View from the Stands for D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire preseason

Christiano Francois against Toronto FC - Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

I just happen to be down in Florida for a vacation, and I went to the game. This gave me a chance to watch the new players and play off the ball that may not have shown up on the stream. Here are some of my take aways.

There were very few DCU fans in the crowd. The crowd was mostly local youth soccer parents and kids wanting to see a live MLS game. The crowd was fairly large and most seemed to root for Chicago.

DCU Defense: This defense is going to be terrific. The new Spanish player Christian Fernandez is great. Parke and Boswell controlled the middle like real pros, anticipating play. Shaun Franklin and Christian Fernandez both went forward, but tactically knew when to retreat and be in position for the counter. Fernandez is a hard tackler, and will get yellow cards. He is pretty fast and runs the flanks relentlessly. His long passes and crosses were accurate.

DCU Midfield: It still needs work. They are not on the same page. I saw Arnaud and Jeffries talking afterwards, confirming they were not on the same page. The conversation seemed a bit contentious. Arnaud did not look that great, especially his miss on the open shot. But give him credit for getting open. DeLeon did not impress, but seems to be in shape.

DCU Forwards: Eddie Johnson looked great. He put himself in good spots and passed well. Espindola looks like a more advanced Pajoy. Not sure about him, but there were some instances in which he and EJ could have been on the same page, and it would have been dangerous. But this is the first time they played together. I liked that Espindola sometimes came up with EJ, and it seemed a promising combination. It is probably better if they pair as advanced and withdrawn forwards. Let's see.

Coaches: Olsen sat beside the new coach E. Concina and they talked quite a bit during the game. Having a seasoned coach on the bench seems to be a good development. I'm rooting for Olsen to have a better year.

The second half looked like college kids against pros. The backup defense is not up to par. Kemp looked shaky after seeing the new player from Spain on the left. The center backs were shaky as well. In retrospect, I'm glad we have two experienced center backs, especially with all the games and possible injuries.

Silva was woefully out of shape. He looked tired after 10 minutes, and was just walking around quite a bit. I'm sure Olsen's not happy. The rookie Francois from Maryland is a project, but gave fits to the defense. He seems to have no concept of team play. He ran at the defense very directly until he could either get off a shot or make a pass (or lose the ball). He gave them problems with his speed and determination to go forward. The rookie Munoz impressed me, but he was subtle. He moved to the right spots and most of his possessions were one touch simple passes, maintaining possession. You had to watch him off the ball to appreciate him, but he does need more confidence. I'm not sure the coaches appreciated him, because they substituted him out after 30 minutes. But at that point they added Seaton to even the score, so maybe it was not an issue.

Connor Doyle looked good, but I am not sure he is very good fit when isolated up front. He seems to need another player to play off of and Silva played very deep.

Best Overheard Fan Conversation: Young adult says, "What's DC stand for?"

Companion says, "You're kidding right?"

"Well, I don't know MLS soccer."

"It's Washington, DC!"


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