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United rewind

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A few thoughts on D.C. United's 2-0 loss to New England at RFK Stadium:

*Great crowd of more than 20,000, lots of passion and intensity, and with Christian Castillo on the roster, the Salvadoran fans were back. In pregame introductions, the loudest reactions (in my opinion) were for, in order, Castillo, Jaime Moreno and Troy Perkins.

*Possession is nice, but if you don't do much with it, it's just window dressing. United executed its game plan nicely in the first half, setting a fast pace and playing with energy and determination. If it had scored early, the complexion of the match would have changed significantly and forced the Revs to play a bit. But when the game slowed to its liking in the second half, New England found itself in position to steal a victory.

*According to Curt Onalfo, Danny Allsopp has looked sharp in training. So why didn't he play against the Revs, especially when United was lacking a finishing touch? Onalfo said the plan was to insert Allsopp in the second half, but when Castillo took a knock on the knee, the coach turned to Boyzzz Khumalo. And when Brandon Barklage needed to come off with an undisclosed injury (cramps, I believe), the natural replacement was Andy Najar. Later, with the match still scoreless, Carey Talley hurt his leg and was replaced by another defender, Julius James.

*Luciano Emilio and Fred were at RFK Stadium. No joke.....

Emilio, whose contract with Brazil's Rio Branco expires this month, wants to return to MLS. United has been looking to trade his rights before the April 15 international window closes. Might he end up back in Washington? I'd be very surprised. He is not the long-term solution for this club. As for Fred, his new team, Philadelphia, was off this weekend, so he came to town. Perhaps to negotiate a trade for Emilio to join him in Philly? Maybe on a scouting assignment for next Saturday's Union-DCU match?

*Barklage's industrious style and crossing ability will continue to earn him playing time. Jaime Moreno's decision-making was slow and his distribution sloppy. Chris Pontius needs to do better with his opportunities. Will we see Allsopp in the lineup next weekend?

*Read my match report with quotes here.

*I left the stadium 90 minutes after the match ended, and none of the lights in Lot 8 were on. The pedestrian tunnel was dark, as well. Were they working when you departed the stadium? Please share your RFK experiences.

By Steve Goff  |  April 4, 2010; 12:43 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Comments

I saw a bunch of #12 jerseys -- some with Castillo on the back, others personalized.

Thanks for the info on the substitutions. I was pretty pleased with Barklage's contributions. I wish his teammates had found him more. I was surprised to see him subbed out. Talley looked good in defense, even if he looked a little out of sorts with the ball -- so, I was a bit surprised by his substitution. I had been expecting Allsopp for Moreno. Not much more to be said about Pontius, except to note that he was getting to a lot of balls. If he develops touch -- finesse -- he will be really something. I think they should spend all day every day, in practice, serving him headers from every direction and distance -- or find him a tutor. Definitely not Emilio. He was terrible with his head.

I wrote before that I was a bit surprised by the water-logged pitch, but otherwise RFK was in fine shape -- for what it is. I want a stadium with sharply sloped stands. Tow-ropes for those that need 'em.

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

NE reminded me of poor Artie Phupkin; ordering, begging, demanding of anyone who would listen to kick his @ss, but no takers.

Some nice surprises: In addition to being a good tackler and good with the ball, Peña still moves really well, and provides good cover for Wallace. Wallace in turn showed flashes of knowing what he was doing and commaning a little more respect at both ends. Barklage has beefed up. Morsink was a positive presence, though still just a bit out of sync on D.

And I disagree with folks saying the side showed a lack of individual creativity. They ran at guys often and had some success, they played some great combos, crosses and through balls. they were more confident and composed than I expected overall.

But we're talking about a bunch of nice role players, a few of whom are stuck in the wrong roles (I'll keep saying it, it's a bad idea to try to reinvent P and Q, at least if you want to win). The 4-6-0 formation was fun to watch for a while, but ultimately demoralizing.

Apart from that, all that's desperately lacking is that linchpin either up top or in the middle. Hard to imagine that's someone on the roster now, but it's not impossible.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 4, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

It seemed awfully dark leaving the stadium, but it could have just been my disposition.

In retrospect, I believe that you're right that the lights were out.

Parking lot was a disaster. I talked with a "parking lot guy" (driving around in a cart early in the day), he hoped that with 2 weeks of good weather that they'd be able to complete the fixes to lot 8. We'll see.

