DC United Match report

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by Andersons11, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Andersons11

    Andersons11 Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    A youthful Fulham side runs out victorious versus a mixed D.C. United side.

    Fulham’s away venture to D.C United was greeted with a mixture of pleasant surprise and confusion when it was announced at the end of the season. The move however, makes sense when you think about Shahid Khan’s ownership of the club. Allowing the current supporters to see their favorite club, while hopefully adding to the American contingent.

    The day started off at the aptly named Jacksonville Sports Bar, where the largest meeting of Fulham supporters took place on this side of the Atlantic since the 2005 MLS All Star match. Fulham in Florida had a wonderful welcoming atmosphere and we were visited by the Tache himself Shahid Khan, who was kind enough to open the tab for a little while.

    It was a little surprising when Felix named the squad that a few more of the more experienced squad did not travel. However with Ipswich right around the corner it was understandable. Dembele was lethal in front of goal and Felix’s call to bring a very young side was justified as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against a mixed D.C United squad.

    Felix seems to have instilled a 4-4-2 Diamond system that was evident in the other friendly matches as well. As the lads walked out on the pitch, you saw a confidence that often was void of the squad last year. Chris David supported Hugo and Dembele up top as the tip of the diamond, while Hoogland anchored the midfield. Hyndman and Williams slotted in on the sides of the diamond, while Vosser, Stafylidis, Burgess and Hutchinson completed the back four with Joronen in goal.

    In the early stages both sides were a bit shaky, testing each other out which is to be expected from a match such as this. Joronen was tested early and Hugo made a few pleasing runs that ended for naught. In the 7th minute our on loan left back Stafylidis made a charging run that ended up with a free kick on the edge of the box, earned by Hugo. Hugo and David stepped up, with the latter causing the ball to shoot of the post.

    Fulham soaked up the pressure with relative ease, with only a few cases of a missed pass here or there, in which case you could argue the back four are still learning to play with each other. However, throughout the match they were compact, no nonsense and smart about their defending, with Stafylidis once again being both solid defensively, but creating an offensive spark.
    In the 21st minute a quick counter from Fulham resulted in a 1 nil lead to the Whites. Miscommunication allowed our young forward to nip in and lift a clever finish over the United keeper. As the match wore on, it was evident a system was in place and that it was being adhered to. As D.C threatened with a few corners, it was evident our back line was confident in the way they were instructed. Another quick counter allowed Moussa to slot home his second of the evening as the ball bounced around in the box, 3 yards from goal. A clinical, but poacher’s goal. The team effort was evident and while all of the players like Hyndman and Williams played well Stafylidis really stood out during the half.

    The second half began much as the first had, with United testing Fulham, but not really forcing Joronen into work. Roberts came on for Williams at the half and was quite lively, making smart, accurate passes. As the 50th minute approached the United keeper was forced into a save, causing an injury to himself. This forced Ben Olson to bring on Hamid, United’s first choice goalkeeper.

    Fulham players took it in turn to be lively with David particularly pleasing to the eye. However, most of the players at some point or an caused the crowd to be awestruck with a fancy step over or a silky pass, Joronen even got in on the action with a fine double save, that on any other day would have prevented the clean sheet.

    United pressed, trying to get at least one back, dragging a shot wide from a delightful delivery from the left. Dembele, however had other plans and in the 71st completed his hat-trick on the evening, breaking into free space and slotting coolly past Hamid.

    Several water breaks were called throughout the match and it was needed. Fulham sank into a rhythm to close out the match and a pre-season debut was handed to Eisfield and George Williams.Towards the end, Hugo threw himself towards a cross in an attempt to get a header on target and Roberts made a surging run in the last minute with an attempt on goal.
    The final whistle blew with barely a minutes worth of stoppage time allowing the boys time to get another drink of water and enjoy the victory. Fulham 3 D.C United 0

    Player Analysis:
    Joronen: was truely never tested during the match. He was very able when called upon though. He showed his class with a double save that should have been a goal for DC
    Voser: A quiet yet composed game. He got forward when needed and defended capably.
    Hutchinson: Learning the system and played well with Burgess. Made the simple no nonsense clearences when needed. He played smart and simple. Just what was needed.
    Burgess: The same as Hutch, played well and defended smartly.
    Stafylidis: Its early stages, but it appears we have finally found a left back who defends properly, along with getting a few attacking crosses in. Lets hope we can keep on to him.
    Hoogland: Sat right above our defenders and dictated defensive play, often cutting out trouble before it got to the back four.
    Williams: Played well, had a few good touches and a few good runs, a credit to the Academy.
    Hyndman: He influenced the match with short passes and held the ball well. The ironic thing is apart from the Fulham support present the rest of the crowd had no idea that he hailed from Texas.
    David: If there was one player on the field that controlled the match, it was David. He showed why he is highly rated and has continued where he left off from the last match of the season. Creative with his passes, he read the game well.
    Rodellega: Captained the side. His effort on the pitch was extrordinary. While he had a few shots off target during the match, his runs allowed Dembele more space. An attempted sciscor kick and a long busting run ending with a flying header forcing the keeper off his line, were the highlights of the match for Hugo.
    Dembele: Scored all three goals. He kept his composure, forcing a mistake for the first, calmly put a bouncing ball in the box for a second and his third came as he ran onto a pass, slotting home cooley past the on rushing goalkeeper.
    Roberts: Came on shortly after the half and was lively. His run past several defenders, starting 45 or so yards out that resulted on a shot on goal from the edge of the box was quite easy on the eye.
    Eisfield: Came on for twenty minutes or so and looked at home in the midfield.
    George Williams: Came on with 8 minutes to play and didnt play long enough to pass judgement.

    A few take aways.
    While this was not a full strength D.C side, this is the squad second in the MLS Eastern Conference and a side quite in form.
    This year, it looks like there is a team. While players like Dembele, Roberts, David and Stafylidis have genuinely impressed, the team ethic is there.
    SIGN STAFYLIDIS UP NOW, ok it is just a loan now, but this kid is the real deal. A proper left back, hes no nonsense in the defense side and gets forward when he needs to. For me its between him and David for player of the season.(Early I know)
    Its quite refreshing to see a side play with a formation and a clear understanding of one another.

    http://ffcvist.imgur.com/ (For Pre match and Match Pictures)
    dcheather likes this.
  2. Andersons11

    Andersons11 Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    There may be a few duplicate pictures, as my internet is being stupid.
  3. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    great match review and thanks for the pictures!
  4. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Thanks for the write up!
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Great match report, thanks for this one, mate!
  6. psand22

    psand22 Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Columbia, SC
    Great write up, but how did you shoot so many photos and I didn't even make one. Hahahaha....I guess you didn't want to break the camera. I'll be more presentable next time...
  7. Andersons11

    Andersons11 Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Its all about location location location..... No idea to be honest
  8. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay
    Yes, thank you for the report. Good stuff.
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