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United Moves Forward

With a 5-0 victory over Harbour View, United moves into the Champions' Cup semifinals against Pachuca or Motagua. The first leg of the semifinals will be on the road April 1-2, the return leg at RFK on April 8-9.

My player ratings: Wells 6; Namoff 6, Martinez 7, Peralta 7, Burch 7; McTavish 8, Simms 7, Gallardo 7, Fred 8; Niell 6, Emilio 8. Subs: Quaranta 7, Dyachenko 5, Mediate 5.

Houston-Municipal Wednesday night at Robertson Stadium (Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30 p.m. ET) with the series even after a scoreless tie in Guatemala City. Same situation for defending champion Pachuca, which hosts Motagua at 11 p.m. (FSC).

How is former Chicago keeper Matt Pickens doing with QPR? Read here.

I'll try to provide news and updates Wednesday, but Olympic soccer and NCAA basketball stories for the print edition will occupy most of my day. If I do not make it back here, I'll rejoin you from Nashville on Thursday evening.

Feel free to discuss any footy subjects.

By Steve Goff  |  March 19, 2008; 1:14 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Just listened to/watched Comcast SportsNet's 1am SportsRise broadcast, and unless I missed something, there was NO MENTION of DCU's 5-0 victory over Harbour View.

One more thought about Tuesday's game: If Franco keeps playing, he's gonna become one big 5-foot-four-inch BRUISE by November.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 19, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Is the lack of stripes across the front of the new jersey's in preparation for a sponsorship? What news of this, Sir Goff?

Posted by: Papa | March 19, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

NBC's resident sports-chick, Lindsey Czarniak (sp?) made no mention of it either. Typical. I guess you just can't compare it to rodeo or whatever crud they like to show.

The pitch was gorgeous! Only sullied by the Nationals signage and the gaping holes that are the north and south ends. Honestly, why won't they return it to soccer configuration? It looks like crap.

Neill was impressive with his constant pressure and harassment of the backline. Unbelievably, he won a few balls in the air. If only his cranium was not at elbow height...he will end up like Josh Gros.

Gallardo is a motor. I am sorry to the old-schoolers, but he is a different beast from Gomez. Gomez served us well, but Gallardo has all that talent, and more, plus the engine to play from box to box and NOT look like he was having a cardiac infarction.

Fred was in Neverland. It looked like he was paid NOT to shoot. Granted, he got one goal, but at the end when poor Harbor View was thinking about what dinner would be served on the airplane. He was shockingly bad. Anonymous the first half and disastrous in the second.

I am no Santino homer, but I salute his return. He had the good grace to pay homage to the Barra when he entered the match and ventured into the crowd to trade shirts and salutations after the game. Considering the year he has had, it was nice to see him come and immediately be productive. Two assists. Not bad. He sort of relaxed after that, but still...considering how bad he was the last time I saw him the black shirt, it was nice to see him ADD something. I hope he continues to progress.

Anyone else smell ganga in the 330's? Numerous times throughout the match. How can they smoke the dizzystuff inside the ground, while the cancerstickers have to go out into the concourse? Beats me. More power to them, but if I was a Harbor View fan, I'd be reaching for the Johnny Walker (and/or a .38) rather than a spliff.

Posted by: Erick | March 19, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with a lot of Erick's comments, but Fred must have seemed very different in person than on TV. Watching on FSC, Fred had a great game (even aside from the announcers talking about him having a great game)

Posted by: RB | March 19, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Erick, for you to say that Fred was shockingly bad means two things:
1. You didn't actually watch the match.
or
2. You are legally blind.

Fred was DC's best player today. End of story.

Posted by: fig | March 19, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Fred was in on 2 goals and scored another, if Emilio wasn't going for the hat trick he might have a second. Seemed like he was having a lot of fun out there and I had fun watching it.

Posted by: Mike | March 19, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Glad you're going to Nashville, Goffer. Please bring me back a souvenir from the Grand Ole Opry.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | March 19, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Fred was indeed a world class player last night. He was everywhere on the field. Gallardo will be fouled 1 million times this year in MLS play, assuming he stays healthy enough after his first 100,000 hackings to stay on the field all year. Niell reminds me of Freddy Adu in that he will get pushed around and fouled every time he has the ball, except that Niell is smarter and will draw the call and is not a drama queen like Adu. Nevertheless, I see no point in having Niell, and think he will be another Argentine name we'll hardly remember come season's end. I'm very concerned about who will score goals for this team this year. Jaime won't; Niell won't....we need another forward and fast. As always, I totally disagree with the Tino lovefest; the guy looked like he has for the last 4 years: lost and ineffective on a futbol pitch. Please don't let one lucky deflection off of a defender's shin leading to the foot of a United player make you think that he actually was productive last night. In all, I think Zack Wells is going to have a very boring job this year. I think United's defense (short of Naimoff's great miscomings), will be rock solid and will foil most MLS offenses this year.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Funny how different people se things. I thought Fred had the best game in his United career. He was everywhere, defense, offense, left side, right side. He was the man of the match imho.

I am getting very comfortable with Peralta and Martinez at the back. I think our defense will be night and day from last year with a league leading GA and numerous clean sheets in the offing. They were immense.

All in all a great team effort to smother Harbor View. I thought Niell was effective, happy to see Tino do well. It was as I hoped it would be against inferior competition. Good job DCU.

Posted by: RRP | March 19, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Fred, I thought overall defensively he did his job. Only a couple of times did he not track back after a hard forward run but offensively it was a tale of two halves. First half he received the ball in many dangerous positions and wasn't able to make anything of it. Second half he was much more successful and creative. He should have had a second goal if not for the selfishness of Emilio. Still, one of his best performances ever for DCU.

Posted by: JMR | March 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

"Honestly, why won't they return it to soccer configuration?"

Because those bleachers are rusting away in a field somewhere. We have to live with the ugliness until we get our own stadium.

Posted by: Jon | March 19, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Fred was the best player on the pitch. i worry about Gallardo though. I seem to remember coming to the team because it was "less physical" among other things. He was getting hacked to shreds and probably will be all season.

