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DCU Matchnight #12- DCU at New England

Greetings all! I'm still here in D.C. on my way over to RFK Stadium now for the El Salvador-Jamaica friendly, but of course we would never leave you without a forum to discuss the happenings up at Gillette Stadium.

As we know, Christian Gomez and Ben Olsen are unavailable...we presume it'll be Josh Wicks in net, with Milos Kocic backing him up.

Anyone care to make predictions on the lineup? I've got my projected starters for you right here, and I'll try to update them with an official lineup as soon as possible...

Wicks; Burch, Jakovic, Namoff; Fred, Jacobson, Simms, Quaranta; Pontius, Emilio, Moreno

What do you think? Quaranta in at playmaker instead of Pontius? Moreno starting out on the bench? Pontius up top?

UPDATE: I was close but not perfect...

DCU Lineup: Wicks; Namoff, Jakovic, Burch; Pontius, Simms, Jacobson, Fred, Wallace; Emilio, Quaranta
SUBS: Kocic, McTavish, Moreno, N'Silu, Janicki, John, Khumalo

TV: Comcast SportsNet

As usual this is your place for pregame, in-game and postgame discussion. And feel free to chat El Salvador-Jamaica if you care to.

By Paul Tenorio  |  May 30, 2009; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United Rewind

Comments

I think you've got 10 of the 11, Paul. However, I think it'll be the 343 we saw a couple weeks ago:

------- Moreno - Emilio - Quaranta
Wallace - Jacobson - Simms - Pontius
--------- Burch - Jakovic - Namoff
-------------------- Wicks

If the Revs push Joseph back to midfield (seems unlikely at this point given Nicol's lack of confidence in any of his other fully fit forwards and Twellman's long injury layoff), I think Soehn will move Pontius into an attacking midfield role with Quaranta moving to right midfield. Same XI either way.

I think we should be able to win the flanks fairly easy. Wallace is a better, more athletic version of Thompson (who will probably get frustrated and give away some fouls like he usually does). This is why I'm leaning towards Wallace over Fred; if we can stop Thompson, we stop their one midfielder that actually gets deep into the attack. Tierney lacks the speed to get past anyone that we'd put on the right, so he's stuck playing early crosses. He is good at those, so it's paramount that we press him. Lucky for us, Pontius is not a lazy player, so if he positions himself well, we'll be in good shape as far as defending the wings. With the Revs playing 2 destroyers in central midfield right now, this means that we will have to play very poorly to give away many chances.

I'd be very disappointed if we end up with anything less than 3 points tonight, even if the Revs are starting to come around a bit. We just have too many advantages over them. Games like this are good indicators about who we are right now. Are we the club that's lost just once in 11 games, or are we the team that only has 3 wins in 11? Is the current, modest optimism about this season reasonable, or is this going to be the fight for 8th place many envisioned?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 30, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Moreno should start. Give Fred a shot at offensive midfielder, he's not great at shooting, but better at creating. Emilio and Quaranta, bring Moreno on if and when we crush them.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Reason for keeping Moreno off, nobody should have a pretty lousy game and stay on. I know he's a legend, but with the top spot moving away, we need to give others a shot.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I think no matter who we play, passing will be turf.

Okay, I know, it was bad, but this is the one for this thread, and I wanted to get it out of the way early.

I think without Joseph in the midfield we may see Emilio up top, with Moreno, and Fred in the hole, and Pontius in deeper. Let Simms and Ralston battle each other, and Pontius kinda gets a free role in between the wings. All in all, something that resembles this:

Wicks
Namoff-Jakovic-Burch
Quaranta-Simms-Pontius-Wallace
Fred
Moreno-Emilio

But I don't really know as much as I'd like to about New England's current roster situation, and I certainly just can't fire up FIFA09 and take a look, so I could be wayyyyy off.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Moreno is not in the starting lineup.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | May 30, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

In a surprising result, I was wrong, as per the United website:

Wicks, Namoff, Jakovic, Burch, Pontius, Jacobson, Simms, Wallace, Fred, Emilio, Quaranta


However, so was Chest, and he knows a lot more than me, so I won't complain, and Paul got it right, and he does this for a living, so I expect it of him ;).

