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United-Galaxy, the Aftermath

What was worse: United's collective defending, the officiating crew or the high-pitched squealing that serves as the Beckham soundtrack? Tough call. (Just don't let Terry Vaughn make it.)

To read my full match report with all the juicy quotes, kindly click here.

A couple bonus quotes from Louis Crayton:

"Since I came to the league, it's not the first time I've seen the referees make such horrible mistakes. Even Beckham admitted it was not a red card. It's very bad because the referee should know better than that. We lost Burchy for no reason, absolutely no reason."

"It's the first time I have ever taken five goals and I pray to God almighty that this does not happen anymore."

Player ratings: Is it possible to give a goalkeeper who conceded five goals a respectable number? I think so. Crayton made some terrific one-on-one saves, though he was partly at fault for the Galaxy's third goal and bobbled a few shots. Okay, let's give him a 5. Namoff 3, Burch 3, McTavish 4, Martinez 3; Fred 4, Simms 3, Quaranta 4, Guerrero 4; Khumalo 7, Emilio 4. No ratings for the subs.

Man of the Match: No doubt, Donovan. If the Galaxy sneaks into the playoffs, does he get the MVP over Schelotto?

At the moment, United is the last team to qualify for the playoffs as the No. 5 team in the Eastern Confrence. However, Kansas City is just a point behind and, if the Western teams continue to make up ground, the West might earn four slots. Remember, the top three in each conference are automatic and the final two postseason berths go to the next best clubs, regardless of division.

Next stop for United: San Pedro Sula.
Next stop for the Insider: Home.
I'll rejoin you Monday morning.

By Steve Goff  |  September 21, 2008; 3:33 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight: United-Galaxy
Next: What Goal?


Please dear god FIRE SOEHN. United should not lose like this. The team doesnt play like we know United can play. Dave Kasper, Kevin Payne, Will Chang.....FIRE HIM PLEASE!!!!!!

Posted by: DC United Fan Since 96 | September 21, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Is United a chronically underachieving team with championship talent but poor direction from the coach? Or, is United a mediocre, mid-table team with a mediocre coach that is simply playing to its level? I am beginning to suspect the latter. As much as I hate to say it, I don't believe that United deserves a playoff spot right now.

Posted by: newhampave | September 21, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

glad I didn't stay up to watch the entire game. wow - what a stinker DC is right now. they got some bright spots and some bright players, but it's just not gelling at any level.

Posted by: downtown | September 21, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Burch stepped right on top of Beckham's foot. It wasn't a little shove, and he deserved to be sent off.

Speed kills this backline. They seem to be stumbling in a bog and don't pick up runners to boot. Stand around and watch the ball seems to be the defensive philosophy. And if as a club you don't find satisfaction in defending, you will get nowhere fast.

For those lambasting Crayton, try to make an honest assessment of how many goals would've been scored had he not consistently cut down the angle. Behind that defense, Oliver Kahn would give up five.

Posted by: spike_2.0 | September 21, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

to all those who have a go at Crayton
LA will gladly give you Cronin & Wicks for him !

Posted by: Ben | September 21, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

and here's why we'll see the same ol' next year.
"We've never had a plague of injuries as bad as this year. The last time we played with all of our starters we beat LA 4-1 on ABC and won our 6th consecutive match." - Kevin Payne

Posted by: ug | September 21, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

OK, fire Soehn. I don't care... That's the worst part.

Posted by: B.A. | September 21, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Santino's rating of "4." He played his guts out and made some outstanding runs at the defense--which is why LA was fouling the crap out of him. Fred and Emilio's performances clearly tailed off after halftime. Our central defenders have repeatedly demonstrated that they lack the quality to play at this level...I ask once again: why isn't Martinez playing there?

Posted by: dcarmy | September 21, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I could only handle a little over 65 Minutes of hearing Max Bretos's cliches. If any one has got to go . . .

Burch's foul was stupid. Glamour boy was going nowhere and he handed the red card to the referee, whether deserved or not. It was just plain dumb to kick a player's lower legs in that situation.

We know they are better when healthy, but 5 goals? Where is the heart? The urgency? The on field leadership?

