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United-Crew, the Aftermath

Now what?

Well, there is that crucial Champions League finale Wednesday night at RFK! No doubt, the place will be rocking.

The expansion draft is Nov. 26, in which 10 of 14 current teams will lose one player to the new Seattle club. Around Dec. 1, teams will begin offering contracts to current players, placing them on waivers or seeking trades. The college draft is in mid-January in St. Louis. The search for international talent will be ongoing.

Jaime Moreno says he wants to play again next season. Louis Crayton says he plans to return -- "For real. I am very happy here." What to do about Luciano Emilio, a designated player who did not score a goal in league play after Aug. 2? Will Marcelo Gallardo be back, or will the team seek a suitor in Argentina in order to dump his big, guaranteed contract? Will the Brothers Gonzalo return? Look for the club to purchase Thabiso Khumalo and Greg Janicki from USL2 Pittsburgh for cash, perhaps a friendly and a bag of practice balls.

For my full match report, click here. I don't have the heart to do player ratings. (But I'm curious to see your ratings.)

I will address United's situation in greater detail in the coming days, but for now, skip below in the continuation of this thread for some thoughts from DCU Prez Kevin Payne.

On today's loss: "We didn't miss the playoffs because we lost this game. We left plenty of points on the table the last six weeks and early in the season. I hope we learned some lessons."

On potential major changes: "I don't know. It's a little early. We will all sit down. I don't think any of us wants to start over again. We think it's a pretty good group. Honestly, you don't want to make excuses, but if we had not been as devastated as we were by injuries, we wouldn't be in this boat. In spite of that, we could've been in the playoffs. We just didn't get it done."

On evaluating the club: "It began about a month ago. We started talking about next year. Part of the reason we did that is because we didn't want to be influenced by how we ended up. We actually had quite a few conversations already, not so much about specific players, but more about what we think our needs are and what we need to do to compete the way we want to."

On evaluating the coaches: "We will evaluate everything, from the people involved to the way we set our season up, to the roster. For us, for our organization, it is just unacceptable so we have to fix it."

Overall: "I've never seen a year where EVERYTHING went against us, whether it was injuries, the bounce of the ball to referee decisions with all the red cards. It was a very trying year, a very long year."

Finally.....

Bryan Namoff: "That game summed up the last eight months. Finally we put together a good game from all 11 players. We were opportunistic, we were fighting for each other, but hitting three posts, it's unfortunate to end the season that way. It's going to be a long offseason because we weren't expecting to be finished. We came out to win and did everything we could, but couldn't put it into the back of the net."

By Steve Goff  |  October 26, 2008; 10:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday: United-Crew
Next: The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

Comments

Please bring back Emilio and Fred. Glad to hear Moreno and Crayton will return.

Posted by: Pedalada | October 26, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Kevin always makes me feel better and I love that they have already started dealing with next season.

Both Kevin and Bryan are correct, this was the most bizarre and murphy's law season in history and god I hope we never repeat it. I am proud that the boys enver gave up even with that diaster CL game this week. Next year, we will win it all..

Yet, ironically, we also won an important trophy this year as well. This makes us better then Beckham and the Galaxy, which means the season was not a total loss


Posted by: Shanoni | October 26, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The team needs a GK. Crayton is too much money for a mediocre keeper. He likely would not have saved the goal today but once again, his positioning was awful. His GAA was slightly better than Wells but his W-L-T record was much worse.

A solid central defender is needed. Maybe it can be Janicki. Does Peralta show potential to do better next season?

Gallardo says he will be motivated next season to show the fans that he is their DP. Promises made during an election season? Biggest disappointment on the team.

If Olsen recovers, he would be a big boost. Still, the team needs help on the wings.

Another striker is needed. Does is not the answer. Maybe Quaranta can go back to playing up top. Emilio missed Gomez and he needs a partner that will give him better opportunities.

A long off season should make the team hungry. The Open Cup gave them a ticket to the CL. There are still lofty goals to fight for next season.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 26, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

we have to be wary of a complete overhaul... i feel like that would only add to our problems. goff asks the right questions though. and did we see enough of gallardo to bring him back? and emilio... emilio kind of baffles me. anyway, this club should have a chip on its shoulder next season. now it's time to focus on those other leagues in englerland and spain and such. what a drag.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | October 26, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Goff and all DCU fans:

I have followed you for over four years now and would like to extend my thanks for these years of excitement and great soccer. However, I can't, in my heart, follow you any longer as I now have a team in Seattle that is right across the Sound from where I live.

I wish you continued success in the upcoming years and hope that DCU will continue to be a banner carrier for MLS, nationally as well as internationally. I look forward to seeing you in action at QWest Field next season.

For the last time: Vamos United!

Bruce Jones
Bremerton, WA

Posted by: brew1b | October 26, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Goff and all DCU fans:

I have followed you for over four years now and would like to extend my thanks for these years of excitement and great soccer. However, I can't, in my heart, follow you any longer as I now have a team in Seattle that is right across the Sound from where I live.

I wish you continued success in the upcoming years and hope that DCU will continue to be a banner carrier for MLS, nationally as well as internationally. I look forward to seeing you in action at QWest Field next season.

For the last time: Vamos United!

Bruce Jones
Bremerton, WA

Posted by: brew1b | October 26, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Unload the bloated salaries: Peralta, Martinez, and Gallardo. Keep Emilio around. Protect Quaranta. Get some players with MLS-value: is Chris Rolfe available?

Posted by: hoyanick1 | October 26, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Goff and all DCU fans:

I have followed you for over four years now and would like to extend my thanks for these years of excitement and great soccer. However, I can't, in my heart, follow you any longer as I now have a team in Seattle that is right across the Sound from where I live.

I wish you continued success in the upcoming years and hope that DCU will continue to be a banner carrier for MLS, nationally as well as internationally. I look forward to seeing you in action at QWest Field next season.

For the last time: Vamos United!

Bruce Jones
Bremerton, WA

Posted by: brew1b | October 26, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thanks for your support. I hope you keep DCU as your second favorite. Keller help me like the Sounders already.

PS You can say Vamos United for all but two or three games a year.

Posted by: bdwooton | October 26, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Our team is so old. We really need to get some youth this offseason.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 26, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Dump Moreno, Im sorry! He is getting older and he can't keep up.
Emilio...dump!

Fred..Keep!

USL duo..persue!

Crayton...Invite back!

Gallardo....DUMP!

Soehn...DUMP!

SuperLiga...DUMP!!!

Juande Ramos...persue! j/k (we'd go broke)

Veron...NYRB next season..

Ronaldo...? lol

Pollo Campero mascot...cook him!

VW beetle...exchange for a Jetta!

Fenty & the city-council...DUMP!

What Nationals left-behind at RFK...Trash then DUMP!

Banana Security @ RFK for not allowing flares.....DUMP!!!

The empty condiment stands....Refill..use..then DUMP!

Wierd concession stand service...facelift!


Join all the sections(add more) and get rid of the extra space...persue!


TheWashDipsSince88.....Dump!

anything else needs to be dumped

I made this post for pure giggles..

but seriously...

lets hope the few months will bring good changes for a solid season in the efforts for the 5th star..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 26, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Goff - Thanks for always keeping us up to date on DC United! After tonights game, I had so many different questions. You pretty much answered them all. Thanks again and keep up the good work! :)

Posted by: dculuva | October 26, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

That's a ludicrous assertion . .

Moreno had 10 goals and 10 assists in 25 games. He's the team's MVP for the season in my book.

He can keep up just fine.

""Dump Moreno, Im sorry! He is getting older and he can't keep up.""

Posted by: delantero | October 26, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Boy, that hurt. And letting NY in. Arghh. At least we know they'll lose to Houston.

On a positive note, I think we have a good base to build from. Let's have low turnover and look at chemistry.

Posted by: KireDCU | October 26, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Martinez? Send him home. He wss paid for the quality he was supposed to bring. I liked Martinez a lot at the outset, but he's way too erratic for a defender.

Peralta? Just can't see him turning out to be much more than we saw this season . . which was a mediocre, slow footed defender. He'd be better elsewhere.

Emilio? I like him but if Gallardo comes back, we need to let Lucho go and bring in someone who isn't such a poacher. Someone who can run onto through balls and beat defenders . . where's Roy Lassiter!?

Biggest Need? Aside from a coach that can teach organization from the back line forward . .

We need consistent wide play. While Guerrero and Fred are talented, I don't think they are real wing players---can either cross a ball?

Bring back Ryan Nelsen!

Posted by: delantero | October 26, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Steve, you are THE MAN. Thanks for everything you do. Restaurant Quality 7 days a week!
I'll be looking forward to any other news you have United and otherwise as always. Thanks, thanks, Thanks!!!!

Brew1b: Until we get a single table you're gonna need an Eastern conference favorite, so I don't see any reason to stop hollerin' Vamos United!
I'm looking forward to coming back to Seatlle to visit friends and really get our tailgate on at a DCU/SSFC match! Uwajimaya here I come!!!!!
What's Bremerton's claim to fame? Chowder? Geoduck? Bring it on!
Let's get up and get down in Pioneer Square next year you Grunge Rocking Sasquatch Lovin mofos!

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

We have a great team that really fought hard and should have made it to the playoffs. Siempre United!

That said, I want united to focus on just bringing in young up and coming talent. We should try to change as little as possible, but the players we do add, need to be the next Robbie Rogers, Danny Szetela, Chad Marshall, Stuart Holden, Kenny Cooper types.

Posted by: SeanWG | October 27, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

bdwooten and DadRyan:

Thanks for the kind words.I'm really excited and ready to get it in for the '09 season. Dungenes crab, smoked salmon, steamed oysters, lets go y'all!!

Vomos!!

Posted by: brew1b | October 27, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Bring back the Three Stripes!!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | October 27, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

All this team needs is a lighter schedule and some healthy players(Ben and Gallardo especially). The core of this team can win the MLS Cup next year, just add and subtract a couple of players.

