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United Rewind

Stat of the night: D.C. United (two) scored twice as much as the Capitals (one) and Nationals (zero) combined.

Attendance watch: DCU 5,163; Nationals 15,567; Orioles 10,868. Grim on all fronts.

First surprise: Brandon Barklage in the starting lineup.

Second surprise: Barklage, projected as a wide player in MLS, in attacking midfield.

Third surprise: Barklage's one-timer to the near corner from 22 yards.

Fourth surprise: DCU investor Will Chang banging a drum with the Barra Brava in the second half.

We've seen good stuff from first-round picks Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace in league play; tonight we got a look at second-rounder Milos Kocic and third-rounder Barklage.

Read my match report with quotes.

Kocic 6; Namoff 6, Janicki 7, Burch 6; Khumalo 5, Jacobson 6, McTavish 6, Barklage 7.5, Fred 6; Pontius 6, Quaranta 7. Subs: Moreno 6, Wallace 5, Jakovic 5, Peters 5.

Bonus quotes on the continuation.....

Tom Soehn quotes.....

On Barklage: "He was very feisty in that spot; he covered a lot of ground. Late in the first half he actually started to try to do too much and kind of lost his shape. We talked about it and he did a real good job in the second half. Brandon is not fazed by much. You couldn't tell if it was a practice or a game; he just comes to play every day."

On Kocic: "He came out for a couple balls that I thought he could've punched a little better, but overall he did a pretty good job. He's pretty courageous in the box. He loves to come out for balls and manages the box well. For his first game, where there was something to lose, he did a good job."

On Quaranta: "He was very mobile. It was important to push his minutes so we can get through this hamstring stuff. I thought he had a really good day, very energetic, causing a lot of havoc."

On Moreno: "For Jaime, it was just about getting him a little bit of work. You have to be careful not to push too many guys. For him, it's always good to bring him in, hold the ball and kill off a game."

On Janicki: "One thing about Greg, he's a gamer. He doesn't always show the best in training, but when he straps on the boots for a game, you know what he is about. He's a tough defender. The penalty was just a little indecision as far as, if you don't hear your keeper, just play it out, but he is still young and that's a great learning lesson for him. But overall he was pretty solid for his first [full] day back."

Kocic quotes.....

On his first career start: "I was a little bit fired up in the beginning of the game and I wanted to go for every cross, every chance I get because we have three great goalkeepers on the team and you have to go for your chance."

On Barklage, his roommate: "I was just happy for him. We are fighting for positions and it's tough because everyone wants to play and not everyone can play."

On Kenny Cooper's apparent goal being disallowed: "I didn't know the rule! I thought it was a goal." (A player who takes a penalty can't be the first one to touch the ball if it doesn't go into the net.)

By Steve Goff  |  April 23, 2009; 12:35 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup  
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Next: Video: Copa Libertadores


I really like Kocic's attitude. I guess he showed poorly in training camp/pre-season games, but he has a winner's mindset.

Posted by: carmines757 | April 23, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

On Kocic: "... He loves to come out for balls and manages the box well."

Probably my favorite DC United quote of all time.

Posted by: BossT | April 23, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

It looks like Doe is the odd man out and with an $80,000 contract it is not that surprising. I'm sure he'll catch on with another MLS team or with a USL-1 squad.

I would like to see us compete in the US Open Cup. We seem much deeper but also not having a strong starting 11 simultaneously - I guess that qualifies as a conundrum

Posted by: diego_r | April 23, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I must say that though it's grim, I and other's hopefully appreciate you being a little more on the encouraging side especially in the last thread. It isn't your job to sell United tickets, but United's presence is obviously your bread and butter. Your link to the team, and the great coverage you provide is borders on the omnipotent. A tiny bit of "hey it's a beautiful night for football isn't it?" is hardly detracting from the great job you do. With all these quacks working for the WaPo trumpeting causes that they personally like, and dismissing what they don't open minds enough to appreciate, I welcome you to encourage us out to see our club do their thing. You don't need to be the fanboy that Ives tends to be, and you don't need to beg, but any person doing what they can to get more people thinking, and supporting United the better. For us all. The fans of DC United and their kick butt beat writer. I really don't wan't you to have to explain the nuances of goat cheese to me Steve. I want you to break McT/Zaher baby news...;-)
Thanks man!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

should read: the coverage you provide borders on the omnipotent.
can't open their minds enough to appreciate.
Just say NO to Whole Foods....

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, we won and got a shut out to boot. Amazed. Too bad it was just to qualify.

Posted by: delantero | April 23, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Steve is a rare bird indeed at The post and most failing leftist newsies these days....a journalist.
Thank you for your integrity Mr Goff.

