Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

DCU Makes Several Moves

Busy day at RFK:

*The club confirmed the Insider's exclusive report that defender Julius James has been acquired from Houston, apparently for a draft pick. [UPDATE: a third-rounder in 2012] He will join United in Toronto and likely be eligible for Saturday afternoon's match at BMO Field (4 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Telefutura). James is a needed defensive option as United prepares for 10 matches in 31 days.

"I don't think he has reached his potential, so we are excited to get him in and add some defensive depth," Coach Tom Soehn said. "Initially, our plan is that he will cover for us in the middle and on the flank if we need him."

So much more news on the continuation of this thread.....

*United has signed defender David Habarugira, from Burundi's national team and the Anderlecht youth system in Belgium. He will arrive in Washington this weekend and join the club in Honduras for Tuesday's Champions League group opener against Marathon. "He is pretty versatile, pretty polished," Soehn said. "His trial was one of the better ones we've ever seen; he got better every day." Habarugira has played centrally and on the left on the backline and in defensive midfield.

*To make room for Habarugira, forward Ange N'Silu (hamstring) has been placed on the disabled list, meaning he will have to sit out at least six league games.

*Midfielder-forward Chris Pontius (quadriceps) will not play in Toronto or Honduras. Midfielder-forward Santino Quaranta (hamstring) says he is fine and defender Bryan Namoff (hamstring) is listed as probable. The only other player on the injured list is Boyzzz Khumalo (wrist).

*Midfielder-forward Tiyi Shipalane remains on the club's radar and seems likely to be added to the roster on loan from USL2 Harrisburg in a few weeks. Forward Adam Smarte, on trial this week, is still under consideration.

*Midfielder Ben Olsen is suspended for the Toronto game (yellow cards) and midfielder Fred will miss the Marathon match (red card).

By Steve Goff  |  August 14, 2009; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Julius James to D.C. United
Next: Donovan, Flu Update


Sooooo, huge game in Toronto this weekend and we're missing Benny, Party, N'Silu, and Boyzzzz. Do we stick with the 3-5-2? Here's what I'd like to see...


I think Gomez must need a rest after going 120 and 90 last week, but could be available as a supersub. We're a little short on forwards and right wingers right now so I think that Emilio and Moreno have to start up to and Quaranta on the right. The real question is, who comes in for Jaime? Quaranta moves up and Szetela, perhaps, takes over on the wing?

Posted by: the_slammer | August 14, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

how about play James all 90 minutes for every one of those games so he's exhausted for the USA-T&T match?

Posted by: troy6 | August 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

ah, the old "put them on IR until we decide what to do with them" move

Posted by: sockey1 | August 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse


vs. Toronto:

Namoff -- Jakovic -- Burch
Quaranta -- Jacobson -- Fred -- Wallace
Emilio -- Moreno

vs. Marathon:

James -- Habarugira -- John
Szetela -- Simms -- Olsen -- Wallace
Emilio -- Quaranta

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ely Allen might be getting some playing time this weekend

Posted by: emanon13 | August 14, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- forgot to put Kocic in goal on Tuesday....

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. I think James is a good defender from what I have seen and Habarugira is another welcomed addition. However we need a forward now. I do not know who Smarte is, but we need a proven goal scorer. Emelio does not seem to be in form or show any signs of it. I hate to say this b/c he has been so great for so many years, but Moreno is too old.

Posted by: no_recess | August 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Soehn"?!

"When you walked into the room
There was voodoo in the vibes
I was captured by your style
But I could not catch your eyes
Now I stand here helplessly
Hoping you'll get into me

I am Soehn into you
I can't think of nothing else
I am Soehn into you
I can't think of nothing else..."

Atlanta Rhythm Section, "Soehn Into You," (modified), circa 1977

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


What about moving Fred outside, bring Christian in centrally, move Tino up top, and bring Jaime in as needed.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 14, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think sitruc actually had the first report on the blog about James?

