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United-Rapids, the Aftermath

I mentioned to Luciano Emilio after the match that he had earned two assists during DCU's 3-0 victory over Colorado on Saturday night.

He shrugged and deadpanned, "I am a No. 10."

Funny Brazilian.

With all the absences, the formation shift, the new goalkeeper, the secondary players thrust into primary roles, anything -- even a trusty goal scorer claiming a playmaker role -- seems possible.

Read my full match report here.

The video highlights are supposedly up on the MLS Web site, but I've been having trouble accessing them. You can give them a try yourself.

Some things you should know:

*Colorado has not won at RFK in nine years.
*Entering the night, Joe Vide had all of four shots on goal in his career.
*Louis Crayton has more shutouts (two) in three games than DCU had in its first 18 (one).
*Christian Gomez, seemingly healthy, sat on the end of the bench until being summoned to replace a reserve who had gotten injured.
*According to the official MLS play-by-play stats, Quavas Kirk scored 24 seconds after entering. Can anyone confirm the accuracy of that figure? And if it is correct, do we know if it is an MLS record?

DCU PLAYER RATINGS: Crayton 7; Namoff 7, McTavish 7, Martinez 7; Thompson 5, Simms 7, Vide 7.5, Quaranta 7, Guerrero 6; Moreno 6, Emilio 6.5. Subs: Zaher 5, Cordeiro 5, Kirk 6.

By Steve Goff  |  August 24, 2008; 1:15 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly


well, how about that Crayton? guess it was the keeper's fault all season after all (sorry, Zach).

Posted by: troy | August 24, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the player ratings, were we back to a 3-5-2, or was Thompson playing in the back?

Posted by: Colm | August 24, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

olsen was on the bench? what's the story there goff!

Posted by: Crayton 4 prez | August 24, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse


It was a 3412, but Thompson played right midfield very defensively. There were plenty of occasions where it was more of a 442 than not.

This was a nice, solid performance. You have to admit that the scoreline is flattering (helps to play up a man for all that time due to Colorado's bad luck with injuries). Considering the players missing out through injury, this is about as good as it gets. The Rapids only created 2 good chances (Peterson's header that Crayton saved brilliantly, and Gibbs hitting that rebound over), which I'm sure will help Soehn sleep easy tonight. You've got to give some credit to the man, who has correctly emphasized a dedication to playing as a unit and minimizing mistakes in our half in light of the loss of Gallardo, Olsen, and Fred.

It was vital to get in at halftime up a goal. We had been on top for most of the half, but a team like the Rapids would have taken 0-0 into the locker room as a real boost. Getting something from our dominance, coupled with the puzzling decision from Smith to replace his playmaker with Dalby (a very defensive player), left the Rapids hoping for a first-rate blunder or set pieces. Tino then killed the game off with his golazo (I usually avoid the word because it gets overused, but it's definitely merited here).

I feel like Colorado will be no better or worse than they have been if they leave Gomez on the bench. Fine, he's not 90 minutes fit, but a) they and everybody that ever watched him here in DC knew that going in and b) he's their most creative and skillful player by a country mile. If he can only give you an hour, you still need to get every second of it (especially when you know Gomez would have wanted to show the United organization that they made a mistake in trading him). "Meet the new boss...same as the old boss", I guess. Enjoy all that free time in November.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 24, 2008 3:40 AM | Report abuse

If nothing else, Crayton brings something else. This was my first time seeing him live. He seems much more aggressive and really attacks the ball (he almost - almost let one slip through on a high contour catch, though). And VERY communicative - visually and verbally. He really seems to make the effort to exude confidence and provide a calming effect in the back. Under Wells, things appeared a bit more panicked, a bit more haphazard.

I guess it is the difference that comes from playing internationally, in W.C. qualifiers, in European leagues vs coming from a career on MLS benches.

I call shotgun, BTW, on Vide's goal being up for goal of the week. If not Vide's, Santino's would be top choice.

Posted by: Erick | August 24, 2008 4:43 AM | Report abuse

My man of the match was Devon McTavish. I've been down on him most of the year, and I was worried when I saw him as the anchor of the 3-man back line, but he was brilliant. They still badly need Peralta to return, though; Burch is no center defender, and the 3-man back line keeps Martinez out of the attack.

Posted by: Luis Granados | August 24, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll give the 24 second figure my thumbs up for accuracy. Talk about getting into the game..

Posted by: MAC | August 24, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

According to the clock in the upper corner of the Direct Kick telecast, Kirk's goal came 15 seconds after he came on. He hit hands with Simms and stepped onto the field at 88:27 and the ball crossed the line into the goal at 88:42. MLS might have timed it from the moment the referee stopped play for the substitution.