Posted by: J_S_F | April 4, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Having seen the highlights, I am now 100% happy I did not battle traffic headaches for this...

Defenders looking like cones on both goals. Ugh. Perkins deserves a better homecoming that this.

So was Q's free kick the single solitary shot at goal? (Khumalo's hospital ball to the gloves doesn't count.)

Six goals conceded. Zero scored. At least we are not wasting DP money on this mess.

Posted by: ErickSp8 | April 4, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I want to start lambasting Onalfo, the defense, everybody.

But I can't.

Jakovic and Pena are clearly the best defensive pairing we've had since Ryan Nelson left. And I was right about Talley, he's useless. Wallace and James deserve time.

During the first half, this band of inexperienced players dominated New England. Quaranta is clearly not a central playmaker, his best moments are crosses to the head of Pontius. New England won because they are stingy and Mansally had a great night, and because their coach is smart.

The score line taught us exactly one thing: If you’re going to play with minimal defensive support for a composed back four, you have to put it in the back of the net before the 70th minute. I appreciated the possession and the quick play, but scoring is going to be an issue. Strangely enough, Gallardo would fit quite well on this team, he would barely have to move, just connect passes and slow things down.

My greatest regret from this game was Castillo, actually. He needs to drive forward instead of waiting for a defender to juke.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 4, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh...I took the Metro. That went pretty well, but about as crowded as I've ever seen. Raced for a train at Metro Center, but there was no room to even get on it. The next train came quickly enough (6 minutes) -- I'm used to interminable waits there after games -- but got packed like sardines. Love the Cherry Blossoms, but not the crowds they bring.

All those who might complain about Lot 8 -- what if y'all get your wish and DCU gets a nice new downtown stadium, with minimal parking? Maybe the Virginians will get on their government to finally pony up some real money to support Metro?

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

It wouldn't be fair if I didn't give one more shout out to the PR in Raleigh. Just adjacent to the NC State campus. Granted their team and one they hate was playing tonight. These guys check their service and packages and swore the DCU game would be on at least one TV. I watched in HD on comcast sports net... in Raleigh. Guess they didn't need to compete with????

Folks at the Player's Retreat said they would always be willing to hook it up for United fans that wear their jerseys to the bar... LOL
Big Ups Raleigh! Too Bad United couldn't pull through. WEAK.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 4, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Great crowed. Attacking mid? Its not Q.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | April 4, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

I meant, that granted: NC State wasn't playing and Duke was, a lotta folks in the neighborhood were willing to entertain a little soccer.. on tv.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 4, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon -- I'm not a huge Talley fan, but given your negative words about him, and positive words about James and Wallace, it's worth mentioning 1) that Talley wasn't in when the two goals were scored; and 2) that James screwed the pooch on #1, and Wallace on #2.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | April 4, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe the Virginians will get on their government to finally pony up some real money to support Metro?

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 1:23 AM |"

You mean like I and thousands of others do everyday paying to drive the toll road so they can put a metro in?

Posted by: nairbsod | April 4, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

James is the goat. He must have had a nice view of the cross that beat us, from 20 yards away as he was walking toward it.

Posted by: granadoskerry | April 4, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

sorry - need my coffee still. you wrote about the gov, not the people. my mistake. get...coffee....now....

Posted by: nairbsod | April 4, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

We need Emilio back. We will be hard pressed to find anyone on our roster that can score 10 goals...

Posted by: alan19 | April 4, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Before the season began, I picked DC to only finish ahead of KC and Philly in the east. I've seen nothing in the first two weeks that changes my mind about that prediction. Except that they might not finish ahead of KC. Oy vey.....

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | April 4, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

RFK experiences:

-- 37k showed up at Nats Park. 37k Nats + 20k DCU = 57k paying customers; potential restaurant patrons; shop browsers; day trippers; future residents.....build at Buzzard Point and build an economic engine

--loved the pre-game on field access for season tic holders. I've never seen the team up close like that before. Castillo did warmups with a lolipop in his mouth.

--Did not go to the concert and did not see many people there at 5:45

--awesome atmosphere but how many will continue to show up to see losing games?

--said this last night, there is stuff growing out of the stands up in the 400 section. It reminded me of post-Soviet stadiums I saw back in Peace Corps days in the mid nineties. Actually took some good long looks at RFK, it's just past its expiration date.

--went for the swill, $8.75 adds up. There's a price to pay for that decision.

