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Playoff Matchday 2: DCU vs. Chicago

[UPDATED with DCU lineup: Boswell, Moreno, Emilio in]

A gorgeous afternoon has given way to a partly cloudy, mostly breezy, cool rush hour -- perhaps a harbinger of things to come for against-the-wall United? Hmm? Hmm? We shall see.

For those heading out to the ballpark this evening, keep in mind that this is a typical weekday in D.C. proper and traffic is beginning to build on the SE-SW Freeway heading into RFK's riverside entrance. (Poplar Point would have cut the commute by a few minutes. Are you listening, your honor?)

The pitch appears to be in good shape, except for some unfortunate scars inside the north-end penalty area. (After the Pros vs. Joes filming a couple weeks ago, did the sports commission sneak in a monster truck show too??) The new international-style nets/posts are up and running, and the big clock in the south end with the MLS Cup logo is actually telling the correct time.

ESPN2's broadcast begins at 7:30. Kickoff is supposed to be no later than 7:47. You can catch me on Comcast SportsNet's Washington Post Live tonight around 5:25.

For some more Steinberg wackiness, check out his pregame Bog conversation with old friend Esky.

DCU LINEUP: Perkins; Namoff, Boswell, Vanney, Burch; Olsen, Simms, Gomez, Fred; Moreno, Emilio. Subs: Nolly, McTavish, Mediate, Carroll, Dyachenko, Addlery, Kpene.

CHICAGO: Pickens; Robinson, Brown, Conde, Segares; Pause, Armas, Rolfe, Blanco, Barrett; Carr.

As usual, you've come to the right place for pregame, in-game and postgame banter. Hop to it.

By Steve Goff  |  November 1, 2007; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Countdown to Kickoff
Next: The Aftermath (aka The End)


Woohoo! Banter! I love it. Ummm, who will be affected more by the cold, Fred and Emilio, or Blanco? Hmmmm...Hope Blanco gets cranky because it is cold and he gets an early red card. Vamos United!

Posted by: T. Henry | November 1, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

With chicago keeping tabs on Emilio and Moreno, Fred finally steps up and delivers for united in the post season(late first half or early second half). 85th min Emilio scores, fed by moreno. DC WIN and advance!

Posted by: XioPik | November 1, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I've got a good feeling - I think they're going to win. Vamos United!

Posted by: Jeff M | November 1, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Burch is the key to this one. While the midfield degenerates into a hackfest, Burch's long, accurate cross-field passes will open up Chicago's tight defense.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 1, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

alright so the prophecy is complete! Burch will be the one to set fred in on goal =P

Posted by: XioPik | November 1, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

That is a good point Mr. Red. I like what he has shown, I think Burch should take more shots from way out as well. I would love to see Moreno, Gomez, Fred, and Emilio all charge in then either Benny or Burch put one in the upper left or right corner from way out. Over the heads of the Chicago D. Burch could totally launch an accurate bomb for Emilio or Gomez to head in as well. Wow, time for EVERYONE to step up.

Posted by: T. Henry | November 1, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

7:47 ET kickoff...6:47 CT kickoff...

I'll just have to ask the people at the gym to pretty please put on ESPN2. I am, of course, wearing my jersey to the gym.

Posted by: Colm | November 1, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

As a Fire fan, I gotta say Fred scares me the most - or an Olsen bomb. I think the Fire D will have Moreno and Emilio pretty much locked up.

I hope that DC scores their first goal against Chicago in the playoffs today so the final score will be a respectable 3-1. :)

Posted by: Matt S (stogey23) | November 1, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I know it makes no sense but please don't jinx this game with baseless predictions. Unless you have some magic powers. In which case, get your butt to RFK and start chanting.

Posted by: Bart | November 1, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Occulus Repairus!

Posted by: Hermione Granger | November 1, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Come on united, tear the fire a new one.
One thing to keep in mind with all that mumbo jumbo the soccer analysts keep bringing up, what with United's poor record against the Fire, is that the complexion of players on the teams from one year to the next changes very much in MLS. I wonder how many players that start tonight for both Chicago and DC were even playing for these teams in 2005 when they won 4-0 here. Moreno, Gomez, Olsen, and Namoff, anybody else that might start tonight for United? Maybe Rolfe, Armas, and CJ Brown. There's not many from those 05 teams that will be present.

Posted by: black and red blood | November 1, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I believe it was a pregame quote from Burch discussing how one of the things the coaching staff told the players to look for was to switch the point of attack. Chicago tends to crowd the ball, so swinging it to the other side will "disbalance" (thanks, Christopher Sullivan!) them and provide more space. One key to this is getting not only Burch but Namoff up enough to send in a few crosses. I'd also like to see us look for early switches followed by a quick ball back into the middle. This will give Moreno and Gomez the space between their backs and midfielders to work their magic.

I figure Chicago will have Conde and/or Armas dropping off to track Moreno whenever possible, so Simms is going to have to find some holes and not just let someone else do it. One of the keys to drawing a bunkered team out is to have threats for deep through balls and long-range shots; Simms and Burch will be key here.

Above all, this is going to be a battle. Let's give them hell.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | November 1, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I would be there without a doubt, but probation doesnt let me leave Delaware =( I bet that if one listens real good they can hear me all the way inside of RFK! GO DC, LETS END THIS IN REGULATION!!!!

Posted by: XioPik | November 1, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Because my day is essentially over, I looked up the lineups from the '05 game for black and red blood. The players in all caps are still around today:

DCU (3412): Rimando; NAMOFF, Erpen (BOSWELL 5), Prideaux; Quaranta (Adu 46), B. CARROLL, OLSEN, Kovalenko; GOMEZ; MORENO, WALKER (Filomeno 46)
Unused subs: PERKINS, DEROUX, SIMMS, GROS, Van Sicklen, Wilson

CHI (3412): Thornton; BROWN, CURTIN, SEGARES; Stewart (Sanneh 74), Marsch, PAUSE, GUERRERO; Thiago; ROLFE (BARRETT 70), Jaqua (Herron 79)
Unused subs: Mahoney, Caballero

So, 11 for us (9 regulars, excluding Walker and DeRoux) and 7 for them (6 regulars, excluding the ogre Curtin). Hopefully, enough guys on our side to want revenge.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | November 1, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate that these two teams met in the 1st round as it would have made for a fantastic Cup Final.

Good luck to both teams tonight as it should be a great match.

To the victor go the spoils. Go Fire!

Posted by: Gilly73 | November 1, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Emilio and Gomez just drove by me in the parking, those guys should have nicer rides. Emilio has dents all over his car. Anyway, let's hope they are ready to go....if you are getting a Blackout shirt, ask for a size bigger than you normally get.

Posted by: tim | November 1, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Come on United! Score early so the game is wide open and my ulcer can rest well!!!

If Kpene comes off the bench, I'm switching over to 30 Rock

Posted by: bristol | November 1, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about the dents on Emilio's car; I just want him to put a couple of dents in the Chicago goal.

Posted by: Mitch | November 1, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised with the CB pairing of Boz and Vanney for this match. In a must win match, you've got to go with experience. Hopefully Boz can get that noggin of his on the end of a cross tonight.

Posted by: AlecW81 | November 1, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I like the line up!!!!

LETS GET IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Atlanta | November 1, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I have a good feeling about this game, similar to the feeling I had before game 3 of the eastern conference finals vs Columbus in 1999. Lets hope we get the same result.

Posted by: Alexandria | November 1, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

3-0 United

Emilio '7
Fred '25
Ben Olsen '63


Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm pissed, I'm going to school in switzerland with no way of getting hold of a tv and I just decided to buy a season pass for cause it was the price of two games for the rest of the playoffs and it turns out it IS only two games - the two western conference games this weekend!

How can they not have online access to more games?
Seriously, there has to be a way to watch it.

Posted by: Skyler | November 1, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Emilio's starting! Who would have guessed after those closed practices? Come on United! Just a couple more minutes until we see those highly anticipated Barra banners.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 1, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

what is the attendence looking like? still early, but not especially full here

Posted by: Section 303 | November 1, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

will this be blanco's last game?
he says he wants to play for america again,

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh no... Why oh why do we have to listen to Julie Foudy? She's absolutely terrible!

Posted by: Nic | November 1, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

great start wynalda, "let's congratulate carr on his new black headband"

Posted by: kenyon | November 1, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda's useless.