Posted by: joe_hill | August 14, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Steve, not that Party Boy has been racking up many fantasy points lately, it's good to know he won't get any this week wether you start him or not.
Glad to hear Emilio isn't hurt.
Lets get some points in Toronto and Honduras!
El Montruo Verde here we go again!
Anyone know if that match will be on FSC? Or Galavision? Telefutura? Comcast?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@joe hill -- I was wondering about that -- his post is listed as 2 minutes before Goff's post. Perhaps there was a twitter feed? Or, perhaps, SI was already listing "Julius James to D.C. United" as the next post?

What about it, sitruc? What's your secret? Precognition?

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

We have pretty good team depth now.

Pontius is a bit hurt and Olsen is suspended but we can still discuss realistic starting XI lineups for tomorrow that omit players like Gomez and Szetela (slammer's proposal) or Fischy's lineup which also omits useful players.

Team depth will be crucial as the team tries to navigate the difficult stretch of 10 games in 31 days without hitting any icebergs or landmines in The Dangerous Asteroid Belt of Mixed Metaphors.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Dad -- don't serve up questions you can check on the DCU site. FSC has the game against Marathon.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Even though N'Silu is on the injured list and may not play for 6 (MLS?) games, does that status translate to the Champions' League and the US Open Cup? If he is able to play in non-MLS matches, this is a brilliant move by the DCU FO.

Posted by: hoyanick1 | August 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Goff tweeted about Julius James before his full post on here, so I'm guessing that is sitruc's source.

I like troy6's idea the best.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Goff, when will DCU begin to add an a Academy player to their first team? Perhaps midfielder Michael Funes.

Posted by: supamars11 | August 14, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

All these people out of work in America, and N'Silu still has a job.

Posted by: Section117 | August 14, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a stab at Saturday's Lineup, kinda silly to project Tuesday's with so many things that could happen between now and then:


Szetela at some point for Gomez, Allen for Moreno, and James for Burch.

I could see Tommy experimenting (4-4-2) with the lineup Tuesday.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 14, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm just happy Simms in back, definitly want to see him and Szetela on the field together more

Posted by: Springfie1d | August 14, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Here's what Coach Shatz would use:

Toronto match (4-4-2!!!)

Marathon match:

I doubt that James or Habarugira will get to start this quickly, but each could definitely see some time as substitutes in Honduras.

I've been saying for a couple weeks now that the Toronto match would be the perfect time to switch to a 4-4-2. We did well with that formation against a similarly attack-oriented Houston team in the second half two weeks ago. And since we only have two active forwards on our roster with Pontius, N'Silu, and Khumalo all out, it might be smart to try to keep both of these games pretty low-scoring.

Toronto isn't necessarily a must-win. But it is a must-not-lose.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 14, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

according to Wiki....

"Smarte was drafted with the first overall pick in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes.

He was released by the Earthquakes at the end of 2008, having played just 3 games for the team, and subsequently signed for Ventura County Fusion of the USL Premier Development League for the 2009 season.

Posted by: DCU_VW | August 14, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure we should throw Namoff back in there against Toronto. Why not try out James on the right? I'd rather try him out while we still can bring in Namoff; I'm tired of emergency backlines where no ones played with each other, pretty soon Namoff and Jakovic will need some rest, and replacements need to know what's going on.

Same goes with Quaranta, I don't know if he should go 90.

The injury situation isn't great, all I know is that Fred is not to be trusted on the wings in a 3-back.

I'd like to try, at least once, this lineup


I know I left out Olsen, but he's lost ground recently, and we need to see if Danny can be a replacement. I also liked Gomez the one game he played as a second striker.

Last thing I'd like to point out is we need to get Pontius back making stats.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ah come on fischy!
Dude I've been looking for a comprehensive listing of the Champion's League coverage for weeks. I know for those with FSC, you couldn't care less about bottom feeders like me who enjoyed watching the tournament on Telefutura last year. I don't know if you noticed a bunch of the preliminary fixtures were shown either on FSC or Galavision this year...In other words, I had to hound a neighbor to watch the DCU matches.

