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A Few Minutes With Tom Soehn

Excerpts from the coach's media briefing after training at RFK today:

Reflections on the Saprissa game.....

"Defensively, I think we can still be a little more organized and make it harder. We are getting stretched a little bit, but overall, even being down a man, I thought we still were able to dictate some of the play with the guys we had while we were missing a few. There were some positives to learn about individuals that could possibly benefit us for the stretch run."

Thoughts on the reeling Galaxy.....

"Attacking-wise, they have very dangerous players. That is the reason they have two of the leading scorers in the league, but they also leave a lot of chances on the other end. ... There has been a lot of adversity over there. It's a hard situation for any coach to be in because of all the distractions. With the [salary] cap we have and having so many high-profile players, obviously you are heavy on the top and weak on the bottom. That's the reality of the salary cap."

On the return of injured players.....

"We have been patient with some to try to get them in a spot where we can start increasing their minutes. Other guys, as they get closer, it obviously makes us deeper and gives us more options."

On Jaime Moreno's status.....

"His knee is inflamed. Tests were negative, so right now, with the swelling, it doesn't make much sense to stick him on a flight for five hours. We will let him rest for a few days and hopefully he will join us in Honduras."

On Marathon.....

Soehn watched them on TV last night defeat Cruz Azul and "I thought they were very effective on the counterattack. They've got some pace. Defensively, I thought they gave up some opportunities, which hopefully we can capitalize on."

By Steve Goff  |  September 18, 2008; 1:03 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCU's Travel Schedule
Next: The Galaxy: Far, Far Away?


I don't like reading "Jaime" amd "inflamed knee" in the same sentence.

Posted by: Ron | September 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Defensively we can be a bit more organized"....that's an understatement. Isn't that something the coach should be helping with?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update SG.
I am a little bit happier hearing TS actually watched the competition last night.

Posted by: dadryan | September 18, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

are we gonna see Koroma at all? he can't be that much worse then some of the stuff we've been throwing out in central defense, he already speaks english and even if his accent is a bit heavy crayton will easily comprehend it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

We can't afford to drop ANY more points in MLS play if we even want a sniff at the playoffs. I wonder if winning MLS is still the teams ultimate goal? With No Jaime and no Gallardo, losing in LA ain't out of the question. And if we do it's pretty much lights out on our MLS season.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | September 18, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I like he was able to find some positives from Tuesday.
I was having trouble doing that, myself.

Posted by: Lonnie | September 18, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

OT -- local college womens game on FSC national broadcast tonight, JMU hosting Penn State at 8pm. Interesting that Fox is putting womens games head to head with MLS game night this fall.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

We can't drop ANY points in MLS if we wnt to sniff at the playoffs?

We're in playoff position now...DC is ahead of Chivas USA & Colorado by 3 points...there's 2 you can drop right there.

Posted by: Matt | September 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts on MLS partner American Airlines disallowing opponent film review as the in-flight movieā€¦

Forget that, they charged us extra baggage fees to put Zach Wells and Rod Dyachenko on the flight.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread:

-- Play Marathon in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday night.
-- Fly to D.C. on Thursday.
-- Train at RFK Friday and Saturday, fly to Dallas.

Why fly back to DC for two days? The pointy-ball Cardinals will play the 'Skins this weekend and stay in town for the week before heading to Jersey to play the Jets next week. Sounds like a good idea to lessen travel fatigue; should've just flown to Dallas.

And I am very jealous of RSL getting a new stadium before United, but I wouldn't want the stadium that they've built. Like DSP, it seems the architect wanted an eye-catching roof while I'd perfer a rain-catching one.

Posted by: Eire Bier | September 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Flying to LA less than 48 hours before the match seems a little dicey. Are they flying early Fri AM and practicing out there that afternoon? That's a long flight to endure, not to mention the time change.

Posted by: Chicken Little | September 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Moreno can't play in LA makes Saturday's game that much more of a challenge. We normally look so aimless without Moreno, but we will have to find a way to score somehow (I'm going out on a limb and assuming our tin-clad defense won't hold the top MLS offense to a shutout). The keys Saturday will be set pieces, Quaranta, and Fred.