Posted by: Dave | August 24, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

McTavish was solid. I thought Vide was excellent too. In addition to the goal he played some nice balls forward, the through ball that put Emilio through in particular. He never shies away from a tackle. Solid night all around. Only Moreno seemed to have an off night.

Posted by: ahelms | August 24, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Goff, how come your ratings for the players always seem so similar? I recognize its a team sport, but a little differentiation.

Also, I recognize we have no underage chinese gymnasts out here, so you can't be handing out tens, but it seems you never go above 8. That's interesting, particularly given that, from my tv anyway, this looked like the most dominant performance i've seen all year. Sure it was Colorado, but we've played bad MLS teams before (see: NY last week).

I thought Santino had, for him, the breakout game he had been looking for. His distribution, both one touch and multiple touch, was spot on. Emilio I also thought stepped up a notch, came back for the ball well, and was far less selfish than usual - hence the two assists. I would have given Quaranta a (gasp) 9, and emilio an 8. I also would have market Cordiero higher.

But mostly the team as a whole just clicked. There was always someone making the right run at the right time. A lot of times Emilio can't make those back passes because there is no second runner.

What's up with Gibbs? Didn't look like a center back that had been, until recently, in the national team mix.

Finally, I was watching the Colorado version of the sportscast on Dish, and I was infuriated by the lack of discussion of Gomez's absence. Anyone know what is going on there?

Posted by: regular fan | August 24, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

ouch, troy, but could certainly be true. crayton seems to be coming in at a great time, when those off the bench are starting to play more regularly and gell more. that certainly helps. it's nice to know we have a solid keeper again. I really like his presence - and the shut outs!

Posted by: downtown | August 24, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse


How can you give Kirk a 6? He came in for 5 minutes and scored a goal!

Quavas Kirk for President.

Posted by: Asher | August 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Cordeiro almost scored on coming in also. Then he snapped the nice header that led to Kirk's goal. He seemed more like a 6/7 for a sub rating, at least to me.
Anyone else have to suffer through the announcer Colorado put out there? He was worse than watching dead grass grow.
Good win for a depleted side. A lot of guys stepped up and played well - including Vide, Crayton, Quaranta, Martinez. I'd say McTavish but he still has that bad habit of trying to make slide tackles at the center of the field at the 50 yard line with no one behind him.......ughhhhhh.

Posted by: marksman | August 24, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Asher: So what are you trying to say? That if he'd been in for 90 minutes, he would have scored 18 goals? Come on. He happened to be in the right place when Burpo slapped the ball out. It was a very nice finish to the near post that Kirk made, insofar as it wasn't a gimme; but it doesn't make him a world-beater. I'm guessing, given the scores for Cordeiro and Zaher, that his goal turned his 5 into a 6; a 6 is a very respectable rating.

Personally, I think Goff's ratings for this game are a little high pretty much across the board, for everyone. The score flattered us a bit.

Posted by: Bootsy | August 24, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Was that Kirk's first MLS goal? I thought the people on Altitude said so but who knows with them.

Posted by: LN Hunter | August 24, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I think everyone had an outstanding game although Guerrero still must be a little tired from his trip to Mexico as he seemed slower than usual and was made a few pretty bad passes.

Martinez is still my favorite new player and having him on the field does make a huge difference. He makes great passes and runs yet still manages to get back on defense in seconds.

Santino gets my vote for MOTM.

Whats up with all of these Philly fans at DC United games lately? They even have their own section now?

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 24, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

regular fan,

The first half was mind numbingly boring to put it frankly. Before the Vide goal we had created nothing and it was basically a midfield battle. Both defenses were snuffing each other out.

Now if United had turned some of that possession into shots on goal, etc, I think those ratings would of been higher. Anytime you're playing with 2 defensive midfielders and no true #10, it's going to be painful to watch. It's not going to be the buildup possession soccer everyone loves.

Gibbs has been perpetually injured so he's rusty.

Gomez looked very underwhelming in his time and really didnt do anything except blast a free kick over the goal. He must of upset the new coach.

Posted by: strago | August 24, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

While it would be unfair (and inaccurate) to say that Wells was the only reason for our inconsistent play this season, I think it is clear that he was a major factor in DCU's failure to get a result in multiple matches. Had we had Crayton all season we would have at least 4-6 more points.

I'll say this about this DCU squad: Again and again you think the season is about to head south for good, but they (and the FO) keep scrapping. Makes me proud(er) to be a supporter.

Vamos United!

Posted by: KR in DC | August 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Hmm... I guess I am a half empty guy.
I have been thinking that everytime we start playing well we get hurt or screw it up.

Posted by: jgildea | August 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Goff has said in the past that a ten is a hat trick in the world cup finals.

It's good to see the lads whupping a bottom feeder, that's the key to a long, injury plagued season. You can't beat the revolution every night, so you have to pick up easy points whenever they come your way.

