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DCU-Chivas Aftermath

Some quick thoughts......

-- A huge, huge missed opportunity for United. They were clearly the better club in the first half, but yielding that equalizer just before the break was a killer. As the second half began, you could sense the momentum had shifted dramatically.

-- Perkins made three very nice saves in the match, but everyone is going to remember that howler on Pineda's shot from distance. Yeah, it was raining, the ball was wet, but still...

-- Erpen was burned badly on the long ball that led to Chivas's first goal. Lack of pace -- and perhaps anticipation -- was evident.

-- Fred wasn't on the pitch long enough to be fairly assessed. Once the club fully incorporates him into the lineup, I am sure we will see much more from him. By the way, I did not like Simms out wide. He's a good holding midfielder, not a flank player, IMO.

-- Having played four competitive matches before the MLS season has even begun, United now enters the regular season more prepared than any other MLS club, except Houston. I would be very surprised if this team does not get off to a fast start. Eventually, everyone else will catch up in terms of chemistry and fitness, but right now, United and Houston have a clear advantage.

Tom Soehn quotes:

"We were able to control the tempo pretty well in the first half. We learned from the first game and gave them a lot of trouble. The goal that hurt us was the one right before the half. It would've been nice to have the lead at the half."

On Perkins's gaffe, "I don't know what happened. The rain was coming down pretty hard, but it's just an error. In games of this quality, you can't let that happen."

On Fred's late entry, "He hasn't had a lot of time to acclimate to the team. Practicing and playing in a game like this are very different. We want to be patient with him and give him time to learn our system and get used to the guys."

On deRoux's contributions, "He did all right, he almost created a goal, but he got a little gassed."

On losing the series, "Absolutely, we missed an opportunity. The goals we let in were unfortunate."

On Gros, Soehn said it appeared the player suffered a concussion.

Anyway, here are my player ratings -- as always subject to ridicule and condemnation.

Perkins 4; Erpen 4, Boswell 6, Namoff 5; Simms 4, Carroll 5, Olsen 6, Gros 5, Gomez 5; Moreno 7, Emilio 6. Subs: deRoux 6, Fred 5, Walker 5.

By Steve Goff  |  April 4, 2007; 12:02 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Gros Out, Casal In

Comments

If I could be the first . . .

Perkins deserves much more than a 4. Granted he lost the game for us, but he saved it 2 or 3 times after defensive breakdowns.

Erpen? Please if Perkins was a 4, Erpen was a negative 4. He bit on a play 40 yards from goal and got beat. He's playing with 3 defenders and hasn't figured that out yet?!!!

Simms also a 4. The guy was lost on the outside. The black hole of our offense. In fact, this 4 belongs to Soehn not Simms. What a bad decision.

The rest? Who cares as we lost.

MLS is going to be used by DC this year.

Posted by: delantero | April 4, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"The rest? Who cares as we lost."

Whaddaya MEAN, "Who cares as we lost"?!?!?

I CARE, dagnabbit!! But not the way you think:

Perkins, NOTHING negative any of us fans say about you after this game could POSSIBLY equal what I'm sure must be going through your mind right now (12:30am EST Wednesday). You're STILL a doggone good goalkeeper, okay? May you take the pain from this game and channel it into more shutouts during the regular MLS season than any other MLS goalie. I look forward to seeing you at RFK in November at the MLS Cup game.

DC!! UNIDO! JAMAS SERA VENCIDO!!!

-- Juan-John :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | April 4, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

you are not being fair Golfinho, Moreno was a ten, Gomez ( what? did he play) every one else great job!!! dc united!!!!

Posted by: koolcaio | April 4, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Perkins' rating is about right because he made a few big stops, but that gaffe obviously cost the game.

I'd give Boswell a 5 instead of a 6. Even though Erpen got burned on the run, Boswell stepped away from his mark and Bautista scored the goal. IMO, I think Erpen shows a lot when he pushes forward with the ball. Unfortunately, he also shows a lot of space to opposing forwards (or a lot of studs with his infamous slide tackles).

Good to see Moreno have some energy, particularly in the first half, compared to the first Champions Cup games when he looked every bit his age.

Posted by: G-Dub | April 4, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm bitter has heck about this lost, but....we held our own....at altitude....in Mexico....in one of the most storied stadium of all futbol....

Posted by: DC Hooligan | April 4, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Did I mention we didn't lose five nil?

