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SuperLiga Suspense

D.C. United missed its chance to take a direct route to the SuperLiga semifinals with an excruciating 1-0 loss at Houston, but after returning to its hotel late last night, the club settled around the TVs in the lobby and watched the wild America-Morelia match end in its favor. United needed Morelia to lose or tie, and when America grabbed a two-goal lead AND a man advantage, the D.C. boys appeared in good shape. But Morelia scored twice to tie it and threatened again before America went back ahead late. What a night.

DCU-HOU highlights here.

America-Morelia highlights here.

So your semifinal pairings are:

*Aug. 14: Pachuca at Houston, 10 p.m. Eastern (Telefutura)
*Aug. 15: United at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. Eastern (Telefutura)

(According to the original schedule, L.A. should be playing on the 14th, but because the Galaxy has a league match on the 12th on the East Coast, they will get to host the second semifinal.)

The final is set for Aug. 29. If Pachuca is in it, the game will be played at RFK Stadium or Home Depot Center. If Houston advances, the finalist with the best record through group play and the semifinals will get the game (most likely Houston).

By Steve Goff  |  August 2, 2007; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Final Four for Freedom

Comments

You know what if DC could decide they are capable of hitting the broad side of a barn, they would have half a chance.

Posted by: Mr.Bill | August 2, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Galaxy away vs. Pachuca at home???

Man...we came out great on that deal!!!

Posted by: Matt Y | August 2, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Great.

Another 1-0 loss in Houston. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: A Rickey | August 2, 2007 5:57 AM | Report abuse

The Galaxy can't defend and United can't score on easy opportunities - should be a great match ;)

Posted by: noptov52 | August 2, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

"Another 1-0 loss in Houston. Looking forward to it."

4th time's a charm!

Posted by: Roy Stevens | August 2, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

In last night's game report, there's a quote from Troy:

"It was a great experience, but it's right in the middle of our season," Perkins said. "It's the middle of summer time for us, there's lots of injuries, and the Mexican club teams are in the middle of the season. It was our third game in seven days, so I knew it was going to be sloppy."

* * *

I guess the freelancer didn't know enough not to use the "Mexican club teams are in the middle of the season." Because they're actually in pre-season right now.

Our Goff wouldn't make that mistake. :)

Posted by: Sean | August 2, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

On second read, it's possible the quote means "playing the Mexican club teams" comes in the middle of the /MLS/ season, but that's a lot of parsing to get that out.

Posted by: Sean | August 2, 2007 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey Sean, I was about to say the same thing. Also, the blurb on the webpage says "D.C. United's 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo is erased by Club America's tie." Tie?

We miss the professionalism and accuracy of Geoffino. Houston is a great team and we can't really seem to figure a way to beat them, especially at their house. If we both make it to the final, I'd have to give them the $1 million.

Posted by: gallegoscot | August 2, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I never thought I'd write this but: GO PACHUCA!!! Somebody has to beat the Dynamo for us to have a chance in SuperLiga or MLS. We were outclassed last night.

Posted by: grotus | August 2, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean the players get $50,000?

I'm confused by the breakdown if you have to win the whole thing to get the $150,000
but earn $50,000 for reaching the semis.

Posted by: bob | August 2, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Just for what it is worth: going back to the game against the Pink Cows on 7/22 and running through the 9/12 game against RSL, DC will have played 13 games in 52-games (and that does not include the Superliga final if we are in it). That is exactly one game every four days for 7 1/2 weeks. Ouch! EPL numbers with a much smaller squad.

Posted by: LG | August 2, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should be 13-games in 52-days.

Posted by: LG | August 2, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know about this tournament? 10K in attendance in Houston and last night it was dead at Lucky Bar, with people watching the Nats game that was being played accross town. I even received bad looks for asking for a tv to be turned to a DCU game...at Lucky Bar!

Only 11K in Chicago where you probably have an America fan base of a couple million.

Is this tournament doing well? Did MLS drain every last advertising cent into Beckham?

