Well, that was predictable, wasn't it? Now we get to do our Dynamo impression, right? We'll have three starters away with their national teams for the next few weeks, so obviously we'll start coming together and putting in some dominating performances so that when the call-ups return, they have to fight for their places back. Pardon me while I back the delusion train up a bit.
OK, let's get this out of the way first - RSL deserved their 2-1 win, plain and simple. Now let's get on to a little ranting. This is where you cut to me mumbling "the horror...the horror" as I sweat profusely in a Southeast Asian jungle while contemplating the playing surface in Salt Lake. Oh, and while we're on sweating and ugly surfaces, how about a special shout out to Kevin "Greaser" Stott? What the hell was up with the slicked back, balding look he was rocking out there?
He wasn't as awful as some of the jokers running about with whistles in this league, but there were a few questionable moments, particularly with ticky-tack fouls and the Gomez free kick just outside the area where the wall looked about 8 yards away and then charged another yard before he'd even kicked the ball. But at least he didn't do anything foolish and show Fred a red (hey, look at me, I'm freakin' Dr. Seuss!) for stomping on Ballouchy's face. I guess when you're not American, you don't benefit from that "Don't Tread" nonsense (Yeah, I linked to it - so sue me!). Even the space cadets in FSC-land managed to realize on about the fifth replay or so that it was unintentional on Fred's part. Now let's hope that the even spacier cadets at MLS's secret mountain bunker can watch replays as well as Max Bretos can (God help us all!).
Anyway, on to the actual match. Ugh, do we have to? I'll keep it brief out of respect for the suffering. Here come the defensive lapses again and speed bites us in the bum. Would Troy have done better with those breakaways? He's certainly pretty good on them and maybe would have done more to cut down the angle on the first, but the second was just a nice passing sequence and finish from Findley. Credit where credit's due.
United's goal by contrast, was a thing of ugliness, but at least Emilio keeps finding ways to score and that's encouraging. Pity Kpene didn't nick a point late as United looked much more dangerous once he replaced the ponderous Dyachenko (and ponderous may be too kind - we gave up a first round draft pick to get this guy back?), and even more so when United returned to the 3-5-2.
So, where are we now? Well, we won't be playing on that crappy rug again this season - barring a miraculous run into the playoffs by Real - so thank God for small favors. I'm not too terribly worried. RSL has looked better over the last month and they had to win sometime. Turns out, all you have to do is ship Freddy out of town and the winning starts - who knew?
United has a lot of games in the next few weeks with some tough teams to play against, and they'll be doing it without Moreno, Boswell, and Olsen - three of the most influential players on this team. Now is when we see if all that early season tinkering and giving the supporting cast some minutes pays off. One thing is for sure - if Dyachenko starts up top instead of Kpene, Soehn needs to turn in his coaching badge.