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D.C. United rewind

If the mounting defeats and scarcity of goals weren't bad enough, there is just nothing interesting or compelling about D.C. United. The players do work hard. The defensive work has improved. Bill Hamid is going to be an excellent goalkeeper. The return of injured regulars in the coming weeks will help.

Curt Onalfo is squeezing all that he can from this group. You can point to tactics, lineup decisions, substitution patterns and motivational techniques all you want, but the fundamental problem is the fact that there just isn't much with which to work. To me, the glaring void is in the center of the park, someone with the skill and initiative to alter the match, to create and inspire, to make United a difficult team to defend, to maintain possession and make something of it, to beat two defenders and strike a ball accurately from 20 yards. A player with such a presence would enhance the abilities of Chris Pontius, Danny Allsopp, Santino Quaranta and Christian Castillo.

Is that player out there? Sure. Is he affordable? Define "affordable." If owner Will Chang truly wants to get anything out of this season, he is going to have to spend his own cash on a designated player. But will United's front office, which hasn't fared well with several international signings in recent years, identify the right one ahead of this summer's transfer window? It had better. On Saturday, there was neither creativity nor flair, no new ideas or improvisation. It was almost unwatchable.

Nevertheless, if you can bear it, watch the video package.

And read my match report with quotes.

For Luciano Emilio's status.....

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I asked Onalfo if fitness issues kept Emilio off the game-day roster. His response: "We had a really hard week of training and he felt like he wasn't going to be able to perform up to his standard. We're going to play a reserve game on Monday and get him ready for next week."

United will face the fourth-tier Northern Virginia Royals at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the RFK Stadium training grounds. Admission is free. You might even see a goal. Or not.

By Steve Goff  |  May 16, 2010; 1:25 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: D.C. United, MLS  
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Next: D.C. United's only hope?

Comments

A summer signing can only come too late. This season will be long over before then.

Posted by: Sultano | May 16, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

One player (DP or not) is not enough. This F.O. cannot be relied upon to select the several players need to make this team good.

Posted by: decoi | May 16, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Kasper. Kasper. Kasper. Kasper. Kasper.


Kasper is the problem. Remove him. Please.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | May 16, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Points are spot on!! as always. Hope Emilio found a way to put some rocket fuel in his shoes.. Chuckling sadly @ your goal joke..

Posted by: dcurob | May 16, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

How about including the score in the Rewind post? Not every reader is a fanatic, some of us casual fans would like to know what's going on with the team.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 16, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

there's a link to the match report, which has the score, quotes and more. it's really something when the trolls start complaining!

Posted by: nairbsod | May 16, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Re: Emilio:

How do you bring in player like him, someone with his career scoring numbers, and make the decision to exclude him from being eligible for selection due to fitness issues? How does this happen?

This might be the most inept technical department in the history of MLS.

It was Kasper who uttered the line, "this is results business," as a way of explaining in his pedestrian way how people and performances are judged in MLS. Well?

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 16, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I don't even know what to say. We are a pathetic 1 Win and 7 loses. Why bring in Emilio if he's not even close to being fit? I believe he dressed the last two weeks how could he have been in worst shape after being here. We definitely need more than one player.

Posted by: wrightcor | May 16, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I don't even know what to say. We are a pathetic W-1 L-7. Why bring in Emilio if he's not even close to being fit? I believe he dressed the last two weeks how could he have been in worst shape after being here. We definitely need more than one player.

Posted by: wrightcor | May 16, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Nair, Nair, presumptuous of you to call a fan a troll. Not everyone has the time or perfect access to media that you apparently do.

Posted by: KRIKET | May 16, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Steve, absolutely correct analysis. DCU "needs" a competent creator in the middle. The problem is that Dave Kasper will not find one that is any good (although I'm sure his "discovery" will be pricey.) Instead we will get another 5 foot zero one-dimensional Argie like Donnet, Niell or one so small and delicate he was nicknamed "the doll." Just perfect to MLS.

Posted by: griffin1108 | May 16, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Riquelme would fit that bill Goff. If DC United were to sign Riquelme it would be at least an interesting season to watch him mold the team or destroy it with his attitude. Either way, DP? Yes DC needs to go shopping. They obviously are a hard working team with no leader.

Posted by: elfelixg | May 16, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

You nailed it Steve. Hopefully they are a player or two (and a scouting department) away from a decent second half of the season.

Posted by: tcbannon | May 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I think it's time to suit up some members of Bara Brava or Screaming Eagles. That would generate more interest than this current group is.

