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Monday Kickaround

*The Rochester player who suffered extensive leg and ankle damage during a U.S. Open Cup match against D.C. United speaks out.

*Even though neither has tested positive for swine flu, Steve Cherundolo and Michael Bradley were kept out of their respective Bundesliga matches over the weekend because they had been in contact with the infected Landon Donovan last week. Overreaction by the German authorities? Yeah. Even the actual "sick" player, Donovan, played in his MLS match.

*MLS playoff chase:
Eastern Berths
Columbus 39 points
Chicago 35
Western Berths
Houston 39
Seattle 32
At-Large Berths
Los Angeles 31
Toronto 30
Colorado 30
Chivas USA 30
-----------
D.C. United 28
Real Salt Lake 27
New England 24
Dallas 23
Kansas City 21
San Jose 17
Topeka, Kansas U14 girls
New York 10

Midweek matches: Los Angeles at Chicago, Wednesday (9 p.m., ESPN2); New England at Seattle, Thursday (10 p.m., ESPN2).

By Steve Goff  |  August 17, 2009; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Germany , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Poll: MLS in Champions League

Comments

I think Europe is still paranoid about the swine flu. Every day, elmundo (Spanish newspaper) has a story on its front page about one Spaniard getting sick from it.

Posted by: Reignking | August 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Steve, you have a cold streak in you...

OT: If you want to enjoy a good laugh while being educated, you need to check in on this, authored by a good friend of ours:

http://locallanes.blogspot.com/

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 17, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Topeka, Kansas U14 girls"

Ouch...

Though I doubt any of the Fred Phelps clan play soccer.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | August 17, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I have pretty pretty impressed with the Galaxy backline this season, methings messrs DeLaGarza and Gonzalez will be called in for the Janaury camp...I think we should play Norway this time to mix it up though!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 17, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I saw the USSF's reccomendation that anyone with close contact to Donovan take Tamaflu. If Bradley and Cherundolo were taking Tamaflu I'm certain their side affects were far worse than any symptoms Donovan had. I'd rather suffer a week of flu symptoms than a couple days of Tamaflu induced vomiting and diahrea.

Posted by: DrewROC | August 17, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Don't sleep on those Topeka girls. Lucca Wang came out of the Topeka Select system.

Posted by: sitruc | August 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Kenton. While I do not think it was a dirty tackle or malicious, it's like I tell my kids... accidents happen, you say you're sorry and move on. I would think the least he could do is call the man up to apologize and see how he's doing. There's a difference in saying "I'm sorry that I broke your leg" and "I'm sorry that it happened". You can still be sorry that it happened (which I would hope that he is) without actually saying that he felt responsible (because we all know stuff like this just sometimes happens).

Posted by: HarkesyRules | August 17, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for the Fire-Galaxy game mid-week. Otherwise, Beckham would be suspended for the United game, and we'd miss out on what promises to be a great heckling opportunity.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | August 17, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry so much about heckling, I'd worry about a rested Becks, I'd worry about whether Donovan is recovered.

I'd worry about whether DCU will miss the play-offs 2 years running, in which all those "we win trophies" T-shirts will look plain stupid, no matter what happens in USOC.

Bottom half of the league two years in a row just ain't cuttin it with at least one season holder.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"I've never said this is my life, but I hope what goes around comes around."
Kenton kinda sorta had me up until that. I'd still apologize to the guy, but Kenton definitely isn't taking a moral high road.

Posted by: sitruc | August 17, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Were the (lack of) fans at the HDC due to heightened Swine Flu fears?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

what HarkesyRules said

Posted by: Pedalada | August 17, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Topeka, Kansas U14 girls" - Goff FTW!!!

From the video of the Rochester match and from the reports of people that were in the stands, it looked like a 50/50 challenge. Kenton got his cleats caught - possibly before the play - and paid the price. Tough break (literally), but enough with the whining!! Did Josh Gros expect apologies from all of the people that caused his concussions during the course of play? Even Arsenal's Eduardo, while claiming that he never received an apology from Birmingham City's Martin Taylor for a similar tackle and broken leg/ankle, said that he didn't "want to talk about the incident" anymore and that "it's probably best left alone now" (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/article2247350.ece).

This type of thing happens and it's unfortunate - I know I would be upset if it had been the other way around. But accept that soccer is a physical game, move on with your rehab and career, and be a man about it!!!

