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Wednesday Kickaround

*My story about Christian Gomez's quiet start for D.C. United this season. What's your opinion of Gomez so far?

*In Denmark, USA defender Michael Parkhurst goes 90 in Nordsjaelland's 2-1 victory at Esjberg.

*Back in December, the Insider told you about a Dutch illustrator and amateur player who had taken interest in a match between a French team and an American air squadron in a town in Normandy in 1944. Jan Milders now tells us that his efforts to stage an event around D-Day this summer commemorating that game is close to coming to fruition. After many ups and downs in the planning process, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), based at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, has pledged to send a team to Saint-Pierre-Eglise in Normandy for a June 4 exhibition. Details will be finalized in the coming days. We'll keep you updated.

For today's TV listings, please keep reading this thread.....

*Soccer on TV:
Champions League, Porto-Manchester United 2:30 p.m. ESPN2
Champions League, Arsenal-Villarreal 2:30 p.m. Setanta, ESPN Deportes
Copa Libertadores, Palmeiras-Recife 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
Champions League, Arsenal-Villarreal (taped) 7 p.m. ESPN Classic
Copa Libertadores, Universidad de Chile-Gremio 9 p.m. FSE
Copa Libertadores, Independiente Medellin-Sao Paulo midnight FSE

By Steve Goff  |  April 15, 2009; 6:06 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , History , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Montero, Olsen and a 60-Yard Goal

Comments

Hopefully yhat friendly comes to fruition. That would be something special and historic. Hard to believe we are on anniversary 65 of D-day. I was in the UK for the 50th right before the World Cup which seems so recently.

Posted by: kkfla7371 | April 15, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

You are being generous perhaps with the use of "quiet start" in describing #10. At least to the SI fanaticos, the quiet start is not any kind of acceptable.

Posted by: 22206no1 | April 15, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update on the Normandy game, Steve. That's great stuff.

Posted by: joedoc1 | April 15, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

DC United still plays with Gomez and Moreno. Does the Army still have Sylvester Stallone in goal?

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

Tipper Gore was banging the skins at Verizon last night? Can anyone Insider confirm that?

Posted by: OWNTF | April 15, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Insider did not attend the Dead show last night. However, Wife of Insider did. She confirms Tipper was on the drums at one point.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 15, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Screw the PMRC!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Nicely written article.

Posted by: paj18 | April 15, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve, but that's nowhere near enough to remove the dirty image OWNTF put in my head.

Posted by: sitruc | April 15, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

With emphasis! Champions League themee music on Dee's entrance?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILc5FGVJxRQ


Posted by: DadRyan | April 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Gallardo!;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | April 15, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm not too down on Gomez yet. Some folks think he's too outta shape and should sit. I think he's more likely to reach top form if he plays more.

Soehn is probably right in saying the new players (who are otherwise playing pretty well) aren't getting him the ball enough because they think he's too closely marked and instead are sending longer passes to the flanks and over the top to the forwards.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 15, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I think I-270 pointed this out yesterday -- soccernet gamecast commentary can be pretty entertaining, can't wait for today's CL installments. Reminds me of some of the funny comments on this blog. Lots of good stuff.

Posted by: teamn | April 15, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The Dead... they are in their 80's now, right?

Posted by: Ron16 | April 15, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I could use that game as an excuse to visit the only part of France I haven't been to...

And go on a few calvados tours...yum...

Posted by: Reignking | April 15, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I didn't expect Gomez to revert to MVP form when he was brought back, but I have to say he's been surprisingly toothless thus far.

Posted by: teo_68 | April 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"...soccernet gamecast commentary can be pretty entertaining, can't wait for today's CL installments."

Try bbc.co.uk/sport -- also amazingly good, replete with details, humor, color, and the occasional snarky comment. Yum.

Better yet, one of the commenter's names is "Caroline Cheese." I did not make that up.

Posted by: 22206no1 | April 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Was she with Jason Campbell? Or someone older, like Joe Theismann or Sonny Jurgenson?

Posted by: Reignking | April 15, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering about I-270's post. I didn't realize those were actual quotes from some other site. They were ridiculous comments -- entertaining? Or, merely asinine and foolish?

Posted by: fischy | April 15, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the champions league games to start. Took the day off. Woohoooooo!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 15, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the recent info on the possible Normandy match!

I'm taking my 87 yr old Dad back to Normandy for the first time since WW2 - for the 65th anniversary of the landing. He went in on Day 2 with the Engineers and was responsible for clearing the mines off the beaches.

We're scheduled to arrive in Caen on June 4. Please post any more details - I'll try to get by the match with camera in hand....

Posted by: inbetweenswims | April 15, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Cheesey" (as her emailing and texting fans call her) is very knowledgeable and very, very "pithy." She'd fit in here. Actually, she would leave all of us in the dust.
It's a fun read if you cannot watch the game.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 15, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ inbetweenswims

Tell you Dad thanks from all of us.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 15, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"But Gómez's return after one sour year with the Colorado Rapids has been tempered by fitness issues and the gradual process of readjusting to old teammates and bonding with new ones. "

Yes, old teammates...

Posted by: Reignking | April 15, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Gómez and Gallardo are facing at least two of the same limitations with DC - weak and inexperienced players behind them, and being generally out of sync with those players. They continually have to track back, even when DC has possession, and still see the ball too rarely in any position, much less facing the opponent's goal.

