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Matchday #1: United at Galaxy

Greetings from Home Depot Center for the start of D.C. United's 14th season in MLS.

Very un-SoCal conditions: temps in the 50s, windy, chance of rain [update: skies have cleared].

The pitch appears to be in decent shape, considering the early start to the season and the fact that Chivas USA played on it 16 hours ago.

Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET.

Crowd prediction: perhaps 20,000?

TV: Comcast SportsNet, Telefutura.

Back in a bit with DCU's starters and reserves.

DCU LINEUP: Wicks; Jakovic (right), Janicki, Namoff (left); McTavish (right), Simms, Olsen, Gomez, Wallace (left); Pontius, Emilio. Subs: Kocic, Burch, Peters, Jacobson, Doe, Khumalo, Moreno.

Crayton's leg is still an issue. Fred and Quaranta are out with hamstring injuries. Moreno not ready to start.

Potential big news: DCU is working on what I've been told is a "major friendly" in August against a European opponent (not Chelsea, AC Milan or Inter Milan). To facilitate it, the club would have to move one of its weekend league matches. The Aug. 8 date with Kansas City seems to be the scheduling conflict. We should know in seven to 10 days whether it will happen. Again, it's possible, not definite. We'll see.

Tidbit I: Two DCU fans spotted here wearing "Wicks" United jerseys. That was quick!

Tidbit II: Pontius, who is from Southern California and played at UCSB, has dozens of family and friends in attendance.

Tidbit III: Tony Sanneh's son starting for the Galaxy. Oh, that's the Tony Sanneh?! Never mind.

As usual, this is the gathering place for pregame, in-game and postgame discussion.

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United Season Preview
Next: United Rewind



Posted by: redskinsux | March 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Gomez and Luci are gonna give LA a show

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | March 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Come on United!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 22, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Good news:

Olsen from the start, LA is LA.

Bad news:

Wicks, Moreno will only be a sub, and I seem to remember Namoff playing on the left of a back four and having possibly his worst 15 minutes in a United shirt before Soehn reshuffled and brought him back to the right.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse


Is the friendly team Liverpool? I would like that

Posted by: StewartDC8 | March 22, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Valencia? When is the All-Star Game?

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | March 22, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Good light on bad injury News: We'll be able to see our team's depth from the first game!.

Posted by: delantero | March 22, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

RFK gave me some good karma yesterday with a marathon PR, if there's any left I'm giving it to DCU!

ps--thanks SE's for the drinks and GU on the backside of the stadium!

Posted by: mbetka23 | March 22, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

we are in big trouble this season unless are defence improves over last year. crayton/wicks must come up big.

Posted by: castroviejo | March 22, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wicks in goal, a central defender that was playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this time last year, and a right back who's a red card waiting to think Landycakes is licking his chops?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 22, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

wait, so we're starting two true rookies, two young backs with almost no MLS experience and a developmental keeper? well, we did like to complain about being too old last season.

what's up with Jaime? is he still dinged up, or is Pontius that good in training?

Vamos United!

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

So Tommy prefers to play a normally right-sided Namoff on the left rather than either Burch or Wallace. Another way of looking at it is that Tommy wants Jakovic on the field so badly that he moves Namoff to his "off" side. Interesting.

Posted by: b18bolo | March 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Come on, CSN! What happened to the awesome intro music to which I've grown accustomed?

I can hear the DCU fans!

Posted by: notafembot | March 22, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

wow..anybody actually at thegame?

Posted by: mbetka23 | March 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for traveling Goff! I hear United United song.
Friendly - Man U, Liverpool, or Arsenal. Or Wolfsberg?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The picture quality is horrible. At least from far out.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 22, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Every time I see #5 on defense my blood pressure rises.

Posted by: notafembot | March 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Without Beckham, why don't they go back to the mango jerseys?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 22, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Emilio has to finish those chances.

Posted by: castroviejo | March 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Sanneh is still a warrior and back with Arena. What a professional!

Posted by: kkfla7371 | March 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

PK! Let's go Christian!

