The Direct Kick "delay" metal riff is driving me insane, I've witnessed nothing in the match thus far that indicates we'll be able to rescue it (if we even get the unlikely chance), and I'm quite frankly disgusted by what I was seeing before the Man Upstairs decided that he'd seen enough of that putrid display as well and proceeded to open the heavens. With that in mind, here are my abbreviated thoughts.
* Martinez was getting repeatedly owned by Mullan in the opening stages, yet we failed to get him any help. Result = predicatable. I don't know what bothers me most, so let me enumerate the ways it gets under my skin. (1) Martinez is our most experienced and (to this point in the season) best defender, and he's being schooled by a Brian freakin' Mullan? (2) Martinez looks lost. His passes aren't connecting, he's having trouble defending, he's making terrible decisions with and without the ball--what the hell happened? Did SuperLiga kill his confidence? Is he just tired?
* Tommy Soehn, Master Motivator--killing the confidence of our young players one man at a time with his always-ready early hook. Less than a half-hour into the game and you yank Carroll the Youngest? There's something to be said for making adjustments, but if you're going 3-5-2 to "save" the game, just pull McTavish into the center with Simms, slide Carroll up to right midfield, and see how things go for a bit. That goes double when your "answer" off the bench is goddamn Rod Dyachenko . . .
* (Pardon the Khan moment) . . . RRRRRRROOOOOODDDDD!!!!! Oh, and a note to MLS referees: just issue Rod a yellow card as soon as he steps on the pitch. It'll just make everything so much easier. Speaking of which, the Houston announcer on MLSLive.tv said that Dyachenko leads DC United in fouls committed this season. Is that right? In the limited minutes he's been on the pitch? Really? Christ in a ball gag! Get that Russian circus clown out of Dodge on the next train.
* We're either terribly tired, completely incompetent, or Houston are world beaters. 12 shots (6 on frame) to our single shot on goal in the first half! At home! Tommy promised to kick a little ass after we bowed meekly out of SuperLiga. Doesn't much look like his words/feet had much effect, does it?
* On the lone positive note, Wells actually looked semi-competent in net tonight. He raced off his line to deny DeRo, made a couple of decent saves, and generally inspired a little more confidence than usual. That said, he still looked at sea when the corners swung in, and that defense is looking mighty disorganized.
So we're terrible at the moment. That's about the only conclusion that can be reached. We have no depth, no attacking impetus, confusion abounds in defense, and our fearless leader doesn't seem to be able to inspire the troops. Even the weather hates us.
We're going to be missing a starting defender (and organizer) for at least one, if not two, more game(s). Gallardo will probably miss three or four. We're going to suck over the next few weeks--get used to it.
But all is not lost. Far be it from me to take the optimists' position, but this is Major League Soccer. The regular season matters for crap-all when it comes to MLS Cup. We just need to get healthy and make a run so that we're firing on all cylinders going into the post-season. Then it's just four games to glory. The Champions' League may toss a potential spanner in the works, but it may also hone us to a fine, competitive, tournament edge (if it doesn't destroy the blade completely).
This optimism crap is for the birds.