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MLS Observations

*The Insider is hearing that Red Bulls upper management is losing patience with Coach Juan Carlos Osorio, whose club is 2-6-3 in the league and conceded four goals in the first 26 minutes of last week's U.S. Open Cup qualifying fiasco against D.C. United. New York hasn't scored on the road in MLS play and, despite last year's run to the championship game, has not seen an attendance bump. With a new stadium opening next spring, the club needs to create buzz to sell tickets and attract media. The 2008 playoff success was clearly an aberration, for in the past one-plus regular seasons, the Red Bulls are 12-17-12.

*New York isn't the only MLS team without a road goal. Real Salt Lake earned a point at DCU on Saturday night, but remains scoreless through five away matches.

*Landon Donovan has scored six and assisted on three of the Galaxy's 12 goals. With his recall to the USA national team for two World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup, he will miss next four three MLS matches. Alan Gordon (two) is the only teammate who has scored more than once. Will Gordon, Jovan Kirovski and Edson Buddle be able to fill the void?

Much more on the continuation of this thread.....

*Amado Guevara's two goals earned him MLS player of the week honors -- the first time a Toronto player has ever received the award.

*Thursday showdown: East leader Chicago (4-0-6) at West leader Chivas USA (7-1-3) on ESPN2 (10:30 p.m. ET).

*Wednesday's not-so-showdown: San Jose (1-6-2) at Columbus (1-2-6).

*Early departure: Already without midfielders Freddie Ljungberg and Brad Evans, Seattle had to make a move in the second minute when Osvaldo Alonso couldn't loosen up a tight quadriceps.

*Seattle and Colorado will meet for the second time in four days tonight in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier. The winner will advance to the tournament's round of 16 on June 30.

*Dallas defender Drew Moor scored during his 100th career start.

*Toronto defeated New England for the first time ever after three losses and two ties.

*Nearly 10,000 at Frisco and 16,000-plus at Commerce City? Things are looking up.

*Kansas City will be without starters Josh Wolff and Santiago Hirsig (red card suspensions) for Saturday's match at Los Angeles.

By Steve Goff  |  May 25, 2009; 9:43 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround


"Red Bulls upper management is losing patience with Coach Juan Carlos Osorio"

What took so long?

Posted by: sitruc | May 25, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"Red Bulls upper management"

What sitruc, those four words weren't enough explanation for you?

Posted by: Kenobi | May 25, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Donovan was pretty much the only reason to watch an LA game.

In his absence, I'd set the the over/under on the number of games in which LA doesn't score at 3.

Posted by: mmathai1 | May 25, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Red Bulls FO: when your coaching staff could beat your active roster in a scrimmage, you've got a problem. Was it JCO's decision to let Vandenbergh go, leaving the squad with a grand total of two professional soccer players?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 25, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I just hope Osorio is still around when New York comes to RFK in a couple weeks - then, fire away.

Posted by: writered21 | May 25, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather: VDB requested a transfer because of illness in his family.

Posted by: mmathai1 | May 25, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Really, what hurts Osorio as much as their record under him is his identification and use of talent. I realize that at least partially falls on the lap of Jeff Agoos as well, but from the outside looking in it seems like Osorio identifies the talent and tells Agoos who he wants (Cichero, Pietravallo, and Rojas all point to this).

First, there's the misidentified players. Osorio has signed some high-priced disasters in both seasons. Gabriel Cichero was simply not cut out for defending against MLS attacks. It wasn't a matter of adjusting; he was just never going to be very good in this league. Juan Pietravallo, meanwhile, is the $200K+ albatross around Osorio's neck. Joe Vide was out there for $30K, and at even money I'd take him over Pietravallo. Khano Smith somehow negotiated himself into six figure territory despite having totally unreliable technique, poor positional sense, and probably the lowest soccer IQ of any regular player in the league over the last 5 years. He's an awkward guy to play against, sure, but let's face it: if he's making above $50K for your club, you screwed up. Rojas and Pacheco are successes, and Celades looks likely to join them, but you a) have to have at least a 50% success rate with your big signings and b) when you do get it wrong, you can't have the utter disasters like Pietravallo, Cichero, and Smith.

Onto use of talent. He gives off the air of being an overly dedicated tactician, always scheming up the best way to attack a particular opponent rather than just field his best team. That's cost NY more than once, but it's not that awful of a trait. The real problem to me is that behind the smoke and mirrors of all his tinkering and note-taking, he actually makes a lot of tactical mistakes. Look at the recent Open Cup game: he fielded 2 slow center backs (including one who moves at about the speed of United stadium negotiations in Boyens) yet played an audaciously high line. DC, meanwhile, had 2 speedsters up front in Khumalo and N'Silu. The result? 4 goals in 26 minutes. If I'm Osorio, and I see DC's team sheet, I'm informing my whole team before we head out to the field that we need to drop off as a unit. Otherwise, you get cut to bits, which was exemplified perfectly on the night. This isn't the only example, either.

