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Friday Kickaround

*Time off for D.C. United is a mixed blessing: The club is able to recuperate from 10 matches in 31 days, but also finds itself in the helpless position of watching games that directly affect it in two competitions. United liked what it saw last night when Toluca obliterated Marathon, 7-0, in the CONCACAF Champions League, putting United (1-2-0) in position to pull even with the Hondurans (2-1-0) for second place with a victory at RFK on Thursday. Off this weekend, United will closely monitor two league matches tonight: New England at New York (7:30 p.m., Direct Kick) and Colorado at San Jose (11 p.m., ESPN2). Without question, DCU will be rooting for the Red Bulls and Earthquakes, two teams out of the playoff hunt. On Saturday, United would like to see ties in the Chivas USA-Seattle and Toronto-Los Angeles matches, as well as a Houston victory over Real Salt Lake.

*Tomorrow marks two years since former DCU color commentator Garth Lagerwey became RSL's general manager. Before Garth: 19-48-21. Since Garth: 22-22-20.

*MLS announced that the expansion draft to supply Philadelphia with established players from around the league will take place Nov. 25, three days after MLS Cup. How important is it? Last year Seattle most notably picked up Jaqua, Vagenas and Evans, but truly built its playoff-contending club in subsequent months through other avenues in acquiring Keller, Hurtado, Alonso, Montero, Ljungberg and Zakuani.

*Americans abroad:
D Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday at Sheffield United
F Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt at Karlsruhe
GK David Yelldell and Koblenz vs. Union Berlin
MF Clint Dempsey not in 18 for Fulham's 1-1 tie at CSKA Sofia
GK Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 4-0 win over AEK Athens

*On the college calendar, the ninth-ranked Maryland women's team, which, at 7-0-0, is off to its best start in 13 years, hosts Brown (0-3-0) at 7 p.m. tonight in its final match before the challenging ACC schedule begins. The No. 25 Virginia men (3-1-0, 0-1 1-0 ACC) visit third-ranked Wake Forest (3-0-1, 1-0) at 7 p.m. in Winston-Salem, N.C.

*Quality video of Toluca's romp (beware of surging umbrellas!):

By Steve Goff  |  September 18, 2009; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF Champions League , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Saturday Kickaround


nice video.

Posted by: torrey151 | September 18, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Actually a slight advantage if Chivas wins.

Posted by: ncguy | September 18, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Rooting for New Jersey, oh what a feeling!
Vamos United!
Aloha Friday!

Posted by: DadRyan | September 18, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

LOL most epic highlight music ever!

Posted by: strago | September 18, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Party on, Garth.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 18, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 18, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If we lose next week's game against Marathon at home, then expect more excuses like: we have been off for a week; we lost our playing rhythm; our guys are used to playing every 3 days, Marathon are on the vengence after their 7-0 drubbing, etc...more BS. Fire Soehn !

Posted by: Charisma_Man | September 18, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Wow, 7 - 0. That's amazing.

On the third goal, though, it looked to me as though Nava was offsides. But, I really dont think it matters that much since it was such a lopsided victory for Toluca.

Also, that was a bit of nice ball control by Esquivel on the sixth goal.

Posted by: dogboy | September 18, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

dogboy. No offside. It was a passbackfrom the defender. you can only be offside on a pass from your own player.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | September 18, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Soundtrack reminds me of one of those action, militaristic C-movies from the 80s starring some retired football player.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 18, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Marathon's defensive intensity could use some improvement. Of course, down to 10 men for much of a match on the road will wear down a defense. The door is now open for DCU...can they walk through it?

Posted by: therealfootball | September 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Toluca lose 7-0 in a league match recently? Or was that America?

Posted by: Reignking | September 18, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

No Palacios in the match at RFK definitely helps.

However, seeing as we host San Jose 3 days after Marathon, Soehn will trot out the same bums we saw barely eke out a 1-0 win in Trinidad against a team I'd expect my pick-up team to beat.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 18, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Two notes about the season:

We are rooting for the Red Bulls and the Earthquakes. ugh.

We won't have to worry about losing key players in the expansion draft.

Posted by: Tweaked | September 18, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I hear the militaristic C-movie analogy for the music, but it reminded me more of one of two things:

a) Cheesy theme for 90s broadcast news a la Anchorman.

b) Video game "boss music."

Eh? Eh?

Posted by: mbourque1 | September 18, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

How many players can be protected in the expansion draft? Last year it was 10 right?

Now depending on that number, who would you like to see protected? Do developmental players have to be protected? DPs? Can't really remember...

Posted by: DadRyan | September 18, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say boss music?
Turn this down or put the headphones on, or don't even bother clicking on it!

Posted by: DadRyan | September 18, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Kind of agree with alecw81, but I hope it's not the case. Thanks to Marathon's beat down last night DCU has new life in the CCL. IF DCU is serious about wanting to be a player in international competitions, they will put out a first team line-up against Marathon in a must win game. If not, DCU shouldn't bother asking us to buy tickets and support these matches. When your following games are awful San Jose and San Juan Abysmal, why not put some effort into the Marathon match?

Posted by: BillyBob4 | September 18, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with Alec and Billy Bob. No excuse not to put out a solid (for DC) lineup for the Marathon game. Maybe I'll accept DCU's offer of free tickets after all.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | September 18, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse


Why don't you report on why guys like Simke and Whitbread aren't seeing the pitch this season? Any person can write that they're on the team.

Posted by: baltimoredude | September 18, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


It made me think of what would happen if you extended an "Action News" local affiliate's theme music to 3:55.


I was of the assumption that we were all rooting for the teams in the automatic spots (Houston, LA, Columbus, and Chicago) to win out, save when we play the Crew in a couple of weeks. I figure if the top four and bottom four are taking points from everyone in the middle except for us, we just have to win our home games and we're in with relative ease.

If those things are the case, then we should be hoping for LA taking out Toronto. We most likely won't catch LA (this is their game in hand, and a win would put them 5 points ahead of us with 4 games to go), while also leaving Toronto 2 points behind us with even games played. That seems much better than TFC being just 1 back and LA still possibly a wild card team (since that adds a stronger wild card team to the pool).

Correct me if I'm wrong. I didn't get much sleep last night so I might just be out of my mind.

For what it's worth, I think NY might have a chance of denying the Revs the full 3 points, especially if Angel can play some part. I have less hope for San Jose; they don't deal with speed all that well. Those of you playing MLS fantasy, I see Cummings having a nice night.

So, who are we trying to match up against in the playoffs? How crazy am I for really wanting to end up against a Chicago team we have owned over the past 2 seasons? There's never going to be a better situation to break their hold over us in the playoffs. Blanco only shows up focused when he's playing for Mexico these days, and their defense without Soumare has looked quite vulnerable. In the words of O-Ren Ishii, "Now's the [appropriate] time!"

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 18, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Maryland women vs Brown? Didn't know UPS had a team.

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 18, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"Since Garth: 22-22-20"

Sweet creamery butter!

Posted by: rmontcal | September 18, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse


I knew it wasn't just me.


Generation Adidas players don't have to be protected, so Wallace and Hamid are freebies. I don't recall any special rules for the DPs. The lists were allowed to be 11 players long last time around. You have to protect at least 3 international players, but that was with different foreign player rules so who knows how it'll shake out this time.

As for who we should protect, I don't know. I will say that the list has to include Jakovic, Namoff, Simms, Quaranta, and Pontius.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 18, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse


Why don't you report on why guys like Simke and Whitbread aren't seeing the pitch this season? Any person can write that they're on the team.

Posted by: baltimoredude | September 18, 2009 10:56 AM

Why not try your own Google machine? Goff has a job already...

