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Poll: United's Year

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2009; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: USA Roster Announced

Comments

man..we are rough on UTD...but I still have to say...FIRE SOEHN!!!!!

Posted by: godpere | August 27, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Sky, falling, etc.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | August 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

^^^^^^^ i concur, uh oh my boss is just about to peer over me, yankiboy saw that coming, g2g

Posted by: supamars11 | August 27, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I almost said fall short on all three, but with the little "feud" with Seattle going on now, we might pull that one out. But, I'm being an optimist on that one...

Vamos United!

Posted by: dogboy | August 27, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Here in the Post, there's a tendency to just mimic the management line: we expect to win championships, and competition for minutes is good. Nothing wrong with a little spin, but take it for what it is!

Some form of acknowledgment that 2009 is in fact a rebuilding year, and that 2010 will be a transition year, would shed an entirely different light on things.

The team now has 6 "keepers", including no less than 5 legit starters, all 25 or under, plus a handful of decent young depth players. Vets Namoff, Simms, and Gomez still contribute at a high level and hopefully will keep providing leadership next year. Payroll is way down from 08, and oodles of cap space can be easily created to plug the remaining holes. Next year.

So if one is realistic, you can call this year a success, and expect more progress next season.

My one knock on Soehn is he needs to make it more of a priority to ID his 11 go-to guys and lean on them for a season. Too much of a good thing (intrasquad competition) can be bad in the long run. Same issue as last year.

In his defense, that is very much a luxury which was not available to him this year.

So I think DCU comes up empty this year, though I of course hope they make a stand at the Open Cup. I just hope mgmt sticks with the plan instead of pulling a 07-08 panic attack.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

DC United stinks.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Goff - Is it possible for United to withdraw from the Champions League this year to focus on MLS? I know it would be unlikely they would do this (because it would admit the problem that exists) but is even something they would be allowed to do?

Posted by: FatSickBoot | August 27, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse


There! Don't you feel better?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

and you thought 'the damned united' was just a movie.....

Posted by: stairs | August 27, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Godfather of Goals....Its nice to read a post from someone that actually knows something about soccer instead of these couch coaches that know nothing about soccer but post "fire soehn" or DCU stinks and have no idea what they are talking about. Your post is dead on!

Posted by: markt6 | August 27, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm not on the Fire Soehn train, but I'm now standing in the ticket line. A USOC win would not vindicate him in my eyes. He needs to get this team deep into the playoffs.

I think Soehn and Payne trying, and stubbornly so, to build championship teams on the cheap. Yeah, I know we have a salary cap, and 10 matches in 31 days, etc. But pulling players from USL and PDL and expecting them to start and do well against MLS and CONCACAF competition is unreasonable. The only recent signing that excited the fans was Szetela.

Does anyone think that Szetela is worse than the junior varsity B-team players who started last night? He may have an attitude problem, but keeping him off the roster (barring injury) when he is desperately needed shows that the coach has an attitude problem too. If Szetela is that bad, just cut him and be done with it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Goff - Is it possible for United to withdraw from the Champions League this year to focus on MLS? I know it would be unlikely they would do this (because it would admit the problem that exists) but is even something they would be allowed to do?

Posted by: FatSickBoot

Is that a serious question?

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@FatSickBoot:

Hell, no. The league would never allow that. It would make MLS (more of) a laughingstock, and almost certainly jeopardize the number of CCL slots allocated to MLS for the competition in future years.

DCU has enough issues with MLS - they don't need to add a corker like withdrawing from CCL!

Besides, CCL is not among DCU's chief problems. A thin roster and underperforming veterans are a much bigger culprit. DCU has no business punishing the league for its current misfortunes.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

GOFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you please give us the scoop on how many of DCU's roster have a foreign player status?

Only 5 are allowed on an Open Cup roster as far as I can tell. I'm still confused about how many we have, and who'll really be needed next Wednesday.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope this statement doesn't make me seem hypocritical, however, yelling Fire Soehn/Kaspar/Payne is not the answer here. It's doing about as much good as hoping that Thomas Rosicky, circa 2006 is going to take the field for Arsenal again.

Tommy's resting and rotating players because it's a busy schedule and we've had a propensity with most of these guys over the greater part of the last half decade to have late season hamstring and other issues. Besides, you could also make the point that the experience that some of these younger guys are getting would be good.

You can't fire Payne - he's a PART OWNER in the team. He won't go away. Please stop. It's comical that people don't know he has an equity stake in the ownership and not just a position as President. Dave Kaspar had a great draft class this year and has actually improved the team from last year's experiment/failure. It's just not back to where it could/should be.

But back to the point of youth experience and other issues with the club - it's more back to the structure of MLS pay scales. Guys making/playing for less than 50/60K a year are really only going to ever be that good. If they were markedly skilled enough to punish Central American and other MLS opponents, they would have prospects to earn more here or move abroad. No one is kicking the doors down for some of these back-ups because they've probably peaked in terms of development and are meerly occupying a roster spot with a warm body. That's somewhat the reality with the salary structure in this league - You're going to have a pretty competitive team 1-11, with some good bench options 12-14/16 and then the rest of the bench is a combo of limited skills and straight experiments/hopes/prayers/bodies. You only hope that your player personnel people are good enough to uncover the diamond in the rough that they can get better skills than what you're paying for. It's like playing MONEYBALL every day, except that the talent you're evaluating is just not as capable as much of the competition it will face.

If MLS had a salary cap closer to $10 million, you could stock every team with 24 guys all making a little over $400k each.

It disappoints me still when the team doesn't win and doesn't play well and doesn't advance in all competitions. However, I'm still yelling for Don Garber and MLS' Board of Governors to find a means to open and expand the purse strings. Heck, it needs to just to keep pace with the rest of the world and attempt to take MLS beyond what it currently comprises. MLS has not kept up with inflation in the last decade and has managed to find cheaper sources of talent to fill some of its gaps as it sought out true tests of its revenue and operations. Let's take the training wheels off.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 27, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Just like last season, except we don't have the Million Dollar Donut to help us hoist the US Open Cup.

Gallardo is a fraud. Can someone go and cut his picture out of every official team photo, please?

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | August 27, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I'll take one positive from last night -- Q might be the most important player on the team right now and in years to come.

