Thursday, August 9, 2007

On Beckham's Debut, Emiligol Comes Through: DCU 1-0 LAG

Wow. It was pouring out there. I don't know if you could tell, but for those of us there live, we were amazed by how much the rain fell and how tough the guys were to play through it. (Also: during DC's brief ceremony, Barra Brava/SE held up a sign which read: Good Riddance. Further down the pitch was a sign directed at Mrs. Beckham, reading: We Sing Better Than Your Wife. Classy guys, those BB/SE's.)

About Beckham, quickly: what he did was very tame (not once did I see him sprint) but he was very lethal. One of his crosses forty yards from the box nearly found three (!) different options, and had Perkins not smothered the ball, the game would have been tied. His service is something no MLS player is used to. Defenses will find it hard to cope.

Glad to see Burch rewarded again, but I was even more excited to see that Simms got the nod over Carroll. It must have been a simple decision: recently Carroll has been underperforming while Simms has been solid. It's good Soehn made the switch, too, because not only does Simms cinch the midfield, he occasionally ends up with the ball at the top of the key and he's dangerously unpredictable there.

Fred started and finished in the hole as Gomez sat out with a 'charley horse.' Fred gave us a show, throwing himself around with abandonment. I didn't realize it until I saw him in person tonight, but Fred thinks quicker than anyone on the pitch. He has to: he's one of the shortest guys out there and his feet naturally attract the ball. As soon as it's his turn to dribble, there's one, two, three defenders all at his ankles and he needs to make a crucial pass yesterday. I held him in high regard before, but seeing him provide ground service like that redoubled my respect for his ability as a player. A worthy successor of Gomez.

Emilio's strike sent the crowd into raptures. It was so unexpected: all season long he's played the poacher, finding the odd ball in the box and slotting it home easily. This was the first taste of Emilio long distance, and it was very, very sweet. I couldn't see exactly, but Joe Cannon could estimate neither pace nor placement once the ball was struck and the result was such that he got a piece, but not the whole pie. Sweet, sweet pie. And just like that, Emilio is top of the league for goals. Priceless.

Perkins, along with the rest of the squad, was lucky a ball didn't slip 'n' slide its way into the goal to tie the game, but by the same token, Perkins smothered everything he touched. No more the mushy long distance goals struck sweetly in the rain. Club America, never again.

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Other notes:

- Landon Donovan has some wicked pace about him.

- I've never seen RFK so packed nor so intense. It was pouring rain but the folks sitting exposed in the lower seats never budged, refusing to forsake their good view of Gilded Nuts.

- I-66 at QuarterVolley dubbed Landon Donovan "The Scampering Hairline." After witnessing him tonight, that's the funniest thing I've ever heard.

- DCU must really be pushing for Moreno to set the record because when he's out there he hogs service and then fails to produce. It's not always like this, but I've noticed that when Moreno is injured, his decision-making is very labored. He just never unleashes the ball, as if it were glued to his feet.

- Dammit, Vanney's better again. McTavish and Boswell were starting to click and Burch was on the verge of capitalizing with his magic left boot. Vanney's recovery will change this, I'm sure.

- DC United, when turned on, has some of the tastiest attacking flair in the league. Flicks and soft touches, deft traps and beautiful service-- these are the stuff of dreams, boys.

Enjoy.

1 comment:

Fullback said...

The worrying thing about Fred is that he looked really good when he pushed out to the wing in the second half, but not nearly so good in the middle during the first half. That makes me wonder about his potential as a Gomez replacement.