Network News

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

Quick DCU Update

[update on the update!]

Sorry to interrupt the lively discussion on Toronto streamers. Good stuff!

Marcelo Gallardo (groin) and Fred (quad) did not practice -- jogging and stretching only -- while Devon McTavish (foot) said he is making progress and might be available Saturday night at Chivas USA (10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). Domenic Mediate (hamstring) is training again.

Gonzalo Peralta missed practice to be with his wife, who is due to give birth to their second child soon.

UPDATE: Turns out, Fred's right quad is fine. But as he was rehabbing last week, he said he pulled his left hamstring.

Zach Wells, on Kevin Payne's pointed comments after Thursday's match: "As an observer who is watching the whole game, he has the right to call everyone out. I don't think anyone from the players' perspective can really argue with anything he said. He is completely right. How can we argue when we are in last place? It's gone on too long. We need to snap out of it."

So let's suppose Gallardo and Fred are out again and McTavish and Mediate are available for a few minutes in the second half. What's your starting lineup this weekend? Keep it the same as last Thursday? Or make changes?

By Steve Goff  |  May 13, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Briefing
Next: More on Altidore


these injuries aren't helping us.

I would go back to Soehn's 4-4-2. We need to switch back to it desperately.

Posted by: andrew | May 13, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, the 4-4-2 is paramount. I'm not sure I see why the 3 man back line showed up again.

Posted by: JkR | May 13, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Not unless Soehn wants to get fired or he's giving DC the good old Sven last-game-one-finger salute (you never know) he should make changes to that line up this week.

For me it starts with not starting (or heck even dressing) Emilio.

Posted by: Kosh | May 13, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Without Fred and Gallardo - they will not score. Play a flat 4-4-2 and hope for a goalless draw. Just keep Kljestan from getting loose. Maybe play Stratford in midfield instead of Dyachenko?

Posted by: Kev | May 13, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

bench emilio, play moreno up front with quaranta, where he can actually be effective rather than out on the wing.

we need mctavish's goal scoring prowess back on the wing!

Posted by: pat | May 13, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Bench Emilio. Sub Niell in second half. Practice Doe and Tino pair as strikers. Bench Dychenko and put Kirk or Stratford with some stern words to play effective. Go 4-4-2. Do something now! Let Gallardo and Fred fully recover.

Posted by: td | May 13, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I say bench Emilio and tell Niell to keep his little behind ready for through balls, and to be ready for on coming runs delivered by Moreno.




Or you can throw in Dyachenko where moreno is, and throw in moreno where Doe is, but right now dyachenko is not what i am feeling right now, looses it too much to be a good holding and distributing number 10 which moreno can play as a substitute for.

What do you guys think? Can Niell cut it up front like i think? Because my view on him is he tries to track back too much sometimes and gets caught having to dribble and ends up getting double teamed/fouled/falling as a result of too much time on the ball.

I feel he would be more dangerous as the forward that just sprints into through ball'd passes and will be able to finish them.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | May 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Bench Emilio. Sub Niell in second half. Practice Doe and Tino pair as strikers. Bench Dychenko and put Kirk or Stratford with some stern words to play effective. Go 4-4-2. Do something now! Let Gallardo and Fred fully recover.

Posted by: td | May 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Pick either keeper - neither has done much to cement the job in my estimation. 4-4-2 as Chivas is dangerous attacking but their defense may actually be worse in play and statistically than ours. Let Namoff and Burch have the ability to make overlapping runs as necessary to benefit anymovement forward (HA!). I like Santino as a holding midfielder to go forward and has the pace to get all over the field and as involved as possible. Put the young midfielders on the outside - they can't do any worse than anyone else and we haven't done the best job of blooding young talent in the last two years (hmm - maybe that's why we struggle at the end - development is lacking). I say give Kirk a run-out and let's see what we acquired him for - he can't be any worse than our more generously compensated goal(less) machines. And finally - on the bench we have Dyachenko (his distribution, vision, and touch scare me and not because it's threatening), the two other forwards, the other keeper, the healthy Carrol, Zaher, and the healthier of Mediate/McTavish.


Burch Peralta Martinez Namoff


Cordeiro Stratford


Moreno Kirk/Emilio/Niell

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 13, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Chivas can be exposed by speed through the middle.

