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United's Reception

You thought D.C. United's season was over, didn't you? Ha! It's not over until Kevin Payne says it is. Though the final game was Wednesday, the last official activity didn't occur until tonight: The United Awards Reception at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in the historic H Street cooridor of Northeast Washington.

It was a casual event, a pep rally in some ways, but a few newsworthy items did surface:

AWARDS
Humanitarian: Devon McTavish.
Defender: Clyde Simms.
Goal: Marcelo Gallardo's volley vs. RSL.
Golden Boot: Luciano Emilio.
Coaches' Award: Santino Quaranta.
Fans' Choice: Santino Quaranta.
MVP: Jaime Moreno.

*GK Zach Wells will have surgery soon on his foot, which troubled him throughout the season.

*Payne introduced a representative from the Prince George's County government in attendance. Apparently, none of the invited guests from the D.C. government showed. Hmmm.....

*During the player introductions, Payne said that the club will look to Gonzalo Peralta "to anchor the backline in the years ahead." Afterward, I asked the Prez about Peralta's future. He said: "We didn't bring him here for one year. It's certainly our hope" to have him back in the lineup next season.

*In introducing the coach, Payne said Tom Soehn offered a lesson this year in fighting adversity. "He's a fighter and I know he'll be back next year." The folks I was sitting around in the theater looked at each other and had the same thought: Payne just said that Soehn will return as coach. But given the setting and the tone of the evening, I felt I should follow up with Payne for some context. "It was not intended to be a definitive statement," he said. "What I meant was that he will come back from this disappointing season."

Payne said he and GM Dave Kasper have not yet had a chance to meet with managing partners Victor MacFarlane and Will Chang about Soehn's status. (Neither MacFarlane nor Chang was able to attend tonight's event.) Asked if he concurred with Kasper's comment in Wednesday's Post that Soehn deserved to return, Payne said: "Given the circumstances, he did a very good job. He was dealt as difficult of a hand as I have ever seen."

The ball appears to be in Victor and Will's court.

By Steve Goff  |  October 30, 2008; 11:33 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Finalists Are.....
Next: Midday Kickaround

Comments

wow, first.

Posted by: Section107 | October 31, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Uhh. Second. Track stand on the podium!
Interesting update.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 31, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

wow, nobody cares but you.

I wonder how many of the goals Wells gave up this year can be blamed on his foot.

Posted by: Kenobi | October 31, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Kenobi:

Your feet don't control your decision-making or spatial awareness. Maybe a few of the times he jumped late were down to moving more slowly than he would at 100%, but they all looked like slow reactions to me.

***

So Payne went as I figured he would, in favor of Soehn staying on. I don't know MacFarlane or Chang well enough as owners to guess what they'll do, but I'm pretty sure we'll see Soehn back. All in all, I'm more alarmed by the intro of Peralta. Even if he does stay, hopefully those with some say in the matter understand that we need to get him a strong partner rather than a utility defensive player, or an outside back being forced into an unfamiliar role.

Revs-Fire:

Sloppy, tight game. Sometimes the tense games with few chances can be really exciting due to constant drama, but tonight's game was too poorly played in terms of what was done with the ball to be anything save boring. Neither team could do anything constructive in attack. The Revs had a few long shots, but the only player on their team that's a threat from long range (Larentowicz) had his attempts charged down. Chicago, meanwhile, got nothing from Blanco and Rolfe and were basically hoping to play entirely through Mapp, which isn't going to get them much.

I suppose on one hand I'd say the low quality soccer on display favored the Revs, since they're without their 2 key attacking players. On the other hand, that means they'll have to maintain a shutout in Chicago, as I would be stunned to see this Revs team produce more than 1 goal (unless Chicago has someone sent off early). I think that if the Revs were going to pull an upset, they had to win tonight. To get a result at Toyota Park, they'll have to make sure the game plays out exactly like this one, which will include pressuring Chicago's backs to keep them from playing long balls for McBride to head on. Make sure Chicago keeps trying to play their way through Joseph and Larentowicz, and get something on a set piece. It's not the most promising strategy, but there isn't much else available to New England.

