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D.C. United news & notes

*Former D.C. United striker Luciano Emilio is back in Brazil, awaiting word on whether he will be able to join a new MLS club before Thursday's international transfer deadline. Should Emilio reach contract terms with the league, United would have the right of first refusal and be able to request compensation. Philadelphia and at least one other MLS club have expressed interest. Emilio told the Insider in an e-mail this morning that "I think everything is going to be resolved soon!" A United official said there was nothing new to report at the moment.

*Late goals by Andy Najar and Boyzzz Khumalo allowed United's reserves to salvage a 2-2 draw with third-division Real Maryland. On Wednesday morning, DCU will face the University of Maryland at the RFK Stadium training grounds; starters and reserves are expected to play. [UPDATE: The match has been postponed; a new date has yet to be determined.]

*Read Bob Ford's excellent Philadelphia Inquirer column about Peter Nowak's emotional day in the Union's home opener against United.

*Since the middle of last July, United is 3-9-4 against MLS opponents (league play and U.S. Open Cup). With a loss to the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at RFK, D.C. would match the worst start in club history (0-4 in 1996).

*How was United's defensive wall lined up and where was Troy Perkins positioned on Sebastien Le Toux's winning free kick Saturday in Philadelphia? Check out this revealing photograph taken by a Screaming Eagles member.

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By Steve Goff  |  April 12, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: DC United, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Luciano Emilio, Philadelphia Inquirer, Piotr Nowak, S├ębastien Le Toux, Troy Perkins, University of Maryland  
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Posted by: Mulfito | April 12, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

On the one hand - glad to see Jamie Moreno come in and prove he still has it and takes his performances to heart. The same goes for Tino.

Dave Kasper is truly on notice at this point. And for that matter, hopefully Mr. Onalfo is, too.

I realize MLS rewards how you finish versus how you start or how you play all campaign. Yet, this team is really lacking a good defensive mid - GATTUSO!! - and we are hurting from the loss of a creative influence in the middle - SEEDORF!!. No one is scared of us going forward.

Let us hope that Milan's friendly at RFK would be to hand off our new summer acquisitions!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Why what?

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | April 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

photo credit goes to Dave Goodwin (nicely done). Er the photo not the positioning.

Posted by: J_S_F | April 12, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Good thing we entrusted our goalkeeping to a guy who knows his Geometry.

Posted by: jake77 | April 12, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I think I was likely the very last DCU fan to make it back into town late yesterday!

regarding someones comment about MLS. Biggest joke in the world? I dunno. 30k watching a game in Philly is no joke. Close to 1k travelling supporters is no joke. The added time tie for RSL was just amazing and no joke. (Seattle dissapointment, priceless.) That game and several others looked competitive and entertaining.

I like MLS, I like going to see DCU, I like spending my disposable income n this team, I now like going on road trips and I am definitely going up to NJ when we play RBNY. Don't like MLS? Don't watch.

MLS doesn't suck...right now, DCU does and I truly hope that changes. MLS needs more cousins in Philly had NO IDEA there was even a league let alone a new team.

PS--Drunken DCU fans, please, do not throw things over the railings. Saw that, didn't like it, don't like it when Salvadoran fans do it or anyone else.

PPS--Drunken DCU fans, please DO continue coming up with things that make me Philly Union towels in the urinal, crest up.

Posted by: DCB23 | April 12, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"On Wednesday morning, DCU will face the University of Maryland at the RFK Stadium training grounds; starters and reserves are expected to play."

My money's on Maryland.

Posted by: Section117 | April 12, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Yet, this team is really lacking a good defensive mid - GATTUSO!!
Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood

Are you related to Christopher "What [insert team name] needs is a Gattuso-like midfielder" Sullivan?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It was clear in person that Troy Perkins was cheating to the wall side. His positioning was poor to begin with. There's no excuse for getting beaten on the short side on a free kick from that distance. Why stand in the center of the goal when you have a wall that should be taking away half of it?

Posted by: DCU_Rick | April 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@I-270, no, but I insert Gattuso in most of those situations.

I cannot pronounce Ga-zchard-o, ESCH-elotto, and tend to know who's on the ball.

