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Gameday: Colorado

My initial thoughts about Dick's Sporting Goods Park:

I like it, I really like it. Much like Dallas's Pizza Hut Park, it is out there in a previously desolate area, but the multi-field complex as a whole is superb and the stadium, while neither intimidating for a visiting team nor intimate by European standards, has an interesting staggered roof design and excellent sightlines. I also like the COLORADO spelled out in huge white letters on the sideline seating sections. From a selfish standpoint, the outdoor press seating on a day like today is not ideal, but on most summer evenings, it will be a better work setting than most MLS facilities.

Martin Mazur of El Grafico in Buenos Aires is visiting America and attending both today's match and United's home opener next week. His thoughts on the park? "So many extra pitches -- it is very nice," he said. "Not many places like this in Argentina."

This just in: MOOSE and DEROUX starting on the flanks.

DCU starters: Perkins; Erpen, Boswell, Namoff; Moose, Carroll, Olsen, Gomez, deRoux; Moreno, Emilio.
COL starters: Coundoul; Prideaux, Ihemelu, Petke, Vanney; Cooke, Beckerman, Kirovski, Gomez; Brown, Hernandez.

Funny line from warm-weather Fred:

On the bus ride to the stadium, he turned to one of the staff members and said: "This is the first time I've ever seen snow and, it would be okay with me if I never see it again."

By Steve Goff  |  April 7, 2007; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: The Opener, The Aftermath

Comments

I demand pictures of The Dick!

Posted by: littles | April 7, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Both Moose and DeRoux - that's interesting. I guess Fred may be a little spooked by the white stuff.

I think if Colorado causes problems its likely to come thru Terry Cooke at their right mid. So slowing down Cooke would seem to be part of DeRoux's job description for today.

Posted by: garbaggio | April 7, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

http://www.dickssportinggoodspark.com/

Pix of the Dick from their web site.

Posted by: Slick | April 7, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I can already see the jokes coming.... Is it the biggest soccer-only stadium? If so, "The Big Dick"... etc...

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 7, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, pic on ABC HD not as crisp as I expected on my new 1080p.

I think the opening lays it on a little thick. Too much "look at the shiny object" and learn to love MLS, not enough dignity.

Ah well, so it goes. Vamos United!

Posted by: JkR | April 7, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Those poor Colorado cheerleaders. Out there in their skimpy clothes, shivering in the cold, they look like sad hookers out for the first time...

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 7, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Looks to be a bit of a late arriving crowd...

Posted by: JkR | April 7, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

announcer much improved. he's learning to live with the silence, is doing more play by play. it had to be noted. things are getting better and it's important to say that. now if we could just tie this score up.

Posted by: Beauregard | April 7, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Now we have to make up 2 goals...Beckerman looked like he was offside on that second goal. Brown needs to get a card. He's running over everyone.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse


Does anyone think we could use another defender? :)

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 7, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

How about two defenders. The back line is pretty pathetic right now.

Posted by: Luis | April 7, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't disagree more...terrible announcing. Non-stop nonsense talking, multiple mention of how surprising it is that we're wearing our away whites, saying that Perkins has been shaky as of late (one bad play makes him shaky?), no comment of United failing to use the flanks. All-in-all, as terrible as our playing. Where's Wynalda? Where's the real United?

Posted by: London Dan | April 7, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

We need Josh. deRoux just isn't cuttng it for me today.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you hear, Wynalda was suspended for this game by ESPN for the comments he made about Jim Rome.

Posted by: Kristina | April 7, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

So are these two morons trying to blame Troy for both of those goals? Sure sounds like that is their storyoline/talking point. How about blaming Mr. Virginia and Mr. Website for not bothering to mark anybody?

Posted by: Glenn | April 7, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Mr. Virginia and Mr. Website are the same person. It will be interesting to see what Soehn and DCU does at halftime.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is really disappointing. Playing three in the back, especially with this large pitch, is a mistake. I hate to say it--but I have my doubts about soehn. Now we have to press. Time for Fred. I hope he doesn't wait until it is too late to make a difference.

Posted by: jlm | April 7, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

for Justin Moose's preformance thus far I think his playing is good, he continues to stay with the plays and has made some very nice runs to have another option in attack. Having said that he doesn't seem to be connectin with totally with the other players on the field. Which seems to be United's main problem, communication doesn't seem to be happening on their half of the field.

Let's see a better second..

Posted by: moose | April 7, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What are you guys talking about? They were saying Perkins had a rough Chivas game, not that he's having problems in this game. On both the goals they specifically said there wasn't really anything he could do about them, and in both cases they said the defenders didn't mark properly!

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 7, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Too much space on the flanks for a 3 back system and 2 relatively unexperienced wide players.

Posted by: BH | April 7, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Good thing we get to work with the other AR for the second half. The AR on our attacking side in the first half clearly can't see the far side of the pitch, and struggled with the near side.

Defenders totally lacking in organization, and zero width. Moose and Deroux are showing to be squad players.

I'm guessing the wind is having some effect? Play has been a bit lifeless on both sides.

Posted by: JkR | April 7, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

jlm - Are you suggesting that Nowak wouldn't be playing a 3-man backline? Soehn didn't invent this line-up. He inherited it. And he didn't have enough quality defenders to switch to a four-man back line.

Posted by: Slick | April 7, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

our flanks are weak. Unless Hercules became a world class player overnight, Moose isn't ready for this level yet (at least on the defensive end). Our DeRo doesn't make great decisions. Both guys have potential, but they aren't there yet.

On another note, the pitch looks fantastic. I love the ESPN coverage so far, too. I think O'Brien's pretty good today, and Foudy isn't bad. I'd rather have Wynanlda, but what can you do?

Posted by: jj | April 7, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, the constant harping on the Chivas game and Dave keeps saying the Perkins has "given up two goals" and that he has been shaky lately. That's what I'm talking about. I didn't hear them blame the terrible marking on either goal. They were too busy telling us the Colorado is wearing different color jerseys than before repeatedly. The absolutely inane chatter about stupid things like that and the Boswell stuff instead of talking about the game is what drives people crazy about this bozo.

Posted by: Glenn | April 7, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Announcers are doing fine. Perkins is not having one of his best days. He is not making very good decisions and been caught out of position a few times. I like their comment that an 80 yard wide field is tough on a 3 man backline and that DC is getting beaten on the flanks (particularly Erpen). Moose and Deroux have been serviceable but not spectacular.

Posted by: dt | April 7, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse


The announcers are doing fine since I pressed the mute button. Much better.

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 7, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Famous Freds! What kind of idiots are these!

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 7, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Fred came in for Moose. Moose played fairly well though he is not yet skilled enough to mark Gomez.

Posted by: Kristina | April 7, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Casal in for deRoux

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the back line looks shaky, isn't communicating well with Perkins, and Perkins himself is looking a little out of sorts.

DC's wing play is non-descript and DeRoux looks like he needs more time in the reserves. Don't like taking Moose out for Fred, either since Moose is the one creating chances. Erpen looks bad again. Like putting Casal in, because he can't be worse than DeRoux.

Can't believe how smooth Colorado looks.

Where did the Concacaf United go?

Posted by: nathanhj | April 7, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Moose looked like he was tired and/or is not used to the altitude.

Posted by: Kristina | April 7, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

maybe my expectations are too low but this is the first time ive ever not wanted to strangle dave o'brian in order to shut him up. he's not been great (and he has no business trying to analyze like he's tried to a couple of times) but he's been better then usual. if we can't get rid of him we might as well try and get him to improve incrementally. foudy's also been ok. i like her better when they aren't soing that clubby preppy us soccer thing.

[ok he's been worse in the second half, but im just looking for whatever bright spots i can find in this sea of washington sports despair]

Posted by: Beauregard | April 7, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Its almost as if the wings are too afraid to push wide for fear of something. They keep clogging the middle which makes it that much harder for the center mids to do there job.

I want the CONCACAF United back.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Dc is losing the 50/50 balls, is getting pushed around, and isn't using the width of the field well. Inexperienced wings kill a back 3 because they don't know how 2 provide proper support. I like deroux n moose's future though.

Posted by: matt y | April 7, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The ref is not much help allowing players like Beckerman and Gomez and Brown run all over DC players. We need Josh's speed and tenatiousness back.

Posted by: Kristina | April 7, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hate the park. If the plans for Poplar Point are anything similar - I would rather stay at RFK.

Posted by: A.Fenty | April 7, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

God we look bad. Disorganized, frustrated, confused, tired, uninspired. Hopefully this is the hangover from the CONCACAF heartbreak and nothing more.

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 7, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Casal is still very inexperienced and hasn't been making the best decisions. We are also holding the ball way too long. This is not looking very good for Soehn and DC.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

emilioooooooooooo!

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Luciano!

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

GOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLL!!!!!!!! Luciano Emilio first MLS goal!

Posted by: Kristina | April 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

goooooooooooooooooolllll emilio!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: andy | April 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

DC's play seems to have picked up after Emilio's goal. The ref seems to be afraid to make a call that could decide the game.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | April 7, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

We better get another one soon, because the game has been horrid. Out of rythm, no offensive movement, turning possession over, etc. Be careful what you wish for, if you couldn't wait for the Rapids!

Posted by: T | April 7, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Announcing horrible and getting worse.

Ref has little to no control over this game, not calling fouls on either side. Lots of diving and lots of cheap fouls.

Often no flow to the game except when Colorado plays its game on the wings (and doing it well).

Posted by: neutral | April 7, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Poor first showing in MLS. We were outplayed despite a wide pitch and all our offensive talent.

One game. No need to jump to conlusions.

United is a team that will be there in November.

See you at RFK next Saturday.

Posted by: BH | April 7, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

So United, are rolling on the ground and yelping this year? That was pathetic, you're lucky I've bought my tickets already.
How many long balls are we going to kick to nowhere? How many times are Emilio and Moreno going to try to walk through three defenders?
Nice game Rapids, I'm glad there was a team out there playing soccer.

Posted by: falls church | April 7, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed to lose but overall not too concerned for the season. We need defenders,
not like I didn't know that. I love Colorado's stadium, I love wide pitches and you have credit Stan Kroenke for making it happen. I'd love to see something like that at Poplar Point. I like Fred's attitude and Casal look useful out wide. However we now need to win the home opener next week, I don't to start the season on a losing streak.

Posted by: Drunken Duncan | April 7, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

That was a very shaky start. Some bright spots though- Casal and Fred looked good, Olsen good as always. Perkins had a lousy defense to work with, no doubt there. Get RID of Erpen! he's a liability. Nearly gave someone a concussion. Why was the Colorado coach so angry at the end? He had to be held back physically. was it because of the Erpen head knock?

Posted by: DC girl | April 7, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Not very impressed with this game at all. I agree DC was playing the wrong formation. I thot Soehn should have switched it up at half time but I didn't see that. Apart from that, there was really no flow to the game. None of the beautiful stuff we are used to from DC. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

BTW, why did it look like Colorado was the one with the better pre-season? You would think the DC team would have gelled after playing 4 international matches together. I didn't see it.

Posted by: Bart | April 7, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Nobody likes to start with a loss, but it wasn't atrocious. Better communication and chemistry are needed for sure. The ref was calling a very loose game, which benefited Colorado mainly (and Erpen, who probably should have got a card).

Casal looked very promising, even before he got the assist. Speed, fancy footwork, and a willingness to take players on with the dribble. He needs experiance though, too often he'd beat the first man and try to continue on instead of making a good pass.

Posted by: noptov52 | April 7, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

We need to burn the whites and forget about this one. I have zero concern for the season however. The Rapids were playing inspired, we were spent from our travels and it was freezing out. I will say that the Rapids are a different team. Looking forward to the season.

