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Toronto Postmatch: Off to Mexico

First, the quote of the night.

We were going through all the reasons DCU looked like Toronto FC in the first half and in the second half: the substitutions, the change in tactics, the burst of energy and quickness.

"Plus," Troy Perkins pointed out, "the fact that we got our [backsides] chewed out."

Tom Soehn, needless to say, was not particularly amused by the first half performance. But all that's forgotten now, and it's on to Mexico. Game story here.

As most of you likely know, the Chivas coach got canned on Friday. Some of D.C.'s players knew this, and some were shocked when we told them. The party line became that this will just make Chivas's players that much more desperate. Does anyone remember if DCU has ever gotten a well-credentialed international coach fired before?

Namoff said he could have played tonight; he's traveling to Mexico, and expects to be available Tuesday night. I'd be shocked if he doesn't play. Fred, on the other hand, said he was in quite a bit of pain after leaving with the strained groin and leaving DCU a man down for the final 5 or 10 minutes. He said if the Chivas game was starting right now, there's no chance he could play, but he's also traveling to Mexico and emphasized several times (in translation) that "I really want to play in that game." So we'll see.

United leaves tomorrow, will train Monday and then play late-night Tuesday.

Much of the team was gathered around a television in their clubhouse, watching match highlights. The play Fred scored on was something the team has been practicing frequently, several players said. The Burch goal was sort of jaw-dropping in replay, as was Emilio's.

Finally, say what you will about the finishing of Kpene, who is the nicest kid you ever want to talk to, but his hair earned a 10 today. The beard was also red, if you couldn't tell. And as a nine-year resident of D.C., I'll give another 10 to the supporters clubs and their D.C. flags. Regardless of the merits of their political position, it's something you would never see at any other sporting event in this metro area, and something that anyone who gives a damn about this city should think is cool, regardless of the single-minded bitterness of certain Metro columnists. Ok, bonus quotes after the jump.

Soehn on the packed Toronto defense: "There's not a lot of space, and I don't think we dealt with it very well. Adding the type of players like Benny and Jaime who could deal with that all of the sudden changed the complexion of the game. But like I said, I got after them really hard at halftime, and maybe if we kept the same guys, the response would have been the same. I just think we put more into it."

More Soehn: "We knew that they were gonna bunker. I expected them to have 10 guys behind the ball in their own half, and we knew it was going to be hard, but we didn't anticipate balls given away, and that's unlike us....And looking at the first half, we had opportunities. When a team bunkers like they did, you've got to score and get them out of their shell, and we had opportunities and we didn't score. Granted...we weren't good in the first half, don't get me wrong, but if you're going to score you're gonna force them to have to play."

Soehn on the Toronto goal: "You can't get beat keeper side. And Troy knows that. And we've already addressed that, and he's got to make sure that doesn't happen again, because it's been twice now. I guarantee it won't happen a third time."

Simms on the first half: " I think some of the guys were a little tired, still a little sore from the other night, I think that could have had something to do with it."

Simms on the halftime subs: "Those guys, I don't know what it is, they always bring something different to the table. I think Jaime helped a lot in that game, in the second half. In the first half they were just sitting in and Guy and Luci were all the way up on their backs and there wasn't as much movement as needed. It was tough to get to the ball, because they were playing with two defensive midfielders also. But Jaime, what he does is checks in, almost plays like another attacking mid, and I think that helps us a lot, makes a big difference."

McTavish: "it was a totally different game in the second half, a different mentality. We came out flat in the first half, not real confident for some reason, and the second half you saw it, just completely different. We started going at people, and we kept possession a lot better."

Boswell: "You get your leaders out there, and that's what you expect. I thought Guy played well tonight; it was unfortunate he didn't finish those two chances. But you look at Jaime, he gets in there, gets his one chance and he scores. That's the difference."

Perkins: "We kept the ball a lot better, we used our flanks to spread them out and get their midfielders out of the central park, and we took more chances. On Burch's shot, maybe he would have crossed in the first half, instead he went for it and look what happens....Especially playing into our forwards we tried to play over the top too much from too far into the attack, and we just ran out of space. "So we kind of collected ourselves a little bit, went out and got the job done."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 29, 2007; 10:59 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday 27: Toronto FC at DCU
Next: World Cup Matchday: USA-NOR/BRZ-GER


That is the way to smack down a bottom feeder. The rest of the league will take notice. Unreal how well they played with the full squad. Confidence oozing out all over the place.
Great atmosphere!!! Upper bowl looked 1/2 full. Awesome night, especially the 2nd 45.

Posted by: marksman | September 29, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

A little note sent to Marc Fisher:

Thought you might like to know that RFK did NOT close. As a matter of fact, the league - leading DC United drew over 25k for a Sat night game tonight. They provided a thrilling demolishing of bottom-feeders Toronto.
Perhaps you could remind your readers of the fact that RFK will remain open with the only championship caliber team in the DC area calling it home. And speaking of championship, did you know that MLS will hold their league championship game, MLS Cup 2007, here at RFK in Nowember? Might want to let the readers know that also. Or perhaps let MLS know that RFK will be closed down before that can happen.
Thanks from one of many, many soccer fans in the DC area.

