Once again, I'm going by the Limarzi call of United's come-from-behind 2-1 win over their knockout nemesis, the Chicago Fire. What I "saw" with my ears happens to be colored by whatever Mr. Limarzi decided to paint for me with his words, so you can take some of this analysis with that sizable grain of salt. We'll wend our way through a series of topics here . . .
The Starting Lineup
* So Pat Carroll is McTavish Jr.? Last week he played right back and center back. This week he's pushed out onto the right wing. I guess that either speaks to an effort towards creating versatile players OR a distinctly disturbing lack of depth that the coaching staff trusts. Take your pick. Are you the glass-half-empty or half-full sort?
* Burchy starts in the middle. Interesting. I guess the problem of lack of center back depth that I've referenced in my WIWFC(IJ) roster posts is going to be addressed by stuffing a distinctly square Marc Burch in a round center back hole. Ah well, at least he's got some size, eh?
* Not Dyachenko again! Ugh. Doe must have been pretty crap in practice this week, hmmm?
* Sounded from Limarzi's call that Chicago were up to their usual tricks when it comes to playing against United. Namely: foul, foul harder, foul the dangermen hardest. Emilio got crunched a few times to start things off, and Jaime got much the same treatment after his introduction. Surprise, surprise. And yet, mysteriously the box score shows United committing 24 fouls to Chicago's 14. Was the ref just catching the retaliation, or were United trying to match the Fire with fire (ugh, puns--lowest form of humor indeed ;-) and overcompensating a bit?
* Another goddamn defensive blunder lets in a cheap goal! And who the hell is this Woolard cat anyway?
* Good fightback by the boys and doubly sweet as we've now taken two important results off the team that always manages to knock us out of competitions. Positive portents for the post-season?
* Corner kick goal? Namoff goal? What manner of stars had to align for this particular voodoo to occur?
* Doe off the mark, so no Guy-Roland Kan't-finish curse will be haunting him. Here's hoping he turns into a reasonable third striking option.
* Was it just Limarzi's call, or did Banner sound like he was causing major problems with his speed? This is why I'm harping on about pace on the wing. We don't have it, and it's something that makes MLS defenses deeply uncomfortable. Ergo, it's something I'd like to have on our roster.
* Fingers crossed on the injury front. Though it's two weeks till we're back in league action against the Dynamo and another week-and-a-half past that till we face KC, and though I really don't place too much importance on SuperLiga, it's still a worry when you've got a couple of guys under the knife, Namoff gets carried off late, Moreno's gimpy, and Tino's still recovering. Damn Fire and their nasty, nasty thuggery!
* We're just two wins away from continental qualification. At this point, you've got to move the Open Cup to the top of the queue by virtue of that benefit alone. If we can book our Champions' League spot early, that takes some of the pressure off when it comes to the playoffs. With the semi-final in our house (I think it'll be in RFK, rather than the Sportsplex, right?), there's no excuse not to have a go at some silverware. Of course, if we manage to make the final, that pushes most of a brutally hot August into "two matches a week" territory. Methinks some of those untested reserves are going to be getting some minutes, eh?