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The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

Before we get started, a look at the playoff scenarios:

(1) Columbus vs. (4) New York*
(2) New England vs. (3) Chicago
(1) Houston vs. (4) Colorado*
(2) Chivas USA vs. (3) Real Salt Lake
*wild card

The wild-card race:
New York 35 points
Colorado 34
Dallas 34
Kansas City 33
D.C. United 33
Toronto 31
San Jose 30
Los Angeles 29

*In his return to RFK, Alecko Eskandarian playing a role in all three Chivas USA goals as his club wins for the fifth time in six games. "I have a lot of love for this city and these fans. They treated me so well during my time here, and I have nothing but respect for those guys. That's why I didn't go crazy after I scored."
*In his MLS debut, Dejair's one goal and one assist for the Goats. "I don't think he even knows the guys' names in the locker room," Preki said.
*Brian Ching's two goals in the first nine minutes and Conor Casey's fourth goal in two games before getting sent off.
*Preston Burpo's save on Ching's penalty kick.
*Michael Harrington's perfectly placed equalizer (after his handball led to Chicago's goal) and Kevin Hartman's work in goal for the desperate Wizards. "It was not like I was thinking, 'I've got to score a goal now since I gave up the handball.' I was just trying to have a solid second half and it turned out that I got a good look at goal," Harrington said.
*Javier Morales taking advantage of wayward Matt Reis and setting up Andy Williams's goal as RSL improves to 1-0-2 in its last three visits to Foxborough.
*Chad Barrett's brace, the second goal coming on a clinical counter energized by Marvell Wynne.
*Danny O'Rourke's service to set up Alejandro Moreno's header, moving Columbus (on a 7-0-1 tear) a step closer to the Supporters' Shield.
*The Revs' two goals in two minutes to salvage a tie at home.
*Ricardo Clark's one-timer from 23 yards. (Note to Colorado announcers: Clark, not De Rosario. Even 30 seconds after the goal, they still got it wrong.)
*28,145 at RFK, 22,685 at Columbus.
*DCU's 11 goals conceded in a three-game losing league streak and a six-game winless rut. "I'm almost speechless...and I'm never speechless," Bryan Namoff said.
*Nick Rimando allowing Taylor Twellman's shot from distance to skid under him.
*Terry Cooke's missed penalty kick.
*DCU's no shots on goal before halftime for the second straight league game.
*Referee Abby Okulaja's performance Thursday night.
*Louis Crayton's giveaway, leading to Chivas USA's first goal, and Preston Burpo's horrible clearance on Houston's opening goal.
*Andy Williams losing his cool, earning a red card during added time.
*Gabriel Cichero's defending.
*Nine teams with losing records.

What else ya got for me?

By Steve Goff  |  October 5, 2008; 9:20 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United, By the Numbers
Next: Club and Country


The bad -- on a related topic -- leaving Marvell Wynne off the USA qualifying roster. I hope that changes soon. If we're going to compete, the offense has to come from more than 2 or 3 guys.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 5, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry,

With the way he's played recently, I would hope he receives a call-up very, very soon.

Posted by: B.A. | October 5, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Assuming the USA clinches on Saturday, a few players will be released back to their clubs and a few added for the T&T trip.

Posted by: Goff | October 5, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Coyote Ugly -- Reis' play that allowed Morales' goal. Arguably, it was even worse than Crayton's misplay. I think Crayton simply failed to play the ball well -- he didn't want to go on walkabout. Peralta should have passed forward, instead of delivering a soft pass that put Crayton under pressure. Watching the replay, I'm still trying to figure how that happened -- it almost seems that Crayton involuntarily kicked the ball, after far too much dancing, waiting for it. With Crayton's play, I'd say it was a mix of mental and physical error. Actually, Crayton made another play not unlike the one Reis did, except he was smart enough not to try to head the ball. The play that gave up the goal was not purely a mental blunder by Crayton. Can't say the same about Reis.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 5, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

For filing under "The Bad": How about the person in charge of DCU's strenth and conditioning. I've never seen a team have so much trouble with hamstrings. For a strenuous sport playing many games over a long season, one would think the conditioning program would be better. It just doesn't seem like they take good care of themselves.