Posted by: yobigc | August 17, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

In defense of the Germans, Donovan is probably not even infectious any more. And, with the exception of Beckham, the Germans have far more invested in their players. But, yeah, they're probably overreacting. The Americans would have been showing some symptoms this weekend, if they were infected.

Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Were the (lack of) fans at the HDC due to heightened Swine Flu fears?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I think Becks invited 7,000 LA Galaxy season ticket holders to his house to shake his hand and then had them arrested for trespassing. They were probably all served with restraining orders so they can’t go near him. But I guess a trip to Chicago would be an option now.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 17, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Opps -- missed Drewroc's comment. Didn't know that about Tamiflu. I guess if they're taking it, they're not in good shape.

Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Don't most DC United fans still wish Matt Reese ill because of the cheap-shot foul he made on Esky that he refused to acknowledge or apologise for?

DiRimondo should immediately apologise for a high-tackle. He need not apologise for any ill-intent that wasn't there.

That should be the end of it.

Posted by: gooner71 | August 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I would say that we have one more game and the season will be over...We lose on Saturday, which I think we will, the season is toast...I have been saying fire Tom Soehn since last year. It looks like upper management is also to blame here...Had we gotten Bruce Arena when we had the chance last year, we would be in a different situation now...FIRE TOM SOEHN...

Posted by: alan19 | August 17, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

DiRaimondo should apologize to Kenton.

I got run through during a pickup game (haven't been injured in 15 years) by a very aggressive player and as a result had to have 12 stitches on my forehead. I can understand that these things happen, but an apology (not just "checking to see how you're doing") takes some of the pain away. And when the offender is making boatloads of money, an offer to help pay the medical bill is certainly appropriate.

I now have a $1,500 ER bill to deal with plus a very visible scar two months later because of this guy. The advice I got from a fellow player later was "stay away from him. He's crazy." Lesson learned.

I can only imagine how angry Kenton must be about DiRaimondo's failure to apologize.

It's this sort of anger that leads to legal action, such as the former AU player took against Hristo Stoichkov for his dirty tackle during the DCU-AU friendly several years back.

Posted by: billindmd | August 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

DiRaimondo should just apologize for the fact that the guy's leg is broken, but not the challenge. I only saw the clip of it, but if I remember, Kenton was late to the ball, and DiRaimondo had already left his feet. Kenton said himself "I saw it coming". He should have dont better to prepare himself for the tackle, or just avoided it completely, since he was late to the ball anyway. And to compare it to the Stoichkov foul on that AU player is a bit much. The referee did not even call a foul for the Kenton challenge.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 17, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

John D. is not making "boatloads of money"...

Posted by: Reignking | August 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

it would suck if we don't make the playoffs

Posted by: godpere | August 17, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

In the same week that ESPN finally gets the rights to show BPL games on the family of networks in stunning clairity and HD (YOU"RE ON NOTICE FSC - Your years of service have been good, but you and GOLTV taking the cheap and giving us cameras that get double use covering High School football broadcasts on local TV is OVER!) Don Garber, MLS, and John Skipper have to be a little upset at Mr. DB23 - Midweek primetime, late season push matchup against Mr. Blanco - AND MR MARKETING, will be nowhere to be found.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Even if DiRaimondo did apologize, Kenton would have no legal grounds for a lawsuit, as the injury occurred during a competitive match. It'd be one thing if DiRaimondo kicked him in the head while he was down, but this was a 50/50 ball that Kenton was slow to get to, deal with it.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 17, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The "boatloads of money" comment is way off base. I would actually guess that Kenton's annual salary from Rochester is MORE than DiRaimondo's annual salary from United. But I'm surprised that Johnny D hasn't apologized already. Seems like it shouldn't be a hard thing to do to make a phone call or send a quick email to the player to say that he's sorry.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 17, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I have basically liked Coach. Having said that, who do you all think would be the next one? I like one that is coming available after the season, Juan Carlos Osorio. I think we would flourish under him. Who knows, maybe Juan Pablo would find his way south too.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Offseason acquisitions - I'll throw this out there - an enterprising young forward and someone who can control possession and pace.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So if Kansas City are U14 Girls does that make Red Bull U10 Boys?

Posted by: MOCker | August 17, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

So if Kansas City are U14 Girls does that make Red Bull U10 Boys?

