16 March 2007

Debriefing for 12.A.03: CD Guadalajara

Leg #1 - DC UNITED 1 : 1 CD Guadalajara

Six Word Novel Recap

Chivas plays well, acts like jerks.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

NEW!!! Kyle Gustafson has some great photos. And yes, Chivas fans have a point about the goal we scored. Ben Olsen does seem to be taking out the Chivas keeper with a full-on Donald Brashear.
The Washington Post
, Steve Goff
: "...United had to work very hard just to salvage a tie at home and now faces the prospect of having to win the final leg of the two-game, total-goals series April 3 in Guadalajara to advance to the Champions' Cup finals."
The Washington Times, John Haydon: " Emilio's goal -- his fourth in three games with his new team -- lifted United to a 1-1 tie against CD Guadalajara at RFK Stadium, putting the aggregate
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "
The passionate rivalry between the CONCACAF nations was clearly felt at the club level as well, with heavy tackles flying in while both sets of fans looked to drown out the other's cheers."
An American's View..., Brian Garrison: "Our attack needs to get much better and get everyone back on the same page that we were on against Olimpia. If that is to happen, we have a fighting chance in the second leg."
BlackDogRed: "...if ever a tie felt like a loss this was it."
Hexagonal Blog: "The comm said that this was a great result for United - well, it's better than 0-1, but not what was required in the end. It changes the task on 5 April from 'impossible' to 'very difficult.'"
DC Soccer, Joseph Schoenbauer: "Therefore, MLS teams in this competition never really stand a chance, and if say, DC United or the Houston Dynamo, who defeated Pachuca 2-0 tonight in the first leg in Houston, does pull off a remarkable aggregate victory, it will be a one off that will give no real justification for perceptions of MLS fans and fans around the world to believe that this will become a regular result in years to come." (Note: This was left in our comments last night. I can't find a link to it on DCSoccer itself, but it's a hell of an article.)

(NOTE: We may add more recaps to this list as we see them. Or we may not. It depends on how lazy I am. But I think Off-wing, SE Pod, SE Match Report, Barra Bravand a few others will be coming.)

The Good

  1. Atmosphere: I know... the Chivas fans were louder and outnumbered the United fans. It was a strange feeling, but also a somewhat exhilarating one. It made it a clear choice for our side: Do we give up knowing we can be drowned out at any moment? Or do we sing as loud as we can for as long as we can? I can honestly say, and I have no idea how it was on TV, that we did the latter. I applaud the effort.
  2. Defensively Tighter: I wrote yesterday that I wouldn't be surprised if Chivas managed to play balls into the box, but I wanted our defenders to deny them space. For the most part, that is exactly what happened, and the backline of Erpen, Namoff, and Boswell pressured the Chivas attackers well. Yes, all three made gaffs, but they were rare for the most part and not nearly as problematic as the last match against Olimpia. The defense as a whole kept its shape well.
  3. Leadership: Olsen and Boswell were very obviously quite vocal, especially in the second half. It is what I want to see from them, the willingness to rally and take command.
  4. Stephen DeRoux: Look, it's not like he had a great game, but he played better on the wing than I thought he would. I may have been wrong about him.

The Bad

  1. 20 minute warm-up: Yes, this is the same point as last time: United was not well in the first 20 minutes.
  2. Developing Chances: If the defense did their job in stopping attacks, distribution was still a bit of a problem. Even when that worked, United was much too indecisive in midfield to create much of an opportunity. Part of this may have been that Chivas marked out attackers better than Olimpia, but that's not the entire story. They could have done more here.
  3. Brian Carroll: Multiple goofs, slow, and awkward out there. Not a good basis for his national team selection.
  4. Jaime Moreno: Look, I'm not about to say it's time for him to hang it up. It just may be that it takes him a few more games to warm-up and get into form given his age. I'm willing to give him half a season if necessary. But it bears watching.
  5. Divas Guadalajara: I'm stealing this from Tucksider in our comments from yesterday. It's a great phrase, and fits well. Also, check out the very insightful comment from someone who is I think a DCenters reader over at Soccer by Ives. Matt Y on the difference between Ben Olsen and Chivas. I think he refutes Ives nicely on this one. Seriously, and I mean this in the most derogatory way possible: Chivas comported themselves like a bunch of Italians Footballers out there.

