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The Aftermath

Not great, not bad. Defense, with four in the back, stood its ground and closed down space. Attack held the ball well in the first half, just couldn't connect with that final pass. Flank play still lacking. Not as many giveaways as in past weeks. Probably a good call on the PK, but the red card was harsh. Energy and intensity were much better. Kpene can play. The crossbar and Reis saved the Revs at the end. Attendance a little lower than expected.

Fred (groin injury) will be re-evaluated Friday, but club officials think he might be out two to three weeks.

For those of you who watched at home, the late start must have been aggravating, but keep in mind that, if this had occurred in previous years, ESPN/MLS would not have held up the start of the match. It would have been joined in progress and you would have missed 15-20 minutes of play.

Player ratings (not a lot of extremes, in either direction, on this night)
Perkins 5
Namoff 6
Boswell 6
Erpen 4.5
Gros 6
Simms 5
Gomez 5
Olsen 6
Fred 6
Addlery 4
Emilio 5
Subs: Moreno 6, Carroll 6, Kpene 6.

Here's the game report, with bonus quotes below.....

BOSWELL
I think it was a better effort, but we've got to get a result. We can't give up that goal like we did coming out for the second half. We've got to go back and work on it.
We're stuck with the tie, but it is a step in the right direction so we've got to be happy with that. We just need a win Sunday.
SOEHN
Our commitment to defending and the passion I was asking for, I thought we showed that. We're not done working on it because it has got to be consistent.
There was a difference about our team, both defensively and offensively. There was passion there and we're going to continue to push to keep that.
(On Addlery) I think he was a little nervous with his first chance of getting his feet wet. He's been a little more composed in training, but it was a big stage to get put on. I thought Guy did very well. He looked like a seasoned veteran out there - very composed.
We all can look at ourselves and say that the effort was so much better, and that alone is something to build off of. I don't know that there is a sense of relief in the fact that we came out with a tie, but we're going to get back to work and come out with that passion I keep talking about.
There are so many steps you take throughout a season to get through good stretches, bad stretches, it was an important step for us that we have the heart and desire.
MORENO
Today the team came with the right mentality, it's just that the luck is not there yet. We've just got to keep believing that we are going to win.
PERKINS
Reis comes up huge for them. It was a little unfortunate we couldn't get the win tonight. We fell asleep there the first five minutes coming out. That's something we've got to fix.
(four in the back) We were a little more comfortable with that. It actually helped us possess the ball a little more, especially building out of the back. We still lack that creativity. You saw spurts of it tonight. We still need to find it.
(on Erpen in the middle) I thought he did well. I think he's a lot more comfortable playing there. He and Bobby did pretty well so hopefully this is something that works out for us.
OLSEN
(four in the back) It gave us help back there and we were able to get two or three defenders around some of their dangerous guys and win balls in different spots in the field. We were winning balls in midfield and getting after them.
(Almost scoring on his 30th birthday) That would have been nice. That would have made the birthday pretty sweet. So would a win. We'll move on. We're disappointed that we gave up that goal. It's still a trend we need to stop but overall it's a positive game.

By Steve Goff  |  May 4, 2007; 12:05 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Have you watched the replay of the PK call? It was a shoulder to shoulder challenge and Moreno flopped because he realized he had no shot of getting the ball before Reis. It was a terrible call. Terry Vaughn had an awful game, not that I've ever seen him have a good one...

Posted by: a517dogg | May 4, 2007 1:20 AM | Report abuse

I like the ratings for the most part, but I feel you are too harsh on Addlery and Fred, and too nice to Carroll...5,7,5 respectively, IMHO.

BTW, the PK was poetic justice for the non-call against Gomez in the first half which also resulted in him getting a yellow for his ensuing dissent. Sorry Revs fan, it cuts both ways. The red on Shalrie was definitely harsh, though.

Posted by: fcmuenchweiler | May 4, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

No flank play...but wait...didn't Casal send in a nice cross to Emilio on Matchday 1 leading to a goal against the C. Rapids?

So why aren't we playing him Soehn?

Posted by: jade | May 4, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

I really should be in bed, but...

The caption under the photo on the main Sports page reads:

"Jaime Moreno makes a rare appearance as a substitute and scores on a second-half penalty kick to help United earn its first point with a 1-1 tie against the Revolution on Thursday night. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)"

Thing is, and I know I'm kind of a soccer newbie here, but the DCU player pictured bears a strange resemblance to Josh Gros...

Posted by: Juan-John | May 4, 2007 2:06 AM | Report abuse

No offence to Kpene, but I think Casal should have been the final sub. His speed and dribble skills could have really stretched the Revs defense. Plus he seems willing to play the flank.

Posted by: noptov52 | May 4, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

... but the caption on the DCU page appears to be correct.

Just thought yer online photo editor would wanna know...

Posted by: Juan-John | May 4, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Once fred heals I can see moreno taking on the role that bergkamp did for arsenal a few years ago. No shame in that.

Posted by: Matt Y | May 4, 2007 2:11 AM | Report abuse

With Fred unlikely for Sunday, I hope Kasal gets to start on the left with Olsen in Defensive Center or Right.

What's the status on Moose and Dyachenko and do either of them take many crosses during scrimmage/reserve games?

Posted by: Dominic | May 4, 2007 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Any Chance that we make a run at Kasey Keller, I appreciate troy perkins but Keller would solve the issues we have on the backline and we still haven't used the 2 DP slots ?? what has a better chance keller or a new stadium ??

Posted by: Frankie Bones | May 4, 2007 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Moreno will over take Kreis's record this season, because he keeps getting the lamest PK calls.

Well, I give him props for selling it to the refs and making the PKs all these years.

Not really as impressive as actually scoring in the run of play. How many has Moreno scored that way?

Posted by: Coach Kreis | May 4, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

What was the reason for Carroll coming on for Simms in the 54th? Simms tired or his injury coming back? Otherwise the substitution doesn't make too much sense to me.

Overall, much much better from the team, especially against the New England Revolution who always plays us tough at home. I really like Moreno coming off the bench as a second half substitute and it certainly worked last night. Four in the back worked well with Namoff and Gros giving us the only thing close to resembling flank play. It's amazing that we have 4 midfielders and none of them get out wide. Now let's go out and get a win Sunday!!

Posted by: Diego R. | May 4, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I really have to disagree with Gros at a 6. I thought he did a pretty bad job back at D and when Erpen is saving you, you know yo'ur not playing well. I would also give Gros credit for that NE goal for not playing goal side of his man.

Sometimes he does have good games but last night was not one of them.

And attendance was not just "a little lower than expected" it was the worst Thursday night draw this year, even Columbus pulled together more fans.

If I were S. Joseph I don't know how I could contain my anger with MLS. I would probably be so vocal in my hate for the league that I would make Rome look like a soccer fan.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 4, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Simms was injured, that's why he came out.

On the PK, you are only allowed to shoulder charge when the ball is in playing distance. In this case the ball was no where near them so it's not legal to run a guy over just because you hit his shoulder with yours. Smyth is a moron. And Wynalda's contention that "the enforcer" (which is a position I have never heard of being officially part of a soccer team or being provided for anywhere in the Laws of the Game) is allowed to hit opponents in the face because that is his job should get him sacked.

The caution to Emilio was laughable considering that he called a foul in NE's favor every time one of them dove. And the caution to Kpene was the exact same play that Twellman did in the first half and he didn't get a caution.

And Vaughn in one of the "professional" referees that they are paying to have no other job. I guess they aren't training these guys any man-management skills.

Posted by: Glenn | May 4, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Goffman,

Why the lower number for Erpen? Wasn't he the central defender that didn't get caught upfield on the goal which allowed a two on one break away and a goal?

Posted by: JMR | May 4, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Fred was the best player on the field last night. Very creative, and played attacking soccer. Plus, he covered a lot of ground to play defense when others were out of position (see Ben Olsen). Very tough that he'll be out a few weeks.

For the most part, a better defensive effort, but let's be honest, a TOTAL BREAKDOWN resulted in an easy goal once again. That should never happen right after the break! Oh, and I also thought Gros was quite poor...his distribution from the back was often off the mark.

Posted by: Hoost | May 4, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The Yellow Team Sucks! So goes the chant (and for good reason). Was it me, or did it seem Riley basically browbeat the Ref into giving Emilio a Yellow card. Moreover, on a subsequent foul a minute or two later, he kept running his mouth at the ref. It is a good thing my kids can't read lips - ha, ha! The ref was standing right there, letting Riley verbally abuse Emilio and did nothing. A competent English referee would have stepped between the two and warned Riley (some would even card for unsporting behavior for cursing at the opponent). On top of that, the inconsistency was tragic. That same shoulder charge results in a a PK for Jaime, but a yellow card for Emilio. Whatever...

