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Matchnight #9: United-Toronto FC

Greetings from RFK, where the supporters' march has morphed into a supporters' tailgate in Lot 8. From a vantage point at higher ground at the stadium, I am estimating about 500 marchers and 50 flags and banners. The club is estimating 1,000 participants. The answer is probably somewhere in between. Either way, a decent turnout. DCU Prez Kevin Payne rallied the troops at Lincoln Park.

For Payne's stadium outlook and the club's long-term prospects in the Washington area, read former Post colleague Brian Straus' new column at AOL's Fanhouse. To relive MLS Commissioner Don Garber's exclusive comments to the Insider a few weeks ago, click here.

Okay, back to the grim reality of playing at the Wreck on the Banks of the Mighty Anacostia.

United, in sole possession of first place for the first time since the end of the 2007 regular season, is seeking to extend its MLS unbeaten streak to five and its overall run to six. A victory would keep them atop the Eastern Conference while a loss would drop them to as low as fourth. A tie would leave them with no worse than a share for first.

Reminder: No TV in the Washington area. So if you're not here at RFK, you'll need to watch via the Internet machine or the Direct Kick cable/satellite package.

DCU starters and subs to come.....
DCU: Kocic; Namoff, Jakovic, Burch; Fred, Simms, McTavish, Gomez, Wallace; N'Silu, Emilio. Subs: Crayton, Janicki, John, Olsen, Pontius, Quaranta, Moreno.

You've found the ultimate place for pregame, in-game and postgame discussion. Commence.

By Steve Goff  |  May 9, 2009; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Onyewu, Bocanegra Score
Next: United Rewind

Comments

Does anyone know if there is a live feed of the game on the internet that is free?

Posted by: no_recess | May 9, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Pontius!
Pontius!
Pontius!

Go United!
Go United!
Go United!

Posted by: googlio | May 9, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I am heading out to the game...But try this one No-recess...Its says the game is on its schedule...

www.atdhe.net


P.S. I think DC United is trying to create some leverage in negotiations which is why they are claiming moving out of town is a possibility...There is no way that MLS would be foolish enough to dump the league's best fanbase just like that...I would even say so much that if DC United leaves the area, the MLS will collapse...


Posted by: alan19 | May 9, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Alan19, I don't think we should have a sense of entitlement. Just look at what happened in the San Jose-->Houston relocation. SJ was a very successful club. We aren't safe just because of our history. Besides, the owners may want to move the club before the league does, anyway

Posted by: carmines757 | May 9, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Looks like even TFC supporters pitched in at the march.

Some photos here at Behind the Badge:

http://www.behindthebadge.com/2009/05/photos-march-for-united.php

Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 9, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

it's almost kick-off & i'm getting excited!...i live in massachusetts but have always loved & continue to love d.c.united!...once again, this year i ordered the m.l.s. direct kick package for $79...including e.s.p.n.2 & f.s.c. games, 27 out of 30 (90%) of d.c.united games are on cable t.v. for people to watch...GO UNITED!

Posted by: YNOT1970 | May 9, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Toronto is was my second favorite team - now they've move up to slightly closer to United...thanks TFC supporters!

I would like a new stadium...however, I'll miss RFK when (if?) gone. Watching a game there is still pretty sweet.

Posted by: kramva | May 9, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Kocic? Wow. McTav for Olsen...

Posted by: Reignking | May 9, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding N'Silu? Great lineup Soehn!

Posted by: no_recess | May 9, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the game audio available online from either 1050am nor MLSnet.com?

Posted by: hawknt | May 9, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Can I take my comment back?

Posted by: no_recess | May 9, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

N'Silu w/ his first goal on the weekend Star Trek comes out. Engage.

Posted by: Reignking | May 9, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Is the radio feed not being streamed? There's no link on dcunited.com -- and at the Federal News Radio wevsite clicking on the AM 1050 link, I just get a tick, and AM 1500 is still talking Nats.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 9, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | May 9, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Sportznut, I paid for gameday audio from MLSnet.com. Earlier this evening there was a link for the home audio from WFED from MLSnet, it seemed to be playing 1500am audio. Now that link is gone from MLSnet. And I'm getting that same "tic" from the link on WFED's website. I know 1050am goes to low power at (I think) 8:15. I thought paying for audio from MLSnet would solve my problem, but I don't know why I spent the money....

