Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jaime Tallies 109th, Sets MLS Record: DCU 3-1 NYRB

Congratulations, Jaime. You deserve the praise.

It was a pretty good day for United fans yesterday.

I understand he didn't want to set the record off a penalty but the onus had been on him to score for several weeks now so I'm glad he took the opportunity. Moreover, I think he's still got it in him to score another two goals at least by the end of the season.

The ball Jaime scored with was presented to his 11 year-old son sitting on the sidelines. Good to celebrate the Atlantic Cup with a bit of MLS history, huh? I was watching Comcast and noticed that it was MLS history indeed: Thomas Rongen, Bruce Arena, and John Harkes were all on hand to witness Jaime make history. Cool.

Let's get to the meat. Player ratings:

Perkins - 7

Burch - 7

McTavish - 6.5

Vanney - 6.5

Namoff - 6

Simms - 7.5

Olsen - 8

Gomez - 8

Fred - 8

Emilio - 8

Moreno - 9
(8 for the game, +2 for the record, -1 for the record by penalty)

Rongen said the first fifteen minutes of the game witnessed DC's best offense all season. I wouldn't go that far, but they were solid for those fifteen and other than conceding a goal, they were solid all game. So much so, in fact, that Mathis almost got the jump on us towards the end. Perkins proved useful yet again.

Other than Jaime's penalty (equal, if not better to, Angel's masteful finish), none of our goals had any class. They found net, true, but only because they bounced of a Red Bull first. However, the fact of the matter is that United consistently produced throughout the match. As exemplified by Clyde Simms, we fought Red Bull for every first, second, and third ball and won the majority of them. Red Bull started and finished by giving us more space than we needed to complete our crosses and slot our through balls. Five out of six Atlantic Cups don't lie: United knows exactly how to break down NYRB's defense and does it on a regular basis. This suits me just fine.

Our chances of reaching the finals at RFK this year just doubled, by the way. Or so I calculate.

Other notes:

- Did you see Burch's lofted give-and-go towards the end of the game? I know you did. It was beautiful. The bonus? He's still our left back. Our left back. The one we'd been missing for half a season. I really appreciate that Burch is regularly going box to box, making a positive contribution on offense while maintaining good presence on defense. It's a good thing we bumped him up to the senior roster ( $30,000 > $17,500) because we're going to have a hell of a time holding on to him during the close season.

- Did you see Burch leg-lock Angel's ankle? I know you did. It was beautiful. This brings up a good point, though. Which would you have preferred-- the penalty, or Burch's ejection? I think I would have preferred the penalty.

- It was a cheap penalty though. Richards went down from a touch softer than Downy. I'm fairly certain that the ref made a conscious decision that instead of punishing United with a red he'd gift Red Bull with a goal. If Richards hadn't gone down and Red Bull hadn't scored on the play, Burch would have been off.

- Speaking of Richards, he's fast as hell but has all the creativity of a blank piece of paper. Other than run with it, Richards never does anything with the ball.

- Sorry to see you sitting out, Gros. Hope you make the best of your time off.


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