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 2, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The crowded schedule is exactly one reason why United needs to add players.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

For the most part, outside tournaments of this kind are never well-attended. 10K on a Wednesday night is quite good, IMHO. And let's be honest, many families (think suburban) who go to regular season contests have no desire to see Mexican teams. I think the reasons are obvious.

As for Mexican fans here in the states, I don't think they take this tournament too seriously. It is preseason for them, just like all of the Euro teams that have come over for matches. Plus, a tournament w/o a true home-and-home series may be another reason for lack of interest. Hopefully that changes next year.

Posted by: Hoost | August 2, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

That crowd in Chicago surprised me. Having lived there for close to 10 years, I wouldn't think it would matter if it was just pre-season. As to the United game... blah. We're just not as good as Houston. Evidently we're not as tall, not as fast, and not as good at TRAPPING THE DAMN BALL! AHHHHH! That was such a frustrating game to watch. It was probably the worst (nee "most boring") match I've seen in this tournament.

Posted by: comfortstarr | August 2, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

WIMPS! When I was a kid, I would play 5 games in a weekend!

Posted by: RK | August 2, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Don't underestimate the effect of the small size of the field down there in Houston on United's game. Without the space to move the ball around and operate we just can't play our game. I think it also explains why we have trouble at RSL (besides the turf). For sure we need to try and figure out a way at some point, but I think that's why we saw so much long ball last night. Without the width to spread the game wide you have to stretch the game long instead. And we don't have the speedy guys to make that work very well.

That said, we created about as many chances as Houston did. We just didn't finish any of them.

It's always disappointing to lose, but I am not as doomy and gloomy as so many people.

Posted by: Glenn | August 2, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I think part of the issue with attendance, especially the games with only Mexican teams, is that the frequency with which they play exhibitions in this country (or tournaments like Interliga - a Mexican qualifying tournament for Libertadores I think) has increased to the point where there isn't a huge urgency to go see them since you know they will probably come back later in the year and the fans won't come out for any old game that involves. The Mexican club teams have played in Houston so much in the past year I think their fans may be fatigued.

That said, I think the Superliga tournament is a great idea and the games have generally been good with a real edge to the competitiveness in the MLS-FMF contests.

Posted by: JJ | August 2, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Houston is the class of the league right now. I would hate to see that franchise with the right DP. Scary. Hats off to team president Oliver Luck. The man is two years into MLS and he has built a juggernaut that is vastily superior to any other team in the league. Additionally he has made the Dynamo an accepted part of the Houston sports landscape. I wouldnt have expected anything else from a West Virginia grad.

Posted by: Steve Slaton | August 2, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

First off I am huge DCU fan - that said - this team is in trouble. They should have won the Morelia game 4 - 1 and the America game 3 - 0. The Houston game should have been 1 - 1 - possibly 2 -1 (DCU) if BC kept his open shot low.

The basic skill of finishing eludes this team. Until they can finish off the simple chances they create for themselves they will not be going anywhere....

Posted by: bobF | August 2, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

So the two plays I missed last night (Gomez' free kick and Boswell's whiff) are not on the highlights!

Posted by: d | August 2, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Oliver Luck can thank the folks that built the team he inherited. Considering most of the current Dynamo team played in San Jose I wouldn't say Oliver is good, I'd say he's Luck(y). Ha!

Posted by: San Jose is coming back! | August 2, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

As usual I had to come to the Insider this morning for the straight news on the semi-finals. SuperLiga, United and MLS sites all unclear as to when and where United will play next! Thanks Steven

Posted by: Kev | August 2, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

How did other people find the quality of the video feed from Superliga2007.com? Mine was incredibly choppy and bad. The audio was smooth, but especially in the second half I was getting about one frame per second. Drastic difference from the really nice Copa America feed...

Posted by: edgeonyou | August 2, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Officiating question: Seems like lots or red card action in this tournament. And so far the reds have benefitted the MLS teams. The tourny is hosted on US soil. So, the call last night seemed legit, but I wonder if the Mexican teams are going to come back next year if they feel like the thing is rigged against them? Have there been other cards in the matches not involving DC?

