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A Few Minutes With Tom Soehn

Before we get to the head coach's comments.....

United's flight to Los Angeles this afternoon -- on United -- was cancelled. Not delayed. Cancelled. So club officials have been scrambling to line up trips tonight. Half the team will go on one flight, the other half on a later journey. Ah, the joys of air travel. Maybe United Van Lines would be quicker.

How have preparations gone in general after last Saturday's wild match?

"It's been a good week. We focused on ourselves early and now we are going to change our focus today and tomorrow and Saturday on our opponent. Now we focus on Chivas."

How are the goalkeepers dealing with the rotation?

"Everybody singles out goalkeepers as being different; it's the same for players. We hold everybody to a standard, that everybody has to perform to be on the field. It's no different for anybody else. ... If you look at the championship team in the early days of D.C., they actually split games. We are trying to establish and learn about each one, and we're going to take our time to do that."

In 1996, Jeff Causey started 18 games, Mark Simpson 14.
In 1997, Causey 5, Simpson 7, Tom Presthus 7, Scott Garlick 13.
In 1998, Simpson 2, Presthus 5, Garlick 25.
In 1999, Simpson 6, Presthus 26.

In case you missed our previous posting, Louis Crayton and Josh Wicks are going to Los Angeles, and Milos Kocic, who started last weekend, has the weekend off.

More from Soehn on the continuation of this thread.....

How's Andrew Jacobson's ankle?

"He's been training. He still has some discomfort, but nothing to keep him out."

How about Ben Olsen?

"He's trained the last couple days and he looks like he's getting better."

Why has Chivas done so well this year?

"They've done a great job in their home games. They are organized, they are disciplined, they try to play, they punish you for your mistakes, they do a great job winning balls in the middle of the park and starting the attack. And defensively, they haven't given up much."

Okay Insider loyalists, what do you think of Soehn's goalie rotation?

By Steve Goff  |  May 14, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I'm not sure I remember the early keeper situation quite like Soehn does.

Posted by: sitruc | May 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Those were Goff's stats, if I'm not mistaken.

We've always rotated keepers. I'm fine with using the first half of the season to figure out who our starter should be. Ask yourself if Crayton is nine times better than Kocic. He's paid nine times as much. I wonder if that money couldn't be better used somewhere else.

Posted by: mmathai1 | May 14, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Steve, this is the Soccer blog in the sports section of the newspaper. If I wanted to read about flights I'd go to the travel section. If I wanted to read about interstate commerce I'd go to the business section. If I wanted humor I'd go to Weingarten. Really! You'd think this was YOUR blog with the stuff you're writing today! (That was a pretty funny line about United Van Lines -- is Olsen asking: "are we there yet"?)

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM |


Epic....

Posted by: JkR- | May 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't really have a problem with the keeper rotation policy, except that they're not rotating in any keepers that I feel comfortable with. But I guess you've got to work with what you've got.

Posted by: TCompton | May 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@BlackandRedRedDevil: Dog do his thing in your cornflakes this morning? Just graduate from curmudgeon school? Or both?

Posted by: Ron16 | May 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Steve, this is the Soccer blog in the sports section of the newspaper. If I wanted to read about flights I'd go to the travel section. If I wanted to read about interstate commerce I'd go to the business section. If I wanted humor I'd go to Weingarten. Really! You'd think this was YOUR blog with the stuff you're writing today! (That was a pretty funny line about United Van Lines -- is Olsen asking: "are we there yet"?)

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | May 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse


What Goff wrote about is VERY relevant here. They have a game in Los Angeles and getting there is turning into a problem for them. These inconveniences could very well impact their performance on Saturday. So, it DEFINITELY belongs in this forum.

Posted by: stwasm | May 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ron16 |

Posted by: stwasm


Folks, you missed a little fun from the previous thread.....

Posted by: JkR- | May 14, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The ynot1970 flap and subsequent comments may be the funniest stuff I've seen on any blog in a long time. I've spent the last fifteen minutes laughing at his (inadvertently) hilarious post followed by these here. You guys really are funny, thanks!

