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The Aftermath

Let's cut to the chase. Why? Because y'all saw the game and I've got the Sopranos to watch.

PLAYER RATINGS
Perkins 8
Namoff 6
Boswell 7
Erpen 5.5
Gros 4
Carroll 6
Gomez 6
Moose 4
Olsen 6
Moreno 6
Kpene 6
Subs: Casal 6.5, Emilio 5, deRoux 6.

My game report is on washingtonpost.com. I'll have some interesting news from Will Chang on the Insider tomorrow (no, it's not about the stadium!).

Check here for Telefutura game highlights.

Go down for the bonus quotes (more good comments in the game story)......

SOEHN
It got a little hairy at the end. I think the third game in a week caught up to some of our guys, but I give them credit because they fought through that and battled until the end.
I don't think we started the game very well. I think it took us a bit to find our momentum, and once we did, we exposed some of the holes and created some of the chances. I was excited for Christian to get his goal. I think he has been a little frustrated and all it takes to get your confidence back.
(changing lineups) Part of it is resting players and part of it is trying to expose what other teams' weaknesses are. You are going to sit and evaluate what your strengths are and try to make an educated guess what's going to work on that day.
We still have a lot to work on. I am real happy, more or less, with the mentality we are going out with and the passion I kept asking for. I saw our legs go a little bit, but it's something to build on and we're going to continue to work.
(using young players) I haven't been afraid to use them and you gauge a lot what you do in training and the guys who step up are going to play. I've said that from the beginning -- it doesn't matter how much you make. You come out and do the business and you're going to see time on the field.
(team mentality) I've seen a difference in their mentality. We know we are better than what we showed in the first three games, and there's a real positive to build on from what we brought to the table Thursday.
(balancing the need to build chemistry with finding the right players) It's a fine line. This week it's a little bit easier because we've got three games. The next two-week stretch you are going to see who separates themselves and you can try different things and see who best works with the other guy.
(on Chivas's goal) Josh was just tired. I could see his legs were gone, but he gutted through it.
BOSWELL
We came out sloppy, we weren't taking care of the ball, we weren't doing some of the things we needed to do but in the end, when you get the W, it's all you are going to remember.
How we did it wasn't the best, but the point is is that we did it.
KPENE
People said I did pretty good. I just listen to what they say.
(on starting) Yes, I was surprised. I didn't expect that.
GOMEZ
(on his frustration) Yes, it's been a little frustrating because it seems every team has been man-marking me so I think I have to be more intelligent on the field and play more to the flanks and let other players, like Benny, have more space in the middle so he can create.
OLSEN
We felt good after Thursday that if we kept the battle going that we would be okay. Today was not easy. Having a game a couple days ago, we put a lot of effort into that game Thursday night and to come back and to gut one out is a positive sign for this team.
It's important for us to keep pushing. We have two weeks to continue to build on what we've established these last two games.
It's a gutsy win because we didn't play well. A lot of guys got through some fatigue out there. What else you want from me, Goff? We won! Leave us alone. (a light-hearted exchange)
(on Kpene) Guy did well. He's a handful. He's still young and he'll learn. He's only going to get better.
(on team depth) It says he has a lot of faith in the depth of the team and individual players. I think today you saw it and even Thursday you saw it. Guys are hungry, hungry for spots and hungry to get some results.
(on Jaime) Just when you guys count him out a little bit, he comes back and has a good game and scores some goals. I don't know why you count him out. He's had so many downs and he comes back every time.
PERKINS
(On his 89th-minute save) I have no idea how the guy was wide open. He could have taken a touch and played it. It was just a reaction save.
(On touching Razov's shot that hit the crossbar) I got the hand up and did what I could.

By Steve Goff  |  May 6, 2007; 8:46 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Deuce Delivers

Comments

I think Erpen looked better than that. Or at least Boswell wasn't that much better. Gros was the weak link.