Time to post the poll on whether DCU will make the playoffs.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | September 21, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Who cares?? We all know the referees are little league caliber! As long as we have a pathetic coach who employs a "let's let the other team dictate the action in the game" and a loser front office that continues to bring in washed up south americans who think they all belong in the futbol hall of fame (Jaime and Martinez not included), this awful team will continue to be "victimized" by these bad refs. Why is is that the USL seems to be teaming with kids who try their heart out? Don't you think United could raid that league with their penny pinching checkbook and produce a lot more exciting product on the field to bring fans in?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I've been a DC UTD fan since game one in '96 and that was hands down the worst defensive showing that this franchaise has ever put forth, period. If Soehn uses his stock "we were a bit unorganized..blah blah " line he should be fired on the spot.
Man of the match goes to any DC UTD fan that cold actually keep watching that insepid display after halftime.

But realistically the:
Bruce+Landycakes+Becky Vs Soehn+McTravesty+Burch

was only gonna produce a lopsided outcome.

This team does not deserve to make the play-offs and perhaps in the lo

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | September 21, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

To any of the front office folks that read this blog here's my protest, I'm not going to renew my season tickets, which I've had for 10 years, until there is another manager calling the shots for this team. Last night made me want to puke.

Posted by: Bsharah | September 21, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The front office has added some much needed speed in midfield (Guerrero) and forward (Khumalo) but the biggest area where speed is sorely lacking on DCU is the backline.

Posted by: Oliver | September 21, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Please, if you're calling for anyone's head, please then list a cogent alternative.

Bigsoccer level whining...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

While the performance was poor, particularly after the (undeserved) red card, did anyone really expect a different result? We consistently stink without Moreno on the field.

Posted by: Seth|NYC | September 21, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

A quote from McTavish in Goff's print edition piece says a lot about United's coaching:

"We got caught in two mind-sets, trying to press them at times and no one was really on the same page," McTavish said. "Defenders got caught trying to sit back and some other players got caught trying to press. There are certain times to press and certain times to sit back, and in the situations where you are on the road and you are up 1-0, you just have to sit back and get 10 guys behind the ball and just defend."

Excellent piece, by the way, Steve. As always, thanks.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 21, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, it's the 'two-mind sets' part that caught my eye, not McTavish's road theory.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 21, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Please, if you're calling for anyone's head, please then list a cogent alternative.

Bigsoccer level whining...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2008 9:16 AM

Are you joking? I'd post anonymously too if I'd made such a hebetudinous comment.

Ok short list:

Paul Mariner:
English league/national team star and top notch MLS assistant coach.
Sasho Cirovski:
Highly successful college coach (ring any bells) local and someone who can actually identify and develop young talent.
Guy Laliberté:
Cirque du Soleil founder. Hell at least he can put total an organized circus which is a step above the chaotic clown antics that are presently own display.

The “this is as good as it gets for coaches” crowd need to start taking their head meds again.

Posted by: Bsharah | September 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The whole defensive alignment made absolutely no sense, and for that Soehn must take the blame. Why in the world is he playing Namoff, a solid outside back, in the center where he doesn't belong? Likewise Burch is an OK outside back but is fairly lost in the middle. In the meantime you've got McTavish who has turned into a decent center back playing outside and Martinez who can be versatile also playing outside. It's just idiotic. I hope some one asked Soehn about that. And Crayton made some good saves but he was very timid in the first half and not looking very confident. So when the defense is a mess and your GK is a little shaky you give up goals. The last one was pretty clearly offside but Buddle's touch was minor so you can understand how the AR might miss it.

The red card was a joke, but how many times has Burch let his team down with stupid plays like that? How many red cards does he have now? Way too many.

Posted by: Glenn | September 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

You give Crayton a 5? Is that for the number of goals allowed? His positioning was awful. If it was Wells, easily you would have given him a 2. The defense is terrible. The defense has been terrible all season. But having a keeper who is all over the place does not help the defense.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Any decent coach at any level recognizes that you build a team starting with the defense and moving forward. We haven't come close to doing that. When Vide returns from injury and teams up with Simms a semblance of order in the midfield will be restored. However, our central defenders have only demonstrated that they are ready to be cast in the next "Dumb and Dumber" sequel. At this point it would be worthwhile to play Carroll and some of the other reserves we've recently acquired.

Posted by: dcarmy | September 21, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I am now convinced that the quality of play in MLS is driven by the mediocre and agenda-driven quality of its game officials.

Posted by: Carnack (the Cynic) | September 21, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Max Bretos is so on Donovan, and Beckham's jocks that they should call him JOck Strap. It's pretty irritating to hear a game called by a guy who sounds disappointed when United scores, but sounds like he's just won the lottery when Donovan scored. Shameless.
I lose respect for Beckham every time I see him play a tough game.
If anything makes MLS look like a joke it's the preferential treatment that Beckham and Blanco get. Until these guys are taught a lesson and carded for asking for cards I will think the Refs they are using are bought, paid, and cheating.
I don't think you can crown an MVP that hasn't either won the SS or the MLS Cup. Schelotto is still the frontrunner in my opinion hands down.
I was wondering this the other day about Jaime. I would say that even if Columbus didn't win the MLS Cup Schelotto may still be deserving, but if say DCU somehow makes the playoffs and they win the Cup(and Jaime keeps up on his pace) he would deserve it right?
I really don't think it's about the goals as much as it's about assists and helping the team as a whole. Captaining the club doesn't hurt as well.

Posted by: dadryan | September 21, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bsharah | September 21, 2008 9:54 AM

Please follow up with how these 'Alex Ferguson's in waiting' would have changed the game last night. Otherwise you're just whining.

Posted by: JkR | September 21, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I will puke where I stand the moment I hear Donovan wins the MVP over Schelotto. Seriously.

And did anyone expect anything that great out there tonight? We're missing a considerable amount of important players (Moreno, Olsen, Gallardo, Peralta) among others and not to mention we've had to pick up some "meh" players due to the horribly low salary cap. These guys are about to be put through the ringer and I hope MLS decides to raise the Salary and Roster caps because without a bit more help, these guys will barely be able to walk by season's end.

Posted by: Douglas | September 21, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Glad I stopped watching at 3-1.

Posted by: ff | September 21, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Watching Saprissa!
It's just like watching Saprissa!
Wathing Sah-preeeeeee-saaaaaaaaahhhhh!
It's just like Saprissa

If you people didn't notice on TV, Vaughn was receiving a heavy chorus of boos throughout the match, as we he was giving the Galaxy no favors.

Posted by: Eric B | September 21, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that MLS is nearing complete parity because of the salary cap. a premium is now placed on the selection of the young players who will fill out a roster and be able to step in when injuries occur. Some of the more successful teams this year have had little injury problems and don't have nearly the fixture problems that DCU has (prime example Columbus).

DCU relies too heavily on Gallardo and Moreno for ball control and without them things are going to very difficult in the midfield. We are very fortunate that Quaranta has found his way back as he has been able to fill in major time this season.

Our back line has been unsettled as players keep getting shifted in and out of different positions because of both injury (Peralta) and coaches decision. Burch may be a good left back some day and we need to remember he has played this position for only about a year and a half. McTavish also may turn into a good center back but this requires time. Maybe giving up on Boswell was the wrong decision, but then Boswell also has limitations (real lack of quickness).

Looking across all of MLS, most teams really suffer on the backline and rely on the midfield to make up for things. When DCU has all the starting midfielders in place the defensive liabilities are covered up. When they are missing, it's a disaster.

Posted by: Orange14 | September 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I've read one comment that I find even a little illuminating. Seth correctly notes that this team sorely misses Moreno. Also, Gallardo. Without these players who are able to control the pace of the game, the match turned into a track meet - and United was at a decided disadvantage. Quaranta did play with real guts, but he contributed to the track meet feel. The team needed some veteran poise to step up and slow the game down.

Burch probably did foul Beckham, but a straight red? Nonsense. If it wasn't Beckham on the ground, there's no wy a red card would have been shown.

Crayton -- Obviously, if he could have held that one shot there would have been no rebound, but it was not an easy play. I thought he migh have had a shot at stopping Donovan's break, if he'd raced out to beat him to the ball, but to try that with Donovan is a dicey proposition. I don't think he was out of position, and I think he saved a bunch of goals. Perhaps, he didn't get all the basics -- missed a cross -- but he did the stuff you don't expect. In my estimation, he and Khumalo were DC's best players.

DC's defense is weak. We've seen that most of the year. With Donovan, Lewis and Beckham, we an into the most talented trio we've seen all year. The good news is we may not see the like again. The other good news we need would be a health Jaime and Gallardo. It would make all the difference.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 21, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Schelotto is MVP, hands down. Donovan is a great finisher. Schelotto is a great soccer player who makes his wholen team better.

Posted by: Ron | September 21, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me why this is not the superclasico of MLS? Why does it have to be Chivas and LA. DC and LA have way more history.

This game was horrible, this is what happens when DC is depleted.

Anyone down for an early exit of the CCL? I mean we have next year to fire soehn, invest in aquiring Boyzzz, retire Moreno, re-evalutae Emilio, Build a new D, Get a better bench depth, and win a trophy.


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 21, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Chill out you people. We are missing arguably our three most important players (peralta, moreno and gallardo). We'll make the playoffs and could be the sleeper.

As for donavon, forget him. I will be impressed when he does it at the azteca or in a world cup, not a qualifier against barbados. Bayern munich? No way.

Who else loved boyzzzz's goal celebration on a otherwise dreary night?

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 21, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I really hope I am never on a lifeboat with any of you people. Seriosuly. "Retire moreno" "re-evaluate emilio" "build a new defense". This isn't your fantasy team. Soehn might end up taking the rap but the injuries aren't his fault.

I do have to say I am a little dubious about gallardo's "rehabbing" in argentina.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 21, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@pigman sweet: just cuz WaDips says retire Moreno, doesn't mean any of the rest of us think that. He took a pay cut, and signed a two year contract for a reason. I wish Gallardo would pay Moreno his salary as he deserves it. Moreno is the Captain, and as I've said before he's the only one that can save "us".
Peralta? The reason this guy get's so much praise is a mystery to me, and a true testament to how filthy, stinking, bad the back line is. I'll admit that he's better than the McT, Burch tandem but...
Burch is really bad, his right foot is completely useless and in central defense that's unacceptable. He's got to be able to clear the ball. It's like watching me try to throw a baseball right handed... embarrassing.

Posted by: dadryan | September 21, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

doubt they will qualify. They are so bad it is painful, but I think the league will try everything to make that happen. Last year, the reffing and offsides calls were so lopsided that it was absurd.

I can see that happening again. They are just not a good team.

Posted by: Shannon DCU Fan in LA September 18, 2008 4:19 PM


This is what I said on Thursday and I was right the reffing was a flat-out joke. Donavan's 3rd and Peter Vagenas were both clearly off-sides; the Burch red would be laughable were it not so serious; the fact that Beckham didn't get sent off for slapping the linesman's hands away is a big problem for me.

It was a such an awful but predictable night. The Garber fix is in

Posted by: ShannonDCU Fan in LA | September 21, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Man of the match goes to any DC UTD fan that cold actually keep watching that insepid display after halftime.

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | September 21, 2008 8:59 AM

Does that make me Super Man of the Match since I actually had to watch this nonsense live and in person?

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 21, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

For the offseason:
1. backline needs to be settled.
2. get rid of gallardo and get two players like Darren Huckerby for the price of one gallardo. Depth, depth, depth.
3. new coach, If Olsen can't come back, he's our new assistant coach.
4. If Jaime retires, also a new assistant coach.
5. Bring back Gomez.
6. Players to keep (besides the obvious ones): Khumalo, Crayton, Vide, Guerrero.
7. Players that can go: Gallardo, Dyanchenko, Doe, Wells.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 21, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have an idea of when we'll get Peralta back?

Posted by: RRP | September 21, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Aargh. I wrote a long analysis of the depth problems of DC's roster, and Safari on my iPhone crashed. But let me second Fisch's point about the inability of DC to control the tempo of games. That's why the team is bleeding points.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 21, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

""BTW, Burch stepped right on top of Beckham's foot. It wasn't a little shove, and he deserved to be sent off.""

