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Soehn to Return

Tom Soehn will return for a third season as head coach of D.C. United in 2009, the Insider learned today.

According to sources familiar with the process, Soehn was told by club management this morning that the option on his contract will be exercised.

Neither Soehn nor his agent, New York-based Ron Waxman, could be reached to comment. Club officials did not have immediate comment, but were apparently preparing a formal statement.

One player, who requested anonymity, said he had heard that a decision had been made, adding Soehn "deserved to come back. He went through a lot."

Beset by injuries and inconsistent play, United went 11-15-4 and missed the MLS playoffs for the first time in six years. The club won the U.S. Open Cup title, but lost in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup and went winless in both SuperLiga and the CONCACAF Champions League.

Do you agree with the decision?

By Steve Goff  |  November 5, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Posted by: Matte | November 5, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of anyone else- maybe it's best to keep someone familiar with all the players

Posted by: carmines757 | November 5, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

oh jeez....

Posted by: kris77 | November 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of continuity I'll go along with it. In the mean time seeing how he has so much free time on his hands he might want to pick up a copy of Soccer Strategies: Defensive and Attacking Tactics.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 5, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"One player, who requested anonymity, said he had heard that a decision had been made, adding Soehn "deserved to come back. He went through a lot."

Guessing either Ben or Tino, but those are wild guesses.

Posted by: Section117 | November 5, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: WorldCup | November 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

i don't think dc's problems this year had anything to do with tom soehn. i think he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt (lots of new players, language barriers, poor fitness, injuries, hellish schedule, etc.). i do think he deserves another chance and i'm confident that he'll do better next year.

Posted by: alexisJ | November 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with this. There were too many variables in the bad season equation to place the blame entirely on him. I would imagine, though, that upper management expects the MLS Cup next year or else (draw finger across neck).

I assume that the quoted player requested anonymity because he'll get in trouble for commenting on a leak.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: redskinsux | November 5, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

alexisJ, besides the points you made he does need to bear some responsibilty for things gone wrong. His in game management is lousy. He doesn't adapt well to adverse situations on the fly. I can think of a half dozen games where he was flat out outcoached. He needs a better grasp of what his bench players can do and how to position and utilize them in the second half of close games.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean another year of Dyachenko? Man, I can't stand that guy! He is one of Soehn's, right? For that alone I say I don't like the decision.

Posted by: pmtthree | November 5, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope Tommy's luck changes, and he takes some sort of motivational speaking class.
Celtic up one in the 13th.
Not to mention Del Piero with one more for himself!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 5, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Beset by injuries and inconsistent play..."

Better said as follows: beset by poor management decisions (payne and kasper) and poor player selection (kasper)

"I can't think of anyone else ..."

Jeez, how about my grandmother, she'd make a better coach than soehn!

Should have fired kasper and soehn --- you'll be losing fan base over this lousy decision!

Posted by: bestmick1 | November 5, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, this tells us one thing. United will not be going through another upheval this off-season.

I suppose we should expect a rather quiet winter...

Although, if Dyachenko were to vanish, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Posted by: TCompton | November 5, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree, but it doesn't bother me. I think he still has weaknesses that can be exposed if they keep him, but if they get rid of him, it will be another year of change which might not work out.

All in all, I expect another fairly mediocre season from United, albeit one with less distractions which might help us make the playoffs.

Posted by: beach3 | November 5, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree, and disagree with keeping TS. Hes a nice guy, and seems to have the respect by all the players, but i think he just doesnt see the game how a good coach DC deserves should.

He has made some really bad sub's this year, and decisions that costed us some games. His conservative coaching style too i feel does not go good with our squad. But then again thats just me.

But regardless, i am not upset we will have TS again next season. Hopefully we will come out roaring next season....hopefully.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | November 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Remember to:
Vote NO on Proposition D-- "DYACHENKO"

Posted by: redskinsux | November 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

So, what is the over/under on how many games he lasts next season!

Posted by: JPO2200 | November 5, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I think that DC's problems were way bigger than Soehn. I think that KP needs to bare a big part of the blame. I think that the new ownership maybe needs to bare a part of the blame. You could argue that they "over-reached" too soon and should have gotten to know the club better before approving such a massive overhaul.

They had better start well next season. If they aren't doing well by May then Soehn may be gone before Memorial Day.

TS should probably have some company; Maybe KP should be sweating, as well.

I'm not hating. I'm just sayin'..