Posted by: DCUMD | March 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

That should have been a red card; good penalty by Gomez.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 22, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Beckham's corner, oh's against Napoli. Target - Donovan....oh wait...nope it's Pato. Beckham-Galaxy v United one goal down...oh wait...Beckham-Milan v Napoli nil nil.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Luciano's hair!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | March 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah that was absolutely red card.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse


Wallace can't play in a back three. Too many important decisions, not enough size/'s just not him. He's purely a wide player.


The first 20 minutes, we looked terrible. Too many giveaways by defenders and Wallace, who has struggled whenever we've been on the defensive. Lucky for us, LA is basically just hoping Donovan can score on his own (not that this is a surprise). Klein has gotten a couple crosses in, but without Buddle or Gordon, they lack the size and power to challenge for them. The other thing I'm noticing about the Galaxy is the emphasis on being very physical. It's not just Kovalenko, it's all over the field: Kirovski and Donovan grabbing people from behind, generally chippy tackles in midfield, etc. This isn't a team that's going to make many friends.

After the 20th minute or so, we started to come into the game, getting Olsen and Gomez on the ball more often. If we can keep that up, LA's really going to struggle. Kovalenko and Tudela, for all their effort, aren't the smartest players positionally and we should be able to keep them scrambling. If we can get Pontius to stay onside, and maintain our play over the last part of the half, we should be alright.

P.S. Welcome back, Christian.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 22, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Gotta say that while Benny isn't the fastest guy on the pitch today, his passes are the most accurate. Great to see!

Posted by: Beckster1 | March 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I've gotta say, I like the new DCU commercial.

And damn you, filet-o-fish.

Posted by: Section117 | March 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Beckham-Milan should've been down one goal but the ref is on their side. None offside goal as offside.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I am not happy with Emilio's play not to mention some others.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, maybe a red, but you will rarely get the red and pk so early. Still, it reduces kovalenko the destroyer's ability to hit benny and christian in the midfield hard.

Good hard professional foul from Wallace.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Again Emilio. And a lot of chances wasted.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

phew! got lucky there...thought for sure the ref would have evened things out with a PK for LA.

Posted by: birdynumnum | March 22, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Pontius goal a beauti!!!!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

PONTIUS! That was a breathtaking goal, from a rookie no less.

Posted by: MattinSW | March 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Not taking away Pontius skill but again LA's

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else just take their shirt off and do the party boy dance in their living room? Or was that just me cause I've had too much caffeine and am alone?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

message for FO. Degrade Emilio's DP status. Perhaps he will get better then. Right he looks worse than none DP players.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

That towel is ruined.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The ref is acting like that was for handball, which, if it was, he's TERRIBLY wrong. Maybe for a foul on the first shot, but for a handball on Wallace? BUSH LEAGUE!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 22, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh that's horrible.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ok, there's the "even out" call. Horrible.

Posted by: birdynumnum | March 22, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

are we cursed?

Posted by: Pedalada | March 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

seriously, that was a total and complete gift to the Gals, we should still be looking at a clean sheet. hope the lads don't get demoralized by that ridiculousness. Jafir should be fined.

LA ig

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is total crap.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 22, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This weekend is just getting worse and worse and worse and...

Posted by: RedDevil1 | March 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Burch can't give them free corners and he telegraphs everything.

Posted by: castroviejo | March 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Way to hold the lead there boys.

Posted by: rss317 | March 22, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This is disgusting. The ref should be suspended a game or two without pay. There was no handling of the ball in the box he was just making it up to LA b/c that whiney little b###ch Donovan complained. This league's officiating is worse than the NBA when it comes to favoritism. MLS is poor product and an example was the disgusting display of soccer that I just witnessed. F the Galaxy, F Landon Donovan, and F Muirufa Jair.

Posted by: no_recess | March 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I am most displeased. watched on streaming video, so clarity was not the best, but that sure didn't look like a hand ball. by the comments herein, I don't think others thought so either.

Sporting lost to Benfica last night in the Portuguese Cup final on a similar phantom hand ball. It just isn't that difficult a call to make...did you see it hit his hand? If not, DON'T CALL IT!

Pontius goal will be on our highlight reels this year. If they still printed highlights on reels. Is "highlight download" the proper phrasing now?

