There are plenty of lessons to learn from losing a game in which a team allows five goals.
Defense breakdowns can be examined, gaps in the team can be found and fixes can be implemented in practice.
But none of that is possible for D.C. United after their 5-3 loss at San Jose on Wednesday night, as the next matchup with Toronto FC looms just around the corner on Saturday afternoon (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
The quick turnaround has its pros and cons, evident by the reaction by the players and coaches after the loss to San Jose, which snapped United’s seven-game unbeaten streak.
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“At this point, we are putting it behind us, and shifting all our focus to Toronto,” United midfielder and defender Perry Kitchen told MLSsoccer.com after the loss. “I think it’s good that we have a game coming up, so that we can get our minds off [the loss to San Jose].”
The quick turnaround will test United’s depth and ability to recover from the cross country trip to San Jose, and then a flight up to Toronto. Already missing from the equation are center backs Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic, both who stayed home during this trip to nurse various injuries.
Their absence was evident Wednesday night, as the Quakes racked up scoring chances and goals like they were on a clearance rack at a supermarket.
“We have to survive,” United manager Ben Olsen said of the absence of Dudar and Jakovic. “There are a lot of teams with players in key positions out. We just have to make it work. We have a late game here, and an early game in Toronto in two days. We have to get ready for another tough battle.”
For now, though, United have to lament the fact that an early goal from Dwayne De Rosario was wasted within 25 minutes in the first half, as the Quakes scored three times to effectively put the game out of reach.
“We got punished,” De Rosario told reporters after the game. “Teams like that, any chance you give, they are going to finish it, and we saw that tonight. But away from home, three goals, you think that’s good enough to at least come away with a point, and we didn’t. We came away with nothing, and we’re disappointed about that part.”
In due time, there will be plenty for United to take from the game against San Jose. But as Kitchen pointed out, now isn’t the time for dwelling.
“We are going to look back and learn from this game,” he said, “but all of our focus is now on Toronto.”