Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Lots of Reflection at RFK

Hey guys, with Goff on his way to Salt Lake City, I headed over to RFK today to get to work on previewing Saturday's game at Dallas. Thought I'd give you some stuff real quick:

First, Josh Wicks reflecting on last night's bizarre and unnecessary stomp and ejection. Then, after the jump, the transcript of an interview with Santino Quaranta.

Quaranta had a lot to say, and didn't hold back, so I wanted to include the entire interview. It's long, but I recommend reading it all.

Wicks on looking back on last night:
Just try to get the team back behind me and move forward. I gotta own up for what happened and just talk to my team about it and try to get forward from it.

On if he's reflected a lot over the past day:
A lot, very, very lot. You just got to go back and take a look in the mirror and realize, see what kind of player I want to be and see what kind of professional I want to be and that surely wasn't it last night. Like I said I still got to talk to my team still and work things out with them but at the same time after everything is squared away and done you've got to move forward still.

On whether it's good that D.C. is playing on Saturday:
I think it couldn't be any better because if I had to wait a week and a half for a game I might sit on it longer but we have a game Saturday and [I can] go out there and play the way I've been playing minus up to the 66th minute yesterday and show my teammates they can have confidence in me and believe in me, that I wont make any more stupid errors like that, and to show the fans that's not the type of player I am. And to basically rebound off that and show them what type of keeper I can be.

On line between passionate and stepping out of bounds:
That fine line is always there, it could be there from the first minute to the last minute. It think it [could be] passion or emotion and I think last night my emotion showed more than my passion which hurt the team. That's one thing is being a soccer player, being a goalkeeper, is your mental state and being able to keep your emotion in bound and to play with passion and heart. And I think yesterday I was wearing my heart on my sleeve when I shouldn't have been.

Now, the transcription of the interview with Quaranta:

Quaranta reflecting on last night's loss:
I don't think, in the end they were the better team last night. I think we did some good things, but overall, they deserved to win. They had the better chances, they had the better run of play, they were more dangerous than us. I just think overall you've got to say they were better on the night.

Quaranta on lack of efficiency in final third:
We run out of ideas up there. We don't have that dynamic guy that's going to get behind you and hurt you. I think that we play a brand here that's, it's a good brand, but in the end this league is very athletic and we have to find the right fit in how we do this, if that makes sense.

Quaranta on injecting energy as a sub:

Last night it was difficult for me because I've started every game here to not start in a Cup final was disappointing. In the end I'm not the coach that makes the decisions but it's difficult to be a reserve. But you do it for the guys. You come in and you work for your teammates and you have to inject life because there wasn't any, we didn't have it, so you just try to do your best.

On what needs to happen up top:
I don't know, that's a good question. Trying to run at guys and when you've got a back four that can sit back and see the whole play and you're not making those guys on the back line work it's very easy for them. We made those two guys last night in the back line look like they were Premiership players and I don't think it should be like that.

On what you try to do to be dynamic up top:
You're trying to just cause problems for the back line and cause havoc. In the end last night, I like playing wide - not in a three [man backline]. And the three hasn't really worked here. So you just try to make plays and do whatever you can to help the team.

On playing a three-man backline and the give-and-take of creating and allowing opportunities:

Well when you play even numbers with guys that they had last night you're not going to win too many of those. You have to be perfect. And if you're not perfect, you make that one mistake there's your goal and I felt that's what we did last night. We did it for 60 minutes or so, a pretty good job, we still gave up a lot of chances but Josh kept us in the game. And in a three you have to perfect and it's very difficult.

On if it's too difficult to expect the perfect game:
Yea, you're not going to stop [Fredy] Montero and [Freddie] Ljungberg and [Steve] Zakuani with three-on-three in the back. It's just not happening for 90 minutes. And in the end that's what happened last night.

On the demand it has on the midfielders/defenders to play a three-man backline and whether it's getting tougher as the season goes on with so many games:
Sure. We have to look at the personnel here and understand that Josh Gros isn't here anymore. What suits us as a team, I'm not sure if it's three or if it's four, but that's not my decision. But in the end it doesn't seem like it fits us right this second and the guys that we have on the outsides, it's very difficult it puts a lot of work on us. It's almost like playing as a right back and a right midfielder and that's not what I was taught to do, is to play as a right back, so...

On preparing and changing focus for road game before home stretch:

I thought we did a good job in Chicago and you'd hope that you'd build off of that performance and we didn't do that, I don't think. We didn't have the same passion, we didn't have the same...In a cup final, whether you're tired or not you still like to hope you push through it and do your best and I don't think we were as good as we were in Chicago overall on the night. The amount of fouls and the amount of pressure that we put on them, it was kind of easy for them to build outo f the back. And in the middle I thought Bennie [Olsen] and Clyde [Simms] did well last night but it's so much strain on them guys, it's difficult.

