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United-Red Bulls, the Aftermath

I will post my full match report when it's available on later [update: the website is having technical problems, so to read the story, go to the continuation of this thread], but for now, here are a few quotes:

Tom Soehn: "I thought we came out with some energy. We were knocking the ball around well up until the point we scored and then we let our foot off the gas and we started to give them a little life. Two soft goals really cost us - given away a free kick right outside the box and then the second one was just a cluster of errors. It's hard to come back from that. I think we put our heads down. We tried to get them going again in the second half but I still don't think we had the life that we needed and the competitiveness."

Soehn, on whether new goalie Louis Crayton will be available Saturday at Chicago: "We'll see. We want it as competitive as possible."

Jaime Moreno: "Mistakes. Very simple. We can't afford to make mistakes. We're going to get punished. It was a good example today. For me, very unprofessional mistakes. We are human; we make mistakes. But at this point, this far in the season, we can't keep making mistakes like that. ... We gave the game away, really."

PLAYER RATINGS: Wells 4; Namoff 6, McTavish 5, Carroll 3, Burch 3; Fred 6, Simms 5, Vide 4, Guerrero 5; Moreno 7, Emilio 5. Subs: Quaranta 3, Martinez 6, Dyachenko 4.

Moreno left at halftime with a sore back. He will be reevaluated on Monday.

Ben Olsen said he suffered a setback in his ankle rehab efforts last week and will evaluate things again soon.

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Aug. 10 - D.C. United Coach Tom Soehn and his players insisted that they were not looking ahead to their more meaningful match 48 hours later, that this MLS regular season game against the New York Red Bulls was vital to their late-summer cause in the increasingly congested Eastern Conference.
The events of Sunday evening at damp Giants Stadium belied those claims.
United let a good start go to waste, suffered a series of defensive breakdowns and was trounced, 4-1, in front of 15,038 spectators, who enjoyed the Red Bulls' largest victory margin in the 13-year series.
"For me, very unprofessional mistakes," team captain Jaime Moreno said. "We are human; we make mistakes. But at this point, this far in the season, we can't keep making mistakes like that. [ellip] We gave the game away, really."
United (8-9-1) will now turn its attention to the New England Revolution on Tuesday night in the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that rewards the champion with an international berth next year.
"You do one at a time," Soehn said. "This was an important game - it's against a rival and it's a league game. There are no excuses looking past this one."
Moreno scored in the 16th minute, but the Red Bulls (6-6-7) responded with three goals in 23 minutes, including a pair by striker Juan Pablo Angel, to earn just their third victory in the last 21 meetings with United in all competitions. The result created a four-way tie for fourth place in the conference, with United holding a slight edge because it has played one fewer game than New York, Toronto and Kansas City.
With two games in such a short span, Soehn had to carefully manage his roster Sunday and ensure that his club was well prepared for the Open Cup semifinal at RFK Stadium. He retained the starting lineup from last weekend's 2-0 victory over Kansas City, its first league shutout, and for 25 minutes or so, United played with energy, composure and determination.
Moreno headed in Fred's cross, his 23rd goal in 37 career games against New York, and United continued to dictate play. But Angel fired a 25-yard free kick that streaked over the defensive wall, swerved just beyond Zach Wells's reach and settled into the left side. Wells called it "one of the best free kicks I have seen in a game in this league."
If Wells was not to blame for New York's first goal, he was largely responsible for the second. Just before halftime, Dave van den Bergh's cross from the left side sailed over the backtracking Wells and was deflected by defender Marc Burch out of the six-yard box to Mike Magee for a one-timer through a tangle of players.
"It was a bit of a scramble all the way across the goal, but I still have got to get it," said Wells, whose job is clearly in jeopardy now that United has acquired Liberian keeper Louis Crayton.
"We let our foot off the gas and we started to give them a little life," Soehn said. "Two soft goals really cost us - giving away a free kick right outside the box and then the second one was just a cluster of errors. It's hard to come back from that. I think we put our heads down."
Things turned comical five minutes into the second half. Deep in his end, Burch tried to nod a bouncing ball back to Wells. Angel anticipated the maneuver, cut between the D.C. players and flicked the ball over Wells. Defender Pat Carroll retreated and appeared to be in position to clear the ball, but failed.
"Someone yelled for me to play it back, so I thought maybe [Angel] stopped," Burch said. "I probably should have tried to flick it the other way."
Gonzalo Martinez provided United with its only true opportunity of the second half, a solo run in the 63rd minute, but with the game slipping away, D.C. played like a team with more important matters awaiting it.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic contributed to the rout in the 87th minute, driving Jorge Rojas's cross into the lower right corner just two minutes after entering the game.
"We know we have to play Tuesday in a big game, but I don't think we came out with the attitude that we were just going to throw this game away," defender Devon McTavish said. "We came out well, but couldn't keep it up. Once they got that first goal, they just got rolling from there."
United Notes: Moreno left at halftime because of a sore back and was replaced by Santino Quaranta, who made his first league appearance since June 29. He had been sidelined by a hamstring injury. [ellip] Defender Gonzalo Peralta returned to the active roster after recovering from sports hernia surgery, but did not play.