Posted by: DC Hooligan | April 4, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Simms 4, what game did you watch????

Posted by: koolcaio | April 4, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

And oh yeah, when Fred came on in the second half, a good chunk of the non-smoking section at Summers in Arlington applauded. He shoulda been brought on earlier, in my (newbie footbal fan who saw him play live at Oh-dark-thirty last month in the Hyundai A-League championship) opinion...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 4, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Awkwardly enough, i also predicted a 2-1 loss, and told my buddies if we lost by this much it is still an accomplishment based on the teams who have lost at their house. But sadly, im not happy, we were the better team. But the loss of momentum caused our downfall. Not a hard one, but one at that.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | April 4, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I really Erpen held his own for much of the match. Yes he got burnt on that first goal but honestly Bozwell should have been marking his man better on that play instead Bozwell got caught ball watching and Bofo made him pay dearly.

Still I was impress with DC particularly in the first half but they started give out of steam by the 2nd and you could see that by their inablilty to get to the ball before Chivas could. Still I wasn't as impressed by Chivas as I thought I would. They made good passes in the final third but I think a midseason United could have won this game tonight.

Perkins did make 2 or 3 good saves but he didn't make them when it matter the most. He gave up a soft goal and thats the difference between a goalie on the national team and just being another good MLS goalie. Perkins really choked on that play and lost is mostly on his shoulders and United inability to clearly break down Chivas in the final 3rd of the field.

Simms really isn't any good in the final 3rd and it showed the value of a true winger. Still if this is DC in pre-season form they are going to be a beast in the first half of the regular season and the Superliga should be fun.

Posted by: degerron | April 4, 2007 12:59 AM | Report abuse

The fluidity of the United play in the first half was quite good, definately the team to beat in MLS this year no question about that. But games are played for 90 minutes not 40 and the loss of rthyhm and momentum following bofo's goal meant a demise for the black and red. Too bad about Perkin's gaffe, the commentators were talking about the wet conditions but I didn't think they would actually play such a large role.
Moreno is such a calm player, even when he does a spectacular bicycle kick, he just eludes coolness.

Posted by: bicycles are cool | April 4, 2007 12:59 AM | Report abuse

On the money again Goff. Simms was a huge liability on the wing all game long, don't remember one quality service despite lots of chances to cross. Plus a lot of bad touches and give-aways.
You feel bad for Perkins, but the error was juvenile--typical for high school soccer, wet ball slips through the goalie's hands and into the net. Any quality keeper just parries that one over and concedes the corner kick in those conditions.
The game reminded me a lot of the Catolica game in 05, where you just knew we would crack, it wasn't a question of "if."
One thing that is common about consistently good teams that you see the more you watch soccer all over the world: good teams do not give up soft goals. We're better than 05, but not championship quality yet.
On the bright side, given the quality and circumstance of it, I would venture to say that Moreno's goal was his best EVER for United, which is saying a lot considering how much he has scored. When he left the game, I felt our last hope was gone.
Inexperienced coaching was also troubling. A sub for a sub? Thats a move saved for desperate circumstances. Simms the full 90 and Fred for only 20? They should have straight swapped at halftime given Simms' poor form. Can't give the coach a lot of credit for this one...

Posted by: Nick | April 4, 2007 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Good comments Steve -- the only thing I would really add is that Gomez didn't show up as needed. To really be the elite player he wants to be, he needs to show up in big games like this (and the playoffs).

Posted by: RB | April 4, 2007 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Watched the game on FSC @ Temperance Bar and boy was I surprised at how even we looked. Jamie's soft bicycle may be the prettiest goal we see all year from the red and black. On the first Chivas goal Erpen got smoked on the footie equivalent of a simple backdoor cut, but the real culprit was Boswell, who, as the Chivas player was coming at the goal along the touchline with no angle to do anything, took two steps toward him, leaving his own man unmarked at the 6. Simple pass, simple finish, bad defending. The second Chivas goal was rec-league keeping by Perkins. Long blast from way outside the box, saw it all the way, just didn't watch the ball into his hands -- lost focus. Painful, painful way to lose. It's too bad, 'cause Perkins made two outstanding saves from the ground and generally looked back on form.