Anyone notice all the peralta love these days? A month ago, I think the general consensus was that he was the second worst pickup of the season, behind the diminutive one. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.

For all the talk about Dcu being the arsenal of MLS, dependant on imports, it's great to see the team getting key contributions from retreads, castaways and kids. Look at the players from last night: Thompson, Vide, Tino, Zaher, Kirk. No one wanted any of those guys and combined they cost us what? A couple small allocations? Maybe Kasper isn't the idiot everyone says?

Posted by: Northzax | August 24, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: monty | August 24, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

A bit OT, but does anyone remember Doug Logan, the first MLS commish? (Hmmm, does that make him the George Washington of MLS?) I was listening to NPR yesterday when his voice popped up on the air. He seems to have a new gig:

Posted by: The Jeff | August 24, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

How about the revenge factor last night? We lost 2-0 to Colo at the beginning of the season. I even think Gomez had an assist in that game and Erpen had a goal, I could be wrong though. We really gave it back to them last night! Woo Hoo!

Posted by: kris | August 24, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

A not more OT. Anyone else think it's weird that Beckham, who has never played in the Olympics, is helping to kick off the London 2012 activities? OK, so Jimmy Page has never played in the Olympics either, but an athlete ought to have some connection to the games, no?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 24, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Should be "A bit more OT: My right hand frameshifted.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 24, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

We don't count matches in Colorado or Salt Lake. DC has always blown it at altitude.

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 24, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

It was nice to be able to listen to the game last night on 1500 AM on a Walkperson while out and walking around, instead of being tied down to a 'puter, listening to the WFED site. That got me to wondering: United games have been broadcast on multiple Spanish-language stations for as long as I can remember. Does anyone here listen to them? Who is the Latino Limarzi, and his he/she any good?

Posted by: The Jeff | August 24, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

So did anyone see Peralta and our $2 million man at RFK last night? Or were they blowing all of their hard earned money out at Camelot?

All credit goes to Olsen for getting on the game day roster. I think just having him back on the bench was the motivation this team needed. Too bad certain other higher paid players don't have the same dedication and mentality.

Posted by: MIA | August 24, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought Thompson deserved better than a 5 -- at least for his runs on offense. I didn't pay attention to whomever was having trouble with Casey. Also, Cordeiro contributed pretty well for a very brief stint. Not sure why he's rated that low. Seems unfair to discount his contributions if he's a late sub.

I like Crayton. He's a keeper. (Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.)

Posted by: Fisch Fry | August 24, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Great game. Santino did a really great job. How are Burpo, Mendy, and Pablo from Colorado?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 24, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

One thing I noticed in a COL game just before Gomez was benched, that the rest of the Colorado team was bypassing Gomez completely. Nothing but long balls out of the back to the frontrunners. Byapassed the midfield almost completely.

Posted by: Ron | August 24, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Any chance we can get Gomez back? For all his moodiness and lack of fitness, he's still done more for this team than Gallardo. And he's got more left in him, I do believe.

Posted by: wjones3044 | August 24, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Another highlight link (from the CRAPids web site):

Posted by: Juan-John | August 24, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@ MIA:

Gallardo, Peralta, Doe and one other player who I couldn't ID were doing laps around the field last night before warmups. For what it's worth.

Posted by: Section 130 | August 24, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to type something crazy as well.

Incontrovertibly, our formation for CCL should be the following, regardless of health, form, or opposition:


Subs: Wells, Burch, Vide, Thompson, Emilio, Moreno, Doe

In all seriousness, I saw the goals on Republica Deportiva. I was pleased.

Posted by: B.A. | August 24, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I freaking love that new song:



Posted by: Ameobi | August 24, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Cordeiro almost scored on coming in also. Then he snapped the nice header that led to Kirk's goal.
Posted by: marksman

My mistake - I guess that was Namoff on the header.

Posted by: marksman | August 24, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the last part is unitednitednitednitednited no?

Posted by: td | August 24, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Santino was the man of the match. I would of given him a 9.9. Keep him in the middle throughout the rest of the season.

Posted by: Highlandtown Oldtimer | August 24, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if we can get Gomez back, but it does seems he is on his way out of Colorado.

Posted by: Ron | August 25, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

re: Fastest MLS goal -

Didn't find anything on the MLS site, but a quick Inter-Web search turned up this site ( with the following highlighted sentence:

"In September 2003, Canadian Dwayne DeRosario scored the fastest goal in MLS history, connecting for the San Jose Earthquakes after just 11 seconds against Dallas."

Hope that helps. Quavas' goal was one of the more exciting ones I've seen...but probably not a record.

Posted by: Big C | August 25, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Man of the match: Clyde Simms. He's the reason that Colorado had so few chances.

I'm pretty sure it was Cordeiro with the header that led to Quirk's goal.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 25, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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