No one pointed me back to the DCU schedule(which has been thoroughly updated very recently). Anyone notice that the last game of the season is now scheduled to broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet plus?

Save the smart alec remark next time and just post a link.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Also, has anyone noticed that Szetela consistently gets a 5 rating in every game? Which is pretty odd, considering the run of form we've had.

I want to get him closer to goal, see if we can raise that.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

oh by the way folks, the CCL group stage is looking to be broadcast on a combination of FSC and Telefutura. Some game being shown exclusively on FSC.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"...Atlanta Rhythm Section, "Soehn Into You," (modified), circa 1977

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse "

This justifies the use of that last link: Report abuse

Posted by: 22206no1 | August 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- your link:

If you can't make it out to RFK for the match against Toluca, you're in luck. Telefutura and FSC are both showing that match. For Tuesday's Marathon game, only FSC is listed...

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan's right - They must have just updated that page in the last couple days. Great to see that every DCU match of the CCL will be televised, even if it is FSC (Yeeeesssssssssssssssssss!!)

Great that the final match @KC is going to be televised now (it wasn't previously), but I don't quite understand the usage of Comcast SportsNet Plus for the last two games of the season. What could CSN be showing in mid-October that would get better ratings than the DCU playoff push? College football maybe? I sure hope that doesn’t mean those last two games won't be in HD!

Posted by: DCUMD | August 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think it is time to play both Szetela and Simms together in the holding role this weekend. Push Wallace and Tino wide and let Fred play in the attacking hole. This gives Gomez a needed rest, and keeps him fresh for Tuesdays game. It is the best possible way to rotate the squad -something DC clearly has to do.

My fear right now is that we have no subs off the bench to play forward that can change the game. Also, our current forwards lack any real pace, making us almost a one-dimensional attack at times.

My other reason for playing both Szetela and Simms is because Toronto only plays 1 holding mid. I think playing 3 players who keep the ball well, have good inter-play, and quick exchanges will put Toronto on the back foot and allow DC to control the midfield. (I think Jacobson lacks in this department as compared to Szetela)

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 14, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Of the 2 players signed and the 2 players "taken under consideration" for signing, my prediction is that no more than one player will make a long term impact on this team. And by 'long term', I mean more than half a season.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 14, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, grubbsbl, but if we DID have "subs off the bench to play forward that can change the game," we might want to think about STARTING them forward.

Posted by: dccal | August 14, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

CSN+ could be used in mid-October due to Washington Capitals games. They are an extremely hot commodity right now and deservedly so. The data released a few months ago show that they now get the second best ratings in town; the best ratings obviously belonging to the Skins.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 14, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

grubbsbl -- sounds great, except I wonder if Clyde will be ready to go anything like 90 minutes tomorrow. He played some in the friendly on Sunday, but that's a far cry from running around on the plastic in Toronto. Even if he is fit for one game, I doubt he's up to playing two games so close together. So, the question is which game is a better bet to play him. I'm voting for the game @ Marathon. Otherwise, I'd be in total agreement with you. I won't be totally surprised to see a lineup like the one you suggest tomorrow, but I'm not expecting it.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse


I'm with you on that, provided Simms is ready to go. That would also give us Gomez as an option at forward (as well as attacking midfield) off the bench. If you can beat Toronto in midfield, or even hold them to a draw, it's highly unlikely that you get a result worse than a draw.

As for who plays in Honduras, I think the only safe guess is that Olsen will start. Everything else is up in the air, including the formation.


James could be a good piece of business, especially to the right or left of Jakovic. I don't know if he'll ever have the smarts to play center back in our formation, but he has all the physical tools required. On the right and left of our back three, he'll have less responsibility organizing, the verbal guidance from Jakovic and Wicks, and little to do on the ball other than give it to someone in our midfield. If he does well, we could see him in a battle with Burch. James would certainly add more speed to the back three, which we need.

That said, it could turn out to be a wasted draft pick. We picked on him in Houston while attempting our comeback, and TFC gave up on him rather than their other low quality center back options in trading him to Houston. If Kinnear couldn't turn him into a better player, I have to wonder if he ever gets past being a guy that makes our bench but never plays.

