Despite knocking on wood as often as possible, I hate to admit that I called this. DC United was consistently crappy early in the year, and was consistently victorious just before the start of Superliga, but at all other times of the season, we've been horribly inconsistent. The team once again failed tonight to string together victories. And for the first time, I'm really starting to miss Gallardo.
1. It was just a couple weeks ago that I called Mike Zaher as a potential regular option for us at left back, and he proved it tonight. He made one great stand up tackle on Naissey, and even got involved in the attack. Quality first start for the rookie.
1. If it weren't for him being a step behind Twellman on the first goal, I would have called Marc Burch our man of the match. He made 6 good tackles that I noticed, and kept Joseph from having any good chances on New England's corners.
2. For the first 60 minutes of the match, I had Jaime Moreno slated as a Rail, but he really stepped it up after that and almost willed his team to a point. Loved the cheeky chip shot. The team seemed to follow Jaime's example as leader in this match. They were slow when he was slow, but then they also pushed when he pushed.
1. This was probably more due to some good defending by Parkhurst and Heaps, but I was disappointed in Luciano Emilio for not being more involved. Probably should also admit that the midfield did a poor job of getting him the ball.
2. In general we definitely lost the battle in the midfield, even when shifting to the 3-5-2. We could not maintain possession, and for that the blame should fall onto our holding midfielders Clyde Simms and Joe Vide. Both left the field way too open for Larentowicz to score his ugly goal. Simms continued his bad habit of giveaways, but I did like how he pushed forward more late in the match. Vide completely disappeared in the second half.
3. According to Johnson and Rongen, Quavas Kirk has been impressing the coaching staff playing as a forward lately in practice. I just don't see it. The dude needs to learn how to pass the ball to guys who are wearing United jerseys.
This was the type of match where we really could have used Marcelo Gallardo. Without him, and with Moreno largely uninvolved for most of the match, the team had no one to turn to in the midfield. No one to create. No one to generate an attack. And that ultimately led to turnovers. Maybe it was also the lack of Ivan Guerrero that contributed to our inability to maintain possession, but something's got to change. I'm really looking forward to this team one day being at full strength.
Off to watch our boys down in Guatemala. Hopefully they show better.