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D.C. United News & Notes

After enjoying a gap on the busy calendar and taking the weekend off, D.C. United has turned its attention to two vital home games in different competitions.

With a victory Thursday night against Marathon, DCU would claim a share of second place in group play of the Champions League with two matches left and move into position to advance to next year's quarterfinals. And with a victory Sunday afternoon against the last-place San Jose Earthquakes, the club would bolster its MLS playoff pursuit with three league games remaining.

So things appear to be looking up for a squad that has endured several rough patches during this frustrating year. However, because of Champions League tiebreakers, DCU probably needs to beat Marathon by two or more goals. According to CONCACAF regulations (see page 6 on this document), the first tiebreaker is head to head, the second tiebreaker is goal differential in the two matches between the two teams, and third is road goals in games between the two teams. Marathon won the first game in San Pedro Sula, 3-1.

On the injury front:

Central back Dejan Jakovic, who had hernia surgery a little more than two weeks ago.....

.....participated in his first serious training session today. A return to game action this week is possible but another week might be necessary. "I am on the right path," he said. "I started working on fitness, but there's more to do."

Right back Bryan Namoff, who has experienced headaches since taking a blow to the head against Kansas City on Sept. 9, did not practice today and will be re-evaluated Tuesday. The chances of him playing Thursday appear slim.

Left back Marc Burch, who had ankle surgery to remove scar tissue two weeks ago, has begun running and might be available this weekend.

Santino Quaranta (quadriceps) and Fred (calf) were at training today. Playmaker Christian Gomez is suspended Thursday with yellow card accumulation.

Forward-midfielder Boyzzz Khumalo, out for two months with a broken wrist and subsequent infection, is hoping doctors clear him to play soon. Meantime, he continues to work on fitness. "It's my engine -- I need more oil in it," he said. "My lungs are killing me."

By Steve Goff  |  September 21, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround

Comments

Ah, the September/October walking wounded report.

Here's hoping the Duct-Tape Starting XI can continue to make Champions League interesting instead of inept.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | September 21, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

There is no better time to start getting players back and healthy for this team than right now. That said, the Namoff details are more than disconcerting.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | September 21, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Those first two tiebreakers are the same. Head-to-head and goal differential in the two games is the exact same thing when there are only two teams that are tied.

Posted by: GiannicolusJones | September 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

GiannicolusJones: How are they the same? If the teams split their two meetings, the goal differential is not necessarily a wash.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | September 21, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

GiannicolusJones:

Not quite. Head-to-head means points only. If, say, DC beats Marathon 2-1 Thursday, the points between the two will be tied 3-3, but the goal differential would be 4-3 in Marathon's favor.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Goff, what DC-Area coach do you see getting the axe first? Soehn or Zorn?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 21, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry everybody. They're not exactly the same.

But there's no need to go to head-to-head. Goal differential will always lead you to the right answer.

Posted by: GiannicolusJones | September 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Tell Boyzzz to avoid canola.

Posted by: Section117 | September 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Goffino - what has happened to your Live Online Chats every other week? Another victim of budget cuts at the Past, er, uh Post? It seems like at least 2 months since you've been on for what used to be a regular Wednesday feature. With the MLS playoff races heating up and the European leagues in full swing this is the time we need you live!

Posted by: soccerman | September 21, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Boyzz is going to bring some real energy back to this team...provided he heals and is given playing time. Also, does anyone know about this free tics thing for CCL games and season tic holders? I don't see anything posted on the official site.

Posted by: DCB23 | September 21, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"DCU probably needs to beat Marathon by two or more goals"

No. of times DC won by two or more this year:
3/14 Charleston 2-0 (USOC)
4/22 Dallas 2-0
5/20 NYRB 5-3 (USOC)
6/4 NYRB 2-0
6/30 Ocean City Barons 2-0 (USOC)
07/18 CRapids 3-1

The best of those is Colorado, which has one more MLS point that DC. The others are USL or USL ought-to-be teams. Not saying that DC won't win by two, just saying that it's a steep hill to climb (or, for the idiom police, a tough road to hoe).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's see... with all these injuries:

vs Marathon

--------------Kocic--------------
Vaughn---Simms-----James---Habarugira
McTavish--Szetela--Jacobsen--Wallace
---------Pontius--Moreno---------

vs San Jose

---------------Wicks----------------
Vaughn---Jakovic--James---Burch
Tino---Olsen---------Simms---Wallace
-----------Gomez---Emilio-----------

Posted by: alecw81 | September 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Goffino - what has happened to your Live Online Chats every other week? Another victim of budget cuts at the Past, er, uh Post? It seems like at least 2 months since you've been on for what used to be a regular Wednesday feature. With the MLS playoff races heating up and the European leagues in full swing this is the time we need you live!

Posted by: soccerman | September 21, 2009 3:45 PM

I, too, have been wondering this.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 21, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I-270:

Filing an idiom police report. How does one hoe a road? Make that a tough ROW to hoe.

I await the forthcoming plays on words with trepidation. Either way, I agree that United has some work to do in order to advance in CL play.

Posted by: BaltoFan | September 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't we have a DP named Emilio for games like these when we needs goals?

I hope Boyzz learned to finish during his time off. His speed and energy creates a bundle of chances, but he finishes with about as much composer as me (I went 4yrs of D2 soccer and never scored from left back, and I had a few/handful of chances.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 21, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

BaltoFan, I-270 always tows the line on idioms, so I would assume he was just poling a fast one on you.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 21, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

BaltoFan, you need to spend more time on this blog.

Posted by: spata1 | September 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I need new glasses. I thought 270 said "Idiot police" in which case a good many of us would be in trouble.

By the way, who is this ho and where is the road to her so I can avoid it?

(just wanted to wade into the row (rhymes with now) on idioms)

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | September 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

We have a DP named Emilio?

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

DP just means displaced person. :-)

Emilio can score in buckets -- when it doesn't matter

Posted by: DCUSince96 | September 21, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to go for the win Thursday, so I would go with a team close to our full team:

------------ Gomez - Emilio
Wallace - Simms - Szetela - Pontius
-- John -- James -- McTavish -- Vaughn
---------------- Wicks

Playing Simms in the back doesn't make our back four any stronger, and it simultaneously weakens our midfield's ability to shield the defense. I don't like a McTavish-James center back paring (like everybody), but I'd rather have a chance to protect them with Simms than protect an equally fragile center back pairing with Jacobson. As for the wide backs, Vaughn sort of picks himself with McTavish in the middle and Namoff hurt. On the left, I trust John to do the defensive portion of the job better than Habarugira, who has looked uncomfortable when being isolated 1v1 (a favorite approach for every Central American team we've played in the CCL). John will leave us weaker going forward, but with our defensive injuries that's not really my main concern when picking a left back.

In the midfield, I'd like to see Szetela in a position he's actually suited to play. As a wide midfielder he's done adequate defensive work, but lacks the speed or inclination to beat his man. He wants to combine with others, and that's much more likely if he's in the middle. It should be noted that his best 20 minutes in a DC shirt were playing centrally against Marathon; once he was moved out wide (a switch made necessary by McTavish being totally anonymous), he stopped really being a factor. This can also be a legitimate test for him. If he can't get the job done alongside Simms and with Pontius and Wallace manning the flanks, he's just not going to get it done period.

