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D.C. United front office discusses Onalfo, Olsen

D.C. United President Kevin Payne addressed the reasons behind the coaching change.

What does Ben Olsen bring to the head coaching job?

"He brings fire and pride. He understands what the uniform means. He understands what it means to our fans. He understands what it means to our front office. He understands what it should mean to the players in the locker room. I am hoping that he will be able to constantly remind the players of that. There are some players in the locker room who don't understand what that means. Part of Ben's job is to remind them."

Was Curt Onalfo not able to get through to some players?

"It looked that way at the end. That was one of the main reasons that we ended up making the decision. The players just didn't seem to be responding. Honestly, I think that is more of a failing on the part of the players than on Curt's part, but at the end of the day, you have to do something to change."

For much more.....

You've changed the coach. Do you feel like you are going to have to change more of the players?

"What we said to Ben and the coaches was that there were really three objectives for the balance of the year: One is to win the next game. The second is to re-instill the pride in the uniform every single day; it starts there. And then the third is to figure out who wants to be here next year and who shows us that they want to be part of the legacy of D.C. United. Who shows us that they are going to show up every day and honor our uniform? And we're going to make some tough decisions in the offseason. There are very few players who I would say are absolutely safe."

Curt's contract was guaranteed for three years. Do you regret entering such an arrangement?

"No, not really. It's such a tough job being a coach. It's appropriate for coaches to have a level of security. What I regret is that things have gone the way they have gone. I fully expected Curt to see out his three years. Curt is a good man and a good coach and didn't deserve this. But I am convinced that we had to do this."

Because he will remain on your books (unless he gets a new job), does that limit your options in your search for a coach?

"No, I don't think so. It's just the cost of doing business."

You talk about players' responsibility, but bringing in those players is largely a front office's responsibility. Does the front office take responsibility for this situation?

"Everybody does. This is not about assigning blame. Obviously, mistakes were made by everyone this year. Mistakes are made every year by every team in every sport. It's how you deal with those mistakes and how you move on with the group that you have that is important. My conclusion, unfortunately, was that we weren't moving forward, we were actually moving backward. That is why we made the change."

This is the first time you've made a coaching change during a season. That must have been hard to do.

"It's harder on Curt than it is on me. But I really felt that we had no choice. I don't think it's ordinarily a very good practice, and we've tried in the past when we have had situations where we weren't sure if things weren't going the right way, we were able to gut it out and see it through until the end of the season. But I just felt that the way things were going now that we really had no alternative but to make this move at this time."

What are your expectations from Olsen?

"I certainly won't put any numerical expectations on him. What I do expect is for our team to start playing more like D.C. United -- fighting hard for 90 minutes of every game, fighting hard in training and standing up for each other and showing fans that they are deserving of their support. Ben is absolutely the right person to deliver that message on a day-in-day-out basis.
"The intention is that Ben is an interim head coach. This is not an audition for the head coaching job. I really want him to have the opportunity to be fully prepared when he does someday become our head coach, which I fully expect he will be someday. There is a lot to learn. Ben has a lot to learn yet. He is being thrown into the deep end, he is taking one for the team as he did his entire career for us, but I don't think there is anybody better to get the message across to the players and the fans of what is expected."

Ben is the least experienced of the assistants. Why did you choose him?

"Ultimately Ben would have more resonance in the locker room and with the fans. Ben's personality, his fire, he has a different personality than the other coaches, and I think that is what we need right now."

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE KASPER

How did this come about?

"We have had conversations the last couple months, and really after the result in Salt Lake [3-0 last weekend], we spoke about making the change."

Is it true that the players weren't responding to Onalfo?

"Yeah. I don't think we started particularly well in the last three games."

Olsen will handle the team the rest of the season, but do you begin weighing your options for 2011 and beyond right away?

"The process begins now."

Do you see this as a tryout for him?

"Benny will be a head coach someday. Whether he is ready to take that on a full-time basis, that will be a conversation that we have moving forward."

Does the front office feel a responsibility for what has happened this season?

"Of course. We share responsibility. We don't take these decisions lightly. It's a big decision, and one that we took in the best interests of the organization."

Any trade talks brewing?

"We are having conversations."

By Steve Goff  |  August 4, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: D.C. United  
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Comments

blah, blah, blah. wonk, wonk, wonk. same old lip service from the FO. great questions goffer, lame answers.

Posted by: torrey151 | August 4, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Kasper has high regard for the truth, given the parsimonious way he doles it out.

I should be fair; it's probably very difficult for him to say much of anything substantial while hiding under his desk.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 4, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the answer is to beat the mules harder. I don't think the problem is that the players aren't "honoring the uniform," it's that the management has selected the wrong people to give uniforms to.

The organization is in a death spiral . . . . very sad to watch

Posted by: OWNTF | August 4, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Bob Bradley as coach? Yes,it would work since Bradley's World Cup strategy would match DCU's game strategy this year: don't start attacking until your opponent scores first. Or maybe two goals (Slovenia)- just for the challenge.

Posted by: dcpsycho | August 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Question I'd love to ask:

"In the past three years, you and Dave Kasper have been responsible for every major coaching, strategic and personnel decision the club has made - and it's difficult to say that all of them have not been total and abject failures as a whole from new signings to the new coach to the various botched attempts at a new stadium. Where is the accountability?"

Posted by: the_slammer | August 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Good interview, but I do wish you had asked a more direct question to Payne and Kasper: why should the two of you continue to enjoy job security as coaches and players continue to turn over with no change in results?

Posted by: jofij | August 4, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The front office has progressed from saying that "mistakes were made" to saying that "mistakes were made by everyone."

The fans deserve a competent front office.

Posted by: hungrypug | August 4, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Please oh please let there be DC based stadium news that is positive this year.

A few years ago, I felt that this team was the model of consistency. A team that put the product on the field second and quietly pursued what was necessary off of it. It was a club that found excellent ways to acquire players and maintain competitive core that bolted on parts rather than changed engines.

Following our dalliance with "foreign" investors, I almost understand how Liverpool supporters feel. I thought I had Arsenal, instead, we're Scousers. Broken stadium promises, a squad that isn't improving and gets old and broken legs and loses its better pieces.

It's obvious that DC United was built for the peak of MLS dominance during the Nowak era. Since then, the league, the economy, and the international and domestic game has moved on and we're still playing for the Alan I. Rothenberg trophy and the Champions Cup instead of the Anschutz Trophy and the Champions League.

How do players take listening to statements that they are in a glorified try-out for the rest of the year? Are other GMs licking their chops? Vancouver and Portland will surely pluck value from us in November/December.

So Mr. Chang - do your supporters a big favor at this point - your season is lost, you've admitted as much. 2011 will begin soon enough. We'll forget everything from late 2007 and on if you get us a stadium IN DC!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

every one of those quotes makes it sound like the problem is with the players, and that is the responsibility of Kasper. He needs to be shown the door too.

Posted by: joe_hill | August 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Dear Will: PLEASE clean out the FO.

Posted by: nairbsod | August 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you see Kevin says that everyone bears responsibility? Of course that responsibility for them has no consequences for some reason.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I meant

"A team that put the product on the field first"

But right now, it is second!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the old they fired the coach because they couldn't fire the team.

Problem is, where the team currently sits (and the makeup of the team), firing the coach isn't going to make that big of a difference and they'll have to fire the players at the end of the year anyway.

Posted by: CapsNut | August 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse


blah, blah, blah. wonk, wonk, wonk. same old lip service from the FO. great questions goffer, lame answers.

Posted by: torrey151

Hilarious, because I thought the same thing. I just scrolled through the interview to get to the comments, because "blah blah blah" (coach / managerspeak) is exactly what this is going to be.

Posted by: Reignking | August 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Benny can instill pride in the shirt with Kevin Payne?

It does appear that the FO is ready to clean house unless this is more BS before they sell off the team.

Let's hope that Benny can become the DC United version of Vince Lombardi.

From the Lombardi Wiki article (scarily similar, don't you think?):

"On February 2, 1959, at age 45, Vince Lombardi accepted the position of Head Coach and General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Lombardi inherited a team which in 1958 had lost all but two of its 12 games (a win & a tie), worst in Packers history. Lombardi created punishing training regimens and expected absolute dedication and effort from his players. The 1959 Packers were an immediate improvement, finishing at 7–5. Rookie head coach Lombardi was named Coach of the Year."

