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United rewind

Well, let's face it, this is a bad team.

Red-Bulls-in-'09 bad? The writing-on-Saturday-Night-Live bad? Yeah, maybe.

United has scored twice in four matches -- on a giveaway and a goalkeeping oddity -- and is incapable of creating chances in the run of play. There is no chemistry, no understanding, just a lot of harmless possession. A 36-year-old and 17-year-old shouldn't have to carry the attack. And the goalkeeping situation has turned sour with a veteran who was supposed to be the remedy to last year's instability.

I asked Curt Onalfo if he could win with this group. Without trepidation, he said: "Yes, I do." Then again, it was the only response he could offer. He couldn't throw his roster under the bus after four games. But it is glaringly clear that this team is going nowhere with the current personnel.

The defeats are beginning to eat at the club's morale. You can see it in the players' body language on and off the field, and you can hear it in their postgame comments. Onalfo hasn't lost the team, but the team dynamic is suffering.

"I'm an optimist, we'll find a way, we'll find a way," Onalfo said.

You want some good news? United, at depressing RFK, easily outdrew the Red Bulls, in their new palace (18,407 to 13,667). And DCU now has more shots on goal (15) than yellow/red cards (14). Sorry, that's all I've got.

Read my match report here.

Watch the video here.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

By Steve Goff  |  April 18, 2010; 12:48 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Curt Onalfo, D.C. United, MLS, Major League Soccer, Red Bulls, soccer  
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Comments

Eat it Red Pukes

Posted by: rockotodd | April 18, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

when when when WHEN will we start calling for Payne and Kaspar to go?? When?? Can we organize a movement or what?? i mean the players are not that good and every fan in knew that. i"m not even going after onalfo...i mean the coach at freakin Akron turned down this job... Akron? I was excited by perkins but there is more to his move back to the us than his wife needs a job...

Posted by: jbfromfc | April 18, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I think Payne and Kasper need to be interviewed...not by Goff, but by Will Chang. Answers like "we continue to explore options" should be rewarded with a certificate of appreciation printed onto a pink slip of paper.

This team's problem is a lack of talent and healthy personnel, and that is the responsibility of the front office.

Posted by: chemweapon | April 18, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

And another thing...whats going on with emilio...the fans DO care...why can't we bring him back?...if not where is the deal...we suck, we have nothing to lose, get something?!?! Well, it'll be the Baltimore United or whatver f'ed up B'more comes up with next year or in '12.

Posted by: jbfromfc | April 18, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Payne has to be removed from whatever it is he supposed to be doing and Kasper has to be outright fired.

Posted by: decoi | April 18, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't know or think that Payne needs to go, because he's got more things to oversee than just player personnel - for example, I will assume he greenlighted the truly awesome pregame It Takes More Concert Series, because the Pietasters rocked tonight - but Kasper has absolutely failed at evaluating talent from an overall team perspective and must go.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | April 18, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Clap clap clap...

Posted by: Bucky_Badger | April 18, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

This team is a disaster. Hell, it's not even rightly termed a team.

Posted by: Sultano | April 18, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Went to the Caps game instead......crazy entertaining game.
Didn't even waste the DVR space on these guys. Things may improve wnen a few more guys are healthy - maybe DCU can pull out a tie this year?? Yeah......maybe not.

Posted by: marksman37 | April 18, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about the Red Bulls attendance, at least not until after the NY-Philly game next weekend. Any non-East Coast rivalry game will have those kinda numbers.

As for DCU? Oy vey. Let's hope they use the two weeks off to good advantage.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 18, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I read one post that said this team is Redskins bad. I got news for you people, they are worse than that. At least the Redskins now have a proven GM (Allen) and a proven coach (Shanahan). As both a Redskin and a DCU season ticket holder I feel infinitely more optimistic about the Redskins right now than I do about United. A better comparison........think Nationals bad. Yikes!

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about the Red Bulls attendance, at least not until after the NY-Philly game next weekend. Any non-East Coast rivalry game will have those kinda numbers.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 18, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow only two games into a new stadium and Red Bulls fans are already making excuses. At least DC fans can admit that our team sucks. Not sure what it will take for NY to realize the market is saturated with Eurosnobs who will never watch American soccer (unless Pele comes back to play).

Angel is wasted on NY "fans".

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 18, 2010 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow...what a terrible situation. A "team" that tries to pretend they are professionals.

A coaching staff that sticks to the politically correct answers. (It is Washington after all!).

