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United Rewind

Who was that spry Bolivian conducting United's attack, spraying passes, hitting the post and scoring two goals? Jaime Moreno, you say? Never heard of him.

In all seriousness, that was one of the finest individual performances by a D.C. United player in a long time, and it was accomplished by a 35-year-old who didn't play last weekend because of a heel injury, who had two surgeries over the winter, and who played sparingly early in the season because of a red card suspension, injuries and fitness issues.

Read my match report with quotes.

Before I get to the player ratings and bonus quotes on the continuation of this thread, you should know that this coming week appears to be make-or-break time for the proposed D.C. United-Real Madrid friendly at FedEx Field. Since we last discussed this issue, the date would now be Aug. 9 (Sunday afternoon) instead of Aug. 8, and that Real would probably play the other friendly (Toronto is the top candidate) two days earlier instead of three or four days later.

Okay, keep reading.....

PLAYER RATINGS
Kocic 4; Namoff 7, Jakovic 6, Burch 5; Pontius 5, Olsen 6, Simms 6, Quaranta 4, Wallace 5; Moreno 9, Emilio 4. Subs: Gomez 7, Jacobson 5, Janicki 5.

Coach Tom Soehn, on trailing at the half despite outplaying Dallas: "I just told them at halftime: 'We need to relax, we're going to get plenty more chances and all it takes is getting one to get it going.' "

Soehn, on Milos Kocic's performance: "He could've punched a couple. I thought he got fouled a couple times. I didn't know if they gave him enough respect coming out, but overall he manned the box well and the guys in front of him did a very good job too."

Soehn, on Christian Gomez's reserve performance: "He is coming off an injury and it was crucial to get him on today. We wanted to wait until everybody was a little tired, we knew he could expose things, and I think he did exactly that. It took him a little bit to get into the game, but once he did, he really managed the game well. He knew when to go for it, when to hold it, when to spray the ball."

Soehn, on another Bryan Namoff long-ball assist: "We've been working on it. Amazingly, after eight years as a pro he actually got it right. (joking) No, he has been working on it a lot. He has taken a lot more pride in his game and it shows."

Soehn, on the goalkeeping situation: "It's a battle all the time. It's a challenge for the coaching staff in so many ways, figuring out what lineup we are going to play. But it's a great thing. The guys are competing like crazy at training and it makes our lives wonderful but yet difficult. It keeps everyone in it. We feel we can pull pieces in and out and not lose our stride."

Kocic, on the high balls in the box and battling Kenny Cooper: "They tried with long balls at the end to hurt us. I tried to catch some, but it is impossible because he fouls you every time. He hit me in the jaw really hard once. It was like a boxing match."

Ben Olsen, on Moreno: "I've seen this for 12 years. This ain't my first rodeo with Jaime Moreno. You never count him out. Every year, he comes back, people doubt him. I tell people every time: 'Do not doubt this guy. He's going to keep doing what he's doing.' It was a classy performance once again from him."

Namoff, on his numerous facial scars: "Saragosa's five fingernails. He clawed me. All during one play."

Namoff, on using the long ball as a weapon: "It feels a lot more natural whereas before it wasn't something I would normally look for. So I am just getting out of my comfort zone and trying to hit those longer balls now and it seems to becoming effective."

Namoff, on another comeback victory: "It's a credit to the week before and it shows the perseverance of this team right now. We didn't hold our heads down at halftime. We were confident to say we were getting our chances and as soon as we put the first one away, then we are going to change things around. As soon as that first goal happened, it shifted our way."

By Steve Goff  |  May 3, 2009; 12:32 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight #7: United-Dallas
Next: Video: Moreno's Go-Ahead Goal

Comments

It seemed to me that United was using the long ball a little too often, particularly in the middle of the second half when possession might have been more helpful. But it's hard to argue with the result.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 3, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Anytime I see a number below 5, I wonder if it is too low. It is well deserved for Kocic. Thinking about the keeper competition at practice isn't a comforting. A win is a win and he did enough. I was worried on a few crosses and corners and he looked caught between punching the ball and catching it a few times, but Dallas is good in the box and they are very physical all over. It might have been a boxing match, but I thought Dallas was wrestling and trying to pick up some riding time. The officials should have stepped in a few times.

