23 August 2006

First Impressions - DCU 3 : 1 NYRB (US Open Cup)

First, some reader interaction

Before first impressions, a quick answer to a question (you can skip to the "Impressions" section if you're impatient). Commenter DCNats asked "why should we play our reserves in the playoffs of a cup tournament?" He think perhaps resting the players during the regular season makes more sense. This is an excellent question to ask if you're trying to get familiar with this crazy world of MLS and US Soccer, so I'm going to take this space to answer his question.

Yes, the US Open Cup is a tournament worth winning. But in my mind, for DC United, it's the third highest priority. Their first priority right now should be to finish with the best regular season record in MLS, thus earning the Supporter's Shield. The Supporter's Shield will qualify DC United for International play next year. Yes, DC has a lead over FC Dallas for this title, but 8 points with 9 games left to play is not secure. So DC needs to take the rest of the regular season games seriously.

DC's secondary objective is to qualify for the playoffs in order to win the MLS Cup. Playoff qualification is pretty much assured at this point, so we don't need to worry about that.

The US Open Cup is the third most important concern. See, the most important trophy is the MLS Cup. The Supporter's Shield may not be as prestigous as the US Open Cup or MLS Cup, but it gurantees International Play, which makes it very important if perhaps not as presitgous. The US Open Cup is, at this point, a vanity title. A cool one, a very awesome accomplishment, but not as important at the other two goals. So resting regulars in US Open Cup games, provided it isn't the final (when the trophy is on the line) makes good sense. Right now, the regular season games are more important for DC. At least, that's how I view it.

Impressions

Which is why tonight's victory over the Red Bulls was a wonderful thing. Starters Christian Gomez and Freddy Adu got a full amount of rest. Jamie Moreno and Ben Olsen only worked 30 minutes. Eskandarian was subbed out as well. Fortunately, Jamil Walker decides to put on the Jamil Walker Show and get two goals, and Rod Dyachenko teases us with what might be in the future by sending a ball over to Josh Gros for a goal. Great. DC stays in the US Open Cup hunt (and the chance for the, dare I say it, Triple?). DC rests its starters ahead of Saturday's game against LA. This is a pretty good result for all involved. Kudos to Nowak for being willing to sit some guys, even as Bruce Arena (oh yeah, we beat Bruce at RFK, how nice is that?) trotted out his main weapons (Djorkaeff, Guevarra, Buddle) and first team line-up. A good win.

I'll let one of my compatriots take the full debrief for this game, since due to work concerns I had to follow the game through the exclusive MLSLIVE.TV video feed. Yeah, that one, the one that never happened. I've said some nice things about this service, but tonight tested my patience. Thank you for at least getting Tony over the audio feed. But c'mon people. That wasn't nice.

9 Comments:

At 23 August, 2006 23:31, Anonymous john said...

Quick question for you DCU experts: Freddy Adu was out during warmups, but not working too hard, and then wasn't even on the bench during the game (at least I couldn't see him). Simply resting the guy?

D, I took your advice and applauded Bruce Arena at the beginning, and then when the opening whistle was blown I wished an embarrasing failure upon him and his team. I was actually right behind the RBNY bench so I yelled at him to sit down once when he was complaining about a foul.

 
At 24 August, 2006 00:49, Blogger Kinney said...

*looks at Oscar for debrief*

I am currently in the middle of Huricaneville, Louisiana on my way to Houston. I managed to listen to the MLSlive radio feed but have to get up early and be on the road tomorrow.

 
At 24 August, 2006 01:15, Anonymous Kyle Sheldon said...

D - I posted this on bigsoccer, but wanted to extend the same comments to you.

-----------------------

Folks -

I've been in contact with the web folk all evening trying to sort out what went wrong with MLSLive.tv tonight. I can't say that I know why it wasn't on, but I wanted to let you know that it will be available as archived content early tomorrow morning. You'll be able to watch the full game for free - normally, you'd have to be a subscriber to watch full game content.

You'll be able to access that on our web site's Sights & Sounds page: http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/MLS/sights/index.jsp?club=dcu

I realize this doesn't compare to watching the game live, but for those of you who weren't able to see it at all, I hope this will help ease your pain..

Again, if you have comments or questions, feel free to drop me a line directly: ksheldon@dcunited.com

Finally, our sincerest apologies in promising you something that we didn't deliver. I swear this wasn't a ploy to try and get you to come watch future games at RFK (though, we would like to see you there!).

-Kyle Sheldon
Communications Coordinator
D.C. United

 
At 24 August, 2006 06:10, Blogger DCNats said...

thanks for answering my question D... it makes more sense now. If the Supporter's Shield will gives us a shot at earning some international respect then by all means I'd take that over the US Cup.

 
At 24 August, 2006 09:30, Blogger Doug said...

I read through the RBNY bigsoccer in-game thread late last night (after getting home from the game). It was fun to watch the cockiness towards the beginning -- including comments about how DC fell for Arena's comments that he was going to rest some of his regulars and then started them all. It was more fun to watch their attitude after the Walker's two goals and their optimism is limited to "Okay, well, at least we didn't lose to Charleston."

 
At 24 August, 2006 11:29, Blogger Oscar M. said...

I was at the game, I'll take a stab at the debrief but it'll be later in the day.

 
At 24 August, 2006 20:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let it be forever on your heads that it is your fault for jinxing us - on August 24th you did use, intentionally and in context, the term "Triple" in one of your blog entries. J'Accuse!

 
At 24 August, 2006 20:54, Blogger D said...

I know... I know... As soon as I published, I know I should have pulled it back...

but then again, since the Eastern Conference Preview when I wrote that DC would win the East, the motto here has been "Jack the Superstition and Bring the Titles" So I felt like it would be dishonest if I didn't mention it.

 
At 24 August, 2006 22:57, Anonymous Nick said...

I don't think you cursed us with the triple, and next year I want the penta:

1. Libertadores (I can dream right?)

2. Sudamericana (still have nightmares about last year)

3. Supporter's Shield

4. MLS Cup

5. US open cup

and, for good measure, might as well throw in the Copa Intercontinental (against Chelsea or Barcelona, likely) and the Recopa (which we would win automatically because we won libertadores and sudamericana)

Once we do that, I will be able to die a happy man...

 

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