Bench of: Kocic, N'Silu, Moreno, Khumalo, Janicki, John, McTavish

Namoff with the Armband, and as expected, Twellman starts on the bench.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Crap, fooled by the update, okay, so 0-3. Hey, that looks like a good scoreline, assuming they're listing the home team first tonight.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

That's not a bad lineup, as long as Fred has a good game in terms of possession. I also predict at least one flare-up between him and Larentowicz.

For us, I don't think creating enough chances to score some goals will be a problem. We have the luxury of being able to attack well on both flanks and down the middle, as well as being able to offer different kinds of attacks (combinations, early balls to our fast wide players, on the dribble, etc). I also don't think Thompson will be able to get away from Wallace often enough to make trouble. If Pontius can keep Tierney under pressure, our only real worries will be giving up set pieces and avoiding the astonishing defensive blunder.

Of course, if Nicol plays Nyassi on the right (which would mean either Tierney to the bench and Thompson on the left, or Thompson to the bench), we would be looking at a slightly different Revolution team. Nyassi would probably be more of a threat to draw some freekicks via his speed, but he's also more of a defensive liability. I'm guessing Nicol is just trying to ride out this injury storm with tight games, so I don't think we'll see Nyassi as a starter.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 30, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: notafembot | May 30, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

From Kyle McCarthy's Twitter, the Revs lineup:

------------- Ralston - Joseph
Tierney - Phelan - Larentowicz - Nyassi
Heaps ---- Osei ---- Barnes ---- Alston
-------------------- Reis

This means that Nicol is going very athletic and speedy on their right side. Wallace will have a lot of work to do, but I think he's up to the challenge. Alston has been staying home a bit for NE, so really it'll be more whether Wallace can keep Nyassi wide, rather than letting him in behind or cutting into the box.

That's pretty much their best hope for goals, other than a defensive mix up from us handing them something on a platter. I expect a lot of early balls from the Revs, in hopes that they can cause a miscommunication or collision amongst our defenders and Wicks. I also imagine they'll be happy about keeping it 0-0 until they can get Twellman on, so hopefully we can seize control and get an early lead.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 30, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Is Fred starting at CAM? Hmm, that's rare...I like it.

Come on United! We need three!

Posted by: the_slammer | May 30, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

So when does Twellman come in? Story on mlsnet said he could physically go well more than a half, so at half, if tied or down? If they're up, do they wait?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, they listened!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I had to scramble to search the comcast channel since I don't watch it usually....

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

If anyone needs a feed, channel surfing.net is working.

Posted by: Beckster1 | May 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I really wish I had Comcast HD... really looking forward to the three ESPN2 games DC has left this year

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Surprised to see no stupid lines even though it's a turf field.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

During the NCAA Lax championships you could see, football, soccer, and lacrosse lines.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

wow unlucky and lucky and some messy plays there.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

auooooo emilio late auggghhhhh but great switch by dc

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

good shot manoff!!!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

here we go again refs

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Crowd really looks good, by the way. Upwards of 17,000 I'd say. Yes, 17K, not just 17.

Here's a surprise, with a total lack of offense and an injury to Larentowictz, Twellman on in the 25th.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

El Salvador 0 Jamaica 0 Half Time.

Posted by: RM27 | May 30, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah the crowed looks good but looks like they put all in one side, still good idea.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

again ref, jakovic got the ball clearly. and foul?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

ahhhh hope i am wrong but these hitting goal post are not but yehhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic Goal by Fred!!!!!!

Posted by: RM27 | May 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought they were showing another replay of the play before.

Posted by: notafembot | May 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Great work to get the goal, earned it for sure. That said, Twellman looks dangerous.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Sweeet!! Now lets pour it on.

Posted by: zosodave | May 30, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty nervy at our end....

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Burch should try to play some D next time.

Posted by: zosodave | May 30, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

We're dominating play, but our defense on set plays particularly is making me very nervous. Another goal please, for my heart's sake?

Posted by: the_slammer | May 30, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Obviously off topic, but Marvell Wynne is playing as the right forward in TFC's 4-3-3...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't have much confidence in our defense for the second half, but so war Wicks has done his part to keep things together...Damm we should be winning by at least 3 goals right now...Emilio needs to get back on the scoring track...

Posted by: alan19 | May 30, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Some bad luck for us, we should have a healthy lead by now. More of the same (and better marking of Twellman) and the win is ours

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

beautiful football by dc but emilio couldn't do the job and look now. didn't they realize by now that they should mark SJ?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Not again, Damn!

