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United Rewind

D.C. United ended up winning Saturday at RFK, so in the locker room afterward, it was okay to joke about Bryan Namoff's "two-goal" performance.

"He's just mad he can't score on me in training, so he put one past me tonight," goalkeeper Josh Wicks said with a laugh.

"He had a career night -- he scored two goals," Coach Tom Soehn said of his veteran right back, whose go-ahead, diving header early in the second half was just his third goal in league play in nine seasons.

Namoff said of the own goal: "It was a miscommunication on my part. I let the ball roll past me. I thought Josh was closer than he was and was coming out for the ball. Then I heard him say, 'Away!' So I was just trying to get a little piece of the ball to clear it. I tried to flip the ball over. Unfortunately I hit it with the outside of my foot. It was one of those hiccups that I never want to replay again."

All in all, an impressive final 45 minutes by United after a rough first half. Read my match report with quotes. Watch Namoff's header.

Personnel News: With Canada eliminated from the Gold Cup, defender Dejan Jakovic will return to Washington soon. Midfielder Clyde Simms says he has been dealing with an adductor injury for quite a while, and that's the reason he departed in the 72nd minute against the Rapids. It might be a sports hernia, he said, and although surgery has been discussed, he is going to try to continue playing. Good thing United picked up Danny Szetela this week, eh?

PLAYER RATINGS
Wicks 7; Namoff 6, Janicki 5, Burch 6; Khumalo 4, Simms 6, Olsen 6.5, Gomez 8, Fred 6.5; Pontius 5, Emilio 6. Subs: Moreno 7, Wallace 6, McTavish 6.

Read Paul Tenorio's story about the Freedom, whose goalkeepers coach -- yes, coach -- entered the game in the second half.

By Steve Goff  |  July 19, 2009; 12:41 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: Gold Cup
Next: Sunday Open House

Comments

Real World DC?
anyone who gave those pseudo-celebrities the time of day :cough: La Barra Brava :cough:
should be ashamed.

They are the lamest bunch of people to be followed by cameras.
Real World Dupont...


Good game though!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 19, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed it, sounds like it was a blast to watch (second half, anyway).

Everybody come to San Jose next week! In Buck Shaw stadium, you'll be able to hear what Wicks is saying to Namoff.

Posted by: dccal | July 19, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Ratings are pretty spot on, but Boyzzz shouldn't have been a 4. He was one of our few bright spots in that first half. I also thought Wicks didn't have much do to (a six, maybe) and that Olsen was rather mediocre.

Posted by: GoUnited | July 19, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

I just realized something that is very strange. I played on-line FIFA once (only once) this week with DC United.

I scored three goals. In order, the scorers were Moreno, Namoff (on a corner too), and Emilio. Pretty freaky!

Posted by: GoUnited | July 19, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

@dccal

You forget perhaps the worst miss I've seen all year early in the game. Overall, he seemed to have the speed and awareness, but not an ounce of quality in the final pass or shot.

As for Namoff... how beautiful those were. After the first half, I would never have predicted this.

Oh yeah, and Janicki is borderline awful.

I'm excited to see Szetela. I bet McTavish isn't, though. He's still in our commercials.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 19, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how excited I am to get Jakovic back from Canadian NT duty. Dunno if he was trying to head the ball out of danger or ducking it in the sequence that resulted in Honduras' only goal.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 19, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

TheWashDipsSince88: What, exactly, do you think people in the Barra should be ashamed of re: those Real World bozos? Please be specific. Most everyone around me was singularly unhappy they were around.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 19, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Did the Real World kids actually do anything that inconvenienced anyone? If not, give them a break. Look at it this way: A popular, well-known reality show just spent 90 minutes on the loud side, even though the Nats were at home at the same time. That's positive, right?

On to the matter at hand: The first half was abysmal. Colorado didn't offer much in terms of quality, but they kept their shape and were aggressive. Their high line and pressure from the front got them their goal and generally made us uncomfortable. At halftime, I would have given only Simms and Gomez anything higher than a 5 (with a few below that). I thought Simms was our best player, since he did well to prevent Colorado's consistent presence upfield from ever developing into real possession. The way we were defending, if we had started letting them string some passes together we were looking at a pretty ugly scoreline.

Then, as seemingly always, Moreno came on and everyone began doing everything better. First, he and Gomez create the penalty, which he buried (and appeared to want extra credit for degree of difficulty by roofing it). Namoff's goal erased his own goal, and the third was just a case of Gomez being both hungrier and more intelligent than Baudet, who didn't impress me much on his debut.

Once we had a less hectic presence on in place of Khumalo, we had enough people capable of slowing things down to control the game and slowly force Colorado to have a deeper line, while simultaneously tiring them by making them chase the ball. I'm not blaming Khumalo alone for the first half, but that one more crafty player is what we really needed, and Moreno delivered.

My ratings differ from SG's:
Wicks - 5.5; Namoff - 5, Janicki - 4.5, Burch - 5; Khumalo - 4.5, Simms - 6, Olsen - 5.5, Fred - 6; Gomez - 8; Pontius - 5.5, Emilio - 6.5. Subs: Moreno - 7, Wallace - 5, McTavish - 5.

Janicki frankly might even deserve a 4, since Casey bossed him around for almost the entire match. I think he looks distinctly uncomfortable in a back three; he is certainly not the player he is in a back four. Namoff scored a spectacular goal, but his first half was his worst 45 minutes of the season even without the own goal. Burch, oddly, was for most of the game our best defender. Khumalo had the awful miss, but I thought other than that he elicited little more than a shrug, so going lower than 4.5 seems harsh to me. Gomez was MOTM, and Moreno was right on his heels. I am tempted to give Fred a 6.5, since he hit that perfect cross that Emilio should have buried in the 1st half.