In other news, I'm ridiculously attracted to Bryan Namoff, even with him being "twenty-old."

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"Namoff has great hair. Always seems to spike just the right way." Thanks, Eric. USELESS.

Posted by: k | November 1, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Eric wynalda. Julie foudy. Jeeez. Can't we borrow competent announcers from another country and then sub-title their comments?

"Dc united scouts discovered fred"

A hell of a discovery given he was the a-league mvp.

Posted by: why cant we?? | November 1, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

YES! Fred just did a Blanco-esque fake got-hit-in-the-face.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 1, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say this, but Fred might be getting a Red card he keeps playing like that. I cant see both him and Robinson walking out of here without a red card. they are going at each other hard. Hopefully Fred keeps clean and makes Robinson make the mistake.

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

They can hold the ball all day in the midfield but they need to get some production up top.

I think Fred's cruising for a red too...

Posted by: MK | November 1, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Gotta shut down Rolfe, that was WAY TOO close. Flashback from last Thursday...Brown is down, hopefully he is down and out.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | November 1, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

So, 0-0 then?

I guess if I want to complain I should be at the damn game, so I'll try to restrain myself.

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Dammit, DC down 1-0...2-0 aggregate. Come on DC!!!!

Posted by: DCUfrvr | November 1, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, how's that for timing? Hitting submit as the ball is flying into the net.

Come on DCU.

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Miserable defending - 2-0 (3-0 agg)

Posted by: MK | November 1, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I kind of just want to cry right now.


Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda - "Its like they are reliving their nightmare"

Smartest thing he's sad all season.

I cant believe this. :-(

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Do they have away goal advantages in MLS?

Posted by: Mike | November 1, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

so we have to score 4 goals now..

because if we score three, we still lose with away goals. tkae out vanney and fred.. put in dyanchenko and kpene. i know its unorthodox but its the only chance we have.

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

No, we only need 3 to force overtime.

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

When's Rolff's next call up?

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 1, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Spoke too soon...We need a miracle.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | November 1, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Poor. That was a gift.

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Pick em up on your back Benny!

Posted by: MK | November 1, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I mis-spoke. Just 3. If we get a goal before halftime then ill be a little more calm. not much

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I like the sub. We got to do something.

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

-Remember Liverpool!

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 1, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, at least we get to look forward to Gomez spitting on someone.

Posted by: Max | November 1, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

So, here's my thing. I'm a big Nationals fan. Huge, even. As dedicated as La Bara Brava are to DC United, I am (in my own, more sober, way) as dedicated to the Nationals. So I've seen plenty of slaughters take place at RFK. 13-4 against the Mets last spring? Check. 11-3 against the Marlins? You know it. 10-3 against Houston? Of course. Somehow, though, it hurts a little bit more when the expectations are higher.

But, oh, there's still room for hope. I watched the Washington freaking Nationals come back from being down seven runs against the New York Yankees. So, obviously, this is not a good result at halftime. But I believe, I believe, I BELIEVE this team can come back. It ain't over till it's over, and it is not over yet. Get it together, boys. You can do this. I believe.

Posted by: I believe | November 1, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse


Time to keep DCU out of a few international tournaments. The players can't handle the number of games; they peak too soon, get tired; we don't win them any way.

Time to concentrate on the MLS Cup and not the CONCACAF Sudamericana Toyota Cups.

Posted by: Please | November 1, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

How can these guys call themselves defenders? Boswell was ballwatching on that first goal and Namoff was daydreaming on those goals. Vanney can't pass to save his life. Simms is awful. Olsen can't seem to cross. And will someone tell Christian Gomez to STOP TAKING THE FREE KICKS!!!

Posted by: bristol | November 1, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

When can I start playing for DCU? It looks like you need me. And soon.

Posted by: JP Veron | November 1, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

we don't look sharp, olsen is nowhere, emilio, moreno......where are these players....they need to step up

we need more control, quicker passing on the ground

WHERE IS KPENE?! He can control the ball, he should be in the midfield, he has speed, noone is running our offense

there isn't one dc player that is stepping up....what is Perkins thinking?

Posted by: Bring on Kpene | November 1, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Bristol is right.

Boswell, Vanney and Namoff have all been off. Our best defender is the former forward that was subbed out.

