Game 5 Thoughts from the Soccer Newb

I've been posting my thoughts after each game in the game thread. Scott suggested that they were long enough to stand on their own as a FanPost. Since I generally think more content is good for this place (and I like hearing myself talk), I figured I'd go along with that idea and post my thoughts from the Crew game here.

For a quick refresher: I'm relatively new to soccer, in the grand scheme of things. I took my daughter to the first Union match at the Linc on a whim - and we were both hooked. I bought season tickets when I got home that evening, and I've been dooping and learning ever since. So with that bit of intro stuff out of the way, on to the thoughts:

  • I've generally been in favor of keeping Lopez at LB, mostly because I've seen improvement from him week to week. Not any more. Garfan, as far as I'm concerned, should stay there the rest of the year. He's smoother, he's more confident on the ball, he makes better runs up the sideline, and - the kicker of it all - he defends better.
  • Gaddis was very impressive. Maybe he didn't have a chance to get nervous, since he started with such short notice. Whatever the case, he looked good.
  • Williams needs big props after this match. He seamlessly slid over to CB, and played spectacular. The lack of depth at defense is something that worries me, but between Gaddis at RB at Williams sliding inside, I think we're in better shape than expected there.
  • Looked like we were effectively playing a 4-1-4-1 Saturday. And just like other recent games, there was a good bit of possession in the middle - and no finishing. We have a stable of young bucks playing forward - and we're continuing to add to it! - yet the only forward we play with any regularity is Pajoy. I like Pajoy. I think he does a lot of dirty work that maybe isn't getting appreciated. But I'd really like to see Martinez or Mwanga earn some consistent playing time along side him and see if they can develop something.
  • Keon Daniel continues to impress me. So calm on the ball, seems to like taking it into tight spaces, and generally seems to make good decisions. I also like his work off the ball, and his defense.
  • I'd like to thank the referee for teaching me something. I always thought it was physically impossible to suck and blow at the same time. Yet the ref clearly accomplished that Saturday afternoon. The yellow card to Gomez was ridiculous; that's something that happens a half-dozen times every match. The penalty kick was great - but that should've been the second one of the first half. There was another hand ball in the box - or it looked like it to our section anyway - a bit before that one.
  • Freddy Adu looked OK. But just OK. His production to cost ratio, however, is absolutely terrible. He needs to start putting up some offense. On the plus side, though, he seemed to be tracking back defensively a bit more than usual. So that's a plus. I'm also surprised he didn't get a yellow card when he was subbed out, for wasting time.
  • I can't help but wonder what crazy new formation - and Starting XI - Nowak will trot out there Saturday night in CA.

So... there's the thoughts of the resident soccer newb. Anything I'm way off base on? Feel free to educate me, or share your own thoughts from the game.

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