Network News

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

Payne Is, Um, a Little Upset

Read all of the DCU president's postgame comments by clicking here.

Bonus quotes.....

Tom Soehn: "We have got to evaluate and make sure now we turn this around. It's getting to a crucial time."

Yup.

Santino Quaranta: "We do the right amount of work, but we are just not good enough. ... Our shape was bad. They are a good team ... and they seemed like they were faster than us and they were a better team than us, that's the bottom line."

Yup.

Player ratings: Wells 6; Namoff 4, Peralta 4, Martinez 4; Quaranta 3, Simms 3, Dyachenko 3, Moreno 4, Burch 4; Niell 3, Emilio 3. Subs: Doe 4, Stratford no rating, Kirk no rating.

Factoid: Three of the next four are on the road. DCU is 0-3 away from RFK, with no goals scored and eight allowed.

Highlight package is available here.

On a brighter note, Heather O'Reilly of the USA women's team will take your questions online at 2 p.m. Friday and the Sports Bog takes a long look at the colorful Natasha Kai. Wanna see the home team score some goals at RFK? Go see the women on Saturday night.

By Steve Goff  |  May 9, 2008; 12:56 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday: DCU-Chicago
Next: Bradley Service Moved Indoors

Comments

""Factoid: Three of the next four are on the road. DCU is 0-3 away from RFK, with no goals scored and eight allowed.""

Thanks for pouring more salt in the wound, Goff . . .

but after an embarrassing display by the team, we should expect it

Posted by: delantero | May 9, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

As someone who has been singing Namoff's praises this year, I think you scored him too high. Peralta, too. Quaranta got a bum deal, His teammates didn't seem to want to pass to him -- of course, they may know something. Tino was right about which was the better team. I don't think DCU has been the better team since the Harbor View game. OK -- that's an exaggeration. We were better than Toronto.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 9, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

That was a very strange highlight package. They didn't show any of DCU's shots -- not Simms' efforts, nor Moreno's woodwork shot. They didn't even show some of the nice work by the Fire that tested Wells. But, they did show some fouls, for some reason.

On the first goal, I think Tino blames himself for leaving the middle open, but it seems to me that Simms got beat on both goals. The one reliable player until tonight. Yech.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 9, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I miss the days of MLS when Facundo Erpen could make a critical mistake every game resulting in a one v. one situation and some joe schmoe attacker would send the ball to Row Z.

Posted by: Glaucon | May 9, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Fry. From what I saw, in crowded situations Peralta was playing way too far up in midfield and they played through the hole. I admire his fire, but he needs to shore up the back before he makes runs forward. Quaranta seemed to do a good job and was understandably frustrated to be taken off.

The people around me were *begging* for someone to take a shot. Burch had so many chances with the open goal, but he would always pass -- it defied logic. And I want to give Niell his chance, but don't think he's got enough physical strength and presence to make it.

Towards the end, it was mayhem -- nobody was playing their position anymore. It looked like a complete breakdown.

Posted by: JC | May 9, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

I guess the conclusion would be that MLS is getting better -- at least good enough to finish off plays, when the defense screws up.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 9, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

. . . at United's expense. :(

Posted by: Glaucon | May 9, 2008 2:18 AM | Report abuse

I think Luci's One-Too-Many-Touches-Itis has infected his teammates.

Our section was screaming for players to shoot...each of them seemingly afraid to shoot or requiring and second or even third touch before feeling comfortable enough to strike. THIS IS NOTHING NEW!

A crudging characteristic of United in since '04 (when I started going to games) was that they took excruciatingly too much time in the eighteen. Their style seemed too bound up with working the ball within the eighteen to setup the "perfect" shot. Simms and Carroll historically seemed the only one not afraid to let rip from beyond the penalty arc.

So what is the difference? Well, to work the ball inside the eighteen requires precise one-touch passes and tight, mobile triangles. Both have been lacking. The result? Far fewer chances on goal than in years past.

Think back? How many goals did United waste last year? (I now I posted here about how many Emilio ate.) They were passing more crisply in the eighteen and therefore getting a more cracks at goal. They were dismal finishers, as the bruised masses sitting in Row Z could attest, but the key was MORE chances at goal.

The first touch has been a piece of garbage this season. Hospital balls left and right. Brickfooted touches. The technique should be there, based on the pedigree of the players brought in. All I can guess is that somehow they are not being prepared in training, either their technique has been left to degrade or their minds to wander. Both fall on the shoulders of management. The poor touches are not under pressure! Players with plenty of time and space and passing to red shirts. Players on the flanks are sending in blind fingers-crossed service to the forwards...er, actually to the defenders. Again, that is training ground stuff.

Aside from Gomez, what did we lose from last year?
- Erpen...dubious defender with some attacking flair
- Kpene...zero goals
- Vanney...slow, bad defender
- Boswell...see above
- John Watson...slow reserve defender
- Josh Gros...great work rate, but lacking technique
- Troy Perkins...prone to mental lapses, but capable of organizing the back

Aside from the #10 and keeper positions, on balance the team brought in MORE talent and technique. Could it all come down to who in playing the #10 spot and in goal? I am not convinced. On that first goal, four United players were standing there, pants down, in the 18...all looking at each other as if saying "I thought YOU had him!?!" The point being they had numbers back, but no one pressured the ball (same on Blanco's goal by the way).

I think the problem is deeper that the loss of two keys players (I would make that three with Ben "Obi Wan" Olsen)...the crap touch, lack of communication, and dismal organization (in all three thirds) are a training and preparation issue.

I think you know where I am going...how do you assemble better parts into an inferior whole?

It is shame. With tickets and parking alone, I have over $1,000 sunk into this team. I am pissed to think they play like this and management feels it the appropriate time to give raises. Unlike the front office, I do not like to throw good money after bad. If they continue this way, I will save my five season tix and sit at home and watch them play like peg-legged pirates for free.

Posted by: Erick | May 9, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

it's never good when your goalie is the best player on the field.

-upside: wells made more great saves tonight than grave mistakes. hopefully, it's the start of a trend.

-downside: we look dreadful.

i disagree with JC about burchl i dont recall him having any more open looks than niell or moreno, and i thought that in the first half he was providing great service and poorly utilized by our misfiring forwards. that said, he was invisible in the second half. on that same theme, emilio was a ghost all game. our midfield was porous and defensively lazy (considering we played 5 midfielders, that shouldn't happen). the team looks listless. it could've been a difference of 4 or 5 tonight.

bottom of the conference? ugh. i've had enough of the players telling us how bad they played. at this point. i'd rather see some finger pointing. make these guys culpable (bench emilio! and who the hell is this dyachenko player i keep hearing about but never see making plays?). gut out a win. i dont care if we play ugly. i just want results. please.

Posted by: longfellow | May 9, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

I do hope we spend extra time in practice working on first touch and 1-and-2-touch passing. I remember Nowak emphasizing those concepts when he came to DCU (and how easy it was to subsequently get casual fans interested as a result of the attractive passing play).

The other thoughts running through my head as I float with insomnia and facebook flirting is:

1) Has McTavish ever played CB in a 3-man line before?
2) If Gallardo's out for another match, can Simms take free kicks? His balls don't bend, but they definitely seem dangerous.
3) How soon will Shaq Phillips be MLS-ready?

The moon is starting to look bigger from my window.

Posted by: B.A. | May 9, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Goffer -- a 6 for Wells? Sure, he had his moments, but on Blanco's goal he was WAY off his line.

It's a total mystery to me, too, that Niell was on the field for more than 45 minutes. Doe has been much more impressive, even in the short amount of time he's been on the field.

I've just about lost hope.

Posted by: Andy | May 9, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that DC Uniteds problems really lie in the midfield. Their back line may actually be the best unit they have going for them at this point, considering that they rarely get beat one on one. What is happening to give their defense the bad rap is that the midfield is not tracking back, as shown by the first goal, and if they do track back, they dont think about the consequences of letting the opponents get off that long cross or pass, i.e. the second goal. In all honesty, I have been pretty impressed with the defenders themselves (except a bit lacking in terms of service once they win, but nobody on DC can pass at this point so who cares).

My other question is does anybody know of any moment that Dyachenko has done something good? How does he go from being the player they let go to Toronto to their starting attacking middy who is supposed to set everything up... thats why this midfield is collapsing. I think they just need a bit of confidence so they can believe in each other, and then they will start working for each other.... This team seems to have more people from different places than most other teams, so maybe it will just take some time to get over language barriers. lets hope

Posted by: Will | May 9, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that DC Uniteds problems really lie in the midfield. Their back line may actually be the best unit they have going for them at this point, considering that they rarely get beat one on one. What is happening to give their defense the bad rap is that the midfield is not tracking back, as shown by the first goal, and if they do track back, they dont think about the consequences of letting the opponents get off that long cross or pass, i.e. the second goal. In all honesty, I have been pretty impressed with the defenders themselves (except a bit lacking in terms of service once they win, but nobody on DC can pass at this point so who cares).

My other question is does anybody know of any moment that Dyachenko has done something good? How does he go from being the player they let go to Toronto to their starting attacking middy who is supposed to set everything up... thats why this midfield is collapsing. I think they just need a bit of confidence so they can believe in each other, and then they will start working for each other.... This team seems to have more people from different places than most other teams, so maybe it will just take some time to get over language barriers. lets hope

Posted by: Will | May 9, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

i just want to cry. at least my other team(redwings) won tonight. the sad part is i went to the bar to watch them side by side and dc looked so bad i actually felt guilty that i was glad detroit won....

Posted by: gilbert | May 9, 2008 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Nothing has changed since game one. I fixed my eyes on Jaime and was rewarded with watching a man fend off two guys nearly every time and maintain possession. I thought he did a very good job again (with a pathetic team all around him). Wells is a disgrace. He has no clue what he is doing. His one save was excellent with the left hand. Other than that, most 6 foot goalies would have paried Blanco's shot away. If it isn't his right at Zach, he has no chance. I appreciate all the players taking shots from distance, but geez, keep the ball on the ground. The ground was wet, and any high school player knows how to take advantage of a wet field; not United's coaching staff however. Most of our shots stayed in the air and did not take advantage of the wet ground (except for Clyde's first shot). Erick: join me for some popcorn and refeshments. Watching the game on the internet is worth the price of admission. This front office deserves to be punished for its poor player/personnel decisions and does not deserve your attendance.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Kevin has a right to be upset, not only with the team but his FO. DCU either WAY over paid for the players it brought in and/or the Coaching staff has done a dismal job in preparing the players this year.

Right now this is a very bad team. I would not be surprised to see this team 2-8-1 following this next stretch with all the away games.

Posted by: Nick from Big Soccer | May 9, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Ya...in my country I fix many bad soccer player and coach.

I make deal. I come back from grave, get front office job.

As former head of Iraq Olympic Committees, I fix all problem. I build Iraq soccer national team into best of Central Asia (much better than pain-my-a-holes Iraq).

Give me shot. Maybe one or two player not walk for week, maybe one or two disappear. Who know in such crazy time? Whatever happen, I promise your problem to "disappear."

Posted by: Uday Hussein | May 9, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Dearest Tom,

Thanks ever so much for taking the onus off of me as worst coach in the MLS. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel light and airy...so free! So Free!

XOXO
John Ellinger
Former MLS' Worst Coach

Posted by: John Ellinger | May 9, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

What is problem? DC United can get a bit of coach quality...

Mister Payne pay money and I send my used underpant to Washington.

My used underpant got patented "Essence of Jose" - this bring special bit of Special One to locker room and training pitch. This make improvement over current staff.

Posted by: Jose Mourinho | May 9, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to see the tape, but at the game, I was assuming either Peralta or Martinez blew coverage on the first goal. Namoff was on the header, no one was in the middle with Mapp. If Tino is on the wing, how does he get the sole blame on this one.

Second goal reminded me of Beckham's where the defender just gave him space w/o pressure, so he took the far corner.

I'm surprise that no one brought up the sub. Tino wasn't playing great, but it was obvious that Emilio was the worse on the pitch. Bad runs, lost the ball dribbling, jogging, missed runs, etc. Why not put Doe in up there (or on the wing and move Tino up?)

In the end, it'd be nice to sit one of the centrals (probably Peralta) and put a healthy McTavish back in there for a few games. Also sit Emilio and try something else up front.

Rough night last night, we looked decent in the first half, but really tossed in the towel after that goal. We really need a Ben or Dema or Nelsen out there to fire things up.

bah.

Posted by: e | May 9, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

really, what's the freaking point of using the wings when the only striker you have putting in a game effort is 5'2" and the defense averages a foot taller? I really want to like Franco, he was working his butt off last night, but he's no more likely to win a ball in the air against Soumare as I am to stop a moreno pk. This was the gameplan?

Posted by: Northzax | May 9, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Payne is worthless - he should go. He's too much of a hindrance and he never fully understood the game.
Yelling at players - wow - great motivator. Probably kicks dogs too . . .

Posted by: Payne must go | May 9, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Payne must go,

If you want Payne to go, you presumably want all the players (who haven't done their jobs on the field) and coaches (who haven't done their jobs on the sidelines) to go as well. If you're like most of us, you probably don't enjoy the Cathedral or dump or whatever you want to call it known as RFK. Heck, you're probably still mad about Santino Quaranta's antics.

Query: Why not just switch allegiance to another team?

Posted by: Glaucon | May 9, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Bad passing all game long is what I saw. Sloppy passes in tight lanes with guys waiting on the ball coming through rather than moving to it implies poor judgment and laziness. Long 50:50 balls in the air from Wells to short men like Niel- its just bad. What happened to the beautiful DCU passing/control game? When did we turn into a team which just punts and hopes? Whose bonehead idea is it for us to play an air game?

Offense needs to step it up. Emilo is too slow to run onto a thru ball, and Niel who is fast enough to run onto a thru ball lacks the balls to actually take a shot (he had his man beat by a step and turned it back to pass, ARRRRGH!).

The only silver lining is Wells is steadily improving, and if we stick with him through half a season he may turn into a fine goalie.

Posted by: Wiggan | May 9, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

New ratings:

Player ratings: Wells 6; Namoff 4, Peralta 4, Martinez 4; Quaranta 2, Simms -10, Dyachenko -10, Moreno 1, Burch 0; Niell 0, Emilio 0. Subs: Doe 4, Stratford no rating, Kirk no rating.

Simms and Dyachenko were pathetic - Simms was from behind as his guys calmly put away the two goals.

Posted by: bob | May 9, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Below is a rant that goes all over the place.

Dyachenko is awful. What happened to him? Was he ever any good in the first place? Every time he touched the ball he lost it. His tackles are awful.

Wells is totally to blame for that 2nd goal. He was at least 8 yards off his line.

Both goals could have easily been prevented. We probably could have gotten a 0-0 draw. However, we didn't deserve it. We just flat out suck right now.

I loved how Harkes was sort of calling out everyone last night. Front office, coaches, players.

Who thinks Gallardos salary has fractured the locker room? Anyone? I'm starting to think that may have something to do with it.

As great a season as he had last year. I would not have given Luci one more dime. He signed a contract. I wish my job rewarded me with more money if I was a bad employee.

I know we turned it around last year, but I don't see that happening this year. We will be lucky to make the playoffs this year.

Maybe Arena's phone is ringing now. Does anyone think he could come back? He may not be the answer, but I would give him a try. Arena and NY was never a good match.

I'm also tired of hearing how this team misses Ben. Yes we do, but even if he is in there, we still lose these games.

I looked at the schedule before the season started and said if we didn't have 9 points from the first 4 games, we would be in trouble. KC, Toronto, Colombus, Salt Lake. Are you kidding me?

Posted by: steve-o | May 9, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Kevin Payne has a much too long history of success with DC for us to reasonably blame this fiasco on him. I think we have to look at the players and the coaching. Why does Niell get so much playing time when he's shorter than Freddy Adu? Especially against Bakare Sumari yesterday? And why does DC keep serving him high balls? Why do our players resort to slide tackles so much? Why does Martinez feel like he has to put his shoulder into every tackle? To me these are signs of bad habits in players and coaches not putting a stop to it. I mean how much of a moron do you have to be to not know a mini-me Niell isn't going to win high balls against an over 6ft tall defender?

Posted by: Bart | May 9, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

1) Emilio looks slow, tired, even old out there. Its a night and day scenario between his last season and this one.

2) The team is not making the right runs for passes. Its amateur attacking out there and it looks like everyone but Moreno has lost any semblance of intelligence.

3) Man marking, zone marking, however it is DC plays it isn't working. The defense is getting slaughtered as the numerous chances Chicago had were too abundant to ignore... and all this in front of an energetic home crowd.

4) I don't know what is going on, but a coaching change may be needed as I am starting to lose faith in Tom. This team looks lost out there, its still early and can be turned around, but the more ugly we lose the more I think of a change.

5) We have new players but they are NEW and don't understand DC's tradition yet. We win, we dominate, we make the other team look bad.

End of rant

Posted by: Felix | May 9, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

steve-o I am with you about everything except Gallarado's salary. He is one of the few players that deserves it. Simms, Luci, Dyachenko, Burch, Niell should pay him just for showing up. Those 5 did absolutely nothing last night or this season.

Posted by: b | May 9, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

This is simply a matter of heart. Anyone who follows sports can understand this. Where is United's heart this season? Well, I can tell you. Our heart is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery. Our heart, to a certain extenet, was traded to Colorado. Finally, a bit of our heart but more of our Grit is taking the year off after one to many concussions. What to do we have in their place? Not sure.

Say what you want about their performances last night, but I think we have only a few guys that are "playing for the shirt" right now.

JM as always. Nieall, Peralta, Martinez, Simms, Namoff. That seemed to be about it. Again, much of their performance was as bad as the rest of the team but at least they looked like that were pissed that it was so bad.

The unquenchable desire to win. Where did that go?

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | May 9, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

This is the second time I've watched a game and begged for it to just end. There's no joy in this team. I don't know if it's the expectations, the loss of Ben, ineffective coaching, too much roster turnover, off-field business issues - WHATEVER.

There is no joy in this team on the field and there is less joy in the stands. At this point, the Supporter's Shield is probably lost but there are still 3 other trophies out there to win and that has to be the aim - be the team with the late season run to glory this time.

That said, I also hope I can stop watching games where the Black-and-Red is far outclassed on the pitch. All losses hurt, but losses in prior years came with the feeling that the team gave all it had and came up short. Losses this year sting because I can't feel the team giving it's all and I see other teams dictate pace, speed, ball movement, and defend with simple and well communicated organization. This team is going to take a lot longer to gel and figure out it's language issues and it's on-field organization details.

There are too many players in all parts of the field waiting to have service delivered to them - the attack has no bite - balls don't go forward and runs off the ball at any point are non-existant. That's not good soccer ANYWHERE.

Also - the MLS as a whole has gotten better. It's time we all realize that our gap from the league is gone.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 9, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

frank rijkaard is available

martinez, peralta, niell, and quaranta have not gelled with the rest of the team this year, we picked up these players to get dominate our league and our region, but that hasn't happened, sometimes we get busts, sometimes we don't, but if changes need to be made, now's the time, this early in the season, we a 3 game road swing coming up, we have a chance to fix this

im more shocked at emilio getting a bonus with a crappy season so far and a crappy on field attitude

payne has every right to be mad, its his money and his neck he's putting out there to get top talent and sponsors in this region

Posted by: DCSharksFC | May 9, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

does anyone want to buy 3 season tickets???

Posted by: chris | May 9, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Ok and one other thing. The more I follow sports and especially media interaction with players the more I think that there is an axiom that the players who suck the worst in a game are going to be the ones most ready to make statements about the "team's" performance and to use phrases like "we were not the better team" and "we didn't do enough to win" SQ's post game quotes are the Suck-Ass-Performance-Post-Game-Damage-Control Axiom in full efffect. The SAPPGDCA makes me really want to vomit. Whenver you see it, just change the 1st person plural to singular and you've got the truth.

Posted by: alexandriaDan | May 9, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Last statement from Virginia Blue Blood is spot on. Like it or not, other teams have figured out how to get talent. Crying about it like a three year old while saying something like "they're copying me" is going to get us nowhere fast.

Posted by: alexandriaDan | May 9, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

it's not "the" MLS's Eastern Conference, Goff.

For shame.

Posted by: Sharp | May 9, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"We've got guys who think it is okay if you go out and put a good effort in for 30-35 minutes, the crowd cheers, everybody gets happy and then you fall asleep for a play and -- bang! -- you are down a goal," Payne said.

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

I think KP is right...why do we (the supporters) continue to blindly cheer these crap efforts? Just because you aren't screaming your head off all game doesn't mean you aren't a true supporter and I think thats something that some of the folks on the loud side need to realize. We can't tolerate these performances and, until they start showing the same amount of heart we do, we shouldn't cheer a team after the game that hasn't earned our efforts.

Posted by: BK | May 9, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow...it was painful and shockingly sucks but I will never stop supporting and try to lift Black-and-Red.

Posted by: td | May 9, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Soehn should have singled Tino out for the first goal - neither of the central defenders were even in the box!

Other things I don't understand - why would you have a leftie (Burch) take a corner kick from the left. the ball is obviously going to outswing over the end line, I knew that before he even took it.

I think we have missed Fred alot more than people have noted over the last two games, but our forwards are just toothless. At no point last night (or the game against Colorado) did they look threatening.

Posted by: pat | May 9, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

blah. radical changes need to be made, starting with the coaching.

Posted by: downtown | May 9, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

i hope someone is fired soon.this is nothing more than a leadership issue, the team has no direction

Posted by: chris | May 9, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"It seems to me that DC Uniteds problems really lie in the midfield. Their back line may actually be the best unit they have going for them at this point, considering that they rarely get beat one on one."

Sadly agree; to a point. How many times did the back line not collapse on the ball last nite? But, back to the midfield... I've never seen so many midfielders looking to pass the ball back to the defense in a single game (2nd place goes to Eddie Johnson for his last Fulham appearance). There just wasn't any movement in the midfield no running off the ball....

I could go on & on. Painful.

Posted by: TB | May 9, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

If Soehn must go, then who should replace him?

*(Serious candidates need only be listed (i.e., Mourinho, Rijkaard, Erickson need not apply)).

Posted by: Mickey | May 9, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow...it was painful and shockingly sucks but I will never stop supporting and try to lift Black-and-Red.

Posted by: td | May 9, 2008 8:24 AM

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

You see...thats the realization that I'm talking about. I will never stop supporting United either but I'm not going to shower them with my cheers after a dismal performance like that. I think it would send a powerful message to the players if the fans start expressing a little criticism once in awhile.

Posted by: BK | May 9, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Face it, without Olsen and Gomez in the middle, this team is garbage. DCU has gone from slump to just plain bad.

P.S. The entire country saw this debacle.

Go Red Bulls! We will sweep DCU this season.

Posted by: Red Bull New York | May 9, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

We are sitting there at the game and two things were apparent:

1. Niell works his butt off. We were cracking up every time he went up for a header. Last week, everyone was upset because he was always on the ground, but this week you're upset because he works too hard and he can't win the header? That makes no sense. He was the only one that we hustling on the pitch last night. Moreno had nice ball control, but if it wasn't to his feet, he wasn't chasing after it. Niell was doing his best out there and wasn't being rewarded. Him and Doe up front would cause some havoc with their speed if we could give them good balls on the ground to run at.

2. Wells IS NOT GETTING BETTER. As I have been saying since the first game, he makes good reaction saves, but he still has horrible positioning in the goal. On the second goal, he was 7 yards off of his line and the ball was 19 yards out. Blanco will make that shot 10 times out of 10 into the far corner. And again, I don't think many of you have played, or even understand, the position of goalie. It wasn't just on the goal, there were many other times when he was out of position when there were no shots. Also, he is still guarding the cross too much when the ball is on the wing. Do you remember the first goal for Pachuca? He was guarding the post and the player shot it near post? If teams in the MLS were truly scouting, they would be doing this every time because that post is always open. As a goalie, it is a cardinal sin to let that post stay that open. You guard for the post first and the cross second.

But I understand, you see a few saves where he had to dive and you think he's getting better. He's not. Take it from a goalie who's been playing the position for over 18 years (since age 10). He's making basic mistakes and the team is paying for them. It is deflating the team when he gives up stupid goals like he did to Blanco last night. Wells' ranking is officially a 3.

Posted by: Q | May 9, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I think it's time to start the funeral of DC United as a team this year.

Que descanse en paz!!!!!

Amen!!!!

Posted by: El Verdugo | May 9, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see Pasarella come to dc united great coach from Argentina, Gallardo's mentor or even Viancchi former coach of boca, Maybe Bruce Arena again

Posted by: we need a coach | May 9, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't United mgmt upgrade Luci's contract already this past year, moving him from the 275s to the 300-350k range??? I could swear that happended.

So this was his SECOND raise. Man, I need a boss like that [open scene]

Me: Hi, Boss.

Boss (one of six): Hey.

Me: Look, uh, I know I haven't been getting those TPS reports filed, but it is because I am not motivated.

Boss: Would some sort of profit sharing program get you excited? How about having as many as four people working for you?

Me: No. That is more work. How about just a raise? More money would make be happy.

Boss: So, you're working less, but need a raise to feel good about working, yeah?

Me: Yep. You know it.

