Saturday, August 15, 2009

DC United lose at Toronto FC, 2-0

Thomas Rongen said early in the match that since both teams were playing with a 3-5-2 formation, it was likely that the team with the most individual talent would win. If you add up all the talent on United's roster and all the talent on Toronto's roster, United might prevail. But unfortunately games aren't actually won and lost that way. There are other elements that come into play. Like teamwork. Motivation. Desire.

What Rongen also missed is that although United might be the more talented team overall, the most talented individual soccer player on the field was clearly Dwayne De Rosario, and this game was in the books from the moment he ran around Jakovic to score the first goal. DC never looked like they had enough hustle to get back in it.


1. I had my eye on John DiRaimondo for part of the first half because I wanted to see what the coaching staff saw in him to grant him his first league start. What I saw was a lot of good movement off the ball, and what seemed like pretty good vision. I would have liked to see him do better on stopping the cross that led to the first goal, but it's good to see that he's at least serviceable as a replacement winger.

2. We've seen some pretty good things out of Andrew Jacobson this season when he has a chance to get forward. I think he's at his best when Simms is also on the field so he doesn't have as much responsibility defensively.

1. Maybe this is just a minor gripe about Josh Wicks, but when the goalkeeper gets beat, wouldn't you at least like for him to look like he's trying to make a save? He may not have been able to stop DeRo's header, but at least make a dive for it! Don't just stand there and watch it go into the net. He did the same thing earlier in the match too on a Jim Brennan header that hit the post.

2. Very disappointing match from Dejan Jakovic, who might actually be regressing over the course of the season? Fullback hits on all the right points with him. Jakovic is usually pretty good at breaking up plays and escaping out of the back, but I would sure feel more comfortable if he had another central defender next to him.

3. Apparently Christian Gomez shaved off his passing ability in addition to his hair. No creativity from him in this one. It seemed like most of our decent scoring opportunities (and they were rare) came from Quaranta, not Gomez.

4. Good ol' brickfoot Luciano Emilio drew a couple fouls, but that was about his only positive offensive contribution. Fullback hits on all the right points with him.

5. I've been saying for weeks that this match would be an appropriate time for Tom Soehn to start with a 4-4-2 formation. I believe that formation will suit us best when used on the road against teams with multiple skilled attackers. Sadly, our back three were much worse than the back three of Toronto in this match, and that was ultimately our downfall. How about giving the 4-4-2 a try on the road next week against the speedy Marathon?

I posted before that this was a "must-not-lose" game. Apparently the players and coaching staff don't read as much DCUMD as they should, because they didn't seem to understand the importance of this match. With Toronto just 1 point behind us in the standings prior to today, I would argue that this was our most important league match since 6/13.

Not a good start to the most hectic portion of our 2009 schedule. If the team looked slow today, how are they going to look after an 8 hour flight to Honduras in just three short days? Then it's back home for a tough match against the resurgent LA Galaxy (Fellas, it's Ladies Night!)

Oh yeah and one more thing... Did that really look like anything close to a crowd of over 20,000 people? Or was my hearing off when Dave Johnson announced that as the attendance?

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