Posted by: yankiboy | November 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Good. I believe in consistency.

You shouldn't blame a coach for all that goes wrong, or praise for all that goes right -- he's only part of the machine.

Posted by: Reignking | November 5, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to say no. Even though the club's poor on-field performance was the result of a whole host of issues, his game management is shaky enough to make me doubt his competence to be a head coach. His substitutions seemed to be very ill-considered (more so in the first half of the season).

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a great time to start talking about the 3rd jersey again!
Red w/black sash?
Red and Black hoops?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

After a season like this, the temptation to blow it all up and start over is tempting. But I think Soehn deserves another chance because he was dealt a really bad hand with all the injuries and stupid charades called international competitions.

Give him a year with health (hopefully) and no international distractions. If after that, DC still sucks am sure Soehn will be the first to tender his resignation.

Posted by: tundey | November 5, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually bringing Peralta back troubles me more than bringing Soehn back. We need a true center back that will command the defense. Peralta ain't that guy.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 5, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I have gone back and forth on Soehn, fially arriving at the position that he should stay at least another season. So I agree with the decision to retain him.

I didn' think it was fair that Chicago canned Dave Sarachan just has he was getting an injury-depleted roster healthy. You just can't necessarily fire a coach for a rash of injuries.

Those of you who do think Soehn should be fired, fair enough, but who would you say are some realistic candidates who have coaching experience?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 5, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I could go either way, but the fact of the matter is that Soehn was playing the hand he was dealt. I think the decision to bring him back is a direct result stemming from the desire to keep continuity. I doubt we will see wholesale changes like last year and I think that will help, even with some inferior talent and player/personnel decisions. DCU was not that far out of the playoff mix, and at times they were horrible. Fewer injuries, less matches and some continuity may be all it takes to get back to competing for the MLS Cup.

Posted by: therealfootball | November 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with that decision (though I would have made a different one). Here's my explanation:

1. Most of the problems the team faced this year were not of Soehn's doing. Having to play 15-17 more games than most MLS teams, the string of injuries, a couple of guys that most of us (GM, coach, players, fans, even Goff) expected to play well (Wells primarily) ended up being stinkers. None of that is Soehn's doing.

That said...
2. The team's defense in 2 years has been inconsistent at best and downright putrid many times (especially this year but also last year). Tremendous defensive inconsistency. Okay, a little of that is Wells. But for big chunks of the year, we had most or all of our backline and preferred GKs healthy and it was more than just Wells.

3. We've started slow 2 consecutive years. This despite early season warmups with very competitive matches that should have given us an edge. If anything, the early Concacaf matches should have had us looking good early (and then running out of gas mid-season).

So Soehn contributed to this year's performance. That said, he wasn't the cause of the biggest problems.

If I'm DC United, given this extension, I also make sure I have an option other than Chad Ashton available. And I also resolve that a slow start is unacceptable in 2009.

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 5, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm very disappointed in the club's decision regarding Soehn. I gave my reasons here yesterday, so I won't burden everyone with a rehash of them.

But I will say this...

Until now I have shied away from any criticism of Payne. I may now have to rethink that position as I would assume this move (or non-move) originates with him.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | November 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Soehn should return.

and yes Reignking, your post is a joke.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | November 5, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else hoping Celtic holds on for a win?
I actually hope they score another!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 5, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Is Tommy being "encouraged" by management to look critically at his assistants? Does retaining Tommy mean retaining Simpson and Tommy's old teammate Ashton?

And will there be a full court press on evaluating talent prior to the Superdraft? We've not done particularly well there, and we have lots of picks.

Posted by: b18bolo | November 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Del Piero with another one!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 5, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 5, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ah ....




ahh... There is always the 2010 season!

OH Wait... That summer is World Cup...

Vamos United! 2011 is our year!

Posted by: DCFaninSocal | November 5, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I say give him another year. The season's poor showing wasn't all his fault, plus I don't get the impression the players dislike him.

Mrs. DrBeaker wants him to show more emotion on the sidelines to help fire up the players and I have to agree. I think a vocal coach is an energizing coach. Perhaps he needs to let go of some of that Germanic "cold" personality and let it rip along the sidelines.

Posted by: DrBeaker | November 5, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

He can stay. Remember, Nichol was on the outs for the Revs his first few years and is now considered one of the best in MLS.

Posted by: cmrm | November 5, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought the nation voted for CHANGE....

