Excuses for not writing: accepted to grad school, tore ACL for the 3rd time, Sharks playoff hockey, and lastly, moved across the country to Washington DC, which brings us to the focus of this article, DC United vs. Seattle Sounders. When Groupon (shout out) offered decent tickets to the game for a good price, I could not pass up the opportunity. After settling in Foggy Bottom in NW DC and with RFK on the same metro line as me, I had no excuses. Ticket: $16, Metro ride: ~ $2. Alcohol: $10-15
I will not provide a comprehensive analysis of the match because I simply do not want to and who in God’s name would want to read it. Go to soccernet for all I care.
However, Charlie Davies’ goal in the 52’ was a good piece of play with a nice ball played down the right side and a well placed cross, allowing Davies to cash in from about 4 yards out and provide us with a lovely rendition of the stanky leg. The goal came moments after I explained to two less informed soccer fans that Charlie Davies is a poacher. Now before you get angry, I realize this is probably an unfair and inaccurate assessment of him as a player. However, I do not see this as a bad thing whatsoever (Filippo Inzaghi has made himself quite the career out of that role). While I do not think the two are the same player my message is such, THE USMNT NEEDS A PLAYER LIKE THIS. Someone who will simply score goals, not always the pretties, but who cares? Davies doesn’t necessarily have to be that player, and maybe he isn’t, although it’s tough to argue with his scoring record thus far. Nevertheless, the USMNT desperately needs a player who can simply be in the right place at the right time and score goals. ZERO goals from US forwards in the 2010 World Cup ringing any bells for anyone? I’m not looking for some miracle forward from the US, how about someone who can get a deflection and put it in the net. How about ANY forward who can put it in the back of the net? The USMNT’s laundry list of issues will not be solved by this, but scoring goals never hurt any team.
Yup, no transition. Being an avid EPL (English Premier League for you amateurs) the quality of football in the game was pretty poor with a few moments of genius, as is the story for most MLS games. But the most surprising game play was with about 7-10 minutes left and DC United up a goal. They played by far their best football of the match. They focused on possession, keeping the ball on the ground, swinging it from side to side, with no giant rush to get the ball in the 18. It is easy to understand why they would play this way, protecting a one goal lead, but I would love to see an MLS team play the entire game like this! Unfortunately, most MLS teams do not possess the technical skills to play this way, as was displayed by DC United when they tried their best to give the ball away in their own defense. But it was fun to watch and exciting to see an MLS team does actually occasionally value possession and the ball staying on the ground. The bottom line is the MLS will become a better league when teams can increase their technical ability and attempt to keep possession of the ball for more than 2-3 passes. This should be obvious, yet I NEVER SEE IT when I watch an MLS game. I hope to see this transition in the MLS soon because the faster it happens, the quicker the USMNT begins to have a roster with a little depth. While it is still a must for USMNT players to play in Europe for us to have any chance of competing, an improving domestic league can only strengthen our national team.
Start of 2nd Half