Is there frustration not only with the results, but the way you're playing and the formations?
As professionals you go on and you do your best, you represent yourself, the club and the fans, and of course it's frustrating when you're not getting results and you're pushing through and sometimes, not set up to fail, but you get put in a situation where it's very difficult to win games. And in this league there's too many good players to not finish your chances. It's been a theme all year is we've done well in games and just haven't finished them off. Even last night we were still in that game. Regardless of whether they should have scored in the first half a couple goals or not, that's the way futbol is and we still had a chance to iwn and it felt that way on the field. But once that first one goes, you always knew it felt like we were going to get one but the second one killed us.

On stepping back and looking at big picture, and on preparing for Dallas before home stretch:
It's so close, the standings are so close, this stretch of games that we have coming up in D.C., we're not looking past this game because if you get three points there you're cruising into these five games at home and you're in a pretty good situation. For us, we don't want to be sitting here and saying where did we go wrong again in missing the playoffs? Because that's ridiculous. We have to look at the formation now, because it's getting to a time where it's crucial and we have to have a consistent lineup here. And that hasn't happened all year and hopefully we can figure something out because it's getting to be a crucial point.

On the management of guys on the roster, including young guys (Wallace, Pontius) and whether you'd expect to see less shuffling of them in and out of the lineup as D.C. hits homestretch:
You hope to. To me, at 24 I don't need to be managed anymore and I don't think they do either. You just have to let the horses go and if they get tired bring them off. But these are guys who you'd hope are on the field for you because they're going to fight and even if they're not having their best game, they are going to do it for you defensively and that's all you can ask in a player. And I don't think we need to be managed, the younger guys.

By Paul Tenorio  |  September 3, 2009; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Thursday Kickaround
Next: United Statement on Wicks - UPDATED

Comments

Excellent interviews Paul. Lots of stuff to chew on from Quaranta.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I saw some of the players after the game, leaving the stadium. They were very disappointed and still talking obliquely about the loss. Reading Tino's remarks, it seems the players may be as perplexed by the coaching decisions as most fans.

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

great stuff. thanks paul. sounds to me like soehn has lost the confidence of the team.

Posted by: nairbsod | September 3, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, it sure looks like Soehn has lost Quaranta

Posted by: FCMorton | September 3, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Q, telling it like it is. You don't stop Seattle's blend of speed and skill 3v3. "It's just not happening for 90 minutes."

In the immortal words of Hope Solo (who is not whack), "It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that."

And as with Hope and Greg Ryan, I think the player will be around longer than the coach.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

On Tino's comments: I am so glad that someone is saying what needs to be said, internally, and that it's frustrating enough for him that he's willing to go out on a limb and break through the DC United Cone Of Silence. The formation, consistency, and lack of finishing comments are spot-on.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | September 3, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Excellent job Paul. Have you ever thought about asking Soehn himself about formations? If so, what was his response?


I so cannot wait for Soehn to no longer be the coach of this team.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the player will be around longer than the coach.
Posted by: OWNTF
================

I hope so (no pun intended), although Soehn may leave him out of the 18 for the rest of the season. Coach's decision.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 3, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Tom Soehn Countdown = 51 days

(assuming DCU doesn't make the playoffs, which as of right now they don't)

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff.

Posted by: mason08 | September 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Has Tino just committed a "Danny Szetela" and be benched for several weeks?

Posted by: b18bolo | September 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Soehn. Has. Lost. The. Team.

Posted by: the_slammer | September 3, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Great interview, lots of insight.

Posted by: addick | September 3, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The comment about Gros was interesting. Gros was a good player but you have to question the merits of retaining a system that is geared for a player that hasn't been here in a long time. Love 'tino for speaking the truth during this difficult stretch. It may cost him some PT over the next several games but it is hard to imagine that Soehn can continue to give so much time to Fred. He was just plain awful last night.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | September 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I notice that while SQ was critical of the formation, he also didn't say who he would have played as the fourth Defender, or which MF was coming off....


:)

Posted by: JkR- | September 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

BTW, nice work, Paul, and thanks for the update. The other thread was getting a bit stale...

Posted by: JkR- | September 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

so it sounds like Wicks isn't expecting to be benched or suspended... Let's see how much class DC United still has.

Something tells me Quaranta may end up in Szetela's doghouse.

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

Really good stuff. I saw a post on here last night about the 3-5-2 really not being a fit for DC without a Josh Gros. Maybe that poster was really Santino in disguise. I wonder how Santino got to a PC right after the match... ;-)

Posted by: mbyrd28 | September 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

For those who claimed there was evidence that Wicks did not stomp Montero at all, it is significant that Wicks is not trying that excuse.