Posted by: gilbert | March 19, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree with most except for Niell. A 6 Goff were we watching the same game. most of the time that dude was on the field he was flat on his back and giving up on plays left and right.

Posted by: Pan-T Clause | March 19, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Do any of you have a link to a hightlights clip?

Posted by: Mike | March 19, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Gallardo won't get hacked as much when we get Ben back... we needed the enforcer out there to protect him. (boy that sounds like hockey)

Love Niel's energy, I think it will fire up the team and lead to some lucky breaks. Thought Fred had a great game as well, thought Emilio was off until he turned it on in the second half.

Remember folks this was essentially the second preseason game. United looked good.

And I'm loving the defense. Martinez is boring which is great in a defender. Peralta is smart which is important for a big defender.
Someone asked where the goals will come from this year... McTavish of course!
Current MLS goal scoring leader.

Posted by: -K | March 19, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Niell and Emilio play a similar "pressure" style. As a result there wasn't much combination between the two. I know that part of that is a lack of familiarity, but when Tino came on our attack picked up (and it's not like Emilio has played a lot with Tino either).

Also, our midfield possession suffered from the timed Gillardo came off. Dyachenko did add much to the match.

Posted by: tcompton | March 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

"Honestly, why won't they return it to soccer configuration?"

Because those bleachers are rusting away in a field somewhere. We have to live with the ugliness until we get our own stadium."


CAn we atlest put up some standing only bleachers back there! I felt sorry for the Ball Boys who have to run all the way back for the ball in that gravely/muddy mess. And considering how bad some MLS players shoot they are going to be doing a lot of running!


Posted by: DC NUMERO UNO | March 19, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"Honestly, why won't they return it to soccer configuration?"

Because those bleachers are rusting away in a field somewhere. We have to live with the ugliness until we get our own stadium."


CAn we atlest put up some standing only bleachers back there! I felt sorry for the Ball Boys who have to run all the way back for the ball in that gravely/muddy mess. And considering how bad some MLS players shoot they are going to be doing a lot of running!


Posted by: DC NUMERO UNO | March 19, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Wells, Peralta and Martinez were the best part of that match for me. To see us with a functional back line with new players in the second game of the season is a very nice thing.

I would say Emilio was Jeckle and Hyde last night.

1st half maybe a 4 at best
2nd half a 9 for sure

I have no idea what happened at half time but he was a different player. I counted a minimum of 12 bad passes by him during the first 45.

Where is the Beer?!? No more vendors in the stands? I hope it's just a CONCACAF rule.

The ganja in 330 really helped set the atmosphere.


Posted by: Southeasterner | March 19, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Loved Peralta and Martinez in the back. We'll go as far as they carry us in all competitions this year. They cover very well for each other and it's evident that Martinez AND Peralta both run that defense with authority. There were a few occasions were I saw Martinez and Peralta yelling at Wells, etc. Awesome stuff.

Emilio looked like Emilio. He's a poor man's Ruud. I thought Niell did very well. He's got not a lot of power in his left foot (which we saw x2). Other than that, he hustles, nonstop. He's a great complement to Moreno, they both like to hold play up.

Gallardo plays very very deep. A few times Simms was ahead of him on the pitch. He needs to learn to trust Simms. Once they get on the same page, it will be a great combination. I thought Gallardo got unlucky with the volley and the shot and should of scored. Otherwise, he looked great.

Fred played an incredible game, constant work rate. Guy was everywhere on offense and defense. I love that. Seems to have settled more into his role and he does it very well IMO.

All in all I'm very happy for the 2nd game of the season. You could see things starting to click in the 2nd half. I was a little scared for the first 10 minutes in the 2nd half, but DC made some tactical adjustments and they paid off bigtime. Lets see what we can do with 2 more weeks of training befor our next game. I expect more!

VAMOS UNITED!

Posted by: strago | March 19, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Where was Fred hiding this?!?!?!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zt7S8hyvSFY

Posted by: DC FAN in CHILE | March 19, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I spoke with the cops and one said that the beermen were sent home b/c of the small crowd (12k is too small?) and another said that there was a union strike. Either way it sucked.

Posted by: jgildea | March 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

DC 3 - HV 0

McT has the hat trick! 10 hours!

Posted by: boda united | March 18, 2008 08:59 AM

Wasn't that far off.....

Posted by: boda united | March 19, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Rumor has it that both ends of the field will be used for group events/parties as has been done in the east end in prior years. Anyone else hear this?

Posted by: Curious | March 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to McTavish for his 3 goals in two games, but he was not impressive at right midfield in place of Olsen. He seemed too content to let Burch do the dirty work on that side and just hung around the wing waiting for someone to send him the ball. His performance was in stark contrast to that of Fred, who worked hard to win the ball back from HV and to create opportunities for his team. His goals show that he understands some of what Olsen brings to the team, but I'm eager for Benny to return to the team.

Posted by: ho | March 19, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

1. Franco a 6? Nah. His Olsen-esque work rate was a big controbutor to DCU's possession advantage for most of the game until he was subbed off, by forcing rushed passes out of the HVFC back line that were collected by the DCU midfield.

2. Yeah, Fred showed up big time the whole game. Earlier by being a bit of the enforcer and watching Luc's back (kind of like Danny DiVito protecting Arnold Schwarzeneggar) and then, once HVFC fell down by 2 and had to open up their game, by providing the best wing play beating the HVFC back line that DCU has seen in a long time. Topped off with a nice little rock-the-baby celebration with Emilio. I agree, MoM.

3. Nice to see Luc get some good poacher's goals. The man does like to score.

4. Santino... hey, pretty good job coming off the bench. Dude is still quick and has some obvious talent on the ball.

5. The Gonzolo brothers ... Nice to see them take a few chances and come up and still have recovery speed - saw it in Jamaica too where they went wide and ran down some overhead balls into the corners even.

