12 September 2007

First Impressions - DC United 2 : 1 Real Salt Lake

I think I warned about DC United dropping points in this match, and certainly United seemed to play around with the idea. RSL was easily the better team through 40 minutes, and United was on their heels. Even in the second half, despite much of the commentary about United being fired up, RSL was still threatening around the box at times. This game, even as late as the 70th minute, could have gone in any direction.

That being said, I'm not upset about that fact. United was finishing off a tough stretch of games, and the results have been as good as could be hoped for. They now don't play a match until September 23, and they need the rest. Even that match will be something of an oddity, given the number of players that will miss the game due to accumulated yellow cards, so Fred, Christian, and Ben all get a little more rest. Fine. With Copa Sudamericana approaching, let players get something more of a breather. Us too. Inhale. The final five games of the season will be on us soon enough, and there's one last stretch before the playoffs. The Supporter's Shield is still the goal. Breathe, then focus.

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19 Comments:

At 12 September, 2007 22:36, Blogger Charles said...

A gritty win, but that is how it's done sometimes. The karma was really flying back and forth tonight with all the missed PKs and questionable offside calls. No complaints here with the points though. I'm ready to enjoy the break and watch some other teams fight it out for awhile.

 
At 12 September, 2007 23:08, Anonymous Skippy said...

A pity about Olsen, Fred and Gomez though. That takes a large chunk out of the midfield. Can't fault Tommy for the decision though, I mean, Gomez gets a very important goal and the yellow a minute later. Sucks, but resting him probably would have been worse. And considering the already mentioned closeness (um, proximity?) of the game, Olsen and Fred were needed as well.
Will Jamie be back for the Chicago game, anyone know?
I'm also curious if the refing looked as bad on TV. I, and all the fans around me were also, was livid by the time that match ended. Questionable offsides seemed the tip of the iceberg from the stands. I don't have DVR and I was way too lazy to tape a game I was going to, so I'm curious if some of those calls are closer than they looked.

 
At 12 September, 2007 23:12, Anonymous dirty supporter said...

the namoff to emilio to gomez was indeed NOT offsides and gros had a strike in the first half that was also called incorrectly. pretty awesome too that mctavish was thrown, by the back of his neck, onto the ground and then had a foul in the box called on him...superb refing.

 
At 13 September, 2007 00:52, Blogger The Nonexistance said...

A pyrrhic victory, it's one of those games that I personally feels continues to highlight the team's mentality when Jaime is on the field, and when he's off. His leadership is invaluable to this team. Undoubtedly there were many sore bodies out there tonight, but Jaime's leadership on the pitch is a real 'presence'.

You have to love Guy-Roland Kpene's heart and desire, but the fact is when he gets the ball out there it's only a countdown until he turns it over.

Last thought: No matter how much we're trying not to jinx a cup run, at this point you have to accept that if we don't win the cup, then that's a failure. We're cup contenders, whether we want to get our hopes up or not.

 
At 13 September, 2007 06:50, Anonymous matt w said...

I was watching on the teevee as I rest a sprained ankle, and Dave & Garth were ripping the ref for his questionable calls. Two stand out in particular -- the foul in the box that wasn't a foul called on McTavish that lead to the pk, and the yellow handed to Benny for a straight-up shoulder-to-shoulder challenge (and that came just a couple of minutes after Benny got clobbered on the same kind of 50/50 ball).

It's shameful. MLS and the USSF need to fix this. Poor officiating is an issue in all sports and in all leagues, but it's astonishingly bad in MLS.

Wish Comcast would have shown the Eddie Pope ceremony pre-game. The supporters groups looked and sounded awesome on the teevee, but I wish there were more. And Tommy does some barking on the sidelines. That's good to see. Oh, and Dave & Garth put everyone at ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel to shame. They know the sport, they love the sport, they respect the sport. Why aren't all soccer announcers like that?

 
At 13 September, 2007 08:01, Blogger I-66 said...

I felt like Jorge Gonzalez (center) was calling all of the little bumps and tackles, but was letting the really rough and reckless stuff go. I'm still not positive why the PK was called against McTavish, and what Ben Olsen did to deserve a booking. So it goes. The yellow accumulations hurt us against Chicago, but I think it would've hurt more to give away points at home to Real.