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

couch coaches that know nothing about soccer but post "fire soehn" or DCU stinks and have no idea what they are talking about.
====================

Per Goff, who tends to know what he's talking about: "You can forget checking this month's schedule -- with a tie or loss Saturday at Chicago, United will be 0-for-August. (Now you know what it feels like to be a Red Bulls supporter.)

Way back yonder, on July 21, United survived a scare from the second-division Rochester Rhinos for a 2-1 -- gasp! -- victory.

And consider this: United's only victory over a first-tier opponent in the last 2 1/2 months was against Colorado at home."

I was just summarizing.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Was Jozy's goal against Southend ever posted?
youtube has it

Posted by: sitruc | August 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I posted it during the game last night...what, you weren't riveted to the game and blog?

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

From the US Soccer Twitter:

U-20 #USMNT FIFA World Cup TV info - http://bit.ly/4aYwL7 Games to be televised live on ESPN360.com and ESPN2...


9/26: USA vs. Germany - LIVE at 9:55 a.m. ET on ESPN360.com, 9:55 a.m. ET/PT on Galavision

9/29: USA vs. Cameroon - LIVE at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, DELAYED at 5 p.m. ET/PT on Galavision

10/2: USA vs. Korea Republuc - LIVE at 12:40 p.m. ET on ESPN2, DELAYED at 4 p.m. ET/PT on Galavision

Posted by: addick | August 27, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

the payscale is the same for the whole league. The fact that DC has sucked for a while, falls on management, not MLS. Nobody in DC was complaining during the early years...
Moneyball? Yes, lets juice up the up and coming players and turn them into superstars.

In the words of the great Alexi Lalas *haha*, I'm not seeing the passion, the heart, or the desire in this team. This team needs to be flushed of most of the veterans this offseason, and yes, I think a coaching change would be wise. And whoever has made the signings the last 2 years has to go OR get their head out of their ass. Getting sick of the scrubs we bring in. I wonder who the next great southamerican will be. Sure has heck not gonna be a Riquelme, Ronaldo.

Posted by: Bucky_Badger | August 27, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Umm... Rosicky was back on the field for preseason: first team football, no less. He played very well, very close to his 06 form.

His hamstring injury is keeping him out for six weeks, but he's expected to play lots of first team football this season.

Posted by: B_A_ | August 27, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I have no hope for this team in any of the competitions because the team is not playing good soccer, and I have no confidence it will change anytime soon.

There is no plan, no system, no nothing to this team. No pattern play, little off the ball movement, almost no 1 v 1 attacking (with success, anyway).

What I do see is lots of soft passes that give defenders time to recover. Make a pass, make a run? Hardly. It's more like, "make a pass, then just see what happens." First touches that flick up to their knees (receive the ball high on the ball, for goodness sake!) Shots from distance that are a joke -- simply getting these guys to put a ball on frame is like moving a mountain. Defenders can crowd the penalty area because they know there isn't a United player on the pitch capable of causing damage from 25 yards. And second-defender pressure on the ball? Ha! Look at how Burch got cork-screwed yesterday and how he had no help. Nobody cared.

I'm not getting into personalities. I just know what I see -- and don't see -- on the field. The quality of the play is poor. Until that changes, United will not go anywhere in regional play, they won't make the playoffs, and I fear the club will be humiliated at home by Seattle.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals (1st post)

+1,000. though i understand and am feeling a lot of the frustration being expressed by others here, i'm trying to take the longview. i think last night shows once again that MLS is a bit hamstrung by their salary cap that leads to a lack of solid depth on most teams. but it's getting to be a chicken-and-egg situation with the CCL because until they can get people excited about it, the revenue isn't going to increase enough to raise the cap to the point where the depth gets better. 8,800 fans for an important game with a quality Mexican opponent isn't going to cut it. and it's not just in the U.S.; the crowd at Saprissa the other night was Dallas-esque.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | August 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I've posted my share of "fire soehn" posts. That doesn't mean I don't know the game, it just means I don't feel like posting war and peace every time.

For the record, Tom Soehn sucks. He has no tactical awareness, he can't motivate the guys, and he follows tragic substitution patterns.

My take on United this year. We have been playing like rot lately, and we will lose in the USOC final. The pattern is that we simply cannot advance in the CONCACAF competition, and nothing to make me think different this year. And I don't see us turning things around enough to make the playoffs. There are certainly other teams who are seizing destiny right now by (GASP) winning games.

The bright spots this year have been Pontius, Wallace, Wicks and Q. But ... to some degree I see Q as a man without a position. I think he's been most effective on the flank. I'm saying I still think we need an effective attacking mid.

Bottom line, if Soehn is still here next year, it's more of the same. Lose.

Posted by: Matte | August 27, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's an idea for Will Chang, esp now that the Second Amendment applies in DC:

"Rene Simoes, coach of Brazilian second division club Portuguesa, handed in his resignation after officials of the club came into the locker room with guns on their belts and threatened the players after a loss."

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I find it a little fascinating how much this year mirrors last year...and am wondering how long DCU will try the same tactic.

Why is it in Europe players can go twice a week but not in MLS? Okay, the old ones need a rest, but Jakovic, Namoff, Quaranta, Pontius, Wallace, Jacobson? Burch and Simms seem to be able.

Posted by: teo_68 | August 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Why is it in Europe players can go twice a week but not in MLS?
Posted by: teo_68
=================

Some DC players can't even go once a week.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

There only 2 options MLS can use in order to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League. They are 1) Increase the salary cap to get better talent, or 2) Place exemptions on the MLS sqauds who are participating. My exempting squads to have more then just 24 players, teams would a have deeper team, and more cash to spend. That is the only I can see MLS teams competing in this competition. If MLS continues to ignore the limitations of the size of the sqaud and the salary amounts, this league will be stuck, and the only growth will be through expansion teams, and not talent.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | August 27, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@dimesmakedollars

Agree, Crud Azul might have had 5,000 in the stands. I don't see how anybody is making money.

I was happy to see group play introduced but it is just too many extra games. I would think that simple economics would dictate a return to the bracket formula of home & home knockouts.

Always wondered: What would happen if all tickets were free? Would that pack stadiums? Would they make out on consessions and parking? Have you mistakenly turned to a Washington Nats baseball gamegame on tv?

A packed stadium would make the game more attractive on TV which would make people want to go to the game in person.

Always wondered about that!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 27, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Virginia BlueBlood nails it. As frustrated as we UTD fans are, the inherent limitations of the salary cap are to blame. Though all MLS teams suffer equally, the reality is that is much more difficult to pair a couple of high priced stars with pedestrians players and expect a well-rouned and consistent performance. A team full of stars is easy to coach, except for their egos. Coaching cannot cover up limited soccer skills. United has a few aging stars - Moreno, Olsen, Gomez - who can't do it for more than 45, a goal poacher in Emilio whose awful first touch and inability to take on defenders has been exposed by smart MLS defenders, and defenders, outside of Namoff and Jankovic, who are overmatched.

Which leaves a few potential stars - Pontius, Wallace (who has brain-lock on the field too often)Szetla and Quaranta. That is not a combination of players who will scare anyone.

And a lot of MLS teams look that way -which is why no one team can dominate.

If Garber wants to keep crowing about how competitive MLS is, he is going to have to loosen the purse strings and join the real soccer world, where spending everywhere but in MLS has exploded.

The inferiority of MLS was duly exposed this summer against Barcelona Real Madrid and Chelsea, and Garber knows it. Though they are probably now the 3 best teams in the world, none of the games we even close to competitive. The "Summer of Soccer" exhibition should have been re-named the "Summer of MLS' Suckiness."

Attendance is down partly due to recession and partly due to the US public's increasing exposure to great soccer in Europe with expanded ESPN coverage. Our soccer "isolationism" is over, and the window into great soccer has been ripped open for even the casual US fan to see.

MLS is at a turning point, does it become a competitive league against world competition or does it become a farm league for Europe.

As I rabid UTD fan since 1996, I am beginning to lose interest. The more I see of world soccer, the more lame the MLS is appearing. Grow or die!

Posted by: dcpsycho | August 27, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of resting players in int'l competitions, Clint Dempsey has the afternoon off in Fulham's (wrapped up) Europa League playoff

http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/EuropaLeague/AmkarPermAway.aspx?lineups=true

Eddie Johnson made the bench, but hasn't seen action yet.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

We Win Trophies??????

Really????? because right now this team couldn't win the Maryland U19 State Cup!

Very disappointing year to be a United fan, not that I'm not watching them and supporting them, I just think that this team is not capable of winning anything, not sure what they can do

Posted by: PineyO | August 27, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Why is it in Europe players can go twice a week but not in MLS?
Posted by: teo_68
=================

Big European clubs like Man U, AC Milan and Real seem to actually have a seperate squad for Champ League matches. Any of these 'seperate squads' could win the MLS easily.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 27, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

and the answer is: continue to serve as a farm league.

Posted by: nairbsod | August 27, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Settle on a starting 11. Change to a 4-4-2 and try and keep a clean sheet.

Posted by: delantero | August 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

dcpsycho, I hope Don Garber and the rest of the MLS front office, read your post, because I agree 100% with you. I love United, but why I should continue to dish funds when I can stay at home at watch the best players and teams in the world on TV. I am not Eurosnob, but I also like being suckered into thinking I am attending a top notch soccer game, when in reality we are not. The product on the field needs to improve drastically in order for me to continue to have a rooting interest.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | August 27, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, Do you know how many tickets have been sold for the Open Cup

Posted by: timmy6 | August 27, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Rotation" doesn't mean "wholesale replacment." I get weary of stuff like "this team is built for international competition" coupled with ridiculous starting elevens like the one last night. It took Soehn 32 minutes to figure out that Ely Allen is a liability? If, as he said last night, the team has to expect to play two games a week, why did he toss every single scrub on the roster onto the pitch to start?

I know there are two vital games coming up as part of the three-games-in-eight-days deal, and as all of the however-many-games-in-however-many-days nightmare that the schedule is clogged with. Why is he bothering to lie about it? Of course the fixture congestion is an excuse, and a reason for some of the team's issues. Why does he have to throw his players under the bus with such stunning regularity (deserved exceptions, like Janicki at Marathon, excepted)?

The lack of a system and the soft passing and the eagerness to backpass (ineptly, at that) are coaching issues. Either Soehn isn't coaching on technical issues to overcome their inability to play to his tactics, such as they are, or he can't get the players to listen to him, which is worse. I don't think Soehn's up to the task of managing this club. He needs to be gone after this season (I don't think there's much value in firing him before the season finishes its spectacular flameout).

Posted by: Landru | August 27, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

As I rabid UTD fan since 1996, I am beginning to lose interest. The more I see of world soccer, the more lame the MLS is appearing. Grow or die!

DCPsycho
================================
I agree with you, I use to watch Baltimore Blast indoor games and thought it was OK to watch, then after a three year break from going to their games I went to the final this spring and could not believe how horrible the play was(please don't start with the "indoor in't soccer thing" I know that) and MLS is heading in that direction, the bonus of FSC, Setanta, ESPN soccer coverage is that there are many more opportunities to watch world class soccer and when thrown on ESPN2 it opens it up for the casual fan, but the more world class soccer you watch the more difficult it becomes to watch an MLS match

Posted by: PineyO | August 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Settle on a starting 11. Change to a 4-4-2 and try and keep a clean sheet.

Posted by: delantero | August 27, 2009 11:40 AM

I agree - but we still don't have an adequate center back to play next to Jakovic. Or an adequate left back (unless we convert Wallace back to his college position). If healthy, I would play...

-----------------Wicks----------------
Namoff--Jakovic-{GAPING HOLE}--Wallace
Quaranta---------Simms------------Fred
-----------------Gomez----------------
------------Pontius--Emilio-----------

Sorry Ben and Jaime.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@dcpsycho ...the inherent limitations of the salary cap are to blame.
#################################
Be careful of what you ask for. With the NASL in the 80's the New Dork Cosmo's once had Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Georgio Chinaglia (and Gordon Bradley). Nobody could compete with that. Washington Diplomats responded with Johan Croyff.

Result: A bankrupt league!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the props but look, we're all couch coaches. If someone wants to holler at Soehn and say DCU stinks, a) they have a case, in my opinion, I just have a different attitude about it, and b) if they can say that and still go to games and cheer for the team, they're real fans and thus OK by me.

It's the player-haters who got to go. I've done some of that myself but no more. I spent all winter doing anti-Janicki voodoo, and then he busted his head open. I used the phrase "Khumalo stinks" once, and, obviously I regret that now.