Posted by: MOCker | August 17, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Why on Earth would Don Garber and MLS be upset with Beckham being suspended?

Just go back one calender year when MLS made the monumentally stupid decision to televise the Galaxy/Chicago match on Thursday night one night after a FIFA World Cup qualifying day in which both Becks and Blanco were called in. Afterwards MLS released a statement saying in effect "we didn't anticipate both players would have been called in"..

Well Einstein, if you don't schedule the match one day after a FIFA date, the chances of Becks and Blanco both playing probably are a bit higher.

Point being, MLS has no right to be angry with Beckham. Red cards happen, just like injuries.


As for the notion that United's season is over if they lose this weekend, well then, I guess we'll see that particular poster next season. Thanks for being a loyal fan and sticking with the team through difficult times.

With 6 out of 9 matches still left to play at home (5 in a row in Sept/Oct), United is far from out of a playoff spot.

Posted by: ARickey | August 17, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@ ARickey -- I agree that United is far from a playoff spot. At this point, they are only 2 points out of an at-large berth, with the top at-large team only 3 pts. ahead. You are hardly hearing a death knell at this point.

Posted by: HarkesyRules | August 17, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree that the season is not over. The team that wins the MLS Cup will be the team that is hot going into the playoffs. United has a reason to get hot now at the end of the season that it lacked the two years it won the supporters shield and got bounced in the first round from the playoffs. And it has the personnel to get hot that it lacked last year. Vamos United!

Posted by: regularfan | August 17, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@ARickey,

I agree with you, however, their television partner, who's barely paying them a rights fee for broadcast priveleges, has fired the shot across the bow with the BPL rights in the US being acquired recently. It doesn't help ratings to have your big personality match-up feature, maybe, only one of those personalities. The ratings that emerge from those early Saturday AM and the largely TiVoed Monday broadcasts could be 3-4x higher than the average MLS broadcast.

That's why Don would be mad.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kiss this season goodbye if we don't win on Saturday against LA. I guess there is always hope for the US Open Cup and Champions League. But with the way we have been playing, get set for an embarrassing Open Cup loss at home and an exit from Champions League after the group stage. Teams are catching up to our 4 titles (LA or Houston could get their 3rd this year) and we will no longer be the class of the league. We win trophies? Yeah, about 12 years ago.

Posted by: johnnynutnuts | August 17, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Why post an article about some bum for the Rhino's crying about an injury that happened like a month ago? Take your injury like a man, don't be a softie and go get rehab. It was a clean challenge, and no personal apology is necessary...hell I'd be surprised if the Rhino's even have an email for John to send a message to. Kenton is acting like this was a high profile match and demanding an apology...please, get real, you play in the USL not the EPL. Oh, by the way, some guy tackled me in my coed rec game last weekend, I demand an apology.

Lack of class on Goff's part to even try and bring this up again to put DiRaimondo on blast like it is newsworthy.

Posted by: kswiss311 | August 17, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

David Beckham missed half the season, what's one more game?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 17, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Missed everything this weekend, as two close friends married each other. The DC performance was a disheartening end to an otherwise fine weekend.

It's very odd, when you think about it, that United is virtually exactly where we were last year: outside of the playoffs with the CCL and an Open Cup final approaching. That said, last year's team was a challenge to stay optimistic about. The constant injuries, lack of cohesion (especially amongst experienced players), and the too-often listless performances basically left us all hoping for lucky breaks. That we missed the playoffs by losing a terribly unfortunate game on the final day of the season was actually out of order. Last year's team didn't deserve to be so close.

This year, however, we have the makings of a strong team. The problem this year has been a lack of ruthlessness throughout the squad. The performance in Toronto is a glaring example. We had a massive possession advantage, and the majority of the game's best movements going forward, yet we only threatened Frei on a couple of occasions. TFC put out a sitting duck lineup, and we made them look like an all star team by lacking the movement and precision to make goals. There was just a lack of menace. In MLS, possession gaps like Saturday's are rare because the teams are too similar in ability and style; the fact that we made TFC chase so much should have meant that we score at least 3 goals (barring Frei having an absolutely amazing game). Instead, we barely carved out 3 chances (one of which, Namoff's header, was called offside).

