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United rewind

Remind me again, who was the expansion team Saturday in Philadelphia?

D.C. United was amateur and atrocious in the first half of the 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union, whose attack wouldn't frighten an under-17 travel team. Before striking for a hat trick against DCU, Sebastien Le Toux had scored exactly one goal in 29 MLS regular season appearances.

United lacked ideas, was short on organization and was woefully deficient in the back. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins took responsibility, saying "that whole game is my fault." Indeed, he was largely to blame for the first and third goals, but he didn't receive much assistance either. With Jaime Moreno's entrance and Santino Quaranta's move to the flank, United was better after the break, but once again, a late letdown doomed them.

United has now conceded nine goals in losses to Kansas City, which underwent massive offseason changes; New England, which was missing its best player and posed little threat most of the match; and Philadelphia, which was toothless in its opener.

The situation promises to get worse before it gets better. Against Chicago next Saturday at RFK Stadium, Dejan Jakovic will serve a red card suspension and central defensive partner Juan Manuel Pena is likely to be sidelined with a strained hamstring suffered in the first half against the Union. Might we see a Carey Talley-Julius James pairing with Devon McTavish on the right?

United Coach Curt Onalfo accentuated the positive, saying, "Our response [in the second half] was excellent. Quite frankly, when we got the second [goal], I thought we were going to win the game and at a minimum walk out of here with a point. Getting the red card and giving up the goal on the free kick was brutal."

High marks to the 1,000 or so United supporters perched in the upper deck and for the 34,870 overall turnout. Low marks for Chris Seitz's howler that led to Moreno's equalizer and to the entire United team for another disappointing performance. Joe Biden was in attendance -- even he would be hard-pressed to persuade President Obama into granting DCU a pardon.

My print-edition match report is here. Player ratings, anyone? The floor is yours.


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By Steve Goff  |  April 10, 2010; 10:13 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Barack Obama, Chris Seitz, D.C. United, Jaime Moreno, Joe Biden, Philadelphia Union, Santino Quaranta, Soccer, Sébastien Le Toux, Troy Perkins  
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Comments

First.

Posted by: calito02 | April 10, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Sooooooooooooooooooo glad I did not make the road trip.

Usually it took Soehn at least 5-6 games before the "fuego el coacho" signal fires began to burn.

Ugh. The USPS has nothing on DCU's wicked mailing-it-in skills.

Posted by: ErickSp8 | April 10, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

3 games into the season and the coach is already trying to make positives out of loss to an expansion team? Talk about a loser mentality.

Posted by: Bucky_Badger | April 10, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Positives:

1) We scored.
2) Jaime's goal adds to his legend.
3) Wallace got forward more often.
4) We came back from 2-0.
5) MLS allows "almost" everyone into the playoffs.
6) Simms and Namoff will help this team immensely.

Posted by: delantero | April 10, 2010 10:19 PM

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

Pathetic. I've never seen a DC team this bad.

Posted by: strago | April 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

This might be hard to believe, but that game wasn't as close as the score indicated. First United goal came from an inexplicable pass out of the PU defense straight to Quaranta, who then benefited from a fortuitous deflection or Seitz would've saved. And Moreno's goal, well, as much as Jaime deserves credit for craftiness, it's not likely DCU will benefit from a gaffe that perplexing again anytime soon.

Posted by: benonthehill | April 10, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Well at least i can say Fred did his thing...no wait we gave him away.

I dont have much to say everyone esle will beat it to death.

So Ill go with the crowd.

anyone think Onalfo will still be here by mid-year?

Or am I expecting two DP signings that will lead us into the play-offs right into a storied-like glorious return to a championship...?

28 games left right?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Long time since I've seen a Firstard here.

That's the only thing DCU will be first in.

Posted by: Reignking | April 10, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

We're not the only team to give up a hat trick to an obscure team tonight.

Posted by: Reignking | April 10, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Where do I begin? Although Moreno did not play the entire 90 minutes today, he is not a 90 minute player anymore. Rodney Wallace is not a defender; he is an offensive midfielder. Carey Talley is mediocre at best; always has been. Cristian Castillo has been a bust so far considering all the hype he came into this team with. The midfield and forward play has been awful! Julius James is a thug with hardly any skill, committing a foolish hard foul in the first half & hurting his own teammate Jakovic. This will probably be one of United's worst teams, talent wise & record wise, in the history of this franschise! They should also have kept Gomez, who can still play well more often than not at this level. Lastly, Curt Onolfo is not head coaching material & probably will not last long.

Posted by: YNOT1970 | April 10, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

We are lucky tino didn't get called for a handball for a pk in the first half also.

Posted by: joe_hill | April 10, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

1. I hope Quaranta is kept on the wing. He looked good there.

2. Christman may actually prove to be a useful acquistion. I liked both his and Allsopp's energy, but we need goals from them, not just good efforts. I think (hope?) they might produce with better service from midfield.

3. The front office needs to get some attacking midfield talent in here, ASAP. Do ask me who, because I have no idea, but at least we have money for it.

4. Castillo has been really disappointing. Hopefully, this is just a bad spell that he snaps out of, but we have no frame of reference to judge his potential.