--Great to see the pupusa stands are back...the ladies were cranking 'em out last night.

Posted by: DCB23 | April 4, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

$40 for 1 round of beer for 4 of us is just insane. That's like a 900% markup the city is slapping us with. I'm gonna consider the tactics we employed in college to supply our own stadium concessions...

Posted by: beergorila | April 4, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Would have been nice to know that there was no access to Lot 8 from Maryland. Very annoying considering you don't know until you get around the stadium. Also whats the point of having a lot 8 pass if you cant park there. There were plenty of spaces left in lot 8 for people with parking passes

Posted by: kevbalt | April 4, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

How much longer until Kasper is held to account for this disaster? All the decisions go through him. Those KP negatives he has must be something.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 4, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Godfather is correct. Q not an A-mid. They do need that linchpin in the middle. Last year Jacobson showed he could be that distributor at times. Plus the guy wasn't afraid to uncork one from top of box. These guys just won't shoot.

Posted by: joeortega4 | April 4, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Fred and Luci at the game and not in a DCU strip? Hard to say much more than that. Yeah, you're right, Dave; DCU doesn't need Emilio - only one of the MOST FEARED SCORERS in MLS HISTORY, you numbnutz.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

At the 70th minute I was thinking that this is what we have to look forward to this season, blue collar efforts, flashes of quality and 0-0, or 1-0 games . . . then they scored . . then they scored again.

DC was the better team, period. That doesn't mean jack, but it should be noted that the Revs looked awful. I felt like i was watching an early round Open Cup match.

Posted by: delantero | April 4, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I ran into Fred at the Jefferson Memorial looking at Cherry Blossoms before the match (no joke). We lose to the Union then changes are coming if Kasper wants to keep his job.

Posted by: ihillvt | April 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Wallace is not a very good left back.

I know he played there at U of Md, but he's a below average defender. He failed to cleared the ball twice to the Revs giving it back to them at 25 yards or so from our goal. He also didn't try to move forward at all, including twice when Pena was looking for an outlet and Wallace and 30 yards of green in front of him.

Talley? Wow. That 2nd half was just bad.

Ups to Barklage, Pena, Jakovic. The rest were middling.

Posted by: delantero | April 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

One thing that's obvious from the highlights is how lackadaisically James defended on the first goal. He also did something he did when he first came in, jumping up and allowing the ball to go under him. Maybe something other teams have noticed about him, keeping their passes low? I was hoping he might be the answer at right back, because he is definitely better going forward than our other options. Defense, however, comes first.

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

We lose to the Union then changes are coming if Kasper wants to keep his job.

Posted by: ihillvt | April 4, 2010 9:34 AM
---------------------------------------------------------

What changes? After the Union game, there will be 5 days until the international transfer deadline. are there better American players waiting by the phone? I mean, there was one -- Noonan -- but we let him go to Seattle.

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'll agree with christopher_a_metzler the defense fell apart when Talley came off so I think people are a bit too critical of a defender who was taken off the field and then two goals were scored against us.

He didn't have an incredible game but I thought his defense was decent.

I think its hard to be critical of any one player in this game as the issue was we had a lot of ok individuals who didn't play together as a team and really our biggest problems are up front not in the back.

I find it hard to blame the defense when they are playing a full 90 minutes while the mids and strikers can't hold the ball for more than 5 seconds.

I'll say it again that as soon as Onalfo left KC they brought in a bunch of great forwards and I'll bet we see a great season from KC this year. Now DC will have the same goal scoring problems KC had the past two years under Onalfo.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The D needs to do better but ironically enough, that is not our biggest problem. Like others have said above, we need attacking mids who scare the other team and then forwards who will finish their chances. With the new DP rules, MLS will become teams with talent and those without. The front office better get that fixed and quickly. Great crowd last night at RFK but that won't last long without some W's.

Posted by: tcbannon | April 4, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The D needs to do better but ironically enough, that is not our biggest problem. Like others have said above, we need attacking mids who scare the other team and then forwards who will finish their chances. With the new DP rules, MLS will become teams with talent and those without. The front office better get that fixed and quickly. Great crowd last night at RFK but that won't last long without some W's.

Posted by: tcbannon | April 4, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

OT -- Herculez Gomez scored again. Maybe, we could sign him to a DP deal....? Would Onalfo have enough sense to use him at striker if he had another chance?

