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Video: Wicks-Burch Moment

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2009; 9:34 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Americans Abroad


Wicks always came across to me as bit of a hothead, not sure why all the hate was directed towards Burch there since people lose their mark all the time...

Posted by: PEddy | August 30, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This is off topic but this is from ESPN"s On the Move Blog:

"Notts County director of football Sven Goran Eriksson wants to bring former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and Italian striker Christian Vieri to Meadow Lane. And maybe Kanu too. Good luck with that."

Posted by: spikeman | August 30, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Well, Sven landed Sol Campbell, so I imagine that he'd have a shot at other aging stars. Can't imagine Ljungberg leaving Seattle though - unless he's unhappy there/with MLS - and I don't think that's the case either. Or maybe he wants to play home matches on a proper playing surface ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | August 30, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I am not a big fan of copying my own posts, but it seems that it is better suited for this particular thread...


Agreed griffin!

You know I keep hearing buzz words like "the American player" and its times like this I wonder what people mean by it. Some of the best goalies in the world call out some of the biggest names in the game - see the Peters, the Schemeichel and Cech varieties, Buffon, etc.

Sometimes you've gotta slap someone into the game. What's with the please don't yell at me or claims of temporary insanity? Wicks is taking a leadership role and keeping our part-time defenders in check - Burch is notorious for switching off, which he clearly did right before that play when Wicks was yelling to push the line up on the free kick. The D was literally sitting on top of him.

He yelled and Burch grabbed, for me Burch is in the wrong here. If this were Europe we would have reports of Burch being out of the line up for team reasons.

Keepers yell, well at least the ones who want to lead do, deal with it. Be a pro and deal.

The team gave us fire all over, I think that should be the crux of the discussion not amature psycho-analysis - who's to know why the team didn't come to Wicks at the end? Who cares? If they are pros they will work it out, if not then the little willy-pansies can implode along with our season.

Wicks is nowhere near the company of the great keepers I named earlier, heck he's noweher near our best keeper (and we have sucked in that department forever), but I have no prob with a dude, playin' a dude who's tryin' to be like another dude :-). He's managing the game, he's taking command of his back line. I have no beef with that.

You know I wish Timmy would get in some guys faces like that from time to time, that way we don't have attackers picking which corner they want to blast a shot in from 20 yards out, all while sipping a cup 'o tea.

I want our guys to have the mentality of professional football players, not American players. End rant!

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Also off topic: Interesting decision by FSC to show the non-featured 3pm (UK) match - Everton/Wigan - and not Villa/Fulham. This allows them to show Roma/Juventus at noon (a good thing), but they miss out on the featured Sunday match that would be more attractive to our audience than Everton/Wigan. Not sure if they've ever opted out of the 11am game.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 30, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I think Wicks would take Burch in a fight because Wicks would use both hand and Burch would only use his left foot.

Maybe I'm being a homer in excusing this, but it's good that they wold get angry, given the way they've played all month. Burch stood up for Simms against Blanco at the Plex last year, so we know he's got a fire in him.

Because we won, they'll get over it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

One more thing. Goalkeepers are head cases, like place kickers and pitchers. If Wicks thinks he's right, no-one need to argue with him. He needs that attitude to keep him his confidence up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 30, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I still don't know what Wicks was all hot and bothered about .. . Burch didn't lose his mark . . Wicks flailed at the ball . .

Winning changes everything, but had we let in a tying goal, things would have imploded.

Posted by: delantero | August 30, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Kosh has a point that Burch was more in the wrong, at least initially. He didn't need to take a swipe at Wicks. But then Burch seemed to walk away while Wicks was still trying to pursue him. That's not smart when Chicago was trying to take the corner.

But if you watch the video closely, Burch did not lose his man. He marked up well. I think Wicks must have been yelling because he wanted them to hold the line higher.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Don't particularly care who's at fault. I just like to see some fire in these guys.

Posted by: tundey | August 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

once upon a time, the Washington Capitals had a young hothead goalie. he was constantly berating his blueliners, breaking sticks, destroying locker rooms, you name it, the guy did it. he ended up being the greatest goalie in Caps history. but near the end, his hothead manner began to wear on his young blueline. he won a Vezina trophy (best goalie in the NHL) with a veteran blueline. my point is, whether or not his manner works is dependent on the personnel in front of him. maybe he'll be told to tone it down, maybe they like the fire. i just think in the heat of the moment, no one likes to be called out in such a crucial match, so Burch took it out on Wicks when he decided to call him out. they need to just let this pass otherwise the teams season is in jeopardy.

Posted by: DER27 | August 30, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think DCUMD nailed it.

Wicks was motioning to push the defense up before Blanco took the kick. My guess is that was the final breaking point for Wicks with Burch, who has turned himself off at critical points this year. Wicks, like a good goalie should do, yelled at Burch to listen to him the next time, Burch took it personally and took a swipe at him.

It makes me wonder how many people on here saying it wasn't "nice" or "right" of Wicks to yell at anyone are the same ones who blamed us goalies for any goal given up when younger. If the team is going to be successful defensively, the goalie must be a vocal leader and almost serves as a coach on the field - we see a different perspective than field players and should let the defense know if we see something they don't.

If Burch can't separate professional criticism from a personal attack, he needs to sit. If Wicks can't keep his rage focused into the game, he needs to sit. A pissed off, unfocused goalie is the worst thing possible for a team.

Posted by: Josh8 | August 30, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm not sure what Burch did, either, but Wicks had been getting steadily more and more agitated. I remember him yelling about one guy not closing down from around 25, allowing a (wide) shot to go off.

Posted by: Reignking | August 30, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Burch allows his mark to body him backwards all while Wicks is screaming for the line to push up. Then Burch allows his mark to effortlessly turn him all while giving some half-assed attempt to defend. I think Wicks was more ticked at Burch allowing the mark to push him back and hold the line so deep all while he was yelling for them to push up. They may as well have sat on Wick's teeth, they were that close.

This is the kind of pressure that will help us produce hard thinking and high concentrating players all over the field. Our guys are feeling the pinch 20+ games in. BPL teams are feeling the burn just 4 games in. In Italy the season is just 2 days old and you can feel the pressure.

Athleticism and grit are nice, they help cover technical and tactical difficiencies. But if our players truely want to be working parts of bigger club sides then they need to work on being better pros. You have to be sharp for 90+ - does not mean running around for 90+, it means keeping your concentration. Our players - MLS or otherwise - need to learn how to maintain their concentration levels for the ENTIRE match. Once we figure that part of our game out then maybe our players will not have to run around and hack so much.

In any case, Burch clearly turns off again at a crutial moment and this time Wicks was not having it.

I think this little agruement takes away from a nice husstle and a hard fought 3 point on the road. But if we are still talking about it - I'll take the angry faces over a view of that stupid look that players display when a equalizer or gamelosing gaol gets scored late in the game.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

*game losing goal (that is)

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh and one more thing and then I'll try to drop this. I have no problem with a keeper yelling at a defender to close a shot down - no matter from what distance. We have all seen how lazy, half-ass attempts to close a shot down creates chances for wicked deflections (sometimes from the ugliest and most improbabble of shots)...and we all know how much goalies just love them some deflections.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

*improbable (sheesh, even I need to drop this thing)

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 30, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

After watching the replay and another one from a different angle. It seemed to me that Wicks was yelling at all the defenders, not just Burch. Burch too it personally and reacted wrongly. Burch started the physicality...I like that Burch plays with a chip on his shoulder....but not with your own teamates.

Posted by: boda-united | August 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Burch-- beware Wicks and his teeth. You've been warned.

Posted by: BarraPuta | August 30, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Wicks should yell at tommy, because he is the one that started burch, he got burned right in front of me on Wed and always sucks at Defense, and when was the last time his ball create something dangerous for us? We have been dealing with him for 2 years. Lets give another player a chance to take that spot, we have see the best of burch and its not good enough.

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 30, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Burch had been having a howler of a game, but I didn't see what in particular he did on that play, maybe it was something a bit earlier.
Wanting a high line is cool and all, but not at the expense of letting your mark get goal-side.
Anyway, up until that point, it was nice to see these guys showing some fight for each other, need to see the same fight, but less grabbing and late tackling, on Wednesday!!!

Posted by: dcufan | August 30, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

much respect, wicks.

Posted by: nairbsod | August 30, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"when was the last time his [Burch] ball create something dangerous for us?"

