No Jaime, No Christian [R]

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by ursula, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    IMO yesterday's game in the swamp was auspicious. How you might ask? Because we scored four goals and none of the goals had Moreno or Gomez involved in their making. In fact it gets even better since besides no involvement by our Big Two, there was no involvement by Adu, Gros, or (an injured) Quaranta either.

    Contrast that to last year where most goals easily had either Gomez and/or Moreno in their making and of the rest, practically all had Freddy, Santino and/or some Gros involvement.

    So what could it mean? It means that the team looks like it is finally getting back to it's form at the end of 2004. Remember MLS Cup in 04 and how the goals didn't come from Moreno and Gomez?

    What's important here is that with more players feeling comfortable in attacking, opposing teams can't shut down the team by taking either of the Big Two out or by taking an area of the field away from United as the attack is now genuinely coming from all angles of the field.

    Yesterday I was particularly encouraged by Carroll's offense along with Benny, neither of whom were much of an offensivive presence last year. Having them attack is like a baseball change-up, right down the center of the plate, but at a different speed then what the opposition thinks it's getting (from Gomez and Moreno) so it gets through. The play of the game for me was Carroll running over Wynne before passing the ball to Walker. Well that or Carroll to Olsen to Esky for the Red bull goal. If Benny and Broan can continue to do that then opposing d-mids and CB's can't focus on Moreno and Gomez so much.

    And having Adu on the wing makes more space for all the central guys even if he isn't directly contributing towards a goal as he stresses out the right side of the opposing defense. That's similar to what Stewart got into late in 04 and is huge, particularly for Eskandarian. Back to the 4th goal: I'm sure Wynne was worn down by having to track Freddy all game when he then had Carroll in his grill.

    And honestly I see the team as still feeling it's way. If you go back to those late 04 games you see the players passes were better then what the team is doing so far. Back then, when the team got into a groove, the passes were not only generally accurate but were precisely to the right place for the receiver to do something with it. The passes seemed so often to be not only on the far side of the defender but also on the receiver's preferred foot so they could then in turn do the most with the ball. That hasn't happened yet so much, though it's starting to in spirts.

    When this team gets into midseason form it could be quite impressive.
     
  2. Hedbal

    Hedbal Member+

    Jul 31, 2000
    DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm with you, Skip. When (if?) Quaranta recovers, I could see a midfield of Adu, Carroll, Olsen, Quaranta and Gros which would give opponents fits. Ben has always had an offensive element to his game - in fact, he had to learn how to be a holding midfielder after being a relentless attacker early in his career - , but Carroll has always played a defensive role and attacked only on rare occasions. What a joy to see that he can bring it in a wide-open game when he gets the opportunity! I think Namoff can do so also, it he gets repaired. With the accurate, long-range passing of Quaranta and Carroll, plus Freddy's footwork, Gros's work rate, and Olsen's bite and opportunism, we could be something special. Add to that a rejuvenated Alecko and a confident Jamil, and we won't collapse if Jaime and Christian continue to underperform or have to take breathers.
     
  3. elconejito

    elconejito Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Where Homer Lives
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    good points, although I do worry that we aren't finding our playmakers as often as I'd like. Whether thats due to the opponent taking away that option (in which case its good that others step up), or they aren't doing a good enough job of making themselves available.

    I thought Gomez was near invisible the entire second half. Even if he isn't necessarily creating goal-scoring chances, I'd still like him to be able to help control the pace and clock.

    I wonder how this 3 forward alignment is going to pan out through the rest of the year. Moreno doesn't seem as involved since he's been pushed out wide, but it also has him receiving far less abuse then normal. That could mean he is healthier, stronger, and generally less worn-down by the end of the season.
     
  4. nick

    nick Member+

    Nov 23, 1998
    Potomac Falls, Va
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Over the course of the season DCU will depend significantly on the play of Jaime and Christian. And frankly, Gomez is at another level compared to the continually underperforming Quaranta.
     
  5. SavannahFan

    SavannahFan New Member

    Nov 8, 2005
    RFK Section 135
    Club:
    DC United
    When is the announcement of the USMNT final roster made...?

    It feels weird to have fingers crossed on each hand, hoping that both Ben gets in, and that Ben stays.
     
  6. Sanguine

    Sanguine Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Reston, VA
    Gomez was involved in the first goal. His pass sprung Freddy down the left side, then Freddy crossed and Wynne laid it off adroitly to Eskandarian for the goal.
     
  7. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While it's important that Jamie and Christian aren't involved in every play, they were very effective through most of the game.

    Early on Gomez had an opportunity to score.....promting a save from Meola and the comment from Wynalda to the effect of '...in that situation keepers want to make themselves big.....Tony doesn't need to make himself big, he's got that covered'.