DeRoux looked pretty good to me. Speedy, agressive. Simms looked like poo, awful awful crosses. Gomez was pretty invisible for the most part. Fred's 15 minutes were pretty unremarkable. Caroll had some bad moments and some really clumsy-looking tackles. Jamil Walker ran around a lot and accomplished nothing (I see him as the Eddie Johnson of DCU).

On the whole, it was pretty much a 50/50 game. We blew two very good chances, and had a ball off the post in a mad scramble at the very end. Take away the Perkins gaffe, and it could have easily been our night. But it's a game of inches... oh wait, that's baseball... If nothing else we've shown that the days of going in and getting pasted by Mexican clubs are probably a thing of the past.

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 4, 2007 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Last thing -- for as much as Gomez stepped down, Moreno stepped up big time. Aside from the goal, he really brought great energy when he was in there. It's good to see him break into good form before the season.

Posted by: RB | April 4, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Perkins blew it and he deserves a worse rating. Having said that, other than keller, friedel, howard n hanneman there is no american gk I'd even consider wanting over troy. I was very proud of the way he finished the game with two very good saves. I'm a gk and allowing goals Like that is personally crushing.tough night to be a dc fan but I agree, the rest of the mls is in trouble

Posted by: matt y | April 4, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I say we protest the match--there were 12 goats on the field.

The mistake by Perkins didn't seem like the result of having a wet ball. It looked like he misjudged its height by a couple of inches, or maybe at the last second decided to parry it over the bar instead of catch it.

Posted by: Paul | April 4, 2007 4:30 AM | Report abuse

player ratings IMO.
Erpen-TERRIBLE!! What number is that? He's a liablility and I hope he comes around because he is getting beat to the ball and marking one on one.
Boz -6- He should have kept up with Bautista but otherwise did okay.
Namoff-7- I'm liking him more and more especially his ability to help start our attack.
Simm-6- This is wear I disagree a lot. I think he got up the wing and played within his ability. He got back and marked up and even helped Erpen to solidify that side of the field. He is not a good crosser so that is all Soehn's fault. But he got up there and remained dangerous on the wing.
Olsen -7- solid as always
Carroll -6- Should have gotten back to help a little more
Gomez-a rare 4- He just wasn't a factor
Moreno-9-Brilliant
Emelio-8- I love how he finds a way to get involved and finds opening even when there isn't one to get open and recive a pass. We did not have that with Esky. Love this guy!
Perkins -6- Tough luck on the goal but he also saved the match a few times. He'll be fine. Remember the first game of last season when he gave up an easy goal.

We have to keep in mind that this still preseason and Chivas is in mid season form. I think hey got a bit gassed in the second half. They did well.

Posted by: gomez4prez | April 4, 2007 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the ratings by Goff, except for, like everyone else, Simms and Erpen. Simms was lost out there. No quality touches, and he was unable to link up with the central players, though I credit a tough and extremely well-organized Chivas defense for a lot of that. DeRoux was much better; fast, aggressive and dangerous looking.

Erpen, well, what can you say? Burned horribly on Bautista's goal. That was definitely not Boswell's fault. Covering Erpen's behind is gonna make Boz look stupid every time, but he had no choice. Tommy needs to put a collar on Erpen and give Boz the leash.

Other than that, a pretty decently played game: great goal by Jaime, just pure class, solid midfield, and Emilio, my hero. He was pretty quiet, but had two great scoring chances that he created just by putting himself in the right spot. His instincts are impeccable, and he even stepped back a bit and did some great ball-holding work. I'd rate him an 8 of Goff's scale.

Posted by: Grotus | April 4, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed in Soehn. Why did we start with 3 dmids? Simms on the wing was a mistake. Neither he or Gros or Deroux were able to beat their men one v one. If they did get space the crosses were poor. Walker is a waste of space. But or problem is not offense, it is defense. How can we continue to play with 3 defenders when one of them is Erpen? Every game he has some kind of howler. He got burned bad and I think that forced Bos to make a mistake in trying to cover. I have no confidence in Erpen's ability to play in a 3-man line. With cover in a 4 maybe he'd do alright. Is there no one better available?? We made two defensive mistakes and lost. Too bad as in the first half I thought we played well despite the defensive midset. But once Chivas figured out our wide guys were no threat off they went.

Posted by: RRP | April 4, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

5-0, what happened? I can't say I have ever been happier to be wrong. DCU looked great out there and played with a lot of passion.

I can't wait for Colorado!

