Superliga Matchday One: DC United- Guadalajara
DC came out flying in the second half but couldn’t take advantage of numerous chances. Devon McTavish hit the post before the power outage stopped play for about twenty minutes. Tom Soehn’s tactical change to drop Jaime Moreno back into the midfield stimulated numerous DC United chances but the finishing as it was in DC’s two leg loss to Pachuca in the Champions Cup semi-finals was lacking. Luciano Emilio was being forced to come back too deep into the midfield because the service was lacking. Emilio played lights out in the second half showing a desire and skill level unmatched by many of his team mates. Not having Santino Quaranta, Benny Olsen, and Marcello Gallardo was fatal to DC tonight.
Clyde Simms was poorly positioned and conceded a foul that led to Gonzalo Pineda’s wonder free kick. Recall it was Simms who in the first half gave the ball away on Arellano’s first half breakaway goal. Emilio did a wonderful job turning two defenders including Mexican international Johnny Magallon on a goal that cut the Chivas lead to 2-1 in minute 76, but after Jaime Moreno hit a pk with little conviction and it was saved by Luis Ernesto Michel, a dispirited DC team didn’t create any more really good chances and now have it all left to do in the final two group matches.
We have read that the Mexican sides were taking Superliga more seriously this year, and we have our evidence of such. Chivas has completely dominated DC United in the first half. This has been a bad statement for Major League Soccer as DC’s spacing has been poor, and its players seem to panic when on the ball. When you consider DC has been the most consistent MLS side historically in international competitions this is a very bad sign for the rest of the tournament from an MLS perspective.
Luciano Emilio had an early chance that went off the post, but from that point on, Chivas has dominated the match converting bad giveaways and general confusion in the DC’s midfield into countless scoring opportunities. Gonzalo Martinez has stood out for DC as the top players, breaking up many a Chivas scoring opportunity at the last minute. United feels the affect of not having the settling influence of Marcello Gallardo in the midfield. Chivas leads 1-0 and may regret not getting second when the red and black looked so overwhelmed by the occasion.
Tonight’s officiating crew is from Costa Rica
Alex Prus a name familiar to MLS fans will be the fourth official
Here are the lineups:
DC United: Wells; Namoff, Martinez, McTavish, Burch; Thompson, Simms, Dyachenko, Fred; Moreno, Emilio. Subs: Thorpe, Zaher, Carroll, Doe, Cordero, Kirk, Murphy.
Guadalajara: Michel; Reynoso, Olvera, Magallon; Esparza, Pineda, Morales, Solis; Santana, Avila, Arellano. Subs: Rodriguez, Araujo, de la Mora, Hernandez, Baez, Mejia, Salazar.
Marcello Gallaro has not recovered from a strained groin aggravated in the June 29th crushing of the Galaxy and is unavailable per Steve Goff of the Washington Post.