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Looking Ahead, Looking Back

DCU will take the weekend off and then resume training at the RFK grounds Monday for a week of workouts before heading to Guadalajara for some high-altitude fun (5,200 feet in the city, a bit higher where DCU will be based) and the second leg of the series on April 3. Not only will the altitude adjustment improve DCU's chances against Chivas, it will prepare them for their MLS season opener in Denver a few days later.

As loyal patrons of the Insider, you have known well before anyone else that Fred is in town. Here's another little tidbit for ya: Don't be surprised if he joins the lads for training Monday. He's under contract, he's got his work visa, all that remains is the international transfer certificate from the stubborn Aussies.

In the meantime, here's a highlight package of last night's DCU match from our friends at YouTube and a link to film from Houston's 2-0 victory over Pachuca:

By Steve Goff  |  March 16, 2007; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: They're No. 1


Good news about Fred (assuming the Aussies cooperate)- we need some improved right flank play when we play the Goatboys in their yard.

Posted by: Eric Z | March 16, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

More and more I think that Fred will replace Moreno and that one of McTavish, DeRoux, or Casal will take an outside mid spot. So far this year, Moreno has really looked past it.

Posted by: MFF in LA | March 16, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Will anything come of the postmatch pushing and shoving? The Chivas goalie's field long dash to shove Ben in the back seemed to be the worst of it.

Posted by: KDB | March 16, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

That shove by the keeper after the match should result in a one game (return leg) suspension. Clearly out of spite, without provocation, dirty play typical of the Mexican sides against the US. I mean, Ben even had his backed turned, what kind of cheap shot is that?!

Posted by: del | March 16, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Great goals from Houston, particularly DeRosario's pass leading to the 2nd easy finish!

They're in good shape for the return . .

Posted by: del | March 16, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Del, you might not know, but why was Olsen just going trying to pick fights with the youngest players from Guadalajara? Going after kids who are 18, 19? In his position you would've thought he would've eventually ended up picking fights with Bravo or Bautista.

For being 18 or 19, the Guadalajara players did a good job in not falling to his provocations all game long.

Posted by: Vic | March 16, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

He picked on him because he's young (19) and likely to make a crucial mistake that leads to a goal (which he did). That was a crafty move by a veteran. They'll be out to get ben in the away leg and he knows it and will use that to his advantage.

Posted by: DCAustinite | March 16, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Vic - I commend you for being able to type with your head so far up your rectum.

Chivas was trying to punk on Ben all night with their cheap fouls, etc. bunch of thugs and punks

Posted by: Amazed | March 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Amazed, do you got a bit more to contribute to this conversation? If not I'll go right ahead abd continue sodomizing your mom. Thank you.

Posted by: Vic | March 16, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Chivas smells like poo.

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | March 16, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse


What game were you watching?

And if you step out on that field, wearing your teams colors, knowing who you are going against, regardless of age, you need to be ready to deal with any players on the opposing teams, including experienced vets like Olsen. A "dont pick on the young guys" suggestion should get laughed at by both professionals and fans.

Posted by: the cheat | March 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah DC Austin, they kept their cool until the last play. Both teams commited hard fouls, and while Olsen pretty much is the leader of the team with his intensity, sometimes it gets the better of him. I've seen enough DCUtd games and seen him enough that sometimes he loses his cool as well.

Nothing to complain here, I like the intensity he brings to the field and yesterday a foul on him led to a goal, other times his intensity earns him a red, and we've seen that on more than a few ocassions.

Like I said, I root for DC United in the MLS, I aint about to root for DC United against the team I grew up rooting for.

Posted by: Vic | March 16, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

re-read my comment. They kept their cool, until. the. last. play.

I already said what I think about Olsen, period, but while people see that Chivas players were commiting fouls on him, you also have to see that a lot of the players that commited fouls on him were not the players he was going after.

18 or 19, players at this level need to keep their cool, if they can't then they should not play, I agree. Some of the players on the field yesterday won the u-17 World Cup a couple of years ago, and a few of them have played top opposition in Libertadores Cup, they overall did well in not responding to Olsens' provocation, just noting who Olsen was constantly going after.

Posted by: Vic | March 16, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Man, is Christian Miles annoying or what?

Posted by: Eric | March 16, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, he IS annoying. Luckily there is a version of the same video with less of him to be seen and heard here:

Perhaps Goff-man will substitute the video above for the one in his blog entry to save our ears!

Posted by: Hey | March 16, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse


All in all it was a hard fought game, largely cleanly played. Moreno, in particular, challenged hard for a flighted ball but immediately turned to the injured player on the ground.

As far as Olsen . . DC U clearly needed someone to raise the intensity level and Ben brought it. I didn't see him give any cheap shots, but he took a few, inclding that punk one from the goalkeeper.

I will admit that from my POV in the corner and with the hypothermia that was setting in the second half, I couldn't see it all.

Posted by: del | March 16, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

You want 'keep their cool'? How about Josh Gros. He, too, was mobbed and hacked at. Including a complete two footed takedown from behind (while the ref was looking the other way, and the fourth official and AR were apparently discussing dinner plans). Gros got up complained, and kept playing. Even as the slower the glacier defender kept molesting him.

That's keeping your cool. If you go off at the end, you didn't keep your cool.

I liked Chivas supporters last night. A good bunch that love their club. But I really didn't care for the thuggishness that the team displayed.

Posted by: Vic | March 16, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Great goals from Houston, particularly DeRosario's pass leading to the 2nd easy finish!

They're in good shape for the return . .

Posted by: del | March 16, 2007 12:21 PM

Normally,I would agree...and 2-0 ahead beats a kick in the teeth. However, as long as we're talking altitude and Mexican football, Pachuca sits at a higher elevation (7,960 feet) than Mexico City. Houston has their work cut out...if they can find it in the thin air.

Posted by: Normally I would agree... | March 16, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

That's great that they're going to Mexico a week before the game, apparently . . . against PUMAS they went just a day or two early, IIRC, and made some comment like "the altitude is not much different than Denver;" they seem more realistic this time.

Posted by: gringo | March 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, Guadalajara is actually at a slightly lower altitude then Denver (5200ft). The Pumas match was played in Mexico City (7300ft). Pachuca is at 8000ft, so Dynamo really have their work cut out for them.

Posted by: Alex | March 16, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

As a person who lives at 7200ft, I can tell you that it takes a good 3 months to acclimate. A week ain't going to cut it. They better be in good shape.

Posted by: viv | March 17, 2007 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Denver is 5200' as well.

Posted by: DCUinCT | March 17, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and we lost last time we played there when we ran out of gas at '60. The Rapids have the best home field advantage in the league.

Posted by: John Denver | March 17, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"The Rapids have the best home field advantage in the league."

No they don't. They don't play at RFK in front of us.

Posted by: Country Road | March 17, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the best ways to deal with altitude are to 1) blitz in a day or two before and not give your bodies time to think about it or 2) come in at least two weeks out and do a bunch of conditioning in that first week. It actually worse to give yourself that a week or so than to give yourself just a day.

Posted by: KDB | March 18, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

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