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D.C. United-Portsmouth rewind

People always ask me what it's like to go from covering the World Cup back to MLS. It's not a fair question. The World Cup is the ultimate soccer experience, maybe the ultimate sports experience on our blue planet. MLS has its charms, just like any other perennial league. What makes the reentry easier is knowing that great theater awaits, courtesy of D.C. United. It doesn't seem to matter if they're winning, losing or drawing, and playing league matches, international friendlies, U.S. Open Cup or any other competition. There's always something to spice up the night.

Take Saturday, for instance. Seriously, it should have been a ho-hum friendly between the club with the sorriest record in MLS against financially inept, relegated and undermanned Portsmouth on a broiling evening in front of a few thousand supporters at dumpy RFK Stadium. If ever there was a night on which absolutely nothing notable occurred, it would be this one.

Ha!

Please read my match report (because Web hits are important these days). In a nutshell: Thanks to summer storms, Portsmouth couldn't get to Washington from Edmonton via Chicago until about nine hours before kickoff. Thanks to United Airlines, the team's uniforms didn't make it. Thanks to a roster depleted by offseason departures and injuries, Pompey had only 15 players available. There were three red cards, plus DCU assistant coach Ben Olsen's dismissal at halftime, flaring tempers, a malfunctioning scoreboard clock, and a hat trick from Aussie Danny Allsopp, who has family from Southampton (Pompey's rival).

Oh yes, United (12 goals in 17 league matches) scored four times.

MLS referee Jorge Gonzalez was trashed by both coaches.

Keep reading.....

Pompey's Steve Cotterill: "An appalling performance from the referee -- appalling. I can't believe he's been allowed to officiate a game. I've never seen two players sent off for arguing -- arguing. They were probably six feet away from each other. I've never seen anything like it in my life. Appalling."

United's Curt Onalfo: "I knew what [Portsmouth's] tactics would be -- they're in preseason, they're tired. Once we found our rhythm and started going at them, they decided to foul us on every other play, and that's the job of the referee to realize that. It's not that difficult to see."

United President Kevin Payne chimed in as well, expressing concern that newly acquired forward Pablo Hernandez, recipient of several harsh fouls, is going to be targeted in league play. "You can already see it starting," Payne said. "He's getting hammered out there, and he's not being protected. We saw it happen with Jaime Moreno [and other creative players over the years]. Hernandez wants to play the right way, and he's defenseless out there. It would be nice if our referees realized it."

By Steve Goff  |  July 25, 2010; 12:35 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , England , MLS  | Tags: D.C. United, Portsmouth  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchnight: D.C. United-Portsmouth
Next: Video: D.C. United 4, Portsmouth 0

Comments

Sorry I missed it. Sounds like a night to remember.

Posted by: glfrazier | July 25, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

That was a damn entertaining time. hats off to those pompey supporters that joined up with the barra.

Posted by: decoi | July 25, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

That was a damn entertaining time. Hats off to the portsmouth suports that came over to the barra to sing.

Posted by: decoi | July 25, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

DC United: We win games (the other team doesn't care about).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 25, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Mr. Goff, if it's soccer related, I make a point to click on the link and read the article.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | July 25, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Hats off to 2 Portsmouth supporters who eventually made their their into the DCU supporters halftime show. Security turned many away but these guys weaseled their way in, took taunts from the fan clubs, and ended up jumping around with them at the end. No fights!

Posted by: jbfromfc | July 25, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Rimando blow the win for RSL. I can't imagine why Beckerman stays with that club, he should be looking for a transfer to Europe or anywhere else in MLS (maybe not DCU). If RSL had a player who could actually finish he would be dominating the league in assists, well above Donovan...just in his one game against Chivas.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 25, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Rimando blow the win for RSL. I can't imagine why Beckerman stays with that club, he should be looking for a transfer to Europe or anywhere else in MLS (maybe not DCU). If RSL had a player who could actually finish he would be dominating the league in assists, well above Donovan...just in his one game against Chivas.


Posted by: Southeasterner | July 25, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

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

Huh? Where's the love for RSL? They're the defending MLS Cup Champions and currently own one of the best records in the league. Every team in the league should have their problems.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 25, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see KP's bleeting about players getting "targeted" is in full throat. He has proven over the years to be one of MLS's biggest whiners. He would regularly contact the league office after matches that didn't go his way and leave vitriolic diatribes about the officials on the answering machines in the officiating department.