Posted by: tcbannon | August 4, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Benny can instill pride in the shirt with Kevin Payne?

It does appear that the FO is ready to clean house unless this is more BS before they sell off the team.

Let's hope that Benny can become the DC United version of Vince Lombardi.

From the Lombardi Wiki article (scarily similar, don't you think?):

"On February 2, 1959, at age 45, Vince Lombardi accepted the position of Head Coach and General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Lombardi inherited a team which in 1958 had lost all but two of its 12 games (a win & a tie), worst in Packers history. Lombardi created punishing training regimens and expected absolute dedication and effort from his players. The 1959 Packers were an immediate improvement, finishing at 7–5. Rookie head coach Lombardi was named Coach of the Year."

Posted by: tcbannon | August 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Benny. Hopefully the guys will work hard for him every day and hopefully, there will be some personnel changes elsewhere.

Anybody think Adu will come home? He is completely lost in Europe and nobody wants him over there. Would United take him back?

Posted by: FrancoNiell | August 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Who are the 5 best coaches around? BEN, BEN, BEN, BEN, and BEN because he spits hot FIYA!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

unfortunately having FIRE as the management described what BEN has - only goes so far.... there are many teams that have fire but also have talent!! if BEN doesn't get talent soon he is bound to be 0 - for the rest of the season

Posted by: temuco | August 4, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how much gray hair Ben will acquire by Halloween....

Posted by: DadRyan | August 4, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

True, you can't fire the players, at least not a a whole.

But you can fire the person or person who brought them in should the players fail. I'm not just talking about this year. Kasper has failed repeatedly at the job he is hired and well-paid to do: Put togther a successful team. So far he has escaped accountability for it, thanks to KP's shield.

Los Dos Gonzalos
Neill
Letting Nellie go
Erpen
Donnet
Filomeno
Letting Rimando go
Letting Perkins go
Getting Perkins for Fred and an allocation
Letting Carroll go
Bringing back a used up Emilio
Bringing back a used up Gomez
Wicks
The Dean Moriarty of MLS, Wells
Vanney
Veron deal falling apart
Gallardo
Letting Boswell go
Making Earnie despise DCU (he was inclined to come back in 2005 but had enough of Kasper)

Did I miss anything?

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 4, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Please fire Kasper and Payne ASAP. Any GM who isn't competent enough to identify and sign talent literally a few miles away is a moron. I'm tired of seeing great Terps players shipped off to other teams and do great (for relatively little money).

I feel bad for Olsen. He deserved a better coaching opportunity than this dysfunctional franchise. I wouldn't be surprised if the league announces DC is being contracted or moved in the off-season. Time to put the old girl out of her misery.

Posted by: grognard66 | August 4, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Franco, Benfica owns Adu for one more year. Would the team that paid MLS $4 million for Freddy just give him back? Maybe. Because I doubt MLS would pay a transfer fee for him. Hopefully, becuase I'd like to think Adu could help both himself and an MLS club.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 4, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Best sports betting picks only on professionaltipsters.com

Posted by: cioliani | August 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986:

You forgot the ragin' Riverhounds.

A boner of Unseldian proportions, eclipsed only by the @#$% RETENTION of said Riverhounds.

Man, talk about a disgrace to the uniform!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What cowardly answers. If you're going to try and deflect some blame, put some damn feeling behind it. It's like he's trying to bore us into not paying attention.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986:

Not to defend Kasper, but DCU was never going to keep Nelsen or Perkins in Washington at the time. If the player wants to leave, there is rarely anything you can do to keep them, especially if they are moving on to the Prem, as in Nellie's case.

Also, the Veron negotiations seemed to end up being about love for the club rather than cash. You can't blame Kasper or Payne if Veron ends up wanting to stay in Argentina and play for his father's club. He turned down River and Boca to return to estudiantes in the first place...

Also, this is just opinion, but I think Filomeno and Donnet could have turned out better if they were given more time to acclimatize themselves.

Posted by: me_ahogo | August 4, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

if you're going to compile a list of poor decisions by Kasper, don't forget:

-putting Dyachenko on the expansion draft list, even though you really still wanted him for some (unknown) reason
-after Dyachenko was taken in the expansion draft, trading a first round pick to get him back

Posted by: joe_hill | August 4, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chances I-270 is responsible for www.twitter.com/RFK_raccoon ?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon:

Which one, Kasper or KP?