That's funny . . . because even Goldenballs himself . . per the Goff article, said that it wasn't a card!!

""After the match, Beckham said he had told Vaughn at the time that the ejection was not warranted. "The momentum took me over the line and I lost my balance," he said. ""

Posted by: delantero | September 21, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

McTavish is right on the money when he says DC needs to learn to play defensively on the road---particularly when up 1-0!!

Instead of collective defense, we played right into LA's offensive strengths . . . long balls to Donovan, Buddle . .

We should have slowed it down, and forced the gals to beat a tight group hellbent on keeping a clean sheet.

It's pretty simple stuff, really.

Posted by: delantero | September 21, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope DC decides to pay to keep Quaranta on next year's roster. Other teams will definitely be willing to fork over more than $35k (his current salary).

Posted by: hoyanick | September 21, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

1.)Without Moreno we have no organized offense, even when Gallardo is on the field.
2.) Good Defense starts in the midfield.
3.) Emillo looks tired and uninspired.
4.) Our defense can't decide to push up or stay back or ??? Coaching staff should guide this process, obviously they aren't.

Posted by: Mike | September 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Not only must Soehn go, but Kasper must go as well; the two of them make the decisions together and both are culpable to substantial degrees. The problem is that Kasper, regarded by players both past and present as having the integrity of a used car salesman and a master of covering his own butt, is shameless enough to position the issue of the team's problem to upper management as capable of being solved by dismissing the head coach. The truth is the GM and coach together decide who the players are and who the players aren't and it is this issue that has resulted in the team's demise.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 21, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The Good: Boyzzz' first goal + celebration
The Bad: allowing five goals
The Ugly: FSC announcers

Posted by: FC | September 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Man of the match goes to any DC UTD fan that cold actually keep watching that insepid display after halftime.

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | September 21, 2008 8:59 AM

Does that make me Super Man of the Match since I actually had to watch this nonsense live and in person?

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 21, 2008 1:05 PM

I want co-Super (Wo)Man of the Match: live, in person surrounded by my galaxy season ticket holder seatmates who throughly enjoyed my pain

Posted by: Shannon DCU Fan in LA | September 21, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm thrilled for Boyzzz, getting his first goal...and it was coll to see him have fun with it. If we're reduced to celebrating the qualities of a goal celebration, things have gotten weird.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 21, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite, I totally agree with you. Except for bringing Gomez back, Tino's doing just fine in the attacking role.

Posted by: person | September 21, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is cheering for Quaranta, whose success after his problems is an inspiration.

But there's a difference between supporting Santino and wishing him professional and personal success, and pretending that he has delivered the results that Gomez gave you guys.

Gomez not only scored 10 goals and had 9 assists last year, versus Quaranta's three goals/three assists this year, Gomez also had the ability to dictate the tempo of DC's attack, allowing them to hold possession and keep opponents from quick attacks from good positions.

There was and is a good argument for getting rid of Gomez. There's no basis for thinking that Quaranta is a true replacement for Gomez. Quaranta is an excellent supporting player, and is finally earning his paycheck, and that should be enough for those of us who admire him for what he has done this year.

But there's no wonder that some DC fans are baffled by the team's problems, if they think guys who are basically salvaged parts are sufficient replacements for players who are annual MVP candidates.

Vide, Birch, Quaranta... they do a couple things very well, but to expect them to be anything like complete players is unreasonable. There are good reasons why other teams didn't want them. In Quaranta's case there were personal problems, but additionally, his game has significant flaws.

The idea that everyone else's castoffs put on a DC shirts and suddenly are complete players is arrogant. And one would think that the lack of success of the team as a whole would make that evident.

Quaranta could have a good career ahead of him. But his decisions are hasty and often poor, and he needs to learn to be patient with the ball and move better off the ball. I have faith he'll learn to do that, but Gomez, whether or not he deserved the fat contract DC didn't want to give him, was much smarter and more mature, and more skilled, than Quaranta. Don't insult people's intelligence by insisting otherwise.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 21, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"1.)Without Moreno we have no organized offense, even when Gallardo is on the field."

