Thursday, August 31, 2006

Three Games Next Week, So You....

The Washington Post today runs a Goff article on United's slump. He makes many of the same points that many of us have been making:

Players and coaches have cited several factors in the club's drop in form -- the monotony of a long season, nagging injuries, inspired opponents, several mid-week games and officiating decisions -- but also acknowledged deeper problems reminiscent of last season's weak finish....

"To me, it looked like there was a lot of physical and mental fatigue," Olsen said.

All true, and starting this Saturday DCU plays a league match in Los Angeles vs Chivas, a USOC semifinal in Chicago Wednesday, and league match at home next Saturday v Real Salt Lake.

So in the first truly meaningless game United has played since Getafe in February - and even more meaningless than that since that at least had the impetus of preseason import - against Richmond last night, Nowak starts:

D.C. United: Nick Rimando, Facundo Erpen, Bobby Boswell, Bryan Namoff, Josh Gros; Brian Carroll, Ben Olsen - C, Christian Gomez, Matias Donnet; Freddy Adu, Jamil Walker

I know the game was called after twenty minutes because of lightning so we'll never know what the substitution plan was, and I'd like to imagine that Erpen and Boswell and Namoff and Gros and Carroll and Olsen and Gomez (Gomez started?) would get an early evening, and I understand that United was probably trying to rediscover some cohesion on offense, and I understand there might be some professional agreement between DCU and Richmond for United to play some semblance of regulars for some portion of the game, but with three games in eight days coming up wouldn't it have been better to give at least a few of the starters the whole night off? Mentally as well as physically?


Anonymous mdp said...

The end of last season and how this one ends will be the real story of Nowak as a coach. Was 2004 a Gomez driven fluke or real? Was 2005 a sophomore slump? How this season ends is a coaching issue. The talent is there to secure the Shield, but is the will?

2:52 PM  

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