Was that the best Moreno goal ever? Top 3? In the last 3 seasons of DCU soccer I would put that as #1 but I'm not sure about before that.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 4, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

thought Roberto Morneo did a good job officiating, made his calls without trying to make himself the center of attention, kept the match moving. worth noting, given the opponent and the venue.

Posted by: Bill Urban | April 4, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The most disappointing thing about this series was our inability to take care of business at home.

If DC United could have won at home, the whole complexion changes.

Missed opportunity is right.

Posted by: Dave | April 4, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

RRP - I disagree with your Walker comment. Jamil placed a nice header on the back post in the 89th minute. Almost in and then just barely cleared away from Emilo by the Goats. Walker has that amazing speed in the last 20 minutes when back lines are tired. Speaking of tired, I think all of the DCU boys were gassed by the 75th minute and lucky Chivas did not pop another one in. Thanks Troy for saving your back line several times.

Disheartening result because you could see that United had the potential to make history in Mexico. Still a very entertaining match and puts MFL on notice for SuperLiga.

I am excited about the MLS season and look forward to the boys pasting the Red Bulls and Revs. Does Emilo get to spit Red Bull out after his first goal against NY??

Posted by: DCU Fan | April 4, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I think some of you are being way too hard on Simms. I thought he did well moving the ball up the side and tracked back to defend when needed. I thought he was our most consistent player most of the game. Unfortunately he had no one to cross the ball to on many occasions. There was just nobody in the box once he got down there. Moreno spent a lot of time in the center circle getting the ball so he wasn't a target much of the time. Emilio was very quiet and Gomez had some flashes here and there but also didn't do enough. And he missed a number of easy wide open passes by trying to dribble or make a hard play instead.

This was a very winnable game which is why we're all disappointed. Chivas isn't all that. I feel bad for Perkins. But we had our chances to score some goals in a few scrambles. Ultimately Chivas played defense tightly enough to keep us from creating much in the final third.

Everybody complains when I talk about our shaky defense. But it was certainly on display during this game. It's time for Kasper to wake up and realize that we need some more defensive help.

Posted by: Glenn | April 4, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

For as well as DCU played, they still didn't create many good chances. Passes-in-a-row don't count for much.

Posted by: RK | April 4, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Erpen is awful. Every team in MLS is going to attack him. Slow and absolutely terrible going forward.

Good Ref this time. That was a surprise.

Posted by: Hacksaw | April 4, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Erpen got burned, but Boswell made the bigger gaffe by moving away from his mark and placing himself in a no-man's land. Those two and Perkins were the biggest downers. Yeah, Troy made 2 or 3 great saves, but that howler was something else. Simms has no touch and is awkward with his feet. He does not have the ability to push into the final third of the field. He overwhelmingly tends to pass backwards, and if he does go forward, his crosses are terrible. He should have been subbed out. DeRoux made some trouble for Chivas, but he needs to work on his positioning and defense. Gomez was a big disappointment. Chivas basically took him out in both games. I give props to Moreno, Ben, and Namoff (until towards the end).

Posted by: highbury | April 4, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

regarding Erpen - Chivas beat that side of the field repeatedly in the first match, you had to know it was coming in the second. they didn't use it as much thanks to the improved defensive play of Simms on the wing, but when they had their opportunity they certainly made the most of it.

For MLS, however, how many players honestly have the speed to consistently beat Erpen if they try the ball over him? Not many.

Its an unfortunate result, but I think even Chivas realizes that if they played DC 10 times the results would be pretty even. Different styles of play, but DC adapted very well, especially in that first half.

Can't wait for the destruction of Colorado on Saturday

Posted by: Zero | April 4, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I again was impressed with Namoff. Most underrated player on the squad. He was busy, busy, busy and gets the ball to where it needs to be. I dont want to hate on anyone but it was painful to watch Erpen and Simms give the ball away in our own third time and time again. They are far and away the two weakest links and the only thing keeping us from greatness.

Perkins is a solid keeper but if DC was serious about becoming THE team in CONCACAF for the next 3-4 years they would trade him away and bring in Keller. Can you imagine our defense with him between the pipes? He would wip Erpen into shape real quick.

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | April 4, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Truly a blunder that did not belong at this level. That said, I've always felt Perkins was a beneficiary of the excellent team he played behind - and anyone would look like an upgrade of Rimando (ok, I'll have to exclude Bo Oshoyni!)

Still, I though defensively (at least in the midfield) DC were very strong, and surprised Chivas. The ball winning skills of Olsen, Carroll and Simms were much better than those of the Mexicans. If only the use of the ball had been better.

Shame Gomez didn't really get going in this one, I think (rightfully) Chivas did enough to stifle him. Moreno scored, which is as much as you can ask from a striker.

I think losing Gros was a loss, but moreover, I think the timing and nature of both the goals conceded eventually consigned DC to their fate.

Truly an opportunity missed.

Posted by: Aljarov | April 4, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I think Boswell was caught in no-man's land -- otherwise, the winger had a one-on-one with Perkins. That slight move gave Medina the room to slot it to Bautista. I think that Boswell was damned if you do, damned if you don't in what was essentially a two-on-one.

Posted by: RK | April 4, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Some contrarian points.

I thought Boswell had a very poor game, much worse than Erpen and here's why. Yeah, Erpen got burned on pace on the play leading to Bautista's goal, but Boswell was caught ball watching instead of marking Bofo giving him an uncontested shot. Also, Boswell showed no pace last night and his limited ball skills stand in contrast to either Erpen or Namoff who can add something to the attack. The fact is that Namoff, Boswell & Erpen are a very good MLS back line, but at higher levels, their collective lack of pace and inexperience will lead to problems when playing as 3 in the back.

I also was less than impressed with de Roux. A very nice cross to set up Gomez but otherwise a lot of aimless dribbling against multiple defenders and very poor defensive positioning and cover. Also, he got subbed because he was "gassed", yet he hadn't even started the game and has been in camp the same time as the others, he shouldn't have had any more problems with conditioning than Olsen, Emilio or Gomez. I am looking forward to seeing what Casal offers on the left because he had de Roux's speed and possibly offers more offense/defense.

Finally, Simms isn't a winger and I was confused by Soehn's decision. However, Simms played with intensity and heart, his deficiencies were the result of playing out of position, nothing else.

However, DCU played well overall and fought Chivas to a standstill in their house. Compare this to the Pumas' debacle only 2 years ago and you must admit that DCU has improved greatly and that in turn reflects well on MLS.

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 4, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Little harsh on Simms. He just doesn't have an attacking mentality. He did slow down the attack on that side. I think he started there because of his fitness. I don't think you'll see him out there much.

I was surprised at how centrally, and how deep, Fred was when he came in.

An above poster is correct, Erpen has plenty of pace for MLS over a season.

I thought the ref did a fine job.

Keeper mistakes were 1-1. Chivas created one more goal from play than we did.

Posted by: JkR | April 4, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I think that our big problem was not being able to penetrate Chivas' defensive shell. We passed the ball around well in the midfield but didn't really make them scramble. The one time in the first half we did, we scored.

On the defensive side, we all know our backs could improve a tad, but our defense through the midfield was very well organized and we did a great job of closing down Chivas... in the first half.

Regardless, if we are able to put together passes like that in the MLS and perhaps switch fields quicker, i can't think of a defense in the league that won't look like swiss cheese to us.

by the way, I really liked what I saw of FRED. His first touch was great, his passes were crisp, he knew when to get out of the way, and he created good space off the ball (though he did look a little lost once or twice). When he and Gomez click, good things will happen.

Posted by: bribri | April 4, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This Erpen hatred is really annoying. He was our answer to Ryan Nelson going to Blackburn. He had an awsome year last year, but as a full back, which is the problem. He's playing out of position because the team has failed to bring in more defenders. With Boswell and Erpen both playing as full backs DC had one of the toughest back lines in the league. We're playing with three at the back because we only have three defenders with enough experience. Stop moaning about Erpen already! We need a true right back brought in, we need to play with four in the back and create more competition for midfield spots.

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 4, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I think we know that DC has the talent to play any team in North America. Unfortunately, Soehn is going through the growing pains of coaching. Why we kept making long passes, I don't know. Just about every single pass that was 20 yards or more was intercepted by Chivas. We did this in the first leg too. We literally gave away our possession advantage.

Posted by: TCompton | April 4, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

When are we going to bring in more defenders? DC cannot go through this season with 3 in the back as we will get exposed time and time again....

Posted by: toddinho | April 4, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It was Carroll that gave the ball away on every single pass, not Erpen or Simms.

Drunken Duncan - we played every game last season with the same 3 man backline.