Boss: Done! You are a masterful negotiator. I feel confident this pay raise will make you happy and ensure all the TPS reports get filed on time.

Me: >wink

[end scene - fade to black]

Posted by: Erick | May 9, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The only person still smiling this season is Niell's agent - he took Payne & Company to the cleaners on the little guy's contract and is laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted by: Oliver | May 9, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

BK,

I don't think the players think that the supporters sections are okay with defeat. Rather, when we continue to show them support after matches, it makes them want to work even harder at the next practice and the next game. (Or atleast that's how the theory goes.) If you play for the Pink Cows, money is the only motivation because fans stopped showing up and supporting their team a long time ago. They'd rather go on Washington Post blogs than go to actual matches. (see above) United players also feel a responsibility for the fans that stick with them through thick and thin.

Posted by: Glaucon | May 9, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The disaster continues !! Last year's Supporter Shield is starting to look pretty good now isn't it?
Qustions: Why did we pay so much money for poor performers?
Where was Peralta on that first Goal?
Why is Emilio still on the field?
Why are we serving long balls to the shortest man on the field?
Why can't the coaches take control of this team, do their job, and turn things around? I feel a lack of leadership on and off the field. Kevin Payne has every right to be upset. If this continues, we won't need to have the games at RFK, we can have them at the Soccer Plex, which I think holds about 3,000!!

Posted by: Mike | May 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh my! We are ordinary.

Posted by: Ruthie | May 9, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Emilio is a fat toad.

Posted by: George Steinbrenner | May 9, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Glaucon

You couldn't be more on point with what makes United a different club than the rest of MLS. You don't have to be happy about defeat. You don't have to shower praise on the team when they don't play well (and they do not right now).

But United's reputation and its status as an elite club are due to the fact that the fans are not tearing up their tickets and breaking their legs to jump off the bandwagon. Ask a Fulham fan if he'd rather be mid-table rather than needing a result this weekend and a little help to stay up in the Premiership. DC doesn't always offer players the glamourous, big city lifestyle found in LA, NYC, or Chicago - so we have to make our club a place where guys want to go and live and perform and win things.

We have to make our club the place where winning matters and we expect performances - but when the team doesn't lead us to glory or doesn't claim a trophy we have to be there just so they know they still have a reason to step on the pitch and perform.

Will Chang and Victor MacFarlane bought this team with Kevin Payne because of the support it gets in good and bad times. Performance is a coaching and player issue - but if I were a professional and going through a rough time - would I want to work harder in DC where people expect me to do that or in Dallas where barely a handful will notice if I do?

You can hate the performance and question heart, tactics, coaching, roster moves whatever - but don't you dare tear up your tickets now, when there are still 3 trophies to win this year, and expect to be welcomed back to enjoy the movement back to the top.

I have supported DC since 1996 and I've seen great teams win nothing, I've seen OK teams win it all, I've seen good teams go sour and I've seen the fall from grace that left us at the bottom for a few years. I don't know what the rest of this year holds - but I'll still be there because I love the game and I love the team that has provided me the professional game in my backyard and I will never waiver in my support.

But just because the team has my support they also know that I've come to expect quality on the field and off and so far, our growth off the field this year has surpassed what we've done on it and we need to turn it around.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 9, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I had high hopes at the start of the season. My expectations have been humbled and now I just want to see the team win.

Posted by: Felix | May 9, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

you can still support the team but let them know you expect more - a nice chorus of whistles or boos at the approp time would work wonders.

Posted by: dt | May 9, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

18,605 fans in attendance was nice to see.

The club will turn it around.

With only 6 teams missing the playoffs, and 8 getting in, it will be a real achievement to not qualify for the post season.

And we'll always have the SuperLiga and CCL to focus on.

Missing Olsen, Fred (and dare I include McTavish) in the midfield is a real problem. Quaranta is not a midfielder (doesn't understand the defensive responsibilities).

If this team gets healthy they'll be fine. But they certainly are digging themselves a fine hole about 23% of the way into the season.

Perhaps DC should try to hire Denis Hamlett away from Chicago.

Posted by: long season | May 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I think this was the first game where the crowd was just starting to turn on the team. When Niell and Emilio were dancing around in the box, allowing more defenders to have time to get back, you could really hear the shouting from the crowd on tv. Shoot!!!!

Wondering how the field is going to look for the Reserve match this morning. I'm still weighing whether it will be worth it to watch the young guys play in the rain.

Posted by: DCUMD | May 9, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Senhor Goff: Are the reserves still playing this morning?

Posted by: Loosek | May 9, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Re: Mickey
"If Soehn must go, then who should replace him?

*(Serious candidates need only be listed (i.e., Mourinho, Rijkaard, Erickson need not apply))."

Bruce Arena for one. Marco Etcheverry for another.

Posted by: Goose | May 9, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I understand all the frustrations our fans feel and I, too, am frustrated but honestly we have been spoiled because up until now this league has been the most recognized and elite clubes from MLS in the Country and around the globe. So, in playing bad games this early season we the fans automictally feel the frustration.

I agree BK that we should let the players know how we feel but that should not stop supporting the team. Specially game days if stay silent the whole thing goes boring. Winning is important but it's also having fun being part of the game so therefore I believe we should continue cheering.
We should, however, put some signs in the stand that send the message to the team such as "BELIEVE" or CONFIDENCE" to let them know that that's what they are lacking.

Posted by: td | May 9, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn. There I said it.

Seriously though. Think about it. Last year he took an already outstanding team to a supporters shield. There is no reason we should not have won the MLS cup, but tommy just couldn't come up with the motivation when it counted.

This year, despite having a better team than last, we can't even manage a goal, much less a win, on the road. the on-field leaders are not with us anymore (gomez perkins and olsen) and the locker room character builder (boswell) is gone. We don't have a leader and we don't have character. Whose job is it to make sure we build those things? why is jose mourinho so great?

think about it. we have great players. we have seen them make great plays, even this season (well, except for emilio. he is absolute rubbish this year). why have we not gelled yet? why aren't we playing up to our potential? a rubbish manager.

no, i don't want mourinho. i don't want sven. but hey, we've got VW money now. let's use it to BUILD with a class manager who can start shoring up the foundation of this team.

Posted by: moses | May 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I can see Bruce Arena coming back here if this slide contunues. Right now the man on the hot seat has to be Dave Kasper, he's the Technical Director who put this mess together.

We're finding out why Tom Soehn was a finalist for many coaching jobs in MLS when he was an assistant here but never hired until Nowak left.

This team is in trouble. It's old, slow and there is no leadership what so ever. It's 2000-2003 all over again.

Posted by: Sam | May 9, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne has no kick. He rejected Gomez and then signed big bucks in Argentina. We are like LA big bucks and then rookies. We did the same thing when Rongen was manager. With the same result. They seem to feel like anyone who steps on the field is going to win. We have a group that is just getting to know one another. It is going to take a while. I would suggest Santino up front. He can neither trap a ball or keep it when it is passed to him. He is big and can head. We better hope Fred comes back or we will never get the ball and hold it.

Posted by: AFan | May 9, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a kneejerk "fire the coach" type, but it seems to me that one of the criteria for when you pull the trigger on a decision like that is whether or not there is a specific coach available who you think would do a better job. With Bruce Arena or Marco Etcheverry out there, the answer is yes.

I think Marco could do wonders getting these South American players playing like a team.

Posted by: Goose | May 9, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Our new German overlords were probably not pleased with that performance......

I have not pushed the 'panic button' yet, but I did push the 'severely concerned button' after last night's game.

Neill works hard, but is never really in a dangerous situation. We don't need hard working players. We need players who can score goals, defend, and make others around them better. Olsen does this. Gomez did this. Neill doesn't.

I fully place the blame for the second goal on Neill. He is the one who had a horrible turnover at midfield that led to the Fire break and Blanco's goal.

Posted by: isaac101 | May 9, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

if anyone is interested in starting a "fire soehn, hire etcheverry" campaign, i am all in. i have never liked soehn and never thought he was a good fit for the team. he is too focused on skill and talent and not focused enough on the things that make football great - heart, guts, passion glory - and you can see that in the way the team looks. lets get back the "passion" that all the dc united billboards talk about

Posted by: moses | May 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

if anyone is interested in starting a "fire soehn, hire etcheverry" campaign, i am all in. i have never liked soehn and never thought he was a good fit for the team. he is too focused on skill and talent and not focused enough on the things that make football great - heart, guts, passion glory - and you can see that in the way the team looks. lets get back the "passion" that all the dc united billboards talk about

Posted by: moses | May 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I second Q's critique of Wells, and wish to add that Wells' decisions on when and how to charge down the attacker also sucked in this match, as they have in most games so far. I see no chance that he will be able to shape up into a starting-grade keeper. He might not even be an acceptable backup.