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

One down, more to GO?
Chang rules with an iron fist
while the raccoon loots

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 4, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Our Front office is a freaking joke.

I love Benny like I assume almost veryone who posts here does.


"He brings fire and pride"?

What new coach doesn't supposedly bring a "fire and pride". Ask Rudd Gullit how much bringing the fire will get you if your roster SUCKS.

Uncle Changy--are you ready this stuff? Are you really hearing this load of garbage?

The FO has gotten away with murder for way too long. That's right--yeah--I said it--it's nor just playing at RFK that is killing off our beloved franchise--it's the two guys who I don't ever se taking their full share of the BLAME for where we now find ourselves.

What a freaking joke!

Posted by: yankiboy | August 4, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The real villain in this story is Kevin Payne – he’s been a failure for this franchise almost from day one. How many ways can one spell FAILURE Kevin? Too bad Will Chang is such a bad owner, having bought into a franchise with Payne and Kasper still around. These two are the guilty ones here and if they had even a shred of professional integrity they would have resigned years ago. They fact that they’re still around speaks volumes about their lack of professionalism.

Posted by: bestmick1 | August 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget a draft pick that turned into Jack MacInerny was also involved in thy Perkins deal.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the above comments, if installing a team legend was partly intended to appease supporters, that part failed.

I get where you guys are coming from, but at least having a guy like Olsen in charge is the kind of thing that stops the decay among morale. Speaking for Metro supporters, with the exception of the Mathis-led 2000 team (which finally failed in the playoffs in that controversial Chicago series), I think the kind of crap you all have had to deal with for the last few years is what destroys a strong base of support.

Interestingly, what turned things around for us was Bob Bradley. And Alexi Lalas managed to f*** that up.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | August 4, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

!!!! Rod Dyachenko !!!!

That episode still makes my blood boil; however, I've never been able to figure out whether I think it was Soehn's doing or Kaspar's doing. Probably both.

How many good MLS trades have these guys executed in the past 3+ seasons? Maybe Ivan Guerrero (for his brief DCU spell)? Getting Tino back for a bag of potato chips? It's a short list, if it exists at all...

Posted by: DWE4 | August 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of hardware that the front office folks walk past every day.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | August 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The cost of doing business? McFly?

Let's see anyone else try to make a $900,000 mistake and chalk it up to "the cost of doing business." How does he still have a job?

Posted by: CruyffFan | August 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986: Letting Nellie go was not a mistake by the F.O. His contract was over, he wanted to go to England, and there's no amount of money we could have offered him to keep him from going.

And after his starting job stopped being a lock, Boswell wanted to go too. He *wasn't* out of contract; but you don't force people to stay who want to leave. Unhappy players too often don't play well.

I hadn't heard what you're saying there about Earnie in 2005. Can you elaborate on how you know about that?

Anyway, I'd add one more thing to your list: trading draft picks to get Rod Dyachenko back from Toronto after they grabbed him in the expansion draft.

Also, since you're focussing on Kasper, you should include the Riverhounds follies, especially Greg Janicki.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | August 4, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The coach wasn't good enough, the players don't have enough guts and Ben isn't ready to be a coach.

Good to know Kevin's not assigning blame.

Posted by: beach3 | August 4, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I love that Payne has no problem blaming Onalfo for not connecting with the players, but as soon as Goff brings the questions around to front office accountability, suddenly "(t)his is not about assigning blame." Gimme a freakin' break. That's EXACTLY what this is about. Unfortunately, the blame fell on a scapegoat and not on the people who really deserve it.

Posted by: Kenobi | August 4, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The real villain in this story is Kevin Payne – he’s been a failure for this franchise almost from day one.

Posted by: bestmick1 | August 4, 2010 1:55 PM

Pretty sure hes at least partly responsible for why we even have a club to cheer for, let alone 12 trophies to brag about, so lets not call him a complete failure "from day one". His major fault is that he is too loyal to both staff (Kasper, Soeh, Simpson, etc) and certain players (you know), and that should be his downfall. But he is the CEO, so its not like hes going anywhere - unless Will Chang fires him. and if that happens, then who do you get to be the CEO? be careful what you wish for. the real problem here is Kasper and the technical staff.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 4, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

When Vince Lombardi took the Packers job, he had been a football coach for something like 20 years. He started out coaching high school ball and worked his way up from there.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 4, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how much gray hair Ben will acquire by Halloween....

