It's been the big problem all year. Not that our guys are too bad defensively. They're not. Usually they come up big on D. Sometimes they do stupid things. Prideaux, Ivanov, and Nelsen have been particularly glaring in terms of gawdawful plays at various times this season. Petke's been slightly better. Overall, though, they have been pretty good on D (the many, many overtime breakdowns notwithstanding...) But overall the problem with the defense is that it is one of the biggest reasons we have had such an anemic offense. Our guys have no conception of what to do to aid the team's offense, and it drags on all our action on the rest of the field. Here is where we have missed Milton Reyes. In the past we have always had defenders who could make good moves up the flanks, thus taking great pressure off our midfielders and giving the opposition something new to worry about -- Sonora and Iroha were probably the best, but lots of our other guys could do it well. It was always a big part of our success. Reyes can do it, but of course he's been unavailable this season. But Prideaux? Petke? Nelsen? These guys contribute virtually nothing offensively. Prideaux is abysmal with the ball at his feet in the opponent's side of the field. None of these guys can deliver a decent cross to save his life. The only spark of offense Namoff ever showed was a Michael-Owen-like dash against FC Basel last year. Other than that, nada. And they're just as bad with the ball in the back. They only seem to complete about half their passes once they get control of the ball (unless you count their completions to the other team -- it seems to be an unusally high success rate there). Their general mediocrity in this area grinds everything to a halt. Did you notice how content Chicago was to let us keep passing it around the back while we were down a goal at home? Anyway, that's the way I see it. I am curious what other people's thoughts might be on this topic.