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Inter finally secures the Serie A title, thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's two goals:

*D.C. United player update: Devon McTavish (foot) and Fred (hamstring) are both listed as probable for Wednesday's match at Toronto, Gonzalo Peralta, whose pregnant wife is on bed rest, trained today and may very well travel with the team, and Bryan Namoff, who was banged up Saturday, is fine and expected to play.

*Midfielder-forward Ariel Ortega, 34, is not happy at River Plate and has been telling the Argentine media that he could end up in Ecuador or MLS when his contract expires in June.

*Chivas 4, Monterrey 4 (Monterrey wins the series 8-5 to reach the Mexican Clausura semifinals):


By Steve Goff  |  May 19, 2008; 11:06 AM ET
 
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Comments

wins the series 8-5?! wow..i guess defending isn't too important in mexico.

Posted by: mizage | May 19, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'd be pretty happy to see Ortega replace Emilio. Wouldn't you?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 19, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

8-5 aggregate score? Maybe I'll start watching Mexican soccer again. The games I saw earlier this decade used to bore me to tears.

"El Burrito" Ortega - probably not a good fit for MLS. Over the hill, overrated in Argentina, and a bit of a head case. Sometimes literally. (Just ask Van der Saar, WC '98.)

Posted by: SSMD | May 19, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

another aging south american ... me thinks DC United will take 'em.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

DC United (All Levels)

Do NOT bring in Ortega - even if he has played well and with Mr. Gallardo.

If there is one thing this roster doesn't need to do - it's to grow older in the transfer window. We need to find a way to get a younger guy in the roster and some serious speed.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 19, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I here he(ortega)has some alcohol issues. But watched him last week old or not he plays faster than anyone on our roster.

Posted by: joe | May 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It will be nice to get McTavish and Fred back in there.

I find it funny that FSC et al discussed the fact that Chivas was missing nine players to injury but failed to mention that DCU was missing five presumed regulars in Fred, McTavish, Peralta as well as Olsen & Gros. Those are some big holes in a starting XI, don't you think?

Posted by: DE | May 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Let Ortega go to San Jose... anywhere but here.

Total headcase, and I'm sure he wants to leave River because he hates being overshadowed by this month's new Maradona, Buonnanotte.

Posted by: d, dc | May 19, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- just said his name out loud and experienced the worst facial muscle cramp in history. Nice goals, though.

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The Chivas/Monterrey game was actually really good. They kept showing the Chivas fans crying in the stands. I loved it!

Posted by: TCompton | May 19, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Fred, McTavish, Peralta as well as Olsen & Gros"

GROS? The other four I'll grant you, and Fred and Olsen in particular are as important for DC as Bornstein or Suarez for Chivas.

But Josh Gros is not on the roster, and it was known he wasn't coming back way back in October. Citing him is about like San Jose making excuses because Eric Wynalda is injured.

A new low in excuse-making.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 19, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I have a question I hope anyone could answer. For U.S. World Cup qualifiers, does ESPN send their announcers down for the away fixtures in Central America and the Caribbean or do they just sit in Bristol and call the games off of a monitor? I can't remember what they did last cycle. Also, with MLS Primetime Thursday, are they going to have a second crew with Harkes and Dellacamera on U.S. duty? I just think it's better for the growth of the sport to have announcers actually on location for important games like qualifiers. I can understand if they don't go for away friendlies like England or Spain, although they better be at Giants Stadium for Argentina.

Posted by: Mark | May 19, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I watched the River v Independete game on FSC on Sunday afternoon. They were discussing Ortega as a guy who "shows up and plays whenever he wants to". He should not come to DC.

Posted by: strago | May 19, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Not from reliable sources, but as quoted in the bbc gossip column

[Thierry] Henry himself has been offered £5.2m a year by Major League Soccer newcomers Seattle Sounders to join Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham in the United States. (The Independent)

Fulham captain Brian McBride, whose contract expires this summer, is wanted by MLS sides Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire. (The Times)

England midfielder David Beckham could be set to scale Mount Kilimanjaro after been asked by U2 frontman Bono to help raise funds for children's charity Unicef. (The Sun)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say Ortega is ideal, but DCU should probably be thinking of finding some way to use that DP slot (and I don't mean Emilio -- no way DC brings him back next season, so it would behoove them to replace him sooner rather than later). If we can find serious young(er) talent willing to come to a rebuilding team in the lowly MLS, then fine.