A front office that may or may not be in the closet with MLS trying to move the "team".

A "stadium" filled with rats, and is just plain dumb.

WE WIN TROPHIES! Really.....don't bring it up again.

It's about time to end this travesty.

Steven Goff seems to really know the game. It's time for him to quit wasting his time here.

Move on Steve.....before it's too late. DC United will soon be relegated to the history of failed soccer in the US.

Soon it will be Baltimore United, Fresno United, or Mayberry United. Take your pick. At least Barney Fife had one shot in his gun. DC doesn't.

DC can't win and build a stadium in the next week. So it was a nice run, but it's over.

Posted by: jbforeveryoung | April 18, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, all during preseason people would say "this team is going to be bad" and I'd post "it's obviously a work in progress, no-way have they finished adding talent."

Well, for everyone's sake (MLS'--b/c it's bad to have a NYRB, Dallas Burn kind of bad--the kind of team that wins 5 games all year, the players, the franchise, the fans, and just for the love of the game), I hope that there are some players that DCU has in mind to add and is in the process of adding them (and no, I don't mean the latest waiver wire pickups). It's madness that this team is asking Moreno and Najar to play key offensive roles--just madness.

Posted by: JoeW1 | April 18, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

time to keep an eye on the RFK attendance figures. they should be dropping real soon if this team continues the way it currently operates. maybe that will wake up Big Will.

Posted by: nairbsod | April 18, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Looks like going to the Hawks game was the right choice. Is it time for open tryouts yet?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | April 18, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Try this on for size....DC United as a team, has the same amount of goals as Ike Opara.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | April 18, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

If it's been obvious to the fans since last October that this is not a good team, how could the people who oversee the roster on a day-to-day basis be so deluded? So, let me get this straight: Onalfo and Kaspar EACH took trips to South America during the off-season and couldn't find anyone to replace...um...Lawson Vaughn? Seriously? Teams throughout the league are discovering talent in Europe, Africa, and South America. DCU mines the MLS waiver wire and undrafted college free agents? Wow. Oh sorry...forgot about Allsop and Castillo.

Take "Tradition" off the back of the shirt this season, and replace it with "Hope."

I like several individuals on this team, but when a couple guys get hurt (Simms and Namoff, specifically), it's like cliff-diving to get to the next guy on the chart.

Posted by: DWE4 | April 18, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Try this on for size....DC United as a team, has the same amount of goals as Ike Opara.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | April 18, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

-----

Sad.

OR: Edson Buddle has scored in more GAMES (4) than DCU has scored GOALS (2)

Posted by: DWE4 | April 18, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Best case scenario, Chang grows some objective analysis and takes care of Kasper and Payne before they can trade away Najar, Quaranta, and Pontius. It's time for an end, these men no longer have it at all.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 18, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Terrible, terrible, terrible. I'm not sure what the answer is but the first two games I watched at home have been the worst since I've started going to games in 1999. One of the only positive moments was seeing Marco Etcheverry at the start of the game. Who put this team together? Who brought in Perkins at such a high price? We could have used another crappy player and had the same results.

Posted by: wrightcor | April 18, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

It is time for Troy Perkins to hit the bench. He clearly has lost quite a bit since he was goalkeeper of the year, and he certainly does not know how to organize a backline. I think he duped a desperate DC United into believing he still could play. He is not our future, and this year is already over, so why not start playing Hamid or Quinn? Hamid or Quinn could not certainly do any worse than Perkins. Troy Perkins stinks like rotten fish (which I have been saying since before he left us the first time.)

Posted by: alan19 | April 18, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I stayed up to watch LA/RSL last night. It was nice to see quality soccer in our domestic league. Is everyone looking forward to having LA visit RFK on Sunday night in July in front of a national TV audience?

Posted by: tcbannon | April 18, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Last night was our best performance to date, i know that's not saying much.

The good

Jaime was excellent until he tired after around 60 min. He played well as the attack coordinator. We had several chances in the beginning.

Najar is outstanding, he has got game and he showed it. I will bet he starts getting hacked really bad after last night as hack players see that he can smoke them. He can only get better as he strengthens and more experienced.

Julius James: was strong, fast, positive, played well. He should start.

The bad:
Castillo: Ineffective, weak, diver, no heart. Who said he was good? I had a bad feeling when they announced him and he had a highlight reel of like four moves, two of which were in one game. Now he is no help.

Allsop: ineffective

Quaranta: ineffective

The Ugly:
Carrey Talley: responsible for both goals, imho. Can you say "goal-side", absolutely burned by McBride.

