A 2-1 loss at home on national television? Not the result any of us were really anticipating. Especially playing against a back line that included Chad Marshall and Danny O'Rourke in the center. We've really got to do better on offense.
1. Bryan Namoff - He's having maybe the best season of his career so far. Hopefully he can stay healthy.
1. Fred - Great work ethic tonight. Did really well, and almost had an assist to Emilio's head early in the match. But for the most part Fred was shut down by, um, Hejduk?!
2. Gonzalo Martinez - You could tell he wasn't 100%, but still played his guts out. I was going to put him in the Top Shelf category, but then I decided I just couldn't justify two defenders there when we gave up two goals.
3. Tom Soehn - Soehn took the opportunity to start his best XI players, in their best formation. It just didn't work. Gotta love "Tommy's Army" though, with the giant Soehn head. Or was that the Pope?
1. Gonzalo Peralta - If you score an own goal, chances are you didn't have a great game. Remember the first couple of matches when we would see Peralta talking to the ref after every foul? And yelling at his teammates to get into position? What happened to that guy? The defense was unorganized for the second game in a row. If Peralta is going to be the vocal leader on defense then he needs to communicate better with his keeper and with the rest of the line.
2. Luciano Emilio - I wasn't too upset at him about the header off the cross from Fred that Emilio shot straight at the keeper despite having 90% of the goal open. I was much more upset about Emilio trapping the ball and then trying to slowly turn on a ball that he could have one-timed into the net from Moreno around the 36th minute.
It's not just Emilio though. And it's not just this game. The whole team seems way too tentative on offense. Instead of taking the quick cross or the one-time shot, United is more often holding the ball waiting for a play to develop, or sending it in to Emilio posting up with his back to the goal (which never works). In the first 10 minutes against TFC, and the last 10 minutes of the home leg against Pachuca, DC took advantage of their opportunities with some quick shots from the run of play. Other than that, they haven't been able to produce.
I'm ready for a shake up. And I DON'T mean the coaching staff. Tom Soehn can certainly not be blamed for this loss, as he put what we all thought was the best XI players on the field, and he made the tactical switch to the 3-5-2 at the right time. No, for this loss I blame the players. And it was at this point last year when Soehn started holding his players accountable. Benching Erpen for one match, benching Moreno for one match. To send a message.
So let's shake things up. As well as he has played on the wing, I'd like to see McTavish get a try in central defense again, in place of Peralta, if even for just one match. And I don't think he will be supplanted in the starting lineup permanently, but I think it's time to give Emilio a game off, and try Quaranta and Moreno as the combination up front.
Blah. The season's still young. Hopefully this won't discourage too many fans from showing up tomorrow morning at the auxiliary field. I'll still be there. BYO suntan lotion. But more than anything else, I was just disappointed to see two Terrapins (Burch and Rogers) starting in a game on ESPN2 and both of them named their hometowns instead of giving shoutouts to the University of Maryland.