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Matchday #21: United-Toronto

Greetings from the banks of Lake Ontario on a warm, hazy afternoon. BMO Field is a great little ballpark, except for the artificial turf, which, for reasons I am too dim to understand, is being watered down at the moment. This is the first match here since the Real Madrid friendly when grass was rolled out. Black streaks that look like NASCAR skid marks scar parts of the pitch. Not sure if they'll be visible on TV.

Kickoff: 4 p.m.
English TV: Comcast SportsNet/DC with Dave Johnson and Thomas Rongen.
Spanish TV: Telefutura.

Pontius (quadriceps) and Olsen (suspension) are not here. Namoff, coming off a hamstring injury, will play today but apparently not travel to Honduras for Tuesday's Champions League match in order to prepare for next Saturday's showdown at RFK with Los Angeles.

DCU LINEUP: Wicks; Namoff, Jakovic, Burch; DiRaimondo, Wallace, Simms, Gomez, Fred; Quaranta, Emilio. Subs: Kocic, John, Janicki, James, McTavish, Jacobson, Moreno. (Szetela, still not at full fitness, will meet the team in Honduras.)

Your pregame, in-game and postgame observations are welcome.

By Steve Goff  |  August 15, 2009; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United Rewind

Comments

DiRaimondo on the wing, eh? Maybe we felt we had to counter De-Ro with Di-Rai...

Posted by: the_slammer | August 15, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


I was all set to watch this, but boy, I'm suddenly not in the mood.

/sad toffee

Posted by: metatext | August 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I was all set to watch this, but boy, I'm suddenly not in the mood.

/sad toffee

Posted by: metatext | August 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

----

That was a brutal game. I hope my poor Spurs can cobble together a defense tommorrow and no have a similar beating.

Posted by: M__N | August 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You water fake turf to cool it off a bit, and also lessen strawberries and abrasions from sliding on it. The old-school astroturf (well, next-gen "old-school" astroturf) field that we play pick-up on here in Durham has water-cannons all around it, and if it hasn't been watered it's insanely hot and results in lots of blood-letting.

Curious to see how long we keep DiRaimondo on, I won't be surprised to see McTavish brought in for him.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't you put DiRaimondo in the middle with Simms, and let Wallace run the left? I dunno, seems more logical to let him use that pace up and down the sideline. Also, is it just me, or does that bench all of a sudden look mighty thin in the midfield and striker spots?

Posted by: freeholdsouth | August 15, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the order here, it's a fair bet that DiRai is in the middle and Wallace on the wing. Interesting that Jaime is not starting -- I'm guessing he's being held back for Tuesday's game. Not totally surprised that Olsen didn't even dress. I hope he handles the flight to Honduras well. Glad to see that Simms is getting a start. Interesting that he's deemed fitter than Szetela, though.

Posted by: fischy | August 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Could actually be a smart line-up. Turf plays quick and lets face it Emilio and Moreno lack pace. Tino can hopefully provide the DC attack with some speed today.

Overall, I like this line-up.

Sorry Toffes fan, I switched to the Wolfsburg match and saw a great second half. The Arsenal game was a bit of a joke. Which bring me to my final point, us in the DC area with GolTV are really spoiled. In Syracuse and St. Louis, my last 2 homes, I only got FSC. So much soccer these days.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United! This will be an interesting match. Emilio has to step it up big time - and what sucks for DC is that TFC is missing one of their best players...Chad Barrett ;)

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | August 15, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The reason I and others are thinking DiRaimondo will be on the wing, is generally lineups are listed right-to-left. Wallace has never played on the right.

However, I wouldn't be against having DiRai in the middle with Simms, and Fred on the Right, Wallace on the Left.

Disappointing to not see Szetela available.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Fred on the wing... this doesn't bode well.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else "watching" channelsurfing.net? It doesn't seem to be working for me. Any other internet viewing options? Thanks!

Posted by: jermWV | August 15, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lots of people dressed like empty seats.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 15, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

thats the most empty ive ever seen bmo but its still at least triple the attendance of any revs or rbny game

Posted by: MK27 | August 15, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

1-0 torontos

Posted by: MK27 | August 15, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Emilio looks slow and is ineffective in the 1st half.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 15, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What garbage. Where is our offense? And Gomito loves kicking it into the wall on two quality opprtunities.

Posted by: terptilldeath | August 15, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Halftime. DC is playing terrible. I dont understand how we turnover so many passes. It seems the only ones playing with heart today is Namoff and Jakovic... hopefully Moreno can work some magic...

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | August 15, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

How typical of United, dominate possession like 70-30, and have no solid chances on goal.

Christian's free-kicks have been a joke, and he's just played poorly in general.

Tino is coming waaaaay too deep into the midfield to collect the ball, leaving nobody up top to serve, since Emilio is never in position.

It looks like a weird hybrid 4-5-1 with Fred, Gomez, and Tino all playing a CAM role...

At the half I'd drop DiRai back into a holding role with Simms, move Tino to RM, Fred to CAM, Gomez up top, and Wallace out left.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

lol CSN just showed a commercial for the 2009 MLS all-star game.

