Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Monday kickaround: D.C. United, U of Virginia, USSF-Klinsmann, Gold Pride wins WPS

Before I depart on another special reporting assignment, this one in Ohio, you should know that:

*Jeff Maurer, The Post's Box Seats blogger on D.C. United, reviews the latest catastrophe at RFK Stadium.

*Stat of the day: By setting up Andy Najar's goal Saturday, Santino Quaranta moved into a tie for the club lead in assists ... with Rodney Wallace ... who has not played since early June because of a broken leg. They both have two.

*The University of Virginia scored in the closing moments to win at Clemson, 1-0, and improve to 5-1-1 overall. The Cavs will play their next six matches at home.

*Soccer America's Mike Woitalla gets it right on the USSF-Juergen Klinsmann saga.

For more.....

*Gold Pride (tied with WPS's Sky Blue for American pro sports' worst team name) won the women's title with a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Independence. Brazilian genius Marta was dominant, assisting three times before capping the match seconds before the final whistle with her 20th goal of the year. Philly hardly had a chance, and not just because the northern California hosts were by far the best club in the league. The Independence played 120 minutes last Sunday and another 120 Thursday before traveling cross-country for the final to face a team that hadn't had a game in 15 days.

When WPS introduced its unique playoff format last year, I loved it: the top seed receives an automatic bye to the final, the fourth seed visits the No. 3 seed in the first round, with the winner visiting the second seed in the semifinal. But the system in terribly flawed and must be changed. First, the No. 3 seed hosts a playoff game on a weekend while the superior No. 2 team receives a mid-week home date. Second, the compact schedule leaves the survivor of the earlier rounds exhausted. Third, the top seed's long layoff threatens to disrupt form and rhythm. While WPS has many more important issues to confront this offseason -- how many owners are committed to 2011? what can be done to improve dreadful attendance? how to work around the World Cup next summer? -- the playoff structure certainly needs adjusting.

*Washington Freedom defender Becky Sauerbrunn, profiled by the Insider two weeks ago, has been called into U.S. national team camp. The Americans are preparing for friendlies against China on Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga., and Oct. 6 in Chester, Pa.

By Steve Goff  | September 27, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, D.C. United, Freedom, U.S. men's national team, USSF, Women  | Tags:  D.C. United, USSF, WPS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: American soccer players abroad: 3 goals again
Next: D.C. United's coaching search and options

Comments

15,896 watched UCSB defeat UCLA 2-0 on Friday night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_oS-PEv7cI

second-largest crowd in NCAA history!

Posted by: Pedalada | September 27, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Steve went back to Ohio
There was no train station
But there was the Zips...

Charlottesville is just two hours away from my tiny hamlet of Haymarket. I gotta get down and see if the Cavs are as good as some say.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 27, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

In better news, N-tieractive won the Dc United Corporate Cup on Saturday. It was hotly contested and the final was won in sudden death OT. Taylor Young was insane. He scored 10 goals in 6 games. Dave Kasper has his tape. Lets hope the scouts are checking Taylor out.

Posted by: jsm3 | September 27, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I do like the WPS format if there was a more equitable way to implement it.

But I heard about another interesting playoff system - it wouldn't help the scheduling issue WPS faces, but it's kind of unique. In Super League rugby, the top four teams make the playoffs and the regular-season champion gets to pick its semifinal opponent.

Also, the A-League in Australia has a neat setup. Six teams make the playoffs, first round is 1v2, 3v4 and 5v6. The 1-2 winner advances to the final. The 3-4 winner plays the 5-6 winner, with that winner playing the 1-2 loser for the other spot in the final.

Posted by: bulldogric | September 27, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone other than the DC statistics guys consider tino's pass an assist?? I'd give the goal and assist to Andy

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | September 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Presumably you're going to be in Ohio to report on the mighty Zips and commend Caleb Porter on his decision to stick with Akron instead of coaching DC United.

Please ask him if he thinks his current team could beat DCU.

