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A Few Minutes With Tom Soehn

As you read on the Insider last night, D.C. United will decide in the next few weeks whether to offer Coach Tom Soehn a new contract. If that were to happen, Soehn would become the longest-serving head coach in club history (a fourth season). Bruce Arena, Thomas Rongen and Peter Nowak were in charge for three years apiece and Ray Hudson for two. Soehn also served three years as an assistant, so the bond between the Chicago native and the club is strong and a separation would undoubtedly be difficult for club management.

In 44 official matches this year, United had a 17-11-16 record but failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season, fell one victory short of retaining the U.S. Open Cup title and just missed advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals.

In three years under Soehn, United is 54-48-32 overall: 36-30-24 in regular season league play, 18-18-8 in the U.S. Open Cup, MLS playoffs, Champions Cup, Champions League and SuperLiga.

Beyond the numbers and results, though, DCU President Kevin Payne said he will evaulate numerous factors, including the demands of playing more games in that stretch than any other team in the league, and then decide whether Soehn is the right man to take the club forward.

On awaiting the club's decision, Soehn said: "It's always difficult. It's the nature of the business. As a coach, you get graded on your results, and over the past three years, all the competitions we've had, the results are pretty good. Obviously, there are highs and lows throughout all the time that you are here. There have been some real highs. Obviously, you evaluate all of that, and reflect and make sure you learn and grow from it, but also prepare for what is next."

Commenting on the late-season shortcomings.....

"The disappointing thing is that we brought it to the last game of the year to do something, coupled in with having to go to Toluca [four days before the league finale], we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. That home stretch [earlier] was vital to pick up some points. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think we rose to that pressure; unfortunately, the result didn't go our way. We had expectations of making the playoffs and not only making it, but having a run."

"We're sitting here watching other people play in the playoffs, so it's very disappointing. The grind of all these games -- we were at a point where we were in first place, we got caught playing a lot of games, and when things don't go right, it's hard to fix things. Every time we had a little stretch where we could work on things, you could see a definite improvement."

What needs to change for this club to be successful?

"That is something that I think will stay internal. I have a really good idea what that is, but we have to keep some of that stuff in-house. If it's my decision to make, we'll address it. I guess you'll have to wait and see, one way or the other."

Reflecting on the year, is there anything you wished you had done differently?

"Yeah, I will probably keep that to myself. You always look to see what you can do different."

By Steve Goff  |  October 27, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: TFC, FCD, Revs, Champions, Abroad

Comments

Average all around. If Payne is OK with average, so be it.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 27, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

But Ruthie1, can the fans handle average?

Payne - you better think and think hard on this one buddy. Remember what this club is and what it's fans are about.

Posted by: Kosh2 | October 27, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Coincidence that he no longer wants to throw players under the bus when his job is officially on the line?

It's even funnier to me that he claims to have something to solve United's problems, well why didn't he do that 1 month ago? Is this a sudden revelation?

Dead man walking...

Posted by: strago | October 27, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

great stuff. Thanks, Goff.

Posted by: nairbsod | October 27, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@strago,

I'm willing to bet that some of his issues involve the salary cap impacts of Emilio, Fred, Gomez, Olsen, and Moreno. That's a lot of money wrapped up in guys who are getting blistered in their evaluations by fans and writers.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

clap clap clap

Posted by: Bucky_Badger | October 27, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Why do you need a few weeks to make a simple decision? Soehn should be fired. This is a waste of his time and is a waste of the franchise's time. Maybe Comcast can hire him to sit for commentating when Rongen is gone. Also I would add the Maryland Coach Sasha Cirovski as a candidate. Imagine this, Tom Soehn as the longest tenured coach in DCU history. That just made me throw up in my mouth.

Posted by: no_recess | October 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"the results are pretty good" ?????

If he thinks that then he needs to be replaced for that reason alone.

Posted by: congguy | October 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"I think we rose to that pressure, unfortunately the results didn't go our way."

What the &%$@! If you rose to the pressure you would have gotten the results. This is what someone says when they are playing the victim. Instead of rising to the pressure you and your players crumbled.

Posted by: TheDane1 | October 27, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If you rose to the pressure you would have gotten the results. Instead you and your team crumbled.