Dump 1 or both Arge defenders and try and bring back Gomez with their salary cap space(a solid second A-mid would be great plus he might take a pay cut to come back)

Posted by: niknakdcu | October 27, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, that was my first experience traveling to an away game for DCU, and although the result was terrible, it was a great experience. My girlfriend and I came up from Virginia Tech (we were the two sitting behind everyone else for those who were there).

I thought the team was unlucky on the day, but in reality, its always tough to qualify for the playoffs by sneaking in at the end. We lost too many games this year, and if you replaced those with draws instead, we are in with a much better shout.

Its disappointing to miss the playoffs, but I suppose we can still cheer about having the Open Cup.

Posted by: hokieunited | October 27, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

can we do something about our strength and conditioning? how many hamstrings were pulled this year? just a few too many

as for players, i hope fred stays, i think quaranta is committed, and i hope steady namoff lasts a few more years here, this season sucked, but it hasn't been the worst

Posted by: DCSharksFC | October 27, 2008 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Dump Moreno?? Are you crazy??!

I'm looking forward to next season already..
- No Champions Cup hangover
- Much more depth
- Hopefully Ben will be back. (And can Gros still come back too??)

Posted by: StewartDC8 | October 27, 2008 4:39 AM | Report abuse

with Bolivian, Colombian, Argentinian, and Liberian guys on the team, one of them MUST know a witch doctor that could come in and remove the curse ;-)

I was happy with the effort Sunday, I just wish they could have played like that against Chivas and Dallas at home last month.

To those saying to dump Moreno, please go stand in traffic, you obviously have never seen this team play without him.

I hate this new comment piece, I cannot sign in with Firefox, I have to switch to IE - whoever programmed the sign-on page needs a swift kick in the ass! Poor, poor programming. sick 'em Goff.

Posted by: dcufan | October 27, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

As a loyal DCU fan,I can only say that last night they looked better and fought harder than they have in some recent games.
Tough breaks lost it for them, but one game does not make a season!! Let's start plannig for next year!
Please trade Gallardo, keep Moreno, release Peralta and Martinez and Emilio and look hard at recruiting young players out of college and the USL. We need players that will play for the shirt and not just the check. Sad to say, but I didn't see much HEART from Gallardo, Peralta, Martinez and Emilio all season.
Goff, keep the news coming.

Posted by: patrick18 | October 27, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. I can sigh in with Firefox no problem.

Posted by: Cerealman | October 27, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to have this happen to you guys, enjoyed the run late, better luck next year.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 27, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Word out of LA is that the Galaxy need to dump either Beckham or Donovan to free up some cap space. They can't drop Becks, so that means there is a good chance that they will have to let Donovan go. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could drop Gallardo and pick up Donovan?

Hey, I can dream right?

Posted by: GoUnited | October 27, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

GoUnited, that's why the LD-to-Europe rumors are plausible.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

""Wouldn't it be awesome if we could drop Gallardo and pick up Donovan?''

We have 2 DP slots for Gomez so no, we'd drop Emilio and watch Donovan run onto through balls from Gallardo all day long . .

He'd be a great addition to United . . . but it won't happen.

Posted by: delantero | October 27, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Stronger hamstrings and groins.

Maybe a better defensive organizer and someone for Moreno for teach his ways.

Ben Olsen.

Posted by: B_A_ | October 27, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Ryan Nelsen!

Posted by: delantero | October 26, 2008 11:57 PM

========================

I'd settle for Bobby Boswell, of the champion Dynamo, who may well repeat. Remind me what we got for Boswell?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The effort was good on Sunday, and Payne is right - yesterday's game didn't cost them the playoffs. Injuries and too many games where they did not put forth the effort were the reasons.

As for what to do now, I still fail to understand why Kasper is never mentioned as a major reason why the team wound up in this state. His affection for mediocre South American players created a lot of false hopes. Carvallo and Niell - magnificent failures. Peralta is the South American Rod Dyachenko - awkward, lacks passing skills, seldom challenges (witness the goal yesterday), and when he does he's likely to foul. Did Kasper not look at Carvallo, Niell or Peralta before acquiring them??? I don't know what Martinez did to get in Soehn's doghouse (didn't Boswell exit that doghouse well this year?), but obviously he's little regarded. That leaves Gallardo, an extremely skilled player by MLS standards, but prone to injury and not worth $1.9 mil a year. Kasper made up for it somewhat by his mid-to-late season acquisitions (Vide, Guerrero, Crayton, Kummalo, Janicki), all of whom can contribute playing time and depth to DCU. So I ask Mr. Kasper - have you learned anything this season? Can you get better players by looking at the USL or (God forbid) the draft, rather than using your "connections" in South America?

What I won't miss now that the season is over is the reactive, rather than well-reasoned, comments. Crayton is too much money??? He's far from Tim Howard, but right now he's the best we have. If you have someone better and cheaper elsewhere, let me know. Meanwhile I'll take a guy who gives his all and has become the voice of the team.

Moreno should be dumped??? That's too silly to even respond to - he's clearly the MVP of this year's team.

Dump the SuperLiga??? Wake up - WE DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR THE SUPERLIGA. We're in the 2009-2010 CCL (which we made a dog's breakfast of this year) by the grace of beating USL teams and MLS teams that didn't care about the USOC.

