The two goalscorers for D.C. United each deserve credit for keeping us alive. For this team to stay hot enough down the stretch to sneak into the playoffs, these two players will need to continue to be at their collective best. Dwayne De Rosario's goal was most impressive because United had just targeted him on a corner kick attempt just seconds before that was whistled dead. So the Philadelphia Union defenders knew exactly where Da Luz wanted to go with the ball, and they still couldn't stop DeRo. His header was spot on.
Meanwhile, the run from Andy Najar was certainly highlight reel worthy, but more for Najar's fitness, the power in the final shot, and the lack of Union defending than anything else. It wasn't in itself an unbelievable play. What was unbelievable to me was that no one stepped up at any point to challenge Andy until the ball was already in the back of the net. Not even Zac MacMath.
That was quite a well-taken corner kick from Austin Da Luz to serve up De Rosario with the opportunity to remain the Golden Boot leader. We needed more from the right wing position during the run of play though. Da Luz seems quite a distance behind Najar in his defensive responsibilities. And I really miss CP13.
Were the goals his fault? No. Did he make some other tough saves? Yes. Was his distribution improved, including even earning an assist on Najar's goal? Why yes. But Bill Hamid allowed three goals. Do better.
Its April 1 2007, and the phone rings. "Hello. Tommy? Its Piotr. Congrats on the great beginning to your season. You guys are well on your way to winning another Supporters' Shield. Unfortunately you'll never escape my shadow, but it will be a great start! Okay listen. There's this forward, local kid, Maryland alum. Marc Burch. You should totally trade for him and make him a left back! Yeah. Haha! A forward as a left back. What? Nah. There's no way I'll be coaching a different MLS team four years from now and totally expose Burch's deficiencies as a left back. You're getting way ahead of yourself Tommy. I doubt you'll be coaching in D.C. by then anymore anyway. Glad you agree. Thanks, bye."
This game was lost by United in central defense. That is readily clear. Ethan White seemed to have forgotten his head on this trip up I-95. Oh no wait, there's his head, its facing the wrong way and getting hit by a ball to give Sebastien Le Toux a free shot on goal because Brandon McDonald couldn't keep up with him. They were both awful last night. With more focused defending, United escapes with at least a point. And maybe more importantly, we keep Philadelphia from earning three.