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

> But Josh Gros is not on the roster, and it was known he wasn't coming back way back in October.

Yeah, we can be nostalgic for the kind of grit that Gros used to bring, but let's not mix him up with this year's MIAs.

Man, it's rough to see MJ making so much sense these days. Clear sign that DCU is really hurting -- no need for him to make stuff up!

;)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a European soccer snob by any stretch - love DC United and appreciate what the MLS is doing - but that final match day drama in Serie A couldn't be beat. I think there were at least six clubs that had something to play for (Scudetto, Champions League qualification, relegation). In Catania and Parma you had fans running on to the field. Great stuff!

Posted by: Bill in Md. | May 19, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

No to Ortega. A thousand times No. why do we want Jacques Cousteau on the field?. Besides, he won't be a replacement for Emilio. He's mainly a midfielder and started ahead of Gallardo for Argentina.


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

No Ortega?

Alright, how about this guy:
http://www.srunited.com/executivedirectorcorner/161542.html

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 19, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That guy has bad knees. He'll be falling down for different reasons.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 19, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To prove my point: All this Ortega talk has caused google ads to offer this link.

http://www.pro-evolution-soccer-cheats.com/?gclid=CIyt0NmEs5MCFQoFGgodAndnng

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 19, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

What do we think Soehn's time-line is? I'd say the leash is getting short. Who could the next realistic choice be? Bruce Arena is out there and being talked about as the next DC United coach sooner rather than later.

Posted by: moreno4prez | May 19, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Goff, have you talked to The Bruce or heard anything about interest from DC?

Posted by: kjm | May 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Soehn's Time Line is end of the season. When was the last time the Shield winner won the Cup? How many times as it even happened?

It's a long season. Houston was 2-6-1 after 8 games last year.

The team has played incredibly poorly, but they are not bad players. There have been questionable coaching decisions, but Soehn's not a bad coach.

Go to the games, have fun, support your team and don't panic (yet).

Posted by: JkR | May 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Bruce Arena is out there and being talked about as the next DC United coach sooner rather than later."
--------

Talked about by WHOM (other than on this blog)?!?

Don't get me wrong -- if we wind up losing to TFC either on Wednesday or next weekend, I might join this supposed Arena bandwagon...

Posted by: Juan-John | May 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Soehn's timeline could be as short as two games. If we lose to Toronto on Wednesday and lose again to them on Saturday at home, Soehn is out. Sadly, two losses this week is a fairly likely scenario.

Someone else stated that we need to get 4 points from the next two games or Soehn is out. I can't argue with that.

It could be DCU goes with an interim coach after Soehn's ouster until they can get the guy they really want.

Player-wise it is clear Wells can't cut it. We may still have lost but that first goal by CUSA was an out-and-out howler. I say trade for Chris Sietz and let him and Carvallo duke it out for the starting spot.

Posted by: Ron | May 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a European soccer snob by any stretch ...

Posted by: Bill in Md. | May 19, 2008 12:30 PM
----------------------

no? then why are you here? we're all eurosnobs, or south america-snobs, or mexico-snobs. any kind of snob will do on the insider!

so...no mention of Sporting's victory over supposedly invincible Porto last night? (see, that's my bias coming through!)

just kidding everyone, don't get your undies in a bunch.

Posted by: troy | May 19, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

While I consider Bruce to be a great coach - a legend for DC United - and the only REAL blemish on his resume being the 2006 World Cup, you can't always go back home.

Arena best serves US Soccer/MLS/etc in a role where he can be a consultant or overseer of a building project. Somebody who can take his experience to figure out how to build the game at a talent development and acquisition level. I think that suits his skill set far more than turning around a sinking ship.

Yanking the carpet out from Tommy sends the wrong message in two ways.
1) It says, eh, you weren't our first choice after Nowak left anyway.
2) That tradition on the back of the shirt is just extra stitching.

