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Matchnight: D.C. United-AC Milan

Salutations from Estadio RFK, where I've settled into the press box on this exceptionally warm day. I drove through a re-paved Lot 8 to get here and it's looking good and most importantly, no damage was done to my car on the drive in.

The lot was filling up already and all appear to be in a festive mood for a friendly that might provide some entertainment in what has been a dreary season thus far for United.

In the house tonight for the friendly against one of the world's top clubs: Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; Jim Messina, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams; Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.); Redskins backup quarterback Colt Brennan and Capitals left wing Tomas Fleischmann.

More importantly, the VIPs on the field will include Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi. As of last night more than 23,000 tickets had been sold.

In my opinion perhaps the players with the most to gain are youngsters Bill Hamid and Andy Najar, who have a chance to test themselves against one of the top clubs in the world early in their careers. Who knows who they might impress.

Still, it'll be a game in which everyone who is healthy plays -- you'll likely see two different lineups in the first and second halves from United -- and no doubt D.C. is looking forward to an important stretch of games while Milan is looking forward to a vacation.

DCU: Hamid; Wallace, Talley (c), Pena, Graye; Pontius, King, Simms, Najar; Quaranta, Emilio. Subs: Allsopp, Barklage, Khumalo, Castillo, Cristman, James, Moreno, McTavish, Morsink, Perkins, Rice

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Terzi, Antonini; Flamini, Brocchi, Seedorf, Jankulovski; Ronaldinho, Pato.

Kickoff: 8 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet/DC.

As usual, this is your place for pregame, in-game and postgame commentary.

By Paul Tenorio  |  May 26, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Italy  | Tags: AC Milan, D.C. United  
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Next: Video: D.C. United 3, AC Milan 2

Comments

Let's hope Brennan doesn't expose himself.

Posted by: neil_g | May 26, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Morsink isn't starting? We're doomed!

Posted by: dcarmy | May 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Any chance Gooch is there? He could use the match practice ;)

Posted by: ZidVicious | May 26, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Can we pretentiously call ourselves Rossinieri too?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

AC Milan doesn't appear to be trying very hard. Two nice goals by DC though

Posted by: Solnoir | May 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to switch all games to Wednesday nights?

Posted by: Josh86 | May 26, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Worst Camera Man on CSN. Ever.

Posted by: redskinsux | May 26, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Can we pretentiously call ourselves Rossinieri too?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 |

But he's not American!

Posted by: Reignking | May 26, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

DCU players switching jerseys with AC Milan star players after 45 mins, presumably because they'll be resting in the second half...

Posted by: redskinsux | May 26, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the camera work is bad, but the inane continuous chatter is even worse.

Posted by: kaynfred53 | May 26, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

It had to be Emilio, dinnit?

Party Boy lookin pretty good.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 26, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United!!

Posted by: zosodave | May 26, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

@Solnoir I concur.

Posted by: T_Walter | May 26, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

TR looks like Charlie McCarthy to Dave Johnson's Edgar Bergen.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 26, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Well it's nice to see DCU have some success, even if it is against a totally disinterested, sleepwalking AC Milan team.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 26, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

sucks for Barklage, once again. poor guy.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | May 26, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it does suck for Barklage. Last year's injury was an ACL to his right knee and tonight he injured his left. Looked like Barklage was fouling Mancini (I had no idea he was still playing soccer) when he got hurt.

A meaningless game that will hopefully get the team motivated for the more meaningful and mundane games against the likes of Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The worst team in the MLS defeated the third best team in Serie A...ergo MLS > Serie A! ;)

Posted by: alan19 | May 26, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The fact that ACM played their starters much longer than we did indicates to me that they weren't that disinterested. And if it truly was a friendly, why wouldn't the ACM manager let us replace a badly injured player? King should definitely start over Morsink!

Posted by: dcarmy | May 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Ron16 you kill me. Your kids must have a miserable time trying to please the likes of you. If I hadn't said it before, your attitude SUCKS.