If DC United can start the 2009 MLS season 1-0-0, instead of getting blown out at home by KC like each of the past 2 seasons, I'll jump on the 'Keep Tom Soehn' bandwagon.

Posted by: DWE4 | November 5, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


Out of the 2 choices listed, red with black sash. There was a time where I was really big on red and white vertical stripes (reminds one of the US flag, but without the Cat in the Hat look that we once pulled off), but then Chivas came in and ruined it.

On Soehn:

270, Chico, and JoeW all brought up what I would have said. I was thinking Soehn would be retained even before Payne's public endorsement of him, so this is no surprise. Like Chico, I was much more alarmed by the enthusiastic endorsement of Peralta. Maybe Peralta is better in the middle of a back three (where his ability to organize would be highlighted more, and his lack of speed could be covered with faster backs on either side)? Obviously, a return to a back three would take some adjustment (Fred, for example, isn't a good fit out wide in a 352, and would be 3rd choice at attacking midfield behind Gallardo and Quaranta), but maybe that's the idea.

Anyway, back on topic: Soehn has had his good moments, and he was certainly set up to fail by the circumstances surrounding this past season. On the other hand, our defense has only rarely looked good in 2 years, and our first 10 games in both seasons under Soehn have been nothing short of awful. There is also the spotty record of player acquisition, which is something he and Kasper share. Sometimes, we've been pleasantly surprised (Guerrero, Janicki, Khumalo, Vide). Other times, we've been disappointed (Peralta, Dyachenko, Martinez over the last 2 months of the season).

I'm not sure if I'm in favor or against this decision. As has been pointed out, there are very few suitable coaches to put on our bench. If MLS has high-pressure coaching positions, the only one harder than ours is in LA. People bringing up Paul Mariner and John Spencer forget that when Soehn was appointed, he was considered the most eligible assistant in the league. These are still guys that have not been head coaches before, at least at this level. I would have the same lukewarm feelings for them as I would Soehn (in fact, I'd be unhappy to start with Mariner, if only because he whines just like Nicol does). Who would we go out and get? Kinnear? Preki? Arena? I don't think any other coach in MLS is qualified, and of those three I think the only one we'd have any chance at all of getting is Preki (and even that would be a very long shot).

I'm hoping that Soehn was told in no uncertain terms that another poor start will cost him his job, and that another poor season of defending will also cost him. To paraphrase Rory Breaker, he's gonna have to work very hard to stay in the job.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 5, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, the good news is we don't have any preseason tournaments to worry about.

The bad news is Soehn has absolutely no motivational capability, and I believe we'll be subject to another mediocre season.

However, should Bennie get healthy, Gallardo stay healthy, Moreno stay healthy, Fred stay healthy, Emilio stay healthy, and pretty much anyone in our top 14 stay healthy, we'll still do well enough to retake the Eastern Title.

Posted by: alecw81 | November 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I actually don't agree with the decision, but I like Soehn and will root for him to do well by United next season.

Let's hope the front office follows this up with some decent signings to help him out.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 5, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Great. Another season of bad game management, poor tactical decision making, regression of skills for every single player on the team, and bad team attitude and discipline from everyone on the team.

Next verse, same as the first verse.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 5, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite opinion columns, by Russell Baker about Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, mercilessly poking fun at Ford's claim that Nixon had "suffered enough."

Tom Soehn has suffered, but so have the fans. The fact that he has felt badly about having taken the terrific team that was handed to him by Peter Nowak and, by trading away stars and picking up injury prone former stars or losers, reduced it to a team that could do no more than win the Open Cup against lower division teams as well as MLS teams playing their reserves should not save him from the axe.

Posted by: fentysupporter | November 5, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

we need change at the coaching helm to go along with the election. Mark Simpson for Head Coach...c'mmon man this guy can't figure who's hot and who's not. Doe played a great game on three different occassions and then got subbed out in the 60th minute for Emilio who didn't even have a good touch. Please, not another season without the playoffs. Any chance of getting Kanu?

Posted by: godpere | November 5, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

no. but i figured this would happen. united doesnt seem like a ruthless organization

Posted by: totalfootballer | November 5, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Cripes, you act as though Soehn is trainer, scout, and coach. The fans have been suffered enough? The biggest problems we had this year were from injuries and poor player selection. While it falls on the coach to make sure his players are in match shape, is it his fault when they go down in a game? Did Soehn personally identify, recruit, and sign Niell, Carvallho, Peralta?

