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Update From RFK

United's training session this morning was closed, but I can tell you this:

*Defender Gonzalo Peralta (knee) is fine and appears set to start against RSL tomorrow night. However, midfielder Devon McTavish (foot-ankle) sat out again and will not be in uniform. Midfielder Domenic Mediate (hamstring) is doubtful.

*Santino Quaranta is likely to start on the right side of midfield. Speaking on the club's mind-set after a pair of losses and a full week of training, the tattooed one said: "You've got to stay patient, but now we are in a situation where you pretty much have to win this game, right? That's the feeling around here. We expect to win. ... Tommy [Soehn] did a great job this week setting us up and showing us what we have to do. He's done an incredible job breaking everything down for us and I think that is really going to help. This week has been phenomenal."

*Quaranta will have the cast on his right hand-wrist removed Monday. "I can't wait. It's messing my golf game up."

*Club officials expect attendance to approach 25,000 -- Dema's return is clearly a big seller.

*Newly acquired Francis Doe has not received his work visa. Next week seems likely.

*For those of you planning to attend tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. match (Comcast SportsNet), an early look at the weather forecast. Beware of freeway and subway congestion as the Nats host the Cubs at 7:10.

*Both local USL2 clubs are in action at home this weekend: Tonight Crystal Palace USA plays its opener against Pittsburgh (0-1) at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville and tomorrow night Real Maryland (0-1) hosts those same (exhausted) Riverhounds at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Back to DCU. They are at home, well rested and highly motivated after being embarrassed at RSL two weeks ago. Will they finally meet expectations? Or continue to have early-season problems? Predictions?

By Steve Goff  |  April 25, 2008; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Eddie on eBay


DC won't lose, but I wouldn't be surprised by a tie.

Posted by: Papa | April 25, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

While I would love to see a big win tomorrow, I am afraid we are still coming together (witness no goals in the scrimmage yesterday against a backline of Barlow, Curtin and Pat Carroll). Right now I will take a point.

Posted by: JMR | April 25, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

'Tino on the right? Sure could use Huckerby there.

Posted by: Hmmm | April 25, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Did you steal Joan Laporta's laptop? Has Dave Kasper called him about Thierry Henry? Has he heard about townhomes in Georgetown?

Just kidding. Would be nice though to have some PACE up top...

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 25, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Dear United fans,

Thank you for giving my cousin such a warm welcome to Washington DC. I am proud that he has acheived such notoriety, which always seems to escape me.

Best wishes,
John Doe

Posted by: Joe Doc | April 25, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

DC bounces back 3-1!!!!

Posted by: Charles | April 25, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse


What is a sellout now? Is the team limiting tix to 25K or certain sections or will they be opening up the whole stadium?

25K for RSL? Do people know freddy doesn't play there any more? Is Garth Lagerway's return that big a draw?

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | April 25, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"He's done an incredible job breaking everything done ..."

... breaking everything down?

Posted by: Type O | April 25, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

A DC Win should put some energy and excitement back into the team heading into the May fixtures (4 of 6 on the road). I predict and early onslaught on the RSL goal. I see Rimando playing well on RFK's familiar turf, but by the end of the night United win 2-0.

Posted by: Redd | April 25, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

*Club officials expect attendance to approach 25,000 -- "the eve of Eastern Orthodox Easter" is clearly a big seller.


Posted by: Section 130 | April 25, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

25,000 with a terrible weather forecast? Color me shocked.

Posted by: Mike | April 25, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

DC will win 3-0. Emilio nets 2 goals and Gallardo provides 2 assists. Also sections 400+ will have go downstairs and and get food and drinks...(since nats also play at home) just a hunch

Posted by: dcchilidog | April 25, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

25,000 with a terrible weather forecast? Color me shocked.

Posted by: Mike | April 25, 2008 12:49 PM

I guess some people couldn't get Cubs vs. Nats tickets or thought they had to buy United tickets to park in the RFK lot.

Posted by: $7.50 Miller Lite | April 25, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

DC will win, 3-1.

And yes, I fully expect there to be some people in RFK tomorrow night who bought tickets not realzing The Freddy doesn't play for Salt Lake anymore.

Posted by: Eddie C | April 25, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I expect DCU to win all MLS home games played on Saturdays by a score of 4-1. Ask Toronto.

And looking at this week's opponent, RSL doesn't have much of a history, and they certainly don't have a history of success on the road.

Real Satl Lake away record in MLS by year:
2005, 0-14-2
2006, 4-9-3
2007, 2-8-5
2008, 0-2-0

Posted by: Winners | April 25, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

2-1 Good Guys, While I'd love a blowout, RSL has been playing us tough for the last few years.

Posted by: Matthai | April 25, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope we aren't relying on penalties against Rimando.

Posted by: Mike | April 25, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

RSL at home... You don't win this one and the pressure will rise to an unreal level for Soehn and the players. Time for Luciano to step up and for Wells and his defenders to get on the same page. Time for Simms to win balls and get a good quick outlet to Gallardo instead of to the opposition.

