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Are They Motivated?

We already know that, in order to remain in the MLS playoff race, D.C. United needs either New York or Kansas City to lose their final regular season match. We also know that a tie by either club would keep United alive, but require D.C. to win by an unrealistic margin Sunday at Columbus to secure a wild-card berth.

We are also well aware that both the Red Bulls and Wizards are determined to clinch a spot with a victory and not allow their future to be decided by DCU.

But what about the motivation of their opponents? Both Chicago and New England are in the playoffs -- they'll face each other in the first round, starting next Thursday -- and could decide to rest regulars. (Remember last year when Emilio and Moreno were injured late in the regular season and not in top form in the playoffs?)

However, both the Fire and Revs do have much to play for.

Chicago would like to:
-- Secure second place and home-field advantage (what there is of it in MLS) against the Revs after having its past three seasons come to an end in Foxborough.
-- Recover from a loss at last-place Toronto last weekend.
-- Improve its mediocre home record (6-5-3).
-- Beat New York for the third straight time amid the teams' acrimonious off-field relationship.

New England would like to:
-- Take advantage of a Chicago tie or loss, if that should occur tonight.
-- Rebound from a 2-1 loss at DCU last week.
-- Snap out of a 1-4-4 funk.
-- Prove it is capable of a playoff run without injured captain Steve Ralston.

As for Columbus's approach to its finale against United, the Crew has already clinched the Supporters' Shield, but following the embarrassing circumstances that led to a 3-1 loss at New York last weekend, Sigi Schmid will want to get his club back into form before the playoffs. A win or tie might also dictate who the Crew faces in the playoffs.

The schedule:
New York at Chicago, tonight (9 p.m., ESPN2)
Kansas City at New England, Saturday (7:30, Direct Kick)
United at Columbus, Sunday (5 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Direct Kick)

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  October 23, 2008; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: DCU Is Alive

Comments

The NY-Chicago game should be a cracker. Chicago will have plenty of motivation against Osorio.

The RSL-Colorado game, however, will be the most exciting from a neutral standpoint. This is the only scenario outside the playoffs where I would consider watching these two teams play.

Posted by: SSMD1 | October 23, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I think that the teams should...tell who they are resting so that I can bench them in fantasy.

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, i think our best chance of getting in is with a chicago win tonight. This would also get some pressure off of KC on saturday.

***new user help***
how do i change my display name, i don't need my email being displayed all over the free world.

Posted by: jonkmartin@gmail.com | October 23, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yikes. When I logged in, it asked me for a MyUser ID (so that my email wouldn't be used).

Is Becks still in the country? Or is he skipping this last game?

I was just doing my predictions for the week, and I just don't see Chicago or NE caring about the games. The -only- advantage that I see is that both are at home. Of course, then, DCU is on the road.

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"how do i change my display name?"

Go to your homepage (WaPo is trying to get in on this social networking stuff) and clikc on "Help." The following is in the FAQ.

We're sorry but changing your MyPost user name is not currently permitted.

If you need to remove a user name, please write to us using the "Send Us a Question or Comment" tab above and we can delete your current account. This will free up the use of your e-mail address to create a new account with a new MyPost user name.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

They better be motivated

or

else?

:shakes fist:

lol

Allez DC!


DC EST MAGIQUE!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Both Chicago and New England have to be or at least should be plenty motivated to win. Whether they do is another matter, though I think Chicago will win.

Columbus should be plenty motivated against us. It is their big chance to spoil DCU's post season hopes for once.

But for some reason I like DCU's chances aginst Columbus, even in that imposing high school football stadium of theirs.

Ron

Posted by: Ron16 | October 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Having to root for Chicago and NE? UGHH! How painful. Hopefully we will get a chance to "make up for it" by meeting and (in the "fan wishful thinking" category) thrashing them in the playoffs. At least we don't have to root for the Red Bulls!

Posted by: regularfan | October 23, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

uh, it's a little discomfiting to see an ad for playoff tickets beside this blog. i'm thinking that's probably a bad omen.....

anyway, you know you're in a rough spot when your best hope for playoff qualification hinges on one team holding some pointless grudge against another. can't we just make like the spanish and send a couple suitcases full of cash over to chicago? that's motivation.

