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DCU-Chicago: The Aftermath

Well, what did you guys think? I won't be putting up any player rankings -- I can't pretend to be Goff -- but here's what I saw from the press box.

I was actually really impressed by Fred in the early goings of the game and was surprised at how comfortable he looked initially in the middle. Then all of a sudden, that comfort was gone and D.C. couldn't get anything going offensively. They looked to try something else (Dyachenko) in the middle, but that didn't work either, and soon the team was struggling to hold possession without any distributor running the show.

I was also very unimpressed with the defense in the first half. A lot of poor touches and poor passes out of the back caused for some uneasy moments for the team and fans. And that goal was just bad all the way around -- I'm still not quite sure what Wells was doing that far off his line when the ball was played to the corner of the box.

In the second half, things got better. I thought Doe and Thompson -- who was playing in his second, not first game (I originally had this quote from Soehn in the article: "Yeah he made something out of nothing. For his first game with us I thought he made a really big impact. And mostly just out of hard work." but paraphrased it and got myself into trouble. He played against the Rhinos.) -- provided a lot of energy when they entered. Burch said something I thought was interesting, hinting that pressure up top helped the defense by reducing those long balls in. There were still some shaky moments, but as Soehn said, there was also a lot of rust for the team. You're going to have mistakes.

Jaime Moreno changed this game 100 percent, there's no doubt about that. Suddenly the offense was flowing and moving. Just two minutes after he entered the game they challenged Chicago with a half-chance -- something that hadn't happened in a while. That attack started when Jaime's gesture convinced Fred to switch it the left wing and the ball got in to Doe on the top of the box where a cross nearly found the head of Emilio and then nearly found the net. Ten minutes after that: goal. A few minutes later, Moreno clanks one off the post. Then, of course, the corner in overtime. Great performance.

Big win for United overall, not just to move on this season but to get a knockout win over Chicago. We'll see what happens with the skirmish -- heard rumors that Blanco's stuff didn't end all the way to the locker room.

Here are the other results from around the Open Cup. Check out recaps here:

Seattle Sounders 0 - Kansas City Wizards 0 (Seattle advances 6-5 on PKs)
New England Revolution 1 - Crystal Palace Baltimore 1 (New England advances 5-3 on PKs)
Charleston Battery 3 - FC Dallas 1

U.S. Open Cup Semifinals
August 12, 2008

New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)
RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. - 7:30 PM

Seattle Sounders (USL-1) at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. - 7:30 PM

I am putting up more quotes after the jump so check them out. Thanks to Cristina Cruz for the Namoff stuff...


Seemed like a dramatic victory for you guys and against a franchise you guys historically have not had a lot of success against in knockout competitions.

Tonight was a hot night and we had to push our guys. We had some time off and I could tell that we were a bit rusty. But to their credit they fought and scrapped until the very end. We added a couple guys that I thought added to the game when they came in and that was the difference of the game for sure.

It seemed Jaime really made an impact when Jaime came in, the offense really found life...

Yeah he adds so much experience in holding the ball and the flow got a lot better. The game changed dramatically when he came in, even when he wasn't in for a long time.

Can you talk about the game-tying goal? Craig Thompson seemed to not give up on the play.

Yeah he made something out of nothing. For his first game with us I thought he made a really big impact. And mostly just out of hard work.

And Namoff's goal?

It was a good ball from Jaime and a great near post run, he flicked it on. We work on that all the time, it's the first time we got one.

For the first 15 played well, then stalled. Saw some formation changes, were you trying to re-energize the attack?

Yeah, we really lost our ability to keep the ball and we were trying to look for a way. I thought Luciano was up there too much alone so we wanted to get him someone up there so it wasn't so easy to mark him and build our possession a little bit. We talked about it at halftime and I thought after half, and obviously adding Jaime, the game changed quite a bit. Francis added some life today too. Our subs really impacted the game today and that's what you want.

Tough touches today, overhit balls, missed passes...

