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United Rewind

Before we look at United's 1-1 tie with Chicago on Saturday night, let's flash back to last week's 2-2 draw at Los Angeles. More specifically, the collision between Devon McTavish and Greg Janicki, and referee Jair Marrufo's decision not to stop play right away despite both players suffering head injuries.

In a memo to MLS referees that was also distributed to the teams, the U.S. Soccer Federation, which oversees officiating in professional games, concluded that:

"Play should have been stopped immediately. Whenever a player's head is injured -- regardless of whether the collision was with an opponent, a teammate or an object on the field such as a goal post -- the safety of that player is of prime concern. There is no higher priority."

Read the full USSF memo.

The 1-1 tie with the Fire provided no such drama and controversy. My match report with quotes is available.

Bonus quotes and player ratings on the continuation of this thread.....

DCU Coach Tom Soehn on.....

.....Chris Pontius: "I don't think we used him as much as we could have. He was open quite a bit" on the right flank.

.....the defense: "We gambled a little bit and were too confident in the second half. We took some chances instead of playing it safe. That shows signs of a young backline."

.....Josh Wicks: "He should've stayed in his goal [on the Chicago equalizer], but he did a lot of positives for us too, especially that save at the end [on Chris Rolfe]. Unfortunately, the one decision he made to come out he got punished for."

.....Luciano Emilio: "When he scores, he scores in bunches, so hopefully he has a lot to follow."

PLAYER RATINGS
Wicks 4; Namoff 5, Jakovic 4, Burch 5; Pontius 5, Simms 4, Olsen 6, Gomez 5, Wallace 6; Moreno 5, Emilio 6. Subs: Doe 5, Barklage 5.


By Steve Goff  |  March 29, 2009; 1:02 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Video: USA-El Salvador

Comments

It was ridiculous to allow play to continue with 2 players writhing from head injuries.

As for tonights game, I posted lengthy comments in the last thread, but I will add that I agree with Tommy, especially about Pontius. About Emilio - he scored, but then he disappeared. The jury is out.

Posted by: fischy | March 29, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Great work in getting that memo, Mr. Goff. Thanks for the late-night read.

Posted by: notafembot | March 29, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

15,000+ for the home opener. That's pretty lame. In addition to what Steve already mentioned, I think you can add the negative vibe being created about the stadium as aother reason for the poor attendance tonight.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 29, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought a lot of our guys disappeared in the second half, and a good number looked gassed by that point. More than once I saw five of our guys very slowly moving up the field after the ball had been played forward while Chicago had everyone already back save one forward.

To win one has to have a hunger and much of team didn't show it through the whole game.

Sure wish they’d gotten the ball to Pontius a couple more times, especially in the first half when the team had more traction.

I have to say the say the Olsen-Blanco exchange was enjoyable to watch, Blanco kind of swinging his arms like something worth fighting over had happened and Olsen having none of it and quickly playing him physical – which of course caused Blanco’s glass slippers to break underneath him. Priceless to see the ref telling Blanco to get up & play and quit the Masterpiece theater bit.

Posted by: KireDCU | March 29, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse


15,000+ for the home opener. That's pretty lame. In addition to what Steve already mentioned, I think you can add the negative vibe being created about the stadium as aother reason for the poor attendance tonight.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 29, 2009 1:58 AM

More people didn't turn out because of the weather. period. Raining Thursday, Friday, and forecasts called it to be a miserable Saturday evening. Anything over 15,000 or 16,000 has got to be the more casual supporters or those who don't come to games so often. People in this category aren't likely to turn out when it's cold and wet.

Posted by: davethelad | March 29, 2009 3:02 AM | Report abuse

That's some strong and definitive language from the USSF.

Posted by: sitruc | March 29, 2009 3:08 AM | Report abuse

The two Wicks drops were unbelievable. U12 goalkeepers do not do that. His mistake on allowing the goal was forgiveable, but those were not. I would rather have whoever is behind door #2.

Posted by: granadoskerry | March 29, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

In the second half we DESPERATELY needed someone to link the defense and offense. The midfield completely disappeared. The result is that Chicago completely controlled the pace of the game and most of the ballwork. That, and the Chicago players seemed more aggressive in their physical contact and we just kind of took it.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | March 29, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

If u were over in the 300's, the little Blanco performance was vintage. Started off with a sort of psychobilly freakout move on i'm not sure who but next thing we know Blanco is on his rear and Olsen was giving him an earfull...made my night.

