DC United Graciously Accepts Wizards Gift of Three Points

If United has any dignity left at all, they should have slunk off the field like a thief in the night instead of feeling proud of that pitiful effort against a KC side that clearly deserved to win if not for their woefully inept finishing ability. But Lucky Luciano’s 39th minute strike was the difference in the match as DC fell into a valuable three points.

Now I’ve never been one to mince words so I will not start now. Frankly, if DC were to win any more games in the way they dispatched KC, I would stop being a fan of the team. Seriously, the quotes about grinding out a win, making your own luck, taking advantage of your chances, etc. make me want to vomit. United should have bolted out of RFK like they stole something after that painful performance.

DC flat out tried to lose the game, and only KC’s shocking futility in front of goal allowed DC the shut out win. Wicks gets his third shutout in four games, but if not for the shots hit directly at him that he saves almost in self defense, I’m not sure DC is even within three goals of KC at the final whistle. But hey, better lucky than good eh?

Didn’t take long for United’s game plan to spring into effect either. Barely two minutes into the game, Bryan Namoff went walkabout to give KC’s Claudio Lopez an acre of space down the left to pick out Davy Arnaud wide open eight yards out from goal, but inexplicably, he hammered a shot right at the dumbfounded Wicks.

KC was to continue spurning United’s largesse as KC and the unfortunate Arnaud in particular was to pepper open shots into the various banners behind the South goal throughout the opening 20 minutes of the match.

Jaime Moreno did manage to assert a token effort for the home side as he headed a Rodney Wallace cross off the crossbar in the 23rd minute to prove that DC would not completely roll over paws up if nothing else.

Still, KC continued to pound DC’s goal only to have woeful shooting or flat our dumb luck keep them off the score-sheet to United’s frustration one has to wonder. KC’s right back Jonathan Leathers was given an open look at goal only to be denied by Wicks barely getting his hands up in time to save himself from another painful shot to his torso. Of course, he spilled the rebound, but as the ball fell tantalizingly to Jewsbury, Namoff poked it away to keep KC’s rugged central midfielder from taking another crack at the shell-shocked Wicks or the fragile signage behind the goal.

In the 33rd minute Namoff, perhaps disgusted by the whole affair by this point simply passed the ball to KC’s Herculez Gomez for a wicked shot over Wicks and tagged for the far corner, but feeling conflicted and obviously some remorse, Namoff sprung into the breach to nod the shot away off the line.

The ensuing KC corner kick was even more comedic as United struggled to clear a rather innocent kick allowing KC’s Conrad to spank a shot off the crossbar and Josh Wolff to crank a bicycle kick that took two desperate lunges to clear off the line.

Finally, Gomez hooked up with Emilio on a short corner kick no doubt intended to waste time, but Gomez cracked the ball to Namoff and his flick on header found Pontius on the back post. Clearly United’s rookie winger did not get the memo about tanking this match as he dove to rocket a header off the post and right into the path of Emilio who had no choice but to knock it in for the go ahead goal.

Sensing his plans for an early summer rapidly going awry, Soehn went all out defensive in the second half in order to help cede possession back to KC. DC had utterly fumbled the game plan and put themselves completely behind the eight-ball with that first half goal. Clearly, DC would need to give the snakebit Wizards a lot more help if they were to be expected to score the requisite two goals for the win.

Sure enough, in the 65th minute, Lopez was again left alone to measure a lovely diagonal ball to Wolff to knock down into the path of Arnaud for a wide open shot barely 12 yards out. Incredibly, Arnaud shanked yet another shot wide and KC was done for. Barely able to collect any more loose balls from United with any enthusiasm whatsoever.

Amazingly, as much as DC tried to lose the match, they nearly ended up winning by two or three goals as Emilio was set up twice in the final minutes only to have his chip over Hartman cleared off the line by Conrad, and minutes later have his open shot off a clever feed by Moreno smothered by Hartman.

So with the win, United tortures their loyal supporters with yet another gem unearthed from a pile of dung. The win staves off their inevitable playoff elimination for at least another few weeks as they now have improbably compiled 36 points, a scant four points off Houston for the league lead, and merely three points behind the Crew in the East. But all those teams have games in hand, so no doubt United’s weekend thrashing by Seattle should calm any heady thoughts about the post season.