Anyway, I give a Kpene a 9, if only for the hair...he is giving Didier Drogba a run for his money.

Posted by: Erick | May 4, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Quality analysis on this board.

The only width was provided by Namoff and Gros. Namoff looked OK doing it, but Gros's service was lacking.

Gros definately responded slowly to the danger on the goal, and Boswell was again caught up field. 4.5 for Erpen is harsh, IMHO. I thought he played well

I thought Simms had a very good first half, he was all over the field.

Kpene really showed well!

Vaughn was awful. Zero consistency. NE fell over so much, we were screaming for them to send out their Mens team. Awful display on their part, but vaughn rewarded them for it, then knee capped them with the PK.

Crowd looked a lot bigger to me than the 12,000 announced?!

Posted by: JkR | May 4, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Referee Vaughin needs to seek another career. Plenty of questionable calls and some flat out bad ones against both teams. He lost control of the match early and the red card calmed things down for about 15 minutes but should not have come to that.

As far as Moreno is concerned, at 33 he is not a 90 minute man anymore and hasn't been for about 2 years now. He really tailed off last year due to the lack of depth up front forcing him to play a ton of minutes. He can still be effective if they use him the way the did lastnight. I think with Emilio they can sit Moreno for a half or even an entire match every three to four games to keep him fresh.

I want to see Addlery, Kpene and Kasal can do before Gomez leaves at the end of the season and Moreno retires. Without them this team will be searching for leadership and goals.

Posted by: Section 108 | May 4, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

kpene is on my bad-hair starting 11.

Posted by: fckalihi | May 4, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

On the PK call -- obviously we have the benefit of replay -- but if Riley had kept his elbows near his body after shoulder charge, then the call may have been different. But with his arm away from his body it looks like he is following thru on a push towards the end of the contact; that's a sure way to get the call against you.

Posted by: Elbows In | May 4, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I was very impressed with Fred. He is a game changer. As for everyone else, I though Ben Olsen had a good game, Jaime injected some life into the attack after he came in, once again a defensive error leads to a goal. As a team, we played much better then the previous 3 matches. Now, what we need to do, is score first. Also, what is the important MLS news Goff was talking about yesterday?

Posted by: DC United Fan | May 4, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I thought the PK was correct (you can't bull charge someone even if you do lead with your shoulder) but the red card was harsh. The only good thing that can be said about the ref is that his bad calls came on both sides of the ball.

Goff, I mostly agree with your player ratings, though I would probably rate Simms, Erpen, and Namoff a little higher (especially Namoff - I thought he had an excellent game). Addlery, unfortunately, I would probably rate a little lower. Chalk it up to rookie nerves, I guess.

Okay, so Fred is probably out for a while. Any word on Simms, Goff?

Posted by: Jeff | May 4, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

So is it ok to LOWER your shoulder from 2-3 feet away and level a player who is not making contact with you? That's why Riley got his PK. That was more like an NHL forecheck.

Overall ok, but A) The midfield needs to stop bailing out by passing the ball back to the back line---especially when under ZERO pressure. B) They need to move the ball from wing to wing without taking 3-4 touches a piece. SWING it quickly.

Posted by: delantero | May 4, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

In addition to not over-stressing Simms coming off his injury, I think the substitution was for Carroll's sake, the carrot after the stick.

Posted by: ScottW | May 4, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

What's Fred's injury status this am? I fear he'll be lost for May with the way he walked off the field.

Posted by: delant | May 4, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

How bad is DCU this year? They get to play a man up for 30 minutes at home, are gifted a PK and still can't get a win. How many games does Payne let this stuff go until he makes chances?

Posted by: tex | May 4, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think the PK was a good call. Yeah it was shoulder to shoulder but the defender wasn't even going for the ball.

About flank play, I think having Gros play as a back affected the flank play. Usually, he's the best at running down the sideline and crossing. But I guess he's been told to stay back and help the defense.

Overall, I thot it was a good game. Too bad Matt Reis came up big in the last minute.

Posted by: Bart | May 4, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Good post-game analysis on this board - however - I'm surprised to see little or no commentary on the fact that Perkins let yet another attempted save result in a rebound goal for the opposing side. He has to make those saves while keeping the ball in his clutches. Simply throwing a keeper's body in front of the ball is a means to an end in high school soccer and is unacceptable in MLS.

