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Monday kickaround

*D.C. United and Real Salt Lake will play their U.S. Open Cup qualifier June 2 at RFK Stadium, the first of two meetings in four days. The clubs will face one another again June 5 in a league match in Washington.

*On Tuesday, United will announce details of its June 19 charity match against El Salvador's national team. Given United's sad state and El Salvador's support in the Washington area, it will amount to a home game for the visitors (Estadio Cuscatlan Norte). For whom will Christian Castillo, United's Salvadoran midfielder, play? I am hearing that he will go a half for each side.

*DCU's Santino Quaranta, on perhaps taking a more defensive tactical approach to end the club's miserable start: "That's not Curt [Onalfo]'s mentality and it shouldn't be ours, but I think that we've put so much into it and we've heard all week how we have to win these games, maybe at this point, getting a draw wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world [Saturday] instead of being disorganized and giving up these soft goals and counterattack goals."

*In Italy, USA defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is back in full training with AC Milan, says he hopes to be on the game-day roster for the final two Serie A matches (vs. Genoa and Juventus) before arriving at U.S. training camp.

*In Norway today, USA defender Clarence Goodson played 90 minutes in Start's 2-0 loss at Aaelsunds.

*Over the weekend, second-division Crystal Palace Baltimore yielded a first-minute goal in losing its third straight, 1-0 at St. Louis, while third-division Real Maryland fell to 1-2-1 with a 1-0 loss to Richmond.

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By Steve Goff  |  May 3, 2010; 2:57 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , D.C. United , Italy , MLS , U.S. Open Cup , U.S. men's national team , USA 2nd division , USL  | Tags: AC Milan, Clarence Goodson, D.C. United, El Salvador, Oguchi Onyewu, Real Salt Lake, Santino Quaranta, U.S. Open Cup  
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Next: Brazil's 2014 World Cup effort 'running late'

Comments

Preaching an attacking approach is tough when Onalfo's first substitution removed any teeth the attack had, and completely reversed the run of play. If Najar was taken off for anything but fatigue, it's an absolute travesty.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | May 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I feel like we give up "soft goals" on all our goals. Fischy said it in the last post, but to be fair to myself I have been saying it too: Every team counters on us, its been going on for years. This year we have an even worse roster and no real attacking threat.

Hopefully Onyewu can get into the roster. I could be dreaming but maybe he even beats of Favalli in the CB spot next to Silva.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Steve (or Insiders) - why no Soccerplex for the Open Cup? Scheduling issues in Boyds - or maybe hoping for more money from playing at RFK?

Posted by: Kev29 | May 3, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

DCU: It takes more...draws

Posted by: Tweaked | May 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@HoudyDCU: I like your point.

A critical element missing in United's attack is chemistry. I don't detect a flow to their game. That's why I'd like to see Najar and Moreno on the field together, with perhaps Castillo brought more centrally for some combination play. Leave Cristman up to for depth, and Simms can hold the middle.

It won't be the same as Diablo/Moreno/Diaz Arce, but I think it could develop into a dangerous attack.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 3, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps letting go of Christian Gomez AND Fred (irregardless of their shortcomings) is analogous to letting go all of your NFL quarterbacks because you have a wide receiver and a cornerback who played quarterback in high school.

If we are to be the Portsmouth of MLS, supporters whould be out in force on June 2 for the Open Cup.

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

Actually, I thought Najar was appropriately taken off. I didn't think he was having anywhere near the positive impact he had in the USOC v Dallas, and was turning the ball over frequently.

IMHO, YMMV, ETC...

Posted by: JkR- | May 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

If we are to be the Portsmouth of MLS, supporters whould be out in force on June 2 for the Open Cup.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 3, 2010 3:29 PM

Thankfully we can't go down, but we certainly could be headed for financial ruin :-(

Pompey & DC: We Win Cups!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

What Tino should have said was,

"I am really going to try and bring my game to the next one, you know the one where I really have my act together, push the pace, make some nice moves and look like I have a clue as to what I am going to do next." Oh yeah, and pick myself up and not whine about every little challenge I get.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | May 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if everyone went to the Real Maryland game, too.

Posted by: Reignking | May 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time to put the pressure on Perkins and tease starting Big Bill over him, just to create some competition in training and get the best (or better than what we seen so far) out of him. The way Tom Soehn use to do to the keepers.

Posted by: ihillvt | May 3, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@Rand-al-Thor:
Intriguing, I'd like to see that given a shot, too. It's certainly been shown that Moreno left to his own devices to run the attack DOESN'T WORK, which is why we brought Gomez back.


@JkR-:
Perhaps it's just that Najar shone in relation to how awful most of the rest of the squad was. Could have been delirium from being in the heat for five hours, too.

Incidentally, I like the chemistry he and Cristman seem to have developed, even if the latter couldn't score in a [house of ill repute], Kevin Hartman's buffoonery notwithstanding.

Worth noting that I liked what Stephen King brought once Onalfo ran him out there...not sure if he can really be a 90-minute player, but he at least seemed to care.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | May 3, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Also, I never thought I'd be longing for the return of Marc Burch.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | May 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I like Tino way too much but +1 to Ruthie1

Posted by: SexyOffender | May 3, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

OT: In case this hasn't been brought up, here's Shakira's World Cup Anthem.

Warning: This video contains no images of Shakira and the English lyrics are banal.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Steve, are you just getting your Real Maryland info from press releases? Curious because I don't ever see an attendance figure on the USL website, and it'd be nice to know how many have been at their games.

Posted by: VioletCrown | May 3, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

btw Soehn is the one to blame. And I'll do so until Kasper and Onalfo right the ship in 2 weeks

Posted by: SexyOffender | May 3, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! We get to see Castillo at his best, maybe he will realize he's half assing.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Palace Baltimore had a rough start to the match with St. Louis.

The silly smoke from the smoke bombs of the one St. Louis supporters section hadn't even cleared when the ball was in the back of our net.

I thought that it was going to be a lot more than one goal but to Palace's credit, understanding the suffering that DC United has been putting me through, they managed make a match of it.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 3, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Najar has been nursing an ankle injury. He went down relatively early in the game when it looked like that had been aggravated. I will also agree he wasn't having much of a positive impact in this match. After he was subbed out he was on the bench with his leg up and ice on the ankle. Whether that was just precautionary I don't know.

So, Special Game B gets wasted for sure on this Open Cup game. Who is going to go see the same two teams Wednesday and on the weekend? It makes sense from a travel and scheduling perspective for the league and the RSL. But it's not likely to do much for attendance. Altho I suppose they figured not many people were likely to show up anyway so, why not.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 3, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the venom coming from some of you concerning the Freedom today. At least I now know where many of the SI regulars stand with respect to women's soccer. Not pretty, not pretty at all.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 3, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Real Maryland, Anthony Hudson has guided that club to being much more competitive than they were under the previous coaches. Now they are hanging with the teams like Charleston and Richmond and I think that before the end of the season they just may "upset' one of those two teams, taking the full three points.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 3, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the venom coming from some of you concerning the Freedom today. At least I now know where many of the SI regulars stand with respect to women's soccer. Not pretty, not pretty at all.

Posted by: blackandred777

I'm not sure it is venom. It's a different game. Simply because it is soccer doesn't mean it will appeal to all soccer fans, just like MLS won't appeal to all foreigners (unless one of their countrymen are on the squad). Look at the El Salvador contingent that appears when DCU has Castillo et al.

You've got to have something to be invested in. I don't even think people "hate" it because it is the women's game -- there's plenty of support for the USWNT. I hate the false assumption that all soccer fans must support everything soccer in an area. There are only so many hours and dollars in the day.

Posted by: Reignking | May 3, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@ HowdyDCU:

1) Najar was pulled off for a touchy/rolled ankle. His touch went south after he got knocked around in the first half.

2) That anyone might think King was an intelligent substitution in a situation like Saturday's is incomprehensible. No offense to King, he may well be a competent player who can provide some depth to DC in the long-term, but just think about the short-term: the guy has played 0 minutes all season for Seattle, he showed up a few days before the game with little time to adjust to his environment/team, and then he was sent out to revive a team with which he has almost no rapport? How can that be the right decision when DCU is chasing 2 goals just to draw? Is that really Onalfo’s ace in the hole?

While I'm not convinced that Emilio or King will bring much in the short-term (w/ time to improve match fitness and gel w/ the team, they may look better), I did see sparks from Castillo, Najar, Cristman, and Graye. Those guys played to win and deserve credit for their efforts - even in a scoreless attempt. Were some chances missed? Definitely. But remember, DCU is five games in and still without a consistent starting lineup – so every game is a new adjustment from a player’s perspective. Those guys worked well, regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: break-away | May 3, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

+1 to RK.

it ain't venom. I love women's soccer, but I haven't been to a Freedom game yet. the plex is just too far away and I had a conflict this weekend. But I haven't been to a Georgetown or George Mason game either.

Posted by: troy6 | May 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the venom coming from some of you concerning the Freedom today. At least I now know where many of the SI regulars stand with respect to women's soccer. Not pretty, not pretty at all.


Posted by: blackandred777 | May 3, 2010 4:10 PM
_______________________

Let's not confuse "venom" for "disinterest." The venom comes when people try to tell other people what they should or shouldn't be doing.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I actually contributed something useful?

Posted by: Reignking | May 3, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I would like to think you guys are correct but in all honesty I don't think everyone meant it that way. I know my daughter and thousands like her in the area would have something to say to some of the posters today. Further, I'm certain they would like to teach some of them a lesson on the pitch. :)

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 3, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It ain't venom. Honest. Its just that some of us are a little put off by Abby Wambach's "Tony Meola" hairdo.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 3, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It ain't venom. Honest. Its just that some of us are a little put off by Abby Wambach's "Tony Meola" hairdo.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 3, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

:)

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 3, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I would like to think you guys are correct but in all honesty I don't think everyone meant it that way. I know my daughter and thousands like her in the area would have something to say to some of the posters today. Further, I'm certain they would like to teach some of them a lesson on the pitch. :)

Posted by: blackandred777

Bingo! They (the girls) have something invested in supporting WPS and the Freedom. If I had a daughter, I'm sure I would too.

Posted by: Reignking | May 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

There's been enough real venom on the site about the womens game in the past that I'm not mistaking today's posts for that. If it ain't your bag, it ain't your bag, and that's cool.

I mean, hell, if it was a moral obligation to support every local team just because "it's soccer," think how many more thousands of us would have to sit through DC United games.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 3, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Buying a Freedom season ticket for my daughter was a great investment. She loves watching the team play (win or lose), and she thoroughly enjoys the SoccerPlex environment. As do I.

BTW... we haven't heard much from OWNTF lately because Lori Lindsey was named WPS Player of the Month! I think our dear SI colleague locked himself in his basement in misery.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 3, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

one day i hope to be as influential as you Reignking

Posted by: SexyOffender | May 3, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Lo and behold!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 3, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

one day i hope to be as influential as you Reignking

Posted by: SexyOffender

Just post 1000 times a month and something is bound to not be snarky or sarcastic.

Posted by: Reignking | May 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Just post 1000 times a month and something is bound to not be snarky or sarcastic.

Posted by: Reignking

Who wants to write posts for me? I only request that you add sexual innuendos biweekly

Posted by: SexyOffender | May 3, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Even though I conveyed the message I hear regularly I have never attended any men's or women's soccer game because "it's soccer". I have attended because I enjoy both. Having said that, I know others that have attended for that reason and I wouldn't be ashamed if I had. I love the sport and anything I can do to advance it then so be it.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 3, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I actually contributed something useful?

Posted by: Reignking
---------------------

even a blind squirrel...

;-)

Posted by: troy6 | May 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

BTW... we haven't heard much from OWNTF lately because Lori Lindsey was named WPS Player of the Month! I think our dear SI colleague locked himself in his basement in misery.
Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
=============

Does Jim Gabarra have a restraining order on OWNTF, like the one Heather Mitts has on me?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 3, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Tino...Shhhhh

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | May 3, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050304244.html

Does this count as a shout-out from Tom Boswell? "D.C. United is winless and now as bad in soccer as the Nats were in baseball the past two years."

Posted by: hungrypug | May 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the beginning of the thread...

grubbsbl:

I've been harping on this since Nelsen left. Stopping the counters and stupid goals that we always concede requires real investment in good individual defenders. If DC United wants to be an attacking team, then we must absolutely sign defenders that can cope with the fact that most of the rest of the team will be charging forward all the time. We need guys that can shut down 5v4 breaks, or at least slow them down long enough so that the rest of the team can get back and help. Instead, we're an extraordinarily easy mark for everyone.

The difference between us and, say, last year's Chivas USA in terms of defending isn't better players. Their individual players were not a big deal; even Bornstein was being played out of position frequently by ol' crazy Preki. What they did well was to focus everyone on the field on defending first.

We're left with a choice: Keep using subpar defenders and be obliged to play hyperdefensive soccer to win, or get better defenders so we can actually attack and not have to worry about inevitably handing our opponent 2 avoidable goals. The current squad will never score enough goals to overcome the amount we'll give up.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 3, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The current squad will never score enough goals to overcome the amount we'll give up.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 3, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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

And that's never good.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The current squad will never score enough goals to overcome the amount we'll give up.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 3, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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

And that's never good.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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