Posted by: fischy | April 4, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Here's the video of Herculez Gomez' goal. Actually, it's Morelia-Puebla highlights and Herc's goal is the second one. Video is about 3 minutes long:

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/37524/herculez-gomez-strikes-again-video.html

Once again, nothing spectacular, but still very efficient from Herc as he runs onto a long diagonal ball over the top and finishes w a low crossed shot on the run from the left channel.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 4, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Would have been nice to know that there was no access to Lot 8 from Maryland. Very annoying considering you don't know until you get around the stadium. Also whats the point of having a lot 8 pass if you cant park there. There were plenty of spaces left in lot 8 for people with parking passes

Posted by: kevbalt | April 4, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse


Go around the circle and enter just beyond Independence Avenue. There are signs directing you.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 4, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

On New England's first goal Julius James mad at best a casual effort to cover the winger who made the cross. The team should have a kangaroo court to embarass teammates who are that lazy.
In my playing days a teammate would yell "Take his picture," meaning "If all that you are going to do is watch ..."

Posted by: Quietman | April 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The players didn't get the memo from the marketing departement. Guys next week you need to remember that "it takes more". You can leave "we win trophies" to the Caps.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

lots of comments trying to see the positive in the last couple of DC games.... 0 goals for and 6 against. record 0 - 2. Onalfo is an average coach at best. Yes... though it is early in the season there are some glaring weaknesses all over the field! I don't think DC has the personnel to finish .500 for the season and that could be stretching it for how many wins they will end up with!

Posted by: temuco | April 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I do not see any evidence that DC United is any better than the expansion Philly Union. They only lost to Seattle by 2. I doubt DCU would come that close against the Sounders.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I don't think defense is to blame and I can't see a team paying Herculez Gomez DP type money, he needs to make it back to the National team and he really doesn't have name recognition that most teams look for when spending money. The first half was pretty good. Great crowd like everyone mentioned. I sat in section 201 and was surrounded by several Salvadoran fans that definitely love Christian Castillo. I hope we can find one or two better options in midfield as well as another striker. The prices for games should be at their limit $42 for VIP section and $32 for premium seats. Several people commented on the prices especially for an old stadium and the current product on the field.

Posted by: wrightcor | April 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Bring Luci back? Look forward.

This is the team we've got until after the World Cup. My guess is that we accepted that early on, and we are hoping for reinforcements after that. The only real goal DCU should have is keeping the team in reach of the playoffs. At this point, though, I don't think we can even contend for the Open Cup.

37k for the Nats preseason??? Must've been the weather.

Posted by: Reignking | April 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

""One thing that's obvious from the highlights is how lackadaisically James defended on the first goal""

Yeah, I could have made that cross. James might as well have been yawning on the way over there. As bad as Talley was on the night, James gave up a goal by not closing faster.

Posted by: delantero | April 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

to those complaining about the beer prices....get the beer belly.
http://thebeerbelly.com/

it works.

Posted by: nairbsod | April 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

In response to the Talley not being on the field argument.

1) The momentum had shifted by that point in the game. Had fullbacks made overlapping runs and, say, been able to connect passes and crosses instead of putting them out of bounds every 10 seconds (Talley), more positive opportunities would have been had.

2) It was not the defense's fault that Nicol pushed the team forward in the second half to overwhelm the backline who were still doing a decent job, but due to the formation, had little in the way of support from the midfield.

I agree that Wallace and James made mistakes that led to goals, but those opportunities were created because we lacked the best defense of all: a potent offense.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

After the debacle that was game one, this was a strong effort. There is some chemistry that still needs to develop, but I'm confident we'll get there. I'm surprised that nobody has addressed the biggest problem though, our captain.

I love Jaime and everything he's done for the team, but his best days are behind him. He consistantly looked old, slow and wouldn't work for a ball. He'd fit in great on my over 30 men's team.

On TWO occasions, he turned our man-advantage attack into New England's ball. Pontius was running alone up top for most of the game and Tino was trying to fill in space to compensate. We MUST have 11 players that are committed to each game, not 10 playing with one collecting a paycheck.

When Curt gets brave enough to sit #99 down, you'll see this team turn around.

Posted by: SoccerVA | April 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Emilio - put Jaime as CAM

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | April 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

How exactly is this team better than last season, except perhaps now in the center of defense. Who is going to score goals. Pontius is just not a striker - at this rate he'll be lucky to score five goals this season. A lot of possession in the first half but not a clue how to break down the NE defense.