That's because Gallardo receives the ball too deep. As impressed as I am with Simms' toughness, anticipation, and ability to crack a shot from distance, he doesn't effectively link the defense to the attack (and neither does anyone else, except Olsen when he's covering more lateral ground), so Gallardo drops deep to get the team to transition to attack, and opponents get organized before the attack develops. Moreno provides a disruptive element to defenses, even when the ball is forty yards downfield, and allows Gallardo to face a confused defense.

Olsen + Gallardo + Moreno + Emilio make DC a formidable team, but three of those players have had a well-known history of serious injuries, and to think that set of players could get through a whole season without interruption is a ridiculous conceit. And the fact that there was no real back-up plan is a conceit on the magnitude of the Metrostars at their worst. It's not bad luck that Gallado was hurt: it was an entirely predicatable scenario. Poor planning from United.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Delantero, Burch still took a big hack at the back of Beckham's legs after the ball had gone out. No way that it should have been a red card, but the ball was out and that kick at Beckham was unnecessary and stupid. Why put yourself in a position where you're exposed to the mistake-prone MLS refs?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 21, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

You are spot on about Vaughn being awful (missed foul on Beckham at midfield then obvious yellow on LA's keeper + Red card issues).

Yes, Becks gets preferential treatment, but this is true for all sports, and for every team that goes to LA. As a Crew fan, Beck's most excellent dive cost us two points earlier in the year.

Also, as a fan from an opposing team, its kind of hard to take DC fans complaining about preferential treatment after years of not being allowed to touch Etcheverry.

Posted by: Jason | September 21, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

everyone who worries about our defense should watch the tape of the DAL-CHI game! Now that was a horrible defense. A little better Dallas finishing and it would have been 8 or 9 instead of 4.

Posted by: Glenn | September 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

It is pretty bad that United lost but there are world class teams lost shockingly yesterday also. Look Bayern lost 5-2 to Bremen at home with full fan support and full squad.

Posted by: td | September 21, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This season is over. They're tired, disorganized and beat up. The schedule will wipe them out - no playoffs, no advance in the champions league. They won their cup and that was fun, but thats all for this year.

Posted by: oz4dcu | September 21, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I am wrong but the majority of posters here and on BS were throwing Peralta under the bus at the beginning of the season. So why are we in such a hurry to get him back in the line up? BECAUSE BURCH IS NOT A CB! So let's start looking at who we DON"T protect this off season cause DC is D-U-N!

#1 Wells or Dyachenko... You can fight over who gets the first unprotected spot.
#2 Doe

We need to also look past Olsen, he is clearly out of it at this point. While were at it Gallardo has been missing way too much for his salary.

Moreno has proven he is still worthy of a roster spot. Maybe with Boyzzz (I really hate that nickname) he will be a super sub next year.

Oh yeah, had Donovan been playing against a quality side he would have never looked that good, and Beckham is a whining B-I-T-C-H.

Posted by: peridigm | September 21, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo's contract for next year is guaranteed, so all of you calling for him to go need to wake up.

Moreno still has another year of being able to contribute AT LEAST 65-75minutes a night, and possibly another year or 2 as a sub.

Gomez is incredibly unfit, and has lost all motivation to compete, why would we want him back?

Quaranta is only 23 freaking years old, he may never be a true #10, but who is these days? He can and likely WILL be a solid attacking mid or forward.

Boyzzz seems to be the real deal, I'd imagine we'll cut Doe in the off-season, and sign Boyzzz.

Emilio hasn't been receiving the best service in the World this year, it's a bit early to throw him under the bus.

I'm beginning to think United should focus on the Champions League instead of going balls out for the MLS Playoffs.

If we can assemble a somewhat healthy lineup including Moreno, Peralta, Emilio, and Fred, we should be able to make it out of the group. When Champions League play resumes at the end of Winter/beginning of Spring, we may finally see a healthy First XI including Moreno, Emilio, Gallardo, Fred, Olsen, et. al.