Gómez still has superior skills, and the team needs as many quality minutes from him as they can get. The only way to assure that is to start him.

Great article on Gómez! Having him back in DC is positive in every respect.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 15, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@ inbetweenswims
Tell you Dad thanks from all of us.
Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 15, 2009 11:07 AM
===============

Second.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 15, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I was driving in the VC area before that show last night and I saw a whole lot of dudes that looked like Arlo Guthrie.

Posted by: gocaps2 | April 15, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

fischy,

Well, since I've been accused of being asinine and foolish, perhaps that's why I find them entertaining? Guess it reminds me of sitting with friends watching the match and commenting. Probably not very informed, I admit.

22206no1 -- thanks for the info, I'll check it out.

Posted by: teamn | April 15, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Gomez's performance is much worse than his fitness. Over the years we have taken for granted how much offensive players benefit from the presence and performance of Jaime Moreno. Raul Diaz Arce? A wonderful man, a good player, and a perfect example of the effect Moreno has on those around him. However, everyone who has been on the field with Moreno is better because of him. He could make players - and more importantly a team -- better. We will not get that from Gomez. Not now. Not ever. Sadly, I don't think we can expect this from Moreno any more either. What we need is a genuine replacement for Jaime. Not many like him come along. Maybe Juan Pablo Angel. Maybe Fredy Montero will become that kind of player some day. As long as we are overspending and pursuing "replacements" for "El Diablo" (like Gomez and that joke Gallardo), we will not uncover the kind of talent we really need, a talent like the old Number 9 on the classic United squads.

Posted by: raymonddevenney | April 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

We'll never get another Moreno. Always look for the next generation of forward.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Gomez's performance is much worse than his fitness. Over the years we have taken for granted how much offensive players benefit from the presence and performance of Jaime Moreno. Raul Diaz Arce? A wonderful man, a good player, and a perfect example of the effect Moreno has on those around him. However, everyone who has been on the field with Moreno is better because of him. He could make players - and more importantly a team -- better. We will not get that from Gomez. Not now. Not ever. Sadly, I don't think we can expect this from Moreno any more either. What we need is a genuine replacement for Jaime. Not many like him come along. Maybe Juan Pablo Angel. Maybe Fredy Montero will become that kind of player some day. As long as we are overspending and pursuing "replacements" for "El Diablo" (like Gomez and that joke Gallardo), we will not uncover the kind of talent we really need, a talent like the old Number 9 on the classic United squads.

Posted by: raymonddevenney | April 15, 2009 12:42 PM
-------------------------------------------
Wow. I understand that alot of people would cry over Moreno but geez this one tops them all.

No team is better becuase of Moreno. What Moreno did was become the missing factor for DCs scoring option in the Classic DC team. Moreno has not made all teams better. He played during the classic years of MLS in which break aways were easier to make and scoring off them was 98% certain. He has played for many teams but if you look at the stats he didnt have great terms compared to his DC career. He played for the Metrostars, did he make that team better? No. He played for Middleborough, did he make that team better? No. So you have to understand that he is a good player that played in start-up league which means anything could have happened. But now, his age has caught up with him. He is a good candidate to coach but he cannot keep up physically. The league has improved greatly since his glory days with DC.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 15, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Bring back Veron! Oh, right. He never got here.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 15, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

WashDips:

You're entitled to your opinion, but I would find it very hard to defend. He might not have been good enough to impact Middlesboro, but the Moreno that played in NY was physically and mentally broken. In a United shirt, however, I think it's been abundantly clear that he does improve those around him. Frankly, I'm not sure how you could reach a different conclusion.

DC United looked lost every single time he didn't play from 2004 through 2008. This year's team actually hasn't looked all that different without him, but 4 games in 5 seasons is like a drop in an ocean. Furthermore, in games where he only came on as a sub in those years, Moreno would instantly turn a listless team into a threat.

***

Gomez is suffering because our focus has been on blue-collar, "safe" play with the very occasional piece of skill or combination play. As was pointed out in the article, the team has tried to bypass him too often, leaving him running back and forth without as many touches as he should have. He hasn't been brilliant with the ball, but perhaps he's ending up with the ball in situations that aren't his favorite. As of now, I'm placing his shrug of a start mostly on his teammates not finding him in the right spots and on the less than enthralling style of play we've had thus far. He might not be the player we had in 2007, but that doesn't surprise me at all. Age and fitness take away your ability to get into space, and space breeds creativity. He can still be very good, though.

Actually, the style of play question becomes a chicken or egg proposition. Gomez doesn't fit in that well with our somewhat conservative, direct approach; our somewhat conservative, direct approach would become more attractive if Gomez started imposing himself.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Jaime Moreno
2004-2008
Goals Scored
54
Penalty Kick Goals
26

52% pure skill, 48% spoon fed.
That is just telling me that he is only half-good.
Whats a shame is that he holds the record for most penalty kick goals at 37 all-time. With 122 goals scored.

Ante Razov follows at 114 goals. 12 were penalty kick goals all time.

So thats 85 goals for Moreno & 102 goals for Ante Razov if we dont count penalty kicks.

Sorry im laying down facts. Check them if you need to.
http://web.mlsnet.com/mls/history/index.jsp

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 16, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

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