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A few minutes with Curt Onalfo and Troy Perkins

What is Chris Pontius' status?

D.C. United Coach Curt Onalfo: I don't have it 100 percent confirmed, but it is a fairly serious hamstring pull. This has been ongoing from the national team [this winter]. He had limited training and limited minutes in preseason because of it. Even down in Charleston [at the end of training camp], we had to limit his minutes. It's been lingering, and unfortunately, he got hurt the other night.

Are you getting concerned about the mood and morale of the team?

Onalfo: No. It's not even a concern. We are going through a tough stretch and we have got to find a way to get ourselves through it. You guys in the press are going to make it out to be the absolute worst and it's only going to have to make us be stronger. I will confront whatever gets thrown our way and we will find a way to get better.

For comments from Troy Perkins.....

Troy, do you think you are putting too much pressure on yourself?

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins: Yeah, my wife is all over me about this too, taking things too personally. But for me, losing is personal. I am the one that takes the blame for everything if a goal is let in, no matter if I have a chance or not, it's still my fault. So for me, I haven't been good enough. I have to look in the mirror and make sure, come the next few days, I step up and do my job, be a man about it, take it and move on.

Do you feel your decision-making or concentration is off?

Perkins: There are a few things. Every athlete goes through different windows of this in their career, of just having trouble focusing, finding that spot where you are completely, fully focused on everything you are doing. Whether it is putting pressure on myself to do too much or having too much to do in a game -- telling people exactly what they have to do all the time instead of just letting them do it -- it just takes some time to sort it out. You can't get it in a week, but it's going to come.

Are you worried about the club's psyche after four losses?

Perkins: I'm not concerned about it. We have some older guys on the team who have been through bad times. Right now, we just need to worry about ourselves individually and find the confidence within ourselves, and then obviously the team thing will come after that.

By Steve Goff  |  April 19, 2010; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Curt Onalfo, D.C. United, MLS, Major League Soccer, Troy Perkins, soccer  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A few minutes with D.C. United's Dave Kasper
Next: Poll: D.C. United's 0-4 record


"It's not even a concern..."

Let me go to the book of Lebowski for this one:

Onalfo: Look, man, nothing is [a concern] here, man.


Posted by: EdTheRed | April 19, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Is this your homework, Larry?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 19, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

THis aggression will not

Posted by: Pete803 | April 19, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

That Fred really tied the room together.

Posted by: cjholden15 | April 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Are you getting concerned about the mood and morale of the team?
Onalfo: No. It's not even a concern.

From the DC United website
“That wasn’t attractive for anybody,” said a dejected Santino Quaranta. “People are paying good money to see that – we’ve got to get better.”

“I really don’t know,” goalkeeper Troy Perkins said.. “I’ve got no answers for you. It’s just something we’ve got to get ourselves through.

“I’ve never felt this way. I’ve never been in this situation.” Moreno said. “It’s very hard to describe how deeply bad we feel, because the fans and all the people that support us, they don’t deserve this bad moment that we’re going through. But at the same time, they have to understand that we’re going through a really tough time and it’s not easy for us either.”

This coach is either clueless or lying.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 19, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

To continue comments from the Kasper post too. We look like an 0-4 team. Besides Wallace, this team has no real pace. We don't have a finisher; Moreno cannot carry the creative load. Both of our losses at home have come in the same manner. Teams have figured us out. Other teams know we don't have any real scoring threat, and that if they bunker and counter our backline will gift them a few chances throughout 90. Our defense this weekend was comical. You know its bad when James was our best defender.

A lot of this roster is a hodge-podge of journeymen who do not have the quality to win in this league. After watching the LA RSL game Saturday night, we are a long way off from being competitive in this league. Other franchises have passed us in creativity and talent building.

Not having pace in an attacking sense is a real problem. MLS has grown technically but also it has become a very athletic game. New England is full of athletes. RSL/LA not only have teams capable of passing the ball but are extremely athletic. They played the game at a pace I not even sure we are capable of at this point.

Posted by: grubbsbl | April 19, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Your killing your father Larry

Posted by: Springfie1d | April 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Were you all expecting the coach or front office to speak the truth? Are you new to sports, or any other public figure speaking?

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

from a previous thread:

Re: my stadium/player acquistion connection. If Wil Chang is continually frustrated on the stadium issue, it permeates through the organization and you lose the drive to excel, which in turn affects how much money you are willing to spend in searching for and paying for players. Basically, I think they are at the point of "why invest the big bucks we need to build a team, when the financial rewards is dimished by being tied to RFK."

Posted by: Ruthie1 | April 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Enthusiastic applause. I couldn't agree with you more. However, I would include Don Garber and MLS in that statement as they pay the salaries.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If they are going to lie, they should have the sense not to post the contradictory statements on their own web site (sorry website per new AP guidelines).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 19, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, this team does not roll on Shabbos.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | April 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!

