“It’s given us a good opportunity to look at ourselves and ask more of each other” – Ben Olsen, D.C. United
Two games. Neither of which ended in the desired resutl for the Balck-and-Red. One of which felt and looked worse than the other by far. Still, D.C. United is just two games into the 2017-2018 season.
As always, as is the case across sports it’s the little things that can be the difference between a team hitting their stride and playing in form or underachieving and in a slump. It’s far too early to call this anything but what it is, two games into the season.
“If he’s ready, he’s going to play. Ready is a relative term.” – Ben Olsen, D.C. United
Obviously the absence of one Luciano Acosta is what many supporters and observers are focused on. He is the engine to the team’s attack and does a great job of keeping the spacing right and more often than not, plays that pivotal ball in the final third. Julian Buescher and Ian Harkes have both gotten an opportunity to step into the talented Argentine’s role. While they didn’t have the best of outings, they gained valuable game experience and did have a few positive stretches of play. Back to the original point, it’s two games into the season.
Olsen acknowledged that “it’s tough to do” in regards to filling in the void left by Acosta, still he wanted to make a point that there were things that could be done to lessen that blow. What are those things? “Decision making, spacing” are just two of things he mentioned in response to an a question from the Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
He’s right, both of those are simple yet very important when thinking about holding the ball. It’s almost impossible to retain possession when players make the wrong decision or the spacing is jacked up. It’s the little things, but Olsen made it clear that it’s not anything worth hitting the panic button, “all normal stuff this part of the year.”
The coach then talked more about the little things on the defensive side, mentioning that they need to get back to a “what if mentality.” Meaning that players need to make sure they’re in the right spots not only for themselves, but for their teammates. To give each other options when someone’s on the ball, the little things. Even if a team has been together for a while or has had good chemistry, sometimes those things have to be reset at the start of the year. Building those relationships back up to the point they were at last season while creating new ones, it’s been two games.
The Black-and-Red get an opportunity this weekend to get on the right foot at home when they host the Columbus Crew. Whether Lucho is able to go or not, pay attention to the little things when watching the game. They play an enormous role in the outcome of the game.