Wow, what a roller-coaster! Emilio pings one off the post early before the Goats gain control of midfield, inevitably resulting in a charge right up the gullet of United's defense for the opener. After reshuffling the pack, McTavish spanks one off the post, only for Chivas to hammer home a free kick after some putzing about at the back by United. But the boys pressed on and Emilio continued his stellar run with a fantastic turn and finish to make it 2-1. Unfortunately, that's how it ended, despite both sides having more chances, and Moreno failing (shock! horror!) to convert a penalty. Great ride, but not a great result. Let's hit those talking points . . .
* So, it seems Burch at center back isn't just an Open Cup experiment. We've been wondering where the depth in the center of defense was going to come from, and it seems the answer is . . . Peralta? Is the lesser of two Gonzalos hurt? I didn't see his name on the subs list tonight. The question is--would Burch have started if Peralta was healthy? I didn't see Marc do too much wrong tonight. In fact, his considered and accurate passing are a huge upgrade over Peralta's vaunted Missiles to Nowhere-ville. Combine that with the new kid Thomspon not looking too totally lost out there (with Gros-style,non-stop engine included!), and it's looking increasingly like the only move of the impending transfer window is going to be for a keeper.
* It's a crying shame that the Chivas keeper kept Jaime's PK out, because he was the classiest player wearing black tonight and deserved some sort of reward for his efforts. He was gassed towards the end, but his holding of the ball and passing were something to behold. I think it's safe to say that if Gallardo's out through injury or suspension, I don't have many qualms about handing Jaime the keys. On the other hand . . .
* Dyachecko needs to go. Glacial movement, holding the ball too long, passes direct to the opposition--all these and more can be yours if you'll but give us a third or fourth round draft pick! C'mon--maybe a Supplemental Draft pick? Anybody? Fernando Clavijo, I know you're out there just waiting to make us an offer we'd be completely insane to refuse.
* Francis Doe really looked dangerous . . . for about 20 minutes. Then he came down with the Dreaded Dyachencko Dribbling Disorder, and started breaking out the suck, attempting to beat three or four defenders on his own. Still, he's a decent little player, and I'm hopeful that he can provide us some solid minutes off the bench to spell Jaime and Emilio.
* Hey, how 'bout Tommy Soehn making an in-game tactical change that pays big dividends? Not that it took a genius to see that we were getting overrun in midfield, but Soehn made the switch to a five-man midfield earlier than he normally would have, which was pretty encouraging. Bringing on a third forward (Doe) to start the second half and dropping Jaime in behind the front two was a bold choice that really worked. I've never been the biggest fan of Soehn as an in-game tactician, but maybe experience is starting to pay off.
Let's close with a warning not to miss the big picture here. As a team, we're not as good as Chivas. I would have liked to see how much closer we might have been with Gallardo and Tino in the lineup, but you play the cards you're dealt. We were lucky on a number of occasions that the Goats couldn't find the net, but that's always seemed to be their pattern against us. And tonight, we returned the favor somewhat, finding posts where we might have found net.