Burch haters take heed. You are talking about a highly valued employee. Not one player has handled the work load like he has. Simms got more minutes last year, but he was a corpse by the end. Burch just got better. He, like both his linemates, has the tools to influence a game at both ends, but is hamstrung by the lack of a 4th D who provides any extra stop. In the LA game 3 MFs rotated back to stopper at times, and Burch was outstanding - think of who he was lined up across from. 0-0.

Anyway, try to think of this before you hex the guy.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

kev: good for Clint -- if you can, map where that team is located. That's an awful trip.

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

dcpsycho,

The more you see of world soccer, the more lame the MLS is appearing? Let me get this straight, you didn't know how good other leagues were in comparison to MLS until recently? Really?

I agree that the league really needs to take a look at the salary cap, roster size, etc. We can't go on fielding horrible lineups like last night and expect people to show up to watch. That said, I don't believe league attendance is down (only slightly, to be honest) because people are watching other leagues on TV and now realize that MLS isn't up to snuff. I think most that go to MLS matches know we can't compete with many Euro leagues, as well as the Mexican league. I go to MLS matches because I love the sport, and I usually get my money's worth (remember, we're not paying a lot for tickets at RFK). I think you may be losing interest because our team sucks at the moment, and seems far away from turning it around.

Posted by: Hoost | August 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

------------------------------------------
Some form of acknowledgment that 2009 is in fact a rebuilding year, and that 2010 will be a transition year, would shed an entirely different light on things.

The team now has 6 "keepers", including no less than 5 legit starters, all 25 or under, plus a handful of decent young depth players. Vets Namoff, Simms, and Gomez still contribute at a high level and hopefully will keep providing leadership next year. Payroll is way down from 08, and oodles of cap space can be easily created to plug the remaining holes. Next year.

So if one is realistic, you can call this year a success, and expect more progress next season.

My one knock on Soehn is he needs to make it more of a priority to ID his 11 go-to guys and lean on them for a season. Too much of a good thing (intrasquad competition) can be bad in the long run. Same issue as last year.

In his defense, that is very much a luxury which was not available to him this year.

So I think DCU comes up empty this year, though I of course hope they make a stand at the Open Cup. I just hope mgmt sticks with the plan instead of pulling a 07-08 panic attack.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 10:08 AM
------------------------------------------

Your expectations are unrealistic.

6 keepers and 5 legit starters! Who are they?

Moreno, Emilio, Fred, Gomez and Olsen would most likely not be back next year.

Simms has underperformed for a while.

So you have 3 starters in Pontius, Quaranta and Wallace.

Namoff maybe (he is starting to get long in the tooth).

That's it.

Next year is a rebuilding year. The following is a transition year. So it is going to be a while before DC United has a decent team again.

Posted by: Barracudas | August 27, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So I forgot Jakovic, who for whatever reason does not play in Champions Cup...

Posted by: Barracudas | August 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

To lighten the mood a little.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@dcpsycho,

Describing MLS as lame is a bit much in my opinion. In reality it punches above its weight class a lot more than most are willing to give it credit. Losses like last night bring to light a good deal of the shortcomings, and results this year internationally have been underwhelming for sure. However, the history of the league is still a lot better than most leagues that would have started in a non-native country competing against an already crowded sports market and an international game that grows every year.

The last article published about the CBA mentioned that the players were looking for greater freedom in Free Agency and something else that is escaping me at present. Take that, combine the Landin loan to Houston (as a DP as well) and you'll start to get an idea that recession or no, the Players may have a strong hand to push on MLS for some of the things that fans cry-out for. If you're DeRosario, Brian Ching (hold your USMNT related hate), Stuart Holden, Brian McBride, Frankie Hejduk, Sacha Kljestan, or Kenny Cooper (I know he's gone) and you see that a guy who barely has your CV or even your national team credentials, MLS and its ownership have determined that aside from Landon Donovan you'll never really get the money you might get on the open market from MLS. Some may fault my examples because some are twilight career players and others have plateaued (or so it seems) in the development some, but I would be more than upset that I lack a lot of ability to receive a fair valuation from my league and club while a guy from outside of the country that isn't a Household Name commands a lot more money than I do.

I feel I'm getting off track here - bottom line - the Players may really have a good chance at pushing MLS for some progressive change that will help them and help the league. But calling MLS lame for results over the last 12 months is a bit much when history says it's done a lot to make it to this point. There are growing pains for sure and the recession has not helped, but I will still believe that a growing ownership base and better revenue potential going forward will help MLS take that next calculated risk that will see it resume its growth.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 27, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

UEFA Champions League groups about to be drawn...

http://www.uefa.com/live/competitions/ucl/draw/2010.gs/draw_basic.html

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Funny to see Sevilla in pot A, and RM in B.

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Does everyone expect to see DCU's best 11 on the field next Wednesday? If guys like Janicki, DH, or Allen are even in the 18, Soehn needs to have his head examined. I fear that Payne bit off more than he could chew with this "Trophies" publicity stunt. Watching those rave green tools celebrate on our field would probably be the last straw for me this season, so I hope Soehn can get it together.

and Redskinsaddict has it right - if Garber really wants interest in this League to pick up in and outside of the US, then MLS should come up with another one of its whacky rules to allow for CCL participants to have roster exemptions of some sort. Why not simply give the teams more allocation money to buy down their cap number (or whatever that money is called when a team sells a player). So for instance, if you qualify for the CCL, you should get 4 extra roster spots, and 250K in allocation money to buy down your cap figure. They would have to work out some sort of limit on league games for the extra roster spots, but im sure MLS can come up with a Mickey Mouse rule to make it work, if they really want to. They could even name it something clever, along the lines of "The Beckham Rule". I mean, that rule was a smashing success, right?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 27, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of you are selling some of the players we have short.

James wouldn't be my first choice CB in MLS, but he's more than adequate for the money.

Habarugira will be a good LEFT BACK. When will Tommy freaking realize this? Look at his bio, he's a Center and LEFT BACK. Not right you freaking moron.

Namoff---James---Jakovic---Habarugira

That's a decent back 4, particularly for the level of play in MLS. Hell, that backline wouldn't have given up those soft goals against Real Madrid since there's actually some pace (James and Haba).

Jacobsen is looking better as the year progresses, he ball-watches a bit too much, but bring in an adequate coach (which Soehn is not) and that can be fixed.