There's much to be done, and for once DCU fans should be patient, maybe even allow the team to develop young players. Good luck Kevin - you have a lot on your plate including whether Kasper and Soehn should continue in their present positions.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | October 27, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I personally hate the fact that I can't get my iphone to login, without going through multiple screens. it's an absolute headache. which has seriously cut down on my posting. sorry, Goff.


the poster formerly known as northzax.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 27, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

BillyBob, that post was a joke.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"...cash, perhaps a friendly and a bag of practice balls."

LOL funny, Goff. Good stuff.

Crayton coming back is exciting. Keep Moreno -- he'll make a great assistant coach in two years, too.

Keep Burch, McTavish, Emilio, Fred, Namoff, Guerrero, and the new, young guys that brought so much energy. Oh yeah, that Olsen guy, too. Grab Abe Thompson from Kansas City. As for a new #10, there's somebody out there. I know Payne will find him.

Looking forward to 2009. A new team in Seattle, some fresh faces at United, and if that tax rebate ever comes in, a half-season ticket plan for the Doc Family.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 27, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Dump Emilio and get a quality forward, his touch and accelartion are lacking (ever notice how he always ends up on one knee when hes being marked, its not the defenders, he can barely get to the ball after he makes a move).

We should be better off next season, all we have to concentrate on is the regular season, USOC, and Champions league.

Posted by: Springfie1d | October 27, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Really disappointed - but that's sorta been the season in a nut shell. The good thing is that next year we only face 3 competitions rather than 5.

I don't think this was the worst United team ever, but I do think this season has been wrought with disappointment. Unfavorable results, poor form, injuries, no stadium, etc.

I just hope that the offseason brings SPEED as well as looks to build the core rather than supplementing with 1-2 year contracts for aging players. We need youth, speed, and skill.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@Brew1b: Thanks for sharing our joy and pain for 4 years. Enjoy your "new" team. I hope that I can attend home games next May and July when I visit the Emerald City and that MLS schedules DC to be in Seattle at those times.

I echo the comment for KP et al who say that large-scale changes are unwarranted. More stretching exercises are what the team needs. The motivation for next year should be to get Jaime as many MLS Cup rings as Goose.

Now that our season is over, at least we have Euroball to fall back on.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

All we need is 4 months off...

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

... and lest I forget. Even though only United's season is over and Soccer Insider will continue throughout the MLS offseason,

THANK YOU STEVE!!!!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Dump Emilio.
Dump Soehn.
Dump Rod.

If we can get something for Gallardo, then do it ... with his 1161 minutes played this season, than means he earned $1550.38 EACH MINUTE! Wow. He better be fit next season. What a wash.

Posted by: beergorila | October 27, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

BillyBob, that post was a joke.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 9:41 AM

Would you care to tell me why, or was this just a drive-by?

Posted by: BillyBob4 | October 27, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

TheWashDipsSince88 wrote "I made this post for pure giggles.."

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I became nervous about this season once United began to make serious changes in the off season -- I feared too much churn to what looked like a relatively delicate balance from last year (Perkins, Boswell, Carroll, Gomez). I also worried about an over-reliance on players that had shown a tendency to miss matches (Moreno, Emilio, Fred) along with at least one new player with a history of injuries as well (Gallardo). I'm torn concerning the future because this is not that big of a surprise to me. I do think Soehn made some critical mistakes with lineups and substitution patterns and I'm worried about relying (again) on guys that will get injured and will not be able to handle the schedule. I guess I would prefer that we pick up Khumalo and Janicki and let Peralta go; maybe keep Martinez and see what happens with Gallardo. Overall, I think Soehn probably needs to go, given some mistakes he made in dealing with the injuries. Very close call though.

Posted by: teamn | October 27, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: teamn | October 27, 2008 10:02 AM

I think it's important to point out that both Boswell and Carroll played themselves off the first team last season. Carroll left in the expansion draft, not by choice.

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 27, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU STEVE!!!!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2008 9:56 AM

Seconded! A wild season that was well reported by America's #1 soccer writer.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 27, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Last night was a heartbreaker. DCU played hard, and deserved a better result.

My suggestions-
1. Fire Soehn- sorry Tom, when you put Martinez on the side rather than in the middle to shore things up, I think you displayed you are not the coach for DCU.
2. Keep Crayton, Doe, Boyzz, Janiki, Fred, Burch.
3. Evaluate everyone else. Rember aging players out on injury limit the roster. If we buy a lot of older players who have more injuries, then that consumes roster space and can snowball into the problems we had this year. Put a premium on youth and health this year. Try a lot of talent and see who shakes out.
4. GO HARD AFTER MARCUS TRACY/ Wake Forest U...that guy is a beast and he is just what DCU needs.

Hats off to VW...been a great sponsor.
Hats off to Barra Brava and SE...you guys make DCU soccer fun to see in person.
Hats off to Steve Goff..nice job, this is my favorite blog.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 27, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Feature about a teen aged Haitian-American striker.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=584704&sec=us&root=us&cc=5901

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I really think we need to make use of our new youth rules, the reserve division and those lower division call-ups. The new youth rule will allow us to get 1 solid player at about every 2 years. We need to focus on getting some rookies good playing time every year in the reserve division, we need a Devon McTavish type who spent a solid year with the reserves and emaerged the following year as a regular. Lastly, it seems that we don't go enough to the USL to get a player or two. Its proven us well this season and I think we need to do a better job keeping an eye on the USL 1 and USL 2 not just PDL as we are accustomed to because of college players.