Posted by: tmc1492 | May 16, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

A summer signing can only come too late. This season will be long over before then.

Posted by: Sultano

Season would be over, but it would still be nice to have something entertaining to watch. And scoring goals would certainly help attendance.

Posted by: dchooligan | May 16, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

So Baltimore, do you still want this current DC United club to play some of its matches at M&T Bank Stadium in the near future?

Posted by: ImWithStupid | May 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Yes, they played hard, but not especially well. The only times DCU looked at all threatening was when Allsop and Cristman had the ball at their feet. And there's no one in midfield to get it there consistently.

Ballouchy's goal was top drawer. It's hard to blame Hamid. The blame was upfield with missed tackles by Talley and Wallace, although it looked like Wallace was taken out by a foul that wasn't called. Those misses left Ballouchy an open run to a penalty area short of defenders.

I watched two MLS matches yesterday: DCU/Colorado and Philadelphia/Dallas. In terms of skill, creativity and overall play, neither compared to the Aldershot/Morcombe promotion playoff match in England's fourth division.

I loved the lead-in to DCU's match on Comcast. "Don't miss a second" of DCU action, the announcer urged. He didn't mention how many seconds fans have missed because of Comcast's nearly complete blackout of DCU so far this season.

Cirovski should stick to coaching. His commentary is laughable at times. "We've got a lot of good forwards in this country." Call Bob Bradley and let him in on the secret. When he was pimping the AC Milan friendly, coach said Milan would be fielding "world-class players." No, Sasha, those players are with their World Cup squads. On Conor Casey being left off the USA squad: "He's probably secretly happy he's here." Maybe Bradley left him home because he didn't want a secretly unhappy player in his dressing room.

DCU continues to show it needs improvement on the field, in the front office and in the announcing booth.

Posted by: runningcloud | May 16, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Bill Hamid probably will be an excellent goalkeeper as he matures but he got beaten badly on the goal and he was also beaten soundly on two shots off the post. I'd pay to watch him develop, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. It didn't help him any on the goal when two of his defenders, having left their feet at the half line, were flat on their backs 60 yards from goal.

Castillo stinks, and in addition to that, he's a dirty player. He may break someone's leg before he scores an MLS goal.

That was a stupid game. I'll never get those hours back either.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Despite the stupid defensive error that led to the goal last night, Hamid is further along than Perkins.

Posted by: alan19 | May 16, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@VercengetorixII |
Kasper. Kasper. Kasper. Kasper. Kasper.
Kasper is the problem. Remove him. Please.

RSL sees Saborio torch the US squad in RFK and finds a way to get him to MLS - and not even as a DP. We sign Castillo. That says all you need to know about this front office.

There is no way this front office can be trusted to bring in coffee and ham sandwiches, let alone bring in a central midfielder who can turn this team around. We are the trash heap Kasper has assembled. That is why we are in last place. He has to be held accountable for the downward slide of the team. He has to go.

Posted by: rcdwriting | May 16, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

That was a stupid game. I'll never get those hours back either.
Posted by: OWNTF
==============

I got better use out of the time. I fell asleep in the second half.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@KRIKET - whatever you say, "the Powerboater"

Posted by: nairbsod | May 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

it's pretty funny to me that DCU is ahead of Philly on MLS's standings page:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/standings

Posted by: beergorila | May 16, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

rcdwriting:

Kasper and DCU don't get Saborio when he's right of front of them becasue Kasper is an idiot who won't focus on players unless they are repped by the Argentina agency to which he is beholden.

runningcloud:

Kasper again. Cirovski is in the booth for one and only one reason: Kasper is taking care of his Terrapin buds just he does in selecting players.

On both points about his performance at Technical Director and now GM, he is not smart enough to take a broader than linear approach to what he has to do in his job to succeed.

This is not to suggest that on some levels that approach won't produce some positive results (Gomez came through the Argie pipeline; Burch hasn't been shocking through the UM connection, although his personality will wear out before too much longer). It just will not produce sustained and profound success more than it will shocking failure, which is what we have now.

Going forward, unless Kasper is replaced, he will be the one in charge of cleaning up this steaming pile of horse hockey that he created. Is he to be trusted in this role?

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I loved the lead-in to DCU's match on Comcast. "Don't miss a second" of DCU action, the announcer urged. He didn't mention how many seconds fans have missed because of Comcast's nearly complete blackout of DCU so far this season.

