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Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by Lowecifer, Nov 11, 2003.
(or is that Finnish?)
What to do, now that it's over.
Here's a telling quote:
On the one hand I know what you're driving at with the only lost 6 games in regulation argument. We were a better 90 minute team than we were a 100 minute team. I understand and I agree that MLS should drop overtime.
On the other hand, in MLS there is overtime if the score is even and if you expect to compete in MLS then you've got to be able to play overtime. We couldn't.
And what's more, the fact that we lost so many games in overtime actually vindicates MLS's decision to play overtime. In other words, from MLS's perspective DC United's repeated failure to compete in overtime indicates success, not fiasco.
Even if it was a fiasco from DC United's perspective.
Oh, and I am clearly a brooder.
DC United 2003 - When all was said and done, a lot more was said than done.
Toivon, että kelit ovat paremmat ensi kerralla.
I've always wanted to play the guitar...
Excellent point. If the overtime was created to reward teams for playing for the win, then the team that decided to play for the point (we used road tactics, even at home) was punished.
WE WILL BE BACK!
Good article Ian.
Hey, just for grins, let's make this the tagline for the DC board.
I'll second that.
... Finnish for Brooders ...
Voitteko kirjoittaa reseptin jotain piristävää varten?
Well, you can make the argument that DCU would have only lost 6 matches if we'd played just to 90 minutes. What I think that really illustrates is that for two teams (DC and Metro), the OT had a significant impact on points earned.
The stat that I think is even more powerful is the goals we scored ABSENT the PKs. In short, we averaged about a goal a game. That's pitiful--especially given the talent on this roster.
I argue that we had such a terrible record in OT not b/c we bunkered or played road tactics. If we were playing to defend then we'd have given up more than 5 shots on goal (4 of which went for scores). We "looked" like we were playing defense b/c we were so disorganized and unable to mount a consistent/coherent attack.
I'd argue we went 0-5-8 in OT b/c:
1. We had no "big gun" or scorer who had the ability to "make goals" on their own. Ruiz does this. Noonan of late has been like this. Razov and DMB are this for Chicago.
2. We had no offensive organization. So we got our goals (in the run of play) off of eventually wearing teams down (we did better in the last 30 minutes than the first 60 combined). In short OT periods you don't get enough touches to eventually grab possession and seize the game.
3. We refuse to shoot.
4. We are slow as a team and slow to attack. That means we don't get cheap goals (when someone falls down), we don't score off of counters and we can only win off of precise service and/or great finishing (neither of which we had).
5. We are weak in the air (unless we bring up Nelsen and Petke). As a result, teams that do put bodies in the middle are ones we are futile against.
If you compare our attack to the Metros, even though they struggled to score goals all year, they are the reverse of the 5 things I mentioned above--and (especially on #2 and #4) had the best record in OT--significantly so.
I agree that MLS should adhere to FIFA rules and play just 90 minutes. Nevertheless, I don't think that DC would have fared much better if there had been no overtime this year. Perhaps someone with a lot of time on their hands can refigure the standings without overtime. It's possible that, with that many more ties, DC would have been higher in the standings, but they would still have been a mediocre (at best) side playing negative soccer. Does anyone really believe that DC was better than the eighth or ninth best team in MLS this year?
Ray Hudson's basic approach to the game this year and last has been to try not to lose the game. Pack the defense. Foul anytime the opponent looks to make a threatening run. Hold on to the ball as long as possible. Pass the ball around the back and so on. Hope that the other team doesn't score early. Hope for a foul near or in the box. Settle for a tie if nothing else turns up.
Tried and true tactics for mediocre or worse teams. In that sense, Ray was perhaps wiser than Rongen who actually had his teams trying to win the game. You can point to a certain improvement -- a few more wins, fewer goals allowed. But it's still lousy, boring soccer. And, short of a long series of miracles, the team is going to lose anyway.
And, over the long run, it leads nowhere. Ray was always afraid to play any of the kids lest they make a mistake. Instead he played oldsters and limited players who could be counted on to do just what they were told and nothing more. As a result the roster is a shambles. About a fifth of the current roster -- ancient players like Hristo and Marco or no-hopers like Alegria, Quintinilla and Ivanov -- need to be dumped as soon as possible. The rest are completely untried and inexperienced(Stokes, Caroll and company) or have had their development derailed (Convey, Quaranta, Barclay) or are wondering what position they really play (Cerritos, Stewart, Kovalenko, Olsen).
Ian can cuddle up with his notion that all is well in DCland, but the cold truth is this is a bad team right now in need of serious revamping.
The FIFA rule is that matches must be 90 minutes in length. FIFA leaves tiebreaking procedures up to member associations or competition organizers, MLS in this case.
In other words, there's NO FIFA rule that matches must end in ties if the score is level after 90 minutes.
doctor on drugs
doctorjim wrote: Ian can cuddle up with his notion that all is well in DCland, but the cold truth is this is a bad team right now in need of serious revamping.
Eh??? Where did I say that? All I did was point to the few positives from a frustrating and disappointing season, naming a small handful of players from a large roster I think we should keep, while raising "question marks" over the rest. The negatives (Stoicvhkov, Etcheverry, no strikers, the coach blah blah) have been raked over in enough previous columns (and plenty on here), and I'm sure we all know them by now. The piece was in any case more an attempt to summarise the feelings of fans rather than analyse the good and the bad.
Anyway, I enjoyed writing about the team this season, and just want to thank you all for reading and commenting, either on here or by e-mail.
Ian, you did a great job writing about the team this year. It's rare to find someone who knows a bit about the sport who also is literate and coherent as a writer. Please stay at it--DC United fans (and soccer in the USA) is better b/c of your efforts.
My take on your article wasn't that you were indicating "all was well". In fact, I got quite the opposite sense from your article--that you expressed a great deal of dis-satisfaction with how things ended up and the overall play of the team.
At anyrate, I'm hoping we'll be reading much more from you--this offseason and next season and beyond.