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D.C. United News & Notes

Santino Quaranta, away with the national team for a month and suspended for the Champions League opener Tuesday, has been training all week and seems set to start Saturday night at Houston.

Would you put him upfront with Jaime Moreno or Luciano Emilio? On the right side of midfield? And what to do about Fred and Chris Pontius? Assuming United stays with a 3-5-2, who will join Ben Olsen in defensive midfield -- Danny Szetela, Andrew Jacobson or John DiRaimondo?

*Rodney Wallace will serve a yellow card suspension while Clyde Simms (hernia) and Boyzzz Khumalo (wrist) remain out.

Did You Know: United has never won at Houston in all competitions (0-3-1), never scored at Houston and all three goals conceded were scored by Brian Ching.

For Coach Tom Soehn's strong comments about none of his players being named to the 32-man MLS all-star list (18 for the actual game, 14 for recognition and bonuses), please keep reading.....

Soehn is not upset with All-Star Coach Dominic Kinnear (Houston), who "had nothing to do with it; obviously, he couldn't pick [extra players] from three teams," including United, because of Champions League match conflicts this week.

However, "I think it's a motivation for our guys to be looked over, regardless of their playing in the game but at least being selected to the 32. For me, it's shocking to see that none of our guys were there. It's almost disrespectful. I know I wasn't happy about it so I can imagine their feelings on it. They were slighted and it was wrong, for sure."

Look for my feature about Quaranta in Saturday's print edition (available online later today).

By Steve Goff  |  July 31, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Early Saturday Kickaround

Comments

good!! maybe rhey will start to play with a big chip on their shoulders!!

Posted by: torrey151 | July 31, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I felt the same way as Tommy regarding the selections.

Posted by: sitruc | July 31, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

And I feel the same way as torrey151. These guys clearly need something to light a fire under their butts. Maybe All-Star snubs will be enough to get them going.

Posted by: Kenobi | July 31, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

---------Wicks
--Namoff-Jakovic-Burch(?)
-----Olsen-Szetela
Quaranta--Gomez---Fred
-----Emilio-Pontius

Bench-Moreno, Allen, McTavish, Jacobson, DiRaimondo, Janicki, John, Kocic

Posted by: combedge | July 31, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops - one too many subs. Janicki can stay home and think about his giveaway v. Firpo...plus, he probably offers the least amount of position flexibility.

Posted by: combedge | July 31, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Quaranta is far better on the right and Pontius up top/withdrawn striker...we need somebody to step up and play the left side though (Fred has been absolutely horrid of late, both there and in the middle)

Posted by: HowdyDCU | July 31, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Combedge got the starting eleven perfectly. Moreno as super-sub works for me. I wonder what happens if Olsen gets hurt or Szetela cant handle the hot weather... who would you put there to hold midfield? (please dont say DiRaimondo)

Dont bother submitting other ideas for a starting lineup, as they will be flawed.

Posted by: juanma_carr | July 31, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I cant think of 1 United Player that deserved to be at the All Star game more than the ones that were actually voted on or picked.

Posted by: francisco_11 | July 31, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, Soehn better find some way to motivate the players. It might be too late to motivate the fans.

"Would you put him upfront with Jaime Moreno or Luciano Emilio? On the right side of midfield? And what to do about Fred and Chris Pontius? Assuming United stays with a 3-5-2, who will join Ben Olsen in defensive midfield -- Danny Szetela, Andrew Jacobson or John DiRaimondo?"

Given past results, I would tank the game in Houston like the game last Tuesday was tanked. Then try to win on Tuesday in El Salvador with the starting team and give everyone a day or two off at the beach w beer and pupusas before coming back.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 31, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Like soccer fans who grew up in Manchester routing for United or Liverpool, fans in Madrid following Real Madrid, I feel the same way with DC United. Born and raised in DC, with flowing blood of black and red. Everyone hates us, because we are the most storied club in American soccer. I could care less that none of our players were recognized by the media and MLS front office. All that matters is fans in DC know they have the best players in the MLS on their team.

Sucks to be everyone else in MLS.

Posted by: adamsunited | July 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break Tommy, the reason I only voted once was because I thought you'd needed all your boys to stay focused on Champions League. Silly me. Never mind getting some W's instead of breaking records with ties in league play. Sheeeesh!

