D.C. United 3-1 Union: Post-Match Thoughts
1. Don Anding is an MLS player. Anding’s introduction in the second half breathed life into an otherwise dead Union team. He’s got the pace to play at this level and is a surprisingly physical specimen. He got the assist on Jack McInerney’s goal and had another dangerous cross that Sebastien Le Toux probably should’ve put in the back of the net, which could’ve tied the game and led to a very different result. John Hackworth’s system is meant to accommodate wingers, and Anding looks to fit the bill. That brings me to my next point …
2. A Danny Cruz-less half is not a good half for the Union. Formationally, the biggest change between the domination of Columbus and the limping against D.C. was Cruz, who missed with a shin contusion. With Michael Farfan in his place on the left trying to tuck in centrally and do whatever it is he’s been doing lately, the Union missed the attacking cattle prod that is Cruz’s game, not to mention the space among the defenders it opens for the likes of Conor Casey and McInerney (the former of whom did little). Anding appears to be cut from that same mold, which should make the likes of Keon Daniel and Farfan think twice about their job security, especially with the attacking contributions of Ray Gaddis and Sheanon Williams minimized this season. But more on that later.
3. A defense at sixes and sevens. What a horror show from the Union defense. Hackworth was accurate when he said they gifted Dwayne De Rosario two of his goals. Jeff Parke appeared to pick up a bit of a knock around the 70th minute, and was slow to cover DeRo on the second goal before the giveaway that led to the third. Amobi Okugo, who admitted not even realizing the third goal had developed until it was in the back of the net, was culpable on goal two. Against Columbus, you saw Dr. Jekyll; tonight was Mr. Hyde.