29 July 2006

First Impression - RSL 2 : 1 DC UNITED

The natural reaction thing to say is that somehow the ref gave this game to Salt Lake. Or perhaps to think that Real Salt Lake got lucky. While both explanations are comforting, neither is true. The penalties awarded to Real Salt Lake were plausible. The first penalty was completley legitimate, and the second was a borderline call that I can understand why it was made. You can't say that Referee Abbey Okulaja was insane on the second call, as Wilson's tackle, at real speed, looked to have both missed the ball and impeded the attacker while in the box. That's a penalty.

The next natural reaction will be to scapegoat John Wilson. Okay, I can understand that, but it also isn't quite the truth. See, all of this stems from the idea that DC can't be beaten, but can give the game away. You don't want to give credit to another team for playing well. Yet for pretty much the entire game, Real Salt Lake played DC well. Good enough to win? Debatable. Good enough to have earned a draw? Certainly. It wasn't a case of DC playing poorly either. United probably had an average game out there, while RSL played a good one. Sometimes, the other team has just as much right as the team you root for.

Is this how you want to go into the all-star break? Well, why not. Several others have noted how DC was saying the right things before games, but not playing up for them. I think DC Sundevil and BlackDogRed made those points in relation to the Chicago game. Well, tack on this game as well. DC played an average game, but average, even for a team with this talent, won't make the win automatic. A valuable lesson.


At 29 July, 2006 23:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about if freaking Jamil Walker puts that chance away on the 3-on-2 break? Disaster.

At 29 July, 2006 23:31, Blogger D said...

Oh, I agree. That was ridiculous. But there were other chances missed as well. That was clearly the most egregious.

But that also balances with Stewart missing the open header on the frame. So it sort of evens out.

At 29 July, 2006 23:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess - that's soccer. Jamil just messes up more of those than anyone I've ever seen.. the guy is fast as anyone, but can't make simple passes.. You've simply got to do better than that. If he doesn't screw that up, it's 2-0 DCU and the game is over..

Maybe the real mistake was Gomez giving the ball to the guy seven career goals and not the guy with 104.

At 30 July, 2006 00:12, Blogger Mike H said...

D, I saw the game in much the same way.

Maybe DC will use this to reignite their attack, which has been lacking for a few matches now.

At 30 July, 2006 02:46, Anonymous Matt said...

DC has been doing this (missing chances...not pushing to put teams away when up 1-0) WAY too much recently and it finally burned them.

A good lesson...to echo D....

This tendancy has been really annoying me the past 6-7 weeks so in a way i'm glad we finally paid for it....maybe we will learn.

At 30 July, 2006 04:38, Blogger scaryice said...

I'm waiting for the return of David Stokes!

At 30 July, 2006 14:20, Blogger Fisch said...

I don't know, maybe I didn't see things the way everyone else did. I thought United pretty much stunk -- the offense only produced a couple of good chances, and the defense was getting beat throughout. I also thought that the second penalty was the clearer foul of the two. It was a Paul Bunyan imitation by Wilson.

I just wondered whether it really was impeding progress to the goal -- Klein was running away from the frame and had already passed the ball off. I thought the argument was over whether or not a free kick in the box was the more appropriate call, instead of awarding a penalty spot kick.

I've got a blog, too -- http://fischfry.blogspot.com

At 30 July, 2006 18:31, Blogger DCNats said...

I replayed that Jamil Walker 3-on-2 miss roughly 1,000 times last night... the loss hurts, but I'll gladly accept it if it means we learned something about finishing oponnents off.

At 31 July, 2006 08:56, Blogger KevinG said...

Hail Hail

just on a wee catch up as had PC problems.

I'm going to be a bit wet behind the ears but is that your 1st defeat of the season?

your right royal humping of Celtic has sparked an interest in the MLS for me.

standard a lot better than we imagined.

will post a wee link on lotw for you even though i never took you up on that wager D.

Good Luck and nice blog



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