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MLS weekend flashback

Toronto FC 2, Union 1: 21,978 at BMO Field
Cozy stadium? Check. Breathtaking backdrop? Check. Preki's sideline scowls? Check. New grass surface? Check. Quality product? Work in progress.

Sounders 1, Wizards 0: 35,924 at Qwest Field
A winning goal in stoppage time on a one-timer off a throw-in? Sounds like a new game idea for Seattle investor Drew Carey's "The Price Is Right".

Dynamo 3, Chivas USA 0: 14,843 at Robertson Stadium
Six months from now, 50,000 will have claimed to have witnessed Lovel Palmer's 35-yard blast.

Fire 2, D.C. United 0: 18,407 at RFK Stadium
Disgusted by the 0-4 start, the rats and cats living in RFK tunnels called a joint news conference announcing relocation to Baltimore.

Red Bulls 2, FC Dallas 1: 13,667 at Red Bull Arena
Proving old habits die hard, the usual 11,522 (who would have provided a sellout at the new venue) showed up at the Giants Stadium site instead.

Earthquakes 2, Revolution 0: 9,082 at Buck Shaw Stadium
In the past two matches, Bobby Convey has two assists, matching his total in 25 starts last year.

Galaxy 2, Real Salt Lake 1: 20,344 at Home Depot Center
Legend has it, Edson Buddle's father named his son after Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento). In honor of the L.A. forward's seven goals in four games, Pele pledges to change his name to Buddle.

Rapids 3, Toronto FC 1: 9,928 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park
66 degrees and clear at gametime, yet "C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O" spelled out on sideline sections clearly visible. At least they have a supporters' terrace.

Buddle's go-ahead goal:
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By Steve Goff  |  April 19, 2010; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: Bobby Convey, Chivas USA, D.C. United, Edson Buddle, FC Dallas, MLS, Major League Soccer, Qwest Field, RFK Stadium, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC, soccer  
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Next: A few minutes with D.C. United's Dave Kasper


Curious to see, will Buddle score more goals than our whole squad this season?

Wait for it... Alright, it's okay to admit that you've now considered this a distinct possibility.

Posted by: cjholden15 | April 19, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

What's more likely?

A) I attend the next match with a bag over my head.

B) Mr. Onalfo doesn't see the 2011 season from the RFK sidelines.

C) Mr. Kasper is submitting his resume to some new clubs.

D) The team finds a vein of form long enough to prevent utter discontent, but the team still lacks long-term direction both in building a roster and solidifying its ties to the DC area in the form of a Stadium announcement.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 19, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

E) All of the above.

Posted by: footballfan9 | April 19, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Atlanta Reignkings Roster for Week 4 [43 points]

It would be neat if I could actually see one of those MLS highlights one day.

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

for the style section on 1/1/11:

OUT: Goff's player ratings
IN: Goff's game ratings

Posted by: hungrypug | April 19, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

All that came to mind when I saw the "flashback" tag was the "the horror, the horror..." Ugh, DCU has got to find a way to put a better product on the field.

As to other news, the Convey development may be something too watch. He is obviously a streaky player and one whose confidence level translates to the field. His last 2 years under Coppel in England did a number on him...he's out of it now...I'd start putting even money on him to have a great year.

Posted by: jnel | April 19, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Pele will change his name to Buddle (or anything else) if the Price is Right.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 19, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Reinking, I agree. I was afraid I couldn't ever see any highlights because I am an idiot, but I can never get the MLS highlights to load. I'll just make them up in my head, I guess.

Posted by: biga116 | April 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Could you find out why our players refuse to shoot? I am (sadly) intrigued by the high level of passing in the attacking third and the low level of finishing attempts.

As we saw in a couple of European games last weekend, well-struck balls from distance sometimes get in and most certain pull the defense out.


Posted by: carnack | April 19, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Colorado's attendance woes makes me sick. No excuse for such a low turnout. Looks like they have no fans at all.

I was on the Phillie boards on some soccer website in which someone stated how they did not know anyone on the pitch for DC United and they were DC United fans. I also concurred that I knew few if any of the players and then followed the statement by saying "This team is not going to get it done this year".

It is clear that DC United are rebuilding but they are rebuilding by scratching everything they had previously done all together. I also have little patience and confidence Onalfo is the right man to lead this team out of the darkness. Early? Yes. But DC is looking WOEFUL, TERRIBLE, and are giving up goals like it's Christmas. Shame on Perkins... oh yeah, the one guy I recognized on DC until Moreno came in late 2 weeks ago.

Posted by: elfelixg | April 19, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

You need an Intel chip to view Silverlight (not sure about mobiles). So Powermac users such as we are SOL.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 19, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

come on. Four crappy games into the season and you don't know who's in the team? Do your homework dude. Or just stick to the Philly boards and become a Peee Yeeeew fan already. It may be a different look team, but plenty of these scrubs were here last year. Try Pontius, Wallace, McTavish, Moreno, and the walking wounded.