Posted by: runningcloud | May 16, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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

If you think CSN is the enemy then you haven't been paying any attention to the media coverage in this area. Other than SI and Goff, CSN is pretty much the only media outlet than pays any attention to DCU. DCU has been a regular segament on WPL all week and Sportsnight also has regularly covered their games. There hasn't been a lot of games on TV thus far do to the Capitals whose TV ratings are far superior to DCU. They can't be blamed for obvious business decisions. In addition to the regular coverage mentioned above, CSN is televising 11 more games this season which makes them an obvious ally, not the enemy.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 16, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, United is 1-7. Every team in every sport has seasons like this. It's part of being a supporter to endure seasons such as this. Contrary to what many have stated in this blog, the best thing we can do is to go to the games despite their record. If Chang can point to solid attendance numbers during a subpar season then he gains a position of strength in SSS negotiations and if he can't his position weakens. Right now I can confidently state that nothing is more important than getting the SSS done. So go to the next game, bring a friend or group but go....go.....go! Attend and they will eventually build it and more will inevitably come. Vamos United!

Posted by: croftonpost | May 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

it's pretty funny to me that DCU is ahead of Philly on MLS's standings page..
Posted by: beergorila

MLS' website has better quality than DC right now (chuckling uneasy)...

Perfect solution... how about... we bring back FREDDY ADU??!! huh? eh?.. (again, chuckling uneasy)...

Jk aside AAAMEN to croftonpost's comments! :)

Posted by: dcurob | May 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

By the time the second half rolled around i was too boozed up to even watch it. There is always next week. looking forward to seeing pontius back in the line up.

Posted by: g3impreza | May 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Money Quotes from Goff:

"You can point to tactics, lineup decisions, substitution patterns and motivational techniques all you want, but the fundamental problem is the fact that there just isn't much with which to work."

Says it all. I have nothing to add. Well, I can't resist. Same was true last year.

"If owner Will Chang truly wants to get anything out of this season, he is going to have to spend his own cash on a designated player. "

Key word here is ***IF***. I frankly doubt Chang is willing to do this. If he were interested in a decent team for this season, he would have gotten some real players in the offseason.

"On Saturday, there was neither creativity nor flair, no new ideas or improvisation. It was almost unwatchable."

UNWATCHABLE. Sums up in one word what DC United is this season.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good post, Crofton.

Posted by: DaninFL | May 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I like Cirovsky as analyst. Sure, he isn't the most polished, but when it comes to the action on the field he provides a non-dumbed down coaches' eye critique.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Castillo was a freaking waste product out there last night (and all previous games?). No speed, lost the ball numerous times and his free kicks - OMG - my grandmother could deliver a better corner kick or free kick (and she's in a wheelchair). I don't think it once went past the first defender.

I realize he was acquired to bring in the El Salvadorian crowd but that sounds like the Supreme Court. No talent just one each from each segment of society to be politically correct. Welcome to the DC United Nations soccer club. Can't produce goals or wins and soooooo damn boring it will put you to sleep.

I have a feeling Richie Williams wouldn't of put up with Kasper's crap and one reason Milk Toast Onalfo was selected to manage this second string team.

Posted by: ronwright | May 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I watched two MLS matches yesterday: DCU/Colorado and Philadelphia/Dallas. In terms of skill, creativity and overall play, neither compared to the Aldershot/Morcombe promotion playoff match in England's fourth division.
---------------------------------------------
@runningcloud There was a little more on the line in a playoff match and if so then why can the SAn Jose Earthquakes go over to England in preseason and beat English premiership reserve teams with players that sometimes see minutes on the first team. Enough with the comparisons. Is the soccer in the EPL better? Yes, of course. Are some matches in any league in the world sometimes boring or uninspiring? Yes, of course.

How about Diego from Juve for DP? I read where he would come over and he is only 25. He would fit the bill for sure!

Posted by: I-95Exit43 | May 16, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"fundamental problem is the fact that there just isn't much with which to work. To me, the glaring void is in the center of the park"

So obvious and so true.

I find it annoying to see people calling for Dave Kasper's firing. The club for whatever reason was unwilling to spend money this season to bring in enough quality players to be competitive this year. You can complain about Kasper all you want, but this is clearly Chang's decision.

