24 August 2006

Kinney's Response to DCNats

It is fairly common for English teams (whose cup is the best known) to rest players in the FA Cup. That is why you see good team just out of the Championship hunt, like Liverpool last year, take the FA Cup. Because it is normal, is okay (read: will not start fan rumblings about who Nowak favors, especially in goal), to rest players where there is very little drop off, like Perkins and Olsen. It does change a little bit for MLS where we also have a league playoff instead of just a league table. However, for DC it makes sense because they are also very interested in the Supporter's Shield for the reasons D enumerated.

I think resting Gomez and Adu was more for injuries than anything else (and Goff confirms this). Adu got a knock in practice last Tuesday, and Gomez came out hurt on Saturday. But giving these two a rest as well as Moreno a rest is also something else though.

Tactics. Yes, tactics. We all know that a Bruce Arena team is going to play a high back four. Watching Barca carve up the Red Bull defense with long balls for Eto, Deco, Ronaldinho, Saviola, and Messi to run on to was a thing of beauty. I was hoping United could do the same in New Jersey last week. They didn't, but it seemed they did tonight.

In a game where you are resting your two best attacking midfielders, why not completely bypass the midfield and play balls over the top? Especially when playing against a team that you know is going to be using the off-side trap aggressively. That is exactly what we did this game, using Walker and Eski paired together for the first time because they both play best running at defenses. We still held a lot of possession, but mostly in the back (with a very defensive midfield) looking for those searching runs.

This also let us bring the pressure up by bringing in our vets for the kill, much like we tried to do in Columbus last year after the Pumas debacle. This time it worked a bit better. Basically, I am saying that in his return to RFK, Bruce Arena got out-coached.


At 24 August, 2006 06:13, Blogger DCNats said...

Kinney- thanks for answering my question. We're on the same page now- ecspecially since we won 3-1.

At 24 August, 2006 22:49, Anonymous Nick said...

Good Post, but..
"Esky plays best running at defenders..."

Maybe it's just me but everytime I see him running at defender's other than columbus or salt lake, it's a guaranteed turn over. I think esky's spot is in the penalty box where he can just wack the hell out of it...if we really wanted to play over the top, I think moreno and walker would have been the best pairing.

At 25 August, 2006 12:30, Blogger Kinney said...

Nick - I think I phrased that wrong, running in behind defenders is probably what I should have said. Eski is very good on the break at buring his chances with his left boot, Walker is just plain fast. If you are going to play people through, these are the people that you want. Moreno and Adu can do this, but they also have the ball skills that sometimes slow the game down. Which is a very good thing most of the time, but not the way I think Nowak wanted to play this game.


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