Up top, I've been preaching the need to start Pontius, but I think this is a special circumstance. No matter what we say about Emilio, the guy is here because of his success against Honduran clubs. He's maintained that quality for us: 3 goals in 2 games against Olimpia, and he also got our goal at Marathon a few weeks ago. Maybe I'm just hopped up on playing matchups in fantasy football, but the man does well against Honduran clubs. I'd partner him with Gomez for somewhat similar reasons. In international play, I'd say Gomez has been our best player since 2005. Be it Champions Cup, Superliga, Sudamericana, or Champions League, he has come up with huge goals and great games for us. This is a must-win game if we want to advance, and I think advancement is a big deal if we want to return to a culture of winning. We're going to need a moment of brilliance in this one, and I'd bet on Gomez to supply it.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 21, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

you should have received an email from the team 10 days or so ago with respect to the free tix for season ticket holders to these games. Call you ticket rep.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 21, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

We're going to need a moment of brilliance in this one, and I'd bet on Gomez to supply it.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell


Ummmmm, wow,.....never thought I'd see this..a mistake??...anyway, Goff said above that Gomez is suspended Thursday for card accumulation. So, his magic needs to right powerful to affect this game. Maybe drumming in with The Barra??

Posted by: marksman37 | September 21, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Aaaahhh BaltoFan. You fell for it hook, line, and stinker.

@Our friends in Atlanta: Hope you're staying dry.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry everybody. They're not exactly the same.

But there's no need to go to head-to-head. Goal differential will always lead you to the right answer.

Posted by: GiannicolusJones | September 21, 2009 3:15 PM
---------------------------------------------------

Except in CONCACAF's world. Overall group goal differential is the first tiebreaker in UEFA Champions League, but it's only the fourth tiebreaker for CONCACAF. That might even make sense, considering how bad some of the teams are.

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Emilio can score in buckets....

----------------------------------------------------

Unfortunately, this is not a useful skill -- though he does sometimes look as if he is still running in buckets. Maybe he should stop practicing with the buckets on....?

Unless you mean he can score into a bucket. That's a bit more impressive, but in soccer there are goalies and you are required to shot around them and still on target. Emilio has some trouble with this, of late.

With Gomez out, I'd guess that Chest is probably good at picking Soehn's midfield. I'd expect Moreno to join Emilio up top. But, all that is subject to change, if Quaranta is available...or if Soehn refuses to play Vaughn.

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Emilio does look as if he is running in buckets. I think my 57yr old pops might take him in a race.

I don't want to think about starting lineups because my brain hurts.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I wish people would show some love for Emilio. The dude came out looking better this season than last. He still has a fair share of goals. I know he makes a lot of money, but there are other forwards on this team who've blown a lot more sitters than Emilio this year. Namely Pontius, and Quaranta. Why doesn't anyone criticize them? They're too young? Too inexperienced? Chasing too much tail to focus?
How about Jaime? That dude has gotten to a point where he seems absolutely afraid to even try getting off a shot, instead laying it off to a double teamed Emilio...
I hope he comes out and makes some of you cats eat your words on Thursday night, and then ignites the spark that has United shatter this season's mold in the next month and sends us deep into the playoffs.
No offense of course, I'm just a shameless homer, who has faith that this club could find it's form again despite the new blood and injuries.
Vamos United!


Posted by: DadRyan | September 21, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: Why don't people criticise Pontius and Quaranta for missing sitters like Emilio? Because they're paid less than a tenth of what Emilio is paid.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | September 21, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

So you're saying that if these guys were getting paid more they wouldn't be missing? Give me a break dude. A job's a job regardless of what you get paid. There isn't an attacking player on the DCU roster who's earned their money if you're going to put it that way.

I'm not trying to get into a big stink with fellow DCU fans. I was just stating that the moaning and groaning about Emilio is tiresome, pointless, and just plain old whiney. He won't be gone until at the very least the end of the season.

All the hot air about Fire Soehn, Kasper, Fred, Emilio, etc. hasn't changed a god darn thing this season or last. Just count me out of the group of folks who'll have a hard time swallowing the pill if any of these scapegoats become DCU heroes before the season ends.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 21, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I've been critical of: Emilio, Crayton, Fred (because of the size of their contracts AND their glaring deficiencies), Pontius and Wallace (because the early promise of their speed was not matched by skillful play in the final third, particularly with their shooting), Burch (because it's better to play good than to look good), Quaranta (because he can't shoot, either -- and he thinks he can), Jacobson (because his idea of playing defense is to foul the guy), Janicki (because he was lost in a 3-man back line), Jakovic (because he has not played as well as some people think he has, though he has been able to cover for his own mistakes most of the time), Kocic (because he reminds me of Roberto Duran -- manos de piedra), etc....