Posted by: marksman | September 29, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to see match highlights? I don't think MLSnet will have them because the game was on HD net.

Posted by: lawrenceterp | September 29, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Fill me in on what Marc Fisher said please. Was it in the paper today, if so, i wish to read it.

Posted by: Garret | September 29, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, Chicago is beating Chivas. I like the sound of that.

And the hell with HDNet, if I never get to see this Burch goal then people are gonna die.

Posted by: Colm | September 29, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

This is the first international coach that we have had a hand in firing. Our only other big victory in international play was over Toluca in the final of the Concacaf champions cup in 98, and the coach was not canned. We beat Vasco in the same year in the interamerican cup final, but Vasco could have cared less and their coach was not sacked because of that result...

Posted by: Nick | September 30, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Garrett, heres the link

the relevant part is:
"The Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League -- their cheerleaders were the Honeydips -- lasted a bit longer, from 1974 to 1981, but, like today's D.C. United soccer squad, struggled to attract fans. Despite one moment of glory, a 1979 game against the New York Cosmos that drew more than 50,000 fans, average attendance never topped 19,000."

Posted by: section 107 | September 30, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse


how can you say "the only other big international victory was over Toluca" and dismiss the Intercontinental cup?

The IC Cup was much bigger and rightly should have earned us a game with Real Madrid. Concacaf Cup wouldnt have led to such a game.

what makes you put down the IC Cup?

Posted by: section 107 | September 30, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks 107,what a **** he is.

Posted by: Garret | September 30, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The ICC is so important that they don't have it every year and Vasco's home match was in Florida, not Rio.

Posted by: Boo ICC | September 30, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Dan, when everyone was gathered around in the lockerroom watching highlights did anyone get on Emilio's case for sulking after Jaime didn't pass to him and scored a goal for himself? It was evident and obvious from the tv feed that he was and I'm just wondering if anyone in the lockerrom while watching the highlights saw it/or saw it live and maybe mentioned to him that winning is more important than earning the golden boot?

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 30, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that comments are closed for that douchebag Fisher's column.

Seriously, he's a second rate hack who somehow blundered a half-baked popular music piece into the New Yorker (I was horrified when it arrived).

Anyone who was at the match tonight would see that RFK is not closed and won't be until United says so. The Ex-Expos have no foothold in the sporting history of DC. Not yet anyway.

Posted by: Eric | September 30, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Got to the game 2/3 into the first half. That second half was unreal. And wotta crowd, there were even about 50 TFC fans in the upper deck.

Even the quiet side was fairly loud tonight.

Here's hoping for 25k for the Chicago and Columbus games!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 30, 2007 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I usually don't like to get into the whole argument of Nats vs. DCU. I honestly think there's enough room for both and I have actually had a decent time out at Nats games.

I think the main difference is fandom. To put it simply, United has it, and The Nats just don't. This isn't a knock as they are a young franchise, but they simply could do a better job at converting the come and go fans to die-hards. They really don't have that many, and if the franchise continues to loose you might see that mighty twenty-five some thousand average attendance dwindle in the coming years.

I'm still not sold on the idea that DC is a baseball town. The sport abandoned this city years ago (yes, partly because the city abandoned the sport first) but because of that abandonment you have football fans, hockey fans, and... yes soccer fans.

Marc Fisher needs to remind himself what city he lives in. I didn't grow up with baseball, I don't know the game. Soccer, football, basketball, those are games I know. Baseball might still be America's pass-time, but I have my doubts that it will ever hold that status in the district.

I hope it does well, I'd love to go a Nats game soon and actually see some fans that care about the numbers on the scoreboard more than the numbers on their Blackberrie's. On the bright side it looks like the Skins might actually have a QB for once and United looks to be on it's way to claiming another SS in a stadium that doesn't exist anymore. Cheers to that!

Posted by: Chris | September 30, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

That burn on Marc Fisher in the blog post was great, Dan.

As they say on Big Soccer, repped!

Posted by: Mike | September 30, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Marc Fisher's bitterness towards DCU is getting rather old. It's just as pathetic as Bill O'Reilly's fued with Keith Olbermann. Some people just need to get other themselves and realize they're not gods gift to journalism.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 30, 2007 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh and P.S. Marc... The Nats highest attended game this season capped out at around 40,000. United's topped around 47,000... just saying...

Posted by: Chris | September 30, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

47K was Beckham. Don't kid yourself Chris.

Posted by: Ohboyohboy | September 30, 2007 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Dan, please check the schedule in the Sunday post d5 (I guess we aren't good enough for p.3 anymore). You missed the salt lake game...again, the web version is also over a month old

Posted by: goff come back | September 30, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

To ohboyohboy:

So Bonds and the best players in baseball don't deserve the same recognition as Becks?

Just saying, there's no difference b/w one of the best soccer players in the world and the best baseball players in the world coming.

The only difference was the 7k extra who came to the match.

Posted by: Kyle | September 30, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that comments are closed for that douchebag Fisher's column.

