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Matchday 25: RSL at United

Greetings from Estadio RFK, as Goff would say. I'm Paul Tenorio, the newbie here at the Post, and once again I'll be trying to fill Goff's shoes today which, trust me, is no easy feat (no pun intended). Should be a great game today as D.C. welcomes back former United stars Nick Rimando, Carey Talley, Alecko Eskandarian and Eddie Pope. Pope will be honored in a pre-game ceremony here at RFK (this game makes Pope just the 16th player in MLS history to reach 250 games played) and I'm sure the fans will give him quite the ovation.

Real Salt Lake is coming in hot offensively - they've scored eight goals in the last three matches after scoring just two goals the previous six games. But as we all know, United's been pretty good themselves recently (especially that one forward with a pretty decent nose for the goal).

Here's the lineup:

GK Perkins; Ds Namoff, Boswell, McTavish, Burch; MF's Olsen, Carroll, Gomez, Gros; Fs Emilio, Kpene.

Reserves: Nolly, Vanney, Fred, Dyachenko, Mediate, Simms, Addlery

As always...You know the drill: Pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts belong here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 12, 2007; 7:13 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Paul: Who's on the bench?

Posted by: Section 410 | September 12, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Reserves: Nolly, Vanney, Fred, Dyachenko, Mediate, Simms, Addlery

Posted by: Paul Tenorio | September 12, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

just to bring the shallow. . . the combined attractiveness of Boswell, Burch, and McTavish all on the same line must be astounding. ha.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Chants of ED-DIE, ED-DIE during the pre-game ceremony.

Posted by: Paul Tenorio | September 12, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I almost can't take it, BC at dmid opens up so many opportunities for the other team and kills our ability to move it through the midfield. I hate to say it and I may be speaking too early here, but he seems worthless for anything more than an off the bench role. That's really the only problem I have with the this lineup and the game so far.

Posted by: RJ | September 12, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Goal!!! Emilio #19

Posted by: Bart | September 12, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I really hope I just heard correctly that after pushing each other, Esky and Benny high fived. Because that would be awesome. And should be on the highlight reel.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I, along with my website, stink.

Posted by: Bobby Boswell | September 12, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Pretty poor defending... underwhelming from Troy. Carroll and Boswell still having a tough time...

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg shout-out on the telecast! The Bog lives!

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I want Simms. Where was Carroll on that goal??

Posted by: Bret | September 12, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

oh boy. DC isn't playing well at all. Getting beat all over the pitch.

Posted by: Bart | September 12, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

We're getting torn apart by RSL! Granted, they're better than earlier in the season, but COME ON!!

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Yep. We need Simms in there.

Posted by: Bart | September 12, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Carroll has forgotten how to play d mid. Well out of position several dangerous times

Posted by: JkR | September 12, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Kpene acts like a good forward, but he doesn't have the substance

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm a REALLY good forward. Wish I could get in a game.

Posted by: J. Walker | September 12, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Tony Limarzi on WMET has noted that the league will be giving Ben Olsen the day off when DCU visits Chicago the weekend after next.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 12, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Jamil is out for the season with injury. If he was in a game, we'd have a bit of a problem.

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm a REALLY good forward. Wish I was less than 6 months from playing after my injury.

Posted by: J. Walker | September 12, 2007 08:21 PM

Posted by: dtd | September 12, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Strangely, I think Carroll a wing MF in Soehn's system.

Also, Jamil ruptured his achilles earlier this year. I don't think he's ready to play.

Posted by: B.A. | September 12, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, who'd have thought RSL would have a 1-1 score at the half. It looks like we might have finally put the pieces together. Of course, it's too late for our season (and of course, we can still blow this game).

Goooo Re-Al Salt Lake

Posted by: pate | September 12, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else having issues with the video portion of the MLSNEt.com webcast?

Posted by: DC fan stuck in Houston | September 12, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Great sub. Kpene has potential but can't hold the ball. Fredmilio!

Posted by: DDD | September 12, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Gomez vs. Rimando!

Rimando wins

Posted by: DC fan in Houston | September 12, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice save by Nick R. Good PK call, but nice stop.

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... on the penalty, Beckerman was past Gomez when he kicked it

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

rSL playing well is nothing but good for the league. We don't need another pathetic team out there. That said, let's eat them for dinner.

Posted by: Northzax | September 12, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Olsen almost had Goal of the Week

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 12, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I really don't like the in-game coach chat (and it seems like the coaches feel the same way). Maybe if they had done it while Ray Hudson was on the sidelines...

Posted by: MK | September 12, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

the announcer just said this is the last game ever where the uneven baseball field will be a problem - from now on it's just soccer on the RFK grass

Posted by: FC | September 12, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

GOMITO!

Posted by: MK | September 12, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Two back post headers, wohoo!

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Troy Perkins! WITH THE SAVE!

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow what a bad PK call. MLS refs not doing much for their credibility.

Posted by: FC | September 12, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow... wow... ref now trying to give away the game

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

holly Sh&$!

That was the worste PK call in the history of MLS

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 12, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I was half-expecting a second PK call there...

Posted by: MK | September 12, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

This ref is having a shocker....

