Network News

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

SuperLiga Status, Reyna Situation

First things first: DCU has NOT been eliminated from the SuperLiga. Despite losing its first two matches, United can advance to the semifinals if.....

-- DCU (0-2-0, minus-2 goal diff) defeats Houston (1-1-0, plus-3) by at least three goals and Chivas (2-0-0, plus-2) beats Atlante (1-1-0, minus-3). If that occurs.....

-- Chivas wins the group with nine points, and all others have three points. In the first tiebreaker (head-to-head competition among tied teams), everyone is 1-1. It then goes to goal differential. With a 3-0 DCU victory and a Chivas win, DCU is plus-1, Houston is even and Atlante is minus-whatever. Simple, eh?

Read my match report with Coach Tom Soehn's stinging comments by clicking here.

Watch the video highlights here.

*Okay, as for the Claudio Reyna retirement and the impact on the Red Bulls, several MLS officials were in attendance at RFK tonight. They tell me that Reyna's departure will open a roster spot and a designated player slot for New York. However, the club will not receive any salary cap relief. Essentially, Reyna's hit against the salary cap (325K?) remains intact for the rest of the season. That's what the MLS folks tell me.

By Steve Goff  |  July 16, 2008; 12:15 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Argentine Trialist With DCU
Next: Late-Morning Kickaround

Comments


Why is everyone crying over the SuperLiga? Man Superliga is worthless, forget the US-Mexico rivalry thats more national team than club team fire. This tournament just puts a strain on the fitness of the team. Everyone worries about winning but forgets that there are more important tourneys to worry about than this piece of junk. Everyone allways forgets why DC doesnt fair in the latter of the year, why cause they are tired, fatigued, and overplayed!!!
Half the team is injured and ya'll expect for DC to win against a Mexican side that sports younger faster players. Of course they are going to blast right past a defense made out of scratch. You see it from the highlights they were beaten one on one.
Please just dont worry about it ya'll are putting to much into it. DC should rest, we are gonna bump into another mexican side later this year and this one will count!

and one more thing, 75% of the Superliga winnings for the MLS side goes to Becks salary, 10% Garber, and 15% the team that won.

If we are true Hinchas, ultras and barra bravas then we turn our backs on the tournament!

GET AT ME!!!!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 16, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

One more thing,

HAHAHA Arena screwed them over!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 16, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Two tough games... who knew that Peralta was the glue that held the team together?
I guess the 'Iron Triangle' of Wells, Burch, and McTavish needs some work.

Posted by: cload & daggar | July 16, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Those Mexican homers on Contacto Deportivo didn't bother showing Houston's disallowed goal. That Michel guy clearly was behind the line when he pushed the ball out and how could any legitimate ref not see the gk was BEHIND the line? Any sports highlight show worth their salt would focus over and over on this incredulous disallowed goal!

Posted by: Charisma_Man | July 16, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

From the previous thread:
"Thanks United for breaking my heart

Posted by: United mi corazon | July 16, 2008 12:05 AM "

Seriously? Getting knocked out of Superliga broke your heart? Man I hope you haven't watched the playoffs the last 3 years.

Posted by: Goose | July 16, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

what's all this slagging on the superliga? don't our boys need to play real professional soccer teams to raise their skill level? that should help improve us for play against the MLS minor leaguers.

Posted by: pelotisme | July 16, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

play our whole entire reserve team against Houston. Who cares, seriously? Lets get our boys some rest.

We should focus all our immediate attention to the US Open Cup and that guarantees a birth in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Then lets just make the playoff on a hot streak and enjoy the crab shoot that is MLS playoff soccer. (Anyone can win that trophy look at Galaxy's second champ i think they were like 2 games over .500)

Posted by: 63011 | July 16, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't care if United is playing some charity match against a local boys and girls U7 team, we all should expect a better effort from United. It wasn't the arguably useless tournament that was at fault for the uninspired play of the team.

Posted by: sitruc | July 16, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

That's sad about Reyna. An unfit end to a great American player.

Posted by: andrew | July 16, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I completely forgot we had a game last night.

*shrug*

Posted by: B.A. | July 16, 2008 5:31 AM | Report abuse

2 random questions:
1) How long is Emilio under contract?