Posted by: googlio | April 23, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see all the young guys on the field all at once. For the first time in a long time I feel like guys that will be coming off the bench mid-season will be able to hold their own, or more. Some of these guys (Peterson, Barklage) should be fighting for a starting spot soon, too.

The kids are alright...

Posted by: eadc | April 23, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

5K (paid) ain't bad for this type of match on a Wednesday night. Imagine if the Nats were playing in a tourney with subs on the field? I bet the only people in attendance would be Kasten and the 4 mascot presidents.

Posted by: Hoost | April 23, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

5k on a wednesday for an open cup qualifier is not too bad. It is better than the 1k or so in the stands at the begining of the nats game the other night.
a lot of the DCU fan base are youth soccer players and coaches, and the last time I checked wednesday night is a pretty popular night for soccer practice. I know that mid week fixtures are a necesity, but this time of year the draw will be a bit off. In the summer months mid week games will draw better when the kids do not have to get up for school the next day, or have soccer practice.

Posted by: jjfooty | April 23, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like the usual home field advantage was there, Dallas must have been intimidated, playing in front of that many folks.

Highlights are up on

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | April 23, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Goff, you always hit the nail on the head perfectly.

For me, Barklage was certainly the man of the match. I've never heard of him, and he came out looking like the team captain. He is a great box-to-box midfielder. I hope to see him back on the field in New York Sunday.

I'm really proud of the young guys. They all stepped up to the opportunity to impress.

I also agree the turn out wasn't bad. I would have been shocked to see 10k. At least on the ticket holders side, the atmosphere was great. And having Mr. Chang in the mix was fantastic.

Posted by: adamsunited | April 23, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Barkage was surely a surprise for me. He was my man of the match as well. The way he played reminded me of one of the liverpool italian players, I think Desseno. His touches are pretty good. I also like Kocic, although Dallas' lack of offense put him in difficult to judge at this time. Over all our boys played really good, not just scoring but passing and everything else much better than first team. Maybe it's because it was against Dallas or perhaps those mixed will be a better option. Janicki plays good but he also doesn't hold offside line too well. He pulls back too far and do not give much chance to strikers to be off line.
I won't miss Doe if it was indeed him letting go.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 23, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I really like Francis Doe. He is strong, fast, technical. He always impressed me when he was on the pitch. I'd hate to see him go for an over-age defender.

Posted by: adamsunited | April 23, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Barklage = Olsen 2.0?!

Posted by: combedge | April 23, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

will chang banging a drum?

a failed attempt to win our hearts? =(

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 23, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Steve is a rare bird indeed at The post and most failing leftist newsies these days....a journalist.
Thank you for your integrity Mr Goff.

Posted by: googlio | April 23, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse


Wow - Backhanded compliment of the day. Lord knows the Washington Times is just a magical ATM of money these days.

Posted by: M__N | April 23, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

A minor thing... "A player who takes a penalty can't be the first one to touch the ball if it doesn't go into the net" isn't quite accurate. It isn't a special case, but an application of another rule. The issue is that the player touched the ball twice from a dead ball situation. It's the same indirect free kick foul that is given if a player dribbles instead of passing on a free kick, corner kick, or start/restart from the center.

Anyhow, better game than I thought it was going to be. And colder than I dressed for!

Posted by: ArlingtonSMP | April 23, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Shameless homer's analysis - that group last night had a lot of pace and a lot of heart. Polish them up - add in some spice - and our squad this year makes last year look like an even larger disaster. We're lucky we won anything considering our first team was disjointed, out-paced, and certainly wasn't being pushed for time.

Our four rookies and Jacobsen are really showing an ability to compete. Let's hope they keep getting better and keep working to fill up the trophy case!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 23, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Will Chang has done a lot to show the fans and supporter groups that he cares about DCU. He regularly makes the rounds pregame through Lot 8 to visit the tailgaters, taking photos, shaking hands, having a beer. He regularly comes down to the supporter groups, he even spent a good chunk of the second half in the stands with the roadtripping fans in LA earlier this year.

And he has always done it with great interest, enthusiasm, and a smile on his face.

Showing up for a Wednesday night US Open Cup Qualifier with 5,000 people in the stands, not bad for a guy who lives 3,000 miles away.

Posted by: Tweaked | April 23, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else wonder how much better this team would be with Gallardo playing as well as he is at River Plate?

Posted by: alecw81 | April 23, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Really? Didn't know that PK rule? It seems as though Kenny didn't either.

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

And having Mr. Chang in the mix was fantastic.

Posted by: adamsunited

Showing up to bang some drums and share a beer or two - just the type of 'stroking' United fans need at the moment (in the owners eyes). Hell of a lot easier than solving the stadium quagmire by sweetening the proposals.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 23, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

This week offers a good idea of the season ticket base for United, the Nationals and Orioles (listed in Steve's entry).

