Six Word Novel Recap: “Not good, not bad, but better.”
DC United went to BC Place with one goal in mind (probably). Don’t lose.
After starting the season 0-2, albeit to very strong competition, United was facing the undefeated Whitecaps at home, who had yet to concede a goal so far this year. Well, they still haven’t, but at least United destroyed the bagel in the points column.
No one watching would confuse this game with beautiful soccer. Between the still gelling United team, and the seemingly bumped turf at BC Place, this game seem poised to offer goals only in transition or set pieces and not in slow build up. The chances that came were just that, and DC looked eminently beatable on the counter (as noted by Fullback Files). United must work harder to get back when they lose possession in the attacking third or else it could be a long season.
Ben Olsen made a few changes again, still looking for his magic formula for victory. Woolard took over for the ineffectual Korb, and did an excellent job. Still no Boskovic, with Olsen preferring the rookie Nick DeLeon to start on the left side. Boskovic came on as a sub in the second half and had some nice passes and some bad passes. As I said to someone else, you can see Boskovic is rusty and not match fit, but you’re paying him a lot and the only way to become match fit is to play full matches.
Willis 6: Hard to rate someone who doesn’t have to face any shots on goal. He gets a point for almost concussing himself but staying in the game.
Woolard 8: Probably his best game for United. Was all over the field, shutting stuff down. Seeing Woolard in the midfield making tackles in stoppage time might have been THE definitive BEN OLSEN TEAM MOMENT.
McDonald 6: Solid, did his thing.
Dudar 7: I love this giant Argentine. Astute pickup by the brain trust, as he is winning headers and stealing the ball off of forward’s feet. He needs to be a little less Bambi-on-ice in the attacking box though.
Russell 5: I really thought this guy would be awesome for United. And he really hasn’t been, at least to my eyes. He also has no one REALLY challenging him for time.
Saragosa 5: Bite, etc.
DeLeon 6: Moments of skill, moments of excessive skill leading to suboptimal outcomes. Will be a good player for United, not ready to start IMO.
Cruz 5: He ran around a lot. He committed some fouls.
DeRosario 6: Aside from Salihi’s header, DeRo had the lion’s share of DCU scoring opportunties, and by that, I mean he had two scoring opportunities. Still not MVPDERO yet.
Santos 4: NO MAS SANTOS. NO MAS.
Salihi 5: Hard to rate someone who doesn’t get service, but he had two chances, one of them stopped only by quasi divine intervention. Starting to think that maybe United shouldn’t buy forwards that don’t create their own chances.
Boskovic 5: You know that I love Boskovic, for whatever reason. But he needs lots of game time to be effective, and right now, he is neither effective or playing a lot. Olsen appears to not have the patience to let Branko get his feet wet, so Bosko will have to bear down in training. Either that, or he’ll be free to return to Austria in July.
Wolff NA: Well, we know he’s still on the team.
Pontius 5: Did the same as Cruz, wasn’t very noticeable.