Posted by: Matt | August 2, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

With regard to Perk's comments, what??? I mean, everybody gripes about the fact that the CONCACAF Champions Cup competition favors the central american teams that are all in mid-season form. Now we get a tournament that clearly favors the MLS teams (3 MLS teams in the semis and a likely all MLS final) and we're complainging that it's too many games. Geez, you just can't make people happy, can you?

Posted by: Matt | August 2, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Houston is the class of the league right now. I would hate to see that franchise with the right DP. Scary. Hats off to team president Oliver Luck. The man is two years into MLS and he has built a juggernaut that is vastily superior to any other team in the league. Additionally he has made the Dynamo an accepted part of the Houston sports landscape. I wouldnt have expected anything else from a West Virginia grad."

Posted by: Steve Slaton | August 2, 2007 09:32 AM

Puh-lease. Give me a break. Do you work for them? They're the luckiest team in MLS right now. That's it. And luck runs out. NO team in MLS is THAT much better than the other. This is a fact. Houston has perfected playing on that ping-pong sized field of theirs. Just like San Jose did and Yallop is trying to do with the Galaxy by reducing the size of the field at HDC. It's called crap. That's why Houston got run ragged at Pachuca at El Hurrican. Big field plus high altitude. Houston didn't look that great to start the season and they aren't that good right now. Over rated.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

So, the call last night seemed legit, but I wonder if the Mexican teams are going to come back next year if they feel like the thing is rigged against them? Have there been other cards in the matches not involving DC?

Posted by: Matt | August 2, 2007 10:28 AM

DeRosario was not sent of for shoving a Morelia player to the ground in retaliation. And it wasn't even DeRo who was fouled. It was Mullan, I think. It was the exact same kind of mess that got the Morelia player sent off against DC/Boswell in the first game.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | August 2, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think Tom Soehn should start worrying about his job. We looked awful and inconsistent. Our talent is not all that. Why is it that we can't play our game on the road. This season has been a MAJOR disappointment. Kevin Payne if you are listening or reading this blog, make some serious moves NOW. If not, the season is lost.

Posted by: DC United Fan | August 2, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Last night's game felt like a 90-minute Maalox moment.

Posted by: Juan-John | August 2, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The loss last night was frustrating; Ching is quality and on the USMNT for good reason. That being said, we have gone 1-1-1 in this tourney with many of our subs playing significant minutes. Burch, McTavish, Dyachecko have all shown some quality. Despite the lack of scoring which obviously is a problem, our depth situation is better now than it has been all year. This should be seen as a positive as we try to make a run in the second half of the season.

Posted by: sbg | August 2, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm even more glad that I traded my DCU shirt for the Bimbo, especially since I don't have a game to go to until the end of the month.

And DCU Fan, I think we're fine. Although I'm trying to figure out when Kpene is going to keep developing and finally net a goal. That should have been a tie or a win. Soehn is getting us to where we need to be, the players just aren't finishing. How's that his fault?

Posted by: G-Unit | August 2, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"How did other people find the quality of the video feed from Superliga2007.com? Mine was incredibly choppy and bad...

Posted by: edgeonyou | August 2, 2007 10:12 AM "

-----

I watched it without any problems from Argentina..... It was actually better than the last couple of MLS games I have watched on MLSLive.tv.

Posted by: Lost in BA | August 2, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Puh-lease. Give me a break. Do you work for them? They're the luckiest team in MLS right now. That's it. And luck runs out. NO team in MLS is THAT much better than the other. This is a fact. Houston has perfected playing on that ping-pong sized field of theirs. Just like San Jose did and Yallop is trying to do with the Galaxy by reducing the size of the field at HDC. It's called crap. That's why Houston got run ragged at Pachuca at El Hurrican. Big field plus high altitude. Houston didn't look that great to start the season and they aren't that good right now. Over rated.

Posted by: | August 2, 2007 10:35 AM

You, Sir, are high. I'm a huge United fan, but to not be able to see class like Houston's is just plain ignorance of the game. They went a whole month without giving up a single goal, not one. They are clearly the class of the league. Did you notice that Ricardo Clark and Joseph Ngwenya, two players we would kill to have, didn't even start the match? They have talent, depth and are simply playing incredibly well together. It's called chemistry, the thing we're lacking most.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

And let's be honest, many families (think suburban) who go to regular season contests have no desire to see Mexican teams. I think the reasons are obvious.

