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Matchnight #14: United-Fire

For the second time in four days, MLS features a match between the first- and second-place teams from the same conference. On Wednesday, Houston won at home against West front-runner Chivas USA and tonight, in the second game of an RFK doubleheader that began with a Washington Freedom-Chicago Red Stars WPS match, D.C. United attempts to overtake the Chicago Fire for first in the East.

(I'll have a Freedom final score for you later. Scoreless at halftime. Scoreless after 90.)

No sign of First Fan Obama tonight, but perhaps he'll drop by the Wreck on the Banks of the Mighty Anacostia later this summer. He has a standing invitiation from United to attend a match this year.

You'll remember the first meeting between these clubs -- the second week of the season, a 1-1 tie at RFK in which Luciano Emilio provided an early lead and former Hokie Patrick Nyarko equalized shortly after halftime. While the Fire has visited our fair town twice, United won't venture to Chicago until late August.

TV: Comcast SportsNet, 7:30 ET.

More later.....

DCU LINEUP: Wicks; Namoff, Jakovic, Burch; Quaranta, Simms, Wallace, Gomez, Fred; Moreno, Pontius. Subs: Kocic, John, Janicki, McTavish, Jacobson, Khumalo, N'Silu. (No Blanco for Chicago; he's tired from Wednesday's qualifier.)

Welcome to our weekly discussion area. Your pregame, in-game and postgame banter is strongly encouraged. Enjoy!

By Steve Goff  |  June 13, 2009; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United Rewind

Comments

first!

Posted by: notafembot | June 13, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Goffer, I would prefer Vintage Monument to Sport instead of Wreck on the Banks of the Mighty Anacostia

Isn't the Freedom versus the Red Stars the ultimate in 1980s Cold War sporting events? They should play a double header with the Reds and the Yankees.

Posted by: diego_r | June 13, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Based on the semi-colons, Steve, you've got Pontius starting at striker and Quaranta starting at wingback. I'll bet it's the other way around. We'll see.

Posted by: carolinadave616 | June 13, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

this is our best 11 starting for the first time in a while - Olsen instead of Wallace I guess when healthy?

Posted by: inzzo79 | June 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

diego_r FTW!

Posted by: kdiff813 | June 13, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Someone once said RFK's non-corporate name adds to its old-school charm. I have to agree. But VW Arena at Poplar Point sounds good too!

Posted by: Pedalada | June 13, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Pontius up top! Sweet . . make it happen, Party Boy!

Posted by: delantero | June 13, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a pretty good crowd. Sounds like it too.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | June 13, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have Dishnetwork know why this game isn't on Comcast Sportsnet HD? Comcast website says the game is avail. in HD. In fact, I've never HD coverage of DCU on CSN this season yet. Do you cable people see the DCU games in HD? I do have both the SD and HD versions of CSN.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | June 13, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow....what an awful call. Goal United.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | June 13, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

WOW..........this league is a f-ing joke.

I know DC has gotten a ton of bad calls so maybe this is the makeup for all of the bad calls for you but I'm sorry as a soccer fan this is brutal.

I am abut to boycott MLS for life if crap like this is continued to be called.

Can we please get some professional refs........that was not even a tough call to make, OMG.

Posted by: Gilly73 | June 13, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

PK was questionable, but Busch didn't have to turn his body into Pontius. He sought contact.

Thorrington's tackle on Pontius should have been straight red. That's how careers end

Posted by: delantero | June 13, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The REF has lost the plot.......Goodbye MLS you have lost a loyal fan.

Posted by: Gilly73 | June 13, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

guys . . . Baldemero Toledo . . . chill out.

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

Great feint by Burch on the 2nd goal. His step toward the ball held Busch long enough for Christian's mediocre effort to get past the keep.

Fred had an abysmal first half. Nothing going forward then he's at fault on the goal . . He falls for the dummy then doesn't track back with Pappa! Horrendous

Posted by: delantero | June 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Instead of Goal of the Week on the MLS website, they should have Questionable PK of the Week, with fans voting on which was the worst.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | June 13, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if this is showing somewhere free on the web?

Posted by: DCU98_BestEver | June 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if this is showing somewhere free on the web?

Posted by: DCU98_BestEver | June 13, 2009 9:10 PM |
==================================

http://www.atdhe.net/

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | June 13, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Khumalo is tearing up the right side.

