26 May 2007

First Impressions - DC United 2 : 1 Houston Dynamo

I like wins. I'd like wins I didn't have to worry so much about. I'd prefer wins where we didn't give up penalties. But I like wins, especially when we go out and get the first goal, and then grab another goal on top of it. Houston may well be the most unlucky team in the league right now, since they can certainly generate changes, especially from the wing, but couldn't put anything in the goal until de Rosario managed a goal in the seventy-third minute.

The good thing is that United kept DeRo mostly anonymous for the first 70 minutes of the game. The bad thing is that Houston was buzzing towards the end, and United couldn't make the most of the countering opportunities to put the game out of reach. The extremely bad thing was the number of set pieces United gave to Houston, pretty much making a Houston goal inevitable at some point.

Still, while I think the result slightly flatters United, it wasn't an unreasonable one. United needed to get wins like this, and they got it. Great. That's the challenge at the start of the day. They met it. However, if they give the same number of chances away in their next home game, things will be different. There is still plenty to work on, and another chance to improve the game when United travels to LA. That's the next challenge, and one that will have to be watched very closely.

Man of the Match? I'm leaning to Ben Olsen right now, who buzzed around the field quite a bit. Gomez also deserves credit for fully integrating both Olsen and Fred into the attack. Defense was better, but not perfect. And Kpene made gave United quite a bit as a target, even if he didn't tally. Debrief later, either tomorrow or Monday.

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At 26 May, 2007 23:37, Blogger Oscar M. said...

United opened the first half really aggressively looking for that first goal and set a great tone for those 45 minutes. Fred and Emilio were combining really well too, along with Kpene.
The second half, a little too much complacency was in their play. Once Fred and Kpene came out, we had no one pressuring Houston, and that let the momentum go their way. I was disappointed to see them resort to trying to play some long balls over Houston's defenders for Emilio and Addlery to run on to, but it wasn't working.
As good as the first half was, the last 20 minutes were too tense for my comfort.
Marrufo seemed pretty bad in the second half, although I can't claim to be unbiased or knowledgeable in assessing him. I complained to my wife when I heard them announce he was the center ref.
My MOTM would have to be Perkins, he stopped some hard shots to preserve the lead, along with Brian Ching, who had at least two looks at goal that he should have put in the net.


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