Now, I understand there was even according to HVFC a reason for it, but this business of Visa denial really puts the whole CONCACAF and SuperLiga competition in a bad light. It would be like if CHina refused entry to half the USA basketball team for the Olympics and wound up winning the gold medal. I dunno, it just does not sit right somehow wether it made a difference in the game or not. Kind of leaves a big asterisk next to a real fine performance by DCU.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

1. Franco a 6? Nah. His Olsen-esque work rate was a big controbutor to DCU's possession advantage for most of the game until he was subbed off, by forcing rushed passes out of the HVFC back line that were collected by the DCU midfield.

2. Yeah, Fred showed up big time the whole game. Earlier by being a bit of the enforcer and watching Luc's back (kind of like Danny DiVito protecting Arnold Schwarzeneggar) and then, once HVFC fell down by 2 and had to open up their game, by providing the best wing play beating the HVFC back line that DCU has seen in a long time. Topped off with a nice little rock-the-baby celebration with Emilio. I agree, MoM.

3. Nice to see Luc get some good poacher's goals. The man does like to score.

4. Santino... hey, pretty good job coming off the bench. Dude is still quick and has some obvious talent on the ball.

5. The Gonzolo brothers ... Nice to see them take a few chances and come up and still have recovery speed - saw it in Jamaica too where they went wide and ran down some overhead balls into the corners even.

Now, I understand there was even according to HVFC a reason for it, but this business of Visa denial really puts the whole CONCACAF and SuperLiga competition in a bad light. It would be like if CHina refused entry to half the USA basketball team for the Olympics and wound up winning the gold medal. I dunno, it just does not sit right somehow wether it made a difference in the game or not. Kind of leaves a big asterisk next to a real fine performance by DCU.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the Niell bashing. The guy is all hustle. He's like the new Esky or something. He puts pressure on defenders and wins the ball away from them. His low centre of gravity helps there too. He wasn't getting much love from the ref. How many times did he get completely flattened with no call? But he just picked himself up and kept going. No whining and crying. Actually I like the way the whole team under Soehn seems to just get on with things when the calls don't go there way. Remember the Marco days?

Gallardo got hacked every time he touched the ball. I worry about him being able to stay healthy. Soehn was smart to remove him when the game was out of reach.

Fred did some good stuff out there. But there are times when he just goes off and tries to do too much by himself with the dribble. And he does a lot of hotdog stuff too. That backheel was pretty though.

I'm in love with our central defense as well. Martinez picked a smart time or two to get forward. That will be an important weapon. Peralta seems to be the main organizer and he's not afraid to let people know what to do.

And I thought Tino brought a great spark off the bench. He set up 3 goals and was obviously pretty hyped up. Let's hope he can stay healthy.

There will clearly be some healthy competition at plenty of positions. But if Gallardo breaks down I wonder who will run the show. Dyachenko looked pretty lost out there in his limited time. Maybe Fred?

I guess it is funny how so many people can watch the same game and have such different opinions about everything. Some one should do a study. :-)

Posted by: Glenn | March 19, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

maybe they could cover that north side with a big roll of astroturf, or put up a massive tarp so balls wouldn't go back there? Hell, the tarp could be used for more ad revenue! Might look nicer, be more practical. Just an idea.

Missed the whole game because I don't have FSC, good to see we're putting some balls in the back of the net.

Posted by: e | March 19, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Seriously guys - stop getting so bent out of shape about Visa - it had a MONSTER IPO.


But in all seriousness - why is everyone talking about the US denying the Visas and making it to be something that doesn't allow the competition to go forward. I'm all about making sure that anyone in a competition play the full strength side of their opponent. But do people consider at all that the reasons that the visas were denied could be related to stuff that would see others have visas denied. This is post 9/11 America and a nightly debate rages on how big and how thick the wall around America can be built. If something criminal or something to do with paper work mishandling was done by the Jamaican contingent, then what else can be done?

Posted by: Visa Issues? | March 19, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Great Job by DCU !!! Great debut at RFK

THe best part of the game was when i traded my BARRA BRAVA jesrsey with Tino !!!hahaha

Im glad to see him back especially after he gave me his Jersey!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Peralta!! Peralta!!! Peralta!!!! Finally a Defense to work with! I am also excited to see Peralta score some goals from set pieces!

Posted by: Alan | March 19, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I loved that article about Pickens, thanks for sending it along. They seem to already love him out there and it sounds like he is playing some amazing football.

Posted by: Nick | March 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's my thoughts on the game and what it might mean for our season.

Peralta > Martinez however it is NICE to have two solid centerbacks...been a while since we had that. Seriously, how did we get these guys? That said, we did slack off a little, with some better play in the final 3rd or even some better finishing we could have given up a couple last night. Need to be more focused in the next round.

Namoff solid if unspectacular.

Burch provides additional offense on the left wing which is particular useful when Fred makes his runs to the center of the pitch.

Speaking of, Fred was the best player last night, with Gallardo's tendency to drift back its nice to have a player like him that can take the ball into the center and distribute as well as make his runs on the left flank.

Simms knows his role and cleans up well, and adds enough distribution and even a little offense at times.

I'm a little concerned with Gallardo's tendency to stand next to Simms and at times it seems we have 2 defensive mids. However I think he plays more like el pibe with that hanging back and providing distribution, made some superb long passes and clearly has all the technical skills. Does lack in the speed department which is a little troubling combined with Emilio's lack of pace, no fast break worries with those two.

MacTavish played solid, happened to be in the right place at the right time twice. He'll have plenty chances this year with defenses paying more attention to the bigger names so its nice to see he can make them pay.

Emilio is slow, i guess he was last year too though. Definitely a poacher but he's deadly efficient. Held the ball up fairly well with his strength but he's still learning to work with Niell. I am concerned with our team speed when Moreno, Emilio and Gallardo are on the "break".

Niell works hard, has the technical skills but not as quick as i'd like for a little guy. Effort will get him far though. He's still working on learning his teammates, it'll be interesting to see his development but he'll be a role player this year.

Santino showed some flashes, but not enough time to see how he'd do for a whole game, there'll be alot of competition uptop. Looks like he may get some more time at right mid, I just don't know if he's cut out for it or enjoys that. He'll have to improve his workrate on the def side.

