After a shocking 2-1 stoppage-time defeat to the Colorado Rapids at home on Saturday, Feb. 29, many DC United fans are wondering what this loss means for the season. Evidently, there is work to be done in all facets of the game. A poor defensive showing, sloppy play in the midfield, and missed chances on offense gave the Rapids a much-deserved win in the frigid midday affair.
DC United’s star winter signing, Edison Flores, played very well in his 70 minutes on the pitch. Every time he touched the ball, he commanded play, split defenders, and found open players with his excellent vision, passing, and dribbling. His showing, while recording no goal contributions, was very good considering the questions surrounding whether he could compete at a step up from Liga MX.
Another acquisition they made, midfielder Julian Gressel from Atlanta, played admirably. Normally a winger or full-back on the right flank, he was put at attacking midfielder by Head Coach Ben Olsen and really showed his skillset. He set up multiple chances and captured an assist off the corner, where Russell Canouse scored the only DC goal of the game. Gressel showed his range by cutting outside while on the attack showing his positional roots, while Flores cut inside on an abundance of his runs.
Obviously, with a showing as bad as the one seen on Saturday, changes will have to be made. But much to the delight of fans, Columbus Crew legend, and midfielder Federico Higuain, who has been heavily linked with the black and red, was in the DC United locker room following the game. The rumors point to Higuain’s signing as a player and assistant coach, and his former teammate, DMF Mohammed Abu, is also reportedly close to signing a deal as well.
These are two players that will not only make a significant difference on the pitch but show that the DC United front office is working diligently in the regular season to bring new talent to a club in need of it.
It does seem that this loss at the hands of the Rapids is nothing to worry about. Like it or not, and despite the losses of Wayne Rooney, Lucho Acosta, and Paul Arriola, DC has a very talented side. A promising showing from some question marks leading into the season gives hope and ambition to fans and players alike. But this season’s successes will eventually come down to whether or not this team can work well together down the latter stretches of the season.