Wednesday, August 02, 2006

At 43:30, Ben Olsen was sent to the ground in the box on a foul neither more nor less PK-worthy than either of the two awarded Salt Lake last Saturday. No matter: one minute later Freddy Adu is sprung on the offside trap. He rounds the Columbus goalkeeper and has a gaping net in front of him from 15 yards. Rather than taking one extra touch to set up a soft shot and rather than kicking the ball hard, on the ground, dead center, he panics, or trys to get fancy, and spins the ball wide right. Christian Gomez and Ben Olsen fall to their knees, holding their heads in their hands. Jaime Moreno's look of disgust seemed cumulative. The crowd mumbling, aghast and frustrated, his teammates turning away, Adu shrugged. What else could he do?

This is not about Freddy. Alecko Eskandarian missed three sitters himself, one admittedly off his right foot, and two in two minutes, in the 62nd and 64th (and was taken out for Walker in the 66th). This is about all the four-on-threes and three-on-twos and five-on-threes and three-on-ones that not only produced no goals, they produced no shots: Lots of dancing, but no shots. DCU outshot Columbus 32-10, DCU outplayed Columbus most of the night, DCU was clearly the more talented, more organized, more determined team, and yet one minute into stoppage in the 2nd overtime period Chris Leitch bangs an open shot off the inside of the right post.

There was plenty to make me encouraged. DCU started its regular line-up (Rimando in for Perkins withstanding), and played hard, purposeful soccer. Columbus employed the long ball strategy to relatively little effect - Boswell, Namoff, and Erpen had a good game. Olsen had a very good game, and he and Moreno had two or three nice give and goes in the box, and Gomez was terrific (except on those three-on-twos). And at some point some of those 32 shots are going to go in.

But it should have been 2-1 at halftime and 3-1 at 60 and 4-1 at 70 and Moreno and Gomez and Olsen icing down on the sideline at 72, and with 30 seconds left in stoppage time a crappy Columbus is banging the tying shot off the post. If this was an isolated instance of DCU not finishing off a lesser opponent I'd no doubt be bitching about something else, but this is a pattern that's going to bite DCU on the ass if they don't work it out and it's going to cost them something important.

HEY: A whole bunch of interesting news in today's New York Times weekly soccer column, including:

Dema IS expected to sign with RBNY (dammit).

Fox Soccer Channel back into broadcasting MLS.

Kansas City Wizards going to Philadelphia?


Ilse has expressed in the comments a sentiment I've heard other women express, a certain wistful daydreaminess regarding dearly departed but now hideously redbullish Dema. I don't get it.


Mr Wint (from Diamonds Are Forever):

Must be a chickthing.


Anonymous mdp said...

Hey, we'll get to see the Dema run again.

But damn, one of my favorite DCU players in another MLS uniform (I don't feel any special angst because it's NYRB--I'd actually be more annoyed if he were in a Chicago or NE uniform). While I'll feel a twinge when any DCU player comes into town in another uniform, Dema's on the short list of players that really hurt (Olsen, Moreno, and climbing the list Boswell, being others). Damn it.

11:05 AM  
Blogger ilse said...

Oh, Dema...Dema, darling...*sob*

(On IlseWorld, Dema sends me flowers every week.)

12:58 PM  

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