Posted by: Eric | September 30, 2007 12:45 AM
I guess he got tired of seeing 150 posts ripping hima new one over his factual errors and the 20 or so trying to defend him. It's tough being the duck in a shooting gallery, isn't it Marc?

Posted by: Throwin | September 30, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know when the Tuesday night kickoff is (Eastern time)? says 10:15, but Fox Sports en Espanol says 9:15.

Posted by: FC | September 30, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a crud? 47,000 is 47,000.

Posted by: To Ohboyohboy | September 30, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr Fischer's reply - I was just happy he replied at all. Let's try to be nice, eh?

Thanks for your note--as I mentioned in a couple of pieces over the past two weeks, United's contract with RFK runs through this December. I believe that contract will be extended for a while as the team searches for the right venue where it can build a much smaller, soccer-only stadium--an initiative that I have supported in the column and which I believe would be good for both the city and the region.

Thanks for reading the column and passing along your thoughts.


Marc Fisher
The Washington Post

Posted by: marksman | September 30, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

game highlights are up on mlsnet, but they only include 2 of the 4 goals - anyone have a link to all 4?

Posted by: emanon | September 30, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

You can see all four at

Posted by: Chico | September 30, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think that from now on when I am bored at work I will seek out and respond to marc fisher's columns. And I am bored a lot.

Posted by: i hate work | September 30, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

nothing political about district flags, it's city where United plays and central metropolis of region where most of Barra Brava come from so we just payed homage to that. Of 6 people that worked on it 3 live in Md, 2 in DC and 1 in Va.

Might not be that common around MLS but you'll see Chicago city flags when Fire plays and Toronto flags when TFC plays (just not 100+ of them of course hehe)

overseas clubs are closely tied with identity of their home cities so it's always been normal to us to fly district flag.

Posted by: Srdan, La Barra | September 30, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Who will be covering this match for the Post: Goff, Steinbog, or someone else?

Posted by: Section 410 | September 30, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse


Welcome to the soccer board. We prefer the term football, but have been generally overruled in these here parts.

Perhaps next time you think of singing a requiem for a stadium of a dying game, you'll remember us.

You know, the 25,000 of us that saw a blistering series of goals from DC United last night.

Perhaps you will finally come to realize there's more life and passion at a DC United match than in all of the Nationals games COMBINED!!

That stadium shakes like it used to do during Redskin's matches. Add that shake to game with a Mexican professional team, as in the recent Copa Sudamericana, and you have quite an atmosphere.

Sadly, you missed it all while bellowing your little dirge!


The Next Generation

Posted by: delantero | September 30, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

All 5 goals are on the video highlights section of mlsnet. That 2-goal clip set to disco is annoying.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 30, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best thing we can all do with Marc Fisher and his ilk are to ignore them. He'll loose his job much faster if no one sends email to him and no one reads his columns. I know that's not easy to do, but hey, a newspaper columnist with no reader responses can't really get buy with "I know people are reading my stuff, I just know it" when it comes time for his review, now can he.

What I would like to comment on is the fact that Dan Steinberg is one heck of a writer himself. Great stuff Dan. I hope you and Steve can work out a guest blogging arrangment on SI and the Bog. All in all, it has been great to read the blog entries here and the reports in the dead tree edition. Tenorio has a bit of polishing to do, but had a lot of good stuff as well. But Dan S has done some great reporting. kudos and thanks Dan!

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | September 30, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Excluding the DC/NE playoff game a couple of years ago, yesterday's second half was the best soccer I have seen DC play. They simply dominated the game. Can someone please confirm whether Jaime was off sides on his goal. I had a bad angle at the game and the highlight is inconclusive. Just curious.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Just want to echo the mad props for the Bog Man Dan: excellent reporting and writing. Keep it up. Goff better watch out.

Rock on.

Posted by: viv | September 30, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't we get the Olympia coach fired earlier this year. I know thats not nearly the same scale of international scalp as Chivas but I do believe he was canned immediately after the CCC tie.

Posted by: bluemeanies | October 1, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse


Actually, I prefer the term 'Soccer'...mainly because it annoys the Eurosnobs who often squawk about "the only true football"....

There seems to be a portion of US Soccer fandom that thinks that to embrace the game, you must reject all other American sports....

I call it Soccer to make them mad....

Posted by: stonesean | October 1, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Well put AlexandriaDan. I think Steinbog has done a fantastic job in Goff's absence. And in a way that brings something completely different, but just as good. I would love to see both being an active part of the SI.

Posted by: Markus | October 1, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

stonesean, it is even more fun to explain the origin of the word soccer (hint: England)

Posted by: makesmelaugh | October 1, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The real question for me isn't whether to call the game soccer (if you're talking to a foreigner, you can indulge them and call it football -- otherwise, soccer works). The big question is whether the "Eurosnobs" will win out with "pitch" instead of "field", and bring in a whole bunch of other Anglicisms. I heard on the United audio blog that Marc Burch "opened his account" with United. Let's just say he scored his first goal, huh? Just because the English use an expression doesn't mean it's superior and should be adopted here to replace our own vocabulary.

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