14 July 2008

Debriefing for Match 13.B.01: Chivas Guadalajara

D.C. United 1 : 2 C.D. Guadalajara

Superliga, Match Day 1

Six Word Novel Recap

Lights go out with United's hopes.

Six Word Novel Literary Criticism of Six Word Novel Recap

That recap is over-dramatic, too sentimental.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Times, John Haydon: "...a depleted United team was beaten by a tactically superior one as United lost 2-1 Mexican club CD Guadalajara...The game was delayed 19 minutes when the stadium lights went out in the 59th minute...The score might have been worse, if not for United goalie Zach Wells playing one of his better games. Even at his best, Wells couldn't stop Gonzalo Pineda's brilliant game-winner — a free kick in 72nd minute."
The Washington Post, The Goffather: "The match got off to a roaring start, with both sides probing the attacking channels and searching for an early advantage. Wells made a diving save on Sergio Santana's bid and Emilio smashed an angled drive off the near post with such velocity, the rebound struck Chivas's Héctor Reynoso several yards from the net and nearly spun in for an own goal. Chivas seized the lead in the 24th minute...Bryan Namoff's challenge was unsuccessful, allowing Arellano to jet past the advancing Wells and tuck an angled shot into the far corner."
DC Sports Box, Craig Stone: "Luciano Emilio cut the lead in the 76th minute when he emerged from a pack of players with the ball and a clean look at the net in the Chivas penalty area. Emilio quickly pushed a low shot underneath Chivas goalie Luis Michel to make it 2-1. Namoff assisted on the goal."
UnitedMania, Chris Webb: "United believed they had a golden opportunity to even the match at 2-2 when Emilio was brought down in the box by Olivera after being sent in by Moreno. Queseda didn't hesitate to point to the spot and the RFK faithful were anticipating the tying goal. However Michel dove to his left and palmed away the attempt from Moreno and the score remained at 2-1."|
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "United would dominate possession in the final minutes, throwing everything they had at Michel's goal, but his Chivas teammates persevered despite tired legs and escaped with a 2-1 victory to maintain their advantage in the cross-border rivalry."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "...after being outhustled and outmaneuvered by their opponents for most of the first half, United made some tactical changes, pushing McTavish from center back into midfield to counteract the Mexicans' numerical advantage as striker Jaime Moreno dropped deeper to orchestrate possession. Ten minutes into half two, McTavish even dashed into the Chivas penalty area and slapped a shot of his own off the right post."
Superliga 2008, Dave Lifton: "It was a match that featured all sorts of unusual occurrences, including an illegal throw-in, a handled backpass, a missed penalty kick by the usually reliable Jaime Moreno, and, most bizarrely, a 19-minute delay when the stadium's floodlights inexplicably cut out."
DCUMD, Shatz: "I didn't like the starting lineup that Tom Soehn utilized, but I did like the changes. His halftime lineup is probably what we should have started the match with."
BLCKDGRD, BDR: "It's games like this - which I adore, mind - that remind me how rinkydink MLS remains (and how far MLS has come from truer, deeper, rinkydinkiness). The eleven United started would have beat any MLS team last night comfortably, but United's depth of talent, both quantitatively and qualitatively, vis a vis a major Mexican side, is glaring. Rod Dyachenko? Please."
Fighting Talker, Aaron Stollar: "Rod Dyachenko and Craig Thompson weren’t fit to wear the shirt. Look, I have no doubt that both guys tried their darnedest out there, but neither of them are MLS caliber players and Thompson isn’t even close to that level. Dyachenko’s decision making simply isn’t precise enough for MLS, leading to giveaways when decent passing options are often at hand. Thompson is purely a USL player, all hustle and zero skill on the ball."
The Fullback Files, Fullback: "Dyachecko needs to go. Glacial movement, holding the ball too long, passes direct to the opposition--all these and more can be yours if you'll but give us a third or fourth round draft pick!" [Note: And to think, we traded a first round pick to get him back from Toronto...]
Goalscoring Robot, Sarah: "In the end, it was Chivas' lack of finishing that didn't drive the score up and DC was just plain lucky that the final was 2-1. "
Who Ate All the Cupcakes, El Guero: "Chivas came out to play"

