There are traditions to United's US Open Cup games at SoccerPlex in Germantown, the first being I post a photo of a stadium light stanchion against that night's mandatory gorgeous sunset. Also traditions: shitty referees who let the game out of hand, vicious fouls, yellow cards given that were not deserved and yellow cards not given for red card fouls, at least one red card and one coach ejected, Carlos Ruiz scoring, diving, leaving petulantly, overtime and shootouts. Last night? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! and Yes!
United's win means they'll play Ningland at SoccerPlex on Tuesday April 26, and if you've never been to a game at SoccerPlex, do yourself a good. I love RFK, I love LOUD SIDE! (I'll be there day after tomorrow for Gax), but there is nothing like the experience of a game at SoccerPlex. What a blast. Planet and Hamster and Ilse and Landru, with guest appearances by Big C and the Oklahoma Kid. What a blast.
Oh, the game? Look, I can complain about Old Man Wolff (who did score in a scramble) and No Touch Ngwenya (who botched the shot on a three-on-one breakaway in the 2nd overtime that would have locked the game up) on the front line, I can complain about Fredsux ($100 to anyone who can provide a legit photo of Fredsux giving his thumbs-up my-bad with one hand while clutching his hamstring with the other) and the holding midfielders, this team is going to win or lose on the back line, and the back line (starters and seconds) is disorganized and, far too often, incapable of simple clearances out of the box. There is simply no excuse for either of Phunion's goals, especially the second, in the second overtime, with United up a goal and a man. That United points to the return of a rookie who has played exactly one professional game from U-20 USMNT duty as the solidifying key to the defense is damning.
- I applaud Benny for running both Najar and Boskovic all 120 minutes and a system that put the ball on both their feet as often as possible. United won't score enough without contributions from both to compensate for the defense. Boskovic's swing-in CKs are good - Pontius had a duck on his forehead he put over.
- Brettschneider hit post in overtime, looked dangerous.
- Stephen King is a better holding-mid than Shut the Fuck Up, still way behind Simms.
- Bransesco left hurt, but he sucks. Kasper Payne should have his visa revoked for South American countries, because Bransesco is another in a long line of South Americans signed that suck.
- Hamid had yips, but he is the keeper of the future.
- What a blast.