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Angel at RFK

Remember those scoring opportunities that Nate Jaqua botched the other night for Los Angeles against D.C. United? Juan Pablo Angel will not miss them. A stray ball in the box? A free kick from 22 yards? They're going into the net. Understand, DCU fans?

On Thursday night, the Colombian forward scored two more goals to increase his total to six in five matches since joining the first-place Red Bulls, who will visit Estadio RFK on Sunday afternoon.

D.C. and New York (New Jersey) had the best rivalry in MLS's early years before United soared to the top of the league and the MetroStars chased shadows in mostly empty Giants Stadium (well, that part has not changed). It redeveloped to a small degree last year, capped by a tight playoff series, and this summer it has the potential to return to its feverish pitch. With the Red Bulls rollin' and United rebounding from a weak start, Sunday's meeting could very well rekindle memories of those first seasons.

Assuming, of course, Angel doesn't score three before halftime.....

How would you rate your anticipation for the first showdown of the season between the clubs?


By Steve Goff  |  June 7, 2007; 12:48 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

Dunno. How exactly do you rate that sinking nauseous feeling that your favorite team is about to get a beating on their home ground?

Posted by: Kenobi | June 7, 2007 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Now is the time for DCU to show it still sports a pair.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | June 7, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

True, we will have to play better than last week by a wide margin, but NY is also coming in tired. 3 games in 8 days is tough, and they're stretched thin.

I should also point out that Toronto had NY on the ropes in the first half. No disrespect to them, but I think we are a much better team than TFC.

Sunday's game should be very tough for both sides. It's certainly a great occasion for DC to prove that we are as good as people were saying at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | June 7, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

"It's certainly a great occasion for DC to prove that we are as good as people were saying at the beginning of the season."

And if not, it means you blowhards will accept your status as also-rans, and recognize that you shouldn't even conceptualize the greatness of NY, let alone anticipate even DRAWiNG with them?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | June 7, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, maybe "Fred" will set the league on fire, very, very suddenly.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | June 7, 2007 2:04 AM | Report abuse

If DC loses, we'll just have to ship that "Champions of June" trophy to you, Mr. Mastodon...

Posted by: Robert | June 7, 2007 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe DCU can get the greater DC/MD/NOVA championship, with convincing wins over the Royals and Crystal Palace Baltimore.

Don't give up the ship!

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | June 7, 2007 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, Since we live in the United States of America, I suggest you call places by their proper American names. If you cannot do that, then maybe you should go back to where you came from. Freedom fries all the way! USA! USA!

Posted by: fckalihi | June 7, 2007 3:59 AM | Report abuse

I fear that united are in for a long afternoon, I hope not but fear so. I do not like the favorable match-up that New Jersey have against our left flank. This right wing Dane Richards against Josh Gros looks to me to be problematical for united. On the positive side, the Bulls do look to be hurting and exploitable in the back, but can we do enough in attack to take of advantage of their weaknesses and fatigue? Success for our side depends on finding a way to improve our wing play.

Posted by: rob | June 7, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

re fckalihi comments. dude, get a grip, if you have ever read the Insider, you would know why it is called that.

besides, we don't get paid to call it anything, so we can call it whatever we want.

Posted by: steve | June 7, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Based on Goff's statement that Angel will not miss his chances, and since there were many discussions recently about the quality of MLS, does Angel's impact say anything clearly about MLS? Obviously there are many differences in looking at his performance with his former team (Aston Villa) and New York that can be difficult to compare - such as team chemistry, positioning of a player, and reliance on a player to score goals. And obviously, I am not attempting to compare MLS with the Premeirship - I do not think anyone would make such a comparison. But using it as some kind of sliding scale, it seems interesting - such as if Premiership is a 9 out of 10 on a scale, where does MLS go in comparison, based on Angel's sudden and seemingly complete dominance of the goal?

So just for comparison's sake, Angel played in 23 matches for Aston Villa this year in the Premiership, 18 as a starter and 5 as a substitute. During that time, he scored 4 goals on 30 shots (16 on goal) and contributed 1 assist.

In contrast, for New York, he has appeared in five matches, all five as a starter. He has scored 6 goals on 22 shots (12 on goal) and contributed 2 assists.

If he continues at this rate, through 18 games, he will score 21 goals for New York.

Posted by: annapolis | June 7, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

A couple things:

Mastodon, it must be awful for you. Not only has your team sucked for the last 10 years, but your soccer community is so crappy that you have to read and post on a DC UNITED MESSAGE BOARD! I know this is open to all, but WTF are you doing here?

Second, fckalihi, you go away, too. No one cares about your grassfire.org BS. This is an online community that embraces nuestros hermanos de Sudamerica. Me entiendes? If you want to make political points unrelated to soccer (futbol) do it somewhere else.

Third, and most importantly, we may have serious problems come Sunday. If Angel and Altidore can put away half the flubbed clearances and dropped or deflected shots at Perkins that we've been giving up all season, they could easily put in 4 or 5. That's not even considering Dave Van Den Bergh's continuing solid service from the wing. Any ErpFu nonsense will also be mercilessly punished. AND NY has the Bruce, who knows all about playing at RFK and will be spoiling to win. That being said, I think if we buckle down and get mentally right, we can stick with this team, even win. It all depends on which United shows up.