I'd like to see Kpene and Emilio up top. Moreno hit a PK. That's it.

Posted by: Nogra Rover | May 6, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Moreno played as well as the other guys you give a 6. He's reminding me of late Etcheverry.
A 4 seems harsh for Gros, seemed like he brought the ball upfield well.
Soehn sure does seem to talk a lot, explain a lot, as reported in these things . . . makes me miss the Arena approach of tossing half the questions back as another question and moving on.
Overall nice game, beautiful day . . . let's savor this moment.

Posted by: gringo | May 6, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

why did they have a week off, then 3 games in 8 days, then another week off? couldn't they have spread those games out better?

Posted by: pat | May 6, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I think a 4 for Gros was also kind of harsh, he did get skinned on the Chivas goal, I was sitting right there but he looked dead tired after playing like he did for 180 minutes in 4 days. The play leading up to the goal was really the only glaring error he made. I would have given him at least a 5.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | May 6, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Man of the Match (part I) - Perkins. He's right to on that save in the 89th minute. We had eight players defending and there were 2 (!) Chivas players open on that side of the field. Great save and great game!

Man of the Match (part II) - Will Chang. Sitting with the fans for most of the game in a full suit and in the sun!

Mistake of the Match - In the first half Moose has Olsen wide open for a tap in and instead he half passes / half shoots the ball wide of the goal

Posted by: Diego R. | May 6, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it might have been GOOD for the team to have 3 games in 8 days -- less time for them to overthink and fret . . . can any psych majors back me up on this?

(Arena would answer, "Well, how does it look to you, having 3 games in 8 days?")

Posted by: gringo | May 6, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Casal had his breakout game. He played great and showed his ability to destabilize the Chivas defense. Moreover, it GREAT to see a United attacking midfielder commit fully to the tackle (ahem, Santino, cough, Santino, cough).

Casal's pace and runs created both goals. One bringing the foul that resulted in the PK, the other, his push forward, then pass to Emilio, which then moved across goal to Gomez for a lovely volley.

On top of everything...Erpen had TWO bicycle kicks (that must be part of his incentive or perfomance based contract) and provided a FIRST for this futbol fan...a bicyle kick passback to his keeper. Unreal. One of those moments where you want to cover your kids eyes, lest he pick up some "creative" ideas for his next league game.

Anyway, if I did not already have my Benny #14 shirt, I would be first in line for a Casal #6 top. At 19, with his Fulham experience (i.e. tenacity in tracking back and defending and high work rate and wicked pace on the flank) and what he showed today - Chivas is one of the better MLS sides, mind you - I think he has major upside for United.

A great day...a shame they could not keep the clean sheet. It would have been nice for the lads' mentality...

Posted by: Erick | May 6, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Goffer, You do realize that Gros covering Galindo is like a rookie covering Allen Iverson...Galindo is that fast!

Posted by: Dave the Wave | May 6, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...even as the fastest player on United,(correct me if I'm wrong) Galindo is still THAT fast.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | May 6, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Ben reads The Insider. Other than the PK though it didn't seem like Moreno did much to help us. He and Olsen slowed us down a lot especially in the second half. Olsen didn't seem to know what he was going to do with the ball before he got it so he spent too much time dawdling on it.

Add me to the list of people who would like to see Kpene and Emilio together up front. And maybe Fred instead of Gomez when he gets back healthy.

Perkins really did save the day.

I thought it was interesting that at halftime we only had 3 fouls committed. I guess Kevin Stott decided to even that up in half 2. Some really mystifying fouls he made up out there.

It's hard to be too upset with 3 points. These last couple of days are something to build on. I think the team is not as bad as some people thought at 0-3, but not as good as the preseason hype.

I am glad that Soehn has the confidence to tinker with the lineup and that he is willing to let the rookies play significant roles. This will pay dividends down the line. Remember the early Arena days when out B team went out and beat LA in LA? I see this as the same sort of thing.

