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Tuesday Kickaround

*D.C. United is in the market for a veteran defender.

"We had a fairly young group in the back and in goal," GM Dave Kasper said. "Through the course of the year, we had nine or 10 games where we scored the first goal or were ahead and we gave up the lead. We saw that Saturday night [at Kansas City]. Hopefully now, with that group back next year, we have learned through those experiences."

That said, do you feel you need an older presence back there?

"The importance of leadership in the back is something we have certainly talked about."

So you might look to add an experienced defender this winter?


More from RFK later.....

*MLS playoff schedule:
This Week's First Leg
Eastern Conference
(1) Columbus at (4) Real Salt Lake, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (Direct Kick)
(2) Chicago at (3) New England, Saturday, 4 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Western Conference
(1) Los Angeles at (4) Chivas USA, Sunday, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
(2) Houston at (3) Seattle, Thursday, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

*Americans abroad:
D Michael Parkhurst 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's 2-0 win at Aarhus
MF Benny Feilhaber 87 for Aarhus
MF Jeremiah White 25 for Aarhus
GKs Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa at Sunderland (League Cup)
GK Tim Howard and Everton at Spurs (League Cup)
MF DaMarcus Beasley and Glasgow Rangers at Dundee (League Cup)
F Freddy Adu and Belenenses vs. Gil Vicente (League Cup)
F Mike Grella and Leeds at Bristol Rovers

For TV listings.....

*Soccer on TV:
U-17 World Cup, Brazil-Mexico 1:55 p.m. Galavision
English League Cup, Barnsley-Manchester United 3:40 p.m. Setanta
NCAA women, Notre Dame-Georgetown 8 p.m. FSC (tape from Sunday)

By Steve Goff  |  October 27, 2009; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , D.C. United , MLS , TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCU's Style Council
Next: United Wrap-Up


DCU needs defensive help. Talk about stating the obvious!

Posted by: nairbsod | October 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I hope they are looking for a veteran left back. I think centrally we are pretty set with James and Jakovic. Namoff is solid at right back. I think that Burch is the weakest link.

Posted by: no_recess | October 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Avery John!

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Exactly what we need!

Namoff - Jaković - New Veteran - Wallace

With Wallace in the left back position permanently so he can focus on the skills needed there.

Posted by: KireDCU | October 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Kasper must really be into paleontology. Have any of the recent "veteran defenders" worked out?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Nah--they didn't say "we need defensive help" but rather "we need a veteran organizer and a calming presence (much like Steve Morrow used to be for Dallas) with the implication that such a player might have made a difference in 5-8 games where we had the lead and gave it up late due to disorganization. Since Jakovic worked out so well, that implies we get another center back to pair with Jakovic so James becomes the first central defender off the bench.

I'm not arguing about the value of another left back, only that it's kind of hard for someone like a Namoff (or his counterpart on the left) to be the defensive organizer and calming force. You're usually playing too wide to coordinate marking and calm people down except on corners.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Who are the best central defenders in the league, anyway?

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I hear Sol Campbell isn't busy these days...


Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

*D.C. United is in the market for a veteran defender.
what, just one?

Posted by: troy6 | October 27, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

DCU needs defensive help. Talk about stating the obvious!

Posted by: nairbsod | October 27, 2009


It might be "stating the obvious" but he was asked the question. Would you prefer he not answer because it's "obvious"?

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | October 27, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

You know what they call a team when the owner tries to micromanage it, including personnel decisions and style of play?

The Redskins.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Amen. The comparisons are very valid.

Posted by: croftonpost | October 27, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

It sure seems like a lot of talk out there to keep the fans off the central issue - the coach.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Is Greg Vanney still available? Now there is a veteran.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 27, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse


so you're saying the defense needs help.


Yes, I'd rather hear "10 men and a goalie."

Kasper said: "Hopefully now, with that group back next year, we have learned through those experiences."

So you're saying the defense cost you 1/3 of the games this season, but you're going to bring them back next year because hopefully they'll learn how to not make all those mistakes over the winter off-season. With the comments from DCU over the past couple of days, something tells me that we're not making the playoffs 3 years in a row.

Posted by: nairbsod | October 27, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse


I'd say Hurtado, Borchers, Boswell, Conde, C. Marshall, and Conrad are all elite or close to it. With Conde so eager to leave Chicago, maybe a deal can be made?


Getting an experienced defender is not really news, nor is it a new offseason approach. Vanney was an experienced defender. Peralta was an experienced defender. Roger was an experienced defender. Obviously there's more to it than just finding some veteran dude who is also a defender. He can't be past his sell-by date, he has to be able to adapt to MLS, and he's got to be committed to playing here.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 27, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I think needs can be evaluated, but if the rumor of a $4M cap with total DP exemption is true, then DC will effectively more than double its salary budget.

How can anyone in MLS begin to scout abroad until the CBA numbers are written in stone?

They would completely change who can be targeted.

