The Trouble With Quibbles | a DC United Match Reaction

I'll keep this short because, frankly...

  1. I'm sick as a dog
  2. If I didn't already have to vomit, this season might do the trick
  3. These reaction posts are getting a bit redundant
In any case, let's get a few things out of the way. Yes, Danny Cruz and Dominic Oduro will probably never hit more accurate shots in their entire careers than the ones that found our net tonight. Yes, Landin should definitely have walked for an absolutely brutal tackle on Pontius (I think everybody on the field and on the benches save the ref knew it). Yes, the first half response from about minute 20 on (when the sun went behind the stands; maybe we're vampires?) would, in a more just world, have resulted in an equalizer.



Because the hand holding the dagger lodged so firmly in our guts belongs to us.

Does Onalfo have any grasp of tactics whatsoever? I could agree with the Pontius for Cristman swap. Cristman wasn't doing much out wide and Pontius looked pretty damn sharp. But what the hell was with bringing on lazy-dog Emilio? The first half fightback was a result of clogging the midfield, playing high-energy, and getting the ball wide to wingers or overlapping fullbacks free to get forward because of the support provided by the Morsink-Simms "bucket" in midfield. 

So naturally you want to lower the energy and ability to hold the ball up top while simultaneously reducing numbers and pressure on the ball in midfield and losing much of your wide threat? Maybe Onalfo assumed that we'd somehow miraculously maintain a sizable portion of the possession despite losing worker bees in midfield and losing Moreno as an outlet dropping off the front line, gathering the ball, and distributing to runners?

Add to that the cavalcade of defensive errors that continues to be lethal. Houston were not getting huge numbers forward, so why did they always seem to have an extra guy in space? Can somebody explain why both Talley and Pena, veteran defenders both, kept running back towards Perkins when Oduro, the only Houston guy in the box, had slowed his run and dropped off them? And lets not even count the number of big saves made by Perkins to keep this thing respectable. 

There are problems here much bigger than an injury crisis, and it's hard to see a way that this season gets much prettier any time soon. Are we really that much worse than the rest of the league as far as playing staff goes? I don't think so. True, the roster isn't ideal (thanks, Messers Kasper & Payne) and is currently ravaged by injury, but the inability to get basic tactical decisions right; the lack of player sharpness, particularly coming out of halftime; the incoherent defensive play; and the lack of goal-scoring opportunities generated all speak to me of a ship without a proper captain.


  1. We're strictly into deathwatch territory here. It's time to get a new staff in place, allow that staff to evaluate people and make a plan to develop the team around a new core. If it was Football Manager, it would all be so plain.

    I'm heartsick for Jaime.

  2. Ownership needs to replace Kasper and Payne before the coach can be replaced. They are the reason that Onalfo is here in the first place.

    Seemingly he was only hired because he speaks both English and Spanish. What? Dora wasn't available?

    We can't trust the two of them to be able to hire another manager.

  3. Next season should begin now as far as looking for the replace th kasper and payne death duo. and I agree with Jeremy. This is a great article and I wish that someone would act on this current situation. Will chang doesn't even want to twitter anymore.

  4. I just don't see Chang making a major change at the top of the organization in the middle of the season. Payne is here to stay. Onalfo though... That's a much easier change to make. Although Charlie Boehm did hint to us on Twitter last night that Onalfo was signed to a multiyear guaranteed contract...

    I'm also heartsick for Jaime. The saddest part of this season has been watching our hero, nay, our GODFATHER, deteriorate in front of our very eyes. I hope he's still got a few more miraculous goals in him.

  5. I though Jaime actually looked pretty spry last night, dropping deep to receive the ball and connecting little passes. He wasn't fantastic, but the talent, if not the athleticism, is still there. It's just a shame that (a) we can't use him in the 30-minute spurts his legs have left and (b) we can't surround him with the necessary quality that would allow him to shine in his twilight. Instead we run him hard for a half and then expect him to hold down central midfield with only Simms for cover?

    C'est pathétique!

    (still under the influenza-ence, ugh)

  6. I'm more scared for my own support of this club, which I thought was unshakeable. After this season, after last night, in which I struggled to stay awake... shaken. I will always be a fan, but I'm not sure I can watch this train wreck much longer. Worse, by the time the ship rights itself, the club will be located in a different city. I wish more people cared about this club, the quality of the supporters is unmatched, but if we had as much muscle as the "major" sports in the area, Payne and Kasper would be history.

  7. It takes more...

    ...than good intensions.
    ...than hopeful thoughts.
    ...that positive thinking.
    ...than the talent we have assembled.
    ...than this to get rid of us!