25 September 2006

Debriefing for Match 11.29: New York Red Bulls


Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "On an emotional night when the club honored its 1996 MLS championship team, Moreno, the only player remaining from that pioneering squad, inspired a second-half surge that propelled badly short-handed United to a wild, 4-3 victory over the New York Red Bulls before 21,727 at RFK Stadium."
The Washington Times, John Haydon: "It was a much-needed win for United and only the club's second victory in 10 games...This was clearly a tighter and more organized Red Bulls team than United had faced early in the season, when it earned a decisive 4-1 road win and two ties. "
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Jimmy LaRoue: "United received credible performances from reserves Jamil Walker and Rod Dyachenko, as well as Jeff Carroll and Brandon Prideaux. United also brought in two more reserves as substitutes in David Stokes and Clyde Simms. And, when the match was 11-on-11, United didn't give up a goal in the run of play, surrendering a lone goal from Amado Guevara on a penalty kick. The call leading to the kick deserves scrutiny. "
Mid-Atlantic Soccer Report, Ian Penderleith: "True, this was the best match of the season at RFK by a long way, and it's not going to happen every home game. But the fact that it happens at all is what makes people come to games as regulars rather than casuals. And to some extent, the team on display last night wasn't just DC United. With rookie players like Rod Dyachenko and Jeff Carroll in the starting lineup, and with recent signing Matias Donnet starting to settle in, it was the DC United of tomorrow."
DC SunDevil: "That was on wierd game. I enjoyed it, and according to FSC, United should also have wrapped up the Supporters Shield, but MLSnet.com doesn't mention it." [Note: They didn't mention it because we haven't yet, but as comments on the First Impressions post noted, we have the tie break of FC Dallas, so all it takes is one more win. I refuse to consider getting the shield because FC Dallas loses.]
BlackDogRed: "This is Christian Gomez' team... All four goals touched his foot. He is the best player in MLS. He's work rate is equal to his talent. He seems to have assumed personal responsibility for making the team go. He always had the talent, but now I see a determination that distinguishes between really talented and truly great. " [Note: Word.]

The Good

  1. Christian Gomez, Devilish: It was fitting that on a night where Marco Etcheverry was honored for his service as a number 10 for this team that Christian Gomez would finally cement his place as the true heir of the playmaker role. Certainly he was an impact player in 2004 during the MLS Cup run, and 2005 established himself as one of the best in the league, but it is this year where, as BlackDogRed notes above, he has taken control of this team. I personally was wondering who would step up and lead this team, especially with Moreno now in the final few years of his career as a top playmaking forward. That question was answered.
  2. Tanned...Rested...Ready - Moreno: Earlier in the year, the DCenters wondered aloud about Moreno getting burnt out before time since he was regularly going the full 90. However, I lost confidence in that opinion since Moreno was still generating plays. It turned out that there was every reason to worry, and I'm not sure that two days off will be enough to get us through the rest of the season. Still, it was good to see. Very, very good to see.
  3. Kid 'n Play: As mentioned earlier, I was pleased with the play of rookies Rod Dyachenko and Jeff Carroll, and thought Freddy Adu looked the most dangerous he has looked in some time. New acquisition Mattias Donnet got a goal, but only seemed to really be in the game after he was moved out to the wing. Still, it is clear he can cross a ball. But hold on to that thought for a bit...
  4. Composure: I know this seems strange in a match where Facundo Erpen gets ejected on a bone-headed retaliation move, but the rest of the team seemed much more composed. I've been harping on this, but last night I saw less jawing at the referee and plays from anger than I'd seen in the previous five games. Captain Ben Olsen was in control, and the team took the proper cues.

The Bad

  1. Stutter: It may be lost in the frenzy that was the final forty-five minutes, and others may disagree, but I think that NYRB had the edge in terms of the run of play in the opening half. That's not to say that DC didn't have chances, but New York was finding openings that forced an adjustment after the interval.
  2. Passing out of the Back: Dave and Garth spoke about playing long balls over the top and not finding attackers, but the few balls played on the ground in the opening 45 were weighted oddly and frequently wild off that mark. This got better, but too often it led to a needless loss of posession.
  3. Sweet Creamery Butter: Garth, there already is a catchphrase on the goals, and it belongs to Dave "In the Net" Johnson. I'm not sure what sweet creamery butter is supposed to suggest, other than something Tony Meola might cover his body in.

Man of the Match

Christain Gomez, the MVP of the league. Well, that'd be my vote. Not sure how we'll handle voting for the BASAs over here.

Final Thoughts

One game is not a trend, and we should resist the temptation to think the slump is over. We are right where we were after the Chivas game - looking at some tough games in the future and the chance to establish momentum into the playoffs. This is our last chance to do so.

Oh, and buy your playoff tickets.


At 25 September, 2006 11:02, Anonymous Joanna said...


I have very fond memories of adoring Tony Meola when I was twelve BUT THAT IS NOT A MENTAL IMAGE I NEEDED.


At 25 September, 2006 12:13, Anonymous GUTuna said...

I like the "Sweet Creamery Butter!" call.

It's not a replacement for "It's in the net!". It should only be used for a golazo. Then it may stay.

At 25 September, 2006 12:42, Anonymous Kris said...

How can you discuss "the bad" from this match without explicitly calling out Erpen stupid red-card. He got baited and fell for it, which demonstrates a serious lack of composure.

At 25 September, 2006 14:20, Blogger D said...

Joanna: My apologies.

GUTuna: I can accept that. Golazo get it. But not every goal.

Kris: I did talk about it in the "good" area as an exception to otherwise decent composure, so I thought about revisiting it but felt like that would be overkill. Yeah, it was stupid. Stupid stupid stupid.

At 25 September, 2006 15:29, Anonymous Paul said...

I thought about composure when I saw the photograph (on http://www.matchnight.com/) that appears to show Schopp grabbing Adu by the throat, or at the very least touching his face. It wasn't clear from the broadcast what actually happened, but it was certainly a provocation, and Adu was mature not to retaliate. He's had a propensity for stupid yellow cards in the past.

That picture reminded me of Darth Vader lifting up the Death Star officer by the throat.

Release him, Lord Vader.


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