Posted by: zosodave | May 30, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Back to square 1...Wick sucks, like I originally surmised...

Posted by: alan19 | May 30, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

he is good when the shots are weak and not much threat but he misjudged the ball and of course SJ was alone.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

uh oh...McTavish is coming on...Hold your breath...

Posted by: alan19 | May 30, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

30,313 in attendance at RFK tonight for El Salvador - Jamaica...it's still 0-0 in the 90th minute...

Posted by: P-Ten | May 30, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow Paul. That's a good turn out. How is the atmosphere though?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

we really need Berklage instead of Moreno.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

i would be very happy if we can hold on to this draw. unbelievable.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

BUSH!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

OH my.... WOW. BUSH. LEAGUE.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

F*cking robbery.

Posted by: JoeS3 | May 30, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Why are there so many people at Foxboro? Did they give away free tickets or something?

And man, MLS officiating is getting worse...two games decided by horrible penalty calls in the waning minutes of games. Ridiculous.

Posted by: combedge | May 30, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Twellman, that's real classy guy there. **** this game and that amateur ref.

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I simply cannot believe that twice we've been completely and utter screwed by refs in this first third of the year. Absolutely and pathetically atrocious. Time and again. I am so pissed right now I simply beleive the best course is to stop bothering with a league that is so willing to accept refs which DECIDE games time and again.

Twellman LAUGHED at the fact he got the call.

A JOKE. F*c|

Posted by: ch3k | May 30, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Wicks- Sucks
Namoff- Sucks
Burch- Sucks
McTavish- Sucks
Simms- Sucks

Soehn- SUCKS!

Too many collapses in the second half of games. That falls squarely on the coach.

Fire Soehn please...

Posted by: alan19 | May 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Beyond pissed, this is disgraceful

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh - and I meant two games decided this week! That McBride call on Thursday was lame...

Posted by: combedge | May 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a lot of money, but I am willing to kick in to ANY AND ALL FINES that DCU receive for RIGHTFULLY AND JUSTLY CRITICISING this result.

Oh, and to pre-empt any "they should have scored the goals" apologizers. It's well and truly beyond this game and this game alone. It's consistent and gonig to lose this league fans.

Posted by: ch3k | May 30, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

MMS=WWE

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 30, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

MLS=WWE

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 30, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Two games decided on garbage calls. This is why I hate MLS.

Posted by: tpm26 | May 30, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I feel such rage.

We were robbed, hoodwinked, we Were not beaten.

The ref should be executed at noon tomorrow. For most of the game, he called fouls exclusively on us, yellow cards, seriously, Wicks gets a card, and That was a PK!!!!!!!

That said, Wicks is our starter. He even guessed right on the penalty. I'm really coming back to Soehn as a manager now. He did not fire United up, Nicol did. They did enough to throw us off our game, and the ref did the rest.

Will the one ref who isn't a dithering imbecile in this league stand up? I hate this feeling.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

So, what's the term for a call like that? Um, yeah. Bush league!

Posted by: tmcneil2 | May 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the refs have been told to avoid ties at this point after Goff's front page exposé. No such problem in the Colorado-cows game.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Twellman falls on his own, but because he puts his hands up he gets the penalty. Well done ref. MLS needs to do something about this. (But will they? Of course not.)

That said, United is definitely a first-half team. That needs to change fast. And we have to put our chances in the net. Otherwise we could be looking at another season without playoffs. Those ties are going to come back to haunt us.

Posted by: goonerunited | May 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

feedback@mlsnet.com

Please write MLS concerning the officiating in DCU games this year. The referee decided that game on a BS call. I am sick of this nonsense. He gave a PK based on Twellman's complaining and gave Wicks a yellow when Jay Heaps started to piss and moan. That is three games where a ref has ruined the outcome of the match: LA Galaxy, Chivas, and now New England. That is at least 6 points DCU has lost because of the officials (two points due to the tie at LA, two points when we tied Chivas, and now we lost two points when we should have tied NE). The only word that comes to mind is pathetic, but that does not do this justice. God@amn MLS officiating!

Posted by: no_recess | May 30, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

There must have been some sort of direction from MLS to call more fouls in the box (probably to cut down on draws?) - 7 penalties already this week, with three more games to be played. I guess bad officiating, and WWE-ish status, is better than legitimate draws?

