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The Good, The Bad, The Coyote Ugly

It's a wrap.....

THE GOOD

*David Beckham's two goals: 25 yards into the far side in the run of play, 30 yards on a free kick.
*Houston investor and noted pugilist Oscar de la Hoya wearing Dynamo colors during his boxing match at Home Depot Center.
*ESPN Classic on Saturday night showing "Once in a Lifetime," the fabulous, fast-paced documentary about the Cosmos conquest of New York.
*Alejandro Moreno's flying volley pass to set up Robbie Rogers's goal for Columbus.
*Brad Guzan bouncing back with from last week's fiasco vs. the Galaxy to thwart the Dynamo.
*K.C. forward Ryan Pore having 500 friends and family in Columbus, which is not far from his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.
*Dallas one goal surrendered the last four matches.
*Steve Ralston returning from a shoulder injury, entering in the 54th minute for the Revs.
*Colorado's FutboLucha promotion, complete with Mexican wrestling masks.
*Chicago's attack scoring three goals on five shots overall (four on goal) and Chicago's defense having conceded three goals in six games. (The Fire has not allowed more than one in a match.)
*The atmosphere for the Quakes' debut at Santa Clara University.
*Steve Cronin's foot save on Andy Williams and Nick Rimando's reflex stop on Landon Donovan's header during the RSL-L.A. match.
*25,500 at RSL for Beckham, 20,000 in Houston for a struggling club.
*Javier Morales's passes that led to RSL's two early strikes.
*Christian Gomez's assist and Jacob Peterson's goal for Colorado.

THE BAD

*San Jose going scoreless for the fourth time in five league games and the fifth time in six matches, if you include the 4-0 loss to RSL in the Open Cup qualifer. "We did everything right but score," said Coach Frank Yallop. "What I don't want the guys to do is start to get anxious and worry about that. That will come, but it was a great performance by us. If you perform like that, especially at home, we're going to win a lot of games."
*RSL relinquishing a two-goal lead and falling to 0-2-1 since blasting DCU, 4-0. "We've got to be more ruthless," forward Kenny Deuchar said. "When we've got teams with their backs against the wall, we've got to go for the jugular, really, and finish them off."
*The Revs' poor defending throughout their 3-0 home loss to Chicago, which came about a month after a 4-0 loss at Chicago. "We were consistent, but consistently bad," Coach Steve Nicol said.
*10,000-plus in attendance for a Crew team unbeaten at home and atop the Eastern Conference.
*The offside call that nullified Deuchar's apparent go-ahead goal against L.A.
*The miscommunication between rookie Chance Myers and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman that allowed Rogers to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.
*Hundreds of kids and parents on the fields surrounding Dick's, but a half-full (at best) stadium for the MLS match.

THE COYOTE UGLY

*Everything about United's performance.
*Highlights beamed around the world of Beckham's goals being scored on an artificial turf field scarred by yard lines and logos. Not the image MLS wants to project globally.
*Claudio Suarez's leg-swiping red card to prevent Brian Mullan from breaking in alone.
*Roger Espinoza losing his cool with Frankie Hejduk and getting a red card. We understand, but we don't condone.
*DCU, Houston, New England and Chivas USA with a combined 6-12-7 record after going 0-2-2 with no goals scored this weekend.

Surely, I missed a few things. Well?

By Steve Goff  |  May 5, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

United's performace was Ugly, but for some reason the organization has written off winning in the altitude at Denver. The players sense that, and hence they phoned it in once again in the Rapids building. We haven't won there since 2000, and frankly I don't think we have won a whole lot there since the Beginning of Time in 1996.

Posted by: Ron | May 5, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why Claudio Suarez was Coyote Ugly. Was it the leg-swipping act or him getting the red card?

Either way, but i thought the red card was deserved.

Posted by: justsayin' | May 5, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

thurs will be the turnaround in our new kits!!!!!!!

Posted by: chris | May 5, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Crew attendance, I wonder what it is going to take for them to get a decent-sized crowd. They have some good players, and are playing well as a team. On the mlsnet highlight video, that stadium looked way less thana third full. If people don't come out to the stadium when the tean is oplaying well, when *are* they going to come out?

Posted by: Ron | May 5, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

2nd half of boca jr vs river was on the same time as DCU. given the way DCU was playing, combined with the funeral atmosphere in CO, it was hard not to flip the channel. it's really hard to watch games in empty stadium where you can hear a pin drop. MLS has a long way to go!

Posted by: downtown | May 5, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

MLS is strange in that the bad teams (DC, Houston, Salt Lake and Toronto) have the best draws while the best teams have trouble getting anyone to show up....even worse most of them are playing in Soccer Stadiums (Columbus, Chicago, Dallas).

