Posts Tagged ‘DC UNITED


MLS week 6 & 7 thoughts…yeah I know I’m late

So as those of you who read my entertainment blog know, I have been busy prepping the Cannes film festival. (yeah, people ask me whether should be made or not. Weird right? Too bad they normally make the ones I’m not too keen on first. Oh well)

As such, I haven’t been able to pay much attention to this blog since, well, it pays nothing since doesn’t allow ads and the other sites do pay me (a little bit).

Anyway, here is a quick list of thoughts and let me start with a quick note on the start of week 8 with the RSL vs. Colorado game.

It was a pretty tight match. The level of play is the highest I’ve seen in the ‘Rocky Mountain Cup’ since it’s inception. This holds true league wide.

Colorado is looking like the team to beat out west and RSL is looking much improved. However, playing in the west it is looking more and more like they won’t make the playoffs again. It’s a shame because they do have some exciting young players. The Argies they added last year have been fantastic.

On to the past two weeks:

First, LA is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To expect anymore or less the rest of the year, barring a major move, is folly. They have all the offense in the world. In fact, I am pretty confident that they could blast just about anyone off the field when they are even half on. However, the problem continues being defense as evidenced by their home loss to TFC a few weeks ago. They continue this streak of poor defending and it has been costing them, especially against RBNY who are a vastly overrated side.

LA needs to find a leader. They give up a ton of goals immediately after scoring and it is clear they need someone to holler at them and tell them to focus. 7 years ago a team could over celebrate and get away with it. However, the level of play and competitiveness for spots has increased to such a degree that it isn’t possible to take too many plays off without being punished. You only need as DC United…

…who got the living shit kicked out of them by Chicago on MLS Thursday a week after Chicago beat the shit out of New England for a second time this year. (where’s the excuses for your side this time, Nicol?) DC United has had a pretty strong history of having some talented players, but also having players who drift in and out of matches at times (look at their woeful recent playoff history) The fact of the matter is, the better teams in the league no longer allow you to take plays off anymore. Again, 4-5 years ago this may have been the case, but it simply can’t happen anymore.

The 2 best teams in the league by a country mile are Chicago and Columbus for this very reason. They keep their foot on the gas even if they are having a bad game and more often than not, they have been putting teams to sleep.

The real tragedy is the fact that if current form holds, the league’s failure to structure the playoffs in a straight 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5 format will mean Chicago and Columbus will have to knock one or the other out of the playoffs and play a lesser western team in the final. I know that’s getting way ahead of ourselves as things change almost weekly in MLS due to the relative parity (though it’s looking less pared this year)

However, my complaint stands. The straight table playoff should be the format but it won’t be now that the league tries to do everything possible to get LA into the post-season. Look at the change to the format this year. Last year’s race for spots was the best ever because they made it the top 2 from each conference getting in and then the next best 6 irregardless of conference. However, that was changed to the top 3 and then the next 2 this year which pretty much brings it back to what it used to be. It was a move clearly aimed at aiding the western conference and LA in particular and it’s shameful.

MLS: you won’t be fooling anyone. If LA makes the playoffs as the #3 in the west 20 pts behind 3 other eastern conference teams that would have made it if not for the rules changes, it’s not going to impress anyone. There are a billion other things you could do to give them a competitive advantage. Hell, if you raised the cap $500K they could get 2 high quality defenders and they’d be one of the best teams in the league. They’d probably dominate. Doing it this way just sucks.

I digress. Continue reading ‘MLS week 6 & 7 thoughts…yeah I know I’m late’


CONCACAF Champions Cup: DC UNITED vs. Pachuca Day 1

Log line: preseason form, playing at altitude and a slightly less deep bench lose out to perfect tactical plan.

Result: DC United 0 Pachuca 2

Read a recap from the Washington Post’s Steve Goff HERE

My Thoughts:

The knock for MLS fans on the revamped (read: now worth something as it is for a slot in the FIFA club world cup) CCC has been how early it comes in the season. It’s not an illegitimate claim. One needs look no further than Superliga last year to see how a dreadful Galaxy team nearly took Pachuca down.

