23 July 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.20: At Chicago Fire


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Times, Bob Hurst: "We're lucky that we got the one point." -- And I'm wondering... where is Mr. Haydon?
The Washington Post, Jack McCarthy: "United managed just one shot on goal through the first 64 minutes, but earned ample penalties including yellow cards on four players."
MLSNet, Jack Daniel Chavez: "...the turning point came when Pause was sent off in the second half for a silly caution. He had received a booking in the first half for a hard tackle, one of many in the opening 45 minutes that had a playoff-type feel."
Chicago Sun-Time, Len Ziehm: "Nate Jaqua, the only Fire player selected to play for the Major League Soccer All-Stars in their Aug. 5 match against English powerhouse Chelsea, didn't even crack his team's starting 11 Saturday night in a 1-1 draw against powerhouse D.C. United."
Chicago Tribune, Jack McCarthy: Okay, wait a minute. How can Jack McCarthy be special to both the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. Don't you have to pick one for "Special" to be used, even if the articles differ. I mean, it's really not that special if two papers have it. Yes, full credit for writing two articles, but is this okay in the media? For fun, see how the slant changes from one article to the next. Fascinating. Jack McCarthy, for picking up two paychecks at one game, the DCenters salutes you.
BlackDogRed: "Best point of the year...I have an abundant heart. I am more than capable of joyously hating Chicago." -- He's right in a specific schadenfreude sort of way.

The Good

  1. The Emotional Bobby Boswell: Boswell, as a rookie and through most of this season, seemed to be someone who was decent in the backline, but not particularly vocal or willing to step up. Against Chicago, we saw him yelling at Bryan Namoff for not stepping up on the offside trap, and getting into C.J. Brown's face defending his team. I like this. Boswell, if he can control these factors in his game, is starting to mature not just as a classy defender, but a potential leader of this team in a few years.
  2. One Point: Chicago was ready for DC. To get one point on the road in this game was a success, even with the man advantage. Take it, and get out of town.
  3. Freddy Adu, Legal Eagle: Yes, Logan Pause was delaying play. But it was Freddy Adu that drew the red card by throwing the ball into Pause's arms. In some ways, this was the true revenge and counterpoint for the Gomez-Brown incident in the playoffs. There, it was our side that was pulled into an unnecessary red. This time, it was Freddy making Logan look as bad as possible right in front of the Referee Kevin Stott. Well done lad.

The Bad

  1. The Emotional Ben Olsen: Yes, while I credit Boswell above, I'm taking Ben to task. The issue with Ben isn't a matter of him standing up for his team, but the fact that he really seems to be living emotionally on the edge. We know he'll fight for his side, but I'm starting to worry about him getting booked for dissent each game, or a reckless foul. Get him some Bene Gesserit priestesses to harness that anger.
  2. Facundo Erpen, Cardiac Kid: When Dave and Garth are talking about it, it is no longer just a blogger mouthing off. Again, it's the just random moments of poor execution that are killing us here. It's like he mentally checks out for a bit. That can't keep happening. At some point, it will burn him.
  3. Settle Down Y'all: United players should start to expect the hacking, grabbing, hard tackling style from most of their opponents from here on out. They shouldn't let it distract them, but rather play through it. If someone is always marking you closely, you know what to do. Play the ball quickly into space, and then use your speed. Don't start getting whiny about it. That won't help.

Man of the Match

Alecko got the goal, but Bobby Boswell gets Man of the Match for some tough defesive play.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the few games this year where I'm willing to say that the scoreline flattered DC United. Chicago had the better of this game, even being down a man. Escaping with a tie should come as no comfort to United...

That being said, I am glad this game came when it did. This game was a chilling reminder that while DC is better than most of the league, any team can take it to them on any night. That DC was able to see that lesson without dropping all the points is a good thing. You can always talk about having respect for other teams, but you need to feel it on the pitch. Columbus wasn't doing that for DC, but Chicago certainly did.


At 24 July, 2006 11:21, Blogger Doug said...

Look at the stats on yellow card accumulations, look at the schedule.

I'm guessing that Namoff or Boswell will find a way to get a card against RSL and sit out against RBNY.

Maybe the other will look for a card in the RBNY game and sit out against Colorado so that they'll both be available to shut down Donovan.


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