5. Perkins has not impressed, either, but I'm pretty confident he'll improve.

6. This team might need a new person in charge of conditioning. There have been way too many niggling injuries over the past two years.

7. Once again, bravo to the traveling supporters groups. You guys were impressive.

Posted by: chemweapon | April 10, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Perkins responsible for the second goal, too? Le Toux first touch was terrible, he showed too much of the ball and the Union fans sitting near us agreed that Perkins should have been out to stop that goal.

We sat on the side in between the two supporters groups. No way did the DCU fans outperform the Sons of Ben. The home support was impressive.

Posted by: fentysupporter | April 10, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I dont see how any of what happened on that field today was Perkins fault. The 1st goal he maybe could have come out to try and fist away. The second two, not really anything he could do much about. Perkins is not the problem with this team. In fact he is one of the few things that is good about the team.

Posted by: jjfooty | April 10, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the Fire are almost as disappointing as United so far. I think you guys have a good chance next weekend.

Posted by: BooThisMan | April 10, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

We suck

Posted by: RRP1 | April 10, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm..... Next weekend: DCU match vs Chicago or yard work.

Posted by: mason08 | April 10, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Soooooooooooooooooooooo glad I did make the trip. Despite the miserable first half, it was a fun time. Thanks to DC United for providing the transportation. Next time, get the win.

Posted by: Truckr | April 10, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

We have no midfield. I can count on one hand the number of times we brought the ball up and hit a player in the box. Our two goals were the result of Union give aways, not due to skillfull build up or counter attacks. What passed as our offense was one dimensional - drive up the wing and botch a cross or kick it up and over ineffectively. On the other side of the field, our defense still leaks soft goals. I'm not sure what the front office thinks this team is capable of but they had better wake up fast.

Other than that, I can't wait to have some beers in lot 8 (if it is open) next Saterday.

Posted by: tcbannon | April 10, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

YARD WORK :)

Posted by: uknowmeas-GQ | April 10, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

""First United goal came from an inexplicable pass out of the PU defense straight to Quaranta""

What's your point? LeToux was unmarked on his first goal.

The ref bought Moreno's dive on the third. He had his arm wrapped in front of Jakovic and then took contact as Jakovic pushed through. That's a flop, and a great acting job.

Posted by: delantero | April 10, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Most of the game I had no idea who our guys were trying to pass to. Lots of balls straight to Union players, or into space where no one was running, or near a United player but too easy to pick off. It really does look like 2003 out there.

Posted by: eadc | April 11, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Pinch me if it gets bad as our start in 2008. 7 Losses in the first 10 league games... 3 wins.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 11, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Only got to see brief glance of game (saw all of Philly's goals, not ours). I think that at least it's a good thing that Onalfo is starting to make changes, and that we got on the board.

That being said, this is a team that has to realize that it's the worst team in the league right now. Maybe that's what it takes for the organization to be serious.

Oh, yeah, and I'm not going to jump to heavily on the fire the coach bandwagon, because we need a better front office, and more active owners to be legit again.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 11, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I said it after the 2nd loss that this coach is not going to last past 10 games. He was a loser in K.C. and only fair before he went to K. C. This team is not ready for prime time OR A NEW STADIUM!!!! K. Payne change now or you will loose your loyal fan base and you get anything in regards to the new stadium. If this team goes down the drain because of you and Mr. Kasper what a damn shame and what a damn shame for United's LOYAL FANS. I say if they play this bad in the next game dump this coach--he has no imagination or system.

Posted by: vergens2 | April 11, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Is the MLS site still so effing bad that they don't have the final score of the Columbus/Dallas match correct? For Christmas sake, how pathetic is that? I really enjoyed the SIMPLE box scores you could EASILY find last year... Where can I find accurate stats other than that pile of garbage site?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 11, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

@jjfooty -- Perkins stunk from start to finish (including the lousy punt he gave way to PU with a minute left). I know we gave up a lot to get him, but I hop whomever is coaching this summer gives Hamid some work.

I didn't think it even needed to be pointed out, but benonthehill is right about both goals being undeserved. The better team won. As I wrote some months ago, DCU is picking the wrong year to be this bad...even the worst team will only get the 3rd pick in the next draft and allocation order.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Firing Onalfo is fine but Will Chang and Kevin Payne are far more responsible for the current sorry state of DC United. At least the team is saving money by staying well under the salary cap.

Lets see what the balance sheets look like when the fans stop going to the home games.

I enjoyed the bus trip but most of that was due to the novelty of going to Philly for a relatively close new rival.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 11, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

At least the team is saving money by staying well under the salary cap.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 11, 2010 12:59 AM |
-------------------------------------------------------

Saving whose money? Not Chang's. Not DC United's money. Every dollar that counts against the cap is paid by MLS, not the team.

As for the balance sheets, I have a half-season plan, but don't expect to buy any other tickets. I'm also cutting way back on the beer, thanks to the $10 charge at RFK for the small size beers -- $2 more than I'll be paying for better beers at Nats Park. When KP takes the team north or south, I hope he'll be leaving the team name behind...for Ted Leonsis to pick up.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I just hope DCU doesn't turn into last year's Red Bulls. I am very upset.

Posted by: SeanWG | April 11, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

They scored 2 goals!!!

This will probably go down as the best game of the season for DC United.

