Saturday, March 29, 2008

D.C. Open with a Loss: Kansas City 2-0 D.C. United

Hmmm. Interesting idea, Mr. Soehn. We'll have to wait until Tuesday to see if it pays off.

Apparently Soehn took Fred out of the starting lineup in favor of Dominic Mediate and perhaps withheld Santino Quaranta in favor of on-form Devon McTavish, the argument being that the full starting XI needs to be fresh for Tuesday's more important Champion's Cup match against Pachuca. I can see the logic there.

The thing is, there's a big drop off in talent between our starting XI and our subs. Our lack of depth is a serious problem. McTavish's movement off the ball was laudable, as was Mediate's hustle to balls played into space, but both players' lack of touch killed several offensive movements. There's no doubt in my mind that had Fred and Quaranta been on from the start, D.C. would have tallied the first goal, and even if they hadn't, they would have been better able to equalize and overcome.

As it stands, this loss confirms what many of us suspected: D.C. United has poor roster depth.

That's all for now. Pachuca is on Tuesday. I'll have more to say after that match.

(I agree with D: the loss does feel a bit abstract. A loss v. Pachuca, on the other hand, would smart a bit.)

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Other notes:

- We'll be seeing Carvallo soon. Wells did not have a good showing tonight.

- Get well soon, Jaime. We need you.

- When do we get to see that dapper youth, Quavas Kirk?

- Stratford has the hustle and muscle to keep possession in tight spaces. I didn't get an accurate reading of his touch and field awareness, but after those eight minutes on the pitch tonight I'm curious to see more.

- Yup yup, I agree: MetroSports' technical difficulties were embarassing for them, and for the league.

- Niell also had a poor showing. Kansas City's back line had a very easy time knocking him off the ball. He couldn't overcome their physicality with his speed. What's more, even though he was ineffective there, he stayed central, forcing Emilio into a creative role on the wing. The result, as you can see, was impotency. Gallardo managed a few pot shots on goal, but he takes too long to set himself up and even when he does, he telegraphs his target. Defenders blocked him easily. Quaranta did his best to alleviate the problem but it took a few minutes for him to break into the game and by the time he did, there were two minutes left in regulation. Bottom line: Niell needs to realize when he can and when he can't beat the opposing defense. If he can't, he needs to spread the field and make way for the people who can. I even think he would be more effective in a wide role, if the right ball were passed into space and he could charge the box.

- Burch and Namoff had some deadly crosses into the box and showed that we really need a target man to capitalize. Unfortunately, Peralta is the only outfield player on the squad who has the physical tools to fill the role. We'll have to make the most of our corners, I suppose.

- Anyone else doing Fantasy MLS? I did fairly well tonight. My gamble with Trujillo paid off somewhat, anyways. Wish I'd gambled on Nyassi, too.

- Claudio Lopez will do well in this league, I think. Certainly a MotM performance tonight. A post might be brewing about the advantages of pursuing a forward for your DP as opposed to CAM. We'll see.

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Get your own celebration, jackass.

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I have a couple questions, if you guys wouldn't mind helping me out:

1) What happened on Lopez' goal? I saw his chip, but not the buildup.

2) When Fred came on for Burch, where did McTavish go? Left back or center back? If he went center back, who went to the left? Or did we change to a 3-5-2?

2 comments:

Shatz... said...

1) The buildup - Horrible giveaway by Emilio just across midfield gave KC an easy chance to counterattack.

2) Looked like a 3-5-2 to me, with Namoff on the right, Peralta in the middle, and Martinez on the left

Also agree with you on Niell. Can't wait to see Jaime healthy. Otherwise, I wonder how long it will be before Niell fall out of the starting XI in favor of Quaranta

QJA said...

Word up about Niell vs. Quaranta.

I think Quaranta will play a big part for us this season, whether we want him to or not. The FO signed him with little fuss, meaning he still has the skills and he's just about made the necessary attitude adjustment. I'm just hoping both counts remain true for 2008 and beyond.