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A Few Minutes With Tom Soehn

After watching tape of Saturday's match, any new observations?

"It almost looked as if we got a little gassed in about the 70th minute, where you started to giving the ball away a little bit and decisions as far as shape went away. I'm not sure if that was altitude or what. And I don't think our subs impacted the game like I would have hoped. Normally when you are called upon to come in, it's for reasons to shore up a game, and I don't think we did a good enough job."

Your initial reaction on RSL's first goal was that Louis Crayton should have stopped the shot? After seeing it again, has your opinion changed?

"I think he could have still had it. It happened pretty quick, in his defense, but I think he made a harder save on Movsisyan later on. It's unfortunate. The timing of the goal frustrates me more. I talked before the game, there are crucial times, whether you are starting a game, ending a half. I even said, 'After we score a goal, that first five minutes, and we let a goal two minutes after that.' We have to recognize crucial times of a game. If we get into halftime [without allowing a goal], maybe that result comes out differently."

Keep reading for Olsen-related quotes and New England's injury report.....

How did you evaluate Ben Olsen's situation in deciding not to bring him to Utah?

"You evaluate Ben every day. He always has had a difficult traveling, and it's a long flight. And it's a short week. Ben is going to be a tough one throughout the year because, no matter how he feels, he is always going to tell you he is good to go. That's a tough one. We are going to have to manage him and now, especially early in the year, it's a time for us to find out who else can do that role and pick up the pieces when we need them."

Kheli Dube (concussion) and Well Thompson (ankle) are probable. Jeff Larentowicz (hip) and Matt Reis (knee) are questionable. Kevin Alston (hamstring), Gabriel Badilla (back), Mauricio Castro (hamstring) and Taylor Twellman (neck) are out.

By Steve Goff  |  April 14, 2009; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCU-Real Madrid Update
Next: Ex-DCU Players to Real Maryland


Somebody please stop that feeling of a wolf-in-a-henhouse that keeps popping up...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 14, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I love Ben, but if a coach has to spend his valuable time week over week analyzing the ankle of one player in order to make our team passably good, then I don't have much confidence in our depth. We need to find an adequate replacement for Ben next season.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | April 14, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Logan Circle:

Cristiano Ronaldo

Posted by: TheJim1 | April 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I think Ben and Jaime bring a lot of the same qualities to our team - no matter what level of fitness they're in, they make our team better. The game slows down when they're in, and everybody seems to make better decisions. Benny's fire is contagious, and Moreno is a great calming influence. That said, I don't think either is a replaceable commodity - this year or next. You're just not going to find another Ben Olsen or a Jaime Moreno in MLS.

What we do need, though, is an in-form Christian Gomez, who can provide vision, and as many guys as we can get with Olsen's work rate. With the skill and youth on this team, I like the odds of developing what we need in the next year.

Posted by: TheAMT | April 14, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse


Sorry, but I don't think he can grow a beard or deliver a crunching tackle.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | April 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Or understand what it means to rip the Metrodonkeys a new one.

Posted by: MGori | April 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Tommy says " Normally when you are called upon to come in, it's for reasons to shore up a game, and I don't think we did a good enough job."

IMO Tommy should have changed the formation to a 4-4-2 and could have done it with the same subs.

Posted by: francisco_11 | April 14, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Moreno and Olsen have given more to the team than anyone could conceivably ask for.

However, time to use their experience one last season while planning for the future. That means finding, and playing, probable replacements. That also means developing and building a team that can win without question, instead of thinking one season at a time.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 14, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. With Moreno and Olsen, it's been the same story--the need to manage their minutes--for 3 seasons now. Although they're certain all-time DCU and MLS greats, is the coaching staff so blind they can't find one player to calm the storm in their absences?

Posted by: DWE4 | April 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

...What is going on in London?

Posted by: B_A_ | April 14, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure this is the wrong thread for this (not sure what the right one is), but has anyone been watching / following the Liverpool-Chelsea match? Pretty unbelievable.

