14 October 2007

What is Ours, Again

With Colorado edging Chivas USA 1-2 this Sunday, it is now official: D.C. United becomes the first team in MLS History to successfully defend the Supporter's Shield. Yes, Kinney is right - we look for things to be first at. If there was a record for goals scored by defenders in odd-numbered years, we'd want United to set it. But this... this is important. This is taking on all comers, in a tough conference, and winning it. This is the result of a season where 29 of 30 games mattered. This is sweet, and it is ever thus.

It may feel like backing into a title given that we just experienced a lack-luster scoreless draw, but I prefer to think of it as a reward of all the games earlier in the season that we won. We will now compete in at least two international tournaments, the Champion's Cup and the Superliga, thanks to this finish. And, yes, now we can rest people.

For the story on how it went down, UnitedMania gets a snarky jump:

Omar Cummings scored in the 90th minute to give the Rapids the unlikely victory in front of dozens of spectators in Los Angeles. What made this result so improbable was that Chivas USA had not lost all season long at the Home Depot Center. What also made this unthinkable was that Colorado had former United defender Brandon Prideaux sent off early in the second half giving Chivas USA the man advantage.
It feels good personally, but I imagine it also feels good for a team. 2007 will not be devoid of major silverware after several disappointing cup exits, and the MLS Double is still in play. It is now clear that we should give next week's game to the reserves, get everyone healthy and rested, and drive to finish this at RFK in a month's time.

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At 14 October, 2007 18:51, Blogger Kinney said...

For the record, I hold my opinion about being first to win it twice in a row not because I don't think that it is important but because I think being the 2007 Supporters Shield winner is more important. First to have won it back-to-back is nice and all, winning the shield this year is even sweeter.

The real question now becomes what do we do with the Columbus game? We have three players sitting on yellow card accumulation that could force them out of the first game of the playoffs. I think they should sit. But there is also this little voice in the back of my head that remembers 2005 when we played Columbus in the last game of the season.

At 14 October, 2007 18:51, Blogger Charles said...

Thank you Colorado! Now, I feel I can just enjoy the game next week and not be all stressed out about it. Which means, DC will probably win it.

At 14 October, 2007 21:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that first TFC game?

D.C. United's record: 0-3-1
The score: 0-1 TFC
The chant: "You're in last place!"
Score at conclusion: 2-1 DC

I can only beam with pride at how this season as turned around, this is VINTAGE D.C. United!

At 14 October, 2007 23:12, Blogger elopingcamel said...

The risk of any of those three players being out for the first round isn't worth it. Rest 'em.

At 15 October, 2007 08:21, Anonymous Mickey said...

A comment regarding the breaking of the good news... It goes without saying that the traditional sports media does not have the pulse of the American soccer fan. Nevertheless, I find it surprising that not a single media outlet (ESPN, SI, FSC or even MLSnet.com) with a portal for soccer has a headline (or even a story in most cases) regarding the feat accomplished by DCU and confirmed with yesterday afternoon's loss by Chivas. Or, perhaps, the title is of far more significance to the DCU supporters than it is to the rest of the league. In either case, it is hard to enjoy the upside of gloating when no one else seems to know (let alone care) about DCU's latest record-setting accomplishment.

At 15 October, 2007 11:21, Anonymous bdr said...

Emilio, Fred, Gomez, Olsen seem obvious to rest, but what about the back line? Namoff? Vanney?

And do you give Nolly a start or stay with Perkins while he's hot to keep his edge?

At 15 October, 2007 11:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely Nolly, guy has to play sometime so that he's ready if DCU does really need him. A meaningless game against an opponent that needs to win sounds like a good game for the reserves to show their stuff.

At 15 October, 2007 13:22, Blogger Sean said...

Of course, Nolly started against RSL and we saw how that game went.

So who knows if he'll get the nod against Columbus.

At 15 October, 2007 13:46, Anonymous Eric in Baltimore said...

I doubt Emilio wants to sit out the match against Columbus. He only holds a one goal advatage over Angel for the Golden Boot, and I would be very surprised if there isn't a contractual incentive for him to lock that award up.

At 15 October, 2007 14:34, Anonymous Nick said...

Can't imagine Emilio sitting, unless JPA doesn't score on Thursday. Huge relief to get back into international play next year. The 2005 debacle hurt even worse because we didn't have a redemption opportunity in 2006. At least now we have the opportunity to clear this bad international taste out of our mouths as soon as possible. I think one thing this year showed us: We are the best team in MLS, and our starting 11 is very quality, by any measure, but, if we want to win a meaningful international match next year, we need to get better, probably 1 great player and one good player better, in order to accomplish our goal of being the best in the Americas. As for now, we have home field throughout, so there cannot be any excuses for this team if we don't win MLS Cup this year...

At 15 October, 2007 15:04, Anonymous bdr said...

Re: Emilio -

For the sake of argument, let's assume there is no bonus money tied to his winning golden boot (I have no idea whether there is or isn't.)

His work rate is down, his touches are off, he hasn't scored in games (not all on him, agreed - he hasn't been getting good service), he looks exhausted. He hasn't had a game off in months.

He's guaranteed himself more $$$ next season, from DCU or elsewhere, he's proven he's a dependable scorer - he's accomplished all and more, professionally, that was expected of him.

If you're Tommy Soehn, resting other starters, you wouldn't give him the night off in a meaningless game before highly meaningful games?

At 16 October, 2007 02:27, Blogger scaryice said...

It's not a "title" in MLS.

At 16 October, 2007 08:32, Anonymous BigKris said...

Hey, D, you planning to go back and address that redicuolous "this is a rebuilding year" statement you made in the spring?

At 16 October, 2007 13:37, Blogger Bob said...

Mickey - Landon knows.

At 17 October, 2007 14:20, Blogger Brian said...

Dumbest trophy ever. How can anyone look at that picture and not think Mork from Ork? Nanu, nanu.


That said, I'm glad it's OURS!!!!!


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