By Steve Goff  |  August 10, 2008; 9:19 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Mathis to MLS?


Best wishes to Ben. This has got to be emotionally brutal, as well as physically difficult.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 10, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

That note about Olsen is like a final kick in the teeth, especially on a day like today where heart and determination were such a major factor in getting beaten. If there is any way I could give my good left ankle to Benny, I would do it.

Having had a little while since the debacle ended, I remembered something that I noticed last week against the Wizards. It seemed like Soehn really caught Onalfo off-guard by playing with Guerrero in the midfield instead of the back (as well as Vide playing with Simms instead of pushing Fred inside or using Dyachenko). Osorio had a week to prep for a similar formation, and he had to be pretty confident that Soehn was not going to do too much to change a winning formula. We didn't benefit from that element of surprise that we got against KC.

Of course, that's not seeing the big picture. NY today clearly wanted the win more than we did, outplayed us in every way, and didn't have the silly errors that we had in defending. Moreno called them "unprofessional" mistakes, and I think he's dead on. The 2nd and 3rd goals were handed on a platter to NY by Wells and Burch, respectively. And even then, we had chances to dodge the bullet, only for McTavish and Carroll to avoid the personal sacrifice that defending sometimes is.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of 1 and 2 if you don't use them on a game like that?

Posted by: OWNTF | August 10, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

HORRIBLE GAME. We need to get our regulars back, Moreno can't save the team by himself. We need to refocus and get back to what we know.

Posted by: DCU_Barra | August 10, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as Wells is the GK we will not be able to consistently win, he is hopeless as a starter. I hope the new GK is given a chance to play soon.

This game was like a bad dream coming back into the mind after a few months. Ugh.

And please tell me why Dyachenko is allowed to wear the shirt?

Posted by: RRP | August 10, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"Tom Soehn: We were knocking the ball around well ..."

according to Marcelo Balboa, knocking the ball around is all you need to do!

Posted by: pat | August 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Wells got a 4 and Carroll/Burch got a 3? By that logic, Wells should have got a 2.

Posted by: bob | August 10, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

If you give Burch a 3 for DC does he get a 6 for NJ? His header/assist to Angel has to make him one of the higher ranked players for the Red Bulls.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 10, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse


Why? Wells was only at fault for one goal. It is so easy to blame the keeper in these types of high scoring games. He saved a couple of goals today too.

Posted by: United fury | August 10, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Correction wells made 1 save that was not completely routine and he almost botched that one. Anytime the ball goes near him my heart jumps into my throat.

Posted by: Louis crayton | August 10, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"I still don't think we had the life that we needed and the competitiveness"

And who's job is that? The sooner the Soehn era ends the better. Until someone else takes the helm this will be a mid-table team at best.

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | August 10, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

improving the GK position is a start
but we still need to sign some talent in the foward position!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

any chance we can leave Wells in the swamp?

Posted by: the other RK | August 10, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

MJ, I'm gonna barf at all this chivalry.
I just got finished talking hella smack on the last thread to find you firsting it up with positive vibrations and respect for a guy that win, lose, or draw we could really use in the team...
You remind me of a far more irritating version of myself in my first years in Washington, hanging on to my Seahawk affiliation, but slowly integrating myself into the Redskins machine.
you are United.

Posted by: dadryan | August 10, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Man 4-1 thats sucks!

what happened people?

Olsen should just sit out, he can't push his body to make a super fast recovery and expect to play the next day. By the time he fully recovers the season would be over so why bother to hype up his return.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 11, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Fire Tommy-Boy. Dude doesn't know squat about soccer. Krimey, he even RE-acquired Rod Dyastinko from Toronto after the exapansion draft.

That's all that needs to be said about the current coach of DCU.

Posted by: | August 11, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

"Fire Tommy-Boy. Dude doesn't know squat about soccer. Krimey, he even RE-acquired Rod Dyastinko from Toronto after the exapansion draft.

That's all that needs to be said about the current coach of DCU."

What makes you think this was the decision of the coach? And if it was, what exactly does our technical director do?

Posted by: David | August 11, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

For the second time this year, I fell asleep before a DCU match.

For the second time this year, I'm happy with that decision.

I have never fallen asleep pre-match in previous years.

Posted by: B.A. | August 11, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

let's all flashback to the winter time when people were excited about the prospect of bringing in Wells - who was then somehow in the US player pool with talks of possibly missing him for time away with the national team - and a young upstart named Jose who was going to push for the job of goal keeper for a team that was destined for a slew of trophies.

yeah what happened?