I hope this stops the suburban stadium expansion in MLS. Hopefully NY and Philly will be the last ones.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 5, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I love United but perhaps they could be listed in the Bad and the Cyote Ugly.

Posted by: Harpo | May 5, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Also in the Good: McBride helping to save Fulhamerica from relegation!

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 5, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

On Beckham's two goals it is noteworthy that Landon Donovan is not to be seen celebrating with his celebrated teammate. Last week against Chivas when Donovan scored he pushed Beck's arm off his shoulder. Donovan lost his captain's arm band and headlines to Becks. Could be more internal division looming for the Galaxy.

Posted by: PM | May 5, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Also in the Good: McBride helping to save Fulhamerica from relegation!

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 5, 2008 8:25 AM


They're not out of the woods yet. They probably have the toughest final game between them Birmingham and Reading, and with Reading tied on points with them and playing against Derby I'd say Fulham needs nothing less than a win to stay up.

Posted by: Matthai | May 5, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Southeasterner -

I agree MLS' sides would do better to play in stadiums that are close to downtown/urban centers.

But how? Real estate is most expensive in those urban centers. MLS is a budget-league. City governments are not likely to bend over, take a breath, and offer up $600 million for a downtown stadium, like with any baseball or football team.

Aside from moderate to major local government apathy (F-U kindly, Mayor Fenty), how can MLS teams build stadiums anywhere but in some far-off hinterland?

People are hammering the Crew's attendance, but I thought it more dismal at the Rapids game...brand new killer stadium, glorius Sunday weather, and the joint wasmaybe 40% full...looked liked a mid-week Devil Rays game.

Posted by: Erick | May 5, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute....I learned elsewhere that no one really cares about the football lines except an insignificant minority of "whiny soccer fans" and that it's the exact same thing as rugby lines at Old Trafford or infield dirt in Oakland. Could I have been misled???

Posted by: Sig Boccer | May 5, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

You have to imagine that Don and Ivan are getting a little antsy now thinking that in 68 days DC, Houston, Chivas, and New England will be playing in SuperLiga and then Champions League.

Heck, I'm getting nervous.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 5, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"I hope this stops the suburban stadium expansion in MLS. Hopefully NY and Philly will be the last ones. "

You have no idea what you're talking about if you think Harrison is "suburban."

Harrison is more like Anacostia than Commerce City, except with better mass transit access than SE (not only the PATH, which is exactly twenty minutes direct from lower Manhattan) but Amtrak/NJT a ten minute walk away).

It's seven miles as the crow flies from Times Square. Hell, where I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn was further away, and had worse mass transit access.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Seriously Mastodon? Harrison, NJ is like Anacostia? And better served by mass transit?

It's less than two miles as the crow flies from Poplar Point to the Capitol building. And it's served by a metro station called, oddly enough, "Anacostia"...which is three stops from the hub of all metro hubs, "L'Enfant Plaza" and five from "Metro Center"

Posted by: DE | May 5, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

So in Columbus which is more potent - the Blanco effect of the Pore effect?

Posted by: JDO | May 5, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I hope someone in the press will look into this Beckham-Donovan feud.

Posted by: hoyanick | May 5, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Harrison is served by a PATH station called "Harrison" which is three direct stops from WTC Station.

Harrison, if you have ever been there, looks a LOT like southeast Washington. Certainly it doesn't look suburban, because it's NOT suburban.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn!!!

Find a real coach that can get these guys to play. This is not fun to watch!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The good:
Christian Gomez's hussle and grit.

I think that Gomez's scrappiness is what makes him successful in MLS. He's extremely talent but he still works very hard to prove it.

Gallardo is going to have to learn that lesson soon or else he's going to get muscled off the ball all the time.

Posted by: TCompton | May 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

DC United is now in a part of the schedule where the excuses of fatigue from Cup matches and high altitude oxygen deprivation are no longer applicable.

I am reluctant to write this, but I'm reminded of the Arena-Rongen transition when we won the MLS Cup in the new coach's first season and went downhill after that. I am hoping to be proven wrong.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 5, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

At Southeasterner:

Chicago actually draws pretty well. Currently averaging right around 15,000 people a game.

Posted by: Gregg | May 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Harrison is more like Anacostia than Commerce City...It's seven miles as the crow flies from Times Square."

Its 8 miles as the crow flies from Invesco Field in downtown Denver to The Dick.

Posted by: JasonMa | May 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is the quickest way to get to DSGP twenty minutes on a light rail train that takes you through some of the most densely populated localities in the country (including Harrison)?