Posted by: TheDane1 | October 27, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

At least with Hudson you got some good quotes and something interesting. With Soehn we get boring play, poor results, and boring interviews. Not exactly the kind of organization that Payne says is DCU's tradition. What's the argument for keeping him?

Posted by: DCUinCT | October 27, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Soehn doesn't really help himself out by saying the results are "pretty good". It seems to me that his standard is different from ours in the stands, and what should be DC United's as an organization. We missed the playoffs twice in a row, and had to suffer some pretty awful indignities on the way (losses to San Jose and Chivas at home were particularly galling, as was the USOC loss and performance after all that was said).

Maybe he and Payne would have been better off just ducking these interviews.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 27, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

TS on needed change: "I have a really good idea what that is." OK, if he thinks he knows but didn't already do it, it has to be player personnel. So it looks to me like the conversation over the next two weeks is Soehn spelling out what he sees, who stays and who's got to go, plus who to try to get. If management disagrees on particulars, he's gone. If management agrees with his diagnosis BUT is unprepared to implement his proposals, he's gone. If management agrees with his diagnosis AND is willing to implement his proposals, he may just buy himself an extension for a year. Just putting all the various comments together, sounds to me like the odds of that happening are no worse than 1 in 3. No value judgment here: I thought he'd be gone this week, which would have been fine with me. But it seems clear he has a story to tell and management is willing to listen. Just sayin'.

Posted by: dccal | October 27, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

no the fans cant handle average. if the club doesnt make a statement the fans will lose belief in the whole organization. if they bring back soehn they better make sure they tear up the league because if they don't you better believe payne and kasper will be following him out the door and the whole organization will be in shambles. Thats what everyones fear is...tough decision

Posted by: totalfootballer | October 27, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The "results are pretty good"?! Please, Soehn, NOBODY remembers an average team. This club doesn't need that type of loser mentality. Fire Soehn now and get it over with.

Posted by: bigwave | October 27, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I have been mystified at Soehn's decisionmaking...especially the mid-match substitutions. But most of the problems frankly have more to do with player performance than tactics. That is, I think Soehn was forced into making a lot of boneheaded coaching moves by the complexity of the schedule and the underperformance of certain key players.

I think what most fans expect here is some manner of acknowledgement from management that this year was not acceptable. It's disappointing not to hear Payne be more forthright about that.

So if they aren't going to hold Kasper (who really should take most of the heat for assembling a team too dependent on old, slow, unmotivated "stars") or Soehn (see boneheaded descriptor above) accountable for missing the playoffs, underperforming at other times, etc., then they damn well better hold certain overpaid, underperforming "stars" accountable. Because no matter the kind words from Payne, I cannot imagine he really thinks this year was a success. Not when your lead ad slogan is "we win trophies."

It's time for some new personnel.

Posted by: mrchuckles | October 27, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

He knows what needs to be changed for the club to be successful, yet 6 weeks ago couldn't find "the right mix of guys" for a game vs. San Jose. Right.

Posted by: Section117 | October 27, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Long over due! Soehn'RRY IS A SORRY leader! and he does not have what it takes to be DCU's Head coach, lets be honest here, any one could have kept Nowak's recipe and ran with the team. We need some one who is not going to be afraid to take charge, period. Bring in some one who knows how to spell TRADITION, WORK ETHIC and CHAMPIONSHIP!

Posted by: DCFaninSocal | October 27, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

1. I don't think Soehn should be retained. There are a bunch of reasons why. But some people are being a bit extreme here.

2. Ray Hudson was better? Under Ray, a genuinely nice guy and great quote, we were a team of thugs. I was truly ashamed of how we played the game. Never under Soehn's worst moments (and there were some bad ones) did we approach the level of shame I felt from some matches under Hudson. Let's try not to let the disapointment eliminate perspective.

3. Why wait a few weeks? For exactly the reason displayed in #2--that the disgust of how things went would lead to over-reaction. I think Soehn is gone. I doubt if Payne came back to Chang and said "we want him back" that Chang would sign off on it. But separate from that, we've always tried to be a classy club that doesn't jerk people around or play hardball. What do we gain by announcing Soehn is fired now? In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some memo from MLS HQ's saying "let's try to build focus on the playoffs--avoid announcing coaching hires or new player acquisitions for a couple of weeks unless you really have to." Look at it this way--what do we gain by firing Soehn now? We've got to make some decisions about our expansion roster and it's good to have his input.