Posted by: JkR- | September 18, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

DP must be on the proctected list IF they have a "no trade" clause. not sure if thats the case with Emillio or not. Here is Goff's thread from last year on who DC protected:

I hadn't really thought about it, but there really was a large amount of turnover from last season. The only guy on last year's unprotected list that is still with the club is Benny. Not sure if that says more about last year's club being bad, or this year's club being any better...regardless, the club is going to have a tougher time making their picks this year, and a lot of it will depend on whether or not guys like Olsen and Moreno decide to keep playing.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 18, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

protect the young guns.

Posted by: nairbsod | September 18, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's NOT protect this guy (Mr. T):

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 18, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I asked this in another thread but forgot which one --

what is the purpose of an expansion draft? Are there no available soccer players outside the league or coming out of college or whatever that these teams can't pick from?

Why do existing teams have to give players to the new clubs? It all seems silly to me.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse


The concept behind the expansion draft is to allow new clubs an opportunity to (consistently, over the course of the expansion) acquire rotation-level talent familiar with MLS.

In addition, the expansion draft allows new clubs to stock a base of quality domestic players with lessened risk.

Posted by: B_A_ | September 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As a UVa student/fan, it pains me to point this out, but Virginia men's soccer is currently 0-1 ACC, not 1-0

Posted by: carmines757 | September 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

A tie in the LA-Toronto game would probably be the best result for DC but that depends on other results in coming weeks, too. It's best not to let too many teams (like LA) get ahead of DC and clinch playoff spots. I think Columbus and Chicago should get the automatic slots from the East while Houston and probably Chivas should get the top slots in the West.

If LA ties they will only be 3 points ahead of DC and Toronto will still be a point behind us (and all 3 teams will have the same # of games played). That would leave DC a decent chance of passing both teams IF United plays well in their favorable final stretch. It will be a hideous crime against soccer if New England gets a playoff spot after their atrocious play in recent weeks (so expect it to happen!).

Another game of playoff interest for DC is Houston v Salt Lake on Sunday. We want to stay ahead of RSL, if they win in Houston they would move past DC. So root for Houston.

There are many different possible combinations of results which could affect the final playoff standings. First of all, DC has to win most of it's remaining games (vs SJ at RFK, vs Chivas at RFK, vs Columbus at RFK, at KC for regular season finale). The teams DC fans should most be rooting against (drop points whenever possible) are LA, Colorado, Seattle, New England, Salt Lake and Toronto. I think when any of those 6 teams face each other a tie would be good for DC.

But things will continue to change as results come in and if DC doesn't rack up some points of their own all other results will be useless (to DC fans, at least).

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 18, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Houston v Salt Lake is apparently tomorrow not Sunday. Still gotta root for the Dynamo if you want DC to have better playoff chances.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1, count another loyalist family in your corner. Without JD's link I would have had no idea.

Thanks joedoc.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 18, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read all comments so forgive me if this is a LA win helps DC. No points for TOR is the best thing. It's unlikely we catch LA anyway. Keep those below us, below us.

Posted by: DC0071 | September 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Last year I think we were passed over in the expansion draft anyway. I doubt Novak/Gros will not come sniffin' around DCU's unprotected list this year though. The GA tag is refreshing news about Wallace and Hamid.

The biggest question marks I guess would be Benny and Jaime. I wouldn't put it past Philly to pick either of them if left unprotected.
Why wouldn't you?

I also think McTavish would be a wise choice of someone to protect. He may not be a starter with this particular roster, but he always plays his heart out when he's called upon. I'd hate to see him doing that for Philly, or another club if used in a trade a la Brian Carroll.

My list: McTavish, Pontius, Quaranta, Simms, Namoff, Burch, Olsen/Szetela, Moreno/Wicks, My 3 internationals: Jakovic, James, Boyzzz

Things will change.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Many thanks.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 18, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The biggest question marks I guess would be Benny and Jaime. I wouldn't put it past Philly to pick either of them if left unprotected.
Why wouldn't you?


It's a player draft not a coach draft.

