29 March 2008

First Impressions - Kansas City Wizards 2 : 0 D.C. United

...and yet, I'm not heartbroken.

Yes, the loss is disappointing, but somehow even now it feels a bit abstract. Removed. At a distance.

I think part of it was the fact that Kansas City's stadium make you think you're watching an NCAA broadcast. It's not really real -- not yet. And the team we saw play for United wasn't bad, it just wasn't all there. Everyone had a moment to shine, everyone had a moment to look rather awkward. The same was true for Kansas City, it's just that they got the ball in the net twice.

And for all the talk of team's not doing much in the off-season, Kansas City at least did something. I'm not sure how deep they are, but their starting 11, even without Eddie Johnson, seems a bit more formidable from in terms of average ability. They look better. Curt Onalfo has trained them well.

United also didn't look shabby, but they didn't look like a team that's going to treat MLS as its personal parkour environment. Still, for a line-up without Olsen, Moreno, and Fred in the starting side, I wasn't displeased. The central defense held well, with only two egregious moments (one of which was fortunately rules offside despite the fact it should not have been.) All teams will give up chances, the only thing we can ask is that they not give up easy ones. And the Gonzalos seem determined to make life difficult for opposiing teams. Brian Namoff looks like he may have learned how to send in an early cross.

The big problem right now is Emilio, who we can see getting into better shape, but he's still not there. He may still be dangerous even without his best form, but he's not as good as he could be.

Still, for a 2-nil defeat, I'm not overly troubled. This team was doing more right than wrong. I have no one I feel like calling out, and no tactics that I felt were egregious. The game simply didn't go our way. Fine. Other games just like this will.

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At 29 March, 2008 22:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can call our Mediate. For someone clearly in there to provide some defensive cover hi passes were very poor. Wasn't Lopez offside on the goal? They didn't show a replay where you could judge.

At 29 March, 2008 23:27, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on. Just an "eh" opening season match, with the team looking like it changed out half the starters from last year. Oh, wait, we did! I found myself wondering, also, if they were looking ahead to Pachuca. Of course, if we play against Pachuca like we played tonight, 2-0 will be a kind outcome.

At 30 March, 2008 00:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

D, spot on with your comments. I saw it the same. However, pachuca will kill us if we aren't a bit sharper all around.

At 30 March, 2008 01:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the team is really, really focusing on CCC this year. I hate to see them lose, but last year (and other years before) is proof that stumbling out of the gate doesn't mean a whole lot.

At 30 March, 2008 01:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, stumbling out of the gate this year will hurt more, because our schedule is back-loaded. Blowing points against teams like Toronto just because we couldn't get in synch would be a problem.

At 30 March, 2008 08:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm more pissed off than heartbroken.

At 30 March, 2008 09:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Seriously.

The only thing I can say that you didn't is, VIVA LOS GONZALOS...hehe

At 30 March, 2008 11:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That field was tiny!! The 18-yard box was about 10 feet from the sideline! That's ridiculous. I can't wait to play KC at Estadio RFK, we'll show them what the REAL width of a field is supposed to be (and we'll also teach them a thing or two about how to play soccer).

At 30 March, 2008 13:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the analysis is about right. Last year did not feel right when we were beat so badly by Colorado in the opener. WE had high expectations and we were quickly brought back to earth when we realized the defense did not look good and Gomez was more or less stiffled. This year, the defense looks fine and Gallardo was very present throughout the game. (Peralta, Gallardo and Oneal got a lot of touches which showed they were working hard). Wells was competent but he did not show us that he can be a difference maker yet. Emilio and Oneal did not work together well. They did not look for each other. Jaime brings more of that to a game. He will look for goal but is also always looking for the free man in the box. Mediate and McTavish were okay but Fred and Olsen are more formidable.

By the way, did you notice that Colorado looked like world beaters again in their opener? Somehow I think they will be better this year building their team around Gomez rather than Beckerman. He played well - which is unusual for him this early in the year. Erpen played well as well. Their defense looks a lot better now. On the other hand. Vanney and Boswell did not fair well for their respective teams (Carroll put in a decent performance for Columbus).

At 30 March, 2008 20:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Gomez and Colorado did play well, but in that 4-0 win keep in mind they were also the beneficiaries of some Abbey Okulaja fuckfacery.

At 30 March, 2008 23:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd mostly agree, especially since I am not too concerned by the loss. I am delighted that there weren't such glaring problems that everyone on this site is talking about the same thing. I certainly wasn't impressed by Mediate though.
And maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, but the lack of scoring is my greatest worry. I didn't think KC was such a good side that they should have blanked United. Half of DC's goals as of now are from McTavish, who (don't get me wrong, I think he's good) probably isn't going to be a reliable goal-scorer all season. There were some opportunities that seemed missed because of imprecise touches or holding the ball too long. Which happens and I don't mean to shout "fire." I just feel like United could have put more shots on goal than they did. I know that this wasn't the starting 11, but I felt like the defense was periodically broken anyway but allowed to reform by the strikers. I know Moreno wasn't playing and maybe he improves the offense as a whole, but he hesitates on the trigger more than anyone. I'm probably wrong and hope I am (you know, so I can see more of that Emilio pose you were kind enough to show me). I'm just, I don't know. DC did lose, something went wrong and I kind of feel like that was the biggest overall problem.

At 31 March, 2008 09:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't impressed with Wells. This is the first real pressure that he has seen and I don't think that he challenged well.


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