Changing coaches is going to do nothing but upset not only the guys who were on this team last year - but almost certainly cause a bigger roster overhaul in the next couple of years and almost guaranteeing the 2000-2003 era repeats itself. There's nothing to tell me that Tommy has lost the team. In fact, this team is still in way too much of a developmental and growing mode than anything else. This team isn't the team from last year. So we're pounding our square peg into the round hole and for me - it's not doing much.

Perhaps the answer is to take this team out of DC for a week - train somewhere else and make it a mini-camp. Don't grind on tactics. Don't grind on psyches. Don't grind on personalities and performances. Wipe the slate clean and let them have fun for a week and see if that prompts any response.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 19, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

We're all part of Diablo's army....

Posted by: BarraBrava | May 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Mastadon Juan,

Gros may not have the skills that everybody craves, but he could run at the same decent speed for a complete 90 minutes...something that nobody on this roster (except Benny, who is injured) can claim.

Posted by: BigWave | May 19, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"any kind of snob will do on the insider!"

I'm a Conference North snob. I impress everyone with my knowledge of the game by wearing a Vauxhall Motors replica to DC and US games, work and Safeway. It's such an obscure team that I must be a real fan.

OK, I never heard of them before I did a Wikipedia search, but I have ridden in a Vauxhall.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 19, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

You misunderstand me: it's not that I'm saying Gros wasn't a very good player (he was), but rather, to count him as a player "missing from injury" like Chivas' nine rostered players who are out is misleading.

Gros is NOT on DC's roster, and that he would not be on DC's roster was known as long ago as last fall, before the draft or any transactions. His case is categorically different from the other 13 players referenced.

His absence is not only no excuse, the fact that he is so badly missed reflects very very poorly on DC management, who had ample opportunity to find a suitable replacement.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 19, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Soehn's timeline could be as short as two games.
.....

I say trade for Chris Sietz and let him and Carvallo duke it out for the starting spot.

Posted by: Ron | May 19, 2008 1:31 PM

What is either of these based on? Why would Seitz be available? What would DC give up?

Posted by: JkR | May 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

It's a long season. Houston was 2-6-1 after 8 games last year.
========================================

I think a bit of recalculation may be needed.

Posted by: tri-village | May 19, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Man, it's rough to see MJ making so much sense these days. Clear sign that DCU is really hurting -- no need for him to make stuff up!"

Actually, our Paleolithic friend's commentary has vastly improved over the last year, while the quality of the rest of the board has unfortunately suffered. At least over the last couple posts, his observations have been spot on, including the meta-analysis of many DC fans' comments. I have noticed that many of the original regulars are less vocal then we were a year ago, but I conjecture that it has little to do with the state of DCU. The quality and breadth of Goff's work has waxed, but the poignancy of the comments has unfortunately waned.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Man, it's rough to see MJ making so much sense these days. Clear sign that DCU is really hurting -- no need for him to make stuff up!"

Actually, our Paleolithic friend's commentary has vastly improved over the last year, while the quality of the rest of the board has unfortunately suffered. At least over the last couple posts, his observations have been spot on, including the meta-analysis of many DC fans' comments. I have noticed that many of the original regulars are less vocal then we were a year ago, but I conjecture that it has little to do with the state of DCU. The quality and breadth of Goff's work has waxed, but the poignancy of the comments has unfortunately waned.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Alas, the one constant is the double post. :-(

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 19, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I think a bit of recalculation may be needed.

Posted by: tri-village | May 19, 2008 2:20 PM
================

Houston: Home of Enron.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 19, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hold on, dude... looking up "poignancy."

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 19, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo is in the Goal of the Week derby once more. Is anyone up for another exercise in stuffing the ballot box?

For that matter, All-Star voting is underway, if you can think of anyone who is deserving.

Posted by: tri-village | May 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

we should do a "vote for the worst" and put some happless dcu player on the allstar team...some candidates please..

Posted by: mizage | May 19, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

some updates on united would be great, is Soehn gone? is Emilio gone? give me something buddy!!

Posted by: koolcaio | May 19, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Stupid posts like that are driving me away.

Posted by: RK | May 19, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

u r stupid leave!!! besides u r SE and All SE suck!!

Posted by: leave RK | May 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Etch as coach would complete the destruction of this franchise. Would he have Moreno run around the field and take every throw in like he did his last two seasons?? It's the players stupid!!!