Posted by: teamn | May 14, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

do united players fly first class when traveling to games? just curious.

Posted by: you-dont | May 14, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

People.....please turn on your sarcasm button. Black and Red's comment was poking fun at the azz who made a similar comment earlier today.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | May 14, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

When goals like DeRosario's are going in, due entirely to non-communication between our top center back and a keeper, the rotation worries me endlessly. Kocic and Jakovic noticeably miscommunicated at least 3 times against Toronto, and it's a big reason we didn't come out of the game with a win. When we have keepers as raw as Kocic or as unpredictable as Crayton, one of them has to be playing consistently so he can really learn about his defenders and his defenders can really figure him out.

Since none of our keepers is inspiring confidence, I'd like to see Soehn pick one and let him build a real bond (which requires games) with our defense. In that case, we'd lower the number of unnecessary goals given up due to lack of communication or misunderstanding. DeRosario's goal Saturday was completely uncalled for and entirely preventable. The fact that Soehn sees keepers, who thrive on confidence and who must have an excellent rapport with the defenders in front of them, as interchangeable might actually be the most alarming thing I've heard him say as the head coach of this team.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Rimando lacerated his hand and Perkins is in Norway.

Looks like we'll have to start Causey.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I do a little work today and miss all of the fun. Will you people please let me know when we have a troll alert! You can't keep all the fun to yourselves!

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm rather sick of Soehn's goalkeeper rotation.

It's like quarterbacks. If you have 2, that means you probably don't have 1.

If Soehn has to use 3 goalkeepers, then he doesn't have 1. That will hurt later.

Posted by: writered21 | May 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Goff!

Please to be adding a rep button...

BlackandRedRedDevil deserves to be repped!

I laughed so hard i pooped my pants!

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | May 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I laughed so hard i pooped my pants!

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | May 14, 2009

Dude, I will be SO shunning you.....

:)

Posted by: JkR- | May 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Olsen: "Which flight am I on, Namoff?"

Posted by: jburksva | May 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Any savvy traveler knows Virgin America is the best way to get from DC to road games in California. But DCU may have its frequent flier miles with United, which could explain things.

Posted by: Pedalada | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Soehn's GK rotation is costing us points.

Pick one...and stay with them. Wicks is below average at best, the rookie..is well a rookie....so play Crayton and live with the craziness. I think he's way more solid than he's given credit for....

Especially if we are going to play a back 3...we need an agressive keeper that is quick off his line. The defenders will get used to him and adjust their play.

So...stick with Crayton...UNLESS..United have no plans of keeping him past this mid-season...then....I would say our GK situation is screwed and let's just sign Tony Meola....

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Causey, Simpson, Garlick, Presthus; man those were some fantastic keepers. Brings back memories.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

VM should have piled the team into a bunch of Jetta TDi's and let them hold a Gumball Rally to get to LA.

Posted by: jburksva | May 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't they just borrow the Caps team jet? They won't be using it for a while...

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | May 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Ask yourself if Crayton is nine times better than Kocic. He's paid nine times as much. I wonder if that money couldn't be better used somewhere else."

Crayton is not nine times better than Kocic. But he is significantly, noticeably better; the "somewhere else" the money he is paid would go would be the owners' pockets. Crayton should start 75% of the time, Kocic should get a few starts, and Wicks should be let go.

Posted by: granadoskerry | May 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure mls players fly coach, and get to keep their frequent flier miles. That said, I do like the idea of VW throwing them in some vans (either the old hippie ones or the ones people are having babies for), great promo for both. Assuming they just drive them to a different airport with a better flight.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 14, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Causey, Simpson, Garlick, Presthus; man those were some fantastic keepers. Brings back memories.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM |

Your memories must be a little fuzzy...Or, was that snark?