Posted by: Section117 | April 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that they/I/we are frustrated by the stadium this the way to handle it?
Sulk and pout and put out a lousy product?
This team is bad. Historically bad!! 3 or 4 wins on the year bad!
Come August there will only be 3500 people in the stands - the Barra, the Screaming Eagles and a few quiet siders. It will look like a US Open Cup match every weekend.
That might push them to get out of their funk concerning the stadium. Right? Right?
All that said, I expect the players to man up, throw out a few mea culpas and trudge on. The coaching staff needs to keep a positive outlook and constantly push for improvement. They are all trying hard, there just isn't much to work with right now.
The only thing to say is, "It can ONLY get better."

Posted by: marksman37 | April 19, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Over the line Curt!

Mark it zero, dude.

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | April 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

does the conde picture on homepage make him look like the ugliest man in the world?

Posted by: SexyOffender | April 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank You Steve for these last two posts....I was hoping (silly me) for some word of explanation or at the least some acceptance of responsibility - now I am more depressed than ever. Kasper, Onalfo and Troy - one talking with forked tongue, one living in make believe land and one totally lost. Oh Boy - I need a drink

Posted by: londonboy | April 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a league game, Curt...

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Can we have a poll for when we think dc will get their first win?

Posted by: SexyOffender | April 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You can't deal with a problem until you acknowledge you have one. Kasper and Onalfo's comments give me the impression that they are in denial...which means they won't deal with the problem...which means they are the problem....which means they must be dealt with.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | April 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

LostinPotomac: Amen to that

Posted by: londonboy | April 19, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Onalfo, I got buddies who died face down in the muck so that you and I could enjoy this family experience called "DCU soccer"!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 19, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm disgusted by these remarks. Curt rode on Bruce's shirt tails to get where he is at today, he is not a coach. Wasn't much of a player either. I never been confident about Troy even when he won Keeper of the year. Kasper needs to get a clue. When will this FO realize all these league games are important. Get the points early when we can. Don't keep saying we have plenty of time. The last 2 seasons we've been on the outside looking in on the last playoff spot. Time to start holding people accountable.

Posted by: dculoyal | April 19, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


The only way the stadium issue gets resolved from an organizational standpoint is with a stadium. Until that happens, the issue will continue to drag this franchise down. I understand your point about pouting but it goes way beyond that right now.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Curt is a very optimistic guy, and refuses to throw his lpayers under the bus, and throw the whole team under the bus. Soem team players are already ready to start quitting, as shown by moreno, because it is true, times like this will test a players ability to work through this. I hope this doesnt kill the team all together, and guys like castillo can show their worth, along with Allsopp.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | April 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!

Posted by: Section117

best "Edit for TV" in the history of cinema.

I think Perkins will get better. correct me if I'm wrong, but he has had a different back 4 in each game so far, and none of those combinations included Namoff (or Burch). James, Talley, and McT are very nice role players, but the club shouldn't depend on any of them to be key defenders every week( let alone all three).

Posted by: VTUnited | April 19, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I didn't expect something different from these interviews. Coaches/GMs will never say "fire me" and players are always going to "try and do better".

I'll wait until we're are 0-10 to start complaining.

I'll be bitter if the "player" Kasper has his eye on during the July window is Steve Shak.

Posted by: ihillvt | April 19, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse


Why don't the players shoot? Maybe even from distance. It's a simple question. That act alone would at least make it more exciting . . . and you might even score some goals.

Posted by: carnack | April 19, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Coaches and GMs have massive egos and will never admit that what they are doing in their job is in anyway wrong or subject to question.

They are not man enough to admit when they make a mistake and with all the people around them enabling their every word and action they live in their own world of denial.

Curt and Kasper are no different, except that Curt, the coach, has to say what he does because he is attemting to lead his team into conflict, and confidence is the most important element in the mix.

Kasper, the GM, on the other hand, can be more of a academic and with his public statements can straddle the middle to appease more than one group. That action takes a lot of courage because it often times requires a self-analysis that might result in one admitting to one's mistakes. Courage is drawn from a strong character, which Kasper does not possess. He is a prevaricator as proven by his shockingly false statements in his interview and he is stupid enough to believe that the readers are stupid enough as well to believe him.

Posted by: mightymax | April 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Perkins: "... or having too much to do in a game -- telling people exactly what they have to do all the time instead of just letting them do it ..."

Hmmm. Maybe I ought to put a little more weight on the backline injuries as I go through the list of woe for this team? I mean, it doesn't solve the offensive ineptitude, but perhaps there's hope for the defense if the starters ever get consistent time together.

Boy, I'm really grasping at straws now...

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 19, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"You guys in the press are going to make it out to be the absolute worst..."

Uh, no, Curt. it's not just the press (nice attempt to shift the focus, though).

It's pretty much about ever DC United fan that I know or who bothers to post online and just about anybody who bothers to follow the league...

Posted by: yankiboy | April 19, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Troy has been shaky, but I suspect he'll get it together. I really put a lot of that blame on the back line and its revolving cast of characters. But there's no excuse for the horrendous ineptitude of our offense.

Posted by: nairbsod | April 19, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Coaches and GMs have massive egos and will never admit that what they are doing in their job is in anyway wrong or subject to question.

Posted by: mightymax

I'm sure that, were you in the same position, you would declare everything a disaster and fall on the sword and quit. Right?