Posted by: mercedeskk | September 27, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

OT, but can we start talking protection lists for the expansion draft.
Shall I assume every team will possibly lose two players?
Who is GA and protected now anyway?
Who will grad from GA in the offseason and require protection?
I'd like to believe that Najar, Hamid, and Shanosky are off limits as well as our DP's.
I'm also going to assume that we have signed Boskovic through next season, and will probably not have to protect him unless there is some sort of stipulation in his contract?
It may be early to talk about this stuff, but sitting with my neighbor the other night watching the game I couldn't help but bringing it up.

As much as I've wanted Quaranta to succeed I feel like he's the soccer version of Jason Campbell... Lot's of heart, some latent talent, but doomed to poor execution. It's a hard cookie to swallow when you're trying to be optimistic, but we could really use better players in the attack. I recall hearing rumors that they shopped Quaranta around behind closed doors in the offseason and no one wanted him. I respect his commitment and I love his story, but the numbers are impossible to ignore any longer.

I literally feel bad for Najar to have to shoulder so much for this club at such a young age. He needs team mates that offer much more. For the little amount of cash the kid is taking home for his efforts he's getting ripped off by his team mates.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 27, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Loved the WPS championship game. Congrats to FC Gold Pride for playing a truly beautiful game. Glad that Philly had no handballs that let them 'win' this one and that the rough bullying some of Philly's players dished out didn't go unnoticed by the refs this time. I am looking forward to the next WPS season and will be there to watch the USA's WNT take on China this w/e!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 27, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

OT:

In my Wash Post "Network News" section to the right, was this editorial headline:

"What Will Future Generations Condemn Us For?"

The next headline:

"Stephen Colbert testifies on Capitol Hill"

Perfect.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 27, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Clemson-UVA game. Clemson outplayed UVA for most of the game but like our beloved United, Clemson could not put it in the back of the net. I am also partial, my girlfriend went to Clemson and I went to THE Univesity of Virginia (James Madison). I was not overly impressed with UVA, that was the best I have seen Clemson play but they are a team made up of mostly freshman.

Posted by: evanskr521 | September 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If you had gone to THE University, you might have been able to spell it correctly.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: You are right about Quaranta. Rongen was saying essentially the same on the game broadcast.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 27, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Sky Blue FC the #4 seed last year when they won the title? Just saying.....

United is a collection of choking dogs right now. With the exception of Najar, the team approaches every finishing opportunity with extreme indecisiveness, they regularly find ways to lose games where they have controlled possessionthroughout, and they are masters of giving away goals at crunch time. Everybody needs to shut up about the Capitals. At least they wait until the postseason to do their choking. United evidently wants to avoid the postseason rush and get their choking in now.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 27, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Goff - any comments about the odd refereeing decision in the RSL-Colorado game Sat. night in which the ref (Hernandez) awared RSL a PK and then seemed to allow the line judge to talk him out of it?? looked like he had it right the first time.

Posted by: foul_throw | September 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I think it would be interesting for you to put up a poll asking readers whether they think WPS will be around for another season.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I recall hearing rumors that they shopped Quaranta around behind closed doors in the offseason and no one wanted him.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 27, 2010 10:25 AM

I dont recall Goff ever reporting such a rumor - I seem to remember him saying the club loves Tino, and that he wasn't going anywhere.

I think Tino still has a place on this team, so long as the players around him are significantly improved next season. He is a very good role player, and I think often times we expect too much of him.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 27, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Don't agree with that Soccer America piece when it comes to this:
"And the USA doesn’t need a coach to revamp its system. What the U.S. national team needs in a coach is one who can succeed at the World Cup, where it has hit a frustrating plateau."

Why would anybody believe that those two goals are mutually exclusive?

Posted by: FrancoNiell | September 27, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I hear the Freedom has fired the whole coaching staff. And that league-wide lots of personnel are being let go. Things don't look good for WPS going forward.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 27, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I have a different view of Tino.

Emotionally, I want us to stick with the kid.

But when looking at the evidence, it doesn't support him in the starting 11 for most teams in MLS, and if we had a better team, he would be riding pine.

He has got to convert the wide open opportunity he seems to find every game.

How many years have YOU said "Tino's a project but he's heart and soul for United. Stick it out and he'll pay off next year." ? How many years can we afford to do that?