If Carvallo can't demonstrate enough in training to get a start in the next couple of weeks, then we are looking at a disaster in goal.

The defenders are talented but don't coordinate, the midfield is an erratic wreck, and the poorly-served forwards aren't the types to create goals out of nothing.

I don't think the season is lost, because a team with talent (and this group does have quite a bit of talent) can turn around quite quickly with the proper corrective changes. It's not as simple as the coach, though. I would key on the midfield, which is a player short of effectiveness even when Gallardo, Simms, and Fred are all on the field and playing well.

Very, very dispiriting.

Posted by: Grunthos | May 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Burch 0;

Posted by: bob | May 9, 2008 7:43 AM

HA! And he was named Man of the Match (?) Guess they had to pick someone.

Agree with many of the above comments about the midfield. That was USL caliber in the middle of the park last night. I knew about 10 minutes in that United would not be scoring last night. Only for a portion of the first half could they create any chances.

I don't blame Soehn just yet, because the team is simply not talented enough without Olsen, Gallardo and Fred. They only thing he could have done last night was play a real 4-4-2 with Moreno and Emilio up top - and take the pace out of the match, limiting Chicago's ability to attack/counter. Nil all would have looked nice in hindsight.

Posted by: Kev | May 9, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

To change the subject for a moment from the 61 previous posts of misery about the local mens team . . . . Steinberg's piece and photos of Kai are great. And Mr. Goff you are superb for lining up HO'R for the online.

Back to the topic of most interest, to sum up, DC United bleaus. Here's a great idea, let's change it up and play long balls in to our 5"4" forward, especially in games when he is marked by a 6'4" central defender.

Posted by: WNT fan | May 9, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Wells a 6? Completely at fualt on the Blanco goal.

Posted by: congguy | May 9, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Wells a 6? Completely at fault on the Blanco goal.

Posted by: congguy | May 9, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow - we are not good. (Fans are still the same though. I am continually impressed at the loyalty and energy.)

I'm going to rant here about a number of things so I feel better.

Martinez is possibly the worst acquisition of the off-season. Slow, no touch from the back. Totally ineffective. Mapp came in down our left side on the first goal. He should have been tracking him. Simms should have as well.

Someone tell me why it was so important to ditch Gomez - the glue of the team?

Why does a professional team play a 5' 4" (am I generous here?) forward? And then serve high crossing balls to him?

Moreno could dribble through a moving cornfield with a scarecrow on his back and not lose the ball. He can play for my team as long as he wants.

I'm not going to trash Emilio - he's trying too hard to cover for the ineptness of the team around him.

I ordered a Sierra and got a Sam Adams...

I miss Olson - would have loved to see him whack on Blanco.

Blanco is no good for this league. Baby, whiner, pompous you-know-what and he attracts no new MLS fans, just fans of him (go figure). Go home Blanco.

Burch takes some nice free kicks. Fear the Turtle.

Dollar for Dollar we get 10 times more from McTavish, Namoff and Burch than any of the "new blood." Give them a raise - $12/hr is pretty silly.

Posted by: MH | May 9, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

DC's problems start with Payne...he shipped out key guys from a team that won the Support's Shield for a bunch of foreign question marks. All the problems are on HIM so he needs to stop blaming the players and step up and take responsibility for HIS mess. HIs biggest mistake was Christian Gomez, how's are HIS 2 new DP's looking who don't score goals or create them?

Posted by: tex | May 9, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I think the loss of B.Carroll is catching up with us and it's exposing Simms. We're lucky MLS is forgiving for slow starts but this won't last once MLS expands.

Posted by: Ike | May 9, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

it's not "the" MLS's Eastern Conference, Goff.

For shame.

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

Um, yes it is.

MLS on its own does not take "the".

But the "the" is needed for "the MLS Eastern Conference." You wouldn't say: "last place in Eastern Conference."

Posted by: Goff | May 9, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"In the final third [of the field], we lack creativity and that final punch," United Coach Tom Soehn said. "We have to make sure that killer instinct comes back."

He's not coming back coach. He plays for Colorado now...

Posted by: QuietSide | May 9, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

That was the most heartless, feckless, somnolent and just plain disgraceful performance I've seen in a long time. No one seemed to give a crap at all.

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that if someone with a whole lot more leisure time than me went and studied the game film, and counted all our passes, they would find that our back passes actually outnumbered those of the forward variety. I'm not F@!%$&* kidding. The last time I remember yelling "Forward!" at the tv was the World Cup. Pathetic.

And I have a suggestion for how to improve service to Emilio. Put him behind Well's goal, so he can kick the thing back to the center circle every time we get scored on. Should be a lot this year.

Posted by: grotus | May 9, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

MH - you are exactly right about the lack of correlation between salary and effectiveness.

Burch, McTavish, Quaranta, Namoff - these guys all make less than Franco Niell. In fact, I'm not sure if you combined their salaries you would add up to what Niell makes. Ridiculous.

Posted by: hoyanick | May 9, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Hi Goff,

Would Kasper's recent trip and Payne's quotes be correlated, or do I have the tinfoil hat on too tight?

Posted by: Section 130 | May 9, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This team has no heart and has developped no young Americans. Giving up Carroll is magnified by the loss of Olsen. Simms is okay, but doesnt have the fire of either of those guys. Dyachenko flying over the ball in a wreckless tackle is not gonna get people motivated like Benny chasing a guy down to break up a play.

Yes the play on the field has to get better, but so do the decisions by the front office. Gallardo may still be a quality player, but I dont see him making a big enough impact to justify $400K, much less $1.9M. We shoulda asked RBNY if it was a good idea to pay a holding midfielder DP money.

Is there an MLS team with worse Americans? There is not one guy who would get brought into a 40 man USMNT camp. We dont even have anyone as good as Chad Barret, much less Mapp, or Rolfe.
DC used to be known for developping draft picks into standouts. Yes, with 8 intl slots you can build a team mainly of foreigners. However, if you want to survive injuries, if you want to take the next step, some of your picks have to develop into solid performers. Is Marc Burch the best we can do?

Except for the jerseys on their back, this would be my least favorite team league. Who am I supposed to root for other than 35 year old Jaime?

Hey Payne and Soehn, you blew it.

Posted by: srfinger | May 9, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Martinez criticisms, I think he's got a little bit of fire (which may burn him if he continues to throw guys off the ball). He also takes people on every once in a while.

The formation seems to be what's most concerning to me. Playing the 3-5-2 is alright I guess, but when only one of your wings can play defense but is constantly needed to provide service in the attacking third (Burch), and you've got two attacking midfielders, Dyachenko and Jaime (out of necessity) it seems to me like you're gonna have an unbalanced or at least exposed defense a lot of the time with only the back three and Simms playing D. I think that's why Burch was walking with 5-10 minutes to go.

Posted by: smith | May 9, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Who is telling our team to play for a tie on the road?

Who is telling our team to pass backwards instead of taking players on?

It's the coaching, stupid!

Make it stop...NOW!!!

Posted by: Dema | May 9, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

EASY solution. Get rid of Emilio's terrible fat lazy ass, free up the second dp spot and bring back my main man and the rock of our team last year TROY PERKINS. Zach wells sucks a fat piece of meat. At least give Carvalho a chance maybe he wont constantly be out of position. I think we have a guy named Jim Thorpe on the bench too, if Zach Wells is going to keep making mistakes lets at least get a look at these other guys.

Posted by: Norway | May 9, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Give Harkes the coaching job.

TS has lost this team. The talent is there; heart isn't. If you read TS' comments he speaks in cliches. I think he is overwhelmed with the situation.

Posted by: Friendship Heights | May 9, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

That's it. I am switching allegiance to Columbus Crew. They have an awesome team. I am over as a DC United Fan. See you losers.

Posted by: Ex DC United Fan | May 9, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised at the yelling going on on the pitch last night. Namoff yelled at Emilio to shoot more than once. The forwards were yelling at Wells to deploy the ball more quickly when he took possession.

Our midfield killed us last night. No service up front and no support in the back.

Also, it's time to end the Dyachecnko experiment.

Posted by: sigh | May 9, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Can not beleive my boys at UNITED are playing this bad. Keep Santino in the line-up.He played his heart out last night. A 6 rating would of been more fair. We will turn this thing around.

Posted by: Highlandtown oldtimer | May 9, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What was the formation supposed to be last night, because it was not clear? 3-4-3 or 3-5-2... either way, stop it! go back to basics and play the 4-4-2, FFS!