What's missing right now is a cutthroat approach in front of goal. When we get chances, especially early, they need to go in. We had TFC under siege for about 10 minutes in the first half, with the crowd out of it, and a goal there would have gotten their heads to drop. Instead, we gave them a sense of belief that they could tough it out, and that's exactly what happened.

Emilio will incur a lot of blame if we keep letting inferior teams off the hook, but it's team-wide right now. Look at the roster: who do you think is actually in form as a goal threat right now? If forced to provide a name, I'd say either Quaranta or Wallace, but even they aren't truly in form; they're just sharper than the rest of the team. We're always going to create chances, because we're better with the ball than most of the teams we meet. However, we're looking more and more like a team that's great at keep-away drills, and that gets you no points.

Maybe this game in Honduras will help. Judging from our other travels in CONCACAF, we'll struggle with possession, meaning that we can't waste a chance and assume that more are coming. There's no choice against Marathon; you get a chance, it must be a goal. Sometimes that kind of pressure has a way of sharpening players and whole teams.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 17, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@ kswiss311: It's called news of interest to DC United fans. That article is fresh, Steve isn't bringing up something from last month without reason.

@johnnynutnuts: Agoos have 5 MLS championships. It would nice if Jaime could
have 5 rings too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@I270Exit1,

Oh, I could care less whether he plays or not. I'll watch the game irregardless. From a pessimistic perspective, I would hate to point to stuff such as this as reasons why MLS would have to switch back to a time-buy.

However, I'm overly fearful. In all respect, MLS could probably still be in a much better position even if they didn't get a rights fee, but didn't have to pay for broadcasts.

We all know that a 2-2.5x increase in the salary cap will do more for ratings and on-field display than Wonderboy and The Hunchback of Azteca any day.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 17, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

the day before my friend's wedding in Portugal back in June, the father of the groom wasn't feeling well so he asked the hotel desk to help him see a doctor. they called an emergency number and a full HAZMAT team showed up, took the old man into custody, and held him for three days (so he missed his son's wedding). they tried to sieze everyone who was travelling with him, but by then we had them hidden in another room. I walked around taking pictures of the HAZMAT idiots with a cell phone camera until they left.

so yeah, Europeans have gone absolutely batty on this. By the way, they call it "Mexican Flu" rather than H1N1 or Swine Flu.

Posted by: troy6 | August 17, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

had DCU earned a draw against Toronto, they'd have that last at-large berth. guess everyone else already figured that out.

Posted by: troy6 | August 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Missed everything this weekend, as two close friends married each other...

I would demand an apology AND boatloads of money!!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 17, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

""those "we win trophies" T-shirts will look plain stupid""

Well, I keep wearing my "WILL YOU BE THERE FOR THE FIFTH" (MLS CUP) playoff promotion shirt from a few years back . . . maybe it's cursed?!

Posted by: delantero | August 17, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So now I blame you delantero. I thought it was my BlackOut shirt from the Chicago game. I can still hear those Fire fans singing "Our House, in the middle of DC."
If I burn the shirt, maybe it will stop the voices in my head . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | August 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, I could care less whether he plays or not. I'll watch the game irregardless. "

*head explodes*

Posted by: Reignking | August 17, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@DCUMD I wasn't saying the DC United player made boatloads of money; I was referring to the guy who injured me.

@kswiss311 Get a life. Steve Goff is one of the best soccer reporters in the US, and the news out of Rochester is of interest to DC United fans. If you want to compare a tackle in a co-ed game to my getting 12 stitches in the ER and having to deal with the resulting bill, you're way off your rocker.

Posted by: billindmd | August 17, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe I'm typing this, but some of Bill Simmons analysis of the Mexico match is spot on...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090817

Posted by: Kev29 | August 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@Chest
"Emilio will incur a lot of blame if we keep letting inferior teams off the hook, but it's team-wide right now"

For a DP, he absolutely deserves it. He is the one who is supposed to be netting goals, creating chances and in a sense, leading the team. Emilio has never been a 'leader' but he is someone that should definitely influence the game (in a positive way). Lately, all I've seen is poor possession and distribution and a lack of a threat to the defense.

As for the playoff hopes, it doesn't look good. Yes, we're one spot away from making the playoffs--but:
New England is 3 games behind
Colorado is one game behind
Chivas is two games behind.

This will only hurt D.C.'s positioning in the table.

