14 June 2008

First Impressions - D.C. United 4 : 1 New York Red Bulls

Finally, two steps forward. For weeks United would allow us to flirt with hope, only to step backwards with another game where you left wondering if anyone learned anything.

However, United came out of Chicago and managed to put together a win that helped consolidate the progress that they had been making recently. And this was a comprehensive win. If the scoreline flatters United, it is on the defensive end, as United certainly did enough to earn all four goals scored. New York still had chances, and perhaps it should have been closer, but United deserved the victory. Lowlights happened at the start of each half, with United conceding a goal early in the second half on some haphazard defending, and starting the game with one of the poorest opening kick routines I have ever seen. However, that's about it in terms of things we can take them to task for. The Martinez-Burch combination proved effective as outside backs in the absence of Namoff. Dyachenko's biggest influence may have been the help he gave Simms in terms of pressure and release points, but the playmaking to make up for Gallardo came primarily from Tino, Jaime, and Fred, all of whom had strong matches.

Which brings us to Emilio's three goals. The first was the culmination of one of the best team moves I have seen this season. Quaranta's through ball to Fred was the best pass he's made all year, and Fred putting in the low cross to Emilio on the first touch was picture perfect. The amazing thing was that New York technically had numbers back, but it was a classic case of three men using momentum to carve up five defenders.

Emilio's second goal was helped by Quaranta not sending a ball over the post, but instead trying to place the ball far post and getting the rebound you want to see if you can't have the ball go in the net. The third goal for Emilio was a strong finish, made possible with strong running from Mediate who held the ball not too long, but also didn't jump the gun when he saw Emilio in space but held it long enough to minimize any chance of a defensive recovery.

There's something about wins against New York that just make me feel better about this team. Thinking of all the wins over New York over the past three years that helped convince me a United team was for real, most recently last year's Ben Olsenpalooza. New York Red Bulls... It's good for what ails ya.

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5 Comments:

At 14 June, 2008 22:07, Anonymous Grunthos said...

Not much to add, really. Just a nice win. Even Rod and Zach got their jobs done.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. This was RBNY with no Angel, no Altidore, no Reyna, and no reinforcements. And their defense, while OK, could not step up to the level at which we challenged them.

MOM is usually the hat-trick guy automatically, but I'd still vote for Jaime here. His ball control was superb tonight.

 
At 15 June, 2008 00:18, Anonymous Skippy said...

Okay, okay, I know, Emilio = hat trick hero, tonight. And I don't mean to take away from that. But, having been Simms-positiive all year and feeling somewhat justified, I have to say - "Good on Clyde Simms!" I've been saying (privately) that eventually one of those Simms shots is going to go in. And one did. Here's my fixation, I think having Simms, scoring or otherwise, on the field changes the game for DC. The fact that he is consistently over the ball and keep his ranged shots are low is a huge benefit in terms of spreading the defense. Let's face it, Emilio and Moreno aren't generally going to score from 20 yards out and Gallardo, though proven capable, doesn't usually shoot from outside the box either. Simms, on the other hand, has a bit of a cannon. He's tended to shoot straight at the keeper, which has disappointed me. But if he continues with good shots from range, he gives United a whole other option and makes them harder to defend against.
I'll also admit to this: internally, I keep setting standards for United before I will accept that they are turning the season around. "A fought for tie," "a close win" and then tonight, "a dominating win over a decent team" (without Jozy and Angel, I feel the Red Bulls are middle of the league). They keep doing whatever it is that I (mentally) set before them. I'll admit, my hopes are starting to rise. If they don't collapse at the first loss (or tough tie), I'm starting to think they can actually make a season of this. If they were vacillating between dominating and being dominated, I would find it harder to take them seriously (see the first few games of the season), but they're not. United is starting to play like a real team and I like it a lot.
Also, good play to McTavish for being opportunistic, but not forcing himself into an offensive role.
There were flaws to be sure, but I am too happy to discuss or really analyze them right now. If D gets to a full recap, maybe I'll try, but until then, "Vamos United!"

 
At 15 June, 2008 02:38, Blogger Bibliotheker said...

1. Good solid win over a middle of the table team. Yeah!!!
2. Didn't miss a beat due to suspensions. Way to step up!!!

 
At 15 June, 2008 11:21, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At A Glance" should be updated, no?

 
At 16 June, 2008 10:04, Blogger Bob said...

Trying to figure this out kind of made my head hurt, but it looks like Luci leapfrogged 5 or 6 (depending on how you count A. Moreno) people in the Golden Boot standings.

 

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