Speaking of PHilly, has Szetela been Szigned yet?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 19, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I've never had a problem w/ Silverlight (Olympics, etc). But MLS? Nope.

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse


In march you mentioned a new interactive player mechanism for readers to rate the players' performances. Any word on when or if this rating mechanism will arrive to soccer insider?

Posted by: invncbl | April 19, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

We should bring in the Hanson Brothers.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Silverlight Fail sufferers:

Is it possible a re-install of the latest version of Silverlight would help? It might at least re-set the browser plug in.

I know they've had new versions since it's fairly successful Olympic debut, and with constant browser updates since that time, the plug in could have plotzed...

Posted by: JkR- | April 19, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

the interactive player rater is being retooled so that it can accept negative numbers.

Posted by: stairs | April 19, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I like this weekend flashback format. Can you add DCUs game into these from no one, to compare contrast. But I like this, please keep it around!

Posted by: kennyisbigk911 | April 19, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

We should bring in the Hanson Brothers.
Posted by: OWNTF

Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du

Sourced from the internet, not (thankfully) memory.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, wrong homophonic brothers.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 19, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This might help. Apparently I have version 3. When you don't have the correct version, most software will tell you. Not MS!

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just a reminder. This team has been on a downward trajectory for three years, largely for lack of investement in quality players (I have some sympathy for Soehn), which is related to the lack of progress on a stadium and therefore revenue. Until this latter situation changes, things will not turn around anytime soon. Do not blame Onalfo (remember all you Arena fans that he is his disciple having worked with him for quite a few years). It ain't pretty, but dems the facts.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | April 19, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS... UK airspace to re-open 0700 tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm supposed to leave Wednesday night.

Harkes4ever -- good luck, man. Hope you make some of your matches.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 19, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Continued thread:

There is no large sports franchise in the area in worse shape than United right now. Situation at Nats Park isn't even CLOSE to as bad as United's. The Nationals have a chance to improve in the next couple seasons (this year is better already) and have a couple all-stars calibre players. Not to mention a stable stadium situation.

Heck, even the Wizards are in better shape than United. With Leonsis and a high draft pick to look forward to. And that's with a terrible team that's been blown up (save for a convicted felon they are paying a fortune to) in a league heading for a lockout in financial turmoil. Yep, still better off than United who have a sh*t team, no money, an owner in over his head and no stadium.

The only thing United has going for it right now is a very loyal, solid fan base.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 19, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I completely agree with you. Makes me wonder why there is such an outcry for a DP. Does anybody reading this actually think a DP would make a dramatic difference? Obviously, I don't. There is just too much rebuilding to do to worry about that yet. Once they have a more solid base to work with then a DP is worth it but not until then.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 19, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The real issue that I have with our rebuilding is that, as someone else alluded to, it's just too willy-nilly. It's one thing if you're rebuilding around an obvious system. I'll use a basketball example from my alma mater, Richmond - I had patience with Mooney when he was brought in because he ran the Princeton Offense and the players we had at the time weren't suited for it. I gave him till his fifth year, when he would have all his recruits and have his system solidly in place, before I would call for his head. Lo and behold, we made the tourney this year (and promptly crashed out to St. Mary's, but whatever).

United is currently rebuilding, but for all appearances, it looks like they're doing it without a plan. And 0-4 is the result from that. And I'm not trying to pile on, but the simple fact is that there are almost no positives to be taken from our first four games. It's a case of "How do you even begin to correct the issues that this team has? Where to start?"

Posted by: VercengetorixII | April 19, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Eh, still not working.

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Jason Marquis can play soccer.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 19, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

OK, Buddle has seven goals in four MLS games, leading MLS and, of course, LA. But when we take the field, there will probably be nine guys in a position to tie for DCU's lead goal-scorer. It's the land of opportunity!

Posted by: dccal | April 19, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@Ruthie1 I agree with your main point that the team has been in a downward trajectory for 3 years, but I still don’t get the insistence that player acquisition has anything to do with stadium progress. Those are two totally separate things in my eyes. Yes, our team stinks and has done an awful job of bringing in new talent the past three years when compared to other MLS teams, but I don’t think that failure is related in any way to the stadium failure.

Posted by: DCUMD | April 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Onalfo = Zorn

will he get as long a tenure?

Posted by: Section107 | April 19, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Why couldn't our FO uncover gems like Lovel Palmer, Terry Cummings, Nyassi bros., Kheli Dube ?

Instead we find guys like N'Galula, Habarigua, Koroma, Shipalane, Khumalo, etc... These guys have minor roles or didn't make even make the starting 11. Care to add more if you remember their names.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Move the Rapids to South Florida. The SE needs teams.

Posted by: yyy2500 | April 19, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Move the Rapids to South Florida. The SE needs teams.

Posted by: yyy2500 | April 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Move the Rapids to South Florida. The SE needs teams.

Posted by: yyy2500 | April 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse


To be fair, our FO in the past has uncovered gems.

The issue is that we lead the game. Then everyone else caught up to us, but our club didn't keep their talent discovery lead. Now we are average at talent evaluation.

