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D.C. United rewind

D.C. United probably deserved better than a 1-0 loss at FC Dallas. Maybe not three points, but certainly a point. Kevin Hartman rebounded from his rough visit to RFK Stadium for the U.S. Open Cup 11 days ago, making several classy saves and relying on a post and the crossbar to prevent two other bids.

Look, United isn't a terrible team. They're not as bad as we witnessed the first few weeks and not as good as the front office and ownership envisioned in preseason. United is actually quite ordinary, and in MLS, ordinary can be good enough. The players work hard for Coach Curt Onalfo, and although not the league's most talented bunch, they are capable of a respectable season. The return of injured regulars and the injection of a summer signing or two will help. Until that happens, United will need to capitalize on those early opportunities. They did Wednesday -- and defeated Kansas City. They didn't Saturday -- and lost at Dallas. It's going to be a fine line with this team.

A few final thoughts:

*10,323 spectators on a gorgeous night at Pizza Hut Park -- a decent crowd for Dallas.

*Yes, Jeff Cunningham scored the goal, but he also butchered five opportunities inside the penalty area. He's a good MLS player. He might even be effective in CONCACAF events. But he's not national team material. I dare anyone to suggest he belongs at World Cup training camp.

*Rookie right back Jordan Graye injured his right hamstring midway through the first half. He will be evaluated back in Washington, but Onalfo doesn't believe it's a serious setback.

Read my match report.

Watch the highlights:

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By Steve Goff  |  May 9, 2010; 1:54 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: D.C. United, FC Dallas, MLS  
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Next: Glasgow Rangers withdrawing from U.S. tour

Comments

Poor luck for United tonight. It's gonna be that kind of a year.

Another hamstring? Shocking!

Posted by: the_slammer | May 9, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

that's quite an update on Quaranta in the main article. this team is cursed.

Posted by: Sultano | May 9, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

that's quite an update on Quaranta in the main article. this team is cursed.

Posted by: Sultano | May 9, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank god we aren't playing in a bunch of other tournaments like we did 2-3 years ago when we had Concacaf Champions League, MLS-Mexican tourney, US Open Cup and MLS.

If we had another tournament right now I'm pretty sure Talon (the mascot not defender) would have to be added to the game day roster.

I'm encouraged by what Onalfo has accomplished with this team.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 9, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

another day, another hammy. shouldn't we get free breakfast to denny's at this point for all the publicity?

Posted by: nairbsod | May 9, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, the team at least showed some grit and urgency. Cristman and Morsink both play hard. Julius James came in and battled.

Dallas TV announcers did not really 'augment the broadcast'...

Posted by: JkR- | May 9, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

On the Matchnight string, there was a post or two about Direct Kick and the game being blacked-out out on Comcast (I assume that meant a Comcast cable system, not Comcasr Sports Net). I'd really like to know more about this as I intend to hassle MLS if it can be established that Direct Kick purchasers discovered the DCU/FCD game was not available on Comcast cable systems. I'm not affected as I have Dish Network.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

re cunningham: but not a triple dog dare? cause I'd do it, man, you know I would.

Posted by: troy6 | May 9, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Define "ordinary." This team is NOT going to make the playoffs (Remember: it's only half the teams nowadays). Even if DCU was unlucky not to score, they really didn't look like a team that can successfully move the ball around dangerously.

Posted by: GregorZ | May 9, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Kasper must go. This is a results business.

You can bemoan all of the bad luck you want with the woodwork blocking at several possible goals, at the end of the day, good teams win, bad teams lose, and DCU is a bad team no matter how much spin anyone wants to place. Kasper is the one who built this team.

What are they supposed to do about Troy now? Will Kasper be held to account for bringing in a GK at such a high price (a first 11 player and allocation plus a very high chunk of the salary budget) to have him understudy someone barely in his 20s? It just doesn't make any sense that this guy can be trusted in the upcoming weeks to make the moves necessary to improve this team.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Look, United isn't a terrible team."

Goff: Mmm, Kool-Aid good.

