Brainfarts R' Us | a DC United Match Reaction

Well now, that wasn't a bit predictable, was it? United at altitude hasn't been a pretty picture for a number of years, and that pattern continued with terrible inevitability last night. Fortunately, I was making smores, hot dogs, and mountain pies around a fire last night, and so went to bed without having to witness said awfulness. And when I went back to watch the match this morning, the abortion that is Windows Media Player managed to kill the feed at just past the hour mark, though by that point, the damage had been done, and I look on that failure as a Fathers Day gift from the gods of the electronic ether trying to spare me a half-hour of suffering. So I'll bring you these talking points sans the last half hour of the match (MLS highlights not being live yet for some reason)...

* Brainfarts R' Us. I identified in the match preview that we need to keep the brainfarts to a minimum and watch out for the counter. So what do we proceed to do? Get countered for two goals, each with the mandatory mental walkabout (Janicki diving in when he should have crowded out; Jakovic missing a trap combined with ridiculous marking at the back post), and play them through with a self-generated counter courtesy of Avery John for their other tally. It's like they read my post and decided to run as hard as they could in the opposite direction.

* 4-4-2? I understand wanting to guard against the Rapids' wide threat by putting on a fourth defender, but I do have questions. One, if we're going with four in midfield, I don't think you can afford to have the limited mobility of Olsen and the limited defense of Gomez as half of that four. Two, I think John and Burch are a wash at left back in a back three, but surely Burch gives you more going forward from a back four? Realistically, I don't think that we can play 4-4-2 with Gomez in the middle. Maybe a 4-3-1-2 would be more effective, but we'll need fullbacks that really bomb forward in such a formation, probably necessitating Wallace as the left back.
We'd also need midfielders with greater range...

* Maybe a good thing. I'm hoping that this sort of thrashing is exactly the sort of thing that the FO needed as a reminder that maybe we're not as good as we think we are. We've had a remarkably good start to the season considering the doom and gloom of preseason, but there are areas that can still be addressed in the transfer market, particularly with Crayton's senior roster spot and cap money likely to be available. Given Peters' lack of contribution and taking of a senior spot, offloading the two of them would give us just over $200k and two senior roster spots to land a mobile, hard-tackling midfielder and another competent, journeyman defender. Anything else on your shopping list?

* And yet... Despite exiting the first half down 2-0, we weren't completely outplayed. True, we shipped a couple of goals, they pinged the post a couple of times, and we didn't create much going forward, but we didn't give up as many chances as we normally do early in matches, and we did have some moments going forward. In other words, the sort of performance you look for on the road, in trying conditions, in your second match in four days, in a place you just can't seem to get results in. Much of this result, I feel, swings on John's errant back pass. If we go into the half down 1-0, maybe we make a few tweaks and see a chance to fight back for something in the second. Instead, we lose a second goal at the worst possible moment and have to make changes to really chase the game in the second half. That said, we had nothing resembling the sort of possession and attacking pressure that a DC United side should have, even if it's only in fleeting moments, in that first half.

So that's about all the mileage I'm going to get out of this one. Time to go get ready for Egypt to destroy the US in the Confederations Cup to make my weekend misery complete. Ah well, at least the cookout last night was pretty good. Let's bring this to a close with an emphatic...



  1. You didn't miss much in the last 30 minutes. Colorado bunkered, and United had very few decent chances. Looks like the entire blogging community is in agreement that John in a 4-man backline was a terrible idea.

    I can see a WIWFCIJ brewing...

  2. I think I've pretty much beaten the WIWFCIJ dead horse, resurrected it, and beat it to death once again by harping on the need for a mobile, ball-winning central mid and a left back, though if the demand is there, I'll break out an entire column to say the same thing in many more words ;-).

  3. DC did not show up for this one. They were obviously unmotivated due to schedule congestion or just plain who cares syndrome. With key players out due to injury and too many players out of position this was an exercise in futility! They played like a team that did not care and were punished for it. The "experiment" with the back line was a dismal failure and overall this one is on the coach. Avery John’s through ball assist was however a thing of beauty... That being said, we as fans will most likely not remember this in a month. However, Soehn had best not forget it!