First Impressions - FC Dallas 0 : 4 D.C. United
There are a lot of things going right for United. Perkins has regained his form, the emergence of McTavish and Burch, the gold tinted boots of Emilio... but perhaps the biggest thing going right for United right now is Ben Olsen. If I had to pick United's Player of the Year, it would be Ben. When I first saw him on the wing against CD Olimpia, I thought it was a stop-gap measure at best, a horrible mistake at worst. However, I was proven wrong, and his brace tonight is simply the most obvious benefits of someone who's work creating high pressure and in controlling play frequently isn't recorded in the box score.
The return of Bobby Boswell should be noted, as Robert played well after a slightly rusty opening ten minutes. However, in the 68th minute he had an excellent series of tackles of Oduro, first poking the ball away then winning the battle to control it. That impressed me more than his goal-line clearance, which was incredibly important but basically required him not to get out of the way of the ball. The sequence later was a nice moment. Mr. Urban has left a comment on this blog after we wrote about the team missing Boswell's abilities as a sweeper, wondering if that wasn't precisely the problem, and that the team wanted Boswell to mark tighter and not play behind to clean up messes. Tonight showed he could do both.
That being said, I'm tempted to give Man of the Match to Marc Burch, who was creating havoc all night. For all of the talk about Vanney's left foot, it is interesting to see Burch continuing to take corners even with Vanney on the field. And they are dangerous corners. I can't remember the last time I actually anticipated seeing a player send in a cross, or play a corner, from the flanks the way Burch can. All of that and pretty decent defense in this game as well, as he stayed with Denilson well when Denilson would roam to the left flank.
A good night, and a decent result. Again, the goal from now to New England on the 9th was five points. This is a great way to start playing these games.