Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

DCU-Pachuca Aftermath

United wins the match, but loses the series. Ain't football cruel?

The late goals by Rod Dyachenko and Franco Niell were nice and kept United unbeaten at home against Mexican competition, but the missed opportunities in the first 85 minutes, combined with Damian Alvarez's strike, doomed United's effort. If you ask Tom Soehn and the players -- and, of course, we did -- the referee had something to do with it. Read all about it here. You won't regret it. Soehn also took a jab at The Commish! Me-ow.

Player ratings: Wells 6; Namoff 7, Peralta 6, Martinez 7; McTavish 6, Simms 7, Gallardo 6, Fred 7, Moreno 6; Quaranta 5, Emilio 4. Subs: Burch 6, Dyachenko 6, Niell 6.

While DCU was upset about the non-call involving Fred early in the second half, Emilio acknowledged that the tackle on him in the box in the first half was NOT a penalty. "On those types of plays, he got a piece of the ball first,and when a defender gets the ball first and then touches the player, I don't think that's a PK."

On the missed opportunities by Emilio, Soehn said: "It happens. We had other chances as well. Sometimes you get in streaks where you are scoring and sometimes you don't. We had some really clear chances that we failed to put away and they came back to bite us."

Next up: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. After tonight's "defeat," can this club regroup emotionally and physically on short notice?

If you were wondering about the attendance figures at RFK, Nationals Park and Verizon Center, the numbers are in:

Marlins-Nationals -- 23,340
Celtics-Wizards -- 20,173
Pachuca-United -- 17,329

By Steve Goff  |  April 10, 2008; 1:08 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Guevara to Toronto
Next: Revolution Revelations

Comments

Is there anywhere to find the highlights? It would really nice if the DCU site would post international match highlights as well.

Posted by: Dan | April 10, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Estimado Sr Goff,

Your linked article calls the ref "Jose Aguilar," but isn't his name really Joel (Joel Antonio Aguilar Chicas)?

In any case, he seems like a bad one, even by Concacaf standards.


Posted by: franz goffka | April 10, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Awesome news on attendance. Even on a weeknight non-league game you guys can hold your own with the best in the city. Sucks that the Nationals got a stadium before you guys.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | April 10, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Garber does seem out of line--or at least toeing the line--with those comments. But, to be fair, the article seems to call him out: "For all the importance it places on international competitions such as the Concacaf tournament, Copa Sudamericana and Superliga, MLS has yet to expand its rosters sufficiently so its teams can compete against top-level regional squads, many of whom stock 25-man rosters and pay several multiples of the $2.2 million salary cap." Of course, I think we know who claims a significant portion of the blame for that particular deficiency. With those comments coming from a guy who seems to think that splashing out on millionaire soon-to-be-pensioners will attract a core audience, I'm not impressed by The Don calling out DC for failing to beat a better side away from home early in our season.

That said, I'm not impressed with DC, either. Being geographically cable-impaired, I've only seen a couple games so far this season, but based on these results, Gallardo needs to improve a lot to justify his purchase; Wells is not an adequate replacement for (a sometimes-shaky, but usually very good) Perkins; and Emilio needs to figure out what's up and find his form. Soon. Moreno is too old and fragile to be the heart of this team. Which reminds me--- we need Benny back.

Posted by: longfellow | April 10, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

here we go: i dont know if this accurately portrays the match, but it's better than what DCU's website can offer. (nothing)

http://www.tuzostv.com/home.php?vId=656

Posted by: STEP _IT_UP_GALLARDO | April 10, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

How many pesos does it take to pay off a CONCACAF ref?

Posted by: Carmen San Diego | April 10, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm interested to see this upcoming DCU v RSL match. RSL has played decent for the most part in their two opening matches, but they still show signs of not being on the same page. DC doesn't have quite as many new faces but seems to be jelling quite quickly with the additions that they do have.

I'd say DC is the overwhelming favorite, but RSL has done well against them at home, and DC could have a tough time rebounding from Pachuca as you pointed out. This could be an interesting match.

Posted by: realslfan | April 10, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

I know this match falls under the realm of CONCACAF, but in Sohen's case, is he still libel for getting fined for "criticizing" the league's front office/league officials?

Posted by: James | April 10, 2008 5:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one who likes it when people blame the ref after a loss or focus on anyone but themselves, but I have to admitt that I think that Tom Soehn is right to be mad at Garber for his comments about DCs first leg in Pachuca. DC has to go down there before they have played a regular season game, a mile and a half above sea level and Don Garber is complaining about how well they did? He should be thanking his lucky stars that they didn't get butchered under those circumstances. Garber was trying to distance himself from his own shortcoming of allowing for DC to be put in that position and Soehn correctly called him on it.

Having said that, the better team won. Great effort by DC. Pachuca is just a better team.

Posted by: highlander | April 10, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Er, on a positive note, Dyachenko and Niell scored and we continue to be undefeated against Mexican teams at home. Had to find something positive to say

Posted by: Kire | April 10, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Goff,
Per your observation yesterday - obviously, a larger payroll would net better players for MLS teams and allow them to better compete internationally. Do you feel the league and team owners are financially capable of supporting this at this time?

Posted by: Kire | April 10, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

As THE most-read soccer blog, I really think that your blog should be "above the fold." Just one fan's opinion . . .

Posted by: Sparky G | April 10, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Couple things:

1. That was a legit 17.3K at RFK last night. I doubt the Nats can claim the same.

2. Longfellow, I'm puzzled by your (and others) assessment of Gallardo. I thought he was quite good last night. What was sorely lacking was a legitimate threat up top. Emilio was VERY mediocre last night. Take a look at the one sequence in which Emilio was fed the ball right in front of the goal, only to fumble away the opportunity and have Pachuca clear. That was a game changing moment. Gallardo was instrumental in several very dangerous moments, but of course our forwards or flank players completely blew them.

Posted by: Hoost | April 10, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's me, but I don't understand all the fuss over Garber's statement. United didn't play that great last week at Pachucha and he simply conveyed that observation. Maybe it was smart for Soehn to act as if their own commissioner threw DC United under the bus, but I find nothing wrong with Garber's statement.

That said, his role in league policies that prevent teams like DCU from competing better in these international competitions is open to criticism.

Posted by: J | April 10, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I have to echo Hoost's comments; I think Gallardo was amazing for us last night. The man was all over the field, side to side, front to back. His touch is silky smooth, and it is very, very difficult to dispossess him. He set up a ton of very good offensive situations and was working very hard on defense too.

Frankly, as disappointed and furious about the result as I am, I think with a night's sleep to reflect, it actually leaves me more optimistic than anything. The team really did play outstanding, and if we can put together that type of performance against MLS competition on a regular basis, we'll win a lot of games.

Posted by: Leaky123 | April 10, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

United showed more "bottle" (heart/huevos) last night than I have seen in a long, long time. They got stuck in and showed well.

That being said, whine about the ref all you want (paging Arsene Wenger...). That fact is that Emilio's wasted chances in the six cost them the game.

I hammered Emilio for the same problem last season, which I though cost them heavily in the Chicago-playoff. I was lambasted as an idiot, etc., etc. He is merely doing what he did last season. Yes, he bagged a mess of goals last season, but he missed bags as well. Too many touches, too much time. He is not clinical. He is not ruthless. I loved Sullivan's compare-contrast between Gallardo and Emilio - it was spot on. Gallardo takes that first touch, saving that half-second. Emilio takes that extra half-second and gets shut down, or get enough pressure that his shot get altered or disrupted. (This was a big problem because aside from dead balls, Emilio was the only guy who could score.)

Anyway, for the guys who played WELL, it was really refreshing to see them clicking and consistently pressing the attack against a faster more technical opponent. The effort put forth by that three-man backline was superhuman. If they play like that against MLS sides, they should steamroll - even with Emilio's missed chances.

Posted by: Erick | April 10, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

sorry everyone but Garber was spot on. DC talks about being a regional super team yet they fell apart in Mexico and fell apart in Jamaica. Maybe as the new players get into the flow of the team the team might be able to be considered a threat outside of the MLS - but not yet.

Posted by: bobf | April 10, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Hoost - you are too kind to emillio - point blank and he misses in a huge game like that - pathetic.

Max on FSC said it the best "that is why Rooney, Tevez and Drogba get the money they do - they do not miss in huge games".

Posted by: bobf | April 10, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Garber can shove it, and so can the ref.

Posted by: Reston, Va. | April 10, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Get Emelio out of there, I rather see some rookie (20k per year) kill his behind to earn a spot rather than a individualist (350K) doing nothing.....get a new coach too.

Posted by: Ashamed fan | April 10, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

All these international competitions are nice, I guess, but they really don't mean a toot to me. My feeling is that we need to mind our own house, MLS. Yes, yes, I know we get "stature" and "respect" and blah blah blah from these tournaments....but not really.

What do we really think these tournaments can provide to us? New fans in Latin America? Seriously?

You win new fans, and keep the ones you have, by winning domestic championships, period. Houston, anyone? Look at the crowds down there. They've built it in what, 5 years? It's because they hoist the iron.

No, what these tournaments really are (to MLS clubs and fans, anyway) are an annual opportunity for us to try to get the inferiority complex chip off our shoulder. We think that if we can just win in Mexico, just win against a European club, that the Europeans will finally take us seriously. When they won't. Ever.

When are we going to stop being such a bunch of insecure Europhiles and just enjoy what we have? We've got a good little league going on. Stop wetting the bed about when we'll be invited to the next party. Enjoy the one we've got going.

I, for one, am happy we can now concentrate on the real goal, the Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup. I would also like to see us lift the US Open Cup as well. A nifty little treble would look awfully nice in the trophy case.

Posted by: grotus | April 10, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

There is now way we can put the blame on Gallardo last night, most of the night he was being shadowed by a load of pachuca players and when he did have space he set up plenty of chances. His freekick again left us wanting more but other than that, I'm satisfied with Gallardo's play. I wish we could bench Emilio for a couple games but unfortunetly we don't have enough depth to do that. For every goal we get from Emilio he misses 10 clear opportunities. He had several yesterday that were every strikers dream than he disapeared in the last 25 minutes. I also think Moreno was not healthy enough to start the game, he would have been better off the bench. (Jimenez in one play just torched Moreno from the top of his penalty box all the way to DC's Penalty box...left Moreno at about midfield! Reminded me of when while playing for Bolivia Moreno burned Agoos in the U.S. Cup 96 game here at RFK where DC first saw Moreno)

Posted by: Arlington | April 10, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Really Steve?....You gave Namoff a 7 after he was ball watching rather than marking on the Pachuca goal?

Posted by: BillyBob | April 10, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I give credit to Pachuca. They are a great team in this hemisphere and there's not much else that can be said. I wish them all the luck in taking the last CCC.

Our finishing touch is leaving a lot to be desired right now - but the good news is that now we have a solid stretch to focus on getting results in the league and that starts this weekend in Salt Lake and on their MISERABLE turf (thankfully the last time we'll EVER play on it).

In the next five weeks we should take no less than 12 out of 15 points (@RSL, Crew, RSL, @Rapids, Chicago).

We have plenty of time to gel and mature as a group for SuperLiga and Champions League.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 10, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Totally called that result, sad to say.

What I was really impressed by last night was the pace of the attack. If United can keep that up against domestic opponents, they're going to put up a lot of points this year.

That said- I'm not in the anti-Emilio camp, but he needs to get into form this year. I accept that he's not a deep penetration-type striker, but if he's going to poach, then he needs to finish when he's 10 feet in front of the net. The missed chance off of that McTavish cross in the first half was ridiculous.

Posted by: Matt in Silver Spring | April 10, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Marlins-Nationals -- 23,340 - Nats lost bad
Celtics-Wizards -- 20,173 - Wiz lost bad
Pachuca-United -- 17,329 - United "lost"

At least we were at the game for the team that lost the "least" :-)

I have never seen a DC backline as great as this one. Every game these guys are getting better and are working the ball to each other with more ease. I think the combo of Wells, Martinez, Peralta, Namoff and McTavish along with great support from Simms gives us the best back line in the league.

Great game last night by DC and it was a complete reversal from the last game where we looked lost. I think a huge part of that has to do with having Moreno back in the game. He puts order on the field and had some great feeds to Emilio last night.


Also good beer is back...and the money in my wallet is gone.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 10, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Champions League - With the first set of knock-out games to begin the last week of February, should we advance that far, will our pre-season start in Mid January at that point?

If so - might not be a bad time to take off for Germany or Spain and try to play some of our Bundesliga partners or Spanish friends over there to get some competitive fight in us.

Steven - how will MLS and the Player's Union handle basically a 1 3/4 month off season for an MLS team that were to play for MLS Cup on November 23 and then have to play a CCL game on Feb. 24? That would put pre-season beginning around Jan. 11 - that's 48 days from MLS Cup.


HACK THE PLAYOFFS! Single TABLE! One CHAMPION

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 10, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I read Garber's quote in Soccer America and was suprised. I didn't think he actually watched the games. He always seems so busy creating "truly historic occasions".

If he could get the schedule right, we wouldn't be playing our 4th competitive match at 8,000 feet. Then we would have a better chance.

Posted by: Tommie | April 10, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Marlins-Nationals -- 23,340 - Nats lost bad
Celtics-Wizards -- 20,173 - Wiz lost bad
Pachuca-United -- 17,329 - United "lost"

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 10, 2008 8:18 AM

WIZARDS WON 109-95

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Twas not hard to see that Emilio's inability to finish scoring chances was a major factor in the loss. One goal ahead and the house starts rocking and the second goal is almost inevitable. I don't have a tape replay, but if memory serves correctly, the counterattack that led to the Pachuca goal started with an errant Emilio pass back in the offensive third. They came fast on the break and punished us with numbers, and crisp passes, and a clinical finish. But let's not blame Emilio entirely. Many (most) United players struggled in that last third. Either the cross was poor, the pass was errant, or the critical first (or finishing) touch was not up to the level needed for a match of this caliber. Until the last 5 minutes, Pachuca played with confidence and poise. The scoring chances that they created were frequent and threatening.