Posted by: agaro43 | May 30, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and Twellman didn't even look uncomfortable on his sit down? He did a routine call baiting, and was marvelously surprised to be gifted.

Again, this ref was Dreadful.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Terrible call by the side judge that Namoff pulled down Twellman, with his back to the goal. C'mon refs! We deserved a point from this match

Posted by: billindmd | May 30, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure the call wasn't a Jakovic handball in the box? The cameraman didn't catch it, but it seems possible.

Posted by: notafembot | May 30, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting refereeing again. Completely disgusting. Commissioner Garber calls that type of refereeing an improve??? Not just that pk call, there are a lot of calls that were not warranted yellow cards.
Twellman is a shameless classless jerk.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Taylor Twellman wins the Academy Award. That linesman, who is 40 yards away, buys the act, and the game is decided. The referee, who is maybe 15 yards away, was walking back upfield before the call. This is one area where MLS is still distinctly minor league - the officiating.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 30, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought Chivas got robbed, that was simple brandishing a weapon to the full Ocean's 11 that just got pulled on DC...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

goonerunited: DC United's a first half team?

Hmmm... what about?

-Our comeback win over New York on the road?
-Our 2-1 comeback win over FC Dallas?
-Two weeks ago, comeback against Chivas USA to earn 2-2 draw on the road and spoil Chivas USA's perfect home record at the time?
-Ben Olsen 90-minute header goal at home against NE Revs to earn a tie?

We had problems in the second half early on in the season, but lately we've been doing quite well in the second half.

Posted by: billindmd | May 30, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

how about that handful of jersey the NE defender had on Wallace (I think it was Wallace) which caused him to fall in the box during stoppage time. If they call one for Twellman, that one should have been called as well.

I'm not trying to be a homer, here, but that ref screwed the pooch tonight. It is just not United getting bad calls, although they have gotten their fair share, every team gets shafted at some point. The officiating is terrible, I've seen better refs in rec leagues.

Posted by: torrey151 | May 30, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

billindmd:

I agree, but I guess really it is hard to classify United as a first or second half team. There are the games you mentioned, and then there are games like tonight where we come out fighting in the first half, perhaps miss a few chances and/or put one in the net, and then fall apart in the second half, where we have to defend for the majority of the half. Honestly, it's not fun to watch DC in the second half of games. Either we are ahead but end up on the back foot, or are behind and have to work overly hard to gain a point.

Posted by: goonerunited | May 30, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The atmosphere at RFK was as was expected -- a largely Salvadoran turnout. There was a couple hundred Jamaican fans, but in a sea of 30,000 blue and white fans the yellow made barely a dent.

Great atmosphere, however, with the drums, chanting and the wave showing up every 20 minutes or so. And a fairly entertaining game for a 0-0 draw.

Check in tonight for game stories, I'll post a blog tomorrow, though not likely until the afternoon when I'm out at SoccerPlex for the Freedom game.

Posted by: P-Ten | May 30, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Honestly this not simply complaining because of the bad calls against United, although it did cost us points, it is because horrible horrible calls to give pks let the game decide and hands free yellow cards. Very sickening. When you get calls like these all it reminds in my mind I think MLS is a very poor league with stupid referees who were backed up blind uneducated league officials.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

this and every year the mls referees are horrible from one ref accepting a jersey from blanco to all the lame red cards and joke pk calls.

the offsides calls,etc are all way below par.

sure all refs make mistakes but the litany of mistakes mls refs make over that of refs in mexico, argentina or colombia.

this is a joke.

of course i dont expect the refs to be as good as epl, serie a or la ligua but this is high school reffing at its best.

i have been a dedicated mls fan for years. but it is very tiring and dissappointing that year after year nothing is done and no improvement is made.

offsides calls are an abomination in this league. they might as well flip a coin.


Posted by: castroviejo | May 30, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The Good News: Tyson Gay ran the third fastest time ever in the 200 Meters at a meet in NYC.

The Bad News: Alan Webb showed nothing in another disappointing 1500 for him

The Worst News Which Really Isn't News Being That It Is A Given: A horrendous PK call in the last minute of a game by an MLS ref decides the outcome of a game!

