- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 18, 2008
- 8 Comments
I almost feel like I am beating I dead horse when I talk about games in this season here. But I think at the same time that is a good thing because it means in MLS there parity for once like never before. I’m not taking anything away from what the Crew did to DC last night. They won the game and got the better of their eastern conference rival.
The point is, we are starting to see just how even things are in this league. A club like DC, who made a ton of moves in the offseason, signed a designated player, and kept the best striker from the previous year should not be losing games at home. Parity causes that kind of club who made all of those moves and kept those players to lose a game to a club like Columbus who struggled to sign anyone big over the winter, and who lost out on a designated player of their own.
I think its more than a hangover from the CONCACAF Champions Cup here for DC. Its a matter of their defensive parts not working or fitting into the MLS style of play here. I think it’s pretty obvious that DC is tired from all the games here as well too. Columbus didn’t do anything special last night, all they did was control the midfield with Schelotto and find a hungry Alejandro Moreno to score.
Speaking of Moreno, he is starting to look like the striker he once was in his San Jose/Houston days. He wasn’t a top scorer on those teams but right now he is looking very comfortable in that role as the go-to striker on the Crew.
How did Columbus win the midfield? I think its also obvious to see that DC really misses the play of Ben Olsen. Without Benny, United’s midfield looks a big lost on defense and in the attack, it looks like they’ve lost a step. It has nothing to do with Marcelo Gallardo not adapting well to MLS or the club missing Christian Gomez. No, its totally the absence of Ben Olsen.
DC didn’t play well all over the board last night. They didn’t look as hungry as the Crew and they didn’t finish their shots when they had the chances to. And as for that leading striker on DC, Luciano Emilio hasn’t looked like the Emilio of 2007. Maybe a MLS sophomore slump or something for him but he doesn’t look nearly like the player who netted 20 goals a year ago.
Maybe we’ve had these two clubs wrong all along here this season. Columbus has won three of four to begin the season and has beat the top two from the previous season. Their defense looks better and amazingly their offense is clicking better than expected.
DC on the other hand may need to go back to the drawing board here. Until they get Olsen back, they have to figure out a way to take the pressure off their defense and their keepers. Whatever they do, they need to act fast.