10 July 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.18: At Columbus Crew


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Mike Price: "'We scored one goal and were able to pull it out,' Nowak said. 'It was good to have Alecko back tonight.'"
MLSNet, Ryan Kuhn: "The latest win can be equally credited to a healthy Alecko Eskandarian and a tight United backline."
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Walter Wheeler:"While the final whistle brought an end to the game, it certainly did not bring an end to Crew frustrations. It was just another not-really-poor, but definitely not good performance."
The Columbus Dispatch, Shawn Mitchell: "D.C. United with only 10 men is as good as, if not better than, a full-strength Columbus Crew. "
bLCKdgRd: "...I thought red, if for nothing else than for being a punkass stupid thing to do. Your team is tired, you're back from injury, you've scored a brilliant free kick, you're up 0-1 on the road in the last third of the game, and you recklessly, petulantly, impulsively, idiotically throw that elbow right in front of the ref? "

The Good

  1. Alecko Eskandarian, Hello: What a lovely strike. As the ball passed through the wall I involuntarily exclaimed "Oh my God!" and frigtened my two cats who were napping near by. 100% utter class. A great goal. Amazing.
  2. Ben Olsen, Hello: Nice to see Ben get a start, and even happier to see Nowak at least experimenting for the moment with shifting people around to give them a bit of rest. It is only going to get hotter out here the next month or so.
  3. Operation: Lockdown: The defense is not perfect. It is damn good. I have a feeling that DC is going to give opponents one or two chances a game for the rest of the season. If the opponents convert, we have scorelines like we saw against Kansas City. If not, we get used to one-nil. Fine. Whatever I think of Erpen - Boswll - Namoff - (Prideaux/Wilson), they are doing it well enough this year. Keep 'em coming.
  4. Improving Effort: Maybe it is the opponent, but I've been feeling that DC's play has deteriorated over the last few games, despite the wins. This is the first game where I feel it was a better effort this game than the one before.
  5. Tony Tony Tony: I imagine that Dave Johnson and John Harkes will be coming back, so let's give a heartfelt ovation to Tony Limarzi's work filling in. He's been a good replacement for a very good pbp-color combination. Glad to hear him call a game not on the radio for once. You did good, I enjoyed it, especially since you go to pains to announce players names correctly.

The Bad

  1. Alecko Eskandarian, Hello, I must be going: Go read the Blackdogred article referenced above where he muses about Alecko. He's got a point. That being said, I'm willing to give Alecko a pass. There are certain types of yellows and reds that are pretty unconcionable. Erpen faking being hit last year really pissed me off. Gomez's red card against Chicago was awful. Still, a retaliatory strike that wasn't particularly violent? Yeah, it was stupid. Yes, it hurt the team. I hope he never does it again. It certainly was enough to deserve the red, if only barely. But this is Alecko, and I'd rather he played with emotion than bottled it up and was less effective. Keep trying to channel the agression into your strikes, Esky. But I'm not going to put this on my "Most embarassing moments as a DC fan" list. I came to say I can not stay I must be going... to serve a one game suspension.

Moreno Watch

No goal for Jamie, who again had a game of "moments of dangerous, great at holding the ball for a bit, but overall taken out." Which is okay, since to take him out usually means Alecko, Adu, Josh, or someone is getting free. Real Salt Lake was shut out in their game, so the all-time goal scoring race remains the same: Kreis-105; Moreno 103.

Man of the Match

Defense, Defense, Defense... Congratulations to Bryan Namoff for being the best of a solid defensive crew (Troy Perkins, honorable mention.)

25 Wins Watch

18 matches played. 14 matches remain. DC needs 7 wins to be the winningest team of all time. Goddamn.

Final Thoughts

I read through the comments on the previous debriefs, and there are some interesting questions. My feeling is similar to the suggestion that against Celtic we should put out our starters for at least the first half. Then rest some of them. In particular, Gomez, Gros, and Moreno are candidates for early showers. Alecko, of course, can play the entire game. I think giving Freddy a bit of a rest might also be a good idea, so take him off around the 60 minute mark. Getting Nick Rimando a half is also a good idea. Hmmm... International Friendly week. I should be lining up a wager, shouldn't I? Wonder if The Lord of the Wing is intersted...


At 10 July, 2006 14:37, Anonymous Oscar M said...

Put me in the not fond of Tony camp and the bizarre way he enunciates during a game. Just doesn't sound nat-U-ral.

At 10 July, 2006 15:51, Blogger D said...

See, I dig the entire "Cah-wrist-tee-an Gomez slots a pass for Jamie Moreno, who sends it back to Fah-coon-doe AIR-pen." But that's just me.

At 10 July, 2006 22:57, Anonymous Paul said...

Did anyone else enjoy seeing BC get to wear the armband? Was this his first time?

At 11 July, 2006 07:00, Blogger D said...

Not his first time... Jamie's been giving it to him pretty much every game when Ben wasn't on the field. I think this is abou the fourth time. Still is cool though.


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