Sunday, August 5, 2007

Luci's Brace Does The Trick: DCU 3-0 NE Revolution

Can we label Marc Burch a success now, please? The guy's a real asset in the back. He's got all the touch, pace, vision, and service of a quality left-footed forward while maintaining competent defense. It's not like he's ousting anyone from the left-back position (I'm sure Gros is happy to move up, and judging by the scoreline, so are we), but Marc Burch has made a real name for himself and I don't see him on the bench any time soon. What's more, I think he's poised for a big fat raise at the end of the season because DCU will be fending off big offers by a good many clubs looking for a solid, young left back.

Anyways, this young squad, starting out a 4-3-3, had the best possession in league play I've seen from DCU in weeks. They had vision (Guy Kpene? Clyde Simms? NE had no answer for their long-distance connections) and pace (Rod Dyachenko outpaced just about every member of the Rev's defense; Josh Gros = Khano Smith in my eyes) and an incredible amount of tenacity (McTavish went box to box consistently throughout the game). Arguably the most solid road performance of United's '07 campaign.

The rookies were not without assistance, though: Ben Olsen was everywhere DCU needed him to be and Namoff, though he's still getting back into shape, did just enough to stymie Khano Smith's best efforts. Luci's found his way with the goals again, and I'm hoping this carries over for Thursday's game versus the Beckhamites at home.

Judging by the good performance of the new recruits, Tom Soehn has to feel like his gut was telling him right all along, that these kids have the potential to command a game and that they are in fact solid investments for the future. And I think I would have to agree with Tom Soehn's gut.

Other notes:

- It's painfully obvious that Jaime wasn't ready to play, let alone set the league record for career goals. Take your time, Jaime. We've got you covered.

- Where did Soehn stick Mediate for Namoff? In the back? Why?

- Clyde Simms made an excellent case for some starts in the near future. Carroll, you've been warned.

- Luci now has 12 goals on the season and is tied for first with Eddie Johnson.

- I was very impressed with Dyachenko's performance in Gomez' usual position and this worries me to no end. The team found its best run of form and possession in weeks while Gomez was absent, and furthermore scored all three goals without Jaime on the pitch. I don't think Gomez will be usurped as the team's chief free kicker until Burch scores with his magic left boot, but I do think that Gomez' role as playmaker is under serious scrutiny right now.

- I'll take Comcast's match coverage over ESPN's any day, if only just to hear how cocky Rongen is about his former team.

- Kpene didn't look terribly injured to me and seems to be returning to his old scrappy, resourceful self. I'm hoping this translates into more minutes for him while Jaime recovers.

- If you're thinking that the Revs should have been awarded a penalty for that Olsen-Perkins gaffe, let me be the first to tell you otherwise. There was a serious miscommunication, but the replays make it clear that Perkins was trying to minimize himself and his potential contact with Smith. He didn't splay his arms or slide far at all; Smith, screaming, tried to make the most of a dead situation. In fact, I'll go so far as to say the refereeing was halfway decent this game. But maybe that's pushing it.

- Reis himself proved that Perkins is the better goalkeeper. Pwnt.

- I do think Beckham will play on Thursday, if only for 10-15 minutes. If Gomez puts one in on Joe Cannon while Beckham is on the pitch, I'll laugh until I weep because God had a sublime appreciation of irony.


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