At one time, on a day like yesterday, the crowd would have certainly approached 20,000 at RFK Stadium. Even with the large presence of the Sons of Ben, the announced crowd was barely over 12,000.
Full credit goes out to those supporters who made the trek to DC. They were loud and strong when their team was quiet and weak. Despite the torrential downpour, there they were singing and chanting, at times drowning out the DC United supporters groups. If we were giving out a rating, they deserved a 10 yesterday.
As for the game itself, all you need to know is that Manager Peter Nowak called it the team’s worst performance in eight months.
There were a lot of things that didn’t happen on Sunday.
Where was the quick ball movement and possession that we have all become used to seeing?
Where were the chances created?
Where was the flow from a team that had been outplaying its opponents, despite losing points in the standings?
Your chance to succeed in MLS is not great when you only manage three shots on goal.
Let’s give some credit to DC United. They played hard under their interim Head Coach Ben Olsen, just like you knew they would. They were able to move the ball well, especially along the flanks. While defending the flanks wasn’t necessarily the main flaw here, still, both DC goals started from out wide.
DC clogged the middle of the field, but Philadelphia could not seem to take advantage of either wing, thus the Union offense was stifled. That’s describing things in the simplest terms.
The Union have some time to figure things out as their next game isn’t until Saturday at New England. Nowak now has some depth on the squad, so if he wants to make personnel changes, he can.
Nowak, though, is not one to panic, and that’s a good quality, especially for a manager of an expansion team.
Notes from the weekend
Brian Ching’s hat trick comes at a good time for Houston. This is a team that might end up on the outside looking in when the playoffs come around. Unless of course they get hot at the right time. Ching is one of the classiest players in the league. Despite his obvious disappointment at not making the U.S. World Cup roster, he took the high road and was not critical of Bob Bradley or US Soccer.
Rafa Marquez gets his first MLS goal and it was a beauty vs Toronto. Toronto had been unbeaten in 17 straight at home until they were thumped by the Red Bulls. Wonder if Toronto had any CONCACAF Champions League hangover issues from their midweek game.
FC Dallas continue to roll along on their merry way, now unbeaten in 11 games following a 1-0 shutout win vs Chivas USA. What has to be troubling though is an announced crowd of just over 10,000 fans at Pizza Hut Park.