Saturday, April 14, 2007

DC United Recap: Change in formation?

So, as I sit here in my wet jeans and my new Screaming Eagles Jersey, I am trying to ponder over the results of the home opener for DC United. United lost 4-2 against the Wizards, a club that United swept with 4 victories last season and DC101 morning radio host Elliot called a “gimme match.” I am definitely one of those people who know that there is no match in MLS that is a gimmie, so going into tonight’s match, I knew that this would be a 90 minute fight.

The Good: Well, it is a long season. Starting 0-2-0 isn’t the end of the world in the scope of MLS. DC United can/should rebound from this. Gomez looked better for the most part and Emilio continued his goal scoring average of 1 a match.

The Bad: Our defense, or our real lack there of. When Erpen, Bozilla and Namoff started leaking goals around the middle of last season all through the end, most people said that it was because they were gassed. Playing 90 minutes a week, sometime 180 (Celtic, MLS Some Star Game, Real Madrid) started to really look like it was taking its toll on their composure and form. Well, looking back on tonight, last week in Denver, the Chivas match and the home match against Olimpia…maybe they just don’t have any composure or form at all?

The Ugly: The formation. In my humble opinion, the 3-5-2 formation needs to be left to the side for now. The reason is that Erpen leaves Boz and Namoff too taxed on cover for his mistakes. Not only that, but the two guys who are supposed to assist these three in defense, Olsen/Simms and Carroll, haven’t really shown that they are going to be able to play defensive roles, as they seem to have more offensive responsibilities this season. With the three current defensive starters, we should be playing a 4-4-2 with John Wilson in the center with Boswell. Yes, the same guy who I wanted to lynch after he gave up two PK’s in Utah last year, right now, I am saying should be a defensive starter. Have Gros, Olsen, Fred and Gomez start in midfield with Emilio and Moreno up front. Use Carroll and Simms as defensive subs and have Casal and Walker be the offensive subs.

Tonight’s match, in my opinion, was worse than last years 5-2 loss to the Galaxy. Neither of United’s goals tonight were that great. Emilio gets a great over the top feed and scores when one-on-one with Hartman (who had a wonderful match btw) and Gomez got a suspect foul called for a free kick and took a great strike. Neither of these stood out as either of Gomez’s goals against Olimpia or Emilio’s goals in the second leg.

Maybe that is the problem. Maybe we are all expecting United to perform as well as they did against opponents who have never faced them before; against clubs that pretty much know everything about us. I don’t know.

Kansas City never looked that dangerous, yet they lit up United for 4 goals. Chivas looked a stronger team, but never really took the defense that well. Again, maybe I am comparing apples to oranges.

I do know that United have two weeks off now and something has got to be done with the defense. As the MLS transfer deadline is tomorrow, I don’t see anything major coming into the club to really make a difference, hence why I am calling for John Wilson. Two weeks and we will see if Coach Soehn can make any adjustments for the current problems. It took United six matches last season to give up 6 goals, this year, we did it in two. Something needs to be re-tooled.

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Blogger Rodney said...

i agree. opposing teams seem to have figured out a way to easily break down united's back line.while i'll never abandon ship, i am definitely concerned about the season. i have high hopes of seeing united win the cup at rfk this year and also have a burning desire to see them exact revenge against dreaded mexican powerhouses in the superliga. if they don't regain their defensive form fast, it's going to be a long and embarrassing season.

3:51 PM  

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