Time to drink a beer and celebrate the high point of the season.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 11, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

It's all been said at this point now. This is one of the worst teams the league has ever seen. Time to do what they should have done during the offseason - find new invigorating talent, and a competent coach.

Posted by: beergorila | April 11, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

get rid of Castillo even though it would hurt our rep with the Salvadoran community and bring in a bonafide central midfielder who is a playmaker. Calling Juan Veron!!!

Posted by: godpere | April 11, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

It's very simple, this team has no talent, and the coaching is horrible.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | April 11, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan, you're welcome to put on a Rave Green kilt at any time.

Posted by: j_doe | April 11, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the IMBECILE dcu supporters who spat or threw half-full cups of beer down onto the Union fans below -- oh yeah, and the 3-2 loss -- the trip up was actually really fun. Hanging out with the non-idiot DCU fans and that huge, loud march into the stadium was incredible. Hopefully once PPL Park opens they'll be able to put away supporters into a section where they don't hurt anyone other than themselves.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 11, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Can you see this guys:

One Wizards/Nationals supporter says to another Wizards/Nationals supporter, "it could be worse they could be as bad as DC United."

I didn't include the Redskins because IMO they will be better than DCU this year.

I hope the weather cooperates with the tailgating this year because that is typically going to be the highlight of the night this season IMO. I predicted that they would miss the playoffs. That is looking pretty good right now. Oh well, in good times and in bad. Vamos United!

Posted by: croftonpost | April 11, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Pena? a 37-year old getting injured? No one should have seen that coming, right?

Kasper, KP's butt boy, went out and got this over-the-hill defender to placate Jaime. This is how our team is built. This team is the '10 version of '09 NYRB. Get used to it until Kasper and perhaps go.

Watch the Texas Stadium video this morning: you'll see what Will should do to this team, top to bottom.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 11, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

BOTTOM LINE: WE STINK!

Posted by: nairbsod | April 11, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Onalfo is the result of DC United's in-bred culture - the good old boys club of former players and coaches that thinks it has some special "DC touch" cause it won the league at a time when half the teams didn't even now if their paychecks would bounce. That early success has cursed this team since. Playing on past glories does not work in a professional league - and for all its faults, the MLS is a professional league with good coaches, like Schmid, Nowak and Kinnear. Those coaches impose a style that shows on the field. DC's current style is to think Moreno, for all his past greatness, can still make the magic pass, or move to save DC's bacon. That's not a style of play, it reeks of lousy talent and no direction from the coach. Why do you think DC waited so long before hiring Onolfo?We could see this coming - the question is why didn't the DC "brain trust."?

Posted by: dcpsycho | April 11, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

As we all know, ESPN News, running a continuous loop as it frequently does in slow timer periods, shows scores by sports catagory on its scroll at the bottom.

When the "Soccer" category comes up, there are no MLS scores, this after all of Sat. nights action in all sports is completed, only Euro action.

We've gotten used to the tools at Sportscenter rarely showing anything from MLS matches except when Beckham takes his shirt off, but this is embarrassing.

It's amazing that Garber and his sycophants in the league office do not pressure the "broadcast partner" to pay more attention to its property. Unless of course, Garber and MLS lie to us when they claim that MLS is important to ESPN and that the relationship will help MLS grow.

Let's face it: as long as Garber gets his seats in the tribune box to the Champions League final, he's not going to push the Bristol Boobs into doing anything, no matter how much its could help his league.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 11, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

DC psycho: great post.

KP believes that Bruce walks on water and therefore by extension anyone who goes through his world. Curt falls into that category.

Thr problem is Kasper who is bringing in players that are quite simply just not good enough and for whom no players who have any choice want to play. He has a reputation in MLS as being a person who does not deal honestly with anyone (he was once referred to by a former player as a used car salesman).

Who would have thought that Carey Talley would not be the oldest patch-work defender brought in? What, was Arnold Cruz not available?

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 11, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Curt Onalfo: "I thought we were going to win the game and at a minimum walk out of here with a point." Translation: beats me. You can't expect to win and tie. If this guy doesn't have a winning attitude, fire him - yesterday. This season's team is a mockery to the four championship stars over the crest. They should be removed until this team could even just pretend like they want to win. Moreno's goal was intuitive: it barely had enough energy to cross the goal line, which, on the other hand, is more energy than the rest of the team has combined.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | April 11, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Remind me again who it was that complained about the opposing teams players diving and writhing on the ground to draw fouls...oh yeah it was Nowak! Hypocrite!

Posted by: boda-united | April 11, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Few points to clear up.

-When was the last time DC fired a coach mid-season? Yeah, it doesnt happen.

-Even if DC is under the salary cap, that doesnt save DC any money. It will save the league money, but not Will Chang.

-Goff has hinted along with Kasper that we are closer to the salary cap that us Internet nuts think. Translation, those 2 DP's that are going to change our season around? Not going to happen.

-It looks like the Quaranta experiment at AM is over. He is much more suited to the wing. So it's either Barklage or Moreno to run the show. Great.

-We scored on a deflection and a fluke, we're not going to keep that up all season. We struggle to create chances and subsequently goals.