Yeah, you'd have to go all the way back to yesterday, setting up that sitter for Olsen to whiff on. But you would have had to watch the game to have seen that.

At any rate, perhaps you (or Wicks-as-you-imagine-him) can name *one* MLS defender who would not have been "burned" by that move on the Toluca's 2nd goal?


Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 30, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Goal keepers have the right to shout at defenders for mistakes real or imagined because, ultimately, if a ball goes in the back of the net, who are we going to look at first. They are in a situation where they have to play flawless soccer to be truly appreciated, whereas one lucky bounce is good enough for most outfield players to attain hero status. Goalies feel AWFUL whenever a ball goes in the back of their net, worse than defenders.

Burch should know better, but he doesn't.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Wow one good pass! please watch the game again and count how many times he creates dangerous attacks for us and how many go directly to the other team! Good try!

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | August 30, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Two words: Oliver Kahn

Posted by: ncguy | August 30, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

To me, it seemed like Wicks got upset cuz Burch wasn't listening to him. Probably Wicks telling the D to push out and Burch didn't move or something.

But, regardless, I do like to see the fire within the boys again. They showed the desire to win. They played really well and fought hard.

Posted by: dogboy | August 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

As a defender I am taking the side of Burch. If he didn't push the line up high enough -the only speculative reason we have to understanding Wicks' reaction- then so be it Burch deserves a tongue lashing. Though, running up in someones faces is not helpful. As a defender I don't need some dingbat goalie, who just flapped hopelessly at a cross to come up posturing and swinging his arms around in my face. I would have pushed Wicks too.

As I a stated in another post, you have to understand you teammates and how to address them. Certain characters or people can take being yelled at intensely, others crumble. A good leader recognizes these limitations and implements leadership correctly person to person, or personality to personality.

As I also stated before, you can tell the team was displeased with Wicks as no one came over and celebrated with him after the final whistle. Wicks antics are wearing on this team. I remember someone ever brought this up way back after his first or second start.

Another idiotic sign of Wicks is after the initial melee, Wicks turned around and re-went after Burch, realized 6 seconds was running low so he threw the ball directly out of bounds so he could continue to yell at Burch. Wicks needs some maturing, calmer head will always prevail.

Also, I really see this a a moot point. The team will move on easily and be fine.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 30, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Wicks was upset because: (a) his line was not listening to him to push up, and (b) as a result, he faced traffic trying to field the kick and wiffed, which is embarrassing.

Posted by: KRIKET | August 30, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ome more thing: Wicks did overreact, and he picked on the wrong guy -- Burch is no sissy and you can't humiliate someone like Burch without retaliation. Wicks will either learn from it and have a future, or repeat it and move on to another career.

Posted by: KRIKET | August 30, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Burch was in the wrong for not listening to Wicks (as were all the defenders for not pushing the line up higher) and then again for initiating the physical contact.

However, Wicks was in the wrong for continuing the confrontation and throwing the ball out of bounds (what was up with that!).

Tommy needs to clearly define what is expected of everyone in every situtation. If they make a mistake once, they can be forgiven, but to make it again and again makes Tommy look like he does not have control of his team.

Posted by: Barracudas | August 30, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This type of thing happens ALL the time in other sports, if Jason Campbell did that to Devin Thomas or Adam Dunn to Dukes every would be applauding them for their toughness and leadership.

The only advantage the US has over other countries when it comes to soccer is our sporting attitude especially towards winning and our inability to take sh!t from anyone.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 30, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

For the wondering, the reason Wicks threw the ball out of bounds is Julius James was lying on the ground. You see him go down after Wicks comes for the ball.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | August 31, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Soccer players, i.e. JOCKS, acting like jacked up meatheads. I'm SHOCKED! How unprofessional.

Hopefully, when Burch gets done prying Wicks' boot out from between his haunches, he'll have had a moment or two to think about how important it is to play with intensity for 90 full minutes. If there's one guy on this team who would be 100 percent better by putting in about 10 percent more effort, it's Burch.

Posted by: loosek | August 31, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I love that type of passion! That's awesome.

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | August 31, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

You all are forgetting the fact that Burch needs to sit... period. He's terrible.

Posted by: rmontcal | August 31, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

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