If Chicago goes to a 442, with Rolfe moving up as a forward, and plays more direct, they'll find that Badilla (who will come back from suspension) or Heaps will really struggle to stop McBride from winning the headers. After that, if they can just get Rolfe, Blanco, and Mapp to go harder for the 2nd balls, they'll find a lot of promising chances. The Revs won the central midfield tonight, so you bypass it or go wide and play down the flanks (which would lead to crosses, which would lead to the Revs having to win headers off McBride in the box to avoid letting up goals). In either case, a simple adjustment would give the Fire a massive advantage over the Revs. You can revert back to the 4231 without making a sub, and you leave yourself with guys like Gutierrez and Banner available to clog the game up if you get ahead.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 31, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Kenobi:

Your feet don't control your decision-making or spatial awareness. Maybe a few of the times he jumped late were down to moving more slowly than he would at 100%, but they all looked like slow reactions to me.

***

So Payne went as I figured he would, in favor of Soehn staying on. I don't know MacFarlane or Chang well enough as owners to guess what they'll do, but I'm pretty sure we'll see Soehn back. All in all, I'm more alarmed by the intro of Peralta. Even if he does stay, hopefully those with some say in the matter understand that we need to get him a strong partner rather than a utility defensive player, or an outside back being forced into an unfamiliar role.

Revs-Fire:

Sloppy, tight game. Sometimes the tense games with few chances can be really exciting due to constant drama, but tonight's game was too poorly played in terms of what was done with the ball to be anything save boring. Neither team could do anything constructive in attack. The Revs had a few long shots, but the only player on their team that's a threat from long range (Larentowicz) had his attempts charged down. Chicago, meanwhile, got nothing from Blanco and Rolfe and were basically hoping to play entirely through Mapp, which isn't going to get them much.

I suppose on one hand I'd say the low quality soccer on display favored the Revs, since they're without their 2 key attacking players. On the other hand, that means they'll have to maintain a shutout in Chicago, as I would be stunned to see this Revs team produce more than 1 goal (unless Chicago has someone sent off early). I think that if the Revs were going to pull an upset, they had to win tonight. To get a result at Toyota Park, they'll have to make sure the game plays out exactly like this one, which will include pressuring Chicago's backs to keep them from playing long balls for McBride to head on. Make sure Chicago keeps trying to play their way through Joseph and Larentowicz, and get something on a set piece. It's not the most promising strategy, but there isn't much else available to New England.

If Chicago goes to a 442, with Rolfe moving up as a forward, and plays more direct, they'll find that Badilla (who will come back from suspension) or Heaps will really struggle to stop McBride from winning the headers. After that, if they can just get Rolfe, Blanco, and Mapp to go harder for the 2nd balls, they'll find a lot of promising chances. The Revs won the central midfield tonight, so you bypass it or go wide and play down the flanks (which would lead to crosses, which would lead to the Revs having to win headers off McBride in the box to avoid letting up goals). In either case, a simple adjustment would give the Fire a massive advantage over the Revs. You can revert back to the 4231 without making a sub, and you leave yourself with guys like Gutierrez and Banner available to clog the game up if you get ahead.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 31, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Was there a Spanish and Portuguese translator on hand? Or did Fred, Luci, Peralta, Martinez and Gallardo have to guess at what Payne said?

Were these players in attendance?

Posted by: redskinsux | October 31, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Tino honored for what he accomplished this year. Surprised that Namoff didn't get the defender of the year. Simms isn't technically a defender and Namoff got it done most of the time.

Very depressed about the possibility of Soehn returning. Anyone just has to look at the coaching decisions he made at the beginning of the season when he had a healthy squad to realize that he isn't the guy.

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 31, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

McBride's goal looked onsides to me. He seemed level to me so you've got to give the advantage to the attacker.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 31, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

McBride was slightly ahead, so he was offsides, in my opinion.

But if I was playing the Fire, I would be trying to move the ball all around the field as much as possible. With Fat Boy (#10) on the Fire, they are essentially playing 10 v 11 most of the time. Granted, Fat Boy is great when he has the ball, but he covers as small a space as anyone in MLS when it comes to defending. So teams should use both wings, move the ball quickly, and try to make the other 9 Fire players on the field run as much as possible chasing the ball. Doesn't this make sense?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | October 31, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

mcbride was off - close but he was off.

Simms- I think they leave him unprotected and he ends up in Seattle which is fine. The key task of the DM is to destroy - he never did much of that. Vide did more destroying in the MF than simms did.
DC should get a tough - nasty DM or two in the off season. That would free up Gallardo to really be the AM and not have to cover for the second rate DM.