Posted by: strago | April 11, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Perkins was a mediocre goalkeeper when he was here, he was a mediocre goalkeeper when he was at Vålerenga, which plays in a mediocre league, and so why are we now surprised he is still a mediocre goalkeeper?

Posted by: congguy | April 11, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they're skinnying the team down in preparation for a sale and a move.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 11, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Why did we spend $200K on Perkins? Is it me or do the rest of you question why he was considered a national team prospect? I have never seen it. And since we have had so many difficulties in GK over the past several years it seems to me its a coaching problem and a scouting problem.

Posted by: RRP1 | April 11, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

And why do we continue to have hamstring injuries like they've been given away for free? Who is the strength and conditioning coach? Is this normal? Doesn't seem so to me

Posted by: RRP1 | April 11, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

To RRP1:

The strength and conditioning coach is Brian Goodstein, another one of Kasper's hires. DCU's injury rate shot up when he took over for Rick Guter whom Kasper ran off when he got to DCU.

Guter has only been a regular with the USMNT for most of the last 15 years and is highly regarded by the most successful US soccer coach at all levels, Bruce Arena. That's all; but Kasper wanted a trainer who would tell him only what he wamted to hear so Guter was sent away.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Unlike much of the squad, Castillo deserves a chance to settle in. It took Malouda two-plus seasons to settle into Chelsea.

Terry Vaughn overreacted to Moreno's easy fall. Jakovic was not the last defender, Perkins was rushing out to meet a ball that was running away from Moreno. A yellow, not a red.

Fans of Dave Johnson, please defend this gem: "Julius James is a defender who could start for a lot of teams in MLS." To show that his ignorance transcends the pitch, Johnson said that Biden was present because he is from neighboring Delaware. No, Dave, it was because he was born and raised in Pennsylvania.

On the field, on the bench, in the booth and in the front office, it looks like another long season.

Posted by: runningcloud | April 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

As four mediocre seasons turn into five, it's time to recognize that our players are not as skilled as we would like to think and that United's primary problem is talent identification and acquisition.

Posted by: pgsimons | April 11, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they're skinnying the team down in preparation for a sale and a move.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 11, 2010 8:38 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------

Once again, it seems there's a misunderstanding about team finances. The league pays the roster salaries. These are not liabilities on the team's balance sheet. Staying under the cap doesn't save the team any money and doesn't make it more attractive to potential buyers. Not buying DPs -- that could save the team some money, since the league only covers up to the cap charge amount ($335,000/$167,500).

I don't think these guys want to sell, though I think a move becomes more possible as losses and especially financial losses pile up. Is it impossible they're deliberately tanking so as to drive down crowds and make it easier to move? Not impossible, but highly unlikely. They want a new stadium. It's in their interest to draw bigger crowds to show viability. Not like baseball teams that can deliberately drive fans away so they can tell civic leaders they need a new palace to compete with other cities.

However, I do think the FO is mailing it in these days. We sign a mediocre Salvadorean whose claim to fame was getting on the end of a couple of passes and scoring 2 goals in a game against the USA, along with a washed-up Aussie who never rose that high in England. Not to mention a former ManU youth prospect who was falling out of lesser Euro leagues. They overpaid to bring back Perkins because they didn't do anything earlier to address the goaltending situation. Finally, they call a 37 y.o. defender out of a retirement he was forced into because he wasn't wanted even in Spain's 2nd division any more. Finally, they started combing the waiver wire to fill out the roster.

Compare that record with what other MLS teams did in the off-season. Given that our starting goalkeeper from last year was hurt, our best defender was hurt, and they decided to cut loose the leading scorer, the offensive playmaker and the most experienced winger, United's needs were as big or bigger than all the other teams. Nevertheless, arguably, the DCU FO did the worst job in bringing in new talent.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Conspiracy theory:

What if there is a gentlemen's agreement between DCU and MLS? It is well known that Garber is extremely upset that DCU doesn't have a stadium deal yet so why would it be a reach for DCU and MLS to agree that salaries would be limited until a stadium deal is in place saving MLS the money. The money doesn't have to be spent and there are definitely motivational reasons for such an agreement to exist (stadium). I'm not saying this is occurring but I don't think it is a stretch at all. However, we will never know anyway because there would certainly be a denial if the question were ever asked.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I have not watched a DCU match this season. I am thinking I will not watch any as reading this blog and comments is probably going to be much more entertaining.

Posted by: peridigm | April 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Fire Onalfo, remove Payne and Kasper? Blame the trainers for hamstring injuries--even on the 37 year old who has been with the team for a few weeks?!!

Yikes. It's apparent that this is a retooling year.

I expect nothing out of the first half of the season. In fact, the only thing I do expect is improvement from now until October. It can't get much worse than Zero Points, 2 goals for, 9 against, eh?

Posted by: delantero | April 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what time the Reserves game starts today? I've heard both 11:00 and 4:00.

Posted by: ramsheadfc | April 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The legendary West Fairfax U-12 Gold and Purple Garden Gnomes would have been embarrassed to give up any of the five goals scored last night in Philly. Surely the standard of play in MLS has hit a new low. Don't bother with comparisons with the Premiership. Watch the CocaCola Championship (Second Division) games on Fox. Somewhat limited, but hard working experienced soccer players plying their trade. Couldn't be more different than MLS.