There are some other good holding mids out there - but none that would appear to be in the career trajectory that would land at MLS. And few who would take a contract from a team playing like United at present.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The wall does kind of suck, but, given that the wall was lined up to the left, Perkins should have been cheating to the right more. I haven't seen a clear replay -- the FSC commentator thought Perkins was fooled by the approach and moved to his left, so he couldn't get back. I didn't see that.

Posted by: fischy | April 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Great photo, clearly shows the keeper set the wall up for a left sided strike but he did badly covering the right. This is Perkins we are talking about here who is supposed to know better. Leaving a direct shot on goal, crazy.

THe Phillie game had a European look and feel about it coming across watching it on TV. Great game, hope the crowds is ready for more!

Posted by: elfelixg | April 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I did not renew my season tickets this year, and I hate to say this, but I am glad. At least when I watch on TV (when DCU is on TV) the beer is cheap and I can turn off the game and move on to something else much easier.

At this point, blaming the players is pointless; its the front office's fault. There is nothing dynamic or dangerous about this team. In short, it is a team of role players and has-beens.

Saying blow it up and start over is stupid...this team is blown up already, but the start over has yet to begin!

Posted by: therealfootball | April 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

It does take more.. to be a dc united fan. Honestly, I think the minute that simms sets foot in the dm position with someone else and tino swings out wide is the second that the tides change

Posted by: SexyOffender | April 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

If Adam Christman is not dead or gravely injured, why is he not being given a shot? He was outstanding for New England. God knows it is another Tommy in as Coach. I would really like to see Wicks get well fast - Perkins is a nice guy but he was never the answer in goal.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 12, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

+1 @SexyOffender

Posted by: VTUnited | April 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Any idea what time wednesday morn dcu is playing maryland?

Is it open to the public?

Posted by: Ron16 | April 12, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Herculez Gomez looks good in a VW jersey. I wonder if he likes black.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

regarding the revealing picture of the free kick at Phily.... it is the keeper's responsibility to set up the wall and position the team in the manner that gives the team the best opportunity to defend against the free kick.... someone please remind me why DC just had-to-have Perkins?? 8 goals against in 3 games??!?!?

Coach Onalfo? pleaseeeeeeee.... his ability to sign talent (within the salary cap) leaves much to be desired. Having good playing stretches during a 90-minute game is simply not good enough in this league.

Posted by: temuco | April 12, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It's truly amazing how many unforced turnovers occur in the MLS and the poor decision-making process has hardly improved. Yet, Christopher Sullivan of FSC describes these contests 'amazing & fantastic'...he did a CONCAF game last week and in his pre-game commentary he gave the viewer a rundown of team expectations which of course never materialized...tutte fumo et niente arrosto...he knows how to suffocate the game with his irrelavent chatter.

Posted by: juke2 | April 12, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Told you guys Perkins is an above-average keeper who we gave up too much for! All the hype from the clueless mass over his return was unwarranted as evidenced by his two errors (failure to come out to cut off angle on LeToux breakaway and this free kick). Should've never cut Kocic.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

MLS is my favorite league by a mile. I don't watch the international leagues anywhere near as much once the MLS season commences.

One other note. Although it did not affect the goal in any way, I froze my DVR at the point of contact with the ball and at least two if not three Union players were offside. It was very clear cut and there was no disputing it.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 12, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

IIRC, in his rookie year Perkins almost lost his place for getting beat a couple time cheating to the wall side of goal on free kicks...

Still, Charisma_Man, there is no way Kocic approaches Perkins' quality in goal.

Posted by: teo_68 | April 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Dave Kasper is truly on notice at this point. And for that matter, hopefully Mr. Onalfo is, too."

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood

Don't forget Mr. Chang, we can't let him off the hook. Remember that letter to supporters?

Posted by: soccerman | April 12, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse


I've heard where Mr. Chang is hanging out during his visits to DC. They involve equity/stadium partners.

For now, he gets a pass.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Even though it is only the 3rd game of the season I am pretty much done with DCU for the 2010 campaign. United looked like the expansion team on Saturday against Philly. I'm predicting no more than 10 wins this season and an early round exit in the US Open Cup.

Posted by: onenetnut | April 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the picture, are the guys in white blind? Is the kicker asleep? 'Cos that defensive wall is way way out of position and doesn't look like the keeper saw anything wrong in it. Gosh.

Posted by: tundey | April 12, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

dont matter how the wall was at this point, the funions scored.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

It all starts with excuses...Kaspar should be put on notice...

Except for Nowak, you guys got beat by a team put together by a bunch of has-been MLS executive rejects...

Posted by: LCR-54 | April 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Its time for a recognizable D.P.(someone significantly higher profile than Emilio and Gallardo) to keep the fans interested. Otherwise the fans will start to turn away after a few more beat-downs. I think the season is already in jeopardy!

Posted by: alan19 | April 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Re the goalkeeping:

DCU hasn't won skiddoosh since it sent Nicky packing;

Re the wall:
Coaching staff fault all the way. They draw up the wals before the game and help organize them during the game when the situation is at hand. GK has a role in the latter, but the initial positioning come from the coaches.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

--Drunken DCU fans, please DO continue coming up with things that make me Philly Union towels in the urinal, crest up.

You know, I bet to some boozed up bozos, that seemed like a really funny idea.

But some underpaid custodians had to pick urine-soaked rags out of those urinals.

What a sick frat-boy prank to pull. Classy.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | April 12, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh please MJ, that's what rubber boots and gloves are for. Better hope they don't give out rally rags when DCU comes to RBA...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 12, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse


I'll see your "Sullivan always brings up Gattuso" and raise you a "Sullivan always ALWAYS brings up Chaco Gimenez."

Seriously, I believe Sullivan has brought up Gimenez in each of the last 15-20 games he's covered. It's inevitable, like DC handing their opponent a stupid goal at some point.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 12, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse


When was the last time you saw a coach on the post or on the end of a wall during a game organizing it??? That's what training sessions are for.

Posted by: voetbol07 | April 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not being fake indignant: I think it's just entitled and scummy to throw stuff in urinals that has to be cleaned out by a person, rubber gloves or not. Believe me, this isn't a DCU thing: it's just really, really disgusting and shameful behavior.

If I saw someone do that at RBA, I'd ask them to clean their own urine rags up themselves, and call the cops to get them thrown out if they refused. I can't see how you can justify the idea that any decent human being would force someone else to wade in their excrement. Accidents happen, but throwing towels in the urinal isn't an accident. It's reprehensible, immoral behavior.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | April 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Agree with DCB23. On the way down the ramps in Philly, I saw a DCU fan throw his remaining beer over the side onto Union fans below. I then saw security talking to that individual---don't know what happened after that. Point is- that TOTALLY lacks class and not everyone is like Barra Brava and enjoys getting beer thrown on them. !! Regarding the game:
we looked horrible and totally out of synch. Julius James is a mugger (even to our own players), Castillo is following in Gallardo's footsteps (Over rated), Wallace and Pontius are believing in last years hype about them and not performing, Quaranta's goal was a deflection and our midfield cannot put 3 passes together!! If this continues it is going to be a long, long season.

Posted by: patrick18 | April 12, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I actually agree Mastodon -- the legend of a Red Sox fan sealing up a Red Sox pennant into the cement of Yankee's new stadium is brilliant fuel for their rivarly...throwing a towel into a urinal is immature and stupid.

On the free kick, call me crazy, but shouldn't the wall be cutting off the near post angle forcing Le Toux to bend it over the wall towards the far post if he wants to score? Looks like DC United not only gave him a free angle to the near post, but shielded Perkins to boot.

Now, I don't know if that's Onalfo's strategy coming into play, or Perkins poor wall management or both, but that can't happen again.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | April 12, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So to my understanding, and I never played in goal, the wall is supposed to cover the post closer to the free kick taker. What's typically done when each post is more or less equidistant?

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | April 12, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If the ball is placed equidistant from each post, you are going to set your wall up to force the kick taker to shoot across his body to get over the wall. So it depends on which foot the kicker favors. Also, the greater the angle left open (in this case, the entire goal face), the more players you have to have in your wall.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | April 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Is this going to be the Ray Hudson years, take 2 (aging Bolivian playmaker? leaky backline? Crappy team?)? At least Hudson was good for the occaisional funny quote. Right now we got nothing. I agree with those who say it is too early to judge Onalfo. But this blows.

Posted by: regularfan | April 12, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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