Hamid is not the answer; he was lucky to allow only one. Very lucky. Youthfully impetuous, sure, with great potential. But he's going to take a little while to grow up.

Morsink is an absolutely dreadful hack who commits fouls every time he's near the ball and will not shut up to save his life. If I were an MLS referee I'd book him just for stepping onto the field. That crossbar, which was deflected DOWN, was the closest he'll come to a goal in forever. He's a total punk, and he couldn't cut it IN KANSAS CITY. Much like...hmm.

Cristman whines every time he flops (learned it at Foxboro, I'd guess, but that's just irresponsible speculation). Our stout defense (about which the Dallas announcers could not shut up) is anchored by a geriatric traffic cone. Our glory years offense plays a total of 40 minutes a game, and bless their little hearts for managing that much. And whether he's old and creaky or not, we got beat by Jeff Cunningham. Again.

Yes, United is a terrible team. I'll still be there.

Oh, I have Comcast and Direct Kick, and got the game just fine.

Posted by: Landru | May 9, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

When Hamid turns in about 50 performances in a row like last Wednesday's, THEN you can start comparing him to Perkins.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 9, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

based on DC's perfromance, it was just finishing that was lacking. Other than that they did well except lose.
And Hamid now averages 1 goal / game. And Perkins has a 2.6 avg. I dont think 50 starts are required to show that Hamid is a bit more stable. They have the same defense playing.
Perkins still is a good goalie but he is not stable. Shakey at best.
Hamid provides a bit more confidence, he is still young but United can capitalize on his eagerness to prove himself.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The Wash Dips:

"based on DC's perfromance, it was just finishing that was lacking. Other than that they did well except lose."


Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 9:16 AM |
------------------------------------------
fail.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 9:16 AM |
------------------------------------------
fail.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 9:50 AM
------------------------------------------

Fail.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 11:16 AM |
------------------------------------------
fail.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 11:50 AM
------------------------------------------

Fail.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 12:16 PM |

------------------------------------------
fail.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 12:50 PM

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

......

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Reported.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What just happened here?

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hard to call United "ordinary" at this point. When they score, it borders on the miraculous. Also, we should not overlook that this was Dallas they played last night. Ordinarily, Dallas doesn't win.

Summer signings? If they come, they could make a big difference. The same two glaring holes we've been talking about since last September remain. A playmaking midfielder will do -- and a striker capable of finishing good chances in the ordinary course of events.

Simms is a nice player, but he has no scoring touch, at all. Neither he nor Morsink will produce more than a couple of goals, either scoring or setting. Without better and more creative midfield play, Allsopp and Cristman can't be effective.

Posted by: fischy | May 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Can we get the AMA or some other medical organization to work a sponsorship deal so that a strained hammy can become the official injury of DC United?

When in the hell is this team going to do something about this? If once is an accident and twice is a trend, what do we call it when it happens more times than we can count? Shouldn't there be some accountability for this at some point?

Oh, this is DC United. I forgot. Apparently one thing it [i]doesn't[/i] take is accountability.

Posted by: jpeace121 | May 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@fischy

"Simms is a nice player, but he has no scoring touch, at all. Neither he nor Morsink will produce more than a couple of goals, either scoring or setting."

Why on earth would you look to your D-mid to be a goal scorer?

Posted by: mmathai | May 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Simms is a nice player, but he has no
scoring touch, at all"

This season, Simms has had two of the nicest shots from distance I have seen a United player make in a long time--minus the back of the net.

I don't think his previous role as cleaner allowed him to get forward, but I like his runs this year and his shooting touch.

Posted by: delantero | May 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If this team is ordinary, MLS is terrible.

Posted by: Hoost | May 9, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how I managed to post at 12:16 and 12:50pm?


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

There is still time to improve.
If 8th place RSL became champion then DCU has a chance.

All this negativity will not help this team.

Just kill it.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 9, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

MLS is terrible, or at best ordinary, which makes most teams really no better than ordinary, and a lot of teams, like DCU, terrible. LA getting ahead of the field like this is like being valedictorian in summer school.

