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United News & Notes

*Injury update: Ben Olsen continues his rehab from a hamstring injury. Jaime Moreno, limited to a half on Saturday because of illness, practiced today. Christian Gomez sat out with a minor toe or foot injury.

*The brackets for the U.S. Open Cup's first and second rounds will be finalized today or tomorrow, according to the USSF. MLS clubs, including United, won't know specifically for a couple weeks who they might face in the round of 16, but there will be geographic considerations. I'd like to see DCU vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore or Real Maryland at Maryland SoccerPlex!

*Former DCU defender Gonzalo Peralta has reached agreement with Union de Santa Fe to leave the Argentine club, which has had financial issues.

*As we mentioned the other day, former DCU goalies coach Alan Kelly will be remembered this Sunday at 5 p.m. at Ireland's Four Courts pub in Arlington. The public is welcome. Donations is his memory can be made to Casey House Hospice, 6001 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20855

Comments from Coach Tom Soehn and goalkeeper Louis Crayton on the continuation of this thread.....

Crayton, on the three-goalie rotation: "It's a good thing for D.C. United to have three good goalkeepers that you can call upon anytime and everyone is willing to do the job. Josh had a fantastic game on Sunday. Not many clubs have this luxury."

On being told he wouldn't be in uniform vs. RSL: "The coach called me and told me on Saturday that he wanted to go with Milos and Josh. I told him, 'Okay.' I have to respect his decision. He is the boss."

Does it affect you psychologically not to be on the game-day roster?

"I have been in this business for 13 years of my life so I have passed all these hurdles and stages and learned to live through it day by day."

Has he thought about leaving DCU this summer?

"I think it's too early. That would be very unprofessional. Every team has three goalkeepers and, on any given day, anything can happen to any one of those goalkeepers -- you will definitely need the third one to fill that space. So if you think, 'Oh, so because I'm not in uniform today I need to leave, I think that's a little too unprofessional to make a hasty decision like that."

Soehn quotes.....

On the recovery from Saturday: "We gave them a couple days off [before returning to training today]. I think we needed it with the amount of games we've had. Working the guys is important, but also giving them the amount of rest they need. ... There is still a lot of disappointment for, not just the result [vs. RSL], but the way we played. I think it's the first game you can say that we underperformed."

On the goalkeeping: "It's always competitive, so that doesn't change. There was a mentality among the defenders [Saturday] that we want to have more pride in keeping a clean sheet and that showed. Defensively, we were very solid. Offensively, we can still make better choices as far as distribution from our backs. But defensively they were committed to making sure nothing happened at the other end, and it made life easier for any goalie. The keepers are going to still fight for time. Josh had a good game. This is the first time someone stepped up. ... He made some key saves at key moments and he managed the box well, he communicated well. It was the first time that someone separated themselves a little bit and said, 'I want this job.'"

By Steve Goff  |  May 26, 2009; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Onyewu's Destination?
Next: Cambuur's D.C. Connection


Wow. That's a bit different than "ten players and a goalie".

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Crayton for sounding like a mature, reasonable adult. He clearly has no business being a professional athlete. ;)

Posted by: JkR- | May 26, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Poor Peralta :(

Posted by: iammrben1 | May 26, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree, JkR.

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 26, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Wicks played out of his mind on Saturday. But I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon. I think it's great that Crayton (publicly) has a good attitude and can be a supportive teammate. It would be incredibly short-sighted of management to think that a rookie and an LA reject will carry the matter how much promise each has shown.

N.B. A lot of the fans around me also noted that Wicks played out of his mind. When I translate that back into pedestrian English, it really means he played better than he actually is.

Posted by: DWE4 | May 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Crayton is not long for DCU. If Wicks can build on his performance from Saturday and if Kocic continues to improve (which is what you want from a young player), I think it is very hard to justify keeping Crayton at his salary.

I am not saying that Crayton is poor, I just think that the economics of MLS kicks in and you cannot justify paying Crayton to be a rotational GK, especially if DCU is convinced that Wicks and Kocic are comparable to Crayton. Crayton knows this, I think.