Am I the only one who saw positive contributions from Szetela in his limited minutes? He's got the tools to be like Ben Olsen. Maybe he's a headcase, maybe he slacks in practice... get him a freaking shrink and a hardass taskmaster of a coach then!

This team needs Volkswagen to pony up for Jurgen Klinnsman. He isn't doing anything else. He's all about having a fit, fast team. He utilizes Sport's Psychologists (to figure out what the hell is wrong with guys like Szetela), and he'd keep an attacking identity. Sure he'd get frustrated by MLS salary cap rules and roster restrictions, but he might be able to attract some talent willing to take a pay-cut to play for him.

Here's the lineup United should use for every match the rest of the season. If someone gets worn out/hurt, replace him with a scrub. It's not like we'll make the playoffs anyway.

--------------Kocic---------------
Namoff----James---Jakovic--Habarugira
Fred-----Szetela--Simms----Wallace
---------Pontius--Quaranta--------

Subs: Hamid, Moreno, Emilio, Olsen, Jacobsen, McTavish, Burch.

What's that? No Gomez? That's the idea. He's good for a nice free-kick once a month. Other than that, he hasn't done jack.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Fire Soehn.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 27, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@Barracudas:

>6 keepers and 5 legit starters! Who are they?

*My* legit ≤25 starters are Quaranta, Pontius, Jakovic, Burch (yes), and either Wallace or Szetela. Wallace plays a big role on the team now, but I'm worried his ceiling might be lower than we thought. Reverse that case for Szetela.

I'm pretty sure Gomez has another year on his contract. Of all the high dollar vets, I hope and expect him to be back.

Other than that I think you're right on. My point is, 2008 was not fixable in one year, and to count the things DCU's done right since then.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

>

Jacobson could be an answer. He's not a d-mid. He could be effective going forward for his favorite 30-40 yard shot.

Wallace at left back is an option, but he's been pretty inconsistent of late.

Posted by: delantero | August 27, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Namoff--Jakovic-{GAPING HOLE}--Wallace

Insert Jacobson? +/- Wallace

Posted by: delantero | August 27, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Milan and Real Madrid together - instant "group of death" draw

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Inter and Barca in the Eto'o/Ibrahimović derby

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

If United piss away the Seattle game next week they need to change the slogan to "We Don't Win Sh*t"

If Jaime and Gomez can only give you 45 quality minutes a game why are they not playing in every game. Sub one for the other at halftime and play them as the center mid.

---------- Wicks ----------
Namoff James Jakovic Burch
----------- Simms ----------
Quaranta -------------- Fred
---------- Moreno ----------
--- Pontius ---- Emilio ---

Subs: Olsen, Wallace, Jacobson, Szetela, Habarugira, McTavish, Gomez

Posted by: emjay613 | August 27, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

In womens Euros, Germany laid a 4-0 shellacking on Fifa #10 Norway in game 1, and put a massive 5-1 beatdown on Sonia and #8 France today.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I find myself not caring about how the team will do. their CCL play has been embarrassing. i would have gone to the Open Cup Final but since the team obviously no longer cares then neither do I. it's absolutely absurd that they have the temerity to put out that "we win trophies" bs when they tank CCL play.

the team is old, slow and overpaid (well, at least the older vets are. we all know the rest of the players are barely paid).

Posted by: PindarPushkin | August 27, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: you keep asking this. I know. and I haven't been able to find the USSF's eligibility rules for 2009, but unless they have changed from last year, I believe we had 6 SIs on the team for that match: Emilio, Fred, Guerrero, Martinez, Crayton, Gallardo,

Posted by: joshuaostevens | August 27, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Cakewalk for Arsenal.

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Virginia BlueBlood
Lame is a harsh word, and I was wrong to describe the MLS as a whole as "lame." Its really DC United that has looked lame, even when compared to other MLS teams, much less Mexican or European teams. I have never suffered under the illusion that the MLS was more than what it is: a young league struggling for a niche in a country that stills see soccer as a sport kids play in lieu of little league baseball. And it has made progress in expanding its footprint nationwide. What is lame is the idea that Garber thinks he expect great progress in the speed and skill, and therefore entertainment value of MLS, without paying for it. I always knew that it would take years for MLS to truly compete with the world leagues, but after 14 years, I don't see that progress. Top notch American players are leaving MLS at a greater pace than ever, and why shouldn't they? Playing in Bundesligia 2 is still more lucrative than MLS.

I agree that a collective bargaining agreement that provides minimum pay based on longevity like the NFL does is a start, along with more pay for the good US players. But no matter how you slice it, more money must be paid to players to attract the quality needed to improve the quality - period. Using the NASL as the "boogeyman" to justify artificially low salaries just doesn't work anymore. MLS can increase the salary cap considerably without jeopardizing its financial stability. Pay the players, bring the quality, increase attendance -repeat.

Posted by: dcpsycho | August 27, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Rubin: corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and (of course) Russian dressing.

Standard: automatic exit.

Zurich: don't bank on them anymore.

Kyiv: will chicken out on the road against Barca and Inter. (I think I used that one before)

That's all I have - obviously it's more than you wanted.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think it's 5 players this year. Lot's of talk on GoalSeattle about this in the earlier rounds. Ljungberg has yet to play in an Open Cup match, but with Hurtado missing the final with a red card I'm expecting to see him starting if he's healthy.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I bet the guys who were completely rested last night will play (at some point) in the Cup final...

Gomez
Jakovic
Olsen
Emilio

Might rest Fred, Simms and maybe Pontius. I definitely don't think we'll see a full tank squad like last night. Not with the hype and advertising they've put into the match. Open Cup team last year...

DCU: 27-Louis Crayton;

4-Marc Burch, 18-Devon McTavish, 23-Gonzalo Martinez, 26-Bryan Namoff;

3-Joe Vide (7-Fred, 40), 12-Ivan Guerrero, 19-Clyde Simms, 25-Santino Quaranta;

11-Luciano Emilio (15-Rod Dyachenko, 7, 10-Marcelo Gallardo, 80), 99-Jaime Moreno (22-Ryan Cordeiro, 92+)

Subs not used: 20-Michael Zaher, 28-Craig Thompson, 40-James Thorpe

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I voted fall short in all 3 competitions. Not because that's what I'm hoping for, but it's just hard to imagine DCU winning a match at this point. Last night they were all just standing and walking and it was only 15 minutes into the match!