4. Hard to judge a coach by subs because so much is driven by older players you're trying to rest or a game coming up in 3 days. But the subbing before half-time is clearly bad but not a reason to not retain.

5. To me, here's the case for not retaining Soehn:
--Our team was rarely organized and lacked the ability to put away games. A little of that is finishing, a little is leadership. But most of it is organization, clarity of roles and tactical acumen.
--Our best players don't seem to play their best under Soehn. A good coach brings out the best in his stars, finds a way to make them flourish. We've got some people with a world of talent (especially Emilio, maybe Szetela, none of our GKs) that Soehn doesn't seem to build confidence in.
--Results. Two years out of the playoffs. Payne stacked the deck in our favor with the USOC. Mediocre results at best in foreign competition. And an inconsistent style of play or flair in games. At some point, even if a guy is liked by players or respected by them, tactically astute (and I'm not saying he is or is not those things), you judge by the numbers.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 27, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Every time we had a little stretch where we could work on things, you could see a definite improvement."

What needs to change for this club to be successful?

"That is something that I think will stay internal. I have a really good idea what that is, but we have to keep some of that stuff in-house. If it's my decision to make, we'll address it. I guess you'll have to wait and see, one way or the other."
-------------------------------------------
Oh, Brother. I almost liked it better when he was throwing the Janicki and some of the other players under the bus (ok, not really).

Hey Tommy--Redskin Park in Ashburton has their lawyers preparing a "cease & desist" order for you stealing lines from Snyder, Cerrato, Gibbs & Zorn...

Tommy, ENOUGH ALREADY-PLEASE JUST STOP! hearing the same broken record for the city's other football team is more than sufficient--please stop stealing their act...It's doubly annoying coming from you. The Svengali thing is a little late now.


Posted by: yankiboy | October 27, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

At least one post here has a bit of clue as to what is going on and what will go on (dccal). TS cant take his changes and "just do it" - a really dumb statement made by one post. Coaches dont make final decisions on player selection/pay/contract terms, etc. The arguement for giving TS another year goes like: endless injuries to key players without reserves strong enough to take their place, a couple (supposed) key players not playing like key players but almost requiring time on the field because the club is paying them handsomley to play not sit, heavy schedule over multiple years that took its toll on all players but especially the older ones, a couple big-dollar player acquisitions that simply didnt pay off. There are other elements to the arguement too. The point is its not a slam-dunk to just say boot the coach - the team needs attention in several areas.

Posted by: csh1 | October 27, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@csn: I think that most of us realize that TS is not solely responsible for the debacle. Sseriously, Bro--what posts indicated that.

Look at some of the other comments in other threads here. Payne, Soehn some of the players are all referenced at one point or another. the only reason people are unloading on Soehn in this particular thread here is because of some of the (to use your words) "dumb statements" here made to Goff.

We understand posturing. We got that part... We understand that the problem is much bigger than TS and that he is dealing the cards that he was dealt. So did Manny Acta but that and being a likeable guy isn't enough to insulate you from criticism. Heck, even Zorn seems kinda likaeble these days...Sometimes, switching coaches is part of the solution.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 27, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I think people egos are holding United back. It's not the 90's anymore. DC as a franchise need a upgrade.

Posted by: rigs88 | October 27, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree rigs88. This decision should not be taking this long. Payne is a moron. Soehn should have been let go last year and brought back Bruce Arena when we had the chance. Now Payne is stuck having to look like the bad guy and let a "company man" go...Sorry to Soehn, but that is the nature of the beast.

Posted by: alan19 | October 27, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Soehn needs to go. Now. You can't give him another year. Any ideas that he has now about what would "fix" the team could have been implemented last year or the year before that. He's had three years, and not one of them has been of the caliber that we've all come to expect of our team. Nowak was a helluva coach. He took almost the same squad that Hudson couldn't coach out of the cellar and won a championship. Arena was a great coach as well. Coaching is huge, and thanks JoeW1 for pointing out what are the benefits you get from a solid coaching staff. Well said.

Looking at all that, Soehn has been average. Our results have been average. Maybe Soehn isn't the only thing wrong with DCU, but he's one thing.