The DCU roster is a disaster. Perkins, really better than Wickes? Calley - hard working and smart but slow and old. Jakovic, inconsistent. Pena, just old and out of shape. James, potential, but still inconsistent. Wallace, wonderful athlete, but still learning his position. Castillo, another Central American bust. Quaranta, okay on the outside, hopeless in the middle. Barklage, a rookie, hard working but is even the potential there? Morsink, obvious why KC let him go. Pontius, like Wallace a real keeper, but it's lonely out there. Allsop, knows the game, real value sill unclear. Moreno, can still pass, but overall a detriment to the side.

Posted by: Jphubba | April 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse


As four mediocre seasons turn into five...

Posted by: pgsimons | April 11, 2010 9:25 AM

Huh?

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Winning the Supporters' Shield is the first sign of mediocrity....

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The left back has no business wearing a DC UTC shirt; simply horrible on and off the ball. The score should have been 3-nil, Union gifted United with 2 goals on high school errors. There are big gaps in United's ability to regroup and make something happen; most of the time execution is horrible; passes from the back are too long and more often than not too errant. Team is in disarray and the likes of DCU idol, Marco Etcheverry, would make no difference on this team. Leadership is missing and too many bonehead decisions speak for themselves. As for Christopher Sullivan, FSC commentator's game statementsm, were underscored by a plethora of superlatives on how this DCU V Union game was 'amazing and fantastic'...Sullivan either needs to get off his medication or try another script.

Posted by: juke2 | April 11, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Had I been watching the game, I would have been tempted to turn it off in the 4th minute after that Mickey Mouse defensive display. Unbelievable seeing no less than 3 United defenders STANDING and BALL WATCHING as Le Toux and another Union player casually waited in the area for the cross. I used to see that all the time in JV soccer.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | April 11, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan, you're welcome to put on a Rave Green kilt at any time.

Posted by: j_doe
------------------------------------------
Are you sure there is any room left on the bandwagon?

@Juan-John. I wasn't there, and it doesn't sound very cool, but putting travel support of any club in MLS above anyone sounds like the stupidest idea on earth. The SG's ALWAYS throw their beer when goals are scored at RFK. Not sure why anyone would think it would be any different on the road. Just saying. Philly's FO set themselves up for that.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 11, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Compare that record with what other MLS teams did in the off-season. Given that our starting goalkeeper from last year was hurt, our best defender was hurt, and they decided to cut loose the leading scorer, the offensive playmaker and the most experienced winger, United's needs were as big or bigger than all the other teams. Nevertheless, arguably, the DCU FO did the worst job in bringing in new talent.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

--------------------
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Yes, but the FO has a track record of making good off-season signings in the past. Not saying that they didn't F up this year, but you won't convince me that the coach isn't the main decision maker as far as addressing personnel needs on the team. The fact is that Onalfo was reciting "I'm happy with our group of guys" over and over again all pre-season when we clearly lacked depth at critical positions and clearly had traded or declined to sign AND declined to replace a majority of our production that left the team this year.

I'm laying a lion's share of the blame on Onalfo, not the FO.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | April 11, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

As much as I would like to blame Onalfo for everything he really wasn't left much to work with from Soehn.

Look at what Nowak left this organization in 2006 and what Soehn managed to do with it since then. Yeah sure we had Erpen and Filomeno with Nowak but overal we still had a great squad.

Soehn kept Nowak's team largely together in 2007 when we had our last decent season and then as soon as he started making changes we went straight to the toilet in 08 and 09.

Soehn was nothing short of a disaster and any coach taking over this team was in for a big challenge. Was Onalfo right for the job? Doesn't look like it but Arena and Nowak were already taken and our GM doesn't know of any other coaches who exist.

With the stadium issues, political issues and lack of real management we can keep changing our coaches like the Redskins or we can do the right thing and get rid of Kasper.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 11, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what time the Reserves game starts today? I've heard both 11:00 and 4:00.
Posted by: ramsheadfc | 10:05 AM
===========

The initial press release said 11, but the tweet reminder yesterday had 4pm. Others on bigsoccer have indicated the match was moved to the afternoon

Posted by: emanon13 | April 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't thrilled with United's choice of Onalfo as head coach. Having said that, it is absolute nonsense to blame him for the state of DCU after three games. If you want to blame anybody at this point then the only targets are in the FO. Personally, in spite of my criticism and all joking aside I believe it is way too early in the season to make such a decision. Although I don't believe DCU will, if they turn this around then the 0-3 start is forgotten.

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

Hey, the last year United lost their first three league matches they made the playoffs... just sayin'. 2008 saw them win three and lose seven in their first ten league matches.

A little early to give up if you ask me.

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

The biggest of all DCU's on-field problems is the lack of any real creativity or possession skills from central midfield. Q looked much better outside, so that leaves Barklage, Morsink, Simms or McTavish to patrol central midfield? Yikes. While Simms is an improvement over Morsink (less so that some people will admit, however), he will do absolutely nothing for possession and ball distribution from central midfield, that's not his game and never has been. I'm afraid this team will look wretched in possession all year long.

