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Matchnight: D.C. United-Chivas

Greetings from a warm and sunny RFK stadium where tonight's crowd is slowly beginning to trickle into the concourse. This is Matt Brooks making a guest appearance tonight with Goff on his way home from a much-needed 2-1 U.S. MNT victory over Turkey this afternoon at the Linc in Philly. Paul Tenorio will be filling in on a semi-permanent basis with Goff in Johannesburg while I'll be taking in the World Cup first hand as a fan.

Following an inspired performance in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Milan, I'm interested to see how United responds tonight with three points on the line against fellow cellar dwellers Chivas.

DC was 0-1-1 against Chivas last season with Luciano Emilio and Santino Quaranta -- two of Wednesday's key contributors -- tallying in a 2-2 draw on May 16. Tonight's match on relatively short rest should test their fitness as both players look to regain full form.
UPDATE: Emilio is not available for tonight's game.

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet/DC

DCU: Hamid; Graye, Peña, Talley, Wallace; King, Simms, Najar; Quaranta, Allsopp, Pontius. Subs: Perkins, James, McTavish, Castillo, Morsink, Cristman, Moreno.

Please share your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts.

By Matt Brooks  |  May 29, 2010; 6:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: Chivas USA, D.C. United, Luciano Emilio, MLS, Santino Quaranta  
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Next: USA-Turkey rewind

Comments

Is Talley ahead of James in the depth chart or is James not fully fit yet? I've been underwhelmed with the Peña-Talley pairing. Maybe this midfield will give Pontius enough service to evaluate whether he can be effective as a forward.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 29, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Najar should show Castillo how to finish a header.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | May 29, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 29, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Talley is way too slow! One sub for him (James). I think Pontius looks wiped out from Wednesday, so I would bring in Moreno and put Tino at left mid. Maybe bring Emilio in for Allsopp.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 29, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there's about 5000 people there.

Posted by: wichne | May 29, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

@HWLongfellow

Keep asking for stuff. The gods are listening.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 29, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Uh ok…

Pena should either learn how to tackle or learn how to stay on his feet.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | May 29, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I don't know who on the team can teach him that. Certainly not Talley. Ben Olsen, maybe?

Posted by: HWLongfellow | May 29, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Is there a stat for headers from the 6' box that go out for throw-ins? Because Castillo's running away with the league.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United!
We needed it this one.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 29, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United!
We needed this one.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 29, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This team gives me multiple cardiac incidents. But I'm glad for the win.

Najar= man of the match.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 29, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

And so it begins, nice win and except for a few moments they looked really good. Nice to see Q actually at forward. Onalfo seems to slowly be putting the pieces together where as Soehn merely seemed able to pull them apart.

Give Onalfo some time and I think this team will really start to click.
Cheers DC United.

Posted by: Lot8Date | May 29, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

3-2 United!! Talley with a pk in the 90th off a deserved foul. Although I think the ref wrongly tossed Thornton. I thought the foul was on the defender.

Even still THREE POINTS, UNITED!!

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Did we just win a game?

Posted by: flike | May 29, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Heck.... We just wine 2 games.

We can build a team around Najar, Tino, Pontius, Wallace and Big Bill.  Adam and Danny are our dependable bangers up front and the formula is beginning to click.  Zach Thorton kept that game interesting.  United should have put that away much earlier.  The shots on goal was 9-2 and corners 8-2 in United's favor.  The fact that they were still chasing the winning goal in the 90' means that more needs to be done.  United won 2 games this week and that ain't bad.  Well done boys.

Posted by: tcbannon | May 29, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Did we just win a game?
Posted by: flike

I know, it's been so long, we've forgotten what it feels like!

Here's to s good second half of the season.

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

3 points for United? HECK YEAH!!

Great day, I had a blast at the Party at the Linc - that was sweet. Now DC united has earned 3 points. Great day.

To both teams -

Keep it up in SA you Yanks! We're with you.

Nice one you Black-and-Red. Do it again next week and we will call it a winning streak. Yeah I know it's been quite a while since we enjoyed one of those, but it's like riding a bike - you'll recall the hang of it.

GO USA!
VAMOS UNITED!!!

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 29, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Soooo impressed with Najar. The kid is just plain dangerous. Both goals from the run of play came from our right flank, and Najar was a big reason why.

Tcbannon is right -- let's build a team around that nucleus of youth.

Posted by: Xill | May 29, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Zach Thornton has been our nemesis for what, 15? years! Nice to get the better of him in the end.

Too bad Philly just won too. Just 6 more wins in a row to get to .500!

I love Najar. But I worry about that ankle. I hope the kid can get healed up for good. He plays with abandon though. Maybe it's a "14" thing.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

If that wasn't the worst MLS referee I've ever seen, and that's a big if, he was certainly the fattest.

DCU needs to find a way to get J James on the field, for one reason only: ONE guy able to actually strike the ball with his head could have turned this match into an absolute laugher.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 29, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

That was indeed the fattest referee I've seen since the Carter administration. King is a huge upgrade over Morsink and complements Simms quite well. Party Boy and Tino will continue to shake the rust off with more minutes. Until Jakovic gets back, we need James and Rice as central defenders to mitigate the speed factor.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 29, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Great game. I, for one, was happy w/the ref. We could have had Abby.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | May 29, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Stephen King in this one, he protects us from the boogey man- Morsink and his midfield play.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 29, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the team working hard and fighting for the ball. Both goals against were bad defensive gaffes, but in general the team looks like it's starting to gel. Wouldn't mind seeing James for Pena, but the rest of that line-up is our best option for now.

