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Matchnight: United-Galaxy

It's another hot, muggy evening in the District as United welcomes the top team in MLS to RFK Stadium.

D.C. suffered a deflating home defeat to Seattle Thursday on Roger Levesque's game-winning header in the 89th minute. The loss was the fourth straight for United which has now been shutout 11 times in 16 games this season with six of those coming at RFK.

Galaxy comes to town following back to back losses -- to Seattle in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal Wednesday and a 2-0 defeat at New England last Saturday. Before those two matches, L.A. had not conceded two goals in a game all season. Landon Donovan returns to the lineup tonight after some time off following the World Cup.

Tonight United will honor Eddie Pope by inducting the longtime D.C. and U.S. national team defender into the club's Hall of Tradition with a halftime ceremony.

DCU: Perkins; Graye, James, Jakovic, McTavish; Pontius, Simms, King, Najar; Quaranta, Hernandez. Subs: Hamid, Talley, Boskovic, Morsink, Khumalo, Moreno, Allsopp.

Galaxy: Ricketts; De La Garza, Gonzalez, Berhalter, Dunivant, Franklin, Birchall, Juninho, Donovan, Buddle, Gordon. Subs: Saunders, Cazumba, Leonardo, Kovalenko, Lewis, Stephens, Kirovski.

Galaxy (11-2-3, 36 pts.) at United (3-10-3, 12 pts.)
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español, 87.7 FM La Nueva (Spanish)

As usual this is your place for pregame, in-game and post game banter.

By Matt Brooks  |  July 18, 2010; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday kickaround: Nery, Landon, MLS, Women
Next: Landon Donovan's interview with The Post

Comments

Hope to see some more of bosko tonight. Vamos united

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 18, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Can Eddie come out of retirement?

Posted by: freeholdsouth | July 18, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

any streaming advice?

Posted by: billq1 | July 18, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

United (3-10-3, 12 pts.)

Seeing this in print is depressing.

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bs2004 | July 18, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

What a cluster of a goal. We can look so bad at times.

Posted by: jjfooty | July 18, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

. . . but so promising at others . . . Hernandez looks very good

Posted by: OWNTF | July 18, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Somebody needs to send Onalfo a telegram: Pontius hasn't been able to run since getting injured in the first minute. Bosko for King, Hamid for Perkins.

Posted by: dcarmy | July 18, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

it is in the net

Posted by: MK27 | July 18, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

United (3-10-3, 12 pts.)
Seeing this in print is depressing.
Posted by: delantero

United (3-11-3, 12 pts.)

Even more depressing . . if the results hold.

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so literally as I hit submit, I look up and see Najar with a perfect header from a perfect cross.

Vamos United!!!!!!

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I swear, everyone from D.C. United make stupid decisions. Quaranta is too selfish up top; Now, we see James come out like a keeper. That ball wasn't going to go in, regardless. Utterly depressing.

Posted by: KHSpartan | July 18, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

That kid Graye is complete and utter garbage. He flat out can't play. Hey Onalfo, get that loser off the pitch please.

Posted by: SadieV | July 18, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This has been a really poorly officiated game. a lot of cheap fouls going un-called, both ways. The tackle that pontius got hurt on should have been a red card. The league needs to crack down on the physical play or there will never be any motivation for the coaches or players to improve the product beyond that.

Posted by: jjfooty | July 18, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Graye is a good player. He's fast, athletic, and has good touch on the ball . . but over the past two games, he's been outrageously careless in his distribution and his forward play.

I would have thought after his mistake led to the KC loss, he would have been gun shy about going forward. Then he gives the ball up and tries to advance.

With some experience, coaching, and hours of film I think he'll be an excellent player, even national caliber.

Plus, he's playing left back. I think he's naturally a rightie.

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Graye was also atrocious in the Crew game, really hapless, and for all his supposed speed, regularly beaten to the ball. I would prefer that he get his experience and coaching in a lower league because he is not up to this level of play. Even if he is a great long term project, it's hard to believe that there is not a better left back available tomorrow, somewhere.