Posted by: MezzSouthGol | October 5, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Man the last playoff spots look slim in points, looks like a last minute thriller!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 5, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Have to disagree about Barrett. He did nothing other than stand in front of an empty goal to get his brace, all the work was done by his teammates, especially Wynne on his majestic 60+ yd run.

Also, as dumb as his red card was, Andy Williams' goal was quite a sweet blast.

For the bad/ugly, Harrington's handball was terrible, completely unnecessary on a ball that was probably going out for a goal kick.

Posted by: eric | October 5, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for noticing Colorado's assinine announcers. They have been screwing names up all season.

Posted by: Brian | October 5, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Last post of the night -- May I suggest the Good: MLS SuperDraft?

2003 #1 pick Eskandarian had a goal and an assist for Chivas. #2 pick Ricardo Clark also scored this weekend; #3 Nate Jacqua -- well, the jury is still out
2004 #1 pick Adu is in Europe; The #2 Chad Marshall is a strong candidate for MLS Defender of the Year and the #3 Joseph Ngwenya is in Europe.
2005 #1 pick Besagno (U-17) hasn't made an impression yet, but he hasn't turned 20, either. The #2 pick, Brad Guzan, is now with Aston Villa and the US national team. The #3 pick, Chad Barrett also tallied this weekend.
2006 #1 Marvell Wynne had the great run and assist; the rest is hit and miss but Sacha Kljestan at #5 was pivotal for Chivas, and #9 Kei Kamara is having a huge season.
2007 #1 Maurice Edu moved on to Rangers; #2 Bakary Soumare has started evey game for the Fire this year; and #3 Michael Harrington joined the parade by scoring this weekend.

So, while the 2008 draft class hasn't wowed anyone yet -- it's too early to call it a joke. #3 Beltran's played some. #4 Sean Franklin is a fixture in the Galaxy back line. #9 Julius James has a goal to his credit, as does #40 Stephen King (I still don't get why DC passed him up). Even the #30 and #33 picks, Mike Zaher and Ryan Cordeiro are getting action with United.

I say again -- United will have four picks in the first two rounds of the next SuperDraft, including possibly 2 of the first 6. That's a pretty good place to start rebuilding. I hope they're doing their homework.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 5, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that Patrick Nyarko has also scored this year. I said then that it looked to me like the Fire had the best draft -- even with losing Cervi, that may still bear out.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 5, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Before anyone corrects me: I missed #6 Andy Iro, #11 Roger Espinoza #21 Ely Allen, and #42 Geoff Cameron, who have all scored in MLS play, along with James, Nyarko and King, I also didn't mention that United has actually poached 3 players (Zaher, Miller and Barlow) drafted in 2008 by other teams. At least, they have youth on their side...


Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 5, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

we love you too Esky - glad to see you doing well in LA and hope you will one day return to play again for DC

Posted by: FC | October 5, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

9 teams???? ok, if there is a season to restructure the playoffs...

...then again, the past few seasons of college football showed a need to get rid of the B(c)S, but that hasn't panned out

Posted by: blumber | October 6, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Alecko, just another Tom Soehn cast off. We get rid of Alecko, Boswell, and a cast of others yet Soehn keeps Dyachenko.


Posted by: DCU 4 Life | October 6, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I've taken Columbus to task a number of times this season over miniscule crowds at Crew Stadium, but I have got to hand it to them, they just about packed the place out for their Beckham game with a big, noisy crowd. Great crowd, great atmosphere. Keep it up, Columbus, that's the best way to quell those rumors about moving to Reno.