Every journey begins with a single, er, win, right?

Posted by: eadc | May 29, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Happy for the win. Najar's header looked great - he seems like a player to build a team around. Weird to see Talley taking a PK instead of Moreno or even Gomez. Vamos DC!

Posted by: diego_r | May 30, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

3-2 United!! Talley with a pk in the 90th off a deserved foul. Although I think the ref wrongly tossed Thornton. I thought the foul was on the defender.

Even still THREE POINTS, UNITED!!

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2010 9:38 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------

I didn't have the benefit of TV or replays, but I thought the foul was on the defender. Great job by Simms to rescue the points. Talley certainly looked overmatched by Chivas' speed, but Tino deserves some blame on that first goal, for a pointless giveaway being too cute after Pontius set him up nicely. Also, Braun deserves some credit. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a USA cap this year. King was a big improvement over Morsink (but I still think the team gave up to much in trade). Except for 2 lapses (same old story), it was a good perfrmance.

Posted by: fischy | May 30, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

@fischy, i just finished watchin it on the dvr, and I too though the foul should have been on the defender who took down Simms. Thorton didnt make nearly as much contact with Q as the defender did taking down Simms. kind of felt bad for Thornton, who had a great game otherwise.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 30, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Najar was great. For whatever reason, I am horrible at identifying players on the pitch during a game, but he is one that I always know (as Jaime and Olsen were). And when he gets the ball, he is *always* looking to break his defender down. And the book is out on him--the defense gives that kid a lot of respect.

Interesting that I've seen no comments RE the ref. I thought he was appalling. Really swallowed his whistle--a lot went on during the game that I thought should have been called, including a penalty for DCU early in the first half. (I think it was Pontius that got dumped in the box while tracking a pass down.) But it went both ways; that ref could not call a foul to save his life.

Posted by: glfrazier | May 30, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the foul was on the defender but Thornton got the red for dissent. Or stealing the pies from the referee. :)

Posted by: dsheon1 | May 30, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Three DCU defenders were negatively involved in the Chivas goals. For once, Rodney Wallace wasn't one of them.

Allsopp may not have scored, but he did yoeman service winning and holding balls. King is a vast improvement over Morsink.

By all odds, Hamid should have stopped at least one of those two shots that went under him. But, in terms of GK age and experience, he's still a child.

Posted by: runningcloud | May 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

What was up with all the yellow boots (on both teams)? Did a shoe-sponsored player get a pile of extras to give away? Is yellow the new black?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 30, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

For a player who comes from a career in La Liga, Pena gets beat way to often. At times he seems a little slow to react, like he's expecting the forwards to just back off becuase he's JM Pena.

Talley may lack in speed, but so did Jeff Agoos. Talley's leadership is the reason he's out there, and rightfully so. I think he's locked down that spot, and when Jakovich is back, Pena will be the one on the bench.

Tino, Pontius and Allsopp looked great working together.

King did a fantastic job in the center. He works well with Simms and they find a way to distribute the ball to the dangerous attackers.

I'll keep preaching my mantra, 40 points = playoffs. Its an uphill battle, but we can still do it.

Vamos United!

Posted by: SoccerVA | May 30, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Najar's a beast! Ref was TERrible. I'm happy they won, but this team still has a long way to go. There were too many giveaways and finishing could've been better (tho credit to Thorton). Still not convinced by starting lineup but with the players we have it's getting there I guess. Here's hoping for a lil' more luck to win some more! Vamos United! And go USA! USA!

Posted by: dcurob | May 30, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Najar's a beast! Ref was TERrible. I'm happy they won, but this team still has a long way to go. There were too many giveaways and finishing could've been better (tho credit to Thorton). Still not convinced by starting lineup but with the players we have it's getting there I guess. Here's hoping for a lil' more luck to win some more! Vamos United! And go USA! USA!

Posted by: dcurob | May 30, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

With more teams in the league does 40 still get you into the playoffs? We have to jump over 7 teams to make it.

It's funny about the ref. I have no idea how that guy passed the fitness test. He jiggled more than I do. Was frequently out of position and/or looking the wrong way. He seemed to be one of those guys who wants to be friends with all of the players. He tried to use a lot of advantage. But then he never went back to caution those Chivas hacks for the fouls he played on through. I'm still not sure how Najar wasn't offside on his goal either, but I won't complain about that one. I suppose when you have to two last place teams playing each other you get the last place referee team too.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 30, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Najar was onside for that goal. I thought he was off when at the stadium, but watching the replay - it was close with the guys on the same side of the goal as he was, but there was another Chivas player a little towards the other side who was nowhere near getting back before the pass.

Vamos United! Great to see a win that matters after that ridiculous but very fun win over Milan.

Posted by: desenada | May 30, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Nice win by the boys in black. They played with heart and hustle. Najar is a revelation. I'd pay just to see him. Quaranta played well. Cristman is a beast. Nice PK by Talley.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 31, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Najar was onside for that goal. I thought he was off when at the stadium, but watching the replay - it was close with the guys on the same side of the goal as he was, but there was another Chivas player a little towards the other side who was nowhere near getting back before the pass.

Vamos United! Great to see a win that matters after that ridiculous but very fun win over Milan.

Posted by: desenada | May 30, 2010 11:42 AM
--------------------------------------------------

At the stadium, I was sure Najar was onside, but I was scared Quaranta was going to play the ball even though eh was offside. Fortunately, he pulled off and let Najar get the goal.

Posted by: fischy | May 31, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

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