March 29, 2010

Are you kidding me?

A 4-0 loss on Opening Day does not typically signify a good season coming up. DC United did not look ready for its game on Saturday night, which is even more frustrating after the fairly successful run in Charleston at their preseason tournament. After a day to try to calm down, here's my thoughts:
  • The defense struggled, but that was to be expected a bit. No Namoff & Burch through the preseason meant Pena & McTavish were getting most of the time with Jakovic & Wallace. However, Pena was not available due to visa issues & McTavish was injured on Saturday night. I think bringing in Carey Talley was a good move in light of the defensive injuries. My issue is with Simms at right back. I don't know how much experience he has there. Last season, when he played in the back due to injuries, it was in the middle. I would've much rather seen Talley on the right & Simms in the middle. Moving from a central position to an outside position isn't always an easy transition.
  • The injury to Simms made things even more tricky, but these things happen when he's coming right back off an injury. Starting Julius James was probably the safer play from the beginning. Again, I would've rather seen James in the middle & Talley on the outside. James' limited amount of play at right back last season showed that he's not suited for the position. The second goal was due to the right back being out of position.
  • Morsink, who I think fits DCU's style very well, did not play well. He consistently turned the ball over in dangerous positions. It really looked like he was trying to do too much. When the defense did perform well, Morsink turned it over at the top of the box.
  • Up until the second goal, DCU dominated possession and looked like the better team. The first goal was against the run of play. I thought the offside call pulling a goal back was a bad one, and Quaranta could have earned a penalty in the first half. These incidents would have changed things greatly.
  • That said, coming out and playing even worse in the second half is unforgivable. The team looked like they did not want to be there.
  • I hope pulling Najar at halftime doesn't affect his confidence. He's going to be a project and needs to be built up. I hope pulling him at that point doesn't become a setback for him.
  • Besides, after having to use a sub on Simms in the first half, I think pulling Najar wasn't necessary at that point. Leaving one sub for the last 45 minutes on Opening Day wasn't a good idea.
  • I don't like the Allsopp/Moreno combination at all. Allsopp/Pontius would probably work better, but I don't think they used that once during the preseason matches. They rarely used Allsopp/Moreno. Most often in the last four preseason games, the forward combinations were Moreno/Pontius and Allsopp/Cristman. Not sure why pulling Najar, moving Pontius to right mid after saying throughout the preseason that you wanted to keep him up top this season, and pairing Moreno with Allsopp was the decision. It definitely didn't improve anything.
So which was it, the preseason was meaningless or the KC game was just a bad result? I'll abstain from the vote until after Saturday's home game with the Revs.

Other notes from around the league:
  • Chivas USA needs some work, they did not look good at home against the vanilla Rapids.
  • Columbus showed that they're the best in the East right now with a solid win.
  • Nice goal by Lindpere to give New York the win. Where was everybody in the crowd though?
  • LA looked alright, but New England was pretty much a non-factor.
  • Didn't get to see it live, but Javier Morales is the truth. Two amazing goals Saturday night, is this the year he puts everything together and becomes an elite level player?

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