Thursday, November 01, 2007

Playoff Match Preview: DC United vs. Chicago Fire

MLS Cup Playoffs: Conference Semi-Finals
Match #2: DC United vs. Chicago Fire
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
7:30pm ESPN2

I usually don't do these anymore, but I figured that with how United's season hinges on the outcome of tonight's match, I figured I would toss out my two cents.

Forget the past. The Chicago Fire have this great record against United in the playoffs. Yeah, I heard that several places and I witnessed two of those matches live. Yes, they were able to get a 1-0 victory last week in Chicago and that gives them the goal and mental advantage heading into tonight.

Forget the past. All United needs to do is play it's own game. RFK Stadium is going to be rocking and all we need to do is play our game. We need to have Troy in the net and he needs to be the foundation that the entire defense is based on. His clutch performances this season and last need to shine through once again tonight.

Our best defense needs to be out there (Namoff, Vanney, Boswell, Burch). Without Boswell, we will honestly be helpless against the same type of goal situation we took last week. Boswell gives us the best chance we have to truly defend in the air, and we will need it tonight.

Our best available midfield needs to be out there (Fred, Gomez, Olsen, Simms) and they need to string better passes to each other and the forwards. Passing to a spot behind your teammate is not the way to go. If we can do the simple things correctly in the midfield, then we will have every chance possible to score tonight.

We need to have Emillio and Moreno start and get the bulk of the minutes up front. Moreno, as we saw in the second half last week, gives us an entirely different "vibe" on the ball. His pace and control when he has the ball as well as his positioning are all qualities that none of the other forwards have and we need that. Emillio is the lynch pin. We need his positioning and his attacking skills to get us the goal that we need to turn this ship around. If Emillio is given two chances, I honestly feel that we get a goal. That means we need a second from someone else and based on this clubs scoring record this season, that second goal could come from anyone.

If United plays their game, defends like we have seen them do match after match after match this season, then we will win tonight and have a date with either New York or New England. If our midfield controls their movement and passes like we have seen time and time again this season, then we will win tonight. If the Emilliboot shows up and shows the rest fo MLS why he should be the 2007 MLS MVP, then we win tonight.

If not, I am wearing my Bayern Munich jersey to the MLS Cup.

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