First Impressions - Kansas City Wizards 2 : 0 D.C. United
...and yet, I'm not heartbroken.
Yes, the loss is disappointing, but somehow even now it feels a bit abstract. Removed. At a distance.
I think part of it was the fact that Kansas City's stadium make you think you're watching an NCAA broadcast. It's not really real -- not yet. And the team we saw play for United wasn't bad, it just wasn't all there. Everyone had a moment to shine, everyone had a moment to look rather awkward. The same was true for Kansas City, it's just that they got the ball in the net twice.
And for all the talk of team's not doing much in the off-season, Kansas City at least did something. I'm not sure how deep they are, but their starting 11, even without Eddie Johnson, seems a bit more formidable from in terms of average ability. They look better. Curt Onalfo has trained them well.
United also didn't look shabby, but they didn't look like a team that's going to treat MLS as its personal parkour environment. Still, for a line-up without Olsen, Moreno, and Fred in the starting side, I wasn't displeased. The central defense held well, with only two egregious moments (one of which was fortunately rules offside despite the fact it should not have been.) All teams will give up chances, the only thing we can ask is that they not give up easy ones. And the Gonzalos seem determined to make life difficult for opposiing teams. Brian Namoff looks like he may have learned how to send in an early cross.
The big problem right now is Emilio, who we can see getting into better shape, but he's still not there. He may still be dangerous even without his best form, but he's not as good as he could be.
Still, for a 2-nil defeat, I'm not overly troubled. This team was doing more right than wrong. I have no one I feel like calling out, and no tactics that I felt were egregious. The game simply didn't go our way. Fine. Other games just like this will.