Unlike Mastodon, I don't believe our acquisitions have been poor, just unlucky. It happens. I think comparing Gallardo to Reyna is completely asinine, considering Gallardo has actually performed quite well in his limited minutes.

At least the weekend wasn't a total loss; the Terps beat up on Eastern Michigan, my Rugby Team (Raleigh Vipers) beat up on Northern Virginia in both the A & B games, and the Skins beat the Cardinals in a game where the offense actually outperformed the defense.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 21, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Wait until Cruz Azul scores 6 or 7 goals.

Posted by: td | September 21, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Peralta is playing against marathon, right?

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 21, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Check out Marathon's team bus - photo is in a rotation of images at the top of the team home page:

Posted by: FC | September 21, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that one of Marathon's nicknames is the "Green Monster" - having already played the "Purple Monster" of Saprissa, DCU will know its way around the monsters of CONCACAF

Posted by: FC | September 21, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

One day, and one game at a time.

Posted by: dadryan | September 21, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

D at DCenters has summed it up best "our central defense is a gaping maw of suck." Can't blame Wells for last night, perhaps at some point it might become apparent to the majority that the problem exists in the brain trust. Our perhaps switching player's positions from game to game is the new black. Hey Paul Mariner you got a resume handy?

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | September 21, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Another thing, firing a coach in the middle of the season just isn't how United rolls. If we fail to make the playoffs, and fail to make it out of our Group in the Champions League, then I wouldn't expect to see Soehn retained as head coach, BUT, if United manage to qualify for the playoffs, or make it out of their Group, then Soehn will likely be back.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 21, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Well that was a tough one.
Defense - Why switch them again? DC needed their best in the middle last night. Against the likes of Beckham, Lewis, Klein, Buddle and Donovan it was obvious they would attack down the middle with quickness and thru-balls. My sons U-12 team would have been drooling over the likes of Burch and Namoff. Should have been Namoff-McTavish-Martinez-Burch. Too bad about Martinez not wanting to play inside.
Mid - Guererro started well but disappeared as the LA Gals went to almost exclusive attacks thru the middle. Simms was overmatched by the speed and experience of LA's attack men. Q was OK but he isn't a good enough defender to have helped much. And he loses possession too easily, which led to many chances for LA.
For - Emilio looked active and fit. His touch still sucks. But, he needs quality service from the middle and the sides to be effective. There just wasn't much of that last night. Khumalo was good. He just couldn't do what Moreno does - control the ball and dictate the pace.
GK - Yeah there were some good/great plays to keep DC in the game. There were also mistakes and overplays and poor reads that led to some of the chances and even some of the goals. Teams are starting to see his tendency to jump early, wander and not stay on his line and are using it against him. Still better than Wells but, not quite where the position needs to be just yet.
Coaching - misplaced players, poor pace, slow adjustments. I did like the 3-5-2 after halftime (amazed that it took Christopher Sullivan 20 min to recognize it). This seemed to help shore up the gaping hole in the middle and limit LA's romping thru on the attack. If not for the poor red card call, this could have turned the game to DC. Guerrero played well in this alignment also. If the injury situation continues, this may be a better look against Dallas or even in the CCL. We'll see.
As bad as it was, and the Saprissa game also, I like the fact that there is effort and grit. There was no give against Saprissa - they almost took that one while down a man. There are some quality guys out there. They play hard and can do some good things. They just need Soehn to put them in better positions to win - that is his job right?

Oh and Mastadon guy - I don't think anyone is calling for Q to replace Gallardo. That would be naive and premature, at best. He is our only/best option right now. And the Gomez lovers will get over it soon. That boat has sailed.

Posted by: marksman | September 21, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I could only handle a little over 65 Minutes of hearing Max Bretos's cliches. If any one has got to go . . .

Posted by: MR Caretaker | September 21, 2008 8:34 AM


Absolutely right. Bretos is the worst play-by-play announcers in a country full of horrible play-by-play announcers

Posted by: Troy | September 22, 2008 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Looks like I don't get man of the match because I hit fast forward at 3:1 LA. Guerrero, Crayton, and Boyzzz are a breath of fresh air. I like watching them play. The front office needs to ask themselves this: is a huge DP dollar amount really worth 2-3 people of this (Crayton, Guerrero, Boyzzz) kind of caliber? Get lots of new blood out there and try them out and keep those who fit, rather than bargain for big dollar players who may spend most of the season sidelined by injuries and not contribute much while on the field when they are healthy.