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@FAkeemail9875 -- Most of the personnel decisions -- the players being invited to camp and those being uninvited -- were made before Onalfo was even offered the job. He brought in Morsink and Cristman. Maybe he had some input on a few trialists.

As for Onalfo saying he liked the roster -- I don't recall any specific comments, but I'd be stunned if he --or any other coach -- was critical of the roster talent. Only a few big guns in England get away with saying the owners need to spend some money and bring in better players.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Throwing beer has kept me away from any supporters group.

It's just too expensive.

Seriously, though, who wants to smell like that crap, and then get it in their car? And then get pulled over?

Posted by: Reignking | April 11, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Why did we spend $200K on Perkins? Is it me or do the rest of you question why he was considered a national team prospect? I have never seen it. And since we have had so many difficulties in GK over the past several years it seems to me its a coaching problem and a scouting problem.

Posted by: RRP1 | April 11, 2010 9:09 AM

I totally agree. Perkins has been garbage since the year he left DC the first time. His inclusion onto the National Team is actually an insight into how we really DO NOT have much depth when it comes to goalkeeping prospects. Outside of Howard, Guzan and Hanneman, we are actually very thin at goalkeepers, especially young ones that show any promise. He was included by default. He would be awful if a situation were to arise where he was actually needed!

Its pretty obvious that DC United does not know how to scout and evaluate players. Dump Gomez, bring him back. Dump Perkins (rightfully so the first time), bring him back. Dump Fred and Emilio (a 40 goal scorer) replace with Castillo and Allsop, who both look like they are not quite ready to play at MLS level. We can go with a long list of mistakes that the franchise has made, but in my mind the single biggest mistake the franchise has made in recent memory was not firing Tom Soehn when we had a chance, and bringing back Bruce Arena, who wanted to come back home to us. We will pay the price for that mistake for years to come...

With that said, I am not quite ready to blame Onalfo for DC United problems, yet. It will take some time to get THIS team to produce. Although I think many of our problems do fall squarely on Kevin Payne. The game has clearly passed him by! The mid to late 90's are over. "We win trophies" is living in the past. The MLS is a much different league with a much different game than when Payne was having success. Kevin Payne has to be horrified knowing that an expansion team, looks significantly better (top to bottom) than the "flagship" of the MLS.

Posted by: alan19 | April 11, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

That they were still trying to come up with a roster through about halftime of the second game is a startling problem. I don't disagree with the decisions to let the players go, but you sorta have to decide to replace them, rather then jettison them and hope that someone's name pops up on the ouija board.
It's still early, but I'm still waiting to see signs of the type of competence that would let me hope they can aspire to a successful season -- dare I hope that they can reach the "just missed the playoffs" plateau? Not yet...

Posted by: daggar | April 11, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Perkins (G): 2. He's already outlined his errors in the match.
Pena (D): -. Not in the match long enough due to the shocking fact that a 37 yr-old defender strained something!
Jakovic (D): 4. Robbed by the red card decision / Moreno Academy Award flop. Didn't do much to maintain defensive integrity.
Wallace (D): 5. Made his fair share of bad passes but has good instincts pushing up into the run of play. Would seem to be better used as a Mid instead of a pure Def.
Talley (D): 2. Simply looked lost.
James (D sub): 5. Good work rate, disciplined, aggressive. Don't know why he isn't a starter. (Can't forget his goal vs. KC last season...strained hammie, fully wrapped thigh, bad weather, hopping up/down the pitch, showed immense character!)
Barklage (M): 3. High work rate, but passed alot to no one in particular.
Castillo (M): 1. Needs to learn which team he is SUPPOSED to pass to. Unable to maintain possession or provide service to forwards.
Morsink (M): 5. Aggressive, high work rate.
Qaranta (M): 6. Astute individual effort on his goal. As mentioned, better play from the flank.
Allsopp (F): 4. Low score because he was seldom provided service or support. Eager to see if he is able to hold the ball up front, using size and strength to establish a presence.
Pontius (F): 3. Also, uncharacteristically, looked lost...and frustrated. Perhaps due to the erratic service provided.
Moreno (M sub): 7. Established some possession, provided some confidence and distribution. Fortuitous to get an early Christmas gift from Seitz, but...like a true pro...made the most of it.
Cristman (F sub): 6. Showed energy and passion...like the game MATTERED to him. Great to see.

Would like to see Allsopp and Cristman up front being fed by Moreno, Pontius, Wallace, Qaranta, and Morsink/Simms (when healthy)/McTavish at midfield. Jakovic, James, Pena (when healthy), and Namoff (if/when healthy).

Posted by: jetnoiz | April 11, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree. Perkins has been garbage since the year he left DC the first time. His inclusion onto the National Team is actually an insight into how we really DO NOT have much depth when it comes to goalkeeping prospects.

Posted by: alan19

You couldn't be more wrong. Our goalkeeper pool is still very deep. Rimando, for example, can't even get a sniff. And Valerenga loved Perkins.

Posted by: Reignking | April 11, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised at DC's 0-3 start?
It will only get worse this season. What did we expect? We dump all of our name players (admittedly less than they once were) AND DO NOT REPLACE ANY OF THEM WITH COMPARABLE PLAYERS.
We have no center- mid and apparently little else in midfield-- and it was all very obvious for months in the preseason while managment--Payne and Chang-- sat around pinched pennies and did little (except getting Perkins). The back line might get better, but the rest of the team is predictably woeful.
Will managment go out and try to get us some midfielders (and probably--unless Pontius blooms, a good striker too). Or will they just pack it in and try to pocket the fans dough?