Posted by: Not Him | May 19, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

My math, or my facts, may have been dodgy. My fact checker and my statistician have resigned in disgrace.

Major props to LeesburgSoccerFan for speaking the truth.

"The quality and breadth of Goff's work has waxed, but the poignancy of the comments has unfortunately waned.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 19, 2008 2:22 PM "

Well done, sir.

Posted by: JkR | May 19, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Nope; I'm just some random fan in a city far, far away.

Posted by: RK | May 19, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

DC United is crippled by the loss of key players. Woe is me.

Let's just sit by a lake and pluck pedals from flowers - he loves me, he loves me not - and mope.

Honestly, DC has dealt with worse players losses and not in the "glory" days, either. Remember Ryan Nelsen? Best defender in the league. Best player on the team. Absolute rock in the back. Gone. Same year, Earnie Stewart returned to Holland. Somehow, DC United did not dissolve in their absence.

How about Eskandarian? A key player up top with ton of fight in him. We lost him the next year. Again, DC United survived.

There are other less-steller-yet-supremely-useful players that left during more or less the same period like Petke, and a laundry list of anonymous MLS backups. Somehow, DC United survived.

What is different now? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Was there a critical mass that left? One could argue "yes" but I would note that Carroll was bench carbunkle all season, Erpen was a bicycle kick Hindenburg, Boswell was a ghost, and Vanney a slug.

Last year, DC was cursed with a host of forwards/attackers who did not produce (DeRoux, Walker, North, Kpene, Moose, Casal). There were total non-factors.

Troy was huge for us, but also displayed a pattern of errors during the last campaign. Plus - this is a business - they made of a ton of money from selling him. No harm no foul.

So basically, aside from Gomez and Olsen (maybe Perkins) we lost players that did not figure in the equation anyway. So we lost a great player? Should that be the harbinger of collapse? No. DC has lost players of similar caliber prowess and found success.

I ask again, what is different?

Is it the mix of new players? If so, management is at fault, as they scouted them. Every season as its share of busted new recruits. Is it higher this season?

I see a failure to motivate/punish Emilio, recruit an unteachable Wells, bring in a DP who cannot get with the team (I don't buy that, but I am using it for sake of argument), and fail to create a cohesive whole.

That is management. Someone mentioned the endless formation tinkering by Soehn...as if he were fumbling around in the dark for his car keys, trying to get into his car during a piss-down rain storm.

If you tinker with a rotation and win, you are a cunning tactician. If you tinker and lose (and lose, and lose) you are a failure, "in over your head," and need to be fired.

Is Soehn a good coach? Hard to say. One cold say a coach is only as good as his last result. Unfortunately for Soehn, his last eight results (save one) have been disastrous.

Someone argued it is "bad" to replace a coach midseason. Why? Is is then correct to say it is better to maintain a deficient coach for the entire year? Why is it more acceptable to sign or sell a player in midseason? Is it easier to replace one (or more) coach(es) as opposed to 8 players? Just as a great striker can scrape a goal out of seemingly nothing, shouldn't a quality coach be able to cope with injuries and changes at if not win, at least be competitive? If the mere quality of players is the gauge, how did Cardiff make it to the FA Cup Final?

Posted by: Erick | May 19, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I love all of the pie in the sky trades you guys come up with! Let's send Dyachenko and a box of donuts to team X for their star player or solid contributor from their starting line up or even one of their better bench prospects. Who do you think is dumb enough to trade us anything of value for no value these days?

Posted by: Glenn | May 19, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@JkR:

The two games estimate is based on my assessment of the situation. In short, Chang is Not Happy, and based on FO quotes of late changes are in the offing. I did use the words "I'd say...".

And who is to say Chris Seitz is NOT avaiable for the right offer? Every player has a trade price. Say, start negotiations by offering Niell, Wells, and a ham sandwich. We are talking Real Salt Lake after all.

Posted by: Ron | May 19, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately RSL has Lagerway in charge now. He turns out to know something about soccer. Stealing players from RSL isn't easy like it used to be.

