Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hot to Trot: DCU 4 (!!) - 0 (!!!!) FC Dallas

Who expected that? DCU has been hot as of lately, the team finally showing some awareness of one another, and Perkins has been perfectly good. But against an FC Dallas side in sore need of a win, at their home stadium, with Denilson just waiting to make a big impression?... I didn't dare dream we'd notch our biggest road win since 1998. What a shutout.

I'd like to reiterate the recommendations already permeating the DCU blogosphere: Marc Burch for MotM, Ben Olsen for MLS MVP. Ben the Bearded Bombardier (trademarked by Fullback) has already tallied a career-high goal count for the season and I fully expect another one or two to follow. Equally impressive on the night was our rampant young gun, Marc Burch, sending in crosses Beckham would envy (and you know what, now that Becks is benched, that's no exaggeration). I fully expect not only Ben to score some more, but Burch to tally more assists and possibly a goal. Maybe even a free kick. With Vanney watching in jealousy. Against Galaxy. With Beckham crying. Delicious.

Bobby "What do you believe in?" Boswell cracked the starting lineup again and quickly found his old form. Comments over at DCenters indicate that Boswell looked good because he a) played better defense and b) eliminated the superfluous touches and runs that would leave him stranded upfield. I agree that this is the case. The comments also indicate that these superfluous touches are the bane of Brian Carroll's form of late, and I agree with this also.

Perkins can be happy with himself, earning another shut out and lowering his already-rock-bottom GAA. Despite criticism early in the season, he's an incredibly dependable player to have. After these past few weeks, I expect Soehn to do everything in his power to keep Perkins around for a very long time.

Let's see... Running down the list, we've covered Olsen, Burch, Boswell, Perkins... Ah yes: Fred.

Our boy Fred found the net yet again, taking him up to 5 in his premiere season with MLS. After Fred sprinted thirty yards for a ball which rolled out anyways, Tom Rongen mentioned that he has been playing competitive games non-stop for nearly 12 months, since the start of last season's A-League. Unbelievable. My respect for him doubled, and then nearly tripled when he scored. He is a machine and I can't wait for him to get the rest he deserves, and then come back next season to reiterate to the league that one doesn't need DP status to make a big impact. What a standout, classy player.

As long as we're talking about success stories, let's give a good, long shout out to Clyde Simms. Carroll earned himself a suspension by dint of too many yellows but I'm inclined to think that Simms would have started anyways. Simms plays with a style that is strong and yet humble, as evidenced by his effort to assist Olsen's cracker in the 4th. He scampers up to steal Sala's poor clearance follows his first instinct: pass. How many players do you know that would pass the ball of after stealing it 25 yards out in center midfield? Truly unselfish, Simms.

Emilio was heartily disappointed to step off the field in favor of McTavish around the 60th, and I can sympathize. When four different players find net and none of them are the league-leading goalscorer who needs to defend his bid for the Golden Boot against JPA, a substitution can be very depressing. Furthermore, he nearly found net on the goal which gave Olsen his brace. Better luck next time, Luci. For the record, I also think his early sub has something to do with his hammy. The extra rest will do him good. Let's hope he doesn't get carried away with practice on Monday.

Kudos to Gomez for scoring the kind of goal we'd have expected from him about this time last year. Jaime put in an honest effort as well. Namoff recovered from his poor form a couple games ago to hamper Arturo Alvarez and Dax McCarty's best efforts. Vanney was probably the weakest link last night.

Other notes:

- Soehn has redeemed himself, IMO. As Jeff Popovic rightly points out, we're building momentum going into September rather than losing steam into October. If Vanney could find some way to prove to the world that he's not going to hold the team back, I'd be thrilled about our bid for the MLS Cup.

- Dax McCarty is MLS quality, I'd say, but I really wish he was something more. He works well in Dallas' system, but he's a far cry from being called up to the MNT the same way Adu, Zizzo, and Altidore have.

- Denilson can dribble and could definitely open a defense singlehandedly, but I wonder if he has it within him to make an impact on the team as a whole, the same way Blanco and Beckham have. Furthermore, I challenge any DP we might sign in the future take that role away from Ben Olsen. Not gonna happen.

- Furthermore, I think Olsen has retrospectively proven just why he was called up to the MNT for the Copa. Anyone else hoping he makes the roster for Brazil?



Bob said...

I'm surprised by your characterization of Simms' assist on the first Olsen goal. When Sala cleared that ball, Simms ran up and put his head to it. I think he did as well as could with it and was lucky to put it anywhere near another player. It's not like Olsen found it neatly at his feet - he had to bring it down and control himself to make that shot. But to characterize that one touch as the mark of a selfless player? hmm. My wife and I have been talking about Simms a lot lately and we seem to think quite the opposite - we wish he would be more selfish. He's always hesitant, his passes always seem to need just a bit more weight and sometimes I wish he would have a go at goal. He's a solid player but I think he could be much more.

QJA said...

I differ but don't disagree. It appeared to me that Simms' first instinct was to pass. Furthermore, did you watch him the rest of the game? When he wasn't stopping plays before they started, he was parked alongside The Boz in center defense. Whenever he receives the ball off a turnover, his first instinct is a pass wide. He's a physical asset and uses his tools to supplement the back four and keep the center of the midfield in order. Now that I think about it, Michael Bradley played the same role during the U-20 World Cup. Furthermore, I've seen Simms take a good long look at goal: he assisted on Gros' toe-poke vs. Revolution with a wicked lefty curler I didn't think Reis would get to. (By the look on his face and his poor reactions afterward, I'd guess Reis didn't think so, either.) As for becoming more than what he is, I think that's what got Boz and Carroll into so much trouble. They played their specific roles, but once in a while they started trying their hand at play-making and the momentum would slowly shift against us. Clyde knows his role very well, and fulfills it to the best of his ability. He's a great asset to the team. I hope Carroll learns from his example.