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Open Cup matchnight: D.C. United vs. Crew

Before we turn our attention to D.C. United's biggest match of this difficult year, a U.S. Open Cup semifinal against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium, let's pick up where we left off during this morning's online chat concerning the state and direction of the local club.

Diehard supporters and casual fans alike have questions about the roster, about the front office, about the stadium situation. I tried to address several of these issues, but in a rapid-fire format with independent insight that only goes so deep, it's a challenge to explain everything. Fortunately for supporters, you will have a chance to go straight to the boss, club president Kevin Payne.

Current season ticket holders and those who have made commitments for 2011 will have access to Q&A sessions with Payne at RFK's Capitol View Club before home matches this Saturday, and again on Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and Oct. 23. Walk-ups are welcome, as long as you have your DCU season ticket membership card, but the club would prefer that you RSVP here. Payne will address the gathering, discuss the future and field questions about the team.

As for tonight, there is no TV coverage, but you can watch streaming live video on DCU's Web site. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. In case of a tie after regulation, 30 minutes of overtime and, if necessary, penalty kicks will decide the winner.

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

Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section. I will post periodic updates on my Twitter page.

By Steve Goff  |  September 1, 2010; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup  | Tags: D.C. United, U.S. Open Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wednesday kickaround: U.S. Open Cup semifinals, SuperLiga final, WPS playoff race, Philly friendly
Next: D.C. United falls to Columbus Crew, 2-1, in overtime in U.S. Open Cup semifinals


Git 'r' dun boys!!!!

Oh wait...wrong sport.... Vamos United!!

Posted by: nairbsod | September 1, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, since we bash Payne frequently around here I suppose it's only fair to give credit where credit's due. Props to KP for facing season ticket holders and taking questions. Regardless of what he'll say, it can't be easy to be on the hot seat.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 1, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse


bout to catch the metro over to rfk... hope i dont miss kickoff...

they should start pontius...

Posted by: rademaar | September 1, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Did grubbsbi make it from the airport yet?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 1, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

OT: I'm assuming these rankings are fairly unscientific, but DCU sits behind seven USL2 and USSFD2 teams in CONCACAF club rankings. Just for fun.

Posted by: benonthehill | September 1, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This right here is my community and my life, just like I-270Exit1. I don't even need to go outside.

Posted by: GeneWells | September 1, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The feed with Tony on DCU's website is pretty good. Much better than watching the match via ATDHE. Now let's see how our entire season plays out over the next 60'.


Posted by: tcbannon | September 1, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who can't seem to get the DC United's website feed to work?

Posted by: no_recess | September 1, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Liking King's work in the midfield.

Posted by: tcbannon | September 1, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Didn't make it. Flight delayed so I just got in. Big blower. What is the score?

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 1, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

80th minute. DC up 1-0, down a man. Hernandez scored on a PK and also got a red card. Though down a man, DC dominating possession. Najar is an absolute STUD.

Posted by: DaninFL | September 1, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Score? Time?

Posted by: GMUMiked | September 1, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Goff Tweets that about 3500 showed up tonight. Props to them.

Perhaps should have had the game at the Plex?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 1, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Score? Time?

Posted by: GMUMiked | September 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Crew ties it with 2 minutes left in regulation. Najar narrowly misses go ahead opportunity. Now in stoppage.

Posted by: gulliver182 | September 1, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Score? Time?

Posted by: GMUMiked | September 1, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

3 minutes into first of two 15 minute overtime periods, still 1-1.

Posted by: gulliver182 | September 1, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Crew converts PK, now 2-1 Columbus.

Posted by: gulliver182 | September 1, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well with the Open Cup out of the way, now we can really focus on getting into the MLS playoffs..........

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 1, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

i remember when losing used to gut me. now, i am used to it. it doesn't affect me at all. i just shrug my shoulders and turn off the game. sad.

Posted by: birdynumnum | September 1, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I still get gutted. I guess I'll present my paper depresed tomorrow :( haha

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 1, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from the match. What a surprise to see that the exit to the SE/SW free way from Lot 8 was closed after the game. Very smart planning by DDOT and DCU.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | September 1, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Well at least Burch scored. Wrong goal, but he still got credit for a goal!

I hope Benny isn't taking it too hard. There wasn't much more he could do with this lineup and staying up 1-0 on one of the best teams in MLS for most of regulation down a man was a great accomplishment for him and this team.

Let’s see if he can take it to them this weekend and get some revenge…although do we really want to help the Red Bulls capture 1st in the East?

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 1, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, as much as I hate to say it, I lay a lot of the blame at Benny's feet. Najar was DEAD at about 65', and Olsen leaves him in for 120' on a 10-man side. All props to Najar for toughing it out, but that is just poor coaching. You're never going to get away with that.

oh, and way to show up, folks, can't imagine why the team would contemplate a move.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 1, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

3500 looked about right. I do like the La Norte Ultras combo that was going on.

I don't think the city is bothering to consider our games as events anymore so not surprised they closed the access to the freeway. Actually, not sure if DCU considers our games events anymore either, two girls working the Ledos stand meant long beer lines.

Posted by: DCB23 | September 1, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Even after this long season, what just happened really hurts. Nothing more can hurt us this year, lets just hope for better in 2011.

Posted by: rockotodd | September 1, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with DC United's effort tonight but it was another extremely disappointing evening. We led for about 70 minutes, then found a way to lose.

The ref made the 2 biggest plays of the game. They both went against DC and I didn't understand either one. What was the call that got Hernandez sent off and turned around the momentum of the game? A DC player was fouled and it wasn't called until Najar had gotten the ball with about 20 yards of space on the far side of the field and a bunch of open space between him and Columbus' goal. I know the initial call was a foul by Columbus because DC took the restart after Hdez was sent off.

The PK in overtime may have been correct (Columbus scored moments after Talley had gotten beaten down the endline) but since the goal was waved off and the ref seemed to be pointing upfield I thought he was signaling a direct kick for DC when he was apparently pointing backwards to the penalty spot.

Disheartening and unbelievable spirit sapping misses from Najar at the end of regulation and Jakovic in overtime.

There may be a special place in hell where soccer fans get there hopes up for every game and wind up with results like we got tonight. And so many other times in 2010.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 1, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I thought DC played OK considering they were down a man most of the game and even had a great deal of possession. Najar is the man. Why was Jakovic a forward? As soon as I saw Talley come in, I knew it was over. I think he is our worst defender. But McTavish was getting beaten all night too.

I think DCU just needs to learn to freaking shoot the ball at the goal.

Posted by: SeanWG | September 1, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

so disappointing. I would certainly like to know what that red card was all about. This referee was clearly not ready for prime time. Send him back to the U18s. Totally inconsistent all night, no command at all.

But we had our chances despite all that. I couldn't believe Najar missed that chance at the end of the game but the GK was closing on him pretty fast. Jakovic's miss in OT was even worse.

I also agree that Ben wasn't very smart about using the subs. We had some tired legs out there. Allsopp looked completely out of it all game and probably should have been subbed at halftime.

What's the deal with Pontius? Is he still hurt? In Ben's doghouse for some reason? We need our talented players on the field since we have so few. Tino tried hard again tonight, but he's basically useless.

Graye looked completely terrible. His confidence is totally gone. He makes stupid passes with the pace of a 5 year old.

I hope you guys given Kevin Payne hell. He deserves it.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 1, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I was there and maybe it's the $10 Guinness' talking but G damn I'm tired of losing. Worst F'ing season ever.

Posted by: Truckr | September 1, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

If there was a match that warranted USSF investigation for bias . . . this would be the match. Either that, I we must accept that the officials were grossly inept.

The benchside AR couldn't get Offside correct to save his life, but at least he was consistent. That was about the only consistency . . . except for being bad. The CR would card DCU for something that he wouldn't blow the whistle for when Columbus did the same thing. Haven't been so disgusted with the Officials in a couple of years.

