16 July 2007

Debriefing for 12.15: F.C. Dallas

D.C. United 3 : 3 F.C. Dallas

Six Word Novel Recap

Three goals surrendered, two points missed.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Times, Mark Medina: "United scored in the eighth minute, when forward Fred crossed the ball to Moreno, who marched inside the 18-yard line on the right flank. To avoid a slide tackle from FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson, Moreno passed to forward Luciano Emilio inside the box. Emilio tapped the ball in for the 1-0 lead. Before the end of the first half, Boswell lobbed a well-placed pass to Moreno from midfield. Moreno immediately fed Fred, who headed the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead...Then came United's goal in the second half..."
The Dallas Morning News, Ryan Mink: "FC Dallas (9-6-3) rallied at RFK Stadium to earn a 3-3 tie. A flu-ridden Toja played 83 minutes before leaving the game. He recorded his first two-goal game of the season, netting FC Dallas' second goal in the 71st minute, followed by the game-tying goal on a header in the 81st minute."
The Washington Post, Steve Goff:
"D.C. United earned a point... but because of the astonishing way in which the match unfolded, the only thing for United to do afterward was accept it as a loss."
UnitedMania, Jimmy LaRoue: "Soehn rued the team’s lack of organization, but United never seemed to transition from its big lead into closing off the match."
Six Yards North, QJA: "...Perkins let us down. His form not only regressed from last week, but it regressed over the course of those ninety minutes."
The Edgell Supporters: "This felt worse than any loss I have experienced to date."
Poplar Point Perspective: "The referee was very questionable, but not the reason for the loss. He just made it easier for Dallas to come back."
QuarterVolley, I-66: "On the middle goal, you could fault Brian Carroll’s defense, or perhaps Perkins for not coming out and challenging the closing Toja. Overall, after the 3rd United goal, the hunger for victory seemingly ceased to remain." [D - I disagree with this. After the third goal, United did press for the 4th goal to regain the victory, and was better at putting pressure on Dallas. The desire was there, the discipline to maintain the lead earlier was not.]
An American's View, Brian Garrison: "I blame the four defenders. I really do. All three goals were the result of sloppy play on the side of our defense...when you have a 3-0 lead in the second half, the ref could step off the field and you should still be able to win 3-2 at the very least."
BlackDogRed, BDR: "If the problem with the defense was irreparable differences between Boswell and Erpen, if the two of them could not coexist, and the decision to trade Erpen was based on solely soccer evaluation - that Boswell is the better central defender - whoever made that evaluation should be fired. If the problem with the defense was irreparable differences between Boswell and Erpen, if the two of them could not coexist, and the decision to keep Boswell was based on marketing - he's so hunky! - whoever made that decision should be fired."
Also: Screaming Eagles Podcast

The Good

  1. Jaime Moreno: As one of those who has been advocating rotating Moreno in among the forwards, let's acknowledge that he was excellent in this game. His vision and pace were miles better than what we saw before Copa America. Here's the thing about Jaime: He can be two kinds of annoying. There's the annoying Jamie who skillfully eludes markers in the box, dancing amid the defenders but never quite pulling the trigger to score the goal. Then there's the annoying Jaime who seems disinterested for most of the game, whose passes are predictable and largely non-productive. This game saw the return of the first type of annoying Jaime, and I was never so happy to be so frusturated. Man, he can still cause problems, and it is beautiful even as you wish he would shoot the damn ball... but can he keep that up in the summer heat?
  2. Luciano Emilio: What I like about Emilio is that he scores when he should score. Open net, easy tap-in? He takes those well, and doesn't overhit the shot or try to be too complicated. In that sense, he is the perfect compliment to Moreno. You have to love that.
  3. Toja: I thought the league was starting to adapt to him. Maybe they are, but United didn't. For the first half, United handled him fairly well, forcing him to pass away when he was streaking forward, and the ball was usually errant and easily handled. The second half he was strong and confident and gutsy. A truly impressive performance.