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Welll done B$RRDevil. Be advised, however, you are now on whynot1970's enemies list. Welcome to the club.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Although I like the appearance of depth at this point of the season, rotating gk's only makes sense if you are trying to develop the younger one. Wicks couldn't catch a cold so obviously I am referring to Milos. However if Milos is close to crayton in the staffs view, then hand the reins over, deal with a few mistakes and give the guy the time needed to develop his confidence and tactical aspects of the position. He looks everything but confident so far. Btw,Did Namoff get arrested for stabbing at DeRosario on that bomb? That was a murderous lunge attempt at a tackle. Can we leave he and Soehn home this weekend?

Posted by: Dipssince78 | May 14, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Your memories must be a little fuzzy...Or, was that snark?

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

No snark on my part. These guys were solid goalkeepers for DC, or did you forget that?


Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I remember a few games in the early years when Bruce Arena brought in a sub keeper just for the shootout. Is my memory deceiving me?

In the absence of a true #1 keeper, platooning is a good idea. Crayton and Kocic are pretty good players, but not clear first choice players.

As for this flight thing: MLS really needs to allow teams to charter planes whenever they want. Why should spendthrift organizations like the Revs get to dictate to other teams how to spend their money? DCU should be able to charter a damn plane and fly to LA.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | May 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@RedDevil -- I suppose they got the job done, especially Garlick (and Presthus wasn't horrible). So, "solid" isn't far odd, but I wouldn't say they were "fantastic keepers" at any level...even for MLS, back in the day. I wonder if any of them could start for an MLS team today. Possibly Garlick.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

far off, not far odd -- sorry about that.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Kocic and Jakovic noticeably miscommunicated at least 3 times against Toronto, and it's a big reason we didn't come out of the game with a win.
=============================

Maybe they'd do better in Serbian . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | May 14, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

They were fantastic enough to help us win three MLS Cups, a Concacaf Champions cup and an InterAmerican Cup among other titles.
I definitely would argue that Simpson, Garlick or Presthus would play at this level given that the football, in my opinion, hasn't improved much since those days.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 14, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "1970s"?!

"Baby cried the day the circus came to town
'Cause she didn't want parades just passin' by her
So she painted on a smile and took up with some clown
While she danced without a net upon the wire
I know a lot about 'er 'cause, you see
Baby is an awful lot like me

Don't cry out loud
Just keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings
Fly high and proud
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all"

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 14, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: goalies

I keep alternating until someone steps up and takes the spot hands down. So far, no one keeper has impressed me than any other. But Crayton and his big salary are the biggest disappointment this season.

Posted by: delantero | May 14, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Ummm....Presthus, really? Folks liked Presthus? Didn't he get scored on from midfield on a header because he fell over? Memories must be clouded by his always-spiffy GK uniform.

And I'm offended that Goff would devote his soccer blog to discussing GOALKEEPERS. You don't use your hands in footy! Jeez...

Posted by: DWE4 | May 14, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

joedoc you're killing me. But if we've come this far, with Karen Carpenter and Melissa Manchester on the same day, where do we go for the 70s trifecta?

"There was a time when I was in a hurry as you are
I was like you
There was a day when I just had to tell my point of view
I was like you
Now I don't mean to make you frown
No, I just want you to slow down

Have you never been mellow?
Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you?
Have you never been happy just to hear your song?
Have you never let someone else be strong?"

Posted by: OWNTF | May 14, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Dipssince78:

You must be joking. Namoff has been arguably our best player this season. Yes, that was probably his worst moment, but one mistake (which, to be exploited, still required a golazo by DeRosario) is not grounds for being left out.

MJ:

I'm pretty sure you're right about Arena, and some other coaches did the same. I also agree about the charter planes. Some teams can afford it, some can't. Some clubs can afford nice locker rooms (NY); some clubs offer perks like the low cost of living in their area (essential for players at the lower end of the pay scale). I have a hard time seeing the difference. If you play for the Revs, then thrifty practices are part of the deal. If you play for LA and Beckham's on the team, you know there will be a lot more press around you. It's just what comes with the package of playing with particular teams.