Posted by: Wiggan | September 22, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Who said that Quaranta is a replacement for Gomez? Quaranta has some potential, but he is no Gomez, nor is he supposed to be. He is a player who wanted to make a comeback and prove himself and he is doing it. The fact that he was willing to take a big hit on his salary to do so speaks very highly of him to me.

Posted by: elopingcamel | September 22, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm late to the party, but I recorded the Man. United-Chelsea game and was avoiding soccer news until I could see it.


I can see why Soehn played the defense he did. McTavish won't be playing in Honduras, so he was given the more physically taxing job as an outside back. Namoff has been no better or worse than McTavish as a center back, and plays the same no matter who you put next to him (while McTavish is visibly uncomfortable playing alongside Burch). I don't think things would have changed at all if you had swapped the two of them. The problem isn't who played where, it's that we had no actual center backs on the field at all.

Eric B:

The officials sucked both ways, to be sure. We just happened to be on the receiving end of the 2 worst calls (Burch's red, clear offsides on goal #5). That said, it would be ridiculous to say that we lost because of the refs.


Great points. Boswell for Wells has definitely turned out to be a huge error, but I also think that Kinnear is better at coaching defenders than Soehn is. There's a reason why Houston can start honest but limited guys like Waibel and Ianni and still get clean sheets.


You think Donovan doesn't make LA better? Have you seen them without him?

Donovan's speed, by itself, stretches defenses and allows the good players like Beckham and Lewis to truly excel, while it allows the bad players they have (Pires, Vagenas, etc) to avoid being under immediate pressure. He also has a good number of assists, and playing alongside him is a large reason why Edson Buddle has turned from a member of the MLS scrap heap to someone who gets brought up in discussion for the national team.

Schelotto is still my vote, but it's not nearly as wide a gap as some people make it out to be (and this comes from a person who hates LA and Donovan when he plays for LA).


How do you propose that United team slows it down? The only players capable of controlling the tempo of a game were in white on Saturday.

Mastodon Juan:

You're right about Quaranta not being a replacement for Gomez, but I don't know if too many reasonable DC fans have said that about him either. He's more often held up as the heir apparent to Moreno (he isn't that, either). Quaranta happens to be playing the same position as Gomez, but no reasonable person would expect him to deliver the same thing. Quaranta is playing in the attacking midfield role because Fred is just as reckless with the ball but fouls more, is less intelligent defensively, is less committed defensively, and is not as physically strong. If Vide was fit, I think Soehn would have started him in central midfield and Quaranta would have played up front instead of Khumalo.

Your thoughts on Gallardo and Simms are pretty much dead on. My one real complaint about Gallardo isn't the nonsense that he is to blame for being injured, or that he individually cost us a game that he was several thousand miles away from. It's that he drops off, a bit like Etcheverry used to when his career was winding down and Rongen/Hudson surrounded him with players that were not fit to shine his shoes. It implies a lack of trust in the players around you. Before his injury, Gallardo was making the adjustment and moving further up the field.

As for the "ridiculous conceit", I think you're overstating things a bit. I can see why you look at it this way and why I would look at it my way. I don't mean this in a mean-spirited way, but you have more practice in criticizing your team's leadership. I think perhaps there was a backup plan in place, but it was based on entirely too much faith in the defensive abilities of the team when not in control of the pace of the game. We have needed a big upgrade in central defense since Ryan Nelsen left 3 years ago. Peralta and Martinez were the first real attempt at doing that, and while Peralta is decent enough and Martinez is pretty good, neither is even close to Nelsen.

I realize it's silly to hope that an MLS team would use a DP slot on a center back, but that's probably what we needed more than anything else coming into this year. Our front office wants to create a tradition of possession-oriented attacking soccer, but we have neglected a defense that enables it. A boxer with no power in his legs and hips won't ever be a knockout puncher, no matter how strong his arms and chest are.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 23, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

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