21 February 2007

First Impressions - CD Olimpia 1 : 4 DC United

Like last season, we'll offer more in-depth analysis with the full debrief, but first a question: "Was it just as good for you as it was for me?"

I told Lifton at the half that I was happy with what I saw when the score was 1-1. We were passing well, playing a fair amount of the game on Olimpia's end of the pitch. The team wasn't perfect, but they were playing decently. The touches weren't quite there, but you could see what it would be like when they were. United was able to systematically move the ball around the field with controlled passes, although any attempt to play the ball long over-the-top seemed somewhat adventerous. The defense held its shape in the run of play very well. Perkins was back playing air traffic control like he was at his best last year. Gomez was running the offense decently, if not perfectly. That Emilio made a classy, classy goal to put us up 2-1 felt like a nice bonus.

Then United added two more: First with Christiam Gomez finding the near post corner with a bit of help from a slow-reacting keeper, and then with Facundo Erpen's header from the corner kick. I mean... a corner-kick goal?! We only seem to get those in international games, they never come in the regular season.

This isn't to say all was perfect. It wasn't, and you can see some potential roadblocks ahead. And CD Olimpia's effort was much poorer, especially in passing during the run of play, than I expected to see from them. But for right now, congratulations to Tom Soehn, Christan Gomez, Emilio Luciano, and the entire DC United effort. For the 2007 campaign to begin this way surpassed not only my expectations, but my dreams. A nice start. No, a wonderful start. But only a start.

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At 22 February, 2007 00:46, Blogger Oscar M. said...

Damn, you beat me to the punch. The Soehn era starts with a bang, and he manages to win an away game in an international tournament. Something which Nowak was never able to do, iirc. That must mean Tom is a better coach. The pessimist in me would have wanted a tighter win (1-0 or 2-1 DC), to keep the team from getting overconfident going into the semi-final game.

My takeaways:
* We'll do as well as Christian does.
* I like the Emilio pickup, he's been much more impressive in this game than Filomeno ever was. He had good control in tight spaces.
* Emilio could relieve a lot of pressure from Gomez and Moreno.
* Moreno looked out of it, a couple of bad turnovers that led to dangerous counters and the usual hesitation to shoot in the box.
* I'm not convinced that Olsen belongs out wide - what is a midfield of Carrol/Simms/Olsen compensating for?
* Erpen had his share of brain farts.

Finally, the announcers from FSC were absolutely atrocious. They couldn't pronounce Namoff, talked around the action, missed when Moreno went down towards the end from a knowk, constantly got player name's wrong (seriously how do you confuse grizzly Olsen with Josh Gros?), and made up the word 'Shambolic' to describe the Olimpia defending at one point.

Sorry I couldn't join up with you guys at Summers.

At 22 February, 2007 01:55, Blogger The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I'll disagree a bit. Given we are only a couple weeks into our pre-season (even with the early start) I'd say it was a hell of a result. It was going to be a little ugly no matter what.

At 22 February, 2007 03:14, Anonymous Matt Y said...

1. i really like Emilio...and thought this even before the goal. perfect compliment to morenon and gomez

2. Gomez is great...looked great..better than ever....pay him whatever he wants....get him a green card...then citizenship...and hand him the #10 jersey for the US nat team. If portugal isn't ashamed to naturalize deco...and belgium, poland, germany do also...why should we be.

3. Perkins is king of the air...he will play in England or Germany just on that skill alone. 2-3 years...and he's gone. I'd be shocked if he didn't make the 2010 WC team.

4. Reffing was GREAT

5. Olympia fans are AWESOME...the true heroes of the match. If one is an olympia player...they should hand their head with shame for putting out such an effort in front of an inspiring crowd.
I can see why Emilio didn't want to celebrate out of respect for the fans...class move...class fans.
PS: the chicas from Puntarenas are hotter though...

6. Houston looked terrible...and so did the cow pasture that they played on. DeRo looked lost....terrible reffing quite a contrast from the DC Game

7. If olson is on the outside...we need to have Namoff behind him...not el loco Erpen.
Gros-Erpen...Namoff-Olson is a better mix.

8. I actually didn't view Soehn as having a strong game. Our players played the ball backwards in their own third WAY too much. I know that it's our style, and a team also needs to adjust to the pitch. Some of those balls were way too risky only because they'd be bouncing like crazy when they got to our player. Soehn should have corrected that.
I though he waited WAY too long to sub out Moreno and Olson. Moreno because having fresh legs would have been good to protect the 3-1 lead...he could have put in a midfielder and pushed up Gomez..plus it saves Moreno wear and tear..plus injury possibility.
olson...because he had a yellow card...yes he's a vet and should know how to play with one...but Benny only knows one speed..and isn't known for having good brakes...he clatters into guys way too often.

9. I like simms and carroll paired together...both good work rate...solid defenders, do a good job of filling in the defensive holes created by only having three back and make the simple passes....it allows Gomez to do whatever he wants. Our thre attackers are so talented I'm not sure we need too much playmaking from those two...

10. Would someone please tell Moreno to SHOOT..he's giving us fans a heart attack.

At 22 February, 2007 03:17, Anonymous Matt said...

Seriously though...we need to start a "Naturalize Gomez" movement.
So what if his English is just so-so...isn't that why Sunil wants his coach to learn Spanish??

At 22 February, 2007 09:16, Anonymous BigKris said...

that faint murmur you're hearing is the rest of MLS sitting up, taking notice and muttering under their breath, "Oh, S---, they're back!"

At 22 February, 2007 10:00, Blogger Oscar M. said...

I'd love to have Gomez on the USMNT as much as anyone else but he'll be 36 in 2010

At 22 February, 2007 11:37, Anonymous GUTuna said...

Shambolic is a word. Even if it's very Brit-poseur to use that piece of British soccer slang.

That's one thing I never like about FSC announcers. They always go out of their way to add in little sayings, slang, or nicknames from around the world. The problem is it's always done in such an obviously intentioned way it just sounds stupid. Just call the game!

At 22 February, 2007 11:54, Blogger Oscar M. said...

i'd like to think that the announcer made up the word as his brain ground to a halt.


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