|Hint: We're wearing black shirts.|
It's hard to trash your favorite team on Opening Night when it has come away with a 3-1 home win. So I won't.
Nah, just kidding. United came away with a lovely result tonight, against an opponent we despise, but one that's harder to despise right now because it's seen far better days, having lost most of the parts of its roster that are in any way compelling. The Crew still have quality players at some spots--Chad Marshall, Emmanuel Ekpo, not-at-all-discommodated-as-a-traitor-Terp Robbie Rogers, and Will Hesmer, who is a great goalie who literally fell on his face and got open-net pwn3d by Charlie Davies in one of the weirdest moments of the evening--but they've lost a lot of the core that's made them a brutally difficult opponent the last few years. I can't imagine, for instance, willingly giving up Brian Carroll when you haven't got Clyde Simms in your back pocket (to be fair, I couldn't imagine giving up Carroll instead of Simms in the first place, but business is business and no one sane is going to pretend that Kasper and Payne are personnel geniuses).
New toy Charlie Davies bagged two goals in 38 minutes, one the aforementioned open-net pwn3ng of Will Hesmer, and another on a penalty earned by Chris Pontius. He was everything we hoped he'd be, at least for 38 minutes. And yes, he paid appropriate tribute to Loud Side, and then some, walking down the length of the touchline applauding us after the game. Thank you for being our monkey, Charlie.
The defense looked more or less reasonable; BFF may reasonably point out that against a better team, some of the hairier moments would have actually been quite fatally hairy. I wouldn't argue, though I'd add that it was a revamped defense's first MLS game.
-While Josh Wolff scored exactly the kind of sneaky fucking goal he's scored against us a googlebajillion fucking times, he was also exactly the kind of no-account loathsome diving pussy punkass bitch he's been to us (and everyone) a googlebajillion fucking times. Would I get the goal without the loathsomeness? Prolly not. I hate his fucking guts, and I'm going to have to do some serious metaphysical sorting on this one. Props where due: after scoring (and stripping off his shirt after the goal to show off his abs and draw the stupidest yellow card it's possible to draw in soccer), he dove into the arms of his former Loud Side enemies to soak up the monkeylove. I'd have nutted him, but I think we all recognize that I'm an exceptionally hateful person.
-Boy, did Dax McCarty suck. Bromark and I counted three times where he directly and inexplicably coughed up the ball to Crew players. I counted five really poor free kicks (again, props where due: he made Hesmer make a save on a 40-yarder, his only good set piece of the night). He was clearly trying too hard, and I'm not willing to close the lid on him, because frankly? Your first night replacing Jaime Fucking Moreno as this legendary club's legendary captain can't be easy. Maybe the pasty little ginger midget fuck will calm the fucking fuck down. Or not. I remain unamused.
-Jed Zayner impressed (figures--he may have been injured), and Perry Kitchen wasn't bad, although he needs to make quicker decisions to clear the fucking ball. He will get burned against a good team, and then maybe some learning will set in.
-Joseph Ngwenya (or however it's spelled--I'm too lazy to check) is a hoser--aimless play, failure to shoot, just another fucking stiff in the 11 shirt. We've seen his like half a dozen times over in the last half a dozen years, and the last one actually led MLS in scoring once.
-New back Rodrigo Brasesco, an import from somewhere south of somewhere, is another fucking midget in a long line of South American DCU midgets. Honestly, how hard is it to make sure a guy's taller than 5'5" before you fucking acquire him?
-Mark Geiger, a referee I've maligned (although not, it appears, by name in this blog), had a decent game. He rightly passed on awarding a penalty on an apparent foul on McCarty at the edge of the box; McCarty was jerking off over the ball, and had turned away from the goal to try to find someone to pass to. Dax gave up on his own chance and didn't deserve a call. Geiger correctly awarded a penalty to the Crew when the ball bounced off a DCU player's arm (I didn't see who it was, I had the impression it was Kitchen, but it could've been any of them except Burchie, who consistently locks his arms behind his back in the penalty area unless he's bodying up on someone). And the penalty that he awarded that resulted in Davies' first goal was correct--Pontius was roughed up on a legitimate scoring opportunity.
-Had the referee been Alex Prus, he would've been a loosely woven sack of dysenteric shit.
Of course, we've no clue whether this is a real turnaround or just a good buzz against a shitty team. The club scored more goals tonight than it did in any five games last year--that's positive stuff. It would've been pretty awful had they shit the bed in the opening game of Saint Benny's first full season as coach (and really, DCU Marketing: lose "The General." Just lose it. It's massively fucktarded.), and I'm pretty sure the team had a real good sense of that. And it'll take a little while for me to get warmed up here, because the Caps are about to enter the post-season. Skeptics will predict that I'll be out of schedule conflicts by mid-April; I'm not so sure about that. In any event, there's plenty of reasonable hope for a dramatic improvement over last year, and that's where we should be.