Gomez should let someone else take the free kicks. He hasn't had the same touch he had last year.

Posted by: 13th Man | November 1, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds we can get Freddy Adu back in time for the second half?

Posted by: Please | November 1, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

looks like another loss, stupid galaxy should have beat the fire, then we would have gotten kc

Posted by: booo | November 1, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

You know it's harsh when folks want Kpene on the pitch.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | November 1, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

We've had two clear cut chances. It might happen again. And again. And then one more time. Yeah!

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Segares could have a Beard-off with Olsen. That would be much tighter than this game.

Posted by: SMACK | November 1, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

All you need is a goal, and they may yet win this (because it would be followed by a gigantic Chicago collapse). However, the exchanges between back line and midfield have not been sharp, even less than last week. It is not Chicago doing it to DC United, Wynalda. It is DC United failing to create chances. Long passes, almost no give-and-go passes, no long-distance shots on goal. Yet, a single goal could make the difference.

Posted by: Pentacampeao | November 1, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Fire have been marking tight. DC just does not have it.

Posted by: jkr | November 1, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Who is doing the play-by-play? He's actually not half-bad. He might even be half-good. Such an upgrade of D. O'Brien.

Posted by: New England Guy | November 1, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Great goal Clyde! Time for a miracle

Posted by: Kev | November 1, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

MLS does not use away goals as a tiebreaker, correct?

Posted by: matt | November 1, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

let the miracle begin WOO HOO

Posted by: quakes fan | November 1, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess Wynalda thinks everyone watching knows nothing about what aggregate is...

Posted by: quakes fan | November 1, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

This playoff format makes no sense. It actually rewards the lower seed and then forces the higher seed to play uphill throughout.

Posted by: Tysons Corner | November 1, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Away goals mean nothing. Extra time, then pks if necessary.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | November 1, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

What is ESPN saying about being tied after regulation the Fire advance?

Posted by: Kenny | November 1, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, that's what I thought. Vamos United.

Posted by: matt | November 1, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree tysons you get little or no advantage as a higher seed.

Posted by: quakes fan | November 1, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: bristol | November 1, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Tick tick tick tick tick...

Posted by: New England Guy | November 1, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Argh. No fingernails left.

Posted by: cat | November 1, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse


And Fred had perhaps the worst performance on the wing.

Posted by: bristol | November 1, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

if this was the last one: thank you jaime and christian

Posted by: dco | November 1, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

They can't leave now. I just found them.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

S happens

Great effort & heart by the boys.

Hats off.

S happens.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | November 1, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I said this over on Ives' site. Think of the playoffs as a cup competition, i.e., Liverpool winning CL but coming in 5th in the EPL.

Posted by: jkr | November 1, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Hats off to Chicago. Good game plan. Exciting game. United defenders should hang their heads in shame. Can't believe these guys choked yet again. Third year in a row in front of their home supporters.

Moreno and Gomez want to leave for some Middle Eastern club. Hey, I'll pay for their flights. Good riddance.

Vanney has awful distribution. Namoff and Boswell sleepwalking in the back. McTavish is overrated. Why take out Burch? He's got the better vision and defending.

We don't need Juan Sebastian Veron. Spend the money on better defenders.

Posted by: bristol | November 1, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

so proud of they way they fought in the second half. jaime didn't bring it, and i think he knew it at the end of the game. thanks for the memories..

Posted by: ngu | November 1, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

i was reading the match tracker on mls. What did rod do to get booked? I am soooo bummed

Posted by: Sad DCU Fan | November 1, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, are you people seriously not angry? Where is the venting? I mean they actually tie the series and then it gets called back and there is basically no crying by anyone?? what is this?

Posted by: amorris | November 1, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Brave effort, United.

Oh well, I guess now the talk turns to next year...again...

I think MLS should change its playoff system to be more like the NFL, where the top seeds earn a bye in the first round. As it is, the regular season really doesn't mean much at all.

Posted by: DC Sports Fan | November 1, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Great 2nd half, terrible goals given away all series

where was Ben Olsen? Where was his fight?
where was his leadership?

Perkins: STOP COMING OUT!!!!! you gave a penalty and the fire should have scored and make you look stupid

I hate fans who curse and scream and act like idiots, take your anger elsewhere you freaks

Boswell was a terrible terrible terrible choice by the coach and cost us the game

I saw little pride in our players, emilio should have never played, and moreno did not show up.