RedDevil1:

They weren't bad keepers, but I think the fact that they were juggled so often underlines how they weren't really essential to United's success in those days. When I think back to those teams, good keeping is one of the last things that pops into my mind. Again, none were bad, but your original comment left me thinking the same as fischy.

***

As an addendum to my earlier keeper post, I'd lean towards starting Crayton. Then again, with his contract ending soon and no word on any kind of negotiations, maybe the club is already planning for a future without him. If that's the case, then Kocic should be starting while we look for the new #1. To me, the choice is either "Crayton is our starter" or "We need to sign a keeper"; Kocic looks like he needs a lot of polish on multiple facets of his game. Once we find another keeper, Kocic should be loaned out to a USL club as has been done by other teams in similar situations. Burse in Dallas, for example, improved by going on loan while Sala inexplicably continued to start.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 14, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So...stick with Crayton...UNLESS..United have no plans of keeping him past this mid-season...then....I would say our GK situation is screwed and let's just sign Tony Meola....

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | May 14, 2009 1:41 PM
**********************************

Not a bad idea but it won't work.

Zach Thornton ate Tony Meola.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 14, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Add to that:
In 2004 Troy Perkins started 16 games, and Nick Rimando started 13.

And Jeff Causey was the worst excuse for a goalkeeper ever to wear the United uniform. Bar none.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | May 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Who then is the best goalkeeper in DC United history?

Garlick?

Perkins?

Posted by: DCUMD | May 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Zach Thornton ate Tony Meola.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 14, 2009 2:49 PM |
-----------------------------------------------

I actually snorted at that one. Thanks.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the club.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 14, 2009 2:03 PM

Thank you. I consider myself honored.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | May 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Who then is the best goalkeeper in DC United history?

Garlick?

Perkins?

Posted by: DCUMD | May 14, 2009 2:56 PM |

Joe Cannon.

Or Luis Robles.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov is apparently free to play keeper . . .

Posted by: delantero | May 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

VM should have piled the team into a bunch of Jetta TDi's and let them hold a Gumball Rally to get to LA.

Posted by: jburksva | May 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

...can you say "whacked-out soccer mom" on the "Road to MLS Cup 2008"? :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 14, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Just my 2 cents:

I liked Garlick when he complained about DC not getting an invitation to the White House, despite winning the MLS Cup (Clinton was in office, for those who are counting). The invitation did come later.

The coaching staff kept saying that Presthus was the keeper of the future - Columbus' future, not ours.

Mike Amman wasn't too bad either. To bad his ailing elbows ended his career.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Point is, GK should be less of a concern if a) the team keeps possession and b)they play team defense and c) they score more goals than the other team.

We've won 4 Championships with keepers that were, at best, mediocre to mediocre +1.

What I don't remember from those championship squads were them allowing a soft goal a game, which the recent DC squads have done with more regularity than ex-lax.

Posted by: delantero | May 14, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Garlick wasn't worth the bread United paid him.

Amman to that!

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 14, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Marcus Hahnemann = no need to platoon. And ceteris paribus, he's probably worth at least five or six points per season. With Crayton's contract being up, he would be a no brainer even at $250k per season.

Forget Robles, he's not coming back prior to DC's draft rights expiring at the end of next year.

I'm stating the obvious on both points, I'm sure.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | May 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@MJ -- I was responding, snarkily, to the question of best DCU keeper. I named a couple that were almost DCU keepers -- wasn't saying that they were in DCU's future.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wicks gets no love on these posts today. There's a reason he was signed late in preseason, and last year's 3rd stringer was cut (forgot name..) Wicks is hurt, when healthy he's a terrific athlete. Reading between the lines, Crayton is out, Kocic is part of future, but Wicks will emerge as #1 GK. If Crayton had any hope of staying in DC, he'd be minding nets every game to impress suitors. He's out, Kocic is just risky, and both are keeping nets warm for Wicks. DC will be just fine with him.