Of course this is the exec who brought us such players as Geoff Aunger, Ivan McKinley, and Mike Petke, among others. I guess they didn't do any "targeting."

Posted by: mightymax | July 25, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Love for RSL? Nope. But as an outsider you have to wonder what that team would do if they had a strong finisher hanging out in the box...Emilio may actually be a good fit.

The game against Chivas should have been 3-0.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 25, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Also worth mentioning is the blue freak creature from Portsmouth. Man? Woman? Animal? I have no idea what that thing was but he/she/it was also entertaining.

Posted by: DCB23 | July 25, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I read the article in the newspaper and then clicked the link (for Steve's job security). I draw the line at Facebook and Twitter.

Nigeria defeat the U-20 on PKs (4-2) after a 1-1 game. I turned on late. Does anyone know why the third Nigerian PK taker was allowed three chances?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 25, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Sucks for the girls. Oh well. More rest time for LeRoux before she gets called into the qualifying camp.

I reeeeeeeally wish I could have been at that game last night. I've had things like that happen to our football team, and it just always makes good memories.


And I'd say RSL does have a good finisher, or maybe even two, in Saborio and Espindola. And Rimando may should have done better, but dude got straight jabulani'd.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 25, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Also, Edu scored the opener in Rangers' 2-1 win over Blackburn last night.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 25, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Ironic that DCU people find cause to criticize Nicky. How much better would DCU have been if Nicky hadn't been offloaded in another one of Kasper's ego-driven personnel moves and the goalkeeper situation here had been substantailly more stable?

Posted by: lgm6986 | July 25, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

This game was a joke and shows how far DCU has fallen in prestige. Unless an MLS team is willing to pay some big bucks for an appearance fee, only teams who can't even get their kits to arrive on time will be available for friendlies. DCU is obviously hurting for cash, or as some theories promoted in this blog go, they are stripping down all the expenses for some larger business purpose.

Including this game among the others in its season ticket packages is a rip-off and the front office should be ashamed of itself.

Just glad no one got hurt in that mess.

Posted by: lgm6986 | July 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Of course this is the exec who brought us such players as Geoff Aunger, Ivan McKinley, and Mike Petke, among others. I guess they didn't do any "targeting."

Posted by: mightymax | July 25, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse
======

Kovalenko

Posted by: OWNTF | July 25, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dcunited.com/video/2010/07/video-post-match-interviews-united-vs-pompey

Around 4 minute mark - Onalfo was asked about the cards

"I have seen that referee in a playoff game and have received a red card. So it wasn't like I was that surprised . . .(smirk) . . . I can't get fined for that, I think"

Posted by: emanon13 | July 25, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm bummed that I couldn't be there for the game but the beach house was calling :-). The highlight video was good enough to hold me over. Danny's third goal (and his second to a degree)is what we've been missing - calm, composed finishing in the box. The other much needed addition is Hernandez and Boskovic providing midfield distribution. These two can hold and move the ball effectively if our forwards can get in synch with them. Maybe the days of up and over prayer passing are over. With a healthy Adam, amazingly dangerous Najar and Q and Pontius back in form, DCU may have a serviceable, if not modestly priced, roster. The boys just need to get their confidence up and this game should help them find their mojo.

VAMOS UNITED

Posted by: tcbannon | July 25, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I hope we sign Junior.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 25, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Strategy for the rest of the season: declare each MLS match a friendly or USOC match. That should guarantee wins.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 25, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Glad to see KP's bleeting about players getting "targeted" is in full throat. He has proven over the years to be one of MLS's biggest whiners. He would regularly contact the league office after matches that didn't go his way and leave vitriolic diatribes about the officials on the answering machines in the officiating department."
Posted by: lgm6986 | July 25, 2010 9:33 AM |

KP's record notwithstanding, I don't know if you were at the game last night, but his complaints about Hernandez getting kicked, shoved, and generally fouled every time he touched the ball were absolutely warranted. Poor Pablo was getting hacked every time he got the ball, probably because he kept pulling off these cheeky moves to juke out 2-3 Pompey guys at a time. See the buildup to his goal in the highlight video for just such an example.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | July 25, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the video highlights. The Pompey players looked dead on their feet.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 25, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I like Hernandez but he does dive a lot. That makes it tough for the referees to figure out when he's actually being fouled.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 25, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The highlight video was great. The Portsmouth fans look like they were enjoying themselves and will head home with some nice memories into a season that will probably be one they will want to forget. The players on the other hand must be ready to get home and return to land based match travel.