Then again, maybe sports and United in particular are your three legged, one eyed dogs that you love kicking in the belly and you treat your loved ones with nothing but love?

If anything has made me think Onalfo is inept is him not saving an injury sub and having to play a man down for as long as they did.
STUPID

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

oh, cmon Dad- that's absurd. why save the sub? the whole point of the match is to get as many people as much PT as possible. what are you going to do with a sub you don't use, sitting on a 3-0 lead at home? get the boys in the match, let them all play. no reason to get all tactical with subs tonight.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | May 26, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

We Win Friendlies.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 26, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

One horrible AR away from a shutout. Not bad.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 26, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

We win Wednesdays!

Posted by: Curious99 | May 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Comcast in my area blacked out the game! I left to play rec league and come back and my faithful brothers and sisters of the Insider haven't even posted a score, Barklage apparently has a second severe knee injury, we played a man down, but I guess we won?!

Failing grade for the posters! Ok, D +, as joshstevens posted a 3-0. Don't make me go to mlssoccer.com, please!

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Milan were disinterested for about the time it took us to score the first goal. After the second, they were really fired up. It was clear in their body language, their pace, and how they were going into challenges. Besides, their substitution pattern indicated they wanted to win.

@dcarmy: I don't think the Milan manager had a choice on letting us replace Barklage. I think the refs vetoed that before there could be discussion between the managers.

Posted by: Mongoose714 | May 26, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

3-2 United. We were up 3-0 until the 70th minute when Barkledge went out. And were lucky not to lose once Milan decided to play.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 26, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, even mlssoccer.com doesn't have the score. We and our crumbling RFK must really be the black sheep of the league.

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

It was an interesting evening; typical DC friendly. Half the crowd supported Milan. Twenty-five percent supported Argentina. (Yes, there were chants of Argentina when Ronaldinho hit the post on a bicycle.) And the rest were United supporters.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Just back from RFK. You haters should take the night off. No, Milan came out strong and nearly opened a lead in about the 2nd minute. By the time DC was up 2-0, Milan were visibly frustrated, as they'd obviously been expecting a cakewalk, and were fouling like crazy. The crowd was electrified at the 1st goal, thrilled at the second, amped through the third and on the edge of its seat for the rest of the game after Barklage had to go. The Ronaldinho bicycle kick off the post was bat-gauno cool. That we were playing down a man was in fact inexcusable on Onalfo's part. What, nobody gets injured in soccer on DCU? Tremendous effort holding the victory under those conditions.

Summary: We opened a three nil lead against AC Milan, and held it playing down 1 for most of the second half. It was way, way cool, and I loved every minute of it, like every other DCU fan in the stadium. So if you don't have anything nice to say about DCU tonight, chill.

BTW, the PK was justified. Morsink's arm played a starring role in the contact with the ball, as I saw it.

Posted by: dccal | May 26, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so maybe the chants were Ronaldinho, not Argentina. My hearing goes after all the pre-game music. But the chants were clearly NOT DC United.

Typical crowd for an United friendly.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 26, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

alright, MLS with a nice highlight package

Clyde "I was nutmegged by Pato" Simms!

Posted by: delantero | May 26, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, move Ponty back to midfield, and he gets a goal and a brilliant assist. Should we expect K/P/O in their infinite mastery to point to that as more proof he belongs at striker?

Either way, it was refreshing to see this sandlot lineup dramatically outperform the brain trust's usual selection.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 26, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

It was a fun night and it felt good to win. Milan's keeper was clearly frustrated after the third goal.

Posted by: Curious99 | May 26, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

point taken joshua, but we'll have to disagree on that. Not saving a sub until a bit later is still stupid in my opinion. I'm sure that Perkins and a number of other players on the team would agree. It's not just an opportunity to get on the field. It is/was an opportunity to save some face on this pathetic season.
If you really think 30k show up just to give everyone an opportunity to play you're nutz!
:)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 26, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

United! Fcuk yeah!

