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United-Dallas, the Aftermath

Well, at least one team from Washington won a game in the Dallas-Irving-Frisco metropolis today. DCU barely made an effort. Moreno got tossed. Emilio got hurt again. No shots on goal until the second half. Three poorly defended goals. Searing heat. Announced crowd of 12,000-plus. (Try 5,000.)

Dreary on so many fronts.

My full match report with spicy quotes is available here. You'll want to read it. I can also tell you that Quaranta was removed from the match because, according to the head coach.....

"He still has a bad knock on his leg. It was more cautious because we have to conserve some legs to make sure we were not stuck and keep him on the field late and have to take him off and play shorthanded. At no point did I want to, but that's what the game dictated because we weren't doing a good enough with our shape."

(Anyone want to interpret that?)

Responded Quaranta: "I was a little timid, but wasn't like I need to come off. I was surprised. Who likes to come off the game in the first half? They told me it was tactical."

PLAYER RATINGS
Crayton 4; Namoff 4, Peralta 3, McTavish 4, Guerrero 4; Fred 5, Simms 3, Quaranta 4, Khumalo 4; Moreno 3, Emilio 4. Subs: Martinez 3, Dyachenko 4, Cordeiro 5.

Video highlights are here.

At the moment, Colorado and Real Salt Lake are in the playoffs, DCU is not. Dallas has pulled even with United. Kansas City is close behind.

In its last eight games in all competitions, United is 1-5-2 -- the only win coming against a USL team.

DCU on the road: 2-10-1, both wins at Chicago. Goals for: 11. Goals against: 31.

Since McTavish's goal in the second minute at Los Angeles last weekend, United has been outscored 10-1 by the Galaxy, Marathon and Dallas.

To reach the postseason, United will probably need to win three of its final four games (home vs. Chivas USA, at Houston, home vs. New England, at Columbus). Can they do it? Gallardo to the rescue?

By Steve Goff  |  September 28, 2008; 7:57 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday: United-FCD
Next: The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

Comments

Peralta a 3?

Posted by: andrew | September 28, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

1st

To respond to the question at the bottom...No.

They're too beaten and battered to push further on. It doesn't help that with all the injuries and suspensions, they've havn't had a great chemistry together with so much swapping.

Posted by: Douglas | September 28, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Okay Not 1st

Posted by: Douglas | September 28, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the best I can see DCU doing is 2-2. And that's IF we beat Chivas (I think we will) and if Columbus decides to rest players going into the last game and we're still fighting for a playoff spot.

As it is, I see no way we beat Houston on the road. NE isn't playing great but they're playing better than us, Nicol will be trying to right the ship going into the playoffs so I seem them taking that game seriously.

And, a failing to win any of these 4 matches is a serious possibility. Losing Moreno (red card) and Emilio (injury) is terrible. So at forward we start Khumalo and....Dyachenko? Quaranta? Doe?

Posted by: JoeW | September 28, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Nope they cannot do it. Sad to say. :(

Catch ya next season.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I think they can do it but they really just have to put their nose to it.

Posted by: LN Hunter | September 28, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

It isn't looking good.

we are home all next week, Chivas looked good last night. Columbus could be resting players. having won the supporters shield by then. Houston is playing rough, probably because of their travel schedule and the hurricane. New England is playing rough, but will look at the game as a way to right the ship.

At the moment i do not see them winning another mls game, let alone a cl game.

This season has been so frustrating it is unbelievable how the first 10 went, the second ten were great, the last ten are shaping up to worse than the first ten.

16-19-4 in all comps.

The Open cup win is the only thing we have, and you have to wonder what if New england hadn't tanked that game.

I sure hope 16-27-4 isn't how this year shakes out

Posted by: vasco | September 28, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Possible but not probable. Winning one away at Columbus will be very tough and not too easy at Houston either. The team is ragged and worn.

Posted by: Beckster | September 28, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

DC is out this season. No way. With players we have got, unfortunate injuries, a genius coach... out of question. Very sad.

Posted by: td | September 28, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Ohhh poor DC scum, you won't make the play-offs what a drag! Hopefully your coach goes and finds a bunch of South American super stars next year and runs the tables ragged! Oh wait... that's what he did this year and it was a horrible idea... Poor DC.

Posted by: Cbus_Smile | September 28, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm tanned, rested, and ready. Put me in, Coach Soehn!

Posted by: Christian Gomez | September 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@ Cbus_Smile
Up yer plumbing, mate.

Posted by: Dobey | September 28, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

we will not make it to the playoffs.

Posted by: antonio | September 28, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=252141&cc=5901
---------
Adu played last 11 mins as sub lost to Lil today.