Posted by: stairs | October 23, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The selfish, cheer-for-my-club part of me wants to see United get a chance to be alive on Sunday and earn a berth in the playoffs.

The playoffs and MLS Cup are only right 1/3 of the time and DC United would have as good a chance over 4 games as any team.

However, as a fan of seeing great games and compelling matchups with clubs that played well/are playing well enough to be there - I'd say almost none of these clubs deserve to be there.

Gotta get to a single table. I think a single table with positions in Champions League, SuperLiga, and US Open Cup qualifying as well as perhaps rewarding the higher finishing clubs commensurate draft picks (crapshoot at best so it's not a parity fighter) and some additional salary cap space goes a LONG way to improving the structure and results of this league.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 23, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe DCU is advertising for the pLayoffs, getting people to buy tickets and we have a big chance of not getting in. Damn, I hope we make it!

Posted by: kris77 | October 23, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

advertising already?

WTF?

geez

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 23, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@kris77 - I can't believe DCU is advertising for the pLayoffs
------
And not just advertising. DCU sent me an email last week with the surprising subject: "DC United back in the playoffs."

Needless to say, I'll not be buying playoff tickets until Monday at the earliest.

Posted by: DancingChain | October 23, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The TV section of Sunday's Post indicates that BSPN2 has allotted 2.5 hours to this match. Does that mean that kickoff will be closer to 9:30 p.m. EDT? Inquiring recording devices want to know.

Posted by: universityandpark | October 23, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Playoff tickets? That explains the phone message I got from the FO. I thought maybe they wanted me as an A-Mid, or Center-D (or backup GK for the CCL).

Speaking of abbreviations, anyone notice that Soccernet's position shorthand has gone from GK-D-M-F to CLD-CRD-LM-RM, etc.? What the **** is an FCLM? Isn't that a leftist group?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Columbus has nothing to play for, I bet they run out a competitive team, but rest some key players and then pull other key players out early. If I were Columbus, I would rather have DCU in the playoffs than NYRB or KC. Think about it.

Posted by: therealfootball | October 23, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

LCD was taken.

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The Revs might well be motivated to win, but they have no momentum and have really been poor since Ralston went out. I would be utterly shocked if they even managed a draw against a Wizards team that, despite less-than-stellar soccer, is playing with all the heart and grit in the world.

That leaves tonight as, to me, our best chance. Chicago hates NY from the front office down to the fans, for what they view as stealing both Bradley and Osorio (never mind that both coaches wanted to go to NY for off-the-field reasons). The Fire would be very pleased if they could contribute to NY's demise, especially if the team that replaces NY is a team they've never lost to in the playoffs.

The problem for us is that Angel is in great form, while Chicago's defense has been pretty poor lately. They'll be missing Segares, to boot. I don't think Chicago will have that much trouble shutting NY down in the middle and wide on the left, but I worry about speed NY possesses down the right with both Richards and Mbuta. Segares being out means Chicago will have to go with either Gutierrez or Woolard (Gutierrez may have to replace Thorrington in midfield, as he's questionable with a calf strain). If it's Gutierrez, that's an awful lot to ask someone on the verge of retirement. He'll have to be on top of his game mentally and positionally for Chicago to prevent NY from getting Angel tons of chances in the box.

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I've thought about it, therealfootball, and you're right. It's United's best chance. I just don't the other sides will cooperate.

I-270, I'm going to look into making that user ID change. My monikor just ain't cuttin' it.

Why no love for Bobby Rhine? He was a fine wine, a ray of sunshine, a fork with five tines, or snow-covered pines. He leaves before his time.

Wait, that doesn't rhyme, dagnabit...

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 23, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

**Columbus has nothing to play for, I bet they run out a competitive team, but rest some key players and then pull other key players out early. If I were Columbus, I would rather have DCU in the playoffs than NYRB or KC. Think about it.**

Sigi has stated he will be starting his playoff lineup. Playing in front of a sell out crowd expect the Crew to treat this as a playoff match.

That being said, I don't care if we play KC or DC, just want to avoid that god awful turf.

