Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I think I've calmed down finally, after 2 weeks.

So I was in attendance at RFK stadium on Wednesday July 20th, a hot and sweaty night, the air full of hope. Or maybe that was high levels of ozone I mistook for hope. Regardless, my boys DC United was coming off 4 points on the road, 6 games unbeaten. They beat NY in NY, scratched out a NILNIL draw against red hot Dallas (even keeping Brek Shea out of the net). I was feeling the mid-season turn around coming on strong, DeRo proving his worth (nice work management!), and we were due for a home win against a struggling New England (without prized US midfielder Benny Fielhaber serving a red card suspension). We actually hadn’t won at home since early May.

I don’t mind sweating a bit, honestly, especially while watching sport and consuming cold beverages. The old hole was pretty full for a midweek game, fans were feelin it. The first half was pretty money, the BnR really holding the ball well, controlling the game. A few good chances on goal for us, really good chances, but Matt Reis made some impressive saves. 30 minutes in though, Davies, Wolff and Pontius seemed to lose steam. They clearly lost their creativity. Maybe it was the heat, I don’t know. Of course we make it to the end of the second half and we draw a penalty on a clear hand ball (good call). Davies gets the chance put the team up deservedly and rockets it over the bar. This actually made me pretty happy. The last thing he needs is another goal via PK, he needs to show up and score a run of play goal (s), and with gusto at that. I was super excited to pick him up this year, and I’m a fan in general, just hoping his potential is reached this year.

Then onto the second half. Still hot. Not a problem, here we go. Or don’t. Everybody looked to be out of juice, though Revs sub Nyassi was really giving us trouble. Against the run of play came the dagger. Perry Kitchen seems to mis-hit a routine ball over the endline to give NE a corner. Marking isn’t sharp and the tallest guy on the field (McCarthy) gets to the cross first and blinks in a header. Really? That’s what this game was going to be. We seemed to generate a few more small but unclear chances. Olsen chose to put in Ngwenya as a third striker for the final 10, moving to a 3-man back, which was smart – [I do enjoy him as a manager. I remember he was all the talk at UVA back in my glory years. Wish he had stayed fit and been able to feature more for the US team during his playing years. He’s a true American soccer player.] Only other highlight was New signee Austin Da Luz came in and showed a little spark for us, but really both teams just farted out the rest of the match.

And that was it. Hopes blown. How do you keep a city from supporting you, continue to not win (or even draw) at home. I doubt that a new stadium would make things any better if the team can’t perform in the first place. I walked out of that game flabbergasted at that loss, and complaining about it all the way home – my wife and buddy Sanford (a new fervent United fan) had to hear it.

In the past two weeks though, the Revs have found some form after that win in DC, making sure our loss to a struggling team wasn’t so much a fluke. And then also United shutout SJ 2-0 on the road with a great performance from DeRo et. al.

I’m ready for this Saturday’s home match against Toronto. Albeit another “struggling” team, maybe we won’t take them for granted. Maybe we’ll get back to back wins for the first time since 2009. Maybe.

1 comment:

Larry W Johnson II said...

Big game for United this weekend. A win needed to keep pace with KC and NY.

If KC and NY lose and DC win? DC 3rd in East (auto playoff spot).