We took some time off and every time we do that we can always, I saw it in training, unfortunately. It's the only time have to give those guys off. So I knew we would be a little bit rough, in stretches it was. But I thought in the end we did the things we needed to do to win the game.

Did you pay the price with most guys playing 120 minutes?

Most of it's cramping. We're going to have to do a great job of regenerating ourselves. Thankfully it's not till Saturday so we have one extra day. So we have to do a good job and our training staff is going to have to do a good job to make sure they get back to health.

The defense and Zach's play has been critiqued at times. On the goal, Pat seemed to freeze up and let it skip by and Zach was out of his goal. Two minutes later, almost happened again. What'd you see there?

There's mistakes all over the place and they capitalized on them. We've got to clean that up. Pat doesn't see a lot of action in games [and] overall I thought he did well defensively. It's just one play where I don't know about the communication. But we'll talk about it tomorrow and see so we make sure it doesn't happen again.

Talk about the psychological aspect of this win

When you win a game like we did on the road, it sticks in your head. And I'm sure they were thinking about that today.

What'd you see in the skirmish at the end?

Well, it's unfortunate. I thought there could have been a play earlier where they should have been shorthanded. And it probably wouldn't have even gotten to what happened. Everybody knows what Blanco does. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Is Jaime going to be okay?

Yeah, he just has some tightness. I wasn't going to use him at all. Short time I did I thought he changed the game, so we got out of it what we needed today.


On the team picking it up

I knew we were going to get some chances in the second half. If not in the second half then in overtime.

What did you see in the first half that allowed them to get behind you so much with those diagonal balls?

We weren't really tight letting them play balls over the top. Up top we didn't get enough pressure and I think in the second half we got a lot better...

What happened on the goal? Was it a communication error?

I couldn't really tell. I heard Devon say away and I think Pat just kind of slipped and he stepped in front and scored.


What does it mean to knock Chicago out finally?

I guess for the record it's a great thing. But for us every game is different and every game so far we are really improving a lot. So that was our goal, starting from the preseason, to be like this. And it showed a lot of guys today, they had an opportunity to play, and they did pretty well.

How much do you enjoy sitting in behind the forwards like you did today and playing that 'playmaker' role?

So far it's working. I'm just enjoying overall. Unfortunately I couldn't start today because of a little bit of an abdominal problem that I have but that 30 minutes that I had I tried to give my best and like I said we created chances which is what we wanted. Like I said we worked really hard to win this game.

What did you see in the skirmish?

Heat of the moment, people reace. Referees and people from the league, they'll have to look at that. We've got to protect our players, very simple. That's all I can say.

On the first goal, Craig kept it alive. Talk about that sequence.

He came on really well. He's only been with us for not even two weeks and to step up and play the way he played tonight I was impressed with his game. I think Tommy is pleased with everyone today who had a chance to play. He won that ball and Francis was open so I saw it and I just had to pass him the ball and he did a good finish.


I don't think there was any doubt, even when we were down 1-0. I think we stuck to our plan. We were a little sluggish coming out in the first half, maybe it was due to having a couple of days off. We started to find a rhythm in the second half and started getting a lot tighter around marks. I would just give credit to a couple of good plays toward the end of the game. We were lucky to get a 1-1 tie and especially lucky to eventually get the game winner.

You have to give credit to Jaime Moreno. He hit the perfect ball to me so if I didn't score I think he'd be pretty upset. I made a run and beat the defender and went to the near post and he put it right on my head, all I had to do was make good contact.

I think we were a little bit spread out from our defense to our midfield to our forwards and normally we like to keep that within 35 yards and I think there was a tendency for the back line to be a little bit up too high from time to time. I think defensively, for them, their defenders were giving up a lot of time and space and that's why they were able to pick up their heads and look and find space.

Any time you have to play 120 minutes in this type of heat I think is draining. But luckily it's only Tuesday so we have enough days to rest, recover and get everybody feeling right. We have to start working on a new perspective on a different team, a team that has proven to get the better of us in previous years.