Dyachenko and Mediate didnt have a whole lot of time but didnt show anything either.

All in all we should still be in the top 4 of the league, we clearly haven't had enough time together to be at 100% in this tourney, i just hope 85% or so is enough to win it. We'll have to play much better the next round to make it through. 5-0 is exciting but we should have scored more, i don't know how many offside traps we beat last night, but it was ridiculous, we won't see that bad defense again in this tourney.

Posted by: Brian | March 19, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

1) How much of DCU's second half success do people think can be attributed to HV's tactical change coming out of the break? The FSC announcers discussed it a bit, pointing out that with a 1-0 halftime score, they were still well in it. But that by switching to playing a very high back line, they wound up exposing themselves needlessly. Anyone think that analysis had any merit?

2) I also thought Fred looked very good. As far as I'm concerned, he can put on a handful of "hotdog" moves that don't work out every game if he also delivers backheel assists...

3) After watching Gallardo for two games (albeit against HV), I'm also thinking he's going to lead MLS in fouls suffered per game. Which also leads me to worry about his health and who we have that can sub for him if need be.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 19, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Glenn,

You sumned up the Fred situation very well. In the first half he was very tentative and wasn't taking it to the flanks which is what a winger does. I think the main reason he played well in the second half though was because HV's defense was becoming tired which opened up room on the flanks to move. He needs to stop taing it to the middle so much though and play his role which is going to the flanks and crossing

Posted by: United fury | March 19, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Glenn,

You summed up the Fred situation very well. In the first half he was very tentative and wasn't taking it to the flanks which is what a winger does. I think the main reason he played well in the second half though was because HV's defense was becoming tired which opened up room on the flanks to move. He needs to stop taing it to the middle so much though and play his role which is going to the flanks and crossing

Posted by: United fury | March 19, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Well, HV created absolutely nothing in the first half and they were behind by a goal so they had to change something. And early in the second half they were putting on some pressure. Wells had to make at least one good save in that period. We didn't get goal #2 until what the 60th minute? Once that happened the game was over. But before then I definitely had one of those feelings like a 1-0 lead is pretty precarious and HV could easily tie it up. So, I'd say the FSC announcers were wrong.

I only watched a little bit of my recording of the game. But it was definitely much better to have Rogandino and Dunseth than Miles and Caliguri.

Posted by: Glenn | March 19, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the announcers...they were a million times better than the duo from last week. FSC was listening (and reading).

Posted by: RK | March 19, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I'll paraphrase my comment yesterday: "DCU better score early against HV or they'll be in trouble."

Well, I was wrong. Dead wrong. We got it done. Heck yeah!!! Kudos to the guys for getting a quality result against an inferior opponent. AND for proving me wrong.

Posted by: Matte | March 19, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"He was shockingly bad. Anonymous the first half and disastrous in the second."

Huh?? I thought I must have been drunk last night watching the game. (Oh wait I was.) But everytime I looked up there was Fred going at the goal.

Sorry man, but you can't have two assists and a goal and be shockingly bad or disastrous.

Posted by: jva | March 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, it wasn't a polished performance by any stretch of the imagination, but for what is effectively a pre-season game it showed considerable promise for the season to come. Three primary thoughts:
First, Peralta/Martinez/Namoff/an improving Marc Burch could well be the best DCU defense in a decade, or since Pope/Agoos/Llamosa/Medved. It's clearly a quantum leap forward from the leaky crew of last year, especially in terms of speed and composure.
Second, Gallardo is going to be an absolute force once he gets in sync with his teammates, and vice-versa. He has been very close to scoring already (a number of very close free kicks, and several high quality keeper saves prevented that), his passing is first rate and he works much harder at both ends than Gomez (as much as I am a fan of his) ever did.
Finally, it appears that depth is not the issue it was for last year's side. That team could not absorb any losses to injuries, and when people started getting hurt at the end of the year (notably Moreno, Emilio and Gros), the team fell apart. This year, there appears to be good depth, especially forward with Neill, Quaranta (who showed very well last night) and Dyachenko and at keeper. The only concern might be the loss of a central defender, but even there the addition of Jeff Curtain and rookie Dan Stratford's play (even though he is listed as a mid) gives some basis for confidence.

All in all, this has to be regarded as a very encouraging performance by United, especially since once they got HVFC down, they went and applied a knock-out punch. This was a serious flaw in 2007. It's still a work in progress, but it seems to me that this is a team that can do serious damage, not just in MLS but in their many international events as well. Bring on Pachuca!!

Posted by: Throwin | March 19, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Harbour View didn't make the tactical change to the high offside trap til after the second goal but these tactics did have a large effect on the game thereafter contributing to our goals.

That being said, our ability to take advantage of it is largely attributable to our runs being well timed and the linesmen being competent (though there were some earlier calls that were questionable).

Posted by: bluemeanies | March 19, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Having a Brick House and a Giant in central defense is quite nice to see. Both of them should be able to make forwards like Rolf and Twellman disappear. Watching people run into Peralta and bounce off was quite amusing. Good show but it was against a weaker side so, I don't think you can take too much away from this. Team played well and won handily - what more could you ask? I guess we did want six...

Posted by: DC Fan | March 19, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

All this jocking Tino makes me worry that he's going to get a big head again. Let's temper the expectations a bit. The dude played well for 25 minutes, but I need to see some consistency from him before putting him in the starting XI. Although I do kinda like the idea of Tino as Gallardo's chief backup as CAM. Would be interesting to see how he performs in that role.

Posted by: DCUMD | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Harbour View didn't make the tactical change to the high offside trap til after the second goal but these tactics did have a large effect on the game thereafter contributing to our goals.

Posted by: bluemeanies | March 19, 2008 10:09 AM
-----------------------------------------------

That makes a lot more sense -- I didn't think they went to the high trap until later, but I figured I was wrong and FSC announcers were right!

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 19, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I have a really good feeling about Peralta. Like a Ryan Nelson kind of feeling. I think he is gonna be awesome.