Time to say good bye.

Posted by: Matte | October 27, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Soehn should quit himself if he is not fired. The fact that he is still here is awful. Soehn must go

Posted by: GraciasRiquelme | October 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

My comment after the first game of the year was "oh my, we are pedestrian." and we never got better. If it isn't the coach, how do you explain Sigi and his succes with LA, Columbus, and now Seattle?

Some folks got it, some don't. To Will Chang I say, be pleasant, be graceful, but be proactive about dealing with all the underlying issues of this club.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

What I see is merely AVERAGE.
Here's my perspective:

For students, average = C
For an employee, average usually = 'No raise'
For an investor, average is far from "desirable."

Who looks to give or receive an "average" gift, or go away on an "average" vacation. (BTW, do we pay "average" ticket prices?)

Who ever said the winner of the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl, the Final Four, or the World Series was "average?"

When United won the MLS Cup did we say they were an "average" team?

Can excitement, or passion, or intensity ever be "average?"

To DCU Management - Average, by definition, is neither success nor failure. It is merely a form of existence. And, if you think continuing with "average" is acceptable for 2010, then regrettably, we must part company and I will be asking for my season ticket down-payment back.

Posted by: carnack | October 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if TS is talking about Dave Kasper?? I wonder if Tommy had the authority to get rid of Moreno, Olsen, fred last year would he have done it???

Posted by: Norteno4life | October 27, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"over the past three years, all the competitions we've had, the results are pretty good"

You can't hear someone's tone on the internet but this line really struck me.

Pretty good is not good- nor is it pretty.

Posted by: KireDCU | October 27, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I know he has been in the loop for a bit and it would be hard for management. But, if you want to be friends, you should be friends outside. Once you go to work, it is about results. If Soehn was a recruiter for a pretigious college, who is used to quality and suddenly what you are bringing in becomes average, someone has to be held responsible. Maybe a poor analogy, but "average" just doesnt cut it in DC. If you dont want to be the best squad out there, get out of town.

Posted by: FatSickBoot | October 27, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@JoeW1

I really don't see why you compared him to Hudson at all. It seemed like you were actually making a claim to fire him instead of retain him as coach. I really think he should go because he team has been inconsistent for 3 years. His starting 11 choices have been all over the place. Do you recall if they started the same 11 in consecutive games regardless of the result? Also I think he made the wrong choices in the starting 11. For example, Burch had a stretch where he was ok, but he gave up a half dozen goals because he refused to mark the opponent near post costing DC at least a few points. Yet players like McTavish, who excelled at defense (mainly on the right side)play in the midfield as subs. I really don't think there is much to think about here. Soehn needs to go because he has missed the playoffs and has not performed well in any tournament sans the US Open Cup. I really think he failed as a leader to inspire his team and organize them so that they finish games the way they started them. I for one am not going to watch a season of him bringing this team down and I think that there is a small minority of fans that still want him around.

Posted by: no_recess | October 27, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Norteno brings up an interesting question. I wonder just HOW Tommy's hands have been presumably tied, and by whom? Maybe I should go re-read that letter they wrote to us at the conclusion of last season...

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice work as always Goff.
As far as what I think about Kasper and Soehn:
"That is something that I think will stay internal. I have a really good idea what that is, but we have to keep some of that stuff in-house."
As far as the "In House" is concerned with me, that's between me and my season ticket renewal for next year

Posted by: timmy6 | October 27, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I take back my comparison of DCU to the Skins earlier today. This is unrelated to DCU but read this guys. It defies description and has me close to no longer being both a DCU and Redskin season ticket holder. What a disgrace! The Squire rolled over in his grave this morning. Redskinsux, I may have joined your camp today.