Posted by: JSF | May 13, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Moreno and Quaranta up front, McT coming back would be a big help.
It would be nice to see Doe sooner than later if we haven't scored early and often.
Kirk may want to get in there and Represent for his West Coast homies eh?

Posted by: Dadryan | May 13, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Whoops i forgot to add carvallo as starter on my lineup!!!




Also with my lineup, we could try moreno still in the middle, quaranta up front with say doe or niell, but who would play the left wing? Kirk?? He hasnt shown me much this year in that position.....then again neither has 'Tino beyond his play vs. RSL.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | May 13, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Chivas can be exposed by speed through the middle.

Posted by: JSF | May 13, 2008 1:18 PM

Which is great for teams that have, uh, speed through the middle...d'oh...

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 13, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We have to go back to the 4-4-2; we don't have the central midfielders to play 3-5-2. Without Gallardo, Fred, McTavish, and Mediate (and let's not forget Olsen), I'd try this:


The only person being played out of position is Quaranta, which is going to happen pretty much any way you slice it. If Gallardo can go, push Moreno up and bench Doe. If Fred can go, put Quaranta on the right and bench Kirk. If McTavish can go, put him in Kirk's spot.

Posted by: Jeff M | May 13, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe something like this? 3-5-2?

----Martinez - Peralta - Namoff----

I'm still not sold on Wells in the net (the constant communication issues are tiresome) - but I'm not sure this is a fair short for Carvallo. He was hung out to dry by Soehn playing his first game on that horrendous turf with a makeshift (at best) lineup in Salt Lake.

It was very hard to figure out a midfield lineup for this game, especially with the two best options for CAM injured. I think it is time to bench Emilio unless Soehn sees something in training this week. At least we know that Doe is fast, strong and will give a max effort. Although the goats will be starting a makeshift defense because of injuries, I still think a message needs to be sent.

This will be a very interesting test for DCU - they have played horribly on the road this year and the HDC will probably be damn near empty. The long trip, injured stars, team nearing crisis, and seat heating up under the coach will show a lot about what kind of team DCU will be this year.

Posted by: tmc | May 13, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I really like TD's idea of starting Doe and Quaranta up top, with Niell as a second half sub. I also agree that Niell's problem is that he does not start enough anticipatory runs into the box. Moreno is looking for that movement when he looks up. I don't think, however, he should play exclusively up top. I thought he was most effective last game when he came back and got the ball. He is a good distributer and with practice I think he and Moreno can connect on the give and go the way Moreno and Gomez used to. The flankers need to do a better job of getting the ball to Moreno. I have no idea who to start in mid besides Dyachenko, but whether or not one believes it was a mistake to let either Gomez or carrol go, it clearly was not great to let them both go. I'd like to see a fresh face in mifield, as none of the usual suspects have been anything but suspect.

Posted by: regular fan | May 13, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How about:


Burch, Peralta, Martinez, Namoff

Simms, Stratford, Quaranta, Kirk

Moreno, Doe

and push Santo into the middle with Stratford on the left for service and Kirk on the right.

Posted by: Cashous | May 13, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I say play Niell and a bunch of other Lilliputians. If we lose, we can just say "Big deal. So you beat a bunch of midgets, so what?" And, if we will be a heroic win celebrated worldwide for generations...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 13, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd start the Washington Freedom top 11.

Posted by: TCompton | May 13, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Payne must go . . .

Have him go hang out with Garber and his streamers.

Posted by: Bye Payne | May 13, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

We have to play Emilio up-top game in and game-out. Otherwise we won't receive any value for him when we try to sell his DP sized contract. Its sad.

Posted by: Emilio_Must_Go | May 13, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

starting from the back, shake it up a bit, what do they have to lose?

Niell in goal

Namoff, Peralta, Simms, Burch

Kirk Martinez Doe

Moreno withdrawn

Wells, Carvalho

Posted by: Mysterian | May 13, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

--------------- ? --------------





4-2-2-2 anyone?

Emilio has to sit, but Sohen would never dare sit last years MVP :-o If Mctavish is good to go I would sit Peralta. He is going to get burned by the Cuban, that dude is fast.

Off the bench Emilio, Niel, and Dychenko.

Aguante United!