I'm guessing it's United 4k (approx). Nationals around 9k and the Orioles 8k? The latter is shockingly low.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 23, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Has there ever been a US Open Cup play-in game between MLS teams that drew a bigger crowd than the one last night?

Some fans may not want to buy tickets for what might be no more than a reserve match. I haven't given up on the team but I never, ever planned to go to last night's game.

I'll be back when the best available team is expected to play. I enjoyed watching several reserve games the morning after games over the past few seasons but those were freebies at the Auxiliary Field.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 23, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Well played, Jacob. I'm sure the Dallas players were stunned to see all those fans.

It was, I'm sure, one of the biggest crowds DC has even had for an Open Cup match -- certainly for an early round match. However, I'm still a big fan of the Soccerplex. Put 5200 folks in the Soccerplex and you have one helluva an atmosphere -- packed solid and pulsing.

@Kev -- I think you're wrong on all accounts. First off, some season ticket holders, like me, are on a half-plan. There are 2 of those, and only Plan A included this game. And more than a few did not make the game -- check Craig's list. So, United probably has more planholders than that.

Nats season tickets are probably twice the # you cited. I'm guessing the same for Orioles.

I don't understand anyone who says Doe is a "technical" player. His first touch on long balls played his way is invariably terrible. If he could learn to control balls, he'd be a dangerous player. Until then...

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

This is bringing me back to the Sounders season ticket holders supposedly getting a ticket to the MLS Cup as one of their extra games... Has there been any change in that? Seems unfair to traveling support for that match. I'm guessing that a large majority of Sounders fans will be trying to sell off those tickets when their club doesn't make the playoffs...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Trouble controlling his balls? Somebody get Grandpa a jockstrap...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

re: joel

you missed a hell of a game and atmosphere last night...

It was well worth the money and time...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 23, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It was a fun game to watch, and DC U did well, but everybody should keep in mind that the team that FC D fielded last night would make any team look good.

Posted by: glfrazier | April 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

fischy - are United counting tickets sold/distributed or actual turnstile attendance?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Really? Didn't know that PK rule? It seems as though Kenny didn't either.

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 10:10 AM

Even some refs don't, cost me a win a couple years back. But as the previous poster pointed out, that's two consecutive touches on a free kick...which is not allowed in any other case either.

Posted by: teo_68 | April 23, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

oh yeah, kinda sad isn't it, that a guy who gets paid a couple hundred grand a year can't be bothered to read a very brief rule book? The pk example is even addressed directly in the Laws of the Game manual.

Posted by: teo_68 | April 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

teo_68: worst call ever against me, years ago. Ref signals an indirect kick from outside the box (arm straight up in the air). I was playing keeper, and I let the ball go in -- there wasn't anyone even close to touching it. Ref signals a goal. If I had been older, I probably would've been thrown out of the game, now that I think about it.

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

re: joel

you missed a hell of a game and atmosphere last night...

It was well worth the money and time...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 23, 2009 11:21 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope everyone else that went enjoyed it, too.

I just disagree with Goff's opinion that 5K attendance for a US Open Cup play-in game is "grim".

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Kev -- I don't know, but I think it was an OK turnout, given the nature of the game. I wish people thought differently about the Cup -- because it's a great way to see the players who fill out the roster -- but they don't. Goff is raising the profile of this tournament, but he's also overestimating that profile. Look back at the lineups people were posting -- chock full of veterans/starters. This is the Open Cup -- where the Pat and Jeff Carrolls of the world start for MLS teams. Surprised that Khumalo and Barklage started? Shouldn't be. That's what top-tier teams do in Cup matches. Until they get their own stadium, I'd like to see United use these matches to raise their profile -- tour the area. Soccerplex is one option. Are there other local stadiums that can hold 4,000 or 5,000?

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the question is what is the deal between DCU and the Stadium Authority. We don't know the nuts and bolts of it, but the reporting on the new deal DCU signed made it sound like a flat rate for the use of RFK for the year. So if they have already paid for the use of RFK, why go some where else and presumably have to rent other stadium space out for the night.

Again I have no idea what the nuts and bolts of the "new stadium deal" is between DCU and the DC Stadium Authority.

Posted by: Tweaked | April 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The new faces mixed with Quaranta, Fred, etc. made this a great game to be at. Worth the money. I'll be attending more OpenCup matches.

Posted by: mbetka23 | April 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@Kev -- I don't know, but I think it was an OK turnout, given the nature of the game.


I agree. I think it was fine. My comment above was just a stab at the fact that really low crowds usually just show approximate numbers of season ticket holders - since there's not much walk up.

I was a huge fan of the Cup at Soccerplex (not an option this year because of the Freedom?). I went to the final at RFK as well. I'm an Anglosnob, so I enjoy Cup competitions but understand they are a tough sell.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 23, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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