Sunday, April 29, 2007

Game 3 - DC United 0:1 Columbus Crew

Is it time to blow this thing up? That's the question facing this team as they deal with the reality that they have started the season 0-0-3 and dug themselves a gigantic hole in the Eastern Conference. The defense seemed better, but was unable to clear the ball out of the box after a shot and no one covered the eventual goal scorer, a constant theme this season. Unmarked men in the box have an easy time beating the goalie. Marked men have a more difficult time scoring. Not a difficult concept. How the midfielders keep allowing the opponents to take the ball and fail to mark men in the offensive third of the field is maddening. I don't think it is time to reconstruct the team, but I definitely feel that the lack of defensive subs and a dramatic decline in the production of Carroll the Elder, Olsen, and Gros is the problem. If it is a scheme issue having to do with the coaching change, it should be fixable. If it is a talent issue, it may be a long season.

The Good:
  • Fred looked very dangerous as did Emilio.
The Bad:
  • Gomez was invisible and the coach seemed to notice as he was replaced in the second half.
  • Caroll the Elder also seems a shadow of his former self and was replaced at the half.
Simplified grades:

Forwards: B-

Midfielders: D+

Defense: C-

Subs: I

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Preview of Game 3 - DC United at Columbus Crew

DC United comes into this game looking to rebound from their second consecutive loss to start the season. United is 0-0-1 on the road this season with a -1 goal differential. United is tied for last place in the Eastern Conference, ten points behind first place New York, with two games in hand. DC is also in last place in the Supporters Shield race, which New York also leads.

Columbus Crew are on a 3 game tie streak. Columbus is 0-2-0 at home this season with an even goal differential. They are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind New York, with one game in hand. They are in ninth place in the Supporters Shield race, seven points behind New York.

Early indications are that Facundo Erpen will sit in favor of Devon McTavish on the back line. United will stay with their traditional 3-5-2 formation which may include Fred for the first time in the starting eleven. Crew forward Andy Herron will begin his four game suspension this weekend and is thus unavailable. Columbus has only managed two goals in three games and the loss of Herron will further tax an already weak attack. If United can sort out it's marking responsibilities, they should walk away with 3 points on the road.


DC United 3:1 Columbus Crew

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Game 1 - DC United 1:2 Colorado Rapids
Game 2 - DC United 2:4 Kansas City Wizards

Let's fire up this blog again...

After four games of pretty decent tournament soccer during the preseason, United threw up all over themselves in their first two games of the regular season. So let's sum up the first two games in one post as the issues that plague the team, and the few bright spots, are relevant to both games.

The Good:

Emilio is the real deal. Isn't it nice to watch him finish plays with authority? Jamie, as great as he is, is all too often tentative in the penalty box. Emelio doesn't seem to suffer from that problem.

The Bad:

Facundo, Carroll the Elder, Olsen, and Gros seem to have regressed to a distressing degree. Watching the game against the Wizards was distressing in so many ways, but none more so than the sheer volume of unmarked forwards and midfielders standing within 20 yards of the goal. On the third goal, two defenders were standing alone in the box. I've never seen that before.


Forwards (Emilio, Jamie) B

Two goals should result in nothing less than a tie with the talent put on the field by United. The forwards did their jobs.

Midfielders: (Gros, Carroll the Elder, Olsen, McTavish, Gomez) D

Nothing resembling defense on the wings. Carroll the Elder must have given the ball away a dozen times including the giveaway which directly resulted in the 4th goal. I hate to say this, but Simms and Fred may be a better option than Olsen and Carroll the Elder. God help my #14 jersey for saying so. Benny certainly can't play out on the wings and if Brian can't be bothered to look up before getting rid of the ball, some time on the bench is justified. Maybe not next game, but much sooner than I would have imagined a few weeks ago.

Defenders (Erpen, Boswell, Namoff, Perkins) F

Nothing short of abysmal. Worst performance in years.

Sub: (Fred) B-

Some nice creativity. A few runs at defenders which resulted in quick giveaways. I really want to see him in the first eleven soon.