Posted by: troy6 | March 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss an announcement for Refs Stink Week?

First, the Capitals game last night. Now DCU gets shafted on a non-handball call.

Posted by: Cerealman | March 22, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I look at the score in the 79th min and we are up 2-0. Just look again and the game is over and it was 2-2. What happened? I hate working during the games and not being able to pay attention. Well at least we get one point on the road. Can't wait to see hightlights. Here's to the home opener, wish I could be there with you guys to cheer on the boys.

Posted by: evanskr521 | March 22, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Does MLS sanction refs for poor performance. How he calls Wallaces leg block a handball is beyond me. Disappointing to take the tie after 2-0 but it figures that Donovan would burn us. We had alot more spring in the second half. Our youngsters look to be improved from last year. Decent opening but should have been 3 pts.

Posted by: sbg1 | March 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Marrufo should have stopped play when the double head injury occurred.

Could anyone see if it was the AR who flagged the "handball" - could Marrufo have been relying on him?

Posted by: Pedalada | March 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Troy: it didn't even hit above the waist, that's what's really annoying, it hit his freaking thigh. poor, poor, call. ruined what was actually a pretty well refereed game, he let the teams play, and allowed a lot of physical play, and was consistent on both sides. but calling a phantom penalty on an 11 on 9 situation? you'd better be damn certain there was an infraction before doing that, the team should score anyway.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

DC United 2
Referees 2

Posted by: StewartDC8 | March 22, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

God hates us.

Let's recap.

Three of our starters injured in preseason. We manage to overcome a team that is clearly the worst by a 2-0 margin. Then, we lose two defenders in one collision, and in the turmoil that follows we give up a PK based on a handball that only existed in LA's desperate imagination. Later, our defensive sustitutes lead us to a Donovan goal.

This is why I'm an atheist.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 22, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a perfect example of a need for video replay. Though if the big buck foreign leagues can't get it I guess we can't expect it either.

Disappointing to say the least...

Posted by: rss317 | March 22, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Terrible call on the penalty - no way, no how. The other thing I wonder about is the second Donavan goal. We never got a parallel view to see if he might have been off side prior to the cross in. He was pretty far ahead of the last defender, I wonder............. Nah, the officials couldn't make two bonehead calls in the same match; couldn't happen.

Posted by: agoldhammer | March 22, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse


Things were going fine until McTavish and Janicki had a clash of heads that caused both to have to go off due to bleeding cuts. DC had been about to bring on Moreno for Gomez. McTavish couldn't continue, while Janicki had to be bandaged. In the meantime, LA continued to attack our 9 remaining players, and Marrufo gave LA a penalty kick when Klein's attempted cross hit Wallace in the thigh. Again, the thigh. The replays were conclusive on that. After Donovan scored the goal, LA sprang to life and DC (who never got reorganized after the forced loss of McTavish) became harried and confused. LA's second goal came when Jacobson and Burch, both just into the game, left Donovan open between them to head in a cross that Janicki just barely missed heading away.

As angry as I am about the abysmal call (and the fact that, somehow, LA's thuggish play throughout got 1 card, while we got 3), it still took 2 remarkably unlucky incidents to turn this game from a United win into a draw. Frankly, the play from the 20th minute to the moment of the collision was better than I thought we were capable of, especially without Moreno. I'm mad right now, but upon honest reflection this was a better showing from DCU than I was expecting.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 22, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Maruffo needs to be suspended for a long time after that performance. Not stopping play for a double head injury was bad enough. The "handball" on the player who played the ball with his foot is unforgivable at this level. Now, I bet he comes out after he sees the replay and claims he was calling the foul on the player right before that instead or some other BS. He was terrible the other day too. I just don't get it.

Why are we playing with 9 at that point? Playing 1 man down with an injury I can see. But you can't play 2 down at that point in the game. You have to bite the bullet and make at least one sub. Soehn has to take some responsibility.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 22, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

New year, same pathetic MLS officials and same pathetic league pro-LA bias. Overall quality of officiating may be improving slowly, but when they mess up they still mess up royally. Wallace's hand wasn't even near his leg, much less the ball. Would be nice to know whether it was the assistant ref or Marufo that made the call. If it was Marufo, he wasn't even in position to make that call. I doubt MLS will even admit these guys made a game changing mistake and probably will reward them with more work in important games.