Posted by: Ron | October 6, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

The Good-- Dan Kennedy's Save when the United looked to have an open goal in the second half. It was an amazing reaction save that kept the Goats' momentum. I don't remember who shot it, but it was a great save.

The Bad-- The DC PA announcer continually mispronouncing Kljestan. I know that it's a hard word to pronounce, but he should be on the field before the game getting names correct.

The Coyote Ugly-- Quaranta always complaining. He's the biggest whiner in the league. He even complains when it's clearly his fault and then he blames someone else. He easily have the ball away 5 times in that game and was one of the weaker players on the pitch until he (finally) got a nice shot off in the second half.

Posted by: Q | October 6, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

The Good - Watching Tommy and Rod D. pack up and leave RFK.

The Bad - Keeping either of them.

The Coyote Ugly - DC United owners not following through on the above.

Posted by: bobf | October 6, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@Q: "the United"?

Credibility automatically eliminated.

By the way, Quaranta is the only one on the field showing any heart. I hope DCU resigns him.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I think the RFK PA announcer's hashing of names is a gimmick. He mangles most of the visiting team's players names unless they are "Smith" or "Jones." Then again, Jaime Moreno comes out of his mouth like "Hymie Moreeno" so maybe he is bad.

Posted by: griffin1108 | October 6, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The Good (and altogether rare): The class displayed by Alecko Eskandarian as he maintains respect for his former club and its supporters. Some guys know how to bring the love. Alecko is one such guy. Bravo!

Posted by: 22206 | October 6, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. Bring back Eskandarian!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

The Good: Getting the Women's Soccer League back.
The Bad: Quaranta's hissies.
The Coyote Ugly: Having to protect Gallardo. He has a personal trainer and rehabs from 2 sports hernias and then sprains a MCL? Sure he doesn't have a twin who is getting free surgery? Can't we just let him go??? Please!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 6, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who enjoys seeing L.A. lose on the road (as much as I want to see Donovan succeed), if only because maybe the fringe fans will think "Hey, my team beat David Beckham's, we must be really good, I should start paying more attention to them, maybe come to another game or two," and kind of grow the game that way?

Posted by: Jacob | October 6, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Coyote Ugly: New York may get into the playoffs, and we probably won't.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 6, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Good: Having the winning bid for Ben Olsen's autographed jersey.

The Bad: It is not "game-worn" -- for obvious reasons.

The Coyote Ugly: The rest of the two and a half hours spent at RFK Saturday night. (Except for the National Anthem. That was the best I've heard other than Placido Domingo.)

Posted by: Karen | October 6, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse


The Good: Watching Marvell Wynne get to use his speed on turf. Good night he's fast.

Posted by: Jacob | October 6, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

(I'm just now watching the highlights)

The Bad: Shalrie Joseph putting his dreads in pigtails. Not cool.

Posted by: Jacob | October 6, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

And The Coyote Ugly: Colorado player (not sure who it was) having the goalie guess wrong, and then missing his pk wide left.

Posted by: Jacob | October 6, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The Good:

DC United to take it's website independent of the cookie cutter league design.

In the beginning it was a good idea - but as clubs seek to develop their own identity - I applaud this.

And, I urge again, Vic and Will - take whatever deal DC will still give you at Poplar Point - in the long run, the dollars and cents will work out just as well.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 6, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Ugly -- me feeling ripped off in the stands when Soehn replaces Fred with . . . McTavish!? And we're down 1-0? What's the point of that, protect our negative lead? Why not Kirk or Cordeiro?? Maybe this was addressed in a previous thread.

Posted by: gringo | October 6, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Love Esky, but let's face it, he's had Gallardo like injury issues over the past 3 years. He's also streakier than Lady Godiva, hitting for goals in bunches, then months of drought.

We can love him without bringing him back.

Posted by: JkR | October 6, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

When McTavish came in, the formation changed. Wake up gringo!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Good:

At least one of my clubs involved in international play--Puerto Rico Islanders showed guts, heart and incredible resolve.


