DCU-Chicago: The Aftermath
Well, what did you guys think? I won't be putting up any player rankings -- I can't pretend to be Goff -- but here's what I saw from the press box.
I was actually really impressed by Fred in the early goings of the game and was surprised at how comfortable he looked initially in the middle. Then all of a sudden, that comfort was gone and D.C. couldn't get anything going offensively. They looked to try something else (Dyachenko) in the middle, but that didn't work either, and soon the team was struggling to hold possession without any distributor running the show.
I was also very unimpressed with the defense in the first half. A lot of poor touches and poor passes out of the back caused for some uneasy moments for the team and fans. And that goal was just bad all the way around -- I'm still not quite sure what Wells was doing that far off his line when the ball was played to the corner of the box.
In the second half, things got better. I thought Doe and Thompson -- who was playing in his second, not first game (I originally had this quote from Soehn in the article: "Yeah he made something out of nothing. For his first game with us I thought he made a really big impact. And mostly just out of hard work." but paraphrased it and got myself into trouble. He played against the Rhinos.) -- provided a lot of energy when they entered. Burch said something I thought was interesting, hinting that pressure up top helped the defense by reducing those long balls in. There were still some shaky moments, but as Soehn said, there was also a lot of rust for the team. You're going to have mistakes.
Jaime Moreno changed this game 100 percent, there's no doubt about that. Suddenly the offense was flowing and moving. Just two minutes after he entered the game they challenged Chicago with a half-chance -- something that hadn't happened in a while. That attack started when Jaime's gesture convinced Fred to switch it the left wing and the ball got in to Doe on the top of the box where a cross nearly found the head of Emilio and then nearly found the net. Ten minutes after that: goal. A few minutes later, Moreno clanks one off the post. Then, of course, the corner in overtime. Great performance.
Big win for United overall, not just to move on this season but to get a knockout win over Chicago. We'll see what happens with the skirmish -- heard rumors that Blanco's stuff didn't end all the way to the locker room.
Here are the other results from around the Open Cup. Check out recaps here:
Seattle Sounders 0 - Kansas City Wizards 0 (Seattle advances 6-5 on PKs)
New England Revolution 1 - Crystal Palace Baltimore 1 (New England advances 5-3 on PKs)
Charleston Battery 3 - FC Dallas 1
U.S. Open Cup Semifinals
August 12, 2008
New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)
RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. - 7:30 PM
Seattle Sounders (USL-1) at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. - 7:30 PM
I am putting up more quotes after the jump so check them out. Thanks to Cristina Cruz for the Namoff stuff...
COACH TOM SOEHN
Seemed like a dramatic victory for you guys and against a franchise you guys historically have not had a lot of success against in knockout competitions.
Tonight was a hot night and we had to push our guys. We had some time off and I could tell that we were a bit rusty. But to their credit they fought and scrapped until the very end. We added a couple guys that I thought added to the game when they came in and that was the difference of the game for sure.
It seemed Jaime really made an impact when Jaime came in, the offense really found life...
Yeah he adds so much experience in holding the ball and the flow got a lot better. The game changed dramatically when he came in, even when he wasn't in for a long time.
Can you talk about the game-tying goal? Craig Thompson seemed to not give up on the play.
Yeah he made something out of nothing. For his first game with us I thought he made a really big impact. And mostly just out of hard work.
And Namoff's goal?
It was a good ball from Jaime and a great near post run, he flicked it on. We work on that all the time, it's the first time we got one.
For the first 15 played well, then stalled. Saw some formation changes, were you trying to re-energize the attack?
Yeah, we really lost our ability to keep the ball and we were trying to look for a way. I thought Luciano was up there too much alone so we wanted to get him someone up there so it wasn't so easy to mark him and build our possession a little bit. We talked about it at halftime and I thought after half, and obviously adding Jaime, the game changed quite a bit. Francis added some life today too. Our subs really impacted the game today and that's what you want.
Tough touches today, overhit balls, missed passes...
