Nope, this isn’t a headline from April. DC United played CD Guadalajara in Superliga action last night at RFK stadium in front of over 22,000 fans, a mixture of DC’s usual hardcore fans and visiting Chivas fans. The final was only 2-1, but really for most of the match, Chivas was leading United around by the nose.
Chivas is in their preseason, but DAMN did they look good last night. They are quick, they are fast, and they play very intelligently. Thank goodness this match wasn’t in Guadalajara, they would have crushed us. Everytime United got the ball, no matter where on the field, they were instantly surrounded by 3 Chivas players. EVERYWHERE. There was no place to run or hide.
Even with all that though, United has the first, best chance of the night with Emelio (who is on fire) smacking the inside of the post. Rumor was that Morelia was interested in signing him from DC United a few months ago. If you consider his goal, and his move to draw the penalty later in the game, his agent’s phone is probably ringing off the hook from other mexican teams.
So Chivas made United look like they were the ones in preseason, especially to start the match. Dyachenko (starting for Gallardo) had a good opening 5minutes, then completely disappeared for the rest of the time he was in. Thompson (starting for Quaranta) should some good hustle, but really just never got forward enough. I do like that he showed no fear at all, and had no problem getting stuck in, he just had the Justin Moose syndrome of not getting forward into the attack often enough.
In the second half though, things turned around just a bit. McTavish moved into midfield, and Doe came on for the highly ineffective Dyachenko. Having McT and Simms together helped contain the Chivas midfield a bit. Fred also pinched in and pretty much abandoned the left side to Martinez’s runs. Early on, McT rang a shot of the post and United finally seemed to have Chivas on their heels somewhat as their preseason fitness began to play a factor…
…then somebody turned out the lights. Literally.
Chivas caught their wind and scored a 2nd goal to make it 2-0. Emelio had a sweet turn and finish to close it to 2-1 and drew a penalty kick. Moreno stepped up to take it. He hadn’t missed a PK since 2004. And guess what… he missed.
At the end of the match, Chivas I think was just too quick for United. Both in speed of foot as well as speed of play. This shows just how critically thin United is at certain positions. Doe did a decent job at forward, which is a relief, but centrally with Gallardo out Dyachenko was a disaster. Moreno did an OK job, but he isn’t mobile enough anymore and you can really only count on maybe 50-60 mins of effective play from him there. His lack of defense, especially against a team like Chivas, can really expose the defensive line. Fortunately McT moved up into midfield effectively.
On the wing, Thompson did “OK” as I noted above, and the only other option is maybe Cordeiro who is just as young, just as inexperienced, and just as unproven. Quaranta, who most would agree is the defacto starter there opposite Fred when healthy, is not even a real winger. For that matter, neither is Fred. So our best wing options are two guys playing there out of position.
I’m hoping with the salary dollars we freed with the release of Niell last month that we can get a good winger from somewhere. Admitedly, I don’t know *where* we would find one…