Our biggest problems were not Soehn's fault but he is, given a full healthy roster, an adequate coach. Still, I feel that if we don't win the Cup next year, he will be gone while the managment stays put. Sounds suspiciously like the Redskins...

Posted by: Josh8 | November 5, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

ahh great. here comes another bad season

Posted by: ResidenteMalave | November 5, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll reserve judgement until about 4 games into next season.

Posted by: torrey151 | November 5, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm OK with this. I'm sure Tommy has learned much this year. Maybe, he'll come out the other end as a better tactician and coach.

Posted by: fischy | November 5, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought America voted for change last night? Way to listen to America, Kevin...

Posted by: richardharless | November 5, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The decision could have gone either way. Hopefully this will help the team "gell" quicker at the start of the season -- something that might be harder with a new coach.

Approximately 146 days to the start of the season.

Posted by: Curious99 | November 5, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree with others that he warrants a 3rd year. Most of what happened was beyond his control. With reduced number of fixtures next year the team should do much better. They still need to solve the midfield problem if Gallardo can't go. I'm pretty sure Olsen won't be back because of the ankles though I hope to be proven wrong.

Posted by: agoldhammer | November 5, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I believe he deserves another shot. The injuries made any competent level of consistency absolutely impossible and football can only be played properly through finely tuned on-field chemistry. The one part of his coaching skill that needs scrutiny, however, is the defense. It was an embarrasment that I think can be linked directly to poor coaching. I've never seen a player (Martinez) get beaten so many times. He's a great athlete and, for the most part, good coaching will really make him an asset.

Posted by: papple | November 5, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Soehn coming back is hard to stomach. And I eat Taco Bell often.

Soehn went through alot? We all went through alot. Life's tough. I had to pay to watch DC last year. It was harder on me. Fire Soehn.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | November 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad some of you aren't in charge of the team. You are some bitter, bitter people..

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a bad decision. From March -June the injuries weren't that signficant and Tom exhibited consitently bad coaching relative to the things that have been mentioned above. Granted from June - the end of the year, big injury issues that would have taken down any coach.

However, Tom's coaching just isn't at the level it needs to be so when we start out with a healthy squad in the spring, he will just be exposed again and my guess is that he won't make it through the season so cut the cord now.

On the other hand, there will be a lot of fodder for the blogs and the opportunity for many polls predicting the date he will be canned.

Posted by: Beckster1 | November 5, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The people who keep asserting over and over again that it was the injuries that kept the team from greatness, and that without such injuries there's no reason we won't excel next season, didn't watch many games this past season.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 5, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

payne, payne, payne -- he's not the guilty party responsible for the crappy players on the field and the crappy coaching --- payne's the guy responsible for all the distractions related to non-mls and tournament play but he's a minority (very minor) owner so he's going nowhere --- kasper is the guy responsible for putting this mess of crap of a team together and soehn's the guy responsible for the on-the-field performance of this mess of crap --- the heat should be on kasper and soehn --- fire both of them

Posted by: bestmick1 | November 5, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a good move for many of the reasons already stated. The best coach in the world would not have been able to win with the players available for some of the games lost this year.

Who would replace Soehn? Who knows the MLS and American game and is a big enough name for everyone to feel comfotible with? Sarachan? Sampson? Gansler?

Ultimately, it is very hard to fire a coach who has won a trophy each year he has been in charge of the club. DCU values each equally in their total, so this is not insignificant.

With the pressure off next year on the International front, a good MLS campaign is essential to Soehn's ability to become the longest tenured coach in the team's history (more than 3 years). Anything less than the Eastern Conference Title game being played at RFK (means good regular season and playoff success) will lead to a new gaffer.

Posted by: LookingDangerous | November 5, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Sure. I'll trust DCU management over my own on this one.

Now if Rod Dyachenko comes back......

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 5, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

@alecw1: re "The bad news is Soehn has absolutely no motivational capability"

Come on now, let's be honest. Overstating things just a tad, arent't we?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 5, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

My 2 cents. Drop all the non-MLS garbage and concentrate on winning MLS games. If the MLS is to prosper, it must rid itself of all these distractions. Yes, maybe they have the history, or the international exposure has something to do with it, but look at the cost to the players and team cohesion. Surprise! Rotten season.

Posted by: timondelaplaya | November 5, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Just perfect. Nice to know United's PR office chooses the Obama hangover day to announce this decision . .

I'm officially flip flopping again on Soehn. That's ok, I'm not running for office.

