On the podcast last week, I said that I still thought DC United was going to make the playoffs. I wasn’t quite sure how, but I wasn’t ready to give up on the season.
As a supporter, I’m still not. I’m still going to cheer and chant and sing for the club when I’m at the games and I’m going to hang on every minute when I’m watching games on television.
But in doing just that this afternoon during United’s 3-0 loss at FC Dallas, what I saw, honestly, disgusted me.
United were an embarrassment today. Not in losing 3-0. After all, United is one loss at Houston next month away from losing away at all seven Western Conference clubs in the same season. So to say the result today was a surprise may have been overstating – though I admit, I really thought they’d get something out of the match this afternoon.
The embarrassment came late on, on a pair of plays that just did not in any way signify what the club is supposed to be about.
First, there was Jaime Moreno’s red card. Look, there is no arguing what Moreno has done for the club – his scoring and his ability to last so long and be a factor in the team is unquestionable and worth respect. Respect I am happy to give. But having said all that, Moreno of all people should understand that when you are losing one game, you don’t then go and do something that makes your next game even more difficult. Moreno, fouled by a Dallas player in the final minutes, appeared to lash out with an elbow or forearm (I couldn’t tell from the replay) and got himself sent off. There really wasn’t much arguing the call – it was a moment of frustration that just shouldn’t occur. It now means that Moreno misses the home match this Saturday vs. Chivas USA – one of perhaps the only winnable league matches left on the schedule – and one United MUST win if they are to make the playoffs. To take that kind of action in that situation is just unacceptable, and in my humble opinion, was rightly punished with a red card.
Moments later, Kenny Cooper added the third and final Dallas goal while dribbling around the United defense, making them look like the Washington Generals in the glory days of the Harlem Globetrotters. When Cooper finally finished his run and fired a shot past goalkeeper Louis Crayton, several United players were simply jogging back, looking around, almost waiting for it to be over rather than doing something, anything, even if in vein, to prevent the last goal from going in.
Look, we all know that getting a result at that point before the final goal was scored was a long shot. But that doesn’t mean you give up on a play or let someone skate through the defense and score like he’s the second coming of Bobby Orr. Plain and simple, even if it meant a yellow card, someone should have knocked Cooper on his ass. Multiple people I talked to after the game made the point that it looked like, at the end, that United wasn’t even trying. I’m not tempted to disagree with them.
I can only feel for fellow blogger Aaron, who had to deal with this on top of Arsenal’s loss to massive club Hull yesterday.
I don’t know when we’re recording the next Fighting Talker podcast – but you’re going to want to tune in when it’s posted, given how this weekend went.