The new attacking players look pretty good.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 18, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

er . . . Seattle loss . . . the one where Graye passed from his own 18 across the middle of the pitch and had it picked off

Either way, he'll get better.

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

er . . . Seattle loss . . . the one where Graye passed from his own 18 across the middle of the pitch and had it picked off

Either way, he'll get better.

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

So 3 goals in 2 games due to turnovers by Graye, he needs to sit. The team looked way better before Jamie went in, a few moments but over all he was sloooooow and simply poor passing. Overall just seemed like a disjointed mess out there. Only positive; I didn't pay to see this crapola in person.

Posted by: Lot8Date | July 18, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

well, at least I didn't expect we would win.

Posted by: nairbsod | July 18, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

If you have a rookie on defense like Graye can we please tell him to kick the ball out of bounds or preferably get rid of the ball faster you are no longer playing in high school or college. Hopefully he learns from this experience, the importance of fast ball movement has to be stressed. On a positive note excellent header from Najar.

Posted by: wrightcor | July 18, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Bronco was rubbish.


:-)

Posted by: rockotodd | July 18, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Pope tribute film was awesome...who was that team?

Posted by: DCB23 | July 18, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 252 days until United's first 2011 league match!

It's going to be a long season.

Posted by: Curious99 | July 18, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Potential aside, Jordan Graye is costing DCU points. He's making bad decisions and inviting pressure on an already weakened back line. He should not be playing. Period.

But who's going to replace him? Good question. The FO went out and bought a big foreign forward who can't score to replace that other big foreign forward who couldn't score. And then there's Branko, who strolls around and occasionally humors us with a flick or a back heel but doesn't seem too concerned with sprinting or playing at any pace above a jog. What a find. He's out of shape and disinterested. Looks like another great DP signing to follow the legacy of Marcelo Gallardo and post-2007 Luciano Emilio.

A year ago, we had a playoff team and I was among the mob calling for Soehn to be fired. Now we have a team that doesn't know how to play together and a clueless coach who looks like Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber. This team sucks. Luckily, I find myself caring less after each successive loss.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | July 18, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Potential aside, Jordan Graye is costing DCU points. He's making bad decisions and inviting pressure on an already weakened back line. He should not be playing. Period.

But who's going to replace him? Good question. The FO went out and bought a big foreign forward who can't score to replace that other big foreign forward who couldn't score. And then there's Branko, who strolls around and occasionally humors us with a flick or a back heel but doesn't seem too concerned with sprinting or playing at any pace above a jog. What a find. He's out of shape and disinterested. Looks like another great DP signing to follow the legacy of Marcelo Gallardo and post-2007 Luciano Emilio.

A year ago, we had a playoff team and I was among the mob calling for Soehn to be fired. Now we have a team that doesn't know how to play together and a clueless coach who looks like Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber. This team sucks. Luckily, I find myself caring less after each successive loss.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | July 18, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Some positives tonight: Excellent play from Hernandez and Najar. Solid defense from all but Graye, who does seem to be playing out of position, and of course the strange decision by James to handle the ball--but I'd prefer to blame that goal on Graye, who continues to be incredibly careless with the ball. Perhaps exchange Graye for a defensive midfielder. That way, if he turns the ball over, it might not lead to a breakaway goal.

Stephen King seems way out of his league. I really can't imagine what the coaching staff sees.

The team does badly lack anyone in the midfield who can maintain possession and control. It's hard to point fingers at anyone in particular. Basco looks lethargic and unwilling to be the guy. Jaime's skills have eroded so much it is sad to watch. Tino and Pontius have limitations.

Our subs tonight were a little puzzling. The only time Jaime might have been effective would have been at the 60 or 75' mark when the Galaxy might have been a step slow. Boyzzzzzzzz would have been a good choice to come in at some point because speed would have been a factor late in the game.