On Friday night, we lost 3 players: 2 to red cards (for dissent in a freaking semifinal). We lost one to a serios concussion (still in the hopsital in Rochester). We left "Soccertown, USA" 2 goals down on aggregate. They were already planning to host the USL1 Championship. icalled their postgame show to tell them to slow their roll and the hosts laughed at me and siad call back. i told them that we play on a a couple days rest and travel to Central America from freaking Canada and we get results in the belly of the beast. I told them that we beat freaking Santos Laguna at home. Mexican Primera. That having to come down and play El Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel is the equivalent of belly of the beast for USL clubs. I told them that we were going to attack them from the first whistle and that their boys had better be ready. They laughed. Told me to call back on Sunday, after the game and to enjoy watching them win the championship.

Last night, playing yet another game in a cogested fixture (after having played in Guatemala on midweek and Rochester on Friday), we beat the Rhinos 2-0 and regulation and got a goal in the very last nminute before going to PK's. We won 3-2 on aggregrate. General Colin Clarke lead us to victory, AGAIN. We played guys who had riding the bench. I tell people that we are not the usual USL1 team. We are not MLS, we don't pretend to be. But you can't underestimate, guts, heart and determination along with depth. You just can't.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 6, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Folks, there is a public hearing on the soccer stadium proposal tonight, from 6pm to 8:30 pm, St. Matthews Church, 2616 MLK Boulevard, near the Anacostia metro station.

Posted by: Downtown | October 6, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

CORRECTION stadium hearing is Tomorrow Night October 7 at 2616 MLK Blvd.

Posted by: Downtown | October 6, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Loved that run by Wynne...

How did the refs miss the handball on the side at the beginning of Twellman's goal?

What a blast by Andy Williams...

Too many awful goalkeeping mistakes and horrible passes leading to goal this weekend.

Posted by: RK | October 6, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

- Older son saying he wants to play for DC United when he grows up (I find happiness whenever I can with a mercurial 6 year old).
- Dempsey's tenacious play for Fulham.
- Redskins win means cheap pizza

- No need to repeat.

- Tottenham owner's ignominious sacking of Jol last season still has them in last place.
- Blackburn has conceded 14 goals since letting Friedel go. Brad has surrendered 10 at Villa.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 6, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

VBB: um...I didn't tell you so this weekend WRT to UVa football :)

Posted by: RK | October 6, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

When McTavish came in, the formation changed. Wake up gringo!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 9:56 AM

At least have the decency to include your fake name the way I do!!

And I didn't see the formation change to send anyone new up to attack. Had Burch been in, they might have done that, fine. Or maybe Martinez could have moved upfield a bit. But I guess Mr. Anonymous was satisfied nonetheless with the awesome firepower, or perhaps the firesome awepower, this change engendered.

Posted by: gringo | October 6, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree with others who have mentioned it.....Wynne's run was electrifying.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 6, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The Bad:

After being the second caller (the producer told me so--I got in early), the Rhinos' post-game show didn't put me on the air last night. They had time to put down CCL talking about how worthless it was ("paraphrase"). They had time to put on a former Rhinos player who talked about other USL teams hating to play in Puerto Rico because "something crazy always happens down there, phantom calls, etc.." I waited on hold for 43 minutes. All I got was an apology from the producer.

Even Uglier: The USL is SCREWING the Islanders. We won the regular season (even after playing our Champions League games in addition to our USL schedule). We sumbitted a bid to the league. Marcos & Tim Holt gave the bid to the Steve Kerfoot and Vancouver Whitecaps (they finished SECOND). As usual, it is all politics.

