Well, I guess we can take some comfort from the fact that our first team could do pretty well in the MLS reserve division, right? United ran out a full strength team (Quaranta in for the still-injured Gallardo) against a Revs side featuring one regular starter (Joseph) and a handful of others with quality first-team minutes. Goals in the opening five minutes of either half and a late third from Emilio were enough for United to run out 3-1 winners and advance to the Open Cup final.
I'm relying on Limarzi's call on the radio (why do we have a video feed for the two USL teams in the other semifinal, but not the MLS teams?), so get your grains of salt locked and loaded . . .
* Did we really score two goals off wide attacks? Add those to the one Moreno nodded in this weekend, and suddenly we're seeing what the addition of width can do for an offense. Limarzi wasn't high on Guerrero's performance, but he delivered the third and certainly sounded active. When he and Martinez start to click, I think our left flank is going to be a thing of beauty with the two overlapping and interchanging, allowing either to be the point of the spear.
* It's hard to tell without seeing, but it was encouraging that Peralta was back and played the full 90. The only negative would be that Limarzi highlighted Peralta's insistence on my least favorite part of his game--the random long ball to Nowheresville that breaks up United's possession game. Despite that, Peralta is a decent enough defender and a big body, and it's good to have him back healthy.
* Quaranta and Emiligol on the scoresheet will be good for their confidence--Luci because he's continuing his deadly goal-scoring form, and Quaranta because he's been out injured and trying to fight his way back into the lineup. Now, if we can just get Doe healthy, we might actually be approaching something resembling depth everywhere on the pitch--excepting of course in goal. I'm not counting my Swiss-Liberian backup chickens before they've hatched.
* I'm currently watching the two USL teams in extra time of their semifinal, and I can honestly say that I'd rather have the Battery in the final--and not just because the final would be at RFK. Charleston play more direct and without a lot of variety and technique. Seattle are much more dangerous, generating nice movement off the ball and generally looking a bit more slick on the ball and in their passing. Regardless of the opponent, we've got a golden chance to add some silverware to the trophy cabinet and book an early passage into next year's edition of the Champions' League.
So the week isn't entirely a loss. If the US kids can qualify for the Olympic quarterfinals, that'll serve to further lighten the evil mood that's settled upon the Fullback Cave since United's 4-1 loss to the Metrobulltards. It's hard to greet this cup win with anything besides cautious enthusiasm however. So we beat a Revs side packed with reserves. Whoop-tee-do! Here's hoping that the win gives us some confidence going into the weekend, because we're going to need it in Chicago.
[Update: It's the Battery after PK's. A cup final at home against lower division opposition. I know that USL sides are pretty good and capable of upsets, but . . . no excuses!]