06 August 2007

Debriefing for 12.17: At New England Revolution

New England Revolution 0 : 3 D.C. United

Six Word Novel Recap

Mr. Reis, you just got burned.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "How unlikely was this result? United (8-6-3) had scored just two goals in its previous seven away games, had not enjoyed a multi-goal effort on the road since mid-May and was facing a New England team (9-4-6) unbeaten in its past five outings."
Boston Globe, Frank Dell'Apa: "The Revolution sustained their worst home defeat at Gillette Stadium in a 3-0 loss to D.C. United yesterday and lost central defender Michael Parkhurst (right knee hyperextension) for at least one game."
MLSNet, Kyle McCarthy: "United took a surprising lead in the 22nd minute after Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis fumbled a Clyde Simms shot and left the rebound for Josh Gros to finish. Luciano Emilio doubled the advantage in the 31st minute from Guy Roland-Kpene's defense-splitting feed before hitting for his second in the 76th minute off a one-two from a quick free kick."
Six Yards North, QJA: "Can we label Marc Burch a success now, please? The guy's a real asset in the back. He's got all the touch, pace, vision, and service of a quality left-footed forward while maintaining competent defense."
Poplar Point Perspective: "Moreno still is suffering from a failure to make quick decisions which I think are directly related to how he is feeling. The healthier he feels, the more decisive he is. He seems to hold the ball much longer when he is not 100%. Today he was dispossessed a lot after dribbling into trouble."
BlckDgRd, BDR: "If I'm the coach, Vanney doesn't see the field again until and unless someone on the backline cards out, gets injured, or dramatically sucks."
Screaming Eagles Podcast, Administrator: "In all of our other dominating performances (NY, Colorado, Chicago), we were at home facing teams either missing players and/or going through a bad spell. Here, we were on the road against the conference leaders, who hadn't lost in five games, and outplayed them to a man."

The Good

  1. Hustle: United won the 50-50 balls in the midfield. Remember how annoying it was when United used to play the 3-5-2 and then lose the midfield to a team playing a 4-4-2? That’s what happened to the Revs this game. It sure is nice to be on the other end of that. United had defenders getting forward, wingers playing end to end, and central midfielders getting stuck in. Oh, and Gros got a goal on hustle alone. Always nice to show the youngins why you never give up on a play.
  2. Depth: United didn't start Moreno, Gomez, Fred, Carroll, or Vanney and they won 3-0 against the best team in the East. I will say that United has officially gotten its depth back. Some of those players people are calling to stay on the bench, which valid or not, still shows that United's roster is looking good right now. Burch looks like a beast a left-back and Kpene had his best game since his first game. If United can stay healthy they will be a serious force in the second half of the season.
  3. Finishing: We have been bemoaning the lack of finishing from United as of late. They found their touch today. Gros gets a typical Gros goal. Emilio put away both of his one-on-ones with a very good goalkeeper and is now tied with Eddie Johnson in the golden boot race. Here is hoping he keeps his finishing touch.

The Bad

  1. Fouls: This was an ugly game. It was almost to be expected because New England was playing DC United and most of those games have been foulfests. This one just fit the pattern I guess. The ref did an alright job by jobbing both teams equally and calling a fairly consistent match, but it did little to prevent the animosity expressing itself on the field. New England were the bigger offenders but United didn't hesitate to foul either. It was a really chippy match that could have gotten very ugly. One of those matches where I was very glad that our A-Mid was less important to our team than their D-Mid was to their team, no offense Rod.
  2. Injuries: Speaking of bad fouls, did I mention that Jay Heaps is a hack. That hit he put on Jamie was disgraceful. I am not sure if that or the missed shot started Moreno's back hurting, but an injured Jamie is not good for United no matter how it happens. I didn't think that Moreno should have come into the match when he did, but I did expect to see him, so I can't really complain that he got injured. Goff is reporting that he came out with back spasms, lets hope that gets better quickly and doesn't nag him the rest of the season

Man of the Match

I don't really know who to go with. I don't think Gros did enough to win this other than score. But the only other person I would give it to is Emilio who scored twice. I think I am going to give it to Josh. It isn't often you can change the face of a game by pure hustle but he did it yesterday, and should be rewarded for it.

Karma Bank

+1 for Gros' hustle. +1 for Emilio's finishing. That gives us +2 for the game and +3 for the season.

Final Thoughts

This was one of those games where United came out and showed what type of team they are capable of being. This is what they have to live up to for the rest of the season. They have been too inconsistent this season to win any hardware. If they want to bring home a trophy then they need keep up this level of play.

That said they needed this game badly and had every excuse to write it off. But they came in, showed some determination, and got the job done. I hope that they can build on this going into a stretch where they have important, but winnable games coming up. I alluded to this in the First Impressions post but I think I will expound upon it here.

8/9 LA @ Estadio RFK: Big game for United as they get to show their stuff on ESPN. Normally I don't think United would care too much about this but it is against LA and they have made RFK Home Depot Center East the past few years. I for one, want that to stop.

8/15 @ LA: Superliga knock-out game that looks to be more and more important as the Superliga does better and better. I am hoping that United lays the smack-down on LA in this game as the Gals will be playing their third game in seven days.

8/18 @ Columbus: A 6 point game in the Eastern Conference standings. This will be against a team that is looking better all the time, in an away game, and United's fourth game in two weeks. These are the games that good teams win.

8/22 Jersey @ Estadio RFK: Enough said.

8/25 @ Toronto: Another 6 point game in the Eastern Conference standings. Like the Columbus game this will be against a team that is looking better all the time, in an away game, and even worse, United's sixth game in three weeks. But these are the type of games that good teams win.

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At 06 August, 2007 12:53, Blogger Brian said...

This was the exact type of game that makes me burn inside with anger when I see then blow a 3-0 lead to FC Dallas, or play flat against Morelia and Houston.

I want more of this type of game than the last four or so.

At 06 August, 2007 13:20, Blogger timmyc said...

Agreed about Heaps, I've alwys considered him to be a no-class hack, and he waited a grand total of about 45 seconds to take an extremely hard foul on Jaime and a yellow card.

Jaime got up slow and it is possible that his back spasms started off there. Either way I hope that Heaps gets whats coming to him eventually.

At 06 August, 2007 13:53, Blogger JWVariant said...

Suggested Karma amendments:

-1 for Gros's goal, as the replay showed that Reis did have a hand on it. It all happened too fast for the ref to catch, but still we snuck one in...

+1 for Reis making that non-save to begin with. That ball was BEGGING for someone to nudge it home.

+1 for the overall result vs. Reis. Remember the spirit of Alecko....

At 06 August, 2007 15:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jwvariant: maybe Gros should have kneed Reis in the head-same justification Reis used in going through Alecko. I'm not really suggesting that, although it would have been poetic justice.

At 06 August, 2007 19:38, Blogger Jonathan Geissler said...

Why didn't Vanney play in the first place? Injury? Suspension?

At 06 August, 2007 21:57, Blogger Sean said...


I at first saw what you saw on the replay, but after looking at it a couple of times, I'm going to disagree with you. While Reis has a hand on the ball, you can see the ball beginning to slip from his grasp when Gros kicks it in.

So while he had a hand, he did not CONTROL the ball, which is what is required. "Had a hand on the ball" is shorthand for "had control of the ball," which Reis did not. Admittedly, it's a close call and I can see why Reis was screaming, but I think the ref made the right call.


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