Posted by: sitruc | May 3, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Soehn was a bit dickish with the comment about Namoff. It's not like he's been coaching Namoff and honing that skill for eight years. It's a gift, not your inspiration.

Great job, Moreno.

I'd also like to apologize to Fred. I've become jaded with some of the high priced imports and their BS about leaving with a vague one sentence explanation containing either "family" or "my heart." Good luck, hope to see you soon.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 3, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Glad we won, but disappointed in the last 20 minutes. Our players seemed to forget that possession was key. We were attacking, sending the ball long into 1 v 4, 2 v 4, when the next option would have been better . .

Your ratings are all over the map . . but with such brilliance by Jaime wasted over and over again, who can blame you . . . although Emilio at a 4 is pretty harsh . . .

Posted by: delantero | May 3, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Ray Hudson during Real v Barca after a Barca defender picked Robben's pocket ...

"He read him like a nursery rhyme."

Posted by: delantero | May 3, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

low attendance again? what gives?

Posted by: HWLongfellow | May 3, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

This is why our newly deep roster is important. We can't count on a performance like that from Jaime every week anymore, he needs fewer minutes overall so he can turn it on like that.

Oh, and anyone seen the tables lately? We're in first and the Cows are in last...the way life should be.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | May 3, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Re: Attendance

You might have heard that the economy isn't doing so hot at the moment.

It's quite possible that there's some relation between the economy and disposable income...

As it is, I'm planning on making the trip up from Durham next weekend.

Posted by: alecw81 | May 3, 2009 2:46 AM | Report abuse

A 4 is too low for Kocic. He made only one mistake that I noticed, and used his size well on the punches. I would also raise Quaranta and Burch -- a game we dominated deserves a higher average rating. The main complaint is about the coaching, or maybe about Ben as on-field coach -- is it declassé to cover the near post on a corner kick nowadays?

Posted by: granadoskerry | May 3, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

I see what you did there Ben.

Posted by: Section117 | May 3, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I thought Kocic's struggled at times. However, I don't know how much of that was really Milos and how much was the way the defense played and Dallas attacked.

It seemed that Kocic had a devil of a time trying to get to the ball on these high crosses and no doubt the ref was letting a number of fouls go. In addition, the fouls seem to get worse as the game went on because Dallas seemed to know they would not be called.

The other item in Kocic's defense is that the team stopped pressuring about 15 minutes from the end and allowed Dallas to send in one high ball after another.

I can't think of a tougher baptism of fire than fighting for crosses with Kenny Cooper on your neck the whole time. And Cooper is probably the stronger Center Forward in the entire League.

Posted by: dcufan53 | May 3, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the issue's with United's MLS Draft luck, DC United still appeared to have a lot of its Draftees in the line-up last night.

1998 - Ben Olsen (58 min)
2001 - Bryan Namoff (90 min)
2001 - Santino Quaranta (90 min)
2008 - Andrew Jacobsen (Sub: 16 min)
2009 - Rodney Wallace (90 min)
2009 - Chris Pontius (90 min)
2009 - Milos Kocic (90 min)

Posted by: TCompton | May 3, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

TCCompton:

Fair point on the draft selections -- but look at the gap between Namoff and Quaranta (2001) and Jacobson (2008). Those were some dry years. Hopefully some of this year's selections are still here in 8 years.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 3, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Of course, nothing between '01 and '08 helps show the dry spell we had.

Posted by: stancollins | May 3, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@ delantero: Emilio deserved the 4 just for the bungled breakaway. The average MLS striker would have gotten a shot on goal at least and probably would have scored.

