19 March 2008

Debriefing for Match 13.A.02: Harbour View F.C.

D.C. United 5 : 0 Harbour View F.C.

Six Word Novel Recap

They got up. They stood up.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Times, John Haydon: "Devon McTavish, who scored his first goal for D.C. United in last week's tie at Jamaican club Harbour View, added two more last night in the return game as United breezed to a 5-0 win before 12,394 at RFK Stadium."
The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "That Luciano Emilio provided two goals during D.C. United's 5-0 demolition of Jamaican club Harbour View last night came as no surprise. He was, after all, the leading scorer and most valuable player in MLS last season. The fact that his Brazilian countryman, Fred, set up a goal with a breathtaking pass and scored on a breakaway was not totally unexpected, given his flashes of brilliance a year ago. But Devon McTavish scoring the other two goals to increase his total to three in the Champions' Cup quarterfinal series? "
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "United were the better side in the first half, but struggled to test Harbour View goalkeeper Dwayne Miller until a Marcelo Gallardo free kick trickled through a crowded penalty box and fell for Devon McTavish to finish in the 26th minute. D.C. rode out a brief Harbour View rally after halftime, then struck for three goals in five minutes beginning with Luciano Emilio's left-footer in the 62nd minute."
UnitedMania, Chris Webb: "United controlled the flow of play from the start and Harbour View had only one thing on their minds. Penalties. Harbour View sat 8 or 9 players behind the ball to stop the penatrating runs and decisive passes from the United offense. "
SoccerAmerica Daily, Paul Kennedy: "Santino Quaranta, signed as a free agent in the offseason, celebrated his return to RFK Stadium, where he started his promising career as a teenager, by coming off the bench and helping set up the last three goals."
Potomac Soccer Wire, Chris Hummer: " Tonight D.C. United's new look squad clicked...Enter United's new signings – the Gonzalos. Peralta and Martinez, the central defenders, staked a claim tonight in RFK's beautiful new field that will be hard to breech by any team venturing to the nation's capital this year. As dangerous as Harbour View could have been, there was a Gonzalo there to put out the fire. Peralta was omnipresent, dominating every ball that came his way seemingly without breaking a sweat. Martinez was always near by, winning 2nd balls and calmly starting the attacks in the other direction."
Six Yards North, QJA: "The big story here is United's clean sheet. There were no goals due to communication errors, to goalkeeping howlers, to poor positioning, to tactical misalignment, to anything; there were no goals period. Defensive cohesiveness must have been Soehn's big preseason project and it is beautiful. Beautifully surprising, even: where the hell did Martinez come from, getting forward like that?"
DCUMD, Shatz: "So yeah. Are we excited yet? The sky has stopped falling? Sweet."
BlackDogRed, BDR: "Don't get carried away with this win, don't draw too many comprehensive conclusions from this win: United should beat Harbour View handily...Mediate was tested at left back - United obviously likes him and wants to find a role for him, and depth in back is needed, so. Dyachenko came in and clobbered someone unnecessarily.Quaranta: played great, made peace. Honestly, there are flashes of brilliance, of quality, most MLS players don't have. A betting man would still wager that odds are something stupid will go wrong with Quaranta, but at the price of the bet, United was smart to make it."
The Edgell Supporters: "The subs. Mediate (for Burch) did not look comfortable with the pace of the game. Dyachenko (for Gallardo) needs more time to get himself into a game. Santino Quaranta (for Niell) was fantastic. He was quick and he had vision, while everyone else seemed to be hesitant, he went at it. If he can repeat the performance, he could easily be the back up #10 and maybe the holding forward that we need."

The Good

Since I didn't see the game with my own eyes, I'm gonna incorporate some comments from last night...