2) I was at the game last night and they kept playing spanish music after the Atlante goals. Why? If it's our home field, why are playing celebratory music after their goals? Did I miss something?

Posted by: moreno4prez | July 16, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

1. Goffinho reported a couple of weeks ago that, now that he can score again, they'll talk about a new contract over the summer. So I think his current deal ends this year.
2. Ummm, money? Happy fans spend more, and come back? You know, they have to pay the bills (especially the light bill)...

Posted by: cload & daggar | July 16, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

play our whole entire reserve team against Houston. Who cares, seriously? Lets get our boys some rest.

Thanks 63011 for saying what many of us are thinking. The chances of DCU beating Houston by 3 are slim, particularly since they'll have to score 4 or 5 goals to do it given the DCU defense. Play Cordeiro, Zaher, Caroll...any reserve who's not injured (yes, even Dyachenko). Rest Jaime, Emilio, Fred, Martinez, etc., to have fresh starters for the Tuesday MLS game against Houston.

Posted by: BillyBob | July 16, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Based on last night's game:

The Good:
Thompson's cross and Doe's finish on the first goal
Martinez continues to be solid
Getting time off from July 22nd until Aug. 2nd to rest and hopefully get the injured back in the lineup

The Bad:
central defense - Burch and McTavish were horrible.
Dyachenko's continued reckless fouls. Can we actually hope for red cards to make sure he doesn't play?

The Coyote Ugly:
Wells on the third goal. If you had a sense of deja vu, you probably remember Blanco's goal in the home loss to the Fire. Why does he play off his line when it's unecessary? If he's nearer the line when the ball's not in the box, he can parry those long shots on the downward arc rahter than having them go over his head.

Posted by: BillyBob | July 16, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

moreno4prez, weren't we technically the away team?

Posted by: sitruc | July 16, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Where exactly does one find the tie-breaking procedures?

Posted by: Andrew | July 16, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

This is not about the superliga. This is about losing matches because we played like crap. Nobody cares much about the 15% super liga purse but we care about DC reverting back to their early-season form. That is a very bad thing.

Posted by: Bart | July 16, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

When does DC's MLS campaign start up again? This tournament is useless. Despite one fluky title in '98, DC just can't compete with the beans in these things.

Hopefully DC will concentrate on USOC and MLS the rest of the way and these little kickball exhibitions are done with.

Posted by: Sam | July 16, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, that Arena/Reyna experiment worked out well for the Red Bulls, eh? That organization will always be crappy.

Posted by: Sam | July 16, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

What was Burch doing last night?

His defense was pathetic, he got burned by everyone yet still played too far up, his free kicks all went right into the wall and his passes almost all went to Atlante players.

We had a lot of bad performances out there last night but Burch took the cake. I can't judge our midfielders because they never touched the ball.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 16, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Can some enterprising reporter please, please, please find out how much longer Red Bull owns Chivas USA's DP slot?

Posted by: Useless | July 16, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

No problem. The reserves will dismantle Houston. 4-0. You heard it here first.

;-)

Posted by: KR in DC | July 16, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Ok - I still defend the SuperLiga because I like the tournament and I like the level of play that comes from most games. Sure, in the grand scheme of world football, there's no weight to winning this tournament and it only involves two countries, however, if MLS can't win this competition, then we as a league still have much to develop, and it's the experience and the level of play from these games that will help us get there.

Do I think it makes for a busy schedule that we would have liked to have gotten 3 league games out of the way in order to soften the blow in September and October, YES.

Do I think SuperLiga has more legs after this year, debatable - but it's clear that the Mexican league teams that will draw a crowd in this country are not Atlante and Santos Laguna.

I think SuperLiga is not a bad idea if you moved it to the spring and it involved, on merit, the best Mexican and US teams not involved in Champions League. Then it could be very UEFA Cup esque and have a chance to grow to include more representatives from the confederation.

What I will say is this - this tournament, Champions Cup, and Champions League are putting a lot of stress on a small roster size and a limited amount of salary cap. The salary cap needs to increase - but we really need 22 man Rosters for the first team and at least 11 full-time reserves.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 16, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's the DC starting lineup for the Saturday night match against Houston:

------Thorpe-----
Kirk-Carroll-Murphy-Zaher
Thompson-Barlow-Dyachenko-Cordeiro
--Doe--------------

Yes I know that's only 10 players, but I'm ok with that.

Quaranta could play a half. And maybe Stratford or Mediate is ready to go for a half too? What injury does Strats have anyway? Did he snip off a finger tip while cutting hair?

Posted by: DCUMD | July 16, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

That's sad about Reyna. An unfit end to a great American player.

Posted by: andrew | July 16, 2008 2:22 AM

===========================================

andrew, that's what I said when he signed with New York.

Posted by: Kim | July 16, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I think we should let the U-17 team play Houston.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 16, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Can some enterprising reporter please, please, please find out how much longer Red Bull owns Chivas USA's DP slot?"

Until the end of the 2009 season. You're welcome.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

re: "Congratulations to all the people who posted before the superliga began about how unimportant this tournament was. It looks like the players agreed and played like ----. I hope you all are happy, this is the biggest reason why Us teams will take time to go to the next level, because the dont play for what really matters PRIDE, PAssion and the shirt. I was at the game tonight going all 90 minutes while shome ---- played with our jerseys on and played like high schoolers." - dcfan, from Matchnight thread.
--------------------------------
There you have it folks, DCU's B team had an off night because some of us fans were calling the superliga what it in fact is -- a virtually worthless tournament with no incentive for the (MLS) players played against teams that literally have 2.5 times the roster depth we (or any MLS team) does. Its all our fault! If we hadn't had the nerve to discourage the players, we would have won 6-0!

Posted by: Ron | July 16, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Here is my two cents about last night:

First, even though it was not a league game, many issues that have persistent with this team for the past several seasons were greatly exposed. 1) We have a makeshift backline of midfielders and coverted defenders. 2) The front office has repeatedly negelcted to find us a speedy left back, 3) Rod Dyachenko is horrendous, 4) Tom Soehn has got to be at fault for playing Marc Burch who was responsible for 2 of the goals allowed.

When is Kevin Payne going to realize that the team needs serious upgrades at the goalkeeper, left wing, and left back positions?

Until something is done, United will continue to exposed.

Posted by: DC United Fan | July 16, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, while I never want to cede a competition until you're truly out of it - I really wouldn't mind if our reserves got a solid run at Houston who will likely field a more full strength roster.

Here's a chance to give our reserves the ability to go out and either perform or be embarassed against the competition they hope to ascend to. Blood the young guys and allow our starters to rest on the sides, maybe bring them out to loosen up their legs in the second half - but clearly the focus now is 3 points on July 22.

The Club needs to make the USOC a priority this year - let's GUARANTEE our spot in North America for next fall and pick up a trophy.

MLS - please tell me that our investors are OK with the money they've lost and are willing to allow some of the money that's flowing into the league find it's way to improving our rosters and our on-field product.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 16, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

BA, I forgot to (also because both of my computers at home are fried, or I would've come across it at some point).

Glad that DCU can focus on the USOC now.

Posted by: RK | July 16, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Strat had surgery on his knee, was it? don't think he'll be back for a while.

The pace from the start of the game was too slow last night. It gave Atlante too much time to pick us apart. DCU needed to play their possession game at a faster pace to keep the pre-season form opponents running. They neede to tire them out quicker. Instead they played on their heals and watched Atlante run past them.

I think it was a mistake to have Burch in the middle instead of Martinez. You can't put a young converted forward into central defense and expect him to know that his job is organizing as much as it is defending. That's not Burch's fault. I would expect Martinez to undertstand that. If the coaches think there is a language barrier, they are wrong. I play with guys who don't speak much English and I don't speak any Spanish that helps me on the field and we communicate just fine - and we can hold a flat four line and play a trap when we have to. You just have to pay attention.

I know the guys are tired from too many games and the squad is thin from injuries, but I blame the coaches for this one. Dyachenko never should have been on the field. I've seen better play from high school kids. He had one shining moment with the shot, but close doesn't count in this game. He looked totally lost and everyone in my section agreed. Worse than Burch, worse than McTavish (who doesn't look comfortable in central midfield at all)

And another thing. Did anyone else notice that when any of the younger guys has the ball, their head is down and they don't see Jaime (or Gallardo when he is in) pointing to where the ball needs to go. They never pass it where they are getting direction and it's usually the best option if they do it immediately. Everyone holds the ball too long, wants to draw the defender too close so they can make a move and then can't execute a pass because whoever was open is now covered. When they passed the ball one-touch, they have some fantastic exciting soccer.

