26 July 2007

Debriefing for 12.C.01: Monarcas Morelia

D.C. United 1 : 1 Monarcas Morelia

Six Word Novel Recap

Finally, the artificial infield costs us.

Photo Gallery

...From Kyle Guftason

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "Gomez swerved a 28-yard shot around the wall and just inside the right post to give United the lead. But with Morelia creating little of substance and forced to resort to chippy tactics, including an undetected cheap shot to Fred at midfield, D.C. could not pull away."
UnitedMania, Mark Martin: "United failed to extend their lead despite the lion’s share of the play in the first half. The closest United came was a lovely play started by Fred out wide on the left. He played a perfect ball deep into the box to Dyachenko, who promptly laid off a perfect square pass to Emilio to finish into the open net. Unfortunately, the turf gremlins had other ideas and Emilio’s effort was swept well over the goal as the ball leaped up at the last moment."
The Washington Times, Mark Medina: "Martinez eventually paid back United with a goal from the corner of the penalty box in the 79th minute. The ball sailed high into the left corner of the net as United goalie Troy Perkins had trouble tracking the ball. His dive fell substantially short."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "Tempers erupted in the 55th minute when Landin and Bobby Boswell clashed near midfield. The Mexican looked to have fouled United's center back first and Boswell kicked out in response, but the hot-heated Landin upped the ante by shoving his adversary...After an interminable delay in which the referee consulted both the nearby linesman and fourth official Alex Prus, he finally produced a straight red card for Landin and a caution for Boswell as the RFK crowd roared its approval."
BlkDgRd, BDR: "I can't blame lack of effort or lack of will or lack of heart, but once the infield stole Emilio's sitter, once Fred one-timed his sitter over the bar, who didn't know the game would end up tied? (And Craigqatar called it at half-time, over Harps, before Fred's gack.)"
An American's View..., Brian Garrison: "DC United let their fans down tonight. "
QuarterVolley, I-66: "All things considered, with a backline of Gros, Boswell, McTavish, and Burch, 3 of whom we never would have thought would be in defensive starting positions at the beginning of the season, the defense performed admirably."
BobbyBoswell.Com, Bobby Boswell: "I just stepped in to win the ball and he got a hold of me, in a spot that no man likes to be gotten a hold of. And maybe I overreacted a bit but the ref didn’t’ call it and he was going to be going the other way so I did my best to stop him and maybe I kicked him a little harder than people would have liked."

The Good

  1. The Christian Gomez Free Kick: That was a pretty goal. As a rule, set piece goals can't be considered for Goal of the Week/Month/Year honors, but if there were an award just for goals from dead ball situations, I'd have to put that one on my list. The perfect amount of curve to swerve around the wall and then just tuck inside the near post.
  2. Many Flavors: There are games you draw 1-1 because you just aren't creating a lot of good attacking moments. This was not one of those games. We made some good, really good chances. And as much as the Big Soccer Hive Mind is complaining about United forcing balls down the middle, it isn't true at all. We came in from the flank, down the middle, had a few chances from corners... United was opportunistic in the way it created its chances.
  3. Fight for the Shirt: In the last game, I complained about how easily United was beaten to aerial 50-50 balls. This game was much better, with United really imposing themselves when they got into tight quarters. Much better on that front. In that sense, I completely disagree with Brian Garrison above and anyone that opens up their review questioning United's heart. They had heart. They just, at the same time, aren't as good as you think they are.

The Bad

  1. The RFK Infield: It cost us the match. I know there were other chances, but that one was by far the easiest to convert, and it didn't happen. That it has taken until the third year of cohabitation for a match to really cost us is probably a blessing, but it had to happen at some point, and now it did.
  2. Referee Courtney Campbell: Miserable. Utterly miserable, and utterly biased officiating. This is worse than Abbey, because Abbey's mistakes are usually against both sides. However, the standard for a foul in the run of play was tilted completely to Morelia for the match, as if Campbell felt he had to atone for allowing the early free kick goal to United.
  3. Bobby Boswell and Nuts of Doom: Bobby, it wasn't how hard you kicked him, but where that kick was heading. I would have given you a straight red. That being said, while BDR is upset with your play, I thought your presence on the back line was fairly decent last night.
  4. Pass the ball like you're playing against someone: Too frequently, again, United seems to pass the ball as if the opposition won't attempt to step up and take the ball the other way. The passes make complete sense if you're only looking at black shirts, but there are two teams on the field.
  5. Rod Dyachenko: Trading a first round pick to get him back from Toronto was a bad deal. Mo Johnston fleeced us. Yes, I don't even think first round picks are worth that much unless it is the overall number one or two. We still overpaid.

