Pre-Match: DC United vs. the 'shakes

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by Untroubled by Reason, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. West Coast Futbol

    May 7, 2008
    The Beach
    Besides the backyard teams in SoCal, these are the two MLS sides that I have followed the most in the last 4 or 5 years. Here are my two cents:

    This is the MLS, the two sides meeting Wednesday are very different from their own line ups from last year; the play not so much. With both teams having a match 1,000+ miles away on field turf in 3 days, I expect different line ups than what we are used to.

    The big positive change is see in SJE is the pairing of Simon Dawkins and Rafael Baca. Dawkins and Baca (very quick and technical) are very good at one touch passing.

    If Yallop plays his "A" team with Stephenson up top to occupy BMac and to feed Lenhart and Wondo it will be a tough match defensively. That said, i like DC's attack when they work it into the box. Busch appears to be chained to the posts and only comes out when "it is safe". He will love the long shots from Santos. He is slow to come off his line when the play is right in front of him. As they say; like dracula, he hates crosses. The match should be physical in the box with Lenhart in there so Willis will need to play strong.

    SJE's back line is always a work in progress. Corrales is great and 35. Morrow has speed and relatively new to the first XI and along with Beitashor a local SJ product. When i followed SJE the BS posters were not big on either of them. They were big on Opara who played even less due to injuries/school or what have you that kept him out of the lineup. Opara likes to go up the pitch so quick counters should hurt. Jason Hernandez is seasoned vetern who played alongside BMac in 2010 in the run the 2010 "Eastern" final. In other words a new back line this year. Sound familiar?

    No idea on the lineup with the short turn around, but I like DC 2-0 maybe 3 if DeRo plays. He was drafted by Montreal but refused to go there.

    BTW: If Dudar is out for awhile. A good replacement would be Bobby Burling. He played next to BMac also in the 2010 season. They were the #1 tandem at CB on SJE's run.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    I agree with this lineup, except Hamid. I'd wait to play Hamid in Toronto. SJ plays a mean aerial game, and that is Willis's big strength.
     
  3. Shammypantaloons

    Apr 20, 2012
    Club:
    DC United
    San Jose and DC are literally brother cities in sports (also if you consider the 49ers being a South Bay team, football as well as hockey and soccer).

    I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
     
  4. Black.White&Red

    Sep 9, 2009
    Club:
    DC United
    I think he meant Carlos Ruiz as dirty cheating, whining, diving piece of merde...
     
    jmnva and Q*bert Jones III repped this.
  5. Heist

    Heist Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do Pontius/Santos need a rest? If not, why play Wolff/Salihi, particularly without a real attacking mid? Other than that I like the rest of the lineup.
     
  6. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    Santos may need a rest, unless we just don't plan on using him in Toronto. Personally I'd prefer to use whatever energy he has this week in Toronto ... I'm guessing he'll be more motivated against an x team. Santos has been doing a lot of hard work this past month and I've seen him get leggy towards the end of a couple of games, so I don't see him starting both games.
     
  7. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Kingston Stockade
    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    I disagree. Emphatically.

    There's no place in the game for "guile", as you call it. I call it cheating. It's soccer's scourge. The leagues that call it guile, well, I call them unwatchable dive fests. If MLS becomes a league that elevates falling over in the penalty area to the same position as passing or shooting or defending, I'll simply stop watching, as I have for other leagues. It was disgraceful when Ruiz did it and it's disgraceful when Pontius does it. But at least Pontius and, to some extent, Ruiz had talent.

    Lenhart doesn't. Lenhart is a dirty, classless, talentless coward who elbows defenders when the play is upfield and falls over if the defender has bad breath in the box. He is a real-life, walking, talking, anthropomorphic shit stuck to the asshair of the game.
     
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  8. Heist

    Heist Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    His hair, however, would look better with shit stuck to it.
    I'm a little worried about him baiting our resident bad blond haired defender into something stupid...
     
  9. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md
    Montreal 1-1 at home should be all the evidence you need not to make a number of changes.

    One thing to consider here is that United is almost in uncharted waters in comparison to recent years in terms of new found depth. You have to be careful to balance the need to rest players and to keep this unbeaten streak alive.

    Looking at this 3-game stretch, it's not out of the realm of possibility that United could get 0-4 points in this stretch. Anything more than that is a bit of a stretch considering San Jose's blazing form (arguably playing better than United at the moment), Houston will be opening their new stadium (I just don't see a win considering the emotional bump and our win over them this past weekend).

    Obviously TFC is the only real chance at winning and I think that game should be the one to make changes if you are going to do so.
     
  10. fatbastard

    fatbastard Member+

    Aug 1, 2003
    Lincoln (ish), Va
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Lemme get this straight - we have 3 games away - two will be tough to manage a win - blowing up your line-up hinders your winning, but you should do that for the one game we should win?
    I don't get it - seems like the SJ game would be the one where you mess with the line-up to maintain the "old" cohesion in consecutive Saturdays (Houston, Toronto, Houston) and you might find a "reserve" or 3 inspired by Pontius who is extra-motivated and sneak points in SJ, you might get some players in better game shape. You might need them for an injury during the trip or to give someone else rest that deserves it.

    At the very least, I'd sit Santos or Cruz.
     
  11. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    I would not make big changes for SJ. At the most I'd start Najar over Cruz, but keep the rest the same. I think we go in guns blazing to make a statement and beat the best in the West.

    If it's not working you pull your key players early in the 2nd half (De Ro, Santos) and save some legs for Toronto. If the subs produce and get a little momentum, that's even better. Then maybe you go into Toronto with Boskovic and Salihi starting and you really get everyone fresh for Houston.
     
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  12. GumbyG

    GumbyG Member+

    DC United
    Mar 22, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd like to see Cruz sit against Toronto and Dero/Santos sit against SJ. That would mean putting in Bosko/Salihi against SJ. But if you make too many more changes than that, especially with the defensive changes we have to make (and I endorse using Kitchen in the center of defense to keep Russell in his usual spot - insane, I know) you lose any chemistry benefit you might otherwise gain. Sub liberally after half, sure -DeLeon and Pontius, especially.

    I don't expect to win against SJ. We're good enough to do it, but it's fools' gold. Getting 3 points against Toronto and/or Houston is both more doable and more valuable to us than 3 against SJ.

    Edit - unless you think we're in the running for the supporter's shield, then you throw Toronto. I'm not quite there yet... ;)
     
  13. nobletea

    nobletea Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    HarCo
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's a tough call. My reading on it is that SJ is more winnable than Houston. I guess it depends on how you value form vs. motivation/anticipation/emotional context.

    Personally, I think emotional context is in the pulse of this game and has a tendency to override the expected. I'd be interested to see if there were ever any stats on how home teams do when they open new stadiums.

    Aside from that, SJ is the first game on the road trip, when we should be at our physical best. Aside from that, I think it's always good to keep a good thing going, as confidence (emotional context) can do amazing things.

    And let's face it, anyone going to be upset with 3 points from this trip? If you are, you're crazy. So that means either we win one or draw three. I think the 'draw on the road' rule should be standard, so 3 points is the target.

    So even if we go at SJ and come out with nothing, we can still throw everything at Toronto and hopefully take home our 3 points. Best case, we get a win or draw on SJ and the rest is gravy.

    Hopefully the worst we can do is 2pts.
     
  14. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

    Apr 3, 2006
    NorMD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    well, we could say we were at our best if we'd had a week's rest and training, but there's no such luck. On top of that, we're bouncing around the country, not doing an east coast or west coast tour. I'd definitely be happy with three points on the circuit, though I'd be thrilled if we could win them all. :D
     
  15. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    If you narrow it down this whole "rest" issue applies to 4 players. Specifically I think Cruz, De Leon, De Ro and Santos. Pontius should be fine since he just recently started getting the big minutes. The back 5 should handle the extra game time especially since a lot of those guys have been rotating in and out with injuries, suspensions, callups etc ...

    For Cruz and De Leon it's not that complicated. You just take the more tired of the 2 and switch them for Najar. If you absolutely have to sit both, you just pull Pontius back to winger for a game.

    So that leaves Santos and De Ro as the real conundrums. The natural subs for those 2 players are our 2 DPs on the bench. I don't want to make predictions, but the way Olsen plays this week will be very telling as far as how much responsibility Olsen is willing to give the DPs. If they're practicing well, of course play them against SJ and maybe even Toronto. But if not, how much longers is Olsen going to run De Ro and Santos into the ground to keep the team clicking? At some point you have to wonder about exhaustion and injury and of course the 2 DP elephants in the room.

    Personally I'd prefer letting Santos and De Ro start in SJ and give us the huge fast start on the road. Sub them early for Salihi and Bosko so those 2 shake off the cobwebs. Then on saturday you go with Salihi and Boskovic again against a pathetic defense. They have to click there.
     
  16. Peter Bonetti

    Peter Bonetti Member+

    Jan 1, 2005
    1970 WC Quarterfinal
    If you saw the match against Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC are under valued stock. They are not a good team, but they can be very tough to beat for one game. I certainly don't expect their current streak to last much longer.

    I see this road trip as having one nightmare match. I'm not sure which one it will be, but all three matches present us with problems. This will definitely be a test of Olsen's management skills.
     
  17. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

    Jan 14, 2006
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I believe, as you do, that TFC the best chance for a win. That being the case, wouldn't you want your best 11 on the field for that game?

    SJ looks like a loss to me no matter who is on the field. Any points out of that game is gravy. Therefore, why not rest the starters here and take your chances with the subs. If they get a result, what a pleasant surprise, if they don't, I wasn't expecting anything anyway but at least the starters got a well deserved rest.

    As I stated, I understand why you don't want to break up a good rhythm when it's going, but you can't play the same people over and over, they will need to rest eventually. I believe this week is a good time to start that process.

    I'm all about winning at home, for several reasons, at all costs. Then, trying to dig out points on the road. This, to me, is what successful teams do, successful both on the field and off. A team that is poor at home and decent on the road is a team that can't handle pressure, and they are a useless team when the games matter, see 2011 DC United.
     
  18. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    I keep hearing this ... TFC the best 0-7 team ever. I watched that RSL game too, and watched a few others as well. I think the play from Lambe, Johnson, Avila and Plata deceives the eyes. It looks pretty because they take people on, take shots etc ... But if you look at the movement off the ball, it doesn't exist. There is no team play, and the defense makes Red Bull's defense look good.

    DC > Toronto even if we mix up the lineup. I don't see the point of resting players for this game specifically.
     
  19. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar
    I disagree. I've rated them top 3 or 4 in the West since preseason, so I don't think they're bad. I just don't think they're that Supporter Shield level unbeatable team that some people are starting to think they are.

    If you go into SJ resting everyone and basically conceding the game, we could get spanked pretty bad. If we go in with most of our top weapons we could get a win or a tie. It'll come down to our defense keeping us in the game.
     
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  20. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

    Jan 14, 2006
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    <sucks in air through pursed lips> mmm, yeah.

    You mean the defense without its' best defender? The defense that is repeatedly torn up by Lenhart? The defense that routinely ball watches and loses strikers in the box on routine crosses? Color me skeptical.

    The D is better than last year but is still the weak spot on the team. SJ is just the type of team to exploit this. Just my line of thinking.

    TFC is gonna be a bear. Or it won't. If TFC wants Winter gone, they will roll over here because he will surely be let go if they lose their eighth straight. But if they want him around, they will play their best game and leave it all on the field. United will need their best 11 to match them.
     
  21. Heist

    Heist Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But seven teams have beat them. Not even a tie in there... so they can't be that good or confident. On paper they have to be the weakest team we'll face on this road trip. I remember a great visit to Toronto the black and red had last year too. Hoping for another one like that.
     
  22. nobletea

    nobletea Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    HarCo
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It will be interesting to see what Ben does in SJ, and how that fares, since we have three fairly clear strategies proposed here, and each with reasonable arguments for them.

    Full steam ahead
    Reserve team lite
    hybrid mix of both
     
  23. nobletea

    nobletea Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    HarCo
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    According to twitter Ben is going for it.

     
  24. Bootsy Collins

    Bootsy Collins Player of the Year

    Oct 18, 2004
    Capitol Hill
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, I was hoping to discuss the match here while it was happening. But this steaming load of crap "upgrade" makes it hard to want to do so.
     
  25. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    Baltimore
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Gibraltar

    Don't complain ... the upgrade made you "Player of the Year". I'm only a "Well Known Member" :(
     

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