Posted by: Seth|DCU | March 19, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

When I used to write a soccer column for the old Journal Newspapers, I interviewed Eddie Pope on the flat back four and the challenges of defending against speedy forwards who could get behind Pope and Llamosa.

He said a crucial element is the midfield -- the four midfielders MUST put heavy pressure on the opponent's midfielders, forcing their eyes down on the ball so they can't see the space to thread the through pass, and so they're more worried about maintaining possession than generating an attack.

He said good defending from the midfield (this was Harkes, Williams, Etch and Brian ? at the time) made the attacking midfielders go backward. Once the ball went backward, Pope and Co. would push forward more to squeeze the space.

Not a sermon, just a thought...

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 19, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

okay, an over-statement about the Visas, because you are right even the Jamaicans seem to be saying the interviews conducted by the US embassy provided reasonable cause for Visa denial. But still...

To me a worse stadium embarrassment than the big holes behind the goals is the empty sections of seats, lots of them. I try to make the international games, could not this time (I have an excuse, I live a 2+ hour drive away). But in good weather the attendance was only 12k+ in a 40k seat stadium. On TV it looked like the only fans there were Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles.

blah blah... still the point is on the field.

Eleven Ben Olsens guys. Great to see.

The team played well as a team, especially pressuring on defense all over the field. That to me was the highlight. Players kept going full-steam when a call did not get made. Worked in packs to take the ball away but still marked everyone they had to mark. Didn't give Zack Wells anything to do except make routine saves right at him with no poachy rebound threats. Spread the ball out on attack, took their opportunities where they could, had a lot of movment going on even if they tried too hard sometimes to put the killer pass thru.

The first/second half difference, to me, was less in possession and work rate or movment on offense than in HVFC being caught out of position. It was a real solid 90 minutes from DCU I think. Yeah I had the lurking feeling early that we could find a way to give up an equalizer, but that was based on past experience not on what was going on on the field _this_ game.

Second MoM after Fred - Dwayne Miller. Game would have been much much worse for them after they starting throwing everyone forward except for real pressure saves.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Is the lack of stripes across the front of the new jersey's in preparation for a sponsorship? What news of this, Sir Goff?

Posted by: Papa | March 19, 2008 02:01 AM
______________________________________

Per Chang in the Barra lot last night: don't buy the new jersey just yet.

Posted by: Jason | March 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Joe Doc: insightful. It is those fine details that even rabid fans miss (me!).

Posted by: RK | March 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, wait to buy a jersey that had some company's logo on it. Yuck.

BTW, what was the attendance last night?

Posted by: RK | March 19, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

DC United is now up to a minimum of 44 matches this season (4 CCC, 1 USOC, 3 SuperLiga, 6 CCL, 30 MLS).

Using the first week of June as a holder for USOC, United has matches every 5.4 days now.

From 13 September to the end of the MLS/CCL (29 October) United plays a match every 3/4 days.

If there was EVER a time to build some serious depth in our roster/make sure our reserves are worth a snuff - now is the time.

Posted by: Schedule | March 19, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

One for the supporters clubs borrowed from the very loud West Ham fans on the Metro last night...

Franco Neill, Ohh Ahh Ohh
Franco Neill, Ohh Ahh Ohh
He's only 5 foot 4
He'll break your f'in jaw...

Franco Neill, Ohh Ahh Ohh

Posted by: TheCoreSpeaks | March 19, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

*Here is a better song for Niell, if you can re-work it a bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuHbLs2zcDw

*WNT Oly camp starts this week, Pia called in 26, including Heather Mitts.

http://www.ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_5701637.html

Posted by: WNT fan | March 19, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

He said good defending from the midfield (this was Harkes, Williams, Etch and Brian ? at the time) made the attacking midfielders go backward. Once the ball went backward, Pope and Co. would push forward more to squeeze the space.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 19, 2008 10:29 AM
-------------------------------------------
A well taken thought, though I think that no one would mistake Marco or Harkes (at that point in his career) as being more than an occaisional defender. Pope's point does illustrate what made Richie Williams the unsung hero that he was, and also what made the contributions of Tony Sanneh so important. While comparing Clyde Simms to Williams is a bit of a reach, Simms has improved by leaps and bounds the last year or so, and has become a key cog in clogging the midfield. When healthy, Bennie is probably a better overall defender than Sanneh was, though not the physical prescence (viz-a-viz height). I think that is basically a wash, which is why I made the comparison I made earlier. I'd be really interested in your thoughts, Joe Doc. I'll read tonight. Have a good day.

Posted by: Throwin | March 19, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

BTW, what was the attendance last night?

Posted by: RK | March 19, 2008 10:48 AM
========================================

Somewhat over 12K, as Goff reported in the dead-tree version of the Post (see link above).

Posted by: tri-village | March 19, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad DCU finally has signed an Irishman. [brogue]Sure, an we've been waiting patiently for ye all of these lonely years, Frank O'Niell![/brogue]

Posted by: Winoman | March 19, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Nice performance as has been repeatedly stated.

Seems like the Gonzalo's were having some communication issues with Zach. There were a few times (after rare HV forays into our 1/3rd) in the second half that one Gonzalo would be standing at the 18 yard line making some crazy hand signals to Zach.

Zach best learn some Spanish, cuz I wouldn't want to mess with Thor or Martinez

Posted by: delantero | March 19, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

One thng that struck me about the Gonzalos last night is that their styles of play complement each other very well. Martinez is more aggressive and steps up to challenge attackers, and Peralta is there to mop up anything that gets by. And they both appear very calm and collected with the ball at their feet, something that didn't seem to be too common with DC's defnse last year.

Posted by: Kenobi | March 19, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I gotta say, after seeing that game in person, I think Peralta's gonna be one of the best defenders in MLS this year. He was strong, smart, skilled, and extremely composed. Just an absolute gem of a pickup by the DCU front office.

Also, if Quaranta keeps playing like he did against Harbor View, he'll be the steal of the century. He gives us a strong, athletic, and very skilled attacking option at either the forward or right wing positions.