Posted by: Grotus | June 7, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I pray that Schopp and Richards start on the right again for NY on Sunday. NY's backline is in a world of hurt right now with no one to turn to. I guess we found out last night what Arena thinks of Tim Regan who he could have used, but opted for the offensive minded Schopp. Schopp looked out of place for the whole time he was in the game last night and I thought he was going to run poor little Dane Richards over!

Posted by: Keenan | June 7, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"... Understand, DCU fans?"

Yes Steve. We are deer in the headlights.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 7, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Off topic....

Steve, are you hearing anything about the Claude Makelele to Real Salt Lake rumor???

Thanks.

Posted by: Shmenge | June 7, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Angel has been on fire to say the least! His arrival to MLS will certainly help raise the leevel of play and help NY, but does a player who had been sent to the bench in the EPL lighting up MLS make the league look better or worse for potential players? Does this fuel the thought process of guys that think they can just come over and easily earn a paycheck? And what the heck, Roberto Carlos to Fenerbanhiny whatever its called! Should have been our new left back!!!

Posted by: Piney O | June 7, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

This is not related, and I don't know who is to blame for this error (or bad type-o), but the online "On the Air" lists the Gold Cup games on Telemundo on 6/7. They are in fact on TeleFutura.

Posted by: TeleFutura | June 7, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Angel is making the Beckham rule look like a great idea.

Posted by: RK | June 7, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

NJ shows their true colors and choke like dogs. DC United 2 New Jersey 0

Afterwords they can say they finally played somebody.

Posted by: Chico | June 7, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh my lord. Had we signed Angel, we'd be cursing it as a mistake because he couldn't score without service. He wouldn't be taking our free kicks because we have Gomez and he'd be reduced to patrolling the box for loose balls. His confidence would drop and he'd be relegated to the bench.

Angel is a good coincidence for Bruce--a good player, hungry for playing time and stardom, with a team geared for his style of play. His early success translated into increased confidence and now he's banging them in. His production will drop to normal levels as teams learn to mark him better and NY will look human again.

Good lord people, get a grip. He was a good signing--he's not god. And we don't necessarily need one if our current lineup starts playing to their potential.

Posted by: viv | June 7, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I think it could be a long day, but I can't wait to see the Orange Bovines' fans in the upper deck surrounded by yellow police tape and way more cops than fans. It almost makes it feel like I'm at a derby and it's pure ticketing sales genius by United to stick them upper deck, behind and endline ...

That said, United needs this game. If they come out flat again, and Gomito huffs and puffs his overweight self around in midfield well behind the play, then we're going to have to step back and admit that this year, this team, are not what we thought they were going to be.

And I think it also says something about United that we're commenting on how many games the other team has played in a week to make our chances seem better. I want to support a team that doesn't care how many games the other team has played and who we're confident that whenever we step on the field we're going to get a result. DC doesn't have that going right now.

I'll be just as happy to present a "Champions of June" trophy to the Orange Bovines' fans in their aerie (Barra, can we make a tin foil one and present it after if we need to?) but I think we'll see if DC shows up or not at this game, and that will tell us what kind of team we've really got.

Posted by: G-Unit | June 7, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I think DC is in for a long, hot Sunday afternoon. Without Kpene to provide a spark, and with Emilio not scoring, who is going to score? Not to mention Kovalenko will be back playing against his former team. His defense is no-holds barred. My anticipation can be better described as WORRY. DC needs to step up big time.

Posted by: DC chick | June 7, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Im looking forward to seeing him play and to welcoming Arena and Harkes (and whoever else used to play for DC that's now coaching NY) back to RFK. I hope DC steps up to the challenge, or it's going to be a rough day.

It's interesting that DC comes into the game as the underdog. Aside from some of the internationals we've played, that's been an uncommon role.

Is Reyna going to be on the field? Or does he have a hangnail that'll keep him out for another month?

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

If Toronto can lose gracefully at 2-1, we can certainly tie, if not win.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Someone remind me, how many trophies have the New Jersey MetroRedPukes won?? I keep looking for pictures of them holding up some sort of trophy and there is NOTHING.

They suck, we win 2-1 on a Moreno PK in the 89th.

Posted by: Rocko | June 7, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Loved seeing Dema throw a beer bottle back into the stands after Angel's second goal against Toronto.

Honestly, why so much angst? The Metrostars are looking good, but they aren't invincible and they'll be in our home. Here's how we guarantee a win:

Soehn: Sweep the leg. Do you have a problem with that?
Erpfu: No Sensei.
Soehn: No mercy.

Put him in a bodybag, Facu.

Honestly, good rivalries and tough games are what make sports great. I'm looking forward to a good test for our guys. I expect Emilio to score.

Posted by: Sam | June 7, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

You could just send JPA to hospital.

Posted by: RK | June 7, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

A lot of new fans that haven't been there for the Rongen/Hudson years?