But I do agree with your assessment, Chest, that DC has a stronger team this year and to be in the same position as last year is unacceptable. We've made defensive improvements, acquired young talent, and brought back players. This is why I've just about had it with Soehn. The FO has done just about everything to make this year a success, in relative terms. Yes, he may be able to turn it around but it just doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 17, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For the better part of a decade DCU has used a marketing strategy that built them up while tearing the other local franchises down in the process. This was brilliant at first and justified as well. However, I believe their days are numbered to continue with this ploy. It is likely just a matter of time before the Caps starting winning trophies themselves.

Further, dedicated DCU fans know that they are primarily speaking of titles that occurred in the '90's. This decade only only four of their twelve trophies have been added and two of them (supporters) really don't excite the fan base much (this is the USA and like it or not MLS Cup is the ultimate achievement in most of the fans eyes). What do most of you remember from the 90's, their 3 MLS Cups or their 1 Supporters Shield? The Redskins had a similar decade of success (82-92) but their fan base doesn't care anymore as they want success now. DCU faces the same dilemna in the very near future; in sports it's always what have you done for me lately.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 17, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

My bad, they won 2 supporters in the 90's.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 17, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Crofton-

D.C. won 8 of their trophies in their first 4 years. Only 4 trophies acquired in the last 8 years.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 17, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

(Sigh)
Oh, how the times have changed...from being declared champion and best team of the Americas (InterAmerican Cup Champions), to losing to an expansion team 2-0.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 17, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

obviously as the league gets bigger a smaller percentage of teams will make the playoffs. That is a good thing. Being on the bubble for a playoff spot is about where this team deserves to be. Our terrible road form for the last few years is a huge obstacle yet to be overcome. If we miss the playoffs again this year I can't see how Soehn keeps his job. Last year he had plenty of excuses, this year they are not so abundant.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 17, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Chivas has picked up Jesus "Gringo" Padilla.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 17, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This team looks dangerous but just fails to play that way. The tools are there, the talent is there and the experience is there...it's just that something is seriously lacking. I want to say "heart" but that could be a bit too harsh, as there is fight and pride in them (from time to time), but that foot-on-the-throat ruthlessness, that beat-you-down swagger is just not there. Is this a motivation thing? Are we lacking true leadership in the locker room? Has the coach lost his vets?

The team is adding nice pieces and they could be dangerous come the playoffs, but right now they just don't seem like they can sneak into the dance. I am no fan of Soehn (I don't think I have ever been) but there is more going on here than Soehn. yes the buck stops with the manager, but some of our long-time heros and big ticket players are just not doing the business.

This is really disheartening.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 17, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I believe the talent is overrated. I have seen this rhetoric many times in the past (the talent is there) as a fan of other franchises besides United. Bullets fans were saying the same in the early 80's, Oriole fans in the mid 80's, Redskin fans in '93, and Caps fans early this decade after their Stanley Cup final appearance. In each case father time did the team in. While United may have bright young players on their roster, some of their most critical players are older and a step slower. I don't necessarily think the future is bleak but I do believe we may have to resign ourselves to the notion of a transition year or a rebuilding year. It could be worse, they have at the very least the USOC final to compete in.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 17, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

*head explodes*

Posted by: Reignking | August 17, 2009 2:51 PM

If you want to compare a tackle in a co-ed game to my getting 12 stitches in the ER and having to deal with the resulting bill, you're way off your rocker.

Posted by: billindmd | August 17, 2009 2:56 PM

Lots of head cases today.

:-)

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

""those "we win trophies" T-shirts will look plain stupid""

Well, I keep wearing my "WILL YOU BE THERE FOR THE FIFTH" (MLS CUP) playoff promotion shirt from a few years back . . . maybe it's cursed?!

Posted by: delantero | August 17, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse
___________________________________________________

Heck, I still wear my "BELIEVE" t-shirt from '02. It's still my favorite.

Posted by: HarkesyRules | August 17, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

clearly we are #1 in t-shirts

Posted by: Pedalada | August 17, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF:

I actually never wore that shirt, and eventually gave it away. Even the sight of it was too upsetting.

redskinsux:

On Emilio, I stand by my point: He shouldn't receive all of the blame on our recent tendency to let chances pass us by. It's happening to everyone. I do think Emilio should be doing better, and have a couple more goals, but let's not turn him into something he isn't. He's a poacher with some ability at holding the ball up. He's not Ibrahimovic, Eto'o, or even Angel. When DC United, as a whole, plays well, he will score goals. When we don't, his numbers will drop. My issue with Emilio's salary isn't whether he's earning it; it's whether he was ever the caliber of player to deserve it in the first place.