The Bad

  1. Brian Carroll: At this point, the unwillingness to start either Olsen or Simms in the CDM role is becoming a major folly. Carroll when playing disciplined was acceptable, but he seemed unable to keep up with the pace of the game, and as a result the game got away from him. In the first half, you may have noticed Ben Olsen consistently making "settle down" type gestures to the team. Brian Carroll needed that advice more than anyone later in the game.
  2. Vanney and Boswell: The thing about Facundo Erpen is that his boneheaded plays were so spectacular in nature that the eye was naturally drawn to them. Passing it directly to another player? Erpen would do that. Bicycle backpasses? Amazingly, flashingly stupid. Here's the thing: Vanney also commits a lot of poor plays, they're just not flashy and eye catching. Easy headers into a space five yards closer to a Dallas player than a DC player? Poor communication on how to clear a ball? Failure to put his body on a player in a set piece? All things Vanney commited that are just as harmful as Erpen's play. Boswell is getting reamed by BDR above, and while I disagree with the intensity, Boswell was thoroughly pedestrian last night. Boswell is still better than Erpen was, but he shouldn't be better than Vanney is, especially given the fact that Boswell was not particularly good. He's lost some of the bite to his game.
  3. Perkins: It's already been noted that he's taken the blame for not getting to two balls and shutting down the attack, but the other aspect of the game that was troubling was his distribution, a moment epitomized when he sent a low ball about forty-five yards right to the feet of the Dallas attack.
  4. Kpene: Some are calling his play poor or lazy. To me, it seemed like he was playing as though he were afraid of reinjuring himself. It wasn't lazy, or bad, but very, very timid. I think the two hamstring injuries may have affected his mental toughness. That's something that will have to be overcome.
  5. Tim Weyland: It's not that any of his calls were particularly bad, it's that he was calling a different game for Dallas and DC, a problem that accentuated until the 80th minute. Marginal fouls were consistently given to Dallas, and were not given to DC United. It's almost as though he believed that the offside non-call resulting in United's second goal was wrong (it wasn't, look at the Dallas right back [Drew Moor?]) and shaded his calling appropriately. Which is ridiculous. The fact that United starting getting calls after the game was tied really is the kicker, as though he felt it was acceptable to remove the filter at that point. A cynically officiated match.

Man of the Match


Karma Bank

-1 for giving up three goals, since that shouldn't be allowed to happen. However, +1 for dealing with Weyland's officiating, and +1 for playing some smart, nifty passes to generate goals in the first half. +1 for the game, overall EVEN for the season.

Final Thoughts

First, I don't know why Justin Moose is in the dog house. Supposedly the management are upset about his defense, but him not even making the bench means that Soehn had limited options for trying to regain the win after the game was tied. Moose adds attacking fire, something that might have helped at the death.

Second, Soehn's ability to adjust the lineup depending on the time seems to have deserted him. If he was considering locking down the game, why not bring Simms into the match earlier? Why not add in a Burch or Mediate to the defense and push Gros up for Fred? If Soehn is upset about the way the team tactically responded to the three goal lead (you can hear him complaining about sending too many number forward on the SE Podcast) then he should also be honest enough to admit that he didn't do enough himself. It is starting to feel a little Piotr Nowak-esque in terms of the predictability of substitutions, as well as their timing (far, far too late).

Now we head into the all-star break. There's some time for some introspection. The feeling among some of you was that this team was making a run to MLS Cup. I still don't look at this team as the favorite to come out of the East, and personally I think that moves made with an idea of adding a fifth star this year are likely to make the future more untenable and also not likely to reward us with another trophy, the worst of both worlds. United's first five games after the break are a chance for them to change my mind, but that's where I am mentally.

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At 16 July, 2007 11:32, Blogger Oscar M. said...

D, on TV they mentioned that Moose has a sports hernia and is going to Germany to see the same specialist that treated Namoff.

At 16 July, 2007 11:50, Blogger D said...

Then why was he playing in the reserve league game on Sunday morning?

At 16 July, 2007 12:46, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Excellent question. I can at least verify that the commentators made those statements. Wouldn't be the first time that they were clueless.

At 16 July, 2007 12:48, Blogger Jason said...

Quote: Goff Matchday for DCU v FCD July 14:

"*MF Justin Moose has a sports hernia and will fly to Germany tomorrow for surgery. Expect him to miss a few weeks."

At 16 July, 2007 14:50, Anonymous Nick said...

I'm with you D about your mentality. I think we should focus on Superliga and Sudamericana--particularly Sudamericana, where a good showing and a deep run just might convince Conmebol to invite us to Libertadores this year (you get the sense that they are on the cusp of this, we just need to give them a more convincing reason)...

At 17 July, 2007 08:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't want to be too hard on Tim Weyland he did give us two goals with his calls or non-calls.


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