What To Do?
Z'mazing what a loss can do. The panel of soccer writers that votes ESPN's Soccernet's powerchart has dropped United to second behind Dallas asking, "Is DC United's record inflated by the weak Eastern Conference?" That's a valid point, but it was valid before Salt Lake (and Dallas' thumping of Colorado), and the same panel of experts were asking in previous weeks if United should be conceded the MLS Cup in mid-July.
Many have worried - me, for instance - that United was not yet all that, and watching Chicago template the gameplan for stuffing United and then watching United slunk over, grabbing the bottom of their shorts and gasping for air in Salt Lake, I'm convinced they're not all that yet. The rest of the league must be happily considering the possibility. And Nowak must know it too. After two and a half years of juggling line-ups, in part to fuck with the opposing coach's mind, he's been remarkably consistent with the starting line-up for the greater part of this season, mostly because they're winning, I'm sure. Regardless, if you're playing the same fourteen or fifteen (and the same nine or ten almost all of every game) they're gonna get tanked. Thank goodness they're done with high altitude stadiums, but it was not an accident that RSL lobbed long ball after long ball over the top. Those two PKs were caused by tired legs.
So what to do tonight? A tired team. The lowest of three team goals. A long break interrupted only by a friendly with the Galacticos in a game beamed back to Europe live and certainly on tape delay. Temperature index of 105. Versus fear of what a second loss in a row does not only to DCU's confidence but to the confidence of all the Columbuses and Dallases and Chicagos and Houstons in both the race for Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup playoffs. You're Peter Nowak - what do you do, who do you start, who do you rest, how do you play? How much do you want the game tonight?
OY - In the above linked Post article, mention that Quaranta is back (and may be in uniform tonight), which is good. Prideuax is getting healthy - that's good too. Dema may be back in MLS, possibly signing with the New York Red Bruces. Figgity fuck.
OH - DCU ticket office says no pre-sale of tickets remain. Get there early to buy what grassy knoll tickets are left. I didn't buy mine beforehand, never having had a problem in Germantown before, and I was thinking that between mid-week August vacation time and the heatwave, no worries. Hope I'm right.
If I do get in - and I expect I will - this will be the temperature-inverse of Harbour View.
UPDATE: We're in - call the soccerplex instead of DCU. They'll take credit card for will call.