Posted by: Sysco76 | May 13, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse


still 4-4-2
sub: Niell for Doe, Dychecko or Stratford. Bring Emilio in 70th for Moreno and move Tino to the wing.
I wouldn't put Carvalho again on the road game when there is not solid holding mid feilders. He needs to play at home with supporters behind him once.

Posted by: football | May 13, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I say put Tino in the middle. He struggled on the outside defensively all game long against Chicago. Below is my layout for a 3-5-2. I would prefer to see a 442 but we are so thin that I don't think we have the players.




Doe, Emilio

Posted by: N. Daknow | May 13, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Doe is left footer and Tino is better at right

Posted by: td | May 13, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm available for a trial if you still need me.

Posted by: Paul Gascoigne | May 13, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Sysco, the magic box. I am available to replace Soehn if you need me to instruct.

Posted by: Luxemburgo | May 13, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't really matter what lineup they throw out. Without Gallardo or Fred playing this is a guarantee loss. I hate to say it but its the truth, we stink

Posted by: DC United Fan | May 13, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

In the immortal words of Krusty:

Send in the clowns
Those daffy, laffy clowns!
Send in those soulful and doleful, schmaltz-by-the-bowlful clowns

Posted by: Tweaked | May 13, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Whatever he chooses to do, I just hope it works and we get a win!

Posted by: Amanda | May 13, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse


you make a really good point about Carvallo on the road. I agree that we should bring him in at home to help with his confidence. Also, it would not be fair to have him play in my 3-5-2 design.

Not sure about Stratford's ability on the outside. I have not seen enough of him to have an opinion on that.

I'd stay with my line-up but I'd put Wells in. Anyone else noticing the internal hostilities between Martinez and Wells?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 13, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

4-4-2 is a must for this team.


Namoff Peralta Martinez Burch


Kirk Stratford


Quaranta Emilio

Posted by: dcchilidog | May 13, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse


Kirk---------Stratford------------- Burch--Peralta---Martinez--Namoff

Posted by: 135 | May 13, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, anonymous post at 2:10 was mine.


Posted by: N. Daknow | May 13, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

regarding a formation for united on saturday night. will it actually make a difference? when a club has as many weak and under performing players at so many spots on the field the formation will make little differnce. it pains me to say this; but until and unless our players begin playing like professionals with heart, intensity, concentration and commitment to the team, our formation is irrelevant. our opponents will search for and find our weaknesses that we will be unable to hide. having ranted this way, I have to say that probably 4-4-2 is best. I would following the lead of Clavijo at Colorado when he sent a number of young players on against united. For us, this may ensure another loss but we may gain in the long run if it gets the attention of under performing, higher paid players.

Posted by: rob | May 13, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

That came out all messed up LOL !!!!!


Posted by: 135 | May 13, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Peralta's second is due soon. Wish him and his wife the best but how much do you wanna bet the kid is "high near the stomach and feet down out of position"

Posted by: glove | May 13, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

We're struggling to get anything going. But so is Chivas. I'd put our odds at 50/50.

Wells and Carvallo both are suspect. You got a push there.

Peralta is too. So we gotta get Peralta some help in the interior. Martinez and Namoff are great on the flanks, but Martinez was not much better than Peralta in the middle. So here's hoping McT can come back and help anchor the center of our defense.

We're gonna get beat in the mids. Only one of the guys we had projected to be starters pre-season looks to be available. Benny, gone. Gallardo, out. Fred, out. Simms is holding down the fort by his lonesome. Keep Quaranta on one flank (our best option though he's been less than stellar), Burch on the other, Simms at defensive. Moreno is our best option at CAM.

Up top you gotta keep the faith with Emilio. If I were Soehn I'd be less focused on his scoring drought than I would on the lack of service from the flanks. I'd beat that into Tino and Burch like a rented mule prior to game time. And I'd try Dyachenko up top with Emilio. I think he brings some skills to the game. Moreno is better at CAM, but Rod brings more to the pitch than Niell or Doe have done. IMHO.

Posted by: Matte | May 13, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Enough with Quaranta on the wing. That flat-out isn't working. Same goes for Burch.

Sadly, looking at our current roster, we simply don't have any proven natural left midfielders.

For that very reason, I won't be surprised to see United stick with the 3 man backline, so Burch can play left mid. Hopefully Fred will be healthy enough to start.

It may be on the road, but I still say give Carvallo the start.

So, in hopes that they'll be healthy enough to start...


