Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Emiligol Strikes Again, DCU 1-0 KC

Happy Independence Day, folks.

In the hot, hot heat of Kansas City, DC United stole a win to overtake New York and New England and assume first place in the MLS East standings.

There's only one complaint I can lodge with some semblance of justification: Simms had a horrible game as right wingback today. Poor guy, I know he was giving it everything and he doesn't want to pass up these opportunities to impress the coaches, but today he was a true liability at the back. He was good coming across the center line, but back on defense he was a hole waiting to happen.

Otherwise, there were some defensive slips from Erpe- I mean, Vanney (tempting, isn't it?), which I'll excuse because this was his first outing for DC, and there were also some blunders from Gros, though not as many and not as glaring. Vanney's corners look wonderful and I'm sure McTavish is learning a few things from this guy.

I felt that Addlery couldn't quite figure out the KC back line and Carroll was almost a disaster waiting to happen. Mediate really didn't make an impression on me one way or another and Dyachenko wasn't in long enough to have an impact.

McTavish gets my Man of the Match bid. The kid was just awesome, saving United at clutch moments and really doing his best to sustain the defense for those boiling-hot ninety minutes. He positioned himself correctly throughout the game and was really our most solid defender, despite his rookie status. Almost reminds me of another great rookie defender.

Speaking of, once Boswell comes back, I hope McTavish can perform just as well at right back as he is in the center. And Boswell had better find his good form fast because if McTavish keeps this up I really feel that Boswell's starting spot is in contention. Actually, that's probably an exaggeration, but McTavish has improved a great deal and has proved to me that he is a viable option at center back.

Now to the offense: It was obvious to me that KC still regards Gomez as our primary offensive threat, Zavagnin molesting him and all. Thing is, what with Addlery proving himself to be a solid target man, Moose pounding the wings, Emilio assuming the role of withdrawn forward in Jaime's absence, and Fred working voodoo magic all over the damn field, Gomez can't be regarded as our primary offensive threat. Shutting down Gomez does not shut down our offense. It's the truth, and it's a wonderful thing: we have such a comprehensive attack that defenses have no idea who to mark and who to tackle in order to prevent a play from happening. I have a feeling that once Jaime returns, the chemistry will revive and Gomez will once again assume a playmaking role, but right now our offense has to be one of the most terrifying in the league, if only because defenses have no idea how we're going to approach the goal.

Case in point: Fred hooking up with Emiligol in the box, each one showing a fantastic understanding of how the KC defense would react, and we put it away in style. A truly amazing goal. My Goal of the Week for sure.

Player ratings:

Perkins: 7
(Yeah, he came up clutch, but there were times there where he just looked unsure of himself. He was phenomenal coming off his line, though.)

Simms: 3

McTavish: 8

Vanney: 6

Gros: 6

Moose: 7

Gomez: 7

Fred: 8

Addlery: 6

Emilio: 7.5

Subs: Mediate 6, deRoux 6, Dyachenko 5.

Goad win away from RFK, good winning streak in the making, and a good three points to be snatching up for the standings. Keep it going, DCU.

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