Posted by: JPO2200 | May 30, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Prior to that "call" on the twellman Louganis impression, Wallace was sandwiched and clearly clipped in the box by n.e. #5 (I think) with the ref seemeing to lecture him on "diving". This is a complete and utter joke. I've never "liked" twellman due to the club he plays for, but, I truly believe that he was laughing just after the call due to the fact he knew he got the donkeys in yellow to buy his act. He and mcbride have fallen to near blanko levels with their unsportsman-like willingness to win through clear cheating. Regardless of political ideology, this is what this country has come to. When did winning honestly become less important that simply winning at all cost by those that were true champions. A draw was honest - we had the run in the first, they took momentum in the second - this is really unacceptable, given it's frequency through our and other teams' season. Really, what is the point of playing, or WATCHING?

Posted by: ch3k | May 30, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, on the plus side we'll probably be a solid +5 on D's Karma Meter this week.

Posted by: the_slammer | May 30, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

That was Wallace going down. That was a shirt tug...the stretch of the fabric was viable all the way down to the field turf.

That was also a second example of crap reffing.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 30, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The atmosphere at RFK was as was expected -- a largely Salvadoran turnout. There was a couple hundred Jamaican fans, but in a sea of 30,000 blue and white fans the yellow made barely a dent.

Great atmosphere, however, with the drums, chanting and the wave showing up every 20 minutes or so. And a fairly entertaining game for a 0-0 draw.

Check in tonight for game stories, I'll post a blog tomorrow, though not likely until the afternoon when I'm out at SoccerPlex for the Freedom game.

Posted by: P-Ten | May 30, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse
-----------
Sounds like a great game as opposed to United got robbed and we are all angry at the sub-below qualified referees.
I always wonder if United can bring couple of players from Salvador we will have more fans at RFK but oh well.
Now I am going to watch Seattle game to come myself down.
Again MLS referees. Disgusting and the league officials who stands behind them.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The penalty call was obviously just pathetic. I actually thought Grajeda was coming over to book Twellman, which would have been the just call. There are only 2 possibilities there: Twellman took a dive looking for a penalty, or he has the worst balance in the history of professional athletic competition. Somehow, I think it's the former. Grajeda had done alright for much of the game, but once the game started to have an edge he completely lost it. The booking on Wicks, apparently for the crime of making a save, was absurd (as was the reaction of Heaps, who maintained his spot atop my most hated MLS player list).

That said, I am even more upset at how poorly we played in the 2nd half. The Revs picked it up, to be sure, but DCU was absolutely abysmal for most of the 2nd half. The possession and intelligent movement of the ball we saw in the first half (especially between Fred, Quaranta, and Emilio) completely vanished. This United team will almost always lose when possession isn't given top priority. It's not only our MO going forward, it's also how we shield our defense. Once we got careless with the ball, it was a matter of when, not if, the Revs would equalize.

Wicks actually played fairly well, but on the goal he came for something he had no business going after. Burch and Jakovic, our 2 biggest players, were on the spot. Instead, Wicks blocked both of them from jumping in to get a body on Joseph, while also not even touching the ball. It's a goal entirely on his head, but the build up to it was a long series of small errors on our side. Several attempted clearances were either straight at Revolution players or just aimless in general.

We should have buried this game by halftime. We had a little bad luck with the bar twice, but still, you can't have that much of the play and only lead by one. The Revs deserve some credit for a much more switched-on second half, but I think the major factor tonight was that we were poor all over the field in the 2nd half.

One more thing: the next time we're struggling and someone goes 433 against us (which is essentially what the Revs became, with Nyassi and Mansally playing so far upfield), it might be time to switch to a back four for the rest of the game. I admire Soehn's willingness to let the guys on the field figure it out for themselves (this makes stronger players in the long run), but when we're playing as poorly as we did after halftime you have to help the team out from the bench. I don't blame the loss entirely on Soehn, but he's a factor here just like the boneheaded, sloppy play of most of the players is.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Really really hate to say this but...

I just saw a replay again of the penalty call on FSC and Bretos seemed to think it was called a handball, not a foul. Rewinding and sure enough, the ball may have hit Jakovic's arm. I still feel like it's a crap call though to hand the game to New England on a silver platter with a PK in the 90th minute on an unintentional handling.

Posted by: DCUMD | May 30, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Why did we suddenly become a Premier-like longball team in the second half? We were working the ball in small spaces very nicely in the first half, but after NE tied it up we just started pumping the long balls in to Emilio. And you have to give NE credit; they became a different team once Twellman came on. Damn, he's dangerous. He got his head on just about everything. Yes, it was a BS penalty, but I don't think Twellman dove. Namoff was propping him up as he backed into the box, and when Namoff backed off he just fell down. Of course, the Asst. Ref., (may he burn in Hell) bought it.

