Debriefing for Match 12.08: At LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy 0 : 0 D.C. United
Six Word Novel Recap
Good teams get wins, not draws.
Media, Traditional and OtherwiseThe Washington Post, Steve Goff: "Lacking the offensive personality of recent weeks, United (3-3-2) was fortunate not to fall behind by multiple goals in the first half. Play improved after the break, but the club still rarely tested goalkeeper Joe Cannon and had to endure a few late scares before settling for the draw in front of a quiet crowd of 21,069 at Home Depot Center."
The L.A. Times, Grahame Jones: "A mere 1:21 into the match, Donovan flashed a diagonal shot just wide of the left post off a pass from Nathan Sturgis. Less than three minutes later, Cobi Jones got behind the D.C. United defense on the right and sent in an on-the-money cross, but Jaqua skied it into the stands from six yards."
Long Beach Press-Telegram, Phil Collin: "Jaqua had another chance with a header when he outleaped goalkeeper Troy Perkins, but his effort floated over the crossbar and harmlessly onto the top of the net."
Associated Press (via The Examiner): "Cannon's biggest save came in the 58th minute, when he caught Luciano Emilio's line-drive header from 8 yards between his ankles."
MLSNet, Greg Daurio: "DC continued to press, and in the 62nd minute Moreno crossed the ball into the area, finding Fred lurking on the back post. The Brazilian headed the ball down and back in the direction it came from, but his effort bounced in the goal area and wide of the target."
MLSNet, Luis Bueno: "...although United controlled the possession and had six shots on goal, the Galaxy could have put the game away on several occasions."
MLSnet, Greg Daurio: "Jaqua was willing to take a bit of the blame for the result against D.C. The frustration for all the forwards was obvious following the match, and Jaqua was no exception."
Poplar Point Perspective: "...Add 'em all up and you get? A scoreless draw which wasn't even as exciting as the scoreline would indicate."
BlackDogRed: "I don't want to hear about the shut out. If Brian Ching had finished a fifth of his chances last week and Nate Jaqua had finished a tenth of his last night, United is on a two game losing streak. What's distressing is that United may be burning all it's good luck on mediocrity. The defense is broken and, barring Devon McTavish recovering from injury and turning into Fabio Cannavero, it isn't going to be fixed. And Juan Pablo Angel doesn't seem likely to miss his ducks."
Soccer Insider, Steve Goff: "I think it's safe to say that, come September (or even next week, for that matter), no one on either team or in the stands will remember this match even took place. "
The Edgell Supporters: "I am not sure you can say that we did anything to the Galaxy. We kind of left each other alone."
Sideline Views, Andrea Canales: "He's got Jaquaitis. Run, save yourself."
The Offside: LA Galaxy: "I was actually kind of amazed by the draw given the number of players we’re missing."
Who Ate All the Cupcakes?: "That's it, we end scoreless. The FSE announcers agreed that it was a very good game, it just lacked a goal. I agree. I thought DC was the slightly better team, but they didn't do enough to win. Entertaining match to watch though..." [NOTE: Really? I am stunned a neutral would feel like this. Sure, there were some chances, but overall I thought the game was rather dreary. Interesting that a neutral would feel otherwise]
ALSO: Screaming Eagles Podcast (which features an interview with Mr. Kpene. Get on it!)
- Clean Sheet: Noted, simply so I can get it out of the way.
- Workrate: Everyone on this team is working and sweating. I can't fault the effort that is being put out there. Execution is still a problem, but I don't feel like this is a team that is sleep walking through the games. Yes, I know Moreno is conserving energy, but that's because he has to in order to go the full 90, which Tommy Soehn seemed to want him to do.
- Professionalism: It is worth nothing that LA was playing a lot of tugging, grabbing football, but that United was playing through it. My normal complaint with DC's possession game is that it never leads to anything, but here I thought it was used well in order to try and free up the game. We played calmly, smoothly, and errant passes were made on LA's side of the field rather than our own (aside from Namoff's giveaway in the fifth minute). That's good.
- Luciano Emilio: I noticed him this game. That's good. He snapped in a great header, sadly right at the keeper, and he was playing well with his back to goal at times. After Houston, I wondered if he just wasn't adapting to the US Game. I now think he is.
- The Simms Adjustment: Credit has to be given to Tommy Soehn for abandoning an experiment that wasn't working before it did more damage, but I think Clyde Simms deserves special recognition for sliding into the holding midfield slot so quickly. He had spent time preparing to be the Right Back, but instead found himself after fifteen minutes playing a position that Carroll and Olsen have occupied for most the year. And he played decently. Kudos.
- Self-Service wings: I did not change this title from the Houston game, because it is still true. Even after Gros was moved to left back there was still far too much time on the wings. Was it better than the Houston match? Maybe a little. But not good enough.
- Center Back Troy Perkins: I do love the way Perkins controls the box, but I think he overextended himself this match. Twice he was out of the box to play the ball as a field player, heading it away or kicking it up the sideline. That's fine when a player looks to be coming through, but on at least one occasion I thought he had more defensive help than he knew, and I would have preferred he stayed at home. The "Boswell Tackle" save was at least in part because Perkins was way off his line in a situation where it would have been difficult to get the ball short of pulling the Pat Onstad maneuver (See: HOU-FCD, yesterday).
Man of the Match
I can't justify a man of the match to anyone, but I will give merit awards to Perkins (for all the other things he did right, and the save), Boswell, Erpen, Simms, and Fred.
Final ThoughtsI think I would be more upset about this game, as many, many of you are, if I hadn't felt like a draw was in the cards before the game started. But once I put that aside, I can understand where the frustration comes from. There are so many things that winning games would help soothe, but right now they chafe at the mind. A short list:
- We signed several offensive weapons, but haven't seen more than two goals in any game this year.
- We've been worried about defensive depth for awhile, but the word out of the front office was "we're happy with out options." Now in the past week come the stories of DC's options being a converted forward and Clyde Simms. While conversions can work, it isn't something I want to hang my hat on.
- LA is as bad as they're going to be this season, and we couldn't get a win, and in fact we could have looked very, very silly.
- New York, Kansas City, and New England are going to be tough to catch this year, even if they beat each other up.
Also, in the comments on First Impressions there's an interesting back and forth on Tommy Soehn. Let me say this. Just as I wasn't in the "Fire Soehn" camp when we were winless doesn't mean I'm in the "Soehn is the Answer" camp either. He hasn't done a bad job, and while I feel like there are games we haven't lost because of his managing, I'm not sure I can say there's been a game we've won because he out-managed anyone. He has saved points, but I'm not sure how many he's earned. Which means that Soehn is certainly worthy of consideration and debate. I certainly am watching. He did the right thing in this game after it started, and in more games than he's done the wrong thing. That's something. But he also put out the lineup that was victimized for a quarter of an hour. That's something else. For now, I give him some confidence, but not blind "Tommy must have a plan" devotion. That takes some silverware to earn.