By Paul Tenorio  |  July 9, 2008; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight: US Open Cup Quarterfinals
Next: The Blanco Situation and Other Tidbits


Posted by: moses | July 9, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I was listening on WFED radio over the Internet (MUCH better reception than in the car!) and would like to know more about the altercation at the end. If Blanco indeed punched (or tried to punch) Simms in the stomach, would MLS have the nerve to suspend him for an MLS game? His red card means that he is only suspended for the Fire's next US Open Cup game, right? And he wouldn't likely play in that anyway, even if he is still on the team next year. Anyone care to share more about the scuffle at the end?

Posted by: Dsmac | July 9, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Since this game wasn't televised, I wonder if there is any video evidence...

Posted by: RK | July 9, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if there's a happy medium between playing tired because of too many games in a short time span and playing rusty because there's too much down time between games.

DCU won and all, which is great, but shouldn't they by now have figured out the right training regimen to keep ALL of them ready to play the next game, regardless of whether it's two days or two weeks later?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 9, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

there is a brief glimpse of it in the hilights reel that i just posted. It looks pretty malicious and he does it just as the ref turns his back. I hope MLS has the guts to do something about it.

Posted by: moses | July 9, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh maricoooooooooon
maricon maricon
Blanco Maricoooooooon!!!

Posted by: me | July 9, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

White macaroni?

I don't get it.

Nice to see Namoff get a goal. He does so many quiet things for the team, he deserves a bit of glory.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 9, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm still of the belief that Fred should be our 2nd option at CAM. He didn't exactly have World-Beaters playing next to him on the wings, or Moreno playing above him to work some magic.

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 9, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Did they put Chest Rockwell in charge of the blog? Just kidding. I am tuning in from Washington State. Great to knock Chicago out for once and the Blanco send off is just a bonus. Did Blanco bring his usual scuba gear to the game?

Posted by: MR Caretaker | July 9, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is waiting for some sort of official media representation of what happened with Blanco after he left the pitch.

Please confirm or invalidate some rumors, oh paper of record!

Posted by: Bootsy | July 9, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm still of the belief that Fred should be our 2nd option at CAM.

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 9, 2008 10:36 AM

That makes two of us. Maybe we should start and on-line petition.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 9, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

What Bootsy said.

Posted by: ABT | July 9, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

That makes two of us. Maybe we should start and on-line petition.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 9, 2008 10:48 AM


Anyone know anybody with a plane?

Posted by: Brian | July 9, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Blanco had some more memorable Montgomery County moments.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | July 9, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Monster post! Thanks Paul

Posted by: Kev | July 9, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

sounds like Blanco headbutted someone from DCU's Staff and then got in a scuffle with stadium security after being asked to leave the field.

Posted by: therealfan | July 9, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Deport him.

Posted by: RK | July 9, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

OFF Topic... kinda...

The DCU U-17 lads did us proud again last night by spanking Mrs. O'Leary's Cows U-17 squad 3-0 to make the semis of the SUM U-17 Cup (DCU is the defending champion). The semis were played last night... still waiting to hear how they did against Chivas USA. The other semi was between Toronto and RSL.

Sr. Tenorio, can you elaborate?

Posted by: Soy United! | July 9, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Oops! DCU U-17 beat Chicago in the last group game Monday night... not last night.

Posted by: Soy United! | July 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

i cant go onto bigsoccer here at work can someone paste the news here plzzzzzzz!!!

Posted by: 135 | July 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the Thorrington tackle on Jaime, too -- should've been a straight red.

Posted by: RK | July 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

135 wrote: i cant go onto bigsoccer here at work can someone paste the news here plzzzzzzz!!!


DC Braveheart wrote on BigSoccer:

"I don't suppose anyone got pictures of Blanco head-butting the DCU staffer after he was sent off tonight? Happened right in front of me. After Blanco hesitated by the bench the staffer went over to encourage him to leave the area. Blanco got in his face and after a few words were exchanged Blanco head-butted him right between the eyes."

"After Blanco headed to the dressing room, the staffer chatted with a police officer by the side of the field and after a couple of minutes both of the headed after Blanco. I hope the wanker gets arrested and charged with assault."

