First Impressions - D.C. United 4 : 1 L.A. Galaxy
I'll admit that my cynical nature makes me want to discount this win. Surely 4-1 is a misleading scoreline? Surely L.A. isn't that good a team? Surely there must be some way to spin this as closer than it appeared?
Each objection to taking this game as a statement game is answered. United clearly created chances to deserve four goals, if not more. L.A. may leak goals like a sieve, but they're the top team in the West, were held to only one goal and were doubled up in both shots (22-10) and shots on goal (13-6). And the game was dominated by United, who earned all three points in deserving fashion. If we must complain, then we must complain that United is no facing a stretch of non-league games as we move into Superliga and U.S. Open Cup play. That's the sole thing I'm willing to point to as a worrying sign moving forward -- the lack of a chance to continue the momentum they've earned on the long climb back to .500.
Yes, you can once again say there wasn't a clean sheet, but this wasn't the fault of Zach Wells, it was one scuffed clearance by Gonzalo Perralta. Otherwise, even players that make me nervous showed well. Devon McTavish deserves a ton of credit for the way he fought against Landon Donovan, and may deserve man of the match honors for that work. Zach Wells made key saves. And Marc Burch filled in for an early injured Santino Quaranta in a way that didn't throw our midfield into disarray, but instead further pressed our advantage on the left side moving forward.
I'll admit it, you never want to be taken as a homer or a chump when you're writing. And I will have some negative comments tomorrow, but they are minor when compared with the good, and they are not pressing enough to bring up now. You never want to risk the vulnerability of belief. But this is our team: A team that finally has developed the lethal ability on attack. A team that may never have more than an average defense at best. But that's our team. And that team, perhaps infused by seeing Ben Olsen on the sideline, saw every player dig in and fight. Jaime Moreno was not just good holding the ball, he was good getting physically into players and pressuring them all over the field. Emilio and Gallardo both fought for balls to win. United attacked down the middle, on the sides, and from distance. And that is a team I am willing to believe in.