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D.C. United news & notes

Another week, another injury for D.C. United.

Midfielder Clyde Simms will be sidelined 10 days to three weeks after injuring a calf during the first half of Saturday's 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake, Coach Curt Onalfo said. Simms, an ironman the previous two years and third on the team in minutes played in 2010, was also sidelined by a knee injury in preseason and a hamstring setback in the season opener.

In his absence, Stephen King is expected to start Saturday against the New England Revolution in Foxborough, Mass.

Meantime, defender Dejan Jakovic, who traveled to Salt Lake but didn't play after aggravating a hamstring injury, is day to day. Defender Juan Manuel Pena (quadriceps) has begun possession exercises and needs much more time to regain match fitness.

How does Onalfo deal with the injuries?

"You take a deep breath every day, Zen moments. Listen, I would be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated by it. I have had many games where I have had to make changes because of injuries. I have had to juggle things prior to games, which affects our preparation. Whatever, that's all part of it and you have to deal with it."

For more United news.....

Are any trialists coming in this week? "I'm not going to comment on that right now," Onalfo said. He did confirm, though, that Brazilian wing Junior Carreiro, 18-year-old brother of former DCU player Fred, is going to be signed at some point. "Whether or not it's right now is to be determined based on other things we are looking at but he will definitely be part of our team next year," Onalfo said.

I asked Onalfo what, after reviewing video, did he see in Saturday's loss.

"What did you see?"

I saw a goalkeeper who didn't make a big save. Did you see that?

"I'm not going to comment on individuals; that's not my style. We didn't make big plays on either side of the field. If you look at the game statistically, it's an even game, but it's 3-0. There were three shots on goal and there were three goals. We didn't have great opportunities, but we had opportunities to get ourselves in it, and we didn't."

What did you like?

"There were moments, especially in the second half, where we moved the ball well, which was encouraging. Andy Najar -- he really hasn't practiced in two weeks because of this thigh issue that he has had. He just fights through it and makes things happen. That's inspirational.

"I thought the effort was really good. It wasn't a lack of effort; it was a lack of execution. Those are the things where, as a coach, you really scratch your head because, what do you do? Rip into the team like they didn't have a good enough effort? They had a good enough effort; they didn't execute. It's that fine balance. You keep plugging away. What else is there to do? If that means you make a couple of [lineup] changes, you make a couple of changes. Those are the things we will look at this week."

Besides King likely replacing Simms, perhaps Bill Hamid for Troy Perkins in goal? Jakovic for Carey Talley in central defense? Chris Pontius for Danny Allsopp at forward?

By Steve Goff  |  August 3, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Curt Onalfo, D.C. United  
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Comments

It's often darkest before the dawn. We are in a bit of a nasty funk right now. We'll get out of it. With no relegation/promotion there's nowhere else to go but up...so...there it is.

I've been sickened, angry, depressed and sadened by this strange bout of funk that has a firm grip on our club that all I have left is my optimisim...and my nevr dying love for my club and it's colors.

VAMOS UNITED!!

We will come through it (not this year) but we will.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Time for open tryouts.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | August 3, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Goff, when is the next time that you'll be having a Q&A? Looking forward to more posts from you.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | August 3, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@Kosh2,

Here,here!

At this point, until news changes, I'm happy to have MLS and soccer to see in person in my back yard. That could change in the next two years...

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 3, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"They had a good enough effort; they didn't execute."

What!

This must be one of the stupidest things ever to come out of Onalfo's mouth.

If they didn't execute, then the effort was not good enough.

Posted by: fret44 | August 3, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"I saw a goalkeeper who didn't make a big save. Did you see that?"

Fin.

Posted by: Section117 | August 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"You take a deep breath every day, Zen moments."

For a moment I thought that Phil Jackson was our head coach, but then I remembered that Phil Jackson coached 11 championship teams and we're 3-12-3.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 3, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"They had a good enough effort; they didn't execute."

What!

This must be one of the stupidest things ever to come out of Onalfo's mouth.

If they didn't execute, then the effort was not good enough.

Posted by: fret44 | August 3, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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

Uuuuuhhhhhh nnnnnnoooooo! This is a very common coaching problem. Usually it basically comes down to the opponent having more skill than you. However, absolutely, positively you can have effort without execution or technical skill. It's not stupid at all. However, your comment is ignorant.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 3, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen the whole match, just watched the 5 minute 'highlights'.

Certainly a miserable game from Perkins. But, other than Najar's nice little run, and 2 Branko near misses, that was all there was to see of 10 field players. Except for horrid defending.

If Troy has just an 'off' game, rather than a 'nightmare', it's still 1 or 2 - nil.

If he has a great game, road draw!

Posted by: JkR- | August 3, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Zen moments? This guy is really lucky I can't reach him. They are all clueless. How can they fix the problems with club when they can't point them out? Argh!!!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 3, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Goff - before the season you had an interview with Onalfo where he talked about how badly affected by injuries DC was in the previous season, and how he had superior training methods he was bringing to the team that would result in fewer injuries. Can you ask him a followup on that? Can you ask Kevin Payne why DC seems to have the most injuries of any team, season after season.

Is there an intern there that you can get to look through injury reports by season and figure out the number of players injured over a season for a team by team comparison?

Posted by: joe_hill | August 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

This season cannot end soon enough. Curt Onalfo cannot be let go soon enough. Ditto for the front office.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Onalfo is quoted twice saying "What do you do?" How about yes, you rip into them. They are looking pathetic lately and Onalfo doesn't have a clue.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | August 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Kosh2 and VBB. I support this team and this league and will continue to do so. DCU's and American soccer's future begins from here.

And it DID look like we had the potential to equalize in the second half of that match. The possession was pretty good, and there was no sense of a team that had given up (effort).

Posted by: dccal | August 3, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

On-awful-o

Posted by: badhairday | August 3, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Coach is saying that he does not have the talent to compete. Just because he is not calling individual players out in public does not mean that he is not doing just that in private. I'm not at all convinced that Onalfo is the problem. There have been many player acquisitions over the last two years that have not worked out. Players have much in with much anticipation only to be cut a few months later. So either ownership is not spending the money and/or mgmt is not spending it wisely. Its all very depressing. Other franchises that use to be the laughing stock of the league have spent big bucks on international signings while United is becoming a regular door mat.

Posted by: nyjer1 | August 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

So either ownership is not spending the money and/or mgmt is not spending it wisely. Its all very depressing. Other franchises that use to be the laughing stock of the league have spent big bucks on international signings while United is becoming a regular door mat.

Posted by: nyjer1 | August 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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

There is no money to spend. Chang's pockets aren't real deep and United has no day to day revenue. Think Kansas City Royals but with a far worse stadium revenue situation.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Than Chang should sell to a local group committed to building a stadium in the DC-area.

The fact that DCU is now even compared to the Royals/Orioles of MLB is a rather sad statement of how far this franchise has fallen under current ownership/management.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 3, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

These injuries are getting ridiculous. I can't think of another team that has dealt with this amount of injuries in MLS. Are they even practicing?

Posted by: wanker82 | August 3, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

+1 for Mr. McPoop's comments.

To the earlier point, is it poor execution by skilled players or an overall lack of technical skill? My sense is that DC United slide backward or barely held even skill-wise while he rest of the league made significant improvements over the last 3 years.

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

I'm sure if you could point Chang to this mythical local ownership group "committed to building a stadium" he would sell yesterday! Who do you think is out there to buy this team????

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

I'm sure if you could point Chang to this mythical local ownership group "committed to building a stadium" he would sell yesterday! Who do you think is out there to buy this team????

Posted by: fedssocr | August 3, 2010 3:07 PM


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


Thank you for the sanity check

Posted by: JkR- | August 3, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the skill question, IMO it is a combination of both with lack of skill being the more predominant problem. I am a believer in the school of thought that says you are what you are. DCU's record, 3-12-3, is an indication of their skill level with respect to the rest of the league.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 3, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

What Gambrills said. As the great philosopher said, "I am what I am , and that's all that I am."

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

Uhhhhh, We has positive news coming into RSL and we have negative news leaving. Story of the season. Bring on Jemal Johnson and Fred's brother.

Posted by: Dash10 | August 3, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

half full:

"I'm not going to comment on individuals; that's not my style."

I like this about Onalfo, which is a sharp contrast to some others who are and have coached in DC. I imagine players appreciate it even more than a supporter does.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 3, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure if you could point Chang to this mythical local ownership group "committed to building a stadium" he would sell yesterday! Who do you think is out there to buy this team????

Posted by: fedssocr | August 3, 2010 3:07 PM
---------------------------------------------------------

I bought my lottery ticket. The $42 million jackpot probably isn't enough though....

Posted by: fischy | August 3, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Will has enought money to fund this team (and organization) into a competitive posture. Like all sports teams, there is a budget on expenses (training facilities, scouting, video, etc.) and unlike George Allen/EBW, it is not an unlimited budget that will be exceeded.

The question is how good the decision-making is on which players are hired to play for his team. Player salaries are tightly capped and paid by MLS. No disadvantage there vis a vis other teams until you get to the questions of how is the money being spent and who are the people in the positions that make those decisions.

