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DCU Aftermath

First, before we get to United's zip-zip tie with the Fire, let's read Hope Solo's formal statement and apology issued before the USA's 5-1 victory over Mexico in St. Louis:

"I would like to apologize to my teammates, coaches and everyone else adversely affected by my comments at the Women's World Cup. This public apology comes later than it should have, but I hope that does not diminish the fact that I am truly sorry. I made a mistake and I take full responsibility for my actions. I let my teammates down and have lost their trust. I would like to especially apologize to Greg Ryan and Briana Scurry. There is no excuse for insulting a coach or a teammate. My focus now is solely on reconciliation with the team. I am here to support the team for these games, but after apologizing in person to all my teammates and the coaches, I have made the choice not to suit up for these games since I believe this is the first step in the healing process. As I work to regain the team's trust, I will not be making any more public comments at this time. The healing process has started, but I understand that I have a lot of work to do with my teammates and that is my focus moving forward."

Thank you, Hope.

As for United.....

Signs of alarming vulnerability in the first half, a better second half, an acceptable result. How 'bout some bonus quotes? Okay. Jump on down below to read 'em. I am a little out of practice with player ratings so I will only give you a very incomplete list: Perkins 8. ;-)

Game report here.

Busy night, huh?
"I was busy, but that's what they pay me for. This is a good time of year to do that."

What was the defensive breakdown in the first half?
"We were pushing too many numbers forward in the first half and we were basically playing with two lines. We had no one pressuring the ball once they cleared it out and they were just running at us the whole first half. We couldn't sort it out. We moved a guy into the midfield so we could clog it up a little bit and give Ben and Christian a little more freedom to attack."

"It's frustrating because we really didn't have solid opportunities tonight like they did. We're still figuring ourselves out without Jaime up there. Christian did well for us and Emilio worked his butt off for us and guys worked hard tonight, but we just didn't keep the ball very well. We have to be able to do that now and there are games like that in the playoffs where you are just going to have to battle and battle and battle."

But you got the result...
"That's a good message to send them here that, no matter what, they are not going to get any at home against us. You are always trying to send messages at this point in the season. But right now we're going to worry about Columbus and then we will worry about who we play in the first round."

"I haven't run that much in a long time. There was no shortage of action, that's for sure. It's one of those games where both teams are going for a win and they've got some guys who do a good job of cheating [in their positioning] and then when the ball turns over, we've got a lot of space to go."

How about Troy?
"He saved us. He was big. Goalkeepers do that every now and then - they just save the team - and today was one of those days for us."

"It's still a point, we clinch first place. Give them credit - they are a good team and they know what they are about - but we know what we have to do next weekend and Columbus is no different. They are going to come in here fighting for their playoff lives [not anymore, actually] and we will have to deal with it again."

How big is winning the Supporters' Shield?
"It's huge. To me, it's the hardest thing to do in this league. The MLS Cup sometimes is about who is hot and who gets a break or a bounce here. Who knows what can happen in a tournament; that's the beauty of these cups. The Supporters' Shield is the best team throughout the entire year. It's 10 months of soccer and to be the best team over a 10-month span in this league, I think that's pretty impressive. I know the team and the front office feels the same. It's a great feather in our cap if we can win it."

"Our big goal is the Supporters' Shield right away and then the next biggest goal is the MLS Cup. I don't think we were too focused on winning the Eastern Conference. We never even talked about the Eastern Conference championship, really. It was just one of those things that was out there, but I guess we just did enough to pick up the point we needed."

On the difficulty of playing Chicago.....
"They cheat. They have a lot of guys who don't really go back and defend. They take up good spots and hope that we turn over the ball. They defend hard and try to win balls and counterattack. As soon as they win balls, they play them out right away, they play forward and try to get at you. We weren't clean in our possession. Against teams that cheat, you have to get the ball in their half of the field and keep possession and force those guys who want to cheat to come back and have to defend. We were turning over the ball too soon. We tried to rush our attacks too quickly, they turned them into turnovers and counterattacks. It was one of the more hectic games I've played in in my life and it was just a lack of discipline in our side with the ball and then we got caught out of shape."

On his inability to score.....
"I need to go to church."

On his play.....
"I'm getting more dangerous close to the goal. It's coming. I'm going to get one."

