19 October 2008

Ruminations going into this week

Despite how busy we've been too write, it would really be poor form to not comment on the week that we just finished, and the final week of the regular season. Watching the team come from a goal down to score twice in the second half, reminded me of what kind of football we expect them to play, and how little of it we saw this season. That sounded a bit harsh. I think what I'm trying to say, is that we saw a glimpse of the team we expected to have the whole season - a skilled and patient attack, grit and determination, and solid, if not spectacular, defense.

I was ecstatic after they scored each goal, and more so when the camera panned to show Ben Olsen celebrating. This team certainly dug themselves a hole, and at least they're still fighting to get out of it. Honestly, who would have expected Francis Doe to pull us back from the brink with his first 2 goals of the season?

Some thoughts abou the players follows. Emilio had good chances to score, but still looks a little troubled by his injury. Quaranta, looks to me like he's feeling the need to do a lot on his own when the other "regular" starters aren't there. He's ambitious with his passes and attempts on goal, when he pulls it off its really something and credit him with the assist on the 2nd goal. More often than not, he shanks a shot or gives the ball away. Francis Doe may have earned himself more time on the roster with those two goals, enough to give him more time to develop. The injection of Moreno in the second half, and the immediate dividends it paid off, shows he's still an impact player and a vital part of the team's offense. However, we have to seriously start thinking of who's lining up to fill his shoes when he can't go a full 90 and/or decides to retire.

Looking ahead, Behind the Badge does the playoff calculus for us, because math is hard, let's go shopping. The scheduling gods have been for once, kind. The team will go into the Columbus game on Sunday knowing what result they need - or if its a meaningless game.

New York plays Chicago on Thursday, and with homefield advantage on the line, and the need to recapture some winning mojo, I don't expect Chicago to take this game lightly. Can New York count on more fluky goals to help them out? I hope not, although its a funny game.

On Saturday, Kansas City travels to New England to take on a Revolution team that is not following their usual playoff script. Like Chicago, I think NE will want to go into the playoffs with a victory in their final game, and they're jockeying with the Fire for home field advantage. If there is any justice, the Revolution should be able to beat a team who counts amongst its leading scorers Jimmy Conrad.

That leaves us United taking on Columbus to cap the weekend on Sunday. If both KC and NY win, start the drinking early, and tune in to see what should be Tom Soehns last game as head coach. If either team ties or loses, we're still in the hunt for that final wildcard spot.

To sum it up, we want both Chicago and New England to win this week. And not just win, but set new franchise records for margin of victory, in case it comes down to a tie breaker. Its gonna be a long week for United fans.



At 20 October, 2008 07:50, Blogger I-66 said...

As much as I'd like to believe the rationale that the Revs and Fire will be fighting for home field, the fact is that in a home/away series, there is no real advantage. Yeah, you may want to play the 2nd match at home so that if you need to win big, you have the chance to do it at home, but you're still playing one match at home and one on the road.

I'm not positive both Chicago and New England will be putting their first eleven out there.

At 20 October, 2008 09:47, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 20 October, 2008 11:43, Blogger Oscar M. said...

the homefield advantage is minimal. But I think both coaches will want to go into the playoffs with a win to finish the regular season, for confidence/mentality.

At 20 October, 2008 13:49, Blogger rke said...

If NY/KC give us a shot, I wouldn't want to be Columbus...

What do you think they'll throw at us? Certainly they'll want to keep players healthy for the tournament -- and DC will be scrappy. But they also have a bit of face-saving to do.

Moreover, if we do squeak into the playoffs, how do you like our odds? Clean slate, starters back... could be interesting!

(ever the optimist)

At 21 October, 2008 10:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If NY or KC lose, it doesn't matter how much they lose by. A DC win takes them to 40 pts, and a losing NY or KC would stay at 39. So the tiebreaker is mute in that case.

If NY or KC tie to get to 40 pts, there goal difference doesn't change. It would be up to DC to close the gap by their winning margin.

I think a KC tie leaves DC needing to win by 3 and a NY tie leaves DC needing to win by 4.

At 21 October, 2008 11:10, Blogger Jose M. Burgos said...

The season for DC United was over the night Marcelo Gallardo got injured.

With "El Muneco" on the field, things are always different for the United.

At 21 October, 2008 11:31, Blogger Bob said...

I'm with you RKE.

At 22 October, 2008 22:07, Blogger Martin Shatzer said...

"If both KC and NY win, start the drinking early, and tune in to see what should be Tom Soehns last game as head coach."

Love that line. And I totally agree with you in general that this is FINALLY the team we've been wanting to see for months.

Time to suck up the pride and root for old No-Neck tomorrow night!

At 27 October, 2008 11:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hearing rumors that DCU might be after Curt Onalfo to coach the team next year. A great move if they can pull it off!


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