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 27, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I have a different view of Tino.

Emotionally, I want us to stick with the kid.

But when looking at the evidence, it doesn't support him in the starting 11 for most teams in MLS, and if we had a better team, he would be riding pine.

He has got to convert the wide open opportunity he seems to find every game.

How many years have YOU said "Tino's a project but he's heart and soul for United. Stick it out and he'll pay off next year." ? How many years can we afford to do that?

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 27, 2010 11:32 AM

that was exactly my point. Tino is arguably the 2nd most talented player on United's roster, which shows how horrific United's roster really is. Go back to the summer of '08 when Tino was playing the super sub role on a much more offensively talented team - he was very effective. If he has other solid goal scorers around him, I think he would relax more, and be more productive. Its too much to ask him to be THE scorer on this team, but that doesn't mean he is worthless.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

15,896 watched UCSB defeat UCLA 2-0 on Friday night

Posted by: Pedalada | September 27, 2010 9:33 AM

United outdrawn by the Gauchos. Woe is us.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 27, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@Gambrills4: Well, since you brought up the subject, I am not going to shut up about the Capitals. Someone on this blog said recently that DCU should emulate the Capitals because, after all, they are the one team in the area that wins.

The problem with that logic is the Capitals have never won anything other than a plurality of regular season games and an occasional playoff series. They have NEVER won a Stanley Cup. The closest they came was once in the 1990's when they advanced to the finals and I believe got blown out by Detroit in a 4-game sweep.

The Capitals are nothing more than choking dogs until such time as they win the Cup. Maybe they will win it this year, maybe not. If we want to hold up an NHL team for DCU to emulate, then how about Detroit or Pittsburgh. I don't like either of those teams, but at least they have won something in the NHL that means something.

One might even argue that the present edition of DCU doesn't choke. Choking means that you have top team that loses big games it should have won. DCU is a bottom-dwelling team that is long on warm-bodied duffers but woefully short of real soccer talent. Despite that, they can keep games competitive for about 60-70 minutes, after which they have given it about all they have and the other team usually surges to win.

We can rue the own goal against the Dynamo, or the apparently errant offide call, but the fact is Houston is a flat-out better soccer team than DCU is. It is not surprising at all that they won.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 27, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it was free mini-surfboard night at the UCSB game.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

That brilliant goal by Najar -- where did that ball come from? Who is the ONLY player on this team who can make that pass, and makes about a dozen of them every game?

If Q played on a men's team, he wouldn't be on the bench, he'd be leading the world in assists, and have another reason to e just a BIT more patient around the goal.

He's also DCU's fastest player, strongest player, most committed player, and the only reasonable choice as team captain.

Yeah, it's too bad he can't shoot, but come on. Pay attention!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 27, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

that was exactly my point. Tino is arguably the 2nd most talented player on United's roster, which shows how horrific United's roster really is. Go back to the summer of '08 when Tino was playing the super sub role on a much more offensively talented team - he was very effective. If he has other solid goal scorers around him, I think he would relax more, and be more productive. Its too much to ask him to be THE scorer on this team, but that doesn't mean he is worthless.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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

I assume then that the most talanted player on the team is Najar. That's like being valedictorian in summer school

Re RSL game: Hernandez, the ref, should be relieved that the game was played in the USA. If this were any other country, the fans would have stormed the pitch following a PK reversal like that.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals I like Tino as much as the next guy and there is no way he is father than Najar. Granted I see no reason anyone is even talking about getting rid of him.

1. He is one of the only people that tries on the team.
2. He is one of the only people that makes anything happen, however little that is, on the team.
3. There are eight other player to ditch before you think about offloading him.

Hamid and Najar are the only two players that I think are more important to the team. Hernandez maybe but it's too early to tell with him.

We need a defense, Wallace might be good when he gets back, but Burch has sucked every year. I don't know why the FO gets away with saying losing him impacted the team in a negative way. Namoff is retired, we need a RB. Our CBs are ok, but nothing to write home about.