Posted by: Senor_Funk | August 27, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

After posting my lineup earlier I had a better idea: Szetela at RM and Jacobson in the middle... sorry Fred, bench for you.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 27, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Thank you I-270 I have grown tired to the end of world for DC United talk.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

DC United has three types of players -- Highly paid players who are now old and slow (but in some cases highly skilled, but what good is that when u are so slow): Moreno (bless him), Emilio, Fred, and Gomez headline this group.

Then there are the journeymen who are serviceable to decent players but are not going to get any better. Quaranta, Namoff, Simms, Jakovic are notable ones from his group.

Then there are the rest who are young and unproven, or just warm bodies and who knows how they are going to turn out.

Bottom line: We have some skill but no players with BOTH speed and superior skill. We have a bunch of journeyman players who make something happen once in a while but otherwise don't have much of an impact.

OWNTF said it well: DC United stinks.

This is a rebuilding year? How so? Rebuilding means you cut/trade the underperforming big salaries, get in some fast, clever, skilled young players, and you actually do some BUILDING. DCU has not done BEANS in that respect this year.

This year is actually a transition year. And the transition is from an also-ran into a team that is going to be blown up to start over. NEXT year is the rebuilding year. But don't talk to me about rebuilding until Jaime has retired, Fred is traded, Gomez is traded or retires, Emilio is sold, Q is traded for someone who has pace, and we get some serious fresh blood in here that has some real promise.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 27, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Add Olsen to my list of retirees.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 27, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

As I rabid UTD fan since 1996, I am beginning to lose interest. The more I see of world soccer, the more lame the MLS is appearing. Grow or die!

DCPsycho

It's funny...a good friend of me and my wife, a longtime SE officer who has moved to Australia, warned us when we reunited with her for WC '06 in Germany, that the more international soccer we saw, the more unfulfilling we would find our domestic league to be. In short, she predicted we would eventually become Eurofootball snobs.

Three years later, I can say she was right.

If it wasn't for DC United, I don't think I would give a fat rat's a$$ about MLS anymore. Well, OK, I actually do enjoy watching the Dynamo, too, because they are the perpetual class of the league that United used to be.

Simply put the on-field product stinks across the board. And the fact that DC United stinks more than most of the league makes it all the more depressing to think about.

All that said...I'm tired of excuses about the salary cap. That's a league-wide problem. Does it hurt the league? Yes. Does it hurt the teams in international competitions? Yes, but some teams less than others. The Dynamo have figured out how to manage their way around it and put a team on the field that can at least compete vs. Mexican clubs in CCL while it also competes for league titles. Why can't United?

Massive changes are needed at DC United. It is for some an inconvenient, nonetheless, inescapable truth.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | August 27, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I voted for win the USOC only. I don't really think Seattle is any better than us. They struggle on the road. We are good at home. I think DCU played pretty well against LA last weekend. And I think we will play well against Seattle next week.

The game at Chicago will be interesting. They have had some problems at home. We are terrible on the road.

The farther behind we fall in the standings the harder it is to imagine we will be able to jump over the teams ahead of us. All of those home matches coming up will surely help. But I don't see the playoffs happening for us.

I said at the time of the Firpo series that the team shouldn't try to advance...we can't even get losing right! Those extra games and travel are too much for our important old-timers.

The Szetela situation is looking more and more like a bad joke. Surely some one will spill the beans and tell us what is really going on there. Was this signing the biggest mistake since Gallardo?

Posted by: fedssocr | August 27, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Here is how to fix MLS on the domestic and internaitonal front. The salary cap needs to be between $5-10 millon per team, there needs to a minimum cap for American players at $70,000. Teams should have no restriction about promoting an academy player to its senior roster. Each roster should be able to have 35-40 players on them. Startup the reserve league again. Force teams like FC Dallas, Kansas City, and Colorado to place more funds and effort in marketing, if not MLS shall assume full operational rights of the team. Stop playing games during international fixtures. Eliminate the draft, expand the development academies of each team, get rid of all the horrible generic jerseys, eliminate the playoffs, and crown the leading points earner as champion, get rid of SuperLiga, force teams that average less then 15,000/game a tax as punishment for not putting in more of an effort to market the team. Create a luxury tax for teams who are willing to pay for talent and are aggresive in the marketing dept. Allow teams to opertate independently of each other, thus eliminating the stupid single enity structure. Place more of a focus on community outreach, and identifying youth players and place them into the academies and groom them in a professional environment. Lastly, award teams a financial incentive based on their place in the standings, thus giving more meaning to each game. If MLS adopts a majority of these changes, things will get better for everyone much faster, and allow teams to compete internationally.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | August 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Habarugira will be a good LEFT BACK. When will Tommy freaking realize this? Look at his bio, he's a Center and LEFT BACK. Not right you freaking moron.........


It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Fire Soehn.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 27, 2009 12:19 PM
--------------------

I live in California and have access to some of the best medicinal "herbs" in the world and even after taking loads of my "prescription" there's still no way I've seen anything positive from Hamburgesa.

I don't care if he's playing out of position, 15 years old, has a wooden leg, or whatever. Dude hasn't done his job when I've watched him play.

You're not related to Hamburgesa Imbrulia are ya?

At least we can agree on the end of your post.

Oh, as for the poll, I answered "Fall short in all 3."

Talk about how the mighty have fallen. It's pretty sad that now DCU is following the mantra of the Redskins in terms of making the playoffs and needing team 'a' to win, but teams 'b' and 'c' to lose, but also needing team 'd' to win and lose while time 'e' loses than wins.

As for Swine Flu Tommy, I think he can best be summed up using some musical lyrics:

He had alot to coach.
He had alot of nothing to coach.
We'll miss him. We'll miss him.(2x)
We are gonna miss him. We are gonna mis him.

So long.
We wish you well.
You told us how you werent afraid to coach.
Well then, so long.
Dont cry.
Or feel too down.
Not all coaches see divinity.
But at least you tried.

Standing above the team,
He had a voice that was strong and loud.
We'll miss him. We'll miss him.
Ranting and pointing his clipboard
At everything but himself.
We'll miss him. We'll miss him.
We are gonna miss him. We are gonna mis him.

No way to recall
What it was that he had said to us,
Like we care at all.

But it was so loud.
Coach Tommy sure could yell.
He took a stand on every little thing
And so loud.