Posted by: Atlanta | November 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Boswell didn't put himself in. Someone actually decided to start him in the center for the crux game. Who knows what the hell Soehn was thinking.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | November 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, DC United, for a season filled with joy. Thank you for sticking in it until the brutal end. Hearts are broken tonight, but we'll mend, and we'll be back next season. Vamos United forever!

Posted by: dl | November 1, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse


I just made $200 betting on this game. It was EASY money. Always bet against a DC United team facing Chicago. Come on people. It ain't hard!

Thanks guys! Looks like I can call in sick tomorrow.

Posted by: surfin uSSR | November 1, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

great, another chance to watch Blanco dive, dive and dive again....

Posted by: quakes fan | November 1, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@amorris: it sucks to see that third goal called back on an incidental hand ball. but im way too tired from that second half to be upset.

and quite frankly, i'm much more pissed about the lack of clearance leading to the 2nd goal than i am about the hand ball.

Posted by: dco | November 1, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

is boswell still going to europe?

Posted by: jay | November 1, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

if his arm isn't there, it hits his shoulder and lays there for gomez to score.

gomez didn't put his arm there, the fire defender did.

Posted by: vasco | November 1, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

does this mean I have to say goodbye to the insider, will it be here next season?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, are you people seriously not angry? Where is the venting? I mean they actually tie the series and then it gets called back and there is basically no crying by anyone?? what is this?" amorris

WTF!?!? Replay showed that the effing ball hit Christian's arm. Christian's arm did not hit the ball! God, I HATE THE FIRE AND BLANCO AND ERIC WYNALDA! That cheeky bastard needs to go rejoin the Fire with the way that he was glorifying them and Blanco...Oh, and Blanco is nothing more than a wife beating, diving, cheating, ball of SCUM! The ref's sucked and Ben should have had AT LEAST one PK late in the game. I can't believe the ref didn't get called for that one. God, I hate the effing playoff format. WTF, rewarding the lower seed??? On the upside, at least we scored again Chicago in the playoffs, two beautiful goals too. I hope Blanco goes into the next game and gets his leg broken Dema style. Hmmmmm, maybe Dema will have the chance to break it. The commentating was all pro-fire the ENTIRE EFFING PLAYOFFS! How is that for venting?

Posted by: Kris | November 1, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

remember Perkins foul was a penalty.

Posted by: goes both ways | November 1, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

That is what I was looking for.

Posted by: amorris | November 1, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. How could that last goal not stand? From my vantage point it was an awful call. Typical MLS reffing.

Posted by: Hoost | November 1, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want a handball called, you don't put your arm way up in the air. A very rightful no goal after the ref failed to award a penalty when Perkins stapled Carr's foot in the box.

If you disagree, you're just a whiner.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | November 1, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Two uncalled hand balls in the first match in this. Whatever happened to home team advantage?

Posted by: Hand Balls | November 1, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The "American" playoff format is not suitable for soccer. The "MLS champion" should be the team with the best regular season record. The 8 team tournament at the end of the season should have a different name/title.
Finishing the season with the best overall record is a completely different task than finishing strong and having a solid 5 game stretch in October/November. One involves team depth, training, focus, concentration, coaching, strategy, and adjustments while the other typically involves a hot goalie, streaky defending, and perhaps a hot goal scorer. On the other hand, I think DCUnited has been the victim of some pretty poor coaching at the end of the last two seasons. With clearly better talent, they should have won the Cup both years.

Posted by: ox | November 1, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

not a whiner, a fan

Posted by: atlanta | November 1, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

No complaining about the hand ball call, please. Gomez definitely reached out and stopped the ball with his arm. It was quite sneaky by Gomez actually. But,he didn't protest. He knew he did it. The surprising thing is that the ref saw it. I think 9 times out of 10, that handball doesn't get seen or called. Unlucky for DC.

Posted by: ox | November 1, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

good call ox, unlucky.... I was ready to explode

Posted by: atlanta | November 1, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

This will help with the pain. Video of happier days.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

You could tell by Gomez' reaction even he thought it was a hand ball. Reffing wasn't bad, I thought.

