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Soehn Officially Returns

In an open letter, D.C. United managing partners Victor MacFarlane and Will Chang confirm that President Kevin Payne, GM Dave Kasper and CoachTom Soehn will return next year in their current capacities. However, MacFarlane and Chang say they will both be more involved with the team and will hold the front office and coaching staff accountable for the team's performance next season. In other words: Win or else.

By Steve Goff  |  November 7, 2008; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Sounds good to me.

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 7, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Just win baby!

Posted by: billindmd | November 7, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Kaspar is on the bubble.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 7, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a surprising and welcome level of candor from the investors. It shows their respect for the fans.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 7, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

In other words: Win or else.


Good. It's about time.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 7, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Letter released late on a Friday...

Posted by: Reignking | November 7, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Releasing the letter was an interesting decision. Wonder what, if anything, it says about season ticket sales to date for next year or, possibly more important, the renewal of sponsorships for next year.

Or maybe it just says that they (Victor and Will) read the insider and found it necessary to justify their decision to the fans???

Posted by: Curious99 | November 7, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. It's about time that someone at DC United wanted to win. Now that the FO know the ownership wants to win, I'm sure the team will start winning.

Posted by: fischy | November 7, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Winning in any sport is the obvious object. Words mean nothing to fans. Results do. Here's hoping that next year we will see better, much better results.

Posted by: malartach | November 7, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say obvious objective. :)

Posted by: malartach | November 7, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

What a refreshing letter!

To me, it seems to be both a strong endorsement of the existing front office and a (very) public challenge to them to do better.

I like that MacFarlane and Chang feel that they have quality people who will be held to a high standard, in part, because of what they expect from quality people. Their expectations seem much like the expectations of DC United's fans. I like that a lot.

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | November 7, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Am I correct to be suspicious that the letter only confirms the return of Tommy Soehn, not his entire coaching staff? Or are we to assume that "Soehn" really means "Soehn, Ashton, Simpson, and our crack physical training staff?"

Posted by: b18bolo | November 7, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

""Kasper is on the bubble.
Posted by: Ron16 | November 7, 2008 5:45 PM ""

The entire team is on the bubble from trainer to the players and over to the gaffer and up to GM.

This team has always had cycles. Despite being down, we always return to win Championships.

Let's hear more about how we're serving the community. From Springfield on over to Upper Marlboro, DC fans are involved in communities. Let's get the players out there too and let us hear what's going on . .

Posted by: delantero | November 7, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse


While the idea of the late Friday release applies to avoiding too much ESPN attention, it doesn't really work here. There are 2 main press outlets for DCU: Soccer Insider and Comcast. It's on SI, obviously, so virtually every fan that's seriously engaged with the team is now aware of it (or will be soon).

So, basically, I don't think the letter release timing is an issue.


The bottom line with this letter is that this year is considered a failure and that another year like it is unacceptable. While that was fairly obvious, it's still nice to hear that MacFarlane and Chang are both as disappointed as we are (if not more). It's not something you hear too often in MLS. I hope they follow through on the promise in the final line to make the occasional public statement.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 7, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

""to make the occasional public statement""

Is Poplar dead? That'd be quite the statement.

Let's arrange a West Ham v DC United friendly!!

Posted by: delantero | November 7, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This letter was sent out to everyone who gets email from DCU. No secret, no conspiracy.
These owners need a little more transparency. The fans pay good money to get into a stadium that runs worse than some third rate stadia in some 3rd world countries. Seattle is busy asking it's fans what they want. A lot of CHANGE is coming to this Washington, and it'd be nice if this club was willing to embrace some change itself.
WE WANT A 3rd Jersey!
We Want to Be free to bring our own picnic baskets into the stadium if you can't serve us edible food.
We want to be free to talk a bunch of smack on Soccer Insider!
And, we want to get loaded!
Let's arrange a West Ham v DC United friendly!!

Posted by: delantero | November 7, 2008 9:47 PM

Do we really need to hear more whining about fixture congestion? Obama's adopted (for one game!) football club can bite us. Put Obama in a DCU jersey, I couldn't care less what club his relatives support.(I didn't vote for them!):-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I read the letter as a significant downgrading of Kevin Payne's authority. It says the owners will be more day-to-day involved, Kasper is in charge and reports to them, and Payne will "provide input." Is that an incorrect reading?