It might be silly, knowing nothing about him, but I have more optimism for Habarugira. Hopefully they both turn out to be good acquisitions, but if someone told me that only one would do well, I'd bet heavy on Habarugira.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 14, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The alternatives are too limited on the flanks and up top. Worries me with such a brutal stretch.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 14, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Fischy I agree with you. The real problem is both of these games are important in terms of we need to take points. I think we need to get 3 in Toronto and 1 @ Marathon. (Most would say both DC and Marathon will compete directly for the 2nd place spot). I am thinking possibly playing Simms against Toronto is more important as the game against Marathon. Toronto will be a match we are expected to go out and play against, thus Simms physical presence in the midfield is needed more as our players will push forward opening up more space for Toronto to attack. Leaving more ground for a Dmid to cover.

I would say @ Marathon DC will/should bunker it in for a draw. Possibly even using a Wallace McTavish Dmids, with Szetela out wide. That would almost allow us to shift into 3 holding mids at times away at Marathon.

The real question is can Simms go 90 on turf, as you pointed out, and that remains to be seen.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 14, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Rockwell I would agree that Habarugira seems to be the most optimistic in terms of potential. I only feel this way because to come through a European youth academy system one would expect the player is going to have a high level on knowledge about the game. Hopefully this theory of mine proves true for Habarugira. Right now, I see a lot of MLS defenders who struggle with reading the game and placing themselves in proper positions.

One player who does not struggle with this is Jakovic. He is certainly not the fastest but rarely puts a foot wrong, mainly cause his reading and positioning is spot on.

Heres to hoping Habarugira has the same potential.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 14, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

hey fischy, thanks for drawing my attention to the fact that DCU had finally updated the broadcast info on their site. I admit I don't bother checking their site daily and had grown weary of the lack of news not related to Real Madrid.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Have we decided/found out - Is ESPN2 showing Hull City vs Chelsea tomorrow morning?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 14, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

When are we going to start looking for forwards?! Emilio has been unspectacular. Moreno is good for 45 minutes. And Pontius and Quaranta, while good, are probably a better fit in the midfield. Who else we got? Forward is very, very weak position for us.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | August 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that Dad and fischy have cyber-kissed and made up!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 14, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If ESPN2 is showing Hull City they are hiding it well. Their website and the FIOS guide still say they are showing a hunting show at that time.

Posted by: jmingus | August 14, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: OWNTF | August 14, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

If ESPN2 is showing Hull City they are hiding it well. Their website and the FIOS guide still say they are showing a hunting show at that time.
Posted by: jmingus

Chelsea is going on a Tiger hunt.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Small consolation to Gooch fans, but Sirius/XM Channel 125 is broadcasting the Chelsea Radio(I think) feed.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 14, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Sirius line up for August

PS I'm doing this as a public service for those who have Sirius. Please don't all start complaining that you can't afford satellite radio.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 14, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

To quote John McEnroe, "You cannot be Sirius!"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 14, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to watch Chel$ki get embarrassed by Hull.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 14, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

What’s with all this talk about burch in the line up? Have we all not been watching United games this season? Lets just put an orange traffic cone instead of burch.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | August 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

What’s with all this talk about burch in the line up? Have we all not been watching United games this season? Lets just put an orange traffic cone instead of burch.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | August 14, 2009 5:51 PM
That remark was totally disrespectful. Orange traffic cones serve a purpose.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 14, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse


I agree. Except that maybe we could try the two defenders we just acquired before resorting to sporting supplies.

I mean, we aren't the Galaxy, who were run like a gift shop for several years.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins will finish with a 4-12 record.

It's time to say goodbye to Vincent Cerrato.

Too bad, Danny Snyder.

Maryland will finish with a 2-10 record.

Maryland's defensive line and linebacker corps are a joke --- no pass rush whatsoever and give up a ton of long yardage plays.

I have seen harder hitting teams in powder puff leagues.

