Thursday, March 13, 2008

They Were Who We Thought They Were

Harbour View 1 DCU 1

Maybe it was because a work associate recently bought a black and red beta fish, named it DC, and it died yesterday, that's what I'm blaming the draw on. DC United looked like a team playing its first competitive match in a few months. All the signs were there; lack of fitness, chemistry confusion, lapses in focus and errant passes. There is not any excuse for this professional team to be playing at that level at this point, but at the same time, I understand why they were there. Credit must be given to Harbour View for the fast, physical, fit match that they played. As it has been said, "they were who we thought they were."

The attack rarely got out of the midfield building phase. When they did get the ball into the final third it was because of long balls from the back. Marc Burch put several very nice balls out front and Gallardo sent some down the wings. Moreno's injury (hopefully not too bad) and subsequent substitution left us wondering what might have happened. Emilio was mostly absent but it was as much about lack of service as it was about him getting to the right place. Franco Niell is definitely a hustler but we needed more than a one dimension attack to use his abilities.

The midfield controlled the game for stretches but also gave up a lot of balls. Gallardo is fitting nicely into the playmaking role but also goes a little too far back to collect balls. Simms does a fine job on defense but I he really needs to step up as a distributor in the attack. McTavish is a fine backup on the outside but as previously stated by DCUMD his strengths are in defense not on the attack. Devon did have a very nice goal though, great composure and a great finish. Fred had moments of brilliance but he did not have the connection with Emilio that was there last year. The midfield unit has to come together for this team to be a contender at any level.

The defense did ok. They did not get beat on too many occasions and when they did it was on the edge. The recovery speed of the central defense is much improved and there were not as many scary moments as we have grown to expect. Burch gave up at least one ball because he was playing around and he allowed service a few too many times. Wells did very well in goal and I really like that he is not afraid to come off his line to get the job done. The one time he did not come off his line though was on the Harbour View corner that resulted in a goal. It was not entirely his fault though because of the traffic in front of him and I think Burch and Namoff were the closest and nobody shut it down. The goal allowed would not have been so frustrating if it did not come during a period of time when it appeared that DC United had packed their things and were headed back to RFK.

For the way the teams played this was a fair result. DC United played a draw of a game and they left with the same.

Facts and Reality
1. Burch did have one opportunity but he sort of hit it into the crowd, this is just the start though, there are many Burch Bombs to come.
2. Gallardo I believe is credited with the assist after his shot went straight at McTavish who controlled it and then put it passed the keeper.
3. Los Gonzalos looked confident in the back and were able to recover well. Peralta stood up one of the Harbour View strikers in a one on one situation, I love that.
4. Emilio was mostly absent.

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