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The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

The playoffs are set:

Columbus (1) vs. Kansas City (4)
Chicago (2) vs. New England (3)
Houston (1) vs. New York (4)
Chivas USA (2) vs. Real Salt Lake (3)

The first game is Thursday with undermanned New England hosting Chicago (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Okay, let's wrap up the final weekend of the seven-month regular season.....

*Brad Evans from 30 yards, ending United's playoff hopes.
*Yura Movsisyan's equalizer, sending RSL to the playoffs for the first time and Colorado to the offseason.
*Chris Rolfe's hat trick.
*David Beckham's cross, setting up Edson Buddle's 15th goal of the year (he had five last season), and Landon Donovan's 20th goal in 25 games to win the Golden Boot.
*Jim Curtin's 90th-minute equalizer, his first goal of the year and fifth of his 169-game regular season career.
*Shea Salinas's footwork to draw a penalty.
*Jamie Moreno, 34, finishing the year as the only MLS player with at least both 10 goals and 10 assists.
*Chivas USA making the playoffs for the third time in its four-year existence.
*Houston entering postseason on a nine-game league unbeaten streak (5-0-4).
*Dallas captain Duilio Davino requesting that Bobby Rhine wear the armband for his final game as a professional.
*Jay Heaps and Jimmy Conrad playing every minute of every league game.

*Red cards for Alvaro Pires, Aaron Pitchkolan, Dan Kennedy, Gabriel Badilla and Khano Smith. Is this a red? Or how about this? Perhaps not, but this certainly is (two-game suspension, perhaps?).
*United hitting the post twice and the crossbar to finish 2-11-2 on the road with just 11 goals scored.
*Michael Parkhurst's own goal.
*New England's 1-5-4 downward spiral and a 4-8-4 record against Eastern opponents.

*New York heads into the playoffs with a losing record, a minus-six goal difference, a 1-8-6 road record and two players out with substance-abuse suspensions.
*DCU losing 15 games and missing the playoffs after winning the Supporters' Shield in 2006 and '07 and spending a ton of cash on foreign players last winter.
*The Galaxy concedes two more goals, increasing its season total to 62 -- 11 more than anyone else in the league.

What else?

By Steve Goff  |  October 27, 2008; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United-Crew, the Aftermath
Next: And the Winner Is.....


The Very Good: Soccer Insider and Steven's hard work all season.

The Bad: DC's season comes to an end, drastically reducing the frequency of the Soccer Insider during the winter months.

The Ugly: Wednesday's match - hope the full second team plays plus Boyzzz and Janicki.

Posted by: Henchlow | October 27, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The Good: Odds of Rod Dyachenko not returning to DCU next year.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 27, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DTABOADA | October 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Good: United can field whatever lineup it wants Wednesday, hopefully a strong one so as to end the season with a positive result.

The Bad: Helping NYRB attain a a playoff spot.

The Ugly: United's stadium outlook and progress on said outlook during this past season.

The Magnificent: The blogging efforts of a certain WaPo writer who we will most definitely protect in the upcoming draft!

Posted by: 22206no1 | October 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Beckham to Buddle cross was a thing of beauty, but the Lewis to Beckham cross that he actually ran to was fantastic! It was a breathtaking. I was at the toolbox and watched the play and I was stunned by the Lewis cross and Becks actually running for a ball.

Jamie Moreno congrats! We are ALWAYS proud of you!

Posted by: Shanoni | October 27, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

What will be Good: If MLS' best team during the regular season lifts the cup - C'mon Yellow Football Team.

What will be Bad: If we are still clinging to the efforts of a pair of 30+ year old legs next year as the day-in-day-out answers to our woes.

What will be Coyote Ugly: MLS 2009 kick's off with still no stadium direction for DC United.

Seriously - Victor, even if you and Will and others have to stake some real money to this park - get it built at Poplar Point. This has to happen.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Bad: DC United owners who can't get a stadium built.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Bad: DC United owners who are real estate developers FIRST and professional soccer team owners SECOND.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The coyote ugly: Every game that Wells played. Anybody done the math to figure out how many points he cost us?

Posted by: Juan-John | October 27, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Ugly: CGomez hasn't played since August

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Um, ok, but in case you haven't noticed - Victor and Will are 90% of home games and 75% of away games. Even the international matches. Heck, they chartered the flights for games they were allowed to under MLS rules.

In case you haven't noticed, there's no money IN SPORTS, you have to be something else in order to build up the amount of capital required to own and operate a team and enjoy the losses it spits off on your income taxes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Can't demolish RFK we dont have a place to play yet and the Maryland complex is not an option.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Porsche is taking over VW, maybe we at least upgrade the logos, if not the roster?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The really ugly: Owners who can't get a stadium built within DC despite have billions of dollars of capital.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | October 27, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

RE: Porsche. The jerseys will now have leather trim and cost twice as much. I think they'll leave VW as the sponsor because the target market ain't gonna rush out and buy Cayennes in this economy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The Good:
* Real Salt Lake getting to further break in Rio Tinto Stadium, MLS's newest venue, with a playoff appearance.

* The Columbus Crew (a/k/a The Massive Canaries) drawing 19,000 (announced) for their season finale, and celebrating the Supporters Shield, won with a team record number of points.

* Echoing Senor Goff, Chivas USA making the postseason for the third time in four years of existence. They may not draw in the stands but they have certainly put a good product on the field.