That's my point, in any case: that Harrison is about as far from anyone's notion of a "suburb" as you can get.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The Coyote Ugly: United is behind both NYRB and the Galaxy in overall points. I don't care how early in the season it is. In my book, that don't fly.

Posted by: Andy | May 5, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

DC United is now in a part of the schedule where the excuses of fatigue from Cup matches and high altitude oxygen deprivation are no longer applicable.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 5, 2008 9:55 AM
====================

I agree with this. The excuses are no longer valid. But I still think they look 'fatigued' when they play on the road, regardless of how much actual rest they have had.

They just don't look match fit in road games so far....

Posted by: JkR | May 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Gotta wonder about the coaching. That's all I'm saying. You gotta wonder.

For a team that's SUPPOSED to be possession oriented, we play far too many 40 yard balls to nobody.

Posted by: Matte | May 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Why do red-carded players hang around the field? Suarez wanders around aimlessly like he is about to be part of the wall...

Posted by: RK | May 5, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The Good: We have a home game on Thursday.

The Bad: It's against the FIRE.

The Coyote Ugly: That we have nothing worth talking about until then (and the way things are looking maybe well after that) - other than the distance between Harrison and the crow's backside.

Posted by: Kosh | May 5, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Good: as much as I dislike Real Madrid, that was a fenomenal win, on the road, in the rain, a man down. On their first goal, they were down to 9 due to injury. Two minutes later, Higuaín in the 89th minute blasted an absolute rocket to win La Liga. And they got back from Pamplona and partied at Cibeles all night long...toda la madrugada...

Posted by: RK | May 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Everyone sucked yesterday.

I must admit - after being a major Gallardo homer this season - that Clavijo's words have been borne out as true.

While Gallaro is surely the most talented player on the United roster, it looks like Colorado got the better end of the deal. In terms of value for money, there is longer any argument. Gomez was equally, if not more productive than Gallardo at a fraction of the price.

Of course, none of that explains the epic quantity of hospital balls and dismal touches shown by United.

They need to start fearing for next season in that unless they win the Cup or the Shield, they will be NO international tournaments next year.

Do I think spending on a second DP will fix it? No, not at all. There are problems in more than one position, so brining in one player will not affect any of that...unless it is a forward who can score more goals that the defense gives up and I do not expect that to happen.

I hope that Emilio is given an ultimatum, perhaps through June or July...a Sell By Date of August 1st. He is paid too much for such little production.

Aside from that it seems they still cannot decide or find chemistry in the midfield...I saw Jaime Moreno cam back to his own 18 to pick up a ball. That tells me he does not trust the defense, or that he cannot trust the midfield to bring the ball up and get it to him.

There is not one single player who has made a closed-case argument for his position. No one has staked a claim on a position. The only guys who seem to have more or less a lock on their spots are Namoff and possibly Martinez and Quaranta (shaky after yesterday, though). Everyone else has been playing either poorly, indifferently, or very inconsistently.

For a team with many "additions" to last's year's side, better on paper, it begs the question of leadership. At this point, coaching must be a mitigating factor. I think we have heard all too many excuses for poor play thus far: altitude, pre-season fitness, too many matches, new faces learning the system, etc. Excuses (valid or not) mean nothing in the end.

Bollocks. Bollocks. Bollocks.

Posted by: Erick | May 5, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"

You have to imagine that Don and Ivan are getting a little antsy now thinking that in 68 days DC, Houston, Chivas, and New England will be playing in SuperLiga and then Champions League.

Heck, I'm getting nervous."

Maybe the Don will raise the salary cap then...

Posted by: chuffed | May 5, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"That we have nothing worth talking about until then (and the way things are looking maybe well after that) - other than the distance between Harrison and the crow's backside."

True, with 6th vs 7th place the bone of contention, there ain't much else to say.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Good: Bryan Namoff

The Bad: The rest of the team.

The Coyote Ugly: The thought we might not have Fred back for next game. Now you can see who is really doing the work in the midfield - especially distributing the ball. Coyote Ugly 2 - Gallardo. He did nothing except give an interview before the game about Boca and River.

Posted by: Bubbles | May 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dare I mention it, but there is a certain coach who brought us our initial glory who is currently out of work. Sure he's lost the plot some in recent years, but does he still have it? Maybe he can resurrect his reputation by coming back.

Posted by: owendylan | May 5, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes! PLEASE hire Arena!