On another bright note, DC should be mathematically out of the CONCACAF Champions League in less than a week with their upcoming loss in Trinidad to Jabloteh, so United’s masochistic fans have at least that to look forward to.

10 replies
  1. rke
    rke says:

    Cute, but c’mon! How many times have you said that ‘dominating the game’ doesn’t mean squat if you don’t score more goals.

    Usually it’s the other way around, but the same rules apply. So what if DCU stole this match? They’ve had their share of matches stolen this season.

  2. Chris Webb
    Chris Webb says:

    That’s it. I don’t care how early I have to get up the next day, I’m not leaving Mike the responsibility of doing match reports anymore.

    Mike – report the facts of the match. Please leave the opining for your pre-games or op/eds

    To be honest though, I probably would have written the match in the same vein, but then again, I don’t force 10 beers down my gullet during the 2 hour match like Mike each week. 🙂

  3. Mike Martin
    Mike Martin says:

    No, No, No! I won’t have that! I defy anyone to craft such sarcasm under the influence of ten beers! I merely had nine and struggled.

    As for you RKE, yeah, we’ve gotten some points stolen no question, but at least those teams worked reasonably hard to get into positons to steal those points. DC luckboxed into this win, and I daresay luckboxed into the four points they got from their previous two games.

    Clearly, MLS wants DC in the playoffs no matter what it takes. It’s a shame KC tried so hard to be uncooperative.

    However, all that said, I am a bit remorseful as this column might perhaps be a bit over the top. The team stinks, but perhaps they actually did try their best to win.

    That make you happy?

  4. Dang Skippy
    Dang Skippy says:

    I’d say the tone of the post is pretty spot-on. Its a little weird though; DC mathematically has a fair shot at first place in the East. Hell, DC actually has a reasonable shot at the Supporter’s Shield. Granted, they would need some help considering the games in-hand the other teams have, but it COULD be done. Four games at home and the last away against KC, who seem about as potent as my grandfather on blood-thinners. So why the negative tone of the article (and I am right there with you)?*
    I’m guessing, but I think it has to do with the lack of dominating wins. To be where they are, one would expect DC to have thrashed some of the lower teams. . . say, the Red Bulls. But that simply hasn’t happened. Any game that DC has dominated, they’ve found a way to tie or lose or at least made it closer than it should have been. Any game they’ve looked balanced, they’ve lost or tied. Sure, DC has “ground out” a number of ties and wins in games they should have lost. But we as fans don’t walk away from these games thinking, “Man, we are unstoppable. I can’t to beat the hell out of Seattle this weekend.”

    *I don’t intend this pop-mass-psychology post to gloss over the deficiencies of the team. I’m just saying, our attitudes do not reflect the standing of the team.

  5. Mike Martin
    Mike Martin says:

    I like the Jaime Trecker idea! There was such a good response for the preview written by Christopher Sullivan, I think we should do a lot more guest columns. Imagine Ramblin’ Ray or Christian Miles writing an article. Well, maybe not Miles. That would be shambolic.

    As for you Skippy, you have a point, but DC just is not a very good team. It’s tough to defend their performances. It’s true, MLS in general is simply not all that impressive as their not being able to distance themselves from United atests, but you can at least some teams have the basic components to go on a decent run. Even sketchy teams in the past that got hot and won the Cup like DC 2004 for example clicked at the end and really played well for a long stretch. I can’t see that from this team. Can you?

  6. Dang Skippy
    Dang Skippy says:

    I would be surprised. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, except that its MLS and any team could go streaky at anytime and in-so-far as that is true, it applies to DC United. But I guess I was thinking, wasn’t DC in a worse position last year for qualifying, statistically-wise? I can’t back that up with number because I don’t feel like doing the research. But I had better hopes last year and I think it was precisely because DCU went through that hot streak mid-summer and beat a bunch of teams, including but not limited to the 4-1 bashing of LA. Granted LA is a better team this year. But there were games where DC looked good, really good and I thought they could go streaking to the finish. This year. . . the offense is null and the finishing could be described as almost negative.
    Of course, another valid theory could be that the absence of goals in the run-of-play reinforces the idea that DCU is squeaking by on luck. I was just thinking out-loud or rather, online.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply