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Matchday 4: New England at D.C.

Greetings from Estadio RFK. Pleasant evening...come on out, ya hear?

Warning: The start of this match MIGHT be delayed because of programming running long on ESPN2. (sigh)

Okay, the moment you have all been waiting for: D.C. United's starting lineup.....


(McTavish is out, as well, but that's because of injury)

Your frontline is Emilio and Addlery.

Your midfield, in a diamond shape, is Gomez at the top, Simms directly behind him, Olsen allegedly pinched in on the left, Fred allegedly pinched in on the right.

Your defense, in front of Perkins, is Erpen and Boswell centrally, Gros running the left side, Namoff running the right.

Also, fyi, Kpene's work visa has been approved and he will be on the 18-man active roster tonight.

Feel free to express your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts here. As usual, I will create another thread very late tonight with some brief thoughts, bonus quotes and player ratings.


By Steve Goff  |  May 3, 2007; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: The Aftermath


great lineup!
moreno will come in energized and provide some magic. moose will be on the loose in the second half as well. big win i predict 3-1 DCU

Posted by: jay | May 3, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope Jaime plays like he did last year vs NY after a rest.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Seriously. I had lost all hope when you projected him to start. Here's hoping Jaime comes off the bench around the 65-70minute mark and decides he actually wants to have a positive impact on the match.

Posted by: AlecW81 | May 3, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I like the lineup -- let's see if they perform, but this is definitely a great lineup to try out.

Posted by: RB | May 3, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: matt y | May 3, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It seems like we are going from crowded in the middle to very crowded in the middle.

Gros and Erpen both have the tendancy to get caught up, up front and the speed of New Englands front end will take advantage of that...

Sorry but I don't see this working but I really really hope I'm proved dead wrong.

Even sadder the fact that the game is being delayed for semi-final mens volleyball!

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 3, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

hey i kinda like this lineup. you know, we had a lot of success in the concacaf with olsen pinched out on one of the wings... so it might do us good

Posted by: dcu | May 3, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

That lineup is worth a shot -- looking forward to seeing Addlery (could I fit more puns in)? BTW, nice of ESPN, during SportsCenter's preview of the game, to keep showing Adu in his DC uniform.

Posted by: RK | May 3, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

If McTavish had been healthy it would have been perfect, but glad to see the changes. One of these days we'll get to see Fred as attacking mid/withdrawn forward, and then watch out.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 3, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Any attendance estimates?

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | May 3, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Um...why is there volleyball on?

Posted by: RK | May 3, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

You know your league isn't there yet when kickoff of the National game of the week is delayed a half hour for Men's Volleyball.

Posted by: Jeremy | May 3, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Fred moved forward into Moreno's old spot. Then move Simms into the R-Mid portion of the diamond, Olson back into the D-Mid role, and Cassal into the L-Mid.

Quick question...didn't Gros initially play on the right flank when he came into the league? If that's true, why can't we put him on the right side. If I'm mistaken with him on the left flank, don't crucify me...memory's jogging me at the moment.

Posted by: fcmuenchweiler | May 3, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

If DC truly present a 4-4-2 on the pitch, I'm interested in how the revs respond. I suspect lots of teams developed their game plan in terms of exploiting our 3-5-2. Addlery getting the start is a good idea.

Posted by: Quentin | May 3, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Good to see that the sloppy passes and lackluster defending are behind us. :-(

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 3, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

"It seems like we are going from crowded in the middle to very crowded in the middle.

Gros and Erpen both have the tendancy to get caught up, up front and the speed of New Englands front end will take advantage of that..."

Yeah it sucks being right


Posted by: Southeasterner | May 3, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This game has been ugly on all accounts. The ref was all around horrible both ways, New England was devoid of all attacking intent, except the goal which came from a DC giveaway (shocking, I know), DC's second half play was unimaginative and without urgency until the final scramble in extra time. What is going wrong with this team?!?!?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. That feels like a loss. It probably should have been.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 3, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If the whole league knows it....DC fans know it....then why the HELL haven't the DC coaches and players figured it out????

DC just keeps on ramming the ball down the middle...oblivous to the fact that the other teams have all their players clogging the middle....

Is DC dumb...arrogant...or just have no clue how to play the ball wide.

NE didn't do crap all game...

Posted by: Matt Y | May 3, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

There may be a correlation between DC's unimaginative play and a certain aging forward...

Posted by: DCUfrvr | May 3, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

If you stick good central players out wide, that doesn't mean that you have good wide players. No one was out wide and no one can cross the ball on DC.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

At least not that many people saw it.

The worst attendance yet for a Thursday night game. Even Columbus did better.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 3, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

It was better... formation seemed to shore up the back, mostly. Fred is really a more natural fit inside -- he'll replace Gomez after this year and Gomez will leave.