Posted by: StanShmenge | October 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Emilio, Gomez, Jaime, Fred play little or no defense. Wallace, Santino, and Burch don't connect enough on passes. Simms always plays balls square or back, often leading to more pressure on our backs.Is the problem really the lack of an "experienced" defender? What did John add to our backline? He's got a ton of experience. What we need is better team defense, better possession when we do have the ball, midfielders who don't "get a pass" on defending their position, and more high pressure from our forwards like the kind our defenders face from younger, faster, and more athletic attackers. This type of analysis/comment from Dave Kasper about the team's needs is EXACTLY why he needs to go.
I just can't forget the post from a reader who said after one of Wicks' meltdowns that "if you had to play keeper on this team you'd be crazy too!" Quality team defense is essential to success in MLS. It's time DCU get that part of rebuilding right. We can't just fiddle around the edges of what is arguably the worst defense in the league outside of RedBulLandia

Posted by: rcdwriting | October 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Vanney has a job in Seattle.

Posted by: sitruc | October 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we could build a brick wall in front of Cronin / Wicks / Kocic, that might work. It would still be faster than Avery John.

Posted by: RicoSuave4 | October 27, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Please ask Kasper about a center mid too. As much as I respect Gomez's great years and his passing touch he is not a complete center mid anymore.
On the positive side, three good rookies; Jakovic, Wallace and Pontious. And James was a lucky pickup. But we need much more than a left back and management needs to say so right now.

Posted by: lemovs1 | October 27, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: torrey151 | October 27, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Where did you see/hear about the rumor of a $4M cap with total DP exemption.

Posted by: torrey151 | October 27, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I hear the veteran defender thing (heck if I was paid a dime for everytime...) and I agree that having a calming force back there can't hurt. But most of our defensive breakdowns were happening waaaay to far upfield from a D that was always compensating, always being stretched.

I'm not saying Kasper was dragging the D under the bus, but to lay the breakdowns at their feet is just not right. Especially when they have to account for a ball-watching Simms, or a gratuitous Fred, or the massive holes behind Gomez. Not saying the D didn't muck it up either, because Lord knows how many lazy tackles have resulted in a new tick in the "goals against" column, but this team needs work in a lot of places that are not the D.

Posted by: Kosh2 | October 27, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Chest: thanks. I had 3 (Boswell, Marshall, Conrad), should've thought of Hurtado, but wouldn't have had the others.

Posted by: Reignking | October 27, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I realize people are assuming Namoff will get healthy and be able to return, but concussions are notoriously difficult to judge when someone has recovered and if the research is correct, one never fully recovers. Could DC know more about his status than us and realize they need a new right back?

Posted by: Josh86 | October 27, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

For central defenders, you can't get better than Conde/Marshall/Conrad. For left backs,
Segares/Barrett/Harrington. Sell Fred as Wellington are interested in him.

Break out the check book for Chaco Gimenez as Pachuca seem to be looking to the future with Damian Manso. Gimenez is still only 28 y.o.

Bring in Preki or Spencer as coach.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | October 27, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dave,

No one named Gonzalo please. And stop picking up the phone when Pittsburgh calls.


Posted by: Section117 | October 27, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Chest. RE: Conde. Didn't he want to leave Chicago to join Osorio in NY? Why would be want to leave Chicago for DC? Osorio isn't and hopefully won't be the coach here. Looked to me like he patched things up with Hamlett and played well. I would be surprised if he was available. I don't want this veteran defender to be older than 32. A semi-arbitrary age I know but defenders typically have slightly longer careers than midfielders and forwards. If he started playing professionally when he was 20 or so that would give plenty of experience and still ave gas left in the tank so that it wouldn't be a 1 year fix. Don't really care if it's a central defender or not although I would prefer a left back to replace Burch. The reason it doesn't have to be a central defender is if you have an outside defender that you know can handle the job, the center backs can focus on their job and not having to constantly cover for the outside backs. That can be a calming presence as well.

Posted by: owendylan | October 27, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@sitruc: I'd like to think Virginiafan's Vanney suggestion was a joke as Vanney has already played at DCU with little effect.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 27, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Aren't we gonna try and get Roger back? We had him in preseason and he left because he thought he had another year to play before coming to MLS.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | October 27, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe we had an excellent central defender named Boswell until he was forced out by the management?

Posted by: ronwright | October 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

As has been mentioned previously on this blog, I don't think Fred got to play consistently at his natural position: central attacking midfield. Wellington wants to play him there, "just behind the front two." He by no means had a great season, but did have some personal set-backs. Would he be worth keeping, as long as he would be played in central midfield? He plays more defense than Gomez.

Posted by: dcuIII | October 27, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

We don't need a past prime 30+ year old guy who sucks up $300K or more salary and is out on injury half the season. That is not what we want. What I would rather see is you go out there, shake out a bunch of fresh, young, American talent and get a coach who is capable of molding them into a cohesive team.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 28, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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