Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
What's wrong with D.C. United?
by Ridge Mahoney, April 18th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Is it too soon for the fans of D.C. United to panic, given their team's depressing 2-1 loss to Columbus at RFK Stadium Thursday night? Of course it's too soon. But their misgivings are well-grounded. You can talk all you want about players getting to know each other and it's still April and they've had a heavy load of games and all that, but this team has been together for more than two months and doesn't show much leadership or competitive fire. Bringing back Ben Olsen will help, but he's yet to play this season and can't be expected to jump right in and jump-start this team.

The same shortcomings that plagued D.C. against Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals still apply. Defensive confusion and shabby finishing, especially by Fred and Luciano Emilio, marred yet another crucial test. Skill and experience and class and flair must be fueled with sweat and fight, particularly in MLS, and on the night Frankie Hedjuk, Alejandro Moreno, Adam Moffat and Guillermo Barros Schelotto outgunned United's contingent.

In contrast to Schelotto, who may not always relish the rough-and-tumble elements but is adept at them, Marcelo Gallardo hasn't yet the learned the necessity of playing directly when such options are on.

Leisurely touches in midfield and delicate balls played wide aren't enough; there must be bursts up the middle, sharp give-and-gos on the edge of the attacking third, and once in a while, a shot.

Franco Niell came on as a sub to little effect as Coach Tom Soehn, once again, altered his formation mid-match to spark the attack. His version of the 3-4-3 sputtered as subs Neill, Rod Dyachenko and Santino Quaranta failed to display anything like the cutting edge of the Crew attack.

If it wasn't Schelotto and Moreno linking up, it was a pell-mell charge up the right flank by Hedjuk or a gliding dribble by Robbie Rogers that opened up United's defense. Moffat and former D.C. man Brian Carroll usually held sway in the middle as Gallardo and Clyde Simms often seemed stranded in different dimensions.

United has nine days to rest up and sharpen up for an RFK rematch with Real Salt Lake, a shocking 4-0 winner at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 12. Kyle Beckerman is no Schelotto yet he scored two of those goals.

D.C. United showed up to play, but the Crew came to win, and did.

April 17 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 1 Columbus 2


Goals: Namoff (Emilio, Moreno) 42; Own Goal (Gonzalo Peralta) 43, Moreno (Hejduk, Schelotto) 32.

D.C. United -- Wells, Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch (Niell 57), McTavish (Quaranta 68), Fred, Gallardo, Simms, Emilio, Moreno (Rod Dyachenko 57),

Columbus -- Hesmer, Hejduk, Marshall, O'Rourke, Padula, Rogers (Hendrickson 90), Carroll, Moffat (Miglioranzi 85), Gaven (Evans 63), Schelotto, Moreno,

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Att.: 13,329


By Ridge Mahoney

Is it too soon for the fans of D.C. United to panic, given their team's depressing 2-1 loss to Columbus at RFK Stadium Thursday night?
Of course it's too soon. But their misgivings are well-grounded. You can talk all you want about players getting to know each other and it's still April and they've had a heavy load of games and all that, but this team has been together for more than two months and doesn't show much leadership or competitive fire. Bringing back Ben Olsen will help, but he's yet to play this season and can't be expected to jump right in and jump-start this team.

The same shortcomings that plagued D.C. against Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals still apply. Defensive confusion and shabby finishing, especially by Fred and Luciano Emilio, marred yet another crucial test. Skill and experience and class and flair must be fueled with sweat and fight, particularly in MLS, and on the night Frankie Hedjuk, Alejandro Moreno, Adam Moffat and Guillermo Barros Schelotto outgunned United's contingent.

In contrast to Schelotto, who may not always relish the rough-and-tumble elements but is adept at them, Marcelo Gallardo hasn't yet the learned to necessity of playing directly when such options are on.

Leisurely touches in midfield and delicate balls played wide aren't enough; there must be bursts up the middle, sharp give-and-gos on the edge of the attacking third, and once in a while, a shot.

Franco Neill came on as a sub to little effect as Coach Tom Soehn, once again, altered his formation mid-match to spark the attack. His version of the 3-4-3 sputtered as subs Neill, Rod Dyachenko and Santino Quaranta failed to display anything like the cutting edge of the Crew attack.

If it wasn't Schelotto and Moreno linking up, it was a pell-mell charge up the right flank by Hedjuk or a gliding dribble by Robbie Rogers that opened up United's defense. Moffat and former D.C. man Brian Carroll usually held sway in the middle as Gallardo and Clyde Simms often seemed stranded in different dimensions.

United has nine days to rest up and sharpen up for an RFK rematch with Real Salt Lake, a shocking 4-0 winner at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 12. Kyle Beckerman is no Schelotto yet he scored two of those goals.

D.C. United showed up to play, but the Crew came to win, and did.

April 17 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 1 Columbus 2


Goals: Namoff (Emilio, Moreno) 42; Own Goal (Gonzalo Peralta) 43, Moreno (Hejduk, Schelotto) 32.

D.C. United -- Wells, Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch (Niell 57), McTavish (Quaranta 68), Fred, Gallardo, Simms, Emilio, Moreno (Rod Dyachenko 57),

Columbus -- Hesmer, Hejduk, Marshall, O'Rourke, Padula, Rogers (Hendrickson 90), Carroll, Moffat (Miglioranzi 85), Gaven (Evans 63), Schelotto, Moreno,

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Att.: 13,329



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL: Richmond and Louisville remain unbeaten    
Richmond and Louisville City both remained unbeaten with shutout wins on Saturday. The Kickers defeated FC ...
NWSL: Press makes it four goals in two games    
Abby Wambach is sitting out the season. Alex Morgan has yet to play as she rests ...
NASL: Sellouts and Tsiskaridze bomb highlight weekend play    
There were sellouts at Indy Eleven (10,524), Minnesota United (9,233) and Atlanta (5,511) for a trio ...
MLS Week 8: Fireworks break out on Saturday    
MLS went into Saturday averaging just 2.15 goals a game, but the four games produced 20 ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"I don't know what Don was asked specifically, but frankly, I wouldn't have said some of ...
Guzan howler costs Aston Villa against Man City    
Brad Guzan gifted Manchester City a goal in the third minute when he mis-hit a pass ...
MLS Week 8: Blunder extends NYCFC's doldrums    
Ghanaian international David Accam took advantage of a blunder by stand-in New York City FC keeper ...
What They're Saying: Bob Lilley    
"Rochester was ahead of the curve in the late 1990s and the rest of the country ...
SoccerGrlProbs takes first in venture tournament    
SoccerGrlProbs, started by a trio of Fairfield University's women's player, took first place in the for-profit ...
Garber vs. Klinsmann, different timetables and goals    
Speaking at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors talk, MLS commissioner Don Garber pressed his case ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives