Before the season, I got into a slanging match with New England fans over whose team would score more goals this season. https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=35841&goto=newpost I argued that Twellman was for real, but that 20-something was an unreasonable repeat performance and that Joe Max-Moore and Wolde Harris were unlikely to combine for more than 15 either. Of course, I didn't anticipate Chad Brown, Pat Noonan or Brian Kamler making the contributions that they made . . . . I thought that New England would score around 40 goals, when they actually netted 50 (including two own goals). I thought that DC United would score about 12 more goals than their 37 (to this point). Naturally I anticipated five or six more from Earnie, the same from Q1 and more output from Eskandarian or whoever else replaced (hah) Ali Curtis as our go-to forward. Here is my analysis for why DC United disappointed on offense: Set Pieces - Etcheverry really hurts the team by taking so many of the corner kicks and free kicks. He simply doesn't do a very good job in that role any more. With Nelsen, Petke, Ivanov, Kovalenko, Olsen and other excellent strikers of the ball with their heads on the team - we should have scored more goals from set pieces. Playmaking - Etcheverry did not advance the ball quickly enough to provide the support, through balls and ball holding that our active forwards (such as Stewart, Curtis and Eskandarian) required. Too often he slowed the ball down and held the ball too deep while they were making their runs and once he did advance, the opposition had recovered and there was little space for the forwards to create separation. As a result, way too many of our goals came through our midfield - either on shots from outside shots or on secondary runs that allowed them to pick up rebounds after the forwards just cranked shots on goal (though they didn't often have good scoring chances). There was period during 20 game mark when our primary goalscoring threat was coming through Quintanilla and Olsen (not as advanced midfielders, but as flank midfielders playing on their off-foot sides)! There has not been a lot of fluidity to the offense as it transitions from the middle third to the final third of the field. I expected that there would be more fludity, as I thought Etcheverry would be in better shape and/or that Convey would take over as the full-time attacking midfielder. Though he scored his share of goals, Etcheverry's passing and playmaking were not as good as I had hoped. I thought he was in good shape and that he would play with pride, not be proud as he struggled to play. Unfortunately for Convey, the last half of our season has been pretty much a waste for him, though somewhat understandably. Holding/Target Forward - Unfortunately, we again spent close to half the season with Ali Curtis functioning as our primary forward! I don't understand how we ended up in this predicament, but our lack of a suitable holding forward really cut down our production. Cerritos has added a great deal of stability to the offense - but we still have not scored at a tremendous clip. Negative Tactics - I didn't count on so much bunkering on the road, either. Trask still tends towards a defensive system. We don't play boomball, but we also don't make enough use of quick ball movement and forward momentum. As a result, the team really bogs down in transition from the defensive third to the middle third and again from the middle third to the final third. I counted on Ivanov and Nelsen contributing better to link-up play in the first third and Etcheverry, Convey and Olsen contributing better to the link-up play between the middle third and the final third. Another unexpected disappointment - I thought that DC had a number of players who were going to be aggressive at taking defenders on with the ball at their feet. Etcheverry is too slow to stretch a defense with the ball at his feet - he can beat guys, but he can't get by them quickly enough to create odd-number breaks! Olsen has dropped attacking dribbling from his repertoire. Alegria and Quintanilla are also not quick enough to be extremely dangerous with the ball at their feet. Bobby Convey can and occasionally does flash this skill, but he is better in a quick-touch passing game.