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | October 31, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Following Chest's comments on last night's game: If I were King of MLS, I would change the playoff structure. Each of the four teams in a "bracket" would face each of the others once (think World Cup group stage) with the host team being the one that was higher in the regular season standings. The top team in each bracket (by points, GD, etc) will advance to the final. I think this would make each game more meaningful because the away team would not have the option of bunkering and waiting for a second leg at home. This set up would really give home field advantage to the deserving regular season leader.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 31, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Not at all depressed about Tommy coming back - but instead of throwing money around on a new coach and getting rid of Tommy - perhaps we should really look at a better training and sports medicine help. It also may not hurt to tell Tommy that he needs better understudies on his bench because I'm not sure Ashton and Mark Simpson have what it takes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 31, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I know it's early, but I'm getting the feeling there aren't going to be a ton of changes for next year. If that's the case, I can't say I understand it. I mean, how do you dismantle a back-to-back Supporters Shield team and then let a team that missed the playoffs go largely untouched? Like I said, I know it's early, but it sure looks like Tommy and Peralta will be back. Unless a miracle happens Gallardo will be back. Jaimie looks to be back again. Just doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | October 31, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? Ashford and Simpson wrote lots of Motown hits, like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

Oh Ashton. Never mind

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 31, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? Ashford and Simpson wrote lots of Motown hits, like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

Oh Ashton. Never mind

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 31, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Peralta coming back. I think Peralta and Janicki can form a pretty decent partnership in the middle. McTavish can fill in when necessary and we can draft another defender.

Burch - Peralta - Janicki - Namoff is a decent backline.

Our other draft pick should be some sort of winger.

Martinez, Wells, and Dyachenko on the other hand, should be shown the door. Give a few players a raise and find some more talent overseas or SA.

As for the Soehn thing, I don't know. It appeared at one point during the season he lost the team. They didn't respond to him. That cant happen.

Posted by: strago | October 31, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

270 the Gator women were on FSC last night. Preferred that to Blanco. Their coach is either very loud, or he was standing next to an open FSC mike, or both. He didn't seem entirely pleased with the Gators' effort.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 31, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

This team epic failed this season. To say Soehn did a "very good job considering the circumstances" doesn't do much for me. This team on paper was better than most and played like CRAP. It was destroyed on defense all season long. I don't blame Soehn for the injuries, those happen and hurt, but to say he did a "very good job" just strikes me as odd.

Posted by: elfelixg | October 31, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Defender: Clyde Simms"

That says a lot right there. Congrats to Clyde on a nice season though.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

A bit OT, but tonight's NCAA action includes the Maryland men at Virginia. Also, GU's teams, both of which are nationally ranked, are at home this weekend. The men host Marquette on Saturday, and the women take on UConn in the Big East quarters on Sunday.

Posted by: universityandpark | October 31, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Last night's game...this is pathetic.

Attendance: 5,221

Posted by: Reignking | October 31, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

DC should get a tough - nasty DM or two in the off season. That would free up Gallardo to really be the AM and not have to cover for the second rate DM.

---------------------------------------------

That has been Gallardo's problem, hasn't it? Having to cover for Clyde Simms...

Posted by: live1 | October 31, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

i don't mind peralta, but it bugs me. why is the team sticking with this guy when they threw boswell under the bus and then out the door last year? i'm sure it's more complicated than that, but there doesn't seem to be any consistency or any sort of plan to how the front office operates lately.

Posted by: stairs | October 31, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Tom Soehn was indeed dealt a rough hand, and fingers crossed he comes back next season. I've had the chance to watch him conduct training sessions, and have never been so inspired from watching a coach. More importantly, that Santino received both the coach's and fans' awards speaks volumes of Soehn's strong heart and mentoring ability. We are lucky to have him as the boss of Our Boys, and my fingers are crossed the ownership and management will see it that way.

Posted by: toxicpie | October 31, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks OWNTF. I would have preferred that to the MLS game, had I known.

Florida's coach is Becky Burleigh. Not good for her is she sounded like a "he."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 31, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Goal: Marcelo Gallardo's volley vs. RSL.

Million Dollar Donut. Why not award Vide or Simms or Quaranta or Burch for some of their quality strikes. The less said about Gallardo the better.

