09 April 2007

Debriefing for Match 12.01: At Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids 2 : 1 D.C. United

Six Word Novel Recap

Weather was cold. So was United.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "...United was badly outplayed in its MLS opener by the middling Colorado Rapids and dropped a 2-1 decision Saturday... "
The Washington Times, Pat Rooney: "When United doesn't play its possession game with a certain level of effectiveness, bad things happen."
MLSNet, Tom Buck: "Rapids winger Terry Cooke put in a man-of-the-match performance, continuing his fine play from last season when he led MLS in assists, setting up both Rapids goals. Herculez Gomez headed home the first goal in Dick's Sporting Goods Park history, then Roberto Brown doubled the lead by halftime. Luciano Emilio scored a late consolation goal for United."
UnitedMania, Chris Webb: "What in the Hell has happened to Brian Carroll of DC United?"
Ben Olsen's Beard: "92:47- Greg Vanney asks Moreno what the five fingers said to the face."
QuarterVolley: " United did not roll over and die."
BlackDogRed: "...two months from now this will be remembered as a blip with many asterisks of mitigating circumstances...I give Soehn credit: in a relatively meaningless game for DCU, compared to the Chivas game, and compared to how meaningful the game was for Colorado, Deroux and Moose and then Fred and Casal? I think that's smart..."
The Far Post: "United looked like a team that hadn’t been home in many weeks. They make many mental errors and didn’t protect the ball – poor possession, easy give aways, sloppy passing..."

The Good

  1. The Potential of Yinka Casal: Audacity and a willingness to take people on the dribble, the ability to send a hard cross from the wing... There's certainly some talent there.
  2. Justin Moose: Goff jobs Moose in his player ratings. Moose was, to me, acceptable on the wing in a midfield that played atrociously. That "acceptable" qualifies as a good thing from this game says something, but Moose didn't underperform my expectations like, say, Christian Gomez or Brian Carroll. Even DeRoux looked a bit off what I expected from him.
  3. Ben Olsen: If Jamie Moreno retires soon, Olsen deserves the armband. He is a leader, both vocally and in terms of example. Yes, he took a silly yellow, but he knew it the moment he popped up.

The Bad

  1. Midfield: I'm not going to take issue with the defense. Yes, Erpen had his hands full but played, I thought, relatively decently. Everyone is criticizing DeRoux for getting bumped on the corner kick leading to the first goal, but I felt the culprit was Boswell not getting to the spot to stop it. The real problem was that in a wide field, United should have had an easier time keeping possession, yet were much too careless in their passing and consistently beat to second balls.
  2. The Reality of Yinka Casal: Yes, there's a lot there to look at, but at the same time Casal was only marginally effective at best. Even his cross could have been luck, as it seemed to me like he blindly sent it in to Luciano.
  3. Weapon Selection: The potential of this season is that with Emilio, Gomez, and Moreno, that United should have multiple threats and not rely on just one or two players for goals. To me, that means you can't just send it over to top to Emilio to see what happens. Vary your play, get everyone involved. Do not make yourself one dimensional.
  4. Officiating: In the bad column this week. It was fair, and by fair I mean equally below decent on both sides. Kennedy gets a "-1" in the ref ratings for this year.

Man of the Match


Final Thoughts

Cause for panic? No. I agree with all who've said that this may well be a blip. The issue is that while everyone has pretty much been engraving a dash after "2006" on the Supporter's Shield trophy, that means that you have to win difficult games. This was such an example, and the failure to win this game means that this won't just be a gimme season. You'll note that we didn't do a "Preview" with projected standings this year. Why? Because as good as United is, this season could go just about anywhere. A win at home against Kansas City will make things feel better, but I really don't feel that any game (other than Columbus) will be a walk in the park. High expectations, and so far not met.

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At 09 April, 2007 10:21, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, KP is doing a chat at washingtonpost.com at 11 et.

At 09 April, 2007 13:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on Moose -- not sure what Goff was seeing, but I thought JM looked a lot better out there than Simms.

Still waiting for Fred to gel with the team. He's got moves, but looks a little lost. Not quite the instant hit that Emilio was, but I've no doubt he'll come through and deliver. That will be fun to see -- a few more games and DCU will be very dangerous up the middle.

Overall, not a fun match to watch, but maybe a necessary kick in the pants. Chivas, schmivas -- MLS is here now, and that's something we have to work for. No more moping around the midfield...

At 09 April, 2007 17:45, Anonymous Matt Y said...

A performance like that is unacceptable. No excuses

Blip...disaster..fluke...they were tired...whatever.....

On national television...the class of the MLS looked terrible.

I've come to expect DC to play well every match...and at the very least play with energy and bite.

Olson and Erpen were the only players on the pitch for DC that played hard...and adjusted to the terrible officiating.

Erpen saved our butt numerous times by fouling the crap out of their player...because he knew that the ref wouldn't call it.

Most DC players continued with their pansy performances....

Hopefully Soehn won't write this game off as a "blip" and will get after the players.

if DC wants to be the class of the league..they need to bring it every week.


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