Saturday, September 12, 2009

DC United lose to Seattle Sounders, 2-1

Feels like I just wrote that same headline 2 weeks ago. I don't mean to try to use this as an excuse, but it's worth pointing out that the last match Seattle played was here in DC on 9/2. In the mean time, United played two other matches during that week and a half that the Sounders were resting.

After a terrible start from United, I felt similar to the way that BDR felt earlier this week - like this match could have easily gotten out of hand. We were lucky to only be down 1-0 at halftime after a totally lackluster performance where DC had no shots on goal.

The second half was a different story though. The second half appeared to be showcasing two of the better teams in MLS in a fight for home field advantage in the playoffs. That may not be entirely true, but United was getting the better of play, and going into the 70th minute or so, there was a certain sense that this match was not going to end 1-1. It didn't.

1. Rodney Wallace gives the team something out of deep central midfield that Clyde Simms does not. They both bring a lot of aggression and awareness, but Wallace's superior athletic ability was definitely on exhibit tonight. He might not have Simms' ball-winning ability, and doesn't distribute as well either, but Wallace's quickness, athleticism, and scoring touch earned him a goal single-handedly.

1. While the stats haven't been showing it lately besides his poached goal against KC, Luciano Emilio has been fighting hard for us up front the past couple weeks, although he hasn't necessarily shown the greatest touch or speed.

1. Josh Wicks should have done better on the early 1v1 goal by Zakuani, and was beaten high to the near post by Montero for the game winner. When a goalie gets beaten at the near post, he's probably not going to get a very high rating on here.

2. We are continuing to miss Jakovic while learning that Julius James is not the answer we've been looking for at center back. James should not have allowed Montero to get off such a clean shot for the game winner.

3. It's hard to truly blame him for the first goal when he obviously doesn't have the speed of Steve Zakuani, but Bryan Namoff was beaten fair and square for Seattle's first goal.

4. Just not enough attacking flair from Jaime Moreno or Santino Quaranta in this one. Both were more likely to give the ball away than to create a scoring chance all game. I'm ready for Chris Pontius to take over as our regular starter at withdrawn forward. Moreno has been better as a sub most of the season.

And with that, United finishes the week with just 3 points from two home matches. I would have been satisfied with 4, but we sure could have used the full 6. Still, all is not lost with two more winnable home games upcoming against San Jose (family day) and Chivas USA (college night / WCQ deal). The final team to get into the playoffs in 2008 did so with 37 points. And while it looks like it may take more than that this year, United is currently sitting at 36. Toronto's win over Colorado hurt a bit, but we still control our own destiny.


Jeremy said...

I was completely disgusted by the first half and couldn't make myself watch the second. At the time, I was thinking that Fred was our best player on the field and THAT was just depressing.

I agree that Emilio is working hard up top, but NO ONE is supporting him. There is a lot of attacking talent on the team but they don't want to work together. Gomez has apparently checked out of the season, Moreno looks like he is sleep walking, Tino plays hard only every other match, Pontius lost whatever spark he had early on and Fred is, well, Fred.

This team is going to need a major overhaul in the off season.

Anonymous said...

I don't it get. DC once an elite team, now has fallen way to much. I mean... To me I'm not sure it it's the players they have or the staff they have... I guess Bruce Area was the mastermind of DC in the beginning... I'm seeing a few players who shouldn't be playing... Emilio... What's he's positions... Sims??? Fred as well... Can't seem to find the right touch... In or around the goal... But what DC really needs is a good upgrade with the defense... The defense is really killing DC... And I've noticed something about DC in recent years.. Why is DC acquiring old and mediocre players... James... Avery... Jacobson...

Shatz... said...

Two comments that actually go together fairly well. Jeremy wants a major overhaul and Anonymous is tired of acquiring older players. I think this past offseason was the first step in the overhaul by bringing in players like Jakovic, Wallace, and Pontius that the team can build around as the older players retire. But there will eventually come a time when the young players are better than the old players. So at that time, do we cut the older players and move on, or do we wait it out until they decide to retire? I know what the popular solution to that question will be, but I don't think we'll see the team with the word TRADITION on their backs cut guys like Moreno or Gomez.

Jeremy said...

I am not suggesting cutting Moreno. Even if he is well past his prime, his is the name on my jersey. However, if he can only produce like a part time player, he should be paid like a part time player.

It is frustrating, since he was performing at such a high level last year, while the team was crumbling.

Gomez, however, is done. He had a stretch of maybe 10 games in the middle of the season where he was a valuable asset. Now, I wish that Barkledge were starting...