Interesting stats about Houston there Steve. What gives? According to the majority Ching sucks. He's slow, and powerless, a disgrace of a target forward... Unless of course he's playing against the international powerhouse that is DC United ey?

If Tommy needs to use Allstar snubs for motivation, I'm really starting to have doubts in his ability to get this team into the right frame of mind for the last leg of the season. Please prove me wrong, coach!

It's too bad this guy isn't around anymore, maybe they could just watch this montage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcR7hr4LLQg

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm fairly confident that United will come away with a point in Houston. They certainly won't win though... I bet DC United ends the season with over 15 draws.

Posted by: TCompton | July 31, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Janicki was a decent signing last year when we were playing a 4-4-2, but he's just way way way too slow in the middle of a three-man back line. Not to mention his often terrible decisions with the ball.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | July 31, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone picked up Terry Cooke? He would be a good addition.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 31, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Ching is a solid MLS forward. Not as solid as Twellman. Neither were above the danger bar as far as creating their own chances on the international level. That's why they haven't made the move.

As far as the lineup, get Fred the hell off the pitch. The only thing more disgraceful than Wallace's handball was Fred's play vs. San Jose.

Lineup.

Wicks
Namoff-Jakovic-Burch
Szetela-Olsen
Quaranta-Gomez-Wallace
Luciano-Pontius

We need a win, people, and we don't have any impact players off the bench, (McTavish or N'Silu, anyone?) If the club decided the Champion's League was that worthless, fine. Then let's get in the playoffs, it's going to be tight.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 31, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is a 3-5-2 formation set in stone this year, when DCU's been largely disappointing?

Why not restore the 4-4-2, but keep it diamond-shaped in the midfield with Gomez at the tip and Olsen at the bottom sweeping up, Quaranta and Fred free on the right and left to either use the flanks or cut inside, with Emilio and Pontius as strikers? You could have Namoff, Jakovic, Janeki, and Burch as the back four with Namoff and Burch allowed to press up in attack, and Olsen with instructions to hold back to snuff out any breaks.

3-5-2 has been a very stale formation this year and while there's time, Soehn should be figuring out some other strategy that better suits the playing staff he has.

Posted by: gooner71 | July 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I like Combedge's starting XI, although the lineup completely omits Wallace, even as a benchwarmer. My guess is that Tommy goes with UnitedDemon's XI, with Wallace starting in place of Fred, but I'd like to get him a little work before the trip to El Salvador. He's been awful for at least the last six weeks (I'm thinking of his misses in the USOC game against NYRB), but I keep hoping it will start to click for him. If he's on, he's a better player than Wallace, but we have not seen that out of Fred yet this year. My guess is Wallace gets the start -- maybe Fred comes on as a sub.

I would prefer to limit Moreno's minutes in advance of the trip, so I think he should be held in reserve for a second-half. It would be interesting to have Fred and Moreno come on as subs and prove UnitedDemon wrong about lacking impact players off the bench.

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I feel the same way with DC United. Born and raised in DC, with flowing blood of black and red. Everyone hates us, because we are the most storied club in American soccer. I could care less that none of our players were recognized by the media and MLS front office. All that matters is fans in DC know they have the best players in the MLS on their team.

Sucks to be everyone else in MLS.

Posted by: adamsunited | July 31, 2009 12:25 PM |
--------------------------------------------------

United Born
United Bred
La Barra Brava Black and Red
Where DC is, that's where we'll be
United is our destiny
DC Ole DC Ole DC Ole ole ole DC ole DC ole DC ole ole ole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=styMOi2kZ0Q

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

These days. that's my favorite Brava cheer...

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

More wins + fewer ties = more all star nominations.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 31, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It is disrespectful and I am glad Soehn is addressing it strongly. Especially when you consider that the woeful RedBulls have 1 player selected.

Posted by: tundey | July 31, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Steve,
Is David Habagavbagddj still training with United during contract negotiations? Thanks.

Posted by: mikeycuffs | July 31, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Why is a 3-5-2 formation set in stone this year, when DCU's been largely disappointing?

Why not restore the 4-4-2...?