Posted by: KR in DC | July 9, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Nice job, Paul.

Way to do the business, DCU.

I hope the league and the refs wise up to Mr. Blanco's antics and start calling him out on his little dirty dives and tricks.

Feels good to beat the Fire. The trend has started, keep it alive.


Posted by: Kosh | July 9, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

thanks KR in DC!!!!

I saw that headbutt but i thought it was one of the fire's coaches that he headbutted!!

Posted by: 135 | July 9, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

there is a brief glimpse of it in the hilights reel that i just posted. It looks pretty malicious and he does it just as the ref turns his back. I hope MLS has the guts to do something about it.

Posted by: moses | July 9, 2008 10:21 AM

Unfortunately, MLS has nothing to do with this since it was an Open Cup game. The most that punch Blanco threw will cost him is a nice long ban from Open Cup play. The headbutt, on the other hand, might be good for an assault charge. Does anybody know, is Blanco just here on a work visa? Criminal charges tend to make those a lot tougher to get renewed.

Posted by: Kenobi | July 9, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

After the incident at the bench Blanco hung out on the hill by the corner waiting for Burch. He repeatedly wanted to get at him. A Montgomery County police officer had to come over and walk him to the locker rooms.

Blanco also shouted at the ref "Hijo de P*ta" when he got the red card.

Police also had to shield the refs after the game from seveal angry Chicago players.

Posted by: ML | July 9, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Paul for the lengthy report. Anyone who made it out to the game care to share some player ratings?

That type of behavior from Blanco is embarassing to the league. Especially when he's a major part of their advertising campaigns. If MLS doesn't have the cajones to suspend him, then the Fire organization really should step up and bench him for a game. He's supposed to be their leader, but I hope that's not the kind of horrible example the team wants to set for its young players. As frustrating as he is to watch, I don't mind the diving so much because I understand that that's all a part of the game, but to try to punch an opposing player and then headbutt an opposing coach is an absolute disgrace.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 9, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Luis Hernandez got a 6gm Open Cup suspension for hurting a player for Nashville many years ago while he was with LAG. Maybe Blanco's suspension will be that he HAS to play in the Open Cup next year. Enjoy those 90 minutes against the Mid-Michigan Bucks....

Posted by: AM | July 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I've always known Blanco was a douchebag. I hope the league suspends him. I know it was not an MLS game but physical assault on match officials should not be taken lightly. And if I was the DCU staffer, I am filing assault charges against the bastard.

Posted by: Bart | July 9, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@DCUMD: Diving is not part of the game. That's why players get yellow carded when caught diving. That's like saying a flagrant foul is part of the NBA. It's not.

Posted by: Bart | July 9, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Eh... Diving is a part of the game to the point that many players do it, to various degrees. Point taken though. Its fairly common in many sports actually to exagerate a foul. Blanco just has a tendency to do it far too often, and also gets away with it far too often, which I don't think I'll ever understand.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

RE; Headbutting the FO staff.

Justice aside, I can't imagine the injured party, an MLS employee, pressing charges against another MLS employee - especially a DP. That's a quick way to end your MLS staff career. Blanco may issue a pseudo-apology that is not a statement of guilt and the matter will be dropped.

The venue in Boyds/Germantown is really close to the MoCo detention facility in Boyds/Clarksburg. But, I don't want my tax money to be spent on this particular migrant worker :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Correction: The Chicago FO, on behalf of Blanco, may issue a pseudo-apology that is not a statement of guilt and the matter will be dropped.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 9, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Was this game played under some non-FIFA rules that allowed four substitutions? I'm confused...

Posted by: Greg | July 9, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's not about MLS having "the nerve" to suspend Blanco for an MLS game.

They don't have jurisdiction.

If he got arrested for assault or something, they might be able to invoke some personal conduct clause or double secret probation or some other rule that they just made up, but what happens in one competition doesn't apply to another.

It's not about "having the nerve" at all.