Posted by: WalkOn | October 23, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Great, my stupid post has to follow another one of Chest's thoughtful analyses.

Thanks, dude.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 23, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

In the two-leg are, #2 seeds are 6-2, while every #1 seed that lost a first round series failed to win their home leg. There is a home field advantage in MLS playoffs, at least according to the results...

Posted by: EricB1 | October 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

And by "two-leg are", I mean "two-leg era"...

Posted by: EricB1 | October 23, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Whats the deal with this comercial posted on WaPo?
2008 D.C. United Playoff Blackout 4-Pack
First round home playoff game:
Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo OR Columbus Crew

Posted by: aflores1 | October 23, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

anyone hear about the Veron rumor...

he might be heading to NYRB?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 23, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

VBB, single table will not happen in MLS. Ever.

Posted by: Ron16 | October 23, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Single table will happen but it will take quite a bit of years...

MLS needs to break off the US mentality of post-season affairs. Just not good, football (yes football) is a world sport.

I dont get why american football would consider themselves world champions if they havent played anyone other than themselves.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 23, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It has been something like 40 years since any other major American professional team sport has used a single table. The success of MLS depends on its ability to attract mainstream American sports fans, most of whom are more familiar with the competitive formats of other American sports (regular season followed by playoffs, no concurrent tournaments) than with those of football in other countries. That is why attendance, TV and radio ratings, etc., for even the most pedestrian midweek MLS games routinely exceeds that for theoretically more important matches such as USOC finals.

Posted by: universityandpark | October 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@Ron16,

I continue to disagree. MLS and American sports may not seem to like it. We all are aware that television rights in America are driven by Big Events (MLS Cup) and Playoff games. They tend to capture the audiences that justify everything in other sports. MLB's contract is based on the World Series. Saturday baseball is a freebie Fox throws in. NBA Playoffs and holiday games get the big ratings. NHL - same. NASCAR - Daytona and Chase. NFL - eh, Super Bowl is huge, but their ratings are good regardless.

Coaches, players, fans, etc are calling for a single table. I don't think it's coming soon - but then again - does MLS really risk losing it's base by trying to force the American spin on rules and structure on it.

Promotion/Relegation will never happen. Single table will as long as the other tournaments take off and the owners can reap a profit from them.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 23, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

who says they are world champions? they are MLS champions. or did you mean the NFL? they aren't officially 'world champions' they are 'superbowl champions' only MLB actually uses the term 'world' in their titles.

I don't see single table ever happening in the US, and I don't see MLS ever abandoning the playoff system. Single table without playoff only works with relegation and significant financial reward for each position. Otherwise, the season officially ended three weeks ago, when Columbus clinched the supporters shield.

and for those purists who say that playoffs aren't 'real soccer' please be so kind as to explain the fact that the most lucrative competition in sport, the UEFA Champions League, is a playoff system,? what about that shoddy World Cup competition? isn't that a global game too?

as for playoffs in professional, domestic competition that isn't cup based: the following countries use some sort of playoff to determine promotion/relegation: Italy, England, Holland, Germany, Turkey. is that not 'global' enough? sure, there's no playoff gamble for the wealthy, successful teams, but they are perfectly happy to have one game count in the battle for promotion. as an example, if the CCC ended today, Reading would play Burnley in the first round of a promotion battle, despite having two more wins and a 15 goal advantage. a home and away battle (surely television driven, no?) followed by a final against the winner of the Bristol City/Cardiff City semifinal (at a neutral site, natch) how is that not a playoff? is the argument that England doesn't understand Soccer?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 23, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Garber has said that the door to a single table is still open, with the right number of teams. The question is, "what is the right number?" To me, 20 are too many given travel, heat, and other MLS conditions. 16 is a good number, but MLS wants more product on the shelves. However, with a little better marketing and costlier rights for USOC and CONCACAF Champions League of CONCACAF, MLS could make good money with just 16 teams. But, as we have learned over the last few weeks, why stop at good money when you can aspire to great money at a higher risk.

