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Matchnight: United-Goats

Greetings from RFK.

Heavenly day/evening on the banks of the mighty Anacostia. Lot 8 buzzing with activity several hours before kickoff. More than 25,000 tickets have been sold and the club figures another 2,000 or so to walk up, which will give United its second largest crowd of the season behind the Beckham visit.

The players couldn't ask for a better setting. The question now is whether they will snap out of their funk and win for the first time since beating a USL side in the U.S. Open Cup final 31 days ago. A playoff berth depends on it.

Three other early starts will impact United's standing:
Los Angeles at Columbus
Real Salt Lake at New England
Toronto at New York
(Houston at Colorado is at 9:30.)

Updates on potential national team call-ups: Moreno will not play for Bolivia, Guerrero's status with Honduras is now uncertain after being told he would be called up, and Koroma will not rejoin Sierra Leone because of a knee infection.

Pregame activity: Co-owner Will Chang , in warmup gear, knocking the ball back and forth the length of the field with injured forward Luciano Emilio.

Back soon with DCU's lineup and subs.....

DCU LINEUP (3-5-2): Crayton; Namoff, Peralta, Martinez; Fred, Simms, Vide, Gallardo, Guerrero; Khumalo, Quaranta. Subs: Wells, Janicki, McTavish, Thompson, Burch, Dyachenko, Doe.

As usual, you have come to the right place for pregame, in-game and postgame brainstorming.

By Steve Goff  |  October 4, 2008; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United-Chivas, the Aftermath

Comments

First!

Posted by: Please please please let me get what i want | October 4, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

2nd!

Posted by: vamos united! | October 4, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...every "real" fan must be at the game.
Looking for a quality match and hopefully some unbiased FSC coverage. So, basically, no Max Bretos and no start for Dyachenko.
And of course losses for RSL, NY, Col, LA.
Well I always hope NYRB loses so no change there.

Posted by: marksman | October 4, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Luckily, ESPNU is 172 and FSC is 173. That'll make it easy to go back and forth between Maryland and DC United.

Posted by: Colm | October 4, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd call myself a "real fan"...
I've got the "My three different neighbors with FSC are watching baseball or have babysitters and are out on dates blues"...
I'm actually going to just head out to the bar... Sure wish they'd ban smoking cigarettes in Arlington already... Ughh... Rather go to the bar tonight than brave WAGS/DC Jam Session night...

Posted by: dadryan | October 4, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else hope to see Janicki come in as a sub? Hopefully after we're up by a couple of goals. :)

Posted by: Krista | October 4, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I love the lineup!

Posted by: Glaucon | October 4, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

AH MAN! GALLARDO IS IN!!!! ANYONE GOT A LIVE FEED??

Posted by: Anthony The Great | October 4, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Soehn goes all out attacking with a 3-5-2.

VAMOS UNITED.

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

This will be a great match! I couldnt get the live feed to work so Im just listening to Tony Limarzi on F1050

Posted by: Anthony The Great | October 4, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

anyone know the Chivas USA bench?

Posted by: Mor | October 4, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

anyone know the Chivas USA bench?
Posted by: Mor | October 4, 2008 7:39 PM
******************

21 - Lance Parker (GK)
3 - Jim Curtin
13 - Jonathan Bornstein
14 - Bobby Burling
17 - Justin Braun
19 - Jorge Flores
20 - Roberto Nurse

Posted by: emanon | October 4, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know the last time we scored off a free kick (other than Burch and the USOC)? And directly too, beating the keeper?

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Stott needs to shave that head.

I love what Khumalo brings to this team.

I'll be disappointed if it's 0-0 at half.

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

oh my god . . did that just happen?

we're cursed.

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

at least with crayton, we have a solid keeper these days.

Posted by: longfellow | October 4, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, Delantero, it's not going to be nil-nil at the half. I love Crayton, but I knew he would eventually cost us a dumb goal.

Posted by: soccergirl | October 4, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Well. That sucked.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 4, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

oh.

Posted by: longfellow | October 4, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering when Crayton's playing with the ball was going to come back and haunt him...

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Trying to get my foot out of my mouth . . .

""Well, Delantero, it's not going to be nil-nil at the half""

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

...forwards constantly moving backwards with their backs to the goal; defenders passing the ball back to the goalie....Tom Soehn, I love you. Keep up the good work. Come on Esky: smoke this team for 3 more goals to further prove how stupid this front office and coaching staff is. I can't wait for the second half!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

We all saw it coming, none of us were surprised, but our first reaction was WTF?! Crayton failed...

Posted by: Mangaman | October 4, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Only three of tonight's starters were even on last year's Supporter's Shield winning team. So, Coach Soehn, how are all of your changes working out for ya? Just wondering....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

That just sums up the season all year! Crayton has been good so far and one simple mistake cause the team. This just doesn't meant to be this year. I have given up the hope!

Posted by: td | October 4, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I really wonder why the player who cares the most on the pitch is Khumalo. He isnt even on DC's roster, he's on loan. Tradition? Heart? None of our players have that.

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Can we just pretend this season never happened?

Posted by: soccergirl | October 4, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Jiminy. @ 2-0 it's Time to look to 2009.

So will Jaime return? Will Gallardo be back? Emilio? Will Soehn be fired before the end of the season?

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Well let's keep the US Open Cup - but yes forget everything else . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Heart? None of our players have that.

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 8:48 PM
--------------------------

Starts and ends with the coach. He hasn't any heart, either. Nor any loyalty. Nor any coaching skills or ability to pick talent, it would appear. Certainly no ability to motivate. Who would have guessed Soehn would be such a bust? Not me. But he has GOT to go. He was a good assistant but has ruined the club as head coach.

Posted by: CW | October 4, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

FRANCIS DOE has made a huge impact coming on.. he and khumalo are the ones with any heart on the field

Posted by: Spartan | October 4, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

What is it about our forwards that once Sept. & Oct roll around our forwards all of a sudden can't score. That should have been a goal from Doe. Why did he shoot so early?

Posted by: Forrest | October 4, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

CW agree completely.

delantro if I remember correctly, Gallardo's contract is guaranteed for next year, so he will be back. Jaime also has a guaranteed contract. I do think that with the new contract Emilio signed, we have the option to sell him or cut him. I dont think he is guaranteed. I'd guess Soehn and Emilio are gone amongst others. I almost want to say we need to blow this team up.

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I almost want to say we need to blow this team up.


Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 8:58 PM
----------------------------

Soehn and co. blew up last year's team and that hasn't turned out too well. Wanna try that again?

Posted by: CW | October 4, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Embarrassing. There's no other word to describe this.

Posted by: strago | October 4, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

This team . . oh this fargin team

So who will our next coach be?

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

blow up the coach and management and this teem will be dissolved killing two birds with on bomb

Posted by: peridigm | October 4, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I am at the game. This really sucks. I think this is going to end up 4 or 5 to nil.

Posted by: pigman sweet | October 4, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how McFarland and Chang are feeling about their investment these days.

Posted by: CW | October 4, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Why would we want to get rid of Emilio? Despite missing time with injuries, he will still be one of the top league goal-scorers this season.

Posted by: J | October 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn and let Benny coach the rest of the season as an Interim.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Question: What is 10-1?

Answer: Odds that Will Chang and McFarland are signing Tommy's pink slip as we type.

Posted by: delantero | October 4, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

When did this club become the 2001 TB Mutiny? They would need to be 4 men up from the opening kickoff to win a game the way they've played the last few weeks. Start the clock for 2009 ...

Posted by: MJ | October 4, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

When did this club become the 2001 TB Mutiny? ...

Posted by: MJ | October 4, 2008 9:13 PM
========================

They have a chance to be the reverse of the 2008 TB Rays, worst to first. DC United - first to worst still a possibility.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Well I've been calling for Soehn to get the boot since May and everyone said "no he needs time blah blah..injuries blah blah." Well this team sucks flat out and the signs have been there for a while. If getting your butt kicked at home numerous games running and not scoring a single goal isn't a clear sign that this horse is dead then people have drank the cool aid for sure. CCL is gone and so is MLS playoffs. The quicker it's over the better. Paul Mariner please pick up the phone.

Posted by: Soehn The Exit | October 4, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

What a nightmare. I can't believe we let in that first goal -- just can't afford to give up a soft goal like that. We need to continue transitioning this team to pick up young and hungry players.

Is Olsen's contract guaranteed for next year? We've got too much money tied up in players who rarely play.

Without Moreno and Emilio, scoring goals was going to be a big challenge, but regardless, it's clear that Soehn's got to go.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | October 4, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not one for a quick over reaction, but I had started to call for Tommy's head after the bad start to the season. The noise died down after the mini run in May and June, but other than that we've been below average to horrible all year, except for the Open Cup games. Tommy isn't the whole reason for the bad season, Kasper's bad signing which Tommy had input on, sure didn't help, but he's the major reason. Other teams teams have had injuries, look at Chivas and NE for the first half of the season. The schedule isn't an excuse either. The USL teams often play 2 games on the road in 3 or 4 days. The two in the CL have done so. I called Tommy the anit-motivator last year, and that still holds true. He needs to go as soon as the whistle for our last regular game blows, because we won't be in the playoffs. Mariner would be at the top of my list for our next head coach.

Posted by: Forrest | October 4, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Epic Fail.

Even worse, MJ gets the whole offseason to gloat.

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 4, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Funny how this team started the year and how how it is ending it. Full circle.

Fire Soehn.

Posted by: toddinho | October 4, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

That MJ wasn't me. I've been watching a separate nightmare up 95.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | October 4, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Done and out!

Posted by: TheWashDIpsSince88 | October 4, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

It's not just Soehn. It's the head of physical training.

We have all the same problems that Toronto had last year. Injured players, team that can't play well together, etc.

Toronto somewhat fixed their problem with player health by getting a guy from Newcastle to be in charge of physical conditioning.

We are an out of condition, wounded, slow, gassed team and it has nothing NOTHING NOT A THING TO DO WITH AMOUNT OF GAMES.

Look at Houston.

They played as many games and had as many injuries as we have had.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how McFarland and Chang are feeling about their investment these days."

Probably not too good considering the Real Estate market and the fact that there is NO stadium development in sight. Add on a team that was supposed to sweep through CONCACAF winning hardware but which got the Open Cup consolation prize and you have to think they are not very happy.


"When did this club become the 2001 TB Mutiny?"


They didn't have a stadium either... Just sayin'

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Well,

We have the Open Cup... And The Coffee Pot Cup... And Santino's back... And mathematically, we're not out of the playoffs.

Yeah.

Posted by: B.A. | October 4, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

IT IS NOT SEOHN'S FAULT!!! Let's fire the person who is responsible for the injuries to Ben Olsen, Josh Gros, Gillardo, Emillio, Fred, Morino, Paralta and Martinez. IT'S GOD'S FAULT SO LET'S FIRE HIM!!!

Posted by: Nine | October 4, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Good players make good coaches. The front office has failed to build a competitive roster, even for a mediocre league.

Posted by: jimtoo | October 4, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds that I'm back next year?

Posted by: Tom Soehn | October 4, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Atleast Rod Dyachenko didn't play today.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

WE HAVE GOOD PLAYERS!

They just aren't playing well together right now. When they are all healthy and clicking they play like that game against the Galaxy.


Lets not go blowing up the team again. If we start doing that after every season and firing the coach we become New York.

Houston is good not because all their players are much better than ours but because they have had a consistent team which has stayed together for years. We need to start that now. We have talent both in the starters and the reserves.

It is up to a good coach to make proper use of that. Soehn has shown he can't really do that. He is a good assistant coach but a poor head coach.

Posted by: Wrong! | October 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

First, you've got to sort through the chaff of the season to point out a couple of things. I think it's a bit ridiculous to say that management acquired bad talent or let the wrong players go. Just about everyone who left (Boswell, Gomez, Perkins, Arquez) wanted out for various reasons. We brought in a lot of good players, only a few outright busts. I also think that the injuries were mostly a function of a long season with a lot of games. Steve Davis pointed out that our second half (#days, # games) was almost identical to what the LAG faced last year's second half when Beckham arrived and we saw how dreadful they were.