Look no further than last year's RSL. Ordinary would be a kind way to describe a team that was just under .500 for the regular year. It got hot at the right time, throttling an overconfident Columbus and got level results at Chicago and in Seattle. Don't forget: RSL's posteaseon record was 2-0-2 on regulation play, not exactly knifing through the post-season.

But this is a results business; this isn't Real Salt Lake; and Kasper may yet survive because, on a relative scale, his performance is not shockingly worse than that of his MLS peers.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

As far as the game goes, I thought Dax McCarty was MOTM. He was solid. I watched the whole thing and only remember one pass of his that didn't connect (and that one resulted in the Morsink shot off the bar). He consistantly broke up DC's attack in the middle, and ran the middle of the park despite having two D-Mids in his face all night. Very impressive.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | May 9, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Simms is a nice player, but he has no scoring touch, at all. Neither he nor Morsink will produce more than a couple of goals, either scoring or setting."


Right, because we're starting two D-mids, which absolutely defies any semblance of common sense. If we started one of these guys and Najar, then I could forgive Onalfo, but this is just a stupid tactic. And frankly, Morsink does not deserve to see the pitch except maybe in Open Cup games.

Posted by: kdiff813 | May 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Can we please have a moratorium on the phrase, "this is a results business"? What business isn't?

I thought Goff's post was about right.

I disagree with the anti-Morsink crowd. While I wouldn't pick him as a starter, he's tenacious and we need that.

Cristman is looking to be the acquisition of the off-season...and I mean that with no degree of snark. I thought so when we got him and I'm pleased that it is turning out well for him.

Posted by: wjones2 | May 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

No. It is the governing catchphrase of D. C. United and therefore nothing is more relevant.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Chelsea have their 100 goals.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea have their 101 goals.

Drogba has his golden boot.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 9, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea have their 102 goals.

Drogba has his hat trick.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

you call 10k fans decent? you know better then other that 12 or 13k is frequently referred to by mls admin as the needed average for a team to financially break even. I dont think anything below that should be referred to as decent. I think FCD has paid enough for the Denilson as DP debacle...can hyman, get hugo sanchez, omar bravo as dp, and get those attendance numbers at 21k

Posted by: alespar415 | May 9, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Can we please have a moratorium on the phrase, "this is a results business"? What business isn't?
===========
1. The United States Congress.
2. The United States Presidency.
3. Investment banking.
4. CEO of an American car company.
5. Public school teaching.
6. Managing a union pension fund.

And that's just the low hanging fruit.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 9, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

And MLS is not a results business, it's an entertainment business. Professional golf is a results business, where players get paid (if at all) based on performance.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

CHelsea have their CII.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 9, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Correction, CIII. My Latin is bad.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Graye could be the answer at right back.
The entrie team hustled last night.
They deserved better; Goff summed it up well. But let's hope those summer signings include a DP center mid. That is the glaring, clear need right now. It will determine whether we squeze into the playoffs. In fact, forget "signings"; just ONE GOOD NUMBER 10 wiil do. Then Simms can go back to defensive mid, although he did very well filling in at attacking mid.

Posted by: lemovs1 | May 9, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Given the number of injuries, I'd rather fire the trainer - unless there is a good, valid explanation for this mess - and leave Kasper alone. Let's be real, most signings will never be an impact player.

Posted by: carnack | May 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Goff do an investigative report into all these hamstring injuries. It is truly bizarre the number of times this particular injury has occurred on this team over the last several season.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

As off-form as Troy has been, Chris Seitz has been far more unreliable. I wonder if Philly is rueing not keeping Troy.

Posted by: DaninFL | May 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

it's good to get Simms back,
and I know I'm going to sound like a jerk here, but Graye didn't look that badly hurt to me. He walked off the field awfully easily from the looks of it. Just seemed ironic for me to see James come in for him.