Marathon's win over Cruz Azul is both good and bad. It's good, in that our more likely competitor for a spot in the next round (Cruz Azul) has 0 points, just like us. What's bad is reading that Marathon is fast and has a good counterattack. These are 2 things we respond poorly to. Hopefully, Moreno and Guerrero will be fit to contribute in Honduras, as we'll need every bit of experience and quality there.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

So we can drop 2 because we're ahead of Chivas and Colorado? Look at their remaining schedule and then look at ours and report back to the class....

Posted by: SmokeAndMirrors | September 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Young Boys 1 (Marco Schneuwly 16) Club Brugge 0


Posted by: Michael Jackson | September 18, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Young Boys 1 Club Brugge 1 (Wesley Sonck 36)


Posted by: Michael Jackson | September 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Looks pretty simple to me: no MLS playoff slot for DCU and it's "former coach Tom Soehn" in 2009.

No advance in CONCACAF CL but DCU in MLS playoffs, it's "coach Tom Soehn" in '09. Prioritize accordingly.

Interesting question: Can you get completely crushed (0 points) in CL, make the MLS playoffs, but fail to advance to the semis, and still have "coach Tom Soehn" in '09?

Anybody else got a metric? Is the question of Soehn's future: How far does DCU get in the MLS playoffs?

Posted by: dcca | September 18, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Boy, if DC ends up with a worse record than Colorado that'd be pretty embarassing...

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else got a metric? Is the question of Soehn's future: How far does DCU get in the MLS playoffs?

I dunno if it's that simple. If the ownership and management like him, they could easy point at this year's revolving roster and injury problems, and say that underperforming to expectations isn't Soehn's fault.

I'm not saying that's what I'd say, I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 18, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Marathon looked awesome last night. They have speed up front, speed and agility in the middle, a decent defense and a great keeper. Oh yeah, and we are playing in Honduras.

"Defensively, I thought they gave up some opportunities, which hopefully we can capitalize on." Is this comment by Soehn a self critique? From what I have seen in DCU's group, DCU is by far the weaker team. Hopefully, we can rebound and get healthy. The Cruz Azul/Marathon game was exciting to watch. The DCU/Saprisa game was dull and boring. Saprisa should have scored at least 4. It's not that our defenders were doing a good job, is that they could not capitalize.

Time for Soehn to start thinking about another job! Unless DCU wins at least 2 series in the playoffs...he's GONE!!

Posted by: Kromer523 | September 18, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess "a little more organized" is better than completely disorganized and giving up a couple of goals a game because of it.

And you wonder why we need a coaching change....

Posted by: congguy | September 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

People here (on SI) don't seem to recognize that for all the negative comments about CONCACAF (especially as it relates to the the national teams from the region) that there are some very good club teams. These are teams without salary caps, some with wealthy owners and countries like Honduras and Costa Rica for instance have been producing quality International level players for many years. Not even mentioning Mexico whose league is years ahead of MLS in quality of play, money, tradition etc. Its not that surprising that Marathon beats Cruz Azul at home. The regional style of play emphasizes skill and speed. So wake up folks these are decent teams give CONCACAF a break.

Posted by: sbg | September 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think DCU will lose Galaxy 3-1. 5-0 to Marathon. come home and lose 4-0 to Cruz Azul. Go back to Dallas and lose 2-0. Come home and win 1-0 over Chivas.

Posted by: td | September 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else got a metric? Is the question of Soehn's future: How far does DCU get in the MLS playoffs?

TS has an impossible job given the scheduling fiasco that MLS HQ put on DCU, the injuries, roster limitations, the turnover from the FO, demands of fans, etc.

In 2 years, DCU has won the Supporter's shield and USOC and we fans are whining. We've won more titles in the last 2 years than Colorado, RBNY, FCD, RSL, TFC have combined. Too much turnover does not lead to championships.

MLS has Superliga, CCL, Pan Pacific Cup, USOC, Sudamericana, and playoffs available to top teams, but bottom teams only play league games. A tiered approach to the tourneys would be nice to spread the wealth and lessen the demands on top teams.

With 3 games in like 4-5 weeks in July, the schedule was compressed for spring and fall, adding to the injury woes.

I heard somebody say the other day that Soehn has had 2 years to learn to get the team to win consistently. There's very few teams in parity driven sport leagues that can "win consistently" and then only for a short time.

Basically the FO has to go on gut feel as to whether to retain a coach that has won 2 trophies despite a ton of issues he has no control over or release a coach that isn't getting the most from his talent. However, short term solutions are not necessarily the answer.