Both of these guys were very impressive physically, and played with a lot of confidence. Unless Harbor View is an absolutely horrible team, we could be in for something special this year!

Posted by: jrnail23 | March 19, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice QPR link Steve

Posted by: UUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRss! | March 19, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Amplifying my comments from last night, after watching replay on TV -- only because I think it's funny how people can see entirely different games -- witness the love for Tino, and Erick's bizarre assault on Fred.

I think Tino and Luci looked a lot better on TV than they did live. I give Luci props for his goals, but he could have done more with other situations. He was not in midseason form. Unfortunately, the one time he really beat the offside trap, the officials blew it and called him off -- he started his run before the pass, but was still onsides, when the ball was sent his way. That would have been his best play of the night.

Tino got tied up in front of the goalie on his first touch, but he did have some decent touches. He was carelessly and flagrantly offsides on one jailbreak rush. Still, with his size, he gives an option that Niell can't provide. He looked awfully raw, but there's time to grow.

Fred was a non-entity for the first 10-15 minutes, but he did make some good runs in the first half. In the second half, he was absolutely stellar. Scored on his best look, but almost put in a nifty half bicycle volley, too. His runs and his distribution on the break were phenomenal. If he can keep that up, we won't miss Gomito, and we can survive Jaime's tender hammy.

Simms was amazing on D, and a little frantic and scary with the ball, as always. Burch is getting too much love. For all his touches, he only had one or two that were productive. I've seen him do better.

Gallardo showed massive skills, with a ball over the D to Fred early on, and that volley shot. He lacks Gomito's size, so this will be a different offense -- but he seems much fitter, and perhaps more talented. Gallardo and Fred are quite adept with the ball at their feet, and at bringing down balls in the air. Peralta also showed great skill in controlling balls in the air, while Martinez showed he's very strong on the dribble. Both were strong on defense.

Niell will be VERY sore, but he's strong on the dribble, and he will draw fouls. Wish he was more convincing with his shots.

I wonder about Wells. He seems very confident. What he seems to lack is Perkins' acrobatics, and maybe a strong vertical leap. Though a number of shots went over the bar, he didn't seem to get high enough to parry them had they been on net. Still, I think he may yet prove to be a net gain in goal.

Much props to McTavish. He looked very threatening on the flank -- at least, when he didn't have the ball.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

You sumned up the Fred situation very well. In the first half he was very tentative and wasn't taking it to the flanks which is what a winger does. I think the main reason he played well in the second half though was because HV's defense was becoming tired which opened up room on the flanks to move. He needs to stop taing it to the middle so much though and play his role which is going to the flanks and crossing
-----------------------------------------
Hmmm...
See, me, I kinda figure best to structure the tactics around the strengths of the players, "total football" like, rather than saying we have a 4-4-2 and such-and-such must do it this way.

Fred is not a great pure winger. Wasn't last year, wasn't last night. Actually he is too skilled on the ball and too willing to keep his head in heavy traffic. He is at his _best_ when he takes the ball into the middle in traffic, provided he keeps his eyes up and sees someone in the clear when the opposition inevitably collapses on him (okay, not something he always does unless that guy in the clear is Luc - though the last couple games he seems to mix it switching off with Marc Burch along the touchline pretty well too). He is quick, but not blazingly fast. His crossing is not the strength his dribbling and short touch passing are. He has too much flair to be purely a classical winger.

And when he comes in, some one else has to cross over and provide the touchline threat into the corners to keep the D spread thin. Largely, we did that. Another case of good teamwork. Together with the DCU D, I was really impressed, obviously. Hopefully thay can play as a team like that when the competition gets a lot tougher.

But Fred will certainly do in that spot(!), to the degree he did last night. And his ability when he does find the right deflection or whatever, and his determination to keep trying to do so, means he will pick up plenty of assists in that role. Especially if like last night he keeps playing thru fouls and comes back for some defense.

That is how I look at it anyway. However flawed.

Anyone notice Gallardo's nice corner kicks? Man, that looks to me like some sweet touch.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought Peralta deserved an 8 for his organization and positioning. Not that Jamaica's attack was even close to dynamic, but that shouldn't be held against him. He was solid and clearly an improvement over our inexperienced crew from last year.

Posted by: jolly good | March 19, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

People are obviously missing the most important thing about last night. Are they going to keep the MLS Cup 2007 graphic on the stadium clock? More importantly, is the time going to be corrected(DST)?

Posted by: sitruc | March 19, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad DCU finally has signed an Irishman. [brogue]Sure, an we've been waiting patiently for ye all of these lonely years, Frank O'Niell![/brogue]

----------------------------
Yeah... I want to start a fan club... gotta make a tee shirt to wear to the games and make even more of a fool out of myself!

But can't decide between that or cheering for the "Gonzolo brothers"!

decisions, decisions...

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

RFK is a frigin dump. I know they didn't open up anything yesterday because of the small crowd, but it really is a wasteland now for the consumer. The field looks great, but outside of that, the place is a total sh*thouse.

Posted by: Hoost | March 19, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Now for the important stuff: Concessions. While United rates about a 7 for the team's performance, the concessions were about a 1 -- certainly no better than a 2.

I realize this was pre-season. It was the about the same in previous years. I saw two Heineken/Dos Equis stands on the Barra side. I might have missed any beer concessionaire on the other. Red, Hot & Blue stand seemed to be reserved for private group. There were no sausuge grills. The only solid food seemed to be at the walk-up counters. Lines were too slow all around. I never got food, and had to abandon my pre-game beer wait to watch the game. I did manage to get a Dos Equis at the half, but it still took far too long.

My question is what can we expect when the season starts?

I noted that Ovations replaced Aramark -- not just at Nationals park, but at RFK, too. Will we see anything like what we had last year, with fresh grilled sausages and hot dogs, and Red, Hot and Blue BBQ? Or, are we doomed to the steamed dogs and "chicken" tenders at the counters? Is there any chance we might even see better than in the past, as with the upgrades for the Nationals?

