DCU 2 RSL 1
We played well enough for the win, but not quite enough for the Ben Cup. Let's take care of Ben Cup business first and then we can talk about the match. The Ben Cup Series ends in a deadlock with both teams scoring 2 home and 1 away goal for an aggregate of 3-3. Because the result is unprecedented I believe that, as much as it saddens me, we have agreed to leave the Cup in Salt Lake City for the next year. The Ben Cup Executive Committee still has to work out some of the details, but it appears that neither team has won Ben Cup 2007. Maybe we can go to the count on fouls committed, which, after last night, will undoubtedly go to DC (aggregate 45-24). Or maybe attendance. After the Bens have an after-Ben Cup meeting, I will report back on the happenings and the decisions. I know you are all desperately awaiting our decision.
On to the match itself. 3 games in 7 days is tough. 7 points in 7 days is phenomenal. A beautiful Wednesday night with a smallish, but ruckus crowd. RSL gave us a lot of space throughout the game but especially to start the game. The space created a lot of chances but nothing we were able to put in, it seemed like we were having some bad luck. Then Gomez hooked up with Emilio for his 19th goal of the campaign. I have watched the Beckerman goal a few times to see who is at fault. Boswell obviously hesitated to defend, but how did he have THAT much room in the middle of our side of the field? Where were Carroll and Gomez? I'll have to watch again. A bunch of fouls, offsides calls, and a blocked PK later, Fred hits Gomez for a header that was almost a mirror image of the earlier Gomez to Emilio goal. Then the ref tried to keep RSL in the game and Perkins came up with a huge save on the questionably awarded PK.
I don't think I have been this frustrated with the foul calling since last season. Last night seemed awfully one sided. How does Devon McTavish get body slammed by the neck by Carey Talley and then RSL gets awarded a PK? It's a simple question, anyone have an answer? According to MLSnet Team Totals DC leads the league in fouls committed at 434 with Toronto being our closest competitor at 391 (Dallas 374, Colorado 370). Is it possible that we ACTUALLY foul that much more than the other teams in the MLS? Are we dirty? I'm willing to concede the fact that I am blinded by my fanaticism, I just want someone to confirm that we are 64 fouls dirtier than Colorado.
Obviously we need to rest people and we need to find another striker so I can't fault Soehn's lineup. Carroll started instead of Simms, Boswell instead of Vanney (still not sure who owns that position), and Kpene was in for Moreno. Olsen and Gros started on the wings, Fred came off the bench for Kpene at half. We didn't look lazy, but more like there just wasn't a lot left in the tank. Christian looked particularly quick out there though, which was a nice change. Both he and Fred ran at the defense a number of times in the second half with a lot of speed.
According to Dirty D Supporter, Kpene is "irrelevant, a non-factor." I think that is a bit harsh, but probably only because I still have hope that he will be a factor. He gets pushed off the ball far too easily and is not doing the basic stuff right, like pulling the trigger when he gets close.
One of the pleasant surprises was Brian Carroll's aggressive play, it was nice to see that, although I don't think it lasted very long. That could be because he faded or because I stopped paying attention to him specifically, I still need the objective DVR view of the game.
Esky is class and deserved the cheer from the supporters as he came over to chat after the game.
Facts and Reality for Match 2.25
1. A tied Ben Cup?
2. How is it possible to draw a Cup game?
3. They should have gone to extra time and then a shootout
4. Burch still didn't get a goal, but one of his crosses last night bent at a ridiculous angle.