Posted by: Glenn | May 6, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Casal has great ability going forward. Problem is that RM/LM needs to play defense. When Casal can do that, he'll be invaluable to DCU. Until then he'll be a liability.

Watch....

Posted by: JSF | May 6, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Agreed with Nogra Rover, thought Erpen did much better than a 5.5.

Also thought that if Moose had passed it to Olsen he would have been off, but I might just have had a bad angle on it.

Posted by: Markus | May 6, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Epen should be rated higher than Boswell.

And Olsen was offside. Had he touched the ball the play would've been called offside.

Oh, Kasali Yinka Casal NOW!!!!!

Posted by: Section106 | May 6, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but until Perkins's late save, Boswell was the best player on the field, IMO. Erpen continues to improve after his awful start this season, but his recklessness remains an issue. Boswell was cool and composed throughout, stepping up repeatedly to disrupt Chivas and move the ball forward.


Posted by: Goff | May 6, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

when did a high class player walk across the field while he played.moreno

Posted by: 3pcs | May 6, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Way too harsh on Moose, Goff. For the first half a large part of our offense flowed through Moose. He had a good touch, created his own chances and backtracked on defense/positioning with tenacity. He made a couple Facu-like turnovers, but nothing tragic.

He did more out there than Olsen. I think Olsen is in the "start but don't finish" category along with Moreno. Or Olsen should take Carroll's place so we can have two fast players on the flanks that run *forward*.

Drogbito (Kpene) - Emilio
Casal - Olsen - Gomez - Moose
Gros - Boswell - Facu - Namoff

Still the lineup I'm hoping for.

We created our two goals with speed/flank play. That should not come as a surprise. Our first few games we lacked speed and any push forward down the field. Play the guys who can create on their own and not just pass the ball for five minutes until we get to the top of the box and then work it back to midfield. We've got four in the back to cover for the mids taking some chances. Though I'd put Moose on Namoff's side. Namoff is quietly having a solid campaign, standing guys up in no man's land. Gros...not so much.

Posted by: Shmoo | May 7, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Where was gros' help on the goal? There should have been another defendr there to help when galindo cut inside. If dc did their homework they'd know how fast he is

Posted by: matt y | May 7, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Did you know that Troy was sick on Saturday with a stomach virus? After this showing, he should eat some bad shrimp before every match.

Posted by: Fannie | May 7, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

I had to settle for online audio, but it sounded like: (1) Gros made a few good runs with the ball up the flank, creating some opportunities, and (2) Erpen was disrupting attacks nearly as often as Boswell was. I was a skeptic during all the four-man-back talk, but I think I've come around.

Posted by: Joe S. | May 7, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Steve -
Why the 4 for Moose? Seems harsh to me -- he was in most of the highlights from the 1st half. Was he hurt @ half, or was that coach's choice?

Posted by: Coach.Doug | May 7, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I like Shmoo's line-up but of course, Moose sits when Fred is healthy.

When Fred returns then you have Moreno, Carroll and Moose as super subs.

Posted by: DCU Fan | May 7, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Goff on Moose. Too often he ended up losing the ball or making a bad pass. He was adequate defensively, but too often was hesitant to go forward.
I don't get the praise for Kpene. I didn't think he linked up well with Moreno and Gomez, and his possession did not produce much around goal, where he most often lost the ball.
Casal did look great, and Soehn will have to find a way to get him playing time.

Posted by: Mike | May 7, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Pretty high grades for what looked like a fairly weak performane. You are saying that this was a good performance and that tells me you think this is just not a good DCU team. For the second game in a row the boys needed a PK to get a result...I don't think they can count on that during the remain 25 games.
I think the line up changes are a big mistake by an inexperienced coach; he taking all of the confidence out of his players and it shows in their timid performances. We are in a loooooooog year.

Posted by: tex | May 7, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I see serious competition for playing time on this team (except in the back). That can only be a good thing.

