Okay, okay, so I'll admit it. Expecting the worst, I pre-medicated with some Cabernet Sauvignon. Good thing too, judging by the 3-1 result. Set piece defending and covering quick rushes through the middle don't seem to amongst the tools at our disposal. Ah well, it was a meaningless match save for the looks we got at some of the kids. So, let's hit some quick thoughts on those reserves . . .
* Kirk started poorly, demonstrating the lead-footed touch that has been an earmark of his United appearances, but he started to come into things more towards the end, even unleashing a decent shot off the post. A flicker of promise, but not nearly so much as Doe is demonstrating. He's showing that he can stick the ball in the net, even if he tends to be a bit too elaborate sometimes. But the key is that the ball is finding the net despite the over-reliance on trickery. Are you taking notes, Fred?
* Zaher looked good getting forward in limited time at left back. Sadly, his offensive output in those few minutes was just about equal to what Cordeiro put forth for the entire match--including a lame defensive effort on Houston's opener (not that he was alone in the lame defensive effort category). On the other flank, Thompson showed that he's not all about the work rate, as he looked quicker than he seemed in previous appearances and was hitting some nice balls from the right wing. Crossing? DC United? Oil and water? Not that I'm ready for any of these guys to get massive minutes in MLS play, but it's nice to know that they bring a little something to the party if we're desperate.
* Pat Carroll's long throw looks pretty useful, though I can't say I'm that enthused about him being pretty much our only central defensive cover till Peralta heals up. Still, he's got some tools that might make him a decent player, given seasoning. Unfortunately, the only way to pick up said seasoning is game experience, something that Soehn's been slightly lax in handing out. Kinda makes you wonder if maybe we should have been taking advantage of some of those 4-1 advantages . . .
Oh, yes. And lest I forget.
* Dyachenko. Out. Now.
So it's back to MLS play in a few days against this self-same Houston side. After dropping all three SuperLiga matches, and at home to boot, will United be able to rediscover their MLS momentum? Will Moreno and Martinez from the start make that much of a difference against what will probably be the exact same Houston side? Did any of the Dynamo boys run too much? One thing's for certain. Soehn will be working pretty heavily on defending set pieces in the intervening days.