The positives are that he's shown a bit of growth in his coaching (i.e. recognizing strong reserve play in CCL) perhaps forced out of necessity, but change nontheless.

Most importantly, the offseason is so short, trying to bring in a new coach who wouldn't understand United's deficiencies would have been a lot to ask.

Posted by: delantero | November 5, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

this means another mediocre season, way to go dcu front office!! dont expect me to purchase tickets for next season

Posted by: koolcaio | November 5, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess there were no 3rd division coaches from Argentina available.

This season is not Soehn's fault but he shouldn't have been around this long anyway.

At least Obama won.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | November 5, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hard to blame the coach for injuries. Atleast there won't be the extra Champs League early next year.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 5, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't have anyone better in mind to replace him.

A better defensive plan is necessary, but the bottom line is that losing Gros, Olsen, and (gaak) Carroll in the midfield really was a fatal blow. When Clyde Simms is you ironman, the world is trying to tell you something.
Gallardo is the key question mark I have at this point.

Posted by: daggar | November 5, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm OK with Soehn coming back. The fault with this year's failures come from the front office's inability to keep Gomez and the disastrous decision to make Wells a No. 1 goalie, among others. Many heads will (or should) roll if 2009 turns into another clunker.

Posted by: fengraf | November 5, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

""I guess there were no 3rd division coaches from Argentina available. ""

That's nice on so many ways. It's not as if red-blooded American defenders haven't proven themselves the world over!!!!

Time to look for a quality home grown center back and some outside back talent. Namoff has proven worthy, and we go get outsiders for big bucks.

What about promoting Naher to outside back?!?

Posted by: delantero | November 6, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Actually, as a result of winning the Open Cup, United will have a play-in game for the Champs League next Summer. We just don't have to worry about the old Champs Cup, or Superliga.

Posted by: alecw81 | November 6, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

YES, keep Soehn. Injuries were ridic. and schedule unbelievable. As a fan I say let's get behind Tommy and hope for health in 2009. I think we have absurd talent when healthy and can win...screw Supporters Shield all we want is an MLS Cup, and goodbye SuperLiga.

Posted by: jbfromfc | November 6, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I think Soehn should've been fired. In my opinion he doesn't handle adversity or pressure well. The examples I'm thinking of:

The second leg against Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico two seasons ago when we came into the match up 2-1 on aggregate. We came out in a shell, started time wasting in the 1st minute and predictably lost that match 1-0 and the series on away goals. After the match a defensive Soehn said he told them to play a "counterattacking" style, and not bunker for 90mins. Which struck me as a disengenuous attempt at covering his ass after an embarrassingly inept tactical approach to a huge match.

The playoff series against Chicago two seasons ago: the team did not come to play. The injuries going in sucked, but the squad came out and got destroyed in two games against our fiercest rivals and that was unacceptable. Also, Soehn's decision to play all the starters (including an aging, injury-prone Moreno) in that meaningless Columbus game at the end of a grueling season was a mistake.

The way Soehn handled the new additions at the beginning of this season was dodgy at best. He breaks up the 4 man backline, and switches to a 352, hands the starting jobs immediately to Martinez and Peralta without any competition or adaption period. Burch loses his job. McTavish moves to right midfield (lol). Namoff is turned into a centerback. All this in front of a new keeper. Recipe for disaster, and it was.

By the time Soehn figured out that we needed to switch back to a 442, we had already started terribly and had placed unecessary stress on our new defenders who were going to have adaption issues anyway. A more reasonable approach: the 4 man line should've been retained with all the returning starters from last season intact. Martinez and Peralta could've competed for the CB spot vacated by Vanney with the loser coming off the bench, at least until the team had time to gel and a more reasoned assessment could've been made.

The transition was always going to be hard, but it was handled poorly and that exacerbated everything.

I won't go too much into this season's matches in detail but the one where he started out fullbacks (Namoff and Burch) as centerbacks, and our centerbacks (Martinez and McTavish) as fullbacks comes to mind. This is a seriously flawed manager on so many levels.

I'm disappointed in our front office they should've been able to look beyond the injury excuse.

And I don't buy the "who's more qualified out there, name him right now, huh?" argument. That's nonsense. This is a class organization with quite a bit of prestige, we should be able to find a manager who can at least make all the basic moves, get the team up for big matches and refrain from shooting himself in the foot repeatedly. It doesn't have to be a big name guy. Aren't there successful college coaches out there who deserve a shot and would like to manage DC United? What about some lower division guy abroad who gets the most out of his players? There's no reason that the most prestigous club in the nation needs to settle for mediocrity.

