Thursday, May 03, 2007

Match Recap: DC United 1 - 1 New England Revolution

Well, I didn't write a preview for this match and I really haven't said anything since I wrote a preview for last Saturday's match at Columbus. I haven't done much for several reasons, mainly because I really haven't been able to figure out what to say. We are really 8 matches into United's 2007 season and we have really seen two completely different sides put on the black & red.

Most of us had rather low expectations for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, seeings how United had only been together for about three weeks and were set to face clubs in their midseason. Yet as I sat at Summers and watched Gomez notch two goals against Olimpia and saw the entire team work over their opponent, my expectations began to rise drastically. United came home and fought a scrappy back & forth match in the cold rain and put away Olimpia to set up a date with Chivas, the Real Chivas. They showed that they could run with a club that was on a mission and that they could keep putting in goals.

Chivas came into town and showed that they were a step above United in form and pace, but never showed me that they were a super club or anything. I thought it might have been because United stepped it up a bit...maybe Chivas were really playing down to United's level, who knows? The away leg of that series yielded another pretty solid performance and one that the club shouldn't hang their heads for. All of this lead up to the start of the MLS regular season.

Well we all know where that has us right now.

Three straight losses and just about the bottom of the barrel in the East.

So, what did I expect from tonight's match? Not much. I didn't expect anything because I wasn't even sure which United would show up for the match...the CONCACAF Champions Cup side that played well together...or the MLS side that looked like they forgot who was on their own side and really didn't think playing defense was that important. Which side would show up?

Well, I didn't really see either side at the match tonight. I did see a much better defensive effort, the best of the MLS season. I saw Erpen do his usual "gaff" but he did it in a situation that didn't really cause any harm. I did see Troy position himself better, but his distribution at the beginning of the match was awful and he was responsible for several give-aways, simply because he passed the ball to Namoff when Namoff shouldn't have received the ball in the first place.

New England's goal was against the run of play and considering the shot that Twellman took, a rebound was going to be loose. It was one of those goals that you have to expect from time to time. It really wasn't Troy or the defense's fault, just something that the guys need to be a bit more prepared for.

I am still wondering about our midfield. Christian seems out of sorts a bit lately. In the first half United dictated most of the play, but the offensive midfield never really looked together. Fred looked very good and I really hope that his leg injury doesn't keep him out of the match Sunday. The one guy I was impressed with was Kpene. I realize he came in after Joseph's red card, but United's offense looked better once Kpene was in the match. I was puzzled as to why Gomez was playing so wide in the last 20 minutes, but as a whole, United showed a much better attacking presence in the last 20 minutes, even against a bunkering side.

So....1 point. It took United four matches to get their first point, when they picked up their first point in the first match of last season. Tonight was a better performance against an MLS side. I want to see a better offensive effort from Gomez on Sunday. Hopefully Fred will be able to play and will be able to work off of Gomez and Emillio and Moreno. I have a strong feeling that as the season goes on, we will see the midfield of Fred and Gomez cause problems for clubs. Right now as everything is trying to run through Christian, opponents only have to hack at him and double team him. Once Fred really gets the system down, clubs will have to get more guys on him, or he will hurt them. That should free Christian to return to his MVP mold.

See everyone out at RFK on Sunday.

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