Why start Emilio? Because our only hope at not sucking this year, is for him to break out of his slump, and he won't do that on the bench.

Sub Moreno for either Gallardo or Quaranta.
Doe for Emilio.
Niell on the wing.

Posted by: AlecW81 | May 13, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

For most of Thursday's first half, they did exactly that, dominating possession, tackling with tenacity and pushing their guests onto the back foot. But seven minutes before the break a quick combination between Chris Rolfe, Chad Barrett and Justin Mapp caught D.C. cold and erased all United's hard work to that point as Santino Quaranta's misstep handed Mapp an easy finish. The evening proceeded downhill from there.

"We made a mistake and they punished us," said Soehn afterwards. "It was a ball played in and I think Santino followed the ball and left his man, and it fell back to Justin and he punished us. But it came from a situation where Blanco had too much time to serve that ball. So we broke down. In the first half we didn't break down much but it only takes one or two to punish you."

ummm - this crap..where was simms? His job as DM is to cover the middle....hello tommy? You listening??

Posted by: bobf | May 13, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe changing out Wells for Carvallo who can communicate with his D is worth a shot. Sorry Zach but you have not been horrible but change is needed. Allow Emilio to come off the bench(early second half) and start Doe in his spot. Get as much speed on the field..





Posted by: glove | May 13, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Funny Zach Wells making comment,one of the worst keepers in the league, along with our own Steve Cronin.

Posted by: craig from LA | May 13, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse







4-4-2. Middle of the defense is too soft. Give Carvallo some time in goal, if he doesn't play well, bring Wells in second half. Neil as winger in second half, use his speed, don't know if he can cross. Jaime holds, let Quaranta and Doe do something in the box. Sit Emilio til second half and bring Stratford in for some time at midfield second half. what have you got to lose?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 13, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we've got to get back to the 4-4-2. Burch was totally lost playing in the midfield last match. Put him in the back where he is more used to playing and give him a better defined role there.

Why not let Carvallo play, he's more vocal with his defenders than Wells...if the reserves match vs Columbus is any indication. Altho I like the idea of Niell in goal. Dude is short, but he can jump!

Luci's gotta ride the pine. Maybe stick him in as a late sub if necessary. Let's see what Doe can do.

Too bad about Fred's hammy. Those can take a long time to heal properly. As much as I criticize him for not looking up enough at least he's got some speed and passion, two things we are really missing.

The saving grace is that Chivas is just as bad as we are right now. But they have a good GK who can help keep them in close matches.

Posted by: Glenn | May 13, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@ Chivas USA? OK.
No Gallardo or Fred? OK.
McTavish and Mediate as subs? OK...


Bench: Carvallo (Road), McTavish, Mediate, Dyachenko, Emilio, Stratford, Best Player in Training


1) Doe, Niell, and Moreno are interchangable; Doe starts well out of position so as to use his speed along the flanks.

2) If McTavish can go 90 minutes, he moves to CB, Martinez moves to LM, Doe moves to SS, and Moreno to CAM.

3) Carvallo would start, but it's a road match.

4) Expected Subs: Dyachenko for Niell (Honestly, I think I've set him up to fail), Emilio/Stratford (Offense/Defense), McTavish (if he can't play 90).

5) *sigh*

Posted by: B.A. | May 13, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The saving grace is that Chivas is just as bad as we are right now. But they have a good GK who can help keep them in close matches.

Right now Guzan isn't keeping anybody in close matches - they are just as bad as DC right now.

Posted by: dp | May 13, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse


Dance with the girl that brung ya. Doe needs to track back as necessary, Burch can serve better from Left Back. Emilio and Moreno up top to provide aerial threat. Niell off the bench for whatever winger is playing worse. Hopefully Moreno has the wheels -- it's still early in the year. Score a goal, get Jaime on the bench and switch to 4-5-1 Italian Style. If Moreno gets nicked, slide Doe into striker and put Niell on the wing. McTavish defensive sub.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | May 13, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Obviously if Fred can't go it's back to the friggin drawing board. Play long ball to the corner, and don't possess as much. Maybe something totally crazy like Simms at center mid and McTavish as holding mid.

Can't be any stupider than Niell up top of a 3-5-2.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | May 13, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Kev | May 13, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

If Fred, Gallardo, and McTavish aren't healthy enough to start, I'd rather see Soehn run out some of the younger players in their natural positions, than play current Senior Roster players out of position.

