The headline at the DCU site this morning--Onalfo's Crew Loses: United sill winless after Revs land a sucker punch--says a mouthful. They shouldn't be Onalfo's crew, they shouldn't be winless, certainly not after playing a team demonstrably worse than they are, and they damn sure shouldn't have been in a position where such a featureless New England team could land what was not, in fact, a sucker punch, but a decisive and well-structured blow that any moron could've seen coming the moment Steve Nicol inserted Kenny Mansally into a tight game against a geriatric, slow team.
I was very disappointed when the club hired Curt Onalfo. A team desperately in need of something innovative fell back on the same old fraternity of guys who once sucked Bruce Arena's cock, and in fact fell back on that fraternity's weakest link, one with an outstanding record of mediocrity and failure at what should be the league's weakest soccer city (and, in attendance terms, consistently is at or near the bottom).
There was a time here when sucking Bruce Arena's cock was the path to glory. That time left town when Piotr Nowak did. With Tom Soehn, and now with Onalfo, the club has shown that the United way is familiarity over quality. The system is the same one that worked when some of the players now playing it were young and capable of playing a control and possession-based system to effect. Now, many of the players are old and have lost the ability to close under such a system; the ones that are young lack the attributes, skills, and intelligence to make it work. What the club required with the coach after Soehn was someone who could either install a system better suited to the personnel that the club has decided to stick with, or who could tweak that system to overcome the glaring deficiencies in talent from which the club suffers. Curt Onalfo is not that coach, and the last guy with any ability to manage the entrenched system to effect, Saint Piotr, is now managing our next great archrival. I want Onalfo gone, and to be fair (to me--I don't give a flying fuck about being fair to a tepid glass of milk like Onalfo), I didn't want him here in the first place.
Onalfo's ineptitude bears out in the results thus far. It's obvious that the team can win games; they did it in preseason, they did it in the pointless Carolina Cup, which they won. I can't imagine that the other teams in that competition weren't trying to win it, although if this team can step up for an irrelevant piece of preseason hardware, they should be able to manage not rolling over and begging to be fucked harder after 80 minutes against a league rival, like they did last night.
I did not share bDr's halftime sense last night. I thought that the team had played reasonably well and that the flaw was in the finish. I saw no reason to believe that they'd utterly lose control of the flow of play--and in truth, they didn't, until Nicol inserted Kenny Mansally.
Kenny Mansally is exactly the kind of player who has always given this team--much of which is the same team it's ever been--fits. He's fast, he's energetic, he's lucky. The speed with which the Rev dissected United's defense to allow Mansally his first opportunity was breathtaking. Mansally made it clear that the club has a long way to go to replace the hole being left (or already irretrievably left, depending on your POV, and I'm not going to argue that one, because both POVs are reasonable) by Namoff's absence. Carey Talley is a fucking asshole, and a decrepit one at that, and it's appalling that the club signed him. But it wasn't Talley in the game on that play, and why? Because he's fucking decrepit and old, that's why. Julius James, the hero of...oh my fucking Science, the fucking hero of fucking this? Jeebus. Julius James was the vic on the technically decisive play (Saint
When a coach like Steve Nicol inserts a speedy little bitch into your very close game, you lock the speedy little bitch down. You put bodies on him. Shit, maybe you even put Kurt Fucking Morsink (really, Onalfo? Kurt Fucking Morsink? Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a Wobbly Fucking Crutch, you're a pathetic excuse for a human being) on him. You body up. You make him pay for being speedy and little. You make him pay for being Kenny Mansally. You make him pay for being a Rev. You do not let the little fucker pants you, in your own fucking house, in front of your own fucking opening-night crowd. Like Curt Onalfo did. Y'know, just the other night, while we were sitting around watching NHL on the Fly (and thank Ba'al I have at least one team to support that isn't a festering puddle of infectious goo), Ilse and I were in one of those otherworldly conversations in which I was dialectically forced to assert that I had never been sodomized, and Curt Fucking Onalfo sure made short work of that.
New England is a bad soccer team, especially with TDFT1 and Matt Reis2 hurt. They're a really bad soccer team. While I am unconvinced that we're worse, last night didn't actually give us anything empirical to support that conviction. Onalfo didn't give me anything empirical to support a hypothesis that he's...I dunno...competent? Pretty darkly depressing outcome. But it was good to be there, and good to see everyone, to remake connections, to say hi, and to have a good time despite Curt Onalfo's stunning lack of aptitude for coaching, and for my club's ever more-stunning lack of aptitude for futbol.
I'll be there, along for the ride, and in hometown next weekend for the inaugural Philly Invasion, which ought to be great fun, not least because it's hometown (though not, to be all angels-and-pins, the ancestral homeland) and I'm very fond of it--but I'll more fully engage later in the season--June, I hope--because...well, go Caps.
1 Taylor Diving Fucking Twellman, who may be done with his career, and while I have turned on turned on my fellow Terp TDFT harder than Norwegians turned on Quisling, he really doesn't deserve that fate. I mean, he's only a diving fucking pussy. And he is a fellow Terp. Career-ending concussion shit? No justice there.
2 What bDr referenced only obliquely (and the notion is his intellectual property), I will address directly; if Chris Pontius tried to run over Matt Reis like he tried to run over Preston Burpo, Reis would've twisted off Party Boy's nuts, shoved them up his ass, and still made the save. I am not hyperbolizing.