That was fun. I’d forgotten how nice it was for DC United to actually win something. Four years of hurt and the fact that I was away when DC won in 2004 meant that for me, going down on the field and seeing the players parading the US Open Cup in front of a small but very noisy and happy group of fans. It is a real trophy, and probably less remedial than I would’ve had you believe yesterday.
For all of the organization’s talk about “tradition” and “victory” we had not been adding much of the latter to our former over the last four years. DC played very well against an opponent whose entire raison d’etre was to bunker down, hack, and counter. But DC held firm, and with the usual one or two exceptions, did not allow Charleston to challenge Crayton too often.
I thought Emilio did precisely what he had to do before stumbling to the bench after four minutes (!?!). Who amongst us saw Fred in alone on goal and didn’t immediately say or think “he’s gonna miss.” I said precisely that in the press box before he smashed the shot home and gave DC the lead. What do I know?
Similar to Saturday, I thought Devon, Burchie and Rod Dya’stinko Dyachenko all struggled. And please don’t tell me what a lovely dummy that was by Rod on Fred’s goal. Last night he couldn’t complete a pass to save his life. I guarantee you that he didn’t mean to do dummy anyone. He simply couldn’t control the ball. Also, I thought it was classy of the organization to give Rod such a long run last night, so he could get to know his teammates for next season.
Back to Crayton for a moment. He is a complete and total lunatic in the dressing room. I think think he happily screamed “WHERE’S THE CHAMPAGNE?!?” about two-dozen times as folks were giving interviews. By far, he was the most excited guy in the dressing room and it’s even more noticeable, because his locker is located adjacent to Santino “Captain Earnest” Quaranta. Every week Quaranta is solemnly and quietly breaking down his performance and in bounds Crayton inevitably joyfully screaming and yelling about something or another. United has not had a guy like that in the locker room in a long, long time. It’s a good thing, and not just for us reporters either.
Saturday will be very indicative of whether this cup win is the highlight of our season, or possibly.. possibly a harbinger of better things to come. Assuming Emilio can get this groin/abductor thing healed up and nothing else catastrophic happens, United might just be getting fit at nearly the right time. There are only eight MLS matches left this season, 14 when you include Concacaf group matches. Though the more I think about that, I feel like DC is getting fit too early, and this tempting fate to get even more injuries. I don’t know. It’s a total mystery. I found it interesting yesterday though that Soehn said this yesterday after the match.
“Right now the most important thing for us is winning MLS Cup. Obviously the [CONCACAF] Champions League is an important goal we set for ourselves but we’re going to be cautious to make sure that we’re set up to do both in the right way. But I’ll say this, MLS Cup is a priority for me.”
If he follows through on that, we might have to be potentially prepared for some tanking, or at least patchwork lineups, especially in the matches later on at Saprissa and at the TBD team, presumably Cruz Azul.
Anyway, that is in the future. Only one thought dominates the present –
We finally won something again.