Posted by: thrh1 | March 22, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hammer: I wondered the same thing, why was there no sideways replay? or even wide-focus replay? there ARE multiple cameras, right? they should show it just to avoid the perception of a problem.

UD: I like to think of it like this: we started rookies and untested young players on the road against a potent offense, and we held them for 75 minutes by dominating midfield (as we all know, defense starts in midfield) two rookies only got better as the game went on, and our players in defense, (where we were most concerned) were going so hard they blooded each other. This team fought hard, took blows to the body and head, gritted their teeth and fought for the point. even without Jaime, we held the ball well in the midfield and made a lot of nice connections (although if Luci had laid off that breakaway to Christian in the 55th, it would have been a different story) missing three starters (including Jaime) we held the ball well. our defenders were attacking, our midfielders were defending. we were unlucky to leave with only one point, but I think we played better, for 80 minutes, than anyone really expected.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

On the phantom handball, it sure looked like Marrufo's decision all the way, he was pretty emphatic about showing Wicks that he thought it came off Wallace's hand. What bothers me is that the line judge on that side either a. saw the same mirage as Marrufo, leading me to wonder if they stayed at the opposite of the Holiday Inn Express last night, or 2. saw the ball hit Wallace's leg and kept his mouth shut. Neither is acceptable.
At the end of the day, you take the point on the road, but I feel like DC got a win taken away from them, and I'd be interested to see if the league will hold Marrufo out for a few weeks, like the Premier League does when a ref completely blows a match-determining call.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | March 22, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Since Jair screwed us, I'll focus on the positive.

-Pontius played very well and with decent pace

-Olsen was Olsen, and his passes were on point

-Wallace was playing much better than in preseason- more aggressive, and made some good runs

Posted by: carmines757 | March 22, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the side judge was blocked from a direct view by Klein, and probably didn't have a clear enough view to take the shot at overturning Marrufo. (you'd better be damn sure as a side ref when you argue for overturning a PK called by the head ref)

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Outside of the bad call(s)...

- Wallace looked strong going forward, though seemed to be jogging on defense at times. Overall good first game.
- Pontius had nice flashes of creativity, too.
- Good to see Benny, surprised to see him for 90.
- the D in general had me scared throughout. Hope one of them takes the lead in organizing, because we're lucky that LA can't finish. McBride and Blanco might not be so generous.

Posted by: eadc | March 22, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

There is zero percent chance that Marruro will be disciplined or even spoken ill of. He is the US referee candidate for the 2010 World Cup, and they aren't going to hang him out to dry.

While we looked better in the 2nd half, we aren't a great team by any measure. We look tentitive, give away WAY too many balls in the midfield, and out DP striker can't finish. We should have stolen three points today, but that shouldn't let us be blind to the fact that we are still not a good team.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | March 22, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise, an MLS ref blows.

But what about Emilio goofing his clear shot? What about Gomez make a mess of it after receiving a great pass from Olsen . . our only clear chance in the early going?

We should have put the game away.

But loads of positive to take away from this---with three or four starters on the pine.

Posted by: delantero | March 22, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Pessimist :P

Posted by: carmines757 | March 22, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Terrible call leads to United losing.
Party Boy scores...
We leave LA with a point.
Better result than I imagined possible... It could be worse.
Injury is my biggest concern.
We leave LA with a point, better than coming away with none.
I think we should start a crew of folks who rock Party Boy #13 jerseys who shed their pants and run onto the field in thongs and playgirl style bowties when dude scores...
You in Chest?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 22, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

F*ck you Ref!

Posted by: redskinsux | March 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry...70 minutes.

Posted by: eadc | March 22, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Only 18k in LA on a sunny noon Sunday start.

Posted by: Reignking | March 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

rk: that's about right for a non-beckham game. He's good for ten K mostly. Not bad for a team tipped to finish dead last again though.