Posted by: Mickey | May 4, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Wynalda criticizes the ref for calling the PK, but compliments Heaps on "selling" the foul earlier, when the wind apparently knocked Heaps down. What an idiot!

I don't know where Wynalda gets this enforcer crap. If you have a bone to pick with a player, you do what Etcheverry did; wait for a reasonable amount of time to pass so that the ref won't think it's retaliation, then foul the guy - hard.

Smyth is good on calling other commentators on their stupid statements. I remember the WC when Balboa praised a professional foul and Smyth stated that Balboa doesn't believe in fair play.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 4, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Red card was too bad; really harsh call but watching live it looked much more malicious than it did on replay. I thought the penalty could have gone either way.

Anyway, I think they looked much more excited to be on the field. Good for Soehn in shaking things up. At least they are moving in the right direction.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 4, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The don't get that red card, and I think we win that game.

They went (further) into their shell after Joseph got sent off. Our current style can't break down 10 men in the center circle.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

this is why i love soccer and i think we all do. dc was the better team for most of the game but we went down a goal on a random chance. thats the game of soccer converting oppurtunities and new england did. we were better but were lucky to get a tie, go figure. i liked the lineup last night. knepe is good, moreno i think can go 65. sunday will be fun

Posted by: jay | May 4, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Some interesting things being said here...

a517dogg- Moreno got pushed by James Riley, who was pretty foolish to throw his arm out there. It wasn't much, but it's the kind of thing you don't do as a defender on the road. Riley made a mistake and paid for it. And really, the chief diver in the game was Twellman, who illustrated the classic diving motion 3 or 4 times looking for a cheap PK. It was rather farcical that Emilio got a card for diving when he just fell (no foul, sometimes people just fall) while Twellman's blatant flops were never even questioned.

I will agree, though, that Vaughn was atrocious. Non-calls were called, real fouls were missed, and it took a harsh red card for him to gain control of the game. Hopefully most MLS investments turn out better than paying him.

Mickey- It looked to me like Perkins was left out to dry and made a great, fingertip save to prevent Twellman from scoring. The fact that Dorman was then open for the tap-in was down to the defense not being awake, just as the initial ball finding Twellman was. I don't see how Perkins could have done more.

Everyone talking about Wynalda-

Don't you guys know that Waldo is a Revs fan? Go read that infamous Fulham USA interview. You can't be too surprised to hear him praising Heaps for a dive then coming down on whomever they're playing. Thankfully, I was at the game and didn't have to hear all that nonsense.

As for the game itself, there are several positives. The oft-discussed passion was plain to see, as even attacking players like Fred and Moreno were tackling back and making key defensive plays. There was a real commitment from all of the players to fight for the ball when they did turn it over.

Also, you really have to give credit to the Revs for keeping us to one goal. Their defending, especially when down a man, was very impressive. How many times did one of their defenders get a touch on our final ball, or block a shot? A lesser defensive team would have given away 3 or 4 goals last night. And even with that, they still got away with a header coming off the bar in injury time.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 4, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

I didn't like the game at all, the team looked lost, not the same team we are used to, possecion was a big part of dc united and that's how they won many games, I don't think is the players fault at all, coach is not working out, I believe his days at dc united are very short.
this is my opinion, thanks

Posted by: koolcaio | May 4, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think you fence sitters and apologists miss the point on the PK. The ball was out of play for Moreno, as the keeper clearly had the ball whether the charge happened or not. There was no goal scoring opportunity, so no PK was warrented. These are professional men and not 8 year olds, so you can't give every foul in the box, or you'd have to give a PK on every single corner kick. If it was 15 yards ealier, you call the foul and give a free kick, but not a PK. Yes he played the man more than the ball but to call the PK in such a case drastically alters the course of the game, for something that was not a clear foul. Moreno flopped, but that's what forwards do when they have no chance at the ball. If it had been Boswell on Twellman you'd all be screaming how wrong it was.