Speaking of playoffs, does anyone know why the 3rd place team in the Soda Pop Championship is not automatically promoted, but must enter a playoff with teams 4-6? Why not enter teams 2-5 into the playoff? Doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Amendment: Even with a single table, I don't think Garber would eliminate the playoff$$$.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Ironic, we get this particular blog entry at the same time that we get the Blackout ads on the side of WaPo.

Posted by: Matte | October 23, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I-270, like the Dutch have now?

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Single table and playoffs are not mutually exclusive. I think single table will happen.

Personally, as I've said on this blog many times, I'd like to see single table with the top dog being crowned champ. Then you can have a cup competition where all teams play. You could maybe seed it based on the table if you wanted to still call it "post season". I think this is less likely to happen, given the arguments about traditional american sporting competitions.

Posted by: Matte | October 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Other than windmills, wooden shoes, and double-vowel names, I'm not familiar with what the Dutch have.

A few minutes later

I just read that playoff stuff on Wikipedia and now my head hurts. IIRC, Garber would let the single table champion claim the Supporters Shield but several of the top teams would enter the MLS Cup playoffs. My memory on this is bad, like I said, my head hurts.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I honestly really do hope the single table comes into MLS it would be great..

On another note i really cant believe i will be rooting for Blanco 2night , but hey! what ever it takes........

VAMOS UNITED!!!

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | October 23, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Dutch playoff system -- amazing what kind of random, useless soccer knowledge I have.

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

270:

The reason it's 3-6 in the 1st division playoffs (it'll always be the 1st division to me...I already had to change what I call them once when the original 1st division became the Premiership) is money. If it was 2-5, the 2 spots would go to the winners of just one playoff (2v5 and 3v4). With the current set up, the powers that be get 2 more meaningful games.

And I'm glad the Dutch playoff system was brought up. It makes the playoffs here or in Mexico seem bland and straightforward. If you really want to feel confused, read about how teams get promoted. Utter madness.

***

Something that's gone unmentioned in this impromptu single table vs. current format discussion:

A single table with 18 teams means 34 games. That's an increase in a league where the term "fixture congestion" has taken real meaning for the first time this season. Given the current incremental increases in the salary cap, and 18 senior/10 developmental roster structure, it is likely out of the question to add more games when your better teams are already frustrated at having too many games for their roster to cope with.

It seems to me that the fastest way for single-table advocates to get what they want would be a radical rethinking of the roster system combined with a sizable boost to the salary cap (I'm talking a jump of at least $2 million per team). The upcoming CBA negotiations seem like a perfect opportunity for these things to happen, since in my view they're very much related. This, of course, is assuming that MLS wants its top teams to succeed in the CCL and Superliga, which whether we like it or not will stay around until it stops drawing big crowds.

For the record, my main position on single table vs. current format is one of confusion. I'm not sure why it brings so much passion out of people. I think it's made in to too much of a big deal.

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I've already set a reminder on my cable box to watch the Red Bulls/Fire game tonight.

And yes, this is my real User ID, if anyone has any complaints about it, take it up with the Post for letting me register with it, not with me.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 23, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Chest Rockewll. There was indeed an error in my logic. I was hoping that the answer would give me a greater understanding of English nuance and wouldn't be simply "money." Alas, I am a naive child.

Money, its a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think Ill buy me a football team.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, is this the end of JkR?!? Will we ever get a free chance to alter our posting names??

The Horror!! The Horror!

-formerly JkR

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 23, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Single Table will only happen in one case in this country, ever. If MLS really listens to FIFA's 20-team mandate, then yes, I see single table potential.

But, if any of our other leagues are an indication, then a 30+ team MLS is inevitable. Judging by how many investment groups are lining up for a spot, this seems like the most likely outcome. The rules of soccer regarding substitution prevent the kind of schedule seen in the NBA or NHL, eliminating home-and-away formats.

A conference and division setup make the most sense, like in the NFL were all divison teams play home and away. Maybe add games against the rest of the conference, each year switching home sides, and fill out with teams from the other conference.

I honestly don't get what the big deal people have with single table, other than its how England crowns their champions. Several other countries (Mexico, Australia) use playoffs to decide a champion and many Euro leagues use it for promotion and cup spots. It just stinks of Anglophilia to me.