Posted by: congguy | April 4, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

37k for the Nats preseason??? Must've been the weather.
------------------

Either that or it's time to accept the fact that MLB is much more popular than MLS. DCU looks like a sinking ship financially (with a hideous stadium situation) and on the pitch. We should accept that Seattle has taken the crown for North American soccer and that like most US markets, soccer is 4th or 5th banana here.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | April 4, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Last year when I left RFK to lot 8 most of the 2nd half of the season was very dark immediately after games. There was one set of flood lights right at the tunnel, otherwise total darkness.

This year I had to park in Lot 7 because of the closure. It was lighted, but my grill was stolen, and about 3 other grills were stolen from people right by us. We told the security guys and they literally said, "get out of the parking lot, we don't care about your grill".

Oh, the team sucked.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | April 4, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Moreno held onto the ball too long most of the times he had it.

@nvamikeyo: The Red Sox were in town. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 4, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

37k for the Nats preseason??? Must've been the weather.
------------------

Either that or it's time to accept the fact that MLB is much more popular than MLS. DCU looks like a sinking ship financially (with a hideous stadium situation) and on the pitch. We should accept that Seattle has taken the crown for North American soccer and that like most US markets, soccer is 4th or 5th banana here.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | April 4, 2010 10:49 AM

You've both missed the mark... Red Sox were in town. I went to Nats Park and there were about 20,000+ pauedo Bostonians there.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 4, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Red Sox, that explains it.

And MLB is more popular than MLS? No way!

Posted by: Reignking | April 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Kev: ding ding ding. i was out all day yesterday working (5:15 am to 4:30 am, literally all day) and there were ten times as many red sox shirts as nats ones. if this is the Marlins, they don't come close to those numbers. I have friends in Boston who fly to see their team play elsewhere, cheaper than scalping tickets to Fenway.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | April 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely excellent finish to the Everton-West Ham match. Faubert's cross was PERFECT. Glad I stuck around after a tepid first 75 minutes.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

james was loafing big time at right back which allowed that unfettered cross that set up first goal.

i was so sick of emilio haters last year and they will rue the day they lost him.

we have no, i mean no finishers on this team. we will be the lowest scoring team in the league this year as we were the highest scoring last year.

we need a high profile scoring machine. period.

Posted by: castroviejo | April 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

DCU is in deep do-do. It's playing in a decaying stadium, landlorded by a city that has no interest in maintaining the building in any functional way.

Will has to take control here and hold KP responsibile for the stadium situation and Kasper responsible for the terrible team he has assembled.

I have it on good authority that the offers for Noonan from Seattle and DC were fairly similar; Noonan wanted nothing to do with DCU and its decaying situation. Who can blame him? Go to a team on the up escalator or one on the down escalator.

This situation reminds me of the Yankees on the early 70's: Once proud team hanging on with aging stars and patch-work fill-ins; aging/decaying stadium owned by no one who cares, attendence falling as performance does as well.

Time to scorch the earth.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I have been a long time DC United fan. Unfortunately, I see VERY little about the current roster to be excited about. Let's C: Goalkeeper: Release by his European team; Playmaker: (Quaranta) Released by LA Galaxy; Midfielder (Talley) Old and Slow. Clearly, Moreno is old and slow, but at least he is solid gold and is a magician with the ball. WHAT is DC United doing with all the money they are saving by having dumped ALL of the big names?

I would MUCH prefer to get to root for just about any other team in the league! DC United is crazy! No continuity!

And the league itself if crazy for doing away with the shootout. Look and Ice Hockey and THEIR shootout; makes games MUCH more exciting.

The only thing that can get DC United turned around is to get NEW Management; the existing management has lost their minds!

Posted by: SoccerPlayer100 | April 4, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's C: Goalkeeper: Release by his European team;

Posted by: SoccerPlayer100 | April 4, 2010 1:38 PM
________________

As soon as you make such an obviously false state I stopped reading the rest...if you followed Perkins, DCU, or the Insider then you'd know the truth, and what you wrote isn't it.

Posted by: buck-bass-goal | April 4, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What an idiot troll.

Posted by: Reignking | April 4, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@UnitedDemon,

I had the same thought about Gallardo being a good fit for this team. Quaranta is not the answer in central midfield -- he just can't break down a team that bunkers like NE. He's best on the wing, whipping crosses in for Pontius and Allsopp to head home.

