Sunday, June 20, 2004


Laying an egg

The Crew saw its seven-game unbeaten streak brought to an unceremonious end by way of a 3-1 loss to DC United that was not as close as the scoreline indicates. There are few words to describe the horrendous display which took place on behalf of our beloved side, so here goes with the backseat gaffering:

* Fozzie got outmanaged. Nowak made mincemeat of Andrulis by playing with three forwards (Cerritos, Eskandarian, and Moreno) to cover up for the lack of midfield depth in his side, to which Big Greg was unable to counter. The interchanging midfield also was allowed to roam and create mischief on the flanks.

* Oughton, BE GONE! Duncan is vasty incapable of playing the two-way position on the right flank inthe absence of Frankie Hejduk and it showed in spades last night. He allowed the first two goals to occur by simply not playing defense on whoever came into his space (usually a combination of Eskandarian, Moreno, Cerritos, and Kovalenko), thus pulling Akwari out of the center to pick up the mark and leaving gaps to be exploited. Frankie, how we missed ye!

* Manny is the man. He was one of the few bright spots on this team (again) because he makes things happen when he has the ball or is played into dangerous positions on the field. Sadly, there were few chances for him to use his talent because the players behind him seemed content to play away from him to either Denton or Oughton when the open space in the middle was available for the taking. (yes, it seems I am becoming the official Lagos apologist around here)

* The scheme is off its wheels. With Hejduk missing, I am now convinced there is no way we can play a sound defensive strategy along the flanks. Once it became apparent that Duncan was not up to the task of playing the two-way position on the right, Andrulis should have juggled his midfield to create a more natural 3-5-2 (Elliot and Oughton at d-mid, Denton and Paule on the flanks with Lagos pressed up behind Jeffro and Testo). This is a recurring theme with Fozzie, in that he does not seem capable of making in-game adjustments once the first XI proves not up to the job as they are currently situated.

* The youngins are coming along. Marshall put in another good performance aside from being nosed-out for the ball on the first goal. He is bound to put away one of those set pieces in the near future. Testo showed some talent and skills, but is a bundle of nerves out there. He will get it together once he realizes he CAN play at this level and gets more playing time.

* ALL THE KEYS WERE MISSED! We did NOT use the space on the flanks (rather, we had it used against us), we did not move the ball out of the back quickly through the midfield, and we did not mark up on the set pieces (and if anyone didn't think Eskandarian would not be thinking goal on the free kick, get a tape of the Olympic qualifier against Honduras...the shot was almost a carbon copy of his from that match). Jeff was invisible for most of the match because we were not making good decisions with the ball to utilize him properly.

*sigh* onto the less-than-stellar (c)Rapids on Saturday. Maybe having Frankie back will get us on track, or maybe the gloss of the streak made all the bad football of this season seem palatable and we're no better now than we were when we went winless in the first five. *shrug*

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