Posted by: teamn | April 14, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

A butt load of goals...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Has he not watched games at altitude? Isnt the standard about 70 minutes or so, and then things start to affect fit guys? What a naive statement. I don't understand how a coach can not assume that the game is going to slow down at a certain point and have a plan to impliment at altitude, including subs and formation changes.

Wow. Hopefully he'll be that naive when DC comes to Colorado.

Posted by: hacksaw | April 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

like I said, a butt load of goals.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

ALso... Chelsea vs. Liverpool.

That was a comedic freak show, and I loved every minute of it.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 14, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the name of the commentator for Soccernet's GAmecast, but he (or she) is as entertaining as watching the match. Highlights:

... but really the turning point was Reina's error. Once a dodgy keeper always a dodgy keeper.
86' This game has been quite ridiculous.
84' Both sides appear to have decided that defending is boring. Or perhaps neither wants to play Barca.
82' GOAL! Kuyt heads in Riera's cross and Chelsea nerves will be jangling like a jailer's keys.
78' "Eazeh, eazeh" chant the arriviste moron Chelsea fans. That is not a football chant, they've clearly been watching too much Gladiators.
68' Riera and his stubble moustache are about to enter the fray. He replaces Mascherano.
65' Cole is booked and will miss the next game should they go through. I was about to say couldn't happen to a nicer fine young upstanding member of society, but I've realised that he's escaped marking Messi, so instead I'm annoyed.
50' GOAL! Reina - who is now applauding himself for some reason - expects Skrtel to cut out Anelka's hard low cross. Except that he doesn't and the ball goes in off Reina's despairing hand. 1-2.
48' Caravalho slips but managed to recover. Chelsea look more nervous than a limbless hedgehog in the middle of the motorway.
47' Benayoun through to Lucas on the left, rounds Cech who has come dashing out of his goal for reasons I imagine are obscure even to him.
... Cech is flailing like a drunken octopus, and is relieved when the ref gives a free kick.
18' GOAL! Aurelio, instead of crossing, goes for goal and scores. Cech, positioned on his far post, had no no chance. He now looks rather silly, and given the fact that he's wearing an orange jersey and a foam skullcap, that is saying something.
5' Benayoun looks a little like Munch's "Scream". If his face were any thinner it'd be the other way around.
0' Oh, and I've just noticed that Lucas is playing too, and Riera is not. Don't think that'll matter much, they're both rubbish.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 14, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

A dodgy keeper? Are you kidding? Yeah, he cheated too much to get the cross, not seeing Drogba coming on. Once he'd made that move, it was awfully tough for him to catch/stop Drogba's deflection. That doesn't make him a dodgy keeper. I've watched Reina outplay a number of the other top goalkeepers in the world. I'd take him over almost any other keeper in the world. That was one turning point. Cech's amateurish play on Aurelio's shot was worse, and would have been a bigger turning point if Liverpool's defense hadn't turned into Swiss cheese.

As for Riera being 'rubbish", he didn't look it on that cross into Kuyt.

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

Posted by: fischy | April 14, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse


That doesn't change the fact that the subs did not do well when they came on. McTavish looked off the pace, Doe contributed little other than an off-the-mark cross-field ball (which was a good idea, at least), and Quaranta didn't make much of an impact either. They were all in positions they've done well at before.


On Olsen's replacement, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Playing 442, for example, would remove the role Olsen is playing for us. The more direct replacement might be Jacobson, who had a middle-of-the-road performance on the weekend. Given time, he could be something approaching an answer. There's also the chance that he is too offensive minded to be a defensive midfielder and not skilled enough to be an attacking midfielder. Hope for the former.

As for the team being "blind" in not finding a replacement for Moreno and/or Olsen in MLS, I think it's more of a case of those players just not being out there at prices MLS teams can pay. DC plays a unique style in MLS. Most other teams here play a very direct style, in which a Moreno-type player doesn't have a role. Look at the league's 2nd forwards...almost without fail, their main attribute is speed, followed by technique that is nothing more than OK. There's no desire to slow the game down, or out-think your opponent; on the contrary, it's purely physical. Even someone with very good technique like Donovan gets most of his success by finding the gaps and using his speed to take advantage.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 14, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Chest_Rockwell :

IMO I've never considered McTavish a utility player. I dont think he's even a decent DM. All hes dont in the midfield are last years first 2 games where he scored 3 goals and it might never happen again.