Posted by: greg | May 4, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The result was probably fair. I thought that the ref was inconsistent both ways so I will leave it at that. I thought DC looked decent tonight and responded well to the changes in formation and starters. As many have posted DC got too bunched up in the middle after Shalrie was sent off and Reis (and the woodwork) saved the tie for the Revs. Given DC's participation in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the SuperLiga, and the long MLS season I think it is probably to their benefit to rotate starters (particulalry Moreno) to keep them fresh. I tend to think DC will recover well and finish above the Revs. The comments I read here overrate the Revs in my opinion. Regarding Shalrie. With the denied transfers, the fine last week, and the red card last night I can see another Dempsey situation developing where Shalrie starts bashing the team and the league until he is allowed to transfer. One last thought, I thought that Fred looked good for you guys as well, but please bear in mind that the Revs left side is a black hole. Fred will probably become another success story, but you should withhold judgement until he has more games against teams with a string left side. Khano is dreadful and Riley is not a left back. If the Revs had DC's ownership the weak left side would have been successfully addresses over two years ago.

Posted by: tsingletonvt (Boston,MA) | May 4, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JkR - re the 12k in attendance. Its probably about right. The "loud side" (Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava, etc...) was pretty much packed, and thats probably the side they showed on t.v.

The "quiet side" was pretty barren, I've never seen it less full with the exception of bad-weather games.

Posted by: Rick in Ashburn | May 4, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Pretty gutzy performance from Boz...heard he was sick and had to have an IV during halftime. Scooped you on that one, Goffer.

Posted by: Luv Ya Boz | May 4, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What the hell did Erpen do to get the lowest rating in the back line? Seriously. Did Wynalda make those marks up for you? Yeeesh.

Posted by: You Hate Erpen | May 4, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"If the Revs had DC's ownership the weak left side would have been successfully addresses over two years ago."

Have you seen out defense? LOL

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 4, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Any Chance that we make a run at Kasey Keller, I appreciate troy perkins but Keller would solve the issues we have on the backline and we still haven't used the 2 DP slots ?? what has a better chance keller or a new stadium ?? "

Posted by: Frankie Bones | May 4, 2007 06:58 AM


We don't have two DP slots, genius. We have one...the one that every team has. NY had two and used two because they traded for it.

Keller? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Read. Think. Post.

Posted by: Read. Think. Post. | May 4, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

How does Gros get a 6 for ball-watching and being out of position on the goal? Erpen was better than a 4.5 (crazy to see so many positive comments on him from this group) Switch the 2 scores and it's about right. Also, Fred would have been an 8 if he had finished that should-have-scored from 8 out.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 4, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

On Vaughn's two bad calls, there was absolutely no reason for Riley to get his forearm up that high. Even if it didn't push Moreno down, it looked like it did in real time, and New England was lucky to not get a dissent card or two.

There's no doubt that Joseph deserved a caution for his tackle, but I was shocked that he got a straight red, and I was sitting in the stands and saw it live. Heck all of Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles were not expecting the redcard.

I'm not a member, but the Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava are the best fans in the league. I sit just outside the section but only a couple of rows back and the flags, the chants, the drums, all of that are amazing and make going to the game that much more of a great time.

DC was a lot more composed and I like the four, although I want McTavish back so we can push Gros up. Last night though it felt like we were playing a 4-3-1-2 or 4-2-2-2 except that Simms and Olsen, for the large part, stayed central. Also, at times Simms was dropping in at the wrong spot of the backline, like when Gros or Namoff had to go wide to pressure. You can play a 4-3-3, which is essentially what we did play all game, but those defensive middies have to drop in at the right spot. I think we'll get there after watching the game last night, but we'll see.

I like Adderly up top, although his final composure in front of the goal was lacking. And I thought, especially late in the game, that our forwards, even with all the bodies in there, needed to be trying to shoot and put it on frame more, and hope for a deflection. But Reis .... as a fan of the game you have to stand and applaud that. Two or three huge saves in that last minute. Jeez.

No one is rocking Erpen for his usual gaffe, the one early in the game when he let a ball slide right under his foot on a backpass and it looked like Noonan (I think) was about to swoop down on it? I like Erpen exacly for moments like that, even if my heart doesn't.

Posted by: G-Unit | May 4, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Good call on the PK? Are you kidding me? That was a yellow for diving. If that's how DC fans console themselves by thinking the draw was deserved good luck.

Posted by: boston | May 4, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey Boston: Read all the posts before chastising DC fans.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

About that red on Shalrie being harsh - the foul resulted from a tackle from behind (a no no), and with great force (the victim went flying). FIFA wants refs to send off the offender in these cases. The point is that such tackles have the potential to cause severe injury, including career ending ones, and they are not to be condoned.