Posted by: uniter | August 11, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me why Carroll was given the start at CB over Martinez? Are we trying to concede a loss to our arch rivals? Obviously Soehn isn't using his eagle wings or cow ass traits to their potential. Bone-headed is the only thing that comes to mind with the decision-making here. Perhaps, the strategy is to get a higher pick in the SuperDraft next year and a higher allocation spot...I'm just befuddled in amazement right now.

Posted by: fcmuenchweiler | August 11, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

"Can someone please tell me why Carroll was given the start at CB over Martinez? Are we trying to concede a loss to our arch rivals? "

Uh, because we have another game on Tuesday. Hello, is anyone paying attention??? Carroll had a good game last week in the shutout. Play him against the Bulls and then get Martinez or Peralta in there for Open Cup. Seemed like a good strategy to me. Sorry, not Soehn's fault on that decision.

Posted by: DCU UCD | August 11, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

awful game boys...burch looked like crap. On goal 1 devon was there for the stop but turned his back?? is he still playing u9 soccer???

Wells played pretty well and cannot be faulted on any goal. The one where we tried to bunch it out Devon should have been marking the goal scorer and was caught ball watching.

no defenders = a loss everytime!!

Posted by: bobf | August 11, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Reading the ball is terrible. Any body could've cleared the second goal simply by foot rather than trying to sramble with heading. Terrible defense. No wonder why they only paid minimum and have to eat mcdonalds.

Posted by: td | August 11, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Seconding the wells comments, A keeper is as good as his defense, Buffon might have saved one of those, the free kick was class, Sinii's was unsavable, magee's far poster was on the defense, and he had two one on ones with a pure striker, one missed and one went in. The D hung him out to dry.

Posted by: Northzax | August 11, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

What did Namoff do to deserve 6? He basically let Dav ban der Bergh wee through and not challenged.....backing backing backing. That let the goal.

Posted by: td | August 11, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Would someone please fire me so I can go back to making pizzas

Posted by: Zack Wells | August 11, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

How bad was DCU last night? We won't know until we see how the restocked Red Bulls fare in their next few matches. Perhaps the RBs have turned the corner DCU still seeks.

Posted by: Running Cloud | August 11, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Yes, a goal keeper is only as good as his defenders, but the goal keeper runs his defense - when have you seen or heard Wells giving orders. No one has any confidence in Wells - he HAS to talk to the defenders and communicate orders. This is one thing Perkins need a good job at. Wells does not command his box either - take out a couple of guys once in a while and other teams take notice.

Posted by: dp | August 11, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

How disgusting to lose to the Bulls that way. 1-4 feels like getting the wind knocked out following a sucker punch...but the sucker punch was thrown by United's defensive unit and overall lack of intensity.

As Uniter pointed out earlier, I think back to the exciting off season with the new South American acquisitions. I was very sad to see Perkins go - Wells and Carvallo were untested.

The roster depth has suffered a lot this season.
3 starters out for long stretches (Olsen, Gallardo, Peralta) and very serviceable subs out for stretches (Mediate, Quaranta, Doe, McTavish)

Maybe there was TOO much tinkering with the line-up following last year's Support's Sheild team?

Maybe Soehn really doesn't know what he's doing with positioning the healthy personnel?

Burch and Wells account for 3 of the 4 goals yesterday! Angel's first goal was brilliant. Sinisa's goal was another failed marking assignment on Burch. But WHERE did the United attack go?? With no playmaker in CM did we lose all attacking abilities?

Many people on the SI talk about better personnel for the attack. Lest I remind you, DC United has #2 in Goals For this seaosn in the league. They are #13 in Goals Against. I'd like to see some changes in the defense and I'm sure the goals will continue to come on offense.

Posted by: Redd | August 11, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Quaranta didn't have a good game, but were his mistakes so egregious to merit a 3 like Burch and Carroll?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Everybody wants to rant on our defense, which looked weak yesterday. Once reason they looked weak is that they had to handle the ball in their half 75% of the time. Fact is no Jaime,no offense. No offense, we lose!! Defense can only save games, not win them. When will we learn that we can't win games by sending the ball to Emilio with his back to goal and expect him to turn and score? Looks like other team have learned that also.

Posted by: mike | August 11, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse


Marcello says you gotta knock the ball around, the wall gotta jump, and Freddy has gotta be more professional.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

If the far-poster was on the defense, why was Wells going after the ball? It was his and he should have gotten a hand on it.

Posted by: Terp | August 11, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

We've been horrible on the road all season. Combine that with the fact that it's our first away game in MONTHS and all the injuries AND the upcoming Open Cup game, you get a recipe for disaster

Posted by: GoUnited | August 11, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Considering how bad RBNY is supposed to be, DC must really suck.


Posted by: Smith | August 11, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You can't seriously mean that Gullit and Lalas left the Galaxy, but Soehn and Dyachenko haven't left D.C. UNBELIEVABLE!

Posted by: person | August 11, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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