Szetela will end up in Philly one way or another.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 18, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

if Olsen/Jaimie decide not to retire, then they have to be protected. Philly could take one of them and force DC to trade a pick to get an icon back. recent productivity or not, it would be a black eye for the club for an icon to be stolen in an expansion draft.

and I agree with Dadryan about Mctavish, though Id probably go with Gomez over James or Khumalo in the international slot. I get a Janicki 08 vibe from James. and keeping Szetela seems like a good move, if for nothing other than trade value (with Philly most likely).

Posted by: VTUnited | September 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

dogboy. No offside. It was a passbackfrom the defender. you can only be offside on a pass from your own player.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | September 18, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bugger, your right. My bad. Irregardless of my bungle, that was a whuppin!

Posted by: dogboy | September 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Is there a better song in world football?...

You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbines
Like a good pinch of snuff
Like a night out in Sheffield
Like a greasy chip butty
Like Sheffield United
Come fill me again....
Na Na Na Naa Naa Naaaaa, ooo!

Posted by: Kev29 | September 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse


I wanted to think this through some more, so I looked up TFC's schedule. It did not contain good news:

@ LA
@ Chicago
San Jose
@ NY

Chicago's home record is not confidence-inspiring, and TFC will have great traveling support, so there's a real possibility of a point or all three going to Toronto in that one. They should probably win both home games (SJ sucks and RSL travels poorly), and their final game is against an NY team that, whatever their recent improvements, is still pretty awful. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility that TFC could reel off 9, 10, or even all 12 points in their last 4 games, which would leave us needing to take 8, 9, or 11 points (and since 11 is impossible, that would mean the full 12) from our final 4 games (excluding what they do in LA) to stay ahead. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker, and TFC has us beat there, so we can't finish tied.

Looking at this schedule, I think pulling for LA (however much I hate to do so) is the only option.


I agree about Philly likely having interest in Szetela, so I say we protect him. If Future New Coach can't figure out what to do with him, we wait for their trade offer (most likely draft picks or allocation cash). On the other hand, if Future New Coach actually uses him correctly and instills some discipline, we have a potential starter. Leaving him unprotected to keep someone like Wicks or McTavish seems foolish, since those guys won't have the same level of value to Philly (or to the rest of the league, for that matter; Szetela does have 3 caps and is younger, after all).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 18, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Blades 1-nil up. Simek is on the bench for Wednesday

Posted by: Kev29 | September 18, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how to set up a macro in Internet Explorer? I'd like to have a macro where it only takes me one click to load Soccer Insider and post "I agree with Chest Rockwell" on the latest thread. I figure I would use that macro 3-4 times a day.

Posted by: DCUMD | September 18, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | September 18, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I predict that DC United gives up 0 (ZERO) goals this weekend.

Vamos United!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | September 18, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I believe they took that music from "Walker: Texas Ranger" I nominate Chuck Norris for next DCU coach

Posted by: Pete803 | September 18, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

The date of the expansion draft is just a reminder of the need to close the book on Tom Soehn ASAP. so that we can, hopefully, have a new coach in place who can make some decisions in time for that draft.

I don't favor canning him during the season, but in some ways it would be for the best if we were out of the playoffs in time to make a coaching move

Posted by: DCUSince96 | September 18, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow.......RedBulls.....and such a nice J E T S Jets Jets Jets paint job for the fans.
And can SJ really pull this out of their hat? Even without 50th Anniversary of the AFL paint on the field?

Posted by: marksman37 | September 19, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Goldurn it! United was a few seconds from getting the result they needed in San Jose, when an Earthquake defender forgot this wasn't wrestling.

Posted by: fischy | September 19, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Convey is so useless, he should play in USL2

Posted by: Norteno4life | September 19, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

well I guess one is better than 3

Posted by: marksman37 | September 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Why do I feel like DC just gave up a goal in stoppage, 9Nine9?

Posted by: sitruc | September 19, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

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