Friday, October 27, 2006

DC United Preview: MLS Playoffs, 2nd leg

DC United vs. Red Bull New York
Sunday, October 29th 6:00pm
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

So, here we are. The second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Us against them. DC United host their Atlantic Cup rival’s, Red Bull New York, with a 1-0 goal lead over the Bovine. After what I thought was a good performance by United last week (considering the crap they had been showing at the end of the season), United are going to need to come out Sunday night, put together a full 90 minute performance and send the Red Bulls, their coach “The Bitter One,” their whiney ass bitching players, back home to New Jersey.

So in the first leg, we were able to get good possession, take shots from outside the penalty box, and take advantage of our skills and drop a pretty goal. RBNY were able to hit the cross bar and drag down Jaime Moreno. Our defense, where they showed better signs of play when compared to the final season matches, will need to step their play up even higher this Sunday. Even though they pitched a shutout, the defense is the real key to this match.

With 2006 Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year, Troy Perkins in goal, we are pretty safe here. Troy had a great match against the Cows last Saturday, saving some really difficult shots. Our defensive line is where we need to have some major stepping up done. Led by MLS Defender of the Year, the Cosmo Kid, Bobby Boswell, the United defense needs to really watch itself on breaking down and allowing Yuri or Altidore the chance to break on goal. Like wise, Mr. Erpen, please, if at all possible, please do not choose Sunday night to be another night of scary drama and decide to pass the ball to a RBNY player.

Like in the first match, the main key to controlling the Red Bull offense will be containing the Red Bull’s #1 Spectator, Amado Guevara. Just like in the first match, the man who is more than capable and ready to step up and bug the ever loving shit out of Guevara is none other than Ben Olsen. If Benny marks Guevara any better than he did in the first match, than RBNY supporters will wonder if Guevara even made the trip. You pester and hound Guevara, make him screw up and you cut the head off of the RBNY offense.

With out back line settled, we really need to have a good offensive match Sunday night. Playing for a draw is not in Peter Nowak’s blood, in fact, Nowak seems to be the kind of guy who gives players 100 laps and pushups for even looking like they are running half ass. Getting Gomez, Moreno, Head Gear and Freddy in the mix will be paramount. D at The DCenters brought up the idea that because we were willing to take more shots from the top of the box, the Red Bull defense opened up more, which allowed Gomez to have his run and goal. That is the type of stuff we haven’t seen in a while, since about the Real Madrid match, and it is something that we need to keep doing.

I saw this quote this morning, and I agree with Jaime Trecker 100%:

“Memo to Freddy Adu: If you actually want to have a career overseas, these are the types of matches you need to show up for.” – Jaime Trecker,

Freddy, you need to step up and cause more problems for the Red Bull defense. The more problems that they have to deal with, the more chances we get on goal. Trecker is right, if you hide and disappear in the MLS playoffs, then how can any European club actually expect you to step up in a league that requires that clubs lose no more than 4 matches a season to just make it to European qualifying? You step up on Sunday, then you get one step closer to booking your ticker to the Old Country.

So, we have a 1-0 lead, and we are at home. The last time we played a home playoff game, we got obliterated 4-0 by the Fire. Sunday we won’t be playing the Fire, but I really hope that some of those guys out there do not get messed up in the head thinking about the last one. The Red Bulls are not a better club, regardless of what some of their whiney bitches say. The game will be tough, but United will win and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Prediction: DC United 2 - 0 Red Bull New York


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