@Cbus_Smile, if I were you, I wouldn't go too far with your comment. First show us some trophies like we do and then we can talk. By the way, have you represented our club in one single country in 12 years? You don't have to answer if you were too ashamed.

Posted by: td | September 28, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Given the extraordinary adversity this year, injuries, insane scheduling, etc. it will take a near miracle to make MLS playoffs. Our guys are just plain broken down by everything - look at poor Clyde Simms who has been Mr. Marathon all season he just can't keep it up. At this late stage in the season there is just no response. I thought that after the USOC win that we could make a run, assuming our players stayed fit but it wasn't mean to be. I will be there against Cruz Azul and Chivas this week but at this point its about maybe scoring a goal and getting some of the young guys some experience - although wilth MLS's crazy roster structure there is a good chance they will all be replaced for next season.

Posted by: sbg | September 28, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe United can throw everything they have at Cruz Azul and come away with 3 points...

Posted by: dadryan | September 28, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

It will be a disappointing time for DCUnited in their last 4 games--I don't see them winning any. Let's just wait for next year. Then we can draft a speedy forward in the first round of the MLS draft--OH!! I forgot we gave up the 1st draft pick for Soehn and Kasper's favorite player Mr. Dyachenko. Go figure!!

Posted by: Leo | September 28, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, totally forgot the game was today. Was too into the 'Skins game and recovering from a 5-hour soccer-a-thon from yesterday. Looks like I didn't miss much.

Also, I may have officially moved to the Fire-Soehn side.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 28, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It continues to amaze me reading how people demand an increase in the salary cap. Guys, the league overall and the dudes who bought operating rights to our team, are LOSING MONEY! Basically, they operate a charity - use money from their other, successful business ventures to subsidize the DC United and Soccer-in-America cause. If, God forbid, you had your house destroyed by a hurricane and some church gave you shelter and food, would you be demanding that they increase your allowance?

The reason why the salary cap is in place and why its size is what we have, is that too few Americans are willing to part with their money to watch, either live or in TV, this sport because there are other competing offerings that many find more compelling. Before you start demanding an increase in the salary cap, buy your season tickets and recruit as many of your friends as you can to come to games with you. Send an email to VW, Glidden and Herbalife HQ requesting a brochure with information and say that that's because you saw their logos on an MLS team's jersey. OK, I know that's too much :). But my point is, I think it's insolent to demand from people who already fund the league as a charity to increase the subsidy. Work on this business of theirs becoming financially successful (do little that you can), and the rosters will improve.

Posted by: tlk | September 28, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The teams losing money are missing a few things...

1- A jersey sponsor.

or

2- A stadium they don't pay rent in.

Everyone else is making money.

Posted by: Phillip | September 28, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

hahaha! EPIC FAIL! dc playoffs? don't matter what the ATTENDANCE is if you can't win. why always bring up this issue? cuz it's the only thing dc is winning lately or wait... how many did they draw at home midweek? lolz oh goff you and your attendance numbers

Posted by: MarkVA | September 28, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

TLK i agree totally with you

Posted by: Chris | September 28, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the schedules, I can't really say DC is out of it yet.
They should have won today. They looked good starting the second half for a while. They should have won or drawn at the least and not fools...
The "race in the west" is still pretty tight though, and the remaining weeks look far from a cake walk for anyone. I would be surprised if the final playoff spot is actually decided before the last week.
Go United.

Posted by: dadryan | September 28, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I'm not so sure I want us to go to the playoffs. If we get in, it will be by sheer luck, and we'll surely go out in the first round.

Posted by: Tom | September 28, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I meant not looked like fools..

Posted by: dadryan | September 28, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

And the BIG question of the day:

Is Marcelo Gallardo back in town today??????

Posted by: kris | September 28, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"Before you start demanding an increase in the salary cap, buy your season tickets and recruit as many of your friends as you can to come to games with you."

Absolutely correct.

Posted by: FC | September 28, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

oh well? although the season is over, there is sincere room for improvement, and some fewer competitions may make next season just a tad bit magical, first though, soehn needs to go, and yes, the injuries did not help, but it doesn't help signing players who have an injury history (gallardo being a key, "loss"), im still trying to figure out why olsen is still on the roster, and not on the season ending injury roster

now lets go back to this time last year, and those whole negotiations with gomito, yeah, point of contention 1

Posted by: sothatwholecgomezguy | September 28, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry------

Nice try DCU. Can't really fault any of their major moves. Would have been a different outcome without the injury epidemic. Here's to a healthy gallardo and a full season of crayton in 2009. At least we are guaranteed int'l matches. Can't see us taking more than 4 points from the remianing matches.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 28, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the heavily promoted overated mls team club!

signed
Alexi Lalas

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

re sign gomez for 1 year, offer to pay for a new car and have rod dyachenko drive his kids to school..

PLAYOFF TIME BABY

Posted by: cg | September 28, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we substitute Soehn for El Diablo

Posted by: zizou4you | September 28, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The only way United wins 3 out of 4 is if NE, Houston, and Columbus throw out their reserves.

We "should" beat Chivas at home, but nothings certain this year.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 28, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

is it possible: supporters shield to worst in the league?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed

My vote is for sohen to be fired, moreno to retire this week and be named the head coach at the same time.

Posted by: dcu in iraq | September 29, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

*facepalm*

Posted by: B.A. | September 29, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank God for the Skins!

Tommy's got to go at season's end. The Dallas TV announcers kept remarking about DC United's seeming lack of enthusiasm and how the team's not connecting with each other.

Jaime obviously had a terrible game, and he really compounded it with the red card. These guys don't seem to care, and it's very disappointing to me as a fan who does care about the red-and-black.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | September 29, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I've seen Dallas play now twice since their new coach - I know they've had a big of a rough start with him, but I think that team is really coming together now and playing well. Cooper is a monster in there, and the rest of the team has picked it up. I think they are responding to their coach and his system.

As I watched the Redskins game, I thought the same thing. It's taken the team time, but they have seemingly come around and respond well to him.

Sadly, I don't see that with DC United. Soehn just seems dejected on the bench, and it's carrying over to the team. Where's the fire? Where's the outrage? Where's the heart? This team isn't showing any of that, and I believe it starts at the top (and trickles down from the leaders of the team).

Anyway, to answer the question: no postseason. Not with this team, the way they are playing.

Posted by: downtown | September 29, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Interpret Soehn's comments? DC had no attack in the 1st half because it was all going through the middle of the field and getting stuck...DC needed to attack from the wings, the solution was to puch Guerrero up, but you need defensive cover, so Martinez had to come in.

The only question was who comes off, Khumalo or Quaranta, that's what I was wondering when Martinez was on the sideline.

Posted by: Matt | September 29, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I think it's over for Soehn in DC. I don't see any way they can make the playoffs this season. Too many injuries, too many acquisitions no panning out and too many questionable coaching decisions.

DC is going to look back on this season and wonder why they decided to spend so much money on a few players when they could have had more if they had spread the money around. Gallardo has been a bust. For a minute yesterday, I wonder who the white dude was in DC's backline.

Next year ought to be interesting. Who's gonna replace Soehn? Will Moreno hang around? Gallardo coming back?

Posted by: Bart | September 29, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

"To reach the postseason, United will probably need to win three of its final four games (home vs. Chivas USA, at Houston, home vs. New England, at Columbus). Can they do it?"

I for one hope they don't make the post season. I watched a women's college soccer game last night (Auburn vs. Vandy) which was about 10 times more entertaining than watching DCU. After watching DC I forgot that you are actually supposed to pass the ball to your own players.

It would also be nice if Dallas could find some fans to come to the games. I know its Dallas and its hot and MLS is stupid as always for scheduling a game in the middle of the day in Texas but still, they can’t find 10,000 fans in the city to come to a game?

If KC can do it you would think Dallas could. I would go just to watch Cooper.


Posted by: Southeasterner | September 29, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

This is a lonely side to be on, but I still have faith in our team. VAMOS UNITED!!!

Posted by: JB | September 29, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I felt bad for the TV announcers during yesterday's game - it was hard for them to get excited or feel positive about much of anything.

In the 2nd half, DC got in behind Dallas' D how many times, and with what as a result? Decent to attractive play to get in behind the D, only to send a lot of speculative balls into the box that either were unplayable or went directly to Salas.

At least we won't get booted from the playoffs by Chicago, as is our custom lately.

Posted by: 22206 | September 29, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Who has a contract for next year? Who are on banana peels?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Texan taking over Sunderland.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=576285&sec=americansabroad&cc=5901

I wonder when MLS will announce that Sunderland will play in the All-Star game?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Some of the looney posters calling for Christian Gomez's return may want to look and see how much playing time he is getting with Colorado these days. It's close to ZERO. We probably made the correct decision last year to let him leave and bring Gallardo in. We had no control over the injury and the long recuperation time. In my mind this was the major single blow to this team. Without Gallardo we cannot control the midfield and without that our defense and offense both suffer.

This was beyond Soehn's control. Get real everyone.

Posted by: Orange14 | September 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Pigman, yeah, injuries played a big part. When Moreno and Emilio and Gallardo and Olsen and Fred and Quaranta are in and out (or almost always out), that's the list of our top 6 attacking players. Of course you'd expect some games where we don't look like we're on the same page, where we don't finish, where we look incoherent. So I'm not surprised by some games where that happened.