Posted by: sevnshvn | May 14, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Wicks is about as useful as my 3 year old nephew with one hand behind his back, cut him, tell crayton to stay his @ss in the 18 and catch a ball first time, and tell namoff that we wear black at home.

Posted by: MOCker | May 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Causey's wife Heather was/is smoking hot. Not that that has any bearing on anything!!

Posted by: torrey151 | May 14, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

All the chatter about DCU keepers of years gone by makes me wistful for the days of El Diablo, Harks and Pope. sniff, sniff. All that said its too bad the Chilean kid from last year did not pan out. I loved the story about how DCU became familiar with him through a tape the kids mom sent to mgmt. However, I guess that shows you that you should never base a professional contract on the recommendation of a kids mother.

Posted by: nyjer1 | May 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Best keeper all-time for united: Mark Simpson. As for "Namoff has been arguably the best player this year",
Wow really.
I will admit he has been better this year, but his better is still not good enough. Namoff has cost us in many big games over the past few years and directly in the last game.
All three of the field player draftees have played at a higher level than Namoff this season.
Best player this year would go to Moreno, followed by Pontius at this point.

Posted by: Dipssince78 | May 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Dipssince78, I'm going to completely disagree with your opinion on Namoff's play, this year and last. But this thread is old...

Posted by: JkR- | May 14, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Mark Simpson was United's best 'keeper? That's why in his 4 seasons, he got a season's worth of starts? If you're serious, it should cause everyone to completely discount any of your evaluations, including the one posted here about Namoff...who has saved several games for United this year.

Posted by: fischy | May 14, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

All the chatter about DCU keepers of years gone by makes me wistful for the days of El Diablo, Harks and Pope. sniff, sniff. All that said its too bad the Chilean kid from last year did not pan out. I loved the story about how DCU became familiar with him through a tape the kids mom sent to mgmt. However, I guess that shows you that you should never base a professional contract on the recommendation of a kids mother.

Posted by: nyjer1

I think that kid was Peruvian if I'm not mistaken. He had even played for the Peru national team in the U-20's or something.

Posted by: Samuraise | May 14, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

This might be taking things too far, but I can't resist.

The first Toronto goal was one of the worst goals we've given up this year, and the second was completely down to McTavish being badly beaten by Serioux on a set piece. The goal Namoff looked bad on also involved 2 other defenders backing off and a lack of coverage in midfield. It was the only goal Toronto scored that was more due to their good play than to our mistakes.

Look at this another way: If opposing teams only score late goals on us by going 1v3 against our defense, beating our best defender on the dribble, and hitting a rocket into the side netting from 20 yards, well then I think we'll be doing pretty well. DeRo's goal isn't going to happen often to anyone in MLS this season. It was brilliant, even if it did require Namoff missing on a tackle.

If you're going to argue that Namoff has "cost us" so many times, I'd like to see examples. If you just don't like him and have the blinders on, admit it; I can understand disliking someone and just refusing to give them credit for anything more than the current argument.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 14, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Simpson was badly injured in season 2, wasn't he. I vaguely recall that being the reason for bringing in Garlick.

Unfortunatley, it's hard to measure the number of goals that a defender does not allow. If one could do that, they would be paid more.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 14, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I think some folks are being overly critical of Kocic. He a rookie that has 2 MLS games to his credit - 2. In addition, in many ways he improved remarkably in the second game on the item that he was criticized, that of catching and holding onto crosses or being tentative in the box.

The only significant mistake he made was on the first goal and in a way that goal was also due to a brilliant piece of opportunism by DeRo. When you replay the goal you just shake your head as to how DeRo was able to just poke enough of the ball to flick it into the goal. The only grip I have with Kocic on that play was for him to have been more aggressive to the ball and make sure that DeRo would know that he'd be balled over with a frieght train if he tried to make a play for the ball.

Posted by: dcufan531 | May 15, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line, none of the keepers is good enough to win us a title. That said, we should be trawling for keepers instead of rotating. And maybe they are ... who knows.

Posted by: Matte | May 15, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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