New year, new writer, same weekly recap article. Let's dive right in then!
The Good: Andre (3000) Blake
Well, a Union goalie finally shows some sign of consistency. Yes he gave up two goals over the course of the opening 90, but Andre Blake who will now be known as Andre 3000 (because he's on pace to make that many saves) was a stud for the Union in net. Finally we have a rock solid keeper, and it's a guy who we drafted. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Fabian Herbers also stood out in his ten or so minutes of play. So far the former Creighton forward has impressed with a delightful goal against Chicago in the preseason, and with a solid showing the first week. Maybe we will see him figure in to a super sub role for the U in weeks to come? Who knows, though it should be said for an under-the-radar pick, Herbers seems to be everything we could've asked for in limited play. Even if he leaks jerseys from time to time.
The Bad: More like Fabi-no, am I right?
Yeah, this doesn't need too much explaining. Being paired alongside a new, unproven center back in Ken Tribbett and MLS veteran Chris Pontius probably didn't do Fabi any favors, as he looked absolutely outclassed against one of the fastest teams in the league. Fabinho stayed forward way too much and Chris Pontius didn't look like he was expecting his line of defense to be right next to him all game. Hopefully this gets ironed out, but until then, things aren't looking too good for the left side of the defense.
The Ugly: Less Edu, Mo Problems?
This is in fact the last thing we needed to hear this week. Sure, some guys probably weren't match fit on Sunday, and we knew not to expect Ray Gaddis after he picked up a knee injury during the team's excursion to Florida, but now we are Edu-less for three to four months? Yikes. Dallas absolutely tore through the Union midfield and defense, and while Edu isn't going to be able to lead a counter or pocket last minute goals, he's the captain and a vital part of the Union team. The big question now is who steps up to replace him.
Tranquillo Barnetta is an attacking player, Michael Lahoud is loaned out to the New York Cosmos, and I personally don't trust Brian Carroll to be the two-way mid we need. The captaincy is up in the air. It was the grizzled veteran Carroll this week. If not him I guess Ray Gaddis would be a safe bet if he were healthy. Sebastien Le Toux would be another good candidate, but is he past his starting prime? Do we hold on to hope and try to pick up a defensive-minded midfielder this summer? Okugo is available but Jim Curtin didn't seem like he was all too enthusiastic about bringing back a guy he essentially shipped out.
The best part about week one is that it is only week one. Maybe next week will be better considering the opponent is weake--it's Columbus?! Let's just hope Kei Kamara doesn't hit us for 5.