Note: formerly known as "fentysupporter"

Posted by: DCUSince96 | September 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It sort of went without him saying it outright, but it seems like Tino wants the team to be handed over to the younger guys, i.e. him, Pontius, Wallace, Jakovic... wonder who else he'd group in there.

I want to preface this next bit with a disclaimer:

*None of this was EXPLICITLY stated, but was evident to those who were there*

Last night after the match in Lot 8, Jaime came out to chat with Oscar and some others in the Barra (myself included amazingly), some of it in English, but the majority in Spanish. Some of what he said implied that he's thinking about becoming a coach next season, and I wouldn't be too surprised if Payne decided to axe Tommy and make Jaime a player/coach through the end of the year.

Again, none of that was explicitly stated. As is always the case in any form of communication, the interpretation of a listener/receiver almost always plays a larger role than what was said.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"We run out of ideas up there."

100% agree on that. DCU had plenty of possession, but nothing was done with it.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Before the DC game in Seattle..Freddie L was talking about DC playing a back three and essentially said how easy a back three is to beat if the opponent has the personnel to do it.

He was very confident that Seattle would because of the players they have (speed)..and they did...to a tune of three goals + a few blown chances. DC was lucky to tie...only because Seattle melted down.

So...for the cup final...what does Soehn do? He starts a back three...and Seattle tears them up again.

I'm a Seattle season ticket holder...watch most every game and have watched the Sounders struggle to create any chances for the last 6 weeks.

Teams have figured out that if you contain their speed...don't let them get behind you..then they aren't difficult to stop. Seattle has no creativity...they are organized and run hard...and have some good individual skill guys...but zero playmaker #10 types. Restrict their space in the final third and they struggle.

Soehn got outcoached...bad...which has been happening a lot..and each time it does...he throws a player under the bus.

When Soehn threw Janicki under the bus..he lost any remaining support that I had for him. A coach can't critize his players openly like that and still expect them to play hard for him.

Quaranta is right...and hopefully he won't get punished for actually having the balls to call out his coach (which I think he does as respectfully as possible).

Quaranta cares...hopefully he's a DC lifer..good for him.

I still think Wicks is a clown...and it is nice to see him taking responsibility for his actions. That's a start....but short of a brain transplant I'm not sure he's fit to be a top level GK. Soehn should start our young backup..at least for one game. Let Wicks sit a bit.

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | September 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Goff who? Go Tenorio!

Posted by: delantero | September 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

great comments, we should all thank Santino for saying things we're all thinking about. the line up, rotation and attacking strategy has been mostly wrong for 2 years. I think Soehn is a good coach in many aspects of the game but I don't see any adapting to circumstances on the field or over the course of the season. Emilio seems lost in space too.

Posted by: ananda001 | September 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, as for what we should do the rest of the year:

-------------Kocic---------------
Namoff---James---Jakovic-----Haba
Quaranta--Simms--Szetela--Wallace
--------Pontius--Moreno/Gomez----

Fred and Emilio are gone.

Burch should have his left ankle chained to a brick to force him to use his right.

Plug-in Olsen for Simms or Szetela whenever he has the gas to start, and keep him available to spark the team or kill off a game when needed.

Rotate in McTavish, Jacobsen, and DiRaimondo when needed.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"but it seems like Tino wants the team to be handed over to the younger guys, i.e. him, Pontius, Wallace, Jakovic..."

So do I. But I'd like to see the vets finish with a flourish, first!

Posted by: delantero | September 3, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Soehn can survive if he doesn't get a result in Dallas. That said, I think this season is a lost cause, anyway. Over the last 7 or 8 weeks, we need to see more of the younger players, to figure out what we've got to build on. Shipilane, Szetela, Jacobson, James, Habarugira, Kocic, even Pontius and Wallace -- they need to see action, preferably as many at one time as possible. It may be painful, but the team must figure out which, if any, of these players can produce.

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Make Jaime a player/coach through the end of the year"
------------------------------------
Hey...didn't that work for some ladies team that just won the WPS? Hell...she was even pregnant while she pulled all those upsets off!!

That would be great!!!

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

Alex, I hope you didn't just send Jaime to the doghouse as well. Perhaps some things should be left off this blog. We'll see...

Nice work, Paul. If you get a package in the mail from Salt Lake City, it's a box of chocolates from Goff.

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Excellent job, Paul.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Tino for saying what MUST be said. It was quite clear to all of us that Soehn had lost this team, and that the formation fetish is, well dangerously stupid. BUT you can sense in Tino's words that the young guns are getting fed up of these older, expensive, slower guys who are not doing their job (that would be you Mr. DP and your countryman too. Though for me Moreno and Gomez are not too far from joing that list too.)

Soehn has to go. I don't hate the guy, heck I don't know him enough to hate him but he just never looked like he was good enough to win the league. Sigi destroyed him last night, which is proof positive that he is not in the upper echelon, the top tier of MLS coaches - and for me that means he's not good enough for my club.