As for my overall assessment, I think I might have left some things open to misinterpretation. I had to make some cuts to get under the Post's character limit. The reason I pointed out our similar position in the standings despite seemingly having improved was not to put the whole thing on Soehn. I wanted to note how this team has increased its potential while also getting younger. Younger means more energetic, but also more prone to inconsistency and letting things pass you by because you imagine there are more opportunities around the corner.

Last year's team had plenty of flaws, but in spite of that came within the width of a couple posts at Crew Stadium of the playoffs. The group was worse than our position in the standings; bizarrely, we overachieved when you consider what our actual capabilities were by season's end. This year's team could potentially be the opposite and finish lower than we should, due at least in part to being naive (especially on offense).

croftonpost:

I was tossing the same sort of thought around in the car earlier. Coming into this season, a lot of us here were skeptical that the older players had enough left as a group, and that the younger players would come in and be good enough this year to make a real impact. That might be what we're seeing now.

There are, however, some other factors impacting our vets. Quaranta's Gold Cup absence, the injury to Khumalo, and N'Silu's (justifiable) banishment to the dog house have all meant Gomez, Moreno, and Emilio logging lots of minutes. Emilio should be able to handle the load for the most part (and seems physically fine, if mentally a little low on belief and dedication to the cause), but Moreno and Gomez would be much better off not having to play in every single game (and do the traveling that comes with each of those games). Gomez, for example, is having to save himself for great moments (freekick vs. Firpo) rather than being a constant threat to opponents. With Gomez not always dangerous, and with Quaranta unavailable, Moreno found himself gang-defended more often, which is both more difficult to beat and more physically punishing.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 17, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Chest,

I agree with your point wholeheartedly. However, it does show how fragile a team can be that relies on older players in such key roles. I love them all but DCU would probably have been better served if they had only one or two such players instead of three (Olsen, Gomez and Moreno).
Ugh!, I hate myself for saying that as all three have been tremendous for this franchise. I feel like a traitor.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 17, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

(Sigh)
Oh, how the times have changed...from being declared champion and best team of the Americas (InterAmerican Cup Champions), to losing to an expansion team 2-0.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 17, 2009 3:34 PM
***********************************

Good one!

http://web.mlsnet.com/history/archive.jsp?year=1998&content=cup

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 17, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Chivas has picked up Jesus "Gringo" Padilla.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 17, 2009 3:50 PM
---------------------------------------------------

Good Grief! It seems every week I learn of another player nicknamed "Gringo". Enough already. It's not cute.
-----------

@Chest -- I agree that Emilio was never worth the DP money. At least, not when it was offered. It was more like hush money. The front office looked around and didn't see any other options at striker -- at least, I hoped they bothered to look. They had the second DP slot and had to do something with it. It was cheaper to give a small increase to Emilio (especially since MLS would foot most of it), instead of finding a more expensive, deserving DP -- and they hoped a happy striker would be a scoring striker. Hasn't really worked out that way....except for the financial aspect: turning Emilio into a DP may have saved United money -- their portion of his salary is probably no more and possibly less than what they paid him before. That's my take on it, anyway.

No way should they be thinking about renewing his contract. I would have liked to see them deal it away while they still had some leverage -- but it is what it is. They really need to be looking for a new striker, and probably a midfielder to organize the offense better...one of whom should be a real DP.

Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

It sure is quiet from Goffino's end today. Is he flying to Honduras for the match? I thought he reports these things long distance....

Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@fischy

So "Gringo" is offensive but "retarded conservatives" is acceptable?

Guess it depends on which side of the aisle/border you stand.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 17, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

if you see someone use the term "retarded conservatives", just email it to "something_fishy@whitehouse.gov". They'll get someone on it right away.

Posted by: daggar | August 17, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

...and this is what a stale thread smells and looks like.

Goff, where are you? Save us!

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 17, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"retarded conservatives"

isn't that redundant? :) relax, joedoc.

Posted by: delantero | August 17, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives don't exist anymore. Just Neo-Cons and Bible-thumping righties.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Relax"?!

"Relax, don't do-"

No, no, I simply can't do it. The idea of typing Frankie Goes to Hollywood lyrics is beyond me. I must say no.

