Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
What's wrong with D.C. United?
by Ridge Mahoney, April 18th, 2008 6:45AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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 Niellcame 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 Neillcame 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
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"Our base-line [for average attendance] was 30,000; 35,000 would've been great, and 40,000 beyond our wildest ...
What They're Saying: Investment banker Keith Harris    
"It was a shock result. There are four players that we can reflect on and the ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Gay bars are so important for me and my community. That could have been me. That ...
What They're Saying: Gudmundur Benediktsson    
"It's been quite strange and actually hectic because the phone hasn't stopped ringing. But I'm really ...
MLS: Top fives in Fan XI voting remain steady    
The MLS All-Star Game will be played July 28 in San Jose and every few days ...
MLS Countdown: Rivals wrap up season series early    
The MLS campaign has yet to reach its midpoint yet already teams are facing each other ...
USA-Colombia: Lots at stake in third-place game    
The USA must quickly get back in the saddle after its disastrous semifinal against Argentina when ...
U.S. women: Crunch time to get down to 18    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis has recalled injured stars Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, ...
Video Pick: 90 seconds of Messi Magic    
The folks at Fox Soccer created a 90-second montage of Lionel Messi's best touches in Argentina's ...
NASL: Kranjcar leaves Cosmos for Rangers    
Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who played seven NASL spring season games after joining the New York ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives