It seems like everyone in the stadium knew that this was a must-win game for DC United, except for anybody wearing black. What ever happened to being "hard to play against"? Wasn't that always Soehn's philosophy? This team was fairly easy to play against last night, making bad passes all over the field, including one that probably cost us all hopes of continuing our season. Over 28,000 fans showed up to give this match a playoff atmosphere, and our team let them down.
1. If every player on the team gave as much effort as Santino Quaranta then we may have stood a chance.
1. Possibly the worst mistake in the history of this franchise was Louis Crayton's inability to clear Peralta's passback. I guess we all knew that he would flub one of those eventually, but it had to be in THIS match?!
2. This is pretty much a rehash of what I said about him last week... But when you're at the end of the line in an absolute MUST-WIN game, Tom Soehn needs to put his best most proven lineup on the field. This was the WRONG time to experiment again with the 3-5-2. We finally had all 5 of our top defenders healthy, and he chooses to only start 3 of them? Gonzalo Peralta hasn't played a meaningful game SINCE JUNE and Soehn chooses to start him as our ONLY central defender? Yes, I'm bitter. And with the decisions he's made the past few weeks, Soehn is receiving a vote of no confidence from me.
3. We suffered from an inability to hold the ball, and frequently had way too much trouble advancing the ball out of the back. For that I blame Marcelo Gallardo, Clyde Simms, and Joe Vide. We had 5 midfielders to their 4 and STILL lost the battle in the midfield.
4. Some pretty poor and lazy defending throughout this match from Gonzalo Peralta and Bryan Namoff.
If the team is looking for a reason to keep fighting, then they need to look no further than the group of fans that stayed to the very end of this match, cheering and singing. In any other sport, you would have been hearing BOOs after the third goal, but not from United supporters! If those fans won't give up, then the team can't either. And the most ridiculous thing about it all is that we still actually have a chance! Even while blog commenters all over the land are calling for Soehn to be fired and for a complete roster overhaul (yeah, because that worked soooo well for this year), United still sits just 2 points out of fourth place in the East, and 1 point out of fourth place in the West. DC wasted this chance to get back into the playoffs with a home game against the weakest opponent left on the schedule. So with games against Houston, New England, and Columbus coming up, our chances are very slim. If we play the way we played last night, then our season is over, and so is Tom Soehn's career in DC. But if these players and this coaching staff somehow find a way to wipe the last month from their memory and embrace their underdog position after everyone else has written them off, they might just do something special.