The larger concern for me is that, for the most part, we've had most of our defensive pieces available. Technically, Wells was injured but he could have played if he'd have been at a high level. Instead, the bad luck on the Cannon deal falling through and then Wells (who I thought was a smart pickup--American, young, experienced, cheap, tremendous upside) stunk it up badly. For every good play Burch has made, he's had 3-4 stinkers. Namoff has probably been our most consistent defender but he's still had enough bad moments and/or games that no-one outside of a DCU fan would honestly think of putting him on even the MLS third XI team. McTavish--got to love a local kid who works hard, has a great attitude and is versatile. But he's had some stinkers as well. And you might conclude that as a central defender he's just good enough to be mediocre--a nice reserve or utility player but not starter quality. Peralta it's difficult to judge because he's been out so much. I suspect he's a fine sweeper/organizer if given the right support (sort of like a younger Ezra Hendrickson) but not good enough to carry the central defense or make up for a younger center back. Gonzalo Martinez has had some real brilliance and has probably played the best of any of our defenders but has also had a couple of games where he stunk badly. Clyde Simms--gotta admire his iron-man capability and newfound offensive talent but he's not as good as Carroll was when BC was on top of his game. Here's the most damning statistic: Peralta has missed 1/3rd of the season. Otherwise, Simms has played in everything and none of the other players (our GK of choice or Burch, Namoff, McTavish, Martinez) for injuries or suspension has missed more than 3 games per player. Which means that despite having the same guys to build continuity, the guys we chose to start the season with (except for Crayton), defensively we've been abyssmal. You can count on one hand the number of games where we've been impressive for 90 minutes on defense (even if it wasn't a shutout).

We don't need to be the best defense in the league. But when you're a sieve defensively, continually give up weak goals or have letdowns or brain farts, it destroys the team. You give up a weak goal and all the players mentally think "here we go again"! It creates a mindset that says "we're cursed." And it leads to an offense that overcommits (we saw this at the end of Nowak's tenure when the attack was trying too hard to score goals to compensate for defensive errors which led to lack of support and too much space in our defensive third).

I credit Soehn that there hasn't been more public recrimination and backbiting. I also credit him on his willingness to play subs and experiment with positions (Quaranta at A-mid, Burch as a central defender) which builds team flexibility. That said, defensively we've sucked. And this has been a continual problem for this team the past two years (with the beginning of 2007 and this season being especially bad).

Posted by: JoeW | September 29, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

What's the problem? Send my dinero to me in Buenos Aires. $1 million a game seems fair.

Posted by: Marcelo Gallardo | September 29, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

At least we won't get booted from the playoffs by Chicago, as is our custom lately.

Posted by: 22206 | September 29, 2008 8:30 AM
===================

That was uncalled for.

But true.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 29, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"At least we won't get booted from the playoffs by Chicago, as is our custom lately."

Uncalled for, perhaps, but I am not in the mood to see DCU attain that wonderful goal of "making the playoffs" to then see us stink up the joint and exit after round one. We simply don't have it in us to win, be it through the players' present mentalities or skillsets. It just ain't there on the field.

It will be a long off season.

Posted by: 22206 | September 29, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm really anxious to know if gallardo got on that plane yesterday?????

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The Chicago comment, while it hurts, is truth.

At this point, Soehn needs to go. Who do we bring in to coach us? I have no idea. Gallardo isn't going anywhere and if he gets hurt next year like he was this year, he'll be the biggest DP bust (worse than Denilson because at least he PLAYED) ever. 13 games out of 40+? Come on. Thats over 100k per game he actually played.

I think its clear to everyone that we need to upgrade our defense because they are just not getting it done. Converted Forwards and Midfielders do not equal a serviceable defense, even in high school. I understand it was forced, but still.

Losing Carroll hurt us more than I think most people realize. Yeah he was slumping after his euro-tryout, but who doesn't? I just don't see us getting better next year with our current roster. Changes need to be made.

Posted by: strago | September 29, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"We had no control over the injury and the long recuperation time."

Except for the fact that the honchos running the team could have looked into why Gallardo didn't play all that much for the last few years in France (HINT: he was INJURED). Hell, even I figured he'd miss at least ten games, and said so here.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 29, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I have been a United supporter since day one. Have been through the great times, and the bad times. This too shall pass, but it is time for the ownership to clean house. Payne has to be told to stick to getting us a home of our own. A strong on-field coach with the ability to commend respect must be given a strong hand supported by a GM who knows his job is to fulfill the wishes of the field management. Soehn has lost the team and must go. But he didn't buy Gallardo, who had not performed well for more than a few years. He didn't trade for Wells. He didn't decide a slow player from the Argentine Second Division was the answer in central defense.

