Sunday, June 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle

A quick note on tonight's impressive away victory over the Chicago Fire: I have, unfortunately, found it difficult of late to drag myself down to RFK to watch the sorry performances that DC United has managed against far less talented opponents. I tuned into Fox Soccer Channel tonight half expecting University of Maryland alum Stephen King to run roughshod over disinterested visitors. Instead, to my pleasant surprise, I was treated to an inspired performance featuring long, threatening runs by Gonzalo Martinez, skillful handling by Clyde Simms, Jaime Moreno, and Marcelo Gallardo (who unfortunately allowed himself to be baited into a red card), and the resurgence of one Luciano Emilio.

DC's poor run of play has drawn substantial scrutiny for the former FC Koln prospect. To my shame, I have found myself questioning whether the 20 goals netted by Mr. Emilio last season were some type of fluke that unreasonably raised expectations on the team. And yet, tonight, while in mid-sentence attempting to explain to my wife why I believed that Luciano had lost touch, he took a ball at the top right hand corner of the goal box, attacked and broke down two Fire defenders while avoiding a third, and forced Jon Busch to redirect a shot right down to Jaime Moreno's foot for the equalizer. For the next half hour, Emilio was in impeccable form, culminating in an injury time run down the left side of the pitch where he single-handily broke the Fire's back on an impressive shot to the corner of the goal. Good times may be here again.

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