The boys--was it Hernandez? I couldn't quite tell on the microscopic replay board--literally missed a 4 v keeper chance around the 80th minute. Out of all the chances blown this year, that one takes the cake.

Nevertheless, I can't say enough about Najar, and Hernandez's play was also encouraging. He also is a step up from Tino with crosses and corners. Those two will be worth watching as we head toward the MLS's version of Strasburg/Harper.

Posted by: paulkp | July 18, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Daniels ain't so bad. How much would he cost?

The competitive part of DC's MLS season was pretty much over before the World Cup kicked off. Jordan Graye shows some pretty good skills at times and also seems to be making terrible mistakes pretty frequently. Like Devon McTavish, he's an MLS backup forced into a starting role. It would be nice if we could use Philip Lahm or Maicon but last I checked they're not on our roster.

Another hot, sweaty night at RFK and another DC loss. At least I saw a nice header from our future star Andy Najar and a good emotional DC goal celebration in addition to 1 LA garbage goal and 1 penalty kick goal.

There's still plenty to play for. One day in the coming weeks someone besides Najar may score.

And, of course...

We win Wednesdays!!!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 18, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Hernandez didn't have much of a choice to do during that 4 vs. Ricketts. James controlled the lob poorly; Hernandez headed it over an ensuing Ricketts. Nevertheless, he was offsides.

Posted by: KHSpartan | July 18, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Graye definitely needs a vacation. Could just be the rookie wall. Can we convert Allsopp into a left back? Seems like we're paying him a good chunk of change to sit on the bench.

Yes, it was Hernandez who missed on the 4 v 0. He had all day to settle the ball but he panicked.

Tino needs to go sit on the bench. When he's not busy standing offside, he's diving embarrassingly.

Boskovic is completely useless and hasn't shown any real interest in caring. At least King has some heart.

Thank goodness for Najar or there would be absolutely no point in going to watch this team.

I don't know what James was thinking. He has been much improved of late but that was utterly stupid.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 18, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Pontius may have a broken foot. Let's hope for a speedy recovery if true...

Posted by: Juan-John | July 18, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Poor officiating. Did they get mixed up and think they were at Home Depot Center?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 18, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

That was horrendous. I want my $ back, Mr. Payne.

:)

Posted by: Hoost | July 18, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Who else at left back? Burch is still out and Wallace is still out.

And what's up with James' handball? As a bad a mistake that Graye made, James' was worse

Posted by: delantero | July 18, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I've been willing to give Onalfo the benefit of the doubt this season, but if Graye is on the field at the start of the next match, I think he should be fired. McTavish isnt the best player, but he at least attempts to do his job, and he HUSTLES. I see neither of those characteristics in Graye's play at this point. I think he has the tools to become a great player, but as others have said, he is costing us points. Troy Perkins said as much after the Seattle game, when he did everything but call out Graye for his error in the 89th.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 18, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: universityandpark | July 18, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

@delantero - agreed, but Onalfo's job is to find a solution, and Graye isn't it at the moment. At this point, I don't think Talley at LB would be any worse. Its fine to give Graye experience, but a playoff spot wasn't out of the question before Thursday, and he cost the team at least 2 points this weekend points.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 18, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

3-11-3, the season is over folks. Play Graye and let him gain the experience. With the exception of the US Open Cup competition, who cares if he makes mistakes. What's the worst that can happen? They lose another game? BFD In fact, any playing decision henceforth when equal should go to the younger player. Soccer is no different than any other sport. When the season is lost then play for tomorrow not today.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 19, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Well -- I'll join the chorus pointing out the obvious -- that Graye has cost United the last two games with his casualness/carelessness in the defensive end. Job #1 for a defender is don't turn the ball over like that and start a jailbreak, One wonders what it'll take for him to learn from his mistakes.

In his defense -- he's been thrown to the wolves. This is a guy who only played 2 years in college ball. And, now he's not even playing on his strong side. Whatever his defensive liabilities -- and he was abused by Franklin -- he looks great going forward. Frankly, I think he's got more potential than Wallace.