The FO also has some blame in this too. We have held on to, and over-valued some of our older vets. I know it's hard to make the touch choices with the legends but gosh darn it, that's your job. DO IT and DO IT RIGHT!

Thanks again Tino, and if Soehn punishes you for this never forget we love you and we have your back.

VAMOS UNITED!!

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Why do these coaches remain married to systems that don't work? The 3-5-2 was good earlier one in the season because opponents couldn't figure it out. Now that they have, Soehn is a moron for obstinately refusing to switch to a 4-back system. If we won in Chicago using a 4-back system, why would he think using 3 in the back will work against Seattle?

To me, I think Soehn is a good coach if you are *not* looking for new ideas. When was the last time Soehn did anything that truly made you stand up and cheer? Fred has been stinking it up for the last several matches and Soehn still wasted 45 minutes before bringing in Santino. And a coach who won't put his ego and personal animus aside for the good of the team (talking about The Szetela Situation) is a coach that *NEEDS* to be fired. Soehn must go!!!

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Okay, I can't hold this back any longer:

If you don't understand why DC United played 3 in the back last night, you are an idiot. If you don't get that Soehn DOES prefer a 4 man back line, you are a fool. If you think any AVAILABLE 4th defender would have given DCU a better chance last night than the lineup they fielded, then you know nothing about this team.

The team started the season with a 4 man back line. They were awful. They got no extra stop from the 4th defender. In fact said fourth defender weakened the back line by, among other things, constantly blowing traps - because he's so slow he has to play too far behind the line. Opposing attackers got open between him and the wings AT WILL. This happened EVERY time he played, among his dozens of more obvious boners.

So Soehn switched to a three. The defense, believe it or not, improved, even though it stunted the game of the three legit starters. Fred, Wallace, and Simms were effective dropping back to a stopper position (when called on to do so), disrupting the strong side of the opponents' offense, something the season opening four man line was NEVER able to do.

Meanwhile, DCU brought in several other candidates for the 4th defender spot, and ALL of those candidates very quickly proved they could not cut it at this level. They were desperate, wishful signings much like Khumalo and the unnamed sweeper were last year.

With player acquisitions, you win some, you lose some. Now DCU has recently picked up a 4th defender who at the very least will not hurt the team, and in fact has potential to be a regular. HE WAS NOT AVAILABLE LAST NIGHT, for the 99th time.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 3, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting how Gros' name came up again. It seems to come back to him often.

Can one of you analytical guys do some research and report back on what I think will give credence to my unsupported and undocumented conclusion: United's slide coincides directly with Gros' departure from the game (at the time of his injury, not his retirement date).

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, Tenorio. And some massively candid stuff from Quaranta.

I've made comments here (and far more elsewhere) that make my bias clear; while I'm impressed with the effort Q has put in, and he hasn't particularly annoyed me with his play this season, he needs to score a hat-trick on LAG, then publicly debase Landon Donovan (use your imagination, I'm trying to keep this clean), to earn my forgiveness. Others disagree, I respect their opinions, and I cheerfully admit my feelings continue to run high on this issue.

But I digress. Quaranta has busted his hump to earn his way back into our good graces, and I respect that. And while I agree with much of what he said to Tenorio (uhm...sorry, Tino, but yes, you do need to be managed) I'm not sure how his teammates will react to stuff like that. And the point that he may have just pushed Szetela one notch up from the bottom of the pecking order is spot-on.

Of course Soehn has lost Quaranta, and it's fairly clear he's lost a significant part of the rest of the team as well. He deserved to lose them. He's essentially inflexible on tactics, he's a dreadful man manager, he's a lousy gameday coach, and he throws players under a bus at the drop of a hat.

The only nice thing I have to say about Soehn here is that, other than leaving Fred out last night in favor of Quaranta, I'm not sure what lineup would've been a better idea. Yes, they're old. It's a structural problem. But I don't think he had a lot of options, and I think it's a mighty stretch to say that Wallace would've been a better idea than Burch. Maybe McTavish in the middle of a four would've been okay (with Gomez and Moreno going halfsies), but that's a hard call for a must-win game. While I'm down with the general thrust on dissing Soehn, I have a much harder time pinning last night on him, especially with Fred doing the turnover dance every time he touched the ball, Emilio chesting down every ball to a spot four feet closer to a green shirt than to his own, and with NOT A ****ING ONE of the lot of them trying to shoot before settling the ball into some invisible nonexistent perfect niche of their preferred tootsies.

Gosh, I like to talk a lot before I agree with "Fire Soehn," don't I?

Posted by: Landru | September 3, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Danny Szetela Situation is very telling of what kind of coach Tom Soehn is. DC went out and go this Szetela so someone must think he can help us. So why bring him in and just stash him on the bench? I don't care if he impregnated your unmarried daughter, you gotta put all that aside and play the dude. Or cut him loose.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Jaime's pregnant? :)

Posted by: griffin1108 | September 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

If you don't understand why DC United played 3 in the back last night, you are an idiot. If you don't get that Soehn DOES prefer a 4 man back line, you are a fool. If you think any AVAILABLE 4th defender would have given DCU a better chance last night than the lineup they fielded, then you know nothing about this team.
=============================
You got that Santino?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

tundey, without knowing more, you are just jumping to conclusions.

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

@ Godfather_of_Goals: Couldn't disagree with you more. Are you saying Avery John couldn't have helped last night?

And why wait 45 minutes before subbing out Fred? What about Danny Szetela?

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

@ Reignking: Jumping to conclusions on what topic? If about Szetela, you may be right but what else is there for a fan to do? The guy remains on the roster and the coach won't play him. He won't give us a good reason either. And we keep *losing*!

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Under my former moniker. I raised the question of whether Dave Kasper bears any responsibility for the current mess. It is he, after all, that ID's the talent.

Any reactions? Should Kasper be told to move on along with Soehn? Or is management of existing talent (or disappearance of talent that was previously acquired) the only problem here.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | September 3, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

They can't fire him at this point in the season. Well, at least they shouldn't. Losing a coach just before such a stretch of key games could be really disruptive (unless, of course, there's someone to replace him with... but I don't see any great coaches out there just waiting to be tapped).

It's got to be hard for the guys, like Quaranta, who go away to the national team with a pretty clear structure and system (like it or not) and then to come back to DC and have some much changeover and apparent confusion.

Posted by: hacksaw | September 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Who did you want Szetela to play for?

Posted by: JkR- | September 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm an idiot and a fool.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@ Reignking: Jumping to conclusions on what topic? If about Szetela, you may be right but what else is there for a fan to do? The guy remains on the roster and the coach won't play him. He won't give us a good reason either. And we keep *losing*!

Posted by: tundey

It's an internal personnel decision. Something happened. They don't have to tell us why.

DCU did this years ago, with a certain player that is back on the roster. I'm not saying that is the situation, but we don't get all of the answers sometimes.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The only possibility last night to play 4 in the back would be McT in the center. And I have no idea how that would work out.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Santino.

joedoc1, you may have something there with regards to Gros' injuries and DCU's drop in performance. I wish I had more time to run a full analysis today.

As for Soehn... My handball club needs a coach... We'll keep looking.

Posted by: B_A_ | September 3, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

On a lighter note, did anyone else see the cheesy "Fox Soccer House" ad when watching the replay at home?

Posted by: Pedalada | September 3, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking: And I say the "it's an internal personnel decision" excuse is a bullsh!t one. Especially when your team is in danger of not making the playoffs. What did he do that merits being on the roster but not playing? If it was that egregious, suspend him so everybody gets the message. If it's worse, release him from the team. But don't keep him with the team thereby causing a rift in the locker room and pissing off the fanbase.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Kasper and co made some questionable acquisitions last year. But I think DC's roster this year is better than their record.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Great interviews Paul!

Posted by: invncbl | September 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Godfather - I get your arguement (tarse descriptions aside), but here's my problem with last night...

Both goals, plus all of Seattle's misses happen when one thing occurred - Jakovic was pulled out of the middle. He had Montero locked down and Freddy (Montero that is) only had sniffs when Jakovic was not around. Where was Jakovic, well he was pulled out of position to cover for one of the other guys (who were in turn drawn out mostly on account of Fred's habitual lunacy).

In my opinion, a fourth central minded defender would have helped mitigate that hole in the middle. So McT is not the best guy to put out there, but last night he would have really helped. Seattle was throwing Steve and the Freddys at us and it placed us under some nasty pressure. Not a problem when our MF holds the ball, bt when Fred is couching it up like TB the opposition will always sit be storming right at us.

Now we can also argue about one of the D-mids coming back and plugging that space therefore negating the need for that fourth defender. But watch what Simms does on both goals. I love Simms and he is a good destroyer, but too often, as was the case case last night, he lacks that central defending accumen, that intellegence of how to track an attacker that has gotten past him from the MF. Too often he's ball watching on his way back and not recognizing the state and shape (or lack thereof) of the D he's coming to support.

You've got Benny who's a better defender, but with a team as fast as Seattle, when Fred kills the possession or attack with a lazy give-away Benny's too far up field to come back.

Is McT the best choice? No. But on the night where we needed 4 back there, he could have helped. But that's just my opinion - regardless of the adjectives.

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

JoeDoc: As I said (and prefaced with a disclaimer no less), Jaime never explicitly stated that was a possibility, the implication was in my interpretation of what he said.