However, credit is definitely due to Pachuca. They remained compact and connected their passes pretty well and were disciplined. It’s not like if this match was in season for both clubs it’d be a cakewalk for DC as Pachuca is a quality side.

The altitude this early in the season never helps and Pachuca definitely used that to their advantage by playing a much more uptempo than usual game the first half. They used the same approach to their advantage against Houston last year and is a smart choice. When you are used to training at 7000+ ft above sea level you damn well better use it to your advantage. Of course, it’s not all up to them, DC needs to do something to slow the game down but Gallardo wasn’t quite given the opportunity to do that despite his otherwise stellarplay in the first half.

The biggest problem for DC on this night was the same problem they had in the season opener vs. KC:Emilio.

Emilio was electric last year early on but this year he is looking sluggish. Perhaps the excitement of a new team amped him up, but he just looks ‘off’ so far this year. If DC is going to have any chance of of winning in DC (which they do) Emilio really needs to find his form. Having Moreno back, a skilled player at holding the ball up and keeping possession while everyone else works into the attack, will also go a LONG way towards helping Gallardo dictate the pace of the game.

In the end, Pachuca used the conditions and their slightly deeper bench to their advantage and showed the class they’ve had the past 2 years. The gaffes by Zach Wells certainly helped them out as the first goal really had no business going in.

7 days from now is Day 2 and DC will have it all to do at RFK. They are very capable of winning by 2 and forcing penalties (there is no away goals rule in CONCACAF) and there is even and outside shot of winning by 3 as the center of defense looked ROCK solid, especially Gonzalo Martinez.

It should be interesting once again. It will be sad to see this tournament go, but even more exciting to see what the Champions League will bring with the expanded field and longer competition format. Very exciting days for soccer/football/futbol in the CONCACAF region. Continue reading ‘CONCACAF Champions Cup: DC UNITED vs. Pachuca Day 1’


DC United vs. Harbour View in pictures (kinda)

This site popped up ( I believe from the folks at The Offside) too damn funny.



Log line: Good 1st half, great second half

Match result: DC 5 Harbour View 0

Aggregate result: DC 6 Harbour View 1

DC United moves on to the next round.

MOTM: Lots of people you could go with here, but for sheer work rate and his assists and a goal I have to go with Fred

Recap in brief

Not too much to say. The game was much smoother. It probably had as much to do with the better field conditions as it did with DC being closer to in-season form.

Harbour View is a very athletic and physical team though their lack of tactical awareness and technical skill is what undid them in the end.

Gallardo is looking like he was a great pick up. He made a number of great passes and a few others that are a little off season rust away from slotting through for wonder assists. He is also adept at pickup fouls in dangerous positions and nearly had a wonder goal off the volley after driving a free kick into the wall.

Emilio finally reawakend from his sleep and chipped in 2 goals.

Fred was the real story. He was a man possessed in the second half and was spraying passes around all over the place and even had a nice finish to cap the scoring.

Over all you could tell about 30 minutes into the first half that DC was on the verge of taking the match by the scruff of the neck and dragging it home.

Usually I find some things wrong but there isn’t too much to complain about if you are a DC fan. They had some careless turnovers early on but how much can you complain about a 5-0 pasting in an international competition?

Harbour View could make noise at some point with their athleticism and pace, but they need better coaching and better technical skills. They have shown that they are tough at home though.

Houston Dynamo plays next and are also going into the second leg tied on aggregate. It’s looking like it’s going to be another Mexico vs. MLS semi finals. We’ll see if MLS can break through to capture another Champion’s Cup (it’s been a while since they have)

Of course, seeing as the winner of the the new Champion’s League will go to the FIFA Club World Cup and not the Champion’s Cup winner, I expect MLS will win this as it seems every the Club World Cup was put on hiatus MLS won.

Well see what happens.

MLS ASG in DENVER- by eBatty