Despite the setback, the match displayed a higher level than a typical MLS match. When United rise to that level, better things will happen.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | April 10, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Um Southeasterner...the Wizards beat the Celtics (quite soundly) for the third time this year. I'm no NBA fan, but the Wizards have a solid fan base and are a decent team.

By the way, I love the way Fred is really coming into his own on this team. Both of his setups were perfect...

Posted by: DE | April 10, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone provide a link to Garber's comments? For all of this discussion, I would like to see what the man actually said. Thanks.

Posted by: tmc | April 10, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

What happened to KC?

How did this KC team lose to the Revs who were missing all of their stars?

Posted by: Upset | April 10, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

What the hell happened to Houston!?!?!?! 3-0 loss to Saprissa! I knew Saprissa was good but I didn't know Houston was bad...although they did have some players out.

Posted by: NoMLSinJAPAN | April 10, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Um Southeasterner...the Wizards beat the Celtics (quite soundly) for the third time this year. I'm no NBA fan, but the Wizards have a solid fan base and are a decent team.

By the way, I love the way Fred is really coming into his own on this team. Both of his setups were perfect...

Posted by: DE | April 10, 2008 8:27 AM

Wow I saw the score and assumed they lost. Go Wizards (NBA)! Although it does look like the other Wizards lost.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 10, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

That turf at Saprissa was awful. I mean it was Giants Stadium, circa 1996 awful. The ball was skipping all over the place. It didn't help that Houston was missing both center backs (albeit, one of them was head-in-the-clouds Boswell) and lost one of the replacements in the first ten minutes. They were also without a starter on the flank (Holden) and, most importantly, their keeper (Onstad).

I didn't expect 3-0, but with that rowdy crowd and the field conditions, the loss was not a big surprise.

Posted by: DE | April 10, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I know you had 17,000 at the game but how many were pachuca fans? From what I saw and heard on TV seemed to be more Pachuca fans than DC fans. Anyone go to the game who can tell me?

Posted by: DC fan in Tennesee | April 10, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Here's what Garber said, per Goff's print story:

"For this league to win over the core audience, we've got to be able to be among the best clubs in North America. [True.] D.C. United talks about their goal is to win a spot in the World Club Championship. [True] They want to be the best team in the region. [True] They really struggled the other night" at Pachuca. [True]

Coach should quit whining about the refs and the commish and the altitude and the multitude of other things that he can't control. And so should the supporters.

Posted by: WNT fan | April 10, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Overall, the team played well. They went after Pachuca for 90. Guys were unrelenting in their pressure. This team should compete easily with anything MLS has to offer.

Soehn answered some critics who say he plays too conservative. Starting with a 3-5-2 and getting his best 11 players on the pitch was smart. Aggressive, early, offensive subs was nice too.

United was unlucky not to notch a goal in the first half. For all of Emilio's blunders, goal scoring is a fickle beast.

More than the missed foul on Fred, I thought they were let down by an official intent on slowing down their attack. There were just some really poor calls, including a foul called in the box on Emilio (?) when the ball simply caromed off a players thigh. The defender, like a lot of Tuzos in the first 20, went down like he'd been shot.

The linesman also called a goal kick on a ball that spun off a Tuzos butt cheek. Happened right in front of me.

Sin altura, gana DC UNITED?!

Posted by: delantero | April 10, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Finally i see the goals | April 10, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Many comments about DCU lack of shooting accuracy, missed chances, etc. What about Pachuca #11? That guy makes Chris Albright look like a superstar striker. He had several chances to make Wells earn his pay and put the ball high and wide. By the way, I think a 4 for Emilio is being generous.
Martinez out wide worked. I lost count of his superb one on one tackles. I thought he and Fred were dual MOM.

Posted by: Randy | April 10, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

US/Costa Rica, Mexico/Canada in Juarez -- 22,280 (sold out)

Posted by: WNT fan | April 10, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It's one thing for a member of the media or a television critic to opine about United and their lack of success down in Pachuca. It's a completely different story when the commisioner of your league says it.

Look, we all know that what Garber said is the truth, but as a man in his position, you simply don't say things like that especially when you are in a position to help improve your teams to the point in which they can go down to Mexico and get a desirable result to get your team to the Club World Cup.

Garber and MLS simply do not have the tools necessary to have an MLS team consistently represent the region in that competition. Until MLS' can increase both the salary cap and the 18 man senior roster, MLS teams will continue to fall short.

People in glass houses.........

Posted by: A Rickey | April 10, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

grotus, these international competitions is what makes this sport great. I am waiting for the day that DC enters Libertadores and has a home and away against Boca Juniors. If you think these tournaments don't help in bringing out more fans and improving the quality of play of these teams then you are nuts...

Posted by: burke | April 10, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

MLS hates us.

Posted by: The Jim | April 10, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Coach should quit whining about the refs and the commish and the altitude and the multitude of other things that he can't control. And so should the supporters.
WNT fan
-------------------------------------------
I like coach & I love United but I gotta agree with you (but note that it's only some of the supporters that are crying about the afformentioned).

The altitude, heat, a demanding schedule, questionable officiating--those are the things that you have to deal with. "Coulda, shoulda woulda".

I guys gave everything that they had and came up short. it is disappointing after we overhauled last season's lineup so that we could succeed in exactly this type of high stage tournament--but there shouldn't be is any shame on behalf of our side. They are good. they just weren't good enough, this time given these particular set of parameters. They didn't go out like "bustas". They can hold thier heads up. Hopefully next time we get over the hurdle and win down in Mexico.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Can you ask Ben Olsen to keep Emilio away from Ben's Chili Bowl and Dunkin' Donuts?

Posted by: delantero | April 10, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

1) Who has worse turf - RSL or Saprissa? Both look bad to me.

2) Any update on that partnership with Pachuca? They seemed like a class organization to me.

3) I'm a Copa Sudamericana fan. Sad thing is I believe we qualified by virtue of last night's results (i.e. best MLS finish), but won't be able to play because of fall calendar congestion from the new Champions' League. Is that true? I hope not, but based on yesterday's threads, that seems to be the case.

Posted by: FC | April 10, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I know you had 17,000 at the game but how many were pachuca fans? From what I saw and heard on TV seemed to be more Pachuca fans than DC fans. Anyone go to the game who can tell me?

Posted by: DC fan in Tennesee | April 10, 2008 8:38 AM

Honestly I don't think there was a single Pachuca fan at RFK last night... there were a lot of mexican nationals displaying national team colors and chivas wear....but actual pachuca fans.... zippp...

Posted by: myt! | April 10, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@burke

My understanding is also that the bonuses paid to the players for these international tournament games help to supplement their meager MLS salaries so that they can actually approach a living wage in an area like DC. When Burch was on the Junkies last week, he said that the pay from these games is really important to the guys only making $33K a year.