Posted by: Laszlo in DC | May 4, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

DC is going dow; it does not look like winning team anymore when Peter Nowak in charged. I personally think they made a real mistake to let Peter go.

Posted by: Tim Nguyen | May 4, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

greg -

I can't speak for others, but my opinion is that Riley stupidly put himself in a position to give up a PK. If the ball was going to be grabbed by Reis, as you said, and Moreno had no play on the ball, why reach your arm out and push him? Especially in the context of that game, where Vaughn was calling soft fouls (including a booking for Boswell for the crime of being near Twellman).

boston -

If you think the Revs, who created all of 2 real chances (the goal and Twellman's header before halftime that was right at Perkins), deserved the draw, I'd say you need more luck than me. 11v11 DC was running the game, and after the Joseph red NE barely left their end. I give full credit to the Revs' backline for managing to hold us off, but to act like we stole the draw is crazy.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 4, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Laszlo,

The card was still harsh. In a former life I was a referee who devoted a lot of time to training and went to all the FIFA and USSF reffing clinics. I see your point, and a big part of the ref's job is to make sure that players are safe. In a youth game I can see the call being made, but this was a pro game and I didn't think that foul was so much higher than any of the others in the game to be classified as "Serious Foul Play." I guess I disagree with you on the "with great force" part, but that's one of the great things about soccer, that we can disagree.

Boston and Greg, it wasn't a yellow for diving, though Moreno definitely went down easy. See "elbows in" comments about Riley being an idiot. And while Reis did have the ball, that makes it even dumber for Riley to push off to create the separation. Was it a shaky call and are there reasons why it maybe shouldn't have been called? Absolutely. But if Riley wants to be an idiot and macho, like he tried to be with Olsen there (and wow, but how did neither of those two get Yellows for that mix-up or Jaime going after Shalrie and having to be held back the AR) then he's not going to get that call. It was just a bonehead move by Riley to get as physical as he did where he did.

The rest of the board, nobody's talking about Ben and the Revs coach about to go at it or Ben and Riley almost setting off a huge brawl there? Shalrie would have killed Jamie and that big kid Smith might have gone Chuck Norris on the whole team. Gotta love Olsen's competitive streak.

Posted by: G-Unit | May 4, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

MLS will continue to appear small time and bush league as long a incompetents like Vaughn continue to referee matches.

Posted by: Chico | May 4, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

It was an obvious foul. People who think every time two players' shoulders touch it's not a foul need to learn the rules. The problem is that most refs don't pack the gear to call that foul in the box - as if there's a different set of rules for a PK. there isn't. a foul in the box is a PK. duh.

"There was no goal scoring opportunity, so no PK was warrented. "

Hey greg - that's not the rule.

Posted by: Good Call! | May 4, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

One more quick addition.

Be it resolved that, following Goffinho's information on Olsen's nickname for Kpene a few months back, and with the hope of raising the level of play for said young man, all future references to the young man from the Ivory Coast on this weblog, Soccer Insider, shall refer to Guy-Roland Kpene as "Drogba". Little D, Drogito and other clever variations on said theme shall be encouraged as well. Do I hear a second?

The motion passes unanimously by a voice vote.

Posted by: G-Unit | May 4, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis from everyone, and accurate, but I think we're being too hard on the team. They've just made a major tactical and personnel shift, one that we've all been howling for, by the way, and played a good team to a draw. No, it wasn't pretty, but it was miles away from the disgraceful messes they made of the last 3 matches.

We're not a good team right now. I think it's important to understand that as it determines how you view the season. We, as fans, expect greatness, and when it's not delivered we complain. But, this season, we can't expect greatness, there's been too many changes. Other teams have solved us, and we need to change to survive. This season is going to be an uphill fight.

Up to this point, I think Soehn didn't feel comfortable messing with Nowak's formula, as it had brought some (deceptive) success. He worked with Nowak and believed in the system. The supporter's shield last season and a great CCC campaign led most of us to believe in it as well. Remember how we all boasted about crushing the league this year? Well, its 4 games later now and we need to change the way we think. I think Tommy has, I think the team is starting to, and I think it's a great step in the right direction. I look forward to a hammer-and-tongs fight for the playoffs. Vamos United!