Perkins: He was awful. Positioning wrong, command in the box wrong, decisions wrong. Why was he ever thought to be a national team prospect? GK coach and talent scout should be fired ASAP. Start Hamid from now on and terminate Perkin's contract.

Another hamstring injury: How many until you realize there is a trend and a problem. This is now at least two years of serial hamstring injuries. The fitness coach should be fired.

Now: remember that as bad as it is, it doesn't take much in this league to turn around and succeed. Red Bulls is a case in point.

Payne is an owner can't be fired.

Kasper is not and should be ASAP

Posted by: RRP1 | April 18, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Perkins needs to go to the reserve squad to regain form. Allsop needs to sit the bench because he doesn't know how to make good runs into open space.

THis should be the line up

Hamid
Talley----jokavic-james---mctavish
pontius---barklage-castillo---quaranta
Najar-Moreno

Allsop should be a benchwarmer.
Khumalo should be a good sub/replacement for moreno or vice versa.
Wallace should be a good sub on the flanks or up top to add pace.

If we like to use the flanks so much, we should have our BEST players there. NOT people NEW to the club. Wallace and Pontius NEED to STEP up and ACT like more than just SECOND year players.

I left my 50 yardline/ front row season ticket seats at halftime because the cold seemed to affect me more than the game. Bring Luciano back, we may need him. He is better than Allsop on his worst day.


Posted by: g3impreza | April 18, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I think that another person who deserves firing is the fitness trainer. Looked like we lost #13 last night. Why are so many on our team out with little injuries? Did MLS do away with player and goal of the week this season or is it just their crappy system that doesn't show it? We have a guy who could coach - Chad Ashton. Bring him back downstairs from his new position and give him the keys to the car. When Soehn was out he did well. Frankly, if all our goalies have injuries I would ask for a league goalie for next game. We could be in for a blood bath with the Red Bulls. Has anyone else noticed that Tino is one on one with goal just about every time. We need people who work together and who get the ball to the forward who is supposed to score. How about Boyzz? We suck and Curt seems to be like Tom - put the same guys out and keep at it till they get it. Didn't work for Tom. Not for Curt either. Hope we don't have 3 years of this.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Understand something about Kasper's "scouting" trips to South America:

They were boondoggles designed to give the appearance of scouting when in fact the dominant element of these trips were to further a personal relationship with an Argie player agency who helped deliver Christian. Since that find, DC was saddled with Filomeno, Donnet, Erpen, and Gallardo as a result of these "trips."

When Kasper and Soehn, on some trips traveling with their families, returned to the US, they had beautiful tans.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 18, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

RRP1 - good stuff, good analysis. Truth is in MLS it ain't much to get back into the playoff race.

Everyone else, aren't you glad you fired (excuse me, forced resignation of) Soehn?

OUT

Posted by: sevnshvn | April 18, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha. Had to get the dig in at the Red Bulls attendance to make yourself feel better about the awful team you cover. Here's to a winless season in DC! Let's see how great your attendance is when you're 0-10 and they're ready to move you to another city.

Posted by: whoshotsam | April 18, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If anyone still cares, this is what a dying (self-destructive?) organization looks like. Management has taken what seemed likely to be the premier organization in US professional soccer to something too pitiful even to be a joke -- bad stadium, bad team, bad front office and no prospects for improvement on any count.

Posted by: Jphubba | April 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I've read and heard some sentiments that Castillo has to go. My guess is that Castillo is going nowhere so get used to it. His presence is without a doubt one of the primary reasons that the attendance has been very good the first two weeks. He has brought the El Salvadoran nation back to DCU games and don't think for a second that the FO hasn't noticed that. There is no way they risk alienating that fan base again. Hopefully he will improve because he will have a place of their roster.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

No matter how much we suck - I am sticking with United til I die

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | April 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I forgot the best good (nay great): DC fans. How can the Red Bulls not fill that gem? Pearls before swine...

Posted by: RRP1 | April 18, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Truth of the matter is, we don't have enough quality to win. Who else in the squad could make a difference other than Moreno? So we have a bunch of journeymen level players plus an aging legend and that's it. Seriously, a guy who was cut by KC is starting for us ?!?