Anyway, let's hope this all gets sorted out and the injuries don't linger. I like this club too much and can't stand to watch games like last night.

Posted by: MezzSouthGol | July 16, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

DC United Fan, given DCU's injuries, who would you have played last night instead of Burch?

Posted by: Ron | July 16, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Against Chivas we showed heart. For some reason against Atlante everybody expected the guy next to him to make a play in the first half and that buried us.
I'm disappointed we lost a game that was within our reach but I am not upset by it. Play the 3rd game with mainly reserves. Thank god we will not play a 4th in this tourney.

Posted by: JMR | July 16, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

What's with Sr. Goff? Must've been in an awful hurry to make deadline that he made two typos on his game report.

"That said, United has not distinguish itself well in the second-year event, and following a 3-2 loss to Atlante last night, it teetered on the brink of elimination."

"Slowly but surely, United's attack gained attraction and tested Vilar from distance." Did you mean traction?

Get some sleep, amigo...

Posted by: Soy United! | July 16, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Soehn shouldn't be at fault for playing Burch...but rather for playing Burch at CB. Burch is a converted striker...putting him at CB is ridiculous.

Burch isn't an awful player (though he relies on his left foot a bit too much), he is just learning new positions. While Martinez had some really nice runs forward, I think United would be better served with Martinez at CB and Burch at LB...

Posted by: DE | July 16, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Why not combine our two games with Houston to count as the same?

Just count it as the Superliga and MLS regular season game. What's the point in playing the same team twice in 4 days?

It sucks for everyone. Houston needs to do well on Saturday, so they will play their starters and DC won't care so they will play their reserves and then on Tuesday it will be the reverse.

Fans lose because we won't get to see a good match against Houston.

Posted by: Why not? | July 16, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Re the music that was played after each of Atlante's goals, I think the same music was played following DC's scores, except it was much harder to hear since the crowd was much louder.

I think that is the "official" Superliga anthem -- they also played it when the teams walked onto the field at the start of the match and during halftime. It is a little cheesy, but I kinda liked it.

Posted by: J | July 16, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@Why Not: you answered your own question. (In part at least.)

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

Re: Burch vs. Martinez at CB... It appears that Soehn's strategy is to keep our two most talented defenders (Namoff and Martinez) on the outside. While that strategy has worked pretty well lately against MLS competition, it failed miserably against the faster and more organized Mexican squads. Without Peralta and Mediate, Burch is the fourth option at central defense. I'm fine with that against Rochester or even Chicago, but we needed a faster presence in the middle against Atlante.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 16, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

win or lose, nothing has changed for United. Soehn must be fired for playing Dyachenko and Wells. All three of them must depart the team immediately and have no clue on how to play professional soccer. Win or lose, Jaime Moreno still dominates this team. The game last night was worth watching simply to see Moreno make fools of the Atlante 'trap and contain' defense. It is a crime that he is not on the MLS All Star team. It will be there loss.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

sitruc, DC's United's website shows DC as the home team. I was just disappointmented with catering to the away crowd. Thought I'd ask in case anyone else noticed it.

Posted by: moreno4prez | July 16, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

houston has matched speed with both of these teams, something we couldnt . we can pound them on saturday

Posted by: chris D | July 16, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Burch at CB was a mistake. Atleast leave him at LB and slide martinez inside(as a few others have mentioned). Namoff also had a rare off night which just made our makeshift defense even worse. Plus it looked like Quranta reinjured his hamstring.

On the plus side our second goal was a thing of beauty, plays like that are why you sometimes have to leave moreno in even if he can only jog. Also Thompson exceeded my low expectations. He is still raw, but has speed and hustle and it looks like he can put in a decent cross with both feet.

Posted by: DRB | July 16, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

when are you guys going to realise this tournement is not about the money. everyone at dc understands that . why dont you guys who say superliga is worthless take a look at the big picture

Posted by: chris D | July 16, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Super Liga is a Mexico show. It has nothing in it except giving away some greens to our beloved much needed fellows down there.