Posted by: Grotus | May 4, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I have never been a shoulder to shoulder challenge fan. The tackle is too subjective and most defenders use their elbows to push players off the ball. After watching the foul on Riley it did not look as if he even got Jaime on the shoulder. It looks like he nailed him in the back.

Terry Vaughn is awful. He is inconsistent and was talked into giving Emelio a yellow. If you watch the game Twellman went down in the box three times without much contact. Why wasn't he give a yellow?

I really liked Kpene, but even the announcers were annoyed with DC about using more flank play. They were right. The last three minutes we put in two or three crosses that created two great scoring opportunities. Someone said that Wynalda's comments about Joseph having the right to slap Herron was just plain dumb. I like Wynalda because he bold and speaks his mind, but he was way off base with his remarks about Sharlie being the "enforcer."

Posted by: reggie | May 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I originally posted this on my own blog and the Bog, but below I offer my own pithy match report...in verse:

The Red and the Black were still winless in three--
(Not a singular point, not a win, not a draw)
When the doughty New Englanders came to DC,
To be witnessed by Eagles, and Barras, and me.

Now that dreaded statistic did stick in the craw
Of DC United's vociferous fans--
Whom the rest of the league should regard with great awe--
All other supporters are nothing but straw.

So the Red and the Black, for their suffering fans,
For the love of the game and the sake of their name
Did valiantly try to please those in the stands
Who cheered on their efforts with uprais`ed hands.

But New England struck first! O the pain! O the shame!
Tyler Twellman, the imp, flicked a shot-- it was saved!
But his comrade converted, one Dornan by name.
Would D.C. United again live in shame?

Five minutes would pass ere the debt was repaid
By Jaime Moreno, by breaking away
From New England's defense (O, how skillfully played!)
The penalty area did he then invade.

But Riley then came, who with nothing to say,
Fouled Moreno instead to send him to the spot--
So doughty New England's defensive array
Would have nothing at all now to do but to pray--

And now does Moreno line up for the shot;
And now does the goalie attempt to prepare;
And now does his foot strike the ball--now it's caught
By the back of the net! Now the score is a knot!

New England's Grenadian, with nary a care
Nor with visible mercy, cut Ben Olsen down--
With Joseph sent off, could United now dare
To hope for a win in their RFK lair?

To hope proved too much-- though they were a man down,
New England relied on the crossbar and posts:
DC took its shots, the posts did rebound
While the Red and the Black the goal did surround.

New England, in sum, took a point from their hosts.
United, still winless, did salvage a draw.
And the refs? Those incompetents, less worthy than goats,
Will live to be cursed in many a toast.

Posted by: ouij | May 4, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

About the attendance question and claims that it looked like more than 12k: Based on 11 years of going to games, I think the front office did some serious Gilette Stadium style creative ticketing. As Rick in Ashburn said, the loud side was nearly full, as it would be normally for an 18-19k+ attendance. However, the quiet side was as empty as it has ever been other than the odd Open Cup game or really bad weather mid-week game in the past. The midfield was full all the way up to the 300 sections, but from 312 around to 318 it was nearly empty (the part behind home plate in baseball configuration; the whole stands above where "La Norte" sits). Those seats are not that empty at other games. I think the front office refused to sell those seats - which is fine and a good idea to project a better image on tv.

As for the game, I think the team showed much better than the first three, but not quite there yet. Mental catastrophes were reduced significantly, but still too many of them.

The rulings by the referee on the PK, non-PK, Joseph's red, Emilio's yellow, all sort of come out in the wash, but the other referee issue was the horrible effect on chopping up any momentum in the game. Not sure which team this hurt more, but when there the "yellow team" makes so many calls (35 total?) and for such little contact in many cases, it really messes up the game, IMHO.

Posted by: Rob | May 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

ESPN2's replay of the Joseph foul on Olsen, shown just after the red card came out, showed only the actual contact, which didn't look all that violent. However, over the closing credits at the end, just before cutting away to the billiards tournament, they showed a longer clip from a different angle. It was clear that Joseph was coming from some distance away just to get close to Olsen, which raises the question of whether the hit was premeditated.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | May 4, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I know that any foul that would result in a direct free kick inside the box warrants a penalty kick. Also, Riley was an idiot for not playing it smarter and not keeping his elbows in after the shoulder charge. Most of you guys missed my point. Technically the call was questionable, but the ref showed poor judgment by awarding the PK even if it was technically a foul.