Posted by: DadRyan | August 4, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

He's certainly got more hair to go gray than most.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | August 4, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Payne is not a complete failure. Far from it. But he has lost his edge and with it his golden touch for making the right moves at the right time. Did the stroke he suffered a few years ago have something to do with it? I think so and I think that's why so much of the player personnel decision making has been delegated to Kasper. Unfortunately Kasper is completely, utterly incompetent and because of that a burned out Payne remains involved. This club needs a new GM now, not next week or the end of the season. Now. Someone whom they can confidently entrust with the role of rebuilding this moribund roster. Then CEO Payne can devote 100% of his energies where they should be to the stadium issue. Are you reading, Mr. Chang?

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | August 4, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@ lgm6986

Kasper has no shame, Payne is a coward.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, the reality is, for now, Ben is our coach. Like most here I support him.

Also, it would seem, Kasper and Payne are not going anywhere. And we are, of course, stuck with our owner, Dan Snyder. I mean, Will Chang.

Payne and Kasper have effectively written off the season.

Hopefully with Ben at the helm, we can at least start winning once in a while at home.

And, I've reconsidered -- croftonpost and others are right -- now is not the time to stay away from RFK even though we have a toxic owner who is poisoning the franchise. If we support our club that at least maximizes the small chance that the club can be sold to hopefully some local group and we can get an owner who knows what he is doing and has the wherewithal to do it.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 4, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | August 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

You idiots who are clamoring for the return of Freddy Adu---who has failed to do jack literally everywhere he has been, and that's a lot a places by now--you are just as much a bunch of idiots as the front office. Hopefully they are at least smarter than you are.

Payne and Kaspar are hoping and praying at this point that Olsen saves their bacon...and it ain't gonna happen. Will be interesting to see if there is accountability in this club someday. It's gone on too long.

Posted by: mrchuckles | August 4, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis.....PLEASE SAVE US!!!!!!

Posted by: timmy6 | August 4, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Kasper mentions that RSL game specifically; I can see them saying to themselves, "All right, Curt, you've got Branko in shape now; you've got Hernandez, and we know he's competent; Pontius is not too injured, and he's competent; Quaranta is competent; we took Castillo off your hands, sorry about how he worked out -- but anyway this is a good team on paper, let's see some results."

No results, so hello Ben.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | August 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Chances I-270 is responsible for www.twitter.com/RFK_raccoon ?
Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish
=========

I wish I could take credit for it, but it was not I. Funny stuff though.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Good interview. I think the questions were as aggressive as you can be with the understanding that you have to continue to talk to these guys tomorrow and the next day in order to get your job done. Kasper and Payne would be fools not to understand that Goff was asking about their impact on the team over the past several seasons. Best blog post in a while -- thanks.

I'm anxious to see what other sources say are the elements of trouble that Onalfo did not perceive. Combine that with Payne's comments that some guys in the locker room aren't playing for the shirt and I think we're onto something.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | August 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Question I'd love to ask:

"In the past three years, you and Dave Kasper have been responsible for every major coaching, strategic and personnel decision the club has made - and it's difficult to say that all of them have not been total and abject failures as a whole from new signings to the new coach to the various botched attempts at a new stadium. Where is the accountability?"

Posted by: the_slammer | August 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Good interview, but I do wish you had asked a more direct question to Payne and Kasper: why should the two of you continue to enjoy job security as coaches and players continue to turn over with no change in results?

Posted by: jofij | August 4, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

How many of us are ready to ask that question when we see Kasper or Payne at Meet the Team day (or Chang for that matter, when we see him at the tailgates?

Posted by: DCUSince96 | August 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Erp-fu was not a failure. He did a good job for a while when we needed him. He even played in the All-Star Game.

Anyway, I thought he did an amazing job of converting the bicycle kick into a routine defensive play.

Posted by: WorldCup | August 4, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I have two words for you DC fans: New York Red Bulls.

Fickel fackers fan! Shame on you Onalfo did a tremendous job given the circunstances. Unappreciative fans.