Posted by: super lame | July 16, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

It must be a MLS policy that aging, injury-prone players have their farewell tour with NY. Tab Ramos, anyone?

Posted by: Tom | July 16, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

""why dont you guys who say superliga is worthless take a look at the big picture""

To what picture are you referring?

A MLS player payout of a measly $5000, a glorified friendly against some good teams, in the middle of a very important stretch of games in which our players risk injury and aren't given proper rest?

Posted by: delantero | July 16, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Reyna the 1st DP....so it would be the balance of his $415k.

Second DP's are $335k this season.

Posted by: Aljaov | July 16, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree that SuperLiga is not worthless but clearly winning it is not a DCU priority. It seems that the Open Cup and MLS cup are the priorities - and rightly so.
That said it speaks volumes about the lack of depth on this current DCU squad. We had zero depth and center D and the attacking MF. Those two positions are key to a successful team. All the talk about another wide MF is pointless - DCU needs a solid backup for Gallardo and Peralta (Vanny anyone??).

Posted by: bobf | July 16, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@Charisma_Man
"Those Mexican homers on Contacto Deportivo didn't bother showing Houston's disallowed goal. That Michel guy clearly was behind the line when he pushed the ball out and how could any legitimate ref not see the gk was BEHIND the line? Any sports highlight show worth their salt would focus over and over on this incredulous disallowed goal!"

MezzSouthGol I totally agree with everything you said. I was very frustrated by how slow DCU was with the ball. The first goal came from actually moving the ball quickly, but we didn't seem to learn that lesson for some reason.

That photo of Doe scoring inside the Sports section is phenomenal! That's a shot every photographer hopes to get every time they go out.

Number 1, it doesn't matter where the GK is, it matters where the ball is. I didn't see any replay that clearly showed the whole ball over the whole line.

Number 2, it appeared that the referee called a foul on one of Houston's players who was diving on the ground.

While maybe they should have showed it for its controversy value, I don't think it was really a "disallowed goal".

Posted by: Glenn | July 16, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@Why Not?

It's unfortunate, but not unprecedented (see Arsenal vs Liverpool in the Champions League, League, Champions League span in one week) that teams have bizarre scheduling due to tournaments.

You can't have the games count for both because it's a jurisdictional thing. Different competitions mean different rights for advertisers, players, officials, even who gets cuts of the money, etc etc.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 16, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC United Fan | July 16, 2008 8:54 AM

When is Kevin Payne going to realize that the team needs serious upgrades at the goalkeeper, left wing, and left back positions?

========================
Martinez has been a revelation this season, and has been primarily a left back. He's also quite speedy. Fred is our left wing, unless you want to move him somewhere (Right side?)

Posted by: JkR | July 16, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Today we accomplished all the things we did when we were 2-7 [in the regular season]. That's the team we looked like today, and that's not good enough."

Very interesting to see a manager essentially say what a fan would. To me, this is all about the lack of depth in this squad. Scratch off some or all of the quality on the surface (Gallardo, Peralta, Olsen, Fred, Emilio, Namoff, Martinez) and the weaker players are exposed. Watching last night and the first half of the Chicago Cup match I thought (like Tommy), "Wow, this is the terrible team from the first two months of the season."

To me, Soehn is taking a shot at the squad that's been put together, but doing so wisely by trying to call out those second level guys - not the front office. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

And the club must find a reserve center back, from somewhere on earth, immediately. Granted, it's the most difficult position to fill in MLS. The quality of central defending in American soccer is woeful. Our biggest weakness.

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

The Post has recently decided to replace copy editors with spell check.

Posted by: Give Goff a break | July 16, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

About the Martinez left back situation... it doesn't seem like he has any desire to play in central defense and Soehn is alright with that. Risky, but it does establish him in a position that he's excelled at.

Posted by: Kev | July 16, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Adios, Claudio. Thanks for the memories. Too bad it's another story of an athlete not knowing when to retire. It was clear to anyone watching him at Man City that he was done, even by MLS standards. I guess the Red Bulls brass doesn't watch the Premiership. Lack of judgment all around brings a sad finale to a fine career.