Posted by: lemovs1 | April 11, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I am probably going to get criticized for this post but so be it. I am sick and tired of reading post after post criticizing this team for not spending money. Personnel decisions, fine, monetary decision, absolutely not. There are a group of people and you know who you are, that are pretending that the stadium issue is irrelevant to the day to day operations of this club. That couldn't be anymore naive. It is a factor on every level of this club's operations and if you disagree then you are just in denial (I've actually been told of cutbacks by someone on the inside but this should be obvious to everyone). The greatest issue facing this franchise is the stadium issue. Everything else is a very distant second. I would be very surprised if DCU ever changes things around and returns to prominence before the stadium issue is resolved. I hope I'm wrong but I am very confident I'm not.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 11, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, from what it sounds like it seems my day was much better spent going to the Warrior Dash, drinking a bunch of booze, than playing cards later on in the day with buddies.

The "Fire Onalfo" bus may not be out of the garage yet but I'm changing the oil and putting in some new windshield washer fluid.

Someone mentioned a "loser" mentality, in terms of trying to take positives away from this nonsense that we now call DCU soccer but what do you expect, our coach used to be the Wizards coach. Key words being, used to.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 11, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

One other item. I read a post that said the team has got to stop living in the 90's. The same is true of the fans. In the 90's DCU had one of the best stadium situations in MLS. Now they undoubtedly have the worst. That is not a coincidence. It's so bad that the announcers for RSL were discussing it during their broadcast last night.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 11, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Positives:
-Cristman looked decent as a sub, but his intensity was phenomenal. I would reward him with a start next week (why the f*** not??! What have we got to lose at this point?).
-Pontius and Quaranta looked better on the wings, so basically, we should KEEP them there.
-Wallace had some good looks going forward. When he gets more involved with the attack, only good things happen.
-Jaime is Jaime. 'Nuff said.

Negatives:
-Everything.
-Castillo hasn't impressed me very much. He's shown some flashes of potential, but nothing special so far. Let's hope he can hit his stride, we could use a speedy winger like him.
-Perkins had a terrible game.
-Pena, who had helped shore up the defense last week, might be out for a couple games. Sighhhh.
-Julius James is not playing like he did late last year. I though he looked great for us last year, a very solid partner for Yak. But this year, I haven't been impressed at all.
-Allsopp got little to no service. It wasn't his fault he wasn't able to contribute or create much; he never had the ball at his feet, except when laying it off to other players.
-Jaime looks old. But we NEED him.


This could be a depressing year, people...

Posted by: kdiff813 | April 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm hate to pile on. I've been critical of our players, and now I think it is beyond dispute that we do not have the players to compete in this league. Until that changes in a big way, expect the losses to mount. It is as simple as that.

I have to admit that Quaranta, for a change, was one of the better players for us yesterday. He showed good anticipation in getting to that Union pass out of the back, and his shot was well stuck and well placed. Nice goal.

Jaime Moreno may have lost a step or two, but he is the only soccer talent we have right now. The team was probably the worst team in the history of MLS while he was on the bench yesterday. The team improved markedly with him in there, though still did not rise to the level of being a good team.

Castillo needs to do something other than run up and down the sidelines.

I don't think it is fair to call for the firing of Onalfo. You can't get blood out of a turnip. And you can't get lots of wins out of a bad soccer team that is short of talent at virtually every position. Let's get some real soccer players in here, and then if the losing continues, then look at the coach.

As things are, there is very, very little, if any, upside to this team. If thi is a etooling year, fine. Howsabout we start with the retooling already. Throwing a bunch off slow, no-talent stiffs out there as we are doing now does not count asretooling".

Posted by: Ron16 | April 11, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure glad we spent our money on a goalkeeper this offseason! I dont see that Gomez, Fred or Emilio would have been that much of an upgrade, but like someone said we haven't really replaced them with anyone on the same level.

Long year, waiting for some sort of Stadium, new coach and DP news this summer. You can only blame DC for so long, get a stadium done somewhere Chang! Time to pony up the cash. Dont leave DC...BUT If you're looking outside of the DC area, please don't go to Baltimore, I vote Annapolis. A downtown waterfront stadium would be awesome for me, just not sure where there would be enough room that wasn't the Naval Academy...Eastport?

Posted by: Brian76 | April 11, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Eastport is completely developed...you'd have to go over the Severn River bridge to the other side of Annapolis somewhere, closer to the bay bridge, to get any kind of land for a stadium

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | April 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Look our players may not be the best. But it's also about putting players in position to maximize their talents. No matter how much we would like, Santino is not a playmaker. He's a wing player with speed. Put in on the wing or don't start him. Making him the playmaker just means Onalfo is clueless. Wallace is not a left back. He's simply not. He's another speedy wing player. Play it on the opposite wing to Santino. Play Moreno in the middle, even if for 45 minutes only.

We may not have the talent but coaching is not helping. How exactly did Onalfo leading the wizards to second to last place in the east make him our top candidate for head coach?