Midfield is horrible, Tino is the least bad. Except Najar, but he seems to play as a reserved striker more than pure midfield.

Strikers Allsop is ok as a sub, and Hernandez might be decent in the future. Moreno is old and on his way out anyway. Pontius if he ever gets over his injury and doesn't turn into a Rosicky.

Goal Hamid looks promising and Perkins is garbage. I don't know what happened to him, but he's bad, real bad.

Face it we need a new team which is scary because each lineup change has made the team worse. We need to keep a core of players and bring in some new talent.

Keep Tino, Hamid, Najar, Jakovic, James, Hernandez, Allsop, Wallace, Pontius and maybe Boskovic.

Posted by: bighungry | September 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else in the area going to the friendly Saturday night?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 27, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Highly doubtful.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Going to see Abby WWOOMMBBAATTT get a goal in the friendly vs China! And Becky Saurerbrann, and (maybe?) Ashlyn Harris! GO USA and GO FREEDOM!!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 27, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

RK thanks, needed an ego check :-) but I was in the sciences.

Posted by: evanskr521 | September 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If by "get it right" you actually mean, "gets it wrong," then, yes, Woitalia "gets it right".

Many of the comments, on the other hand, do get it right.

Posted by: fed-up-united | September 27, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

If you had gone to THE University, you might have been able to spell it correctly.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 10:46 AM
____________________________
Silly Wahoo! Everyone knows William and Mary is THE university of Virginia.

Besides, since when can anyone in Charlottesville spell? ;)

Posted by: schmegegge | September 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

When are these season ticket holder/front office Q/A's supposed to happen?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't you mean "William & Mary"?

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@ Poopy

I believe the QnA's are at 5:00p on home game days. You need to bring your ticket and your Season Ticketholder Card.

Posted by: edmundburke247 | September 27, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta has heart and passion for this team. I would say most of us on "soccer insider" have heart and passion for this team. Maybe Tino should sit with us at RFK, or we should be in the starting 11.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | September 27, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

One might even argue that the present edition of DCU doesn't choke. Choking means that you have top team that loses big games it should have won. DCU is a bottom-dwelling team that is long on warm-bodied duffers but woefully short of real soccer talent. Despite that, they can keep games competitive for about 60-70 minutes, after which they have given it about all they have and the other team usually surges to win
=========================================

Baloney. Choking means failing under pressure, period. DCU more than qualifies. As much as I love United I will take the character of the guys on the Capitals over the guys currently playing for United any day and it is not strictly about their talent. Right now the Caps just have more character than United. The Cup is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 27, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Fire Bob Bradley!!!!

I just wanted to get in on the bashing. For the most part I agree with the analysis of DC United today.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 27, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Baloney. Choking means failing under pressure, period. DCU more than qualifies. As much as I love United I will take the character of the guys on the Capitals over the guys currently playing for United any day and it is not strictly about their talent. Right now the Caps just have more character than United. The Cup is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Gambrills4
---------------------------------

Hey, I like the Caps and all, but you're wrong on this. While I hate to pit local team vs local team, the Caps are the ones who've been the choke artists.

As reported in this espn.com article: "Defying all logic, the NHL's best regular-season team by a country mile folded in spectacular fashion, losing Game 7 of its conference quarterfinals series 2-1 and becoming the first No. 1 seed to blow a 3-1 series lead in the playoffs to an 8-seed."

That's not "choking"?

And I'd argue that this DCU team--while certainly dejected at times--has been playing with heart (especially since Benny took over). There's just a dearth of healthy talent on the team.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

While reading some of these posts, I choked on my Philly (Independence) cheese steak.

DC failing under pressure? I'll agree with that, if you define "pressure" as the opening whistle.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Prince,

I never said they the Caps didn't choke last year because they did. I just completely disagree with those that want to put that label on them and incorporate what happened in the 80's, 90's, and early on this past decade. Those players were completely different and there is no magical osmosis of past failings that occurs when you put on the jersey. That was then and this is now. Last year was the only year this group truly gagged. That's it for hockey but moving on to United I also disagree.