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I don't think you can blame the Coloradians for the relatively poor showing on a Sunday afternoon. The Rapids have a great, and apparently bizzare, approach to building up support in the city -- they run adult and youth leagues at the fields around the stadium. Unfortunately, there were lots of games scheduled around the time of the match on Sunday. If anyone gets the blame, its MLS for scheduling that game at that time.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 5, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@ Yes! PLEASE hire Arena!


NO!!! Get away from the Good Ole' Boys Club that DCU has. There will be plenty of coaches whose seasons are ending around the world in the next few weeks. Use the VW money to pay one of them

Posted by: Timmy | May 5, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, there were lots of games scheduled around the time of the match on Sunday. If anyone gets the blame, its MLS for scheduling that game at that time"

That's the problem lots of places, including NJ, with scheduling Sunday afternoon games. I hope the Telefutura deal is worth the attendance hit.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Didn't DCU unload Erpen, at least in part, because of a distinction between senior and non-senior internationals that has since been eliminated? Then again, even if United management had known that this change was coming, they might have done the same thing, because there were other reasons to deal Erpen.

Posted by: tri-village | May 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The Ugly: Dwayne "Flying Cannuck" DeRosario's Horrible bike attempt that broke Lawson Vaugn's nose and cut up his face pretty badly.

The Bad: The ref at the Houston Chivas Game, its like he picked halves and called the game for one team in the first and then for the other team in the second.

Posted by: Gabola71 | May 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

MLS scheduling already drives me nuts for reasons like mentioned above;

*There's built in conflicts with Youth leagues for weekend day games
*The lack of early season relief for teams playing regional club championship.
*DCU playing a Sunday afternoon away match 2 time zones away at altitude, to follow up with a short week for a Thursday match.
*The absurd Galaxy schedule with DCU where they have to travel east across 3 time zones to play a noon game.
*I haven't even looked to see if they have day matches scheduled in Texas in July or August, but they have done it before. Bad enough in DC.

My point is not to whine, but to disparage the league office. This type of scheduling does not maximize the quality on the field, for any individual team, or the league.

Posted by: JkR | May 5, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

*K.C. forward Ryan Pore having 500 friends and family in Columbus, which is not far from his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.

That accounted for 5% of the crowd in Columbus :-( More people need to be watching that excellent team out there. Moreno alone is well worth the cost of a ticket. Maybe they should spruce up MLS's original soccer specific stadium?

Thanks for the review Steve.

Posted by: Kev | May 5, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

* Not following FIFA international open dates

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 5, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

DC United Pathetic!

Type in the word "Recall Volkswagon" and there is more than the industry average amount of recalls.

I think we need to do some recalling of the starting 11.

Posted by: crf | May 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

True, with 6th vs 7th place the bone of contention, there ain't much else to say.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan
------------------------

Yes we suck now, Mastodon. BUT the natural order of things will be restored and "St Totteringham's Day" (MLS style) will come for the metrocows sooner than you might think. We will still finish in front of the cows! (I hope)

Posted by: Kosh | May 5, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Dare I mention it, but there is a certain coach who brought us our initial glory who is currently out of work. Sure he's lost the plot some in recent years, but does he still have it? Maybe he can resurrect his reputation by coming back.

Posted by: owendylan | May 5, 2008 11:03 AM

And he was in the owners box with DCU brass and Ben Olsen when we played Salt Lake at RFK.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 5, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Want to know what's wrong with United? In short, everything. Why do we seem to miss every player we've let go in the offseason?

Specifically, try this: Almost every pass between defenders went backwards -- this is no way to build momentum towards goal. Switching sides can find a hole in the defense -- if you're moving forward. When the recipient of the pass had to track backwards to get the ball, the opposite happens. Any holes are shut down. I saw one pass -- didn't see who from, to Namoff in the 86th minute, that actually led the defender a little. Not surprisingly Namoff was able to press forward starting a play that produced a corner kick. Then there's the Peralta factor. Is he really that frightening with the ball? Every time he got the ball, Simms or one of the defenders showed about six feet away, usually with their back to the opposing goal and Peralta passed to them. This seems to be a "get the ball away from Peralta's foot as quickly as possible" strategy, even if it means slowing up any chance of moving the offense quickly. You can't build from the back that way. At least Boswell could distribute the ball a wee bit -- Vanney even more so.

The midfield -- without Fred, there was no way to open any passing lanes. Gallardo may be trying to make things happen, but his balls aren't reaching his targets -- not just on the rush that produced the first goal.

Gomez opened up defenses. Gomez and Fred together really opened up defenses. Gomez also was much better on dead balls than anyone DCU has now. Maybe he was never a national team or highly-ranked player in Argentina -- but maybe that was their oversight? He has pace, vision, touch, creativity, skill, etc. His game is more Mexican than Argentine -- maybe that's why he was overlooked there -- and it's why his game is better suited here than the more refined, subtle game Gallardo wants to play.

