Full disclosure: I saw the first forty minutes and the last twelve minutes plus three and a half minutes stoppage because because, and what I saw I got on pirate internet, so fuck Omcastcay, yo, blacking out Direct Kick, fuckers.
I'm not sure how much the league has come back to United and how much United has improved. United wouldn't have won, probably wouldn't have tied a similar game against a similar opponent last season, so I didn't see this coming, especially with the reserve squad line-up. Consider, though, last season's similar game again a similar opponent on Memorial Day weekend, when United lost 4-0 to Kansas City. Here was the starting line-up.
- D.C. United: Perkins, Talley, Jakovic, Wallace, Najar (Allsopp), Morsink, Quaranta, Simms (James), Castillo (Khumalo), Pontius, Moreno.
- D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar (Fred 87), Stephen King, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Blake Brettschneider, Joseph Ngwenya (Josh Wolff 51) (Brandon Barklage 91+).
Hamid's an upgrade over Perkins, White a major upgrade over Talley, Kitchen over Wallace (though I think Wallace can be useful, though not so much after today), Wolff over Allsopp (which speaks more of Allsopp), Brettschneider over (sorry) Moreno, and Olsen's 4-4-2 over Onalfo's 3-5-2 by a BANG!
St Benny, I'm getting carried away. Have some notes:
- I don't doubt that if Portland had scored in 13th minute instead of United United would have lost by three.
- I didn't see live the Cooper PK dramatics, though Kenny Cooper has always been a prick, and it pleases me he's not in the USMNT pool of shitty strikers (which isn't deep, yo).
- No Nodax, three goals. Just saying.
- For the first time I really saw what United sees in Kitchen, and the goal was nice but that's not it. He literally ran Portland players, with the ball at their feet and their backs toward Hamid, two-thirds towards Portland's goal. The back line - which is still not better than now and then good - looks to Kitchen as its captain, and Kitchen's transition to true holding mid is only held up by the need for him on the back line.
- Portland's second goal was soft, but Bill Hamid is a keeper keeper.
- As long as Woolard is healthy, he should beat out a healthy Burch.
- Best game out of Simms in a while.
- I'd love to see Brettschneider up with a healthy Davies.
- When United is really good again Quaranta will be elsewhere.
- Pontius. Best player on the field.
Gax next Saturday in LA (when they will wear the third red). Donovan will be with USMNT for lame Gold Cup (and there will be no Gold Cup blogging here beyond an in-post comment and probably not) I didn't think they'd get a point out of this road trip. Motherfuckers, now I want six.