And, Boskovic's apparent lack of fitness really raises questions about how much the FO knows about the players they bring in.

This team is headed for the cellar. Hopefully, they can bring in some real young talent in next year's draft -- and maybe score a good returning vet through next year's allocation.

Posted by: fischy | July 19, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I want to hear about another DP signing and I want it to be Andy Najar. Can you have a homegrown DP who doesn't count against the roster? How many years did we sign him for?

Posted by: benonthehill | July 19, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Much better game than Thursday's -- at least there was one good team on the field, which is why it drew a somewhat better performance out of the home side.

Defensive errors, of course, are so obvious that they hardly bear mentioning. Fact is, the D has been pretty good recently. Meanwhile, any one of us could go out there and not score.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 19, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Najar is good, but he lacks vision or he just makes some poor decisions with the ball. At least a couple of times, he held the ball too long on the break when a teammate was making a run. Or, he tried a back heel pass, which he mishit, when a simple square pass would have done nicely. (I guess, if he gets better with those back heels, I wouldn't be so critical of them, but I'm not sure I've seen him connect with one yet).

Of course, he's only 17 and playing pro ball. He will learn, I assume. Not so sure about the more veteran players who were making similar mistakes. What's troubling is that he seems better than the rest of the team -- at least, when it comes to actually scoring. Tino, for one, played much better tonight, but still can't beat a goalie. Moreno? Looks like he could dominate my rec league....The ideas are still there, but his touch is not what it needs to be at this level.

Posted by: fischy | July 19, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

It's so depressing that LA's bench is better than our starting line up.

Posted by: grognard66 | July 19, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Have any of you Bronco haters noticed that we have totally stopped playing through the midfield? We are playing kick and run about 90% of the game.

Posted by: srose13 | July 19, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

In spite of well-deserved criticism last year due to his teriible management of the team, the one looking good in all of this mess is Soehn. He at least had the sack to stand up to Kasper and Payne and declare last October that he wasn't going to allow himself to be considered for continuation with an organization he ahd been with for 6 years and walked away.

Perhaps also, he knew that the team's downward spiral was not going to stop under the Payne/Kasper management team and that not only did the team have to get better players but better decision-makers off the field as well.

Posted by: mightymax | July 19, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with Fischy, Graye has potential. Possibly more than Wallace. I wouldn’t sit him, just keep throwing him out there to learn. Graye got caught out making his passes way to obvious in the back. On top of that, he is playing left back when he is a right back. He probably has a lack of confidence in his left foot and is over thinking every pass he hits with it.

I say Onalfo has to stick with Graye. This season is over, so who cares if we lose another game or two? A backline in the future with Graye, Jackovic, and Wallace (plus whoever) has the potential to be a top MLS backline. We could start seeing real returns next year even. The coaching staff has to start building for the future.

Also, the Hernandez miss on the 4 v 1 was not his fault. James had a horrible first touch and the ball was too high for Hernandez. The only option was for Hernandez to try to flick it on like that.

All in all, the better team won.

Oh, and even though I don’t blame Perkins for the goal I still prefer to see Hamid. DC should just go with youth and build for the future.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 19, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm sick and tired of players, the coaching staff, and the FO saying we have a "Young team" and it's "Youthful errors".

DC has an average age of 25.96 years.
LA has an average age of 27.52 years.
RSL has an average age of 25.36 years.
FCD has an average age of 24.92 years.
Toronto has an average age of 25.33 years.
STL has an average age of 27.11 years.

We're right smack dab in the middle of the league in terms of AA. Stop making silly excuses. I understand players are out with injuries and it forces some younger players to play. Every team has these problems.

