Saturday, September 29, 2007

Match Recap: DC United 4 - 1 Toronto FC

What a difference a Bolivian and a Cavalier made tonight.

I brought my brother along with me to the game as he hadn't been able to make it out to any this season. We hung out at the SE tailgate and got to our seats around 7:15pm. The match started and as it slowly went on, my brother asked me if they looked this bad all season. I tried to explain to him that it really wasn't the entire team, but it was more of the fact that Kpene was in and that Moreno and Olsen were out.

Once the second half started, he became fully aware of why I said that. This was definitely one of those matches where there was two sides to the story. In a tail of two halves, United stunk up the joint in the first half and obliterated the second half. Scoring four goals in twenty minutes is amazing. Scoring four goals in twenty minutes after a half of play that looked like United couldn't find the other half of the field is even more amazing. So why does the match result sorta bother me?

Well, it shows that despite the fact that Kpene is listed as a forward on the roster, he doesn't still have a true grasp as for what he should be doing, mainly his positioning. The entire first half he was playing back in the midfield, deep in the midfield. Yes that is sort of what Jamie does, but Kpene doesn't have the skill of experience to carry or hold the ball anywhere near as good as Jamie does, so he should have just played up on the line with Emillio.

It also shows me that unless the opposing team has Olsen and Moreno on the field to worry about, Fred and Gomez can't do anything. It is pretty much just like last season when clubs would hack Go & Mo and basically shut down United's offense. Until Olsen and Moreno showed up, we looked lost.

Ok, so bad things aside, damn that second half was fun. Talk about beautiful goals. I am not certain which one was the best. Burch's goal was great, as was Fred's. Moreno's looked like he was offsid's when he collected the ball, but he put that away the way that Kpene should have put his break away in the first half: strongly. The final goal and yes, everyone's favorite, was Emillio's one timer volley into the net. SWEET! Nice way to score your 20th for the season. I loved that after Moreno & Emillio's goals Stamatopolous stood in his own goal and watched the video replays on the video screen behind his goal.

So with this win, United has three more regular season matches left. Away at Kansas City, who are without Jimmy Conrad for his Red Card against LA; home against Chicago, who are currently leading Chivas USA 1-0 off of a Blanco goal; and home to Columbus, who really haven't done much for the last part of the season. Jaime Moreno will miss the match at home against the Chicago Fire as he has been called into the Bolivian National team duty for their World Cup Qualifiers. United also have their away trip to Guadalajara for the second leg of the Copa Nissan Sudamerican against CD Guadalajara, who have a new coach.

An 11 match league unbeaten streak, nine of those are victories. Pretty not bad. Let's keep it up guys, we got ourselves a Supporters Shield to defend!

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