Posted by: therealfootball | May 26, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Much respect to Crayton, no matter how you feel about his performance. JkR, you win for best comment of the day.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | May 26, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Class from Crayton. Hopefully things get better for Peralta.

Posted by: sitruc | May 26, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

A Wicks play that spoke volumes came in the second half, when he came out, punched away a ball in traffic, it was recovered quickly by an attacker who put a shot on net. In that second or two, Wicks had scrambled into position to make the save.

It didn't make the MLS highlight reel, but it showed the pure Perkins-esque, never-out-of-the-play athleticism he has, which is at least a step above DCU's other options.

Not saying the doubters are wrong, just pointing out the potential boost the team can get from having that type of gifted athlete in the GK position, especially when playing three across the back.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 26, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I remember that we loaned out Peralta, but we didn't pick up his option. So at this point is he SOL and attached to us, or is he essentially a free agent?

Posted by: Josh8 | May 26, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather -- I agree -- that was one of Wicks' better plays. I really like what I've seen of Wicks so far, despite the couple of mishandled balls against the Fire. He's definitely got the legs to get to a lot of balls.

Apropos of the goalie situation, I thought I'd repost a comment from the kickaround thread, about Hamid:

I am not going to make any predictions, because we don't know about Bill Hamid's determination to play in Europe. However, he did train with United early this year -- per Goff's reports -- and there were oblique comments about the FO's interest in an Academy player.

I would not be surprised if DCU does jump into the bidding for Hamid's services, this summer. With Crayton's deal ending, it's possible that the team would opt for the young(er) goalie, even if they have to bid high. Actually, with the Gen Adidas possibility, the team could sign both under the cap (maybe sign Crayton thru the end of the year), but would have to trim the roster. Still, I bet they'd be excited about a camp next year, with Wicks, Kocic and Hamid. We can dream about a national team-type talent in goal, can't we?

Posted by: fischy | May 26, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see DCU vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore or Real Maryland at Maryland SoccerPlex!

By Steve Goff | May 26, 2009; 1:33 PM ET

I second that emotion. As I've written ad nauseum here, I love the DCU Open Cup games at the Soccerplex. I haven't made the move to see the other local teams, and would really look forward to a chance to see one of them take on the MLS side. It would be great exposure for the lower level side(s), especially if Real Maryland gets that match-up, right in its Montg. Cnty. backyard.

Posted by: fischy | May 26, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I think if Wicks can show some consistency it will make it a lot easier to let Crayton go when his contract ends this summer.

I also think the team wouldn't mind having Crayton leave so they can sign one of the youth team goalies profiled in the Post this morning.

Posted by: mercedeskk | May 26, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Would also like to see United v one of the USL clubs at the SoccerPlex. Is that a possibility from the County/SoccerPlex side though? Am I correct in thinking that with the Freedom playing so many matches up there, they weren't looking for any further uses for the stadium field?

Posted by: Kev29 | May 26, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"I'd like to see DCU vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore or Real Maryland at Maryland SoccerPlex!"

I wouldn't!

- T. Soehn

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 26, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Wicks had a pretty darn good game Saturday night.
He's had one other in his career, against us while playing for the LalaGals. that's two good games in a few years.
Crayton had 4 darn good games last year, so he's still had twice as many as Wicks in less time.

Sometimes we fans get a bit too excited by a player's current good form, and way too down on one bad game for other players ...... we're an odd bunch, no wonder the FO and Goff don't take us all that seriously :-)

Posted by: dcufan | May 26, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

My sense is that Soehn is looking for a way to get rid of Crayton, just based on what I read about what he says and the way he says it. Or Soehn is practicing some new form of motivation by public diminution.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 26, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

That Maryland keeper ought to be looking for a job soon. How about him? He's here in Lisbon with the u-18s, so, as a terp alumnus myself, I'm looking forward to seeing him at tomorrow's game against the Finns. I wonder if I -- and he -- can learn to hate them as much as Duke in such a short space of time...