Posted by: strago | July 19, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I am not saying Branko is a good player, I just think that Onalfo has hamstrung him by relegating him to the bench. I am not convinced that Graye is a good player. He is awful at left back. Maybe and only time will tell he is a better right back. I hope Jakovic is ok and it was just a cramp. I am tired of James's brain dead mistakes. What a mornic handball! I get that LA is much better than us they have over 3 times as many points, but we could have at least tied this game if not for bone headed mistakes. Also where was Perkins on the goal scored by Buddle. It looked like he couldn't get up after trying to save the initial shot. I think Hamid is head and shoulders better than Perkins, but yet again Onalfo and his Tom Soehnesque tactics are messing up this team. We need a real coach, a real front office, and an owner who is willing to invest fully into this team.

Posted by: no_recess | July 19, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Fire somebody!

Posted by: OWNTF | July 19, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Strago, it is the perception that we have a solid core of younger players to build a team around. They include:

Pontius, Graye, Wallace, Najar, Hamid.

Those five, if they develop into their potential, with some additions, could be the future of MLS.

Add Jackovic (he is not young just have a long career ahead of him).

Or, I am just a delusional United fan who is hoping to see something positive in this mess of a season.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 19, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

At least Bronco played -- Henry couldn't even make the bench.

Posted by: Reignking | July 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | July 19, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

grubbsl, you're not delusional. We do have a young core with promise. You are wrong if you think some smarter club won't be able to dangle a rotten carrot in front of the FO's face and steal one or two away, because that is how dumb this club is.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 19, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

We need a ..... an owner who is willing to invest fully into this team.

Posted by: no_recess

really? please explain to us just how your "real" owner would "invest fully"?

Raise the salary budget? Hire 4 more designated players?

your comment shows you dont know fully understand how the league operates.

Posted by: Section107 | July 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Fire Onalfo. He's not getting results and never will.

Posted by: p6brt | July 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The only way something positive can come out of this season is if the decision-makers who are responsible for the awful player personnel moves are held just as accountable as all employees and players are. This is a results business; any sports busines is such, and the upper management of this organization are eluding accountability.

Posted by: lgm6986 | July 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

There really is nowhere to go but up, we are firmly rooted at the bottom. I have the tics for the rest of the season so I'll still go.

Najar gives me hope. He is the future.
Jaime is so respected and loved by us fans but please please do the right thing Jaime and open the way for a fresh start.

Posted by: DCB23 | July 19, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Wait, DCU lost to LA? I'm stunned. Stunned that DCU didn't get shutout.

Posted by: Reignking | July 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Fire somebody!

Posted by: OWNTF | July 19, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Talon!

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 19, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Giveaway Graye Strikes Again.

(Any fitness updates on Wallace and Burch?)

Actually, I feel bad about dumping on the rookie, but the nickname is too natural to pass up. He's not ready for prime time, at least on the left side. When he played on the right, he was noticeable most of the time only for his positives. Onalfo, move him back to the right and play someone else at left back. Anyone. Can't be worse. And you won't risk damaging the psyche of a young player with potential.

Posted by: runningcloud | July 19, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

why does everyone keep saying the season is over? if United would have won both games this weekend, they'd be 4th place in the East and within striking distance of a playoff spot. It would be an insult to the fans and the history of the club to just "give up and play the rookies" at this point.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Goff - any chance of a story on who is hurt on the team and when they're due back? I saw Wallace and Burch all dressed up in street clothes, and I thought they'd be back by now.

Keeping in mind that LA is tearing up the league this year, and that DC started with two months of rec league ball, last night wasn't miserable. As others are saying, Jaime should be coming in much later, if at all, maybe even try Hernandez with Boyzzz up top, or Hernandez and Cristman.

Posted by: eadc | July 19, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Cristman is hurt...

Posted by: JkR- | July 19, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

VTUnited: With the wacky playoff system in its current form the last place team to make the playoffs currently has 22 points.

We have 12. Your right, if we would have won the last two games would stand a chance. That is not that reality anymore. Right now I don't see United making up 10 points and leap fogging everyone. We are in last place right now in the East and in the league.

