04 June 2009

First Impressions -- D.C. United 2 : 0 New York Red Bulls

Serious question: If New York were to win the Atlantic Cup one year, would they know what it looks like? I mean, we could give them used Big Gulp with the remains of a red slushy in it, and would they know it wasn't the real thing?

Immature trash talking aside, this was a nice night where D.C. United got the result they deserved. Perhaps not in the way you'd think, but it was a just feeling all the way around. Fred in the middle looks much better than Fred on the side. Quaranta continues to work, Gomez and Moreno both looked decent off the bench, Wicks made a key save on Angel, and everyone had at least one moment in this match to be proud of. Sure, New York has a right to feel hard done that they weren't awarded a penalty when Bryan Namoff tackled Father Ted inside the box on a free kick, but that neatly balanced with the non-call on Tino getting clipped.

Wallace as a holding midfielder seemed problematic early on, in that he didn't know how to drop in with the back three and pick up runners. That seemed to get better as the game continued.

Tom Soehn again fielded a credible line-up, and played the right substitutions at the right time, Emilio's red carded histrionics aside. And that was deserving of a straight red, no doubt. If anything, it reinforced that Soehn was absolutely right to take Emilio out of the match with a yellow.

It wasn't that United outclassed New York... New York had their moments of possession, their moments of attack. But it never became the shooting gallery the way it was in New England. It was a game that would have been a deserving 1-nil win, and the second goal was simply comforting.

I'm seriously thinking of Fred for Man of the Match. Really.

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At 04 June, 2009 23:01, Blogger Landru said...

Not immature enough.

At 04 June, 2009 23:03, Blogger Bob said...

I would be really interested to see Dane Richards on another team. It seems that DCU only contains him by grabbing him and riding him (IYKWIS). He's dangerous. A lot of frustration on that side.

Big ups to the boys tonight. Love to see that hustle from Jaime that eventually broke out Gomez and got the PK call to cement it.

Did anyone besides Kyle Martino think Wicks deserved a PK for that slide tackle on Borman (??) I thought it was a good tackle, especially for a keeper.

At 04 June, 2009 23:56, Anonymous Grunthos said...

Wicks' tackle was excellent. As long as he keeps playing with this kind of confidence and command, I'll be happy to eat my initial assessment of him as not good enough.

I'm down with Fred as MOM, and would like to see this experiment continue now that we finally have enough flank players to allow it.

But I have to disagree on Wallace. He did OK in the first half, but once NY started flooding the attack in the 2nd, he was the weakest link in our defense. His natural energy and box-to-box instincts, combined with lack of experience in a DMC role, meant that he was repeatedly caught in no-man's land, unable to either tackle the ball away, intercept the pass, or mark someone. We needed a steady defensive mindset there, not someone trying to outdo Clyde in energetic pursuit of the ball. I wanted McTavish on at minute 58 instead of minute 85.

Question: we've had a few opportunities to see N'Silu now. How do people rate him? I think he brings some good things to the table - this match was the third time he's played an aggressive, longer-range, target-man style header to spring a teammate behind the defense, for example - but so far has not shown a skill or ability he can dominate with. Some nice footwork, good vision at times, solid play with his back to the net, yes... but no evidence to date of a power shot, great finishing touch, blazing speed, or anything like that. He seemed to be having some difficulty adapting to MLS and to DCU at first, so we may not have seen the best he has to offer.

At 05 June, 2009 10:30, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Fred played really well, but I can't support MOM. That's simply a personal grudge though...

Watching the replays, it seemed like Tino may have poached that goal off of Emilio. Did anyone else see that? (I'm not complaining, Emilio would have missed the goal)

Is that why Emilio took himself out of the match and threw his temper tantrum?

At 05 June, 2009 15:39, Anonymous Bootsy said...

Yes, I noticed (later) that it looked like Tino poached the goal from Emilio. It's been reported that they were "having words" with each other when leaving the pitch at halftime.

At 05 June, 2009 15:47, Blogger Juan-John said...

Yeah I saw that, too. Mayhaps that may be one of the reasons for Emilio's bottle-throwing tantrum?

At 05 June, 2009 15:54, Blogger elopingcamel said...

I too am down with Fred getting the man of the match. I found myself repeatedly surprised by him making the right move at the right time.

At 05 June, 2009 17:26, Anonymous Grunthos said...

Yes, they were having words. I sat and watched Tino and Emilio spend the whole walk into the locker room at halftime vigorously discussing something, and you'd have to assume it was the goal. They were obviously in disagreement, but it seemed pretty well contained. You would think they'd have cleared it up before the second half...

At 05 June, 2009 17:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't buy the whole goal poaching thing... its a team game, if Tino lets it through to gift to Luci then Luci blows it (he's not Fred at the 6 but it could happen) then DC is out an important goal. Frankly am surprised by the poor sportsmanship from Emilio, no matter what the reason... Question-- if he had thrown the bottles around off the field, would it have been a card?

At 10 June, 2009 13:41, Blogger Ryan Melvin said...

Soccer fans were surprised to learn last year that DC United star Santino Quaranta was addicted to painkillers and cocaine. But after a stint in rehab, he's clean, sober, and a force on the field. And he has created a very public way to remember how far he's come. Hakem Dermish has his inspiring story tonight on News4 at 5.


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