Thursday, September 4, 2008

Champions again!

In a season that's had its fair share of ups and downs, we've finally got something to show for it! Maybe a title in the US Open Cup wasn't necessarily the goal for this season, but it's certainly an accomplishment the team should be proud of, and most importantly, its great that United has fought its way back into the international picture.

1. Santino Quaranta is making an excellent case to be our regular center attacking midfield whenever Gallardo is absent (or after he retires?). Quaranta was instrumental in both goals tonight, and was in my opinion our man of the match.

2. Since we haven't seen him in a little while, I'd forgotten what I love most about Fred. Those quick diagonal runs from the outside totally changed the match and caught the Battery by surprise. Fred missed his first chance but hit on his second.

3. Credit to Tom Soehn for the lineup decisions tonight. This is a point that Bretos brought up, but getting Fred in in place of Vide just before halftime gave him a chance to get acclimated to the tempo of the match before the break. That decision could have made all the difference in the world.

1. Just after I got finished hyping up Marc Burch for fending off Dane Richards, he has to go and get beat by Chris Williams. Other than that though, Burch was quite possibly our best defender in this match. I think the dude might really be starting to "get it".

2. Maybe Ivan Guerrero was such a non factor on Saturday because he was saving all his energy for the Cup final? This guy made a big impression tonight.

1. As is typical, just too many giveaways from Rod Dyachenko.

So we should be able to expect this level of play from United for the rest of the season right? Not quite. I'm with Fullback on fully expecting a letdown on the road against San Jose this weekend. Because that's just the way this season has gone.

But this United team that we've all had our doubts about over the past two years has finally gone and WON something. Finally! So let's take the next couple of days to enjoy it, because this season is far from over, and we've still got another Cup to win!!!


Catherine-Lucia said...

told you Fred is great.

Jeremy said...

Fred was great, but can't he learn how to cross once in a while? His diagonal runs are great and not freezing on the 1v1 opportunity was nice to see, but that is really the only thing that he is bringing to the game.

He has the moves and the speed, barely, to beat defenders on the wing, but if you can't cross into the box effectively, who cares?

I agree about Burch. He got burned on that goal badly. At that point I think that the whole team had become a bit over confident. They woke up in time though and Burch had a pretty good game after that.

Shatz... said...

J- Good point, in fact the whole team was pretty ineffective at crossing. Their strategy for most of the first half was to work the ball up the wings. Which we were often able to beat Charleston's fullbacks, but then rarely had a decent enough cross to challenge the keeper. With two exceptions:

1. Guerrero's cross to Quaranta just before the half that Tino predictably put off target.

2. Fred's goal (off a Simms cross)

So if we have so few successful cross attempts, why even make that the game plan?

Jeremy said...

IMO the game plan is correct. It has been shown time and again that driving straight up the middle is too easy to shut down. The beginning of 07 especially showed that.

We need to be more effective on the flanks. But to be more effective, we need to acquire the right personnel. Instead of spending our DP slot on a CAM of limited effectiveness who is only able to show up for half of the matches, we should spend that money acquiring an actual winger. Someone with real speed and a good touch on the ball.

Man, I wish we could afford Bastian Sweinsteiger...