30 August 2008

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

I predict that this match will be an easy pessimist/optimist test for our fans out there. And since I try to stay away from equivocation, let me come out and make the optimistic case. D.C. United owned the majority of this match, but didn't totally dominate it. There was about five minutes in the first half, and the last ten minutes, when things looked dicey for the home side. However, United has lost several of those matches this season. You'd hear things like "We make two mistakes, and get punished for both." United had more than two mistakes this game, and the Bulls took their shots, but this time United survived to take at least a point. Yes, Moreno's PK miss may make this feel like two points that slipped away, but Louis Crayton's performance in goal with two big saves combined with Joe Vide starting to imitate the look and heart of a Ben Olsen make this feel like a point earned. Simply put, there was every reason to feel that this team could make a hash out of a five piece lego kit early this season, and now I feel like I'm looking for more times when this team will win, than find new ways to lose.

And the effort, from pretty much everyone, was there this match. Devon McTavish looks outmatched by pretty much everyone right now, but I can't and won't fault the effort he put forward. The team lost Emilio at the half, but still found way to work the ball around. They are a scrappier, pushier team than I recall from two months ago. Hope is the order of the day, even in games that might otherwise bode for disappointment.

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At 30 August, 2008 22:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd trade a loss tonight for an uninjured and thus available Emilio on Wednesday night. Are we going to play a 4-5-1 with Jaime as the lone striker? Where are our goals going to come from?

At 30 August, 2008 22:55, Blogger jason said...

To me... McTavish looks not to be outmatched but tired. But New York was a very very physical team... and we could really use Peralta against teams like that.

At 30 August, 2008 23:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me on the optimist side. I thought the team performance was very good, but RBNY played well too, and we're missing too many key pieces to force a win. Kudos to Osorio for improving the pace and athleticism of his side. It would have been nice to take home the three points, but I can't get too bummed out by the draw.

Question: What, on God's green earth, was Frank Yallop thinking? If we see performances like this from Vide on a regular basis, San Jose's decision to waive him will be the stupidest move of the season. Joe was absolutely the best player on the field tonight. He moved fluidly from role to role, covered his defensive responsibilities well, worked hard to get open on the attack and did a great job finding space, collected balls with skill, made intelligent choices, and showed a good passing *and* heading touch. Just astounding.

Crayton continues to impress - he's easily the most athletic goalie in MLS - but much as it was entertaining to watch him nutmeg defenders on the ball, his choices outside the box were too risky. We were fortunate that Angel was never close in when Crayton played his way out of trouble; JPA would not have been deceived as Richards was (repeatedly).

And a note on the ref: his style is annoying, but that was a very consistent performance. Every low foul was called extra-super-tight, and almost every high foul was ignored. Our guys didn't figure it out until halftime (I assume the coaching staff warned them), thus the accumulation of first half yellow cards. Sadly, for MLS, this was a good job by the referee.

Next up: Silverware!

At 31 August, 2008 00:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"could make a hash out of a five piece lego kit" Really? OK, your blog.
Crayton is a maniac. Absolutely insane. Hes almost to the half line. Why is my keeper dribbling past the other teams forwards? WTF is he thinking? I. Love. It. I'm getting his jersey.

At 31 August, 2008 08:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crayton was a lot of fun to watch, but while covering him applause, just realize that, at least once, his footwork outside the box is going to get him burned. At least once. Its simply going to happen. That said, I don't think Wells has a job anymore. Soehn constantly surprises me, but Crayton's actual keeping has really damn good.
I really didn't like the refing. He blocked, what, 3 United passes (not in the row) and a stopped a counter dead? While I am glad that MLS refing has evolved to the point where an intelligent advantage is played, but that doesn't mean the player who committed the foul just "gets away with it." During the first half, I felt like Angel was riding Vide like a Bangkok. . . nevermind. My point is, he wasn't going back to talk to players, he wasn't carding for persistent infringement. NY played physical, United played through it and the end result was that they got beat up out there with little protection from the ref (and somehow they were the team with most of the yellows). And I hate to say it, but Jaime's PK. . . Yeah, his legs were taken out, but from what I saw it was pretty clear that the tackle got the ball and pushed it away from Moreno's feet first. That call was close, but I do think he got it wrong and the PK was a gift. I'll see if there is a replay somewhere. I don't think the refing was biased, just sub-par and not very nuanced.

At 02 September, 2008 11:01, Blogger Bob said...

skippy - watch the replays... the defender didn't get any ball. Very clear penalty.

It is awesome having a keeper that we can be proud of again, ala Troy and Nicky.


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