The only hard hits the Terps make - are out of bound plays - which cost them an additional 15 yards - which are quite frequent.

California's running back - Best - will gain 296 yards in the opening game

I love it, when Maryland constantly gets embarrassed on national TV.


California -- 56
Maryland -- 10

It's hilarious to see Maryland win a game - and the very next week get clobbered by a Virginia Tech - Boston College.

It is great to see Maryland go down to a crushing defeat on recruiting front (the kids they have received commitments from - are a joke! - taking the bottom of the barrel)

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | August 14, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@hclark1...are you sure you have the right kind of football here? :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 14, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

That's just a troll who's been going through every blog here tonight.

Earlier I reminded him that the same Terps he predicted to go 2-10 and lose to Cal, beat Cal, UNC, NCSU, Wake, and Nevada in a bowl game (nearly everyone expected them to get blown out in) last season.

All the Heels have is basketball, I should know, I live in NC.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 14, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The reason we keep Burch in the starting lineup, is John is even worse, and Wallace is only a viable left-back in a 4-4-2. I also believe James plays on the right, and not the left.

However, the signing of Habarugira may signal the intent of Soehn and Co. to move to a 4-4-2:


That's what I see as the future in DC.

I'd keep Burch at LB, because Wallace has enough defensive talent to help compensate for Burch's short-comings, while Burch offers good service from the back.

The question mark is because Jaime definitely can't be looked upon to start next season, and I seriously doubt Emilio is around at all after this year (unless he can manage to get VERY HOT in the playoffs) and I doubt Fred will be here either unless he takes a sizable pay-cut.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 14, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@alec -- A plausible lineup, but I haven't seen enough from Szetela to endorse that. I'm also not thrilled with Burch as an everyday player -- his service isn't that good... And, I think I've expressed myself ad naseum about Wallace's weaknesses on the wing. Though KP has denied it, I expect that DCU will pursue a higher-profile striker...probably as a DP. They may also go after a playmaker, especially if they like the 3-5-2 with Habarugira on the left.

What's most intriguing about your forecast is it's so young. Namoff becomes the grizzled veteran at 30, and Clyde Simms adds in some veteran cool at 27. Everyone else is still a kid. And don't forget young reserves like James, Jacobson and maybe Wallace, plus a good draft pick. If DCU could find their own version of Freddy Montero (they had once, when Jaime was young) -- and if they can avoid taking a big hit in the expansion draft for Vancouver and Portland -- they would have a stable roster for years to come.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, that's what I was going for.

I'm not "thrilled" about Burch at LB for the future, but it's acceptable for now.

I also think Wallace will be just fine at LM in MLS.

Also, it's not that Habarugira would really be a LB in a possible 3-5-2... we've really been doing the 3-5-2 all wrong.

You should have 3 CBs. The main CB being a strong ball-winner like Jakovic, and the outer CBs having some pace, but not being pushovers. You depend upon your wings and DMs to pick up players on the flank with a 3-5-2.

I'd also love to see a true DP striker with United, but question who we could realistically get.

I'd really like us to find a better RM than Tino, so he could be paired up top with Pontius.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

sitruc will not reveal sitruc's sources.

Who else gets SI and dcunited twitter updates to their phone?

Posted by: sitruc | August 15, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Encouraging defensive acquisitions. Managment deserves credit for a major effort. Now Coach Soehn must go to a 4-4-2. Everyone runs through, over and around our backline. Jacovic can't do it alone.
Let's knock off Toronto.

Posted by: lemovs1 | August 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Re the recent/new acquisitions: I don't know how many of you bloggers have been coaching, but you seem to overlook one major consideration: Every team needs practice players!! There must be 5/6 players on a roster who have no realistic chance of getting PT but are willing to try/pick up the money or keep a dream going. I see Ely, JJ,in that category along with DiRaimondo and a few others, maybe even McTavish this year. Unpleasant situation, but realistic.
I have coached on every level here and overseas, and the hardest thing to do is telling "practice players " to put out eventhough they won't get to play.Sorry,

Posted by: bechtoldpk | August 15, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company