Here's what I need to tell myself: They got the three points. It was their first game without Ben Olsen, and since I've repeatedly insisted that Olsen is the organizer of their organizing principles it only goes to follow that their defensive organization would be in disarray in his initial absense. And Olsen's designated replacement, Clyde Simms, was knacked and unavailable. Too true, but.
Erpen and Boswell are fine central defenders, but neither are fast enough or good enough with the ball at their feet to play outside defense. I understand that Nowak calculated that with KC missing their top strikers (Johnson and Wolff with USMNT) he could get away with a three man back line, but he doesn't have the talent to not pull a fourth man back. If Perkins had not had the game of his life in goal, if KC's strikers could hit simple sitters, DCU gives up four at a minimum.
It didn't help that Brian Carroll, quietly and dependably efficient all year, had by far his worse game of the season, and Josh Gros seemed strangely unaggressive, and Dominic Mediate, given a surprise start on right midfield, understandably disrupted flow with his inexperience with the team. Gomez had his best game of the season, demanding the ball and setting up both Esky's goal and the pass to Esky that led to the PK. And there were breakaway chances in the last ten minutes that should have been buried.
Next two on the road, next week in Columbus, then a rematch v KC. Both are winable, but not if the defense plays as poorly as last night.