There's goals to be had in this game, let's go get em United!

Posted by: Hobes | August 15, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I hope the MLS All-Star team will watch films of the way Everton played today. I'm sure they can use them to figure a way to beat Everton. Very exciting to see that ad - I didn't even know they were going to play again. I'm looking forward to July 29.....

Posted by: fischy | August 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, United is playing poorly overall. Incredible number of bad passes, even in a congested midfield. Of course, if Emilio had shot first time, it might be a different game. Interesting to see how Fred and DiRai flipped positions so quickly.

Posted by: fischy | August 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Emilio has to stop play so crappy... plain and simple

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | August 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Emiliooooo... SO many chances!

Posted by: carmines757 | August 15, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The possession is generally pretty good, but the attempts at finishing in the final third are just painful.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | August 15, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Also, Davies scores twice for Sochaux but still loses 3-2

Posted by: carmines757 | August 15, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Alright fellas. Let's come out with some passion and an early goal. This game means a lot in the standings and will go a long way in setting us up for the next 2 games.

Posted by: terptilldeath | August 15, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Namoff has shown the best so far. Besides not marking DeRo better on the goal, Jakovic and Burch have played reasonably well also (Jakovic better than Burch). Agreed on the offense -- good possession, Emilio has been slow, poor free kicks. Amazing how quickly Simms has come back.

Posted by: dcuIII | August 15, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

dira and jako responsible for first goal.


why jacobson didnt start i dont know.

we need fresh legs.


Posted by: castroviejo | August 15, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of a sub, what does Jacobsen offer that DiRaimondo doesn't?

Time to bring Jaime in for Emilio.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

great job cutting down the angle be Wicks

Posted by: dcuIII | August 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

wow, thank you De-ro for keeping this game close, still only 1-0

Posted by: emanon13 | August 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

And since we made that halftime sub, now we don't have anyone worth bringing on for Simms... brilliant Tommy. Freaking moron.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Tommy... it'd be nice to give Jaime more than 20 minutes to get something done... make the switch already!

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Jaime for Fred...

Guessing Tino moves back to RM.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

geez. we suck.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Way to watch the ball instead of clearing it guys...

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

We look like crap . .plain and simple!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | August 15, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, the defense is a gaping maul of suck and the offense is no better, one shot on goal, pathetic.

Posted by: SoehntheExit | August 15, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the "fire Soehn" crowd (self included) need to say a thing.

It's going to happen.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The offense just looks lazy and clueless. Everyone is giving up on runs, if they lose the ball they don't fight to get it back.
Nearly everybody is taking way too many touches and trying to dribble through the entire TFC defense.
Too much waiting for the ball to come to them instead of going to it...

FFS, these are all mistakes that players make in their teens, those sorts of bad-habits should be gone by now.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

so I found myself enjoying Dave Johnson's Johnsonville sausage plug more than United's play

Posted by: dcuIII | August 15, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I just had an interview for a HS coaching job Friday, maybe I should have sent my resume to United instead.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

There haven't been enough early balls out wide this game. Emilio has been slow physically and in his decision making.

Posted by: dcuIII | August 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What a completely disgraceful performance from United. I feel bad for friends who traveled to Toronto for this travesty.

It's become painfully obvious to damn near everyone that Tommy is inept. His starting lineups in general are a joke, his subs poorly timed and poorly chosen, and he rarely seems to change his tactics when it will do any good.

It doesn't stop with Tommy though; it's time to say goodbye to Jaime, Emilio, Fred, and Gomez. I'd rather have some less talented players who were 10 years younger who actually possess some modicum of pace, and who don't give up on runs, or throw their hands up in the air and ball-watch when they lose the ball.

I could accept a loss @ TFC on that turf, but to get shutout, and hardly ever threaten to score? C'mon. Add an attacker with some pace and heart and this game would actually have been winnable.

You'll notice this is posted before the end of 90 or stoppage time... that's because there's no chance in Hell that DC will score. Not with this lot of completely worthless wastes of carbon.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 15, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Terrible game. In my opinion, we have no hope for the MLS playoffs.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | August 15, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I love the camera work by CSN/MLS.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 15, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Alecw81-
I could not have said it any better. FIRE TOMMY (clap, clap, clap)!!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | August 15, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't as down on Gomez as everyone else this match, it seems. He looked like he was running hard to me.

Everyone else, ugh. Emilio makes $700k a year? Disgraceful. What a horrible egg to lay in a real six point game.

Why take Fred out, the only player who has no chance to play on Tuesday? Or did Tommy forget?

Posted by: the_slammer | August 15, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Three thoughts:

1) I think DC had problems today with the altitude

2) Emilio is quite a player for $12,700. Oh, we're paying him more?

3) "We win trophies." And who said Kevin Payne doesn't have a sense of humor.

Posted by: congguy | August 15, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

My biggest problem with Soehn today was the 3-6-1 he trotted out there. Emilio was all by himself up top today. No sign of another striker.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | August 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I haven’t seen a defensive performance as poor as the one Jakovic just put in since David Stokes put on a horror show in Chicago that was so bad the Gipper wound up kicking the bucket and the TV coverage got switched to WNBA in some weird domino effect of TV ratings pecking order. Jakovic should have been involved in all 3 goals except there were only 2 since DeRosario shot wide when he was closing in on goal 1v1.