Play the youth. Identify players with which we can build off of for next year. Get some new additions earmarked and signed while we are at it.

Oh and we have currently scored the fewest amount of goals (12) and given up the most (28).

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why won't MLS let Landon Donovan go overseas? He did quite well at Everton. He phones in his games here. His only activity was the penalty kick.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 19, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Why won't MLS let Landon Donovan go overseas?

Posted by: VirginiaFan |

Because outside of LeBron James, he is probably the most visible athlete in the US at the moment. Did anyone here watch the ESPYs? I heard the name Landon Donovan maybe 10 times in the first hour of the broadcast. ESPN is promoting the guy big time, along with the League. MLS must capitalize on the USMNT's popularity, and draw in new fans. Who better to do that with than Donovan? He will probably get another loan deal in the off-season, and maybe be sold next year, but MLS would be quite foolish to move him right now, unless they received a ridiculous offer ($20-30M range).

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Why won't MLS let Landon Donovan go overseas?

Posted by: VirginiaFan |

Because outside of LeBron James, he is probably the most visible athlete in the US at the moment. Did anyone here watch the ESPYs? I heard the name Landon Donovan maybe 10 times in the first hour of the broadcast. ESPN is promoting the guy big time, along with the League. MLS must capitalize on the USMNT's popularity, and draw in new fans. Who better to do that with than Donovan? He will probably get another loan deal in the off-season, and maybe be sold next year, but MLS would be quite foolish to move him right now, unless they received a ridiculous offer ($20-30M range).

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Because LD is trying to get back with his woman.

What do LD and CR have in common? Women in LA.

Looks like Andy Schleck was off the chain today.

Posted by: Reignking | July 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Andy Schleck was off the chain today.
Posted by: Reignking
=========

That's bad for a cyclist, right?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I left it intentionally vague :)

Posted by: Reignking | July 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Why the heck wasn't Pontius subbed out sooner? Poor guy was obviously in pain, and god knows what additional damage was done by playing on a broken foot. Onalfo should have thrown Boyzz in, because at least he would have lasted the rest of the 90 minutes, unlike Jaime.

Jaime was sad to watch. Had absolutely no effect on the game, and subbing him in for Pontius was just a bad move on Onalfo's part. I know it doesn't "look good" to sub a player in before the first half is over, but when you have a guy who's clearly hurt and not playing even 80% because of it, it's just a dumb move NOT to.

Tino's crosses were awful. I counted at least three where he completely misjudged the distance and the ball went flying into the quiet side.

Posted by: Dynaformer | July 19, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I want to hear about another DP signing and I want it to be Andy Najar. Can you have a homegrown DP who doesn't count against the roster? How many years did we sign him for?

Posted by: benonthehill | July 19, 2010 1:21 AM
----------

Totally agree. Najar is clearly DCU's best player. We need to sign him up now for as long as possible.

Posted by: diego_r | July 19, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Fully agree, Graye should not start against Harrisburg!

But he should start every league match from now on. He's twice the player, today, than any potential replacement at left back ever will be.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Is the United States only going to have one big name in soccer and milk that for 15-20 years? What happens if he retires? Are they still going to milk the name?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Is the United States only going to have one big name in soccer and milk that for 15-20 years? What happens if he retires? Are they still going to milk the name?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 19, 2010 11:58 AM |

No, but the point is at this very moment, Donovan IS US SOCCER for much of non-soccer following public. He can attract new viewers to the League. Do you think DCU would have drawn a Sunday night crowd like last night if we were playing Dallas?

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

why does everyone keep saying the season is over? if United would have won both games this weekend, they'd be 4th place in the East and within striking distance of a playoff spot. It would be an insult to the fans and the history of the club to just "give up and play the rookies" at this point.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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

Because it is. The chances of United suddenly getting it's act together while everybody else above them plunges are slim and none. The smart thing to do is to play for next year now which allows the team to look at everybody in game action, identify strengths and weakneses, and target areas of need before the offseason. This strategy served the Capitals well while the alternative kept the Redskins in limbo for ten years before they awakened and hired Allen and Shanahan. Playing for tomorrow and focusing on youth is a tough call but it is the right one.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

VT United: Are you kidding?