Posted by: JkR | May 7, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the ratings of Moose. He seemed active and many of the best movements in the first half either went through him or ended up with him. Though he should've done better, he played well enough to earn a better rating. Gros - not a fullback, end of discussion. Both Gros and Erpen need to remember what's the most important rule of defending, stay on your feet! Do not go to ground so easily. Was really impressed with Kpene and his ability to turn on the ball. Lastly, though I can't fault Olsen for his heart and his all around action, he seemed to be playing a few speeds slower than everyone else. If he got the ball on the wing, he pushed it up slowly or killed counter attacks, and his passes were too often far too late. First average performance by Benny so far.

Posted by: G-Dub | May 7, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

What's with Gomez? He scored which was great, but he seems to disappear for big chunks of the games so far. Has he gotten old in the off season, or is he mailing in the last year of his contract?

Starting to get a bit of a numbers crunch in midfield. I think Casal needs to start on the left and Fred on the right (when healthy). That means Carroll or Olsen sit, dont forget about Simms, who I think when fit is as good as both of them. Some of these guys may be trade bait for a defender.

Posted by: Section 108 | May 7, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Was at the match yesterday. Gomez looks unfit and really slow. He also seemed to be screaming at just about everyone. Gotta say, they need to sit him down til he gets his head on straight.

Nice goal, though....

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 7, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I thinik Gros's role with this team, and in this league, is as a John O'Shea type who is the ultimate utility player; can be used to start or sub in at 5 different spots MF or D. But I don't think he has the touch or technique to be a 90 min MF for a championship team, or the defensive mindset to be a 90 min defender for 35 games. Great guy to have on the squad, though.

I'm happy to see that MLS is progressing past his abilities.

Posted by: JkR | May 7, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

A little info on Edwin Twesigomwe would be appreciated.
From what I could fine, he might of spent fome time in Watford's 'scholars' system also.

Posted by: jgildea8 | May 7, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Perkins was outstanding. You could see the change in his confidence as he came out strongly to grab some high balls into the box. Some fantastic and clutch saves.

Let's not forget that Gross played a very nice ball up to Casal that allowed him to get into the box and draw the penalty. I'd give him a 5 or 5.5.

Moose was energetic but a bit eratic. Don't write him off just yet. He should have finished his one golden attempt, but with time, I think he'll get there.

Super happy to have Kepne as an attacking option. Being able to go to the bench and get results is huge.

I was in 211 yesterday and got a great view of Casal's play. Wow! He is deceptively fast. Good foot skills too.

My friend said that he was pleased that Soehn has shown a willingness to use young players. His quote: "the players have something to play for in practice". I think this is true and it pushes everyone to perform.

All in all positive momentum.

Posted by: Dan | May 7, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The wall looked awful on Razov's low-driven free kick in the 2nd half. Perkins didn't set it up right, because he had to dive for that near post save. Dock him 0.5 rating points.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought Moose was much better than a 4 and was really surprised to see him come out at half time -- of our 10 shots on goal, I think he had 3 of them, and Guzan had to come up big to save at least one of them. Given the tendency we've shown lately to pass in the box (even Emilio did it this game!) I think shooting should be rewarded.

Posted by: MM | May 7, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff are you using the standard scale:

1) Totally awful, had a mare, should be taken out and shot,
2) Dire, but not usual standard,
3) Very poor.
4) Poor, below the standard expected,
5) Average, the least expected,
6) Better than average, but in patches only,
7) Good, generally decent performance,
8) Very good, above the standard, standing out at times,
9) Excellent, stood out all match,
10) Outstanding truly commanded the match.

I think you're ratings are like an Ivy league prof's marks where grade-inflation has made the evaluation process meaningless. Did you really want to hand out that many 6's on a home game we barely won against one of the lowest ranked teams in the league?