Play the reserves against Houston? We're almost there already. Half the starters belong in the reserves.

Posted by: Running Cloud | July 16, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

You can't have the games count for both because it's a jurisdictional thing. Different competitions mean different rights for advertisers, players, officials, even who gets cuts of the money, etc etc.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 16, 2008 10:02 AM
=========================================

Not to mention that one is a three-sub affair and the other allows four subs. Also, which sponsoring organization would rule on disciplinary issues (multi-game suspensions, etc.)? And suppose a player got sent off in his previous MLS match, making him ineligible for MLS play but not for Superliga?

Posted by: tri-village | July 16, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

My bad on the mistakes.

I will ask the dotcom folks to fix em.

SG

Posted by: Goff | July 16, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Per your tiebreaker rules Chivas still could be eliminated from the tournament on Saturday, yet the superliga2008 site says...

"After 71 minutes of scoreless action, Chivas Guadalajara secured its spot in the semi finals of SuperLiga 2008"

If Houston and Atlante win on Saturday, then all three of those teams would have 6 points and they all will all be 1-1 against each other. It would go to GD then right? And if that's the case then of course it is mathematically still possible for Chivas to lose out (Atlante would need to beat them by 3). Why would the superliga site say that their spot is already secure? It doesn't seem correct.

Thanks.

Posted by: lawrenceterp | July 16, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

1. Terrible way for Reyna to end his career. He was probably a poor choice as a DP signing anyway b/c with MLS, you need your big money guys to stay on the field and like Eddie Pope, Reyna at best would play 2/3rds of your matches. A Premiership team can afford that, an MLS team can't. The word that Galarcep has is that (for exactly the reasons SG pointed out), TFKAM will NOT use the DP slot this year--it's a cap issue. And of course they only have the Angel/Guevara/Chivas DP slot for one more year so the idea that they're signing Thierry Henry for 2009 is wishful thinking.

2. Before I talk about the game and season, what's with all the slagging on SG? It seems like every thread there's one person claiming "well, some scandal rag in LA posted this first, right after their report on Zidane signing with the Galaxy" or some other effort at trashing the man. I say, let's be thankful that we've got:
(a) a world-class journalist covering soccer,
(b) he shares a lot of inside stuff with us
(c) and is so responsive (via chats and this blog)

3. We can debate the value of SuperLiga. I personally think it's a good idea regardless of the prize money. It would be good for MLS clubs to open a can of whup a** on Mexican clubs (would earn street cred and perhaps some Mexican-American fans). Plus, I absolutely identify with the Piotr Nowak philosophy of "I want to win everything." We take pride in winning the Atlantic Cup. We take pride in winning the first MLS Reserve trophy, the first U-17 SUM cup but we're saying that SuperLiga doesn't matter? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

4. Soehn owns this one. Burch shouldn't have started in central defense. A pairing of McTavish and Burch--that's not so strong and the results bear that out. I like Simms but he's not Carroll (in terms of his ability to cover ground and intercept passing lanes). You put that trio in the middle of the field and you've got a pretty soft group that gives space and time on the ball too much. Far better to take a Martinez who gives us a strong edge at left back and move him back into the middle with say McTavish and play Burch outside.

5. People have complained about Gallardo (who's game isn't Gomez') but you can see how much of a difference he makes when we're not on the field. He's good for a great chance on goal every game, lays off some killer balls to our attackers, our movement off the ball is better, our distribution of the ball (team-wise) is better and faster, our possession is better. Let there be no more discussion about how Gallardo is a disappointment. To me, he and Beckham have been the two DPs having the best seasons this year.

6. As for the argument of Superliga not mattering and resting players and injuries, yeah, we've got convenient excuses--the team was really hit hard by injuries. As for playing reserves, what kind of a difference would that make in our roster? We'd be sitting Moreno (who wants to play) and Fred and Emilio (and trust me, a goal scorer on a streak wants to play--I bet Emilio even wants to play in reserve games).