If the team was revamped, I'd keep Jankovic, Hamid, Najar, Pontius and maybe Quaranta for trade value.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

No matter how much we suck - I am sticking with United til I die

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | April 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

==================================

Amen. If I can stick by the Orioles and Wizards then this is childs play compared to them.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

DC United is by far the worst team. Looking at teams like the LA Galaxy, Salt Lake, and RBNY, its hard to believe there is a salary cap. United looks like a college team in the pros. We are gonna be the massive underdogs in every game. All I want is for us to win one game, preferably at home. Vamos United!

Posted by: zackvanderhoof | April 18, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Fire Onalfo and hire Ray Hudson. At least Ray will provide some colorful commentary on how pathetic this group of individuals is playing right now.

Posted by: bigwave | April 18, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Kasper has to go. This is a results business.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 18, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Lets look at the possitive.

Ummm, well...let's see, uhhhm.

Hey they spruced up behind the Eastern goal!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | April 18, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Same tired theme from United.

I thought they showed some heart and was shocked to see that our beat up line up was still tied into the 79th.

Still, no offensive punch save for meekly taken free kicks and, yet again, they yield a soft goal.

I know the club likes to try and play the beautiful game, but points are points. Get 11 behind the ball and fight for every inch of the pitch.

Posted by: delantero | April 18, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope Bob Bradley is paying attention to what Landon and Buddle got going on right now.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 18, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

If Payne is an owner then what team does he have a stake in? I thought Will Chang was sole owner for DC United. He bought out the NCarolina boys.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Soehn!

Posted by: kdiff813 | April 18, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Re: 2009 Red Bulls

Wow, if we can't get 21 points from the remaining 26 games . . .

Posted by: delantero | April 18, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

What the eff has Pontius done? Wasn't he supposed to be a finisher? I read a lot of comments on CI and very few call this guy out. Well where is he? Does he have at least more shots than yellow cards? Right now he's got zilch and a hammy. C'mon Party start producing and have some pride.

Posted by: IceNutz | April 18, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sooo...who's likely to be the #1 pick in next years draft?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | April 18, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This is not Curt's fault. Although I do question his head coaching credentials (he was much better suited to the scouting/opponent preparation roles he filled in his first run on the DCU technical staff and with Bruce), no one could do anything better with this group.

Kasper put this team together and it all falls on him. His "scouting" trips produced the resuts we all see now; he supports KP's devotion to Jaime for political and personal reason; he brought back Troy to appease the fans and make up for a shocking series of decisions on the GK, going back to getting rid of Nicky; and worst of all he ran off the players who made turned this team into the fist that it was in 2004: Nellie, Alecko, Petke, BC, Dema and allowed Soehn to run off others that made this team good: Bobby, Christian. He wasted a draft choice by lowballing Jay Needham and getting OUTHUSTLED BY A USL TEAM!

He is universally disliked and mistrusted in MLS circles among other executives and players and nobody wants to deal with or play for him. DCU has little hope of reviving itself as long as he is in charge.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 18, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I hear that Alfio Basile is out of a job...

Posted by: bigwave | April 18, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Payne is an owner can't be fired.

Posted by: RRP1

Just to reiterate...you whiners seem like knee-jerk rookie fans when you ignore that.

Posted by: Reignking | April 18, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

think Nationals bad. Yikes!

Posted by: croftonpost
-------------------------
actually, I was surprised to see in the dead tree edition that the Nats are playing .500 ball. even if everything turns around for dcu overnight, we can't aspire to that until...what, August?

Posted by: troy6 | April 18, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll add my +1 to the whole Kasper needs to go bandwagon. Didn't Chang tell us all before last season that he would hold the FO accountable? Well, accountability time is here. Let's see some. The two constants in the last 3 years of losing are the front office staff and the woeful pile of injuries.

For me the one bright spot last night was Najar. His ridiculous pass from our own end line into the heart of our goal area was called out of bounds anyway wasn't it? But that is a mistake that can never happen again. Otherwise his decision making seemed rather sound, he's got quick feet, excellent touch, and he keeps the ball moving. He also isn't afraid to mix it up a little bit. Hopefully he will get a bit bigger and stronger. And he needs to stop standing next to Quaranta when he takes those useless freekicks to the other team. At least go fill some space in a good position.

Posted by: fedssocr | April 18, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Like VirginiaFan, I thought Chang was 100% owner now. So Payne is not an owner.

Although I feel the pain, because for some months it seemed like we all agreed that Chang owned it all and simultaneously Payne could not be fired because he was an owner. Maybe Joseph Heller could have explained it.

Anyway if this slide continues they're gonna have to start charging $12 for beers to make up for all the lost revenue.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | April 18, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So am I gonna get yelled at again for noting that man, we sure do get a lot of hamstring injuries?