Posted by: hawknt | May 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I finally broke down and subsribed to MLS LIVE TV because of the unreliable free feeds and the MLS video feed isn't working. Plus they don't have any tech support on duty besides business hours. Brilliant.

Posted by: bluesfan1 | May 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Twittering my subs to Soehn . .

Pontius for Fred . . . a bit shaky he was on the right. Serioux is ripe for the taking at the left back . .

Otherwise, a bit o possesion would be nice. Moreno for . . Gomez at 65

Posted by: delantero | May 9, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I guess at this point (85th min.) we'll take a tie. Caps losing in Ice Soccer 2 to 3 w 5 mins to go.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 9, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Goal UNITED Pontius Pilote. Forget the tie...we want another goal.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 9, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

CCCRRRAAAPPP

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

3 shots and 3 goals for toronto. ridiculous.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | May 9, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Note to Tom Soehn - You can NOT play with a three man back line. You end up giving up cheap goals like tonight. Note to Brian Namhoff. Toe pokes won't get the job done against de Rosario. At least go for a tackle and maybe get the ball or at worst give up a free kick. Don't give him a clear shot at the goal

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

3-3 tie @ RFK...guess we'll take it considering. Ice Soccer going OT in China Town.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 9, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Eh, disappointing to let them score 3 on us. But at least we squeaked out a point

Posted by: carmines757 | May 9, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

nice. first mlstv.net ordered and the quality was good. well worth 4.95. can't believe i had to watch the kiddies and missed this game @ rfk. :(
long live moreno! go til 40. the mls still can't stop you!!

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

I'm not sure yet how I feel about this one. I was miffed at the D and Kocic for the goals, but somewhat, strangely satisfied with thepoint salvaged...at HOME!

I need to digest this one. One thing I am certain of is that Soehn needs to PICK a number 1 keeper and STICK with him. If it's the rook than make it the rook, if it's Crayton then make it so. This merry go round crap is costing us chemistry and a solid understanding in the back.

Kudos to Soehn and the lads for fighting for the point, though. Last year, game like this...we're staring at a loss...but Soehn was aggressive with the subs and the team has some fire these days. There was a hole in the middle, which was to be expected with the LION and his understufy out. I'm still not fresh on Gomez, but that's a discussion for another day. Noice finish for Pontius...I'm diggin' the kid and another one in the bank for THE CONSISTENT ONE.

Like I said, a point at home. I need to sleep on this one.

VAMOS UNITED!!

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

*understudy

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 9, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

great game, especially in the second half!...at least united did not lose & easily could have...great 'dummy' play by moreno for pontius to score a real nice goal!...great penalty kick goal by moreno!...yes, toe poking by tonight's captian, namoff, was weak...united needs to iron out their goalkeeping situation soon...the fans at the stadium were rocking all game long, as usual; good for them!

Posted by: YNOT1970 | May 9, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else feel like the crowd was MUCH better than the 15k that the box score gives?

Or have I just become dillusional because we've had so many small crowds?

Posted by: kdiff813 | May 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

to Kosh2 regarding your quote, "i'm still not fresh on Gomez"...he played an excellent game; he exercised a lot of ball possession with defenders all over him at times & hardly lost possession of the ball throughout the entire game...he also completed numerous passes & scored a brilliant goal that was rightfully nullified in the first half due to being offsides

Posted by: YNOT1970 | May 9, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Given our total control of the game for the first 15 min, I was going nuts when the team reduced itself to long balls over the top for the last 30 min of the half. It was a given that we'd get ourselves into trouble w/out a second first-half goal, and we did.

Pontius scored on Moreno's third dummy across the middle.

Was that ref letting A LOT of physical play go?

Posted by: glfrazier | May 9, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I must say watching the game on the internet (i go to school in Syracuse currently), the crowd seemed a lot bigger then 15k i was thinking like 20k.

we all criticized the long ball, but the fact is the direct route created the game tying chance (and helped the comeback against NYRB). Yes we did need to control the game better and take are chances but at times going direct is worth while.