Um Hoost...what are you saying? Are you actually insinuating that suburban families have no desire to see Mexican clubs because their players are a bunch of icky foreigners?! You sir (or ma'am), are an idiot.

Posted by: DE | August 2, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Totally OT, but maybe we can bring in even more defensive help.

http://www.puertoricoislandersfc.com/news_full.php?id=110

I'm just sayin.

Posted by: Grotus | August 2, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Needham is developing. DCU still owns his MLS rights.

I don't think it's our defense that's so bad. I think we defended well against a very good Houston MLS squad. I agree with many other posters that Houstin is the class of the league right now. We just can't finish. I think (hope) high pressure tournaments like this will force us to get better. The defenses we played against were pretty good. Houston is top notch and the Mexicans, while out of shape, certainly read the game very well. They anticipated many a pass that MLS squads would miss.

Posted by: DuPont Mike | August 2, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Mexicans are in the middle of their "seasons".

Posted by: Dave | August 2, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

DE - I understood Hoost as referring to the generally poor sportsmanship displayed by the Mexican teams. I would agree based on the two games I saw at RFK.

Posted by: Mike | August 2, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You, Sir, are high. I'm a huge United fan, but to not be able to see class like Houston's is just plain ignorance of the game. They went a whole month without giving up a single goal, not one. They are clearly the class of the league. Did you notice that Ricardo Clark and Joseph Ngwenya, two players we would kill to have, didn't even start the match? They have talent, depth and are simply playing incredibly well together. It's called chemistry, the thing we're lacking most.

Posted by: | August 2, 2007 12:06 PM

You read it right, Popinjay. Over rated. August means nothing to October. Just ask San Jose class of 2005 and Ray Hudson's Miami Goal Machine in 2001. Over rated. Over and out.

Posted by: Stompy McGillicutty | August 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Actually, the Mexicans are in the middle of their "seasons"."

Mexican league starts this weekend. The last league tournament ended in May.

Posted by: Vic | August 2, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

And let's be honest, many families (think suburban) who go to regular season contests have no desire to see Mexican teams. I think the reasons are obvious.

Um Hoost...what are you saying? Are you actually insinuating that suburban families have no desire to see Mexican clubs because their players are a bunch of icky foreigners?! You sir (or ma'am), are an idiot.

Posted by: DE | August 2, 2007 12:33 PM

You will address me as Master Sir.

Sure, that's what I'm suggesting. But its more than that. They may remember the RDA years when fights broke out all the time, and stuff was thrown for 90 minutes. I think by watching what happened at RFK on Sunday, you'll get the picture.

Posted by: Hoost | August 2, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

>>>>>Without the space to move the ball around and operate we just can't play our game. I think it also explains why we have trouble at RSL (besides the turf). For sure we need to try and figure out a way at some point, but I think that's why we saw so much long ball last night.

You can´t play wide if the left mid keeps giving up the ball, giving up on runs, doesn´t play space well, and doesn´t maintain shape. Throw in a disconnected center, and what you have is clusterball up on the right wing. DCU might as well go long-ball if the left wing doesn´t function. I would go to single wing or some such flooding tactic offensively, with runs into open space on the off-wing. Shift Fred more to the middle, and create occasional left attacks on the overlap with Burch. Coaches need to learn to use the folks they have in the configuration that works for that particular group. Asymmetry on attack can do wonders, especially when mixed into a normal looking set.

>>>I don't think it's our defense that's so bad. I think we defended well against a very good Houston MLS squad.

That´s how the central defense got beat on a break from a free-kick, not seeming like they even knew how to cut down the angle of attack or do such basic tasks as first/second defender with recovery runs.

When on the road and tired, the central defensive mid needs to be employed more effectively when we don´t have possession. The most dangerous striker needs to be man-marked by the defensive mid if the central defenders are suspect.

Posted by: morphit | August 2, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The way DC backs into tournaments, they should play a beeping noise through the PA whenever United is on the field.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 3, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

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