As for Tommy preferring a 4-4-2 but using a 3-5-2 out of necessity, I call shenanigans.
He had several options for a 4th defender:

McTavish, Janicki, Burch, or Habarugira could have all played in the middle alongside Jakovic. I'd have preferred McTavish or Habarugira myself.

For me it would have been:

Namoff---McTavish---Jakovic---Habarugira

Posted by: alecw81 | September 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

My dream situation:
Kasper and Soehn are fired.
Payne is told to focus on nothing else except getting the stadium built, period. He is to have no role in player recruitment, management, etc.
Jaime and Ben retire but move to be technical director and coach, resectively. New players are acquired, somehow. I'm a little gray on this last bit.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

DC has NEVER fired a coach before the end of the season, not even with Rongen or Hudson. Everything out of Santino's mouth says Soehn is done, but after the end of the season.

Also, just recently people were complaining about how horrible our central defense was without Jakovic and how Avery John and Greg Janicki should never see the field for us again. Has everyone's memory short-circuited? We started with 3 in the back because the player who caused us to switch to 4 was unavailable. How hard is that to grasp?

Posted by: Josh86 | September 3, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@GOdfather of Goals -- If you intend to lecture us and claim authoritative preeminence, it would help if your comments bore some resemblance to reality.

You create a fictional presentation of DC United's early struggles with a 4-man line, forcing Soehn to switch to a 3-man back line. The team began the season on March 22 in L.A., using a 2-man back line. The first time DCU employed a 4-man back was 3 months later, in Colorado. True, it was probably the worst defensive effort of the year, as the Rapids whupped DCU 3-0. The next time DCU employed a 4-man line was last week in Chicago, where they won 1-0.

It's true that Soehn has probably not played a 4-man line because he didn't think he had the personnel -- but don't claim it was because he tried it and found it didn't work. That is simply not true. Barely even a germ of truth in it (I'm trying to recall whether DCU employed 3 or 4 defenders in the Carolina Challenge Cup, but the defense did struggle there).

Last night, James wasn't available, but Soehn could have played Habarugira or McTavish, or even moved Burch inside and tried John or Wallace on the left. He could even have tried Janicki in a 4-man back, which I think we all agree he is better suited to play in. Instead, Soehn preferred to go with the 3-man back that he has slavishly stuck with in almost every game. Given the opponent, I think DCU would have been better off with a fourth defender. For all that Fred contributed, we could have easily done with a 4-4-2.

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta expressed himself very well throughout his answers. He summed it up well. I think that he and the other players realize that because of the busy schedule they cannot keep up the same work rate as they did when Josh Gros was bascially playing LB during Nowak's time. Fred coughed up the ball all night long on the wing and Jaime did the same in the midfield. I am glad that they are honest with the assessment of their performance and what is expected of them.

Posted by: no_recess | September 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Typo correction: The team began the season on March 22 in L.A., using a 3-man back line.

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I think DC would have played a back four if James was available. Who would we have played in the middle with Jakovic (John Janicki -the both have been horrible this yr)?

As for SQ losing faith in the coach? I don't really read into it. We all have tough things to say about a coach after a hard loss.

I think the most important thing is how SQ noted the lack of speed in the attacking 3rd. Gomez, Emilio, Fred, Moreno all play great stuff at times yet none of them can get in behind.

I hope DC squeaks in the playoffs cause that's a crab shoot. But in the off season we need to build around our younger players.

DC needs to keep the same brand of football but get a few more athletic players who enjoy keeping the ball on the floor. (Their out there)

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying, Alex.

OWNTF: well in.

Question: how is McT's health these days? Perhaps he's physically unable to perform at a high level at the moment, given his chronic condition. Just speculatin'...

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 3, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute -- maybe GoG was talking about last season's struggles.....

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Crap -- there I said it.

Posted by: fischy | September 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Fred should have been subbed out of that game the first time he gave up the ball and decided to have a conference with the referee instead of getting back on defense. Several times he lost the ball and didn't attempt to recover it leading to wide open chances at goal. If Seattle had been sharper, it could very easily have been a drubbing. Yet Soehn waited 45 minutes to bring Santino.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

In a positive note, Soehn is out.

Bring a decent manager. I propose Jaime Moreno and Ben Olsen as manager and assistant. And Marco Etcheverry as general manager.

Do that and the DCU of the late nineties is back.

Posted by: fedster | September 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Fred should have been subbed out of that game the first time he gave up the ball and decided to have a conference with the referee instead of getting back on defense. Several times he lost the ball and didn't attempt to recover it leading to wide open chances at goal. If Seattle had been sharper, it could very easily have been a drubbing. Yet Soehn waited 45 minutes to bring Santino.

Posted by: tundey

That was awful. DCU should've been down 0-1.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with McT? Or is he Soehn's doghouse too?