Alec, in all sincerity, I'll say a prayer for you, my friend. I know you don't want it, but it's something I want to do.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 17, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who used the term "retarded conservatives". If it was me, I profoundly apologize to all the developmentally disabled out there. That's truly uncool to use the term which has become a perjorative to describe them and, worse, to link them to conservatives. I'm sorry.

I realize there must be some thinking conservatives, but they're lost in the noise generated by Limbaugh, Beck, "Birthers", "Deathers" and the nuts who are showing up at Obama's events with guns strapped and showing. If they want a civil war, all they have to do is keep that idiocy up. The other side will match them. We're tired of being intimidated by crazed, bible-thumping, gun-loving, nuts who think this their country..and only their country...and they'll danged before they do anything the Europeans do, no matter how much sense it makes.

Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I heard this once from someone and want to keep it going.

Keep politics out of soccer! We get enough already.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 18, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention, tainting the ugliness of politics with the beauty of football.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 18, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

fischy, step away from the foil hat dude.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 18, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

*Instead, tainting the beauty of football with the ugliness of politics.*

Posted by: redskinsux | August 18, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Redskinsux, by the way, great sign on. I bet your blood boils as much as mine with the pre-season DC fixation on the Skins. DC fixates on random Redskin fluff when they should be fixating on a team in the midst of several heated competitions.

From what I've seen of this blog, and the reason I keep coming back, is that now and again we get a chance to vent/discuss with some folks. It doesn't ruin the blog as Goff always keeps a new thread alive.

I mean, there's plenty of talk about how friggin leaden legged Emilio is. And Jaime, for that matter, legend though he may be, is about 15 pounds above the playing weight of his glory days. It's not about age . . (Lance Armstrong at 37, finished 3rd in the Tour!), it's about commitment.

Posted by: delantero | August 18, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

delantero-This is why I can't be here (USA) for the World Cup. I've already made plans to be in Europe.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 18, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Please fischy, stop using such an offensive term. Better to allow the physically fit to take the burden of our insults:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=1487886

Posted by: vivzig | August 18, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

First, let me say I agree about keeping politics out of here. Second, let me say Fischy that was one damn good rant and can I get an amen. Well said.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 18, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

@croftonpost: re: "For the better part of a decade DCU has used a marketing strategy that built them up while tearing the other local franchises down in the process. "

*Tearing down* other local franchises? When has DCU marketing ever attacked and actively worked to destroy other local sports franchises? Saying "we win trophies" hardly qualifies (since it is merely stating a fact), and even if it did, that certainly does not comoprise "the better part of a decade".

Posted by: Ron16 | August 18, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Ron16,

Are you serious? How many times have you heard KP interviewed during which he alluded to the team winning trophies unlike other franchises in town. They have definitely done what I said but there is nothing wrong with it. They were merely stating the truth. Tearing down was just a phrase I used. I never meant to infer they used malice. Think about "we win trophies". What is that saying and to what audience? We do (United) but they don't (other teams) and it is speaking to the local fans. However, my real point was things are changing now and the clock is ticking.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 18, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Please fischy, stop using such an offensive term. Better to allow the physically fit to take the burden of our insults:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=1487886

Posted by: vivzig | August 18, 2009 1:44 AM
------------------------------------------------

Ummm -- did you read my post before criticizing me? I wrote that I didn't know who had used the term, but that if I had used it any time, then I was apologizing to the developmentally disabled.

As for the politics of my apology post -- I couldn't resist, but I apologize to all here for bringing in such nasty business.

Posted by: fischy | August 18, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't know who used the term "retarded conservatives".
Posted by: fischy | August 17, 2009

Speaking of retarded conservatives, what's with those stupid hippy satires?

Posted by: fischy | August 13, 2009 3:03 PM

I did not mean to stir up such a heated political debate. I happen to lean conservative, but I would never, ever refer to "brain damaged liberals." If I did I assume I would be rightly shunned.

I'm just curious why it's okay for the champions of Political Correctness to be so very, very un-PC when they are the ones hurling insults.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 18, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, since I apologized -- even though I was was really just republishing/riffing off someone else who used the phrase -- I don't regard it as OK.

Posted by: fischy | August 18, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the appropriate medical term (for people on both ends of the spectrum) is craniorectal inversion

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 18, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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