take his first man of the match award.

Final Thoughts

United didn't reach 24 points until July 23 last year. Here they've done it at the beginning of June. Without a doubt, United is playing as a team great soccer.

Still, the upcoming matches should prove whether or not United will have team to beat status by the end of the month. On the road against LA, the road to New England, at home against Chicago, and a home-at home series to wrap up the season against Kansas City. That's a nice set of competition. If they come through that and are still clear of the Eastern table and challenging for the Supporter's Shield, then it will be time to start thinking about history.


At 04 June, 2006 19:45, Blogger Kinney said...

After reading the Ninglander article I am amazed how easy it would be to substitute USA for DC and Mexico for NE in post game comments. They are giving us no respect what-so-ever for out playing them and grinding out the win. YOU HAD THREE SHOTS ON GOAL THE WHOLE GAME!!! I am truely suprised that Nicol didn't say his grandmother could play for United.

At 05 June, 2006 18:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many seasons do you think Kreis and Moreno have left?
Also, how many Jaime goals were with the Metrostars? How far does he have to go to have 100 DCU goals?


Post a Comment

<< Return to The DCenters Main Page (HOME)