What a fiasco!

Posted by: JkR | September 12, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

This ref is out of control

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 12, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll step up for the referee here.

He's calling a very tight game. It was a small tug, but if you subscribe to the refereeing philosophy, "A foul is a foul, and it's no different if it's in the penalty area," then that was a legit PK.

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

If you call a tight game, you have to card dives...

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Sean,

What are you smoking?

Our player was brought down in the box by RSL not the other way around.

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 12, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Dyachenko against Chicago?

Posted by: B.A. | September 12, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

McTavish's tug was first. And yes, he got hauled to the ground after, but it's the first foul that counts. Anything after that is "misconduct," not a foul.

I'm not saying it's an amazing PK call, but there are some grounds for it.

Posted by: Sean | September 12, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Fred, Gomez, and Olsen out against Chicago -- at least we get all the cards done...

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Caroll closes down so little - he looks at the player, that's mostly it

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

On that corner kick, I liked the shot of Perkins saying "That was a F@$%king terrible call." Thanks for the laughts Comcast.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 12, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

take yer yellow like a man, punk!

Posted by: eric | September 12, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

That should be the second yellow on that player (first half foul at the edge of the box)

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Woah...not sure what Caroll was trying to do on that "cross"

Posted by: FC | September 12, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's the worst that DCU can play and still win

I have to say, I was impressed with RSL -- they'll win some games the rest of this season (and hopefully take some points off Chivas, Houston, and Dallas)

Posted by: RB | September 12, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Man, the poor play of RSL must be eating Alecko up inside...can't see him wanting to stick around there another season...at least he has Rimando to hang out with

Posted by: FC | September 12, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, where does the MLS get these referees. It is very frustrating as the level of play improves yearly, but the level of officiating stagnates at a mediocre to poor level.

Posted by: rob | September 12, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

sean, never is that called with a ref with any appreciation for the game or sanity in human reality. If you can tell me positively that McTavish began the tugging with the tv feed, you are truly houdini. Not without precedent. wow. simply amazing what will be defended. Congrats on that.

Posted by: chris | September 12, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Why the hell didn't they have Emilio take the PK? Gomez has been abysmal from set-plays, and of course Rimando knew exactly where he was going.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 12, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen refereeing that poor in quite a while...

A player grabs another by the back of the neck, slams him to the ground, yet wins the PK call??

Simply ... WOW.

Posted by: grumpy | September 12, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Alec, I was thinking the same thing. Emilio strikes the ball with pace, one-goal short of 20, Rimando has never seen him take one...

Posted by: I agree with AlecW81 | September 12, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Neither has anyone else, which might be the problem. Wouldn't want to pull a Ngwenya, after all.

Posted by: viv | September 12, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

a theory on the PK. The ref got confused. He thought that DCU was attacking that way, and he thought he called a PK for United. When he realized he made a mistake, it was too late. Thre was a shot of him on the video screen and he did look horrified that he made that call. However, he can't reverse it.

That being said, that was one of the worst officiated games I've seen in a long time. Both teams had legit gripes over that horsesh*t.

Posted by: Steve-O | September 12, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll back up Sean. I didn't think the ref had a great game, but what Sean says is true. And the reason that McTavish got slammed to the ground is because he was tugging and frustrating the man. Plus, the tug took the nearest player to the ball completely out of the play. I was at the game, though on the far side, and didn't see the tug, but it was there.

Why can't you guys make it to the stadium though? We'd love to have you join us in chanting, and in going nuts when Perkins makes that PK save to save the game for us.

My player rankings
Perkins 7; Namoff 6; McTavish 6; Boswell 6; Burch 6; Caroll 5; Olsen 4; Gros 4; Gomez 6; Kpene 4; Emilio 7; Subs Fred 6; Simms 6;

I think the Kpene situation should be finished ... he needs a lot more polish, though his touch was better tonight. Carool didn't have a stinker, but I'll agree he wasn't great.

And I hope everything went well with that guy who took the header at the bottom of the Metro escalators.

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | September 12, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to DCU for pulling that out from under an abysmal ref. Congrats to RSL for making that a much tougher match than it should have been.

Nice to see Rimando, Esky, & Pope all give some attention to the loud side after the match. Esky especially got some heartfelt chants of gratitude. We miss ya, Esky.

Posted by: anon | September 12, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree, The ref did a horrible job tonight. I lost $5K in Vegas tonight because it didn't end in a tie like it was supposed to. At least in the NBA we know how to "manipulate" the game in a less obvious way...and we get the right result.

Posted by: NBA Ref | September 12, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Perkins was the clear Man of the Match.

I couldn't believe some of his saves (including a PK) and with the sorry defense and even worse ref giving RSL about a million opportunities a win was really a miracle.

It was very strange in that we had 2 PK's involving 4 recent DCU players that ended up in no goals.

Have we ever had an MLS game with 2 missed PK's in regular time?

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 12, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

post-game quotes coming soon...I'm sending them over to Steinberg now. If you want I can do some player ratings as well, just let me know.