Posted by: jva1 | May 16, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If we only had a real number "10" a creator, a wizard with the ball, someone who could make everyone else a better player, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Steve, this is all nonsense. There are very few such players at any level. That's not the way professional soccer is played. This isn't basketball and you can't conjure up the equivalent of a Bob Cousy point guard in soccer. DCU certainly needs more talent, but it's all over the field. Let's start with the core -- the two center halves, and the two central midfielders. DCU has perhaps two players for those four positions with sufficient talent and one of them is hurt now. Would it help to have a central midfielder who could pass well and score on occasion? Sure, but it's also necessary to have central midfielders who can play defense, win the ball and run the field.
In addition, soccer is a game of coordination and balance. No one (or even two) player(s) is going to transform the current bunch of journeymen into a consistently winning team.

Posted by: Jphubba | May 16, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Nair, Nair, presumptuous of you to call a fan a troll. Not everyone has the time or perfect access to media that you apparently do.

Posted by: KRIKET | May 16, 2010 8:13 AM
--------------------------------------------------------

So presumptuous -- and nonsensical -- of you to think that nairsbod was calling PowerBoater a troll for the one comment complaining about Goff's blog post. Presumptuous of you to assume you knew the reason and presumptuous of you to criticize nairsbod for it, Powerboater is a long-time troll...Actually, he's trolled pretty regularly in a number of WaPo blogs, so we're not the only ones who can't stand him.

Posted by: fischy | May 16, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

fire kasper..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: godpere | May 17, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

In the past, we have highlighted when the US Soccer referee "Week in Review" highlights how United got shafted in a particular game. The latest "Week In Review" however highlights how Castillo should have been shown a Red Card in the 58th minute in the win against KC. I guess we were lucky this time.

http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Referee-Programs/2010/05/2010-Referee-Week-In-Review-Week-7.aspx

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | May 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

... Castillo ....

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | May 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Castillo should have gotten a red on Saturday for the two-footed tackle in the first half. I shouted out "YOU IDIOT" the second I saw the play. Who tackles like that when they lose the ball in the middle of a crowd at midfield? Right now he's a worse decision than Gaillardo.

Posted by: M__N | May 17, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"You can point to tactics, lineup decisions, substitution patterns and motivational techniques all you want, but the fundamental problem is the fact that there just isn't much with which to work."

Goffs, I respectfully disagree. As exhibit A, I point to Peter Nowak. He took virtually the same squad that Ray Hudson couldn't keep out of the cellar, and turned them into winners.

Or how about exhibit B, Bruce Arena. He has taken an LA squad that underacheived for years, a roster of young players and MLS journeymen, and he has turned them into a juggernaut.

A clear and well communicated strategic vision. Tactical acumen. Proper discipline with regard to training and fitness. In a game that is as team oriented as soccer, team cohesion makes a huge difference. A good coach brings that to his team.

Now I'm not saying DCU has a ton of talent. But I believe we are a team that should not be sitting at the bottom of the league, looking up at Philly, with a tragic negative goal difference.

Posted by: Matte | May 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It all starts with the FO...Mr. Chang and the DC United fans need to be heard loud and clear...Payne and his flunkies need to go...should have got rid of the FO at least three years ago.

Posted by: LCR-54 | May 17, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Chang needed to spend money before the season it's to late now. Kasper needs to be unemployed he's joke of a GM. Finally why don't they play Jaime as an central attacking midfielder in a diamond, he plays there anyway. Onalfo needs to sit Morsink and put Simms back in his old role.

Posted by: emjay613 | May 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I brought 9+ myself and I was embarrassed to do so. I want to see a show of disapproval at the games, not on this blog.
Someone in a post earlier this season said something about wearing paper bags on our heads. I think if the Barra were jumping up and down with bags on their heads or not facing the field it might actually wake someone up as to how far the team has fallen. Apparently everyone wants to make excuses or acknowledge that there is a problem but not fix it. It's time to right this ship.

@crofton you are right, we do need to attend games otherwise the team will move, but paying for tickets and loving a crappy style of play are different things.

@ everyone lets remind the FO, Players, and Coaching staff that they'll feel a whole lot worse if we turn on them. The positive attitude hasn't been working. If they aren't inspired maybe they can be shamed into playing well.

Posted by: UniteforDC | May 17, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Cirovsky ... I always like an announcer who will call a bad pass a bad pass. Of course, I cut my teeth on Danny Blanchflower.

Posted by: Groff | May 17, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Cirovsky ... I always like an announcer who will call a bad pass a bad pass. Of course, I cut my teeth on Danny Blanchflower.

Posted by: Groff | May 17, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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