Man of the Match


Karma Bank

If I was tracking the Karma Bank through Superliga, this would have been a huge game to tally. It would have been +1 for Gomez's free kick, +1 for the non-call on Fred getting clocked, +2 for the turf spoiling Emilio's sitter, -1 for the shot off the post, -1 for Bobby not getting ejected. If I were keeping track.

Final Thoughts

Your perception of this game depends on your perception of United. If you think this is a truly elite team in MLS, then you should be furious about this match. If, like me, you think they're an average team, then you can walk away from this match and curse the poor luck we saw. While United's level of play won't win many games against Houston, or even Club America on Sunday, it was still better than Morelia, and the draw was unfortunate in the fact that United was good at controlling the ball, and getting the ball back. The fact that they were whistled for some of the smallest bumps didn't help matters, but they played through it. I'm disappointed, but not murderous. Kinney and Oscar may disagree.

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At 26 July, 2007 10:39, Blogger I-66 said...

Does Mark Medina really think that Perkins had trouble tracking that? An arching blast from 20 yards that was on him in an instant? He reacted virtually instantly, but just couldn't get to it.

The spanish announcer certainly thought Bobby deserved a red and that the yellow was lenient, but as the old saying goes, "hit first, but don't hit back."

Oh, and as Dennis Green said, "They are who we thought they were! ... And we let 'em off the hook!"

At 26 July, 2007 10:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive my loose usage of the English language but...

What gives with the whole crotch shot for crotch shot thing?

If what happened to Bobby is exactly as he says, wouldn't a more normal person want to rip off the other guy's head instead of thinking, "FORSOOTH! An eye for an eye it must be!"

At 26 July, 2007 10:55, Anonymous john said...

"I don't even think first round picks are worth that much unless it is the overall number one or two. We still overpaid." WOW, i missed most of the first half, was he that bad?

At 26 July, 2007 10:59, Blogger D said...

It's not so much that he's bad, it is just that he's throughly average, and therefore replaceable. While I like his skill on the ball, he doesn't offer much more, and I feel like there are any number of players one could get to replace him. At least with the 1st round pick we might have had something special, because right now Rod feels like so many other players right now.

At 26 July, 2007 11:06, Blogger Kinney said...

The problem with Dyachenko is that he had his best game this season last night and I still agree with D. He had flashes of brilliant potential last year, this year he is just sub-standard.

This game had me very angry not because United played horrible but because they gave the game away. They gave it away.

At 26 July, 2007 11:36, Blogger tucksider said...

i hope Soehn beats a little more contrition out of Boswell over the next couple of days. just because it worked out well for United doesn't mean that wasn't a boneheaded play. if the ref had seen it a little more clearly and the other player hadn't reacted like a 12-year-old, United could very easily have played the rest of the game a man down. unprofessional, immature play.

At 26 July, 2007 11:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think United played down the middle waaaaaaay too much last night, esp. towards the end when the score was tied.

Yes, they used the wings better, and as a result had some close shots on goal, but the default position of this attack seems to pass it to whichever player is standing at the top of the penalty box (no matter what uniform they are wearing), and hope that if it is a United player, that they can pop off a shot while surrounded by 3-4 opposing team's players... (sigh)

At 26 July, 2007 15:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that United's offense goes into "down the middle" default mode.

Does anybody else feel like maybe it's time to go back to the 3-5-2? I don't see how the 4-4-2 is gaining DC anything at this point, and Carroll definitely seems like he could benefit from Olsen (or Simms, I guess) playing next to him again. It just seems like during this current run of poor form, there's been a lot of separation between the midfield and defense, and also a lot of times when a little midfield possession for United would have gone a long way. Both of those problems could be solved with a 3-5-2.

At 26 July, 2007 19:59, Blogger Landru said...

Careful, D. bDr thinks we're wussies when we bitch about the referees.

At 27 July, 2007 22:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems odd to point out Dyachenko's shortcomings after his best performance of the year. (Actually he's had very few performances this year)

Yeah, we might have given up to much to get him back from Canadialand but, with Jaime likely to miss another game against America Sunday night, I'm glad Rod's available to start at forward.

- garbaggio

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