Posted by: bighungry | June 13, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll take the points, but we can't let teams linger. Lady Luck was with us for a change!

Wicks is man of the match, again. I thought Burch played his best game of the season. Khumalo was able to take the space against a tired, attacking side. Otherwise, no one else stood out.

Posted by: delantero | June 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The REF has lost the plot.......Goodbye MLS you have lost a loyal fan.

Posted by: Gilly73 | June 13, 2009 8:19 PM
____________________________________________

Toodles, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Posted by: AshburnUnited | June 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I love this team. Everything is clicking right now. Burch played great. Jakovic is great as usual. Hell, Namoff looked like the least impressive defender for DC today, and that's saying something! Wicks is a tremendous keeper. Pontius was getting wrecked out there. Must have been 4 fouls on him that ended up as yellow cards.

We're in 1st place!

Posted by: abgcunited11 | June 13, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Toledo was a garbage ref, but why is there any surprise?

Posted by: Juan-John | June 13, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

We better be clicking by August when we face Real Madrid. That'll be a true test of this team's determination and skill level.

I caught the second half on TV, and it looked pretty packed on the SE/BB side but they sounded pretty weak for such a large crowd.

Posted by: redskinsux | June 13, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

We better be clicking by August when we face Real Madrid. That'll be a true test of this team's determination and skill level.

I caught the second half on TV, and it looked pretty packed on the SE/BB side but they sounded pretty weak for such a large crowd.

Posted by: redskinsux | June 13, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Do'h! Sorry for all the posts.

Posted by: redskinsux | June 13, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I am abut to boycott MLS for life if crap like this is continued to be called.
Posted by: Gilly73 | June 13, 2009 8:05 PM
-----------------------------------------
The REF has lost the plot.......Goodbye MLS you have lost a loyal fan.

Posted by: Gilly73 | June 13, 2009 8:19 PM
-----------------------------------------

14 minutes. Gilly73 is true to his word. AMF - Adios my friend.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | June 13, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

When we traded for Wicks, I assumed it was just caution--to have a veteran backup in case Crayton was gimpy the first game or two. Never saw it as anything more than a cheap veteran backup for a few games. Ha! What the heck do I know?

Wicks is turning into a keeper of a keeper. If we stay healthy and Emilio gets hot (two "if's") we'll dominate the league. If neither of those things happen but Wicks continues to play like he has, we'll be one of the best teams in the league.

Posted by: JoeW1 | June 13, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Comments from the game:
- Fred is simply atrocious. He has always been and always will be. He gives up the ball unnecessarily so often and is not very committed on defense. He should not start under any circumstances. He should be let go.
- Namoff had a great game, I thought he could have easily been man of the match.
- Wicks had another VERY strong game and solidifies even more that goalkeeping position.
- Gomez had one of his best games of the season, he looked like his old self.
- N'silu was not very good tonight. I'd take Doe or Kpene over this guy in a heartbeat. N'silu doesn't hustle, doesn't put in the effort to win balls in the air, and doesn't have enough heart.
- Burch looked strong tonight.
- The referee was terrible (pk calls were both horrible), but the linesmen were excellent tonight, they didn't miss one throw-in or offsides.
- John looked really good in the back for the short time he was in. I would like to see how he does in a 3-man line replacing Jakovic (he had another shaky game tonight)

Overall, a good performance by DC, we deserved the victory.

Wicks 8.5, Namoff 9, Jakovic 4.5, Burch 7.5, Simms 6.5, Wallace 6, Quaranta 6, Fred 3, Gomez 8.5, Moreno 5.5, Pontius 6
Subs: N'silu 4, Khumalo 6.5, John 6

Posted by: GoUnited | June 13, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I caught the second half on TV, and it looked pretty packed on the SE/BB side but they sounded pretty weak for such a large crowd.

Posted by: redskinsux | June 13, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse


They were quiet for the 2nd half because there wasn't much going on, but the first half was great. Very vocal, a lot of bouncing, and packed to the brim. Especially after Gomez's PK. Heck, even I was jumping up and down on my couch for that. Spilled the beer, but that's exactly why I keep an extra case in the hall closet =)

Posted by: kdiff813 | June 13, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

GoUnited- Are you kidding about Jakovic? He singlehandedly stopped several Fire opportunties. He's the best central defender we've had in years.

Posted by: DCUMD | June 13, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Jakovic looked pretty solid to me.

