October 22, 2019

D.C. United Analysis: United face tough five-game run prior to World Cup break

For a team that, through 10 matches, has only played Western Conference opponents twice, separating a five-game part of the schedule and highlighting it as not only difficult, but key to D.C. United’s season, might seem a little much given how it compares to the schedule D.C. has already played.

But after failing to beat Major League Soccer’s worst team in Saturday night’s 1-1 home draw to the Montreal Impact, United now faces a five-game run of Eastern opponents that ends on June 10 in Montreal, United’s final match before a two-and-a-half-week World Cup break. The stretch starts at home Wednesday night, when United takes on the Houston Dynamo. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 10 Recap: United only manage draw vs. struggling Montreal

On the day of the Preakness Stakes, Eddie Johnson found his finishing touch just before the wire, but it was only good enough to allow D.C. United a dead heat with the Montreal Impact as the clubs shared the points in a 1-1 draw before 14,106 at RFK Stadium. United is now 4-3-3 (15 points) on the 2014 Major League Soccer season. Montreal is 1-5-4 (7 points) and in last place in the Eastern Conference.

United drew level in the 84th minute as the season-long scoreless streak for Johnson finally came to an end with a decisive header into the bottom corner of the net from a Fabian Espindola cross. Johnson’s goal was a decent end to what had been a bad week, as Johnson was left off the 30-man preliminary U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup. [Read more…]

D.C. United Analysis: First-quarter evaluation, part 5 – Management

It raised a few eyebrows around Washington when it was announced in the offseason that both D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper and head coach Ben Olsen were going to remain in their jobs after the club went an atrocious 3-24-7 in 2013, one of the worst Major League Soccer seasons ever recorded.

After an offseason filled with almost as many transactions as United scored goals in the league last year (22), the roster was remade through a variety of means. It’s far too early to judge Kasper and Olsen’s success in changing the team. When a club only wins three of 34 games one season, it’s not necessarily the biggest feather in anyone’s cap when that club surpasses its win total the next season, even when it does so in nine matches. [Read more…]

D.C. United Analysis: First-quarter evaluation, part 2 – Defenders

A year after giving up 59 goals and sometimes conceding in ways that any professional coach or manager would find laughable, things had to change on the D.C. United back line. Players like Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, and James Riley were dispatched or left the club via various means, and the front office completely revamped the defense in an attempt to have United not repeat 2013, which was one of the worst seasons by any club in the history of Major League Soccer.

Nine games into United’s 19th MLS season, the defense is still a work in progress and there are things that can be corrected. While there may have been a couple glimpses of last year on a few of the goals allowed, United’s defense is doing a much better job considering the attack hasn’t necessarily been solid at keeping the ball and taking pressure off the defense when United is level or on the lead in a match (especially of late). [Read more…]

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