  1. Tom Soehn and the Finish the Game Off First Kids: He makes an offensive substitution, manages his subs and avoids cards, and wing big. Tactically, it sounded as through we were not the same team we were a week ago, something I hoped and predicted, but couldn't be sure of. Good.
  2. Marcello Gallardo: Played well with everyone, linked up better with Emilio (important, that.) Commenter Grunthos: "Doesn't charge up the middle nearly as much, preferring to find space where it is granted and then get creative." Different is not bad, and I think we all liked it.
  3. Devon McTavish: Commenter Jeremy: "McTavish is doing the best Ben Olsen impersonation that I have ever seen." Last week we hit him for not defending, and this week we were better on the outside. He also didn't play the same way, made runs down the wing for Gallardo, and didn't send the same misplayed balls we complained about previously. Oh, and as an afterthought -- 3 goals from 2 games. Even if they were some easy opportunities, when was the last time we could rely on a wing player to really finish those who isn't named Fred or Ben Olsen?
  4. Emilio: A brace, and a sense that he knew how to make his runs better than before. While I know that some complained that he didn't really click until the second half, I heard his name enough to know that he was making runs, and was successful in getting into dangerous positions. Yes, some shots were over the bar, or right at the keeper, but he was clicking and moving. Good.
  5. Jaime Moreno: Thanks to the WFED broadcast, we heard Jamie Moreno at half-time, and he sounded good, but I also mean this in a more global sense. At times, regardless of the opponent, there has been criticism that our offense can't function without Moreno in the game. Now, provided the Vinge singularity doesn't hit, at some point in our future there will be a day without Moreno. So to work without Moreno is a good sign, and better to hear him coming back.
  6. Marc Burch: Here's what I heard "Scarlet sends a ball-in, and Burch clears it with his head up to [Gallardo/Fred/Simms]" I like to hear that.
  7. Center Defense (And outside too!): Click any link above, and read glowing testimonials about the defensive work by the Gonazalos, and Burch, and Namoff. Good.
  8. Santino Quaranta: I will not back away from what I said, but to not acknowledge a good effort here would be a crime. Commented rke: "Tino did nicely off the bench. Really gave us some exciting plays, leading to a couple goals. Class act coming to Brava after the match, swapping jerseys, etc.. Seems all is forgiven." -- Not yet. I'm with Jeremy: "Two assists for Tino, and I didn't see anything glaringly awful from him. I'm not in love with him yet, but I don't hate him anymore. Keep up the good work Tino."

The Bad

I do not have the heart to write anything here. 5-nil does that. Let it go.

Man of the Match

Devon McTavish.

Karma Bank


Final Thoughts

The goal, as we have always maintained, was that United should advance through this first round. That they have done. Now, I'm not convinced that they must advance in the next round. A nice to have, but not a true pass/fail test. The point being that United did what we hoped they would do -- They played a different game in the second leg than the first, they showed progress towards gelling as a new team, they are defending well in the back, starting with Wells, and moving forward. This is what we want to see, but it is not a gurantee. All I can say is that "Yes, United is where it should be, or perhaps a little ahead." But the season is long, the other competitions will come after injuries or other setbacks, and we know we can't crown ourselves with any given trophy yet.

But we're still in the running for all of them.

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At 19 March, 2008 14:16, Blogger Keving said...

Vamos Utd..see that nasty long ball British game isn't so bad....

At 19 March, 2008 14:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commented rke: "...Seems all is forgiven." -- Not yet.

I should clarify: seems all is currently forgiven with respect to Brava at large. Individual mileage may vary.

Personally, I liked what I saw. Your previous comments about too much early success going to his head, though -- I suppose that could be a danger.

On the other hand, he could be that sort of arrogant nit that really gets under the skin of other teams and their fans, drawing both fouls an vituperation.

(Yeah, I looked that word up.)

Time will tell...

- rke

At 19 March, 2008 15:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprise no honorable mention was given to the 5'-4" Irish Leprechaun - Frank O'Neill. Fun to watch - although could tone down the flailing arms and legs when going to the turf. A lot of drive; a lot of heart. Although Kpene started the 2007 campaign with much the same appeal, if Franco can coordinate his efforts better with Emilio and Gallardo and keep the shots on frame, we could have yet another potent offensive option.

At 19 March, 2008 16:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pitch should get a nod in the good category. That field looks beautiful on TV. How did it look in person?

IMO it is the best looking pitch I've ever seen in RFK, even pre-baseball. Too bad they aren't going to put the North section seating back in.

At 19 March, 2008 16:33, Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

Another review/analysis for your consideration. Good win.

At 23 March, 2008 20:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found this to be an entertaining read, given the final result:




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