We need to stop going to S. America for every single move. Jose Carvollho, Gonzalo Peralta, Martinez, Gallardo did not work for us and they won't. That guy last year from Boc Juniors did not work for us. And Facundo did not work. Hyst because Gomez worked doesn't mean we need to go the well in S. America for every need.

We need to become innovative when getting new players. Eastern Europe is a great place to also find some hidden gems and the price isn't too bad. I think we need a coaching change, we need a new striker, strikers are good for 2-3 seasons. Release both Gonzalos, Jamie, and Carefully evaluate Emilio and Gallardo.

Posted by: godpere | October 27, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

release Jaime, dude are you nuts! He was the mvp this year

Posted by: koolcaio | October 27, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

A request to Goff:

How 'bout a poll to see which players the fans want DCU management to protect in the expansion draft? List the roster and let us take our best shots.

Khumalo proved once again that you can never put too-low a shot on goal. He missed when it was easier to score. It probably would have been the game-winner for DCU.

Can DCU unload Dave Johnston in the draft?

In England, defenders like Peralta are called donkeys.

It is getting tiresome to hear people talk about how tiring the 30-game MLS schedule is for the players. They average five matches a month. That's a bit more than the 4.75 matches monthly Premiership clubs average each season. But it's less than the 5.75 matches monthly the Championship teams average per season. These numbers do not include cup competitions. MLS apologists should toughen up.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 27, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

For next season...

Soehn - gone
Crayton - stays
Peralta - stays
Martinez - gone
Janicki - happy that he stays
Burch - expansion risk?
Gallardo - stays (he can avoid the 'bust' tag if healthy)
Fred - stays
Moreno - gone (like Soehn, sad but probably best)
Olsen - gone (saddest - but we need to roster spot to help depth)
Quaranta - protected
Emilio - stays

Posted by: Kev29 | October 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

NO ONE has complained about the 30 game MLS schedule. It's the other games, around the MLS schedule, that made it difficult for an 18 man senior roster.

Get rid of Dave Johnston?? Sorry, you lost credibility with me.


Formerly JkR

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Late2Bass,

Yes, you're right. I guess in retrospect I might have tried to keep both on the team in order to reduce the churn, but at the time maybe that was the best decision. On top of that, throw in Josh Gros' retirement and the unexpected injury to Ben Olsen (perhaps the most critical issue of all) and here we are.

No easy answers, unfortunately. I do agree with others that have pointed out a need for more team speed.

Posted by: teamn | October 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Also, the travel is a bit tougher in the US than England...or Europe.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Frustrating season, but thanks, Goff, for the work you do here, and thanks also to you DCU supporters who live and die with the Red-and-Black.

This blog is one of the things that makes being a DCU supporter so much fun.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | October 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Kev29: what's your take on McTavish? I'm having a hard time keeping him in my protection list. I want to like the guy but he often looks like he'd have more success trying to steal second base than being dependable in defense.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ryan - I'm not sure about McTavish either, but I have trouble giving up on central defenders in this league. I was all for getting rid of Boswell last season - but that has not worked out for us well.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

For those who think Crayton was an improvement, take a look at the stats:

http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/stats/index.jsp?club=t103

Wells: 1.65 GAA - 8W 8L 1T

Crayton: 1.58 GAA - 3 W 6L 3T

At one-third the cost, Wells was the better keeper. That is not saying much but this team will not go anywhere with Crayton. The defense needs to improve regardless of who we have in goal. Crayton is not the answer though and his full salary will be about $180K. That is too much for a less than mediocre keeper.


Posted by: Verrazzano | October 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, English rosters are MUCH larger than ours. They really should expand the roster cap in MLS.

Agree with keeping Quaranta. I also like Guerrero(sp?).

Posted by: Wiggan | October 27, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

But it's less than the 5.75 matches monthly the Championship teams average per season. These numbers do not include cup competitions. MLS apologists should toughen up.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 27, 2008 10:43 AM

Also, the travel is a bit tougher in the US than England...or Europe.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 10:54 AM

All fair points - but the schedule for DC and Houston has been ridiculous for the size of the squads + the superfluous group stage format in the SuperLiga and CCL.

Championship sides have their league matches then single elimination cups (barring FA Cup replays). That's a very straightforward schedule. Plus Championship clubs have bigger squads (for the most part), can rely on youth teams, emergency loans, etc. Not to mention the sane international calendar breaks for clubs with national teams players.

I agree that sometimes clubs just need to suck it up and play their matches - but it got a bit farcical this season.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 27, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Spain provides 5 players in FIFPro World XI 2007-2008

http://www.fifpro.org/index.php?mod=one&id=16781

Goalkeeper – Iker Casillas (Spain/ Real Madrid)

Defenders – Sergio Ramos (Spain/ Real Madrid), John Terry (England/ Chelsea), Carles Puyol (Spain/ Barcelona) and Rio Ferdinand (England/ Manchester United)

Midfielders - Steven Gerrard (England/ Liverpool), Xavi (Spain/ Barcelona) and Ricardo Kaká (Brazil/AC Milan).