Posted by: uranderson | November 6, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse


The people who keep asserting over and over again that it was the injuries that kept the team from greatness, and that without such injuries there's no reason we won't excel next season, didn't watch many games this past season.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler


I don't think anyone is asserting this, much less over and over again.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 6, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Keep Soehn. Now get him some international players who will actually play.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | November 6, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

DC won a trophy this season in spite of sucking and missing the playoffs.

I guess that counts for something.

Posted by: roadkit | November 6, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Payne needs to go - it's that simple.

Posted by: LCR-54 | November 6, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Calling out Payne is the height of absurdity, unless you are unaware of the history of the league and this franchise.

Posted by: JkR- | November 6, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse


I hope you and the other owners are will to buy out his share of the team then. He's an owner - not just an employee.

But I've said all this to you before...

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 6, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Blue Blood - just because you're a minority owner does not mean you can still keep your duties as president. Mr. Payne could very well relinquish his duties as president and still remain an owner. He's a minority owner not majority. There is a huge difference in terms of input, financial accountability and voting rights. The MLS allows multiple minority owners who do not share voting rights.

Quite frankly just because Payne's best years are behind him does not guarantee future employment as the president . . .

Posted by: LCR-54 | November 6, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

i love the ringing endorsement soehn got from the players...

one qoute and the player wouldnt even let his name appear in the story


Posted by: rhbancroft | November 6, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne's accomplishments and value to the team and to the league go way beyond the product you see on the field. The Barra Brava would not exist if it were not for Kevin.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 6, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Why wasn't the comment I made last night approved?

Posted by: uranderson | November 6, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

uranderson: i have no idea why your comment wasn't approved; i don't monitor every entry. try it again.

rhbancroft: the reason the players are not speaking on the record about soehn's return is because, technically, they are not supposed to discuss it publicly until it is officially announced. that will happen sometime in the next week or so.

Posted by: Steve Goff | November 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Time for reflection. DCU management took a Supporters Shield winning team and ran it into the ground in the course of one season. Someone has to be accountable.

Posted by: waverly1 | November 6, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I have played and coached on 3 different continents,love the game and love DCU since '96(and supported the Dip's,etc.),just FYI. 1.Unless one is at daily practices, it is hard to know what goes on,e.g. who tries hard vs, going through the motions, who is a good practive player but not so in important games, who is coachable vs. stubborn or even a trouble-maker. If I had my choice, I would prefer a team of Ben Olsen's and Josh Gros's; but that is unrealistic.
2. I suspect that TS did not/does not control the entire team. There
clearly have been cliques within, e.g. the Latin group of Jaime,Christian,Emilio, Fred who MAY not have put out as much for TS as they did for Petr Nowak. If so, and it appears that way from watching matches in person and on tv, it could explain the problems with the Gonzalo's,and perhaps, MG
3. Do you remember how poorly Bruce A. started out in '96 until he started cracking heads of the Marco,Raul D.A.,etc? My guess is that to a Latin star, with MG's stellar resume, TS's modest cv does not produce RESPECT,one of the most important ingredients in the culture. By contrast, Nowak was in the position of talking about being the MVP of his Bundesliga side as well as CAPTAIN of the Polish NT. For foreign players who arrive here from certain countries with pre-conceived notions about the US, such things really matter.Trust me,I know from my professional experience.
4.The arguments about heavy schedules and injuries apply only partially:Houston had the same schedule, others had as many injuries,esp.NE. The difference is that Hou, NE, and now Chivas, SLC,Chi, Col, even SJ play a more fluid game than DCU; have you noticed? For months we looked more like a collection of individuals where Def.did not link with MF,and MF did not provide consistent servive to the attack.THIS IS A COACHING ISSUE.
5. I have watched several Reserve games this year and last, and am disappointed that no one has progressed as in past years.There
is no player who impresses; compare that with the above clubs who have replaced starters more efficiently than DCU. All of this points to coaching below the DCU standard. I am sorry about that.
The FO bears responsibility ,too.
You cannot BUY a team; examples abound in many sports--you have to develop it,and put the coach's stamp on it. See Preki, Sigi,now
J Kreis,and,of course S.Nicol and
HOU/SJ. We seem to become the Toronto of the South, with great fan support but not progressing.
Coach Peter.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | November 7, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

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