Posted by: pat | April 4, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

This loss is an excellent lesson in why DC United must continue to compete in these types of competitions to really become a top notch club. DC can "outplay" teams like that all they want, but to be a champion you must be consistent and not make the errors that result in goals. Jaime deserves more praise for his effort and magical goal. It is clear Chivas set out to neutralize Gomez and Emilio, yet both popped up several times to be very dangerous. Olsen really stepped it up all over the field. Carroll, OK but must be more consistent. Losing Gros really hurt. deRoux played OK but needs to defend better. Simms does not look confident, turns the ball over too much, and can't/refuses to get off a decent cross. I want to see more of Fred. DC must be more of a threat in the other team's box, more shots, crosses everything, we can't be content to just control the middle of the field. On all three defenders and Perkins: they need more focus and consistency. It's part of the burden of the role, every mistake can lead to a loss. The little things must be taken care of better. All in all, the team should get a lot of credit and praise for a great game in the pre-season. We need to remember these lessons come play-off time.

Posted by: Sean | April 4, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Erpen needs to be shipped off to another team or back to Argentina. He was the worst player on the field last night, no question about it. How many times can one man give away the ball in the back? He's the Argentine David Stokes. Truly, truly awful.

Posted by: Hoost | April 4, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

DC's attack did not impress me. All this movement up the wings until they eventually get to the endline and can't do anything with the ball. Our crosses sucked. We don't have a target forward. Chivas clogged the middle and we only scored once from the run of play once in two games from a piece of individual brilliance.

I imagine other MLS teams were watching this and will draw appropriate conclusions.

Posted by: Colin | April 4, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Betting on an all-Mexican final again. Pachuca's stadium will be full for the return game against Houston so the players will be motivated.

Pachuca's fans will be let in for free for the game.

Vamos Chivas! (played like crap most of the night, but still made it through - and that is all I care)

Now I can go on the business of rooting for DC United in the MLS. Got my season tix already.

Posted by: Vic | April 4, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Is the game story buried on the Wash Post.com site or what?? I had to search to find the Goff writeup.

Am I alone in thinking this blog should demonstrate to the editors of this website that there are, in fact, DC United fans out here?

Posted by: JkR | April 4, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Griffin. Erpen was beat at midfield, but he tracked down the play on Medina's inside. Medina wasn't on a clean break to goal. Boswell was indecisive and left his man, and that's why Bautista scored. Boswell had a couple of moments during the game that made him look a step slow. Hopefully, it was just an off night for him. Erpen should have done better, but he was caught 40 yards from goal, whereas Boswell was caught 4 yards from goal. Big difference.

Simms looks good this preseason--just not as a right winger.

United fans can take this to heart: last year, in the season opener, Perkins let in two bad goals against the MetroBulls. He recovered. It'd be great if he didn't need that kind of motivation, but he was good last year. I have faith in him.

Posted by: DWE | April 4, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

This is completely off-topic, but...does anyone have a web site that provides projected MLS starters? For filling my fantasy team(s), of course.

Posted by: RK | April 4, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Erpen is good. Anyone will be hard pressed to find a suitable replacement for his services. He is young and has the essential tools to be a good footballer with room for improvement. Trading him is not a good idea. I like Erpen, I do not like his mistakes, but it is improper to hold him to a higher standard than Simms, who was giving away balls like it was Christmas, or Boswell, who I felt was more at fault for the goal.

If you have the chance to watch the game again, Erpen steps forward at the time of the pass, making Medina offsides. Unfortunately, Boswell kept him onsides. Erpen caught up enough to disrupt a shot on goal and Perkins had the near post covered. Unfortunately, Boswell did not feel Erpen had it covered and was caught ball watching, allowing the passing lane to open and Bofo room to shoot. I do not like the double standards. I love Boswell, but his errors have caused unnecessary ridicule of Erpen.

Secondly, regarding the statement to trade Perkins in order to sign Keller. No. No. No. How about we keep the goalkeeper of the year for a while? He is 25. He will continue to develop and get better. If we keep him to Kellers' current age, that is twelve years of not worrying about our goalkeeping situation except for appropriate backups.

I just suggest we all remember that we are DC United SUPPORTERS. I understand it is fun to analyze for the faults made by the club, but we do want what is best for the team, right? or did I miss something?