Kocic had me nervous on a lot of those high balls, but no more nervous than Crayton. Additionally, Crayton costs WAY more than Kocic so we could be seeing the last days of ol' Patrick.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 3, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Soehn was a bit dickish with the comment about Namoff.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 3, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

------------------------------------------

Soehn has been a bit dickish about a lot of players this year in his public comments. I'm sure if the players made similar remarks about his coaching decisions, they'd get a lecture about keeping things in the locker room.

Tommy doesn't have the greatest job security. He really should consider his words a little more.

Posted by: beach3 | May 3, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Good win.

Is it just me or do we win/tie every time Olsen is on the field. We lost when he didn't play and we do better when he is on the field. Let's hope he holds up this year.

Jaime is the master, the second goal was sublime.

I thought Kocic did fine for his first start in a real match, he can only get better. Why was Crayton benched? Injury or just to give the kid a shot?

I thought Gomez did great and Emilio also did well, though he could have had the breakaway goal. His header from Moreno was nicely struck and except for a blinder reaction save he puts the game away.

If Pontius can grow to get composure like Jaime he scores that last shot instead of trying to strike it through the keeper.

We are getting better. this will be a nice season to watch.

Posted by: RRP1 | May 3, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Spot on with the ratings Goff. Kocic can't catch the ball. It was pretty bad, but at least he knew to punch it instead of trying to catch it. I have lots of faith in him, and I think he will be the DC keeper for many years to come, but the kid needs to learn to catch the ball.

I am still in awe at our draft selections this year. It has been incredible and very exciting. Pontius and Wallace are already MLS ready, and Barkladge and Kocic have shown lots of upside. Future looks good, guys.

Posted by: abgcunited11 | May 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

For all the issue's with United's MLS Draft luck... Posted by: TCompton | May 3, 2009 9:32 AM

2001 - Santino Quaranta (90 min)

2008 - Andrew Jacobsen (Sub: 16 min) (Don't forget he didn't originally join the team.

2009 - Rodney Wallace (90 min)

Seems a mighty big gap there between '01 and '09. And outside of Mapp, Alecko, B. Carroll and Adu (Dallas, cough, fixed) none of our draft picks are even playing in MLS, I believe.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | May 3, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I originally went to post, we don't need a friendly against Real Madrid. Unless the club can make some serious cash, which I doubt because I'm sure the League, RM and whatever stadium it's played at will be first in line for the jack, it's just not worth disrupting the season over.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | May 3, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Where was Avery John? Kocic did well. He won. Burse didn't. Did they ever think of trying their #3? They had two games to do it. I like Kocic better than Wicks.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | May 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Tommy doesn't have the greatest job security"

Maybe so but, um, check standings ...

Posted by: regularfan | May 3, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Tommy doesn't have the greatest job security"

Maybe so but, um, check standings ...

Posted by: regularfan | May 3, 2009 11:55 AM

Exactly. The Galaxy once fired a coach while they were in first-place, and he's since led the Crew to an MLS Cup and is currently in position for one of the best expansion seasons ever. Meanwhile, LA has been locked in a steady downward spiral ever since.

I'm not sayin' Tommy's half the coach Sigi is (literally or figuratively), but why would you fire a coach now, especially with no obvious replacement?

Posted by: Kenobi | May 3, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The season is young, my friends. And, if I'm not mistaken, we haven't played most of the teams that are winning right now. (Seattle, Chivas,Kansas City, and Columbus has to beat Somebody, they've to the talent).

Let's wait and see before crowning Soehn, cuz we usually end up hating him two seconds later.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 3, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The Real Madrid match would be a huge money-maker for DCU, which, frankly, needs to generate revenue beyond MLS game receipts. FedEx Field wants the game, and to compete with RFK to stage it, has lowered its usually high rent fees.


Posted by: Steve Goff | May 3, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Update:

For those of you that haven't noticed yet, Verizon FIOS just added MLS DirectKick.

I'm already subscribed to MLS GameCenter. Don't know if I want to subscribe to both.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 3, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

We would have had more goals if it wasn't for that Burse guy.

