12 September 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.26: Real Salt Lake


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steven Goff: "Coach Peter Nowak's makeshift lineup held up well for most of the evening, but yielded a tying goal midway through the second half and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake before a crowd of 19,812."
The Washington Times, John Haydon: "In the second half, Rimando, making his first start of the season, was called on early to pull of two big saves from Jason Kries and Mehdi Ballouchy. But the veteran goalie's efforts couldn't stop Salt Lake from leveling the score in the 65th minute. "
QuarterVolley: "In the end a 1-1 draw in those circumstances isn't too bad. "
BlackDogRed: "Forced by MLS rules to start an alliterative line-up if three starters are out for disciple, Nowak chose Dyachenko and deRoux and Donnet, and all three played admirably. No doubt many are going to wonder where deRoux has been and why he hasn't been on the field and why now he needs his minutes, and I confess he won my heart by two runs into the box early in the game and actually SHOOTING THE BALL."
DCSunDevil:"Our reserves proved that they could step it up and provide a larger amount of support for the club. I was proud of the guys."
The Far Post: "Before the game RFK announced a team called the “Unknowns” from the SYC league in Virginia were part of the Team Tunnel. But, then all these unknowns walked out wearing United’s black and red. Totally confusing!"
Real Salt Lake Blog (Marking the Referee?): "I did, however, love the fact that you could hear exactly what the DCU supporters were singing on the KSL broadcast, especially in the first half."
Are You Loyal?: "It was pretty clear that DC dominated this game (I had DC with 59% possession), which is why I'm so impressed RSL were able to take a point away from it."
DCist, Matt Borque: "The recipe turned out to be decent. Of course, some of the ingredients worked better than others. "

The Good

  1. The Kids are OK: Deroux, Dyachenko and Adu put in some good minutes for the black and red. DeRoux, as has been noticed several places, not only filled in well for Josh Gros, but provided something that we haven't seen much of this year: A winger who can dribble through traffic and penetrate down a wing. Dyachenko is craftier than you'd think, and provides a nice target for long balls from the keeper. Adu showed more confidence in this game than most I can remember.
  2. Control and Focus: This is the big reason why I am more optimistic after a draw than I was last week after a win. DC wasn't good in spots for this game, but good in stretches. Long stretches. Yes, they let up the gas for 15 minutes at the start of the second half, but otherwise they showed more composure in this game than in any game since before the all-star break.
  3. Rimando - I still belong: Nick had a good game, and my gut tells me that the truthiness of the goal was that Perkins would have played that ball almost identically. Two good saves to preserve a draw.
  4. Play in Traffic: DC's greatest improvement was in dealing with posession when RSL would clog areas of the field. They executed quick, simple, short, but deceptive passes and touches that could spring the ball out wide after some nice movement. I hadn't seen that kind of play since the last Columbus MLS game, and it was what made the first part of the season such a joy.
  5. Defensive Resilience: Brandon Prideaux kept the back line reasonably organized. Facundo Erpen did make his one strange play for the match, but it happened at midfield and ultimately resulted in a missed pass out of bounds. When he was under pressure, which was rare, he played well.
  6. Freddy Adu, Balanced Arrogance: Freddy's waiving off of Jamie Moreno and Donnet to take the free kick goal showed good instinct. Given that the kid has had to learn how to balance his instancts and the need to respect your elders for the good of the team, this game showed the right combination of arrogance and deference.

The Bad

  1. Coasting: DC played an excellent first half, but the intensity did falter at the start of the second. The instinct for this team is to preserve, not kill.
  2. Jeff Cunningham for USMNT!: If Jeff proved one thing in the last game, it is that he dives as well as anyone in the world. Put him on the USMNT, and we'll be getting more chances.
  3. The Art of Positioning and the AR: Setting aside the larger issue of whether Nowak is right to continue to criticisize the officiating, I will say that the AR nearest to me was consistently out of position to judge off-side calls. This went both ways.

Man of the Match

There was more than a little debate among your DCenters writers on this one. I started out favoring DeRoux, but arguments were made for Dyachenko and Adu. Ultimately, Freddy Adu won out, in a game where a team effort made this discussion very difficult. Great goal Freddy.

Final Thoughts

A game Wednesday against New England, and hope springs a bit for this team. I wasn't seeing any effort previously where I thought DC had something to build on, but the kids may have done something the vetrans were unable to do. There is, I think, based on the comments I heard in the SE Podcast, a sense that the players feel the same way. I think they felt that old feeling creeping back in again, and we'll see if it carries over.


At 13 September, 2006 05:09, Anonymous Matt said...

i think that perkins would have been quicker off his line and gotten to the ball...but who knows.

rimando did fine...I just can't believe that nowak chose this game to get the backup GK some time. I'd have thought that a playing with makeshift lineup is exactly the time where you need your best keeper....but whatever...

Anyone notice that Devoux's man scored? proves that while impressive...he's young. But damn was he fun to watch...

our attack has become too predictable in that we seem to rely on quick passes and flicks when we get within 25 yards. The post up forward almost always flicks the ball square or behind him to a runner.

I'd love to see Moreno or who is ever posting up to play a long square ball out wide...then cross it in. Also, I think that it was Nickol(sp?)who played ball back to Simms who crushed a shot. We rarely see that pass from our forwards...the always play a short square ball or flick it towards goal.

Teams are just packing players in the middle and make it so that there is such little space to play in that the flicks and short balls have to be perfect...which is hard to do in that close traffic.

We have guys on the wing that can cross...and midfielders + Erpen that can crack from long range. Our forwards go a great job of playing with their back to goal...they just need to vary the type of passes.

I thought Brandon P played real well...as well as the rookies. Not sure why Nowak hasn't used some of them before.

PS: I really like what Nickols (sorry about screwing up the name) did while in the match. He's a changeup style wise. hopefully he continues to grow as a player.


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