If I was an NY fan, I'd also be upset at who isn't being used: guys like Sassano and Wolyniec barely play (despite usually doing a passable job, and both being part of their playoff run last year), while you get the sense that Ubiparipovic (who is consistently decent) is always either on the verge of being dropped or shuttled to a different position.

All that said, I hope he stays on the job forever, since we keep having to play them.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 25, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Double taking on the "tonight" tag on the Sounders/Crapids Open Cup Qualy. Maybe this thread was released earlier than scheduled?
I hear there's going to be a radio feed available on the Sounder's website TOMORROW night. You know I'll be glued to the feed;-)

Anyone else hip to the Swede's ongoing migraine problems? Hella irritating for fantasy footballers no doubt.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 25, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

ONe more question: Will the USMNT match on the 3rd be on regular ESPN? I see it on ESPNHD... I recognize that the game on the 6th will be on Classic, but what's the deal @ Costa Rica?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Osorio built his reputation on the hype of the old MetroStars front office, a run into the playoffs with the Fire that had a lot more to do with Blanco's arrival and a healthy Chris Rolfe, and the fluke that was last year's Red Bulls. Or, rather, that Houston couldn't deal with Dane Richards in that one match. He's been overrated from the start, and I'm glad he "abandoned" Chicago.

Posted by: notabbott | May 26, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Goff is scooping even the NY papers. The NY Times has noticed the Red Bulls stink, calling them unwatchable. However, they missed the news that Osorio is on shaky ground. This is the latest post on the NY Times Goal Blog:

--But after taking the team to last season’s final and with the club primed to move into a new stadium next season, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., it is virtually inconceivable that the Red Bulls would contemplate replacing Osorio. In addition, any change would precipitate another roster churn by a new coach, an exercise that is difficult and often counterproductive under the league’s restrictive salary budget.--

If Goff is right, maybe it is not so inconceivable.

Posted by: fischy | May 26, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse


"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


Posted by: troy6 | May 26, 2009 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Worst move by a goalie ever?

Posted by: KireDCU | May 26, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Osorio is a tinkerer. And tinkerers can get a reputation as sort of a mad genius. If you keep playing odd formations and players out of position, eventually you're going to have a run, sparked by a player doing something no one thought they could do, and you look brilliant. Personally, I don't think much of tinkerers as tacticians or coaches. They are grinding on a team, poor assesors of talent (since they always think they can get more out of a player than others) but give one a strong gm-type to make personell decisions and they can make nice runs.

But jack bell is right, it would be foolish to fire osorio at this point. The team isn't really underperforming, they're just not good. Are there any mls-experienced managers out there looking for work? The team can't afford to take a flyer on an unknown, and foreign coaches don't do well immediately. Who's going to take over who will inspire ESC? Sigi? Taken. The Bruce? Taken. Bradley? Taken. Nowak? (interesting) mariner? Not midseason. Who do they have internally to promote?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | May 26, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

I hate the MetroDonkeys, but it seemed to me that Richie "ABMOD" Williams was getting decent results as the interim manager before Bruce Arena was brought in, hell, if they don't promote him I wouldn't mind him being on United's coaching staff.

Posted by: alecw81 | May 26, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

FYI, the US Soccer WCQ roster announcement suggested MLS players like Donovan would play in this weekend's matches and then catch up with the rest of the squad.

Posted by: manmark11 | May 26, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

In honor of the no alcohol policy in Rome before tomorrow's Champions League match, I propose that Soccer Insider regulars make similar commitments to good living. For example, I commit to avoiding listening to my Molly Hatchet CD collection (yes, MH CD's exist). Some other recommendations:

- Chest Rockwell: will keep all of his analyses to Twitter-length dispatches or less
- Dadryan: will refrain from drying out portions of his "garden"
- I-270: will not be funny until after Wednesday
- alecw81 and delantero: will avoid turning toward the White House and bowing in prayer
- BlackandRedRedDevil: will keep from drinking for 30 hours AFTER United's win
- fischy: will take exception at NOTHING on SI until Friday
- VBB: will acknowledge that Maryland has some pretty good crab cakes
- OWNTF: Will remove his Abby Wambach poster from his office until her next home game.

Just some suggestions. What say you?

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 26, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Osorio used to be incredibly "overated". Now he is just on borrowed time. Red Bull Management isn't putting all that money out to field a loser.

El emperador no tiene ninguna ropa...