Plus, sunny in la in march ain't exactly rare, you know? There are a lot of distractions on a day like this.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 22, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Wick TOTALLY telegraphed where he would move on Donovan's PK. If he had just stayed STILL, he might have had a better chance of stopping Donovan's kick.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 22, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game. Sat behind Eddie Lewis' sister and her friend who apparently is good friends with Chris Pontius' family, so she as there as his guest.


A few impressions:
-We played incredibly tentatively the first 20 minutes. I was afraid we were just planning to pack the box and eek out a 0-0 draw.
-Pontius and Wallace had monster games. Wallace basically owned his side from minute 20-75.
-Those minutes also corresponded to some of the best soccer I've seen us play in quite a while...counting last season.
-Wicks was a little shakey and his distribution was uneven. Get well soon Crayton.
-Boyzzz was a foul machine. Lucky to escape without a card for persistent infringement and he only played twenty minutes.
-The best plays I saw from Christian and Emilio were defensive, which is never good.
-Attendance was WEAK, but then it was supposed to rain all day here. It looked really ugly until right about 11:30.
-Kudos to the Barra. Almost as big as the hardcore LA fan section and twice as loud.

Posted by: vivzig | March 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Wicks seems to have a big mouth. He looked like he and LA had a grudge.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 22, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

This is from Luis Bueno's touchline blog:

During the post-game press conference, Washington Post reporter Steven Goff asked DC coach Tom Soehn about goalkeeper Louis Crayton. Josh Wicks started for DC and Milos Kocic was on the bench, so no Crayton. Goff asked what many of us were probably thinking, and Soehn apparently did not like the question. He told him that Crayton wasn't here, so to talk about the game.

In the locker room, Soehn apparently hadn't let it go. As Goff and others were talking to Chris Pontius, Soehn and Goff had some more words, though it was more Soehn unloading on Goff. Soehn told him to talk about the positives and then dropped this on him:

"Focus on the ********ing game," Soehn said before he stormed off into the coach's office.

Damn a journalist like Goff doesn't deserve to be treated like this.

Posted by: howie1976 | March 22, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Good to know Howie. I love Goff and his work and although Soehn might have been out of line, his team was just shafted 3 pts. I, along many D.C. United fans are pissed and angry; Imagine how pissed Soehn is with his job on the line.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 22, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

We're with you more than we're with him, Goff.

And if we can't beat a Beckhamless, Buddleless LA Galaxy, how many road games do we expect to win this year?

Posted by: notafembot | March 22, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Wicks is like the second coming of Wells. Bad positioning, bad decision making.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 22, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

If true, Soehn should not have lost his cool at SG (the best reporter in the game). But I feel for Soehn too, the guy's job is on the line and he got totally shafted by Marrufo. Soehn should apologize, and I'm sure he will. Marrufo should also apologize, I doubt he will. Is he really our 2010 ref candidate? yikes!

Posted by: Pedalada | March 22, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I've had the idea to run onto the field, for any reason, I always note to myself that doing so will see me spending some time in the DC Department of Corrections. This is not where I want to go.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 22, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess it is fair on the road getting a point but we should have won it. Absolutely horrible call on Wallace. Could be a make up call. Really bad marking on the second goal. Why was LD alone in the box?
The refs again...they should have stopped playing while collision between Greg Janicki and Devon McTavish and both down for such a long time. If the players don't put out the ball it's the refs' job to do it. When calls like happened in MLS how should we as fans expect to respect officials. Quality of the officials have been poor and still poor.
I expect much better from Emilio. Period.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Landon is going to get better," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "His fitness has to get better and he has to get a little sharper on the ball. But over the next month or so, we expect Landon really to get into good form."
He has been playing for whole freeking time but he couldn't cut it with real players. That's all he got.
And Wicks...I would say no thanks.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 22, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought Wicks got yellow carded for asking the SAR if he had seen it wasn't a handball, it looked like Wicks was trying to ask the side ref something and then got upset. Maybe his yellow was dissent for asking the ref to consult the SAR? At least Wicks seems to talk to his back line. I am waiting for a replay of LA's second goal; if it wasn't offside it must have been a very fast run because it looked like he was standing there in an offside position. Donovan's a whiner and always will be. I find it disgusting.