Posted by: Liverbird | September 29, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I honestly think Playoffs is out only shot but even...It's over. They're just too beaten and brought down to push on. I'm surprised these guys havn't keeled over after such a long stretch.

I need to also mention that Soehn, while I like the guy...should go. He's just not getiing the job done.

Posted by: Douglas | September 29, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

yes we will make the playoffs because we can beat chivas at home, columbus crew wont have any desire to win that game, and revs will also already be in the playoffs, and the teams that want it more down the stretch win the games

and DC UNITED will want it more

dale UNITER

Posted by: playoffs | September 29, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I just don't see us getting better next year with our current roster. Changes need to be made.

Posted by: strago | September 29, 2008 9:26 AM
---------------------
Not that I disagree, but we made major changes this year and it didn't turn out so well.

With injuries, 47 games for DCU vs 31 for other teams (that's an extra half season!), 2 days between games (not much time for recovery and practice to work on issues, especially with tired and hurt players), roster limits, etc. I think everyone on the team is just beat. I'm glad that MLS HQ is taking this up during the offseason.

I'm not sure how much is Soehn's fault. This season has been all Murphy's law, from the injuries, failed signings, RFK issues, monsoon games, etc. To see us pickup Vide, Guerrero, and possibly Boyzz, plus Quaranta's return and get the USOC is the silver lining in an otherwise cloudy season.

Posted by: soyinocente | September 29, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@ cap-whiners, tlk speaks truth, money doesn't grow on trees you know

@ downers and haters, it ain't over til it's over, that's why they play the games, any given day, when the going gets tough, the tough get going

@ DCU front office, don't buy a pig in a poke

Thought I'd something new to say, but why re-invent the wheel?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 29, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Actually soyinocente, I disagree about how we made changes and they didn't work out. Gomez was gone no matter what--he burned his bridges here. So the idea of "we should have kept him" or "sign him for one more year" is like saying we shouldn't have traded Adu--the players in question WANTED out and we'd leaned over backwards to try and make a deal that would keep them here.

Additionally, what changes did we make defensively? Perkins insisted on being sold. So we sell him now or keep him under contract and he's gone in a year with no compensation. We then tried to deal for Cannon and if Yallop hadn't gone to SJ by then, I bet the deal would have happened. That wasn't a change out of choice but necessity. McTavish, Namoff, Burch--they all returned. Martinez is probably our most talented defender who's played at the highest level at times (though obviously not consistently).

You know, I get tired of the arguments that the front-office didn't scout enough or didn't bring in the right talent. Niel was a gamble that didn't work. But bottom line, our team didn't suffer from goal scoring, Moreno enjoyed a resurgence (probably his best year in the past 3) and between Doe, Khumalo and Quaranta (when he was at forward), I thought we had okay depth on the frontline. Veron was the first choice at central midfield. And Gallardo has played well when he's been out there--only the RSL did he look bad (and he was playing hurt). Even then, until recently, our attack hasn't been the problem. We've scored more goals this season than all but LAG and Columbus. But our defense...mamma mia--negative goal differential and behind only LAG who don't have a defense.

Posted by: JoeW | September 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey at least we are making great progress on the new stadium ... Oh nothing there either. Well we'll get some more terrible South Americans in here next year and go for the 1st draft pick.

Posted by: KP and DK | September 29, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Well we all knew this day was coming. Sad thing is it can't get here fast enough. I'm still hoping that the last four somehow go our way, but I would be severely understating the fact that such an outcome would be a tough one. An all around bad season that was highlighted with injuries, insanely horrible scheduling, bad pick-ups, questionable decisons, often mind-boggling managing with gratuitous tactical and technical ineptitude. If it weren't for the USOC and some confederation ball next year, this would have been one heck of a seriously nasty year...ah, what am I saying, if we don't make the playoffs the USOC will somehow manage to taste sour.

Well changes will have to be considered in a few weeks, one way or another.

Posted by: Kosh | September 29, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

yes we will make the playoffs because we can beat chivas at home, columbus crew wont have any desire to win that game, and revs will also already be in the playoffs, and the teams that want it more down the stretch win the games

and DC UNITED will want it more

dale UNITER

Posted by: playoffs | September 29, 2008 9:54 AM
______________________________________

No way this will happen. First, there is no team that is going to take a game lightly just because they are already in the playoffs. Especially Columbus, who is going for the Supporters Shield and want the best record they can get. Second, they don't want it bad enough. Did you see the game yesterday? They have mentally given up. These guys are spent. Third, have you seen Chivas lately? They want it and are playing like they want it.