Forwards – Lionel Messi (Argentina/ Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Spain/ Liverpool), and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Manchester United).

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

wow, Seattle is coming out ready to play. If this happens it would be cool.

Ljungberg to Seattle rumors on ESPN.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=586247&sec=mls&cc=5901

Always loved that guy.

Posted by: Matte | October 27, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:17 AM

Sergio Ramos, best 11?? Yikes...

He's a talented Erpen, IMHO....

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

But Ramos plays for RM, so he must be good.

I've never seen the big deal with him, either.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Spain provides 5 players in FIFPro World XI 2007-2008

http://www.fifpro.org/index.php?mod=one&id=16781

Goalkeeper – Iker Casillas (Spain/ Real Madrid)

Defenders – Sergio Ramos (Spain/ Real Madrid), John Terry (England/ Chelsea), Carles Puyol (Spain/ Barcelona) and Rio Ferdinand (England/ Manchester United)

Midfielders - Steven Gerrard (England/ Liverpool), Xavi (Spain/ Barcelona) and Ricardo Kaká (Brazil/AC Milan).

Forwards – Lionel Messi (Argentina/ Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Spain/ Liverpool), and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Manchester United).


I don't understand how Ramos and Gerrard are in that list and not Vidic and Lampard.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | October 27, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought Senna could've made it, too.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Kev29: I hear that about Boswell. I'd like to see the Brothers Gonzalo released, and Janicki bought up. I'm just curious to see if DCU will have to leave either Burch or McTavish unprotected. Can't really see United protecting them both.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought Senna could've made it, too.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:37 AM

Agreed, he was the best Spanish player in the Euros, even if the Spaniards won't admit it.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | October 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It seems too early to be discussing protection lists. Although there's some guys like Janicki, McTavish, Burch, Guerrero, and Doe that should be pushing to make a big impression on Wednesdays. Here's my first draft of the protection list, subject to change

Moreno
Emilio
Doe
Fred
Quaranta
Simms
Burch
McTavish
Namoff
Crayton
?????????????

Last spot is up for grabs. I wouldn't be upset to lose Guerrero. Not sure Janicki has been here long enough to really earn a slot. If anyone wants to try to snag Gallardo and his salary, please be my guest.

Definitely leaving Tom Soehn OFF the protection list. I'm ready to give someone else a shot as head coach.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 27, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

SG:Why was my (longish) post of 1am not published? I previewed it twice and submitted twice.Coach peter.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | October 27, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't think they need to protect DP's(Emilio).

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

re: this --

"For those who think Crayton was an improvement, take a look at the stats:

http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/stats/index.jsp?club=t103

Wells: 1.65 GAA - 8W 8L 1T

Crayton: 1.58 GAA - 3 W 6L 3T

At one-third the cost, Wells was the better keeper. That is not saying much but this team will not go anywhere with Crayton. The defense needs to improve regardless of who we have in goal. Crayton is not the answer though and his full salary will be about $180K. That is too much for a less than mediocre keeper."

Ya gotta look at the team's performances during the respective stints in goal. Wells benefits from the hot streak DCU enjoyed mid-season, while Crayton played during some of the the teams's up games and more than a few of the down ones. Those stats do not tell the whole story. Crayton's improved command of the box and his courage far outweigh what Wells brought. Is Crayton perfect? No. Is be an upgrade over Wells? Absolutely.

Sometimes you have to pay for confidence. In the GK position, it is crucial.

Posted by: 22206no1 | October 27, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Am I correct that we don't need to protect Janicki and Khumalo from the expansion draft because they are not on our roster? But does that also expose them to being signed by another MLS team at any time?

Fixing the team is not rocket science. We need central defenders. If we still had Boswell and Erpen we would be in fine share right now.

Posted by: granadoskerry | October 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Crayton actually had some shutouts, too, which is quite important for a keeper!

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of Payne and that is a positve first step - drags down the whole organization.

Posted by: LCR-54 | October 27, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

late2bass:

I've been hearing about the tough MLS sched from broadcast commentators for years -- well before cup competitions expanded beyond the Hunt Cup. The latest mention was last night by Dave Johnston. As for DJ, sorry, but I prefer the play-by-play minimalists heard on English league telecasts.

Kev29:

I agree on the travel in England and the squad sizes. MLS needs bigger squads to help cover injuries. Teams in England, however, do not automatically field their second eleven for a midweek match. My experience watching England is that only a couple of first teamers get a midweek rest -- unless the foe is a nonleague club. (Kinda like the reserves DCU fields against early-round Hunt Cup foes.) English clubs may have rosters numbering in the 40s, but most end up with an active roster of maybe 15 players -- about the same as MLS.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 27, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't fall for that confidence line. The team should have improved with Crayton, not get worse. Crayton let some howlers in. He is a wild man in goal. So Wells benefitted during the team's hot streak. What, he was just a mere spectator? Early in the season, the defenders were giving the ball away for easy goals. While his .500 record is not anything to brag about, it is much better than Crayton's losing record. Crayton was far from an upgrade. DC United needs a quality keeper and Crayton is not that player. He is too much money on the payroll for a back-up. Get rid of him and find a real keeper.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a good season, but loved every minute we had a game. Having gone to a Columbus game last month, could see they were strong and steady.