All in all, the poor first half is wiped away by a much stronger 2nd half performance. Colorado is good at what they are (a team of hard workers and athletes), and that type of team has often troubled us. Plus, any win we can get without Quaranta and Jakovic, and only partial games from Moreno and Simms, has to be considered a good thing.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 19, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

The second half was a world apart for one reason: Jaime Moreno. It took all of one minute to go from chaotic to calm and lethal. It was his unfair play (unfairly good) on the sideline that set up the Gomez backline play. Talk about making the people around you better ...

Posted by: granadoskerry | July 19, 2009 5:36 AM | Report abuse

SG--very good point about the timing of acquiring Szetela while Simms has a chronic injury issue. Let's hope that Szetela proves to be "shovel-ready" as a player and contribute right now. If so, he's not just a good investment for the future but a possible piece of the puzzle of a 2009 championship.

Lovely final 45 minutes. Here's the key--Colorado is a difficult team to play against--that's what makes our final 45 minutes so nice--our guys made it look easy at times. As for the first half, I write that up to a combination of Colorado's frontline is a combination of speed, size, strength that requires you to either match those attributes or be on the top of your game--and if you aren't you'll struggle. Namoff and Janicki may have looked unimpressive but I think that was a function of rust and the nature of who they were marking.

Posted by: JoeW1 | July 19, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

@christopher_a_metzler:
ashamed at the actions of some of the members giving them free jerseys and just huddling over them.

I was sitting maybe 3 rows from them in the same section. Many didnt know who they were until word started to spread around. I was waiting to see if someone was going to give them a beer bath.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

So will there be an episode of the show where they will show the goings on with the Barra? Anyone familiar enough with such high quality television know if they show replays, or whatever? Is that garbage on the regular old MTV? I think I get it...
It's really awesome to see the boys score on corners, especially Namoff with the nearpost dive.
The club did what they needed to do.
& thank goodness that we do have McT, Jacobson, and now Danny boy to help out if Simms needs to sit, or worse?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 19, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You holier than thou types are a laugh...

Posted by: CHICO13 | July 19, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I like a combination of Chesty's and Goffinho's ratings. I'm going with Chesty's 4.5 for Janicki, although I'd mark him a 4. He seemed consistently overmatched in the back 3 and mostly just barely survived the attacks. Khumalo, again, is fast and quick with nothing coming of all that effort. I'm going to agree with Goff's 4 rating for him. I would bet on his not being with United next year after the past few games we've seen.

Why does the team seem to elevate its level of play when Jaime comes in? I understand that he and Gomez have an amazing connection, they can see each other's runs before they've started them, but why can't the rest of the team have the confidence when he's not in the lineup?

Posted by: DrBeaker | July 19, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

News on Cory Gibbs? I hope it's nothing serious, but he has leg issues like Benny has ankle issues.

Posted by: JkR- | July 19, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Easy on Janicki. He had some Erpen like moments, sure, but in the end we kept a clean sheet . . . well, sort of, I mean THEY didn't score on us.

He'd be better in a 4 back line, and needs to improve his position and reads. Jakovic is able to see plays ahead of time and move to the right spots. Janicki needs to see the game a bit better.

Either way, Casey didn't score or really threaten much.

Posted by: delantero | July 19, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

You holier than thou types are a laugh...
Posted by: CHICO1

True, but you gotta agree that most of the Real World/Reality TV folks are just a ridiculous bunch of punks, but I can't blame a bunch of drinking Barra members who fawn over cute girls, reality show or not.

Posted by: delantero | July 19, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Olsen a 6.5 and Pontius a 5? Wow, that makes no sense. I've never been more impressed with Pontius than last night. Incredible toughness and energy, stripping the ball from CO players all over the field. He would not be denied. Meanwhile, unless he starts the game with a 7, I have no idea why Olsen is rated so highly, yet again. Maybe it's just the glue he provides?

And, once again, Khumalo stinks. In two seasons of league matches I have never seen him display any of the qualities of a professional soccer player. Clearly Soehn sees something in training that the rest of us don't, so I wish I could hear him explain exactly what that is. As it is, his presence on the roster, never mind the starting lineup on a healthy squad, certainly adds a level of baffled wonderment to the proceedings.

Janicki had a rough night too but he did survive. His positional sense is much improved, so you don't see attackers just dancing past him quite so often. He still has trouble reading long balls, and clearing and passing the ball - nerves, fatigue? - and deserves his low rating, but I liked the effort nonetheless.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How strange is it that DC United and Columbus Crew have the exact same records? Both are 6 wins, 3 losses, 9 ties overall. At home they are both 5 wins, 4 ties. On the road they are both 1 win, 3 losses, 5 ties.

I think DCU's record is bizarre (same number of ties as wins and losses combined, plus the home/away discrepancy), but to have another conference rival having the same record is even more strange.

Here's a prediction: this is going to be one of the tightest regular season races for playoff spots in MLS history (thanks in part to the playoff qualification structure)

Posted by: diego_r | July 19, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I continue to be amazed that people feel that Burch is playing well. He had an atrocious game. He is a solid defender, I'll give me that, but in possession or when the ball is at his feet he is a complete nightmare. Rating him a 6 is ludicrous. His performance Saturday was a 4 at best. During the next match, please pay attention to the percentage of passes he completes and how many times he gives the ball away while not under pressure. I am not picking on the guy, but he is a liability in the back.

Posted by: therealfootball | July 20, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

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