16 August 2008

First Impressions - Chicago Fire 0 : 1 D.C. United

Okay, if all I want for the remainder of this season are gritted out wins, then I'll take this one. To give Chicago the respect they deserve - the Fire had done quite a bit and could have legitimately walked out with a draw. That said, United was a post away from a multiple goal win. Ultimately, this kind of win is satisfying. It doesn't put to rest questions about our defense, but it does show a kind of continuity that I think may serve as a running theme for the remainder of the season. We have some skill up top, a decent midfield, and a defense that is confused in the middle by any ball that gets more than three feet off the ground.

The big question that most are probably asking: "Is Louis Crayton an upgrade over Zach Wells?" I don't know yet... he had a decent first game (despite a crazy exchange where, in real time, I swore he was fouled), he got a clean sheet, but he only made two saves, and did require a ball to be cleared off his line. There were some odd interchanges with the center backs as well. But, and this is clear already - Crayton is more decisive off his line and in the air than Wells showed at any point this season. Give him another start, as he's clearly earned it.

Chicago fans will no doubt look at the fact that United covered themselves in more yellow than is typically seen in the stands at Crew stadium, but I'm not sure they have room to talk. Yes, United earned most of those cards, center ref Tim Weyland wasn't applying the same standard to the tackles of Soumare and Segares that he was applying to McTavish and Burch. But actually, go ahead and complain about chippy play from United. It's not like the Fire have made a living of that for over half a decade. And that's why scrappy wins are sometimes more enjoyable than blowouts.

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At 16 August, 2008 23:34, Blogger rke said...

This is the first time I've resorted to radio to follow the match. Tony Limarzi rocks! Really does a better job than I thought possible at visualizing the game.

Crayton sounds good. Great game from Fred. Looking forward to seeing the highlights...

At 16 August, 2008 23:40, Anonymous Grunthos said...

I agree, I liked what I saw from Crayton, but it's only one game. In the immortal words of Winston Wolf, "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet."

There's no need to dial back on criticism of the ref; that was simply a badly biased job tonight. But with 3 points in pocket, I'm not going to waste further thought on it.

Now if we can get Peralta and Gallardo back on the field, we might actually have something going here.

At 17 August, 2008 15:10, Anonymous Publius said...

Despite the whining of the Chicago announcing crew (who took a couple of real cheap shots at Namoff, one overt and the other very subtle) DC didn't play a dirty game. Those yellows, with the exception of McTavish's, were cynical professional fouls or exercises in time wasting gamesmanship.

Weyland didn't call an even match. Considering the way he was calling the game against us, I counted at least three yellow cards Chicago should have been issued for reckless fouls that weren't.

At 18 August, 2008 13:53, Blogger rjmera said...

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