Posted by: the_slammer | April 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Excuse my ignorance, but why is everyone so convinced that it is Kasper making all personnel decisions? You are going to have a hard time convincing me that the manager of ANY professional team doesn't have a significant, if not a majority of the share in those decisions.

I've been worried about Onalfo from the first of the many of his assertions that he was "happy with this group of guys." NO! HOW?! We had serious issues that needed to be addressed and none of them were!

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | April 18, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

must be the football lines causing those hammy strains...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 18, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

That's unfair. You would have to go winless for a season to be compared wtih SNL's writing. DC United is going to win one, aren't they?

Posted by: GeneWells | April 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just to get this clear, who owns DC Utd and what percentage? Does Will Chang own all but what the original investors of the league own? Did Kevin Payne get his shares from Anschultz? If so, then he would go with the percent that is the original investors who seem to have a hand in every team in the league. Right? Who did they pick to win this year?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

From some guy named Steve Goff and his Soccer Insider, but you can't trust the internet:

"*Will Chang now controls 100 percent of D.C. United after purchasing the very small remaining share held by a group led by Brian Davis and Christian Laettner , former Duke basketball players who are involved in real estate development these days."


From Wiki:

On January 8, 2007, the operating rights to D.C. United were sold to D.C. United Holdings, a newly-formed group venture that included real estate developer Victor MacFarlane, founder of MacFarlane Partners, and William H.C. Chang, chairman of Westlake International Group. Other investors included D.C. United president Kevin Payne and Blue Devil Development, headed by former Duke basketball players Brian Davis and Christian Laettner.[33] In April 2009, Victor MacFarlane sold his share of the team to his partner William Chang after two stadium proposals had fallen through.[34] In October 2009, Chang also bought out Davis and Laettner to fully control the team.[35]

Posted by: delantero | April 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. I have followed the process and that was what I understood also. Now, who is Kevin Payne owner of? It doesn't seem to be DC United. If it is original shares that he obtained then it is league owners who had them. I remember way back when he worked for Anchultz and he was given them. If Will Chang is 100% owner then why can't Kevin Payne be fired. He is only President.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least Dr. Who was on last night, which made up for this garbage. As someone earlier said, there are some good players but the drop off from injured starters (like Namoff and Simms) to whoever replaces them is rancid. James, Jaime and Najar were the only good players out there last night.

I agree with the idea of benching Perkins in place of Hamid. At least Hamid would get experience and it may help Troy get some form back.

Im kind of glad this is happening to us right now. It will send a message to Chang that things needs to change. If we eeked out a tie last night or even last week, it would mask how bad this team is. I love DC, win or lose but losing just means things have to change.

Maybe the motto will be "We Won Trophies". Kind of like an alcoholic star who drank away any ability they had.

Posted by: FatSickBoot | April 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

KP has a small equity stake as an investor-operator (in MLS, remember, there are no team owners, just investors in MLS LLC who acquire operating rights for their respective team in MLS) that has pretty much been the same since he put together the original investor group, Washington Soccer LP in 1995 (Soros, Paul Tierney, Neil Tyra, Mark Cowan, etc.).

The terms of his employment are likely a firewall from being dismissed in the typical manner, that is, his removal would more likely require a buy-out of his equity and a very high buy-out fee as well. It is a deal not unlike what Al Davis had until very recently when he started to buy out the Raiders investors and became the majority shareholder.

When the Raiders were on top of the AFC many years ago, Al was the "Managing Partner" who had a small share in the team but by the terms of his ownership of those shares managed the team with complete authority. That's the closest model to KP's deal.

Posted by: mightymax | April 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

A better team would have beaten us 4-0 or 5-0 last night. There were at least 4 or 5 "oh crap" moments, when the ball was going across the face of the goal with no one covering. If Chicago had been making far post runs it would have been a nasty rout. I'm not sure if that's on the defensive organization, or Troy just being out of position, but I think the answer is probably both.

In the Philly game, we seemed to pass to the wrong team, or to no one. This game the passes were better, but we kept losing the ball on the dribble. Or got close to goal, passed it around 4 or 5 times, someone would dummy or get cute, and we'd lose possession again. It really felt like the biggest issue was soccer basics - keeping form, taking shots at least to keep their D honest, not trying to be so fancy.

Starting to feel a little like 2001, isn't it?

