Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DC United looks good in Copa Sudamerica premiere

DC United came out a little sluggish, but got things going to make last night's match a fun event to watch. Catolica was playing as a team should during an opening away match. They bottled up DC's offense and had a wonderful streaking counter attack. DC was unstable in the midfield and missed many opportunities to flood the box. How many times were Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno the only two in front of the goal on offensive breaks?

Still, DC looked good for a team that has limited experience in such competitions. The goal Catolica got was really a lapse in judgment by keeper Nick Rimando. Had he stayed on his line, the defense could have got to Jorge Quinteros forcing a much harder shot. Catolica's only other great chance was late when Eduardo Rubio snapped a shot off the crossbar.

DC missed more then a few chances, but Jamil Walker's goal in the 81st was inspiring. He was busy trying to find empty space when Santino Quaranta dropped the ball his way. The ball actually went past him and bumped off a defensive player's leg. Walker stuck with it and got past the defender to put a low ball right past the diving goaltender. This gave life to his team but was the last goal of the night.

DC United 1 - U Catolica 1

So United looked all right, but now they have a difficult task. They need to go to Chile and get at least one goal. It can be done, but DC will need to do something about their play. I think it is safe to assume that Catolica will play a very similar game. They know that all they need to do is keep DC from scoring and they are moving on. So DC will need to create more opportunities along the sides while guarding against a goal. Perhaps they should have four backs during the match while playing the midfielders up.

Overall, it was good to see a MLS team do well in the Copa. I hope that this is a sign of things to come. Perhaps next year one or two MLS sides could gain entrance at the start of the tournament along with a pass for the MLS champion. This will help the image of the league as well as improve the style of play.



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