"At half time, I went down to the concessions area to get a beer and a dog. Of course, the crowd was once again getting restless at the lack of productivity we were seeing on the field. Standing two rows away from me in line, were two middle aged men. One wore a T-shirt that read "Fire Snyder", the other's said "Fire Vinny". It wasn't long after standing there that the men were surrounded by close to a dozen people wearing yellow security jackets. The conversation between them and the two men escalated quickly as security asked the men to remove their shirts. Of course the men refused, and one stated that he had been a season ticket holder for 26 years. The conversation continued to get heated and before you knew it 6 or 7 armed security officers formed a circle around the layer of yellowed jacketed security officers. "Sir, you're about to lose those season tickets if you don't take off that shirt" is what he was told. I don't know what got into me but I had seen enough and had to speak up. This was beyond absurd! I cut across a crowd of people, entering the circle of security.... I said " these guys should be able to wear whatever they want! What the hell is going on? What the hell is this? Communist Russia??? ". I was quickly greeted with a stern warning to not interfere and a shove in the chest that sent me back a few feet. A few minutes later, the men were escorted out of the area and a security woman approached me with an explanation about their actions. "Look, I know what you're saying, and I can't say that I don't agree with you, but I'm a part-time teacher and this job is my Holiday money"...."upper management told us to come up here and ask these men to remove their shirts and I can't lose my job, so I'm doing it."

I decided then and there that I would NEVER again set foot in Fed Ex Stadium as long as Dan Snyder was the owner. The way I saw people being treated for voicing their opinions on this night embarrassed me as a Redskin fan, a Washingtonian, and as an American. These sort of totalitarian strong arm tactics are downright shameful and I needed to let others know about it. I hope you share this story with your audience.

A deeply embarrassed Redskins fan"

Posted by: croftonpost | October 27, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

What Soehn did wrong and what he would be wise to correct if he were retained is that the team was never able to establish a consistent starting lineup. Soehn was constantly moving players to different spots and saving players for other competitions. You can count on a single hand how many changes Houston and Columbus made to their regular starting lineups this year. Even Moreno complained about that a couple weeks ago.

It's a credit to Tom Soehn that his name is mentioned next to Arena, Rongen, and Nowak as the longest tenured coaches in United history. But those coaches all got better than average results. Soehn has gotten merely average results. He was an excellent assistant coach, and he might even make a good head coach for a lesser team like KC or SJ. But we expect better here in DC.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 27, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Something my freshman pointythrowball coach said still rings in my head occasionally, and it especially rings true here:

"To be average is to be the best of the bad, and the worst of the good. Who wants to be average?"

Another thread I'm hearing is "close"; as in "we came close to making the playoffs twice" and "we came close to winning back tio back US Open Cups" and "we came close to advancing in Champions League." At the risk of belaboring another cliche, "close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, ahd thermonuclear devices."

The Crew managed (for the most part) to balance the needs of competing for both the MLS Cup and the Champions League, and not only got through to the knockout stage but also won the Supporters Shield -- and they did it with a new coach, so obviously rotating players in and around as needed can be done.

The Houston Dynamo consistently manage to earn spots in the MLS playoffs and the Champions League, so it can be done. The LA Galaxy have managed to rebuild themselves into a MLS Cup contender with a starting XI that sometimes resembles David Beckham and half of the 2002 US mens national team.

I mention all these not because I am a fan of any one of these teams specifically, but I enjoy good soccer. I have had high hopes for DC United the last two years and was happy to see them win the US Open Cup last season, and disappointed to see them lose it this year (though I think the Woof Gods -- Google "Oliver's Weauxfing Theorem" -- had something to do with that, in conjunction with the "We Win Trophies" smack campaign.)

I think the key to all of these is one thing: unanimity of purpose. Having a different lineup for every game, does not serve unanimity of purpose. Regardless of the sport, a uniform starting lineup is a significant key to success. Baseball, for instance, is a case in point: You ask any fan of the Seventies "Big Red Machine" and they can rattle off the starting lineup within seconds.

In MY not so humble opinion, DC United lacked unanimity of purpose, and that has to come down from the front office, through the coaching staff, to the players on the pitch. Maybe the front office had some unanimity, but apparently it was not getting through the coaching staff to the players, and thus you have a team that comes oh so close, but ultimately falls short.

Do I know what the ultimate solution is? Only to say that everybody, from owner, through general manager, to technical director, to coaching staff, to players, needs to be on the same page of the playbook, every game, regardless of competition; and that page, simply, is Herm Edwards' "You play to win the game." Enough said from me.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | October 27, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

To : I dont disagree with what you say - my point is the decision on whether to keep or let go TS needs to be made within the context of all the other facets of the club that need attention. I do think most of the posts here are overly critical of TS without taking into consideration all the other club problems. A new coach may be part of the solution, but its not solution.