Posted by: Jason | July 9, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Luis Hernandez got a 6gm Open Cup suspension for hurting a player for Nashville many years ago while he was with LAG."

Actually, it ended up being five games (or the diration of the Galaxuy's run in the 2001 LHUSOC) for stomping Peter Nowak in the head. Considering the Galaxy won the thing the next year, and it was a Chicago player getting stomped in the head, I'd call it a push...

Posted by: Eric B | July 9, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

ussf could probably suspend him from all us soccer activity for a time, but that would take a monster pair of cajones that would probably not be good for the league overall (esp. if you're trying to get all those immigrant america fans to pay attention to the mls).

his punishment should be that brian mcbride goes to toronto and he continues to have no one to give service to.

also, md soccerplex is no where near as good as rfk, kind of a bummer for what could've been a huge game. that being said getting to shout in calen carr's face as he let a ball go out for a goal kick was quit rewarding.

Posted by: matt | July 9, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg: The USOC allows four subs.

Posted by: Bootsy | July 9, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

More quotes from last night -- this one from Nationals' pitcher, Odalis Perez:

"He is stupid," Pérez said, his face tightening in anger. "He is stupid and is an idiot."

I believe Odalis was talking about Cuahtemoc Blanco....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 9, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Next time we play Chicago, Moreno or somebody needs to play a 50-50 ball between Thorrington and Peralta.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 9, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Away at Chicago 8/16. Burch should bring an armed escort.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 9, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Where is Chicago's coaching staff with all his happening? They should be fined as not able to control their player...if there are such exist in USSF.

Posted by: td | July 9, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes -- Thorrington should have gotten a straight red card for the tackle on Moreno. It's not just that tackle. So long as the lords of soccer don't demand more from the refs, the game will suffer. Indulging violent "professional" fouls meant only to take opponents in the midst of strong attacks -- this takes away from the game. It also cuts into the number of potential goals, making for a less attractive and appealing sport. Thorrington deserved a red. The only saving grace is that because Thorrington was still in the game, Jaime was able to exact his own revenge with a huge whack to Thorrington's shins. If that's the kind of thing that MLS wants to encourage, then I guess it's OK that Thorrington didn't get a red card. And the Barra owes the ref an apology for the obscene chant....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 9, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

That should read: "meant only to take down opponents"

The rules call for red cards. Why FIFA doesn't want the rules enforced, I don't know. This is something that always perplexes me.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 9, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Maricon" does not mean "macaroni;" it is a VERY pejorative term, usually associated with picking a fight. And "cajones" is usually "cojones" in the context used - same as it would be in the English equivalent.

Posted by: The Ref | July 9, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the youtube link.

Holy bejeezeus, that foul on Jaime should have been a red. How much more flagrant can you get?

Someone said it was Thorrington?

Posted by: delantero | July 9, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

White macaroni . . yeah, that's it.

Posted by: delantero | July 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

And the Barra owes the ref an apology for the obscene chant....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 9, 2008 12:46 PM

Next game instead of chanting F U ref i am gonna chant F U Fisch Fry !!!

Posted by: Barra | July 9, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

well, the link to the youtube video has been removed by toutube per a copyright claim by MLS, LLC.... interesting indeed to me.

Posted by: chris | July 9, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The You Tube links are gone, I've yet to see these highlights, does anyone know if they exist elsewhere?
MLS has a copyright on the footage apparently.

Posted by: Dadryan | July 9, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Everything I did last night to Clyde Simms, Marc Burch, and the DCU employee I'd do again in a heartbeat.

Viva La Mexico!
Viva La Raza!

Posted by: Cuauhtemoc Blanco | July 9, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse


There's no such training regiment to get players ready to go 90 minutes twice in a 3 day span. Look at how much managers at big Euro clubs complain when they have to play mid-week games (and those are clubs that have spent millions on training facilities, top trainers, and research into every aspect of fitness). It's just something the human body isn't designed for.

MR Caretaker:

Putting me in charge would be a bad idea. I somehow don't think the Post wants its employees endorsing the return of the stocks as punishment for Blanco, for example.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 10, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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