Posted by: b18bolo | May 30, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Was it Commissioner Garber that put his foot in his mouth just a few days ago when he said the state of officiating in league games was "fine"? He runs MLS like a business that isn't afraid to lower the quality of its products just to save a few bucks. The level of play has dropped off the last few years and is no longer improving from year to year. He may deflect from this issue with expansion and spin the success of the league but the reality is MLS will never be a quality league if it does not improve the level of officiating. It kills the tempo and flow of games and it shows a lack of credibility. The league needs officials with experience in the game at a high level; officials that actually understand the game such as former players. How can you expect someone to understand and interpret soccer at increased speeds and physicality if they have never seen the game from the other side as players and truly understand it? MLS will leave much to be desired as long as US soccer officials continue to be the worst in the world.

Posted by: newportnews | May 30, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Rockwell,

I don't agree with you on Wicks and the first goal. He did what a keeper could, it was a perfect cross to Joseph. One of the least blamable calls of the year.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 30, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

at least NY lost and Toronto lost 3 nil to Houston so if Kansas loses tomorrow which i am praying for we still have the chance to stay second but if kc wins not good.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 30, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I also disagree with Chest on blaming Wicks for the goal. Watch the replay again and you see Jacobson jump into Wicks (when he should have been marking Joseph). Also, some blame goes to Pontius. Instead of running with Mansally to make sure he doesn't get off a clean cross, Pontius stopped at Ralston (who was already being marked by Jakovic)

Posted by: DCUMD | May 30, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you though on the formation. When Mansally and Nyassi were consistently beating us on the wings, that would have been a good time to bring in Janicki or McTavish and switch to a 4-4-2.

Posted by: DCUMD | May 30, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

need help from fellow maryland grads: can you think of anyone you have hated as much as taylor twellman? maybe randy white? maybe steve francis?

Posted by: birdynumnum | May 30, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the play in question -- what a farce.
To make that call at any point in the game would be unacceptable, but to make it in the 89th minute of a 1-1 game is just beyond ... I have no words, really.
Honestly, I'm surprised that the league has the highlights of the play on its website -- if I were in charge, I'd want to make sure as few people as possible saw that call.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | May 30, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

At least we play NY next. Surely that's a win... right?

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

At least we play NY next. Surely that's a win... right?

Posted by: carmines757 | May 30, 2009 11:28 PM |

Should hope so. I don't wanna dwell on an away match in New England. We've all gotta lose sometime, and I'd rather devote my attention on gathering momentum steam rolling the Pinks on the 4th and then manhandling a tired Chicago team at RFK in a couple weeks.

Every supporter can whine about the refs but, it really isn't gonna change a thing. US soccer, may or may not address this next week, and even if they didn't DCU isn't going to get points back that have been taken away by crap calls.

The club must WIN decisively. Leaving it open to anything else isn't finishing off the enemy. By enemy, I mean ANY chump team stepping onto the pitch with United. Wallace needs to put his chances away and so must everyone in the first team. OR sit!

I'm not going to waste much more on tonight's match. Revs are always a pain even when they come to RFK. We were lucky to beat them last visit. Joseph did his same song and dance this time. Swear he got the same stupid header last match.

I just meant to say, hey let's move on, whip the Pinks, and then get ready to break bones when Chicago FiFi's come to town in a minute. Will Blanco be back by then? I've been saving a ton of batteries for him...

Posted by: DadRyan | May 31, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

JUST KIDDING!

Posted by: DadRyan | May 31, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I am more forgiving of Wicks than most here. He came awfully close. If he had hit the ball solidly, danger averted, but he kinda whiffed. That was a tough call on coming out. Obviously, it did not work out, but hindsight is 20-20.

As for the penalty call, it was an example of Namoff trying to defend with his hands. I is rarely called, but it is not legal. He did pull on the hand and arm of Twellman. Sure, Twellman made the proverbial meal of it, going down and pleading for the call. But, that is why you cannot risk defending like that in the box.

Clearly, the officiating in MLS stinks. The lecture he gave Wallace was even sillier, as Wallace did not dive. Another call I found strange was the one when Wicks stuffed Twellman. I did not see the ball hit Twellman, yet the ref gave a goal kick. And he gave Wicks a yellow -- I guess for an off-camera fight, because otherwise it should have been a penalty kick.

