- If United was truly to start reassembling this season, this is the kind of game they needed. Not a competent 1-nil victory, not a 5-2 thrashing of someone, both of those would lend themselves far too easy a comfort to a team to fall into self-delusion, to dismiss the first third of the season as just a bad dream. But a game where the team plays well, and fights back twice to ultimately take a victory, that's one that might mean something in a way that keeps us all realistic about how far off we are.
1. Give some credit to Tom Soehn for sticking with the same starting lineup from earlier in the week. A lineup that I think is the best we've used all year. I'll admit that if I was the head coach, United would have probably lost this game because I would have pulled Santino Quaranta in favor of Marc Burch before Tino had the chance to set up two goals.
2. Jaime Moreno really performed the way a captain should in this match. He has a different way of leading from how I think Olsen would lead, and how some other captains like Beckham lead. Jaime doesn't get in the referee's face after every foul. He's quiet for most of the match, but then when he does finally speak up (like after Guevara's girlish slap to McTavish) its more effective. And with one assist and one goal, Moreno was the man of the match (as well as a standout for my fantasy team!)
3. Bryan Namoff continues to have the best year of his career.
1. Santino Quaranta's play in this match could be viewed as an analogy to the entire team's performance in this match, and hopefully it will also serve as analogy to the team's performance for the duration of the year. After much adversity and frustration early on, Quaranta fought hard to set up two goals. I was disappointed in his constantly being offsides in the first half, and being a step or two too slow on a ball from Martinez in the 15th minute that either Olsen or McTavish probably would have scored on if they were playing right wing. But Tino did really well to win the penalty kick by pushing into the box, and rightfully taking the contact from Wynne.
2. I thought Luciano Emilio's nickname for the rest of the year was going to be Brickfoot, but I liked Limarzi calling him the Predator. Emilio was aggressive to finish off the gift of a game winning goal from Sutton's save on Quaranta's shot, and let's not forget that he also finished off another rebound from a shot from Moreno that was called back for Jaime being offside.
1. Let's mark this as the first time ever that a goalscorer wound up in the Rail category. Although Gonzalo Peralta's goal was quality, this match could have been 3-0 if he had been able to stay with Danny Dichio on those two goals in the first half.
To me, this really felt like a game we could build upon. As D pointed out, this wasn't a pounding, and that's probably a good thing. But this game showed the team that they DO have the resiliency, the talent, and the heart to come from behind. Because this team has a lot more coming from behind to do this year.
And you know what? I'm glad that we have another tough opponent to face next week with a matchup against New England on the road. If our next game was at home against San Jose or something, I feel like it would be tough to get in a rhythm. But our next three games are against the two MLS Cup finalists from last year, and the team that knocked us out of the playoffs last year. These are all winnable games, but these are also teams that United will have to again play their hearts out against. Let's keep it going.