Standing above the crowd,
He had a voice so strong and loud and we
Swallowed his facade cuz we're so
Eager to identify with
Someone above the ground,
Someone who seemed to feel the same,
Someone prepared to lead the way, with
Someone who would coach for us.

Will he?
Will he now?
Would he coach for us?
Don't you freaking lie coach Swine Flu.

Don't you step out of line. Don't you step out of line. Don't you step out of line.
Don't you freaking lie.

He claimed all this time that he would coach for us.
Why then is he so surprised when he hears his own eulogy?

He had alot to coach.
He had had alot of nothing to coach.

Come down.
Take off your freaking Tommy Bahama shirt.
We need that freaking shirt to cloth the next coach martyr.

To ascend you must win.
So, you must be let go
For your sins and your roster line-ups.
Goodbyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

So I've got the 11th pick in my fantasy football draft in a 12 team league...Who I am a looking at? Ladanian? Westbrook? Portis?

Posted by: alan19 | August 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

So I've got the 11th pick in my fantasy football draft in a 12 team league...Who I am a looking at? Ladanian? Westbrook? Portis?

Posted by: alan19 | August 27, 2009 2:14 PM
---------

Take Jason Campbell

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So I've got the 11th pick in my fantasy football draft in a 12 team league...Who I am a looking at? Ladanian? Westbrook? Portis?

Posted by: alan19 | August 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd take either Quaranta or Pontius. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 27, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

In womens Euros, Germany laid a 4-0 shellacking on Fifa #10 Norway in game 1, and put a massive 5-1 beatdown on Sonia and #8 France today.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 12:36 PM
___________________________________________

In one of yesterday's threads, I mentioned that the Freedom has rights to one of Bompastor's NT teammates, Louisa Necib. Apparently they also have rights to a Norwegian player named Lene Mykjaland:

http://freedominsider.com/

Posted by: universityandpark | August 27, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Where was all this salary cap crying when DCU was winning MLS titles and/or leading the league in points?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Poopy I think they f'd up your prescription or you misread the dosage . . . . are you banging a bongo while you're testing the lyrics?

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

RE: RedskinAddict | August 27, 2009 2:09 PM
RE: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:10 PM

And I thought I had too much time on my hands.

Steve: New thread please.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

He (Burch), like both his linemates, has the tools.....

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 27, 2009 11:54 AM

Sorry, but someone who "has the tools" can use both his right and left foot equally well.

Burch needs to spend last offseason, 2 offseasons ago, and this offseason doing nothing but using a soccer ball with his right foot.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Where was all this salary cap crying when DCU was winning MLS titles and/or leading the league in points?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

There was no such thing as the CONCACAF Champions League, and there was not as many games being played.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | August 27, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

RE: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:10 PM

And I thought I had too much time on my hands.

Steve: New thread please.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 2:31 PM
=============

The benefits of working from home.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 27, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

re: burch, it does seem odd that someone at the professional level has basically zero ability with his off foot. i thought most players learn at a young age to use both effectivly. that being said, I think Burch, like McTavish, has a place on this team, but as the 2nd or 3rd player off the bench. Neither seem entirely capable of being a 90 min, every game player.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 27, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

To answer SG's question, I think we can win the Open Cup and make the playoffs. I am not crazy. Our only home loss was with a lineup that had no realistic chance against a full-strength opponent that probably pays several of their players (Mancilla, Sinha, maybe Romagnoli) the equivalent of an MLS club's salary cap. We have 5 straight home league games, and the Open Cup final is at home as well (against a Seattle team that does significantly worse away from the field turf at Qwest).

Before the season, I had fairly low expectations of this team, so perhaps that's why I'm not trying to fire everybody. I didn't like the idea of bringing in Gomez, who has alternated between occasional brilliance and frequent absence. We need him to be the most influential player on the field, and it's not often happening. We still don't have a keeper I'm comfortable with, despite Wicks doing better than I ever would have imagined. Emilio is more or less on the form of last year: still our best goal scorer, but not getting into scoring positions often enough. As joedoc pointed out, we have too many players that lack consistent technical ability. If we're going to be the standard bearers for MLS in terms of slower, possession-oriented, technical play, we can't field a team where 5 or 6 players will have half their first touches pop up on them.

I hate to sound at all self-congratulatory, but the team is right about where I figured they'd be, give or take a couple of points. We're involved in an almighty scrap for the final playoff spots (7 MLS teams are within 4 points of each other on either side of the line, including a 4 way tie for 7th), we are deep into the Open Cup, and we got into the CCL. Not good enough for DC United, to be sure, but I didn't think we had the horses to be more than 5th best over the regular season.

That's not to say that seeing what was coming makes me happier about it. We're still a team stuck between playing good soccer (too many guys whose top characteristic is work rate for that) and typical MLS soccer (too many older, slower players). Soehn is still learning on the job. While I often disagree with the idea that he's tactically incompetent (which is mostly unsubstantiated; outside of maybe Arena and Schmid, I don't think he's any worse a tactician than the rest of MLS's coaches), I do think he's tactically unsure of himself from time to time. We get teams that are an attempt to combine 2 approaches to a game, rather than one unified idea of how to go about our business. To be blunt, I don't see how he stays on the job after this season (unless we pull a 2005 LA in the playoffs).

All that said, we still have plenty of soccer left to play, and most of it is at home. We are completely capable of taking the full 15 points out of that homestand, and my expectation is for us to win the Open Cup final as well.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 27, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

OK I've got confirmation from a reliable source that there IS a 5 "Foreign" player limit for US Open Cup Rosters.

So Mr. Rockwell. Do you know exactly who does and doesn't qualify being considered a foreign player on DCU?
Keep in mind Emilio has a green card now, but does that change his status in this tournament, or is he locked in so to speak?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Atlanta, Georgia (Aug 27th, 2009) – NuRock Soccer Holdings LLC (“NuRock Soccer Holdings”) today announced that it has acquired United Soccer Leagues (“USL”) from NIKE.

NuRock Soccer Holdings, based in Atlanta, is led by Rob Hoskins and Alec Papadakis. NuRock Soccer Holdings is currently a USL franchisee with a Premier Development League operation in Atlanta and rights to acquire two USL First Division teams in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama marketplaces, respectively.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 27, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I found the list and it looks accurate.
Emilio isn't considered an SI anymore, but Fred,Gomez, Harabarugira, Jakovic, James, John and Shipalane are.