    And both Moreno and Gomez forced corners all throughout the first half, and Jamie was successful in getting around Wynne several times.
     
  8. rugman

    rugman Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Annapolis
    Yep. They didn't show up on the box score but they sure showed up. They had typical games. We just witnessed the majority of the team step it up. It was interesting to see Meola's quotes after the game.
     
  9. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The key here is that NYRB managed to contain Gomez and Moreno to a certain extent, but the 'secondary' goal scorers managed to come through.
     
  10. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia

    Right. Something that didn't happen last year and it's something we need if we are to recapture the Cup.
     
  11. benni...

    benni... BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 23, 2004
    Chocolate City
    I always felt Ben Olsen was one of our more complete players. He should be contributing in a lot more goals than he already does IMO.

    This is a very good thing, and it has already been said. Now taking out one of Moreno and/or Gomez will not make our player that bad.

    Just for verifacation, is this what we have been using?


    ---------PErkins---------
    ----Boswell--Erpen---Prideux
    -Gros-----Carroll-----------
    ------Olsen----------------
    --------------Gomez-----Adu
    -------Moreno---Esky--------
     
  12. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But we shouldn't say that just because they weren't on the scoresheet that they didn't contribute to the overall success on the field.
     
  13. John L

    John L Member+

    Sep 20, 2003
    Alexandria, VA
    well - that play was in the 2nd half and was his second goal - the Red Bull Goal was the assist from Wynne - actually, Gomez to Adu to the center where it was tipped by Wynne to the top of the box but no NY midfielder was covering there

    actually, the attack is quite varied - yes - the strength is Gomez and Moren and Esky - But others are more involved now and that just means trouble for the rest of the league - It really looks like this 4-4-2 allows Gomez more options up top to three Forwards while still giving him 2 supporting Midfielders behind him - And I was ALWAYS confident of Olsen's playmaking - The transformation has been in Carroll's which started last fall with his stint on the MNT
     
  14. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia

    Oh yeah. Totally agree. I am not in the least trying to find fault in Jaime or Christian- or Freddy either. I thought they did great in fact. I'm just gald that it looks like it's not up to them to do everything.
     
  15. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    You're right there on the goals.
     
  16. jackrock

    jackrock Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Talcott. WV
    Club:
    DC United
    I am trying to take this sucess w/ a grain of salt. I don't remember anyone ever getting a trophy for being the champs of April, BUT...

    Yeah, it's good to be the king. One thing that bothers me is that Earnie Stewart was a very seasoned veteran, he knew how to contriubte in any way, and wasn't worried about publicity. Adu on the wing seems to offer some of the same benefits, but is his confidence gonna be lessened if he's not the main man? Will he be happy knowing he's doing important work, or get upset over minutes/not getting on sportscenter, etc.

    OK, see? If their are no real problems Im like "What if this happens?" ;)
    I am so glad Esky has had a killer month. Frees up other attacking players.
     
  17. s0ccerm0m

    s0ccerm0m New Member

    May 8, 2005
    Switch Erpen and Boswell. Bobby has been playing in the middle.
     
  18. Tweaked

    Tweaked Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    The Hill
    Brian Carroll does need to develop an outside shot, several times in the first half he claimed the ball just outside the box with space and ended up making a meaningless pass...Shite conditions, rainy, windy, cold, uncork it on net!
     
  19. Diceson

    Diceson Member

    Dec 21, 1999
    Although I don't take too much from the win this past Saturday - Red Balls are a below average team that had a bad day - it does show what I consider the only way DCUnited can win.

    Opponents have to respect Moreno/Gomez. When they touch the ball opponents automatically react to shut them down. In many cases, such as against Houston you saw one or the other of these two double-teamed.

    This obviously opens the game for the other eight players. They have to score to make DCUnited effective. What is neat is that if Alecko goes on a tear, then the opponents have nearly an impossible choice.

    Anyone outside of those three that scores is an added bonus.

    That's a nice, peachy scenario for the team the remainder of the season. However, the reality is that it probably won't last.

    Let's face facts, Moreno/Gomez are on the down side of their career. They've both put many miles on their legs. Knock on wood, say "Hail Mary's", etc, etc that one doesn't end up with a serious injury. That wouldn't so much take major offensive power away from DCUnited, but the opponent's then can key on the other of Moreno/Gomez and whichever player is in form at the moment.

    Also, Alecko is a streaky player. It is my major complaint about him. He will either win a game for you or be a non-factor in a game. If someone else, specifically Gros or Adu, don't step in that third scorer role during his slumps, Eskandarian becomes an effective defensive forward, but little else.

    I hope Walker stays a bench player, but is an impact sub. I'd love to see him score many goals, but I'd rather see him score a few game-changing ones.