Posted by: Mike | April 4, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Simms can play...does anyone recall that United went on the lenghty undefeated run last year with Olsen at the WC and Simms paired with Carroll in the center. But he's not very good with his back to the touchline, which is Soehn's fault.

Erpen was burned throughout the game and has a reckless way about him. He steps up for 40/60 tackles at the midfield line far too often. He needs to quickly regain his form from last season (i.e. One gaffe per game).

Posted by: Eric Mondero | April 4, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=508564&highlight=mls+projected+starting+lineups

Only injury I know of, although I have not looked extensively, is Schopp for RBNY.

Posted by: Mike | April 4, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everything Mike wrote. The goal was Boswell's fault. Perkin's muff was a heartbreaker. But still the boys showed well, nothing to be ashamed of. But I've grown accustomed to DC fans bashing everything and everyone in sight.

Posted by: Chico | April 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Excellent. Thanks, Mike.

Posted by: RK | April 4, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why deRoux "played great" according to the press but I didn't see too much out of him - he was easily dispossessed and didn't really contribute much to either attack or defense. The other one I would single out, however, is Simms. There were some great balls down the wing to him and if he could have delivered ONE half-decent cross this whole conversation might be different. Not a good night for him and probably out of position. Poor Perkins...as a 'keeper I feel for him but you have to put that thing over the bar when it's that high, no reason to try to catch that.

Posted by: C-hawk | April 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I must be watching a different Erpen. He has the touch of a thousand dogs going forward, consistently gave the ball away, and made a junior highschool mistake in getting sucked out of position leading to the goal. Not sure how you can blame boswell for a goal from the 6 yard box when a winger is breaking in toward the goal.

Also, I don't think he had a good season last year. He was just as random. In the next match just watch how many times he plays balls either out of bounds or to the wrong team or commits a stupid foul resulting in a scoring opportunity.

Anyway, that's enough about that. Hopefully he'll get better.

Posted by: Hacksaw | April 4, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

losing to Chivas 3-2 on aggregate is a pretty impressive result for DC United. It shows that DC can play with any club in North America, Central America, and the Carribean.

I wish American teams from MLS to the USMNT played games in Mexico more often. I think it's great experience for the teams. It's too bad all of the SuperLiga games are being played in the States. If the US mens team went and played in Mexico more often it would be very beneficial to them.

Posted by: Diego R. | April 4, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who think we're being too hard on certain players or the team as a whole, WHAT!?! What on earth is this forum for, if not to dissect and analyze the greatest team in America? Trust me, a little kvetching here is nothing compared to what Nowak would've given the boys last night had he still been around. These guys are all pros, and they deserve the truth.

Posted by: grotus | April 4, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I still think we should trade one of our defensive midfielders for a defender. This is completely random but how about Clyde Simms for Jose Burciaga Jr? Our off-season trade of Brandon Prideaux is looking mighty foolish

Posted by: Diego R. | April 4, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Overall, Perkins seems to be a great keeper and someone who is very smart/coachable. I say we hold onto him as long as possible; he's Europe-bound if he wants to go. Erpen, on the other hand, never seems concerned about correcting his mistakes. He's good for one really bad one a game. We really need to find a way to bring in a 4th defender so he can be pushed to the outside where his pushing forward and occasionally losing his marks won't hurt so much.

Posted by: Paul | April 4, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis, Goff. The ratings were fair.

Re: Simms, the guy can play. I'm worried that he won't ever develop a position, though. He needs games, and I hope he gets them.

The wing is hard...much harder than most people realize. There isn't much room there. You run all game. You have to learn the art of crossing. Other than Convey (maybe Beasley and Mapp), we don't have anyone on the national team that can do all this (Remember: Olsen learned this position so well before all the injuries...sigh).

These days, at the club level, how many guys have this? Maybe the two in Houston. If he can get himself together, maybe Santino. Ronnie O'brien (but he doesn't like to stay on the wing). That's probably it.

Re: Erpen, he's a big, athletic defender. He wins balls in the box. Look around the league: there aren't 20 better backs. So, until the level of the league improves, we need to deal.

Posted by: jj | April 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

How does Boswell get a 6?
I like the guy, but his poor covering on the first goal was pretty bad too. Either go after the ball or stay on your man. I'd say, stay on your man when a guy is headed toward the end line like that all he can do is cross the ball back to the 6...
Although i'm giving him a hard time on it, it really showed why so many DCU fans are tired of Erpen's gaffes. He's good for one major mistake per game. Sometimes it costs us and sometimes it doesn't. This time it did.