Posted by: Josh8 | October 23, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Is that bass like fish or bass like guitar JkR?

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Formerly AJ

Posted by: Josh8 | October 23, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Feeling a little musical today, DadRyan?

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | October 23, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Thumpin' bass guitar, poorly played...

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Single table may or may not happen some day, but MLS will not halt expansion at 16 or even 18 teams. To get the national TV contract they need to be profitable long-term, MLS needs to cover the whole U.S. market. No top 20 markets can be left out. That means teams will eventually have to be put in Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, and Minneapolis, and probably in Tampa, Miami, Cleveland, Sacramento, plus a second NY team.

Posted by: dm100 | October 23, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Not Sacramento!

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@dm100,

DETROIT?!?!?!?!

Holy crap - no one's going to live there in a couple of years except for Jeff Daniels.

Auto Industry in America is gone unless our tax dollars make sure Union workers have a job.

Nothing's going in Detroit.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 23, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Feeling a little musical today, DadRyan?

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | October 23, 2008 4:35 PM
The answer is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eZ9h7blR_w&feature=related


Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Why do you think CL and UEFA Cup are so intriguing? Playoffs.

Single table sucks as far as end of season excitement is concerned. But I'm very much in favor of relegation, though I know it'll never happen.

Posted by: live1 | October 23, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I would think Columbus would much prefer to face KC or the Cancerous Jersey Pink Cows.

Posted by: alecw81 | October 23, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

AlecW81:

If I had to pick the team I'd most like to play, I'd choose Kansas City. DC and NY are Jekyll and Hyde teams, while KC has looked more reliably average all season. You know what you're getting from the Wizards. Plus, KC has nowhere near the crowd support that DC does or the turf advantage that NY gets (not that it has helped them all that often in the playoffs). I don't see Columbus losing to the Wizards unless they get a man sent off early in KC and Schelotto gets hurt (notice I said "and", not "or"...it would take both).

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan:

Thank you for that!

I hadn't listened to that song all the way through in too many years, but had to once I clicked the link. What an unexpected pleasure.

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | October 23, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Steinblog's post on the keeper who's celebrating a birthday Sunday.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/10/louis_crayton_sings_ti.html#more

Posted by: Section117 | October 23, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

If we don't make the playoffs (or even if we do), will the home match against Marathon be the lowest attendance of all time?

Posted by: GoUnited | October 23, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

For those you struggling with rooting for Blanco tonight-- remember we're rooting against Red Bull not for Chicago.

Posted by: jmingus | October 23, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm rooting for McBride. And if the other 10 guys win to, then so be it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

GoUnited:

Yeah, it does look like the Marathon game will be an all-time low for attendance. I don't know what the current record holder is, but I can't see more than 5,000 for that one no matter what the results this weekend are. If we don't get into the playoffs, maybe United should trick people into buying tickets for Marathon under the guise of being our playoff opponent.

jmingus:

I'll root for what I always root for when having to watch either NY or Chicago. First, I hope NY loses in an embarrassing fashion. Second, I hope Blanco picks up a lifetime ban somehow.

***

I am as nervous right now as I was before last Thursday's game against the Revs. Since I'm almost certain KC will beat New England, I've mentally put most of my eggs in the "Fire win" basket.

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Is there a betting pool on how many Galaxy games Beckham will miss due to injuries sustained in Italy?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I never thought I'd have to cheer for Blanco, but there's a first for everything!

Come on, Chitown!

Posted by: delantero | October 23, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

YEEE HHAAAAWWWWWW!!!!!

1-0 Chicago ..

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh, Vamos Chicago!!

Posted by: delantero | October 23, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

That was a really sweet looking counterattack goal by Chicago to open the score against New York. Started with a Blanco backheel in Chicago's end but several other players were involved in the buildup before Rolfe's near post header sealed it.

- garbaggio

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | October 23, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Crap. Angel header 1-1

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Rolfe - a beautiful shot.

2-1 for the team in red

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Rolfe keeps it real when it matters most! Golazo!

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

My dog is back to hiding under the table . .

Rolfe Rocks!

Posted by: delantero | October 23, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

What did I just say?
Rolfe with the brace already? Booom!

