First Impressions - D.C. United 4 : 1 Toronto FC
Damn. Due to personal commitments, I didn't go to RFK for this game, but did catch the archive match on MLSLive.TV. Then I wrote a First Impressions post, thought I posted it, and only now when I started the debrief do I see nothing came up. Still, there is a rhythm to such things, and I must write impressions, tardy as they are, and come up with them before doing the debrief. So here goes...
United did what they had to do. The benefits of beating Toronto by multiple goals are slim: we should beat them, and it shouldn't be close. Yes, United now has a positive goal differential two games into the season, and that's something. And yes, United's marquee players, Gallardo and Emilio, have tallies, so we don't need to start a running "When will they score?" feature. And yes, I am fully aware of the fact that this is only Toronto, so I shouldn't overread. Yet still, caveat away and what remains is something that United all too infrequently does not accomplish: Take on an inferior team and not play to their level, but instead put the game out of reach early and not look back. Combined with the sentiment that this had to be a statement game, United accomplished everything it could, and wrung out every last drop of goodness out of this game.
So let me address the general situation. Pachuca is upcoming, and even after this result I will be surprised if it were not United's last game in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup. Pleasantly surprised, but still surprised. Still, provided United puts forth a credible effort, I don't think we go through the season feeling as though we start with a failure. United is, for the moment, a team whose limits are uncertain, but is not a team in trouble.
As for the particulars, I also want to say this. I'm not saying I'm buying directly into rebirth Tino Quaranta for the season, but I am willing to say that he's done everything right in a Year-To-Date sort of way, and that's all I can ask for. And to be fair to Tino, that's more than I thought I'd be saying. So full credit to Tino.
Update: I wrote this at 7AM, and it didn't post again. BARRGH!