United Recap - Pass the Mouthwash

So which part of United's 1-1 draw with Harbour View was the most vomit-inducing for you: the quality of the play, the quality of the officials, or the quality of the announcers? United looked rough, but you pretty much could have predicted that with the crappy pitch on offer and the lack of match sharpness for United coming in. Regardless, I thought we'd show a little better than that.

Some quick hits:
  • Los Gonzalos were solid though the center official seemed pretty intent to blow up any United player that dared to challenge for a ball in the air, which pretty much limited Peralta's effectiveness. Interesting to see the speedy Martinez dropping off into almost a sweeper role, though I'd put this down more to United being wary of the Jamaicans' speed than an indication of things to come.
  • The wings were not so strong, either in attack or defense, though Fred seemed to come more into the match as it progressed. With Gallardo dropping deeper than Gomez ever did and playing some defense to boot, that should give our wide players more opportunity to get forward, but it just wasn't happening.
  • Gallardo wasn't exactly disappointing, but he didn't dominate proceedings either. The one thing I like is that he's not the sort of playmaker to dwell on the ball. His touches are quick and he keeps the ball moving. If we can ever manage to generate some wide play, this could be devastating. As it is, he really only seemed to have a good understanding with Fred and Niell. The pitch probably played its part, but I was a bit worried about the quality of the free kicks--one of the things we'll miss most with the loss of Gomez.
  • The striking corps weren't exactly on fire either. Emilio looked lost, and his touch was awful to boot. Moreno didn't have much of a chance to shine before limping off. I thought that Niell was going to be an instant impact as he started out in such a threatening manner, but was only able to make a few darting runs. Of course, he should have drawn a red when he got wrestled down on a dash through the middle, but the typically incompetent CONCACRAP ref did what his ilk do best--fail miserably at the critical juncture.
  • 1-1 isn't the best result, but it should do. On a decent surface in RFK, with another week of work under their belts, it shouldn't be too much trouble for the boys to dispatch The View, though the ref could always make the job much more difficult. I'll be looking for a more positive approach from United, with an attacking option coming on in place of McTavish on the right wing.
  • Though I was excited to see the Bard get some minutes in Jamaica, it's just the same old song from Soehn--bring on the second d-mid for a striker to protect the lead, just like he did so often with Carroll last year. I can only hope that he's just looking to blood the kid, rather than plodding along in the same old rut we wore down last year. How about a little variety, a little innovation? Or am I just expecting too much from MLS (and American coaches in general)? Is it just me, or does Soehn seem too rigid tactically?
  • So what's my answer to the initial question posed above? Let's see--I think I've already gone on about the play--fairly miserable with a dash of choppiness courtesy of the man with the whistle and some pretty horrible looking warts owing to the field. The officials? Yes, the man in the middle didn't seem particularly equitable and wanted to whistle everything, though he seemed to have it in for Burch, Peralta, and Emilio in particular. And yes, that far side official needs to be rendered down into shark chum. What the hell was he looking at on some of those offsides calls against United in the first half? And Burch's "foul" that eventually led to the petulant yellow? Ugh. But top honors must go the the dynamic duo in the booth for FSC. I think I'll be hearing Caligiuri's "low risk" mantra and stunningly vacant commentary in my nightmares tonight. But if Caligiuri is bad--and he is, oh sweet Jebus, he's awful--he'll never hope to approach the Prince of Darkness, the Incubus of Inanity, the Antichrist of American soccer broadcasting--Christian Miles. Of course, I really have only myself to blame for going through about 40 minutes of hell before I remembered that I control the volume on the damn television. Oh, to have those 40 minutes back. Better yet, make it the last couple of hours.


  1. I agree about Soehn's rigidity, although I think at this point in the (pre)season he wants to keep Niell injury-free as long as possible, especially with Jaime looking more injury-prone by the minute.

    At what point do you see Quaranta getting minutes? As soon as the return leg? As late as San Jose?

  2. I didn't pay as much attention as I wanted, because my father was visiting and doesn't like soccer. But I thought that DC looked a little bit better, though not necessarily fitter, than the u23s. Which really isn't saying much when you think about it.

  3. soehn does seem to have his favorite substitution schedule but i think it made sense last night WHEN he did it. HOWEVER, it would have made more sense to put in a more offensive minded flank player earlier in the game when we had them on their heels (for those few moments) i.e. quaranta for mctavish. soehn could have still made the niell for stratford substitution when he did. and maybe we are all giving quaranta too much credit, who knows, but i sure would like to see him play.

  4. @edgell
    Exactly. As the game wore on, The View kept pushing higher and higher with Scarlett on their left, but the right back wasn't going anywhere because Fred kept him pegged back a little. When he did try to push up, Fred got in behind a couple of times.

    We made some promising progress down the right, but Namoff & McTavish didn't have the guns to punish them, so Scarlett kept bombing forward. In turn, that stretched our midfield, which should have been compact in middle, allowing them too much space to operate in.

    Soehn knows how to lay out a starting lineup, but his in-game adjustments have never been the most astute (from my admittedly untrained, amateur perspective ;-)

    I don't know about Quaranta being the fix, but we'd better see some more positive play next week, and I think that has to mean some type of attacking threat on the right, even if it's just to neutralize Scarlett.

  5. Here is what I saw last night. (yes, I am posting the same comment on pretty much every blog, but I have limited time here. I have to go write some stupid newspaper article for our school and at the moment I could care less, so I come here to blow off some steam and then leave.)

    -Harbor View completely outplaying us. Then again, they are used to the horrid pitch, they have been playing together for years, and they all speak the same language.

    -Zach Wells rockin’ the goal and dousing Jose Carvallo’s hope of a starting spot (probably, anyway).

    -Gallardo having the occasional spark of flair but mostly just subtly creating, just like I like to see.

    -los Gonzalos are completely amazing, rock-solid defenders, who are occasionally caught napping and therefore GOLAZO (or almost GOLAZO).

    -Ailing Jaime didn’t get to do much, but his replacement Niell stormed up the sides a few times and almost earned the other team a red card. I like Niell. The guy is cool.

    -Stratford, the resident Arsenal fan (which I love to see in a player, lol), replaced Niell and drifted more midfield to leave Emilio up front. Why they tried to sit on their 1-goal lead against the strong Jamaican side I don’t know. We didn’t get to see much of Stratford, but the fact that he got on the field alone impressed me.

    -Simms, Burch (sometimes–he did slip a bit), and Fred were solid and good the whole time. Burch had the energy, Fred had the smoothness, Simms is just…you know, Simms, so it was all good over there.

    -McTavish wasn’t all that great…until he scored (an ugly goal, but a goal).


    -Namoff wasn’t too wonderful, but he wasn’t handed all that many chances either. Emilio wasn’t great, but then again he isn’t quite the quick start guy.

    All in all, I think the game was more a credit to Harbor View than it was bad for DCU. And considering the HVFC-loving ref, the horrid pitch, the language problems, the still-getting-used-to-each-other factor, and RFK comin', I think it will only go up from here.

    The commentators were COMPLETE idiots, so much so that they are a disgrace to futbol and to FSC...