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Early Wednesday Kickaround

*Read my D.C. United match report with fiery quotes from the Rochester coach. For those of you who were at Maryland SoccerPlex, what did you think of the midfield incident that resulted in a serious injury?

*United's opponent in the U.S. Open Cup championship match Sept. 2 at RFK Stadium will be the Seattle Sounders, who scored an 89th-minute equalizer and then defeated visiting Houston in overtime, 2-1, on Stephen King's goal. Sounders defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off in overtime and will miss the final.

*United player ratings: Kocic 7, Namoff 7, Janicki 6, John 6; McTavish 7, Jacobson 6, Wallace 5.5, Khumalo 6, Fred 5.5; Moreno 6.5, N'Silu 5. Subs: Pontius 5, DiRaimondo 5, Gomez 5.

*In the World Football Challenge, goals by Didier Drogba early in the first half and Frank Lampard early in the second led Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan before 81,000-plus at the Rose Bowl.

*Three days after edging Canada in Rochester, N.Y., the USA women's national team will face its northern rivals again Wednesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

For the complete TV schedule, including an early-morning treat, go to the continuation of this thread.....

*Soccer on TV:
Friendly: Thailand-Liverpool 9 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel
World Football Challenge in Atlanta: AC Milan-Club America 7 p.m. ESPN2
Women's friendly: USA-Canada 8 p.m. FSC

By Steve Goff  |  July 22, 2009; 12:55 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. Open Cup , USL , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight: United-Rhinos
Next: SoccerPlex, Open Cup, TFC Friendly


All of these Canada friendlies get really old.

Posted by: sitruc | July 22, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Goff -- DiRaimondo's tackle was the subject of much discussion in the earlier thread. No absolute consensus -- the fact that he did get the ball has some of us trying to justify the tackle -- but it was a crazy hard challenge. If he hadn't got such a solid strike on the ball, I'd say it's an easy red card call. There were several mystifying calls in this game.

You're being a bit harsh on Pontius. Yes, he missed his chances to score, but he was giving the Rochester defense fits with his runs. And, maybe a bit too generous for Fred.

Posted by: fischy | July 22, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted this in a thread late yesterday, but since the game is mentioned here thought I would put it up again:

Washington Freedom is having an event at Garretts in Georgetown tomorrow night (starting at 7) to watch the WNT team play against Canada. Some of the Freedom players will be guest bartenders.

Heard there might be a five dollar cover at the door but all the money goes to Freedom Inspires, which promotes youth soccer initiatives. More on Freedom Inspires here:

Posted by: soccerfan80 | July 22, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse


I disagree with your defense of Pontius. He gave up several balls and on the breakaway he was unable to finish; the goalie left the right side of the goal wide open (I was right behind the net).

On the tackle, I think it was a good non-call. Reminds me of good ol' high school play. And, as a ref, I saw he got the ball cleanly first so I would've let it play on knowing the harsh criticism I would receive. Any other refs on here who saw it firsthand?

While we're on the discussion of refs...Anyone see the Chelsea v Milan game? Did anyone see those ridiculous ref kits? Looked like American football uniforms.

John Harkes blows.

Posted by: redskinsux | July 22, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

I thought Wallace was our only hope for a goal late in the game. He made a couple of dangerous runs to their end line late in the game. Maybe not being used to playing on real grass could have been the cause for the defender's miscue on DCU's game winning goal.

Posted by: MitchTooMuch | July 22, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

I had a very good view of the tackle and it looked completely clean to me. Don't know if DiRamaindo's upper body might have caught the guy as he slid past but there was no contact from DiRamaindo's feet or legs. All ball, clean tackle, great tackle.

Maybe the Rochester coach shouldn't be so quick to make judgments about what happened when he couldn't possibly have seen it from his sideline. I guess it's easy to blame the ref as an excuse for the loss.

The reffing was terrible, but I thought Rochester got the overwhelming benefit of the poor calls.

Posted by: BKMD | July 22, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

To my eye, the DiRaimondio play was a harsh challenge, deserving of a yellow card, even given the contact with the ball first and without consideration of the resulting injury.

The officiating was mystifying for the entire evening. Among the most inconsistently called games I've seen and, in the MLS, that's saying something. Modest challenges on ball in the air were whistled, while elbow-first collissions went uncalled. You never had the impression the center ref was in control out there.

The assistant referee on the bleacher side was too quick with the offside flag (signalling when there was no active involvement in play), but apparently too timid to call fouls (including one egregious handling in the penalty area) that, given the referee's position, were his to call.

Not a great night for the third team on the pitch.

Posted by: Grade8 | July 22, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the ratings on Wallace and N'Silu. Wallace was everywhere, making steals in the back and creating chances up front. N'Silu turned in one of the most lackadaisical performances I've ever seen.

Posted by: granadoskerry | July 22, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

The Rochester player, Darren Kenton's career maybe over following that challenge. His fibula is shattered, ankle completely dislocated with every major ligament suffering a severe tear. If he plays again it will be amazing.

Posted by: DrewROC | July 22, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Khumalo with a 6?

Yes, he scored the winning goal, but I lost count on his bad giveaways, bad touches and shockingly poor decisions at about 100.

4 at best for him. He was terrible and has been playing his way down the roster. Him scoring the goal will raise his profile a bit, but honestly, he was terrible.

Posted by: ARickey | July 22, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

To those who were there:

Where was the foul committed on the field? Was it near the Rhino's bench?

The coach is justified in protecting his player and sticking up for him. But this kind of stuff happens in soccer. Look at Jimmy Bullard's horrific knee injury a couple years ago, and Eduardo's leg shattering injury.

I hope Kenton comes back, but would like to know if the coach had a good vantage point on the tackle to back up his claims.

Posted by: adamsunited | July 22, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game, but glad to see in the notes that some of DCU's depth players did well.

Wishing Khumalo the best of care, a speedy recovery, followed by years of success and enjoyment with some other soccer team.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 22, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

@DrewRoc and all of the Rochester fans. I really hope that Kenton's injury isn't as bad as it initially sounds. I hope that he can make a recovery and return to the field, professionaly.


Posted by: yankiboy | July 22, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse


The tackle (I refuse to call it a foul without seeing replay showing it was indeed) happened pretty close to the center of the field IIRC. Definitely in the middle width-wise.

The player who got injured had his back to the coach. DiRamaindo slid in in front of him. No way the coach could have seen what kind of contact actually occurred. All he would have seen was DiRamaindo sliding in (from the side of the oblivious player) and his player going down.

Posted by: BKMD | July 22, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Thailand vs. Liverpool?

The one thing I was surprised at was that there were unsold seats at the Rose Bowl; that can hold more than 90,000.

Posted by: bs2004 | July 22, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I stand by what I said in the other thread, which is that it was a very hard tackle and definitely deserved a yellow. It was reckless, regardless of whether he got the ball or not, he was going to go straight through the player. The injury was very horrible, and I don't think that the card should be based on that, but the reckless challenge.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | July 22, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Why does every match at the 'Plex become a circus? At a minimum there's always argy - bargy, but we've also had a fracas (with Blanco) and usually horrific injuries?

Glad to be done with that field.

(BTW, given Wambach's routine play there, they may need to double up the EMT's at the match. Just sayin'.)

Posted by: JkR- | July 22, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, if the reaction of the Panama players after the PK and after the game is any indication, coaches and players are not hardwired to think objectively about whether or not the foul, the card, or the non call, are justified. Their player was injured, they want blood.

This is a bit like the howlings of Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, "I lost my hand!"

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 22, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Charlize Theron was at the Chelsea game last night.

Now that could bring a lot of fans...

Posted by: Reignking | July 22, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

what yankiboy said.
sounds awful.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 22, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Article on today's game in Atlanta, and its importance for hosting a WC match or MLS

Posted by: Reignking | July 22, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

re: DiRaimondo's tackle

I'm of the opinion that it was a very hard, but legal, tackle that ending in a horrible injury. I was in the stands at midfield and had a relatively good vantage. But, since I don't have a TiVo installed in my brain (yet), I do admit that my opinion could change if I saw it again on video.

I was standing near some Rochester fans who were yelling for a foul/card. When DCU fans responded that it was legal, the Rhino fans said that he should still get booked because of the nature of the injury no matter if it was legal or not.

I guess for me it comes down to whether it was a reckless tackle. In general, I find all these flying hip checks, head butts, and jumping elbows that have nothing to do with disloding the ball more reckless than a hard tackle attempting to actually go for the ball.

Posted by: dancreel | July 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Huh, what happened? I had a long post in this comments thread about an hour ago. It's gone now, along with most of the other comments in the discussion at that time.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ah! NM. The post was in the comments for the article itself.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 22, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted this in a thread late yesterday, but since the game is mentioned here thought I would put it up again:

Washington Freedom is having an event at Garretts in Georgetown tomorrow night (starting at 7) to watch the WNT team play against Canada.

To repeat a query from that earlier thread: Do they have a good selection of beers at Garrett's?

Posted by: universityandpark | July 22, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse


How is a challenge reckless if it's clean? Just because it's hard?

If he didn't get the ball in that situation it would have been a red, no doubt. But he did, which makes it clean. That's the difference between a foul and not a foul. How hard the player goes into the challenge does not determine whether it's a foul, only how sever of a foul it is.

Posted by: BKMD | July 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night after having to take a few months away for a new family addition.