For all the love Jaime's gotten over the years, I'm stunned by how he seems to be unable to control any lead pass on offense, They always seem to come ricocheting off his first touch, including a lovely ball in by Namoff. On the other hand, at least Jaime was noticeable. Rumor has it that Emilio started in this game, but there was little proof of it on the field.

The marking on defense not great, either. Martinez was so slow to react to Gomez' cross, and no one was covering Cooke, when he got the ball from Gomez and crossed to Erpen. I don't know whose fault it was, but I noticed Gallardo behind him, ball-watching.

Wells is no Perkins, either -- though I think he's getting too much flack. I think people are seeing more wrong that than is deserved -- and he's made some good saves. I don't think he's the answer in goal, if the team is going to win championships, but there's a lot more wrong in front of him.

Can this set of players win? I have serious doubts. They're a better team, though, with Fred in there. Perhaps, one or two moves would get this team in a better position to take advantage of the talents that are there.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 5, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Gomez wasn't that great last year. Plain and simple. He disappeared in big games. Hate to say it, but he's been that way for 2 years. switch to a 3-5-2 and bring in a veron type who can sit next to simms and feed gallardo so he can be forward instead of back. You've bought the player for a 3-5-2 system, now you're wedded to it.

Posted by: DCAustinite | May 5, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the idea of Arena. But how about Ritchie Williams, with John Harkes and Ben Olsen as his assistants?

Posted by: DCUMD | May 5, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I have never seen such quick "fire the coach" sentiments as with some of my fellow DCU supporters.

Should we criticize based on what we have seen thus far this season? Sure. But fire Soehn? Now? Six weeks into the season?

That's ridiculous.

Reality check: Winning the Supporters Shield after a slow start buys a much longer leash than that. Like a whole season...at least.

It's a good thing some of you with the quick triggers aren't in our FO. If we fired the coach every time there was a rough patch we'd have multiple coaches every year.

All that being said...damn we looked awful yesterday.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 5, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not the coaching wholly, it's not the front-office moves in the offseason wholly, it's not the guys we have now and don't have now wholly.

My opinion - is that MLS as a WHOLE is better this year than it was last year.

Look at Houston...

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much Gomez really wanted to stick it to DC. He showed quite a bit of hustle out there.

Posted by: SEP | May 5, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Boswell Peralta the same guy. He wasn't that good.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Sig Boccer wrote:

"Wait a minute....I learned elsewhere that no one really cares about the football lines except an insignificant minority of "whiny soccer fans" and that it's the exact same thing as rugby lines at Old Trafford or infield dirt in Oakland. Could I have been misled???"

You must have been misled -- there was no infield dirt in Oakland.

Posted by: JJH | May 5, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

On video, I thought Suarez's red card was well taken. It prevented them from losing - well worth the point. Not that I'm a fan of professional fouls.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Was talking with a friend and we figured the problem with the Crew's attendance is that they don't wear scarlet and grey and have a big block O on their uniforms...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 5, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

JJH - I meant during Raiders games.

Posted by: Sig Boccer | May 5, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"On Beckham's two goals it is noteworthy that Landon Donovan is not to be seen celebrating with his celebrated teammate. Last week against Chivas when Donovan scored he pushed Beck's arm off his shoulder. Donovan lost his captain's arm band and headlines to Becks. Could be more internal division looming for the Galaxy."

Actually, Donovan was the one that retrieved the ball on the goals, while Beckham 1) Walked toward the Mids and Defenders 2) Ran to the bench and high fived everyone. So Donovan was too far away to celebrate.

Also, Donovan was asked to keep the captain's armband, but he said: "I'm not stupid," Donovan said. "[Beckham has] been a captain for England, one of the better teams in the world. For me, it's not as important to wear the armband. I'm going to play the same way and act the same way towards guys whether I have that or not. I think it made him immediately part of the team in a real sense, not just on the field. I think guys looked at him differently, and he could say things to guys differently. I told him that if he was ready for it, I thought it was appropriate that he wear it and that I thought it would help us right now."

Posted by: PX | May 5, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

What I have noticed is just how SLOW the team is. This team needs quicker play down the flanks and I'm afraid Moreno just isn't fast enough anymore.

Posted by: garylane | May 6, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for drawing my attention to Alejandro Moreno's assist on Rogers' goal. I watched that play several times, but never really noticed the beauty and creativity of the pass.

Posted by: phillypride | May 6, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

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