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Kasper, Soehn Speak

DCU GM Dave Kasper, on the possible roster moves: "We are in discussions with a number of players -- some would require a trial, some would not. There is no exact timeline. ... Obviously we want to get a keeper to compete with Zach [Wells]. We need some cover in spots where, when you go through a tough injury patch like we are going through, we have guys who can step in. That's important, especially as we get into September and into the [Champions League]. We are going to need more depth."

Coach Tom Soehn, on newcomers: "Hopefully this week. Some of the process has taken longer than we wanted to. We were hoping to get some new faces in for today's training."

As for working with MLS to acquire players, "If we present a player to the league, nine times out of 10, it's really a D.C. United decision," Kasper said.

Possible trades? "As is typical this time of the year, there are a lot of discussions [league-wide] taking place."

On the injury front, defender Gonzalo Peralta (sports hernia) might be ready to see some playing time this Saturday against Kansas City. With midfielder Santino Quaranta (hamstring), "we want to be cautious because it has recurred a couple times. It's possible we wait until the 10th [of August] for his return," Kasper said. Midfielder Marcelo Gallardo (sports hernia) is not as far as long as Peralta because he had a bigger tear on one side and had surgery on both sides. He has done some running and "I would hope that it's possible he could play some minutes on the 10th."

Soehn, on Gallardo and Peralta returning from hernia surgery: "We can only go off experience. We've had about seven guys go through this. I think the longest was three weeks and the shortest was 13 days, so hopefully within that window."

Midfielder Dan Stratford (knee) is still a few weeks away. Midfielder Ben Olsen continues to rehab from additional ankle work. "We will keep our fingers crossed on that one," Soehn said. "He has been through a lot of trauma ... but if we can get him back for the last stretch, that would be a huge bonus for us."

Soehn, commenting on the lack of intensity in recent games: "I have heard different things -- they are tired, they are mentally drained. Whatever, it's still putting on the uniform and getting through the tough stretches by competing. On that side, that was disappointing."

DCU has not received a formal request from the Bolivian federation to release Jaime Moreno for next Wednesday's friendly against Guatemala at RFK. Typically, a request must be made two weeks in advance, but since the game will be played here, DCU is willing to discuss the possibility of Moreno playing (if he's called up in the next few days).

By Steve Goff  |  July 28, 2008; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Thanks for the injury updates. Have you heard anything lately about Jeff Carroll? I think it was in February that it was reported that he would be out for 3-6 months.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 28, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I could see DCU send multiple current players away in a trade soon in order to open roster spots.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Good God! DCU is like a revolving door! Masking Soehn's tactical inabilities by bringing in player after player is not the sign of a stable club who knows what its doing. It really is grasping at straws now.

Posted by: Blake | July 28, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't mind seeing some of those players who fit the bill of guys who won't be needing a trial first.

I think we have a great first team, but we have no depth. That can't improve until the MLS salary cap grows, but that still won't entirely solve the problem...

Posted by: Acquisitions | July 28, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It looks like for at least the time being the FO is sticking with Soehn and his ways... for now.

Anyone remember by chance when the feasability study for PG County is due?

Posted by: Beltwayrob | July 28, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Doctor, doctor
Give me the news
I've got a
Bad case of DCU blues..."

Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week...

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 28, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Is there any truth to the rumor that Zach wells is being traded to a Norwegian side for 100 papusas? i read it on a blog?

That would be great for the Norwegian league. Is he as good as Perkins?

Posted by: Stig | July 28, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week...

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 28, 2008 2:53 PM
==========

Don't you ever go on vacation?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 28, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Vacation? Hold on, I'm looking that word up...

Was gone for a week in mid-July. You didn't notice my absence?!

Things seem a bit quiet on the Soccer Insider. I feel like I need to write something inflammatory to fire things up. OK, here's a dirty joke instead:

A white horse fell in the mud.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 28, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Mattias Donnet and Lucio Filomeno didn't need trials....

Oh, and we don't have a "great" first team. This first team was 2-7 at one point. When Jaime and Emilio are scoring, it masks what has been a pretty meager, weakly-organized defensive unit.

Posted by: DWE4 | July 28, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For a long time now, I've been up to give Soehn the benefit of the doubt, but so many of his tactical decisions are questionable at best, and he doesn't seem able to motivate the players. I'm not in favor of removing him during the season, but Payne and Kasper should be looking for someone new this Winter, who will be able to take United up to the next level. That is, to actually beat Mexican sides IN Mexico, and possibly earn a spot in Sudamericana or Libertadores (if an invite were to be extended).

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 28, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

DWE4 - I think that Mattias Donnet would fit into our squad very well with the current first 11. We never really gave him much of a chance.

Posted by: JMR | July 28, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Would former DCU players Nick Rimando, Alecko Eskandarian or Eliseo Quintanilla require a trial? Would any of them help our team?

Would an established MLS player like El Pescadito Ruiz require a trial? would DCU take him?

Is the CHI-TFC McBride situation going to require a move of a significant player out of CHI and maybe ricochet our way?

Goff has all the answers

Posted by: juanma | July 28, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

>Is the CHI-TFC McBride situation going to require a move of a significant player out of CHI and maybe ricochet our way?