Posted by: Soy United! | May 9, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

And, Goff, can you tell us what the situation between the Argentines and the Brazilians is in AND out of the locker room? Seriously, don't underestimate the difficulty in getting those 2 nationalities to cooperate...

Posted by: Soy United! | May 9, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I tried to sleep this off but I am still, how do I put this nicely...TICKED.

You know I am really starting to doubt TS' management skills. In yesterday's mess, and all the messes up to this point he seems to be deflecting the issues to the team (who absolutely deserve it - but that's not the point here). Not unless I've missed it, he hasn't held himself accountable for much that has gone wrong. He's the guy who ran the pre-season camp. He's the guy who gave late in-coming Fred and (clearly out-of-shape) Emilio slaps on the wrist (if he did that at all). He's the guy who's making all of these stupid tactical line-ups and decisions. He's the guy who lacks the stones to sit the consistently horrible players on the bench (or better yet don't even dress these clowns). Yet all he offers us lately is "I have challenged the players." How about you kick someone's rear? If he can't then get someone who is willing to do so. NOW!!

I am not of from the knee-jerk "fire the coach" crowd, BUT we have to seriously start wondering if TS is really the man for the job, the man for this team. Don't give me that "give him time" crap, because I believe that we need to start pulling the trigger on incompetence in MLS as crutilally and frequently as it is done in other parts of the world. We need to create pressure - because that's where good coaches and players are bred. MLS has the talent, now we need the atmosphere to warn all who come here that THIS IS NO CAKE LEAGUE. We have serious, die-hard fans who are not going suffer incompetence (on or off the field) kindly.

As far as the players go? It's too soon for me - if I say what I'm feeling right now I may be banned from this blog. I will say this though - I don't know what MLS' position is on this, or what the rules are, but some of these wastes of space have to go - now!! Bring in superior talent, bring in people with heart, bring in players with rocks to play and hunger to win. BECAUSE I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOMACH WATCHING THIS TEAM LOSE IN THE BIG TOURNAMENTS THAT WE HAVE COMING UP.

Posted by: Kosh | May 9, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Blanco is no good for this league. Baby, whiner, pompous you-know-what and he attracts no new MLS fans, just fans of him (go figure). Go home Blanco.

>>>

I saw plenty of blanco support last night. Plus, it seemed that the only time the crowd really got excited was when booing him. The league needs more "villains" like him. Nice goal catching the muppet wells 2 miles off his line. As far as the team goes..maybe we are in for a little slump..we can't always be good in this league of perpetual parity. Give some other teams a little fun at the top. As for fan support, we should look to newcastle or the cubs for inspiration; through good and bad (or terrible)!

Posted by: mizage | May 9, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

That was a piss-poor performance. And believe me, as a longtime follower of Newcastle United, I know piss-poor performance when I see it.

DC has acquired a habit of making big changes late in the close season and, as far as I can tell, with very little thought of how the players will work together. I am not at all impressed with Tom Soehn, but I think the biggest problem lies with those who are signing players.

And letting them go; who wasn't willing to pay Gomez's salary increase? And yet we give Emilio a huge raise?and sign a couple of players (Gallardo, Niell) who may have great pedigrees but have shown nothing so far.

I was willing to give Niell a break on his height; as a longtime DCU fan, I remember just how effective Richie Williams was, even markign really tall players like Carl Cort. But Niell is both short and (comparatively) slow. He can't hold a ball. He seems unwilling to take shots (as do most of the roster). I need compelling evidence of why we should keep him on the roster.

The same, truth be told, goes for Moreno. I hear all this about what a great inspiration he is int he locker room, but I don't see a very inspired team on the field. And I do see Jaime, same as ever, trying to walk the ball into the net through three defenders, a technique that hasn't worked since about 1997.

The team is not playing well or smart (bad touches, bad passes, very little coordination, poor individual performances in a number of cases), and we need to see something better.

One person I wouldn't fault for the loss, and I take exception to Payne criticising him, is Quaranta. He, Simms, Burch (in the first half), Martinez (in the second half), and Doe were about the only people who looked like they really wanted to win and were prepared to play SMART in order to do it. Dyanchenko may be a decent enough forward, but he's not creative and skilled enough to be an attacking mid and take on the playmaking role. And Niell, for all the energy he expended (some of his jumps were impressive), is just not up to playing in MLS, even against someone who doesn't have a good 24" on him.

I think the roster needs some work, but more than that the front office (GM, TD, coaching staff) needs some serious ass-kicking. I don't think we're in a 'fire the coach' situation (yet), but I think the coach needs his ass seriously chewed, and I hope Payne did that after he got done yelling at the players.

Posted by: broonalemagpie | May 9, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Our midfield has no bite. They couldn't string three passes together to save their lives. We have zero wing play and a cautious approach in defending. There is no way Blanco should've had that much room.

I don't think it's so much Soehn as realistically not having the horses to play United soccer. Without Gallardo and Fred the team looked like a rudderless ship. I think we have to hang on till the summer transfer window opens and pull the trigger on some good midfielders or forwards.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 9, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The DC United "Dynasty" is due in large part to Kevin Payne. People were moaning before the last championship too.

"Payne must go": YOU are a classless dog. I would love to see KP kick your pathetic hairy ass.

Posted by: Paynehater? | May 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

the blame for the loss should be place squarely at the feet of Tom Soehn. With that line-up and that formation how could we not expect to lose. Our defense is very porous but starting 4 forwards is probably not the best way to combat those defensive shortcomings.

The FO should take an assist for the disaster. Leaving Brian Carroll exposed in the supplemental draft was clearly a mistake. Keeping Dyachenko around (trading a 1st draft pick for him and not exposing him to the draft) was even worse. Bringing in Franco Niell who cannot do much of anything was a bad idea. And perhaps the worst idea of all: adding Gallardo to the team for $2 million while cutting Christian gomez loose.

Posted by: diego r. | May 9, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see a single overlapping run at goal. Even one?

Posted by: DCU-ATL | May 9, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Payne is upset!!!??? WTF he's the douuche bag along with Dave Kasper that assembled the current mess on the field right now. Granted DCU is really banged up but the lack of talent beyond the 1st 14 players on the roster was a red flag from the moment I saw it in late Feb.! Tino is dead on the team lacks speed especially on the flanks where it is needed the most. I will give Soehn the full season as he can only work with what he is given, but dammit there was too much age brought on board not enough speed and quite frankly I look at Emilio and wonder about his conditioning. Is he injured or is there an overall lack of fitness/training on DCU's part? The lack of urgency is disturbing. Other than a few individuals it really shos up when guys are getting chased down from behind and not hustling to 50-50 balls. I point the finger at MR. PAYNE for the most part as he took a team that was in fairly good shape and overhauled it instead of tweaking it. Is Gallardo that much better than Gomez? F-no he's not! I were Victor McFarland I would be thinking of suing the fugger for mismanagemet if this is not turned around by early to mid June. Someone ought to let Mr Payne and Kasper that what has been accomplished in the past does not mean jack in todays sporting arena.

Posted by: glove | May 9, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Quaranta lost his man for the first goal, what a joke that he would have something to say. Defending on the second goal was a joke (the shot was awesome, but there's just no way he should have got it off).

Boy, what a lousy showing.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 9, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Payne is upset!!!??? WTF he's the douuche bag along with Dave Kasper that assembled the current mess on the field right now. Granted DCU is really banged up but the lack of talent beyond the 1st 14 players on the roster was a red flag from the moment I saw it in late Feb.! Tino is dead on the team lacks speed especially on the flanks where it is needed the most. I will give Soehn the full season as he can only work with what he is given, but dammit there was too much age brought on board not enough speed and quite frankly I look at Emilio and wonder about his conditioning. Is he injured or is there an overall lack of fitness/training on DCU's part? The lack of urgency is disturbing. Other than a few individuals it really shows up when guys are getting chased down from behind and not hustling to 50-50 balls. I point the finger at MR. PAYNE for the most part as he took a team that was in fairly good shape and overhauled it instead of tweaking it. Is Gallardo that much better than Gomez? F-no he's not! I were Victor McFarland I would be thinking of suing the fugger for mismanagement if this is not turned around by early to mid June. Someone ought to let Mr. Payne and Kasper that what has been accomplished in the past does not mean jack in today's sporting arena.

Posted by: glove | May 9, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

There is a huge language barrier out there, especially on defense. We've seen it too many times with Peralta and Wells.

