Rocket Roy- then and now

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by ursula, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Okay. Since Mr. Roy Lassiter rejoined our beloved team loads of abuse have been heaped upon him. Fair enough. But I was wondering (and if you see the Akwari thread you can see that I've been doing lots of wondering today, but I digress) what has changed in Roy since he was last with us?

    Roy then

    Back in the day, Roy's personal talents were that he was fast. I mean really fast. Faster than, say, ATC in the first few steps fast. Fast.

    His touch was not so good. Lead-like. sometimes it worked, usually it clanged.

    He had zero heading ability too. Zippo. Zilch.

    But he was way useful for United, like he was for the Mutant Bats in 96. What he would do for us was constantly flirt with the offsides line (much like his contempory Stern John and today, Big Mama) and look for holes where through passes could be supplied. Since DCU in those days had a variety of useful players who could put the ball in the net (Etch, Moreno, Harkes, Olsen, Maessner, Sanneh) the other team couldn't devote too much defensive energy towards Roy so he was able to find seams and holes with regularity and though he missed a ton of sitters, he still put away a very nice share of goals. He was a real pain in the butt to the opposition and we still haven't replaced him.

    Roy now

    First a qualifer: You know how United is trying the daring strategy of winning games without scoring? Well there's the equally daring strategy in the front offoice: trying to increase the team's visibility by showing fewer games on TV! What that means to this thread is that I haven't seen that much of Roy since we reaquired him and really, I want to get input who have seen him LIVE at RFK. End disclaimer.

    So as far as I can tell, Roy is still way fast. He hasn't developed his touch one bit. And he still uses the same strategy of lurking on the offsides line waiting for that good pass that springs him.

    As far as I can tell with the little I've seen of him is that he hasn't changed; it's the team that's changed. Roy has always been known as a forward who needs a good #10 to feed him (El Diablo, El Pibe). he probably always needed more than that: Etch had others helping him to feed Roy and as I said above United was a multifacited team on offense so the opposition couldn't focus on Roy. TB in '96 was similar: besides Valderamma they had Ralston and others in that Rongen offense.

    When roy went to Miami they didn't have the offense to support Roy. Then they traded him right before they developed the necessary offense. His new team, KC was also too poor offensively to use Roy properly. And needless to say, we are waaaaay to awful to use him either.

    So does this make sense, or is there something that I haven't picked up on in the very few minutes that I've seen Roy play? Has he in fact gotten even less skillful? Is that possible?
  2. Lanky134

    Lanky134 New Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    134, 3, 6
    I think part of it is the team, part of it is him. Like Conteh, he's only as good as the quality of the through-ball (something ATC and Lisi did well last year together). With Marco either unable or unwilling to spring Roy with a perfect pass, Roy becomes useless. But it also seems that Roy's hunger has gone, as if the funk he's been in since July 1999 (when the rumors of him going to Miami first started to spread) hasn't gone away, and he hasn't been able to get involved in the game.

  3. revelation

    revelation Member+

    Dec 17, 1998
    FC St. Pauli
    FC Sankt Pauli
    It is the rest of the team that has dramatically changed. Gone are even the attempts to put a ball through or over the defense. Now, every play consists of trying to dribble through the defense and walk it into the net. Occasionally, someone will launch a cross into the box but usually it is one DC United player versus 3 to 4 defensive players.

    Without through balls, Roy is useless, as was Conteh.
  4. shawn12011

    shawn12011 Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Reisterstown, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The through ball to split defenders is gone from this offense. I sit behind the goal, in 120 and have a great view of what the players see. Etch, Moreno, Williams, McKinley, Villiagas when they have the ball in the middle they pass square or to the wings. Curtis, Convey, Lassiter, Q2, ATC(when he was here) even Olsen the last few games will make parallel runs looking for the through ball but it never comes. Convey will make the pass. Etch will try the pass to Moreno, on occasion but Jaimie has lost a step so he cannot get the separation. Now Tino, before he was hurt does not even llok for the through ball. He was introduced to the team after the death of the through ball. Lassiter has given up on looking for it. You can see it in his face, when he does try to make the run. I think the pass died after the 200 season once Rotgen started putting his stamp on this team. Everyone busts on Williams for only passing parallel or back but he is just staying within the flow of the offense as it is.
  5. dcuinvermont

    dcuinvermont Member

    Sep 8, 2000
    Burlington VT
    I don't believe that Roy is fast anymore. Solely based on tv games I've seen Roy hasn't been able to get the step he once used to. Back in '96-98, noone could keep up with him. Now, defenders stay with him consistently. I don't think defenders have gotten that much faster in the past 4 years.
  6. DigitalTron

    DigitalTron New Member

    Apr 4, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    I think Roy has lost quite a bit. As Skip noted his game was/is predicated on speed, not on-ball-skill, so as that erodes he loses a lot of value. I think he has lost much speed and a lot more endurance, so he cannot really turn it on all that often any more.

    Plus, he thrived in early MLS mainly because our defenders were not only tactically naive, but also slow as heck. Now they're younger, faster, and generally more disciplined and tactically aware. He doesn't get to exploit seams as often, and when he does his speed isn't there to get open as often.

    MLS is now stacked with quality goalkeepers. If he does get a breakaway, he needs to place it correctly. So those few rare instances that he does cut a seam with perfect timing AND is rewarded with a nice through ball from midfield, he still has to place the shot correctly and quickly before Cannon, Rimando, Thornton, Adin Brown, etc. shut off his angle.

    IMHO, Lassiter simply isn't good enough for MLS any more ... at any salary.

  7. Topo

    Topo Member

    Feb 15, 2001
    I think the main thnig that Roy has lost is desire. But, that seems to go for most of the team.

    I would note that his touch has improved since his first stint with United. His passing it better and he is more able to receive the ball with his back to the goal and pass. While this isn't helpful tremendously as we still can't score, he is better with passing the ball and controlling it.

    His touch is way better than Conteh's too, who didn't really have that much passing or ball control ability.

    Yes, he's still lacking heading ability. We seem to have the shortest defenders with the worst heading ability and to insist on serving balls into the box in the air where six foot and over defenders constantly take them from our shrimp squad.

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