02 August 2006

Debriefing for Match #11B: Open Cup Fourth Round


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steven Goff: "United usually handles minor league opposition in the single-elimination tournament involving teams from all levels of American soccer, but repeatedly falters when faced with a top-tier hurdle."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "Typically known more for his skill than his work rate, on this night Gomez was dashing from end to end in an inspiring display of heart..."
USOpenCup.com: "...all three goals came off set pieces, with midfielder Christian Gomez the setup man for both D.C. United conversions."
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Jimmy LaRoue: "DC United may have controlled the last night's match from start to finish, but they missed shots from nearly every conceivable angle..."
BlackDogRed: "...this is a pattern that's going to bite DCU on the ass if they don't work it out and it's going to cost them something important."
DC Sun Devil: "Last nights match was one of the more "interesting" matches I have seen from United."

The Good

  1. Attacking Soccer: I am not sure if it was because they never got the lead or just because United was pissed after the RSL game, but either way they took it to the Crew. This should have been a repeat of the 5-1 game at RFK. Unfortunately finishing is the first thing under "The Bad" list, and should be repeated for each and every player that took a shot.
  2. Christian Gomez Again: Gomez showed tonight why he is United's MVP. Not only did he have both assists, but he also kept running in the 115th minute of the game in one of the hottest games of the year.
  3. Nick Rimando: Nicky saved United on multiple occasions last night. Making the great reaction saves that we are accustom to from him. He even had a great punch out on a cross in the second half. When I saw him in the opening line-up I was afraid that he might be a little rusty, but there was no sign of any rust at all.

The Bad

  1. Finishing Freddy missed an open goal. Eski missed three or four volleys that he normally buries. Moreno, Gomez, and Walker were all in one on one with Bill Guadette and failed to finish. In the last 10 minutes of regulation United put two shots off the post. Sometimes United holds a clinic on the different ways to put the ball in the net, this time we showed all the kids out there all the possible ways of missing the shot. The next two have question marks next to them because if we had finished they wouldn't have mattered in the least.
  2. Depth? I'm not saying we don't have depth, but with Mediate, McTavish, Wilson, and Prideaux out with injury and Quaranta just coming back from his leave of absence United was a bit less 3-D than normal. Nowak put in some new blood as Dyachenko and Nickell both got quality minutes, especially in OT. These two both showed they have skills, but neither linked up well with the regulars. This is obviously minor and can be fixed with more time, but was a bit of a downer after the reserves play during the Celtic game.
  3. Breaking Defense?: In the beginning of the year, United's defense would bend but not break. It wouldn't give up the quality chance at the end of the game. That is no longer the case. DC United finishing was atrocious, but there are still quotes from the Crew about luck not being on their side because they hit the post twice in the last five minutes of OT. DC should not be giving up those last gasp chances at all and the entire team needs to work on that if they expect to go far in the Open Cup or the playoffs.

Man of the Match

Christian Gomez - see above

Final Thoughts

I don't know how a win can't be satisfying but that was it. United should have destroyed them, instead it goes to OT. I should have been celebrating goals by Adu, Gomez, Moreno, Walker, Gros, and Olsen, instead I groaned more than I jumped for joy. It got so bad that some of the supporters would start the D.C. United chant like we had a goal scored on us instead of the Ole Ole Ole of a missed chance. All that said, I am very glad that DC won because it would have been a completely horrible loss and a win is a win no matter if it is ugly.

Not to mention we now get another Open Cup game. United is playing either NYRB or Wilmington on Wednesday August 23rd at RFK (Special Game B for you season ticket holders). The pink steers are playing Wilmington tonight to decide whom we play. Lets go Hammerheads.


At 02 August, 2006 15:56, Blogger D said...

Good MotM choice... hell, great debrief... Kind of envious i didn't make it out there.

At 03 August, 2006 08:55, Blogger lotw@fsmail.net said...

reserves our squad players are always inconistant. it's due to lack of playing time and lack of match sharpness.

in these days with large squads without constant rotation players sit for long periods on their butts collecting nothing but fat pay cheques.

the question has to be asked why are these players only squad players?

us at celtic have found out to our cost that sending shadow squads to play friendlies is an accident waiting to happen.


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