The argument was that this team was built for international competitions and cup fights. We'll, we're out of two (since SuperLiga is a longshot at best), and have three left (Champions League, USOC and MLS Cup). Champions League (given the congestion and when the last matches are played) has to be a tough one. And NE is playing well while developed a really deep and fast team. At some point, the excuses of "we're still in preseason" or "fixture congestion" (usually a USOC issue) or "injuries" (Superliga) don't work if you go 0-5 and that's what you build your team for--to get results in Cup competitions.

Posted by: JoeW | July 16, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Slowly but surely, United's attack gained attraction and tested Vilar from distance."
=====================================
but "attraction" makes sense

Posted by: Izzy | July 16, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

JoeW - this team is not built to get results in Cup competitions. It is built to *hopefully* win MLS Cup and *hopefully* win USOC. Those are the only cups any MLS team is realistically structured to compete for and hopefully win. Could an MLS team occasionally get lucky and knock off a superior Mexican team in preseason form in a Superliga or CL match? Sure. But let's face it. The Mexican teams in these tourneys are to a man more technically skilled, faster, and they are more cohesive as a team. The Mexican teams, most of them anyway, have an entire slate of 11 *reserves* who are better, faster, and more soccer-savvy than most MLS *starters*. They have depth, and becuase of the MLS salary structure, we don't.

Sure, we can say its not about the money, its about fighting for the shirt, its about this, its about that, blah blah, blah, but at the end of the day you can't get blood out of a turnip.

We can "expect to win" these compettions all day long and twice on Sunday, but until MLS can put a similar product on the field in terms of talent, it ain't gonna happen, and all these Superliga/CL/whatever tourneys are going to be is a way for MLS teams to be cannon fodder for Mexican teams in preseason training and maybe a way for MLS or SUM or whoever to garner a little TV revenue from people in Mexico tuning in.

And don't tell me about Houston beating Atlante 4-0 being indicative of anything. The only thing it was indicative of was Atlante for whatever reason took the Houston match off defensively. Their entire backline looked uninterested and were just going through the motions. They were a lot more serious and organized against DCU.

Posted by: Ron | July 16, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

what's all this slagging on the superliga? don't our boys need to play real professional soccer teams to raise their skill level? that should help improve us for play against the MLS minor leaguers.
_____________________________________________
Yeah, I started out dumping on the SuperLiga but I'm coming around. Obviously, it's just a marketing ploy to lure Latino immigrants into becoming fans of the MLS teams in their new communities and our MLS players are getting totally shafted on Garber's big ONE MILLION DOLLARS purse. (By the way, who does this guy think he is -- Dr. Evil?)

That being said, if there were no SuperLiga United would probably have scheduled another one or two friendlies with Euro teams in preseason training and a lot of us would be thumping our chest about how we matched up well with, say, Celtic FC or Chelsea or whomever. One thing you can say about SuperLiga is that it's a reality check -- we're out that playing a foreign team in a tournament that (however minor in the grand scheme of things) really counts.

What hurts is that we're all getting a good sense of where MLS teams rank on the international food chain. Ouch!

Posted by: Stevenho | July 16, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Fred is our left wing, unless you want to move him somewhere (Right side?)

Posted by: JkR | July 16, 2008 10:06 AM

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

Actually, Fred often shifts sides to exploit match up problems - indeed, he switched with Thompson during the first half (evidenced by Thompson's service from the left side on Doe's goal). But what I think we'd like to see is Fred in the middle (he came to United as an attacking central midfielder) to see how that pans out.

We could put Thompson and Quaranta out wide (or Cordeiro or hopefully Emiliano Diaz) and move Moreno back up to the withdrawn forward slot...though I think Doe did a decent job all things considered.

Posted by: DE | July 16, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Re: what's all this slagging on the superliga? don't our boys need to play real professional soccer teams to raise their skill level? that should help improve us for play against the MLS minor leaguers.
------------

If this is how you get a soccer team to the next level, then why don't we just sign a bunch of USL-2 players for super cheap but have them play the full Brazilian National team 5 or 6 times a year, the Spain National team 5 or 6 times a year, and then how about Italy for another 5 or 6 games. Why, then they would be world beaters! On a sub-$100k payroll! Brilliant!