Posted by: JB | April 10, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

DCU can hold their heads up after this game. Nothing to be ashamed of. Though Emilio did make me very angry a few times.

The Gonzalo brothers in the back are amazing. Peralta and Martinez put in a huge effort yesterday and proved that they are a cut above. The dedication and workrate from those two is impressive. Martinez has gone forward a few times and has really put teams in a bind when he has done so. I'd like to see him do it more, that could be a big ace in the hole for us. And it is good to see that when Peralta wins a ball in the back he can bring it up a bit and distribute intelligently. Gotta love it.

I thought Fred was pretty darn good last night. Lots of effort and creativity. He did great to get that cross in to Dyachenko on the first goal.

It was also good to see Niel score. I love that guy.

Posted by: bribri | April 10, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Emilio may be a "poaching" goal scorer, but he certainly doesn't look like a team player this season !! His passes are inaccurate and lazy. That cross by McTavish and the pass from Moreno should both have been goals !!! On the other hand Fred is looking better every game.

Posted by: Mike | April 10, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there was anything wrong with what Garber said, either.

Houston got their butts kicked last night, on the road. I agree with Garber -- for MLS to improve, they need to win the international tournaments. And perhaps MLS isn't ready to because they can't afford the depth.

Posted by: RK | April 10, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

here we go: i dont know if this accurately portrays the match, but it's better than what DCU's website can offer. (nothing)

http://www.tuzostv.com/home.php?vId=656

Posted by: STEP _IT_UP_GALLARDO | April 10, 2008 2:23 AM
-------------------------------------------

That's actually a decent highlights package. It doesn't show the blown call on the Fred penalty appeal, and glosses over the second half, especially the Pachuca misses on the counter, but all in all is covers the essentials.

Terrific effort from the Black and Red last night. A few thoughts:

1.) Anyone who says Gallardo was poor either didn't see the game or hasn't got a clue about football. He's still clearly getting acclinated to the team, but his possession, surprising defense and excellent passing were keys to the much improved play by United.

2.) Peralta, Martinez, Namoff and Simms were all brilliant. With a lineup geared toward attcking, they were able to hold an excellent attacking team to one goal, and that happened off an unfortunate deflection. In my eyes, either Namoff or Simms was man of the match. For all those trying to pin the goal on Namoff, it came on an odd man rush. In those circumstances you have to protect the middle and rely on your keeper to handle the angles of the wide runners. It was also unfortunate that Burch's tackle was the equivalent of the perfect pass to Alvarez and wrong footed the whole defense, but luck plays a part in soccer too.

3.) I think all the negatives about Emilio's performance have already been expressed.

4.)Two little commented on moments I think have been overlooked. First, Wells' spectacular save on the header from, I think Cacho midway through the first half seems to be drawing little attention. If that goes in, the remaining 60 minutes likely mean nothing, and there is a much different (and uglier) result. The second was Gallardo's 25 yard snapshot that just missed in the 10th minute or so, and had Calero completely at a loss. Had that gone in, the game would have been dramatically different.

5.) Finally, despite the fact that it may sound like sour grapes, the referee left a LOT to be desired. He clearly was not familiar with a more physical style of play or with the skillful "simulations" (diving) of the Mexican side , but more importantly he was very inconsistant. The first 30 minutes were calledtoo tightly and resulted in a pair of very soft yellows to Emilio and Gallardo. The next 60 were then played according to "no amputation, no foul". His missed penalty call on Fred's run was critical to the outcome of the game, coming as it did with the score 0-0. And yes, it was a no-doubt-about-it call, and he flat out missed it.

All in all, a very good and encouraging performance by United against an excellent opponent. Hopefully they are able to maintain that level of play against upcoming sides, even with less riding on the outcomes.

Posted by: Throwin | April 10, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

grotus, these international competitions is what makes this sport great. I am waiting for the day that DC enters Libertadores and has a home and away against Boca Juniors.

---------

Given the results last night, I don't realyl want to see MLS teams playing the likes of Boca Junions in a real competition anytime soon. MLS is far away from being able to compete effectively in the likes of Libertadores and I'd rather we get the talent level to the point where we can win the CCL with some regularity before we worry about taking on teams from Brazil and Argentina.

Posted by: Phil | April 10, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Tons of Pachuca fans near Section 230. I would say the crowd was clearly 60-40 pro-Mexico. I saw guys with other Mexican league shirts on that were supporting Pachuca.

Posted by: Hoost | April 10, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

myt, I must have seen 15-20 people wearing Pachuca gear, and some of those Mexican Nationals were cheering for Pachuca (I know since about 8 of them were sitting directly behind me chanting and singing).

That being said, it was still overwhelmingly a DCU crowd, include some Mexican National cheering for the home team.

Posted by: El Muñeco | April 10, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I know that the FMF teams that are in the Champions League cannot take part in the SudAmericana this year. I assume that if MLS gets an invite it will be the team from the Revs and Chivas that doesn't advance - and if not those two - then I'm sure we'll see AEG buy the Galaxy into it.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 10, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Agreed that Emilio was poor and hurt us badly over the course of the match, the defenders played very well indeed, and our boys look promising for the season ahead.

I don't buy all this slagging of the ref. Not that his performance was high quality, but he wasn't horrible and he didn't botch the game in Pachuca's favor. Yes, the first 20 he was buying Pachuca's dives... but did you notice that he stopped buying them, and made sure Pachuca couldn't run clock by shuttling trainers on the field every few minutes? Yes, there were penalty situations with hard calls... but I don't see how Fred's is an automatic PK as Soehn claims, and Emilio is quite correct that his defender got the ball first with a fine and gutsy move in the box. Frustrating, yes. Incompetent, no.

Posted by: Grunthos | April 10, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

This team is going to need some time to learn to play together. Let's not judge them today, but how they are playing in 2-3 months.

If the quote is accurate, Garber is trash. If the international games are so important, they should reflect that in the participating team's schedule.

Posted by: BT | April 10, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Another way to look at it:

CONCACAF mens Olympic semi-final, Nashville, TN: 13,201

CONCACAF womens Olympic semi-final, Juarez: 22,280

Posted by: WNT fan | April 10, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

MLS has to start winning abroad and become a dominant force in the region. When MLS teams play in the copa libertadores and concacaf tourneys we need to win them all. It's embarassing. They could win over so many more fans by proving their dominance. It would make watching them in MLS more passionate b/c you know these teams are the best in the region not just US/Canada.

Posted by: Krazy | April 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

MLS has to start winning abroad and become a dominant force in the region. When MLS teams play in the copa libertadores and concacaf tourneys we need to win them all. It's embarassing. They could win over so many more fans by proving their dominance. It would make watching them in MLS more passionate b/c you know these teams are the best in the region not just US/Canada.

Posted by: Krazy | April 10, 2008 9:42 AM

Win libertadores? I'd like to see us win a CONCACAF championship first.

