Sep 22, 2011

Unable to slow down JPA, United settle for draw

As predicted yesterday D.C. United struggled to contain Juan Pablo Angel in last evenings important match against Chivas USA.

VASoccerNews: "Keep an eye out for Juan Pablo Angel who finally snapped his scoring drought with a goal against Chicago...Goal scorers like JPA often score in bunches, just ask Davies."

With a seemingly strong 2-0 lead at halftime D.C United just could not handle JPA and allowed the Chivas Striker to single handily bring his team even with a pair of goals in the second half. The goals would highlight what has been the biggest problem for United Head Coach Ben Olsen all season - the inconsistent back line and again as we predicted the inability of United rookie Perry Kitchen to shut down top players in the league. Kitchen was beat in the air by JPA for the first Chivas goal and was saved the embarrassment of allowing another goal because of a great save by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid when he was easily beat at midfield by French midfielder Laurent Courtois.

On somewhat of a side note the question should be asked, is Kitchen failing to develop at a sufficient pace this season? It seems as if every other game Kitchen commits at least one meaningful error or misjudgement on the back line allowing for big plays by the opponents (usually resulting in goals).

Unfortunately United goal scorer Dwayne De Rosario, who put D.C. up 1-0 in the first half, was unable to convert on possibly the most important penalty kick of the season for the Black and Red.

With a halftime lead and a late penalty kick opportunity D.C. United had plenty of opportunities to put the game away and lock up the much needed 3 points in their push to the playoffs but where left with a single point instead. Last nights game was the type of match that a true playoff team finishes out, it is looking like United are not quite at the caliber of the top MLS teams and will more than likely miss out on the playoffs yet again. Their last appearance in the playoffs was 2007!

If you don't agree have a look at what Olsen had to say following the match:

"It’s absolutely going to stop – it has to stop, or we will not make the playoffs, it’s that simple. The way we fade in and out of games as a group, the way we take breaks, is the reason why we haven’t had two games in a row."