Why in hell the central defense gets shuffled at the last second is beyond me. Dance with who brought you to the ball, if you do nothing else.

The talent and skill level at DC in the attack is too high for such results. They do indeed need a real coach. To be rooting around trying to figure out the shape of the team in the second playoff match with everyone relatively healthy is piss poor management.

Soehn apologists can go ahead and explain away the lack of development of key players, Fred being stuck away in the left wing for most of the year, the cluelessness of playing a gassed front line in a meaningless season closer, the ridiculous formation and strategy versus Chicago in game 1 and the decision to start Boswell after having yanked him for half the season in a crucial match only to have the central defense fall apart. Explain that away and tell me this moron is playing the cards he was dealt.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | November 1, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse


Chicago play the worst brand of soccer in MLS. I hate them more than I hate the Galaxy!

Once again, we must question Soehn's decision making. Why substitute Burch?? I mean WTF was he thinking!?

Posted by: BI | November 1, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse


No way that is called back in any other league. We win the league and now we have to listen to Blanco say he actually did anything, he did NOTHING.

FY Chicago

Posted by: Rocko | November 1, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

hoy es el dia de los muertos y ahora mismo necesitamos recordar los muertos de Washington DC quien se murieron en la catedral de futbol Americano (gracias, Senor Davis) el Estadio Nuevo RFK. para todos, buenas noches.

Posted by: diego r. | November 1, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

HorseSh*t horsesh*t horsesh*t call

Posted by: Rocko | November 1, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Again I say horsesh*t

Posted by: Rocko | November 1, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I took some Spanish

"Today is the Day of the Dead (holiday) and now we need to remember Washington DC's dead, who died in the American Soccer Cathedral (thanks, Mr. Davis) called the new RFK Stadium, thanks everyone, good night."

How did I do?

Posted by: Atlanta | November 1, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

One more time:



Posted by: Rocko | November 1, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Who is your favorite to win the Cup now that DC is out?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

He stuck his hand up and deflected the ball into his path. No goal. Have a lovely winter.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | November 1, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

>>>>Who is your favorite to win the Cup now that DC is out?

dilligaf on that

Posted by: spike_2.0 | November 1, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Now rooting for New England and against Chicago. I hate Blanco.

Posted by: soccergirl | November 1, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I have lost any and all respect for MLS referees. They suck balls. No ref, makes a controversial call like that this late in a playoff match, never. God, I hate MLS refs, and Blanco, and Chicago. I hope someone from the team Chicago plays next ends Blanco's career, and Brown's, oh and Calen Carr's.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | November 1, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

anyone who thinks that was not a handball is a walking ad for US soccer fan idiocy. don't make the rest of us look bad.

his one arm clearly was sticking out and knocked the ball to his feet. Just bc he didn't palm it and place it onto his foot does not mean it somehow "played his hand." You got the call in MLS Cup 04 when Esky did that to KC -- you won't be lucky again. I saw it on TV, the first time. the replay was even more obvious, of course.

Gomito's other arm was halfway up the defender's arse. he could have been called for that too.

a great attempt at a comeback but it should have been over when Perkins took out Carr -- clearly happened in the box.

whoever said Perkins doesn't know how to come out is right. Last DC-Fire game at RFK, he came out and handled the ball outside the box. He got away with that one too.

Posted by: furia yanqui | November 1, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping for anyone to kick Chicago's ass! Other than that, Kansas City. University alum tearing it up in KC. Would actually like to see him play for the black and red at somepoint.

Posted by: DCUfrvr | November 1, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

If Chicago wins MLS cup, does Blanco win an Emmy or a Golden Globe?

Posted by: Turtle Beoulve | November 1, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Oscar, I believe.

Posted by: soccergirl | November 1, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, I thought DC was getting all of the calls tonight...

I can't tell from the replay, but I can tell from Gomez's reaction that it was a handball :(

Surprised to see that Burch was the first one pulled from the game...

I would be shocked if Addlery were back next year -- he just adds nothing.

So, did DC score from any corners this year? I don't know how many times I heard "Conde" when the ball floated in.

Posted by: RK | November 1, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

as for the ref, Gomez also could easily have been called offside on that second DC goal.

