Ah, the elusive 90 minute performance. Now I remember what a true victory feels like! It was easy to expect United to let up a late goal after clearly being the better team for the entire game, but instead they added another, thanks to our two veteran super subs.
All that glitters might not be gold here. This wasn't necessarily a domination, because New York had some chances. Luckily for us, they only have one player who knows how to finish those chances, and he was thwarted by Wicks on his only good opportunity. If we give the same chances to Chicago next week though, we might be looking at something closer to a 2-2 scoreline. Brian McBride is no John Wolyniec, and Chris Rolfe is no Danleigh Borman.
1. The best player on the field on this night was Fred. His set up to Santino Quaranta on the first goal was great. And he had at least two good tackles to help on the defensive side when moved out to the wing in the second half.
2. Some credit goes to Tom Soehn for rolling out maybe the best lineup of the year. The 3-5-2 worked well last night, and I liked him mixing things up with Wallace in the middle and Pontius playing, um, wherever. Also, Soehn proved that he's a better coach than Luciano Emilio, because even though the striker clearly disagreed with the move, inserting Gomez preserved the victory.
3. And how about those veteran super subs Jaime Moreno and Christian Gomez? Within five minutes of entering the match, Gomez is wreaking havoc and hitting crossbars. These two combined to earn the final goal with Moreno's pass to Gomez in space, then Gomez initiating contact to draw the penalty, which Moreno of course had no problem putting away.
4. Santino Quaranta continues to have a quietly fantastic season. He probably deserves consideration for the All Star game. His finish on the goal didn't seem like much, but he made that run from just across midfield to get in the perfect position on the near side of the box to get on the end of Fred's pass.
5. That would be the second clean sheet in three matches for Josh Wicks. He was up to the task to stop everything thrown his way, including one great save on JP Angel late in the match. What would have happened had Louis Crayton been in net? He might have made that save, but there's also a good chance it would have gotten by him. However, none of us would have blamed him, because the shot from Angel was tough, and we'd instead be pointing fingers at one of the defenders. None of that has to happen now though. Wicks is a game changer.
1. Another solid defensive performance from our outside backs Bryan Namoff and Marc Burch, but not their best outings when it came to crossing the ball. With the 3-5-2 formation, when Namoff and/or Burch join the attack but miss on a cross, they leave the team susceptible to a quick counterattack from the opponents.
1. His play on the field was adequate, but I'm disappointed in Luciano Emilio for the water bottle incident. Was that really necessary? Emilio needs to understand that he's not going to play 90 minutes of every match this year. Our offense is just too deep for that right now. Some of the best players in the world sit on the bench because their teams have so much depth. Didier Drogba doesn't throw water bottles, so why should Emilio? It will be a real shame for him to miss the 1 versus 2 match against the Fire next week.