Posted by: luvsoccer | May 9, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The team from top to bottom is not of quality. We have bits and pieces of skill but no depth and no leadership. our past history of building winners has been copied by others in the league. We have not evolved, when other copy what you are doing you must find a new and better way to compete. South America as a source of talent is drying up for us, as others have raided the same pantry. We need to evaluate American talent much better and look to other parts of the world for the next Moreno or Etcheverry or Emilio. Last year things clicked just right and we came close. This year they will not click just right and we are LAST.

It's too late to change this years team of players, we can change coaches but to what end? With this group what would he achieve? Our teams of the past were filled with national team players from several countries. Showing we were getting the talent. How many current players figure into anyone's National Team? Who was evaluating players in the past? Was it Payne? If so what happened to his "eye"? Was it coaches? If so why are they gone?

Keith

Posted by: Keith in Charlotte | May 9, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Burch seems to work better out of fullback. He hits a hard ball. Maybe switch he and Martinez to see how that will go. Martinez has energy all game. Burch seems to get a ball off to goal if he starts in the fullback line. He has such a hard shot, he doesn't seem to want to let one go from the half back line.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I don't understand anything, but how was Wells at fault on Blanco's goal? I"d ask that someone who understands goalkeeping explain this. Yes, he was off his line. Is that bad? Doesn't that cut down the angle, making it harder to score? How would Wells have gotten that shot if he stayed back?

I will say that I have also noticed that he continues to guard the cross -- maybe he doesn't think MLS players are good enough to exploit the near post? As for his decisions on charging players, they seemed to work out well last night.

As for Quaranta, I don't understand the comment above that he doesn't know how to trap the ball. Based on last night's play, I thought he was the only forward player who did. Maybe he didn't do as good a job of holding possession as Moreno, but what American player could?

Lastly, it's not a new observation, but srfinger is correct. It continues to be a sore spot that our American players are so weak. United just has to do a better job scouting Americans. We struck gold abroad with Gomez and then Emilio. The question is why can't we do the same here. Since Olsen, nothing to write home about. Except maybe Arguez -- that continues to be a question -- did Hertha see something that Soehn did not?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued by the thought of Marco Etcheverry as coach of DCU since Pep Guardiola was named coach at Barcelona yesterday. I hope it happens. Marco would get the S.A.'s to play hard. Soehn's message is just not getting through.

Posted by: Sam | May 9, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and...

WTF is the idea of our attack STOPPING every time we cross the midfield line? We try to run through the center of the Fire defense (hint: NOT GOING TO WORK), and almost every time we attack down the flanks, the wing player slows down or stops as soon as he crosses the midfield line. WTF?

Posted by: broonalemagpie | May 9, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and...

WTF is the idea of our attack STOPPING every time we cross the midfield line? We try to run through the center of the Fire defense (hint: NOT GOING TO WORK), and almost every time we attack down the flanks, the wing player slows down or stops as soon as he crosses the midfield line. WTF?

Posted by: broonalemagpie | May 9, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This team has good talent but it needs a PROFESSIONAL coach to get them off their a$$ and play good soccer. The owners, and new investors, need to look outside of the DCU good ole' boys club and bring in new blood with a new attitude for this team. I am not a season ticket holder but I do go to many games during the season. I have no desire spend money to watch the team play this year.

Posted by: broke | May 9, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Look, if you think Kevin Payne is incompetent, and that we should just mosey out and find somebody better because anybody could handle this job, well... you're an idiot.

I could lay out all the evidence, but since you have to have ignored it in order to form that opinion in the first place, there really isn't a lot of point.

Posted by: Grunthos | May 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I loved El Diablo as much as any DCU supporter, but as coach? Enlighten me, someone, please. Does he have any coaching experience? Is there any particular reason that we should consider that Marco is the guy to turn our fortunes around?

Posted by: KR in DC | May 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...there was another team in DC who really stunk and fired their coach and look what happened. Coaching matters! Give the job to Harkes- he will make everyone accountable.

Posted by: donut | May 9, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the Anti-tino stuff from Goff and Soehn. It seemed to me he was one of the few on the field playing (out of position mind you) with any heart.

Yes he lost his man on the goal but there were no central defenders anywhere close to offer backup. At least he was man enough to say it. I saw him run up and down the field and serve balls in to where smarter offensive players should've been but weren't.

Tino, Martinez, Moreno and Neill (however ineffective) were the only ones playing like they cared for all the minutes they were on (oh and Doe who probably would've scored if Tino was still in).

Soehn needs to get read the riot act. We cannot have such a talented (on paper) group and have these type of performances.

Cheers,
James

Posted by: James | May 9, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I don't understand anything, but how was Wells at fault on Blanco's goal? I"d ask that someone who understands goalkeeping explain this. Yes, he was off his line. Is that bad? Doesn't that cut down the angle, making it harder to score? How would Wells have gotten that shot if he stayed back?

>>>>

If Wells weren't so far of his line he could have saved the ball. If a keeper is too far off the line, one can basically loop the ball over him. He should have been 3 or 4 yards off his line not 7 or 8. It was bad positioning.

Posted by: mizage | May 9, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

TOTALLY agree with MH. Why are we bringing in apparently disinterested players from S. America, paying them big bucks, then watching them perform with less passion and enthusiasm than those making MUCH less money?? Burch, Simms, McTavish, Namoff and Quaranta exhibit more hustle, enthusiasm and passion than all the recent imports put together !! There is plenty of US Talent-- look at Chicago's impact players--Rolfe, Mapp, Barrrett-- are they from S. America?
BENNY OLSON FOR COACH !!

Posted by: Mike | May 9, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Did JP say last night that no team has come from behind to win a game this season?
Sounds like an exciting league this year. Play for the tie, get scored on, cash it in for the remainder of the game.

Good Times!!!

Posted by: Wow | May 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Factoid: Wells stoning the poor finisher that is Chad Barrett on a couple of occasions is by no means worthy of a 6.

Posted by: MarkVA | May 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This team has good talent but it needs a PROFESSIONAL coach to get them off their a$$ and play good soccer. The owners, and new investors, need to look outside of the DCU good ole' boys club and bring in new blood with a new attitude for this team. I am not a season ticket holder but I do go to many games during the season. I have no desire spend money to watch the team play this year.

Posted by: broke | May 9, 2008 11:16 AM


Well said. DC should take some of the VW money and spend it on a DC(designated coach). A great coach can make mediocre players improve and can make class players perform the way they are expected to perform. I too have a hard time justifying driving an hour and a half to RFK and watch the garbage that is being sold to fans. Crystal Palace USA is playing great soccer right now.

Posted by: peridigm | May 9, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

for all those complaining that DCU doesn't scout or develop Americans, a good counter arguement could be made that the team is actually too good at it, therefore losing them abroad. who's radar was Troy Perkins on before coming to RFK, for instance?

Posted by: northzax | May 9, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Hmmm...there was another team in DC who really stunk and fired their coach and look what happened. Coaching matters! Give the job to Harkes- he will make everyone accountable."

The Caps had someone who was very capable of scoring goals. Right now D.C. United does not. Nice analogy or whatever it's called.

I just wish Soehn wouldn't call out members of the team in the press conference. Sit down with him privately and work it out. Tino knows he effed up.

This team is a mess.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Start with Payne - get rid of him and you'll see an immediate change. Notice how Payne never takes blame for assembling the team but is the first to lay blame on coaches and players. Great leadership - he just failed leadership 101.
He's the first to take credit - he is a blowhard. Time to go . . .

Posted by: Start with Payne | May 9, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

1. The losing has to stop soon, or sadly Soehn is out. Moreno's quote indicates Soehn has lost the players. They have tuned him out.

2. Being a supporter of DC Unted means you support them through thick and thin. It means you stand and sing and cheer the boys on to victory, however long it takes victory to come. The 12th man has to have heart and "play" for the shirt, too. If you want to sit on your hands at matches or stop coming to matches, fine. Don't let the door hit you on your way out to the Columbus Mausoleum.

Posted by: Ron | May 9, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The best coach available right now is Bruce Arena. If Soehn goes, BA I would think would have to be on the short list. BA may have his weaknesses (a proclivity for cronyism being one of them) but, lets face it, the guy can coach.

Posted by: Ron | May 9, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

We all love our team, and some of us love specific players more than others (for whatever reason). BUT we also have to be honest - there is no way to complement (and I am sure I'm using this word very poorly here) any of those guys for last night's effort (again another poor choice of word). YES Tino did lose his guy on the first goal, but the cross also came in uncontested and the layoff header was allowed to be served like a fine wine. Simms lost Blanco on the second (not the first time he's done that this season by the way), but no one form D stepped up to pressure Blanco. Wells's positioning was poor (as usual) - great shot stopper, but questionable in his understanding and use of space. Peralta has some nasty habits of his own, which exposes the defense. DON'T GET ME STARTED ON EMILIO - for my opinions there are R rated. Niell is DCU's CUSA pick - I can't see how someone thought this dude could hold his own in MLS.