Conde is a beast, best Fire defender since Lubos Kubik, all due respect to Bocanegra. Conde dominated the air but Chicago had difficulty clearing its lines.

Posted by: furia yanqui | November 1, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

As a distraction

Colombian soccer star Carlos Valderrama was known for his voluminous hair as well as his deft passing. Add inflammatory taunts to the list.

As the assistant coach of Atletico Junior, Valderrama was ejected from a Colombian league match Wednesday after waving cash in the face of a referee for calling a penalty that helped end his team's hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.

Posted by: RK | November 1, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Blanco, Robinson, Segares and Brown. A bunch of cheats.

Posted by: Nogra Rover | November 1, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this disgrace counts against Soehn for Coach of the Year. What a joke if he wins now.

Posted by: Ouch, that hurt. | November 1, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Where the hell is the fire Soehn guy when you need him...Why start Boswell? Why take out Burch in the first 45. He has been DC's best offensive defender the second half of the season. Why sub McTavish for Boswell in the second half? How can Soehn not save a sub for Jaime when he hasn't been able to run 90 all season. Why use Adderly who hasn't seen game time in months? Where was Dyachenko in game 1? We got out coached in both games.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

is boswell still going to europe?

Posted by: jay | November 1, 2007 10:02 PM

Puerto Rico is not in europe, so no.

Posted by: dtd | November 1, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

No, a Tony! God I hate the diving Blanco. Was at the game and he fell over when there was a breeze. Other FIre players seem to have picked up the habit. Maybe they can get Dido in goal!

Right now I don't care who wins MLS Cup, as long as it's not the Fire. I'd even root for the Redbulls against them. Blech.
Was at the game, didn't see the hand ball, devistated when it was called back. Sigh.

Posted by: gallegoscot | November 1, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness, after this brief run at the post-season, who cares about winning regular season? Who cares about winning the "Cup"?

Superliga and Champions Cup notwithstanding, the league continues to spend x-number of dollars promoting the "MLS Cup of Late-Season Desparate Runs" compared to the other competitive tournies... Sourness aside, JPA has a good point in his assessment of the US fascination with the US post-season. There is little - if no - benefit to running a franchise toward a regular season title. Chicago proved Jaime wrong by their run of play - they would not have produced a regular season title with or without Blanco and Osorio from Day One of the regular season with the fashion of soccer that they play - but they won the first round of the regular post-season.

Posted by: Mickey | November 1, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I know this is DC United, and we don't do that sort of thing, but according to we had 13 (THIRTEEN) corner kicks. Were any of them dangerous? And how many free kicks did we have? I couldn't find a count, but I remember at least 5, none of them dangerous. That's a lot of wasted set pieces. I wouldn't even know where to start in the off season...argh I need a Makers.

Posted by: e | November 1, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

How on earth do the highlights not show the Gomez goal that was called back??!! I was counting on that to get a look at the play - the replay they showed on the jumbotron at the stadium showed me no handball, but everyone who watched on TV seems to say it was clear. Anyone know where I can find a replay? Nothing seems to be up on youtube.

It still kinda hurts. Not since Beasley's go-ahead goal that got called back against Italy in the World Cup last summer have I dropped so quickly from utter euphoria to utter despair/disbelief.

Posted by: CLew | November 1, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

fyi: dc scored on exactly 1 corner this year

Posted by: dco | November 1, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

For those who have already bought tickets and going to the MLS Cup without the United, everyone still wear their Black and chant United chants the entire match...let the rest of the teams in the league know that their brand still can't match ours...

Posted by: bR | November 1, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Watching the replay on the Gomez "handball" ... where was his arm supposed to go? Robinson was backward-bearhugging Gomez the whole way, then turns & lifts Gomez's armpit up. Nothing Gomez could do. You all can think what you want, but that goal should have stood.

Too bad this league misses out now on packing RFK stadium for 2 more games this year because of that call. I hope all of you out there saying it was the right call are happy that now the final will not draw any crowds. I think this result also hurts United's chances of the new stadium deal. It would have been nice to have some big energized crouds coming out to see the league's best team proceed on to the Final.

Again, support Marufo's crap decision & be happy now.