United has consistently failed under pressure this year. I agree that they lack the talent of others but it is very apparent when watching this group that they completely lack confidence and it shows on the field. You can just see how nervous this bunch gets at times and failing under pressure is choking whether you are expected to succeed or not.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 27, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if the pressure if the high humidity of DC. That could be your barometer of success.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Gambrills4: I agree that the Caps' ancient history is not relevant.

As for this DCU team, I would modify your statement that "United has consistently failed under pressure this year" to simply read "United has consistently failed this year."

To me "choking" is the failure to step and perform your very best at important times. Who's to say that we haven't see DCU's best?

Your point about lacking confidence is a key one, though. It's almost impossible to win if you don't expect to. Turning this around is not easy. Smarter people than me have failed in similar situations many times.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I hear the Freedom has fired the whole coaching staff. And that league-wide lots of personnel are being let go. Things don't look good for WPS going forward.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 27, 2010 11:22 AM
__________________________________

That'd be kind of hard to do. Gabarra and his staff could simply move down to coach the W-League team like they did in 2004.

I think you "hurd" wrong, bama.

Posted by: bs2004 | September 27, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@Gambrills4, OK, so your definition is "choking = losing" since during a game every soccer team is always "under pressure". After all, there is an opponent on the field and everything. Whatever.

Go back as many or as few years as you want, the Caps are choking dogs, and they are no example to United, unless your objective is to win some games in the regular season and then crash out of the playoffs every year. Talk to me about the Caps when they have won the Cup. And if you don't want the Caps brought up, then don't bring them up.

DC United needs players. The best players we have, what few we have, are young, and so are not going to win many games for us. For whatever reason, be it the FO and/or Chang or some combo thereof, this organization has lost its ability to evaluate and procure talent. Until that changes, DCU's best ain't gonna be good enough, just like the choking-dog caps.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Ron,

As Prince agreed with me, the past with different players doesn't count. That's fools logic.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 27, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

No Jozy today. Villarreal winning 3-2.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ron,

As Prince agreed with me, the past with different players doesn't count. That's fools logic.

Posted by: Gambrills4

But not as much fun.

I've always hated how people would say a certain player sucks because he can't win the big game...and then he does it, so what changed? Peyton Manning is a great example.

Posted by: Reignking | September 27, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@ Poopy

I believe the QnA's are at 5:00p on home game days. You need to bring your ticket and your Season Ticketholder Card.

Posted by: edmundburke247 | September 27, 2010 2:36 PM
-------

Have they actually had any of these yet?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Going to see Abby WWOOMMBBAATTT get a goal in the friendly vs China! And Becky Saurerbrann, and (maybe?) Ashlyn Harris! GO USA and GO FREEDOM!!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 27, 2010 1:00 PM
_________________________________________

Speaking of which, I learned a thing or two about wombats over the weekend, courtesy of the Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092403796.html

I'm thinking about a trip to the Electric Chair--oops, PPL Park--to see the China friendly, too. And I've also wondered whether Solo's injury would create an opening for Harris.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 27, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Goff, I think it would be interesting for you to put up a poll asking readers whether they think WPS will be around for another season.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 27, 2010 11:12 AM
__________________________________________

Why stop there? Why not ask the same question about the second and third tiers of men's pro soccer, most of whose teams would give their eyeteeth to be able to match WPS' "dreadful" attendance?

Posted by: universityandpark | September 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

+1

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 27, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I hear the Freedom has fired the whole coaching staff. And that league-wide lots of personnel are being let go. Things don't look good for WPS going forward.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 27, 2010 11:22 AM

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

One Freedom assistant coach resigned. Gabarra (head) and Wright (GK) are still there. But, yes, WPS is cutting personnel to match a leaner business model. That's still better than the WUSA spending itself into oblivion.

Posted by: kevinwparker | September 27, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I want what ever Mike Woitalla is smoking!... Really... That is exactly what th USSF needs a complete overhaul from the bottom up! Look at who is coaching our youth teams, some Colombian ex-defender who has no coaching experience and Rongen! enough said! Please Mr. Gulatti please re consider and hire the future (Klinsmann).

Posted by: DCFaninSocal | September 27, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company