Every one blew, and just because some blew less than others does not a complement make. We love our team but let's call it what it was - a disgusting heartless effort. A shinny poished turd is still just that - a turd.

I don't want to turn on my fellow supporters, because we are a team and we are all hurting right now, but those calling for Payne and Kasper's heads - are you kidding me?!?!

Posted by: Kosh | May 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to completely judge this team based on last night given that Gallardo and Fred didn't play.

That said, without those two, to try and rely on Dyachenko to run the attack just clearly doesn't work. It pulls Moreno out of his best position as a withdrawn forward to try to come back and help. Then you lose the connection to the forwards from the midfield because Emilio and Neill both seem to be players who need to run off of someone else. Even last year, we saw that Emilio is a poacher who isn't someone who is going to create a lot of his own opportunities. Neill, he works hard and for a small guy he jumps surprisingly high. But I just don't see how they can feel they're putting him in place to be successful if he's being expected to beat guys who are 6 or 8 inches taller than him in the air with consistency.

I like the way Burch plays, but he seems to be better suited to left back than left midfield. He seems to always need one or two touches before he plays any ball that comes to him. As a left midfielder, the backs are out quicker on him and have a much better chance to block any crosses which significantly limits his effectiveness offensively. As a back making overlapping runs behind a midfielder, he gets more time to take the touches he seems to need to take before crossing or passing.

I'm still not sold on the three man backline - especially against teams like Chicago that play a 3-4-3. A lot of Chicago's opportunities last night seemed to be created by overloading the left side of the defense and pulling Martinez and Peralta over. Then they'd quickly get the ball to the other side of the field where Namoff and Quaranta or Simms would have to be covering and they would be caught scrambling, especially when Chicago had a midfielder make a supporting run behind the forwards.

Chicago always had numbers around the ball, players clogging the easy passing lanes and played with a consistent shape. When DC got possession into the Chicago end, everyone compressed back and clogged up the field. United's slow buildup and primarily short passing style is easy to stymie if you can play that way.

I still think if this team gets fairly healthy and has a chance to practice and play together consistently, the pieces are there to turn this around (as much as the pieces are going to be there within the limits of an MLS roster).

Posted by: TH | May 9, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

TOTALLY agree with MH. Why are we bringing in apparently disinterested players from S. America, paying them big bucks, then watching them perform with less passion and enthusiasm than those making MUCH less money?? Burch, Simms, McTavish, Namoff and Quaranta exhibit more hustle, enthusiasm and passion than all the recent imports put together !! There is plenty of US Talent-- look at Chicago's impact players--Rolfe, Mapp, Barrrett-- are they from S. America?
BENNY OLSON FOR COACH !!

Posted by: Mike | May 9, 2008 11:23 AM
---------------

With all due respect Mike, soccer is not all about running around like an idiot and hustling for 90 min. Perhaps if people stayed with their mark and manned their position they would not have to be running around and husting. Just because the "South Americans" are not running around like idiots does not make them heartless or disinterested. Did you stop to consider that maybe our guys should learn to play the game more efficiently and stop running around so much?

Our guys can learn (and should be learning) from these "South Americans" and xenophobic attitudes/statements are not going to change that fact. Yes the current payment scheme is unfair, BUT one must stop to reason why a) some guys are getting paid what they are here (fair/not) and b) why no one else outside of MLS is not clammering to them to give them more money - be they "American" or not.

Posted by: Kosh | May 9, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse


>>>>>
Our midfield has no bite. They couldn't string three passes together to save their lives.
I don't think it's so much Soehn as realistically not having the horses to play United soccer.

If the midfield sucks, why put 5 of them out there? With a crap midfield, you must at least have a bunker in the back and play for the counterattack.

But that doesn't fit DC's "possession style." That doesn't fit Soehn's 3-5-2 miscarriage.

You design your style and strategy around the players you have, and then use tactical adjustments and training to meet specific objectives and overcome specific shortcomings.

You don't pledge allegiance to an F-ing style or system if your players can't implement it. This coach is a bullheaded arse without a clue on how to rectify this or seemingly any other situation. Payne is a complete horse's ass for calling out individual players when it's blatantly obvious that this is a FUBAR situation in terms of team construction, coaching, and training.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | May 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

They can't play at all, but those South Americans we signed in the off-season are HOT!!!!!!!


We're here, we're queer, we're peeing in your beer! DC GAY UNITED!

Posted by: DC Gay United | May 9, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I cannot for the life of me figure out why Peralta was so far up and Emilio so far back. Emilio is good for one thing, really: serve him the ball near the goal and hope he fires a winner. He has no ball skills and is too slow to be moving up and back. Oh and when you have a molasses-slow transition that uses only the left side, anyone who is forward is covered.

Another observation: Burch, Simms, Namoff, and sometimes Martinez had their own game going on out there. They connected passes and seemed to communicate with each other. Unfortunately it's a big pitch with lots of opposing players out there, and we can't play 4 a side.

And I love the idea of Burch at left back and Martinez left mid. Martinez seems to be the fittest player out there (could be most confident of what he's supposed to be doing or some other factor, but it looks like better fitness to me). Now if only we had a right side to match.

Posted by: LD | May 9, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Um, yes it is.

MLS on its own does not take "the".

But the "the" is needed for "the MLS Eastern Conference." You wouldn't say: "last place in Eastern Conference."

---

But you didn't say "the MLS Eastern Conference." You said, "the MLS's Eastern Conference."

Victory to Sharp!!!!


Posted by: Sharp | May 9, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The Bad:
1) Taking a group of 20 people to that game last night -- many of them soccer newbies, and thanks to that miserable game, sure never to return.
2) Wells being waaaay out of position yet again (I dunno how he rates a 6, sure he had two nice saves, but giving up the second goal because you're out of position kind of negates that).
3) The 3-5-2.
4) Dyachenko as Gallardo's backup.

The Ugly:
1) Burch's right foot -- oh yeah, I forgot, he doesn't have one.
2) All the high crosses into the box that Neill had no hope of winning -- here's an idea, when he's in the game, try hard low crosses instead...
3) Actually, we might as well extend it to Neill in general. Prior to this game, I thought the hate on him was undeserved, now... As my friend sitting next to me said, "Hell, I can run around with a lot of energy, fouling people, falling down a lot, and getting constantly disposessed too -- they should sign me and save some money!"
4) The poor body language between DC players -- everyone seems very frustrated with each other. It doesn't bode well. Then again, nothing makes people feel all warm and fuzzy like winning.

The Good:
1) Not getting rained on.
2) Quaranta's desire to at least trying pushing the ball forward, taking on defenders, instead of slowing play down. The problem is that his crosses are kind of aimless. If he can whip them in a little harder and crisper, some of his work might pay off.
3) Doe in his first run-on for DC. Played several very nice balls into dangerous spaces for others to run on to.
4) There is no number 4.

Posted by: edgeonyou | May 9, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I stayed home and watched The Office rather than attend that dreck of a match.

Posted by: Mack | May 9, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of the post-game comments too. Interview the fans, they are the only ones showing up with any passion.

Posted by: rw4rn | May 9, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

To those who always bash on S. American players saying heartless only applies to Emilio right now. Niell on the other hand is playing really hard. He runs fast, he jumps high. Yes, he falls down but he also draw fouls. I can see there is bright light coming in with this guy. With Gallardo's style of passing Niell is the proper person to receive the ball but he needs to touch ball gentler than bounc back. On the other hand the couch needs to sub him in the second half when the defendars are tired.
It really is couch's problem I see. He basically doesn't know how to place these guys into proper fit space.
Bruce Arena wouldn't do any better. Recycle is as good as the original.
Marco is unproven to handle situation like this. Did he win any trophies with the youth devlopment?

Posted by: fff | May 9, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@fff: The "original" won us a fair number of trophies. He took the US National Team to a phenomenal showing in the 2002 World Cup, and his team went toe-to-toe with Italy, the eventual champion of WC 2006. He has won at every level he has coached. In BA's case, I'll take "recycle as good as original". He even got NYRB heading in the right direction, and that is saying something. I know you guys are out there who don't like Arena. Fair enough. I would like to hear why you think he all of the sudden has become a bad coach.

Posted by: Ron | May 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company