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United-Fire, the Aftermath

Welcome to DCU, Louis Crayton.

First appearance, first shutout for the Liberian-Swiss keeper. Some tidy team defending certainly helped the cause.

Tom Soehn, on the goalkeeping move: "Louis comes with a lot of experience - he has played in a lot of big games - and it was an important time to see how we adjust to a new guy in there and give him a chance. We have been leaking goals at a staggering pace. I have tried every combination in the back and it was time to try someone new in the goal."

Did you know.....

United has won two MLS games on the road since last Labor Day, both at Chicago.

Okay, player ratings: Crayton 7, Namoff 7, McTavish 7, Burch 7, Martinez 7; Fred 7, Simms 7, Quaranta 5, Guerrero 6; Moreno 7, Emilio 5. Subs: Vide 5, Kirk 5, Thompson 5.

My match report with quotes will appear on this page at some point early Sunday.

Bonus quote from Jaime Moreno, on the pursuit of consistency: "We don't want to have that up and down; we want to maintain the same level. We showed again that we do have a good team. It's just sometimes we have to do a better job on every part of the field. Tonight everyone worked really hard and worked as a team. It showed a difference."

I am off to Guatemala on Sunday. Not sure when I will rejoin you from there. Sorry, no Good, Bad, Coyote Ugly roundup this week. In addition to my dispatches from Guate, super-sub Paul Tenorio will contribute United material to the blog this coming week.

By Steve Goff  |  August 17, 2008; 12:43 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Stormy Start


I loved the command Crayton showed, and it seems like once he knows the style of the team, he'll give us a big boost in distribution too.

Thanks for everything Goff.

Posted by: spectre | August 17, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Great beginning for the new GK. Good to see it, especially with what I feel is the weakest CB lineup DCU has - McTavish and Burch.
So Gonzalo Martinez is out next game. Hopefully Gonzalo Peralta (no relation, by the way) can return. Then slide Burch back wide and all should be well.
NE Rev got PLASTERED tonite. And it was on west coast. They should be dog tired on Wed night. Hoping for another 3 pts on the road.
Maybe even get Gallardo back for a half?

Posted by: marksman | August 17, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Nice way to gut out a win on the road. 14 fouls committed by United and half of them are yellow-cards? (I think Burch picked up that late one just so the 4th official could fill out his Bingo card.)

Posted by: Stevan in Gaithersburg | August 17, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, the AP photo line with the on-line article incorrectly identifies Brian Namoff as Dan Stratford. The Namoff family (who come to see Brian play whenever DC plays at Bridgeview) will be as disappointed as Stratford was at being waived earlier this week.

Posted by: Stevan in Gaithersburg | August 17, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

sometimes one-nil has to be enough. Our offense needs that they can't always be scoring goals at the torrid pace they have been all year. Crayton made a crucial save on the Rolfe shot, I can't help but feel that wells would have let that one go and we'd be alot less satisfied right now with 1 point than three.

Posted by: smeagol | August 17, 2008 2:32 AM | Report abuse

When the Crayton deal was announced, someone here said "watch Soehn insert Crayton into the starting lineup in a vital game against a hated opponent. On the road!". And I said to myself "no Soehn can't be that stupid. Not twice after he did that to Carvallo". But I guess he did it again! This time we won but I don't understand the rationale of this baptism by fire (no pun intended).

Posted by: Bart | August 17, 2008 6:19 AM | Report abuse

In Chest Rockwell I Trust...

BTW, you wouldn't happen to have any financial advice, would you?

Posted by: B.A. | August 17, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Fred's goal on a corner... I said to myself, Fred's starting OUTSIDE the box - that's the first time I've seen a United player time a corner appropriately. When attackers start from outside the box and run hard onto the ball, they are at the advantage and defenders have no idea where to go. Now imagine 7 United attackers running hard onto the ball from outside the box. They will score one out of every 3 corners if they do that.

Posted by: David | August 17, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

""This time we won but I don't understand the rationale of this baptism by fire (no pun intended).""

Hint: Rhymes with Sack Bells, had one shutout this season, a 1.66 GAA, and plays like he's afraid of getting hurt.

Crayton does not equal Carvallo. He's older, has had more playing time and has played against better competition, including UEFA Cup.

Posted by: delantero | August 17, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The Good: Conor Casey's 2 goal answer to Bob Bradley.

O'Brien's first (and second!!) goals against Reis and Warren---Should be GOTW candidates ..

The Bad: Dario Salas' effort on the Crew game winner

The Ugly:

Posted by: en su ausencio | August 17, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

If FC Dallas beat Columbus, that would have been as sweet as hot chicks so United can climb over soon but oh well. Only six point gab of the league leader. I say by October DC could lead the league again!

