Sunday, September 6, 2009

DC United tie at FC Dallas, 2-2

So my DVR inexplicably taped nothing but a black screen, and calls to Comcast expectedly got me nowhere (their proposed solution: turn it off and turn it back on). So this reaction will be based solely on MLSnet highlights and comments in the Insider.

With our remaining schedule chock full of home matches, a tie on the road is certainly not the end of the world. And we're now technically in the playoffs if the season ended today (tied with New England and Chivas, but with a better goal differential) although there are several teams who have played less matches than us. So the overall result is fine. What is troublesome though is that we SHOULD be better than FC Dallas. Outside of Cunningham, we're a much more talented team. But from what I saw, these two teams were fairly evenly matched. And since FCD are not a playoff team, that's not good.


1. Our most dangerous player on the field was Santino Quaranta. He's really starting to put this team on his back and emerge as a leader for the younger generation of players. It's questionable whether that should have been a penalty kick when Tino was taken down in the box, but the ref certainly didn't have a good enough angle to be able to say that he dived, so it was well earned in my opinion.

2. Marc Burch hit three awesome free kicks in a row, each with a good chance at scoring. The first two resulted in chances for rebounds, and the third one went in. The good thing about hitting free kicks low is that they don't go over the bar that way. This might sound obvious, but it would be a lesson well learned for other players.


1. Interesting choice by Soehn to put Clyde Simms in as a central defender. At least he was the better of our two central defenders this night. I remember the team trying Simms as an outside back in 2007, but has he ever started as a CB before? Still not sure why McTavish hasn't played as a defender all year.


1. Joining Janicki and Habarugira in the list of defenders who have had a terrible match in the past month, please welcome Julius James. He was responsible for both goals, gave up another shot to Cunningham which went off the post, and could have been called for a penalty kick.

2. So what did you guys think of Tom Soehn's 4-6-0 formation? My back line would have been Namoff-James-Burch-John, but having Simms in there instead was fine defensively. The problem then though is that you lose Simms' ball winning skills in the midfield. This lineup was essentially 3 true defenders, 4 defensive midfielders, and 3 attacking midfielders. Not a winning combination, and not what in line with my recommendation. I mean it's fine to have a global strategy of going for 3 points at home and 1 point on the road, but did we really have to make it this obvious?

Well that's all I got from the five minutes of highlights. Anyone who watched the game care to elaborate more?

Next week brings two home league matches for us, first against the Wizards on Wednesday (college discount night) and then a rematch against the Sounders on Saturday (social sports night). Anything less than 4 points next week would be extremely disappointing, and 6 points is very possible as well.

1 comment:

Fullback said...

Sorry, Shatz, but MLS doesn't rely on goal differential as the first tie-breaker. That honor would fall to head-to-head against all others level on points, which leaves us behind the Revs and RSL. We're knotted with the Goats by virtue of our 2-2 tie, but this is where goal difference is in our favor, as we nip them to 9th place in the league...still not good enough for a playoff spot though.

I understand you only saw highlights, so I'll let you know that James wasn't a complete bust. He did as many things well as he did poorly (the two missed headers). Unfortunately, the mistakes cost us goals. What surprised me was some of his distribution. If we can clear up his decision making, having two center backs who can play the ball on the floor will be a big building block for next season.