BTW, what's up with all a coach that's won nothing of significance having a dog house? (last year's open cup victory against an amateur side doesn't count)

At least Osorio tried every possible combination before being fire from NY.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@fedster: What makes you think those guys will be excellent coaches? It's not an automatic transition. In fact, sometimes it's below average players that make good coaches.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

tundey- You're absolutely right. Just because someone is a fantastic player doesn't necessarily mean they'll be a good coach. I see it all the time in my sport.

Posted by: Dynaformer | September 3, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

jakovic has been quoted in this blog a few times asking to be played in a 4 man backline as well.

i guess that makes him and tino fools as well? i'm with them.

Posted by: joe_hill | September 3, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

yeah, and former players dont always make great GMs/TDs either, see Agoos, Jeff

Posted by: VTUnited | September 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought I heard somewhere that Habarugira can play centrally? Am I that desperate that I'm making things up, or is there some credence to that? Because if he can, he would have been a nice choice - he can defend, has speed (reletive to what else we have back there), has decent touch, control and can serve a decent pass.

Would his entry have pushed the foreign player limit? If so it was fixable - just remove "The Giver" aka Fred and that way you keep everyone on the field...

...on second thought, against a speedy Seattle, did we really want Moreno, Emilio, Gomez and Benny on the field - at the same time? See that's wome of the stuff that irks me about Soehn.

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that we have the best soccer coverage in the country?
We should rate the "Insiders" a la another thread from last week.

Tenorio= 7(Great hustle. I think you're our supersub and will be gone to a "Goff" like role at a big paper next year.)

Goff = 6 (You seem preoccupied by SLC. Always solid though.)

Mrs. Goff = 9 (We know your smarter and better looking than your husband plus you have a heart in the game. 9 even though you write for the darkside ;)

Q: Thank you.

Wicks: You lummox, I want to like you, get your head on straight so you can carry this team into a playoff victory.

Posted by: UniteforDC | September 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@Kosh2: Perhaps the thinking is that someone like Moreno and Gomez can control the pace of the game. Slow it and take away Seattle's speed advantage. Obviously didn't work.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Soehn needs to go now! Why? ZERO WINS IN OUR LAST FIVE HOME GAMES!!!

Posted by: bigwave | September 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@fedster: What makes you think those guys will be excellent coaches? It's not an automatic transition. In fact, sometimes it's below average players that make good coaches.

Posted by: tundey | September 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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

Correct, you are indeed.

Your Honor the defense submits Exhibits A (Jose Mourihno) and B (Diego Maradona)...

Posted by: Kosh2 | September 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Sigi Schmid or Bruce Arena (who is not whack) ever played professionally did they? (In soccer, not lacrosse).

Posted by: OWNTF | September 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Soehn needs to go now! Why? ZERO WINS IN OUR LAST FIVE HOME GAMES!!!

Posted by: bigwave | September 3, 2009 4:38 PM

To be fair, i think we did beat the spread in the game against Madrid...though it was technically a "neutral site"...

Posted by: VTUnited | September 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Bruce played one game for the USMNT...and in the ASL as a backup.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Somebody help this forth-something:

What does "whack" mean?

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Add Arsene Wenger to the list of mediocre players making great managers.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | September 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Add Arsene Wenger to the list of mediocre players making great managers.

Posted by: VercengetorixII

The good news is that DCU has plenty of mediocre players to choose from!

Mario Gori, your next DCU coach!

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta to Soehn, at practice tomorrow:
"I didn't know Tenorio was going to put it on the blog! That was supposed to be between the two of us! I mean, when I told Goff about what happened between you and Szetela, he didn't put THAT up on the blog! Come on, everybody on the team thinks you suck, but we never say it on the record!"

Posted by: dccal | September 3, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Promote AJ Wood!

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a great article:

http://web.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20050824&content_id=40870&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=dcu

Looking back: The role players

Clint Baumstark: With Nick Rimando injured and backup Doug Warren away at a family wedding, coach Ray Hudson called up Clint Baumstark from the MLS goalkeeper pool and put him in for the October 4, 2003 game in Columbus. Baumstark played well in his only appearance for United, giving up a goal to Ross Paule in the 19th minute of a 1-1 draw.

Posted by: Reignking | September 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That's "forty-something"...

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

great stuff, paul.

when tino says:

"I think that we play a brand here that's, it's a good brand, but in the end this league is very athletic and we have to find the right fit in how we do this, if that makes sense."

I really think he's calling out some of our slower/older attackers--emilio, moreno, gomez...

strong stuff. really hope tino stays on next season, he could be a leader.

Posted by: andrew23 | September 3, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

the more i keep reading, the more i think tino should be player/coach next season. he understands completely why this team is going nowhere. tom soehn clearly does not.

