12 July 2008

First Impressions - D.C. United 1 : 2 CD Guadalajara

If we want a positive spin, it's this. Everything went wrong from United, and they only lost by a goal. Twice shots rattled off the woodwork. A Jaime Moreno penalty was saved. The first Chivas goal was a result of Clyde Simms and Bryan Namoff falling down one second and twenty yards apart. The second was some muddled attempt at breaking out. United was pushing Chivas hard when the RFK lights went out and allowed for a regrouping moment. (The lights went out? Really? And this is the place we want to say "This is our house?") United could have gotten a draw. United could have gotten a win, as they had some good chances in the opening minutes to dictate control of the game. It didn't happen.

If you want a negative spin, look at the way Chivas exerts control on both the ball and the game. Each player controls the ball at their feet remarkably well, each played tackles in a way that's designed not just to halt an attack, but win a ball back. They apply pressure all over the field. And they're not even particularly good right now.

This game could have been better. It could have been much worse. Zach Wells had a tremendous game, beaten on a good free kick and a two on none break where he forced the most difficult angle he could. He made some excellent saves and got to some balls that otherwise would have been trouble.

If I feel negative about this match, it is almost not because of the game we saw. It was a decent effort from United, who were a bit tired post US Open Cup. The problem I have is that we were trying to build a team for international competition, and two of the players we acquired for that purpose weren't on the field. That's just frustrating.

Debrief either tomorrow or Monday.

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At 12 July, 2008 23:10, Anonymous Skippy said...

Jesus, I miss two games and in one there's a fist fight involving my man Clyde Simms and in the second the lights go off in RFK? What the hell?
Anyone know if there is a replay of this game somewhere?

At 12 July, 2008 23:29, Anonymous DCUinCT said...

I wanted to see them beat Chivas just to beat Chivas, hang the Super Duper cup, but you really have the feel for the MLS players. They get payed the same for these games regardless and the bonus is a joke even if they win. Plus, the total salary on the field is about 1/5 of Chivas. But that didn't stop them from taking it to them again, playing above themselves in ability as well as fight. It's about as good of a good feel lose as I could imagine against the stinking goats.

At 12 July, 2008 23:38, Anonymous Grunthos said...

A very odd match. Separable into five chunks:

1) First 30 minutes - in which Chivas steadily exerted more and more control, until they were completely dominant, netting one goal and carving our defense up like a roast turkey.

2) Rest of the 1st half - Soehn made an emergency switch to a 3-5-2, which stopped the excessive bleeding. Overall Chivas were quite impressive, showing excellent team discipline, good speed, and (as D noted) very sensible ball movement.

3) Minutes 45-60 (lights out) - Chivas laid off the gas somewhat, and we maintained better possession.

4) Restart to minute 80 - Chivas really backed off after the extra break, and we worked hard to punish them for it. The stadium atmosphere was really great during the darkness delay and through to Jaime's penalty. Kudos to the fans from both sides.

Oh, and that was a super nice goal from Emilio, who is justifying his new salary.

5) After the penalty (great save by Chivas' goalie, BTW), the players were still pushing hard, but the game felt different because of the fans. The Barra stopped their chanting, jumping, and waving completely, and several times the stadium hushed to pregame levels for no adequately explicable reason. Chivas played harder after their brush with disaster, and we couldn't find another good chance.

Other thoughts:
- I know we were out a lot of guys, but Burch as a center back? Color me confused.
- Rod Dyachenko is absolutely useless and should not play for this team. Period. The best parts of his time on the field were the ones where he was invisible.
- A tip of the hat to Zach Wells, who was hung out to dry on several occasions and acquitted himself quite well. I remain unmoved - he's not an MLS starter - but credit where credit is due.
- Our defenders did not have a good match, for sure. Even Martinez was off his game. But the core problem was in the midfield, which wasn't just turning the ball over, it was gifting gorgeous counter opportunities to Chivas on a regular basis. Even Jaime and Fred got into the act at times.
- The new guy, Thompson, looked like he might actually be useful. Which would be a huge boost to our depth chart. He got stuck in, ran hard the whole match, and wasn't incompetent on the ball.
- Finally, the Chivas forwards' positioning when the ball went into their own end should be shown as instructional video around the league. They *always* had a guy ready to pick up the initial pass/clearance and move the ball into the attacking half.

And dcuinct, I second your motion to applaud our guys for giving a hard effort for so little reward. On a hot summer night with an overcrowded schedule and a thin bench, they still put their backs into it.

At 13 July, 2008 03:30, Blogger Bibliotheker said...