I agree on the attendance...weather was too unpredictable for many. But in case anyone missed it, it's mentioned about 5 times in the article: second lowest home-opener attendance.

Posted by: mbetka23 | March 29, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I expect there were a lot of beer addled fans watching that game who knew that the textbook example of when to stop play for injury is when players are down on the ground bleeding from head wounds; yet Marrufo somehow didn't.

That mistake along with his blown penalty call were hopefully enough for a scathing report from the assessors. Hopefully, there are repercussions for such incompetence.

Posted by: Publius17 | March 29, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, there are repercussions for such incompetence.

Posted by: Publius17 | March 29, 2009 8:59 AM

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

I do not believe Maruffo worked yesterday, unless he was the fourth official for the crew at the Mexico game centered by Vaughn. He could have been previously scheduled off, but that would be weird for a full-time ref like him so maybe he was pulled.

Posted by: beach3 | March 29, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see at least something with regards to that horrific referee call but where is the punishment? Does MLS doesn't have any authority to issue anything or they just ignored?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Marufo had a shocking game. He should be held accountable for his decision to allow play to continue and his horrific PK call. Seriously, will the league do anything?

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | March 29, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Has there been an official statement or reprimand by the USSF concerning Maruffo? Has there been a statement from Maruffo himself about the incedent?

Posted by: Jaywag86 | March 29, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It is with good reason that I have always called Jair Marrufo by the name of that addled Star Wars creature, JarJar.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 29, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

No highlights anywhere! and local TV coverage sucks. Goff get on them.

Posted by: aflores1 | March 29, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The question I have about the memo from the league office is....a lot of us already knew that; why didn't a MLS referee???

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Heck, my referee training is in rowing, and even I knew you should stop the game immediately - any official in any sport at any level should know that safety always, always, always comes first. Fairness is nice, but it takes a back seat to safety.

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to news producers everywhere...if it bleeds, it leaves. Two guys on the ground holding their heads, you let the immediate advantage go, fine. But if that guy doesn't shoot, blow it dead.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 29, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Stadium Bill being voted on in MD House on Monday

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | March 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The US Federation and MLS are taking the lead in everything but only the referee portion. Its horrible. What are they doing to holding them accountable and above all they get the required instruction? This has been going on since 1996 when MLS was created and the referee portion is still aweful!!! AWEFUL!!!

Posted by: silentbat | March 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Awful is not aweful. The discussion about Marufo refers to last weeks DCU-LA game. Any other confusion that needs to be cleared up (question mark) (my keyboard is on the fritz)

Posted by: fischy | March 29, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

This message is for Steve, regarding D.C. United's goalie situation.

I along many fans are having some concerns about D.C.'s goalie situation. WHERE IS CRAYTON? Something fischy is going on.

Some factors to indicate this:

1.) Crayton indicated and was quoted earlier in the week as saying he was ready for Saturday's home opener.

2.) It was reported that after the LA game and Steve was inquiring on Crayton's status, Soehn went off at Goff. We don't know very much, but we do know that Crayton was one of the hot topics of discussion.

3.) Ben Olsen on DC 101. When Elliot asked Benny, if there is a "goalie controversy", Ben hesitated and mumbled for a few moments before ultimately saying 'no'. However, the response was definitely a shaky one.

So, people have been asking on this blog about the situation and I think it's only fair that we receive some answers.
WHERE IS CRAYTON?

No, no one has missed anything on Crayton's situation, just Goff has yet to really report anything definitive. Why?

Thanks Goff.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Mr. Geiger

While we're on the topics of poor officials, it would be nice to see Holding called . . . especially when it prevents a good attack. As for the Caution not given to Blanco for simulating a foul . . ..

MLS needs to re-train their referees.

Posted by: carnack | March 29, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

WHERE IS CRAYTON? Something fischy is going on.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 29, 2009 3:36 PM
---------------------------------------------

Hold on a second. I had nothing to do with this....

I would guess that Crayton was blowing smoke. When he is really ready, I am sure he will play. Soehn did not want to risk starting a goalie who might need to come out, perhaps.

Posted by: fischy | March 29, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes weather, and a flu bug kept me from the stadium.
However this year there was less emphasis on the home opener too! Glad to see the official memo about injuries. hope everyone is ok and its not going to take all season to recover.