DiRaimondo: Even in the middle of the BB, my daughter and I heard the hit. It looked horrific going could see that it was going to be bad a second before it happened. That being said, Kenton was late to the ball; DiRaimondo had the clear advantage and Kenton had clear vision of the play before hitting DiRaimondo (I don't think that it was the other way around). While it was definitely an ill-advised decision on DiRaimondo's part, and would have been a justifiable card, I think that it was probably one of the only good decisions made by the ref.

Khumalo: The guy couldn't stay in a position to save his life. He looked like Josh Gros, except running laterally over and over rather than back and forth. He may have confused the opponent, but he was also screwing up the DCU field. His decision-making was awful, his ability to hold the ball non-existent, but he was lucky to be on the right side of the field on the Pontius deflection. His injury is unfortunate since it was after attacking the GK at the end of the game when DCU was didn't need to happen. I don't see him staying with the team next season.

Officials: They had no control over the game at all. It would have been better to not have them on the field. Anytime the officials are frustrating both sides as thoroughly as they did last night, you're likely to have injuries.

Posted by: figgy_va | July 22, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

From our angle - looked like a hard but fair tackle and very bad luck for the Rhino player. The other Rhinos were understandably upset after seeing the guy's leg twisted the wrong way (it was a bit disturbing), but it seemed to be a reaction to the result, after the fact, not to the initial tackle.

Credit to Khumalo for the work rate and use of superior speed - good follow up to be there for the rebound ... and I do wish him a quick recovery, but he was a turnover machine, as was Fred. I would have rated Wallace a little higher than Fred, but he does look less effective playing centrally. I guess Szetela will help keep him in wide positions.

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | July 22, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The Rochester player, Darren Kenton's career maybe over following that challenge. His fibula is shattered, ankle completely dislocated with every major ligament suffering a severe tear. If he plays again it will be amazing.


I had an 8th grader suffer a very similar injury on a kickoff return where he got tackled and his ankle pinned down this year. Not every ligament was torn (I believe one was, and the leg was a clean break, not shattered), but he was back with us in time for spring practice.

I wish this guy a speedy and full recovery first, and if he gets to get back on the pitch, all the better.

I don't know if that ajc article makes me more confident, but Gary Stokin being involved does. That guy knows what he's doing.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@ bs2004 - Liverpool 1, Thailand 0 at the half. Goal by Ryan Babel in the 6th minute. My daughter is at the game.

Posted by: soccerman | July 22, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

That article in the Atlanta Constitution was an interesting survey of the landscape for soccer in Atlanta. Too bad the reporter can't count correctly. There are 15 teams in MLS now, not 14.

The concern for hosting the World Cup is silly. The games will sell out, or nearly sell-out almost anywhere.

Posted by: fischy | July 22, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thailand ties up Liverpool 1-1 in the 72nd.

Posted by: soccerman | July 22, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I honestly don't know about the Garrett's drink selection - never actually been there. I tried to look on their website to check, but it is sorely lacking in information besides the standard drink specials - of rail drinks, miller, bud etc. I am assume they have more to offer though

Posted by: soccerfan80 | July 22, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I thought DiRaimando's challenge was a straight red, it was extremely reckless (obviously) and while his foot got to the ball first he slid right through the Rhino player's legs...there was no way to avoid taking him out. It is a foul to go through a player to get to the ball and that's exactly what happened from behind.

Abby Okalaja is a menace, DC just happened to be on the right end this time. Another consistent performance of strange calls, strange non calls, and losing control of the game.

Oh, and I'm a DC fan.

Posted by: teo_68 | July 22, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

John DiRaimondo must be Rochesterian for Hristo Stoichkov.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | July 22, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Should say I was on the side of the field where the tackle occured and pretty much even with it, probably 50 yards away from a good vantage point.

IIRC (and think I do) DiRai went in very hard (he was flying - on the ground but moving very fast) with his left leg outstretched on one side of Kenton's leg and his right leg tucked in, but on the other side of Kenton's leg. Kenton had his leg planted...

Posted by: teo_68 | July 22, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Liverpool ends up "Thai'd" 1-1 in Bangkok.

Posted by: soccerman | July 22, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 22, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait. Was the pun on Thai or Bangkok?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 22, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Cant be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me"

Posted by: OWNTF | July 22, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This is from Laws of the Game, p. 108. regarding careless and reckless challenges.

“Careless” means that the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
• No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless

“Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent
• A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned.

“Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
• A player who uses excessive force must be sent off.


I think DiRaimondo's challenge (both speed and direction) showed a disregard for the danger to the other player, hence my belief that regardless of the injury he deserved a yellow. Of course, others may disagree :-)

Posted by: Wyrm1 | July 22, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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