I've been on the Morsink's Army bandwagon for a minute already, and I don't see getting off any time soon. I know healthy players may offer some more skilled options, but the dude has a lot of the fight and bite that I always loved about Ben Olsen. He seems to have some solid communication skill and leadership qualities that the team will always need.

United should have won that game. I can't tell if I'm getting numb to the pain of losing or the blow was lessened by watching the Sounders get blown out and seeing the Red Bulls also got their rears handed to them by San Jose. None of these results helped me in mfls, but they were still ever so slightly heart warming. :)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 9, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

This team is awful. It just so happens FC Dallas is quite bad too.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | May 9, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff is right...this team is "ordinary" and it will be as long as Onalfo is in charge. When he was interviewed earlier in the season he said, and I quote, "all my teams are successful"! With a coaching record of 27 wins 33 losses and a handful of ties, I'm guessing that Onalfo's definition of "successful" is far different from mine (and I'm still trying to figure out what he means by "all of his teams"....all what teams?). And by the way that record puts him in the bottom 20% of all MLS coaches current and past. So this is what we have to look forward to...and I'm not being overly critical, I'm just being realistic. History does not lie! This team is at best a .500 team...get used to it. That's where will be as long as Onalfo is in charge! Get rid of him and bring in a coach with REAL coaching experience who has been truly successful at multiple levels. That said, I'll still go to games, support the team and watch them on tv at every opportunity because I'm a United supporter and I want to see soccer succeed in the Metro Area and US!

Posted by: castlekeep1 | May 9, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Ordinary" and "Good enough" is not good enough for DC United.

It takes more.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 9, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Dead last in MLS with a 1-6 record is hardly ordinary. This team is really bad.

Think about it.

I like Cristman a lot and admire his effort, but he is at most a useful journeyman in MLS. And frankly in most games I've seen this year he has been the best player in the front six of United.

Our backline is so weak that a 37 year over the hill centerback and a well into his 30s cast off form the center of our defense.

Goalkeeping has been such a mess that a very raw 19 year old Academy player is our starter.

DC United ordinary. Such that we were actually at that level.


Our goalkeeping is so bad that we

Posted by: dcufan531 | May 9, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Dead last in MLS with a 1-6 record is hardly ordinary. This team is really bad.

Think about it.

I like Cristman a lot and admire his effort, but he is at most a useful journeyman in MLS. And frankly in most games I've seen this year he has been the best player in the front six of United.

Our backline is so weak that a 37 year over the hill centerback and a well into his 30s cast off form the center of our defense.

Goalkeeping has been such a mess that a very raw 19 year old Academy player is our starter.

DC United ordinary. Such that we were actually at that level.


Our goalkeeping is so bad that we

Posted by: dcufan531 | May 9, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

again, that game was hard to watch.
1.) we lose way to many balls in the midfield. Ferreira had all sorts of time to find Cunningham. No urgency there.
2.) Our set pieces and corner kicks are HORRIBLE !! Is there no one else who can do it better?
3.) Once again, our STAR recruit from South America is a bust!
4.)Our defensive back line is not nearly as bad as many have said. Because of a weak midfield and fowards who don't know to fall back, they can't do it all.
1 and 6--- they're still MY TEAM

Posted by: patrick18 | May 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This is not a good team and this will be a long year. I look for incremental progress. The 2nd three games were an improvement over the 1st three games. A solid first half against NYRB, a win against KC, and a solid effort against Dallas. Hopefully progress will continue. The pairing of Simms and Morsink in the middle and Cristman and Allsopp up front is effort over style and leaves little room for error. I was disappointed with Castillo and Khumalo on the outside. The Perkins deal looks worse and worse everyday as Fred would be an upgrade on the outside. Emilio brings neither effort nor style to the game. At best he will poach a couple to justify his roster spot.

Posted by: bzahradnik | May 10, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@lgm6986 I watched the game on Driect Kick and it was fine and I have Comcast. I also watched it for a bit online and that fine too. Not sure what the fuss was about but I do not live in DC but up near...dare I say it...Baltimore.

Posted by: I-95Exit43 | May 10, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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