Also, our goalkeeping situation is disgraceful. Soccer is a game of momentum and that torrid mistake changed the whole complexion of the game. I never have understood why a keeper would charge when there is a defender pressuring the striker.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 9, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Dillusional - that must be what happens when you accidentally smoke up some dill weed.

I thought it was more than 15k, but maybe it was just that it was more packed and way more vocal on the Barra side.

Now -- about the game -- there is a comment above that says Gomez was justly called offside. I was wondering if anyone else watching at home agreed with that assessment. Live, it looked like the prettiest goal DCU has scored this year. Tremendous understanding between Gomez and NSilu. I might add that NSilu sent a similarly nice ball through to Wallace. I liked the way he played tonight.

The other, obvious question is whether the handball call was correct. Impossible to tell from my vantage at RFK.

DCU looked great in the first half. A shame that 3 overly timid plays on defense cost them. Kocic, getting pocket picked by DeRo. Burch, who should never have been forced into kicking out in the corner, but he stupidly thought he would get away with letting it roll out of bounds -- the 2nd goal is down to that. And finally, the defense falling back, allowing DeRo, Dichio and Wynne to run at our goal in full stride.

Still, give some props. I always say that DeRo is the best player in MLS. Tonight was an example. Under the circumstances -- coming back the way they did -- not bad result...especially if Gomez was offside.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Here's my take on the draw:

We just played 3 games in 7 days (or 5 in 17 days) and we got positive results in all of them while playing a wide mixture of lineups. The only guys playing all the time are the young guys (Pontius and Wallace), everyone else is either sitting a game or only playing a half.

I won't argue Tommy Soehn is the league's smartest coach or makes the best tactical adjustments or uses his subs for effective game management better than anyone else. But what he is doing is creating a team that is less susceptible to injury (because guys don't get worn out), is capable of adjusting to injuries (because everyone sees minutes), tremendous competition exists everywhere. He's also managing the team in a way that makes us less likely to go into the playoffs with 2 key players hurt.

Posted by: JoeW1 | May 9, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@grubbsbl -- I thought the mistake Kocic made was not being aggressive enough, thinking he could just cradle the ball out of trouble. He was thinking correctly that the defender needed help with DeRo. I do not think that Kocic made the defender quit on the play. But, I could be wrong.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

@JoeW -- just a quick correction -- Pontius was a late sub. He played very little though, he contributed mightily.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

fischy-

Oops, I meant delusional! I've been drinking. My spelling and grammar isn't 100%.

With regard to the Gomez offside- yes, the replays showed he was clearly off by a few feet at least. But it did look really nice live!

Kocic should not be our starter. Crayton, even with all his antics and shenanigans, makes me feel much more safer than I felt every time the ball came within 10 yards of the box tonight. I think Crayton does better on the first goal in terms of communication with Jakovic, but the other two goals were not Kocic's fault. However, Kocic gave me many nervous moments that reminded me of Zach Wells. I really liked Wicks better than this guy. He's young. Let him sit a while, and give the job to Crayton for now, and let Wicks play if LC needs a break or has a rough outing.

Posted by: kdiff813 | May 9, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Moreno and Pontius sat out most of the game, I thought the offense did pretty well.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

What I did not like about Kocic was that he kept outkicking the front line. I lost cont of how many times his punts went straight to Frei. He will have some anxious moments -- so did Jakovic and Burch. I would have preferred to see Crayton against a high-powered offense like Toronto, but Kocic might grow into a good keeper.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 9, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree, and also noticed the long punts. Though he may have been trying to copy Frei and De-Ro...

But I think we need to sit him for a while. He's young, and needs to learn the ropes before being thrust into a very demanding role (it's demanding because the United defense is so bad in the air that our keeper must play a very integral role in defending setpieces and crosses). Crayton is a seasoned veteran, and even Wicks has some more experience, so I think that Kocic needs to just sit and observe for now. He seems to be one of those players who excels in practice (hence why he gets starts), but then is overwhelmed during actual games.


Furthermore, why did he even start tonight? I thought Crayton did pretty well against KC, and unless Tommy just wanted to give him a rest (unlikely, as he didn't play against Dallas, so he should be fresh), I can't see any legitimate reason as to why he did not start tonight.