Goffer -- I know you're busy, but can you get on this? The Post Food section ran a piece on all the concession choices at the Nationals new digs. What will United fans be stuck with, now that we're the only tenants at RFK?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 19, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

FrankONealsIrishArmy, "the Gonzolo Brothers", I love it and I hope it sticks.

asitis

Posted by: asitis | March 19, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, I was there last year in the monsoon and the pickins were pretty thin at Estadio RFK during the Olimpia game (figure same time etc) and much, much better after "the season" got going - geesh hard to believe the folks in charge of it see it that way but given the inevitable increase in attendnace we will see in a few weeks guess you can not blame them.

Man, I was kind of nervous going into this year... suddenly did not know who half the players were... a DP signing I must admit I had never even heard of... but you know if they hang together and play hard like they did, I will be proud of them win lose or draw because I think we really need to keep that work ethic and team play.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

DC United is now up to a minimum of 44 matches this season (4 CCC, 1 USOC, 3 SuperLiga, 6 CCL, 30 MLS).

Using the first week of June as a holder for USOC, United has matches every 5.4 days now.

From 13 September to the end of the MLS/CCL (29 October) United plays a match every 3/4 days.

If there was EVER a time to build some serious depth in our roster/make sure our reserves are worth a snuff - now is the time.

Posted by: Schedule | March 19, 2008 10:49 AM

You are wrong. I have papers on my desk from important people that show DC only plays 15 games a season.

As evident by the 12K fans last night nobody in DC cares about soccer which is why the gov't should never pay for infrastructure work at Poplar Point.

Posted by: Rawer Fisher | March 19, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I would just like to add from the two games I've seen Marcelo Gallardo did not come here just to dog it. He takes this very seriously and that is a very good sign.

Did anybody notice that in the first five minutes Stewart took a neck shot at him and Simms and Fred were in his face immediately? It was Peralta who pulled them out and calmed them down. I like all of that. The protectiveness from midfielders and the level headed leadership of our centerbacks

Posted by: DCAustinite | March 19, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

""If there was EVER a time to build some serious depth in our roster/make sure our reserves are worth a snuff - now is the time.""

Uh, I think they've already done that. We had two injured regulars in Jaime and Ben, but McTavish and Niell performed very well in their place. Then we were still able to bring in Tino, Dyachenko and Mediate to finish them off.

We could just have easily used Kirk or Stratford in other spots. Jeff Carroll is in unknown to me, but Kpene, Cezar, Curtin, Moose weren't even on the game day roster.

Those players should fill in nicely for the league matches in July and August when we start to feel it in the legs.

Posted by: delantero | March 19, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It almost seems like more of a diamond-back 4, with Peralta sweeping and Martinez at stopper. Which is a bit odd when you also have a d-mid... But hey, if it works, don't change it.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 19, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love the Barra. Those dudes stand in line to buy beers and when United scores they go flying in the air.

Posted by: RowdyRoddyPiper | March 19, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

03/29: @ KC Wizards
04/01-02: @ CCC Semifinalists
04/05: Toronto FC
04/08-09: CCC Semifinalists

Tight schedule = back to business as usual for DC UNITED!!!:D

Posted by: BigWave | March 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"(this was Harkes, Williams, Etch and Brian ? at the time)"

Kamler - the Phantom of the Opera.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Although I do kinda like the idea of Tino as Gallardo's chief backup as CAM. Would be interesting to see how he performs in that role.
-------------------------------
I prefer Fred into CAM and Tino sliding out on the wing, but no idea if Tino can play on the left. Anyone?

I am sure over the course of the tough season ahead we will see this have to happen in a few games at some point, but Gallardo is growing on me so hopefully not too often.

And you know, you are right, the depth looks real good as long as we get Ben back at some point.

Also... Luc had a couple good plays early too. The one where he got thru on the lob from Gallardo... nice, but the ball just didn't fall quite right (and, truthfully Dwayne Miller looked good all game for a keeper that gave up 5 goals)... still I credit him for being there and getting a decent foot on the ball, given that at _some_ point he actualy did put a couple in the back of the net. Hey, not everyone can score goals like Devon McTavish!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"(this was Harkes, Williams, Etch and Brian ? at the time)"

Kamler - the Phantom of the Opera.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 01:23 PM
=========================================

Maessner was in the mix, too.

Posted by: tri-village | March 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

On a non-DCU subject: I guess it's encouraging to read such a flattering report of Pickens' play, but he's playing in the reserves for a team in the Championship. Is that really a big step-up from the MLS? I'm sure even the Wizards draw much bigger crowds. He's only got a deal to the end of the season. I'm not sure this is working out for him.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 19, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Maessner was in the nix. But I was filling in the "Brian ?" blank. Vaudreil, Peay, Iroha, Sanneh and a number of non-Brians were mix.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Can we have the sound people play a clip of "You're Beautiful" every time Emilio scores?

Posted by: Emilio's Music | March 19, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ Throwin, RK and AlecW81:

It'll be interesting to see how United's four defenders play tactically this season. I agree with you, AlecW81, I saw a lot of diamond shape last night, particularly when one of the outside backs had the ball. Good balance. What I don't know is the speed of our new center backs. We know Namoff has some quickness, but that's it for me.

As for Etch and defending -- two words not often used in the same sentence. But I remember he did come back and nail some guys at times. When he wanted to, he could track guys down.

And I agree about Williams. There probably wasn't a more hated player among opposing fans than Richie. To me, what made him stand out was he was technically strong, and he was a better passer than many realize. And he defined "holding midfielder." It takes a team-oriented player to play that position -- the temptation to make a forward run into open space can be overwhelming, one would think! Williams may have done that once a game; otherwise, he supported Etch well. A great duo.

Like many of our Insider colleagues, I feel good about our defense based on what I've seen. And I feel condfident Simms will hold his end of the bargain.

Anyone get a sense of Wells' ability to organize the guys in front of him?

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 19, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Mario Gori!

Posted by: RK | March 19, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Kamler!