Posted by: tundey | April 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Its pretty easy, DC United has NO talent.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | April 11, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Its pretty easy, DC United has NO talent.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | April 11, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree about putting players in the spots to maximize their potential, but the problem is, if we put Wallace on the left side of midfield, we have no left back, and a Castillo who has nowhere to go (except maybe back to his Mexican club). Pontius also appeared to be better suited to midfield than a striker. So maybe we try Quaranta up top with Pontius on the right? I don't know.

I think we have to give Castillo and Wallace enough time to see if they can grow into those roles out there, because the alternative means trying to play a 3-5-2 again. And we all know that isn't going to work.

So, let's assume we get Namoff and Simms back soon. I'd like DCU to try

Perkins

Namoff Jakovic Pena Wallace

Pontius Simms Moreno Castillo

Quaranta Allsopp/Christman

Honestly, with the players they have now, this is the best case scenario for maximizing they're talents (when/if everyone is healthy -- I'd like to see them give Christman a shot to start as well and see who it best suited to start and best suited to come off the bench).

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | April 11, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Still laughing about the comment that the game has passed KP by. Doesn't that assume that he once played the game? He never did.

Posted by: dsheon1 | April 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

You misuse or misunderstand the term "bandwagon," DadRyan. The Sounders didn't suddenly start selling out games for the playoffs or for the stretch run to the playoffs. Sounders fans have filled every seat made available from Day One. Is their popularity new? Yes, they are a new team. Duh.

Posted by: j_doe | April 11, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

My report from the RFK training grounds: Against a Real Maryland team that looked like a bunch of college kids or maybe a good adult rec league, DCU had to scramble to rally from a 2-0 halftime deficit. Two defensive howlers led to goals. Hamid dropped a solid shot that was mostly into his gut, spilling it right in front of goal for a waiting RM attacker. Later on Drew Yates turned the ball over on a meekly hit back pass, which gave RM a break with numbers and a goal. United was amazingly ineffectual on attack.

Second half saw Barry Rice leave with a knock, and a red card shown to Fred's younger brother (Fred was there with his baby), but DCU was allowed to play on with 11 men, bringing on Dom Mediate, who didn't look too bad -- he even rang one off the post. Still, DCU looked much crisper -- primarily because Andy Najar just started playing a helluva lot better. He was the best player out there. Shipilane came on late in the first half and his speed made the team more dangerous in the second half. Yates also had some terrific long runs through the defense as he showed the ball skills he had shown in Charleston. Finally, DCU broke through on a crisply taken free kick by Najar. The tying goal came off a run by Tiyi. Eventually the ball came out to Cristman, who sent in his best shot of the day, and Boyzzz had an easy tap-in with the rebound. That's how it ended: 2-2.

Posted by: fischy | April 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@fischy: does this mean DCU turns over its attack to a 17 year old? Not being a wise a** -- is there anyone else other than Q who can go a full 90?

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 11, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Winning the Supporters' Shield is the first sign of mediocrity...."

Perfect "sarcastic" point.

We didn't suck two years ago, we were actually two years's running supporters shield winners—which means "Champions" in every other league in the world.

So what does management do? They dismantle the team and bring in a bunch of Argentinian scrubs, a la Kasper.

None of those 5 players remained the next year.

Weird, and a shi++y way to run a franchise.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | April 11, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Simply agree with almost every aspect already commented on:

* MLS is the biggest joke of a soccer league in the world.
* DC United has fit into its niche of all the other DC sports teams
* Perkins is playing absolutely poorly. Saw that coming after his terrible performance at the Gold Cup
* Who is this Castillo person...? It's like he's invisible.
* DCU shot themselves in the foot with Onlafo coaching. But they'll release some statement going "we still believe...etc. etc." and Onlafo will quietly go away at the end of the 2010 when the DCU finish 0-0-32.

I'm only kidding about that record though...I mean the season only has 30 games...

Posted by: T_Walter | April 11, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

T_Walter wrote:

Simply agree with almost every aspect already commented on:

* MLS is the biggest joke of a soccer league in the world.
--------------------------------

Then why are you spending any time watching and commenting on it? Go watch the EPL or La Liga.

DCU might suck right now and MLS has a way to go...but it is our American first division and I will support it (even though I share the extreme frustration of most everyone here).

To be realistic, however, if this season continues to be an exercise in futility and we don't see the FO do SOMETHING, I will not be attending as many games as I otherwise would. My hard-earned dollars will flow more readily to DCU when I see some kind of effort or at least an acknowledgment that they have to make changes.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | April 11, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

There is a looser mentality in this town, Redskins, Wizards, DC United, Nats...except the Caps. Not worth going to watch the team play at RFK stadium, keep the loosing streak and they will finally find a home somewhere else.

Posted by: Monguita | April 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I think United's owners are intentionally putting out a pathetic team so they have a "valid" excuse for relocation (ie - we can't afford to field a competitive team while we're stuck at RFK).
I hope they don't expect us to continue supporting the team though. It's fine to have bad seasons, but the team execs at least have to make a good faith effort if they want our continued support.

Posted by: grognard66 | April 12, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

KP certainly did play the game, and very well.

Posted by: crimunited | April 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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