Recap: D.C. United Defeats Chicago Fire 1-0

Kurt Morsink didn't get much to complain about tonight.

This wasn't exactly the sexy possession-oriented high-style type win we would've liked to see, but D.C. United 's 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire tonight but the team one step away from winning the Carolina Challenge Cup for the second consecutive year. And its a very manageable step. United needs to either beat or tie Toronto FC on Saturday, or if the team loses, they just need to hope that the Fire can beat or tie the Charleston Battery.

In the long run, winning this game doesn't matter a whole lot. But its promising that United did it without starting a single field player (Pat Onstad is the exception) who is tracking to be in our starting lineup on March 19. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Chicago started its entire first time except with Jon Conway in net instead of Sean Johnson . Yeah, our reserves beat their starters. So what if it was only 10 of their starters vs. 11 of our reserves for most of the match.

The lone goal came on a glancing header from preseason hero Blake Brettschneider as he put away a perfectly placed free kick from Santino Quaranta . Yeah know I'm a big fan of goals from free kicks .

What does this all mean? Not much. I guess it means that D.C. is more prepared for First Kick at this point than Chicago. But it also has some meaning for the players. Read on to find out.

I've always made it a point to refrain from doing formal player ratings for preseason games and reserve matches, but here's my impression of several players:

Players who impressed me:

Chest Rockwell called him the Man of the Match in our thriving GameThread earlier, and Kurt Morsink deserves that honor thanks to his aggressive ball-winning, well-placed passes, and leadership on defense. He was often seen pointing out directions to his young and inexperienced back line. Similarly but in a less active role, Stephen King was productive as Morsink's partner in central midfield. These two demonstrated good chemistry that will help them light up the Reserve division!

Our central back pairing of Rodrigo Brasesco and Ethan White also looked good. Brasesco stood out for his speed, decision-making, and tackling ability, while White did well on a few occassions at quickly converting a successful defense into an attack.

It should also be noted that the pace and work rate in midfield increased noticeably when Andy Najar and Perry Kitchen came in. Even if it was for just 10 minutes.

Players who didn't really impress me:

I hate to say it, but Charlie Davies really didn't have a good game. Aside from the obviously unnecessary yellow card, Davies didn't appear to give his full effort for the full 90 minutes. Sometimes he was sprinting at opponents to minimize their time on the ball and force turnovers, and other times he was being more reactionary. He wasn't much of a factor at all in the second half, but the fact that he was on the field for 90 minutes though was still impressive. Marc Burch also gave up more chances than I would have liked to see,  although his crossing ability is still very high.

Players I'm not quite sure about

Even though they combined on what would be the only goal of the match, Brettschneider and Quaranta each have their flaws. Quaranta disappeared for long stretches of the match, and I'm still not clear on how Brettschneider will be used in the regular season. He clearly has finishing skills when he gets chances, but I don't think he'll be creating many chances for himself against MLS opponents. With that said though, I'm glad he's on the roster and hope he develops into someone who can contribute regularly in the regular season and not just in the preseason.

Brandon Barklage played admirably in his first professional game at the rigth back position, further proving his value in versatility to the team. I guess the only thing I'm not quite sure about with Barklage is why he doesn't have a contract yet?!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker