Network News

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

Payne Apologizes

D.C. United President Kevin Payne has issued a written apology for comments he made to the Insider this week that resulted in a $5,000 fine from MLS.

"I deeply regret some of the comments I made in an interview published earlier this week. In trying to explain the sometimes unfair expectations on the head coach of D.C. United, I made critical comments of Colorado, New England, Real Salt Lake and the league. Those comments were unprofessional. I have great personal regards and professional respect for my colleagues at those organizations and for their ownership and fans. I have apologized to those teams and individuals privately and now do so publicly."

By Steve Goff  |  October 29, 2009; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: USA Victories, Wicks Surgery
Next: Weekend TV Listings


unlike most ex post facto statements, that one actually sounds sincere and like the words might actually be his own. but I'm in a forgiving mood....

Posted by: troy6 | October 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the anti-criticism police have branched out from Fedex Field and captured MLS's leadership.

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 29, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

No one apologizes in an attacking, free-flowing way like a DC United official.

Posted by: Hoost | October 29, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

No one apologizes in an attacking, free-flowing way like a DC United official.

Posted by: Hoost | October 29, 2009 5:11 PM



Posted by: JkR- | October 29, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

MLS is pathetic. Payne's comments are not only true, they're also the sort of thing that spices up this too-dull league. Give me some passion, give me some barbs, and most of all, give me some high-quality, fast-paced positive soccer. Otherwise, I'll ignore MLS and keep tracking the exciting teams in Europe.

Posted by: jhgodfrey1 | October 29, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I hate it when someone has to apologize for telling the truth.

KP – Illegitimi non carborundum!!!

Posted by: Section107 | October 29, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, MLS? Seriously?

Posted by: B_A_ | October 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with MLS fining him, but I do think Payne's comments were unnecessary. The point of his comments were to say that we plan on playing an attractive style of soccer no matter who our coach is and no matter what other teams in our league is doing. He really didn't have to take it one step farther and specifically point the finger at NER and the Rapids.

This would have been a nonstory though if MLS didn't fine him. Makes no sense for them to shine a light on his comments.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 29, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

KP: "In trying to explain the sometimes unfair expectations on the head coach of D.C. United, . . ." Never mind the apology, THAT's the key part of the statement. I'd say it's now even money that Soehn gets a year's extension on his contract. Again, no value judgment from me; just reading the tea leaves.

Posted by: dccal | October 29, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"In trying to explain the sometimes unfair expectations on the head coach of D.C. United"......

Which is basically to win. What an outlandish expectation. I think his comments were a bit BS as a whole because DC played some ass numbing soccer for large parts of the season and therefore using the excuse that because of DCU's attacking style they get burned etc. is crap. Look at Columbus, Seattle, hell even LA are playing some fun exciting soccer and winning, key difference. I think he's feeling the pressure.

Posted by: SoehntheExit | October 29, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

You expect that he'd talk about our defense?

Posted by: billq1 | October 29, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Were Payne's comments accurate? Only to an extent. While the teams he called out do play ugly, DC United was no shining example of beautiful football this season. The teams that were are at the top of the table. They didn't let bunkering stop them.

Was the fine lame? Yes.

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | October 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

And I still hate Virgin Atlantic, for those that care.

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | October 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Payne's comments are not only true

Posted by: jhgodfrey1 | October 29, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse


How is an opinion true?

I agree with some of what Kevin said and disagree with some. None of that makes it true. This is one of the most maddening things about this whole exercise - the notion that only blind criticism of our opponents is "true."

And Kevin's whole "unrealistic expectations" thing makes me think even more that he needs to go. God forbid we expect our team to, you know, score goals and win games.

Posted by: beach3 | October 29, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Just lost a little respect for Kevin Payne.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | October 29, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

We should take up a collection for Payne. Maybe that would send a message to Garber and his Thought Police. I'll give $25. You want to organize it, Goff? (I'm not a DC United fan, by the way. I just want professional soccer to not suck in this country.)

Posted by: jhgodfrey1 | October 29, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Stick to your guns. Fight the power. And, as Section107 wrote, illegitimate non carbon conundrum.

Kevin Payne's comments were a compliment. The reality is that MLS matches, especially in the summer, consist of 20 guys standing in the center circle, popping the ball up in the air.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

take up a collection for Payne? Dude, he still owes me money for all the the $2 beers and dogs it was impossible to buy at the Open Cup Final if you actually wanted to watch the match. What garbage it was that the mobile beer men were even offering full price beers and scamming those who were there to see the game into buying the god danged things.

I'll never not bring my hip flask again.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 29, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

what do you think would happen if a coach in a Euro league criticized the style of play of several of the other teams in the league? i think he would probably be fined. you can't legislate tactics, even in a single-entity system like MLS. teams have to do what's in their best interests to succeed and if that means playing an "ugly" game, then so be it.

that said, i understand his frustration and what he means about it making it harder to attract fans, but some of it just has to do with MLS and the quality of player they can attract. this gets us back to the whole "salary caps and limited rosters" argument that has been hashed out here many times. you can't grow the league without attractive play and quality players. but you can't attract those players and increase the level of play without the money that comes from successful growth. chicken meet egg meet Beckham. it makes you (me) wonder whether MLS will ever be able to reach the next echelon given the way that the top Euro leagues have increased their exposure and their income over the past 10-15 years.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | October 29, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Some folks seem to be missing the point. MLS produces a product. One of its "employees" (in a fairly loose sense of the word) went public with his opinion that a lot of MLS's product is crap. No employer is going to tolerate that. Competition is great, but everybody in MLS is expected to put a good face on the product and sell it to the masses. Just like the NFL, just like the NBA, just like the EPL, etc.

Posted by: glfrazier | October 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

True or not, it was dumb of Payne to say what he said.

It was even dumber of the league to fine him for it, though. The fine/apology got much more coverage than the original statement.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | October 29, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Beach3 asks: How is an opinion true?

Think about it, pal. "Jessica Alba is an attractive woman." That's my opinion. Do you agree? You do? So you think my opinion is accurate? Then you think that what I said about Ms. Alba is true.

Similarly, Payne made critical comments about MLS and I think they are true.

Understand now?

Posted by: jhgodfrey1 | October 29, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I remember being at a DC v. Colorado match and my buddy commented "I don't think I could buy season tickets to watch a team play like Colorado." I agree wholeheartedly. Soehn's words might be detrimental to the league's image, but they're true.

Posted by: Mongoose714 | October 29, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"In trying to explain the sometimes unfair expectations on the head coach of D.C. United...."

Yeah, you're right Kev, we as DC fans are perfectly content with missing the playoffs, constant line-up changes, overpayed stars under-performing. That's a fair expectation right?


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 30, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Dear Will Chang:

Please cleanse this house.
Get Sasho Cirovski at all costs.
Dismiss Payne, Kasper, Soehn.

Let Sasho bring in whomever he wants for scouting/GM. Or put Ben in the role if they get along.

It will be like Bruce Arena in 1996, Maryland edition.

Then, while your at it, have Sasho put in place whomever can work with Maryland to build a stadium for U MD to share with United on the U MD campus.

Reasons for dismissal:
Payne: unable to NOT meddle in player management, yet never played the game and has a history of pissing players off.
Kasper: seemed to think that we would be competitive with geriatric ward - 2009. seemed to think that we'd be competitive with dwarf and oft-injured Argentinians - 2008. Missed playoffs 5 of last 10 years in a league where most teams make the playoffs. Hell, a coin flip would have given us better result.
Soehn: no need for comment.

Posted by: dsheon1 | October 30, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

If he had to pay a fine, he must be right.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | October 30, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

If soehn is back I'm out of here! Fire Soehn, Kasper, Payne!

Posted by: bestmick1 | October 30, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Given the choice though, I think I'd rather make the playoffs every year than play attractive soccer.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 30, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

So was he upset when DC came into Rio Tinto stadium and played defensively the whole match or only when teams do it at RFK? Sorry but almost every team in MLS plays more defensively on the road, hell almost every team in the EPL does the same thing. Sorry he simply vented fustrations of a poor season, US Open Cup loss to Seattle, Out of CONCACAF, and out of the playoffs. He did what a lot of people do, blame someone else for their issues.

I would ask how a team could play purely defensive soccer and have the best home goal differential in 10 years, they can't but on the road every team including the mighty DC United play that way.

Posted by: f4denz | October 30, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Only reason Payne apologized because he was fined.
Interesting now that others are singing the same tune to get rid of Payne - been saying for almost two years.


Posted by: LCR-54 | October 30, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

MLS hates freedom.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 30, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing. Payne is defending Soehn and the possibility of his return next year.

Posted by: Jaywag86 | October 30, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I am a DC United fan and have been a season ticket holder from the first season on. I love going to DC United games and watching them play. However, the level of play in MLS is such that I cannot watch an MLS game unless DC United is playing. The games themselves are not entertaining or interesting. On the other hand, I can sit and watch a full 90 minutes of any English Premier League game that is on regardless of my knowledge of either team or any of their players. I appreciate and agree with Kevin Payne's comments.

Posted by: apspectator1 | November 2, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company