Thank you, I-270, Exit 1.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 19, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If you were watching Martinez' late second-half rush down the right side -- he showed some fast legs, even if his finish wound up off the mark.

He did get schooled once in the second half, allowing his man to dribble past him, but he's not shy about challenging people from behind. Peralta got beat once in the air, but was very solid all around. I think this year, our defense will be a constant source of strength, even when our offense suffers through a cold stretch or two.

Make your reservations for LA in November....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Memories:

Richie Williams scoring the first goal against Miami in their debut. Because this match was held a week or two before the rest of the league openers, Richie Williams was briefly tied for the scoring lead in MLS.

Mario Gori sneaking up behind a clueless Kevin Hartman, poking the ball away, and scoring.

Etch. Never retaliated immediately. He waited until later in the match and then nailed the opposing player - hard. Avoided the yellow card for retaliation, but got his revenge.

To emulate the inimitable Joe Doc:

These are
These are days you'll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You'll know it's true
That you - you are blessed and lucky
It's true - that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Joe Doc, go back and check the game from Jamaica last week if you can... I remeber a couple times at least when Burch or Namoff were playing forward and one or the other of the Gonzolo brothers ran hard onto high balls into the corner, and beat out a winger or at least jammed him without letting him slip past.

Last night was not so much that as being able to take chances up the field or pressing and still not being beaten over the top down the middle. But much harder to tell just because the entire team defense worked so well in that game that HV was only getting occassional chances to really look down the field and play to runners.

Not positive but I am thinking that means they were fast enough, against this team (and I do not think HVFC is considered to be short on speed), fresh now at the start of the season. Does it? Hopefully the speed remains after the little bumps and bruises of 40 games. But I am confident looking forward in that regard.

Posted by: FrankONealsIrishArmy | March 19, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that makes me "inimitable," I-270, Exit 1, is the fact that I had to look that word up in the dictionary.

:-)

Great observations, my Irish brother, about the speed in the back. I truly didn't have a sense, but feel better now!

I think a hallmark of the 90s United teams was the pressure defending team-wide. I think Arena demanded it, and it was missing in the Rongen and Hudson years.

Watching Harkes coach his youth teams, I see the same thing. His boys and girls teams really compact the field when they don't have the ball.

Enough from me today. I'm hogging space, and I ought to get some work done! Cheers, my friends.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 19, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Since Marc Fisher is such a fan of soccer, maybe Barra Brava could get together and put together a full size image of Fisher and strip off a piece every time DC United has a home game with more than 15,000 people...just like Major League.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 19, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Where is the coverage in the Post? I went to buy the paper on the street,just to waste 50 cents on Mondays issue. They had not put Wednesdays in the box. So logging on, I see almost found no mention of the game, the win. That's criminal! Steve Goff, please impress upon your editors that DC United deserve more coverage, please. It is the driving force on me buying your paper or logging on. Not to mention that they are consistently the best story in local sports. Regarding last nights game: from a fans perspective, they looked like they are better than ever. Looks like it's going to be a fun season.

Posted by: quasicritic | March 19, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

And for the poster who wrote that Tino looked just the same as he had for the last four years, "lost and ineffective on a futbol pitch," just what match did he watch? Certainly not the one at RFK last night. I sense that you are one who loves to swim against the tide, but that "observation" was wrong - totally, completely, wrong.

Posted by: Hedbal | March 19, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I have both the dead tree version of the Post and online version and there's a story on last nights game prominently displayed.

Posted by: HUH? | March 19, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

As for the poster (unsigned) who said of Quaranta: "he looked the same as he had for the past four years, lost and ineffective on a futbol pitch," you, sir, are wrong - dead wrong. I can tell that you love swimming against the tide, but you will have a lot of trouble selling that "observation" to anyone who was at the match.

Posted by: Hedbal | March 19, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who made it to the new team gear store... how is it? Anything there that you can't get online at the other MLS shops?? Anybody know if the United gear store will set up its own online store (as a couple other teams are trying)?

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | March 19, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Where oh where is Mastodon Juan to "bear witness" on all the self-congratulatory backslapping going among the DC faithful?

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 19, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Where oh where is Mastodon Juan to "bear witness" on all the self-congratulatory backslapping going among the DC faithful?

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 19, 2008 04:47 PM
=====================

Right now he is meeting with his Congressman to launch an investigation into the visa denials by the State department, which is headquartered in WASHINGTON, DC! Isn't the conspiracy obvious?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Right now he is meeting with his Congressman to launch an investigation into the visa denials by the State department, which is headquartered in WASHINGTON, DC! Isn't the conspiracy obvious?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 19, 2008 05:04 PM
==========================================

Actually, to judge from the previous thread, he is justifiably pleased that the prediction he offered us on Monday afternoon was correct (apart from predicting a three-goal margin, rather than five goals).

Posted by: tri-village | March 19, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

WHO WAS THE CAPTAIN FOR DCU VS. HARBOR VIEW???

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 19, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo was the captain to start. When he sub'ed out I think the armband went to Emilio if I remember correctly.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | March 19, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU, UNITEDFANINTX!!!

now that I (finally) know, may I just say I find it funny that our captain was a guy who has been with us for about five seconds?

:)

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 19, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Glad to help. It is funny, but I guess one earns some respect immediatey when wearing #10. I wonder who would have had the captain's band if Moreno or Olsen were on the field? Did Moreno have it before he went out in Jamaica? I am guessing he did. Well, Gallardo is starting out well, so hopefully he will truly earn it while wearing the United badge soon.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | March 20, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

What's the deal with United's new kits? there ugly and so boring and plan. Are they waiting for a sponsor logo on the front or something? I'd love it if they brought more red back into the kit design.

Posted by: drew | March 20, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

It is funny, but I guess one earns some respect immediate[l]y when wearing #10. I wonder who would have had the captain's band if Moreno or Olsen were on the field?
_________________

True about #10. I guess that's why I've played so well this season. ;)

Moreno definitely would have had it, no question. We all love Benny but really, Jaime wins.

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 20, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

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