Dude is finally being exposed.

Please Energy Drink FC, don't fire Osorio. It's not just us DC United fans who enjoy his failure. USL clubs enjoy it as well...

What would the USOC have been like recently without an Osorio led club--after Osorio has talked about the importance that he places on the competition--losing to a USL club?!?

RBNY--lease keep El gran tecnico.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 26, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Local player capped:

"Penn State freshman Christine Nairn, only 18, became the first member of the USA's 2008 Under-20 Women's World Cup championship team to earn a senior team cap, coming on for Angela Hucles in the 83rd minute."

Posted by: OWNTF | May 26, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Right on, Joedoc, Right on....

Posted by: Smitty8 | May 26, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse


Yes - the crab cakes are incredible.

I'm feeling generous today as well - I'll toss in Annapolis as my only reason for crossing the river!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | May 26, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@ Da Ole VBB

Please, consider me the self-appointed prepresentative for the good people of the Muthaland, also know as the FreeState, the MD--

Don't do us any favors, Bro... :D

Posted by: yankiboy | May 26, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"In honor of the no alcohol policy in Rome before tomorrow's Champions League match,...."

Does that mean the rest of us must compensate leading up to and during the match?

Posted by: 22206no1 | May 26, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

agreed joedoc. though I may replace it with a Sonia poster . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | May 26, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The Champions League final will be carried by XM Radio:

This channel is apparently only available to XM subscribers over the air, but not over the Internet. Also, there is presumably a corresponding Sirius channel, but I don't have information on that close at hand.

Posted by: universityandpark | May 26, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Local player capped:

Posted by: OWNTF | May 26, 2009 9:08 AM
Gotta say, my first thought was that you pulled something from a police report...

@yankiboy, UandPark, sitruc, Kire, Troy... c'mon, folks, you guys have to give up something! Otherwise, Rome is burning...

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 26, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@jd--Y'all "lovers" got nice state promotional materials.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 26, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"- I-270: will not be funny until after Wednesday"

Many say that I wasn't funny before Wednesday either.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Tinkerman" is exactly what I thought of when I was watching Osorio coach the other day. NY was not terrible they just didn't manage to score (the 1-0 Chicago win was wildly entertaining compared to DC v RSL). It seemed like Osorio out too much emphasis on the speed factor when he dropped Ubiverylongname for Borman w about a half hour left. He already had Kandji and Richards (who had just subbed on minutes earlier) on the field and they might have been able to do more damage if someone could have sent them some nice diagonal thruballs to the flanks, rather than being joined by another speedster.

Also agree that Osorio got way too much credit for turning around Chicago the year Blanco arrived in midseason about the same time several key starters where returning from injuries.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 26, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: joedoc1

Joedoc will finally take his aricept, realize the last 8 years of a GOP presidency, 6 of which saw a GOP controlled House and Senate, were disastrous for the country. He will then remove the life size poster of Dick Cheney from his wall.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Worst move by a goalie ever?

Posted by: KireDCU | May 26, 2009 4:03 AM

I saw that too. This guy is just awful all the time though:

Credit to 101greatgoals for the vid. Had me laughing out loud when I saw it...

Posted by: dug2008 | May 26, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"For example, I commit to avoiding listening to my Molly Hatchet CD collection (yes, MH CD's exist)."

C'mon Joe Doc, you know that's just...

"Flirtin' With Disaster"


Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 26, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@yankiboy, UandPark, sitruc, Kire, Troy... c'mon, folks, you guys have to give up something! Otherwise, Rome is burning...

Posted by: joedoc1
Rome is burning? isn't that the loudmouth who hates Soccer? (or at least the loudmouth who enjoys winding up soccer fans)

I would give up self-serving reviews of local games involving US teams, but our USA U-18s play Finland tomorrow here in Lisbon. I was invited to speak at the tournament banquet on Friday night just to prove I can be boring in multiple languages.

I can also give up financial solvency since I bought a house in Falls Church last week. Maybe I could give up driving and bike to RFK with DadRyan.

two years ago I gave up tolerance for Lent.

Posted by: troy6 | May 26, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

and speaking of self-serving, I doubt anyone reads these posts since I am only just getting to them and there are 3 new Goffposts since this thread was active. If a tree falls in the forest...

Posted by: troy6 | May 26, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I ream them, and yeah, I'll ride with ya!;-)

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

Goodness. I meant to write read...not ream..ugh.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Is this the dead posts thread?

If a tree fell in the forest would it be more likely to land on David Stokes, Rod Dyachenko or Marcelo Gallardo? Or would they be saved by a miraculous bicycle kick clearance from Facundo Erpen?

Would anyone besides Facundo's Mom find out?


Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 26, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

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