Episode 119 – Martin, stop talking!

Join the guys in the latest Podcast as they discuss D.C. United’s first two matches, including the opening season loss at Houston and the victory over RSL at RFK Stadium during the home opener. Randy, Chris, Mike and Martin also preview the upcoming match vs. Red Bull NY and go over some D.C. United and MLS news.

Distribution, defending lacking in disappointing opener for United

If DC United’s 4-0 loss at Kansas City to start the 2010 season is any indication, it’s going to be a long, long season.

Yes, United was without Bryan Namoff, Devon McTavish, Marc Burch and Juan Pena – and later Clyde Simms to injury – but still, to give up four goals to a less-than-stellar Kansas City showed some glaring weaknesses in defense and midfield. The jury’s still out on the goalkeeping – as Troy Perkins was hung out to dry – and on the forwards, because they didn’t see the ball enough to be properly adjudicated.

DC United marked poorly, made careless fouls that led to bookings, and turned the ball over in midfield. Santino Quaranta, in game one as an attacking midfielder, was invisible. Jaime Moreno touched the ball little, Chris Pontius and, later, Danny Allsopp, touched the ball less.

Distribution and defending were not there. I have to say I didn’t notice a lot of Cristian Castillo either and teen starter Andy Najar had mixed results – a nice strike on goal but some defensive lapses. 

If United is counting on set pieces, it should look for something else. You have to have a semblance of an attack to create set piece opportunities in the first place.

It didn’t help that Clyde Simms, already coming off an injury, injured himself again in the first half. A porous defense got weaker with his absence.

Kansas City didn’t do anything overwhelming. The Wizards just executed, though again, they didn’t have to strain hard – especially defensively – to do it.

Perkins held up his end of things as best he could, but he can’t be counted on to be a defensive bailout policy. A good goalkeeper with a bad defense is still going to give up goals – maybe not as many goals, but enough to lose.

I had a great game once where I had about 20 legit saves – full stretch saves, one-on-one saves, etc. I still gave up 12 goals in a 12-2 loss. What I’m saying is that Perkins at his best is still going to give up goals in the situation United is in now.

As for the coaching, I’m not sure what Curt Onalfo could have done here. I’m not sure I start Najar and leave Allsopp on the bench, though Najar did nearly score. And there was little he could do but sub for Simms when he got hurt.

Thinking about the midfield, I’m not sure that Onalfo has another option on the roster now but to have Quaranta as the playmaking midfielder. I think he’s talented enough to grow into the role, but it doesn’t appear to be a natural role for him.

It’s one game, and I’ll reserve overall judgment on the team, but United gets low marks on its first exam, and even without its full complement, it shouldn’t have been a hard one to pass, or at least break even on. It’s going to have tougher tests soon enough.

UnitedMania will be giving away some World Cup soccer jerseys and soccer jerseys from our good friends at SoccerPro. Simply comment on this match report for a chance to win. We will pick one lucky visitor at random and announce the 1st winner live on our next podcast on 4/11/2010 at 7:00 PM.

United abysmal in season opening 4-0 loss to Kansas City

The talk all pre-season long was the vastly improving defensive corp for United. Well, that didn’t last very long.

United got hammered 4-0 in Kansas City tonight and it honestly could have been a lot worse as Troy Perkins made a number of saves to keep the Black and Red from being truly embarrassed. Not that a 4-0 season opening loss isn’t bad enough. Coming off a preseason that saw the starting unit only allow 2 goals in 9 matches, the defense was torn to shreds by a Kansas City team not exactly picked to do well this season.

A ninth minute goal from Kei Kamara started the tidal wave when he got onto a rebound of a Ryan Smith shot and had the easiest of tap-ins for a 1-0 lead. The play could have been avoided but 17-year old Andy Najar, the youngest player in MLS history to start a season opener,  was caught in possession inside the penalty area and gave the ball up and it was shuttled out wide to Smith.

Kansas City increased their lead in the 35th minute when Smith settled a ball in between three United defenders, none of which could get the ball off the young Irishman. Smith flicked the ball to the left side of the area where Davy Arnaud took one touch and rifled a low skipping shot past Perkins for the 2-0 lead.

After halftime United came out with some purpose but again it was the home side that got on the board in the 54th minute. United lost possession again in midfield, a common theme all night long, and Kamara took off down the right wing. His cross into the box was punched out by Perkins only to fall right on the foot of Smith who easily tapped into the goal.

United’s misery was complete in the 70th minute when Kansas City was awarded a penalty kick when Dejan Jakovic handled in the box. Nevermind the fact that Kamara had horsecollared Jakovic and his hand met with the ball. Jack Jewsbury slammed home the penalty and United played out the string of their dissapointing 4-0 loss.