"He said: “It took us 27 hours to get from Edmonton to Washington. We could have flown from England to Australia in that time."

http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/LatestNews/news/Brown-No-Surrender-1166.aspx

Posted by: csd1 | July 25, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Also, where does Jemel Johnson fit into all this?

Posted by: tcbannon | July 25, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

As a season ticket holder I'm glad I went to the game. It was nice to see us dominate, even though it was against a pathetic team. I do begrudge the DC United organization for charging me full price for the bogus Open Cup playoff games and this match. Especially when their tag line is "it takes more". It was nice to see both Hernandez and Boskovic play well. It was against that sorry team though so I'm not sure what to expect There should have been another 4 goals for United that they flat out missed.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | July 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Junior Carriero impressed with the limited time that he had on the pitch. I'd say given the paucity of options DC United has, he's ready for full squad inclusion.

Yes, tempers flared in the heat, but the refereeing was customarily poor. That incompetent performance again points to a desperate need for upgrading the quality of the officiating in the MLS. It's clear that the rest of the world is waking up to the increasing quality of our players, but visitors get the shock of their careers from MLS's bozos in yellow.

Finally, Pompey fans are the most agreeable away support in years. Please, stadium security, don't ruin a friendly fan exchange possibility by over-reacting to happy and non-threatening exuberant behavior.

Posted by: gooner71 | July 25, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Ironic that DCU people find cause to criticize Nicky. How much better would DCU have been if Nicky hadn't been offloaded in another one of Kasper's ego-driven personnel moves and the goalkeeper situation here had been substantailly more stable?

Posted by: lgm6986

For once, I actually agree with your premise, but not the vitriol.

Pompey needed a shootout to beat Edmonton the other day. And had as many people show up.

Posted by: Reignking | July 25, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The loss of Rimando is still felt, but was part of the Adu deal. That was a necessary move, not ego-driven on DC United's end. And, if memory serves, at that time Perkins had won the starting job from Rimando without much dispute.

Can't recall the particulars, but I think somehow that deal made Gallardo possible. Just because that deal stunk doesn't mean the Adu deal was bad.

Mrs. Rimando was one of the Freedom honorees last night.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 25, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I like Hernandez but he does dive a lot. That makes it tough for the referees to figure out when he's actually being fouled.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 25, 2010 11:01 AM

This. If you try to unfairly win free kicks through simulation, don't be surprised when word gets around and you don't get many calls anymore. Can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 25, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to sound harsh, but that U-20 keeper this morning had ZERO confidence when it went to penalties. She was stepping two steps to either side when the players weren't halfway through their run up.

And 270, Sunday got three attempts because the ref deemed our goalie to be off her line, which I'd agree for the second one, but not the first.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 25, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks JFA-ish.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Highlights.

http://www.dcunited.com/recap/2010/07/allsopp-nets-hat-trick-as-dc-heaps-misery-on-pompey
====================================

who is that gorgeous Asian chick at 1:29?

Posted by: Figgy | July 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Did the teams exchange jerseys after the game? I'm sure Hernandez wanted an authentic White DC Jersey.

Posted by: jo1234 | July 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

did anyone notice how at the end of the game a nigerian player had to be restrained from going after the US team? i wonder what that was about?

Posted by: birdynumnum | July 25, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I saw that! She had a broomstick or something.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 25, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

before all of the bloggers go nuts over junior, realize this..... he is Fred`s younger brother.

Just sayin......

Posted by: terpfan4141 | July 25, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Did the teams exchange jerseys after the game? I'm sure Hernandez wanted an authentic White DC Jersey.

Posted by: jo1234

The older ones from the looks of it even... Those look like the 08/09's...

Posted by: DadRyan | July 25, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least you clearly spelled out why Portsmouth looked so pathetic. Why didn't DCU try to pull in a bigger club like some of the others did.... Portsmouth? They are a shadow of the club they were before....

Posted by: dwreck1971 | July 26, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least you clearly spelled out why Portsmouth looked so pathetic. Why didn't DCU try to pull in a bigger club like some of the others did.... Portsmouth? They are a shadow of the club they were before.... And no one cared.

Posted by: dwreck1971 | July 26, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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