If I could chose a starting eleven out of the twenty-two players who started last night, at least eight, probably nine, maybe ten, wore red shirts.
Some guy standing behind kept shouting at United players as if it was faulty moral character that separated United from Fire players. He especially yelled at Rod Dyachenko for not getting to balls, screaming at Dyachenko for not trying.
Maybe it's not lack of effort. Maybe the team United put on the field last night doesn't have the athleticism and soccer skills to get to most balls and do anything productive with the balls they get to.
My working theory is United doesn't have particularly good soccer players. When their best player on the field is a great-grandfather in soccer years playing out of position - and, sincerely, thank you Jaime - that makes for a collection of middling mutts.
They're not fast, they're not quick, they're not foot-skilled, they're not soccer-savvy.
After a point, screaming about effort masks what's really wrong, and what's wrong is that they're not good.
Here's Goff's player ratings:
Wells 6; Namoff 4, Peralta 4, Martinez 4; Quaranta 3, Simms 3, Dyachenko 3, Moreno 4, Burch 4; Niell 3, Emilio 3. Subs: Doe 4, Stratford no rating, Kirk no rating.
They're not dead, and in any case I said no autopsy after this game regardless of result, but they're seriously, if not critically ill, and something may soon need to be blown up for blown-up's sake.
D, in his first impression's post, says:
It was that D.C. United didn't just look slow, they look frightened. And that's a recursive function that eats its own.
I agree, and would add: there was a moment in the first half when Niell was running left on a wheel and automatically fed the ball to where his soccer lizard-brain had been trained to pass the ball, and Dyachenko, who should have received the pass but was fifteen feet away, was actually where his lizard-brain had trained him to be.
That's another reason I'm down on the talent: they aren't good enough, talented enough, imaginative enough, to exceed their academy training. Frightened robots, indeed.
Though better coaching should reduce this problem, theoretically, yes?
Stoller says fire Soehn, based in part on perceived lack of effort on the players which Soehn seems incapable of fixing.
This will cheer you up. Or entertain you at least.
OH! In the to be fair column, outside of ATM machines, which still had folks grumbling, a much better performance by management in terms of vending and parking. Thank you.