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

Though its not their fault, at least that's what they say, DCU front office should refund and apologize for the atrocity that is the RFK parking lot 8. $15 f--ing bucks to park a half-mile from the stadium and then to be forceably blocked in lot 7 after the game by DC police till lot 8 is clear. Morale will improve when the beatings stop! Crazy incompetence all around - inside and out at RFK.

Posted by: dcpsycho | April 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

so why not start playing Hamid or Quinn? Hamid or Quinn could not certainly do any worse than Perkins.

--------------------------------------------------------------

There are a number of comments along these lines. First, as he's on crutches since his knee surgery, I think Quinn wold do worse than Perkins. He might be back in late August, but he's probably out for the year. As for Hamid -- be careful what you wish for. He looked even shakier than Perkins...against Real Maryland. As for Perkins, he's not as bad as y'all think - and this is coming from someone who has always thought it was a mistake to play him over Rimando. He still does that thing when he comes out late and too far at the edge of the box, but otherwise he wasn't awful. He should good hands, and the fact that all those balls were being kicked into his gut contradicts all those saying his positioning was awful.

@FAkeemail9875 -- No one is saying Kasper is making all the personnel decisions. Onalfo is the guy who brought in Morsink and Cristman, and might have had a role with Pena. He's also the guy who promoted Najar to the varsity. The point is the rest of the team was already in place (except Talley), when Onalfo was hired.

Posted by: fischy | April 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Sooo...who's likely to be the #1 pick in next years draft?

Posted by: vmrg1974 |
---------------------------------------------------------

Doesn't really matter, because DCU won't have the first pick. Even if we don't get a single point in any game this year, DCU can't pick higher than 3rd. That's why I was saying all offseason that this was a bad year to field a team this bad.

There's a comment above that claims Castillo isn't going anywhere, because fans will come to see him. He here on a loan. I don't know if it can be terminated early (like Hull just did with Amir Zaki), but there's no way the team picks up his option, unless he picks up his play. Where are those Cristiano Ronaldo-esque moves?

If DC United wants to keep the Salvadoreans coming, there are 3 more promising players I can name. Rodolfo Zelaya, who was on loan to Leon along with Castillo, but who has been returned to Alianza. He's a very promising young striker, who could be with the team for a decade, if they signed him. Zelaya wants to come to MLS -- he's been quoted as saying he made a mistake in rejecting the idea last year. Josue Flores is a very young and promising midfielder -- not a goal-scorer, but, according to Wikipedia, he was the MVP in leading his team to Apertura title. Finally, Eliseo Quintanilla -- maybe it's time to ring him up and ask if he'd consider a second tour with the team.

Posted by: fischy | April 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- I meant to write that Perkins "showed" good hands. If you don't think that's important, look at the 3 points Fabianski gave away for Arsenal this morning. Hamid dropped a ball that he should have held against Real Maryland, and he was instantly punished for it.

When the rest of the team starts playing better, Perkins will look a lot better. Someday, I hope Hamid is ready to step in, but I doubt he's ready now.

Posted by: fischy | April 18, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Not built to win year to year, and not the slightest bit prepared to compete week to week. Hard combo to swallow for fans, and faintly insulting to the league as a whole. DCU's been a poor league citizen since 2007, when they won what would stand as the league championship in any legit soccer league, and promptly blew themselves up. It's a lack of respect and a lack of realism.

And since then, despite all the new faces, VERY little has changed.... Most of these players could and would do quite well on a well-organized, mentally focused, and physically prepared team. The utter lack of any of these attributes is throwing everyone off whatever game they might otherwise have.

The biggest part of the apparent solution is an anti-Onalfo; a real manager with enough clout and track record to tell the FO to go **** themselves. But given the state of DCU's facilities and upper management, that will probably never happen.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I love little Q. Where can we get a goalie? Can we use a league goalie till ours get fit? I know Ray Hudson got one when Nick did his knee. We had a Peruvian as third string. Our second string had a wedding. We played in Columbus. I was at the game and I recognized all but the goalie. Our third string was not field ready, I believe was the explination. I really don't think Perkins is either. We should give it a try.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This might be splitting hairs but here goes. Kevin Payne may be an owner, but he is our President and CEO as I am informed by the Media Guide I bought at the game last night. Presidents and CEOs have been fired before. Why is his ownership status in the discussion anyway. Why would you have to buy out his ownership? Seems like two different topics.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What did we all expect? This result was obvious well before the season sarted. We do not have the personelto win, either because of inept managment, the Payne- Kasper FO, or a cheapskate owner.
I did not renew my tickets in December because I knew we had no center back and you cannot win without one. And now apparently no midfield (right and left) either. You cannot really judge the forwards because they have no support. Emillio was probably better than most of them, problems and all.
The defense might, possibly, jell around Simms, Yakovic,James and Perkins--who remains a top keeper.
But it appears this season is a lost cause right now absent decisive action by the FO. Things could still change, but the only thing the FO understands is fan reaction at the box office.
Thanks Steve Goff, for reporting so accurately on where we are now.