3-5-2 has been a very stale formation this year and while there's time, Soehn should be figuring out some other strategy that better suits the playing staff he has.

Posted by: gooner71 | July 31, 2009 12:51 PM |

Could be because the one time DCU tried a 4-4-2, they were shredded by the Rapids' attack..

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

As for the all-stars -- DCU has had too much turnover to really have strong candidates. To my mind, Namoff is the only player who's played enough and consistently well enough to be included in the list. So, I don't see it as a slight to the team -- maybe just a slight to Namoff.

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

gooner71 -- We use the 352 instead of the 442 for several reasons. The most direct reason is that we've tried the 442 twice this year and it was disastrous both times. But that's really a symptom of the main reason: the 352 is an imperfect fit to our personnel (imperfect primarily because of the poor defense provided by our outside midfielders), but it's better for our personnel than the 442 is. Gomez' effectiveness drops off dramatically -- he becomes almost worthless -- when he doesn't have two central midfielders to ping the ball off of while being pressured. And Ben Olsen is absolutely incapable of being a lone dmid against any serious opposition.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 31, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The reason Wallace isn't in many of the lineups, is he's out due to Yellow-Card accumulation.

This being on the road against Houston, I'd run a 4-4-2.

Namoff-----Jakovic---Janicki------Burch
-----------------Olsen-----------------
Quaranta---------------------------Fred
-----------------Gomez-----------------
-----------Pontius---Emilio------------

Subs: Kocic, Moreno, Szetela, Jacobsen, McTavish, John, Allen

I wouldn't mind the same lineup on Tuesday, but swap Wallace for Fred, Moreno for Emilio, and possibly Szetela for Olsen if he can't start again so quickly after a match. Hopefully Benny can at least go for 65-70 minutes Saturday.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 31, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

----------Emilio------Pontius-----------
-----------------Gomez------------------
Fred----------------------------Quaranta
----------Olsen---------Sztela----------
Burch------------Jakovic----------Namoff
-----------------Wicks------------------

Quaranta plays on the wing because that's his best position (I know people disagree, but I don't understand why). Pontius goes up top because that's his best position (again, kind of can't believe there's a debate about this). Moreno gets a rest because he's played a lot this past week and isn't a spring chicken. Sztela lines up beside Olsen because last time I checked, Sztela was a pretty good soccer player, which is something Andrew Jacobsen has never been. It's probably for the best that Wallace is suspended this week; he's dropped off recently.

Posted by: jsm91 | July 31, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope this article means a bonus for Steve.

maybe the downturn in the economy has led parents to sign their kids up for SAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT prep courses? Do they have courses for beep tests?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 31, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

please no Fred. He's be terrible most of the season. Let him sit at the end of the bench.

Put our best 11 out there. Moreno and Emilio up top. Pontius and Quaranta in the outside mf spots. I guess Szetela with Olsen.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 31, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Damn. Forgot about Wallace being out.

Amazing. Fred doesn't deserve to see the field. Neither does Wallace, but I'll take amateur mistake over veteran worthlessness anyday.

fischy, you cut me to the quick. I guess at some point I would have to hypothetically agree with Soehn on the starting eleven, but that is because our depth became our starters less than half way through the season. I honestly think Szetela should start With our best players, then we will see how good he really is.

As far as the 4 in the back, we've only got two solid defenders. Do the math.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced Pontius' best position is up top. He's shown a propensity to either shoot right at the goalie, or miss the frame completely. He could be a stellar striker, but that requires being a much better finisher than he is right now. At this point, he is a terrific distributor -- I think United looks most dangerous when he is in the midfield. Same with Quaranta, except he needs to be on the wing.

I think Pontius should start up top, letting Moreno come fof the bench, because I don't think there's a beeter option. That said, I don't think that this is the ideal place for Pontius.

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Santino's return, are we ditching the road whites for some plaid shorts and pastel jerseys?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 31, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

United Born
United Bred
La Barra Brava Black and Red
Where DC is, that's where we'll be
United is our destiny
DC Ole DC Ole DC Ole ole ole DC ole DC ole DC ole ole ole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=styMOi2kZ0Q

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 12:57 PM

I like that one a lot, too, but I think we'd get a bigger sound out of it if got passed around to everyone more generically as "DC United black and red" (which has the same meter and doesn't involve Barra-exclusive singing). I would love to have that song ringing around the stadium for minutes at a time, with *everyone* singing.

Posted by: sec133row5 | July 31, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Santino's return, are we ditching the road whites for some plaid shorts and pastel jerseys?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 31, 2009 2:16 PM |

I like the sound of that for a 3rd kit. I'd settle for white jerseys and black shorts like they wore in Charleston. I think the white shorts are bad luck.;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Can we get weekend TV Listings please?

Posted by: CityBlues | July 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fedssocr | July 31, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I like that one a lot, too, but I think we'd get a bigger sound out of it if got passed around to everyone more generically as "DC United black and red" (which has the same meter and doesn't involve Barra-exclusive singing). I would love to have that song ringing around the stadium for minutes at a time, with *everyone* singing.

Posted by: sec133row5 | July 31, 2009 2:25 PM |
------------------------------------------------

Sounds good to me. What about it, Barra songmasters?

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Santino's return, are we ditching the road whites for some plaid shorts and pastel jerseys?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 31, 2009 2:16 PM
-----------------------------------------------

Too warm in Houston for green cardigan warm-ups?

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see

----------Wicks----------
Namoff----Jakovic----Burch
----Olsen------Szetela----
Quaranta-----------Pontius
----------Gomez----------
----Emilio------Moreno----

Posted by: Konoha7 | July 31, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Is David Habagavbagddj still training with United during contract negotiations? Thanks.


Posted by: mikeycuffs | July 31, 2009 1:03 PM

********************************

Please let's not get in the habit of butchering this guy's name before he ever even suits up for United.

It's not David Habagavbagddj, not David Havanagilah, it's David Habana Village:

http://www.havanavillage.com/salsa.html

That's not so difficult now, is it?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 31, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Gracias señor. Boys! Have a tequila!"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 31, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

David Have a tequila? I thought he was a nice Jewish boy: Have a rugelah....

Posted by: fischy | July 31, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So would we all, I'm sure, Konosha7.

I'd also like to see Anybody helpful off the bench, and our schedule is pretty clogged right about now. (Will be far less clogged when we forfeit the game in El Salvador... I mean, "Go out with an aggressive strategy and test our depth.")

Let's hope we win this thing. That being the Dynamo game.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 31, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Can you play Havanagilah?" Billy Crystal
"Gracias señor. Boys! Have a tequila!" Mariachi Bandleader
"No, no. Havanagilah." Billy Crystal

Obscure film reference: Memories of me (1988).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 31, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaFan:

Cooke would be an awful fit for our 3412. If he didn't defend enough for Colorado's 442, with a stay-at-home right back often behind him and the team in general crying out for some class, there's no way he'd do the required work here. Plus, right midfield is probably the last position we need to fill, and at $100K or so he'd take any cap space we might have.

Which is a shame, because I think he's a good player and someone in MLS will benefit from his crosses (which are the best in the league aside from Beckham).

gooner71:

Has DCU been that disappointing? I remember the tone before the season was that we were looking at a rebuilding season. Instead, we're a couple unlucky breaks out of first place in the East. The last 2 results have been disappointing, but that's hardly an indictment of the entire season. Things haven't been perfect, but it's not like we're looking forward to the 2010 draft.

I strongly disagree that we need a formation change. The current squad is built for 3412. In a 442, we can't use Gomez, we can't really use Olsen (he can't cover enough ground to do the job alone), and we're one injury/red card away from having Burch or John as a center back. The 3412 has not been "stale"; we're scoring goals at a rate as high as anyone in MLS. We're defensively poor, but I don't think anyone should be surprised by that. We lack a reliable starter on the left of the back three, and we often send 7 men forward to attack; of course we're going to concede goals.

fischy:

I think we're in agreement about Pontius. At this point, his finishing means he's better further from goal. If that sharpens, he'll be a nightmare to defend as a striker. Currently, though, we could use his technical ability and brains in the midfield. I think he's a better match for the rest of the midfield than even an in-form Fred, for example, because he works more as part of the unit (Fred's tendency to go it alone is both a gift and a curse; he's wildly unpredictable, but only combines well consistently with Emilio).