The playoffs are out of the question for this team at this point. And honestly, I want this team to be done. It’s getting just embarrassing. Props for still having faith, but you need to come to terms with the fact that this team is done.

Posted by: kristin | September 29, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Soehn meant that Santino didn't want to get stuck in. Also, I think the left side was not moving well together - leaving holes for Dallas to exploit. Shifting guerrero up and working with martinez on the left helped this.

Gallardo would be a DCU legendary player (see fifa.com writeup) if he could rescue the team. I just don't think his heart is in it. We'll see.

Cue Gene Hackman from "The Relacements" (football one, not the one about irish muscians)

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | September 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

am I the only one here missing Boz?

Posted by: -K | September 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

HOW IS THIS GUY STILLED EMPLOYED BY DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: FIRE SOEHN!!!!!!!!!!! | September 29, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Soehn has a job because I'm not sure who's unemployed that should take the coaching position.

I ONLY WANT ONE COACHING HEAD - AL GROH.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 29, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"What's that? Uh -- Playoffs? Don't talk about -- playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!"

Posted by: Jim Mora | September 29, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

tlk

Don't mistake the teams/league losing money necissarily being the same as the owners losing money. I'm sure for the most part they're all doing just fine with their investment.

Posted by: not all accounting can be trusted | September 29, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I have to say I'm wondering about the point of this blog. Half the posts are so badly written they don't make enough sense to figure out what the writer meant. These posters aren't stringing together enough good sentences to create quality chances. They're lacking in fundamental skills (grammar, spelling), and they're lacking creativity and ideas. Looking at the blog as a whole, I have to say it's not well organized, either.

Id like to see this blog overhauled, with a whole new lineup of posters -- but there' has to be responsibility taken by the Post, too. Sure, Soccer Insider got one measly piece of hardware, with the best soccer blog vote (the so-called Supporter Cup) -- but it comes up short in the playoffs, against the leading blogs in other sports. And, of course, SI's failing in international competitions are well-documented.

Serious consideration should be taken into reviewing the Sports Desk Editor's position, after several years of failure. Most of all, the failures of this blog begin and start with the coach. FIRE GOFF!!

By the way, there's no chance in Hades that DCU will win 3 of the last 4 games. They'll be lucky to win one of them. All four teams are healthier and playing better -- even New England. I really think DCU might end up last in the league. Did they really trade away their pick?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

(Edited version -- thanks to Big Spccer for stepping in to save the day)

I have to say I'm wondering about the point of this blog. Half the posts are so badly written they don't make enough sense to figure out what the writer meant. These posters aren't stringing together enough good sentences to create quality observations. They're lacking in fundamental skills (grammar, spelling), and they're lacking creativity and ideas. Looking at the blog as a whole, I have to say it's not well organized, either.

I'd like to see this blog overhauled, with a whole new lineup of posters -- but there has to be responsibility taken by the Post, too. Sure, Soccer Insider did get one measly piece of hardware, winnig the best soccer blog vote (the so-called Supporter Cup) -- but, year after year, it comes up short in the playoffs, against the leading blogs in other sports. And, of course, SI's failings in international competitions are well-documented.

Serious consideration should be give to a review of the Sports Desk Editor's position, after several years of failure. Despite all the new talent brought in this year (Tenorio, etc.), the losses continue to mount. Most of all, the failures of this blog begin and start with the coach. FIRE GOFF!!

By the way, there's no chance in Hades that DCU will win 3 of the last 4 games. They'll be lucky to win one of them. All four teams are healthier and playing better -- even New England. I really think DCU might end up last in the league. Did they really trade away their pick?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 29, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

VBB: Told ya' so.

Posted by: RK | September 29, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@-K: I think Bob was pretty good, and would have made Peralta's disappearance less of a problem, another guy is B. Carroll.
@MastoJuan: I've no real knowledge of how damaged Gallardo has been, although I've heard you mention it early on and here now.
Are suggesting that DCU didn't take a good look at him and his history, or are you suggesting Gallardo may have been misleading everyone at how busted up he was?
Could he just not come back to town? What would that do to his contract?

Posted by: dadryan | September 29, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@RK

I'm the man's fraternity brother, have had lunch and dinner with him and I think he'll be a great consultant for the Dolphins!

Ronde, time to hang up the cleats and coach the Hoos!

Also, maybe Kevin Keegan needs a spell stateside - KIDDING!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 29, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

yesterday I posted that I was unsure that Soehn was either the problem or the solution. Today, after reading his post match comments posted by Steve, it would appear clear that he is not the solution. He would not appear to understand what to do to solve the teams defensive weakness. It is possible that the solutions can't be found with the players at hand, but in that comment Soehn sounded confused and defeated, traits a team manager can't afford to show.

