I was supposed to be at Columbus away; however, fortunately a last minute conflict meant that I had to stay at home. Happy about that now.
After such a high of the Revs game, this was disappointing. I was thinking as describing it as a 'gut punch', but it really wasn't. Mainly because we were never in the game... I was never able to really get my hopes up.
Lets start with Defense (Kempin included). Columbus came into this game not having scored in their last 4 MLS matches. Zero goals in 4 MLS matches. Within the first 5 minutes, DCU should have been down 1-0 if not for a huge miss on an open net from Etienne. In that buildup, the chance came from very simple 1-2s and direct play. This was a trend all night - we were too easy to break down.
When we did get beat, we gave up fouls in dangerous areas. Lets talk about their Free Kick goal. Sure, it was a very pure strike and hit the frame. But you have to seriously question what Kempin is doing there. He set the wall where he wanted, but then didn't trust it. He cheated to his right, anticipating a curling free kick over the wall, but the free kick went direct to his near post, catching him out. That just cannot happen. The shot went to the left of the wall - not through it. Tough to be beaten on that. The next goal, again, was just too easy. Direct over the top, and then outpaced. A good finish to be fair... but a very bad goal to give away. It does seem concerning that DCU defenders called for offside on many occasions, and were wrong on most.
Last goal - I mean, yea.. it was a good goal. Really nice strike. But what is that, 7 goals from set pieces in 8 games? THAT is scary. MLS thrives on set pieces. In 2021, 17 percent of MLS goals came from set pieces (an outrageous stat). DCU cannot be successful giving up that many goals from set pieces - that is just a fact.
Offensively, I didn't hear the commentary team call Taxi's name until the 30th minute. Against New England, he was everywhere. What was the difference this game? I think part of it is that we had no link from the back.. but I'm not entirely sure, I'd need to watch the game again. Either way, 30 minutes with an invisible Taxi is not a formula for success.
With that said, DCU still had so many chances. Could have easily scored 3 goals... with Gressel's miss being the most egregious. Surprisingly, Flores showed some nice moments... setting up Kamara for the shot off the post, was a particular highlight. Hopefully that can be something to build on.
Other than that, there was really not many positives. The subs did make an impact, and I thought Djeffal was outstanding again. He and Smith had the best performances... both unlucky to have assists. I am firmly on team 'Start Djeffal'.
This match shows that there are still a lot of holes in this team - even with Taxi. The Front Office was quoted as saying that this roster and this team should not be in the position that it finds itself (one of the reason's for Losada's firing)....... however, I think it's now fair to question the truthfulness of that statement.
Moving onto next week - I think we will see a different performance from DCU. Our performances at home have all been good; I think that will come through again. 3 points needed.