Posted by: whatev... | November 1, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

mastadon john. feel free to look me up so we might discuss this in person. in the immediate aftermath, i stated that despite my loathing of both wanna-be-the-real-york, and wanna-be-the-real-england, that either one over the tipsy cows would be preferable to me. well, color me stupid, you no talent a$$ clown, i hope your team win the series and you die. wouldn't that be fun for you.

good luck in your mission, john.

Posted by: chris | November 1, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"i hope your team win the series"

I hope so, too. Keep me updated on what tickets for the final are going for. With sore losers dumping their tickets, I hope pay less than $5 to watch NY win the cup at your stadium (or is it the Fire's stadium now?).

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | November 1, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"let the rest of the teams in the league know that their brand still can't match ours"

Go Brand!

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | November 2, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I only got a quick look at the play on the Jumbotron, to see if I could figure out why the goal was being waved off. By that time, I was sitting to the right of La Norte (crowd was seriously into it). It looked like a handball to me -- at least enough so that I realized instantly that was the call. Of course, Perkins should have been called for a penalty earlier. I don't where he suddenly picked up this habit of these half-assed challenges at the top of the box, but it is no way to play goalie. If you're going to do that stuff, you damn well better get the ball -- otherwise get set and make yourself big.

I do not know how to feel. United blew an extraordinary opportunity that may never come again for the franchise -- at least not like this -- to play in the final, in front of a sellout home crowd, in the year people are actually paying a little attention. I guess the league has some integrity, because I am sure the league wanted United in the final...very, very badly.

Of course, United played like dogs for much of the first half -- after missing some good opportunities earlier, you could feel that it was about to turn ugly...and then it did.

Still, United gave us twenty of the most thrilling minutes in the history of the franchise. I do not know if they will ever match the excitement and intensity of that burst. The crowd -- no crowd has ever been louder -- we could have outshouted a full house at Wembley. I just wish the team had that instensity throughout. It's been missing for a month.

There were odd personnnel moves. I don't know why Boswell was in there, and I'm not clear why Burch went out. Was he beat on the goals? After the goals, he made a sparkling defensive tackle -- the first sign of life for the defense. Then, suddenly he was out, and didn't appear injured. I guess Emilio was struggling with his injury? It seemed like Tommy was throwing in the towel when he subbed out the only guy who can score.

It is obvious we need to get someone up top to pair with Emilio. It would be nice to see Moreno stay on as a sub, if he is willing to take that role. He would be a good late-game extra attacker, but he cannot be one of the featured attractions any more.

I would guess that one of the rumors that Goff was hinting at is that Veron will be coming this time around. That would be a nice addition, I imagine, I think he and Gomez would make a nice center midfield. Of course, that assumes Gomez stays. I am guessing the other rumor will be a loosening up of the roster rules -- either raising the cap, or allowing for two DPs -- so, United will be able to give Gomez the money he wants. I have read some harsh feelings here toward Gomez. I have been sharply critical all season of his effort -- and his condition. I do not think he was in shape this year. Ran out of gas almost every game. Not tonight, though. Gomez put his heart and soul in that last flurry of action. He won me back over. His frees weren't very good tonight, but I still hope they keep him.

Now, where can I see a replay of this game?

Posted by: FischFry | November 2, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Nice anti-soccer, flopping, crybaby whatever-the-hell-that-was. Chicago, you suck. MLS, many thanks for letting your disgraceful corp of referees coddle that hideous goblin Blanco but let Segares et al. dry hump Gomito et al. for 90 minutes. Disgraceful.

United fans should boycott the Cup.

Posted by: MLS, be ashamed | November 2, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

To MLS be ashamed: I'm not sure which game you were watching. True, Gomez got knocked off the ball a couple of times, and Blanco did draw a couple of awful calls, especially that first flop before he was even touched.

On the other hand, the referee didn't call anything on most of Blanco's flops. He kept making a point of indicating there was no foul. I've seen much worse officiating.

From what I could tell -- I caught the Perkins play on replay while I was going back to a seat with a beer -- it looked like the worst call of the game went in D.C.'s favor. Of course, I only got one look at the handball call, and it was on the big screen, from the other side of the field. I was just trying to figure out what the call was. Did not know it was a handball, until I saw it, so I did not know to look for whether Gomez really played the ball, or the other way around. Looked like a decent call, though I would have preferred to see the overtime.

Posted by: FischFry | November 2, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

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