Read the last few chapters of Moneyball. DCU hasn't evolved to that next level of MLS club in terms of it's on-field product at this point.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

So, does the SE need a team?

Posted by: nairbsod | April 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@blackandredredevil - That's great, you're right, there's no better way for you to spend your anniversary! And the weather has been great, well, for England anyway, and Man U seems to be back in form with that thrilling win on the weekend.

Unfortunately, my second attempt to get over there - which was a scheduled flight tonight, was cancelled. I just blew the whole trip up and rescheduled for labor day - even without the schedule, I'm sure their will be great matches to see!

Now, if I could just see a great match at RFK sometime before that....

Posted by: harkes4ever | April 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

We should bring in the Hanson Brothers.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

We're putting on the foil. Want some?

Posted by: bs2004 | April 19, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Rumor has it that they showed a picture of a soccer goal to the team. No one could identify it.

Posted by: stwasm | April 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse


I'm familiar with the past since I followed the team since '96 and before that with the Dips, Stars and Bays.

I was referring to the recent past, which is around 3-4 years. It begun with the bad Nick van Sicklen pick which I think was our 1st round pick. Since then it's all gone downhill. Uncovering gems means going out and finding talent through unconventional channels, not through known means like the draft.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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

Miami is nice, so I'll say it thrice.

Posted by: Reignking | April 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Sung to "Silver Bells"

My IT boss is unhappy

Won't download
I'll explode
Soon I'll be crying all day"

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse


No, you're correct in your assessment of the recent history. The revolving door of talent that was much hyped, under delivered and soon-to-be-gone is a dreadful benchmark of achievement for Dave Kasper and his team of talent evaluators (or his shoddy DVD collection).

However, this team has lost performers such as Josh Gros and Bryan Namoff, cast off players too early (Boswell), and brought in outright duds that have taxed team composition entirely too much (The Gnome from South America, Rod Dyachenko).

Perhaps the eyes in the front office became bigger than their stomachs at some point. Perhaps someone has lost their touch and is building a roster that would have competed well in a 2004 MLS, but is obviously not doing the same in a 2008-2010 MLS.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 19, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Goff reports via Twitter that Pontius is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

3 concussions and 3 hamstrings on this team right now.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | April 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Goff reports via Twitter that Pontius is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

3 concussions and 3 hamstrings on this team right now.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | April 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Bag on head.

Atlantic Cup to RBNY.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Goff reports via Twitter that Pontius is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

3 concussions and 3 hamstrings on this team right now.

Posted by: VercengetorixII |

at least ol yellow shoes will sell some tickets while PartyBoy is out.

to echo others on the board, I really think the FO looked "smart" in the early years because other management teams had no exeperience. while other teams have expanded their pipelines, and explored new acquisition ideas, DCU has failed to progress, continuing to rely on what they've always done. with 2 more teams coming in next season, this issue is only going to get more difficult.

Posted by: VTUnited | April 19, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Atlantic Cup to RBNY.

I wouldn't concede quite yet. NY has yet to play consistently well for 90 minutes (and against Chivas USA, they didn't play well at all). Frankly, had Dallas been able to finish half of its good chances, that game would have ended 3-2 or 4-2.

There will be a lot of space in the back for DC to exploit. I don't think Moreno has the foot speed to do it, but if he were to play deep, his passing could cause NY a lot of pain.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | April 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Buddle for USA.

Posted by: joepublic1 | April 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of pain in New York... how will the city survive during this?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

You mean these Hanson Brothers!?!
Go Caps!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. Add NYC doorman to the list of occupations that pays more than playing in MLS.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 19, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@Ruthie1 So you’re saying then that there isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between player acquisition and stadium progress. Its more a matter of an organization-wide depression, leading to a lack of motivation to meet or exceed expectations. I can buy that.

Posted by: DCUMD | April 19, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Not only is attendance lousy at DSG, but they put most of the folks who do attend in the seats under the main match camera so it looks even worse on tv. Never have understood that.

I think 10-12k may be the extent of the motivated fan base in Colorado. Not much you can do about it, except maybe don't schedule matches on sunday afternoons.

Posted by: hacksaw | April 19, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse


In Hudson's first season in charge of DC, Ryan Nelsen was tied for first among United scorers (with just 4 goals) until Ali Curtis scored his 5th of the year in our last game of the season.

There's something to aspire to: Have at least one player score more than 5 goals in 30 games. Lofty, yes, but maybe if we're lucky we can get there!


Great question, considering we got an up-close look at Lovel Palmer when he was playing for Harbour View years before anyone else in MLS got to see him.

Naturally, he's developed since then, but it seems like we should have seen his potential, having had several chances to see him.


I agree completely. NY still has some obvious flaws that they've been able to get away with.

That said, we could execute such a plan to perfection and still end up losing 1-0 because we can't finish and Angel will probably bury any chances he gets. For the upcoming game against your boys, I'd say we have a 30% chance of winning, a 30% chance of getting a draw, and a 40% chance of losing.

I only hope we improve enough to make our visit in Jersey something to look forward to.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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