Posted by: rob | September 29, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@kristin:

re: "No way this will happen. First, there is no team that is going to take a game lightly just because they are already in the playoffs."

I agree with most of your post, but teams phoning it in because they are already in the playoffs happens all the time. DC United has done it their fair share of times in past years.

Posted by: Ron | September 29, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

re: Fisch Fry | September 29, 2008 10:59 AM --- excellent analysis!

don't know about anyone else, but my hernia does make it hard to type accurately.... :)

Posted by: 22206 | September 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Elevate Mike Groh ;)

Posted by: RK | September 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@Ron:

Yeah, I actually thought about that after I posted that. I know teams might not be out in full force, but I just don't see anyone getting close to letting us win, especially Columbus!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I tried to get all analytical on it, compare DCUs schedule to the remaining schedules of the teams above and below us. Try to figure if one of RSL or Colorado will drop out and allow us to jump in. All that stuff.

And actually, the picture is pretty bleak for DCU. I'd have to say there's no way DCU gets into the playoffs this year.

Posted by: Matte | September 29, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Id like to see this blog overhauled, with a whole new lineup of posters -- but there' has to be responsibility taken by the Post, too. Sure, Soccer Insider got one measly piece of hardware, with the best soccer blog vote (the so-called Supporter Cup) -- but it comes up short in the playoffs, against the leading blogs in other sports. And, of course, SI's failing in international competitions are well-documented.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 29, 2008 10:54 AM
=========================
:-)

Keep Chest Rockwell as the Designated Poster. Sure, he only contributes once per thread, and even then it's pretty far down the screen. But he does score some important points.

Keep dadryan as the emotional leader. Sure, he's responsible for half of those incoherent posts, and he picks up frequent cautions from Steve, but he doesn't suffer from a lack of intensity.

Keep me as a sub who is played out of position because I don't know much about strategy and my frequent typos don't move the discussion ball forward. But I have incriminating photos of the Washington Post management.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 29, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Dallas will make the playoffs. Colorado will make the playoffs. The last spot will go to either Salt Lake or New York (my guess would be RSL) so the season flips and 5 Western and 3 Eastern teams make it. United has a better chance in the Concacaf than MLS now. Cordeiro, Zaher, Carroll are the only reserves worth any kind of extended trial runs (maybe the new guys just out of curiosity). Crayton is not the answer at GK -- he's fun to watch but he's got no patience on the line or positional sense at all. Finding a legitimate keeper is the number one priority in the off season. The core of the team is fairly sound -- rebuild don't blow it up -- too many off-season changes will only cause more chaos. I think Soehn stays on but I'd like to see Raul Diaz Arce given a shot -- he's been coaching the US development program and he understands the nature of flair. In the end, this game is supposed to be entertaining, something that has been ground out of Soehn's teams.

Posted by: oz4dcu | September 29, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@JoeW

Very nice, broad, thoughtful analysis; rare sometimes in the cyberworld. Liked the reviews of specific players and the team mindset.

BHU

Posted by: BerwynHeightsUnited | September 29, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

can we fire Tom Soehn already?

Posted by: bristol | September 29, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

In addition to Soehn, Ashton, Kasper and Simpson all need to be unemployed.

There's no excuse for this team underperforming, and in a situation like this management has to take the fall.

As far as I'm concerned, this team is worse than the worst of the Rongen and Hudson eras.

Posted by: Mike in Takoma Park | September 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Fire Goff???? United would have 78 points if we had a team the quality of its reporter. I can't speak for the print addition, it's not available where I live. However the online coverage of the game is tremendously better then vast majority.

Posted by: Boooo! | September 29, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I am utterly amused at the petty behavior of DC fans asking for the head of Soehn. What would another coach have done in this situation? The team is riddled with injuries. They have never been able to get the right chemistry because of it. Fire the coach? Scheduling of these ridiculous tournaments should be examined before the coach.

Did he not bring you the Open Cup? Is that not worth anything?

I agree that changes need to be made but shuffling the coaching staff will put things into a bigger mess than what we have right now.

Posted by: Rico | September 29, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I-270 = awesome

Posted by: DCUMD | September 29, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The Ugly: DC United (almost all season). Especially yesterday.

Posted by: MT Caretaker | September 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

i'm such a d**Khead

Posted by: Rico | September 29, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

My brain says we won't make the playoffs, but my heart says we will.

C'MON BOYS LETS DO IT!!

Posted by: GoUnited | September 29, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry - funny!

As to the rest: Playoffs seem very unlikely. Even if healthy this team is just beaten down.