Posted by: greg | May 7, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I also thought Moose looked good; at least he as active. I wish Erpen could figure out how to play the ball to his own team. He gave up a stupid corner kick in the first half, as well, trying to dribble past an attacker rather than just knocking the ball out for a throw in.

Anyway, DC's young and new guys look really good.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 7, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff:

What did Erpen ever do to you? Did he dis you? Boswell with a 7? You shouldn't make things personal.

Posted by: You really do Hate Erpen | May 7, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but Ben Olsen should Shut the F up and stop WALKING around the soccer field. Get in shape or have a seat on the pine Back-pass Bennie.

Also, I have no idea how Goff thinks Moreno played as well as Kpene. Kpene's movement and holding play created every chance we had in the 1st half. And who assisted on Gomez's goal? Moreno's gotten great at ignoring his teammates' runs and holding the ball until 3 defenders surround him and take the ball.

Posted by: MFF | May 7, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This place is getting as acidic as BigSoccer. Ease up, kids.

I like our depth. It shows that the term "B Team" is really meaningless for this team at this point in time, which I like. We have 16 or so guys who are solid, skilled, dependable players and will rotate in and out of the first 11.

This only bodes well down the stretch.

Posted by: Vivzig | May 7, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Big variety of opinions on Moose. I agree with Brother Goff on this one . . . lots of energy but didn't accomplish much, and what the BLANK was that slide that earned him the yellow and could have gotten him thrown out??

I think Gros can certainly play 90 as MF, but it looks like he's being asked to play as MF AND D . . . tough row.

Posted by: gringo | May 7, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Good game, but we're still finding our feet. We have a long way to go.

Kpene is quite a treasure! When he gets a bit more experience, he will be an unquestioned starter, as will Casal. Both are much faster and sure with the ball than the majority of our players. Like Emilio, Kpene can attack with the ball and actually beat defenders, instead of giving the ball away to whoever comes close, like Moreno, or simply passing the ball to whoever is open, as Gomez and most of our central players seem to do.

Erpen--what a jackass! Tries to score twice on his own team! Can't stay on his feet when he's the only defender between an opponent and the goal. Bench this guy until we can trade him for two decent MLS bog-standard defenders who can split the overinlfated salary we pay him.

Boz had a good game, as did Olsen (though Ben fouls way too much and is going to accumulate so many cards he'll sit half the season if he keeps going this way). Moose is unseasoned, but for someone in his position he looked really good.

Perkins looks like he is getting his confidence back. Good--when he's on his game, he's one of the best in the league!

I love Jaime, but we can't afford to pay someone the salary he gets and have him show enthusiasm and energy for maybe 1/4 of the match at best. Time for him to retire, open the Jaime Moreno Soccer Academy, and start training the next generation of Red & Black players.

Poor Gros! All the blind Facu defenders say "hey, he's playing out of position!" Well, FE still can't defend, but putting Gros in the back line is like having a racehorse pulling a plow. Josh is an excellent midfield flank player, and we need to find some good Ds to put in the backline, so we can use him as the valuable offensive player he is!

Posted by: magpie442 | May 7, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

During the CSN telecast, the sideline reporter went into the stands and interviewed members of SE and BB, while play was continuing on the patch. I can see talking to coaches on camera in real time, but talking to fans, even superfans of the SE/BB/LN ilk, surely could have waited until the intermission.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | May 7, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

magpie442--Completely agree on Gros. When McTavish is recovered, I would expect to see him replace Gros at left back. Gros could then push up to outside left mid where he is better. The problem comes in with what to do with Gomez, Fred, Casal, Moreno, and Emilio when they are all healthy. It really is a great position to be in to have so many quality players. Casal has been great on the wing and should be rewarded with a spot in the first 11 because he changes the game when he's in. Honestly, Fred and Emilio are probably going to replace Gomez and Moreno after this year as the heart of the franchise, but it makes it tough this year to balance all four. There really are a lot of good options.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 7, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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