After a first half consisting of two major mistakes (Namoff's own goal and Khumalo's terrible chip shot miss), United was a bit unfortunate to be down a goal. The teams looked very evenly matched. But from the moment that the whistle blew to open up the second half, one team was clearly better than the other. What did Tom Soehn say to the players that so inspired that passion? Who knows. But I do know one thing he said: "Jaime - you're in". And that might have been the biggest factor contributing to the victory.
1. Even before the third goal, I was ready to come on here and write about the wonderful interplay between Luciano Emilio and Fred. Emilio did really well with his back to the goal and with multiple defenders on him to hold up the ball and distribute back to teammates. He was frequently getting into dangerous spots, and his goal was well earned by the team. Fred looked the best he's looked on the wing in quite a while, with some good crosses, and even won the ball a couple times in the defensive third. As Fullback suggested, Fred probably deserved to be ejected though.
2. The resident veterans Jaime Moreno and Christian Gomez once again delivered a huge victory for the club. Gomez was instrumental on all three goals, earning the PK that Moreno ultimately converted, sending in the corner kick for Namoff's golazo, and putting Fred through to get the ball rolling on Emilio's goal. Moreno now has a goal in three consecutive MLS appearances.
3. Colorado's goal and pretty much every one of their chances came from long balls over the top. Credit Clyde Simms for shutting down every attempt in the middle.
4. Not the greatest starting lineup, but Tom Soehn sure did use his substitutes effectively. I didn't quite understand the decision to start Khumalo on the wing ahead of Wallace. But the team made adjustments when necessary, and maybe Moreno is best these days when coming off the bench.
1. This was obviously an up-and-down emotional match for Bryan Namoff. After the huge mistake of an own goal and a few other giveaways in the first half, Namoff unleashed the redemption on a beautiful diving header goal.
1. Really a poor decision by Boyzzz Khumalo to try to chip the ball over the keeper (and over the bar too as it turned out) instead of just taking a low placed shot at either corner. Luckily, this miss didn't change the result of the match, but it sure felt like it would at half time.
So after a well deserved and well needed week off, DC United now sets out on a very compacted portion of the schedule that will see us playing two matches per week for the next three consecutive weeks, including the US Open Cup semifinal on Tuesday (with tickets now discounted through dcunited.com), a home-and-home series in the Champions' League against Firpo, a couple trips to the MLS Western Conference (San Jose and Houston) mixed in, and of course the big matchup against Real Madrid on August 9th.