No. Only Chad Barett.

Posted by: RK | July 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

one more thought...

Dave Kasper is so sneaky with that TRIAL and NO TRIAL comment. Clearly, he is referring to a COACHING change, since Bruce Arena would not need to try out for us.

Posted by: juanma | July 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

RE:
DWE4 - I think that Mattias Donnet would fit into our squad very well with the current first 11. We never really gave him much of a chance.

Posted by: JMR | July 28, 2008 3:27 PM
----

Actually, I totally agree. I always thought he got a raw deal. Maybe the expectations ($$$$) were too high.

Posted by: DWE4 | July 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and we don't have a "great" first team. This first team was 2-7 at one point. When Jaime and Emilio are scoring, it masks what has been a pretty meager, weakly-organized defensive unit.

Posted by: DWE4 | July 28, 2008 3:15 PM

I would hold off on the use of "great" myself, but the team that started this season (2-7) featured a lot of the weak reserves. Take a look at the line-up for what I consider the low point of the season thus far, the 2-nil home loss to Chicago in May...

D.C. United -- Zach Wells, Bryan Namoff, Gonzalo Martinez, Gonzalo Peralta, Marc Burch, Santino Quaranta (Francis Doe 66), Rod Dyachenko (Quavas Kirk 92+), Clyde Simms, Franco Niell, Luciano Emilio (Dan Stratford 83), Jaime Moreno

No Fred, no Gallardo, no points. That might have been the worst I've ever seen a United team play, especially in attack. Now look at the line-up in the excellent win over LA a month later...

D.C. United -- Zach Wells, Bryan Namoff, Devon McTavish, Gonzalo Peralta, Gonzalo Martinez, Santino Quaranta (Marc Burch 27), Marcelo Gallardo, Clyde Simms, Fred (Rod Dyachenko 77), Luciano Emilio, Jaime Moreno (Ben Olsen 75)

Better talent on the pitch = great result (4-1). The stars have to be healthy for this team to get results. The positive is that the club has some very good players, the negative is that there is so little in reserve. Maybe Soehn has a rough time turning lemons into lemonade, but this team definitely has some lemons.

Posted by: Kev | July 28, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Kev,
Comparing that win and that loss really isn't fair. First, the lineups are pretty close. There are only 3 changes in the May loss and the June (close to July) win and two of those players wound up playing in the win as subs. Second, you're comparing apples to oranges. The team wasn't playing well at all in May regardless of who was on the pitch. The Gonzalo center combination wasn't playing well and the players weren't on the same page. The June win was a team that was in the middle of a good stretch and a team that was finally finding their stride. The Gonzalo center combination was gone and player knew what each other was going to do before they did it. The injuries aren't helping obviously, but comparing those 2 games isn't fair.

Posted by: Pretty close | July 28, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh MY GOD RK, I am knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder and lighting candles...
I can't believe you even wrote his name!
Barrett is a retard.
Nobody say it again.
NO DCU doesn't want him.
Is any body else wishing Josh Gros would just wander back?
I might even sometimes wish that Eskandarian was fit and back!
Bring Rimando back!

Posted by: Dadryan | July 28, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Pretty close - granted those were definitely extreme examples. But looking through the season, Gallardo has played in 6 of the 7 league wins thus far. He also played in the Pachuca win, then missed the match in Salt Lake - Rod started and we lost 4-nil. Gallardo and Fred started in the Salt Lake home match two weeks later and we win 4-1.

Even look at one of the losses with Gallardo and Fred in the line-up, 2-1 to Columbus in April. Against a hot team on the road, very well could have gotten a useful point but were foiled by that Wells howler. Outshot the Crew 15-8.

Look at all the terrible performances this season and you'll see either Gallardo or Fred (or both) missing from the line-up.

Posted by: Kev | July 28, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I vote we trade Rod Dyachenko for Joe Doc - at least Mr. Doc is funny

Posted by: diego r. | July 28, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Donnett, I seem to remember that he seemed surprised that playing the wing for DC required that he defend as well as attack. When all his attention was focused on offense, he was fine.

He is another in a long line of natural "inside" players forced to play outside for DC (Quaranta; Fred; even Olsen).

Posted by: Hedbal | July 28, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I vote we trade Rod Dyachenko for a Big Mac and fries. That would give the club a significant upgrade over the food available at the RFK concession stands. If we can get someone to throw in a caramel sundae, I'll call it highway robbery.

Posted by: DWE4 | July 28, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Kev, nice to see a cooler head prevail. It's simple -- DCU doesn't have the depth to succeed when key players are injured. I don't know how a coach is supposed to magically make a defense out of the remaining parts.

Posted by: RK | July 28, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

He is another in a long line of natural "inside" players forced to play outside for DC (Quaranta; Fred; even Olsen).

Posted by: Hedbal | July 28, 2008 4:28 PM
---------------
That's a great observation. Being a flank midfielder requires a certain mindset -- the desire to stop a player from scoring must equal the desire to score, and you need to be able to do both.

