13 September 2008

First Impressions - D.C. United 2 : 2 F.C. Dallas

This is a frustrating way to drop two points that were well within grasp. United had a 2-1 lead, and looked marginally the better side. Still, Dallas was finding moments of slicing through the defense, and so it was that Eric Avila slipped down the left side of the defense and send the ball outside of the diving Crayton to Rocha, and United found themselves settling for one point instead of taking all three.

Still, I suppose, it's important to remember that if Zach Wells was in goal, United loses this game. It's not much in the way of comfort, but it is something. What I find somewhat mysterious was the final substitution of Dyachenko for Guerrero. Guerrero can actually provide some defense on the flank, he's been showing more in every game. Rod... not so much. Why not sub in someone more defensive minded? Let's take a look at the bench:

Cordeiro, Doe, and Thompson. Yikes. Okay, so that explains it -- there isn't any defensive depth to sub in and help lock the game down. Which is pretty damning. At this point, Perralta and Vide were scratches, but Pat Carroll and Mike Zaher were both unavailable? What would have happened had Martinez or Namoff gone down early?

Which says something. Even with new acquisitions, the need for defensive depth has never been so clearly demonstrated as in this match. It cost us two points today. And, perhaps, a playoff spot in the future.

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At 13 September, 2008 22:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

only got to see the first half, like what I see from Boyzz... sooner or later (alas poor Kpene, I knew him Horatio) one of DCU's African pick-ups has to work out. Not counting Crayton of course, he's the man and Wells should start dusting off the USL roladex at this point (or do people use roladexes at this point) Did you see the Goff prediction that Rod will be gone after this year? Rod comes in, game's over...
Cooper should really, really, really be called in over EJ...

At 13 September, 2008 22:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it felt like we should have won, but the D screwed up too much to really deserve the three points.

Crayton 8 - May be the best goalie in MLS. Athletic, enthusiastic, good skills, good distribution, confident. And, of course, clinically insane. Anyone want to take bets on which happens first: Louis dribbles the ball past multiple opposition players and over the midfield line, Louis makes a great tackle outside the box and immediately feeds an on-the-ground through ball to Emilio for a breakaway goal, or Louis completely somersaults over a forward to reach a ball as if it were entirely normal to do so? Bonus bet: number of goals Louis concedes from crazy moves before one of these events happens.
Namoff 4 - Next time you're getting burned repeatedly down the flank, try dropping back a little and taking fewer risks. It might help.
McTavish 5 - Maybe a little harsh, but the D was too poor overall to rate him higher.
Burch 4.5 - Not a center back.
Martinez 6 - A few good moments, but generally had one of his "I'm frustrated" matches.
Simms 5 - A subpar performance from him. Didn't position well enough to deal with Dallas' attacking style.
Kirk 5 - Anonymous.
Guerrero 6.5 - Energetic as always, a few good balls into the box, no finishing touch as usual.
Tino 6.5 - So close, and yet so far.
Moreno 7.5 - The usual from Jaime.
Khumalo 7 - Showed us more in 60 minutes than Doe and Niell showed us all season. Not that he's any great shakes... no aerial game, lacks blazing speed, decent but not great touch. But for a guy who just arrived this week, this was pretty good.

Fred 6.5 - Enthusiastic, but blew what was probably our best chance of the match.
Emilio 6 - Solid effort, but nothing to show for it.
Dyachenko 6 - Better than the norm from him. But I don't agree with the idea that he's better and/or more useful than Thompson.

At 13 September, 2008 23:31, Blogger jason said...

I have to disagree with Grunthos:

Burch had a couple mistakes (and I agree that he is not a central defender) but he had at least half a dozen pivotal stops in the 18. He also was maybe 2 inches from reaching the second goal at the goal line (from a bad angle no less), deserves at least a 6 if not a 7.

Guerrero looked to have come up a bit lame after the second goal, I am pretty sure that he bruised his hip pretty bad smashing it into the boards and they pulled him to be safe.

At 13 September, 2008 23:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I missed Burch in the scramble around FCD goal #2. But I can't say as Burch's stops made up for his routine liabilities of not knowing how to jockey an attacker, not knowing how to coordinate with the partnering center back, and not knowing which way to turn when faced with a dangerous move.

It's not his fault, per se... throwing him into the middle was and remains a move of desperation. But I thought he barely kept up with his responsibilities tonight; FCD's forwards always had an angle to work with, whether he made the final tackle or not. If you're creating the hole in the boat and then bailing furiously, should you get credit for bailing well enough to keep it afloat?

At 14 September, 2008 00:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, the non-working video screen at RFK was a pile of crap.

I think the ref missed two Dallas handballs in the box, but I'm not certain.

At 14 September, 2008 00:57, Blogger jason said...

There was for *sure* one where a FC Dallas player literally dragged it out with his arm.

Then there's the non-red on kicking the keeper... (Everyone to the right of Screaming Eagles was chanting for Red... it was that outrageous...)


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