Is Emilio worth singling out? Well, look at some of the other DPs -- he doesn't have the impact for DC that Beckham, Blanco, Schelotto, Lundberg, Angel and even Lopez have had for their teams. But, forget the money and put aside all those sitters he scores -- goals that anyone should score. Just look at the situations that failed to result in goals because he lacks the speed to outrun a defense or the ability to create openings. There are moments when you feel that any other striker could do better. Perhaps Emilio is playing through some really debilitating injury -- it would explain a lot -- but we have not been given that explanation. All we have to look at is how much more dangerous other MLS teams appear to be on offense, and Emilio really stands out as a major reason why. Not the sole offender, to be sure. There are several players I hope the FO is able to replace. Based on how he's played, Emilio would be on my list.

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

But Dad,

The point is people criticise Emilio BECAUSE of how much he makes on top of the fact that he does not produce anywhere near expectation. It happens all over the world - see Berbatov, Seba (at Man United), Scheva at Chelsea, and so on and so forth. It's an expectations thing, I mean DP's gotta mean much more than two letters and a boat load of cap money, right?

While it does not excuse the blatant misses by Pontius or Tino, it is quite clear that if people are going to splash the cash they have a right to expect some value. If we are to bring Party or Tino into the arguement then I say fine, let's have a bunch of these guys at that price and use the extra cash to fix other parts of the team - midfield or defense. I have no problem taking Emilio as is, as long as he is coming at a huge discount. He can't play like a Tino or Party Boy and dent the cap like that...sorry but he will be called out for that. If it comes off as whiney, oh well, so be it but it could just be an opinion at the end of the day - regardless of classification.

Same goes for the "hot air" about the other folks you named. I have never been in the fire Kasper team because that one never made any sense. But I have just about advocated the mass firings of all the others you mentioned. Maybe there is justification for such a demand, a thing called results. I mean there is sufficient data out there to make such a call, even to support such a trivial thing as fan banter. Or maybe we just plain don't like the guys (I have no beef with them just making a point). Where I am going with this is that we are proud fans who love our team and have a right to call them out if they are not doing the business - once again regardless of how our calls are percieved or what adjectives are tagged on to them. We have dropped from the upper echelons of MLS to a mid-level team at best. Post game banter, ratings or name calling aside, thems is the facts.

I have said before here, I will gladly eat crow if these guys light it up and win stuff. I have no problem with that. It will be the sweetest tasting crow I have ever had. Sadly the evidence just does not forcast crow in my future.

Anyway not having a go as I am a fan of your posts, but the adjectives, they weren't working for me.

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 21, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I have a dream.

I have a dream, that one day, all of United's overpriced, overaged players will once again play to their potential.

I have a dream that Jaime, Emilio AND Christian, will begin to score goals at a record pace, bringing a team on the brink of elimination into the championship match.

I have a dream that ALL of United's supporters, including me, will face frustration, at not knowing WHAT to do with these players at season's end, given that in the final stage of the season and the playoffs, they inexplicably begin producing.

Meh. Not losing sleep over this one.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 21, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Kosh2-

Well written. I agree with just about everything you mentioned.

If Emilio is and always was making the same as Pontius or Quaranta, I'm confident the criticism would be the same for all three.

Posted by: redskinsux | September 22, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

When you're paid more, you're expected to produce more. Period. That's why you're getting the big money.

An no, nobody on this team has missed nearly as many sitters as Emilio.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 22, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

period! REALLY? Nobody has missed more sitters than Emilio? You sure you're not getting him mixed up with Fred or even Pontius?
I don't really feel the need to check stats often, but I went back and looked, and I'll tell you for a FACT that Emilio has scored goals that have won games this year, he's also helped claw back to earn a measley point after the defense has crapped the bed and let people come back. Even in losses the guy has gone out there and left everything on the field. He scored the only goal in DC's first clash with Houston this season for the win. Also scored the only goal in the first match vs Chicago which was squandered and they shared the points. Everyone remember that first loss at RSL that we all had to go to the bar to watch? Yep that was Emilio with the only United goal there too.
How about him and Quaranta pulling out the win in New Jersey in stoppage time in April? 3-2 scoreline in that one with two goals from DCU in extra time...
How about him an Tino clawing back two late goals to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw at Chivas in May?
Anyone remember his brace vs Houston in that last meeting we had with those boys? Injected in the second half and what happened?!

I agree that he gets paid too much. I don't sign those stupid contracts, nor do I coach the man. I'll tell you what though! If the defense didn't suck so much sack half the time we wouldn't be in this crossing our fingers to make the playoffs predicament. What's the point of scoring GWG's to have your defense collapse and lose the match for you? It's gotta be pretty frustrating for a guy making so much money to look at such an inept coach and back line.

All of our forwards suck. Every single one of them have missed plenty of opportunities.
Emilio's minutes stacked up against his total shots/shots on goal aren't the worst. There's something to be said for his fair play I'd say though, as guys like Montero have 40 fouls committed compared to Emilio's 14. Is that a bad thing? Good thing? I Guess when you've got Keller in net you can give up endless dangerous dead ball opportunities right?

I gotta sleep. I hope DCU can find some dudes healthy and make the playoffs. The dudes we're disappointed in are running out of time to make their mark. I was just saying that I'd rather invest my faith in something I love rather than constantly tearing it down.
peace.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 22, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

what's with your mancrush on emilio DadRyan? does he live in your basement, go to your church or date your daughter? after the amount of invective youve thrown at gallardo it's a little surprising to see such love for emilio.

Beckham, Blanco, Schelotto (not originally a dp), Ljungberg, Angel, Donovan and Emilio. which name doesn't seem to belong in that list? Emilio is the Juwan Howard of MLS, nuff said.


Posted by: PindarPushkin | September 22, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

"Even in losses the guy has gone out there and left everything on the field."--DadRyan

I respectfully disagree. An overlooked example was the match against Real Madrid. After Madrid pulled ahead 3-0, Emilio still wasn't getting any quality chances. And, after another half chance didn't materialize into anything dangerous, Emilio motioned that he had been injured and needed to be subbed. I remember fans on this blog making comments after the game like, "I hope Emilio is ok" and "I hope it's not serious".

Still focusing my attention on Emilio, even while the play continued and watching as he had been subbed, I questioned whether or not Emilio was actually physically incapable to play or whether he became frustrated with the chances he was getting and decided to give up instead.

My personal conclusions: Anyone watching the game knew there was little hope left for D.C. at that point in the game. The game declined in fluidity and competitiveness as the game wore on. And with D.C. being down 3-0 with only 10+ mins left, Tom Soehn should've been responsible and mature enough to pull someone like Emilio out of the game and give one of the younger guys a chance. But this is where the great irony lies. Instead of Emilio being subbed by the coach, he, in my opinion, had to fake or embellish an injury to be subbed out of the game. It's not the player’s job to determine when he should come out of the game. The player’s job is to give 110% whenever they are on the field, regardless of the score or situation (barring a genuine injury).

Some would argue that he probably felt a tweak or a muscle tighten up, so why risk it?

If the game was 2-1, I guarantee Emilio stays in. And this is why I haven't advocated for Gomez's head. Despite him not meeting our expectations from two years ago, he has still made some big plays that has changed games. Gomez plays with heart and this is why I'm not necessarily in favor of making a move with him. Gomez has proved his determination and heart with this team, alongside Olsen, Moreno and Quaranta. I haven't seen it with Emilio and the Real Madrid example is just one example.

Posted by: redskinsux | September 22, 2009 3:02 AM | Report abuse

“I was just saying that I'd rather invest my faith in something I love rather than constantly tearing it down.”--DadRyan

Wasn’t it you who has exuberantly declared that you’re not going pay to watch D.C. play another home game this season?

I believe it was you that said this after the Sounders defeat in the Open cup, “I really need to go to bed. I also need to stop wasting so much time on such a mediocre team. These guys aren't even that.” September 3, 2009 1:22 AM

Definitely some mixed messages from you…what are you for? It seems like you tear the whole team down when we lose and criticize people on this blog for trying to pinpoint weaknesses in this team. I agree that all of us scrutinize this team like they’re our children but I think it’s what separates us in the league. We expect the best and anything less is disappointing. There is a problem however when fans come on the blog and make statements that are irrelevant and/or detrimental to the spirit of the fans, the team and the game of football.

DadRyan- I love you man and always will but sometimes even the best of us need to called out.

Posted by: redskinsux | September 22, 2009 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Just about every DCU fan has some love for Emilio, Moreno, and Gomez based on their performances from previous years. However, that doesn't change the fact that they have not been performing at the level their team needs for them to be at this year. In sports it has always been what have you done for me lately.

Posted by: croftonpost | September 22, 2009 5:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm with DadRyan on this one. People seem to expect Emilio to average over 1 goal per game and that's just not going to happen. For the past three years, he's been among the top 10 forwards in the league both in goals and I'd say in overall play. Sure he hasn't had the same positive influence as Schellotto/Blanco/Angel, but I don't agree with you fischy when you say he hasn't had the same impact as Ljunberg and Lopez. Lopez doesn't even play for a winning team. Emilio is average by DP standards, but above average by MLS standards. Is he overpaid? Yes. But he's still our #1 scorer, and he can still be a game changer.

I think people often confuse "missing a sitter" with "failing to score on a decent opportunity". When you get a free shot inside the box with at least half the net wide open, I would call that a sitter. Emilio rarely misses those chances. In fact, I think he's one of the best in the league at converting those chances, hence his reputation as a predator. We have other players (Fred and Pontius as DadRyan mentioned) who have missed those sorts of opportunities. Emilio's problem is not missing the sitters. His problem is that he doesn't have the speed to beat defenders 1v1, and he is always looking to shoot even if another play might be open for a better shot.

I'm not saying I wouldn't trade Emilio straight up for almost any other DP in MLS (Lopez is probably the only exception), but he's the best forward we've got so he still needs to be starting every match as long as he's fit.

Posted by: DCUMD | September 22, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm in two minds about Emilio. On one hand, he's paid a lot of money to score and hasn't produced goals commensurate with his salary.

On the other hand, he's a poacher. Some of his goals come from cleaning up after a shot by Q or Pontius. Nothing wrong with that, but a poacher should be paired with a forward who can run at defenses and make things happen. Jaime is not the right partner for that. Emilio is also not getting the consistent service he needs from the mids and often has to come waaay back to midfield to get the ball. That's because we can't hold on to the ball in the midfield and the mids have to chase back on defense.

So Emilio is underperforming, but it's only partially his fault.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 22, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

So, in other words, Emilio is now Franco Niell, a "target" player in a possession offense?

In years past his hard dirty work made that offense run. Today, either there has been a change in tactics or he's just not handling the work load as effectively. So you can have a legit debate about whose fault that is, but the result remains that he's just not connecting effectively with the rest of his team.

He doesn't hold the ball well when he does get it, nor does he seem to have the burst to beat his marks. It may just be a minor loss of quickness or stamina, but his moves with the ball seem telegraphed.

He seems to lose the vast majority of any physical challenges. That's why he has to track back to get the ball - it's to escape his marks, who have a much too easy time taking him completely out of the game, since either poor tactics or his own wishfulness do so much of that work for them.

Unfortunately the on-field frustration seems to hurt team chemistry during the games and #11 and his mates at times appear to be mentally shutting each other out. The RM game was a prime example.

It's hard to believe there could be a physical decline or lack of effort such as it appears. I also doubt he is "slow", especially compared with the other options, though his balky hamstrings might explain the reluctance to really turn on the jets.

Chemistry can improve if the effort is made to do so. Ditto tactics. But the writing's on the wall in six-foot letters. DCU needs a striker that scares people.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Geez Pindar, I suppose I deserve that for dissing your Gallardo jersey collection.;-) This is a great place to discuss soccer, but when people type crap like "Nuff Said" and "Period" it feels an awful lot like some lesser soccer blogs. I'll pass.

@redskinsux, you're talking about the Real Madrid match? You're criticizing Emilio subbing himself off in a lost cause match that has ZERO bearing on anything? I'm not sure what you think we're playing for here, but I could not have cared less about the friendly they played at FedEx.

Losing the OC was a crushing blow, and my comments following were typical for a hot head like me. I didn't say I wouldn't be watching, I just said I couldn't justify spending money I don't really have to watch a team that isn't trying play games I can watch on tv for free.

That being said I'm about to line up tickets for the US/CR match and the final home match vs Columbus. FYI DCU is going to sell USA/CR- DCU/Crew 2packs once the Chivas game that they are marketing presently is in the books.

croftonpost, DCUMD, I-270, and even fischy have all touched on what I was getting at about Emilio. Irregardless, we're stuck with him and me for the rest of the season. Let's try to make the best of it.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 22, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Let's try to make the best of it.
Posted by: DadRyan
==================

Period

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 22, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

=)

Posted by: DadRyan | September 22, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

whatever, im just glad that you aren't a talent scout or gm for the team. unfortunately for us that doesn't excuse the f.o. for following your advice. regardless of my opinion or your opinion the fact remains that compared to other dps around the league emilio is the worst.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | September 22, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

While Emilio may not be performing to the standard that the fans set for him, he is not the worst DP in the league (stats based).

Of the 8 DPs mentioned (Lopez, Donovan, Emilio, Angel, Blanco, Schelotto, Ljunberg, Beckham) only 3 have played more minutes in league matches than Emilio and only 1 (Lopez) has played significantly more.

Emilio has the 3rd highest goals scored (tied with Angel) among the DPs mentioned.

Emilio is also 3rd in the shortest time between goals (total minutes divided by goals)

Schelotto 1580 minutes/12 goals = 132 minutes per goal
Donovan 1845/10 = 185
Emilio 1803/9 = 200
Angel 1865/9 = 207
Blanco 1404/5 = 281
Beckham 623/2 = 312
Lopez 2066/6 = 344
Ljungberg 1476/2 = 738

For Emilio this comparison is the best because he is a 'poacher', but the case can be made that goals and assists should matter. Here Emilio ranks lower, but still not the worst. Thus minutes between goals or assists is:

Schelotto 1580 min/15 goals and assists = 105 minutes per goal or assist
Blanco 1404/13 = 108
Donovan 1845/16 = 115
Beckham 623/5 = 125
Lopez 2066/13 = 159
Emilio 1803/11 = 164
Angel 1865/10 = 187
Ljungberg 1476/7 = 210

The take away messages? Emilio isn't the worst DP in the league this season and matches up well to the other DPs. Schelotto is ridiculous! Seattle has the worst DP (stats-wise) so far this season!

Posted by: jermWV | September 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

GBS is in a league of his own. Angel is pretty darn productive as well, it's a shame he plays for such a lame team.
If you're talking stats, I also found it interesting looking at players shots vs shots on goal. Emilio hasn't made as many chances for himself as other strikers in the league, but he's not bad at putting the shot on frame when he gets loose.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 22, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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