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Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Welcome! I have been an avid Washington Capitals fan since 1977, when I attended my first game at Capital Centre, in Landover, MD, just 5 minutes from where I grew up in Bowie. I held season tickets from 81-92 there, in section 126, L. I then held season tickets from 99, until 07 at Verizon Center, first in 410 H, then in 408 E, then 408 A. This blog gets its name from where my seats have always been..."Behind The Goal Line". Being born and raised here in Washington, D.C. I also am an ardent & lifelong D.C. United, Nationals, and Redskins fan. This blog is not intended to be a "news" source, or anything of that nature, rather, it is just one lifelong fan and supporter's musings, opinions, thoughts, rants, perspectives, and observations on all things Caps, from on the ice, in the stands, to the front office, and around the NHL too. I will attempt to keep this updated as often as I can, so check back often as this is a work in progress.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

CONCACAF Champions Cup :: United Advance on Aggregate 6-1

Leg 1: 3|12|08 - Kingston, Jamaica - United 1 - 1 HVFC

D.C. United opened its CONCACAF Champions Cup play against Jamaican club Harbor View FC with a lineup that was much the same, but also very different from what we saw at the end of last season. The superstar duo of Luciano Emilio and captain Jaime Moreno started up top, and United gave debuts to three of their new South American signings. Gonzalo Peralta and Gonzalo Martinez paired in the center of defense, flanked by Marc Burch and Bryan Namoff, while Marcelo Gallardo was handed playmaking duties at the top of D.C.'s midfield, while Devon McTavish got the start the start at right midfield, with Fred manning the left flank and Clyde Simms taking the holding midfielder's role.

Barely 14 minutes into the match, United suffered what could have been two major injury blows. Jaime Moreno injured his hamstring, and had to be subbed out. While it is not serious, he will miss the 2nd leg at RFK Stadium. Just less than a minute later, GK Zach Wells took a boot to his head after running off of his line to challenge an HVFC scoring attempt. Wells made the save, but paid the price, staying down on the pitch for several minutes. After receiving treatment, Wells was able to shake it off and continue the match.

United played a fairly decent first half, keeping HVFC at bay for most of it, while stretching out thier backline. The play was slightly chippy however, and United could not mount any real sustained pressure, but still managed some dangerous changes. Fortunately for united on a push very late in the first half, Devon McTavish found the back of the net, and put United ahead 1-0 just before halftime. However, that would prove not to be quite enough.

The second half United came out flat. Looking lethargic, and not connecting on passes and through balls, while also allowing HVFC to mount significant pressure on its backline, and on Wells. HVFC had several good chances, however Wells was up to the task each time, holding is line steadfast. Throughout the second half, United really looked like a new team, that had not much actual playing time together. HVFC kept the pressure on into the late stages of the match and finally it paid off. HVFC scored on a corner kick during the 85th minute of the match to draw level 1-1. There was alot of confusion down in the 6 yard box, many leaping and bouncing bodies and after a few caroms, the ball found itself on the foot of HFVC's Lovel Palmer, and then to the back of the net. That is how the match would finish. It was not what United supporters wanted nor expected to see, however this was their first true competitive match as a "team", with all the new faces, so an adjustment period of sorts is to be expected.

Leg 2: 3|18|08 - HVFC @ D.C. United :: United 5 - 0 HVFC

United started this match much the same way they finished the last half of the previous meeting in Jamaica, lethargic, not really connecting on passes / through balls, and just looking "off". However that changed a bit late in the 1st have as Devon McTavish would finish off a good chance and put United up 1-nil. The Second half, well, not much can be said about that. United exploded for 4 goals, 3 of which came in the span of less than 10 minutes. United looked energised and firing on all cylinders. Even when the game was already put away, United continued to press on the attack and put on an offencive clinic. United completely and totally dominated HVFC and absolutely shredded their back line. Emilio and McTavish both scored 2 goals, and Fred bagged the other. United were foaming at the mouth for more, even after it was 5-nil, and clearly were not going to let up on the attack.

Granted, HVFC was missing 2 started because of Visa issues, however I am not sure that would have made too much of a difference. when United explodes such as they did, there is usually no stopping them, and that was the case. United advances to the semifinal round, where they will face Pachuca.

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