Last night I went to RFK to see United begin its defense of the US Open Cup. I didn't stay home and watch the Caps lose to the Rangers to go down 3-1 in their playoff series. Did I make the right choice? I can't decide.
I went in expecting the Cup defense to be about 92 minutes in length, and I was pleasantly surprised when a fundamentally reserve lineup beat Dallas' fundamentally reserve lineup. That said, Dallas really, really sucked. They brought in star dickweed Kenny Cooper late in the game, and he rewarded them by banging his penalty kick off the post (and then illegally putting the ball in the net before another player touched it--a subtlety which escaped a lot of people, including, it appears, DCU's goalkeeper). They were essentially hapless. That really limits the amount of good news I'm willing to take away from a game in which Fred walked the ball into the net (and nearly didn't), and this guy (intellectual property credit to this guy):
donkeyed it in from 22 yards off of a for-once-our-way bounce. The beautiful thing about the goal is that it came well after the 52-minute mark, which was about when Soehn started to thank the 2,000 of us who showed up (each of us counting for about 2.5 bodies in the announced count) by heading for the bunker. Take that, Soehn, you bitch. You better hope every team's as bad as the Burn.
Really, I can't complain about the game. I'm not sure I watched the same game WaPo guy Goff did; his ratings sort of suck. He was overimpressed by Barklage, and by Greg Janicki, whose handball let to the failed PK. I said the handball was incidental and the PK was a judgment call; the aforementioned bDr played the "what if it happened to us?" card, for which he can bite my shorts, although I admit that I don't know what a ref could do other than award a PK or wave the thing off, since they're not really supposed to find a way to even these things up. The wanktard Mr. Soehn seems to think I'm wrong, too (he blamed Janicki's inexperience, which suggests a perception of willfullness), so I'll have to go find footage and flagellate myself with it until I agree with the rest of the universe on this one.
Anyway, Goff was also overimpressed by Quaranta, who starts off any game with a minus three rating in my book, and way underimpressed by BoyZZZ (who ran his ass off but made two bad, but inconsequential, flow-of-play decisions) and Jacovic (who did a fine job of making it look like the team wasn't bunkering, by moving forward from his right-side slot).
Also in Goffinho's quotes: Soehn hedges his bets on Milos Kocic, dismisses Santino Quaranta's hamstrings (I think Tino is a lot of bad things, but I don't think he's shirking), shuns the novel notion that attacking is good ("For [Moreno], it's always good to bring him in, hold the ball and kill off a game."--I thank you for the readiness with which that phrase springs to your lips, Tom, and I'm sure your team's captain thanks you for going to him first when you need to do nothing productive in the course of a game), and backhands both Janicki (aforementioned) and Reg Barclay. Soehn also dissed Louis Crayton in his commentary on Kocic, praising Kocic for doing the same shit Crayton does, only dumber. I guess it all rests on how Tommy's feeling about his fiber intake from day to day. As bDr said a few weeks ago, I'd sure hate to play for this guy.
I can't articulate this very well right now, but I'm getting a little sick of Goff, too. I'll have to think on that one a bit before I take it on. He's a fine writer, but he's starting to radiate more of a smug quality that's putting me off. I'll be back to you on this. Just as soon as I figure out how to blame it on Soehn.