I do agree that Doe and Santino should have done more. The 3-5-2 does not convice me with Tommy's team like Nowak's team did. Tommy needs to find a line up soon and stick with it.

Posted by: francisco_11 | April 14, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

""as if we got a little gassed in about the 70th minute, where you started to giving the ball away a little bit and decisions as far as shape went away. I'm not sure if that was altitude or what.""

Tommy, you expected two rookies to run the central midfield and put a player out wide right who has little business playing there and hasn't played there in months, let alone in a tight 1-1 game. Don't get me started with your poor management of this game . . or my systolic will go through the roof again . .

Posted by: delantero | April 14, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

So this Caps Red Line? Thing is running right now, and listening to "Ted's Take" I really gotta say that Leonsis has got an awesome sales pitch. Could someone please give the guy a call and ask him if he's got an interest in getting his finger in the DCU pie!

I'm really starting to have some bad feelings about the current ownership. They seem not to have any idea what they're doing. We need some people with better connections, and local guy/gal appeal in the District.
Just a thought.
Go Caps!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 14, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Taylor Twellman (neck) are out.

By Steve Goff | April 14, 2009; 2:33 PM ET

What happened to Twellman's neck? Did he sprain it trying to jam his giant-sized noggin into a boys medium jersey again?



Posted by: jayrockers | April 15, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse


I think he's an OK fill-in at defensive midfield. If we had to start him for any length of time, I'd be a little worried, but coming in as a sub to help clog things up and fulfill the defensive responsibilities of the job is something he can do. On the right in this formation, I again think that he can fulfill the defensive duties called for (on Saturday, that was more or less all he was being asked to do). He just happened to have a poor outing. It happens. He's not going to add much going forward other than possibly set pieces, but then we're in a lot of trouble if we're asking him to pick up our offense. Ironically, the position he's made the most appearances at (center back) is the one that is the worst fit for him.

As for the 352, I think the problem is as much the squad not being as good at the top end as Nowak's. Gros, for example, would walk into our starting XI tomorrow. Nowak also seemed, whether through fear or some deep insight, able to get more out of his players than Soehn at this point. It might have something to do with the level of pressure and expectation they faced as players. I think it's a bit harsh, though, to come down on Soehn for not picking a lineup when he's stuck with the 352, as well as 7 starters in each match. He's done that while established starters like Moreno and Crayton have been dealing with preseason injuries and with Olsen still being no guarantee to play. In terms of stability, I think he's done alright. It's not like he's going all Osorio on us.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 15, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Do the Revs use the same training corps as United? What a familiar injury report...

Posted by: 22206no1 | April 15, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

DC to Salt Lake is a "long flight?"

WTF? Try flying to Tokyo some time.


Posted by: roadkit | April 15, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

At this point Olsen=Leadly King.

Even if he only plays every other game, he's still valuable, and is still the heart of the team.

Posted by: M__N | April 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

Posted by: fischy | April 14, 2009 5:42 PM

I quoted the Soccernet commentator. That's all. Whether or not you agree with him (her?), it makes for entertaining copy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 15, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

in DC's last home game, sohen brought on bartlidge i think? not sure who he is but he seemed to pass the ball well and move around the middle adequately enough to play the remaining 20 or so minutes that olsen cant. As for Moreno i think the guy from south africa did a good job holding the ball and playing players to space in the same home game referred to before. Thought they did the job. Liverpool on the other hand should have played the second have much differently. I would have played it defensively with counter attacks. They only needed one goal in the second to win. Babel would have been a good sub with his speed, to use for counters. It was Obvious that chelsea were going to come out looking for goals. Nobody in the epl likes to lose on their home ground no matter what the agg. score is.

Posted by: g3impreza | April 15, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

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