For next year, try & bring back all but Gallardo. He simply does not fit in our system. Don't go for Veron. Stay out of Argentina!!!!! If anyone tho, try and get the Columbus Crew Argentine midfielder. He makes all the difference for them. I would think seriously of getting Christian Gomez back. I can't imagine Colorado would have him back. He sat the bench after the new coach took over. He was a catalyst here. Don't think it would hurt to have 2 sets of forwards tho. That, and Luciano and Fred playing hurt while Gallardo was out was the hurt for us this year. Those two guys deserve a raise for all they tried to do this year while not complaining and playing hurt. Our kids are coming along fine. I think Thompson was a good pickup. I am not even sure I would get a new coach. A new trainer tho.

See you all Wednesday night.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 27, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to see exactly this roster playing healthy for a season (which is to say, with an AVERAGE number of injuries as opposed to the carnage we experienced). It's not really Soehn's fault, but getting into the playoffs has to be a litmus test. Sorry, Tommy, but it's not unreasonable to hold you accountable for failing to scrounge us three more points or so, adversity notwithstanding.

Posted by: dccal | October 27, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Olsen will retire...

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: runningcloud | October 27, 2008 12:13 PM

I think you're confusing the schedule an MLS team plays with the MLS schedule. 2 different things. The Crew played an MLS only schedule, 30 games, and have had a walk in the park. DC, Houston, NE, and Chivas have all played in 4 additional tournaments and have had, at various times, a punishing series of fixtures which took their toll on the teams and their playoff positions.

...and it's Dave Johnson, no T, and he's been first class in this league since it's inception. Which is why he called the World Cup on Radio / satellite.

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Am I correct that we don't need to protect Janicki and Khumalo from the expansion draft because they are not on our roster? But does that also expose them to being signed by another MLS team at any time?Posted by: granadoskerry | October 27, 2008 11:51 AM

Click on Goff's link above to the Expansion draft rules. Way down at the bottom there is something about USL players. Does DCU need to sign these guys and protect them? Looks like it to me. They probably can't be protected unless they have contracts for next year.
Scroll down to the part about Priority. Looks to me like the FO has ALOT of WORK to do before the expansion draft in 1 month.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

English clubs may have rosters numbering in the 40s, but most end up with an active roster of maybe 15 players -- about the same as MLS.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 27, 2008 12:13 PM

I don't want to nit-pick, but that's not really the case. Take my club, QPR, for example... They have a squad of about 28 players right now. Of that 28, 16 make the matchday roster. Behind that, there are probably another 7 or 8 youth team players without squad numbers that could be called on in an emergency. So there are about 35 players they can rely on to fill out the team. More telling though is the fact that many of these reserve players can be counted on to fill a role in the first team. Whereas a big problem with United (and around MLS) comes when with the steep drop-off in talent between first and reserve team players - largely due to the salary cap (and USL being able to offer second level players more money).

Posted by: Kev29 | October 27, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

it's worth noting that Reading FC, playing in the Soda Pop League, has a roster of 29 players under contract and another 11 out on loans. the 11 are basically the developmental squad out to get playing time somewhere (except for Lita who was just in crappy form) there are another 8-9 players who are available to suit up if needed. I only cite Reading because it's the team I know the best. that makes fixture congestion much easier to deal with, frankly, let alone injuries (given that two probable regulars, Murty and Convey, haven't sniffed the pitch in two months) if you want to play 50 games in a season, you need that kind of depth.

I am not yet on the fire Soehn bandwagon. the teams that are successful in MLS keep a coach for three seasons or more. I would keep him for another season and see what this squad can do healthy (anyone remember June?) and with some more time together. don't blow it up again, MLS isn't friendly to rapid rebuilds.

protect:

Quaranta
Fred
Simms
Moreno
Burch
McTavish
Doe
Namoff
Boyzzzz (if he will sign)
Janicki (if he will sign)
and one other

Leave the keepers unprotected, I can't believe Seattle will waste a draft spot on a keeper with Keller in the mix.

for the last spot, it's time for a realistic assessment of Benny's ankle. As much as we all love him, we can't have him taking up a roster spot and cap space with a bum ankle. if he's actually, honestly, for real, going to be healthy, fine. otherwise, it might be time for him to go get a manager license and learn that trade. eitherway, I wouldn't protect him, I can't see Seattle spending a pick on a player who clocked 9 minutes this season.

Kirk is, I believe, protected as GenAd.

I can't remember the details of the Emilio deal, but he's not living up to them. if he's willing to re-sign for $250k, keep him, otherwise, he's not worth the DP spot anymore.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This has been a truly horrible season. However, one thing we've learnt is you simply can't win with a collection of stars. At least it doesnt guarantee anything. I say retain Emilio 'cos he's shown what he can do. Retain Martinez 'cos he's a good defender that can be productive going forward. Dump Gallardo and Peralta. Just too much money for too little results.

