The adage is you're never as good as you look when winning, never as bad as you look when losing. It was true last year when United stomped through the league early. I figgity fig figgity hope it's true after Kansas City's SHOCKING! dismantling of United.
Hubris is a bitch and hindsight hubris' smack. Maybe trading away the fourth defender and failing to replace him wasn't such a good idea. Maybe signing another central midfielder and assuming he can wing wasn't such a good idea. Maybe meeting the contract demands of the zippy Brazilian winger United wanted in the first place would have been a good idea.
Maybe staying mysteriously entranced to a formation United doesn't have the personnel to play isn't such a good idea.
Facundo Erpen - People all around me were cursing Erpen, but if he struggles on a dry field against slow opponents, why stick him on an island on a wet field against a speedy team? A coach's top priority is to put players in positions to succeed and to keep players out of positions in which they're likely to fail. Erpen may indeed suck as a right back in a 3-5-2, but it's not his fault he's a right back in a 3-5-2.
The sudden and dramatic crappitude of Brian Carroll isn't helping either.
I'm as guilty as anyone in thinking the offseason deletions and additions upgraded the team. I'm guilty for buying the hype of Bobby Boswell as reigning defender of the year and Troy Perkins the reigning keeper of the year and assuming the defense was stable if not sterling, guilty of thinking the offense would score more than the defense would allow.
Here's a scary thought: maybe Nowak knew when to get out of Dodge.
Look - I'm fuming. I can cite adages, but losses like last night's shake foundations. That was as comprehensive an asskicking United's received in years, a thorough asskicking that calls into question personnel, coaching, front office.
Maybe I'm overreacting: it's what I do with United, up or down. But someone at DC United better be overreacting, or the season will be as dismal as the weather of the home games so far.
Here's Goff's brutal player grades:
Perkins 4; Erpen 3, Boswell 3, Namoff 3; McTavish 3, Carroll 3, Olsen 5, Gros 4, Gomez 6; Moreno 4, Emilio 6. Subs: Fred 4.
Too harsh on Namoff, not tough enough on Carroll, not tough enough on Perkins.
UPDATE 11:45 am 4/15:
Thinking about it, Benny had a very good game except for - it's a big except, yes - in and around the offensive box; he's a klutz with the ball in finishing flow: remember that sequence around 75, he and Emilio and Moreno and Gomez 4 on 3, Benny urps the last pass? But in terms of his defense, his organization, his energy, his getting the ball onto advance players' feet from midfield, he had a strong game.
He should be wearing the captain's band.