Nice production job by CSN too - I'm no technical expert, but I enjoyed the HD cameras and the match commentary. Interesting when Rongen mentioned Jacobson has been helping translate for N'Silu.

Posted by: Pedalada | June 13, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I like Jakovic. Early-ish in the first half he worked around two guys and then sent a perfect pass from the middle out to the flank.

If I were Fred I would be looking at Crayton -- a veteran with skills, but prone to gaffes and OVERPAID, with cheaper guys banging on the gates -- and I'd be worried.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | June 13, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Had a GREAT time at the game tonight. I cannot understand why you folks stay at home. Stood and chanted with the Barra for the first half, then took nice seats on the other side for the 2nd half. And, I could hear the Barra from there. Some very young girls behind me started in with the Barra chants, so I helped them out. Plus, I got to see a very exciting game.

As for the game -- I did not see any penalty by Busch. Had no idea why there was spot kick. On the other hand, I did not see a foul later, when the Fire got the penalty kick. Goff says I was a just call against Jakovic. I could not say. Other than that, I did not notice any hiccups from Jakovic, so I would be interested to hear from GoUnited what he saw at home.

Fred really blew it on the first goal -- twice. Took an unnecessary risk trying to intercept the cross, which he missed -- really he should have been defending the wide man -- then he did not catch up to the guy he chose to defend and let him score. He had a few bad giveaways, too. Not his best game.

Gomez was great. Burch had his best game in a year. And, Wicks -- I said he could save it, just before the shot. Very cool when he go it. I think he may turn out to be the best goalie to wear the United shirt. I always say I like what Boyzzz brings to the lineup. Tonight was the ultimate expression of that. I would love to see more where that came from. Great game. Great fun. Come on out....

Posted by: fischy | June 13, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Fred just seems better in the middle. He had a good game against NE there.

Posted by: tpm26 | June 13, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Jakovic is a solid defender maybe better then Namoff, definately our best CB.

Fred is great when he is on, but I can't remember when the last time that was.

I'll give Wicks credit he's by far our best keeper. But I think the league's two best are playing in Seattle tonight.

Posted by: bighungry | June 13, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@GoUnited: I was agreeing with your post until I got to the part about Jakovic. Dude, what are you smoking? Jakovic had an excellent game tonight. lol @ John replacing Jakovic based on the 10 minutes he played tonight.

@bighungry: I agree with you about Fred. Maybe he still has a lot on his mind, but tonight wasn't his night.

I am trying to like N'Silu. He's got size and everything but Khumalo outworked him in the few minutes he (Khumalo) played. Maybe Boyzz got the benefit of running against weak defenders but he just seemed to be all over the place and a step quicker. I wonder what he can do with 90 minutes.

Posted by: tundey | June 14, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Screw you guys... I'm going home?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 14, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Concerned about Wicks and Moreno. Both limped off, and Wicks may have looked the worse of the two. Looked like a knee, the way he kept testing it. He called the sideline for help twice in the second half, and Kocic was up at one point.

The ref was whistle happy all night, but by rule both PKs were fair. Harsh use of the rules, sure, but I don't think you can say the ref was wrong.

Great to see DCU go up against a class team and WIN.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 14, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I kinda want to see Peters in action one of these days... If he never gets a chance, you'd have to imagine it's him and N'Silu to be left unprotected when Philly comes along

Posted by: carmines757 | June 14, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I really doubt that both PKs were fair by even the strictest interpretation of the rules. Clearly, Fire's GK made contact with Pontius AFTER the ball had been played. And it was clearly accidental contact 'cos you could see him contorting his body to avoid Chris.

Still, good to see for DC convert our PK and Wicks save theirs. For those who were here last season, if you remember during the criticism of Crayton, we all said one thing you needed from your GK was to save your ass every once in a while. Wicks has done that at least twice this year. He's saved shots from 1-on-1 situations. And he's cheaper than Crayton too.

Posted by: tundey | June 14, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I kinda want to see Peters in action one of these days... If he never gets a chance, you'd have to imagine it's him and N'Silu to be left unprotected when Philly comes along

Posted by: carmines757 | June 14, 2009 1:07 AM
__________________________________________

If the next expansion draft is run like previous ones, over half the squad will be left unprotected, surely including both N'Silu and Peters. Whether Peters gets a smattering of playing time won't make any difference.

Posted by: universityandpark | June 14, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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