Second, the really telling things to me were:
--our defense was consistently bad. I hear people saying "we need to go out and get some young and hungry players" but what do you call Burch, McTavish, Carroll, Wells, and Simms? That's most of our defense friends. It wasn't about not having young players or not having hungry players. Defensively we didn't get it done. Tonight you saw that as well. The only reason we won't give up the most goals in the league is because of the LAG. As it is, we're likely to have the worst goal differential in the league the way things are going.
--we started poorly. That by itself isn't a terrible indictment. But with an early camp and two terrible starts the past two seasons, you have to wonder how well we were prepared. And then we end abyssmally, when it's crunch time. Yeah, we had some injuries but we've usually had most or all of our first team defense available and we still were a sieve. Moreno had a strong season. Emilio was mostly good (but hurt a couple of times--partially a function of playing hurt or coming back too soon so he agravated nicks). Maybe we'll pull together a modest streak to end the season but if so, it would be totally against the run of things. As it stands we're probably the worst team in MLS (forget the points, just in terms of our ability to compete on the field) at this point at a time when a team should be rounding into form. Even a hurting team would be gutting it out--we've all seen DC United in the past gut it out when the pieces weren't there.
--I know the "fixture congestion" is a factor here. But this is a team that lives for tournaments and big games. And to see what happened in SuperLiga (where we end up mailing it in) and then Champions League (where we basically had to prioritize) is embarrassing and violates much of what DC United stands for as well as what separates us from the rest of MLS (ie: being a team that cares about international competition and usually represents the league well).

There are a lot of things out of Soehn's control. But for those reasons I've mentioned above, I think you have to conclude he should be replaced. So the question would be: how soon can this happen? I assume that expansion draft will take place right after the MLS Cup so ideally you'd want a coach in place to help shape those personnel decisions (for instance: do we expose McTavish? Burch? Namoff?).

Posted by: JoeW | October 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

You can't coach chemistry. It comes with time/familiarity.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

At least NY (v Tor!) and LA lost.

Posted by: RK | October 4, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse


Here is where I have a problem with Soehn.

He went against DC United Tradition.

You see that thing on the back of our shirts. It says TRADITION for a reason.

Instead what we got was "Soehn's Law of Diminishing Returns"


"We're suffering from getting knocked out of the CONCACF Champions Cup" - April

"We're doing well just not finishing our chances" - May

"We have to prioritize these things, manage minutes down the stretch." - June

So basically it was

"Well the SuperLiga doesn't matter we're looking at the regular season standings and CONCACAF Champions League."

"Well the regular season isn't that big a deal we need to show well in CONCACAF."

"Well it would have been nice to do well in the Champions League but we have to focus on the playoffs."

Now we're going to miss the playoffs. What will be the excuse then?


DC United should have said, "We will win the SuperLiga or CONCACAF Champions League and devote all our resources there." like they did with the last couple games of the Open Cup.

This league does not allow managing multiple competitions through use of good players in all of them.

Instead what we have is a constantly shifting focus arather than a manifesto to win just one thing and that is Soehn's fault, not the owners, not Kasper, not Garber. Soehn.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

DCU don't deserve playoffs.

Posted by: dadryan | October 4, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"Atleast Rod Dyachenko didn't play today"

Yea, it would've been 5-0

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous, Markman and all haters,again DCU lost its 5th or 6th consecutive game...Guess who is to be blamed for that? YOU are right! ROD DYACHENKO!IF HE WERE SENT TO MOSCOW OR SIBERIA,as it had been suggested earlier, DCU would win play offs!Even being on the bench,ROD STRONGLY INFLUENCED THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DESIGNATED AND OTHER "MLS CALIBER" PLAYERS.And what is more important-he irritates your "noble and kind" hearts that filled with "grapes of wrath".

Posted by: unknown | October 5, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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