Why not drop Moreno into a #10 role and let him direct traffic? He's got the vision and passing skills to play that position.

Allsopp Pontius
Moreno
Castillo Quaranta
Simms
Wallace Pena Jakovic Talley
Perkins

Posted by: DonDraper | April 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Salvadoran fans were loud and happy for their new man Castillo. I was not impressed by him at all. That said, he was better than last week. Those fans were the ones booing after the goals and at the end.(I was in the middle of them in the 200 sections.) Looks like most of them won't come back if this keeps up.
This team has a good GK, solid central D, an injured right D that could make a big difference, an injured D-mid that would help a lot, an attacking mid that should be a fwd or right mid, an old man at fwd that is fun to watch but frequently kills this team, a midfielder playing the other fwd.
There are a few positives. But over all this is a weak team. When a few guys return from injury, we will play better - but we won't score any goals.
Why not let Allsop play? Why not sign Gomez or Emilio at low salaries with incentive clauses? What is there to lose? Its not like Morsink or James or Talley or Moreno are going to get any better than the severely mediocre level they are at now.
This isn't a build slow thru the draft league like NHL or NFL can be. It is a find players and sign them league. We are losing that battle.
And if they don't resolve this stadium fiasco soon they may be looking at an average attendance of about 5000 people - making it even more difficult to pay players.
So much to do, so little time.

Posted by: marksman37 | April 4, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

DCU is in deep do-do. It's playing in a decaying stadium, landlorded by a city that has no interest in maintaining the building in any functional way.

Will has to take control here and hold KP responsibile for the stadium situation and Kasper responsible for the terrible team he has assembled.

I have it on good authority that the offers for Noonan from Seattle and DC were fairly similar; Noonan wanted nothing to do with DCU and its decaying situation. Who can blame him? Go to a team on the up escalator or one on the down escalator.

This situation reminds me of the Yankees on the early 70's: Once proud team hanging on with aging stars and patch-work fill-ins; aging/decaying stadium owned by no one who cares, attendence falling as performance does as well.

Time to scorch the earth.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse


Excellent post. The truth hurts.

I love MLS and DCU but come on guys, MLB has always been more popular than MLS. There has never been a discussion to be had. Further, MLS is a clear cut #5 on the American team sports totem pole behind the NFL, MLB, the NBA, and the NHL. In this town it is currently the Skins and the Caps that are the reigning kings but both the Wizards and the Nats are ahead of DCU in popularity. Love is blind and I personally have tunnel vision but keep some perspective.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: Wish I knew about Player's Retreat. I live in Durham, and play Rugby in Raleigh. I was out in Raleigh last night at the Hibernian (official team pub for the Raleigh Vipers) and Natty Green's.

Posted by: alecw81 | April 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's start with the obvious...we are extremely thin on the back line. James was horrid on that first goal and the line's organization fell apart after that.

As for our lack of offense, let's see a couple more games and see if they start connecting the dots. If that doesn't happen, I'd move Quaranta out to the right, play Jaime for no more than 60 minutes a match and use him strategically as starter/sub depending on the team and field. Finally, trade for Mulrooney or find some other midfielder who can distribute and plays well in a structured scheme.

Khu

Posted by: jnel | April 4, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

re: "The players didn't get the memo from the marketing departement. Guys next week you need to remember that "it takes more". You can leave "we win trophies" to the Caps.

Posted by: blackandred777"

You have a point, but the Caps have existed for 36 years, and their trophy case is empty. They've never won a thing. And as good as they havebeen this season they are likely to be trounced out of the playoffs by the Penguins again.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The truth does hurt! RFK conditions were horrendous. The play on the field not much better.

I understand Curt Onalfo says it will take time but the roster says otherwise. Time can not compensate for lack of talent and depth. This team is destined to be mediocre at best and will likely miss the playoffs again unless management steps in and makes some changes. We can not afford to wait until the summer window. I don't know who is out there but I would hope DC has its eye on someone who can make a difference. Q will not cut it as the attacking midfielder and Pontius has not proven himself to be a goal scoring forward.

Not sure what to do about the stadium. It cost $15 for me to park on the side of the road and walk over a mile to my seat. Over 20K was a pretty good showing. What do we need to do to get a new stadium? I guess we need a grassroots movement to get Will Chang to quit studying locations and start engaging potential owners or jurisdictions that want a stadium. Great if it happens to be DC - otherwise, time to move on. He says he's "trying to reach out to the community and expand the ownership group so that we do get people who have a vested interest in keeping the franchise here. That’s the best I can do."