Posted by: jake | April 4, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The series was lost on the first leg, not last night. Overall, they played well and should be proud.

Posted by: Larry | April 4, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When Boswell completes his next pass it will be his first, is there a defender with worse feet than him anyway in the league? Erpen is just undisciplined and wild, that would be great if he wasn't in a role that requires consistnecy. Overall DCU played very well but at this level the little mistakes do get punished and they found out last night.

Posted by: terry | April 4, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'm just piling on here, but here goes: Simms has absolutely NO business playing on the wing. That was evident within minutes of the match starting. I didn't think anyone could possibly be a worse crosser of the ball than Gros, but Simms proved me wrong. I thought Erpen played a pretty damn good match, he had a few minor gaffes, but so did almost everyone else. If anyone is to "blame" for the first goal, it's Bobby. He lost Bofo in the 6, that's just inexcusable for a pro.
The 2nd goal was a goof. Period. 99 times out of 100 Troy makes that save. United's inability to clear the ball is what caused that goal.
Moreno looks like he's on track to have another solid year, but where was Gomez? He had a decent cross early on off a free-kick, but little impact after that.
Once again, Benny was ALL over the place. His engine just kept going at 9000rpm, his only bad play was that ill-advised left-footed shot around the 88th minute. Definitely a case where he should have looked to drop the ball off to Fred of Gomez, or put a through-ball to Emilio.
If this game were played 1 month from now, it's fair to say United would win 3-1. I'd imagine the CCC would turn out much different if it were started a month or 2 later, as the Mexican and Central American clubs are finishing their seasons, and the MLS clubs are a month or so into theirs.

Posted by: AlecW81 | April 4, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Any update or word on the extent of Josh's injury?

Posted by: FHS | April 4, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the Erpen whining! At least he stopped a few - very nice 1v1 sliding tackle late in the second half that stopped a clear goal scoring opportunity... Mr. Prima Donna Gomez did nothing all night and Mr. bobbyboswell.com again showed his weaknesses in distribution and marking. I think he needs stop reading his own PR reports for a while. Namoff passes the ball back to support more than he moves it up the field - 9 out of 10 passes were back towards his own goal. So slow and tedious!

Soehn's decisions to move Simms to a wide attacking role, sub deRoux for Gros and then sub DeRoux out, and Jamil for Jaime were just ludicrous. Simms is not an attacking middie, period. He is clearly more comfortable and dominant as a dmid. He also can't cross worth a darn and clearly was uncomfortable on the flank. Jaime was having a phenomenal game and you sub him out for Jamil Walker?? When the CONCACAF semis are on the line can you honestly tell me you'd rather have Jamil than Jaime? Give me a break. Same boring coaching style, same results.

Bright spots in the game were definitely Jaime, Olsen, and Emilio! Jaime was incredible and so classy. Playing at that level, at his age, with that quiet confidence - amazing. He's a great role model on the field. What about Olsen's scrappiness and hustle both on offense and defense? He's also a leader on the field and is setting a standard for consistant quality play that the younger players have yet to achieve. Emilio has the magic to make something out of nothing. Received poorly played balls in tight coverage and still managed to apply attacking pressure. He's going to be a great asset.

Posted by: NOVAfan | April 5, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of great observations. Agree with most (Simms play, subbing, etc.) The Erpen/Boswell guilt is shared. It's easy to get behind United's back line. The key is, only decent attacking teams will exploit it. I will add that the first Chivas goal was, in addition to everyting already mentioned, a terrific pass to Medina, who made a great cross, and a striker's finish by Bautista.

Mitakes were made on all goals. Chivas keeper Michel had no business being in no man's land. Perhaps their former keeper would have stopped Moreno's kick, because he wouldn't have been caught out of position.
Gomez' deft help with holding possession when coming out of our own end was overlooked. Others would have turned the ball over to Chivas' forward pressure. Of course, we would have preferred to see Gomez also initiate several scoring plays.

Like many of you, not sure I like DCs 3 man defense. If acquisitions aren't possible, what about moving Namoff to the other side and bring the now-injured Gross at left back?

Posted by: TK | April 5, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

simms is a central midfielder...put brian carroll at outside mid and see what you get.....

Posted by: bob | April 10, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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