Having spent last night complaining about the former Terps hard done by the Olsen regime, D.C. United was well represented at Ludwig tonight. Nick DeLeon, decked out in a red Louisville soccer shirt, was among the 3,002 others in the stands. DeLeon spent some of the first half sitting on the parking lot side of the stadium within a group of Cardinals supporters; just a little bit further over, Brandon McDonald, Chris Pontius and Kurt Morsink, now United's scouting director, watched the match in surprising anonymity.
All saw a resplendent, dynamic, Marianas Trench deep Maryland squad trounce Louisville. I think the post-game quotes from Coach Cirovski indicated a game that was closer than its scoreline. It didn't seem that close from the stands, as Maryland's passing and movement kept the Cardinals' on their heels throughout the match.
Coach Cirovski featured three freshmen in the starting eleven -- Mikey Ambrose at left back, Dakota Edwards as the center half opposite London Woodberry, and Schillo Tshuma up top -- while Christiano Francois and David Kabelik also saw time on the field as subs. Given the challenge posed by a good Louisville side, the freshmen were fantastic.
All three seniors -- Woodberry, John Stertzer, and Taylor Kemp -- started and both London Woodberry and John Stertzer likely got Morsink's attention this evening. I've not thought that London would do well inside, but tonight he snuffed out attacks and, after Widner Saint Cyr came on to buttress the midfield spine along with Helge Leikvang, Woodberry made a couple of useful marauding attacking runs over nearly the full length of the field. Stertzer was terrific; he got the ball off his feet quickly and distributed the ball well enough to create numerous attacks on Louisville's goal. Morsink might also have enjoyed Stertzer's frequent barking at teammates (often at Patrick Mullins) as he's not shy about letting his opinions be known.
And then there was Sunny Jane. Two assists, with the second coming late in the match from a well-placed pass across the width of the field by Mullins as Coach Cirovski yelled for Sunny to hold the ball up and eat up the clock. Instead, Sunny attacked his man, beat him off the dribble and played a ball in that evaded both shots and clearances until Stertzer tapped it in to kill the game. He's fun to watch.