Posted by: Paul Tenorio | September 12, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I am glad you guys who saw this on TV thought the ref was bad. OMG, I have never seen as bad a game called by an MLS ref. Not even Brian Hall. Aweful. I thought he was going to card the ball kid for putting an extra ball on the field. Just aweful. But I have to say, RSL, and Beckerman in particular, looked pretty spunky out there. Rimando made some great saves. Not so much as DCU played bad as RSL stepping up their game. Without Jaime it was easier to disrupt our possesion, but still. Good game from both teams.

Posted by: T. Henry | September 12, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. I think it was LA and somebody else earlier this season where they both missed PKs.

Posted by: Facto | September 12, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

both penalties were not deserved and both players missed so I guess that's cosmically correct, but it still does not excuse the terrible officiating

Posted by: diego r. | September 13, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else see Esky slam his headgear on the ground at the end of the game? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 13, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

"Caroll closes down so little - he looks at the player, that's mostly it"

Yep, he has an annoying habit of running at the guy with the ball, getting about 7 feet away, then giving us a little hop and stomp double foot plant to go with a long, somewhat mournful, stare at that pesky ball he never wins.

I feel bad for Boswell because the goal looked like his fault, but he was caught between his man and the shooter. If he closes out to early it's an easy through ball to the forward behind him. The holding mid needs to be there to close out that shooter, I have no idea where Carrol was, not even on the screen in the replay.

I guess this underscores how important Simms is to our defense.

But we won! Even when we play like crap we find a way.

That ref was borderline psychotic btw. Where do they find these people?

Posted by: uranderson | September 13, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

what happened to killing the clock with the lead, looked like we took nothing from the game against dallas, why were we crossing and shooting on goal and giving RSL more opportunities, RSL was dictating the pace and we were glad to follow.

Posted by: Toja | September 13, 2007 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Anyone defending the penalty must think there's a penalty after every single corner kick in every game played in every league, amateur and professional, in the world. The standard for refs on corners is to only call fouls that absolutely impact the play; the ball went nowhere near the RSL player (sorry, I was at the game and couldn't tell which one he was) and McTavish. If that's a penalty, then every game played everywhere has at least 4 penalties going uncalled.

DC was awful tonight. RSL looks improved, sure, but they are still pretty bad. In the first half, United did nothing to stretch the field, playing right into RSL's hands (they play 3 central midfielders, and yet Gros of all people was pinched in for the whole first half). In the second half, the gaps between our defense and midfield and midfield/attack were all too big. Normally we move more as a unit, but tonight we just didn't have the focus.

Still, if you're going to play poorly, it should be against RSL. Their backline gave us chance after chance once we started to play a bit. Perkins was clearly, and by a very wide margin, man of the match. When we were terrible in the first half, he bailed us out every time. He then saved the PK, and claimed some fairly dangerous crosses.

Here are my ratings, for what it's worth:

Perkins - 8
Namoff - 6
Boswell - 6
McTavish - 5
Burch - 5
Olsen - 5
B. Carroll - 4
Gomez - 6
Gros - 5
Kpene - 5
Emilio - 6

Fred - 6
Simms - 5

Is anyone else really nervous about how we'll play when Moreno retires? Seriously, when was the last time this team had a good game without Jaime?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 13, 2007 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Chest - totally agree about Jaime's presence. He settles things down so beautifully and gives us direction, like Schelotto has done in Columbus. It's all experience. Which leads me to ask: Where the F%!@ is Ringo?

Posted by: Brock Landers | September 13, 2007 6:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you guys about Jaime. I have often wondered what they are going to do without him. Olsen is a good leader, but his play doesn't boost the team the Jaime does. Jaime's assists (now, goals in the past) and his ability to hold the ball are key to how we play. Maybe we can extend his career a bit by moving him back in the midfield and adding another striker or younger withdrawn forward up top. Maybe Fred, but anything to extend Jaime's playing time is fantastic to me. I hope there is a staff job for him when he retires.

Posted by: T. Henry | September 13, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, did anyone see Kpene fight off three defenders and hold the ball until drawing the foul in the first half? That was some fancy footwork and the longest I have ever seen that kid hold the ball. I hope that is a sign of things to come.

Posted by: T. Henry | September 13, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

On the PK given to Salt Lake, the referee got lost and thought that the DC United player who was slammed to the ground was the offensive player. That's why he gave a PK.

The referee was surprised when Esky stepped up to take it instead of a DC United player.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Soehn and many of you all are saying how awful we played. I think the team deserves a little more credit than that. RSL came out playing their hearts out and pressuring everywhere on the field. That throws off your timing and makes the game seem a bit sloppier.
Also, Beckerman is the holding midfielder, so technically he is Gomez's man, certainly not supposed to be Bobby's responsibility, and not even Carroll's. Both were marked up elsewhere. He was all over the place last night causing a lot of trouble.
In the end, good win for DCU.

Posted by: Sean G | September 13, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"Caroll closes down so little - he looks at the player, that's mostly it"

Delay and contain, fellas. You don't want your holding mid getting beat on a one-two or on the dribble... then one of the center backs has to step up to apply pressure and, voila, space behind the backs is open. Not good.

I think Carroll/Simms is better off forcing the midfielder to force the ball wide or, better yet, backward.

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 13, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

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