Posted by: Matt in Silver Spring | April 10, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's not complain about officating because that's what all losers do. The boys played hard but just weren't quite good enough over 180 minutes. Leave it at that and we keep our dignity.

Posted by: tex | April 10, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I have always been telling everyone that Mexican Soccer League is the best this side of the world. Better than Argentina, Brazil. So for those who say we (MLS teams) can't hang with teams from South America, dont count us out. Not saying we are better, just saying that we play Mexican teams now regularly and are close to getting a victory in MExico..(i hope we are close)

Posted by: Hangovers suck | April 10, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Garber is ultimately responsible for setting MLS' schedule. We played in KC 72 hours before having to play in Pachuca at 7900 feet. 2 teams didn't play at all that weekend and LA got to play at some altitude in Colorado (which could have helped us acclimatize).

Last year we had the chance to train for over a week in Guadalajara before playing Chivas in the CCC.

Don Garber wants us to bend over for Beckham and so the stadiums draw fans that want the image of "glamor" instead of fans that appreciate true competition. Garber's comments about the importance of international competition are completely contradicted by Garber's actions.

Don Garber is a major impediment to MLS teams trying to be competitive in international competition.

I won't even get into his corporate bullcrap about the MLS' salary structures...

Posted by: garbaggio | April 10, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

In regard to Grotus' comments, he obviously does not comprehend
the higher level of play evident in these international competitions
allow DC Utd to attract more hardcore fans. The hardcore fan who plays
and follows soccer all his life knows MLS is not good soccer for his $.
But I will always pay to see DC Utd when they take on teams in a high
caliber competition. Who the hell wants to watch telephoned passes and
robots running around in an MLS game? When DC Utd partake in these cups (Champions Cup/Superliga), it is a totally different level or play which keeps me interested. Unfortunately we have seen over and over again Emilio is not adequate at this level; of course he is good for MLS games, but not international level; he's too slow and chokes on the big stages.

Posted by: la_chingada | April 10, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

For me, Gallardo proved himself as a worthy acquisition last night. His touch, control and vision are noticeably better than those of Emilio and Fred, who always need a moment to collect themselves before making a move.

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 10, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Want to win, shell out $$$$ instead of $ for better players. One or two big signings here and there will not do it. Another reality check for DC and MLS as a whole, but it was a good win for a team that played as well as they could. Garber's comments, however foolish they may have been, obviously hit a nerve. It's about time we get some drama in this league. I am sick of the Alexi Lalas stay on message public relations B.S. in MLS. I too was disappointed with Emilio. He is suffering from the same problems that Twellman had with the national team. There is no time to set up your shots in international competition! Nice goals by Dyachenko and Niell.

Posted by: Mark | April 10, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

CONCACAF Men's Olympic Semi Final in Cashville was U23 and NO HYPE!

The women play their full teams all the time.

Lord save me from women's football.

(Bring on the seething hate towards me - I'm prepared for it and in this day and age I deserve it but I just can't watch that stuff)

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 10, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Re: Gallardo. Based on what I've seen of him so far, I am of the mind that by the by the end of the year all the criticisms of him or with letting go of Gomez to get him are goign to seem silly as his true talent level will be evident. He looks like a great acquisition to me.

Posted by: Phil | April 10, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to pour salt on a wound but...If anyone wants to teach their kids how to run a counter-attack they can just play the tape of this game. Pachuca was just flawless at creating clear chances at goal off their counter-attacks. I can't believe they didn't finish all those chances but again I am very impressed on how organized they play defense and turn the jets on to get upfield on the counter.

Posted by: Impressed | April 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Given the results last night, I don't realyl want to see MLS teams playing the likes of Boca Junions in a real competition anytime soon.
__

DC played against a great Pachuca side and held their own. They have played a quality Chivas side and have held their own. These mexican teams are doing well in the Libertadores tournament as well. I am not saying we will win the tournament, but they definitely would be respectable. And I guarantee more casual fans and MLS haters would come out to see these games.

Posted by: Burke | April 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how anyone can complain about our roster and salary limit when we have a DP slot we're not using. We did lose a major player in order to trade for that slot.

Gallardo was ok, but I don't think he was any better than Gomez and in fact I think I've seen better out of Gomez so far this young season.

At some point the management has to be held responsible for not maximizing our potential. I'll give them credit for fixing our back line though. Two great pick ups in back. But continued reliance on certain aging Latinos is not helping our cause. Put me in the camp of wishing we'd trade for youth and potential, and bleed a new forward or three.

Posted by: David | April 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Tons of Pachuca fans near Section 230. I would say the crowd was clearly 60-40 pro-Mexico. I saw guys with other Mexican league shirts on that were supporting Pachuca.

Posted by: Hoost | April 10, 2008 9:28 AM
---------------------------------------------

Umm, I was in section 230 and there certainly wasn't "tons of Pachuca fans." There were a few (with that annoying penchant for starting the ole chants for every pass between center backs, really impressive guys), but they were clearly outnumbered by DC fans. And 60-40 pro-Mexico is also a big stretch. Seemed a lot of Mexico fans in both corners of the quiet side, but 60% that doesn't make.

Posted by: G-Dub | April 10, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

There is a certain anonymous site which Goff hates people to post the URL of that has the full match available for viewing. MLS Something..

Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Garber wasn't wrong in his sentiments, but he was wrong to express them. His job is positive spin. That's the kind of comment he should make to Kevin Payne, but in public he should be a cheerleader.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 10, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

For all those saying there is nothing wrong with what Garber said, while it may have been accurate, the problem with it is that it the commish publicly broadcast his doubts about United and MLS teams to a national soccer audience. That's no way to inspire confidence. That sort of comment should be kept private between MLS, team owners, and coaching/FO staff.

Posted by: DCBird | April 10, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

* I was very impressed with the way DC played with alacrity. They MUST bring that to MLS matches.

* If Fred had won a PK, we would not necessarily have won 3-1. Missed opportunites *after* the last goal, not before, may be counted toward the hypothetical total (space-time continuum, etc.).

* Garber stated facts. But stating those facts the way he did isn't what he, as Commish, should do. Not that he should say everything's coming up roses, but his silence would have been better. Soehn's frustration came out and I don't blame him.

* Did Garber say anything about Houston?

* NATASHA KAI ROCKS!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 10, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

myt, I must have seen 15-20 people wearing Pachuca gear, and some of those Mexican Nationals were cheering for Pachuca (I know since about 8 of them were sitting directly behind me chanting and singing).

That being said, it was still overwhelmingly a DCU crowd, include some Mexican National cheering for the home team.

Posted by: El Muñeco | April 10, 2008 9:33 AM

the point I was trying to make was that YES! plenty were cheering for Pachuca, but most were "johnny come lately"'s (or is that "juanitos come lately"?)

I am a club before country man and would think the bozos would cheer for their homeside (united, assuming they live in the dc area).

What I don't understand, as the jackass in the field seats in front of my section tried to show, was how wearing a CHivas shirt in anyway supports Pachuca (their rival in FMF). Clearly this doode was a douchebag.....

