Sunday, August 20, 2006

I know I wrote yesterday that a tie would be disappointing, and if United had scored in the second half on a badly given PK while playing just as listlessly as in the first half, it would have been, as well as worrisome. I'm hoping that first half is the low point of the season; it better be if United has ambitious goals.

But United came out in the second half with as much intensity and urgency as I've them display in a league game in what seems an eternity. If Gomez' goal itself was odd and soft, it was deserved as United should have had three or four. Around the sixty minute mark Colorado bunkered, and at the final whistle the Rapids clearly were happy with a tie.

Nowak started Stokes for the yellowed Namoff and then subbed out Stokes for Walker at half, dropping Gros back on defense. The move was made for offense, and Walker's speed on the wing helped open up the Colorado defense. If MLS teams are going to clog the middle and jam the midfielders - and Colorado did - than United has to go wide. It made me think about the signing of Donnet. If the description of Donnet's speed and skills on the wing are even half true, I have to assume that an Argentine professional, in academies since an early teen, would exploit the openings Walker had far better than Walker can. Watching Walker yesterday with yards and yards of space and watching Walker just not have the skills to finish, the signing of Donnet - if he is all that - made infinite sense.

Yes, a win would be better, but I'm more encouraged with this tie than I was with the recent past. That second half had a buzzing United playing before a buzzing crowd. Yes, United ran out of gas and yes, Gomez limped off with a hammie-pull (no one knows as yet how bad, or is saying). But I get the feeling that United is sick of this shit. They played the second half with an attitude which makes them the best team in the league. If they play whole games with the urgency they played the first thirty minutes of the second half yesterday, they'll be fine. The issue is, can they?


Blogger sweepfive said...

United, in my opinion, needs to take one on the chin and mix up the line up for a game. Many of the key players did not get the break during the All Star week.
Taking a week off would allow some of the substitutes to get some time, they may need the game experience going into the playoffs and would allow the first team players a needed rest and a chance to watch the team play. Strategically done, it may not change the results United is getting an may even sacrifice a game and 3 points. United can afford to do this now with the lead they have and it could pay dividends in the final stretch of the season.
I can't begin to tie Novak's shoes let alone out coach him, but it would be better to move through this slump now and reinvigorate the team than to keep pushing and end up burnt and unable to perform with the skill and confidence the team showed prior to the All Star game.
my 2 cents

12:36 PM  

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