29 June 2007

Debriefing for Match 12.12: Colorado Rapids

D.C. United 4 : 1 Colorado Rapids

Six Word Novel Recap

"Jesus Loves You." We love Christian.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Times, John Haydon: "The Rapids may have felt confident after beating United 2-1 in a season opener before a sellout crowd at their new stadium and a national television audience. And then Colorado scored last night's first goal in the 19th minute...United finally got a break a half hour into the game when the Rapids' Greg Vanney was called for a hand ball in the box. Gomez took the penalty kick — normally a job for Moreno — and buried the shot past Senegalese goalie Bouna Coundoul for his fourth goal of the year."
The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "...following a half-hour lightning delay, he [Addlery] set up Fred's maiden goal to help United to a 4-1 victory before 14,982 at RFK Stadium."

[NOTE: Denver/Colorado Media tended to use the AP Reports. ]

MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "A strange play unraveled in the 33rd minute after Simms, who by now had switched spots with McTavish to take up the right back position, sent a cross into the Rapids box. Emilio beat Vanney to the delivery and the veteran left back fell to the turf, then seemingly contorted his body to poke at the ball from a prone position, first with his hand, then his right foot. Addlery was first to the loose ball and looked to have wasted a great chance when a slapped his shot just wide of the left post, but when referee Alex Prus reached the scene he pointed to the penalty spot, having blown for a handball on Vanney."
QuarterVolley, I-66: "It’s nice to see Fred finally tally one in the goal column, and Addlery too, who did well in holding the ball, and whose header to give United the lead along with his later assist on Fred’s goal earned him Player of The Game as announced by the stadium. On the flip side of things, Clyde Simms doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the back. Hopefully Bryan Namoff’s ready to go for the next match."
Six Yards North, QJA: "Why doesn't Emilio have any kind of influence on the pitch? No commanding presence, no intimidation. He kind of sneaks into the fold until he's in the box with a ball at his feet. He must be a god at hide and seek." [NOTE: Interesting... Hadn't thought about it like that. Then again, it doesn't seem to be a bad thing. I think we need to watch for this.]
The Edgell Supporters: "Perkins looked quite acrobatic in goal even on the one that went in. He had an outstanding game. Moose is a scrapper and a hustler, which equalized his giveaways."
The Offside: Colorado Rapids, Clint: "If anything good can come from this game, maybe it will be the realization that Clavijo isn’t exactly the greatest coach available for this team."

Photo Sets: Off Wing Opinion, Kate McGovern

ALSO (As noted)

The Good

  1. Rebound: Last night, I was poking around some numbers regarding United's records when scoring the first goal (4-0-0) and conceding the first goal (1-4-1), after Oscar had asked "What team isn't dependent on the first goal?" in a comment on the match briefing. Well, every team is helped by scoring the first goal, but it looked like United was more dependent than most on scoring the first goal to get a win. Last night I was a bit surprised, but pleased, to see them come back. Something for the macroscopic analysis later.
  2. Midfield Up: Gomez, Fred, Moose, Addlery, and Emilio all contributed solid work in this game, even after going down a goal. The ball movement, the pressure, it was all there. Gomez should get some credit here, as he clearly wasn't sure what he had at the start of the match, but grew much more comfortable as the game went on in dishing the ball around.
  3. Defensive Adjustment, Part Deux: This is the second match (LA was the first) where Tom Soehn has made a change in game to solidify a shaky backline when dealing with people in uncomfortable positions. I wish he didn't need 15 minutes to figure out that Simms was having a difficult time in the center back role, but I'd rather he figure it out then hope it will get better. I like that.
  4. Fred: Aside from one awkward pass, the second half was the best soccer I've seen from him this season. He was nicely over the pitch. And hey, when you score a goal like that, I don't mind you taking the yellow even for a moment of evangelism with your "JESUS LOVES YOU". If that's how you want to celebrate, fine by me. It's your moment to do with what you want, even if I wouldn't necessarily agree with the sentiment. Anything other than fascist salutes is fine by me.
  5. Troy Perkins: A couple of decent stops, and the goal was almost impossible for him to have any decent position on. A good performance. Stop showing the Guadalajara clip, okay? It's over. If he had been letting in softies over the course of the season, I could understand it, but really, this has been dealt with and is only a clip for lazy commentary at this point.
  6. Officiating: Alex Prus was remarkably collected for this match. I think perhaps he should not have given Colorado a few advantage calls and called plays back for kicks, but it wasn't like Colorado was unduly harmed. Vanney's handball on replay was clear, and worth of the penalty, but I had no idea it had occurred in real time. Special points for allowing play to continue and then going back to book players (Gros and Wasson were both booked in this manner). That's the way it should be done.