DCU keeps dominating the first 30-35 minutes, but they are not converting enough chances. The 2nd half invariably opens with DCU being run into the ground and giving up the early advantage. There has to be a way to change things. If DCU cannot score more, they have to defend better in the 2nd half -- maybe sub earlier.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

To be clear, on the goal, Wicks had to reach around his defender. He should have punched with his left hand, but he was forced to try and reach the ball with his left. That is why he missed. I am not sure he could have anticipated that when he came off his line.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - I meant he had to try and reach it with his right. It was awkward -- and he missed it.If you really want to see a mess by the referee, watch the replay of he SC game, as the ref tries to set up the players for an indirect kick at the 6. Farcical. Also silly was Seattle attempting to quick kick an indirect free. That is a no-no.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

FSC is suggesting the penalty call might have been a handball call on Jakovic. I have to see that again, in slo-mo, if that was the call.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

On the Wicks/Twellman debacle, Twellman kicked it into Wicks, then it deflected back off of Twellman's foot midair. Thus, goalkick.

Posted by: carmines757 | May 31, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

The only reason FSC is suggesting an handball on Jakovic is because they are assuming there is no way the call could be for fouling Twellman.
But ... no handball. It bounced off Jakovic's thigh. Of course, we've seen that called a PK before, so who knows any more?

Posted by: mjhoya12 | May 31, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

FSC is wrong. Read the game match recap. According to Namoff, the side official claims there was a pulling and that is what he called. It just shows you how suspect the call was. FSC was trying to rationalize it with anything they could as they didn't see a clear pemnalty either.

As for Wicks, I thought he played well overall. However, in my opinion he didn't read the flight of the ball well and as a result he took a very poor angle on the play. If he takes a better angle he doesn't miss the punch.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 31, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Declan Hill should investigate MLS for his next volume in "The Fix" series.

Do MLS refs prefer Rolexes or hookers?

Did the MLS brass tell the ref crews that tie games earn them half pay?

Posted by: runningcloud | May 31, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

According to the match report, Namoff said the ref told him the call was for "pulling". That was a crap call. I was switching between that game and the NBA. For a moment, I wondered if LeBron was also playing for the Revolution. 'Cos that the kind of calls only LeTravel gets. What a freaking joke! That ref (with more muscles than brain cells) ought to be suspended. The penalty, the phantom yellow card on Wicks, the yellow for Pontius (an attacking player0 bumping into a defender to shield the ball (a perfectly legal soccer move that's done 40 times in each match) are examples of his stupidity.

Posted by: tundey | May 31, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Regarding keepers, so far none of the 3 choices inspires the confidence I got from Rimando and Perkins. But since Wicks and Kocic are much much cheaper and younger, I understand the rationale behind keeping them and getting the savings from cutting Crayton.

Posted by: tundey | May 31, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Whatever. Fail to put away sh*tty teams on the road, and that's what happens.

Wicks was pretty good.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 31, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Terrible call or not, I don't think you can blame the loss on one play. DCU had plenty of other opportunities to score and they failed to do so. A bad PK wouldn't have made much difference if they were up 3-1.

Posted by: rjs1322 | May 31, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

One more thing: the next time we're struggling and someone goes 433 against us (which is essentially what the Revs became, with Nyassi and Mansally playing so far upfield), it might be time to switch to a back four for the rest of the game. I admire Soehn's willingness to let the guys on the field figure it out for themselves (this makes stronger players in the long run), but when we're playing as poorly as we did after halftime you have to help the team out from the bench. I don't blame the loss entirely on Soehn, but he's a factor here just like the boneheaded, sloppy play of most of the players is.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 30, 2009 10:09 PM |
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Exactly right. I can't figure out why insists on playing three in the back particularly when the opposing team has really fast wing play. Most of the dangerous offensive build up could have been mitigated by moving to a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 if he wants a little more attacking. they have conceded several goals this season because of the three back set up.

Posted by: agoldhammer | May 31, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

On a side note: Why are defenders generally allowed to throw attackers into the boards at end lines when "shielding" balls, but the majority of the time defenders are protected like little fairies when attackers get physical?

Is it just because penalties are too harsh to call if they are in the box? I'm fine with the no calls, but then let the attacking players benefit from no calls also.

