Game 16 - DC United 4:1 Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United are back. This was evident in many ways, but let's concentrate on three.
1. The offensive creativity which has defined the United attack was varied and potent. The Galaxy defenders, not world beaters on their best day, were disorganized and caught out all afternoon. United were able to attack from the sidelines, up the middle, and on set pieces. United played beautiful long balls, deft short passes, and creative dribbling. It was beautiful to watch.
2. While still a work in progress, it is impossible to deny that the United defense has allowed a total of four goals in the last four games, all wins. Martinez, still the favorite for team MVP, has been excellent and steady, Peralta is working well in the center with McTavish, and Namoff continues to have his best season.
3. Ben Olsen. When he walked up to the fourth official and checked into the game, the roar was partly for him, partly surprise, and partly a cheer for the Tradition he represents. While he may not be the Olsen of last year, having him on the field is a great sign and I for one am thrilled he is able to play.
Forwards (Moreno and Emilio) A
Emilio played his best game of the year. He netted two and could have had two or three more. Moreno played a fine first half as almost a withdrawn forward. I really like him in that position and of course he scored on his chance from the spot. Excellent game from these two.
Midfielders (Gallaardo, Simms, Fred, and Quaranta) A-
Possibly the best game of the year from this group. Simms was steady. Fred was dangerous. Quaranta, while he was on, was very good running down long balls and making well struck crosses. But, Gallardo was the class of the group. From beginning to end, he was the best player on the field. Just a masterful game from him, and his goal could win goal of the week.
Defenders (Namoff, Martinez, McTavish, Peralta, and Wells) B+
The lone goal was not something to put on a training tape, but the rest of the game someone always stepped up to make the crucial play. All five made key saves on dangerous plays.
Substitutes (Burch, Olsen, and Dyachenko) A
Burch made an immediate impact with his cross to Emilio. He also had a massive strike on a free kick which struck the crossbar from around 25 yards away. Olsen was good at maintaining possession on the right side and Dyacheno nearly had a goal of his own on two occasions.