Henry, Angel, Marquez smell like a championship coming to town to me... Blame THE raccoon for it.

Posted by: Incognito00 | August 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Incognito00

Whats really sad is that despite NY making the same mistakes for 15 years, you are still actually blinded by thinking that spending big $ leads to success in MLS. George Steinbrenner may have been able to do it MLB because of little parity but MLS is a whole new monster.

Posted by: Unitedfury | August 4, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful. Fire the team at season's end. And who selects the new players? The same bozos that selected the recent rosters. This is something only schadenfreuders can look forward to.

Posted by: runningcloud | August 4, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Incognito00

I would take you mockery seriously if you had a better grasp on numbers, but since you don't I'll laugh...and I ain't laughing with you.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 4, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I note that Kevin used the passive voice 'mistakes were made'. Why not just say 'we made mistakes', or even more powerfully, 'I had a hand in those mistakes'?

Kevin, you must have been part of that unnamed group that 'made mistakes'.

Good lord I hate that passive voice. Man up, man.

Posted by: seahawkdad | August 4, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A college classmate of mine claims that when he was in the Army many years ago, a memo on the use of language came across his desk. It said, among other things: "In the future, the active voice will be used."

Posted by: universityandpark | August 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

KP has his share of responsibility as any CEO would when a company's fortunes plummet, and he has to answer to Will for that. The most important task KP has had is getting the organization a new stadium. He has failed at that, at least so far, and for that he should be held accountable.

Kasper should be held accountable for the personnel moves that have produced a failure on the field for three straight years.

I don't see either individual being held accountable as such.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 4, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

those questions ya'all wished were asked are much better directed at Chang.

Payne gave a wide birth to Bruce Arena. He had to. He's never played the game and had no idea of how to build a team. But he took credit for it and built his reputation on it.

Now people see that the Emperor has no clothes. And man, it's ugly.

Will - please be sure the front office has played the game before.

Posted by: dsheon1 | August 4, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

dsheon1, I have an e I'll sell you for ten bucks.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | August 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

You can't expect the FO to fire themselves. Only Chang can fire Keven Payne and Dave Kasper.

If I was a crappy drug and alcohol counselor (I am an excellent D&A counselor), I wouldn't quit...I would continue to plug away until I either got better or was fired.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 4, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

RFK_Raccoon is awesome.

My understanding is that Payne can't be fired, but he can be bought out. I think he owns a piece of the team.

Posted by: Landru | August 4, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. Payne and Kasper can't fire themselves (or resign). That would be stupid in this economic climate. It's up to Chang (the owner) to step in and make those accountable for this mess of a roster pay. You can only keep blaming the players for so long until you ask yourself: who keeps bringing players without pride and *talent* to this team? The answer: Payne and Kasper. They took the credit when DC was excelling and theirs is the blame for this mess.

Posted by: tundey | August 4, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@dsheon1: You may be right about Payne taking credit for Arena's work. But you don;t have to have played in order to be able to build. Lots of successful team builders (not coaches) have no playing experience.

Posted by: tundey | August 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

How long will Chang tolerate bad soccer decisions AND bad business decisions? Payne needs to go and they need to re-build the front office. If I owned a pro soccer club I would have my own guy in charge that I trust, then soccer people below him. This club is stale on so many levels, but I think change starts at the top, not the head coach.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | August 4, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

DCU needs more than fire and pride. The rest of the league has advanced in quality and caliber of play - Payne seems to think that clinging on to uniform and trophies is a strategy. Isn't that what Maradona thought?

-Replace Payne and Kasper with someone that has a focused vision and strategy
-They will bring on a viable coach with a clear system of play
-They will quickly replace players that don't fit the system - those that hesitate, those that don't instinctively move the ball forward, those that don't step up and challenge, those that chase the game.
-They will wonder why our injury rate is above avaerage and solve it

Easy.

Posted by: marcool | August 4, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow. In one day DCU managed to do very difficult thing:

1. Make Soehn look smart for walkiung away from this mess; and

2. Make Dan Snyder look like a person of higher character than KP for admitting his mistake in hiring Zorn.

Posted by: mightymax | August 4, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Payne and Kasper both need to go. They are the one constant in the steady decline of the franchise. Hiring Onalfo and giving him a 3 year contract is just the latest of many ill-conceived moves that hopefully will finally be noticed by owner Will Chang. Even now, in this interview, the words 'I am responsible' never came came out of eithers lips.