Posted by: td | August 17, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

if wells was in there it would have been
2-1 chicago

Posted by: chris | August 17, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Shutout"? "Tidy team defending"? I didn't think we'd ever hear those words again! :-)

Posted by: Kev | August 17, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

time for wells to ride the pine - and look elsewhere if he wants to start (can't imagine any team would be that desperate). waking up to read about a shutout is so nice!

Posted by: downtown | August 17, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Is it "Lewis" or "Louie" Clayton?

Posted by: Msyterian | August 17, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

>Is it "Lewis" or "Louie" Clayton?

Lewis. Nice guy. I was disappointed that I missed his first match.

Posted by: La Barra Blonde | August 17, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Tommy's comments always make me scratch my head: "I have tried every combination in the back and it was time to try someone new in the goal."

Now I know that Wells needs work but since Tommy's tried every combination in the back, doesn't that mean that there's something wrong with the defense as a whole, not necessarily the keeper? Don't get me wrong, I think that Crayton will bring experience that Wells lacks but it makes me nervous that Tommy thinks that a new keeper is going to fix the defensive problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Goff, making a side trip to Antigua or Lake Atitlan? Enjoy Guatemala - bring back some of that fine coffee you can buy it at the airport. Lets hope the USMNT can get a at least a point there. It won't be easy but Guatemala's goalkeeping is usually very weak. We can expect Ruiz's (El Pescado) usual antics.

Posted by: sbg | August 17, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I sense a treble for dcu, the pigman says.

Posted by: pigman sweet | August 17, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

re: "Now imagine 7 United attackers running hard onto the ball from outside the box. They will score one out of every 3 corners if they do that."

I don't disagree with this tactic, but let's face it there are plenty of soocer teams in plenty of leagues that do this and they do not score on "one out of every 3 corners".

Posted by: Ron | August 17, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy Guate!
I envy you!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 17, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@ Stevan in Gaithersburg | August 17, 2008 1:35 AM

Stratford played last night. I know this for a fact because I read it in the Post (on-line and print editions). But he bears an uncanny resemblance to Namoff.

@ Anonymous | August 17, 2008 10:38 AM

This is Tommy's way of benching Wells and saving face - for both of them. The other possible interpretation is that all defensive combinations failed because of poor communication and he thought a change in GK would help. But that logic falls apart because Crayton has only been with the team one week and, by his own admission, doesn't know all the players' names.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: GOOD NEW MAN | August 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Is pizza hut hiring?

Posted by: Zack Wells | August 17, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

finally a goalkeeper

Posted by: castroviejo | August 17, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@ I-270, Exit 1

True that, but then again you don't need to know your defender's name to shout timely and commanding instructions on how best to defend an attack.

There was one mix up in the game when Crayton stayed on his line but the defender (McT or was it Burch?) was in two minds about playing the ball, or leaving it for the keep. That little mix up was fixed in all but two, maybe three seconds when Crayton realized that he had to take command of the situation. In the Wells era that would have felt like an eternity.

Yes it's one game, but Crayton has some calm and coolness about him that will help steady our rather unstable defense.

Posted by: Kosh | August 17, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Is crayton a man,............or god?

Posted by: pigman sweet | August 17, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Manchester United only managed a tie!!! Yay!!!!

Posted by: Arsenal Fan | August 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

from the highlight package offered by MLS, I noticed the one really nice passing sequence that resulted in Fred hitting the post but the entire time the commentator is saying its Emilio! go figure.
I guess this says something good for the team, that they are all playing as a complete unit so it doesn't matter who's name you say be it Stratford or Namoff, Emilio or Fred, Wells or Crayton!
maybe scratch that last one...

excited to actually see a game with him minding the net.

in response to Bob Bradley's lame duck selections: did anybody see that free kick Cooper had that banged off the crossbar in the closing minutes, or the tenacity of Conor Casey, or the increasingly better play of Nate Jaqua. It looks like the US might have more than 2 forward options.

Posted by: uniter | August 17, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry. We will shine again!

Posted by: ManU fan | August 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

goff - also, in guate, if you can, check out the little town called monterico on the pacific coast. beautiful little place. or san pedro on lake atitlan. or, of course, tikal up north! a stunning country, and the people rock.

Posted by: fever | August 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Did Gallardo quit?

I hope his contract is somewhat contingent on him actually playing on the field.

