Superliga Matchday 2 Group A Stream of Conscious

16 July 2008

DC United 2 v Atlante 3
* Well so much for Atlante not taking this competition seriously. No shape in the back at all for DC United and Wells was going to be beaten 1 v 1. A minute later, it should have been 2-0 to Atlante but Wells was right there to catch it. At least United players tracked back this time.

* Simms not even half way through the first half has three long distance shots, two that didn't make it past the first defender and a third that was right at Vilar. It's decisions like not setting up an attack and getting off impatient shots that's hurting DC United right now.

* See what happens DC when you set up an attack? Beautiful work from Moreno to start the short passing sequence that ended up at the feet Thompson. Credit to Thompson for getting the cross off quickly and great work from Francis Doe to get enough space between him and the defender to poke it home. Vilar got caught trying to catch and failed miserably.

* Credit to the referee again for not biting on Moreno's penalty shout. I thought there was minimal contact and that Moreno went down way too quickly.

* Leave it to the counter attack again for DC United to lose their shape. Rey was given too much space by McTavish, a lesson the first goal should have provided.

* As the second half begins, all I can think about is how bad DC United were burned on the counter attack. That second goal at the end of the first half for Atlante could very well kill off DC United. DC United's shape did them no favors because the back four were playing way too high. You can't get too far forward against a side that can pass with lightning efficiency.

* Nice move from Bermudez to turn Namoff and with Wells that far off his line, why not try the shot. To use one my bad puns from The Third Half Chat, this game is 'Murder She Wrote'.

* I am shocked that Santino Quaranta was brought into this game.

* Has Emilio pulled one back to little too late? Again scored starting with his back to goal. However Atlante gave him too much space.

* DC United's second half performance was much better than in the first, but giving allowing Atlante to bookend each half with a goal was to their ultimate undoing. From DC United's perspective as well, I was appalled at the number of long distance shots they took. For a team that can build an attack when need be (as in both their goals tonight), this was particularly disturbing. Moreno did a good job playing the role Gallardo normally plays and while it took a while for Emilio to find his shooting boots, his goal at least gave DC United hope. I think DC United is done in this competition unless Chivas beats DC United by 3 clear goals.

Houston Dynamo 0 v Chivas de Guadalajara 1
* It always amazes me that at Onstad's age, his reflexes do not seem to have gone.

* Nearing the end of the first half, I am honestly amazed at how open this game has been. Both sides came out with no intent on being cautious and are gunning for it. Even on nil right now, this is a game I would have no problem showing to someone who has never seen a game and going 'this is what soccer is all about'.

* I with the feed on the Superliga website had the full crowd volume. It seems loud, but the noise isn't coming through.

* At halftime, the second point I made to this game is all that keeps coming to my mind. However I have to take Glenn Davis to task for a comment he made about the slow pace of this game. In my person opinion (and I thoroughly enjoy Davis's commentary) it is a shallow comment to make. I go back to my tried and tested saying 'pace does not a game make'. Both sides have had plenty of chances and both sides have played some wide open soccer. This very well could be the most open game we have seen so far in this competition. It's also a shame that the field is in such a sorry shape.

* How unfortunate is Houston to not be a goal up right now? Just when you thought Brad Davis had an empty net, the third wheel cleared from the location the shot was going into goal at.

* Is this the Caraccio coming out party? He has had two very dangerous attempts on goal that were only denied by great keeping from Michel.

* What was Pat Onstad thinking on the opener? It appeared he wasn't ready for Arellano's shot at the near post. Ianni's poor marking didn't help either. Still though, that is a shot Onstad normally saves.

* I understand why Chris Wondolowski was brought in for Caraccio, but I can't help but feel Caraccio would have equalized on the same shot Wondolowski took.

* Waibel should have been booked for not only his shoulder check square into the back of his marker, but for falling over trying to get a penalty.

* When you write the story of this game, it boils down to the inexperience up front for Houston. Had Brian Ching played this game, they would have gotten at least a draw. The absence of Dwayne De Rosario wasn't that noticeable. Fair play to Chivas for soaking up vast amounts of pressure and then scoring against the run of play. Houston for all the chances they had, should have at least have had one.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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