Posted by: granadoskerry | November 8, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Beginning of the end for Payne - maybe the owners will finally see the light.

Posted by: LCR-54 | November 8, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

I guess my first wish was to read a letter about regime change at the very top. Players play better when they actually like the management they play for. So this then is my second preference - a promise of hands on management from Chang and MacFarlane. I was happy to get the letter.

Posted by: dsheon | November 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

""Do we really need to hear more whining about fixture congestion?""

Fixtures next season are a lot lighter for United. We've beaten plenty of EPL teams in their pre-season . . . there's time in July, likely for a run against whomever.

To bring the Obama media frenzy to highlight to United's minority ownership and community service, in front of a diverse suburban/urban mixed ethnicity crowd would be a coup.

Plus, like it or not, he'll be at some baseball home opener in the Spring, etc, etc, why not United too?

Posted by: delantero | November 8, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Beginning of the end for Payne - maybe the owners will finally see the light."

Yeah, you're right. God knows we wouldn't want to win any more trophies than we've won on his watch.

Posted by: mmathai1 | November 8, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@delantero: I'm with you bro, I was just poking a little fun at myself and United's loyal fanbase. I'm thankful we won't have an impossible schedule next season. I'd love to see Obama embrace the Club's community service, and well established tradition in DC as much as the next guy, I'm not going to get my hopes up though.

I don't know if the secret service will deem RFK a safe venue for Obama to visit...Then again it might be just the thing to get em' to flush out the beer taps:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Was the bloke known for attending Fire home games?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It shouldn't be surprising that the owners have made their intent public. They are the ones that put up the DP$ for Gallardo and Emilio, and bankroll the team. Obviously, the lack of a stadium hurts the possibility of seriously increasing revenue so I have to wonder how much more financial exposure they are willing to risk without some immediate on-field success. The letter to season ticket holders from Payne sent Friday also basically apologized for the high priced CCL tickets. Good to see that they recognized this marketing mistake.

Posted by: sbg1 | November 8, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

United would be so lucky to get a Robbie Keane type player in place of Emilio . . .

Posted by: delantero | November 8, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

He was known for attending his 10-year old daughter's games. I think that's the extent of his domestic soccer spectatorship.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

This sucks. I need a good video link.
I'm babysitting my neighbors kid and for some reason I can't seem to get MLS.liveTV to work on their computer...:-(
I have a membership, and am logging in fine, the video just won't play:-(

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Can't help there.

sCrew 1 - KC 0

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

sCrew 2 - KC 0

Scheletto sends Moreno thru on the right side. Moreno squares it to Rogers at 8 yd from the far post.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks 270. I'm just watching knocked up...Sounds like Columbus is gonna take it.
They have Azteca TV...Maybe I'll be able to get a live feed for the westcoast game... looks like it's going to be a long night...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell me that Hejduk is not wearing panty hose under his shorts. Maybe it's a wetsuit. Come on dude, even the South Americans have bare legs.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Knocked up's pregnant sex scene is pretty hilarious though!
Ha! HA!
The baby just kicked my hand!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Krull in HD or Wattstax on VH1 soul? Found a link for this later game though:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Beautifully taken penalty by Sacha!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Heated game here.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 8, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Grisham: "MLS defender of the year - Brian Carroll."

Posted by: GoUnited | November 8, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr Shoen should learn a lot much more to coach a first division team. DC united deserves to have a better coaching staff; Mr Shoen decisions are very limited the reason why the players were injured is because he dont know how the team should stand in the field. In my opinion he should leave the coaching staff.

Posted by: OrlandoGator | November 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse


... For New York


Enjoy the Conference Finals and thank yer lucky Rhineland hub caps the Final isn't in RFK this year.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Poplar Point are STILL DEAD.

Posted by: EmpireEnder | November 10, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I get the impression that United needs leadership both on and off the field. On the field what they really need is a combination of Marco Echeverry and Ben Olsen. Off the field they need a coach staff that can take the pressure off the players and get them to play outside of the box they are in.

Posted by: Ted21 | November 10, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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