Next year is next year. The Soehn stuff is hasty. One important consideration too is not sandbagging the next coach -- Gallardo's contract, and the dp money that goes with it, is guaranteed next year. My heart was with Gomez and I wish we'd kept him (who can forget him driving to NY to sit with the fans when he had the red card suspension?), but we didn't. We have Gallardo (and I think Benny Olson's $250,000 is guaranteed next year too), and its not fair to bring in a new coach/GM pair and saddle them with the problems that developed this year. Let's give Kaspar and Soehn another year to prove themselves, hopefully with a healthy team. As folks on this site like to point out, we have twelve trophies. We don't need to make knee-jerk reactions. Noboday was complaining in midsummer when we were winning, and the fire Soehn crowd seems to forget that was happening even though we were juggling injuries even then.

What I think this season really illustrated is the need for more depth. How do we pay for that? Isn't Quavas Kirk making $100,000? Need I say more?

Finally, about the defense. Yes, our defense has stunk. But if there is one thing I learned from United's great years it is that when a team plays an attacking style like United, including sending the defenders forward in numbers, the team has to be good at holding the ball up top. Our young substitute flank players, while showing flashes of good play, have been a big part of the problem with our defense, as has been the substitute number 10 of the day, whoever it may be.

And one more thing (and yes, this is a criticism of Soehn) -- what's up with all the goalie punts and resulting 50/50 balls? What happened to the quick feed to the flanks to work the ball up the field under our control? We've been punting too much even when our A team is all or mostly on the field. Since that so often results in a turnover, its another reason our defense has had so many break downs -- they are under attack too much.

Posted by: regular fan | September 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

JoeW:

I agree for the most part, but I have one quibble. Simms in a 4-man midfield is just as good as Carroll was in a 5 man midfield. I've never bought the theory that Carroll was moping about for an entire season after Marseille rejected him (aka the Bobby Convey excuse). A few weeks, sure, but the bigger problem for Carroll was the shift away from the 3412. Carroll's best moments have all come when he has another holding partner in midfield. Even more, they've all been high-energy, physical types that are good at bursting forward to join the attack (and occupy other midfielders). Look at the list: Ben Olsen, Adam Moffat, Brad Evans. Moffat and Evans aren't fit to carry Olsen's boots, but they're from the same mold and Sigi Schmid knew this all along. Carroll's at his best when he doesn't have to do much tackling or getting stuck in. His strengths are anticipating the attacking team's next move and either intercepting the pass, clogging the passing lane and forcing another option, or helping to funnel the opponent into an undesirable position.

Looking Dangerous:

I think you nailed the Quaranta sub. Sure, the whole team was really doing poorly, but I thought Tino was particularly bad. Actually, "bad" doesn't quite nail it; "absent" is more like it. You simply can't play central midfield and not show up. Within the first 15 minutes, Quaranta and Fred should have been switched. Meanwhile, down the left, I think we saw that Guerrero and Khumalo don't have much of an understanding. Khumalo looks like the kind of wide player that needs a more conservative defender behind him.

270:

I'm in if I get millions of dollars in internet money. And I want the right to rehab in awesome places like Argentina or, to take it back to the days of Matthaus, St. Tropez.

This post is particularly late because I missed the initial broadcast, then didn't find it on any torrent site until today.

Rico:

You make a great point. While I do think Dom Kinnear would have been able to get more from our defenders (look what he's done with Boswell as a direct example), I don't know who could be brought in that would make this work. There are only 2 coaching positions in MLS that have any pressure attached, and they're in LA and here in DC. We all saw what happened to a previously good coach (Yallop) when put under the spotlight in LA. How would he have dealt with the league's most demanding fans (this is not self-congratulatory, just my opinion having met many fans from around MLS and read the opinions of many more)?

On the other hand, Soehn is giving off the look of a defeated man, and I am very close to declaring that he's lost the team. The repeated slow starts in crucial games point to this. I'd understand if our tired players were giving games away late because they had nothing left, but the one time we should be able to physically and mentally match our opponents is at the beginning, when we're fresh.

regular fan:

Kirk's contract is cap-exempt. I believe this is the last year of his Generation Adidas deal (which actually began as a Project-40 deal), and while he may get re-signed, there's no way it's for more than the senior minimum.

Thoughts on the game to follow, if only so I can get them out of my head so it doesn't explode.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 30, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Kirk seems to be a nice guy and im glad that he doesnt count against the cap, but if a guy like KIRK makes 100,000 a year and a guy like Rogers makes ???? that is whats wrong with American soccer, we buy the hype and pay them the dough, but the actuall performers don't get anything near the so called STARS OF THE FUTURE.

Posted by: dc fan | September 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Good one.....

Posted by: Rico | September 30, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

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