Thursday, March 01, 2007

CONCACAF Champions Cup: DC United move on!

Well, with all the rain and the baseball field, we had ourselves a little soccer game. Despite being told not to set off any smoke bombs due to CONCACAF regulations, it looked to me like Barra had 2 go off, and I think some firecrackers went on the field in front of me.

Anyways, DC United picked up another very early season, impressive victory tonight over a CD Olimpia (I want to call them the Oompalooma's for some reason) club that is in mid season form. They won tonight 3-2, and earned a 7-3 aggregate goals victory in their Quarter Final series. Up next is CD Chivas de Guadelajara on the 15th at RFK.

First the good:

- Finishing: Once again, DC United were able to put away the ball when given the chance. Yes, one goal was a PK, but both of Emilio's goals were spectacular! Hopefully this goal scoring form carries through for the next two matches, much less the entire season.

- Defensive Composure: With the exception of the second goal, our defense looked very composed and in control. I would have to say that Boswell, Erpen, Namoff and Simms killed off about 10 minutes of the match at the end, simply with their ball control. Erpen still had a few of his "WTF!?!?!" moments, but Boswell showed exactly why he will be a regular part of the USMNT this summer with his ability to cover for his fellow defenders.

- Reserve time: Devon McTavish went the whole 90 minutes; Jamil Walker went 45; Clyde Simms went all 90 minutes; Moreno only had to play 45 as did Benny. Granted Benny was carrying a Yellow Card, so his 45 was to be expected. McTavish looked very good out there and the ability to get him a full 90 minutes now should go along way this MLS season. Jamil showed that he needs alot more work. I counted at least twice when he should have put the ball in the back of the net, only to take too much time and waste a great chance.

Ok, here's the bad:

- Jamil's finishing: Jamil again, needs alot of work. See above for the rest on him.

- Perkin's injury: DC has his injury listed as a quadriceps strain, and I have no idea on how this will affect him beyond tonight. Even though Nolly was able to get some playing time, I have top put this in the bad as our #1 keeper is now on the trainer's table.

- Cards: As it stands now, Olsen, Moreno and Namoff are all carrying Yellow Cards. I believe that they are still in play, so if any of these three get another Yellow, they have to sit out the away leg, but I might be wrong. Of the three, I would have to say the most devastating loss would be Namoff. Jamie, maybe, could have Rod fill in for him up front if needed (and based on how our attack worked tonight without Jaime, maybe goes along way). Benny can alway have McTavish fill his shoes at least for a spell. United should be able to register the young kid from Fulham, so he might be able to take a spot or so. Namoff would be bad as we really don't have another option in defense. We have guys who can plug holes in other positions, but our defense is the thinest line right now.

All in all, I liked what I saw. We kept attacking and when we weren't attacking, we were trying to remain in control of the ball. Considering the playing conditions and again the fact that United have only been at it for a month, tonight was a great night as a United supporter. I can't wait for the 15th now!

BTW - 8,181 attendance for a night like tonight isn't that bad.

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