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

didn't realize he got the first goal as well... I'm relegated to a spanish speaking live feed while my wife watches Celebrity Rehab...:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

uh, number three! I feel giddy.

Posted by: delantero | October 23, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Chicago is playing some decent soccer!! Rolfe is rocking tonight!!

Posted by: koolcaio | October 23, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris Rolfe^3 is my new favorite non-DCU player!!! (I reserve the right to change that 45 mins from now)

Posted by: Gooner | October 23, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

well, that 3rd one looked pretty clearly offside. But I can't complain too much. C'mon Chicago, pour on the goals!

Posted by: fedssocr | October 23, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Any player in a position to help DC United get to the playoffs is not offside.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I've never liked Chris Rolfe, but I'm raising this Dominion Oak Barrel Stout to him right now. Chicago is playing pretty much exactly how Hamlett wants them to. They're giving away little, they're winning the 2nd balls (which is amazing, considering NY has so much to play for), and they're hitting NY with quick, incisive counters. Rolfe has been clinical, which certainly helps.

I think Osorio made a real mistake with his lineup tonight. Pietravallo hasn't been good in weeks, Cichero hasn't been good since his debut, and Stammler isn't a right midfielder. I know Osorio is perhaps the most cautious coach in MLS, but this XI never had a chance to do well. Why not put Stammler where he belongs, in the central destroyer role, and get someone like Richards out on the right? Gutierrez is 34 and the speed advantage NY would have would help negate their ineffectiveness with the ball (it's easy to just dump the ball over the top and hope your fast players can make something happen). If I was an NY fan, I would be livid with Osorio right now. Mbuta, who didn't appear on any injured list, isn't even in the squad! Did he just plan on drawing 0-0?

If I'm Osorio, I'm replacing Pietravallo with Richards at halftime, and maybe even thinking about bringing in Kandji for Magee or Rojas (both have been non-factors). If I'm Hamlett, I would let Banner know that I am planning on bringing him in around the hour mark, since he is a much better defensive player than Mapp (then again, isn't everyone?).

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

@ Delantero My cat doesn't like it when United scores and she is no where to be found. VAMOS um the fire (small caps on pourpose)!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | October 23, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Rolfe was definitely onside on his third goal. Blanco (?) was facing his own goal but chipped it over his head to Rolfe, who was onside when the ball was struck. The Heifers reacted too slowly and made it look like Rolfe had beaten a trap.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 23, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The NY defenders looked like they were expecting each other or the GK to get the ball.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

McBride... "I'm lovin it"

Posted by: Gooner | October 23, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"I've never liked Chris Rolfe, but I'm raising this Dominion Oak Barrel Stout to him right now. "

i miss oak barrel stout!! i wish you could get it in nyc

Posted by: joe_hill | October 23, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, if you don't want to get freaked out don't watch Celebrity Rehab this season... Tawny Kitaen, Rodney King, Sean Stewart? Steven Adler is thrashed...

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

"Are They Motivated?"

Yes.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 23, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

i guess they were motivated.

Posted by: stairs | October 23, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

umm...dcu just has to win to get in at this point, right?

Posted by: jbfromfc | October 23, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Here to make sure my new "name" works.

If it does, for those of you here often, it's "Jacob"

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 23, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep! Now I'd REALLY rather have a beer with Rolfe than anyone in MLS right now!

Posted by: DadRyan | October 23, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant result for us. Thanks Chicago! Now I can change my opinion of you back to "loathe".

NY made changes at halftime, but they struck me as a stab in the dark rather than anything else. Magee and Rojas moved wide to find more space (since Pause and King did such a good job clogging the center of the field in the first half), but neither is comfortable out there and it showed. The McBride goal obviously killed the game, even as Conde did his best to give NY chances to claw themselves back into the game (one was cleared off the line by Soumare, the other was the late Kandji goal).

It's stunning that NY came out and gave such a poor effort. I can understand the skill side of things lacking, but where was the heart?

It's all in our hands now. Win in Columbus, and we're in. Considering what's happened this season, whether it be poor play, injuries, or bad luck, it's all you can really ask for.

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 23, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

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