"It wasn't our best day in the part of the game that we usually do a good job with, and that's possession. And when you don't do a good job with possession, it's going to be a harder day for you, and we made it hard for ourselves. We didn't adjust to how they were playing and it took us a talk at halftime to get it organized, but we've got to learn to do that on the field. We've got to do a better job. ... They were pressuring us, but we weren't sharp, and the combination of that hurt us today."

"The Supporters' Shield isn't clinched, so no one is celebrating in there. We've set our sights on the Supporters' Shield. Yeah, we won the conference, but not one guy is mentioning it in there. They've got their sights on the Supporters' Shield. That's very important to us. A lot of teams celebrate when they make the playoffs; it wasn't mentioned. We won the conference and I think they expect to do that. But we've got something out there that is very important to us. They are very focused on that. They are actually pretty disappointed right now."

By Steve Goff  |  October 14, 2007; 11:21 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday 29: DCU vs. Chicago
Next: Good Day at the Gate


Kpene is a man of few words.

Posted by: Garret | October 14, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

player ratings ?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that Stott blew two PK calls?

Emilio was clobbered in the first half from behind just inside the 18.

Dyachenko was leveled while attempting to cross in the second. Defender simply lowered his shoulder from behind and took him out.

Add to this last week's repeated muggings by Kansas City defender Nick Garcia and you have some poor judgment and goals left on the pitch.

I mean, Garcia had his arm wrapped around Emilio's waist like he wanted to do the Lambada with him!! No call

Posted by: delantero | October 14, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, I can see that Vanney quote ("They cheat.") being taken out of context and used to stoke the fires (no pun intended) if we see them in the playoffs. I presume he meant that they tend to cheat forward on the field, not that they are dishonorable players...

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 14, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Now that tickets are being sold all the way to the front of the sections behind the Barra Brava and the ushers are no longer honoring the neighborhood rule, it would be nice if the flagwavers kept it a little under control during the RUN OF PLAY. The flags (and the card show last night) are brilliant, but blocking thousands of people's view for huge portions of the game isn't. If I wanted to watch the game on Tivo later I could save a lot of ticket, parking and beer money while I was at it.

It's not about "people wanting to sit quietly and watch the game" being in the wrong section - people standing on the seats back there still can't see.

Posted by: stuck in the 200's | October 14, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Add to this last week's repeated muggings by Kansas City defender Nick Garcia and you have some poor judgment and goals left on the pitch.

I mean, Garcia had his arm wrapped around Emilio's waist like he wanted to do the Lambada with him!! No call

Posted by: delantero | October 14, 2007 01:10 PM

Garcia was at it again last night against NY/NJ and Francis(?) Doe. He was constantly elbowing, kicking and grabbing the new kid on the block. So much so that on a play that was whistled offside, Doe was running in on goal to collect the ball. He starts to slow up having heard the whistle and Garcia kicks him in the back of the leg. Doe responded with a two-handed shove to the chest of Garcia, earning himself a yellow card. Garcia's style won't work that way against the professionals Moreno and Emiligol, but Gomez better keep it in check if he gets matched up on Garcia in a playoff game.



Posted by: JayRockers! | October 14, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought the shoulder check on Dyachenko was a penalty too. Dude looked like Scott Stevens circa '88.

Kpene had a lot to do with the lack of possession in the first half, he was not taking care of the ball well at all.

Dyachenko needs to get more time as the third forward, based on this performance and the flashes he showed in the previous match, I think he's distanced himself from Kpene and Addlery.

Posted by: uranderson | October 14, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Two unrelated points:

- It's great to see Kpene taking so many shots while he was in. A player in his shoes has to keep trying. If he starts shying away from shooting, you'd have to admit he's a broken player and move on. However, he is still confident enough to be firing away. His possession work needs to improve, but he's not giving up and that's good to see.

- Vanney is going to make a good coach or announcer. I noticed even before he went to France that his post-game comments tend to be very tactically astute and concise.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 14, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The USSF is great at spin. Soccer?? Not so much.....

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | October 14, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The USSF is great at spin. Soccer?? Not so much.....