* Houston Dynamo successfully negotiating the combination of MLS regular season, SuperLiga, and (so far) CONCACAF Champions League play to finish top of their half of the table, and be a favorite to win a third consecutive MLS Cup title.

* San Jose Earthquakes surprising playoff push despite being an expansion side for all intents and purposes.

* And for 2009, Seattle Sounders FC looking to make a big splash in MLS next season:

* Landon Donovan clinching the Golden Boot with a 20 goal season, over Kenny Cooper. Edson Buddle finding the back of the net 15 times -- harbinger of more, or fluke?

* Guillermo Barros Schelotto. 'Nuff said.

The Bad
* Toronto FC failing to make the playoffs despite a strong start and unbelievable fan support, not to mention their inability to crash the CONCACAF party for Canada.

* DC United, even though winning the US Open Cup to add to their considerable haul of hardware over their existence, just missing out on another playoff appearance, due to a highly roller-coaster-esque, drama filled season.

* New York Red Bulls making the postseason with a losing record. Shades of a lousy NCAA college-basketball team sneaking into the Big Dance through a fortuitous postseason upset.

* Terrelle Pryor fumbling in the third quarter Saturday night, allowing State Penn their opening to march down the field and score. (Oops, sorry...wrong football.)

The Coyote Ugly:
* Your 2008 Los Angeles Galaxy, despite (or possibly because of) the presence of one L. Donovan AND one D. Beckham.

* DCU's appearance (it was hardly a performance) in Champions League.

* New England Revolution's abysmal series with Joe Public FC.

And finally, The Best:
* More soccer in 2009.

* Our own Steve Goff and the Soccer Insider. Thanks, Steve and the Washington Post, for bringing us this forum.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | October 27, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Fair points all, but does that mean that Lamar Hunt's paying for Crew Stadium was a fluke? Same with Abe Pollin paying for the Phone Booth? (Feel free to correct me if those two did get some form of additional public funding -- I dunno if they did or not)

Posted by: Juan-John | October 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Combing through the stats from this year...

Good: LD had 6 multi-goal games this year. Clyde Simms starts all 30 games this year. No team lost more than 1 game when leading at the half. DC and Columbus the only teams with 2 wins after losing at half.

Ugly: Atiba Harris led the league in fouls committed with 73. Next is Rocha with just 52. Next at 50 was Fred.

Coyote Ugly: DCU lost to every team this year -- the only team to do that. DC also led the league (along with Toronto) in giving up late goals. And DCU had the 2nd-longest goal scoring drought when it could least afford it in September and October.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks as always Goff for incredible analysis and insight throughout the season! WaPo really needs to give you a raise!

Posted by: beltwayrob | October 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Just want to echo all the high praise for Goff. Thanks. Looking forward to the Hot Stove League season...

Posted by: fischy | October 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Davino displaying such class.

Posted by: TheJim1 | October 27, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Paying for a stadium out of your own pocket has nothing to do with it. Lamar Hunt did shell out for Crew Stadium but Abe Pollin I believe (85%) didn't pay for the Verizon Center out of his own pocket. Even if he did, it was a minority stake (small equity funding) while the bulk of the contstruction comes from the DC tax payers who will own the arena in 2030 something, at which point, the Wizards will be on to another venue capturing whatever the revenue of choice is at the time.

Victor and Will go to games, shell out money in a money losing operation at RFK and work their tails off behind the scenes for a stadium. Should they have already deserted the District for digs somewhere else, probably. However, you have to imagine that they get a strong feeling that a suburban United is not as good a business proposition at the gate and to high paying commercial box holders.

However, you can't say they are terrible owners because we don't have a park yet. That's not entirely on their heads. You don't make tons of money in their business by risking tons of capital. And sports teams have since 1992 done a fantastic job of not risking their own capital in building their own parks.

Lamar Hunt paid for his stadium because he had to get the ball rolling. He wasn't getting any younger but had the foresight that physical assets make a league/club a much stronger property from the standpoint of revenue generation and public opinion. Real Salt Lake doesn't look like a mockery (name aside) now that Rio Tinto is open. Abe Pollin moved the Wizards in town because 1) he needed a new venue with luxury suites and additional proximate benefits and 2) with 41 home dates plus playoffs you need to go to where the fans can access you the easiest and sitting in the middle of the district on top of 4/5 metro lines and walking distance of the 5th makes that the home run location of all time.

DC United, in the long run, will need to have it's stadium in DC, but should develop a practice/training/etc ground somewhere else if Poplar Point can't hold it.

I wish Victor would sign the check for the park tomorrow, but he's not going to do it and you can't say that's poor ownership because of that.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, thanks VBB, I never did know the ins-and-outs of all this.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 27, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The Good:

I swear I saw David Beckham put the captain's arm-band on Greg Vanney when Vanney entered the Galaxy game near the end of the second half, in what was apparently his last professional game. This despite the fact that Beckham was not leaving the game.

I thought it was a tremendous show of sportsmanship on Beckham's behalf.

Can anyone else confirm this?

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | October 27, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse


You're welcome. I just felt like criticizing the ownership for no stadium was a bit harsh. Clearly they could have done some other things - but, also, things have not gone their way in other arenas and the economy right now sure as heck doesn't help much of ANYTHING.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Vanney officially retired today so sounds like a really nice gesture if Becks gave him the armband.

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 27, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Good - This column, my favorite MLS summary each week

Bad - If you didn't continue it for the play-offs

Coyote Ugly - We didn't get it next year!


Posted by: mobility83 | October 28, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

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