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | April 7, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Overall, I'm not worried at all. In fact, it's nice to see Colorado play with so much passion in their new home. I like their unis, too.

Bright spots:

If he stays healthy, Emilio could score 18 goals (25 if he took PKs). He is a WEAPON! He'll be MLS XI this year, no question.

We fought hard at the end--I thought we were going to get an undeserved tie.

Casal's assist. Overall, I don't think he looked great, but it's hard to come on down 2-0, and playing away.

Fred's fight. Again, he didn't look super, but it's hard to come in down 2-0, especially when the team isn't clicking.

ESPN/ABC: I really liked the telecast. It will only get better with time. It's fashionable to bash these guys, but they did a good job. And, the camera angles and clarity of the program--from start to finish--were solid.

Low Points:

Moose and DeRoux cannot cover the flanks in a 3-5-2. I think both are pretty good prospects, but they aren't ready to start at this level yet. I like Moose's composure on the ball, and he makes some decent runs--once in a while, he looked like a poor man's Convey, circa 2002. DeRoux makes some bad decisions (For instance, in the 40th minute or so, Moreno wanted to play him a through ball, but he didn't cut in front of his man...use your speed, son!). I hope both can come into their own.

Our defensive depth: I hear everyone regarding the formation, but who is our fourth defender? Wilson, maybe. But, if he gets injured?

Boswell--he needs to stop plugging his website and start getting near his man. He was out of position on both goals.

Perkins--He'll be okay, but he didn't look too comfortable back there.

Posted by: jj | April 7, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Our fourth defender should be simms. If its not, lets trade him for a fourth defender. We don't need another defensive midfielder.

Posted by: jlm | April 7, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Wing play killed us tonight.

DeRoux left his mark on the first goal and wasn't very effective otherwise.

Casal was horrendous. Often out of position on D. For most of the time he was in there, he was a poor man's DeMarcus Beasley ... streaking down the flank and failing to make a good service. He had one good touch that, happily, found Emilio's head. Casal simply isn't ready to contribute.

Moose gave a solid effort but did little to impress.

If the three-back system is going to work, we'll need Gros and Fred to provide some quality on the outside.

Not much to get excited about in this match.

Posted by: Shane MacGowan's Teeth | April 7, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I'd rather have Prideaux than Erpen.

Posted by: Shane MacGowan's Teeth | April 7, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

About the coverage: Decidely mediocre commentary; "kick trax" is nothing more than a gimmick and a poor one at that; camera angles were pretty good. I give the broadcast a C/C+ with considerations given for the "suspension" of Wynalda on (relatively) short notice and that it was the opening match.

Posted by: noptov52 | April 7, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I think O'Brien is an embarassment to a major broadcast network. They would do better if they went to someplace like the Newhouse School at Syracuse and picked some sophomore at random.

Posted by: Dave | April 7, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mind O'Brien -- I think the most ridiculous thing was referring to the "sellout" several times, when the stadium was half empty in the second half (btw a typically lame showing for MLS on national tv). And find a synonym for "regalia."
But at least he didn't roll around on the ground with his head in his arms like JAIME MORENO.

Posted by: falls church | April 7, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, the obvious tactical problem was the way the 3-man backline got exploited and the outside mids couldn't cover -- everyone has talked about it, but that's the main reason we lost.

Did we really bring Fred in to be yet another holding central midfielder? Why is he playing there? Get him on the flank or up front and in some space.

Colorado (and their fans) showed some of the deep problems with the average American player and average American fan -- very little understanding of what is a foul, what is a bad dirty foul, and what is just a professional foul.

Posted by: RB | April 7, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The diff between DSG Park and PHP is that DSG is only 6-8 miles from downtown Denver. It's on the the old Rocky Mountain Arsenal and had the old Stapleton to the south and east so there's a huge chunk of land that's relatively close in that never got developed. PHP on the other hand is located in an exurb. Can you imagine DC United building their new stadium out in Haymarket?

Posted by: Allen | April 9, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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