As United's season draws to a disappointing but not unexpected completion, you can't help but wonder about what could have been. There are plenty of "what ifs" we could discuss for the entire year, but there's no point in going back and mentioning Moreno's missed penalty in August against the Red Bulls. Namely, it's difficult to look at this game and the three times we struck the post. Plus there was the goal by Brad Evans that also struck the post. Two inches difference and the score could have been 3-0! The most troubling one to me was Khumalo hitting the crossbar from the 6 yard box. You shouldn't miss from that distance! I wasn't happy with the Khumalo for Doe sub to begin with, but really... Do you think a red hot Francis Doe would have missed that shot? Had we taken a single goal lead, the rest of the match would have been much different, and I don't see us giving up the Evans goal if we were leading.
Some other thoughts... What if our Argentinian central midfielder played with as much heart as Schellotto? What if Rod Dyachenko had been taken in the expansion draft and sent to Columbus instead of Brian Carroll? What if the Crew had started these 11 guys against New York last week instead of a bunch of scrubs? Now there's an interesting one! With the way the amazing Will Hesmer played against us, no way he lets a goalkeeper score on him! Had the Crew tried during that match, and earned a draw instead of rolling over to a lesser opponent, we would have been tied with the Red Bulls going into this weekend. We would have only needed a draw against the Crew instead of a win. That changes everything, as we would have been more content to settle for the 0-0 scoreline instead of sending everyone forward.
This just wasn't our week, and it just wasn't our year. We'll talk a lot more about United's future in the coming weeks/months.
1. Greg Janicki is turning out to be a great find for this club. He made several great tackles. My only concern is that our announcers are hyping him up too much that he's now maybe on Seattle's radar.
1. Luciano Emilio really played hard, and probably deserved a goal, but couldn't convert any of his chances.
2. Same goes for Jamie Moreno, who missed high on a ball at the top of the box that I thought for sure would have put us in the lead.
3. All the Ben Olsen comparisons may have been just a bit over the top, but we saw a lot of effort from Santino Quaranta last night.
1. See above for my thoughts on Thabiso Khumalo. I don't know if I could shoot the ball off the crossbar from 6 yards out if I tried.
2. I'm not sure if we can really fault him for the goal, but was it just a coincidence that Columbus scored not more than a minute after Gonzalo Peralta entered the match. Somehow, I'm not the only one who felt that coming.
Wednesday night's Champions League finale will be some interesting "Sport as Theater". You'll see a lot of guys playing hard to earn contracts for next season. But most of all, you'll see Tom Soehn in what we all expect to be his last match as DC United head coach. Where else in life do you get to watch somebody doing his job, moments before he will be handed his pink slip?