We still need wide play...

Posted by: RB | May 3, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts: Olsen and Fred had good games, Emilio and Carroll were silent, and Gomez didn't look so good either.

The ESPN production quality was interesting. I liked how they adjusted the zoom to avoid showing the empty orange seats. I was really surprised when they said attendance was only 12k, because the place looked packed.

That said, the director continually cut to poor camera shots, and at one point there was a picture-in-picture where both the outside and inside video was the same.

And Terry Vaughn had an absolutely awful game. Joesph did not deserve red, and Emilio did not deserve yellow. The PK was a toss up, but so was ignoring how Gomez got mugged in the box a couple of minutes later.

And what the hell happened during the second half? United's play in the first half was so great; I think Moreno and Carroll need to stay on the bench.

Posted by: Paul | May 3, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Garbage. Minus gifts from the ref we would (should) have lost. We run away from the opposing goal more often than toward it.

Soehn should be a game or two max from losing his job.

Moreno should have stayed on the bench. Addlery has a horrendous first touch or he'd have four goals in this match.

Find the two guys on the team that can cross the ball effectively, put them on the flanks and get them to run down the line.

So Moose impressed Soehn (and me) with his passion last game and he's rewarded by not playing and the big C goes in when Fred goes down with injury?

Erpen showed his usual form out there by the way.

United should feel lucky 50 fans showed up tonight, let alone Barra singing all game long.

Posted by: Shmoo | May 3, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Is there a phobia about benching Moreno for more than a half? Same thing happened at the end of last season, when he was purportedly considered exhausted and still got in for half the game.

Posted by: gringo | May 3, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Not much to applaud for either team nor the referee. Must be early season rustiness (I hope). DC has some real challenges ahead of it in figuring out who needs to be on the field and where they should play.
they are clearly no there yet.

Neither Joseph nor Emilio get cards in leagues like the EPL or La Liga, likely not even a foul.

Camera angles need to be figured out as well. The ones they use foreshorten the field like crazy. Watch and EPL or La Liga game and you get a real sense of the size of the field.

Posted by: crowbar | May 3, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Crowbar, after eight competitive games, DC should not be showing rust. The time for that excuse is long over.

I think there was too much impatience. When Joseph got sent off, there was plenty of time to score, but instead of knocking it around and looking for the right point to attack (NY did this perfectly last Thurs against a Dallas team with all 11 men), the boys rushed it, gave the ball away, let NE play very compactly. Bad, bad strategy, and there isn't enough talent to tear the opponents up with aggressive all-out-attack.

This is a middle-of-the-pack team at best.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 3, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I think some of you are so down on the team now that you refuse to see what really happened tonight. I was sitting right on the field and I have to say this effort was 100x better than the last game. Fred was MoM until he got hurt. The ball was moved much more crisply. Moreno created that PK and saved the game for us. Carroll had an excellent game once he came in. He was really winning the ball in midfield. Kpene was a revelation.

Gomez gave the ball away and led to the NE goal.

The service still wasn't quite there yet.

Terry Vaughn completely ruined the game for everyone. He called a foul every single time a NE player fell down. The red card was ridiculous. I am surprised he didn't send Olsen off the even it up, he had plenty of chances.

I hope Fred gets better soon. We really need him out there.

Posted by: Glenn | May 3, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a pk...only because the NE wanker extended his arm away from his body making it a push and not a shoulder to shoulder...still...ref could have ignored it also.

Joseph definately fouled ben...I can easly see a yellow card because he came in from behind pretty hard. no way was it a reckless challenge..he actually came in pretty smooth and didn't have boots up at all. He did hit him good...but terrible overreaction by the ref.

DC plays real dumb times pretty..but overall kind of dumb

Posted by: Matt Y | May 3, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Joseph was shown a straight red because the tackle was late and at the knee.

Posted by: Kristina | May 3, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I think you are on to something...I have thought Jaime was something of a sacred cow these last few years. Perhaps I am conspiracy theorist suspicious of the team's awareness or marketing to the latino (I am one community). The last two seasons, Jaime has really run down over that latter halves of the seasons and, if you watch closely, will note that he NEVER, bothers to challenge to high balls, and usually pulls up in tackles. However, I was surprised in the games against UNAM to see him tackle and actually leap for headers. In other words, he could do some of these things when really motivated or really pressed to do so. He has done alot for the club and is one of its legends. However, were this any "big" overseas club, Jaime would have either been put to pasture or taken a more magestic role, playing fewer minutes. It is not his fault. It is just reality of being 33, the toll of time, and running against kids, with 10 years and a step (or two) on him...