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | October 14, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I know that this won't be popular with a lot of fans, but I applaud Hope for her apology. It takes a heck of a lot more guts and self discipline to take responsibility, not for everything that happened, but for her part of what happened, even when the majority of people and reporters are telling her she is right. Anybody can make a mistake, but only people with the courage to look at themselves honestly can take that mistake and turn it into an opportunity to grow stronger. I applaud her. The "just keeping it real" stuff is great for newspapers, but it doesn't make people stronger. Again, I know this isn't going to be popular, but I respect Hope the direction she has taken. This is a player that I feel good about supporting.

Posted by: Good Job, Hope! | October 14, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a player that I feel good about supporting.

Posted by: Good Job, Hope! | October 14, 2007 06:45 PM

Yeah, but how do you feel about her teammates? They keep on finding more hoops for her to jump through, when they should have long since returned to the status quo ante. How much longer is this political theater going to drag on?

Posted by: Section 410 | October 14, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Was anyone in St. Louis on Saturday night, or has anyone seen accounts of the USA-MEX match, other than the (sanitized) U.S. Soccer press release? Did Ryan get the reception he deserved from the crowd? If not, let's hope the good citizens of Albuquerque and Portland are up to the task.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 14, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The refs blew it pretty big time. The play that stands out in my mind is when Gomez got sliced on the 18 in the second half. Chicago was lame, they rolled around the carpet all game, especially 22, what is his name anyways?

Kudos on the Supporter's shield DC.

Posted by: Ashley | October 14, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Hope took the USSF Stepford pill before writing that hogwash.

I'm waiting for the public apology from the team "leaders" for their disgusting treatment of a fellow teammate.

Posted by: Eric | October 15, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

1. Seriously doubt Hope "wrote" anything. She "issued" what was written for her. I suspect she will do as she is told by the sorority pledge masters because she wants to wear the USA shirt. Hopefully for WNT sake she will outlast Ryan by long time.

2. Moreno is still the straw that stirs the drink for DCU. I wonder since the All-Star break what DCU goals for/against with #99 on versus #99 off.

3. If #99 is not there, sit Kpene, give Dyachenko a shot.

Posted by: WNT Fan | October 15, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

PS -- Section 410 -- there are some first hand accounts of the St. Louis WNT game on the NYT blog. It sounds like the crowd was not engaged on Solo-gate at all, other than one anti-Ryan sign. The poster notes Scurry's deficiencies in distribution, but those were certainly evident in WWC, and are not news.

Posted by: WNT fan | October 15, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, what was up with the balls at the game on Saturday night? Were they over-inflated? Under-inflated? The ref and the captains must have rejected three different balls at one point.

Posted by: MM | October 15, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC are also discussing international players. Norway's Ingvild Stensland has spent a lot of the season on the injury list, but even with a healthy Stensland the defense needs reinforcements. The difference between Göteborg and the top three sides is that Umeå, Djurgården and Malmö has conceded around 15 goals so far this season, while Göteborg has let in over 40! On top of chairman Bronsman's wish-list: the currently out-of-favour USA national team goalkeeper Hope Solo. "We have been in touch with her for the last three years [since she left the club] and she is a very interesting option".

Posted by: news/rumors from swedish womens league | October 15, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

By Goff stating "thank you" in light of Hope's brainwashed "apology", makes anybody with a sliver of brain matter laugh out loud.

He must not follow other WNT blogs, he's in the minority on this issue. It's like we're being told that women are better seen than heard.

One more time:

What Hope said was critical, candid and necessary. She did not bash Scurry or Ryan. If you spent half the time tracking down Assistant Ryan's and coach Lilly/Abby's apology as you do Hope's then I might take what you say with more than a grain of salt.

Posted by: charlton heston | October 15, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Good article; the future of MLS and some of its self-righteous fans.

Posted by: Hacksaw | October 15, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

By Goff stating "thank you" in light of Hope's brainwashed "apology", makes anybody with a sliver of brain matter laugh out loud.

He must not follow other WNT blogs, he's in the minority on this issue. It's like we're being told that women are better seen than heard.

I thought Goff was being facetious.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 15, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I thought Goff was being facetious.


Yes, he was. Anyone with a sense of humor would have also realized that.

Lighten up, Charlton.

Posted by: Goff | October 15, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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