OWNTF:

All seersucker. The players will also have to wear their firm ground loafers, rather than the replaceables.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 31, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Kind of got carried away responding to others there. When has that ever happened?

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that this fixture (Houston away) is never going to be an easier game for us. Davis and Cameron went 90 in the All Star game, Holden went 63 despite just finishing up with the Gold Cup squad (where he played an awful lot), Clark's mind may be on his upcoming transfer, and they've got a couple injuries. With the squad we sent out in the CCL and the diluted version of the Dynamo we'll be facing, the pressure is on Soehn and the team to take something from this game.

If Soehn plays our best squad, I expect us to take at least a draw here. High hopes to be sure, but I think Houston is there to be taken. However, the draw against Firpo (and the furious reaction from most fans) might have shifted priorities somewhat. I can't rule out Soehn resting a couple guys in Houston to prep for going all out in Usulutan.

My worry is that Soehn will try to give us a chance in both games while going all-out for neither. A mix of first and second choice players might give us a shot against a banged-up Houston, but I think it would play out like our 0-0 draw there (where we went pretty defensive and lucked out from a flat Houston display). Using the same approach against Firpo...who knows. I didn't think Firpo was that impressive, but they showed that they know the best way to play against us, and Leguizamon was a constant threat. MLS teams are notoriously bad on the road in CONCACAF, so I wonder how anything short of our best squad would be able to get the required result. On the other hand, Firpo caught some very lucky breaks (their goal, Gomez and Wallace not burying late chances) here. They're not that good; on a neutral field, I'd expect us to be able to beat them with relative ease.

These two games may pose the biggest challenge to Soehn's skills this season. We need to avoid defeat in both games, both are away, both will be in humid, hot conditions, and we'll have a total of just 22 players to choose from (21 in Houston due to Wallace's suspension). On top of that, 2 of those players are new to the team (Szetela and Allen), and there are several veterans who can't play most of both games for various reasons (Olsen, Gomez, Moreno). I do not envy Soehn in the least right now. However, he does have the opportunity to carve out a season-defining few days. Any MLS club would be extremely proud to win at Houston and at a non-Caribbean CONCACAF opponent in the same season, much less in a 3 day span. Hopefully he and the players step up and seize what is a great opportunity.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 31, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Why have NY's players not yet turned on Osorio? Check out the 3rd paragraph:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=soccer&entryID=4368991

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 31, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Petke is a good writer. Thanks for the link, Mr. Rockwell.

I'm going to go out on a limb and state my praise for Fred. This because I choose to forget San Jose and a handful of other games this season. I think he's got a problem with motivation. Give him some bench time and use him as an energy player off the bench. His quality will show itself again.

I think the thing to do is go for the win in Houston. A team's mentality is fragile. We need a win to boost morale. That, in turn, will boost the energy of the fringe players that we'll need in support of a victory in El Salvador.

Posted by: wjones3044 | July 31, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I am on board with those who suggest that we should put the reserves on display tomorrow night and concentrate on the other away game. In fact, a listserv I am on included this interesting comment on Wednesday from one of our participants:

To my mind, what happened last night is a reflection of the club's insufficient ambition, and the continued unwillingness of team management to think strategically and consistently about what team's
ambitions are. We keep hearing the right things from Kevin Payne -- we are conscious of our brand, and we advance the brand by playing top international teams. And we want to win domestic championships because that is what gains us the ability to platy internationally. But for the past two years, the club has consistently placed international
competition last in priorities. So, we fielded a B team last night and we suffered the consequences. The theory was, we need to keep fresh legs for Houston coming up (and next week they'll say, we need fresh legs for the exhibition game against Real Madrid).

We can give ourselves a good chance of winning a domestic championship if we ensure that the entire first team is rested for the open cup game at home against Seattle. If it were up to me, I would say, save the first team for that and for Concacaf Champions League (which gets us some quality international games in our own region, with the grand prize
of a trip to the world tournament), and put the MLS standings as the third priority.