With that win DCU now has a better record with Gallardo off of the field than we do with him playing. I guess Soehn deserves a lot of credit for winning with a team that has half of its starting salary sitting at home drinking beers. Could he at least be bothered to travel with the team?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"With that win DCU now has a better record with Gallardo off of the field than on"

Gallardo had double hernia surgery in late June/early July.

We are 5 W 5 L (including 2 Open Cup wins) without him and have not played particularly well during that stretch . . . but were riding a 5 W 1 Draw streak before he went out . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Why waste the airfare travelling when the player is injured? That would be the dumbest thing to do.

Posted by: nono | August 17, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Did Gallardo quit?"
I wouldn't worry about that now, especially, being the Dyachenko disser that I am, considering the fact that he was nowhere to be found last night. I guess Soehn really does have a brain after all!

Posted by: person | August 17, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Wells,

We understand your employment status has changed. We are delighted to tell you that you qualify for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Office

Posted by: Unemployment Office | August 17, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"...the team better off without Gallardo"....gee, ya think??? Get rid of him; let Jaime run the show from the middle. Since we've wasted our money with Gallardo, we should put him up front instead of Jaime and let him earn his pay and take some swings with legs that are stronger than Jaime's at this point. Goff: enjoy a cold Gallo while are walking the streets of Chichicastanango. I'm very jealous. As for last night's game, you seriously over rated Jaime. You already know I'm his biggest fan, but he performed very sloppily last night and actually deserved to come off the field. Overall, Chicago should be very embarrassed at last night's performance against a very bad United team. Fred is up and down; last night he was very much up. Louis looks a bit uncertain as to what the defense is going to do. Memo to Louis: NOTHING!! Take control of the box like you did most of the night. You did great son; keep it up. Knock a few United defensemen on their butts if they are not performing up to your standard. Your conduct last night shows that you obviously have soccer smarts, unlike the dummy you just replaced. I hope you stay for a long, long, while!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

name 1 game that Gallardo has put us on his back and won for us??

Emilio vs chicago previous match at chicago
Fred vs chicago last night
Moreno vs Chiacgo open cup
Quaranta vs Toronto (2nd game)
Gallardo vs ?????????

Considering gallardo makes more than all of them combined, This has got to be the worst current DP in the league, WE CANT ARGUE THE FACTS. Oh and the win streak is a coi-incendence. the only game he has played remotely good is against LA, and I remember him missing 2 clear chances, ones that I think everyone on our team could have put in.

Posted by: dc fan | August 17, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Is Anonymous just one person?

With all the Gallardo hating we might as well cue the Christian Lovers soundtrack, pull a cork, cut some cheese and start to whine...
Some of you D-bags are impossible to please...
United won last night, get a grip and dig it!
Reis looks hurt, soooooo things are looking better and better for this away game coming up, and if that's not enough to be stoked about The Rapids are coming to town so all you ladies will have to get all dolled up in your saturday best and swoon.
Maybe Gallardo will be back in the mix by then:)

Posted by: dadryan | August 17, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

They say United fans are the whiniest bunch in MLS. Reading thru this blog I can't say I disagree. dadryan has it right...

Posted by: DirtyHarry | August 17, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Who says that DirtyHarry? I've never heard that before.

Posted by: bob | August 17, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

NE highlights are up...they're lucky they only lost 4-0. Huckerby's first was a really nice one...

Posted by: RK | August 17, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

whaa? Fred put the team on his back last night? What are you smoking? He scored a nice goal and just missed another. But he was just a cog in the machine last night. No back putting on necessary. A good team effort all around.

Posted by: Glenn | August 17, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

THey say we should ban weasel language, just like they say wikipedia does.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 17, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I-270, Exit 1,

[citation needed]

dc fan,

I wouldn't exactly call the information you provided as a fact.


...Go to work.

Posted by: B.A. | August 17, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

that reis-replacement looks like a total muppet. he pulled a wells on that last san jose goal by playing a little too far off the line.

Posted by: mizage | August 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmmm...weasel words... argh,arghl,argh,arghl.

Posted by: dadryan | August 17, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

that reis-replacement looks like a total muppet. he pulled a wells on that last san jose goal by playing a little too far off the line.

Posted by: mizage | August 17, 2008 9:05 PM

That's Doug Warren. Who started once for DC, before Peter Nowak decided then 3rd stringer Troy Perkins deserved a start ahead of him. Warren's performance with DC was at least as bad as Wells.

Posted by: Rich C | August 18, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

THey say we should ban weasel language, just like they say wikipedia does.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 17, 2008 8:22 PM

What do the Wiki folks say about porcupine language?

Posted by: The Jeff | August 18, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

What do the Wiki folks say about porcupine language?

It's a prickly problem.

Posted by: stuck in 200 | August 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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