Posted by: andrew23 | September 3, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

while its true a great leader goes where his people take him, the players are supposed to at least try the coaches system; their job isnt to be coaches too.


its not really fair for these players to refuse to cooperate with the coach and then blame him for their performance. It aint the coach not marking, shooting and finishing.

the coach needs to go, no doubt.

but these players pushing for change are gonna be real surprised when they get a new coach that decides we dont need any more 40 minute aching and slow players.

Posted by: Section107 | September 3, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The great positive of last nights fiasco is that the deep running and immense flaws of the Soehn era DC United have finally imploded to the point that they can no longer be denied by the apologists. Jamie becoming player coach for the rest of the season is the most enlightening thing I've read on this blog in a while.

Commence the standard: DC has never fired a coach during the season; who could replace Soehn; can't upset chemistry; it's the schedule; it's the heat blah blah blah............. Yeah well DC has never been humiliated in a final like that before at home either.

It's time for someone in the front office to have some cojones ferreas and finally end this debacle...... Calling El Diablo....

Posted by: SoehntheExit | September 3, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

That DC United has never fired a coach before the end of the season is more reason that the people or person in charge of firing authority should himself be fired. I have nothing against loyalty. But loyalty to the fans and to the players should come before loyalty to the coach.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 3, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

If Soehn benches Quaranta for speaking his mind, it is further evidence that Soehn needs to be sacked.

Posted by: runningcloud | September 3, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with many of Santino's points...my only problem is where's the loyalty? Tommy and co. gave him the chance he needed to come back and re-ignite his career. Making public comments throwing his coach under the bus for questionnable tactics just doesn't seem right.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | September 3, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

haha Bennie & Clyde.

Posted by: wis193 | September 3, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

fischy--" That said, I think this season is a lost cause, anyway. "

I really don't think this season is a lost cause. I believe United will make the playoffs and make some kind of mark. This is best case scenario at this point, and assuming it happens, would Soehn be sacked? Let's say he makes it to the conference final...Does he stay? I sure hope not.

Arg about last night; I was thinking about waiting around to see the players but left instead. I'll kick myself for the next month.

Posted by: redskinsux | September 3, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Ya we've sucked this year (and last) but I'm not ready to cry yet. THIS SEASON IS NOT A LOST CAUSE!!!

I might be from Virginia but by my math we are only 1 (ONE) point out of the playoffs and we have 7 (SEVEN) matches left.

Even if they don't make it I" UNITED TIL I DIE!!!

VVVAAAMMMOOOSSS UUUNNNIIITTTEEEDDD!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | September 3, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Where is the bus that everyone keeps getting thrown under? It must be crowded down there.

We need to find a new phrase. The bus one sucks!!

Posted by: torrey151 | September 3, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Coach Tommy better not punish Tino for these comments. Some of the most telling qoutes I've seen all year. Thank you Paul.

I think Soehn's hands were a little tied in that he didn't have James at his disposal. He already nuked Janicki's confidence, and Hamburgesa hasn't exactly won anyone over yet. If John had played the I think we would have seen a red card there.

Anyway, I know I said I'd be done if these guys didn't win the Open Cup, but all in all it was a pretty crazy atmosphere compared to last years final, and it was still a pretty darn good game. If they lose to Dallas this weekend... that's another story.

I've been waiting for someone in the club to inspire me enough to get their name and number put on the back of my authentic 08/09 shirt. Oddly enough it hasn't come so much from Tino's overall play, as it is his heart being worn on his sleeve.

I do think that Jaime and Ben could be a pretty good combination in leading the team. The club has some pretty good pieces to build an awesome team. I'm already wondering who's going to need to be protected in the next expansion draft.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 3, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Where is the bus that everyone keeps getting thrown under? It must be crowded down there.

We need to find a new phrase. The bus one sucks!!

Posted by: torrey151 | September 3, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking Janickied...? Or how about "shoved onto the 3rd rail?

Posted by: DadRyan | September 3, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

If I was wicks I would call a press conference and blast montero for simulation and say "the b**ch set me up!" . DC United 2009

Posted by: wordup1 | September 4, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

SQ gets my vote to become the captain of the next version of DCU. He leads on the field with effort and desire. He speaks the truth about what needs to be said. Clyde and Namhoff should be speaking out as the "vets," but not a peep from either of them. Not their style. Okay, I grant that. But then being named captain should not be their style either. My guess is that younger guys are speaking to Santino and what he is expressing is what is being voiced to him as much as it is his opinion alone. This is what leaders do: they lead by example and speak for the group.

Posted by: rcdwriting | September 4, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Where is the bus that everyone keeps getting thrown under? It must be crowded down there.
We need to find a new phrase. The bus one sucks!!
Posted by: torrey151
====================

The metaphor is still relevant, given Metro's predilection for hitting pedestrians.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 4, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company