Soehn can't give the excuse that he wants to give the B teamers a chance so that he can see what they're made of. Bob Bradley can properly say that about the Gold Cup, because WCQ is coming in process and he needs to figure out the last few roster spots for South Africa, which we are likely to make. But Soehn is saving his fresh legs so we can get into the playoffs, so that we can have a chance to compete internationally in games that he will put last in priority next year too. Dumb, dumb, dumb

Posted by: fentysupporter | July 31, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

anyone watched peace cup between Juve and Madrid? Who won? I didn't get to watch it.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 31, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

There's no real sense in trying to advance in CCL. That would add 6 more matches to an already-crowded schedule. What makes you think this team can compete in CCL plus the rest of the MLS season and playoffs. Not to mention all of the added expenses of travel and stadium staff for matches that draw next to no spectators... MLS teams with their small, low-paid rosters are always going to struggle in this competition.

We need to prove to ourselves that we can win on the road and win at one of the top teams in MLS. There may be no better opportunity to do that than this weekend.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 31, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with fedssocr. Until we have 10 million salary at the minimum and have at least 30 men roster with some quality players there is zero chance any of the mls team will advance to ccl. Even though we all dream of such a thing.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 31, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Tommy now knows my frustration at the roster he put out in the CCL!!!

Posted by: boda-united | July 31, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I like the 2 arguments put forward by wjones3044 and fentysupporter. On one hand, one can imagine that all the talk of this being a good locker room could dry up if results start to turn. I don't see any bad eggs in the group, but if the team goes on a prolonged streak of losses and ties (rather than ties and wins, as has been the case) morale will certainly drop, and we'll probably finish this season much as we did the last.

On the other hand, fentysupporter's quote brings up a good point: At what time do we stop making our goal to qualify for a competition and start making it to win said competition? In the Open Cup, the club is willing to outbid anyone to keep the games at home, but still sends out reserve-laden sides. That's the definition of a mixed message.

With regards to the CCL, I don't think it helps anyone if we qualify and then send the reserves to get hammered by Toluca and Marathon (essentially competing for third with San Francisco or San Juan Jabloteh). If we're going to go for it, we need to go all out. Our first team can compete with Toluca, should be able to take 3 or 4 points off of Marathon, and should win home and away over San Francisco/San Juan Jabloteh. 10 points should be enough to qualify for the quarterfinals, and 3 wins (or even 2 wins and a draw) at RFK would put us in a nearly unassailable position. However, our reserve team will probably only be able to get points against the minnows, and we'll crash out again.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 31, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to gauge X Games attendance tonight. The staging and positioning for all of the equipment in the Staples Center is ridiculous. Outdoor looked pretty weak. The main stadium of the HDC looked good in the background.

Posted by: sitruc | July 31, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Sparse crowd for the Super X Adaptive Final at the HDC. I have nothing but respect for the guys out there in this event. This is pretty inspirational stuff.

Posted by: sitruc | July 31, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@DCUnitedFootball: Juve won 2-1

Cannavaro
Ronaldo (PK)
Salimiwhosawhatsmyname

Posted by: Konoha7 | July 31, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

@sitruc: what's in your monster energy drink? It is impossible to judge attendance at a freaking Xgames. I know you know that. All it take is one kid to light a crazy dank blunt out in the concourse to empty hella seats...;-)Plenty of folks out and about for the late night stanklwitz. Are the HDC and Staples center near each other?
Party boy! Party Boy! Party Boy! Party Boy!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"Are the HDC and Staples center near each other?"

@Dadryan: Not even close -- the Staples Center is up by downtown LA, the HDC down in the South Bay. It's about 12 miles between the two on the 110 and 91 freeways.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | July 31, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

big ten four there sports nut.
Sooo, if I'm not mistaken some of these X Games events are taking place miles from each other?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 1, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Tony DiCicco, head coach of the Boston Breakers, is suspended for his team's August 1 match vs Saint Louis Athletica, fined $1,000 and required to perform six hours of community service to the sport of soccer. The WPS Disciplinary Committee issued this decision after DiCicco publicly criticized game officials after the Breakers match vs the Washington Freedom on July 29.
What would Beckham do?

Damn. I just turned on espn and Becky was on SportsCenter as I typed that. Why is he on SC? Why is he on this edition? Becks is still going with the handshake line. Can they be called BSPN again? Of course the hardest hitting question was Becky being asked about his kids thoughts of his underwear ads.

Posted by: sitruc | August 1, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

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