Posted by: Verdeball | August 4, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@fallschurch1 re: dsheon1, I have an e I'll sell you for ten bucks.

True, but KP giving birth is an interesting concept. ;)

Posted by: dsheon1 | August 4, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

What a load of dos Santos Leite. Onolfo could not make chicken salad with what he had. Payne and Kasper need to held accountable for years of woeful trades and decisions. Do the names Peralta, Martinez, Gallardo, Erpen, Carvallo, Niell, to name a few, ring any bells?

Posted by: gazember | August 4, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I called for Kasper's head last year instead of Soehn so, my opinion of today's move is obvious. I personally believe Payne is untouchable and calling for his head is pointless.

We have pretty much agreed that we would love to have Ted on board but that is highly unlikely now that he owns three teams in town. Please don't send a vigilante mob to my door for suggesting this but how about the idea of getting Danny boy onboard (stop throwing things at your monitor please). Here's my rationale. If there is any possibilty of a dual site at RFK then the Redskins need United as they would fulfill the tenant requirement until their super stadium is built. Snyder has deep pockets and it would be beneficial to him to keep United and their stadium efforts afloat. Remember, please don't send a mob to my door as this was merely a harmless suggestion in a drunken stupor.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 4, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The bad decisions are nothing new. Several years ago they turned down D DeRosario.

Posted by: Shortpump | August 4, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

croftonpost:

Can't promise not to hunt you down for that one...

I've often wondered what the possibility would be of the fans buying DC United, like Green Bay is publically owned. It couldn't possibly cost that much. We need local ownership that cares, and that cares about something besides being the contractor on a stadium deal. Chang probably cares but he hasn't shown the wherewithal to run the team.

Posted by: dclivejazz | August 4, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Part of the issue with Will is that he is in San Francisco and as such will lean heavily on KP for decision-making. For this reason I agree with those who write that KP is untouchable. He largely is as long as he does take action in response to situations that require it. Where I get astonished is that no action has been taken on Kasper in spite of one of the worst personnel track-records in MLS history. More than Soehn and Onalfo, Kasper is responsible for the results over the last several years and seemingly has emerged as if none of this is his fault. KP may be forced to do something about that, or else Will will take action himself.

Also on Will, do not underestimate his ability to fund this team sufficiently to compete with the Red Bulls, Galaxy, or anyone else in this league. He is extremely wealthy. Setting aside the fact that the MLS rules pretty much guaratntee competitive equity (see: MLS Cup holder Real Salt Lake, a shoe-string operation that cuts back on everything and gets heart palpatations whenever faced with a major expense), Will is prepared to spend whatever is necessary to compete. He just does so wisely. He will be all-in on a SSS to get it done, but he obviously doesn't want to pay for it all himself. He wants a local jurisdiction to invest as well. He rightfully sees benefit for a local community in such a project and reasonably expects a responsible sharing of the burden of building it.

Posted by: mightymax | August 5, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

WOW go on a business trip, check in on SI when possible, miss a day...POW My jaw is still on the floor.

Posted by: DCB23 | August 5, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about you all, but I am really starting to dislike Payne and Kasper. This is all their fault. The chose the players and coaches. When Goff posed the question to them, they ducked and dodged and spun it into a terrible cliche "everyone is in this together" nonsense. Their act is wearing really really thin.

Posted by: SadieV | August 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What I don't get is why they ever thought Onalfo was a good fit for coach to begin with? Ben Olsen, struggling with injuries the past few seasons was always the heart and soul of this team. He should have been the 1st choice going into the season. It will be fun to watch DC United now. They still need an attacking player and a controlling midfielder, and need to say goodbye to Moreno. (No hate, it's just time). This team and its fans deserve a better front office as well. It is pathetic that the Red Bulls and even worse, the expansion teams are making better management decisions that the 4 time MLS champions.

Posted by: mmcghee701 | August 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Our offense was decent last year. Defense sucked. In response, the front office dismantled the offense and left the defense mostly in place. What did they think would happen?

Posted by: ericruenes | August 5, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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