Can't be at the Freedom match in person due to heavy workload.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To follow-up on UnitedDemon's comment on season length, the MLS season is, for many teams, a season of two halves. How many times have we seen a strong 1st half team stumble after the all-star game or a mediocre team turn it on?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Look no further than 1996 or 2004 United.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Did Goff edit the quote from Soehn about Namoff?

"We've been working on it. Amazingly, after eight years as a pro he actually got it right. (joking) No, he has been working on it a lot. He has taken a lot more pride in his game and it shows."

That sounds like a guy making a joke to me. It seems some people are looking for any reason to criticize the coach and will take anything they see printed for ammunition, literally word-for-word minus context.

I was disappointed in Kocic, his first instinct was to punch the ball out, he really needs to learn how to pull those balls in. Moreno was sublime, and overall I thought everyone on offense played very well and interchangeably.

Dare I say, that we finally have depth?

Posted by: Josh8 | May 3, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Today's Freedom game will, among other things, pit Cat Whitehill against Hope Solo. One wonders whether much has changed since this article by Jere Longman appeared in the NYT nearly a year ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/sports/soccer/25goalie.html

For people who are planning to go to the 'Plex in the rain, I recall seeing signs there to the effect that brollies are contraband.

For those who may not want to venture that far afield just to get wet, and who do not have FSC at home, does anyone have recommendations for a good dry (but not in the Volstead Act sense) place to watch the match on TV?

In a previous thread, someone mentioned that there is a group of Freedom fans who provide play-by-play via Twitter. How does one get in on that?

Posted by: universityandpark | May 3, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: universityandpark | May 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

There was a letter t the editor in the Post a few days ago, bemoaning the lack of Freedom away game coverage. The writer should have read this blog and her questions would have been answered.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that United haven't had struggles, but some of the disappointment were not necessarily a result of the draft.

The 2001 SuperDraft was our best draft in recent memory.
(3) Mark Lisi - Traded in 2002 to MetroStars. Retired in 2006.
(4) Ryan Nelsen - As captain, led United to MLS Cup 2004. Transferred to EPL in 2005.
(8) Santino Quaranta - Currently with United.
(15) Bryan Namoff - Currently with United.
(28) Craig Ziadie - Traded to MetroStars in 2002.

The 2002 SuperDraft was not nearly as good for United as 2001. The only memorable name that United drafted was:

(4) Justin Mapp - Traded to Chicago in 2003 for Dema Kovalenko.

Other players from Draft: Taylor Twellman, Brad Davis, Kyle Martino, Shalrie Joseph, John Busch, Alejandro Moreno

The 2003 SuperDraft was a little better for United. But circumstances outside of United's control punished the draftees future at United.
(1) Alecko Eskandarian - MLS Cup 04 MVP. Suffered concussion. Never been the same since.
(5) David Stokes - Suffered from several injuries, never saw regular playing time. Returned to UNC.
(11) Brian Carroll - Helped United win MLS Cup 04. Selected by San Jose in Expansion draft 08.

The 2004 Super Draft was all about hype of Freddy Adu, but the number 34 draft pick was the real surprise.
(1) Freddy Adu - Never meshed with United (or any other team he has played for).
(24) Kevin Ara - Saw little time with United's MLS Cup winning side. Selected by Real Salt Lake in 2005 expansion draft. Currently coaches lower level soccer.
(34) Josh Gros - Brought energy and grit to United through the 04 - 07 seasons. Suffered career ending concussion and retired at the end of 2007.

DC United had only two picks in the 2005 SuperDraft. This wasn't a huge problem because, overall, it was a pretty weak draft. While the draft picks didn't work out, United did "discover" Bobby Boswell.
(19) Nick Van Sicklen
(48) Tim Merritt

Other 2005 Draftees: Brad Guzan, Michael Parkhurst, Domenic Mediate, Chris Rolfe

2006 was another bad draft for United.
(7) Justin Moose - Did not see much playing time.
(31) Rod Dyachenko - Earned numerous yellow cards from reckless challenges and continuously turned the ball over.
(39) Jeff Carroll - Did not see much playing time.