DCU: Most losses; fewest wins; most goals allowed; fewest goals scored;

Most importantly: Tied for most games played, therefore tied for fewest game left to play in which to get enough points to make the play-offs in a format in which it is harder to miss the play-offs than to make them.

I know I keep saying this: If the organization wants to go into next season with any chance of reconnecting with its badly alienated fan base, it has to send a clear and unambiguous message that it is going to start fresh on all levels. That certainly means severing ties with the management team that created this mess.

Retention of those individuals sends the terrible message that the polices and practices of the past are not the problem, when it is plain to anyone with even civilian knowledge that they are.

Posted by: lgm6986 | July 19, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well if Donovan is 28 they better find an alternative quickly. Notice all the guys that were hyped and can't find playing time in Europe. Landon doesn't even put energy in his game any more. Just getting one player to do this is not fair. He is like a kid supporting his stage parents.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986 - dude quit being negative all the time. you whine about everything. look at the table, if they had won both games this weekend, which if watched was not totally out of the question, they would be 4th in the East. instead, they let a rookie make the same mistake twice (clearly didn't learn from the first once) and it cost them up to 6 points. playing for the future is fine, once the present is officially over, and that wasnt really the case before this weekend.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

to traditionally it has taken 40 points toqualify for the playoffs; 42+ are probably needed this year.

We have 12 points with 15 games left. we must win 10 of the next 15 to have a prayer of making the playoffs.

considering we have only won 3 of first 17, the trend is not optimistic that we will win even 5 of the remaining fifteen.

barring a visitation from martians that suddenly infuses magnitudes of talent and motivation, yeah, for all intents and purposes the reason for this MLS team's existence (to win the MLS Cup) is moot.

We could of course win the US Open Cup, which is the only "meaningful" trophy we can win this year as the MLS Cup and the Jock Strap Cup are completely out of contention.

But that will just result in having our asses handed to us (again) next year as we obligatorily participate in whatever silly tournaments go with winning the OC.

Posted by: Section107 | July 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

There is very little to be positive about with this team on any level until the team emerges from the abyss that this technical group has put it in.

I have loved this team since 1996 and I feel so bad for the players who work hard and want to win as badly as anyone and for the front office (not the technical) staff. Those fine people, some of whom have been with the organization since its inception, are the ones whose hard work made DCU be a place where people can have the ambition and dream of working for professional soccer in the USA. They made DCU into something to be proud of, something that the Soehns and Kaspers of the world would find to be an attractive career choice and a good place to make a living.

Instead, those individuals (really now just Kasper since Soehn quit before he was fired) have repeatedly made one disasterous personnel decision after another and have escaped accountability. They do not seem to be held to the same standard as everyone in that organization and that is wrong.

Until the culture of failure is eradicated there, there is only one thing to be positive about: watching some very talented athletes whose soccer skills are limited at best work as hard as is humanly possible to succeed.

Posted by: lgm6986 | July 19, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I say leave the back line the way it is for the rest of the season. Graye, Jacko,James and McTavish have certainly done better than the back lines that included Pena and Talley. Holding LA to 2 goals isn't bad, especially with 1 being a PK. We have GOT to get our offense moving, with somebody who can FINISH. Tino is getting worse and Moreno (god knows I love him) looks totally harmless.

Posted by: patrick18 | July 19, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@patrick18,

Wallace will and should return to LB, moving Graye back to RB for McT. James/Pena/Talley is a crap shoot. James makes mistakes. Pena's likely to break after 15 minutes. And for all his competitiveness, Talley's just not that athletic or, well, skilled.

Posted by: benonthehill | July 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the "Capello Index" would make of DC United's players last night...

Posted by: alan19 | July 19, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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