And finally, please refrain from all these international competitions where MLS teams are effectively cannon fodder with no realistic hope of winning.

Posted by: tundey | October 27, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Tundey but did you watch Martinez the last two months? He's been terrible. He looks unhappy, or fatigued. Maybe he just hates the coach.
Sorry, I'm just surprised to see anybody giving that guy props.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Dump 1 or both Arge defenders and try and bring back Gomez with their salary cap space

Posted by: niknakdcu | October 27, 2008 1:28 AM
--------------------------------------

Peralta is from Argentina (and I agree he should be let go), who's the other "Arge"?

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

For those who think Crayton was an improvement, take a look at the stats:

http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/stats/index.jsp?club=t103
Wells: 1.65 GAA - 8W 8L 1T
Crayton: 1.58 GAA - 3 W 6L 3T

At one-third the cost, Wells was the better keeper.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 27, 2008 11:09 AM
-----------------------------------------

I love sports stats, but the above use of them is simply laughable. You can, of course, use stats to make any argument you want. For example, did you know that DCU scored 1.82 goals per game with Wells in the net vs. 1.00 goals per game with Crayton in the net (we're talking MLS games only). No wonder Wells has more "Wins."

Yes, Wells had some weak defending in front of him -- but so did Crayton, with the various injuries, etc. and no Gallardo to take the pressure off.

I watched about half the games this year, and Wells was consistently out of position and tentative. Crayton is often too far off line, but I can only remember one outright gaffe of his, and his positioning between the pipes was right on.

I would bet a gazillion $ that if you polled the players about whom they'd rather have back there, Crayton would win in a landslide.

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 27, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If you want to know who the better keeper was, just look at their saves numbers. More significantly. look at their saves numbers compared with minutes played. Wells benefited not from a streak -- he benefited by having a fitter, healthier and better team in front of him. Crayton was better. Period. If Wells had been playing the last 2 months, he would have given up more goals than Crayton did.

Posted by: fischy | October 27, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

If Wells had been playing the last 2 months, he would have given up more goals than Crayton did.

Posted by: fischy | October 27, 2008 2:10 PM
--------------------------------------------

If Hope Solo had been playing the last 2 months, she would have given up zero goals.

(C'mon, someone had to rep HS under the new signin regime!)

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 27, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

First: its lame to have the expansion draft before the contract decisions. That resulted in DC protecting Perkins last year.

Second: Four factors should be balanced in considering players (albeit, not equally). They are: skill, cost, injury risk, and for lack of a better term, entertainment value (in which I would include both fan appreciation for longstanding veterans, exciting soccer, and yes, goalkeeper antics :)

On that scale, my thoughts are as follows:

Definately protect/keep:

Moreno
Fred
Janicki
Burch
Guerrero
Quaranta

Probably keep (but not necessarily protect):

Olsen (really depends on injury status)
Crayton
Namoff
Simms
McTavish

Look for alternatives but consider keeping:

Emilio
Khumalo
Doe
Martinez (but only with pay reduction and convert to outside mid)
Peralta (but only with pay reduction)

Sack (er, sell to Argentinian team):

Gallardo

Everyone else: no opinion.

Posted by: regularfan | October 27, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

FIRE SOEHN'RRY AZZ!

I HATE TO SAY IT...

BUT I TOLD YOU SO...

DCU's present head coach, cannot lead our team we need a strong presence, some one who will not be afraid to get these players to condition during practice in order to perform instead of getting injured.

Posted by: DCFaninSocal | October 27, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Kev29:

QPR, in terms of player numbers, sounds a lot like DCU. Beyond DCU's senior roster is a group of youngsters that could be tapped in an emergency.

My thoughts about the relative schedules have nothing to do with player ability. Roster-top-to-roster-bottom, English clubs are stronger in this respect because they do not face the MLS salary/roster restrictions. All I'm comparing is number of games and number of players.

My only point is that compared to England, the MLS sched is not as tough as some commentators say it is. Most high-level futball scheds are tough. It's a given. I'm just tired of hearing commentators implying there's some sort of unique toughness about the MLS game load.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 28, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

With all the roster changes, it was clear that this would be a rebuilding year. Unfortunately, there wasn't much "rebuilding" due to injuries. No team chemistry ever developed.

I liked Martinez in the early parts of the seasson. Unfortunately, he became too inconsistent and error prone.

Peralta does not bring enough to make him worth his salary#.

I think they both have to go.

I thought Emilio worked hard most of the season and is still our best finisher. Keep him unless you find some one that is a clear improvement.

Posted by: footiefan101 | October 28, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Fire the athletic trainer! Seriously.

You can say that the injuries were the result of bad luck and a large number of games, but pulled hamstrings are preventable injuries. The injuries were too consitent and pervasive to leave blameless the staff in charge of preventing them.

The right physical trainer and sports medicine staff can make a big difference. DCU's front office should look at other teams that came through the season with relatively few injuries, and poach the right staff people.

Posted by: WorldCup | October 28, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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