Reffing a professional game is not the same as reffing little kids. It's not black and white. The ref in a professional game must balance affecting the flow of the game with losing control of the game. If you call every push, shirt tug, and sundry foul that occurs then you seriously affect the flow of the game negatively. If you don't call enough of the right fouls, then you lose control. If you call the wrong fouls, then you lose control.

How do professional refs stay in control? They call the fouls that affect the play of the game, and card anything egregious that happens off the ball or after the advantage is played out. If fouls start getting more frequent, they call tighter until their control is reestablished. They try to keep the game fair and players safe. To call a PK on a non-determinant foul is poor game control, and has the appearance of unfairness. If you think that a good professional ref doesn't consider the location of the minor foul (inside the box) before making the call, you're not very bright. Also a good professional ref doesn't call a PK for a foul when it doesn't affect the run of play unless it is so severe that it deserves a card or it creates an obviously unfair situation.

With the PK and the sending off, the appearance of unfairness is obvious. Both major game-changing decisions went against NE, and without either being obviously correct. Some of the other cards against DC were bad, but they didn't drastically alter the game by changing the score or the number of players on the field. If you're going to screw up a call like every ref does, it's generally better to err on the side of safety and fairness, then unfairness, overzealousness, or loss of control. In that sense, the bad red is much less reprehensible because it's better to err on the side of safety, then to lose control. But on the PK, it's better to err on the side of missing the call then to award a potentially unwarranted PK.

Like I asked before, would you have accepted the PK call if it had been Boswell fouling Twellman?

Posted by: greg | May 4, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The questionable PK call was absolutely correct by the lack of PK calls 2 or 3 other times in the game.

Posted by: Duke | May 4, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

""Most of you guys missed my point."

No, we are generally a smart group, we understand your point and reject it.

"Technically the call was questionable, but the ref showed poor judgment by awarding the PK even if it was technically a foul.""

You want to read that again out loud before you type it?

Spare us the treatise on refereeing. It was a foul in the box and a stupid one at that. Riley should be the one you are mad at. His whining after his clean Emilio play moments later was ridiculous. He should watch his act.


Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"I personally think they made a real mistake to let Peter [Nowak] go."

Posted by: Tim Nguyen | May 4, 2007 12:06 PM

Do we really know that they had much choice? For instance, a few days ago my dearly beloved tenants informed me that it is time for them to move on, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | May 4, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

We have been talking a lot about how bad the referee for last match, and I totally agree with all. However, we need to address the team performance as well. What was the game result if the PK wasn't awarded to the DC and the red card (I totally belived they were bad calls). DC would have lost at home again. DC players looked tired, fearful and cluess. It looked so direrent from the last year team. I hope they won this Sunday; otherwise, how long does Dave Kasper willingly gvive to Tommy to turn things around?

Posted by: Tim | May 4, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"No, we are generally a smart group, we understand your point and reject it."

Many of us thought the refereeing was poor and the PK was questionable, we just didn't make a big deal about it. Never try speak for an entire group on a blog.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 4, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

That goes for greg too.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 4, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I completely agree with you about what you're saying. I think if you read this whole thread, you'll realize that most of us are saying there was a lot of poor calls being made and that up until that red card, the ref was not in control of the game. I don't disagree with that. His match management was atrocious, to be honest.

While it was shoulder to shoulder, the laws state that a challenge like that can only occur within a playable distance of the ball. Riley and Moreno weren't within that distance (the ball was in Reis hands) and so it was technically a foul.

Could the location have factored in? Not only could it have been, it was. I am sure that a professional ref knew the impact of his call. As "Good Call!" posted above, Vaughn had to have a real strong gut to make that call. He knew that by giving that call he was essentially awarding a goal, and still made it. Plain and simple, Riley was STUPID to do what he did, and you agree with us that it was a foul, then wow, Vaughn made a big decision, maybe not one that you like, but one that was correct, to award the penalty.

Posted by: G-Unit | May 4, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Still no flank play. they wer a man up and they couldnt penetrate. they should move the ball much quicker and attack around the defense. thats why they need flank plays to help on this. casal did a good job attacking the flanks. if they establishes the flank play to the other team then they can possibly create to attack in the middle. ball movement must be quicker. and lastly, moreno coming off from the bench is better for me since his no longer a 90 mins guy.

Posted by: dc_united1426 | May 4, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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