A good wide player needs to be a good one v one defender, because there is little second-defender help. He also needs to be able to beat defenders one v one, and to serve in crosses with good timing, pace and accuracy. And you can't be slow.

I think that's one reason Frankie Hejduk hangs around. He has pace, he goes at defenders and he's a pain to beat defensively. He just doesn't serve a ball very well (that I recall, at least).

Burch's fear to go inside on his right foot hurts his chances (note that if his left is cut off, he goes backward). Fred does everything on the dribble, and likes to cut in, or play 1-2s with Emilio or Jaime.

When he's on, Quaranta may be United's best outside midfielder. But the team could still do better.

My 10-year-old is left footed and loves to bend in crosses. I'm encouraging this, as I think teams would kill for a left-footed player willing to do the hard work out wide.

Personally, I was a master at serving crosses into the back of the net. Literally, the BACK of the net. I caused more goal kicks than anyone who has ever played the game...

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 28, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I vote we trade Rod Dyachenko for Joe Doc - at least Mr. Doc is funny

Posted by: diego r. | July 28, 2008 4:22 PM
==============

DC would have to buy him from Blue Ridge FC (the Totin' Gunners). They'd have to throw in 11 packs of Red Man, 3 cases of Bud, and a tree stand.

(payback for the tofu remark)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 28, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

>Burch's fear to go inside on his right foot hurts his chances (note that if his left is cut off, he goes backward).

Wouldn't that cause him to just rotate in a circle?

Posted by: RK | July 28, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

:boom:boom:boom:GUATE!!!:boom:boom:boom!!!!

we need new players whoever we get better be good or at least do something, create magic or levitate like david blane on the field for all i care

lol

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 28, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Good God! DCU is like a revolving door!... bringing in player after player is not the sign of a stable club who knows what its doing. It really is grasping at straws now.
---------------------
Kind of reminds me of the (hopefully) past Daniel Snyder approach to team development...

Steve, have these guys ever talked about how certain teams...Houston and New England come to mind...are able to develop bench players who can come in effectively to weather injury periods, in contrast to us?

Posted by: seahawkdad | July 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

At I-270, Exit 1: Red Man? RED MAN?! I'm an Apple Jack man! (True story: I tried Apple Jack in middle school on a bet, swallowed a mouthful of spit and proceeded to puke in the snow for 3 hours. Been tobacco-free ever since.)

Loving "Totin' Gunners," though. Has a certain ring to it.

Q: What is 50 yards long and has 3 teeth?
A: The line at the funnel cake stand at the Haymarket town fair.

@RK: You're too bloody funny.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 28, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Houston and New England come to mind...are able to develop bench players who can come in effectively to weather injury periods, in contrast to us
-------------------------------------

There's the rub. Tommy's not one to make a tough situation better. A couple players go out, and he's left grasping at straws. Even with a full deck, he's not convincing in his decision making.

But there are deeper structural problems in DCU than just a bad coach. The priorities in acquisition of talent don't match the needs of the team (the midget migration this year, for example).

Lots of dough is tied up in a "subtly good" midfielder -- for that kind of scratch in this league, you had better bring more than "subtly good." I'd rather have a couple strong fast guys with cracker shots (aka flankers). But I guess that would clash with DCU's finesse approach in the offensive third.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | July 28, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Kasper: "another keeper to compete **cough cough replace cough** with Wells...

Posted by: Anthony | July 28, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

10 players and a goali.

Posted by: Soehn | July 28, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

There is a solid chance DCU won't even make Superliga or the Champions League next year.

Posted by: Dave | July 28, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Soehn's quote "Whatever, it's still putting on the uniform and getting through the tough stretches by competing." While he is basically right, it seems too Nowak-esque for me. Look at a guy like Simms or McTavish. Too many minutes, too many games. They want to do well - they are just too tired to produce. A little better depth would go a long way.
Something to remember is that some of the higher level depth has been hurt recently also. Stratford was getting good minutes there for a while. Mediate was normally first off the bench. Those guys being out have also changed Soehn's ability to adapt and rotate guys.
Doe being gone for a month also changed things.
Imagine if they had not picked up Quaranta in the offseason. Especially while thinking Olsen would return early in the year.
There are a lot of little things going on with this team. A few parts plugged in may may a difference. Hard to imagine what parts they can pick up without significant changes to the roster though.
I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks as new players come in and injuries heal. It should get interesting.

Posted by: marksman | July 28, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that the US Open cup semifinal against New England is suddenly the most important game DC will get to play this season? It seems their best chance to earn hardware (what with Seattle and Charleston vying for the other spot in the finals).

Posted by: black shirt | July 28, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Re: Lack of Depth

What do you expect when over 10% of DCU's salary cap (Niell & Olsen -- for different reasons)isn't being used?

Posted by: Curious | July 29, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah black shirt I do think the Open Cup match is one of the most important things happening in the next few weeks for DC.
I got over being out of town for Super Liga pretty quick, but I am a little bit irritated I'm gonna be unable to attend the fixture cuz I'll be on vacation again.
I think United's starting eleven could beat either Seattle or Charleston, I sure hope Soehn and Company are doing everything in their power to fire up the troops for this one....

Posted by: Dadryan | July 29, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

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