Will it be enough? Not unless he takes action soon! I don't like what I see on or off the pitch ...


Posted by: Arbitro1 | April 4, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Second half was deja vu of last season. Too many tunovers at the wrong time, not enough patience and long balls to covered teammates was overdone. Couple of bad decisions when going wide made better sense, the ball carrier tried to force it up the middle. Those that opined that once Pontius should get a shot with the USMNT, now know why he isn't a contender; his decision-making is off the charts. As for Quaranta, either he had a bad game or his progress is in a regressive mode; simply a below mediocre performance by Q. The only plus was Pena in the center of defense; Talley is definitely a liability, too slow and too many wayward passes from the back. Team shape which makes or breaks the effort was mediocre at crucial times. Both goals were top notch efforts by a player who has shown limited consistency. Coach needs to address issues of simplicity, patience and passion which were sporadic during the 90 minutes. Coach also needs to put his stamp on the club, unless he already has, it will be a long season for a once dominant club.

Posted by: juke2 | April 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Najar was dazed and confused out there. Poor ball control, poor passing, slow he looked he should have been playing in a HS game not with the pros. Don't know how you're down with 10 minutes to go and you don't bring in another forward. None of the subs were warming up at the time.

Posted by: owendylan | April 4, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@alecw81, The PR, was actually very cool to us. I had called earlier in the day to see if they had DK and they asked me to call back in about 10 minutes so they could check. Gave me the green light, and said regardless of the crowd for the Final Four they'd tune at least one tv in for me. Nice big HD flat screen showing the game on Fox Sport Network. They cooked up some fine burgers and my daughter chowed her grilled cheese down and they even had some in house kids books to boot! Everyone at our table was satisfied, until of course United gave up 2 goals like that....

I'd go back to the PR if I'm ever back down here and looking to catch a game. The best part was that we were well within walking distance back to where we were staying!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 4, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to make the video not auto-start every time?

Posted by: redskinsux | April 5, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Is there any way to make the video not auto-start every time?
____________________________________

Agree...very annoying. Having said that, the quality of the clip is excellent.

**Video quality that is, not what took place on the field

Posted by: DCB23 | April 5, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who is thinking about ordering Verizon Fios Don't do it! There customer service is poor and there technical support is incompetent. I called last week to order direct kick and I still do not have the channel. I even called this morning to double check and they said that I had subscribed. As of 8:32 PM today no Direct Kick. I have spent the last hour on the phone. Verizon is pathetic!!!

Posted by: stephen_james2 | April 3, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Follow the directions on the NBA League Pass channels that instruct you if you had already subscribed. I was having the same problem but their computer finally fixed it for me.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 5, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Time for a completely lunatic idea: Is there any way Burch could move up top? That was his position in college and goodness knows left back doesn't suit him. Cue the haze and wavy lines, imagine a slightly psycho left-footed striker...

Posted by: ldmay | April 5, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The cretins who run JFK provide nothing to the fans and pilfer their pocketbooks...what a scam run by the district government officials.

Posted by: juke2 | April 5, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I didn't go to the game. I bought MLSsoccer.com's season pass online (39.99) and the quality is HD, not full 1080, but very very good for an internet feed.
I don't know if it was the lack of quality in the final offensive third or the chippy frame rate that made me sick. It's obvious we need someone who can provide that deadly final pass. Too many times I saw 3-4 guys moving towards the goal with acres of space behind them, no support from the rest of the team.

Pena and Jakovic looked great. If we can find someone to provide goals, we'll be on the right track. Time to fork over some DP cash!

Posted by: wanker82 | April 5, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Quick response to all those saying the Red Sox were in town over the weekend and that's why the Nats drew 37K to a preseason game...

- So what? It's still indicative of a larger pool of support regardless of who the Nats played. The cellar-dwelling Nats in one of the newest MLB markets drew more in a miserable, late season games last year than United draws for their opener. BTW, even LA Galaxy games with Beckham (other than the first) have not drawn those kind of crowds either. We should face the fact that United and MLS in general is second-tier when compared to support for the Big 3 (possibly Big 4 with the Caps tearing it up this year). Even last night's Wizards game against the Nets, the two worst teams in the NBA late in the season, drew over 10K fans.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | April 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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