30 October 2005

Things Fall Apart

DC United 0 : 4 Chicago Fire (Fire Advance to Eastern Conference Final on 4-0 aggregate)

This loss will be remembered. A catastrophic failure across many dimensions. DCU was out played, out-thought, and perhaps worst of all, out-classed. Fans will look at this game and want to point the finger at everyone. Nowak. Adu. Gomez. Rimando. Quaranta. Moreno. Olsen. And yes, I too have people I consider more responsible than others for this loss. But let's start by defending two of the most likely targets:
  • Piotr Nowak: I have been critical of his subbing for much of the season, and particularly last week. I'm sure that many will look at his choices of using all 3 subs by the half as a ridiculous move. However, Piotr was down three goals, and he figured he wanted to try and get it back rather than merely play to make it look respectable. So he fired everything in the clip. Quaranta was ineffective the first 45, so he was gone. Walker was a more questionable removal, but also defendable.
  • Christian Gomez. Yes, it was the worst move by any player this year. Worse than Erpen's fake dive a month ago. Worse than Adu's commentary. Getting a straight red when your team needs you the most is ridiculous. It was uncalled for, it was classless. But I think forgiveness is in order for a player that, if nothing else, was trying hard no matter how far done he got. He let Chicago get to him, he made a stupid move. I think he's a classier player than that one moment. It would be naive to think that somehow DCU was inevitable going to rally if not for that moment.
In the end, it was frustrating. And while the players may see little to take out of it, I did see something that one could look at. Fans that stayed the full 90, unified as they decided not to mourn a loss, but celebrate a season. On the quiet side of RFK you could hear them, perhaps not clearly, but you heard them none-the-less. The most positive thing I saw was a small child, maybe eight, carrying an obnoxious looking horn in his hand, and singing to himself.

"Goooo, United. United, united, vamoose united."

Are you going to tell him he got the words wrong?


This is not the end of the DCenters for this year. Nor will the end of the MLS season mark the end. We've got some things cooking for the offseason, some of which would be very cool if they managed to pan out. I don't want to go into too much detail until I am sure things are happening, but the DCenters is looking at several projects. The next few weeks we're going to look back on the season, pay attention to the rest of the playoffs, and consider the upcoming off-season. Maybe some other stuff as well. Till then, I plan on having a few more tonight, and waking up with a headache in the morning.

Vamos United.


At 30 October, 2005 20:19, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rimando was terrible...you left him out for the obvious people to blame.

It's getting real old watching him flap at crosses..come way to far out..get fooled on stuff that most keepers get.

A large part of the blame should be placed on him for two of the first three goals. A keepers job is to keep their team in the game not give the other team the game.

He cost us the series vs. U. Catolica for the same kind of crap. He didn't cost DC the game..but he gave DC no chance to win.

A real depressing end..please get us a new GK Nowak...

At 30 October, 2005 20:30, Blogger D said...

Actually, he's in the list of obvious people to blame. And he's not one I'm defending. From what I saw, he was caught leaning twice and made a Nick Rimando patented keeper leap at least once, that led to three Chicago goals and nealy another one. The other goal was just a quality strike that no keeper stops.

At 30 October, 2005 22:50, Blogger Kali said...

Where do I send the sympathy card?

I kept thinking you guys would get back into it, and then it would just get worse.

Hey, at least you guys went down as a team, right?

At 30 October, 2005 22:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the road at the time of the game so I wasn't able to watch it, but I do have to say: WHAT THE $HIT HAPPENED!?!?!?

Pardon my French

Anywho, I'm kind of curious what your cool things are, we've got a few ideas as well so we'll have to make sure you don't beat us to the punch ;-)

At 30 October, 2005 22:54, Blogger scaryice said...

As a Fire fan, I am soooo happy right now. And I have nothing else to say.

At 31 October, 2005 10:09, Blogger D said...

Kali: I think it says something to the magnitude of the defeat that you, an RSL fan, are offering a sympthy card. I appreciate it though. This one hurt.

John: A few things planned are old ideas that fell by the way-side during the season, such as the Unofficial MLS Championship. The other things I can't talk about right now.

ScaryIce: You should feel good. I remember that good feeling from last year, and I don't begrudge you a moment of it. Enjoy it. I want it back next season.


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