*GK Zach Wells will have surgery soon on his foot, which troubled him throughout the season.

Can he get surgery on his game? It troubled me throughout this season.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | October 31, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Peralta will be back. I think he showed (at times) that he can be an outstanding defender. I don't think we saw the best of him at all - if we can get another central D (Janicki) and a bit of organization and discipline in front of Crayton I think we'll be good on defense.

I'm a bit sad that Martinez may be leaving, though. I'm OK with Soehn being back - I think he's a better coach than he seemed to be this season.

Posted by: gasdorian | October 31, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I-270, Exit 1: you are hereby crowned King of MLS.

Proceed.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 31, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Last night's game...this is pathetic.

Attendance: 5,221

Posted by: Reignking | October 31, 2008 9:39 AM

Cue "Foxboro is far away, it was cold, it was Thursday" excuses. However you slice it - it is pathetic.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say, "Gator!"

"There's a gator in the bushes
He's calling my name
And he's sayin'
C'mon boy, you'd better make it back home again..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 31, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Not to disparage Simms, but a midfielder as DCU's defender-of-the-year is the ultimate comment on how bad the backline was as a group.

And now the talk about donkey Peralta (and Soehn) returning? Is the DCU braintrust set on proving this season was only a bad dream?

Janicki was a good find. There must be more like him in the lower division. Save the planefare to South America and watch some USL videotape. Draft the best central defender available from the college ranks. Do something, anything -- except field donkeys.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 31, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Draft the best central defender available from the college ranks. Do something, anything -- except field donkeys.

Posted by: runningcloud | October 31, 2008 10:29 AM

Finding defenders in this country is a severe challenge. Finding them in college soccer? Good luck.

Is it the fact that big/strong/fast kids in America almost automatically go into other sports? Maybe (You think Rio Ferdinand would have picked soccer if they grew up here?)

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

If that's what the public wants though.....

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 30, 2008 8:39 PM
==================

You sound like a spokesbeetle. Does Heidi Klum hang out with you?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 30, 2008 8:42 PM

***************************************

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say what we do would be considered "hanging out."

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 31, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

if "he" grew up here

Too much candy and coffee hurts grammar ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

garbaggio says

Payne's comments praising Soehn and Peralta would seem to confirm that Gonzalo Martinez is headed out the door. He seemed our most talented defender at times and our sulkiest player at other times. Goff, have you ever asked Soehn why he played Martinez as an outside back instead of in the middle where he seemed much more useful to the team?

There seemed to be tension between Soehn and Martinez that was a detriment to the team.

I believe DC has to protect 3 foreign players in the expansion draft and Moreno and Guerrero don't count as foreigners because of their green card status. That would mean 3 of Peralta, Martinez, Gallardo, Fred, Luciano Emilio, Crayton, Doe and Khumalo must be protected.

I would have chosen Namoff as defender of the year and even given him consideration for team MVP. We didn't have anyone who was single-handedly good enough to consistently win games so why not reward someone for steady consistency.

Jaime was excellent at times but his fatigue from trips to South America, late season PK miss and red card were major reasons why we missed the playoffs. Jaime is the best player in the team's history (sorry Diablo) and deserves a final "swan song" year. Hopefully he goes out in style and scores lots more goals and stays ahead of Ratso Razov as career goalscoring leader.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | October 31, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

How can Peralta be the defender of the future when your holding mid just won defender of the year? I don't understand why everybody loves Peralta while crucifying Martinez. Sure Martinez got caught out of position a lot. But our central defense got scorched repeatedly all season. They both were disappointing to me. But I'd bring them both back and give them a season of continuity with Crayton. See what happens.

Posted by: Matte | October 31, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you, there definitely was some tension between Martinez and Soehn. You could sense it when DC went down to play Cruz Azul with the second stringers and Martinez went along for the ride. It's a shame also, he played phenomenal the first part of the season, he was looking like the reincarnation of Carlos Llamosa!

Peralta should stay, he looks like he could be a good team defender. That is to say, he doesn't have the greatest speed or agility, but he works well with a backline that knows where they are supposed to be and who to back-up during attacks.