Man of the Match

Tough call on this one. Merit award to Ben Olsen, but despite the own goal, my man of the match is Bryan Namoff. He kept this game within reach with multiple neat steps, headers out of the box, and classy tackles. Seriously.

Final Thoughts

In the fiftieth minute, Moreno has tracked back to help stop a Chivas counter. With Namoff also back, he made an attempt to step in and take the ball from, I think, Mejia. He clipped a bit of Mejia's foot, who went down just inside the box. The referee motioned for Mejia to get up.

In Guadalajara, that's going to be a penalty (although it really should probably be an indirect free kick inside the box.) I fully expect again that, at times, we'll be jobbed by the officials.

The result was about what I expected, but I'm not doom and gloom about this. Am I expecting a win in Mexico? No, that'd be foolish. But neither am I writing this off as a series already lost. United has more than a theoretical chance. Underdogs? Sure. But they were underdogs when this series started. They can, and will, play better.

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At 16 March, 2007 14:15, Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

Nice post. Here's what I came up with.

In general, I'm where you are: DC didn't get outplayed, they defended well, but, dang, something was up with their timing; it strikes me as significant that there was little to say about Gomez for once.

At 17 March, 2007 03:48, Anonymous Matt Y said...

manly ferry has a really good game analysis...the best that I've seen....pretty much my thoughts exactly.

i was telling my father in law (a long time Chivas and Atlas fan) that the big difference between the two teams is that all Chivas have good/great technical ability and field vision.

We have 3-4 players that are average in that area. Thus...our attacks break up easier..we don't send as many penetrating, pinpoint passes.

Chivas are always dangerous no matter who has the ball...we aren't...and rely on a few guys to "hurt" the opposition.

Great result...really. Chivas are impressive and are among the best in the western hemisphere...a tie isn't a bad result (well...it is if our goal is to advance of course).

i'm not giving up...if we can score the first goal in Esadio jalisco...i fully expect chivas to lose their heads....

my father in law was impressed by the way....especially when i told him the total payroll of DC united compared to Chivas...

I've been working hard to convince my soccer buddies (both mexican and non-believer americans) that DC is a quality side and most of all plays good football. i'm winning a few over...and it's real hard work to break down the bias vs. MLS...

At 17 March, 2007 03:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. that was me defending Benny...i like Ives...cept that he's a red ass fan.

As for hating the Chivas, both my kids like America, Atlas and DC United. They love to tell everyone that "Chivas Stink!".

I couldn't let them support a club that wouldn't accept them as players soley based on their nationality...

Keep up the good work...

PS: maybe myself and manly ferry saw the game the same cause A. we watched it on TV...and weren't freezing our asses off and having to listen to Chivas fans...and B. i guess he's from the Northwest also....

At 17 March, 2007 03:57, Anonymous Matt Y said...

Oops..forgot my name above.

Everyone don't forget to root for America to wack Chivas on Sunday.

At 17 March, 2007 16:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO the big difference was that Chivas let us do whatever we wanted on the wings, because they knew we were so weak on the outside, that they could stack the middle and shut down our attack. They really were not afraid of great crosses into the center, or attacks coming in from the sidelines.

Id love it if someone could answer for sure if Fred might be allowed to play round two down in Mexico (counting either work permit or Cup rules about player additions in the middle of a semi-final series.

Gros is a great defending Mid, but I'd rather take a chance on new talent that can cross and attack via Fred and Casal... what do we have to lose at this point...?

At 18 March, 2007 03:28, Blogger tucksider said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 18 March, 2007 03:30, Blogger tucksider said...


Goff seems to indicate the only thing preventing Fred from suiting up for DC in the return leg is the lack of an agreement between DCU and Melbourne.

here's hoping they can work that out soon... but it does seem like our situation gives MVFC some leverage in demanding a transfer fee.

i think Gros plays even if Fred is in the lineup, and i would imagine maybe Simms sits, since neither he nor Benny really has any business out on the wing. you're right; we have too many good d-mids and no one for the flanks.

again from Goff (seventh Q down), apparently Casal is pretty raw and certainly wouldn't figure to get the start.


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