Other 2006 Draftees: Marvel Wynne, Sacha Kjlestan, Josy Altidore, Jonathan Bornstein

2007
(11) Bryan Arguez - Sold to Hertha Berlin in 2008.
(24) Brad North - Never saw an MLS match with the first team.
(32) Jay Needham - Would not sign developmental contract. Currently plays in Norway.

Othe 2007 draftees: Marice Edu, Bakary Soumare, Robbie Findley

Posted by: TCompton | May 3, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Just got to watch the game on the DVR. MY impressions:

Funny game. It was like deja vu watching Gomez and Moreno connect. If they can find that magic, there are few teams that can match that. Maybe Gomez should be super-sub.

I watched the first half, thoroughly awed by Moreno, but also very impressed with Quaranta. I was prepared to declare him one of 2 or 3 best payers. Then, he came out for the 2nd half. It is hard to explain what happened to Tino in the second half. He was finding open space, and got ample opportunities to lead breaks. However, he kept turning the ball over wit truly hideous touches (actually, this run of bad play started late in the first half, but he had some really great one early on). Whichever boots he wore in the 2nd half, he should throw away.

Emilio lacks quick feet & often runs good attacks into the ground, but that was not the problem. I give him some credit for almost scoring, but he should have centered the ball for Pontius -- certain goal.

Wallace and Kocic -- I dug the goal last week, but Wallace may be more painful to watch than Burch. He seems to avoid his right foot like it has the swine flu. Before the season is over, he will set a record for most blocked crossing passes. I wish we had taken Frei. Brings me to Kocic -- his early distributions were terrible. He got better with that, but those crosses...

Lastly -- Pontius. I love this guy on offense, but he was totally lost deep in the United end, when he got the ball. Something for him to work on.

Posted by: fischy | May 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

All I have to do to see what an uphill battle United has in this area to find community support for a stadium is to see the front Sports page of The Post.

Steve's United story is on page 5. Pasted onto the bottom half of the Sport's front's far right column is a piece about the Phils/Mets baseball game.

That takes precedence over a United victory here in DC...or at least in the minds of the sports editors.

Sad. Very, very sad. Could have had stories on that front page of three Washington teams' victories. Seems to me that's more of a story than sliding that one about two out-of-town baseball teams.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 3, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon:

I don't think anyone has crowned Soehn. He's barely even gotten praise. All people have done is say maybe they shouldn't be so hard on him, or point out that it's hard to argue with 1 loss in 7 games (plus the USOC win). That's hardly praise.

Soehn hasn't been perfect, but he's done well enough that I don't believe our current standing is in spite of him.

fischy:

If we take Frei, we lose out on one of Pontius and Wallace. Frei does look good, but good enough to give up two of the three best rookie field players (along with Zakuani)? I'm not sure. We would be much worse off without Party Boy and Wallace, but then our keeping situation is progressing slowly but surely up the scale of alarm to Code Red Super Panic.

And as for Pontius in the defensive third...that's why I said I wasn't sure about playing him wide in this formation. There's no defender in him, and it shows. The composure he has up field vanishes, probably because the damage a mistake could do goes up. There's a reason why a lot of these attempts at converting attackers to defenders end up failing. With Pontius we have to be the aggressor, or teams are going to pile on the pressure down the right side.

***

Speaking of Soehn's public comments, I think the reaction here to his bit of sarcasm about Namoff is far too strong. He made a joke about Namoff's past lack of offensive production. Notice that he said "he's been working on it" and "he's taking a lot more pride in his game". There's nothing in either of those statements taking any credit for the coaching staff; Soehn's giving it all to Namoff. I know the popular thing amongst this fanbase is to hate on Soehn, but sometimes it just seems silly.

Game comments to follow because I am probably over the Post's character limit.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 3, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

As for the game, I think it's safe to say that Moreno had the best individual game of any United player since at least 2007. I'd also say it was the best showing by any single player in MLS this season. He was unlucky not to get a hat trick, and made everyone else so much better. I hope we're done reading comments that he should hang it up, but they'll be back the moment we drop a disappointing result.