Posted by: troy6 | May 26, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Crayton is that I like much more as a man than a goalkeeper. His comments show all class.

If Tommy does want to get rid of him (and I think he does) then he should have the stones to say that DC is going in a new direction and let Louis find a new club. I wonder if Crayton would be the number one if he made half of what he is currently making.

I think Tommy may feel like I do and think that Crayton is a good goalkeeper, just not at the salary he is on.

Posted by: bluesfan1 | May 26, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"I'd like to see DCU vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore or Real Maryland at Maryland SoccerPlex!"
The Biergarten on Freedom Hill couldn't hold us all...

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 26, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"DCU vs. Crystal Palace Baltimore"

I fear that yankiboy would spontaneously combust or go bi-polar (tri-polar if the Islanders were in the mix).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Crayton showed us his character after the ugly incident in Houston. The man from Bong Mines sets a high bar on dignity.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure we all have a great deal of respect -- and affection -- for Crayton, in a personal way. He's given 100% for the team from the moment he put on the uniform. In a perfect world, they might agree to extend his deal through the end of the season. He wants to be in the United States, and our schedule would probably preclude his catching on with another American side during the summer.

I'm just supposing that DCU may have some long-range hopes for Hamid -- and that may mean shedding Crayton's high salary and roster slot. I think they definitely were thinking about that, and hoping Platter would show enough to be a #1, during preseason training. That didn't work out, so United found themselves with uncertain quantities in Kocic and then Wicks. I'm supposing they might have decided it would be better to wait on Hamid, hoping to get past the complications posed by a two-team expansion draft, before adding him to the roster. (Of course, if he gets a Gen Adidas deal, this should not be a concern). Wicks' emergence could put United back in such a situation where they feel comfortable bringing in a very raw Hamid as a 3rd-string goalie who would be expected to learn from the bench. It's tough without a reserve team -- it would likely mean he would not get any game experience this year. That also makes it less likely that he would want to sign. It's probably an unrealistic scenario, but one I suspect the team hopes is realistic.

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

Crayton's a good guy. Too bad his salary is over the top . . if he's willing to renegotiate down, I'm sure he could stay with United.

Wicks and/or Kocic would be just as good, IMO, but for now lack the gamesmanship and occasional positioning that comes with experience . . but we have a good bit of the summer for that to come along. Certainly, Crayton had his chance and never took the reigns . . . but Wicks and Kocic are athletic enough and I would expect them develop rapidly in a training environment.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Who do you guys think will start in New England?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. Can we make some sort of preemptive strike to prevent DCU from adopting the jersey template that NYRB,Chelsea, and now Bayern Munich have adopted? Out of the templates I've seen, I think that AC MIlan's away jawn would be a nice cut for a new DCU jersey. White shirt or the black shirt. The collars look nice, many options with the two toned accent on the collar as well.
3rd jersey: A red one with a black and whit collar..... Oh snap!

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Who do you guys think will start in New England?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2009 10:30 PM |

Tom Brady....

Posted by: fischy | May 26, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be short sighted to let Crayton go if we don't absolutely have to. What would we honestly do with the extra salary cap space? I don't see a better use of those funds than to keep a good, experienced goalie like Crayton on the team.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 26, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DadRyan | May 27, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Crayton is too old
thats guy will be good goalie
he a smartness and he has good reflex
future will be his

please check out first foreign website about D.C. United

Posted by: PioterP | May 27, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan - I bet this will be the template for United next season (Milan third)--

And yes - please no Chelsea/Bayern life preserver rubbish! That is a hideous template. I just wish MLS could get away from adidas, especially now that they won't make out "traditional" three stripe shirt.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 27, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

@Pioter -- Welcome to our world. I appreciate the national pride in singling out this young Polish goalie. If he's in the Arsenal youth system, I'm sure he will be a pretty good goalie -- also sure there is no possibility of him coming to an MLS team, even a "storied" one like DC United.

Posted by: fischy | May 27, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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