I thought Creighton was making the trip to LA. My biggest question is how long 'till he starts.

Posted by: ratco | March 22, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

"Why was LD alone in the box?" Looked to me like newly entered Jacobson was then wasn't marking him.

Re: LDCakes "He has been playing for whole freeking time"

Yeah, not sure where your Highness Bruce gets the gall to say that Mr. I've been training/playing in the Bundesliga is out of form . .

Posted by: delantero | March 22, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Donovan has not been playing in the Bundesliga. He's been training but not playing.

Posted by: tundey | March 22, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

1 point: good. Scoring 2 goals on the road: good. Conceding 2 goals in quick succession: bad. But for some reason, I thought this back line played better and more consistently than last year. Even though it's just 1 game, last year's back line just seems way too uncertain. Speaking the same language probably helps.

Posted by: tundey | March 22, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

All in all, I liked what I saw out of United in today's game. A few starters out, lots of youth, but we managed to get a "win." Now, the referees decided to make it a draw, but they can't take Pontius's perfect goal away.

I really liked what I saw of Wallace and Pontius and look forward for more to come. Jakovic seemed to send a lot of lazy balls and I hope he kicks that habit soon. And I actually thought Wicks played well, despite the PK. Wicks at least communicated to his defenders and was not hesitant about when to leave his line and when to stay. Something that United lacked in the early part of last season between the pipes.

Posted by: douglasquaid | March 22, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Donovan has not been playing in the Bundesliga. He's been training but not playing.

Posted by: tundey | March 22, 2009 9:35 PM

LDCakes has too been playing in the BLIGA!

Donovan made his competitive debut for Bayern in their 5-1 win over Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal on January 27, 2009, coming on as a 66th minute substitute for Luca Toni,[16]

and made his Bundesliga debut on January 30, 2009, against Hamburg, as a 77th minute substitute for Bastian Schweinsteiger.[17]

Posted by: delantero | March 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Again, it sucks when there is such a game changing WRONG call going either way. It's no fun for any honest player, fan, or coach.
Doubt any ref gives a rat's tookus... United should have won.
I'm hoping a lot of this bad luck is shed soon.

Tommy needs to leather up. For a coach who's so tight lipped he shouln't get shook out his boots because a reporter is asking questions. Did anyone really expect Wicks to start tonight? I doubt it, and to be honest I'm actually stoked that my emotionally detached reporter from my local rag is asking the tough questions of a coach who use a 3rd rate keeper who made Donovan's penalty a walk in the park. I know Tommy is under tremendous pressure but what kind of pressure do you think Steve's under? This should have been a win. BAd handball call+terrible keeper= Draw or loss on road.
Party boy rules! Lots of high flying imaginative play toward the front. I like that. Emilio is still slow, but even he did some defensive work that helped us out.
United fans always make me proud on these road trips. Pissed I won't make the home opener...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 22, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

tundey: go the F back to Germany you d-bag! Ban me!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with soehn being pissed by goffs question abouth the keepers. Crayton was not available, so it was between wicks and kokic. Wicks has more MLS expirience so he got the nod. Asking about crayton is pointless. If he was healthy enough to play he would have! Dont get me wrong wicks was shakey at best. He seemed to be not totally in control of himself at times, and some of his decisions were awfull. hopefully crayton will be back soon. I like goff but I cant quite see the point of his timing with that question.

Posted by: jjfooty | March 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

sign me up as director of the Chris Pontius fan club. for membership please send $10 to me c/o this blog.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 22, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Well he's pissed because it was his iffy subbing of Boyzzz for Olsen and shifting McTavish into the middle that started the chaos. WTF bring in an attacking player when your team is up 2-0 on the road w/ less then 15 minutes left in the game.

Hell bring in the 6-5 beast of a CB Peters to just stand in the center of the box and crush any ball that's airborne. LD would've thought twice about going after that second goal, hell Peters probably takes dumps bigger then Landy Cakes.

Then he puts Burch in as the left back and moves Namoff into the middle, resulting in goal number 2. Brillant resuffle once again.

