Round 2 of the CONCACAF Champions Cup is tonite. Here are the relevant details:
- TIME: 10:00pm EST
- TV: Fox Soccer Channel
- RADIO: 1050 AM
I don’t have a whole lot of time for this preview, but I’ll go into a few quick thoughts…
First, Luciano Emelio has to get the ball in or around the penalty box. His getting the ball and trying to turn or layoff a pass 40+ yards from goal just isn’t working. Not a surprise since it didn’t work last year either. I don’t blame Emelio (too much) for that, but rather its moreso his teamates who are not getting him the ball in the place where he is most effective. Getting him the ball in the box is to everybody’s benefit. I don’t even really want him checking back to the ball except on occasion. I think having to turn with the ball is out of his comfort zone and I think it throws his whole game off. His best games are when he has just a touch or two… one of thosetouches being an actual shot on goal ;)
If Jaime Moreno can’t go tonight (I don’t think he will), I’m not sure that Neil is the best to pair with Emelio right now. What we need is somebody to hold up the ball a little and give the midfield a chance to catch up. We need to maintain possession as much as we can. I think Santino Quaranta is the closest we have to filling this role, but I’m not sure he’s fit enough. I’m curious to see how Tommy Soehn handles this.
The defense has looked pretty solid so far, so I’m confident there.
Zach Wells isn’t great, but he’s pretty good. Confident there too.
Marcello Gallardo is downright awesome. He is capable of making that *one* pass or that *one* shot that steals a game. I’m confident there too.
Word is that Pachuca plays a 352 versus our 442. So especially if Pachuca pushes a lot of players forward we should be able to get in behind them on the wing with Fred and to a lesser extent Devon Mctavish. So that gives me a little confidence… which is tempered by the fact that they would then have a lot of bodies forward.
So overall, I’m feeling slightly confident that we can keep the score close. If we manage to score a goal early down there I’ll start to feel really confident.
Here’s what others are saying:
- Washington Post – In Mexico, United Faces a Tall Order (Steven Goff)
- UnitedMania.com – DC United Looking forward to the Challenge (Mike Martin)
- The Offside Rules – TOR Exclusive: The Zach Wells Inquisition
- Behind the Badge (DC United’s Official Blog) here, and here
EDIT: Check the link to Behind the Badge’s Flickr photos. In particular, this set features DC United in Pachuca for a training session. It includes some photos of the locker room, stadium (very nice), the *fence* that keeps fans away from the field, and the team practicing.