 
At 13 September, 2007 08:52, Blogger pate said...

congrats on the win. I was sure heartened to see RSL stand up pretty well though. (I don't know that 'moral victories' really mean anything anymore though, given where RSL is in the season.)

 
At 13 September, 2007 09:34, Blogger Bob said...

Yeah, let's just talk about the horrible reffing and try to forget about the scary match.

McTavish's "foul" was an absolutely terrible call and for a minute I thought that the ref thought that he was calling a PK for DCU and then was too embarrassed to correct himself.

Also, I saw some horrible offside calls (or non-calls, depending) in the WWC Sweden/Nigeria game, but the ARs in the DCU/RSL match seem to want a piece of that action as well.

Props to Esky for a hard fought game.

 
At 13 September, 2007 10:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be a grammar dick, but 'pyrrhic victory' would mean a victory with a devastating cost to the victor. Apart from having to sit fred, Olsen and gomez, it's just a normal victory.

I say we go ahead and sit Jaime that game too. throw the game to the gods as it were, get everybody fit, off yellow card peril and ready to drive into the playoffs rested and healthy.

 
At 13 September, 2007 11:04, Blogger Kinney said...

Does anyone know if yellow card accumulation resets for the playoffs? It should, and I think it does, but I just want to be sure, because it could really hurt United if it doesn't.

 
At 13 September, 2007 11:11, Blogger I-66 said...

I missed the part where missing 3 of our 4 starting midfielders for a match is not devastating.

I consider the downgrade from a starting midfield of Olsen, Simms, Gomez, and Fred to a starting midfield of Gros, Simms, Dyachenko, and Mediate to be fairly devastating. The former has 20 goals and 21 assists combined. The latter has 1 goal and 2 assists - both of those assists belonging to Simms, the only common link between the two lineups.

If you want to rest Moreno, then all of the goalscoring burden falls to Emilio.

Now, how is that not devastating in a race for the Shield where we can't afford to drop points as long as Chivas keep winning?

 
At 13 September, 2007 11:12, Blogger I-66 said...

Miscalculation: 2 goals and 3 assists for the Gros/Dyachenko/Simms/Mediate midfield. Not much better. Just as devastating.

 
At 13 September, 2007 12:01, Anonymous matt w said...

Eh, I remember thinking at the beginning of the season that we only had three real defenders, and that an injury or suspension to Namoff or Boz or Erpen would be devastating. But then stuff happened and now we have Burch and McTavish to enjoy, and the starting backline is much more cohesive than last year's/this spring's. Don't think any of us saw that coming.

We haven't seen Moose in a while, or DeRoux, or Willis. Maybe they've improved. It might be interesting to see how Simms plays on the flank. Mediate and Dyachenko could use a springboard to more minutes. We have a crowded midfield, and it's good to let those guys get a chance, especially in a non-essential game a few days before that all-important rematch with Chivas.

 
At 13 September, 2007 12:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think about the impact though if DCU comes out with Gros, Simms, Dyachenko, and Mediate and still pounds the other team...
-K

 
At 13 September, 2007 12:16, Blogger Doug said...

A positive to having Gomez, Fred, and Olsen miss the next game is that all three will be safe from accumulation suspensions for the rest of the season -- five games to hone their teamwork in preparation for the playoffs.

 
At 13 September, 2007 12:24, Anonymous Goose said...

Yeah, but we played a midfield of Gros, Simms, Dyachenko and Olsen up in New England and won 3-0.

True, Mediate is not as good as Olsen and his leadership wil be missed, but then we didn't have Jaime (well, barely had him) for that match either.

It's not an optimal situation, but as long as we have our defensive core to keep things tight and Emilio and Jaime running things up top, we should get out of Chicago with at least a point.

 
At 13 September, 2007 12:26, Anonymous Goose said...

Also, I think we're more likely to see Carroll out wide than Dom, like at Toronto.

Not that I think that's the right decision, but it's what I expect.

 
At 13 September, 2007 13:07, Blogger Bob said...

Not that I-66 doesn't make a good point about losing our big players, but of course those stats are lower for the second group because they play fewer minutes.

 
At 14 September, 2007 00:38, Blogger The Nonexistance said...

Yes I meant Pyrrhic Victory, I just didn't elaborate, but I thought it was well understood, we're missing three players for our next game and we absolutely struggled against a horrid team.

 

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