El desastre estúpido grande
There will be a tendency in certain corners of the internets to declare last night's travesty to be absolute proof that the team is doomed, nothing good could possibly come from this season, and that, like a leaking submarine plunging to the depths of the ocean floor, the future of DCU is spelled "FISHFOOD."
Such hyperbolic ravings would be premature and wrongheaded. It was only one game, the conditions were bad, the defense was cobbled-together, and they were playing in the outfield of a minor league baseball stadium. Give them some slack.
With that out of the way, however, you cannot deny what passed before our eyes. One team looked like a fit and well-drilled professional sports organization that was hungry to start a new season. The other team was DC United.
Contrary to what some have said, to my mind this United team looks different than last season's, in that, based on last night's performance, as a group it played worse. The Soehn-era preferred offensive tactic of attempting to dribble the ball into the net until possession is lost (which at least preserved some semblance of team shape, however impotent) was replaced by wishful longballs over the top, which landed in space, not necessarily by design, but because no United player was bothering to go anywhere near where the ball ended up, given that the players were flapping about like headless chickens. It did not seem that anyone cared about winning balls, either. At least last year, players who weren't our forwards tried, from time to time.
Retention of possession was truly criminal. And you can get a clear read on how mediocre this team is, from coaches on down, to the way United mishandled the vast majority of throw-ins, which resulted in either turnovers or the ball ending up out of bounds. This is beer league stuff, folks.
Goff writes in his match report that Onalfo had this to say, by way of explanation:
"For whatever reason, we stepped on the field thinking we were just going to win the game and didn't realize that we actually had to earn it on the field," Onalfo said.
(And if what he said is true, aside from the obvious fact that it would be Onalfo's fault, then, are there parallels to be drawn between United and the feckless Redskins, who each season delude themselves into believing that, as heirs to a famous winning pedigree they merely have to show up on the field to be annointed winners?)
Onalfo also said, and I am not making this up:
"It's a disappointing performance. We made a lot of youthful errors."
This from a coach who played a 17 year old, fresh out of high school, at dmid. Lovely.
When the best thing about the evening you can say is that you hope Clyde Simms didn't injure his hamstring too badly, it is clear that your team sucked.
Shatz strikes a nice balance between outrage and realistic expectations for improvement (congratulations on the excellent new blog, by the way).
Fullback breaks it all down, and makes scary comparisons between the old regime and the new one.
BDR points out that KC looked like it had better players all over the field, and he's right.
Talon rating: No Birds