Honestly, reflect back on some matches from last season, where he played atrociously or indifferently. Yet he was rarely taken off. The argentines are replaced without issue. Why is Jaime sacred?

Am I overly cynical?

Posted by: Gringo | May 3, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

It looked like Shalrie's tackle was way late, nowhere near where the ball was, and his spikes were almost knee high. The penalty was weak, but DC should have had one earlier in the first half when Gomez almost had his jersey pulled off. Unfortunately, Carroll and Simms play to slowly and are color blind and Gomez hasn't figured out how to play yet this season.

Posted by: Martin | May 3, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the Shalrie replay and I was wrong. No cleat up, just really late. Tough red card.

Posted by: Martin | May 3, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we were lucky and the ref was terrible. The penaty was not right. Joseph's red card was incredibly bad judgment--alittle late, but not from the back, and no real danger. Yellow tops. No foul for Emilio was correct, but the card was wrong.

Let the Soehn grumbling begin, because this team was tactically a wreck. Even an under-14 rec league coach knows to spread the field to maximize the man advantage. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know to pack the middle of the field and play for a tie when down a man on the road. We still gave the ball away too much, and forced it down the center when we had the extra man.
The defense was better, but still Swiss cheese. Erpen looked much better in the middle, but Gros is definitely better in midfield than back. I think McTavish will be better for outside back when he's healthy.
We actually looked better when Fred was in the center and Gomez was pushed out (incredible play at 60 min. by Gomez to Emilio square to Fred who should have buried it). Kpene looked decent for Fred at the end. Gomez was still missing. Moreno was better, but still not worth starting. IF Fred is healthy, he should replace Moreno at withdrawn forward or Gomez at attacking mid. Heck, sit them both. The "passion" and formation were much better, but the down-the-middle strategy was all-wrong.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 3, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Had to be the worst refereed match I've seen in a long time. DC was lucky to get a tie.

Is it 2000 all over again?

Posted by: DuPont Mike | May 3, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

To be perfectly honest, I think the ref ruined the game by red carding Joseph. The PK was obviously debatable, though clearly there was contact. The red card however completely changed the tactics. DC was playing well to that point, Fred was all over the place, and a goal was coming. However, once Joseph was ejected (unfairly everyone agrees), NE just played 9 or 10 behind the ball at all times and crowded out the middle, which is the blueprint for killing off DC. Notice that the only real chances, the scramble during extra time, came of crosses and chances were finally developed through wing play. Major tactical and lineup changes need to be made. Also, and this seems to overlooked by everyone, but Emilio's hold up play hasn't been in sync with the rest of the team either.

The goal wasn't caused by a Gomez turnover. It was a long ball in which the NE defender won the header over Emilio, and the ensuing 50-50 ball Gomez tried to shield off the defender, only the ball continued to another NE player for the break. Poor by both Emilio and Gomez there, and finally Gros failed to adequate follow Dorman (and I've been screaming that Gros is not a fullback forever, hate when it proves right).

Posted by: G-Dub | May 3, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

why is dc united such a joke this year?

Posted by: longfellow | May 3, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, but I was encouraged by this game. I think our backline was pretty solid. We moved the ball pretty well. And, we have firepower with Emilio, Gomez, Fred, Moreno, and the new kid.

New England's a very good team. We need to get wins at some point, but I wouldn't worry too much yet.

Posted by: jj | May 3, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Terry Vaughn is an embarrassment to the game. Like most have said, we need flank play.

Posted by: Andrew | May 3, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

All right, I'll add my two cents as well. I was encouraged by this game. Not perfect, but pretty good passion, and some good moves by some players, especially Fred. DCU had more possesion and won a lot of the midfield duels, which is a nice change of pace. Respect has to be given to the Rev's defense. Every chance, even before the ridiculous red card, that DCU had to make somethign happen saw a swarm of tall Revs swarming the ball near the box. AND Reis made a number of awesome saves. Their offense was not so hot. Seems DCU fell asleep when the second half started, which was painful, as opposed to a Revolution break through. The worst thing out there, absolute worst, was the horrible officiating. Aweful. Ruined the game. Destroyed the rhythm of the match by stopping the ball on ridiculous light contact and gave out several questionable cards, mostly Emilio's yellow and secondly the red to Joseph.
As an aside, could barra brava maybe not wave the flags during set pieces and action at the goal? Anyone sitting behind you cannot see through the flags. Can you just put them down for corners, free kicks, and any scrambles at the goal?

Posted by: T. Henry | May 4, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

The ref wasn't just terrible -- he was downright STUPID. Here's hoping MLS or FIFA or USSF or whoever certifies referees watches this match on tape and sends him back to reffing high school games.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 4, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Send in Casal please. We need some crosses.

Posted by: jade | May 4, 2007 2:04 AM | Report abuse

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