Posted by: bs2004 | May 26, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the stadium mostly full. I'd say close to 30K. The Milan fans seemed to be pretty amenable not like the jerks we saw last summer at FEDEX vs Real Madrid. It helped that we were competitive and scored goals! Milan sleepwalked through the first half but most of the pressure they put on us came with 10 men as Barkledge was not replaced. I hope it inspires the team. We shall see this Saturday.

Posted by: sbg1 | May 26, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 26, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mongoose, you may be right. I was watching the game on my computer in Fort Jackson, SC, and Dave Johnson said Onalfo went over to speak to the Milan manager. I think we need to replace Barlage ASAP. I don't know when the summer transfer window opens (presumably after the World Cup), but we need to look for players right away. Is it worth giving Szetela another look? Is he worse than Morsink or is Morsink a cheaper alternative?

Posted by: dcarmy | May 26, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Milan wasn't trying really didn't see all the horrible fouls they committed. If they didn't care, why play dirty? I brought a bunch of new people to the game and was worried that we'd suck as usual. DC really wanted a win tonight and showed they could earn it. Stop being typical Internet haters!

Posted by: bspence11 | May 26, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

@ If they didn't care, why play dirty?

Posted by: bspence11

Watch Italian soccer much?

DC United: We win unexpectedly. Let's hope we can use this and beat New York's pitiful record last season.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 27, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Can we pretentiously call ourselves Rossinieri too?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 26, 2010 8:20 PM
--------------------------------------------------

I think we'd be the bianconieri (Juventus already has that one), or nerabianchi. Ask Christopher Sullivan....

My take on the game -- I had the sense that Milan was under instructions to let DCU take an early lead. I don't know how it looked on TV, but it seemed to me that Pato was going out of his way not to score on several breaks.

Whether or not Milan was trying to play throughout, the result has to boost DCU's confidence. Beating Milan 3-0 at even strength must feel good, and each goal came off excellent teamwork and remarkable individual efforts. King's ball into the box, Pontius' header across, Emilio being in the right place to finish; Pontius' goal; Castillo's pressure forcing an ill-conceived pass back to the goalie and Allsopp's heads-up challenge.

I was confused as to why DC had to play a man down. 10 subs, but no more? Cristman still on the bench. I don't get it. It's a friendly.

When I saw the Milan players calling for medical help for Barklage, I feared for his career. One hopeful note is that he he did finally take a seat to watch the res of the game, instead of heading to the locker room or hospital. Of course, I drove myself home each time after tearing my ACLs and didn't seek medical attention until the next day.

Posted by: fischy | May 27, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

As for crowd -- I'm betting this was the biggest walk-up crowd ever. -- I got there just after 8:00 and there was a huge line to buy tickets...in case anyone's still wondering why they schedule these matches...

Posted by: fischy | May 27, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Cristman was listed as available on the bench. Anyone know why Onalfo didn't sub him on for the injured Barklege? 11 men is better than 10 and he coulda hustled around midfield or shifted Moreno into a middle role or something. I know the Milan coach had no problem with the re-entry of Najar but Cristman was fresh and healthy and seemingly waiting... was there a 10 sub limit?

Posted by: BurchFan4 | May 27, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Cristman was listed as available on the bench. Anyone know why Onalfo didn't sub him on for the injured Barklege? 11 men is better than 10 and he coulda hustled around midfield or shifted Moreno into a middle role or something. I know the Milan coach had no problem with the re-entry of Najar but Cristman was fresh and healthy and seemingly waiting... was there a 10 sub limit?

Posted by: BurchFan4 | May 27, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Why can't United play like this during MLS games?

Posted by: stwasm | May 27, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

It's in the Net! It's in the Net!

Posted by: GeneWells | May 27, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I sit behind the bench and Cristman was nowhere in sight. Goff, is there a story there?

Posted by: carnack | May 27, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

It's in the Net! It's in the Net!

Posted by: GeneWells | May 27, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse


That signature call is United's answer to "Touchdown, Washington Redskins!" LOVE it!

Posted by: stwasm | May 27, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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