First and foremost, the real way to improve MLS teams is for MLS to significantly raise the salary cap so that MLS teams can GET BETTER PLAYERS. Sure, its fine we can get Gallardo, Martinez, Moreano, Fred, Emilio, and players like that who can go toe to toe with top quality players. The problem is we have players like Thompson, Burch, McTavish, Dyachenko, and others who are serviceable MLS utility players, but when you put them up against elite competion, they are going to get exposed. You could play those guys against Brazil every week all year long but that does not mean they are all going to turn into Ronaldinhos as a result of the experience. They will still be, at best, MLS utility players.

So a team that has half good players and half $15,000 a year utility players is not going to get much better no matter who they play. Until that changes, the Superligas are as meaningless as preseason games or friendlies.

Posted by: Ron | July 16, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

That's sad about Reyna. An unfit end to a great American player.

Posted by: andrew | July 16, 2008 2:22 AM

===========================================

andrew, that's what I said when he signed with New York.

Posted by: Kim | July 16, 2008 8:37 AM
===========================================

lol! you're terrible

Posted by: andrew | July 16, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

For all the bellyaching that we've heard about Wells all year, if DCU had finished off that attack after Wells' spectacular save in stoppage time, it would have been the most memorable finish in the team's history -- gone down into legend. And if the Atlante goal hadn't done such a good job in steering away the rebound, Clyde Simms was waiting right in fron t to knock it home.

The defense was pathetic -- notihing new against Mexican sides. They always shred us with their speed. What was most disturbing was the passing. I don't think I've ever seen so many bad passes, and so many balls played straight to defenders. Jaime played his best game of the year in his short stint against the Fire last week, but last night's might have been his worst game in a DCU uniform. I was losing track of how many attacks started with a Moreno miscue. And, I shouldn't single him out, because the passing was uniformly bad.

I think our deficiencies showed in their starkest terms. Perhaps, this will give the FO some guidance as they continue to reshape the roster in coming years. Maybe Emiliano Diaz can give us some speed?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 16, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Post has recently decided to replace copy editors with spell check.

Posted by: Give Goff a break | July 16, 2008 10:17 AM
========================================

Just so long as they don't resort to this sort of automated "help":

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070102523.html

Posted by: tri-village | July 16, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Have we figured out what the tie-breaking procedures for SuperLiga are? superliga2008.com reports that Guadalajara are through to the next round when I'm pretty sure they aren't. WHAT ARE THE STINKIN' TIE-BREAKERS FOR THE COMPETITION?????

Posted by: Andrew | July 16, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

While my interest in Superliga was greater last year, I still believe it's a good and worthwhile tournament.

What really needs to happen though is for MLS clubs to have stronger, deeper rosters. Then it wouldn't be a strain on the top players and you could rest some in league play leading up to the match or even sub top players out or in more readily.

I am happy with the Superliga. Our clubs need consistent competition and kids in the US who are not from hispanic households (in general) will have the opportunity to see different styles of play that could help the future player.

Posted by: Sean | July 16, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Have we figured out what the tie-breaking procedures for SuperLiga are? superliga2008.com reports that Guadalajara are through to the next round when I'm pretty sure they aren't. WHAT ARE THE STINKIN' TIE-BREAKERS FOR THE COMPETITION?????

Posted by: Andrew | July 16, 2008 4:07 PM
==========================================

If you go deeper into the Superliga site, you will see in fine print that last night's result "...all but assures that CD Guadalajara will advance to the semifinal round of SuperLiga 2008." This appears to be sloppy editing by the Superliga folks, nothing more.

http://www.superliga2008.com/newsstand/index.html?article_id=68

Posted by: tri-village | July 16, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

A postscript: Which would be more miraculous, the scenario in which the Goats fail to advance, or the one in which United does advance?

Posted by: tri-village | July 16, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Wells did make a spectacular save in stoppage time. I'm glad one United fan took note of that. Having said that, we have no clean sheets this season, which means we have to score last least 2 goals to win a match. We need a better keeper.

We need a better coach. Look at what Dom Kinnear in Houston and Steve Nicol in New England are able to do: get results on a consistent basis, without a DP. Lacking five starters, Houston deserved a result last night -- that's good coaching and a team that deserves its fans support.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | July 16, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to start Burch at center back, you'd better rest Jaime, Emilio, et al.

WTF....

Posted by: spike_2.0 | July 16, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company