Posted by: Angelus | June 7, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Juan, with 21 games left in the season a loss Saturday would force us to give up this season and wait for next year. Surely no team in MLS has ever improved as a season went on, just as no team has dominated the early going only to run out of steam.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | June 7, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

My first DCU-RBNY game. I'm so ready to kill these guys. LETS GET IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: lawrenceterp | June 7, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Sam

Nice way to tie the Erp-Fu and Gracie threads together.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 7, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

To all you hand wringers...get a grip. DCU wins 2-0 maybe 3-0. My question is, will Goff eat his comments from the first para if Angel misses everything and his mighty Red Bulls go back to the swamp and wonder what happened?

Posted by: Eat it, Goff | June 7, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Take it easy on Mastodon Juan. He's only 14 and has to live in NJ. His team has never won before and he just doesn't know how to act.

asitis

Posted by: asitis | June 7, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

If the Gomez, Moreno, Emilio magic triangle rekindles some magic and if our boys defending really get stuck in and put a hurting to Angel and if we can play Casal to serve in some crosses to Emilio like in Colorado then we can shut them down. Perkins is solid. I am not worried but yeh, send JPA to hospital.

"You're going home in a DC Ambulance, a DC Ambulance, a DC Ambulance......"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

that song is sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine by the way.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

2 points for Sam's ErpFu.

The question for me is whether DCU can reduce defensive mistakes and vary the attack by spreading the field. In essence, if they play making the same mistakes they've made thusfar all season, they will surely lose, even to the Pink Cows at home. If they correct their glaring difficiencies in back, and vary their point of attack to take advantage of PCNY's own defensive troubles then we should win. If they don't tighten up in back and get wide this game, I will place all blame squarely on the coach. These problems have been there all season, and should be solved by now.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | June 7, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"that song is sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine by the way."

Yes, so it doesn't scan. Please, continue to almost, but not quite, "get it," DC fans.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | June 7, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Do you call yourself Mastodon Juan because you really like the band Mastodon or is it because you're big, hairy, and have tusks?

Posted by: Andy | June 7, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd just like to give a big thumbs up and a (lol) - that's "laugh out loud" not "lots of luck" to Grotus for his spot-on comments below:

"Mastodon, it must be awful for you. Not only has your team sucked for the last 10 years, but your soccer community is so crappy that you have to read and post on a DC UNITED MESSAGE BOARD! I know this is open to all, but WTF are you doing here?

Second, fckalihi, you go away, too. No one cares about your grassfire.org BS. This is an online community that embraces nuestros hermanos de Sudamerica. Me entiendes? If you want to make political points unrelated to soccer (futbol) do it somewhere else."

I also love his use of the term "ErpFu" to describe Erpin's occasional flying gymnastics nonsense when he writes "Any ErpFu nonsense will also be mercilessly punished."

Well said all around.

BTW. I'll be at the game, and I expect you all to come out too and to bring your friends.

Posted by: David | June 7, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I guess Juan doesn't know about the Washington Post: If you don't get it, you don't get it.

Posted by: alecw81 | June 7, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, You said you had some "news" about the LA Galaxy you might get to yesterday, but didnt.

Does it have anything to do with the Brazilian forward Joãozinho or now the rumour is Figo?

Thanks! -Dave

Posted by: shirteesdotnet | June 7, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Mastadon wanted a different name, but he couldn't get it by the censors.

Posted by: RK | June 7, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Two words - six two

Posted by: chummer | June 7, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Def. the most anticipated NY game since the playoffs in year one for me...

Posted by: Nick | June 7, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

DCU had better bring their A game. Keys to the game:
1> Pray Angel is sick and can't play.
2> Pray Altidore has a hangover and can't play.
3> Pray Emilio's slump ends
4> Pray Pray Pray.

Posted by: BobF | June 7, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

As a Villa fan, my heart tells me that I should hate for all eternity the man who never found a place in the squad once O'Neill took charge. However, I have been been advised by people more knowledgeable than I that booing JPA or otherwise casting aspersions on him is "not good form" and "just isn't done". Despite evidence to the contrary, this only re-affirms my belief that Villa is the best team EVER and has classy fans.

I'll be the quiet guy at the match, non-verbally expressing my disapproval.

Posted by: Big C | June 7, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

We lose on JPA's bike of Facundo's bike back to Perkins.

Damn.

Posted by: Hoost | June 7, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Goff, I apologize for the botched satire.

Posted by: fckalihi | June 7, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm up for the game but I don't really consider it much more important than any other regular season game. Although it may be the first time in a while that the Mutts / Pink Cows / Whatevers come here while they are AHEAD of us in the standings.

They have some good attacking weapons (will psycho Mathis be available?) but are very vulnerable on defense. Hope I make the kickoff as I have a league game that ends about 30 minutes earlier.

Posted by: garbaggio | June 7, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

DC should win this comfortably, 3-0 or 3-1. NY is without its starting goalkeeper and 3 out of 4 of its starting defenders. Schopp is not at 100% either. Expect Gomez, Emilio, Fred and Moreno to have a field day.

Posted by: 12th man | June 7, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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