Posted by: mmsq | March 29, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I always have very crazy dreams out in the country, and this could be a dream, but I swear that I saw a feature (Lunch with Lindsay???) that is supposed to be featuring Ben Olsen at Ben's Chili Bowl... Set to air tomorrow evening I think..?
I could have been watching channel 5, but who would Ben Olsen be having lunch with over there???
I didn't drink that much last night, but after the US/ES jawn, waiting up to see if SNL would be very funny, I thought I saw Ben, his wife, and baby up in Ben's Chili Bowl with Lindsay Czarniak....
Anyone else see any mention of this?
Again it could have been a dream...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 29, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

No pipe dream jokes please...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | March 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

And also, thank you for linking the USSF's response to that joke of a ref from last week. I knew that the silence woul be broken

Posted by: DadRyan | March 29, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Despite the bad attendance from DCU point of view for home opener United is still the second best record for the weekend. Seattle got another nearly 29k and perfect win.
The worst FC Dallas v Chivas USA at pizza hurt less than 7 thousand. wow, not good.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 29, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Hold on a second. I had nothing to do with this....

I would guess that Crayton was blowing smoke. When he is really ready, I am sure he will play. Soehn did not want to risk starting a goalie who might need to come out, perhaps.

Posted by: fischy | March 29, 2009 5:49 PM

Crayton said he was good to go. Soehn not 'risking' Crayton probably cost us the game. Wicks has been making mistakes and it's costing us goals against.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 29, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

""Soehn not 'risking' Crayton probably cost us the game""

Soehn was on Comcast/WAPO hour last week and he said Crayton had come into camp out of shape (he spent significant time in Africa tending to a dying relative, didn't he?). He then got nicked in the Carolina Cup and isn't ready to start.

Of course the player says he's ready. They all do.

Wicks made a dumb mistake, but also kept us from losing with a spectacular save on Mapp's (?) shot. Crayton makes dumb mistakes. Wells made dumb mistakes. Perkins made dumb mistakes. It happens.

Posted by: delantero | March 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Were there really 5 first half goals and 0 in the second in the San Jose/Houston match?

Posted by: delantero | March 29, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Correction, 5 goals in 14 minutes of the 1st half.

SJ -- Ryan Johnson 1 (Cam Weaver 1, Arturo Alvarez 1) 30
SJ -- Arturo Alvarez 1 (unassisted) 33
HOU -- Chris Wondolowski 1 (Stuart Holden 1) 34
HOU -- Brad Davis 1 (Chris Wondolowski 2) 36
SJ -- Cam Weaver 1 (Darren Huckerby 1, Chris Leitch 1) 44

Posted by: delantero | March 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

is it me or has wicks eaten too many pies? who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies, you fat b*stard you fat b*stard you ate all the pies...that was some keystone cops defending in the 2nd half. man those give aways were miserable. had i not been with my nephew from outside the country i would have gotten up and left about minute 65.

Posted by: mizage | March 29, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: You weren't dreaming. Ben Olsen will be on with Lindsay during the 5:00 pm edition of News 4.

Posted by: esjamom | March 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Read the posts about the Capital Boulevard Mall article today in the Wash Post and see if the arguments for and against the Mall don't sound similar to some arguments for and against another project near and dear to our hearts.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 29, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

thanks esjamom...
I did find a "Lunch with Lindsay" involving an UGG booted out Federov, and realized it wasn't a dream...
What could be better than Ben Olsen, his wife and kid, Lindsay Czarniak, and Ben's Chili Bowl????
I'm Phyched!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Wicks definitely had some bad mistakes, but he also showed his potential several times so let's withhold judgement against him considering it was his first home start on a wet field behind an obviously questionable back line. Crayton's constant screwing around with the ball and refusal to stay on his line last season should have cost him the starting job anyway.

It is great to have Olsen back as well. Wouldn't say he had a stellar game, but his presence alone gets the team and fans fired up. The way he knocked Blanco on his fat a$$ just out of the referee's view - that's why you keep a guy like Olsen around.

Posted by: eduardo2 | March 30, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The Blanco/Olsen tiff was priceless. Blanco threw a fake slap at Ben, as if trying to make him flinch. Benny gave him an elbow, as if to say, "want to hit someone, this is how its done."

As for running out of gas - I'm thinking Soehn had it right last week, only starting two of his troika of "old" dudes (i.e., moreno, gomez and olsen). Right now I've got to go with Gomez and Olsen with Moreno as a late sub, and hope that Gomez's poor distribution this week was due to the weather.

Finally, on the rankings, I don't agree with the low ranking for Simms. True he seemed largely absent early on, but that was because the ball was being held higher. He stepped up in the second half and was all over the place.

Posted by: regularfan | March 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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