Sunday, September 09, 2007

Match Recap: DC United 4 - 2 New England Revolution

Well, that was a fun game.

Back from a very warm and humid RFK Stadium, digesting the 4-2 victory over the New England Revolution is a difficult one. So many things stand out from this match. Where does one begin?

As a whole, the team looked better than they did against Chivas on Thursday night. Our players didn't look like they only had 20 minutes of soccer in them and kept the pressure going, culminating with Fred's goal in the 30th minute. Twellman's goal to finish the first half was unfortunate and really was a cause for concern.

The second Revolution goal came from sloppy defensive play in front of the United goal. However, as we have seen several times before, the entire tempo of the match changed once Ben Olsen stepped on the field. His play on the right side on place of Fred gave United the swift kick in the ass to get the go ahead goal.

However, (and I cannot believe that I am typing this) the final nail was hammered in when Brian Carroll was brought on for Clyde Simms. Carroll is no favorite of mine and infact, before today, I would have been happy to see him be shipped off to San Jose. Today however, the guy stepped up and showed signs of his former self. Yes, the first play he was involved in after coming onto the field resulted in a Revolution free kick, but starting with that amazing run right up the left side of the field and the cross to Emillio's forehead, Carroll played completely different than he had over the last few months. He was making the great defensive stops in the midfield and tracking back to assist the back line. He was hustling to the ball and making better passes. The Brian Carroll that played today needs to stay; the Brian Carroll that had been riding the pine for the last few matches needs to stay away.

It was good to finally see Jamie get a non-PK goal, but I really think he could have had one more goal today. Jamie seems more interested, even when standing in front of the goal on the 6 yard line, with passing to someone else. It wasn't until he was right in front of the goal mouth, with Reis laying on the ground in front of him, that he took the shot, even then, he took a small amount of time with it.

Emilligoal keeps rolling along, picking up MLS leading goals #17 & #18 today. Pretty much after every goal he scores, I ask myself if Alecko Eskandarian would have scored that goal, or if he would have even been in that position to score. I honestly think that on about only 3 or 4 of them, Alecko would have buried the goal. The other 14 or so would have either been right at the goalkeeper or been flubbed in one fashion or another. The rate that Emillio is going with his goal scoring, picking up 23 or even 25 this season isn't that much of a fantasy now. That guy is money.

So after two matches in four days, United now sit alone on top of the Eastern Conference, with a four point lead over the New England Revolution. United also have a four point lead in the Supporters Shield standings over both New England and Houston, with United having a game in hand over the Dynamo and the tie breaker over New England.

United now wait three days and host the Freddy Adu-less Real Salt Lake Wednesday night. Really, who in MLS HQ scheduled the Real visit to DC for this late in the season? How much press could Garber & Co. picked up with the return of Freddy to United? Oh well, who cares now. Alecko is returning with his second club of the season. Real played a barn burner last night in a 4-3 loss to Houston, and they are coming in having won two of their last three matches. Hopefully we all will see United add to their league and Supporters Shield lead Wednesday night.

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