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Saturday Kickaround

*The Insider has learned that D.C. United Coach Tom Soehn might not be on the sideline tonight at RFK Stadium for the critical match against the Galaxy because of an illness that forced him to miss Friday's training session. Soehn's work ethic and dedication to the job are well known, so for him to miss practice the day before one of the most important games of the season is a sign of a significant ailment. This morning, team officials confirmed his Friday absence and said Soehn's condition will be monitored before a final decision is made about his availability. If he is unable to guide the club, top assistant Chad Ashton will be in charge.

For the rest of the busy morning kickaround, jump to the continuation of this thread.....

*Read my story about Bruce Arena and the revitalized Galaxy.

*The RFK outlook from the Capital Weather Gang.

*MLS today:
Los Angeles at D.C. United, 7:30 (Fox Soccer Channel)
Kansas City at San Jose, 10:30 (Direct Kick)
Toronto at Chivas USA< 10:30 (Direct Kick)
*MLS Sunday:
Dallas at New York, 3 (Telefutura)
Colorado at Chicago, 6 (DK)
Real Salt Lake at New England, 6 (DK)
Seattle at Houston, 8:30 (DK)

*USL-2 semifinals tonight:
#3 Harrisburg at #2 Richmond, 7 p.m. (Match preview)
#4 Charlotte at #1 Wilmington, 7 p.m.

*WPS's first championship game is today (3:30 p.m., ET, Fox Sports Net) at Home Depot Center with top seed Los Angeles hosting New Jersey-based Sky Blue, the fourth seed that upset Washington and St. Louis this past week.

*The USSF announced that the women's national team will play at Germany on Oct. 29 in Ausburg, one of nine venues for the 2011 Women's World Cup.

By Steve Goff  |  August 22, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , USL , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Osorio Out as Red Bulls Coach
Next: Soehn to Miss Match



Posted by: Konoha7 | August 22, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I wish him the best. Hopefully he didn't get anything from Donovan.

I actually had to check to see if it was Germany the US will be playing in Germany. You never know with the women.

Posted by: sitruc | August 22, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh how sweet, a feel good story about the stinking Galaxy...
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 22, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

im getting tired of idiots bashing on emilio. he is still one of the top goal scorers in the leaugue. unless your expections are 20goals plus every season. once again its our defense same as last year letting us down.

Posted by: castroviejo | August 22, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm hoping so much for the win. When will DC make me happy and field a team of Wells, Dyachenko, Martinez, Niell and Janicki? I'm kidding by the way.

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 22, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Jozy with an assist in his first minute when subbing in...

Posted by: Reignking | August 22, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know if Onionwooo is dressing/starting for AC Milan this afternoon?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 22, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I think personally, i have no idea how a guy with emilio's skills, scores goals in the MLS. He cant really passs well, hes not particularly fast, he constantly is falling to one knee like as if hes on ice, but somehow finds the net.

Personally for the money, i think DC is losing out, as they can find a better player with better skills in passing, speed, etc.

Its just with the US being so statisticly oriented, he probably keeps pointing at his goal count so far in the league, then at his wallet.

Personally, i think he made a deal with the devil for his soul, and finding the net.

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

I wish Tommy well. I know he can't be happy with how this crew has been playing, but he's probably stumped, too.

Regarding Emilio, for a franchise player, he is oddly invisible. No, he can't score every game, but he never even looks threatening until the ball's in the net. No runs, no ball handling, just goals. Weird.

Posted by: bdwooton | August 22, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Goalscoring isn't always about being the best player on the field. Emilio has a sense about where the ball will end up in the box, where the open spaces are, where the weak spots are in opposition defenses, and he also has the confidence to take the pressure of being a team's main source of goals. He's fearless, tough, and obviously his entire state of mind as a player is based on goals. When he's scoring, he's on top of the world; when he's not, he's surly and hard to like. Similarly, when he's scoring we all love him; when he's not, he's second on everyone's hate list behind Soehn. Such is the life of the poacher.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 22, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

How'd this turn into an Emilio bashing thread anyway? Did you naysayers see the blood, sweat, and heart he put into the match at Marathon? He's a soldier. Hope he scores a hat trick tonight and shut's you guys up.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 22, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before, but my problem with Emilio is that he isn't a team player. Perhaps that's not a bad quality in his position (he should certainly want to be the goal scorer), but in several instances I've seen this season, he has focused on self rather than team by holding the ball when a teammate was in a better position to score. If he were to finish any of those, I wouldn't be so critical, but each time, the result was a turnover.

Posted by: figgy_va | August 22, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Emilio is our best player.

Posted by: alan19 | August 22, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

He got a lucky, ugly goal. Which describes 90% of his goals.

Your DP striker shouldn't be a poacher. He should be someone who can create on his own.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 22, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I would not be surprised if Tommy's illness is stress and/or fatigue related. Lots of travel, big games etc. He definitely works hard at the job. (full disclosure: I am not in the fire Soehn camp b/c I don't feel qualified to assess that...I loved Arena and Nowak, hated Hudson, and had no problems with Rongen...but I'm no technical director)

And I agree Emilio is a soldier. I'll take him on my team, that's for sure.

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

Emilio has been pretty good playing the ball back to his teammates this season.

I hope Gooch gets some playing time w AC Milan against Siena (230 on FSC). I'll probably head over to RFK when that game finishes.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 22, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

unless your expections are 20goals plus every season.