    Filomeno is now a bench player, and probably Moreno's replacement in two or three years. PN & Co have seen him in over a dozen games, and he's just not a goal scorer. He's great at holding and distributing. My only concern is that he won't be patient enough to wait his chance.

    My biggest complaint to date is that PN isn't conserving Moreno. When you're up a couple of goals with 15 minutes left, I think you throw out Nickel or D'Ko in an offensive role. If its a one goal game, then you throw out Walker, Q, Wilson, or Simms. The sub is not so much to rest Moreno, but to protect him from injury. The same goes for Gomez once he's up to a full 90 minute level.
     
  20. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I think Ursula is spot on. I'm very enthusiastic about the team for two reasons:
    1. We're not in good form yet. Yes, Eskandarian is hot. But the team really isn't play fantastic soccer, just good soccer. I think we'll see much better, sharper play as confidence builds, the team gets more acclimated and comfortable with roles and tactics. That's why the initial home-run of games is so important--it allows confidence to build in the roles and schemes and players to get on a roll so the team takes off.

    2. The tactical approaches are working. Yes, TFKAM is a mess. Yes, they had almost the worst week they could have had for preparation for this game. But when all is said and done, they were a team last year that under MoJo's tactical tuteledge, shut us down at RFK (by doing what Ursula alluded to: attack on the wings, shut down Moreno and Gomez). They tried EXACTLY the same thing this game. Notice how ineffective it was. We've designed a team to mitigate those tactics and we've come up with (well, Nowak has come up with) some tactical wrinkles to punish teams that try to mug our skill guys and congest midfield. And what we saw this weekend was a team that tried the SOS (same old s**t) against us this time that worked last year--and it failed miserable. Instead, we had our way with them, making them chase balls, flail hopelessly and look like a PDL team (and that may be an insult to PDL teams). And again, I still don't think we're sharp or playing our best.

    I think the Dallas match will be interesting. Both teams can play a 433. Both teams have questions in goal, backlines that still aren't sharp and lots of attacking firepower. This will be the greatest test yet for our wingers and their ability to both limit damage down the flanks as well as pin the other team's outside players back on defense.
     
  21. Diceson

    Diceson Member

    Dec 21, 1999
    DCUnited is a good team, but good enough to win an automatic bearth into CCC Club Championship and playoffs by winning the Supporter's Shield is my question mark.

    To date they've beaten NY who is woeful; Chivas at home, who will be better, possibly challenging for a playoff bearth, but is still one of less threatening teams in the league; and Houston without its one key ingredient in DeRo.

    Over the next 12 games we'll see what this team is made of:
    Dallas home and away
    Colorado away
    KC home and away twice
    NE away
    LA away
    CHI at home
    and a home/home with CLB

    Of course, one of the positives is that KC will likely be missing a couple of players, so they might turn out to be counterfit. Likewise, LA without Donovan isn't a particularly threatening team. CHI should be a fairly strong team this year. Even without Twellman, I still think NE has a decent squad. And I don't care what people say, Sigi the Hut knows how to win, so CLB may be a wild card everytime someone plays them.

    On the other hand, I think Olsen will be going to Germany. I think PN thinks Olsen will be going to Germany and that's why Simms is getting significant minutes.

    At the true midpoint of the season, 16 games, I'll feel extremely good at 30 points.
     
  22. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This may sound wierd to say but I attribute a part (maybe a small part but it is there in my mind) the increase in offense by Olsen and Carroll to the loss of Kovalenko.

    With him no longer there, they both seem to have made a conscious effort to step up their distribution and offensive runs this year. Also helping is that Gros and even Freddy tend to sit back a little further in defense so far than last year allowing Ben and Brian to move forward without leaving a huge gap in the midfield.

    Best part of the team this year is they are making the crisp passes that you'd not expect to see until July-August already. In many of the years past April looked terribly sloppy, yet Saturday with crap conditions they were stringing together 4 and 5 passing combos, making and delivering the ball on smart runs and one touch passing into space or a United player with comfort.

    I gotta say I'm real happy with the season so far. I'd be happier if Perkins didn't F up the second goal of the season though. :)
     
  23. Soccernethost

    Soccernethost New Member

    Apr 16, 1999
    It's the next NINE (not twelve) that will tell us what we want to know...pretty rough...

    Dallas home and away
    Colorado away
    KC home and away twice
    NE away
    LA away
     
  24. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But United also has had a tendency to take their foot off the pedal when they play some weaker teams or if a team is without a key player.

    These are the points that the team needs to pick up if we don't want to be going over "what ifs" in August or September.
     
  25. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If we have 30 points already after game 16 then we're well on our way to the SS.

    We'd be something like 9-4-3 for 30 pts, making us go 6-4-2 over that span or be 8-2-6 going 5-2-5. I can definitely see the first happen, the second less likely.
     

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