Posted by: myt! | April 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think Gallardo has in general been pretty good. But his set pieces have been terrible. His corner kicks are aimless and don't get past the first defender at least half of the time. Burch's corners were a huge improvement when he came in. Gallardo's freekicks have been quite tame as well. One thing he does do is cover way more ground than Gomez ever thought about covering. However it is a bit of a double edged sword. I'm not sure he really needs to be so deep in the defensive end so much. The other guys back there are perfectly able to make a smart pass on their own. He also drifts out to the wing quite a bit. Perhaps he is just trying to escape his marker.

I think Goff's ratings are pretty much spot on.

Perhaps Luci does need to sit. Let Moreno and Quaranta play up front together for a game.

Posted by: Glenn | April 10, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

My take on the international tournaments is this:

If you want the best players to play for your team, you've got match their desire to win. If you're goal is to only win domestic tournaments, then you're not looking at best players available.

Players around the world go to Europe, not only to play in the leagues in England, Spain, and Italy, but to play in the Champions League (i.e., to test themselves against the best in the world).

The players on DC United should be no different.

As for the game last night, I thought we played an outstanding game. Sure, we lost on aggregate, but that's because of the first leg. Had United held on for a 1-0 loss in Pachuca, we'd all be singing a different tune. It's a tough loss, but that's it.

United's 3-4-3 line-up kicked ass last night. Gonzalo Peralta is an absolute monster in the back. He could become the best central defender for United ever. And, if you saw the communication going on last night between the Defense and Wells, then there should be no more questions about their ability to play together.

Fred, Moreno, and Gallardo are driving this team right now. Great play all around. Emilio had a bad game, but his passing has ALWAYS been suspect. His problem last night was that he was coming back too far to collect the ball, resulting for his need to pass. He's a poacher and should get himself into positions to poach.

Anyway... we won. We played well. Nobody got too hurt (although Martinez came up limping late in the game and I hope it's not bad). And we're off to conquer the league.

Posted by: TCompton | April 10, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Tickets in Mexico are free, tickets in nashville are 20 bucks. Free tickets to a worthless game or 20 bucks to a worthless game hhhmmmmmm

Posted by: dc fan | April 10, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

David says... "I don't see how anyone can complain about our roster and salary limit when we have a DP slot we're not using. We did lose a major player in order to trade for that slot."

---------

But given the salary cap, we can't simply sign another DP. We don't apparently have room under the cap (DP players still cost $400K or so against the cap) to afford a DP (or for that matter to have paid for Gomez in addition to our current roster). Any additional expensive roster addition would have to be accompanies by removing one of the current higher paid players on the team. And at that point, all you are doing is shuffling deck chairs.

The simple fact is that MLS's salary structure is a hinderence in building teams that will be competitive internationally. And that's something that will affect every MLS team, not just DCU.

Posted by: Phil | April 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

A sartorial question. Last night DC wore their "domestic campaign" jersey with 4 stars. Shouldn't they have worn a CONCACAF CC jersey with one star for 1998? How does that stuff work?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 10, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Technically DCU should be wearing a strip that has no stars for MLS, no MLS Logo, and no MLS numbers like the Champions League teams in UEFA do.

@I-270, Exit 1

I seem to remember that the Merchandise guys had the idea for gold numbers or different numbers for international matches.

Alas, none of us can see how the contract and rights and expressions are held and how that works.

But I like where your head is at...

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 10, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

5 for Quaranta? Why? Because he can't go 90 minutes yet? For the whole first half he was one of the most dangerous guys out there and in the last 10 minutes he created chance after chance that emilio should've finished.

Posted by: DCAustinite | April 10, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

My numbers show DC would need to clear ~$305,000 to effectively use its second DP slot. That benchmark could be reached by trading/removing from cap Moreno and Mediate, or spending down that DP salary with allocation money.

Neither of which seem like a good idea to me.

Posted by: B.A. | April 10, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

DC United is one of the more coherent MLS teams and looked decent, at times, yesterday. But to me, the better team won the series. Pachuca was a lot more precise and, most importantly, quick with its passing in the middle and in the attacking end. Their crosses were more purposeful. Whereas DC had flashes of good play, Pachuca was consistently good.

Posted by: Gene | April 10, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Quick Summary...

Pachuca's Goal: Emilio gave the ball away when everyone was pushed up. I was right above this play. This resulted in a 4 on 3 breakaway. Burch tried to poke the ball away and it ended up going to the guy who scored. Sad part about it is that the Pachuca player who lost the ball was not even looking in the direction of the guy who scored. Namoff should not be blamed as he was told to cover a player by Peralta, but because it was 4 on 3, he picked the wrong player.

Peralta...amazing match.

Gallardo...nice touch, various solid defensive plays. Beautiful volley (camera did not do it justice)...would have been one of the nicest goals I've ever seen.

Martinez...great recovery plays throughout the match.

Simms...solid, smart, great defensive plays.

L. Emilio...garbage game. Missed the volley at the 6 and mishandled the ball at the 12, gave the ball away resulting in a goal.

Posted by: N. Daknow | April 10, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

All the blather about the ref ... am I crazy or was there not a Pachuca goal disallowed on a complete mystery call? Did I just imagine that?

Anyway, you can't blame refs. It just is what it is, a tough loss to a stronger opponent. It would be one thing if we outplayed them for 180 minutes and lost due to this questionable Fred PK no-call. But that's not what happened. Both teams had chances, squandered them. The match rested in the hands of the players and the better team won.

Posted by: Matte | April 10, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

at least dc can get some decent results (except for that one 5-0 against pumas) in these competitions. how does houston go scoreless against saprissa over 180 minutes? or 6-1 drubbing against a J-League team who is also in pre-season training. as far as international play goes, it seems that dc is definitely the cream of the crop for the league. as far as emilio goes..his fault on the Pachuca goal with that horrid pass..and has he ever heard of the "toe poke"?! if ronaldo can use it in a world cup final then all strikers can do the same..it's the simplest shot that takes almost no time to get off.

Posted by: mizage | April 10, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Houston's crappy results against Saprissa had a lot to do with their squad being decimated by injuries. They asically had only half of their MLS Cup starting XI out there last night. DCU for their part was relatively a full squad (minus Olsen and with Moreno not 100% but not bad).

Now, to some extent that's Houston's fault for not having better depth (I do think DCU has done a better job in acquiring talent to provide some depth in the event of injuries) but mostly it's the fault of the salary cap limiting things.

Posted by: Phil | April 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

* Garber -- "silence would have been better" -- fair point, and applies to Coach as well.

* "NATASHA KAI ROCKS!" -- agreed, check out photos of her y'day on ussoccer.com -- but don't you look, wahoo-man -- the women are in shorts playing the game, not in hoop skirts watching the fox hunt.

*WNT back in white, good, the gold was lame. Hope they stick with it.

Posted by: WNT fan | April 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Everyone catch Nowak in the box last night with Olsen? A lot of pressure to play a Mexican team down 2-0 for a chance at the final but now in front of your old mentor. Soehn must of been feeling the heat.