Quaranta, Burch, Doe, Dyachenko, etc starting on the wing (either left or right) is a recipe for disaster.

Kirk is naturally a RWB, so putting him at RM in a diamond 4-4-2 can work.
Cordeiro is naturally a LM, so start him there rather than Burch, which would also necessitate a 3-man back line with a very weak midfield.

The best solution to our current ills?

Send a few bags of balls to RSL for Dema Kovalenko.

Then, send whatever it takes to Colorado for Pablo Mastroeni.

Both are proven commodities, that bring a lot of intensity and drive to the pitch.

Posted by: AlecW81 | May 13, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

how bout this:


Maybe Santino can make a capable attacking mdfielder.

Posted by: United fury | May 13, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse


Good thinking with Cordeiro.That might work

Posted by: Unted fury | May 13, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised how many people are leaving Emilio out of the starting 11. I mean, granted, he's been absolute (pick a term used on FFF - pants/dross/bags) over the first five games, but he's likely to turn it around eventually, right? If we had someone better on the bench, that'd be one thing, but I don't think that Franco Neill or Rod Dyachenko are the answer.

Posted by: Jeff M | May 13, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Forwards: Niell-Talon-Burch. Talon should be good for a couple of goals with his big head.

Midfielders: Moreno, and 3 of the illegal aliens sitting in section 317. Give them a 15 minute tryout before the game.

Defense: Pick 3 guys from the Reserve Team who should be rewarded for giving a damn and earning their $15,500 salary.

Goalie: Mark Simpson

Posted by: Anonymous | May 13, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's what you do. Release news that you've signed a hitherto unknown Cossack from Ardahan. Paint a moustache on Fred, stick him on Burch's shoulders, and wrap them both with the Cossack's shirt. On the first corner kick, substitute Dyachenko for the Cossack. Easy header, 1-0 lead, and a star is born.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | May 13, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

So where is everyone watching the game in Arlington on Saturday night?
thinking about offering my neighbor some Herb to let me watch the game in their basement. fitting for the way the boys have been playing...
Maybe comcast will have a replay on Sunday Eh?...

Namoff Martinez Peralta Burch

Kirk McTavish
Quaranta Niell/Doe

Posted by: Dadryan | May 13, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

You just made my day with your idea.
To every other jokers credit this thread has been a hoot thanks for the laughs.

Posted by: Dadryan | May 13, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan: go to Kitty O'Sheas. They are showing it live.

Posted by: world | May 13, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

A day late to the party (stupid dead internet connection), but I have ideas...well, provided McTavish can play.

I'd rather play 4 in the back due to the fact that our only option on either flank that can defend an entire wing on his own is Burch. I also think Moreno's play behind the forwards, and Gallardo's injury, point to Moreno being our playmaker. I also think we should try to clog the middle, since Kljestan and Mendoza tend to come inside rather than stay wide to do most of their playmaking.

While I'm not necessarily happy with it, the following lineup strikes me as no worse than any other current possibility:

------------ Emilio --- Doe
--------------- Moreno
--- Mediate - Simms - McTavish
Burch - Martinez - Peralta - Namoff
----------- Wells

Up front, I see Doe causing more of a problem than Niell for the Chivas defense. Suarez will find himself in trouble if Doe can ever get into a footrace with him, while Thomas is not exactly the best critical thinker in MLS history. Doe's speed will put them under constant worry, and with Bornstein possibly out, they don't have much speed anywhere else to cover. Emilio stays in because I think our lack of real service to him is at least 40% of the cause of his play. Remember, folks, he thrives on other people doing the set-up work; how many goals did he create on his own last year?

In the midfield, I think McTavish and Mediate will help slow the Chivas attack to a crawl by simply hassling Kljestan and Mendoza. Hopefully Simms will realize his recent play has been below acceptable standards and pick it back up. Moreno was the only player against Chicago that looked sharp, and I think his ability to hold the ball will come in handy against a Chivas team that gives away loads of free kicks. It will, however, be a tough game for Moreno, doing the running required in midfield and getting fouled often.

I'm not entirely sold on the idea, as I said, but it's just as good as any other. At the very least, it'll make us a more bothersome opponent.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 14, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company