Wednesday, March 19, 2008

That’s what you’re supposed to do (Result: DCU v HVFC Leg 2)

DCU 5 HVFC 0

Wow. That was fun. This is how DC United should be performing against this kind of competition. Not necessarily 5 goals, but definitely 3 and crushing the opponent when they are down.

Let’s start at the back. Wells had one fantastic save and otherwise played a very consistent game. I like his distribution at the back throwing the ball as often as he kicked it. Burch’s crossing bombs are great when he has time and he seems to be getting faster on the ball. He did not play with the ball at the back this time around. Namoff seemed to do ok; he was always the furthest away for me so I didn’t get to see much. Martinez is calm and makes some great field switches. Peralta is big and mean and I love it. I was encouraged to see that our center backs were stopping the attack near the midline sometimes.

Now to the middle. Simms made some strong tackles in the middle but at times seemed to drift one way or the other too far. To make up for his drifting, he positioned himself in a way to pick up errant passes from others, which were not few. Fred got a slow start but as Gallardo drifted out wide he got a little more involved. Somehow Fred also got a second wind towards the end and was taking the ball from everyone in the middle. Beautiful back heel assist and great composure on his strike. McTavish… Mickey T… he could indeed be our best option on the right wing depending on Olsen’s health. He worked hard and was in the right place at the right time, not only in the attack but also on defense where he was able to shut down service multiple times. Gallardo got knocked around a bit and quite hard several times. For that reason I’m still going to give him awhile before I pass judgment one way or another. He seemed to get pushed off the ball rather easily and rely on finesse rather than hustle. Still his flashes of brilliance especially with balls over the top give me hope.

The attack. Emilio was not great on the ball in the first half. There were a lot of bad passes and questionable decisions. He was trying to play too much of the holding forward and he is just not that great on the ball. In the second half he and Fred started to regain some of their connection from last year and then Emilio cleaned up a deflected Quaranta shot. Niell works hard and he’s quick. He just happened to be in the game with the hesitant midfield, there were several times where he should have been released but wasn’t. He also draws fouls in great spots. I’d like to see what he can do with a more daring midfield.

The subs. Mediate (for Burch) did not look comfortable with the pace of the game. Dyachenko (for Gallardo) needs more time to get himself into a game. Santino Quaranta (for Niell) was fantastic. He was quick and he had vision, while everyone else seemed to be hesitant, he went at it. If he can repeat the performance, he could easily be the back up #10 and maybe the holding forward that we need.

RFK. The grass seemed a bit slow at least that’s what I’ll blame some terrible balls from Emilio and Gallardo on. There seemed to be a lot of missed passes early but they cleaned it up as we went along.

Facts and Reality for the 2nd Leg of DCU vs. HVFC

1. DCU advances in convincing fashion, with a measure of pretty soccer, especially from Mr. Quaranta.
2. Devon McTavish is the leading goal scorer and he does work, probably won’t hear any more complaints for me.
3. The midfield was ok. The early passes were off but got better as the game progressed. Still not completely sold on Gallardo.
4. No gnome noggin knocker yet, but we get a lot of work out of Franco Niell.

1 comment:

Shatz... said...

Re: Gnome Noggin Knocker (love that by the way) - There was a time in the first half when the HV keeper grabbed an errant cross out of the air. But Niell still went up to challenge for it, and almost got his head as high as the keeper's outstretched hands. You know a GNK is coming soon!

I actually think its reasonable to believe that Niell could dunk a basketball. That is if his arms weren't so short...