Posted by: SoehntheExit | March 22, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse


Khumalo might not have been the sub to bring on for Olsen at that time, but your solution with Peters would have disrupted the entire formation (which was working at the time). My question was why Jacobson, who is supposed to be a two-way guy capable of filling exactly Olsen's role, wasn't the choice. However, I can see what Soehn was thinking: McTavish is more defense oriented and has more experience in MLS than Jacobson. I think having Olsen come out hurt us, but I don't think there was a person available for us that could have matched him. There's a reason Olsen is Olsen. He's a rare commodity. I know your thing is to blame Soehn for everything that goes wrong, but Olsen only having 70 minutes to give us doesn't strike me as something Soehn can control.

Your second point doesn't really make sense. Burch came on as an injury replacement for McTavish. It's not like it was a sub he was trying to make; it was forced by the collision. Should he have just left Burch playing wildly out of position in McTavish's vacated defensive midfield spot? Burch came in and played the most reasonable position available to him in our formation. The fact that he and Jacobson left Donovan wide open, and the fact that Patterson's cross wasn't closed down, and the fact that Janicki missed that header by about an inch, all seem like things Soehn didn't have much control over. What was he supposed to do, use his telekinesis powers to deflect the ball away?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 23, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Man if Soehn had some telekinesis United would be really off the chain... I'll be thinking "hard' bout' that all week. Any word on our order of Chippendales bow ties and thongs Chest?
No? will I be the only Party Boy running the show this year????

OT: thanks for going out to LA and shaking up the business Steve. I for on appreciate where you're going with this.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

" I for one"

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse


Yes my thing is to blame the coach, seems the best place to start, certainly one that I feel should have been sent packing a while ago. Soehn is not tactically strong, as evidenced by not making a sub for over 2 minutes while LA had a 11-vs-9 advantage which ultimately lead to the bs PK, Namoff's post game comments came to the same conclusion.

Also if the point is not to disrupt a formation then why move a player from one position in which they've had a good game to another one. Once McTavish moved into the middle LA started attacking from the left with greater effect because Boyzzz isn't a strong defender. Also LA wasn't attacking down the middle they were attacking from the wings. Again why bring on an attacking mid late in a road game when you're up 2-0 knowing that the home team is going to start sending long balls into the box every chance they get. Seems the best course of action is to bring on a player most capable of winning balls in the air, certainly since LA's 6'5" OG had several open headers that thankfully were way off target.

Posted by: SoehntheExit | March 23, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

That was a tough draw on the road. I had to smile about Tony Sanneh, though. I have a snapshot of him in DC United warmups posing with my then U-6 son and the neighbor's kid. My son's now a college sophomore. Sanneh's got some age on him!

Posted by: schmuckatelli | March 23, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Is LA so desperate to score that we didn't get a time called when we had two bleeding headwounds laying on the ground? Shame on you Bruce Arena.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 23, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

My question was why Jacobson, who is supposed to be a two-way guy capable of filling exactly Olsen's role, wasn't the choice. However, I can see what Soehn was thinking: McTavish is more defense oriented and has more experience in MLS than Jacobson.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 23, 2009 12:07 AM


I was actually thinking, at the time, that Jaime would have been the perfect sub for Olsen. He'd at least replace the leadership that Olsen provides and would also add a touch of possession to the front line to help maintain the 2-0 lead.

Put Jaime up on top with Emilio, slide Pontius to the right flank, and shift McTavish to Olsen's spot.

Oh well.

Posted by: combedge | March 23, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's so cute the way you guys get all indignant about "horrible" calls. Call it Robin Fraser's Revenge.

The ball hit Wallace's hand, which I saw from behind that particular goal. Whether there was intent to play the ball with said hand was debatable. Perhaps it was a make-up call for the missed PK a few minutes earlier.

Party Boy's strike was epic, no matter what kind of mess the D was at that time.

The one time I heard the BB's they were shouted down by what sounded like a youth team. Funny stuff.

Our first Sunday afternoon tilt last year (even with Beckham) drew 20K, so yesterday's total was not a disaster...

Posted by: EricB1 | March 23, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I know that running onto the field would probably be really stupid. The thought of it is pretty funny though...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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