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Reign King;

No, I'm not suggesting that. There would be nothing wrong with simple, succinct statements such as the following:

"We know things aren't going well now and that our fans are disappointed in our performance. They have a right to feel that way as we at D. C. United do too. We (the coaches, the GM, the president, ownership, etc.) are working hard to turn things around, and our players are working very hard as well. We thank our fans for their support and we ask for your patience."

What would be wrong with a statement like that? There's no denial, no dishonesty, lots of sincerity and the projection of hope.

It takes courage to say things that are inconsistant with one's denial. DCU's leasdership doesn't have that kind of character.

Posted by: mightymax | April 19, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

And Kasper said "These are tough times, but we're going to get through them."

He acknowledges that things aren't going well. What might be seen as excuses -- or heck, outright lies (morale isn't low?) -- is simply coach/managerspeak. What good does it do to call out -- I don't know, Castillo? -- for sucking so far? Or saying "You know, I really put together an awful team."

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Top to bottom, this group of players is not good enough. Chang has become Peter Angelos and Calvin Griffith rolled into one. CHANG is to blame for this horrible, 3rd-rate soccer team. We need a new owner.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 19, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse


DCU is a mess right now, but I'll still take Will Chang over Calvin Griffith any day: "'Black people don't go to ball games, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant they'll scare you to death,' he said. 'We came [to Minnesota] because you've got good, hard-working white people here.'"

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 19, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Continuing on the Big Lebowski theme, if Onalfo is not concerned with the morale of this team, then he's as out of his element as Donny.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 19, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Aside from Pontius' hamstring pull, apparently Jakovic is also out for an extended period:

Posted by: HarkesyRules | April 19, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Bench Perkins. He is no longer an MLS caliber keeper.

Posted by: alan19 | April 19, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

King Arthur: "Your arms off!"
Black Knight: "No it's not!"

Mr. Onalfo, please note that contradicting the obvious does not make it more true.

Posted by: bdwooton | April 19, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

On Perkins:

I think one of the reasons that Troy looked good in the past was because, even when we were losing, we were playing with a lot of possession so there was very little pressure on him. He was always shaky. My stomach was always uneasy when the pressure was on, because he was capable of the untimely blunder (like Agoos). While he was better than average keeper back then, I hoped he had improved with age. It appears he has not improved, but the league has. Yes, he has a mess in front of him every game, but don't the great ones find a way to make a difference?

On the FO: They are by definition accountable, but not necessarily responsible for everything. Do people really think this team is their first choice? It sounds like many here believe this is the FO's dream team. Are they really that clueless about soccer and MLS and talent?

I have to believe that there is lot to this that we don't know about. Like their 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th and 5th choices for role players (and Coaches) not being available, or deals falling through etc. A little bad luck too. Maybe its our time to suck again. Bad Karma.

Posted by: united100 | April 19, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

If i were Perkins i would be shaking every time an opponent crossed midfield with possession. Curt should have known our team was going to suck in the beginning, I mean what league does he coach in... What kind of coach overestimates his team this badly. I remember him saying on the podium after getting hired that he expects this team will play with the same offensive intensity DCUNITED has been known for. Well wtf were you smoking fool

Posted by: g3impreza | April 19, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

i believe Perkins got B-slapped in Norway at some point and thought he was gonna come home to a vacation. i don't wanna hear about this junk that he is going through something. The fact is if you are the so-called experience goalie, you gotta get it together now. Calling on Kosic!!!!

Posted by: godpere | April 19, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Kosic is long gone you moron

Posted by: g3impreza | April 20, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"I have to believe that there is lot to this that we don't know about. Like their 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th and 5th choices for role players (and Coaches) not being available, or deals falling through etc. A little bad luck too. Maybe its our time to suck again. Bad Karma."

Here's what they should know about: You don't freakin' blow up a team if it has the league's best record 2 seasons in a row and then spend a bunch of money on low tiered South Americans who's talent are in question.

EVERY signing (I believe 5-6) from the year after we won our last Supporter's Shield was gone by year's end.

That's pathetic and it was ENTIRELY Payne and Kaspar's fault.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | April 20, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@EdtheRed: There was no need for you to inject race into this discussion. Calvin Griffith was and Peter Angelos is, among other things CHEAP, and couldn't care less how well or how bad their teams were and are. THIS is what they have in common with Will Chang. Chang is running this team on the CHEAP, and he apparenly does not care how well or how bad the team performs. Take his 2008 letter to the fans at face value, and that means CHANG is involved in whatever player acquisition decisions Payne and Kasper make. Even with ALL our injured players back DCU is a mediocre MLS team AT BEST.

The fact is DC United has gotten progressively worse the longer Chang has owned the team. Chang has done NOTHING for this team since becoming owner, other than alienating the DC politicians whose votes he needs to get a stadium done.

So now he has painted himself into a corner. And we have to put up with Chang just throwing cheap bodies out there until further notice, just keeping the team on life support until he stops navel-gazing and figures out what to do.

So you'll take Chang over Calvin Griffith. I would, too. But that does not make Chang a good owner. But he gets a pass for some reason on these boards, I guess because he shows up at supporters group meetings. Or something.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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