Friday, May 19, 2006

DC United Preview

Week 8

This week DC United travels to Ohio to take on the resurgent Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. The Crew are coming in riding a 2 match win streak, the last one being their first home victory of the season, a 1-0 affair with the Colorado Rapids. They will be looking to continue their good form against the Eastern Conference leaders.

DC United are heading off on their third away match of the season, having won their first and lost their second. Last week they reclaimed first place in the MLS Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over Kansas City. United currently have 14 points to the Crew's 10. United will be looking to stretching their lead in the East with this early must win match.

Keys to the Match
1. United must score early. Columbus has won their three matches this season all with 1-0 score lines. Their first and last wins were on goals late in the match, in the 90th minute against LA and in the 74th minute against Colorado. If United can get the early goal as they did against Kansas City, then United will be able to control the match against a Crew side that are still trying to figure out their roles with each other.

2. Limit the mental mistakes. Over the last three matches, United have been victim of their own mental breakdowns. The goal in the FCD match in which the United defense gave O'Brien way too much space in front of the goal allowed him to have a clear view of the target and the time to take his shot. Against Colorado, United failed to control the pace of the match and allowed the rapids to get back into the match with the Erpen "gift" penalty. Even last week against Kansas City, United did not play the controlling style of football that they did earlier in the season. Gomez, Moreno and Adu must step up and keep the possession in order for United to control the match.

3. Start the winning formula. Coach Peter Nowak needs to continue to use the same type of formation and starting line up that has picked up 4 wins in 7 matches. I realize that Olsen is away at National Team duty, so he is obviously not available. However, tinkering with your line up and changing the formation when the earlier formation worked so well, isn't the bright thing to do. This lead to the debacle that was the match in Colorado. Nowak returned United to a more familiar look last week, but the defense still have several issues closing down people and allowing holes to form for the KC offense to take shots at.

If United can keep their heads focused on the match, get an early goal and are playing with the right players on and off the field, then I feel that United will stay undefeated in the Eastern Conference and leave Ohio with the 3 points.

Columbus Crew 1 - 2 DC United


Blogger D said...

I'm pretty sure I agree with most of this, but I disagree on the "Pick a formation" advice. We need to not let Sigi gameplan us.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

What I meant was keeping people in the positions that they play well at. Sorta the same thing that happend to Barca in the Final on wednesday. Eto'o started on the left side and really wasn't a threat until he came inside, the same with Ronaldinho.

The whole league gameplans us by smothering Gomez.

3:39 PM  

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