Shipalane is cup tied for sure. Is James?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Never mind again, of course James is... Crud.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Rossi & company are making a statement today, as are Roma...

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

i'm not necessarily on the "fire Soehn" bandwagon, but was curious about the first substitution of Allen at the 30 min mark. He obviously wasn't working but shouldn't that have been something you figure out in practice?

Posted by: whytek | August 27, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Couple big goals for Villa (with Guzan between the sticks)

Goal - Aston Villa 1 (James Milner Pen 38) Rapid Vienna 0
Goal - Aston Villa 2 (John Carew 53) Rapid Vienna 0

Now up 2-1 on aggregate

Posted by: Kev29 | August 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

So many whiners on these posts. Sometimes I read these posts to remind myself I live in Wash DC, one of America's worst sports towns. Redskins fans - bandwagon. Wizards fans - mercurial at best. Nats fans - nonexistent. Caps fans - you get a one year pass.

Come on, we are the greatest soccer fans in this country, we are not used to LOSING, we are winners. Our team is about where I expected for August. We're in the playoff hunt, we have an excellent chance to win the US Open Cup next week, and CCL - well, at least we get to watch games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! The key difference this season is very few injuries. Stop the crying about the coach and FO, to me it smacks of South American/Latin American soccer with the theatrical players kicking each other and running behind the referee for safety. It's so...Redskinish.

The FO (read COACH SOEHN AND DAVE KASPER) are the guys who gave Quaranta his last chance to come back to pro soccer when every other team saw nothing. It's our FO who brought in Jackovic, our FO who drafted Wallace, drafted Pontius, stuck with Jacobson when he went to France for a year, and who signed Wicks and stuck with him while so many fans said he sucked. There is no scouting department here, this is MLS. It's the coach and GM traveling the world, watching tape on bus rides and planes and late nights at the office. It's our best option right now for pro soccer, and I will stay positive about the league and our team.

I voted "Advance in Champions League, win Open Cup, make playoffs". Ambitious? Crazy? Not for a true sports fan.

Posted by: sevnshvn | August 27, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Anybody have the US Roster for upcoming WCQ's I am @ woek and the site USSOCCER is blocked. Actually this is one of 3 sports pages I can get!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't consider myself a typical fan. Nor would I consider a lot of Insiders "typical fans." Many of us have played and coached the game at a relatively high level for 30 years or more. We've played with, or against, or coached, players now in MLS or Europe. Our expectations are high, and we're not fooled by a less-than-quality product. And that's what has some of us disappointed with the current team.

I appreciate your optimism, sevnshvn. I just don't share it. Indeed, I'm so unhinged by this whole thread, I can't even think of song lyrics to accompany this rant.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 27, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Got you covered joedoc:

Tommy: Welcome to the Camp,
I guess you all know why we're here.
My name is Tommy
and I became a coach last year

If you want to follow me,
you've got to play bad ball.
And put in your earplugs
put on your eyeshades
and Burch don't use your right foot

Hey OWNTF getting drunk, so sorry!
I've got you sussed.
Hey Dadryan smoking Mother Nature!
This is a bust!
Hey hung up old Mr. Goff,
Don't try to gain my trust!
'Cause you ain't gonna follow me any of those ways
Although you think you must

Soccer Insiders:
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it

We're not gonna take it
Never did and never will
We're not gonna take it
Gonna break it, gonna shake it,
let's forget it better still

Tommy: Now you can't hear me,
your ears are truly sealed.
You can't speak either,
your mouth is filled.
You can't see nothing,
and bad ball completes the scene.
Here comes Uncle Kasper to guide you to
an empty mezzanine.

Soccer Insiders:
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it
We're not gonna take it

We're not gonna take it
Never did and never will
Don't want no bad ball
And as far as we can tell
We ain't gonna take you
Never did and never will
We're not gonna take you
We forsake you
Gonna [bop] you
Let's forget you better still.

Tommy:
See me.
Feel me.
Touch me.
Heal me.

Right behind you,
I see the millions.
On you,
I see the glory.
From Insiders,
I get opinions.
From Insiders,
I get the story.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

[standing, lighted Bic in right hand, left fist pumping excitedly]

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 27, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

You know, the more I think about it, I begin to have a different opinion about the situation.

Everyone is making a big deal about the CCL and all the different tournies we're in. In one of my posts, I made mention of Soehn's inconsistant lineup. But a thought occured. Maybe, although they claim to take the CCL serious, they dont. Obviously they have been taking the time for the younger players and throwing them into the fire, so to speak. Allan was subbed in the 34th minute. He wasn't working out.

You can't just pull someone for making a mistake. They need time out on the field to gell with the team. Practice is one thing, yes, but out on the field is something totally different.

As much as we sit here kicking and screaming about what needs to change, who needs to go, the fact remains.

I'm black and Red baby!!! Yes, there is frustration with how the current season is going, but you know, we have had low stints before. United is a class act and I believe they will turn it around. We have quality players. Even if we bomb out this season, we've got some shining spots.

Pontius, Wallace, Jackovic and Quaranta to begin with.

Although I am still not sold on Wicks, he's had a surprising season so far. We've got more plusses than many seem to think.

Posted by: dogboy | August 27, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

joedoc1-

"Many of us have played and coached the game at a relatively high level for 30 years or more. We've played with, or against, or coached, players now in MLS or Europe. Our expectations are high, and we're not fooled by a less-than-quality product. And that's what has some of us disappointed with the current team."

understood and respect you all. I played against many of these guys too. I have battled against these guys, now I sit in the stands and support them. I respect that other folks know the game, it's why I can't understand the pessimism. It's the best we have, it's not Europe. The league and the team are Tier 2 but we need our kids to have this league, we need to support the team. I just hate the negativity when the season's at its apex.

Posted by: sevnshvn | August 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Showoffs. I played with a guy whose brother played for one year at the Naval Academy in 1980.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 27, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

DC is my hometown, DCU is my team, has been since inception, will always be...win or lose. I am frustrated by the current performance, but it can be turned around (this year). DCU wins trophies..that's what we do...we will find a way and the DCU fans, the best football fans in the USA will be there to support them

Posted by: londonboy | August 27, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I coached a guy whose mom once brought naval oranges to a game.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 27, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

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