Posted by: Glenn | May 19, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

One more thing for people at FIFA to be nervous about:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/05/19/southafrica.deaths/index.html

Posted by: tri-village | May 19, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on

Read the story in context

It's anger about Zimbabwe immigrants who have moved into poor areas

Saying that will affect the World Cup is like saying an American school shooting will worry Super Bowl organizers

Sad indeed, but not relevant

Posted by: Barca Man | May 19, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"[Thierry] Henry himself has been offered £5.2m a year by Major League Soccer newcomers Seattle Sounders to join Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham in the United States. (The Independent)"

From The Independent (alas, no byline there either -- bolding added by me -- and as Goff so wisely pointed out some time ago, by who on the Sounders?):

Seattle attempt to lure Henry

The former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has been offered £5.2m a year to join David Beckham and play in the MLS in the United States. The Seattle Sounders will join the MLS next season and are keen to sign the 30-year-old, who cost Barcelona £16m when he joined from Arsenal last summer. Aston Villa have also been linked with a move for Henry, as have Newcastle United, but the Frenchman, whose daughter lives with her mother in London, has told his advisers he is reluctant to move to the North-east. Therefore, not even £5m a year may tempt him Stateside.


Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

When you consider the floowing...

1) The rep we got (I believe we were painted as robbing and fleecing others) for some of our notable pre-season trades - Gomez for a DP slot and the BB for "Wells of sadness".

2)The fact that while we would be trading talent, it is talent that looks really, really bad on the field just now (e.g., once and MVP twice a piece of junk).

3) The fact that there are a few teams out there that enjoy watching this debacle.

Bottom line - trading is not going to be easy and we may have to give a LOT (like we have that) to get anything of value, especially in areas where we need help the most.

The other teams have gotten smarter and our continuous poor showings cannot help one bit. It puts us on the desperate end of trade talks - a very bad place to be. I believe that it was Mastodon Juan who mentioned (either in this thread or another) that Emilio would work better in Chicago. Sound proposal, but what we could have gotten for him at the beginning of the season is no where near what we'll get for him now.

The FO has their work cut out for them. Fixing this, via trades is going to be one heck of a task. Another reason why I think that new coach might be the smarter way of going about fixing this mess. Lets see if someone else can make some lemonade from what's on hand right now (a tall ask, yes, but at this point what else do we have to lose other than more points?)

Posted by: Kosh | May 19, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

South Africa has an image problem in a way that the U.S. does not, at least in this area. Lecturing potential visitors to that country about how they should read stories in context is not going to do much good.

Posted by: tri-village | May 19, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Glenn, that is a good point about Lagerwey. Real SL has traded better since he took over.

That said, I still would like Chris Seitz. But more realistically we may have to get a keeper through the discovery process, or whatever they are calling it now.

Posted by: Ron | May 19, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

hmm,

United buys out Paul Mariner's contract from New England. Taylor Twellman, currently not happy in New England decides he wants out and comes to United with Mariner. New England gets Dyachenko and a one-year old pack of dog treats in exchange for him.

Posted by: United fury | May 19, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ron,

Maybe next year's draft there will be a good undervalued goalkeeping prospect.

Posted by: United fury | May 19, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Vote goal of the week for Gallardo..
http://web.mlsnet.com/sights/goal_of_the_week/

Posted by: FC Arlington | May 19, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Erick is on target.

A coach that tinkers (even more appropriate, dismantles) a successful team into one that loses, and loses, ... is a poor coach. He inherited a roster from Novak that won; his hasn't.

I hear lots of negative comments from him on the players, including his own picks. But never heard him stepping up for any responsibility.

Maybe a college team can be run thru fear, but I don't think a pro team can be run that way.

Posted by: Conrad | May 19, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I would like us try to see if we can fix our problems in goal. A solid keeper could at least keep us in some games (though the same could be said for a quality goal scorer).

Posted by: Darth Hater | May 19, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Conference North snob. I impress everyone with my knowledge of the game by wearing a Vauxhall Motors replica to DC and US games, work and Safeway. It's such an obscure team that I must be a real fan.

OK, I never heard of them before I did a Wikipedia search, but I have ridden in a Vauxhall.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1
---------------------------

NO!!! In Conference North, you must go with Rushden and Diamonds, man! Owned by the Doc Martens Boot Company.

Posted by: troy | May 20, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

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