Posted by: Arlington | April 10, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@Matte

Nope. Despite the incorrect info in the newspaper, the ball that some folks thought was a Pachuca goal was just a shot that went wide and hit the side netting. A simple goalkick. No mystery there.

Posted by: Glenn | April 10, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps MLS is at a serious disadvantage due to the timing of the tournaments. Maybe they'll be in better shape come the fall, for the Champions League (provided that they aren't exhausted). OTOH, the second half of the Champions League, in the spring, could just mirror the current problems.

Posted by: RK | April 10, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Matte, you're not crazy, but you shouldn't listen to Max Bretos. That was not a goal. It hit the side netting. If you'll remember, Wells took a goal kick afterwards.

asitis

Posted by: asitis | April 10, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

All the blather about the ref ... am I crazy or was there not a Pachuca goal disallowed on a complete mystery call? Did I just imagine that?

Anyway, you can't blame refs. It just is what it is, a tough loss to a stronger opponent. It would be one thing if we outplayed them for 180 minutes and lost due to this questionable Fred PK no-call. But that's not what happened. Both teams had chances, squandered them. The match rested in the hands of the players and the better team won.

Posted by: Matte | April 10, 2008 10:40 AM


Matte,
Most posters have said it wasn't the refs fault. The mystery call you are talking about was a "hand ball" by the Pachuca player. I agree with you that both teams blew chances, especially Pachuca blew a lot of chances in the game in Mexico. Did the ref miss the PK call..yes...was that why we lost....no. It was a good , cleanly played series. The only complaint I had against Pachuca was their diving, but that is the style of play in Mexico. I loved the 3-4-3 (or version therof)we played last night. If we play every MLS match the way we played night, I see a treble in our future. Comparing Gomez after 3 seasons to Gallardo after 5 games is nonsense. At the end of the season all will see the upgrade that Gallardo is. I see DCU coming out pissed and motivated against RSL and destroying them something like 4-0 or 5-1.

Posted by: boda united | April 10, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the illumination guys. Yeah, I know better than to listen to Max. Just didn't see a replay.

Posted by: Matte | April 10, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

....or maybe it was a miss that hit the side netting. :-0 The announcers said a hand ball...should have known better than to listen to FSC annoncers....

Posted by: boda united | April 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

CONCACAF Men's Olympic Semi Final in Cashville was U23 and NO HYPE!

The women play their full teams all the time.

Lord save me from women's football.

(Bring on the seething hate towards me - I'm prepared for it and in this day and age I deserve it but I just can't watch that stuff)

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood
-------------------------------------------
Hate to disappoint you but I don't have any seething hate fro you just because you don't like womens' football. There is an African-American saying "Everything ain't for evrybody". If you don't dig it then you don't dig it. no crime there. Some of us do dig it. Not really sure how the posts started to go in the direction of "boys vs girls"...

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

CONCACAF Men's Olympic Semi Final in Cashville was U23 and NO HYPE!

The women play their full teams all the time.

Lord save me from women's football.

(Bring on the seething hate towards me - I'm prepared for it and in this day and age I deserve it but I just can't watch that stuff)
----------------
Not from me. I support women's football, but also thought WNT Supporter's post was utter crap.

Posted by: seahawkdad | April 10, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

By far, one of the worst officiated games I've seen United play in.

Posted by: BK | April 10, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Everyone catch Nowak in the box last night with Olsen? A lot of pressure to play a Mexican team down 2-0 for a chance at the final but now in front of your old mentor. Soehn must of been feeling the heat.

Posted by: Arlington | April 10, 2008 11:00 AM

********************************

I hope Nowak made some inquiries about Pachuca's #25 Paco Torres who was born in Texas and is only 20. He would be eligible for the US Olympic team going to Beijing this summer.

I didn't notice much from Torres last night (as he subbed in late for Chaco Gimenez) but he added lots of energy and hit the crossbar after subbing on at half in the Pachuca leg.

Posted by: garbaggio | April 10, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Did the ref miss the PK call..yes...was that why we lost....no. "

Classy. I saw a very good DC team yesterday. The rest of the league should be afraid. This international thing is a tough nut to crack, though.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | April 10, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Tough break, but DC gave it to them. I'm not one to attack a player, but Emilio could have had us up 2-0 in the first half. He just does not look right, and unless I'm mistaken looks slower than he was last year. In any case the guys played their hearts out and they did leave it one the field. Am I disappointed that we didn't advance? Yes. But I am proud of my team, for the way they stood up and matched, toe-to-toe, on of the best clubs in CONCACAF.

VAMOS UNITED!!

Posted by: Kosh | April 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"but most were "johnny come lately"'s (or is that "juanitos come lately"?)"

Los advenedizos.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | April 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Added teammate Luciano Emilio, though an interpreter: "The whole stadium saw it. The referee lacked personality in not making that call."

Thats a classy way of saying Jose Aguilar lacks "balls". Was not an extremely blatant penalty but at home a team with a good rep should get that call. Again hats off to CONCACRAP refs for their blatant disrespect/disdain for American soccer...oh perdon mis amigos futbol

Posted by: glove | April 10, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Did the ref miss the PK call..yes...was that why we lost....no. "

Classy. I saw a very good DC team yesterday. The rest of the league should be afraid. This international thing is a tough nut to crack, though.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | April 10, 2008 11:30 AM

This is the only Mastodon Juan comment that actually didnt piss me off
Good job Juan

Posted by: 135 | April 10, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

agree that Emilio was not good

agree that the missed opportunities were more of a factor than the ref, though the ref was not good either

agree Garber should not say those (true) comments in public

agree the better team won the series

overall, it does seem that DC is putting the pieces together. Remember folks, due to the quirk of the calendar, DC gets two bites at the apple with Champions League starting this fall...

finally, the crowd was decidedly pro-DC. Even though there were several Pachuca "fans" around me, it was obvious when goals were scored that DC had the vast majority of fans. And as others have noted, there were very few actual Pachuca fans. The Mexican fans were chanting "Me-Xi-Co" and only changed to "Tu-Zos" later in the game. Both chants were usually drowned out by DC fans, except for the time right after the Pachuca goal when DC fans seemed a bit down and quiet.

Posted by: Rob | April 10, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Emilio should sit for a half or so... didnt we do that last year early and he turned things around though that was after a multiple game goalless streak.

Also, I think Gallardo is coming along fine. When Gomez first started he wasnt the ish either, let the man get used to his new team/league.

Posted by: Darth Hater | April 10, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I already feel more confident playing three in the back than I did four with Bos and Vanney back there. Peralta is a beast and organizes so well (not sure why he looked so off against TFC, but he was awesome last night), Namoff seems rejuvenated, and Martinez is probably the most dangerous of the three. The play he made to run down the Pachuca striker, slide tackle the ball away, collect the rebound on the end line and bring it back up field was pure defensive poetry. I rewound that for my son about five times.