Posted by: glove | April 25, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

DC will win, but it will not be easy. I predict a squeeker - but it will be a good squeeker.

Posted by: Close game | April 25, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Last night at a coed game in Fairfax, a Barra supporter, also a player, was chanting "Vamos United" during a stoppage. This, coupled with a "stimulating" roster shift, is a tell tale sign of a United win, although the supporter was imitating Emilio by shanking many shots wide and over the net.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | April 25, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

check out the iu/mexico nat'l team video posted here
awesome stuff

Posted by: iusoccerbetterthanuva | April 25, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Peralta is "fine"? What games have you been watching? He's not even "Closer to Fine".

Posted by: Folk Singers United | April 25, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

My Prediction:
United is going to regroup and bounce back, and return the 4 goals we borrowed...

Posted by: yo its me | April 25, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

it's gonna be a dreadful this point, a point at home is good.

Posted by: mizage | April 25, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Peralta's healthy?! Good news... ...for RSL!

Posted by: Steve | April 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

25K for RSL?


Lots of youth teams are coming. My U11s will be there and we got put in section 452. We'll be the ones in green in the Goal closest to the Nest during half-time.

Posted by: Freddy Who? | April 25, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

why all the hate for Peralta?

Posted by: SP | April 25, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping we could keep the rock-paper-scissors thing going on between ourselves, TFC and Salt Lake.

Posted by: Darth Hater | April 25, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse


3-1 RSL

I like Peralta but...

...We need to start looking to bring the Kiwi; Ryan Nelsen back.

Posted by: Ike | April 25, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

People need to give up on Nelsen. He's not coming back.

Get over it.

Posted by: viv | April 25, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

HA, I love the Kiwi but he'll never come back to MLS. Didn't he compare single entity to communism?

Heavy traffic --> excuse to arrive early and tailgate (as if you needed an excuse).

We win 3-1; Martinez with a brace.

Posted by: ff | April 25, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

People are ragging on Peralta because he looked like ass the past couple games, but his first few games he looked like the love child of Ryan Nelsen and a mountain. I'm willing to give him some time to find his form.

Posted by: Goose | April 25, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I expect a win of 5 to 1 with even one of the Gonzalos scoring a goal.

Posted by: DC United Fanatico | April 25, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe all the hate for Peralta. He can do alone what Boswell and Erpen couldn't do together. He can read the number of the guy running past him toward the goal.

Posted by: MezzSouthGol | April 25, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs step up. Player and the fans. Players should really come out with force to win and the fans should create the most intimidating atmostpher that no MLS teams could compete at hour house. Without violating any rules of the conduct, of course. When the opposing team delays whistle loud. sing nonstop. Bring flags and wave. Lets make our boys give really good energy to run. Hell, just whistel even when our bosy loose possesion.

Posted by: must win | April 25, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The key against RSL (just like last time) is to stretch them out. Our outside backs and midfielders need to play wide. Beckerman and Kovalenko are not true wide players and on the road will probably be pinching in more than usual. Not only that, but Sturgis is out, and Talley was a turnover machine in his last outing. Beckerman and Kovalenko will have to stay nearer to him for easier outlets and to support him defensively. All this means our wide players will get 1v1 matchups if they just stay wide and our central players make quicker outlet passes to them. It would also be good for Emilio to use the wingers as his first option when holding the ball up, rather than trying to decide once he's got the ball. Simpler decisions are easier to make and will help him rebuild his confidence.

This is a great game for Quaranta to get a start on the wing, since he'll get lots of chances to go at Joy (a player I expect Tino to be able to get past routinely). I'd also like to see Burch get more involved if possible, since Fred prefers to be able to cut in and we'll still need width on both sides.

I don't make predictions out of superstition, but I do think this is a very important game for United. RSL is fielding its best team ever, but they are still a team we should beat every time at RFK. It's great to see Quaranta saying that this game is a must win. That's the kind of urgency we need to have. When DC United plays teams like RSL or Columbus, they look at being better than us as a real benchmark to aspire to. If we match that hunger every game, our advantage in skill will lead to a great season. If we think we can win on ability alone, we'll see a lot of games like last Thursday's. Columbus beat us because they were desperate to win and we weren't.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | April 25, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

25k for RSL? Did they sign David Beckham's son or something?

Posted by: kevin | April 25, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

25k. We should be very happy to hear that. Let's hope all turns out or more.

Posted by: td | April 25, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Expect a 5-0 beatdown. That's what history says and that's whats gonna come for RSL tomorrow...

Posted by: Nick | April 25, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Took the boy to our first Palace match tonight. It was very entertaining. Pittsburgh lacks attack. They will be without one their starters tomorrow night. Palace 3-0, 2 reds for Palace & 1 for Pittsburgh's which came from a retaliation to the Palace tackle that earned a 2nd yellow.

Posted by: peridigm | April 25, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

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