The Good

  1. Zach Wells: His best game to date in a United uniform, and it was a shame it was a match that involved two goals. If you're looking to invent reasons to hate him, I'm sure you can, but objectively he did all he could on both goals, and saved many more.
  2. Our Best are the Best: Luciano Emilio and Jaime Moreno both had excellent games, and Emilio deserves a special call-out given the long run out he had recently against Chicago. They were some of the best players on the field in either uniform, and played up to expectations.

The Bad

  1. Defensive Reliability: Gonzalo Martinez, who has been the best new defender for United this year, finally screwed up big time and started the chain of events for the game winning goal. McTavish and Burch were an awkward, at best, backline pairing. It wasn't that they're slow - they're arguable faster than most backline pairs we've put out over the past three years - but they are not aware enough to suddenly take on smarter offenses than you average MLS team (and make no mistake, Chivas is better than you average MLS team in terms of thinking how to attack).
  2. "We are Built for International Play": See Final Thoughts below
  3. Minor League: Seriously, the lights went out? Even Dave Johnson calls foul on this over at WTOP. A huge embarrassment for this team, and perhaps more importantly, this city.
  4. Rod Dyachenko: I think I see why he's mildly effective as a substitute. When defenses are a bit tired, they're less likely to swarm and more prone to being beat when he has the ball at his feet. But when their fresh, willing to run and attack? Then he's exposed.

Officiating Watch

N/A, but I want to draw attention to the case of the illegal throw in. Both Copa Sudamericana competitions that United have competed in have involved center officials actually calling an illegal throw (against Catolica, I seem to recall both teams being called on it within a minute.) Now one in this match. I think these are the correct calls, and it just shows that there is some stuff that MLS refs aren't calling when they should. Just a quick note.

Likert Scale Grade: Not Rated

Man of the Match

N/A, but merit awards to Moreno (despite the PK save), Emilio, and Wells. Goat to... whew, tough competition. You have Simms first bad tackle, but Namoff surpasses that. And you have McTavish having just an awful match until he was shifted out. Tough call, but I give it to... Rod Dyachenko, who is just as awful as everyone made out above.

Final Thoughts

Part of the reason I had been rating Superliga ahead of the U.S. Open Cup is because of how this season was sold to us. This year we were supposed to be built for International Play. Superliga was the first tournament in form we would see that this revamped roster would apply to. And for the first game of Superliga:
  • Franco Niell - Contract Terminated
  • Marcello Gallardo - Injured, Did Not Play
  • Gonzalo Perralta - Inured, Did Not Play
  • Gonzalo Martinez - Played decently, but directly contributed to Chivas Game Winning Goal.
75% of the moves made to improve this team's competitiveness did not play. That's depressing. What's more, even if Gallardo does take the field against Atlante, Emilio and Moreno both must be close to total depletion given the effort they put out recently. This does not bode well, and if you aren't questioning the moves made earlier this season, shouldn't you?

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At 14 July, 2008 14:42, Blogger Sean said...

Re: Illegal throw-ins.

An interesting comment, but I don't think it's a US Refs suck thing.

Rather, I'd point you to USSF's Advice to Referees 15.5 -- Trifling Infringements of Law 15 [Throw-Ins]

"Referees are reminded that the primary function of the throw-in is to put the ball back into play as quickly as possible. At competetive levels of play, therefore, apparent technical infringements of Law 15 should often be deemed trifling or doubtful so long as advantage is not obtained by the team performing the throw-in and restart occurs with little or no delay."

At 14 July, 2008 14:43, Blogger D said...

Sean: That's actually a very good answer. And it explains a US/International difference. Question - Is this good advice?

At 14 July, 2008 18:13, Blogger Shatz... said...

D, you forgot one!

Jose Carvallo - Still on the team roster (barely), but did not dress for the 18-man gameday roster.


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