MARCOS & HOLT ARE SHADY. But this isn't really news, huh? Why did they even let PR submit a bid if our stadium didn't meet their "standards"??? Games played at our stadium are beamed on several different networks to different parts of North America (including Mexico) and Central America. All the sudden we don't have the technical capacity for the USL? Please...

it's their way of placating and stroking kerfoot. If MLS says "naaah, come back later..." Marcos & Holt can say "Sorry Stevie--we tried. We don't wanna lose you after you've been sucha valued member of the USL family, a cornestone franchise--but we did everything that we could. We even gave you the Championship game so that you could use it as a showcase. So if they say "no", maybe you shouldn't really be so eager to keep pressing to make the move since they are just going to keep jacking up the expansion fees and will probably just keep jerking you around. Don't be in such a hurry. You have a home here until MLS is ready to appreciate what you can offer. At least, you know that you are appreciated here"...

Nice to see that MLS has company when it comes to Mickey Mouse moves. I realize that politics happen in every league all around the world. I got that. But it doesn't lessen my anger any. I'm ready to spit sparks.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 6, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The Rhinos have a post-game show?

Posted by: RK | October 6, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The Rhinos have a post-game show?

Posted by: RK | October 6, 2008 10:30 AM

Is anyone thinking what I'm thinking?
How's this sound?
Dadryan's DC United Postgame Melt Down Super Call in Show!

Posted by: dadryan | October 6, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The Good:

DC United to take it's website independent of the cookie cutter league design.

In the beginning it was a good idea - but as clubs seek to develop their own identity - I applaud this.

And, I urge again, Vic and Will - take whatever deal DC will still give you at Poplar Point - in the long run, the dollars and cents will work out just as well.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 6, 2008 9:36 AM


What are you talking about, VBB? The DC United website format is the cookie cutter league design. Just look at the sites for the Galaxy, Fire, and all of the others. The only clubs with different website formats are Colorado and New England and they reside on completely different URLs.

I think the Behind the Badge is a club-funded addition, but the actual site is still the same boring league design.

Posted by: DE | October 6, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@yankiboy: maybe the producer sensed the venom in your tone. Or maybe he's part of the USL conspiracy :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 6, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I think VBB is talking about the fact that United have a couple job openings in the Web development department. Sure did make me wish I had gone to the Art Institute...

Posted by: dadryan | October 6, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

To: Yankiboy - Go Islanders.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 6, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Quaranta does show heart. I agree fully! But he whines about every single thing. I hope that they re-sign him also because he is a force out there (when he isn't complaining). Everyone in my section saw what my friend and I saw so I know that it wasn't just me.

Also, why is credibility all gone? I was making a point and mis-typed. Sorry, when you don't have much time, you type fast and make mistakes. I'll be sure to type, edit, re-type, re-edit and then publish next time.

Posted by: Q | October 6, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This blog & DC UNITED FANS for showing true sportsmanship after the Chivas USA game. You guys will always be the "jewel of MLS" to me.

THE BAD: Karma has a weird way of showing up. Although I know why it has reared its ugly head @ LAGalaxy, I don't know why it's in DC?!?

THE UGLY: Sasha K.'s(CHIVAS USA) mustache...

Posted by: PocketKings | October 6, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse


I was referring to both the job openings and the Sports Business Journal article that mentions that DC United will leave

"DC United TO TAKE"

the cookie cutter design and take control of its operation in-house.

I know that the one now is the same as everyone else.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 6, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@yankiboy: maybe the producer sensed the venom in your tone. Or maybe he's part of the USL conspiracy :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 6, 2008 10:51 AM
Nah, Bro. I was supermellow. My boys won. I was real low key. :)

Posted by: yankiboy | October 6, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The Good: Andy Williams got his red card for fouling Jay Heaps.
The Bad: Chris Seitz spending another year riding the pine at Real Suck Lake.
The Coyote Ugly: Sacha Kljestan's face.

Posted by: Beloved Cartoon Mouse | October 6, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Another Coyote Ugly Nomination: Chris Klein's "marking" on Alejandro Moreno's goal...

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 7, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

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