Posted by: lemovs1 | April 18, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Though its not their fault, at least that's what they say, DCU front office should refund and apologize for the atrocity that is the RFK parking lot 8. $15 f--ing bucks to park a half-mile from the stadium and then to be forceably blocked in lot 7 after the game by DC police till lot 8 is clear. Morale will improve when the beatings stop! Crazy incompetence all around - inside and out at RFK.


Posted by: dcpsycho | April 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

=========================================

This is on the DC government who dumped the snow and destroyed the parking lot. If you're upset about the lot then don't vote for Fenty.

-------------------------------

Fischy,

Castillo will not be let go unless there is a replacement. Butts in seats is not an irrelevant issue and it is indisputable that Castillo's presence on the roster has accomplished just that. KP would never publicly state it but he is important right now given the state of the team. If this team was one player away and replacing Castillo would make the difference then yes. However, they are at least four to five players away from being truly competitive IMO.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

There lack of overall talent is also why I don't think there will be a DP this year. They are not a DP away from being a competitive team. Beckham taught the league a lesson.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

You cannot win unless you spend money on players. It does not appear that DC is anywhere near the salary cap. I do not know of any other team in MLS history that did not try to use all of its cap space and then some.

Chang obviously cannot afford this team with its present business model. DC United needs a stadium of its own and some investors. GOOD LUCK WITH ALL THAT!

Posted by: stephen_james2 | April 18, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

To VirginiaFan:

The 'keeper to whom you refer was Clint Baumstark in Columbus in 2003. Nick got hurt in NJ, prompting Ray to tell Trask, "We're f***ed," and in one of Kasper's earliest bone-headed moves, back-up Doug Warren had received his permission to be away that weekend to be best man in his brother's wedding.

After Nick got hurt Ray tried to get Doug to change his mind, but he was adamant, and believeing that Jorge Geddes was not the answer, they brought in Baumstark, who acquitted himself well in a 1-1 draw that kept DC's play-off hopes (such as they were - after Nick got hurt DCU failed to win another game) alive.

Early evidence of Nick's value to DCU and how stupid it was of Kasper to allow him to get away. How many rings has Kasper won since Nick left? How many has Nick won? Just do the math; this is a results business.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 18, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

To fishy: I have to say, I was disappointed that Castillo was signed instead of Zelaya when we already had Wallace covering the left flank. He's been terrific on the Salvadoran national team, and I think he's been the one to set up a couple of nice goals through his footwork. Given time to adjust to the sometimes brutal nature of MLS, he might've usurped Moreno's role. I was also disappointed when Ivan Guerrero was shipped off to Colorado- he and Wallace were interchangeable and probably better than Burch; not to mention he had a great work rate on the field. Now he's back in Honduras.

Posted by: Sunspot | April 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

When my U8 season ends in June, I'm willing to entertain an offer from Will Chang. I think the problem is that DC is not getting the right post-game snacks.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 18, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Herculez Gomez dominated the boxscore today as Puebla upset Cruz Azul 4-1. 2 goals and 2 yellow cards!

His early shower means he gets to start his offseason a week before his teammates.

http://www.mediotiempo.com/ficha.php?id_partido=27382

Herc's 10 goals for the season tie him for the league lead w Chicharito Hernandez (just signed w Man U) but won't play because he's in El Tri's camp and Atlante's Johan Fano (who should play next week as far as I know).

http://www.mediotiempo.com/goleoindividual.php?id_liga=1&id_torneo=220

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 18, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Herc update Joel.
Him and Buddle need a look. My only worry about Buddle at this point, is a little too much hot headed finger wagging. Cut that out of the game and the dude is a playing possessed. An opportunity to carry over some of the chemistry that Donovan and him are enjoying could be something special, right?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 18, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

And Toronto looses to Colorado 3 to 1 but still looked better than DC United. The Western Conference is going to eat the East this year. Hard to believe that only the Bulls will have a decent record against the West.

Posted by: ronwright | April 18, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Does it depress anyone else that Edson Buddle alone has trippled United's goal production through four games?