Posted by: kdiff813 | May 10, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

kdiff813: Don't mind the grumpy old troll who lives under the bridge... miss spell your butt off. Who Cares?

Whatever it is worth but this afternoon felt good. Did any media group really film it? Other than DCU? How many people cried when old yeller died?

Like I said to everyone who got off at the Virginia Square metro stop who looked like they went to the game: We didn't lose.
good stuff for some unlikely fantasy players is my bet...

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Fer crimminy-ding-dong's-sake, Pontius shoulda played the WHOLE GAME. What's keeping Soehn from giving him every minute possible?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 10, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Let's look at some of Tommy's decisions tonight: He starts N'Silu and he scores. He starts McTavish who swings in the cross that N'Silu eventually puts in. He subs in Moreno and Pontius, and both score.

Posted by: b18bolo | May 10, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I meant: for what it's worth, today felt good. Not as many as expected, but even my crap talking arse showed up and did the thing. Thanks to Payne, Chang, and Co. I'm a little worried that McFarlane is so absent. Chang's body language doesn't match our desire. He looks worried. Guess folks with money always look worried when the dough is on the line....
Supporters came out.
That's what mattered. Yes the crowd felt like a lot more than 15k. That is a weird thing about RFK, that at times it makes respectable, loudish crowds look very passionate. USA/Cuba last year was a lot like that. Felt like a lot more than maybe were there.

Maybe it was all those Canucks up in the Rafters...:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

""I was wondering if anyone else watching at home agreed with that assessment.""

Gomez was way offside, happened right in front of me.

Too many soft goals for United . . . still! I keep thinking they will clean it up in the back, but for 2-3 years now we give stuff away . . . .granted this D is the best we've seen in a bit, but

Posted by: delantero | May 10, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

From Goff's Gamer:

"We were kind of still emotionally thinking about the goal we scored," Kocic said. "We were all over the place. The fans were too loud, and it was hard to communicate. Everyone was spread out, and [De Rosario] was in a great position to shoot."

---

WHAT?!? The FANS were too loud?!? Are you KIDDING me, Kocic?!? You're supposed to take ENERGY from the fans, you DOLT!!! We're there to support YOU!!

Mr. Soehn, pleas put Crayton back in goal NOW.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 10, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes, after competitive game in goal for kocic I am not impressed so please bring back Crayton. No more Wicks either. He is lacking the game winning quality. Those goals were really soft tonight. I am sorry but it's the fact. I really believe Crayton would have saved those at least two.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 10, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Juan-John | May 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Kocic know not what he says. Don't scald him too badly.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what happened on DeRo's first goal. Our D seemed to have him marked pretty well but he got his foot up and flicked it over Kocic's head. I guess that's what folks are talking about lack of communication between keeper and backline. His second was ridiculous. No one, I don't care WHO they are, should be able to dribble through our entire midfield and D to score like that. DCU just looked really gassed on that sequence. Wallace visibly pulled up once DeRo got past him.

As for the hand ball. It was right in front of me, and it was absolutely the right call.

Posted by: jburksva | May 10, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

one more thing, thanks to Toronto fans who marched with us

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

The entire MF went to sleep after DC's second goal, stood and watched as FCT went back on top. Rookies... they've never faced a DeRo or even a Marvell Wynne before, and they got schooled, period. The looks on their faces said, lesson learned.

Great show at the K tonight, best of 09 so far, as expected. Between these deadly little lapses in desire and professionalism, DC is starting to show flashes of its elusive former brilliance. I'd rather watch them trade body blows with a class team like TFC than squeak by a total dog like Dallas or NY.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 10, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Fans were too loud: Kocic didn't play at Red Star Belgrad? They have not only the chants but fire everywhere.
Yes, toronto fans were very nice.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | May 10, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Jakovic the Center Back #5 played at Belgrade. Kocic the goalie is a rookie outta some college in Baltimore, right hon'?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Rookie keeper mind you!
The crowd will never be that loud again for ya boy, if you don't appreciate it now. I can understand a little bit, but..............right?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 10, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Kocic came out small on the DeRo goal, trying to breadbasket the ball. Big mistake.

highlights at http://torontofc.neulion.com/tfc/console.jsp?catid=2&id=650 where you can easily see the Gomez offside.

Posted by: Reignking | May 10, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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