Clearly, based on the priciple of results preached so avidly by Kasper, the allotted funds for player salaries are poorly spent. That calls into question an area in which Will does have total control: technical staff salaries. It can be fairly said that Will is getting an underperformance by the person holding the general manager position. Sound business principles dictate that a replacement be made; Will just hasn't done it yet, largely due to the fact that KP is protecting Kasper. But for KP, Kasper would have been gone long ago, I believe.

I'm sure Will has a plan; it involves a new stadium and until that is sorted out, he will struggle to make the sound decisions necessary to make DCU successful by whatever measure is used.

In the meantime, he can help the cause by insisting that there be better performance by the GM, the president, the coaches, and the head athletic trainer. That is usually done by replacing underperforming personnel with new ones.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 3, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@ Kosh - it's often darkest right before everything goes PITCH BLACK!

Posted by: soccerman | August 3, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Once Hamid is the declared starter is when we will start winning games again. HE is the future of DC United, and the USMNT for that matter. DC United better not mess up Hamid's career like they did with Freddy Adu! They need to get him in playing real games, and get him a defense that can provide a little cover...And Trade Perkins away to anyone who will take him. He no longer good enough for the MLS. At best Perkins is a USL keeper.

Posted by: alan19 | August 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

DC United better not mess up Hamid's career like they did with Freddy Adu!

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

Utter complete rubbish

Posted by: OWNTF | August 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Once Hamid is the declared starter is when we will start winning games again. HE is the future of DC United, and the USMNT for that matter. DC United better not mess up Hamid's career like they did with Freddy Adu! They need to get him in playing real games, and get him a defense that can provide a little cover...And Trade Perkins away to anyone who will take him. He no longer good enough for the MLS. At best Perkins is a USL keeper.

Posted by: alan19 | August 3, 2010 4:42 PM

dude, people might take you more seriously if everyone of your posts didn't slander Troy Perkins in some way. i doubt anybody disagrees that Hamid is the future, but Perkins is a solid MLS keeper who is going through a rough patch while standing behind a patchwork d-line. beyond that, if his deal to come back to MLS stated he would only come to DC or Philly, then he probably also has a no-trade clause.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 3, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

""I'm not going to comment on individuals; that's not my style."

"Andy Najar -- he really hasn't practiced in two weeks because of this thigh issue that he has had. He just fights through it and makes things happen. That's inspirational."

Uh . . .

Posted by: delantero | August 3, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else just hear Soehn chuckle?

Posted by: DaninFL | August 3, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

How unrealistic is it to think we could have Bob Bradley as coach? Let's face it, coaching is still the number one element that makes or breaks a team and with Soehn and the even worse Onalfo, coaching is our weakest link. If Bradley or someone of that calibre could come in, then I'd get excited again. We have some raw talent in some of the players. We need a good coach to lead them in the future. The fans need good news that the front office is listening to us and make a change right up top.

Posted by: bspence11 | August 3, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Onalfo is right to put a brave face on the situation, but last winter we heard about accountability. We will see whether that was itself a brave face, or whether personal responsibility for several years of mediocrity is going to climb higher up the ladder than the coach.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | August 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Perkins is our problem. DC keeps letting goals in due to small things, like Graye's inexperience or Simms trying a risky offsides trap.

DC needs better consistency. I will not deny that they have been consistant, but they're being the wrong kind of consistant. Our problem is shooting, passing and not doing stupid things.

Though I would like a new FO that doesn't suck at making DC look good.

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 3, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

We keep coming back to the same thing over and over.

This team is just not good enough. The talent on the team is not at a level to be competitive in MLS. It is not a problem of effort.

The real problem is with a Front Office that has spent WAY too much time talking about what was not what needs to be. MLS today is a much different animal to the League United dominated years ago.

The Front Office including the GM, Kevin Payne, and Director of Football, Dave Kasper have been making very poor decisions over the last several years and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Unlike some others, I believe Onalfo shares some of the blame. After all he was the one that said at the begining of the season that he was very happy with the makeup of this United team while many others didn't even see this team as good as last year team that did not make the playoffs.

Posted by: dcufan531 | August 3, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I got laughed at at the start of the season when I noted that United always seems to have key players missing large chunks of the season due to muscle injuries.

Hmm.

Posted by: the_slammer | August 3, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Curt onalfo was bad in Kansas and he is even worse in Dc. In the preseason he promised that DC would get back to playing there beautiful style of soccer. It has been ugly all year and he was conservative from the jump. He didn't even know how he was going to use moreno this year. He started him the whole preseason and then dump him on the bench after a few weeks in the season. Stay consistent! If he didn't want to use him then he would have stepped up as a leader and said "you can't do as much as you think you can". That is what preki's old coach told him and he then retired and became a decent coach. Onalfo just puts moreno in for a defender in the 80th minute every week, claims that he is still our captain, and wonders why we leak late goals.

Posted by: dcu99 | August 3, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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