DC United Reaction - The Perils of Expectation

If you had offered me a road draw against New England two weeks ago, I would have ripped your arm off trying to get that point. After an improved pair of performances against TFC, I was looking at this match as one that we could semi-realistically hope for a point out of. After a dominant first half, I suddenly found myself in the somewhat unbelievable position of considering three points (on the road! in New England!). When Fred stuck in the second, I'll admit to getting a little dizzy with expectation (yes, we're turning it around! watch out league!).

But then we fell apart. Talking points?

* We should have banged in more than two while we were rampant. We're finally looking the dynamic and dangerous attack that we were supposed to be, but we don't quite have the knack of putting games out of reach. Emilio is returning to his status as Garbage Predator #1, and the "Simms Sidewinder" long-range blast that's been threatening to become a regular and unexpected feature of our play was on full display. We were peppering their goal, only to have Reis come up big time and time again. Sweet Jumpin' Jesus, I wish that Emilio had pulled the trigger a little earlier and with a little more force on that chance that would have seen us clear.

* Mediate is our third-choice center back? Really? Wow, doesn't say much for the kids in the system, does it? Here's hoping the front office does something to address that, because we're an injury away from disaster back there. Mediate can be a short-term stopgap, but we need to have more in our disaster readiness kit than a converted wide midfielder playing in the center of defense.

* Quaranta and Fred are both dangerous, if inconsistent, wide attackers. But that's precisely what they are--wide attackers. Not that I want to blunt their attacking instincts, but they need to do a better job defensively in the system that we're currently employing. That doesn't just mean getting back when we lose possession. That means defending set pieces, making clearances, not switching off, and tracking runners.

* Wells still gives me no confidence whatsoever. He doesn't control his box, and I suspect that he's not communicating very well with the defenders in front of him. Can we be successful despite our keeper? Unlikely. I wonder if this is something that the FO is considering addressing in the transfer window. The Goffmeister's hints of sniffing about RSL's Seitz seem to indicate that this is so. If not, I've got a rather large brick that I wouldn't mind introducing to somebody's noggin in order to knock a little sense into them.

So . . . not a disastrous result. I would have taken a draw going into the match. But after we started so well, surrendering that 2-0 makes the final scoreline disappointing to say the least. Next week is going to be particularly interesting with a midweek home date against the Dynamo followed by a trip to our nemesis (and current league high-flyers), Chicago. Too bad we couldn't take a little pressure off needing results in those matches by getting three points last night. Ah well, here's hoping we're still aboard the Revival Express at the end of next weekend. Vamos United!


  1. Re: Mediate at center back. I think the team had their eyes on Jeff Curtin for that role, but obviously that won't be working out.

    Five more games before the Superliga break, four of them at home. Is it too optimistic to hope for 10 points?

  2. Have you seen anybody with any promise whatsoever during the reserve matches? Racking my brain for the reserve team defenders that we've got left I'm coming up with the Carroll brothers (any word on when middle-Carroll returns?) and Zaher, who I think is more of a wide defender?

  3. Yeah I like Mike Zaher, but he's played left wide back both times I've seen them. I haven't been that impressed with Pat Carroll. Dane Murphy could have potential, and he's tall, but I think his natural role is more of a central holding midfielder.

  4. Thanks for the info, shatz. So I guess now the question becomes--what do we do with Niell's senior roster spot when he is inevitably shipped back to Argentina? Another forward? Wide midfield (moving Tino to the forward corps)? Depth in defense?