Saturday, April 14, 2007

Is D.C United in Deep Trouble? The MLS season is two games old, and United has started by losing both of its games. A 2-1 loss last week, to Colorado, and a 4-2 pasting by the Wizards and Eddie Johnson in United's home opener. So, I've asked the United in real trouble, or were these flukey losses? I'd say the answer is pretty clear: United has some serious problems, and it's not clear if the team has what it will need to fix those problems.

Everyone has focused on United's incredible offensive potential. It was on display tonight, as United's creative passing led to numerous moments of danger for the Wizards. However, United looked shaky on defense in their Champions' Cup games. Troy Perkins show great potential, but also has been exposed as an unpolished talent in goal. It's the slow-footed defense that really poses problems for United. The Wizards were determined to use their team speed to break down the noticeably slower D.C back three, and they were quite successful with that strategy.

The slick conditions at RFK definitely played into the Wizards' approach, but it is dangerously naive to blame United's problems on the weather. The Wizards' tactics really exposed United's weaknesses, and the rest of the league will take notice. While United's emphasis on attacking is fun to watch, they will have to find a way to slow down the opposition, or they will be "surprised" over and over again, throughout the Spring and Summer, and, especially, in the Fall.

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