I'd like to know what any other coach would do differently (of the things under their control)? I hear a lot of criticism of the constantly changing line-ups - and I completely agree that is a problem - but is it something any other coach would have/could have done differently given the injuries, schedule, performance of different players?? I dont think there's an obvious answer to that.

Posted by: csh1 | October 27, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, a few words got deleted from my previous post. Here's a complete version:

To yankiboy: I dont disagree with what you say - my point is the decision on whether to keep or let go TS needs to be made within the context of all the other facets of the club that need attention. I do think most of the posts here are overly critical of TS without taking into consideration all the other club problems. A new coach may be part of the solution, but its not (the) solution.

I'd like to know what any other coach would do differently (of the things under their control)? I hear a lot of criticism of the constantly changing line-ups - and I completely agree that is a problem - but is it something any other coach would have/could have done differently given the injuries, schedule, performance of different players?? I dont think there's an obvious answer to that.

Posted by: csh1 | October 27, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@CroftonPost

"Redskinsux, I may have joined your camp today."

I'm flattered. I created the name about 9 years ago when the Skins had the highest payroll in the league and still failed to make the playoffs. I haven't had a reason to change it since.

Posted by: redskinsux | October 27, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Crofton-

BTW, I am UTTERLY appalled with your story at the Redskins game. It's disgusting. It makes me want to buy tickets to a Redskins game for the first time and stroll the stadium with the same shirts. And signs, too! If only I could get a free ticket, I would definitely do it!

I just had an idea, Crofton. If you have season tickets, would you want to go to a game and do this with me? I know you have vowed not to go to another game under Snyder, but doing this sends a louder message. We could even get someone to record video and post it on Youtube to get some much needed publicity of this hypocrisy!

Posted by: redskinsux | October 27, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"The results were pretty good"

Are you kidding me, this guy is United's version of Vinny Cerrato.

Posted by: vthokies1 | October 27, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Redskinsux,

I would love to do that but my other ticket is owned by a buddy of mine. If I go through with it with him, then I will put your moniker on the shirt. Vamos United!

Posted by: croftonpost | October 27, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

some excellent posts about Soehn. Some with real anger in them. I know Will Chang reads these posts, so I want the owner to know there are fans who plan to renew season tickets. I want Mr Chang to know there a lot of fans who support Tom Soehn for his hard work, leadership, and the manner he conducts himself on and off the field. I will renew my season tickets for the enjoyment of taking my family to the parking lots of RFK and for good professional American soccer. I will renew because I support this coach and ths GM, who have worked 18 hour days for 6 years during the season, and 14 hour days in the offseason. I know they travel the world for talent on a shoestring budget. And this may not be politically correct, but personally I want to see Amercian coaches and GM's (Soehn - chicago, Kasper - Pittsburgh) succeed in MLS. I count 7 men in our great country who were born, raised, learned and played the game right here in America as MLS Coaches today, and it's testament to the progress we've made in the game to have guys like Tom Soehn even get a shot to coach professionally. I believe this team is pretty competitive right now, yes we need to make a few roster moves for cap reasons, bu I don't agree that huge changes need to be made. We were one shot (Wallace) off the inside of a post that bounced behind the GK from advancing to MLS playoffs. (Think about how rare that kind of shot is...) Finally, I will renew my season tickets b/c the 2010 season is really sitting on a silver platter for whoever Mr Chang pays to serve this great club as Coach b/c next year there will only be 30 games played from April until October. You will see consistent lineups b/c DC United will be able to train together with a full, healthy squad that hasn't sat on tarmacs for 8 hours in Miami or Houston 2 days before MLS games.

Keep the Coach!

Posted by: sevnshvn | October 27, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@sevnshvn

Look no offense, but I think that you are way off base with the "a lot of fans" support comment of Soehn. Please look back through this post and several others. Soehn is disliked by the majority of fans at least on this blog. Oh and by the way you like the way Soehn carries himself on the field. So I guess you were real proud when he was calling the linesmen in the Chivas game a Mother F'er. One last point the reason that there is only 30 games (possibly more with the US Open Cup)next year is b/c Soehn's teams failed to qualify for any tournament other than the US Open Cup and the only reason they are in that cup is b/c we an American soccer team. What are you going to say next that Mark Burch is MLS Defender of the year? I honestly could not disagree with you more. You sir a true "homer."