We took some time off and every time we do that we can always, I saw it in training, unfortunately. It's the only time we...you have to give those guys off. So I knew we would be a little bit rough, in stretches it was. But I thought in the end we did the things we needed to do to win the game.
Did you pay the price with most guys playing 120 minutes?
Most of it's cramping. We're going to have to do a great job of regenerating ourselves. Thankfully it's not till Saturday so we have one extra day. So we have to do a good job and our training staff is going to have to do a good job to make sure they get back to health.
The defense and Zach's play has been critiqued at times. On the goal, Pat seemed to freeze up and let it skip by and Zach was out of his goal. Two minutes later, almost happened again. What'd you see there?
There's mistakes all over the place and they capitalized on them. We've got to clean that up. Pat doesn't see a lot of action in games [and] overall I thought he did well defensively. It's just one play where I don't know about the communication. But we'll talk about it tomorrow and see so we make sure it doesn't happen again.
Talk about the psychological aspect of this win
When you win a game like we did on the road, it sticks in your head. And I'm sure they were thinking about that today.
What'd you see in the skirmish at the end?
Well, it's unfortunate. I thought there could have been a play earlier where they should have been shorthanded. And it probably wouldn't have even gotten to what happened. Everybody knows what Blanco does. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Is Jaime going to be okay?
Yeah, he just has some tightness. I wasn't going to use him at all. Short time I did I thought he changed the game, so we got out of it what we needed today.
DEFENDER MARC BURCH
On the team picking it up
I knew we were going to get some chances in the second half. If not in the second half then in overtime.
What did you see in the first half that allowed them to get behind you so much with those diagonal balls?
We weren't really tight letting them play balls over the top. Up top we didn't get enough pressure and I think in the second half we got a lot better...
What happened on the goal? Was it a communication error?
I couldn't really tell. I heard Devon say away and I think Pat just kind of slipped and he stepped in front and scored.
FORWARD JAIME MORENO
What does it mean to knock Chicago out finally?
I guess for the record it's a great thing. But for us every game is different and every game so far we are really improving a lot. So that was our goal, starting from the preseason, to be like this. And it showed a lot of guys today, they had an opportunity to play, and they did pretty well.
How much do you enjoy sitting in behind the forwards like you did today and playing that 'playmaker' role?
So far it's working. I'm just enjoying overall. Unfortunately I couldn't start today because of a little bit of an abdominal problem that I have but that 30 minutes that I had I tried to give my best and like I said we created chances which is what we wanted. Like I said we worked really hard to win this game.
What did you see in the skirmish?
Heat of the moment, people reace. Referees and people from the league, they'll have to look at that. We've got to protect our players, very simple. That's all I can say.
On the first goal, Craig kept it alive. Talk about that sequence.
He came on really well. He's only been with us for not even two weeks and to step up and play the way he played tonight I was impressed with his game. I think Tommy is pleased with everyone today who had a chance to play. He won that ball and Francis was open so I saw it and I just had to pass him the ball and he did a good finish.
DEFENDER BRYAN NAMOFF
I don't think there was any doubt, even when we were down 1-0. I think we stuck to our plan. We were a little sluggish coming out in the first half, maybe it was due to having a couple of days off. We started to find a rhythm in the second half and started getting a lot tighter around marks. I would just give credit to a couple of good plays toward the end of the game. We were lucky to get a 1-1 tie and especially lucky to eventually get the game winner.
You have to give credit to Jaime Moreno. He hit the perfect ball to me so if I didn't score I think he'd be pretty upset. I made a run and beat the defender and went to the near post and he put it right on my head, all I had to do was make good contact.
I think we were a little bit spread out from our defense to our midfield to our forwards and normally we like to keep that within 35 yards and I think there was a tendency for the back line to be a little bit up too high from time to time. I think defensively, for them, their defenders were giving up a lot of time and space and that's why they were able to pick up their heads and look and find space.
Any time you have to play 120 minutes in this type of heat I think is draining. But luckily it's only Tuesday so we have enough days to rest, recover and get everybody feeling right. We have to start working on a new perspective on a different team, a team that has proven to get the better of us in previous years.
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