United must now pick themselves up and quickly burn the game tape and get ready for their home opener next weekend against the New England Revolution at 7:30pm at RFK Stadium

United Notes

– Clyde Simms started at right back and was subbed out in the first half with an apparent hamstring injury

– Danny Allsopp made his United debut when he subbed in for Najar at the half

UnitedMania will be giving away some World Cup soccer jerseys and soccer jerseys from our good friends at SoccerPro. Simply comment on this match report for a chance to win. We will pick one lucky visitor at random and announce the 1st winner live on our next podcast on 4/11/2010 at 7:00 PM.

Chicago Fire saca empate a un DC United washingtoniano todavía tibio

La escuadra “Roja” del Chicago Fire sacó un honroso empate -a un gol-, ante el DC United capitalino en partido disputado en el RFK Stadium, en lo que fue el encuentro inaugural del equipo washingtoniano y dentro de la segunda jornada de la MLS estadounidense .

Fue en el marco de una noche de llovizna persistente con asistencia de unos 15,000 aficionados. Una cifra interesante y superior a lo que se registró en el partido inaugural del 2008.

El brasileño Luciano Emilio anotó al minuto siete por el equipo capitalino, con potente tiro desde la banda izquierda al primer poste del arquero Jon Busch, quien no pudo controlar el balón que iba al ras del suelo y terminó incrustándose en el fondo de las redes.

DC United fue más poductivo y balanceado en la primera parte del partido e hizo suyos los primeros 45′. La oncena rojinegra fue más compacta en el medio sector donde se destacó el accionar de su mediocampista estelar el argentino Christian “Gomito” Gómez recuperado desde las filas del Colorado Rapids donde jugó la temporada 2008.

Por Gómez pasaban todas pelotas que en toque raudo y con precisión se apoderó del medio sector del coloso de Anacostia.

Gómez tuvo como contraparte a un efectivo Ben Olsen que para bienes mostró total recuperación de su seria lesión que lo tuvo alejado de las canchas virtualmente toda la temporada 2008.

Hasta allí las mejores noticias para el DC United que por lo mostrado, al margen de la eficacia de su artillero Luciano Emilio, realmente proyectó una carencia que le puede resultar mortal si es que intenta acariciar nuevamente la Copa emelesera.

DC United no tiene el hombre gol efectivo. Luciano sigue en recuperación de su efectividad, de pronto por su lesión que no le permite el apretón final para el martillazo certero.
Preocupantre porque no se ve en la banca la opción de artillero que necesita DC United aunque una buena opción la vimos en Chris Pontius en el partido frente a LA Galaxy con un golazo de pintura.

De allí paremos de contar, el ‘Tico’ Rodney Wallace tiene movilidad y tiene ritmo para desarrollar con efectividad, esperemos que su acoplamiento se dé pronto para proyectarse mejor en la ofensiva y permita al DC United contar con una opción positiva si quiere seguir sumando.

Por lo demás, el partido se trabajó en el medio campo y ambos conjuntos fabricaron opciones que realmente nunca prosperaron para romper las redes contrarias, el más solicitado fue el portero Jon Busch, quien tuvo un par de atajadas oportunas.

En el segundo tiempo se tornó trabado y con acciones que lindaban guerra más que fútbol. DC United se enredó en su parsimonia y el Fire ordenó mejor sus filas.

Una asistencia del colombiano Wilman Conde al ghanés Patrick Nyarko que sacó un disparo de pierna derecha rasante al centro desde el lado derecho del área, estableció el empate al los 53′.

Fire barajó las revoluciones y el partido se tornó calmo bajando la intensidad de las hostilidades, aunque el técnico Denis Hamlett hizo cambios al meter al mexicano Cuauhtémoc Blanco para buscar abrir la delantera a 20 minutos del final, Blanco sencillamenete no apareció repartiéndose los puntos ambas escuadras.

Estadísticas del Partido:

Chicago Fire (1-0-1) vs. D.C. United (0-0-2)
Locación: RFK Stadium de Washington DC

DC — Luciano Emilio 1 (unassisted) 7
CHI — Patrick Nyarko 1 (Marco Pappa 1) 53


Chicago Fire — Jon Busch, Tim Ward, C.J. Brown (Dasan Robinson 14), Wilman Conde, Daniel Woolard, Marco Pappa (Cuauhtemoc Blanco 70), Logan Pause, John Thorrington, Justin Mapp (Chris Rolfe 80), Brian McBride, Patrick Nyarko,

D.C. United — Josh Wicks, Bryan Namoff, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, Chris Pontius, Christian Gomez (Brandon Barklage 86), Ben Olsen, Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace, Luciano Emilio, Jaime Moreno (Francis Doe 65),

Árbitro central: Mark Geiger
Assistentes: Thomas Supple; Bill Dittmar
4to official: Andrew Chapin
Tiempo de juego: 1:50
Asistencia: 15,895 espectadores
Clima: Nublado, 51 grados F


[sspdc album=48 style=matrix]