Use Bill Cowher of the Steelers as example: he had seasons of 13-3, 10-5-1, 6-10, 15-1, prior to his 11-5 team that won the Super Bowl. He had 9 seasons before that. Had the team canned him after the 6-10 season, maybe they don't go on to win the super bowl 2 years later.

Plenty of other examples abound, of course.

Posted by: soyinocente | September 18, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lost In B.A., if see Gallardo down there guesting with any clubs, let us know . . .

Posted by: Something ain't right | September 18, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I was beginning to wonder when Moreno would need a break. Or break down.
At his age and the mileage he has seen he has been absolutely amazing this year.
The team will miss him in LA.
I very much hope he plays against Marathon - his vision, creativity and experience will be sorely missed if he can't go then.

Posted by: marksman | September 18, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Smoke and Mirrors: thanks for saying something to that moron.

Posted by: dadryan | September 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

TS wake up. The score of the Saprissa game could have been much worse. Also how do you let players like Peralta who had a surgery months ago not play? Oh and finally, how does a player that was a forward in college and just learned the LB position last year qualify as a CD? Goff you are great, but have ever thought of asking him these questions? I just wonder if TS is really an acronym for totally sucks and not Tom Soehn. His lineup selection is more than questionable. I understand that he has had his hands tied with Gallardo, et al., but come on. Burch is not a LB and Dyachenko is not an MLS quality player. Any news on the injury to Vide?

Posted by: What a joke | September 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn (clap, clap, clap clap clap)
Fire Soehn (clap, clap, clap clap clap)

Posted by: Alan | September 18, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

In 2 years, DCU has won the Supporter's shield and USOC and we fans are whining.
Posted by: soyinocente | September 18, 2008 3:59 PM

Right on Brother.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

well because we won an OPEN CUP and a supporters shield that qualifies as a success. WHOA since when did we become RSL or Toronto, if we are satisfied with that why dont we just pack our bags and go home...

This United, WE HAVE HIGH Expectations a club like us needs a manager to make it work or else you are gone, This is no Colorado or RSL or Toronto YOU WIN, and play pretty or bye see you later nice knowing you.

Posted by: Dc Fan | September 18, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

no player or coach is bigger than the club its time for a change, because it doesnt look like its getting any better.

Posted by: dc fan | September 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The excuses have become tiresome, Houston has a tough schedule yet they seem to have an organzied defense. If you look at some of the changes that Soehn has made since he took over the results speak for themselves. Bozwell went from defender of the year to bench warmer of the year and Brian Carroll went from most minutes played to least minutes played under Soehn. Now Bozwell is a starter for the Best team in the West and Carroll is a starter for the best team in the East.

He might be a nice guy to have a beer with but Mr. Soehn is not the answer.

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | September 19, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Let me ask you, all of the DCUnited fans;
Does Coach Soehn really have a grip on what the team needs to do? Who hired Schoen? Kasper? Payne? I guess they will have to go down in flames to NOT be seen as executives gone wrong!! I guess, this season is a "bye" and then we will see what happens in 2009!! Mr Goff you said never be insulting to anyone, and I agree--but how does one express frustration with the team's incompentence? By not buy tickets to games--isn't that right????

Posted by: Leo | September 19, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Soehn: don't waste your time travelling to LA without Jaime. As he goes, so goes the team. Just put another loss up on the board and keep praising a second rate team that "tries real hard."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Soehn: don't waste your time travelling to LA without Jaime. As he goes, so goes the team. Just put another loss up on the board and keep praising a second rate team that "tries real hard."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

DCU has not established a style of play that we can expect game in and game out win lose or draw. It's obvious TS is tinkering and don't blame it all on injuries. Perhaps if the players knew if they were defend first or go full tilt on the attack they might be more comfortable at this point no matter who was playing. TS is the reason there is no confidence or image that DC exudes. Imho just throw caution to the wind at this point and push forward defending is not this teams strong point so why bother. 3-5-2 and push the attack. the attack. Stop toying around Tommy Boy it's time the team just let it hang out it seems they're always tight and that to me is a reflection of TS and Management creating an air of tension that players don't fuggin need.

Posted by: glove | September 19, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Olsen will think about coaching if the ankle just does not make it back. IMHO he'd be the type of guy I'd want to play for. Gritty, smart but a guy whose relaxed and seems to always be enjoying himself not some wound tight as a swiss watch ahole like Soehn

Posted by: glove | September 19, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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