Posted by: Springfie1d | October 31, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Check out this old video of Peralta:-) He's the one in the yellow shirt...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QJVDGtzvEE
If we could only sign Caballero!:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 31, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Finding defenders in this country is a severe challenge. Finding them in college soccer? Good luck.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 10:42 AM
=============
Michael Harrington (UNC)
Julius James (UConn)
Eric Brunner (ODS)
Julian Valentin (WF)
Andrew Boyens (UNM)
Andy Iro (UCSB)
Sean Franklin (CSUN)
Bakary Soumare (UVA)
Ty Harden (UW)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, a little salt in the wound --

Jay Needham (SMU)
Bobby Boswell (FIU)

If DCU can't find or sign or keep defenders from US college ranks, they aren't trying very hard.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 31, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

After one season that turned into a complete debacle, I'm glad to hear that Soehn will be back.

Taking a team full of new players and many different styles of play and trying to meld them all together, is very difficult. Especially when the team is devistated by injuries.

At first, I thought Peralta was a great defender, but slowly the realization smashed into the back of my head like a ballpeen hammer. He's not as good as I thought.

Martinez is a great player, no doubt about that. The only thing that frustrates me the most about him, is when he runs down the field, looses the ball, he doesnt run back to fight for the ball. He kinda trots back like "Oh, well."

That being said, I am intrigued to see the Janiki/Peralta combo, that looks like it would be a strong centeral d.

Posted by: dogboy | October 31, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that Needham non-signing hasn't helped. They should've tried again after his great year at Puerto Rico.

Posted by: Reignking | October 31, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I think Janicki shows promise and should be given a chance, but he was badly exposed the other night. Keep the job posting open.

I love Clyde, but agree that Namoff should have been the award-ee.

Re Martinez: fairly healthy all year, and despite his experience and physical skills, didn't solidify the back. Maybe he wasn't the cause of the breakdowns, but he didn't help either. He's 33, takes an International Spot and is expensive. I don't think he can play in the middle, unless he partners Ricardo Carvalho, or Carlos Puyol. Neither of whom are available...

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 31, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to come down on the anti-Peralta side of things. Granted, we didn't really see him over a full season, and with the revolving cast of characters in the back line, it's kind of hard to tell his true quality. However, that said, he looked like an utter donkey on enough opponent goals and near-misses that I really have to question his individual ability. But the deal breaker for me is really his salary -- there's just no way he's worth $200,000 in MLS value.

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 31, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

GMart is 33? Yikes.

He plays like he thinks he is Roberto Carlos or Dani Alves -- but so much worse on defense than the latter.

DCU really needs to get Burch back to the outside.

Posted by: Reignking | October 31, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Finding defenders in this country is a severe challenge. Finding them in college soccer? Good luck.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 31, 2008 10:42 AM
=============
Michael Harrington (UNC)
Julius James (UConn)
Eric Brunner (ODS)
Julian Valentin (WF)
Andrew Boyens (UNM)
Andy Iro (UCSB)
Sean Franklin (CSUN)
Bakary Soumare (UVA)
Ty Harden (UW)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, a little salt in the wound --

Jay Needham (SMU)
Bobby Boswell (FIU)

-0-

OWNTF:

Thanks for the list. I'll add a couple of names who have had USA callups: Michael Parkhurst (WF) and Danny Califf (UMd).

Posted by: runningcloud | October 31, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ stairs: no one from this team ever threw Boswell under the bus, he ran and lept under there his own bad self. He is out of contract this year and made no bones about his intentions to NOT re-sign but head to Europe, didn't particularly want to stay in DC, and seemed to care more about club-hopping and blogging than playing hard defense toward the end of last year.
Then, when we were desperate for a goalie after the Cannon deal fell through, Houston was willing to trade Wells for him.
Yes, they got the better end of that, but you cannot blame the FO for doing it at the time.

And whoever was talking outta their *** about college defenders - I defy you to pick a decent inexpensive defender in MLS not obtained through college, draft or otherwise. Nelsen, anyone? Nice list above as well.
There are two decent paths in my opinion for defenders - college, then a year or two as a reserve player, or USL where they can learn on the job for a year or two. Generation Adidas has NEVER produced a good defender, the USSF system is too poor in spotting or developing them that young.
I wish we could draft, then loan to USL for seasoning, but I'm not sure how oddly that would have to work with funky MLS rules.

Congrats to all the award winners, that's the first Awards reception I've missed in a few years.

