First Impressions - Chivas USA 3 : 1 D.C. United
It's late, and I've had 45 minutes driving north from the Home Depot Center to think on things, but I'll say this: Tom Soehn is right - This team lacks toughness. But toughness isn't fouls. It isn't yellow cards. It's mental toughness, the courage and precision to execute a turn and clearance as an attacked barrels down on you. It's the ability to push a cross clear to the other side of the field when the 50-50 ball is played too short. It's the heart to run down a ball that's probably beyond your reach but damned if that defender will beat you to the line. And this team doesn't have it.
This team isn't fast, but you can overcome that with toughness. This team isn't tough, but you can overcome that with smart tactical play and players moving to the right places off the ball. But this team isn't smart, and now we're exactly where we are.
United had gone ahead, and had some decent chances on goal (Namoff's header over the bar springs to mind) in the first half. Yet as the night wore on, they ceded more and more of the field to Chivas, and ultimately paid with three goals.
If nothing else, at least Tino Quaranta was the one who actually showed some fight for the shirt, in perhaps the most literal way he could. I was going to wait until August to forgive all, but given that he was the one willing to step up when the rest of the team held back, I forgive him now. He's fighting on the losing side, and that's impressive.
Tom Soehn is right about this team, but he's responsible for this team. Let's get a good night's sleep and check the highlights (especially as I can't believe Chivas was onside for two of those goals, but admittedly I had an awful angle to judge things in the corner of the HDC). Let's think. But then...
But then I'll know if how I feel now is something other than the momentary depression of a loss, or the sad realization of the what the future is.