And wouldn't it be better for the game to give the benefit to the attackers so there would be more scoring opportunities etc...

Posted by: united100 | May 31, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm suprised no one has mentioned Moreno getting pulled down (just like the refs said Twellman was)in the box in the 93rd minute and nothing being called. And yes, it was ridiculous for the ref to admonish Wallace for getting sandwiched in the box. Crappy game by the refs and crappy 2nd half by DCU.

Posted by: boda-united | May 31, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

There was a time when I felt bad for Taylor Twellman. He scored the most goals of anyone in gualifying for WC 06 and was left off the roster...Then I saw him play live and I will never feel anything but disgust for him again. He plays soccer the exact opposite way you teach your kids. He goes down at the slightest contact, dives constantly and then whines about it incessantly. He spends half the game on the ground with his hands in the air. I don't respect him and I wonder why anyone else does.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | May 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I can understand why DC fans are furious about that penalty, in fact, at the time, I wasn't sure myself, and I was at the game....but, your goalkeeper has to have some responsibility...there were 2 instances where he tried to take out Twellman with his elbows, and at times it looked like he was either losing control, or trying to piss off the (really awful) ref. Looks like he managed to do both. As a Revs fan, sorry, I'm happy.

Posted by: cammiev | May 31, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Person who just commented:

It takes all sorts to make a blog, I guess. But, if you can't understand, trust me, there is a reason that ref should be glad he is in the wrong state.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 31, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

United Demon, if you were referring to my post, I did say I understood why DC fans are upset, but it's not the only time a Ref has awarded a suspect penalty, and Twellman is certainly not the only forward who can sell one. I do think Wicks had a really bad game. What I did say is, as a Revs fan, I'll take the result. And who says that Ref is safe in Massachusetts???

Posted by: cammiev | May 31, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Now that Marc Fisher is gone, does the ES-Jamaica friendly count as an RFK event?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Its nice to see a rational post from an opposing teams' fan base (Cammiev). Some of the comments on a Rev's board I read are ridiculous - though I'm not convinced Wicks was trying to elbow Twellman out of the game.

On Wicks yellow, he pushed Twellman on the follow-through after Twellman's attempt on goal. On the PK, there were two defenders on Twellman. Its not like these were golden opportunities for New England.

Posted by: united100 | May 31, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

cammiev,

Are you aware of the acronym STFU and how it applies to you? There is no GK that would not protect themselves with their elbows when coming out for a ball in the box. At the very least Wicks is not dirty enough to knee a man with a concussion history in the head on purpose ala your boy Reis on Eskandarian. You have no right to be talking about a keeper or any DCU player being dirty when the Revs have allowed characters like Shirley Joseph, Matt Reis, and Jay Heaps run wild with elbows and late cheap slide tackles.

Posted by: no_recess | May 31, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"...there was a pulling." So if MLS of USSF fails to find any on the replays, will their response be the usual statement of political non-culpability "mistakes were made"?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- I think Namoff did pull on the arm, but Twellman was deliberately trying to insert and wrap his arm around the left arm of Namoff. That is why Namoff pulled the arm -- to get it out of there. At least, that is my take. Twellman was trying to get the call and succeeded.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with people disagreeing me, but goalkeepers are not allowed to do anything they want in the box....and I was wondering when the Reis/Eskanderian incident would come back. If I had to pick a team to root for after the Revs, it would be DC, so I really can understand the ire, but I think we all can agree that the ref stunk. For once, it was in our favor, it usually isn't. I still don't think you have an answer to goalkeeper. And to you, no_recess, peace.

Posted by: cammiev | May 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I think that "cammiev" should be complimented for his thoughtful and,yes,respectful tone in analyzing the NE-DCU game and also our goalkeeping dilemma. He did not respond in kind to one local bloggers expletive,and for this alone I raise my glass and toast him.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | June 1, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Just re-watched the mythical penalty. Honestly, I have no idea what the call was. I saw a post that said it was "clear" that Namoff was pulling on the jersey but should not have been a PK. Well, watching it, I did not see any tugging on Namoff's part. Namof put his hand on TT's back, yes, but did not push or pull. Namoff was on the side of TT when TT took a dive.

Someone posted that it was a "clear" hand ball, that's what the call was for. I saw none. All I saw was Twellman dive, dive numerous times, begging for the PK. After a day to calm myself down, I'm still irate.

Posted by: dogboy | June 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

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