The hardest part of this game was the fact that a number really good performances got wasted: Jaime was putting in some great passes, his ball control was just sublime at moments - MOTM despite penalty miss worth the price of the ticket himself; Luciano was giving Chivas fits - great goal off a great pass - Jaime's; Simms, Namoff, Martinez, McTavish put in solid shifts; Wells gets a hats off; and Doe and Thompson were willing if not fully integrated into this team. Cheers

At 13 July, 2008 08:27, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting match to watch , many momentum swings throughout the game , Thompson is a fine addition , will get even better when he molds in with the team,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Dyachenko is almost as bad as Quaranta , both should go elsewhere..................final thought : this team can play with anybody=when it wants to.

At 13 July, 2008 11:30, Blogger Bob said...

anon - if you are going to continue to come on here and trash Santino, either put your name to it or offer some sort of thought out argument. Otherwise, you just sound silly. He's got two goals and five assists in all competitions this year.

And what's with all the commas?

At 13 July, 2008 17:37, Anonymous Mickey said...

Appreciated Emilio starting with his back to the goal, turning on two defenders and putting it in the net.

Many folks (including myself) wrote him off earlier in the season when it comes to playing with his back to the goal.

Also - anyone familiar with the ref? Not horrible but really, really inconsistent...

At 13 July, 2008 22:41, Anonymous Jeremy said...

After the article about the money payout for this tournament, I am so mad at the league and SUM, that I have no real interest in the tournament anymore (except that I want to see MX teams lose, which overrides just about everything else).

Wells had a hell of a game, that's about all I can get out of it.

At 14 July, 2008 08:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My commas are not as bad as all the dash's and semi-colons used by bibliotheker,but lets get to the point , I compared Dyachenko to Quaranta but you only took up for Q , why? Neither player belongs on this team, neither one has any vision , a broken clock is right twice a day two goals means nothing but one can get lucky. They add nothing to a team that needs all the help it can get. By the way , Wells had a very nice game, he is the most improved player even though he still comes out too far.I like Moreno at offensive midfield , too bad he can't stay there. He would add a new dimension to Galardo if he was able to get more touches at midfields , that is something Dyachenko and Quaranta can't give the team. You have to recognize the pure weaknesses before you can get better. I'm only trying to point out what I see are these weaknesses.

At 14 July, 2008 08:51, Blogger bond said...

I agree with anonymous-Quaranta and Dyachenko have not contributed much to this team at all. Both look lost most of the time its hard to believe they still get playing time. Team need a lot of help.

At 14 July, 2008 09:48, Blogger D said...

1) I'm not about to comment on anyone's style. Comment in the way you wish, use the symbols you like, it's all good. Admittedly, I do try to write for clarity. Sometimes.

2) I agree with most of the criticism leveled at Rod. Right now I don't agree with much of the criticism leveled at Q. He has been working (which I suppose we can say for Rod as well) but moreover, Quaranta has been effective in a way Rod has not.

At 14 July, 2008 09:52, Anonymous The AMT said...

I'm with you guys on Dyachenko. The mohawk is gone, now for the rest of him. I'm not so cold on Tino, though. He has vision that's at least good enough for MLS, as his assists demonstrate. When he's healthy and willing to take people on and get out and run, which he has been much more so with this stint with United, guy can play.

At 14 July, 2008 10:11, Anonymous keithw said...

dcuinct: I keep seeing that Mexican teams salaries are "x times MLS" but did some casual searching and couldn't find any numbers whatsoever on Mex team salaries. Do you (or anyone) actually have figures or it this a kind of received wisdom? Please note, i'm not questioning the underlying premise--i strongly suspect that Chivas does have a much bigger budget than we do--but wonder about the specifics?

At 14 July, 2008 10:30, Blogger Doug said...

If you want to try something fun, count the number of times that Moreno, Gallardo, Fred or Emilio actually pass the ball to Dyachenko (deflections that land at Rod's feet don't count).

It's depressing that they don't have enough confidence in him to include him in the attack and it's depressing that he's so ineffective that their lack of confidence is justified.

Agreed that Wells had a good game -- solid, not spectacular. I don't blame him for either goal. The first was a defensive breakdown. He did well to force a sharp angle on the final shot. The second was a very well hit ball. Wells covered where the wall wasn't and gave everything to try to get a piece of it.

At 14 July, 2008 11:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't get Telefutura and live too far for Comcast SportsNet, but from the highlights, it's seems like we controlled a good portion of the 2nd half. I hear the Chivas supporters rigged the lights to shut down because they were afraid we'd tie it up. Pussies.

At 14 July, 2008 13:50, Anonymous DCUinCT said...

Keithw. Sorry. I'm basing it on second hand info as well. I've tried to nail it down as well, but can't find much, just an indication of the top payed players a few years ago from this,

And from folks like Ives who seems to know more of the details of both leagues, and has made similar statements on the salaries of Chivas and other teams.


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