DC Routs RBNY – On a Roll? (I Think So)

Watching last night’s game has me feeling a lot like right about Red Bull New York and DC United – though more about the latter than the former. As you’ll see in the (barely coherent) notes transcribed below, I’m thinking DC is rounding into their formula.

On a very basic level, the secret of DC’s success boils down to having good players playing a simple and correct game; the crucial thing comes with getting the players singing from the same sheet – as DC is doing right now. They get into this rhythm and, every time the other team presses – as Red Bull tried to do late – DC, down to a man, can cope. It’s the combination of passing and moving. You can teach a fucking monkey to do this, but too few teams do.

In a moment of some extravagance (what can I say? I get a little, um, “loose” when I watch a game…or is it tight?), I wrote, “This is the future of American soccer: teaching these basics – e.g. passing and movement off the ball – to the players.” That’s not it, of course: we’ll take the next step, as a league and as a national team, when players can build from those basics, but kind of nuts and bolts of that kind matter to the point of being fundamental.

As for Red Bull, I’m back to thinking I had them pegged a week or so ago; this simply isn’t that good a team. They struggle to use the good parts they have, against decent opposition at least. More significantly, Red Bull didn’t look all that different in last night’s loss than they did in a recent(-ish) win over Toronto: actually, they kept more passes in play last night, but the passes out of the back failed to find their mark, while DC’s pressure kept them from playing through the midfield.

Moving on to my notes…which are amended in parentheses where necessary…which seems too often by far…

– Contested early in the middle third; not much for penetration.
4th minute: whoops, DC gets its first shot.
5th minute: Red Bull gets theirs.

GOAL: Ben Olsen? Again?! Long diagonal from (Troy) Perkins finds Fred; Olsen cleans up his shot (1-0 to DC).

GOAL: Dammit! Let me get my shit together, guys! Let’s see, C. Gomez cleans up after DC (chip-)cross from (I think, Mark) Burch. Goal came from pressure on Red Bull’s right.

10th minute: both teams showing a little; game still up for grabs.

– Dave van den Bergh (caps?) is too slow. (Was his early season a mirage? DC right back continues to run past him like DvdB is on a treadmill.)

– Is Wolyniec’s grey sexy? Journeyman? (At this point, I decided to note some of the, well, crap that pops into my head as I watch a game; consider it an act of solidarity with TV commentators.) Actually, there’s something very Country & Western (C-Dubya) about the connection between his life and hair. Note to self: write song.

14th minute: Mathis goes close, (but it was a) sloppy, fortunate chance.

16th minute: (Luciano) Emilio scares shit out of RBNY fans (can’t say what I was describing here, but I wrote it; take it to mean Emilio looks generally menacing).

– DC looks like 11 black-shirted cogs out there, well-oiled and functioning. (Actually, I have this mental glitch that causes me to see DC players as something other than individuals. Does that make sense? I’m reading a lot of Philip K. Dick lately, so bear with me. What I mean by this is I have this generic, impersonal “DC player” in my head as I watch them and each of the 11 players look this way; I don’t, or can’t, differentiate them when I watch them play. Good or bad? You decide. P.S. I’m not crazy.)

PK: dammit…got to stop spacing off. Replays make the call look legit.

GOAL: (Juan Pablo) Angel buries it. Easy. (Game on…or so I thought.)

22nd minute: Angel goes close, but (again) it comes from slop; NY all fight/scrap, and no brain.

– DC running like hell at NY’s right.

– (Ronald?) Waterreus looks like he’s 90. (Why not Conway? What does a Tim Conway?)

(hummmmmm……that sound you hear is me fast-forwarding about 15 minutes ahead; I watched the archived feed, as I often do….and it was getting late).

40th minute: Dane Richards’ speed is extra-dimensional (I don’t really know what that means); he just played very neatly out of RBNY defense.

– OK, that Red Bull backline fucking sucks. Clear the zone! Grant Fuhr! Clear the zone!

45th minute: Good approach by DC; better movement/thinking, better team; if they don’t win they should (and they did).


– Wait! What? Altidore didn’t start? (Wow…that says a lot about the attention I pay to detail.)

– DC is just a lot of guys doing the right, simple things well; this is pedigree (or, put better, is this pedigree?)

47th minute: PK/GOAL: Moreno walks up, strokes it (paging Clarence Carter) 3-1 DC (Game off.)

49th minute: Brave chance from Altidore; again, why not start him (or, rather, why didn’t they start him)? Perkins mopped up the ensuing corner real nice; nice follow on the other end by DC.

54th minute: Another doldrum: Mathis threatens once or twice, but RBNY attack looks like a deer hitting a windshield. (Not quite sure what I was getting at here, but think I’m trying to say they’re hitting something bigger and harder than themselves and with predictable results.)

59th minute: Free-kick from Angel, no better than competent; easy for Perkins.

62nd minute: Horrifying close from DC; NY’s defense very fragile; when it breaks, it shatters; total chaos ensues (e.g. players scramble, loose marks, run like panicking hell to the ball).

66th minute: I can’t see RBNY coming back; too flat. Lots of diagonal balls out of the back – call it the “white flag” pass (e.g. the, “we’re completely out of ideas, hit-and-hope”).

69th minute: (The sound was off) What’s up with Emilio? Is he hurt? (Please? Though I don’t mean that in an evil way; it’s more about things being easier for the rest of us if he’s hurt; there’s no malice in this; I want him able to play…just for another team. )

72nd minute: Dyachenko? Ballsy sub. For Gomez? Double balls. (What? What the hell was I talking about? “Double balls?”)

74th minute: Brilliant game-killing by DC.

76th minute: Oh my god (OMG!!) Mike Magee (welcome back, fella) fucking just missed.

– I swear to god people pull up on Altidore. (Maybe it was late in the game, but this came out after a series of DC players pulled out of tackles. It occurs to me now this could be mercy and related to the score. At the time, though, I thought they were pussy-footing around the kid.)

81st minute: Truth to tell, this is getting kinda boring; I can’t see NY getting back into this (see “white-flag pass”; that’s how long this dragged on).
– It’s kind of a barely-watchable stalemate; NY isn’t pushing it; know they’re beat.
– NY looks desperate and lost in the attack.

– Holy crap. I’m not actually seeing the Atlantic Cup presentation am I?


3 Responses

  1. Were you having a few beers while you watched the game? haha – good notes. I was at RFK and thoroughly enjoyed myself, obviously.

  2. It’s a complicated multi-substance diet…it helps me do…I dunno, something…

  3. […] that I’m not a lazy sack, I tried to find that post…and discovered there are several.  The first time it happened came after their August 22 win over Red Bull New York, but the affirmation of that […]

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