The Bad

  1. Mike Petke's Leg: Just a quick word of sympathy for a guy who I've been a fan of even after he left. He's tough, a class individual, and seeing him go down didn't make me pleased even as I knew it might make things easier for us. Get well, Wanker.
  2. Defense, Defense, Defense: Even after Tom Soehn's adjustment, United's defense wasn't overpowering the Colorado attack so much as the Colorado attack was incoherent in extending (or retaking) the lead. There was a lot of space out there. While Erpen was blamed by the goal, it ignores the fact that Simms was having problems up until that point, and Simms was marking the man behind Erpen. Would I be looking over my shoulder at that point? I might be. Doesn't excuse it, but there you go. McTavish was not particularly strong, but he had cover and help most of the time which helped hide the problems he had coming out to close attackers (How Goff is rating McTavish higher than Moose is something I don't understand, but Moose has been getting jobbed in the ratings all season).
  3. ESPN: Oh, we'll talk about this, either today or early next week. I have no problem with emphasizing story lines during games, but at least those stories should be about the players on the pitch, not on other sports on another channel. This is the second game that's featured a pointless phone call in the second half. Ridiculous. When actually trying to call the game, they were decent, but CALL THE DAMN GAME, DON'T DISCUSS THE NBA DRAFT OR WHO WENT TO GEORGETOWN WHEN. For fuck's sake people, all you're saying is "We don't care about the product on the field, or even the sport in general." And I know you do, because otherwise you wouldn't have taken that great shot a BigSoccer (where I occasionally post) as being "where all the real geniuses are." But it's sad when that comment is the highlight of your analysis.

Man of the Match

Hmmmm... Fred, Perkins, or Addlery, but I'm giving to Troy Perkins, who faced a game that did not play to his strengths but kept United in it.

Karma Bank

We lose one karma since Colorado gifted us a penalty, but that second half after the rain delay was some nice, classy soccer which earns us one back. No change, +1 for the season.

Final Thoughts

Addlery is quoted on a wire story as saying "Salt Lake was just a bump in the road. We lost, picked ourselves up, dusted off and moved on." My wife points out that it was a bump that blew out a tire. They're both right. I'm glad the players have moved on, and while I thought Tom Soehn was naive in not making them break down the RSL game, especially when we were down a goal, perhaps he is right and I was wrong (shocking, that a head coach might know his team better than a blogger. Of course, if I was a real blogger, I never would have admitted having this wrong thought in the first place, and let the illusion of competence continue.) Still, I don't think that this means Kansas City and Dallas will just roll over when we come to town. There's plenty to work on. We're not there yet.

As for the proposed Vanney-Erpen deal that Goff broke the news of, well, maybe we'll comment on that today, but the short version for me is this: Straight up, even with Colorado taking some of Greg Vanney's salary, I don't like the deal. It doesn't add depth, we lose some recovery speed but gain some experience. I don't think it truly addresses our issues on the back line. If there's more to the deal (or other deals are planned) I might change my mind, but right now it doesn't feel to me like a good idea.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 29 June, 2007 11:16, Blogger Sean said...

Just to give an idea of how bad the ESPN crew was at calling this game:

I didn't even know Fred had been booked for taking off his shirt (I was shocked he had not) until you mentioned it and I checked the box score. A good teachable moment for the commentators to point out that taking off the shirt is not okay by FIFA and they miss it.

At 29 June, 2007 11:32, Blogger The Bird said...

With Petke out for who knows how long, do you still think Clavijo will let Vanney go? I wouldn't be surprised (or disappointed) if the answer is no...

At 29 June, 2007 12:20, Blogger The Bird said...

When you're wrong, your're wrong.

Best of luck to Erpen, and here's hoping Vanney's experience is what we need in the back to get us to the finals.

At 29 June, 2007 13:16, Blogger Bob said...

What - no "BLAYtently" reference?

At 02 July, 2007 09:20, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Don't take too much offense to the commentators taking calls during the match. They do it during their football coverage too, so it is not a slight on the sport. I've seen them spend most of a half having a conversation with an actor in the booth instead of calling the freakin game.


Post a Comment

<< Return to The DCenters Main Page (HOME)