First Impressions - Chicago Fire 1 : 2 D.C. United
The win, make no mistake, is a surprising one. And yet, I don't quite feel like this is the continuation of a corner somehow being turned. Just as Chicago's goal in the first half arguable came against the run of play, so certainly did the goal that put United ahead in the second half.
What's more, to extent that United was playing well, it was when the attacking players had space, time, and could play the equivalent of a high-level pick-up game. At ten men, this certainly became more and more of the situation, as Jaime and Fred and Martinez enjoyed the extra space they were afforded. Which is great, but doesn't really argue that our coaching was good, but rather that our players improvise on the field well.
If you want to be charitable you can say that Tom Soehn allowed the players to play creatively. Yet somehow I'm not even convinced of that. Not yet, at least. What's more, we had the advantage after both Gallardo and Prideaux left the game, but that advantage seemed to slip away as Dyachenko, Cordeiro, and Burch entered the game. I felt like we became less dangerous as we substituted, and not more. To the extent that we won, it was because Emilio discovered one of the moves we thought were left behind in 2007.
So it is, I know, a good win. Against a good team. On the road. All of those things are true, and yet I somehow don't think this means all is well, even if you can say "unbeaten in three games." Now, maybe this is just a point of inflection match, a game where slow progress is made. And that's entirely possible. But right now, this game almost raises more questions than it answers.