Posted by: no_recess | October 28, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Soehn does not deserve to be the longest tenured coach.

This just shows how incestuous the organization has become. I think the front office knows that if firings begin, they will almost certainly continue.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | October 28, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Valid points on both sides of the TS issue. But for me the deciding factor is that he has lost the confidence, and in many cases the respect, of his players. That is not a healthy environment to be in to be successful. Talent or not, who wants to play in that situation. Granted there needs to be some roster changes, but for me, DC needs to start with a new leader to inspire this team.

Posted by: Jaywag86 | October 28, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I do not pay for DC United tickets to view pretty good. For me to have an active interest in the team, they must be in a real position to win titles such as the supporters shield, or the end of season tourney. Since Soehn thinks this low standard is worth pointing out, he is the wrong guy for DC United.

If any in our management structure agree with Soehn on this, they too need to go.

About all you will get out of me ticket wise if you have a 'pretty good' season is a ticket for MLS night to show my MSI rec league kids soccer in person. If we have a shot at things, then I have a stake in following the team and I will buy more tickets and see more games.

From a business bottom line you guys need to give the fan a team which will compete at the highest levels of MLS year after year. The sooner you all get on board with this, the sooner you will start making more money on the team.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

This is the third straight day of what I would consider utterly appalling statements from the most visible non-player employees of DC United.

From Payne down to Soehn, they simply don't get it. And I am fed up.

DCU has become something I hate as a sports fan...a franchise that tolerates mediocrity. That is not what DCU is supposed to be about, and to paper over and/or whitewash this team's decline under Soehn is to make a mockery of our team's "storied" history.

I am *this* close to demanding a refund on my 2010 season ticket deposit. Mr. Chang, I hope you are indeed reading this blog and take these thoughts into consideration. To allow the status quo to prevail is playing with fire as far as this team's heretofore loyal fans are concerned.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | October 28, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@no_recess

I understand my view makes me an outcast on this site, however you and I both know there are thousands, probably tens of thousands of DC United fans who don't even know this site exists. I personally coach, play, work, and party regularly with many fans who support Tom Soehn and Dave Kasper. While the banter is healthy, some points of argument:

1) I don't consider swearing in the heat of the moment unreasonable for a coach. It will happen to all except Tony Dungy and John Wooden.

2) I know very well why we will only have 30 games next season. It remains a HUGE decisive advantage for MLS teams and in particular our team next year.

3) Marc Burch would not be in my plans for next year if I were the coach.

4) I am a true Homer, and this town (by far, not even CLOSE, the WORST sports town of any major city in America) could use more fans like me. It's why I love DC United, the loyal, passionate following developed over 13 years hasn't turned into the Redskins Bandwagon. Yet.

I just happen to believe we have a bit of a PLAYER problem, not a COACH problem.

Posted by: sevnshvn | October 28, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sevnshvn - you make some good points. I've been a Soehn supporter until recently, and in my heart I'd like him to have another chance. But at some point a club just needs a change at the top, whether or not its the coach's fault. United is there.

His latest remarks just cement that. I would hate for the bar United sets for itself to get lowered by a coach defending his job. He does not seem to understand that even making the playoffs with a win last Saturday would have been disappointing. United doesn't sneak in. it steamrolls in. It steamrolls through the regular season, and it steamrolls through the playoffs. United, at its best, is always the best team on the field, and a loss is because something happened against the run of play. Too often this year, even when we won, it was against the run of play.

So is it the players? Of course. But United needs a fresh outlook to go with the new players. Much as I have supported Soehn, and still think he can be successful (somehwere else after his own fresh start) its time for a coaching change.

Posted by: regularfan | October 29, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

BTW, as an aside, what a lousy job coaching must be, to have people like me publicly passing judgment on your means of livelihood. But I suppose if you take it on you understand, particularly in today's communication environment, that that goes with the job.

Posted by: regularfan | October 29, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW, as an aside, what a lousy job coaching must be, to have people like me publicly passing judgment on your means of livelihood. But I suppose if you take it on you understand, particularly in today's communication environment, that that goes with the job.

Posted by: regularfan | October 29, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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