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Where Do They Go From Here?

July 18, 2012 1 comment

Union fans have to be pleased with what the team has done over the past month or so.  They advanced to the semifinal of the US Open Cup, they’ve put together three consecutive wins in MLS play, and they are playing attractive soccer in doing so.  The third item may, however, be in jeopardy in the very near future.

Sporting KC dispatched Union from the US Open by bunkering in defensively and attacking them only on the counter.  It was plainly visible, even watching on the team’s website stream, that SKC was going to make the Union offense beat no fewer than 8 players before they would allow a threat on their goalkeeper.  And it worked.  Union, inevitably, threw players forward in an effort to break the defense down, and it left them exposed at the back and the match was lost.  Then again, that had more to do with Roger Espinoza’s Bambi-on-the-ice act than anything.  (I wonder if he naturally falls down a lot or if he works on it in training.  Whatever, it’s over.)  Montreal played somewhat similarly, and if not for the insipired play of Zac MacMath, they almost achieved the same result.

Concensus is that the match against Impact was an “ugly win.”  Union fans have been treated to very aesthetically-pleasing soccer since the advent of the 4-3-3 formation that John Hackworth favors.  I believe what SuCK, I mean SKC, and Montreal have laid out may be the blueprint for defeating The U, and I foresee future opponents employing it.  I see a lot of hollow possession in our future…

The key to the rest of the season is to resist the urge to strike long, over-the-entire-defense passes, aka Hail Marys, because a vast majority of the time, they go over the endline for a goal kick the other direction.  The U need to practice proper offensive spacing, smart running off of the ball, and quick recognition of the passing lanes with the ball at their feet.  I don’t think they can depend on Zac’s triceps and scrambling defenders to keep them in the game each match.  Playing smart in attack will help them combat the negative tactics I believe they will be seeing most of the rest of the season.

Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union

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So… NOW What?

July 2, 2012 2 comments

News came out last night/this morning about the dismissal of Diego Gutierrez and Alecko Eskandarian from their positions as Director of Scouring South Amer… er I mean Scouting, and Youth Technical Director, respectively.  This move is curious, given that the transfer window opens two weeks from today.  Logic would suggest that this is merely a completion of the overhaul that began with Peter Nowak’s departure, and with the new perspective on the current team, a change was needed in the perspective of the club’s future.

My speculation on the move is that the organization has made relationships with the people Gutierrez dealt with and they can use someone with contacts in another region of the soccer world.  Or, since Gutierrez and Eskandarian both had ties to Nowak, maybe they just wanted to move on, as well.  They very well could have been using their positions as stepping stones to get bigger positions.

Regardless of the speculation, the message is clear that what has happened with this team this season is not good enough, and they need to make changes.  All fans should be on-board with this, and it will be up to whoever takes on that position to keep the team going in the right direction.  Or else, we’ll demand his removal, too.

Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union

Categories: General Soccer