Kocic left me pretty underwhelmed. Punching balls that should have been easily caught, dropping other attempted catches...I was left feeling more nervous than when Crayton's in, and he scares me half to death. I don't care if Kenny Cooper, Hulk, the Hulk, Jan Koller, Shaq, and Albert Haynesworth are all in the box; if he comes for crosses, he better either catch and hold them or punch them clear. He also looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet. While I don't blame him for the goal, I'm surprised no one else did; I feel like Crayton would have been hounded in this space for either not claiming the cross or getting a hand to it but not keeping it out.

You can probably guess that I think the 4 SG gave Kocic was fair. I think Quaranta's first half merits a bump up to a 5. Emilio also deserved a 5; yes, he botched a breakaway, but I thought his hold up play, as well as work off the ball, helped give Moreno the space he took advantage of. Other than that, I think the ratings are on the money.

Before the game, I said that a good team wins this fixture with relatively little fuss. Where does that leave us? In the neighborhood of a good team, but not quite there yet. Sure, Burse stood on his head to keep the score respectable, but a) Dallas should never have scored or caused any nervous moments down the stretch and b) we threw away enough sitters to have been up by at least 2 goals down the stretch. I'm still pleasantly surprised by this DC United team. 1 loss in 7, and with one win turned into a draw by awful officiating, is better than I thought we'd be in terms of results. While some of our games have been a bit ugly, we're a more solid outfit than I expected. I doubt many teams will feel comfortable facing us, whereas last year I think we were a team people wanted to play. If we can continue a positive climb, this is a team capable of winning things. We're not there yet, but we could actually get there.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 3, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Sad. Very, very sad. Could have had stories on that front page of three Washington teams' victories. Seems to me that's more of a story than sliding that one about two out-of-town baseball teams.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 3, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse
==================

I had the same initial reaction but thought, "maybe the story inside the Sports has a nice big photo that couldn't fit on the front page - then, the disappointment. Two goals by the best player in MLS history who was honored before the match and a buried report without a photo.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta changed shoes at halftime but the bright red ones he was wearing to bright green ones - I assume the same ones he wore on the broling field turf at Giants Stadium 6 days earlier.

I wonder if his red shoes were new and started bothering his feet.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 3, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Chest-

It's true, I bear no love for Soehn. I think we could do much better, and that his on the field decisions show his talent is limited.

However, I do admit his draft choices were superb this time around, by far the best we've done in a long time.

I'm not saying he will fail, I hope he doesen't (this is my team, afterall). But now that we are in front, we will see whether he can sustain United, it will be very evident either way.

Also: It is hard to judge the comment, unless we had video (the tone is essential). I don't think that's joking time, when you're veterans stretch themselves, give 'em the praise for the papers, don't be like, "yeah, that took a while" which is exactly how it read.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 3, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Chest -- I agree that United is a much more solid side than I anticipated...especially after watching their porous defense in preseason.

Despite the defensive shortcomings he showed on Saturday, and some of his missed shots earlier, I think the sky is the limit with Pontius. However, I am not sold on Wallace. I suppose his speed opens up the other defenses a little, but his inability to get his crosses in past the wide defender limit the usefulness. He seems very awkward, even with his favored leg. Defenses seem to have figured out as they did with Burch that they do not have to worry about him trying to use his right foot to play the ball. Makes it much easier to defend. I realize he is very young, and there is time to grow, but I wish DCU had taken Frei instead of Wallace. Soehn could have found someone else to play

Interesting that United Demon is giving credit to Soehn for the draft picks. Putting aside my reservations -- if that diatribe by the Houston asst. coach is right, Soehn wanted Frei, not Wallace. Remember-- supposedly the owners intervened - forced the team to take a timeout in the draft, before settling on Wallace. If that is right, I would give Soehn some credit for trying to play having been dealt a weak hand in goal, and a left side that is handicapped by playing with one foot tied behind their back.

Posted by: fischy | May 4, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

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