Posted by: dcufan | October 31, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to come down on the anti-Peralta side of things. Granted, we didn't really see him over a full season, and with the revolving cast of characters in the back line, it's kind of hard to tell his true quality. However, that said, he looked like an utter donkey on enough opponent goals and near-misses that I really have to question his individual ability. But the deal breaker for me is really his salary -- there's just no way he's worth $200,000 in MLS value.

Posted by: edgeonyou | October 31, 2008 11:51 AM


No offense, but this statement really contradicts itself. :)

Yes, Peralta was injured and also missed time for the birth of his daughter? but when he was on the field, he looked shakey at best. In all honesty, the best I saw DC play together was the first game of this season against Harbor View.

Peralta looked good and I thought things would be solid back there. However, immediately after, everything went to crap.

I hope that if anything, the FO does not make such drastic changes this offseason, let the boys play together this season and see what happens. I knwo we may lose some to the draft and all, but hopefully we dont loose those solid players like Namoff, who I agree, should have been the Defensive player of the team.....

Posted by: dogboy | October 31, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

That's a bit disingenuous OWNTF.

Those may all be defenders who came from the draft, but of them, maybe 3 or 4 will make solid MLS centerbacks.

I still don't think Boswell is very good, and Needham vastly overestimates his worth.

Posted by: alecw81 | October 31, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying that. First, I'd take any player on that list over Peralta, and could probably get them for 25% of the cost. I think Peralta is the slowest player I can recall seeing in person at RFK. Every central defender that I can think of in a recent MLS All Star game has been an American college product. If Bornstein played in college, which I don't recall. That is to say, the best central defenders in MLS have come from US colleges.

And if I had the energy to look up every starting center back in MLS, I would bet that 80% of them played US college ball.

Needham doesn't "overestimate" his worth, the free market has determined his worth. How much more do you think he's making in Europe comapred to what he would be make in MLS? Why MLS can't pay him and players like him what the European market says they're worth is worthy of Goff's reporting talents.

"I still don't think Boswell is very good." Well he was the MLS defender of the year in 06, and he's a starting center back for the best team in MLS, so I would say, he's alright. He's sure better than Peralta, I don't think that is even debatable at this point.

Carry on.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 31, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Heath Pearce (Portland)
Clarence Goodson (MD)
Gooch (Clemson)
Drew Moor (IU)

Posted by: OWNTF | October 31, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

That list of college defenders may have left off the best of them all -- Chad Marshall.

As for Peralta -- could somebody please explain what they see in him, other than his height and stout frame? Is there a soccer player hiding in there somewhere? Because I haven't seen that... I feel like there ought to be some tall Viking types in rec leagues around Holland, Sweden or Denmark that could probably do as well...

Posted by: fischy | October 31, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Might be late for any viewing since other threads have started. However, I think there are two things everyone is missing about this awards ceremony. The city reps AND the owners didn't show. What does that say? Who really cares about this team? The disappointment over this season isn't the worst thing we have to worry about.

Posted by: spata1 | October 31, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"could somebody please explain what they see in him"

I'll bite. In addition to big and strong, he has decent touch with both feet, handles the ball well for a CB, is solid in the air defensively and offensively. He has every attribute you'd want.

Granted, his judgment has been suspect, he hasn't formed a great partnership with anyone yet, and he has DCU / Groin Syndrome (DGS). He's also a bit slow, but certainly as fast if not faster than Boswell. He's also too quick to deliver a foul at Midfield.

In short, a work in progress.

Just 28, never really settled in with a CB partner, found himself with a new baby, a new country, and some strange German Dr cutting his groin.

I don't find it odd he hasn't settled in yet.

Posted by: Late2Bass | October 31, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@Late2Bass -- I appreciate your reply, but I can't agree. I think he handles the ball miserably. He's a turnover waiting to happen, every time he touches the ball. When I watch him, I'm stunned that an Argentine professional is that awkward with a ball. You're right about the poor judgment -- he has to bear a lot of responsibility for that goal Crayton gave up.

He's also a fouling machine -- the amazing thing is he gets whistled for less than half of his on-field muggings. He's not only slow-footed, he's slow to react. It could be that some of his problems on the field were attributable to his injury. I can only hope so, since it seems he'll be back next year. I guess with Peralta and Janicki, we'd have a defensive middle that punishes any attackers that dare come near. I wish Peralta showed Janicki's instincts.

All I see in his favor is that he's big and not horrible in the air.

Posted by: fischy | October 31, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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