Posted by: kdiff813 | April 18, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Not if he gets a National Team call up and makes the best of it this summer kdiff813. United sucks the fuzzy ones right now, but South Africa looms and players in the pool lighting it up consistently are an excitement all their own.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 18, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Chang should sell he team to someone who knows what they are doing. Chang has done NOTHING for this team and it appears he has given up trying. He has run out of ideas and burned all his bridges on the stadium front.

So he schmoozes with the supporters groups. That is all well and good, but remember by HIS OWN PUBLIC STATEMENTS he is directly involved in the composition of the player personnel, and this present squad, which is right down there with the worst MLS has ever seen.

Chang, finsish what you have probably already started to do -- sell the team to someone who has some cred in this town, someone like Ted Leonsis.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 18, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that Edson Buddle is mentioned and his prduction this year is compared to DCU's.

In 2000, after the team finally had enough of Rongen's incompetence and missed the play-offs, DCU went to El Salvador for a couple of friendlies in Raul's hometown and in San Salvador. KP played the role of El Presidente and made a gift to the community that helped build some homes for the people of San Miguel. KP, well channeling Jimmy Carter, was still trying to make it up to the Salvadorans for trading Raul in 1998.

Anyway, two players joined the trip on trial. After the trip, both were judged by the Great Rongeni as unworthy of further consideration for his team. One was Edson Buddle and the second was a A-League scorer named Dwayne De Rosario. Imagine where this team would have been had those two players joined DCU.

At least assistant coach Frand Yallop was smart enough: upon being named head coach of the first MLS San Jose Earthquakes for 2001, he signd Dwayne, and the rest is history.

Do the math: How many rings does Dwayne have since 2001? How many does DCU have? It's a results business.

Posted by: mightymax | April 18, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

To Igm6986. Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten Clint's name. I remembered the circumstances of how he got there tho. I think Nick was the best goalie we ever had. He was great for the Miami Fusion too. First game we went down there w/him in goal he stood us up. We had a good team too. Thanks.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 18, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@mightymax -- Thanks for the history lesson. I could see passing up on Buddle -- his skills are not always apparent. To pass up on DeRo? Makes me wonder how these guys put together 4 championship teams and the back-to-back Supporters' Shields in '06 and '07.

Perhaps what it shows is that KP had a leg up on some pretty lame competition in the league early days. Now, most teams have front offices with real soccer people in charge. KP was good when MLS was run by the Anschutz family. Not now.

DCU isn't going to return to glory unless Kapser and Payne are supplanted by some hard-working guys who really know the game -- preferably guys who played at a high level.

Posted by: fischy | April 19, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh -- and Rongen is a lausy coach and judge of talent. As perplexed as I am by DCU's moves of late, I'm unable to comprehend why he still has the job coaching the USA U20s.

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

TR is in the position he is in largely due to KP's support. They have been good friends since the league started and TR's appointment to the CSN annoucer position is largely due to this relationship. Also, TR was Gordon Bradley's protege from the Diplomat days and KP thinks anyone with a British accent is soccer deity.

With respect to TR's position at USSF, KP is still a big player there (he might still sit on the board) and he and Sunil are tight, going back to the founding of MLS. I have no doubt that KP has influenced the decision-making to the extent that TR still has a job at USSF. Also, TR is front-and-center about his I'm-from-Ajax and that affects a lot of decision making.

That relationship had its downside, as it was through Sunil's urging that KP hired Kasper to mind the shop in 2001 during the time KP was away from day-to-day operations at DCU and was serving as the Czar of Soccer for all AEG teams, which at that time might have numbered 6. Sunil of course had taken over at NE and Kasper was his Waylon Smithers coffee-boy.

Posted by: mightymax | April 19, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

OK, we suck - so what?

They are the same bunch of guys mostly! Grow a pair & pull for your team, in thin as well as thick!!!

Posted by: the_lizard1000 | April 19, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I read one post that said this team is Redskins bad. I got news for you people, they are worse than that. At least the Redskins now have a proven GM (Allen) and a proven coach (Shanahan). As both a Redskin and a DCU season ticket holder I feel infinitely more optimistic about the Redskins right now than I do about United. A better comparison........think Nationals bad. Yikes!

Posted by: croftonpost | April 18, 2010 3:10 AM

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

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

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

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

A better question would be, "can this group with without Onalfo?" They wouldn't be world beaters, but Onalfo is not helping.

Posted by: Matte | April 19, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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