Hmph. What's the word for "I knew this was coming eventually, but when it finally arrived, it didn't seem to hurt quite as bad as I thought it would, probably because the manner of the coming wasn't as complete a crash-and-burn scenario as I thought it would be, particularly because MLS's crappy Match Center wouldn't let me watch past minute 37 or so, thus limiting my frustration and pain"? Good thing I'm not a German speaker or I might whip out some half-page mashed-up monster to deal with that mouthful. As it stands, this will be an even more half-cocked reaction than usual, owing to the aforementioned troubles with Match Center. So what do 37 minutes + goal highlights?
* Gomez looked more active than in the previous matches, at least in the parts of the match I saw. That's encouraging. Where he fell flat on his face for me was in dead ball situations. I'm well and truly aware of the DC United Corner Kick Curse, but come on! At least get the ball high enough to clear the first defender, won't you? By contrast, RSL always looked like they were a danger from corners and free kicks.
* Wallace needs to clean up his first touch. While he seems to be able to bring things down on his chest magnificently, balls to his feet often rebound like they're coming off a wall covered in springs. Defensivley, he seemed to be closing down a little more effectively, so maybe Tommy had a word with him about that. In fact...
* In the 37 minutes I was able to watch, I thought our pressure on the ball was excellent, and we limited RSL to only a couple of chances from open play. Additionally, increasing the pressure higher in midfield leaves us with fewer opportunities for the defenders to win balls deep, putz around with them, and eventually surrender possession and bad chances to the opposition. That being said, D indicates that we reverted to the crappy dropping-off bunker behavior trying to preserve a point on the road, so I'll take his word for it, as it's not surprising to me in the least.
* Jacobson looks like an interesting player. Maybe he's not up to full speed yet, but his touches were quick and intelligent, though you can see his futsal bias in the way he generally keeps things short and plays through tight spaces. Given Olsen's frailties, we're going to see a lot more of him, I would expect. Fingers crossed that we're not about to witness the "Iron Rod Reprise."
* Continuing on the "new guys" theme, I wonder if Pontius is a victim of his non-veteran status. there were plenty of little ticky-tack fouls that he was suffering that would have been whistled if he were say, Olsen or Jaime or Gomez. Notice that I'm not claiming it was a team bias. Rather, I didn't think he got the benefit of the doubt that a veteran might get by flinging that little, "oh, come on, ref" look at the whistleman. Something to keep an eye on.
Sorry I don't have more here, but I'm stuck on a borrowed machine and subject to the whims of the MLS Match Center. If anybody wants to fill in the gaps in the comments unitl I can get a more extended look at the match, feel free. I'll just leave you with my general feeling about this team...
It's probably a little better than I expected going into the season. We aren't going to be challenging for a conference crown or the Supporters' Shield, but we've got a legitimate shot at the playoffs; moreso than I would have expected in March. Assuming, of course, that we manage to avoid the dreaded mid-year injury crisis.