Posted by: castroviejo | August 22, 2009 11:11 AM

Actually those are my expectations. Sorry if I set the bar high.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

he has focused on self rather than team

Posted by: figgy_va | August 22, 2009 12:56 PM

Like that penalty kick situation with Gomez a little bit back?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 22, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse


Your second point I tend to agree with (incidentally, this is why I don't think Houston got much better with Landin), but to call Emilio's goal against Marathon "lucky" is extremely harsh. Emilio made the right run, outfought very tight marking (his marker was making actual physical contact with him, and not just a trailing hand), and won a header despite obvious physical danger. I'd argue that goal involved no luck at all. That's the kind of goal this team needs Emilio scoring; We have plenty of craftsmen, but ditch-diggers and soldiers are in short supply. If we were a Greek city state, we'd be much more Athens than Sparta.


I didn't find the penalty incident to be that big of a deal. Emilio wanted a penalty for his confidence, while Gomez knew full well that with Moreno not in the game, the penalty was his responsibility. As a longtime penalty taker for various teams, I support Gomez in sticking to his guns. It's his shot, his job, and you'd hate to see him shirk the responsibility (especially since he's a leader on this team). Meanwhile, I can't really blame Emilio for wanting an easy one to give himself a boost. He knows full well that he's a better player when he's happy, and he's only happy when he's scoring.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 22, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It is complete and utter crap that World Soccer Daily has shut down. Cohen should have stepped up and continued his show. Maybe financially it could not be done, but to blame Liverpool supporters club for getting the best of him is shameful. The US has lost a great fball program. Miss ya WSD

Posted by: cr10 | August 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Shot in the dark, but is anyone here going to the game tonight driving in from Old Town Alexandria? Trying to avoid the metro...I'll split parking with you. email me at

Posted by: jonfhoffman | August 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Focusing on the whole team, I have a suggested lineup that, I believe, is the best fit for simultaneously finding LA's weak points and stifling their attack:

----------- Moreno/ - Pontius
------------ Gomez
Fred --- Simms --- Olsen - Quaranta
Wallace - Burch/ - Jakovic - Namoff
-------------- James
----------------------- Wicks

The reason you see 13 players is because I have 2 spots I can't decide. Burch, despite never getting credit for it, has become a noticeably smarter defender this season. I don't know if I'm comfortable with him in central defense, but with Janicki obviously not an option and James being someone we picked on as recently as our game against Houston, I feel like LA would target him for mental errors. On the other side, he's more of a natural there than Burch and has more speed. Tough the moment, I find myself leaning ever so slightly towards James.

The switch to 442 would be specific for the Galaxy. With Wallace at left back, we have someone that can, at his best, slow Donovan down. I'm not saying he'll mark him out of the game, but he's our best bet to compete with him athletically and force him to be less of a factor than usual. Fred can also help, since he's a hard worker and a very irritating player to go up against. Donovan always comes to RFK with a chip on his shoulder; if Fred can get that anger channeled into a useless personal battle rather than the game, we're halfway home.

Up front, Moreno or Gomez would come down to who's feeling their best. I feel like Moreno might be the better fit playing towards the left, since I feel like he can use his craftiness to take advantage of DeLaGarza and Gonzalez being rookies. It might be odd that I just defended Emilio at length but leave him out, but I think today's a good day for it. Pontius has the speed and direct play to really trouble Berhalter and Gonzalez, and that's our best means of getting at LA.

In central midfield, Simms is going to have to have a big game. LA transitions into attack at lightning speed, so Simms is going to have to read everything and get himself into position to slow or stop their counters all game long. Olsen, meanwhile, needs to be Olsen: combative, irritating, and above all smart. If he can control the tempo and harass Beckham into some bad decisions (something he's prone to in the middle, where there's less time to think), we will be in good shape.

LA's not brilliant, but they're great at taking advantage of what you give them. Unlike Chicago, we'll have more speed in the back (they desperately missed Soumare), and we've got the rare pleasure of one more day of rest over our opponents. People have said LA is the worst team for us to face right now, but as a counterpoint I'd say this is the time to play LA. They're a little high on themselves, things have been easy for them the past few games, and they're on short rest.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Man, I was going to drive to avoid the Metro, but some sort of monsoon is on its way from Richmond. This is going to be a serious dousing. So now I'm going to take Metro to avoid driving - and the tailgate is going to be a washout.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 22, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Expecting 20 goals out of anyone in MLS, over the course of a 30 game season, is akin to expecting MLB hitters to bat .400 and expecting NFL QB's to throw 50 TD passes in a season.

Posted by: kebzach | August 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The USSF announced that the women's national team will play at Germany on Oct. 29 in Ausburg, one of nine venues for the 2011 Women's World Cup.

Steve - I think you mean Augsburg in Germany.
freddie b

Posted by: kaynfred53 | August 22, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Great to see Jozy get a game-winning assist with a flick, back to the goal, on his first touch for Hull City! I'm thinking this stint is going to go better than his time in La Liga.

Anyone know what the likelihood of thunder near RFK this evening is?

Posted by: billindmd | August 22, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I live in DuPont and I have seen about 2 lightning bolts all day. I think we're just in for soggy weather. Tailgate is not looking good though. :-(

Posted by: mbyrd28 | August 22, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Little bit more thunder and lightning now. Looks like a soggy game. I wonder how it'll affect attendance? Maybe folks who were thinking of going to the Nats game might choose instead to go watch DCU?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 22, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Surprised we don't have the official lineups yet. Here's what I'd go with:


Chances we see this? 700-1

More likely:


Posted by: alecw81 | August 22, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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