Posted by: JB | April 10, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

N Daknow-
100% agreed, Emilio coughed up the ball that led to the Pachuca goal... what irks me is he immediately gave up and didn't even try to get it back
My observations:
Simms is becoming a crucial part of the team; everyone seems to look to send the ball his way especially when under pressure. Great effort, solid decision making
Quaranta:Playing hard, will make things happen
Gallardo: doing well, adapting, working hard; wish he'd made the goal on the free kick- he does need to get some of them for his confidence and ours!
Peralta/ Martinez: superb once again
Moreno: is not the player he was. Did try to play defense; toyed with the ball a bit but made the effort. What happened to shooting though? At one point he received a ball in the box and looked utterly confused about what to do (we sit above the goal)
Emilio: bench him until he wants to play again
Fred: journeyman efforts continue
Ben: where are you and when will you be back?
Ref: clearly missed the PK. Also only allowed 48 seconds of stoppage according to the man beside me who was timing it- it did seem very short
Concessions: much better all around

Seemed to me, esp. in the second half, that too often the offense (Emilio esp) were looking for the back pass instead of the goal- we sit above the goal Pachuca were defending in the second half and time after time they sent the ball back instead of taking the shot... also lots of efforts at crosses but too few direct shots... would have loved to see Peralta or Martinez strike a ball on target when they came upfield, no question they have the power.

Posted by: united in va | April 10, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

...What I don't understand, as the jackass in the field seats in front of my section..

Posted by: myt! | April 10, 2008 10:10 AM

--------------------

Later when DC pulled ahead, fans were throwing bottles at that jerk (#4 Zarate on the green jersey - marked for life). The DC police officer next to him just gave the guy a "you asked for it look" when he complained. Thank you!! That Chivas guy left scared at the end.

Posted by: ML | April 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Later when DC pulled ahead, fans were throwing bottles at that jerk (#4 Zarate on the green jersey - marked for life). The DC police officer next to him just gave the guy a "you asked for it look" when he complained. Thank you!! That Chivas guy left scared at the end.


Posted by: ML | April 10, 2008 11:59 AM
as he should....
pedro and I were there asking him to come visit us to have a "talk".....
the chivas shirt wearing douchebag, scurried out of rfk rather quickly after the 5th bottle hit his chair and the peeps around him

Posted by: myt! | April 10, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

All of the people criticizing Gallardo need to get a clue. He's only been with the team for a short period of time and needs to gel with his forwards. United had plenty of opportunities, and had Luci scored on his two chances, the second half would have been a completely different affair.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Gallardo plays a different style than Gomez. Christian was much more likely to get the ball at midfield, or just behind, and then carry the ball forward than Gallardo. Gallardo's seems to come back for the ball and then to pass forward rather than carrying the ball. He then moves up the field and receives the ball back from the wing or from a withdrawn forward. I believe the team just needs time to adjust to the change in style of its playmaker. There's a reason this guy has played in two world cups for one of the best 3 teams in the world. No one likes to lose, even if they are being paid more than a million dollars to do so. Fans need to relax and understand that Pachuca is in the middle of its season and DC is just getting started with a number of new players, many in important positions.

DC will finish the season with at least one trophy, assuming they can stay healthy and that Olsen can come back before midway through the year.

Patience is a virtue.

Posted by: CY | April 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

There's a reason this guy has played in two world cups for one of the best 3 teams in the world.
xxxx
And not many of them can wear No. 10 when they are on the national team. When did Gomze played for Argentine national game? None.

Posted by: td | April 10, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, so we just verified what we already know: he's blind, he's deaf, he's the ref. In spite of that, United rolled with the punches and played their hearts out to the very last minute!!! So to all the haters out there, I have only two words: "VAMOS UNITED!!!"

Posted by: BigWave | April 10, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What I liked towards the end was how more comfortable Niell looked on the field, which had to have made a difference in his reading his teammates' moves and setting himself up for that goal. Nice to know a guy that short can actually SCORE a goal.

My big worry is that once the CCL gets going, DCU does well early on, only to have to go through its offseason (with the usual player turnover), and the team that hopefully gets them through the early stages won't be the same one playing in the later rounds -- one which will still be learning how to play with the new guys.

Oh yeah -- to that SI loyalist I met during halftime (whose name totally escapes me right now, sorry), it was great to meet you and your blonde friend with the green jacket!

Posted by: Juan-John | April 10, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it strange that there were so many people there in jerseys of other mexican teams (Pumas, Cruz Azul and America for example)? Why would you be rooting for Pachuca? If I moved to Guadalajara and the Fire played Chivas I would root for Chivas. It doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: GoUnited | April 10, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it strange that there were so many people there in jerseys of other mexican teams (Pumas, Cruz Azul and America for example)? Why would you be rooting for Pachuca? If I moved to Guadalajara and the Fire played Chivas I would root for Chivas. It doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: GoUnited | April 10, 2008 2:28 PM

**************************

It doesn't bother me.

We saw the same thing when we played Pumas a few years ago. Chivas and America have enough fans that they can have a big presence almost anywhere. But if another good team comes to play many Mexican soccer fans in the area still want to get in on a chance to see a good team from their country even if it's not their favorite.

Posted by: garbaggio | April 10, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Third place in the Champions' Cup again. I don't see anyway United can play in the Copa Sudamericana with the Champions League beginning this fall.

Posted by: Mark | April 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Those saying you don't want to see DCU against Boca are nuts! Pachuca is a VERY good team and they can match up against Boca well thank you. DCU is actually a really good team but they are not physically or mentally there yet due to many reasons. 1) its DCU's start of the season and clearly Pachuca was in better shape in both games. 2) DCU has many new players and are getting used to eachother. 3) If DCU got to play Pachuca at the same moment of eachother's respective seasons I'm willing to bet that DCU would be the better team of the two.

Posted by: Felix | April 10, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Given the results last night, I don't realyl want to see MLS teams playing the likes of Boca Junions in a real competition anytime soon. "
-----

I'd like to point out that the Mexican team called "America" beat River Plate in a recent Libertadores game. Pachuca beat America the next week, and now we beat Pachuca (albeit in one game out of a two-game series).

Posted by: David | April 10, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Tickets in Mexico are free, tickets in nashville are 20 bucks. Free tickets to a worthless game or 20 bucks to a worthless game hhhmmmmmm

Posted by: dc fan | April 10, 2008 10:14 AM
==========================================

What is your source of information?

Posted by: tri-village | April 10, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to point out that the Mexican team called "America" beat River Plate in a recent Libertadores game. Pachuca beat America the next week, and now we beat Pachuca (albeit in one game out of a two-game series).
Posted by: David | April 10, 2008 4:44 PM
///////
Sounds pretty good.

Posted by: PK | April 10, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"but I don't see how Fred's is an automatic PK as Soehn claims,"

I just saw the game on DVR, and the fact that Fred was pulled down from behind by the elbow was pretty obvious. Unlike the ref, I got to do a slow-motion replay, but there really is no doubt whatsoever about the call. I think it would have been called 99 times out of 100 in the middle of the field, but most refs have no guts when the play is in the box.

Posted by: Clark | April 10, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company