It took a while, but that vaunted D.C. United attack finally flexed its muscle on Saturday, netting four goals against a short-handed Toronto FC (though two goals came with TFC at full-strength). Saturday’s 4-1 win should help ease at least a bit of the pressure of a D.C. team that enters the 2008 season with high expectations.
SBI correspondent Joel Sanderson will take the victory, but he is far from completely satisfied after taking in the match at RFK Stadium on Saturday. He gives us his take on D.C. United’s first victory of the season (Feel free to provide your reaction to Joel’s piece in the comments section below):
A blowout win will do, for now
By Joel Sanderson
After a 4-1 win I can tell you one thing, our players sure do think that they’re hot stuff. They aren’t showboating or taunting, but they do the kinds of little things that would annoy the living bejeebuz out of me if I were an opposing player. I’ll cut them some slack though as they just annihilated Toronto with two goals in the first five minutes.
The 2-0, that was nice. While taking advantage of sloppy defense may not be as pretty as a well-developed attack, it’s nice to know that the guys can score the easy ones. If we score 75% of the easy ones this season, we shall be unstoppable.
More than those first two goals, what really got me excited was the man, the myth, the legend, Santino Quaranta. He’s good. We knew he was good. But we drafted him oh so many years ago to be great. He traveled the league and has come back home to prove that he’s not just another talented player who never puts it all together. He’s 23. He’s been capped 11 times. Now it’s his turn to take over the MLS.
If you watch the game, it might be a stretch to say he “took over,” but would you have wanted to be playing against him? Good Lord no! He was finding seams, taking shots, and slipping sweet passes. Now THAT’s the man I want on the field every game. As much as I love the name McTavish, I am currently more excited about the Quaranta era (again) than the McTavish era. Eventually it can be the Quaranta-McTavish era and that’ll just solve all of our problems. He took like five shots. He even put some of them on goal! If he gets five shots per game, we’ll pretty much destroy people because Master Emilio knows how to slip a rebound by the keeper.
As far as what happened after the apparently vicious Harmse tackle (it didn’t look so bad to me, even in slow motion, but everyone else tells me it was terrible. Feel free to hit me in the head for my ignorance), we played well. The defense was arguably a bit sloppy. Passing the ball around the back all the time. I was petrified that we were getting too cute and Robert was going to nick one of those and go in on goal. Yeesh. In general, the 10-men Toronto team seemed to get a few too many half-chances. They were bound to score eventually.
And what’s with all the toying with the ball on the sidelines? It looked nice. Well, it was nice. That was another good sign. At least against a 10-man team, we can hold the ball like no other team in the MLS. I’m pretty sure there was a 10 minute period in the second half when every player on DC touched the ball while Toronto players ran around thinking “why me?” And that works for me. I must admit though, I would have liked to see, I don’t know, a shot or two during said period of complete dominance. And I could have used about 5 fewer inane heel passes from Fred.
At least Niell came in and, dropped that nifty pass to Moreno. That was actually my favorite play of the night. Niell choosing to stay on two feet and showing some cleverness while the hero shows that he can still place the ball.
Now onward and upward to a 3-0 victory over Pachuca! We’re warmed up now folks.