Toronto’s Gambians must come from El Salvador’s national team. They sure like to spend lots of time lying on the ground when their team has a 2nd half lead. Sanyang should have been carded after being carried off for the 3rd time.

I was pretty disappointed to see Fred subbed out early. Fred isn’t even making the trip to Honduras due to his earlier redcard so he should be able to handle more minutes than any other normal starter out there.

Comcast production was pretty poor, missing the starting lineups graphic, not giving the subs at halftime in a timely fashion due to their promotional announcements and even missing setplays like corner kicks due to showing replays. I like Dave Johnson but that was bad so I switched to Telefutura for the last 20 minutes or so.

At least we didn’t have to play on real grass like those Real Madrid guys did when they played there. I hope their cleats got muddy!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 15, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was funny Dave kept trying to convince us that BeeeeMO was "jam-packed".

You all have said it all. A very poor performance. We looked slow and tired. How are all of these games and travel going to turn out? We will be lucky to make the playoffs at this point.

Hopefully we'll focus on winning the USOC since that is going to be our only real hope.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"We have sooooo many games, such a crowded schedule; it's so hard.." in 5-4-3-2...

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

It's time to do an 80/20 filter on the team. We're not going to get any better with our current roster. Here are the obvious changes we need:

1. Fire Tommy.
2. Trade Emilio/Fred/Gomez for whatever draft picks we can get, and rebuild through the draft with players like Pontius.
3. Keep Moreno for veteran leadership, possession, and PK's.
4. Get a designated player who is actually really good. Not like Gallardo or Emilio. The younger the better.

I'd rather be horrible and lose next year and make a great run in a couple years than be mediocre like we are now for a long time (the path we're on).

Vamos United!

Posted by: redskinsux | August 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I made the wise decision to go to the movies with my wife this afternoon. Sounds like Julie and Julia was an infinitely better experience than watching DCU. Well, I do have Ajax-PSV on ESPN 360 to look forward to tomorrow morning. Hope my Ajax team can keep a clean sheet and pick up another three points.

Posted by: agoldhammer | August 15, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Fire Soehn

How many times do we need to see the 3-5-2 shredded because of the players not being capable enough to support it? How many times? He keeps trying to fit players into a system they are not suited for. Maybe the new Burundian but we should have been in a 4-4-2 for weeks now.

With a proper system I think our players would shine.

Posted by: RRP1 | August 15, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It's time to do an 80/20 filter on the team. We're not going to get any better with our current roster. Here are the obvious changes we need:

1. Fire Tommy.
2. Trade Emilio/Fred/Gomez for whatever draft picks we can get, and rebuild through the draft with players like Pontius.
3. Keep Moreno for veteran leadership, possession, and PK's.
4. Get a designated player who is actually really good. Not like Gallardo or Emilio. The younger the better.

I'd rather be horrible and lose next year and make a great run in a couple years than be mediocre like we are now for a long time (the path we're on).

Vamos United!

Posted by: redskinsux | August 15, 2009 6:44 PM

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

No.

We've got our roster pretty much set for this stretch and need to stick with it.

Making all the changes you suggest would just gut the team for 3 different competitions. This afternoon's game was definitely a disappointment but we still have lots to play for on each of those 3 fronts.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Total Domination! I would say that we have one more game and the season is over...Swine flu or not, if Donovan plays, he will destroy us.

This falls on squarely on the management for not firing Soehn and hiring Bruce Arena when we had the chance. DC United has become like all the other Washington teams...

Posted by: alan19 | August 15, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Joel_M_Lane,

He's talking about next season. We all know this sh&t storm will continue.

On a better note, Davies scores twice as a SUB!!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 15, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Davies is a rock star!

Posted by: Pedalada | August 15, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

If Donovan has swine flu, are the rest of LA being checked? How about the rest of the Nats? I am watching Houston now, they sent 3 to the Nats. Why is he playing tonight? Are they crazy???

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 15, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

well, the things that I have read say that Donovan is past the point of being contagious and that his national team teammates have all been checked and are OK.

I think LD should play as much as possible before the game against us next week.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 15, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

It appears Jozy wasn't in the 18 in Hull's loss to Chel$ki. Maybe holding him out after discovering Donovan's flu?

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 15, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

then again after reading fedssocr's post...maybe not.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 15, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It was mentioned in other threads that Jozy's work permit hasn't been approved yet so he isn't with the team, SportzNut21.

Posted by: sitruc | August 16, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

@sitruc: Both the BBC and Hull City reported last week (on Monday) that the work permit was approved:

http://www.hullcityafc.net/page/NewsDetail/0,,10338~1749853,00.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/h/hull_city/8186653.stm

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 16, 2009 4:25 AM | Report abuse

What does the media know, SportzNut21? He posted the following on twitter Friday night:

Bad news guys still in the states trying to sort things out with my work permit. There is a lil more work that has to be done. :(

Posted by: sitruc | August 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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