Posted by: carnack | September 2, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

ouch that hurt, but I'm glad I was there.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 2, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

the replay i saw of the redcard play seemed legit. Pablo went up against Marshall, fell down (for the 12th time) and was crashed into by an on coming O'Rourke(?), who could not stop. as pablo rolled over, he kicked out at O'Rourke, who immediately got down in Pablo's face, which drew the crowd. not sure the CR saw it but the bench side AR and the 4thO most likely did. not quite as bad as Wicks last year, but still a foolish/selfish play at a very inopportune moment. I hope Goff is right that Pablo likely won't be back. You can't be a forward in MLS if you are always falling down. Hes shown that he simply isnt adaptible enough to understand that if a ref isn't going to give you the call, you should stop falling down.

as much as I love them, and as hard as they both played tonight I hope DJak and Najar have trouble sleeping for a while after those two misses. professionals shouldn't miss those chances.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 2, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

ouch that hurt, but I'm glad I was there.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 2, 2010 12:33 AM

me too. the did play their hearts out, just weren't good enough tonight.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 2, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I want to echo Joel Lane's comment about the call on Hernandez. I have no clue why the ref didn't let play continue, as he blew up one of DC's atrongest attacks. With the foul committed by the Crew, he should have played the advantage. Cards could have waited. Then again, I didn't understand the call that gave the Crew a PK, when they could have let play continue. Also, given the way O'Rourke was in his face, I don't see how he only got yellow and Pablo got a red. I didn't understand the yellow in the first half (Jakovic?) either. Routine play -- there were numerous, and none drew cards.

Still, it's hard to blame the ref when the team blew such great chances. Perhaps the most disappointing part of this loss is that the team put together several of their best passing combinations this season. McTavish did a great job setting up Najar on what might have been the goal of the year for the team. The combination passing on the overtime chance was also great, and I think Jakovic had one of those moments where it was harder to miss than score, but miss he did.

Posted by: fischy | September 2, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

the did play their hearts out, just weren't good enough tonight.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 2, 2010 12:39 AM

Not just tonight, that's been the case for the past few years at DCU. Not Payne's, Kasper's or Chang's fault though.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 2, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Other observations -- on another United blog site, I see praise for Quaranta's performance. Let me offer a contrarian view. THe dude hustles, and he;s great with the ball at his foot...dribbling. When he hits the ball in the air, it's a very different story. Tino overhits every ball. Not some balls. Not most balls. EVERY ball!!!

Let me say that again, Tino overhits EVERY SINGLE ball that he kicks into the air. If he's trying to pass to someone, he'll lead him too far. On a corner kick, he'll kick it almost over everyone. If he's hitting a free kick, he will hit it too close to the goalie or again, too far over to the far side. And, his shooting? Every shot goes over the goal. It was a miracle that he hit the crossbar on Sunday. If this game is archived somewhere, watch it. EVERY ball he play into the air is overhit.

Also, if you watch it again, watch for something else. Tino misses every jump-ball header that comes his way. At some point, I started to wonder if it was deliberate on his part -- that he's trying to avoid heading the ball or perhaps just avoid head-to-head collisions. Time after time, I watched him move towards balls headed his way only to see the ball sail over his head to the Crew defender behind him. Either he cannot judge a ball in flight, or it's something else.

I think Tino needs to go through some very basic drills, to get his kicks under control and to line-up lofted balls for headers.

If we could combine Tino -- who overhits every ball -- with Jordan Graye -- who, as fedsoccer notes, hits his passes with the pace of a 5-year old -- we'd have one really good player.

Posted by: fischy | September 2, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Here are my predictions for United not only for the rest of the season but their future. 1st of all everybody who expects wins in the remaining games is seriously naieve and clueless!!! It's gonna be the same thing, they have possession, some good passes, a few good chances, but in the end of the day the quality of scoring isn't gonna be there. A few mistakes from who ever is on "D" boom...DC lost the game! As for United's future i think if DC has nothing resolved by the end of the '11 season we're gonna be seeing United elsewhere and the most disturbing thing is that their gonna be successful(with or without Kevin and cheap salesman Dave). So sad for a club who pioneered for MLS...

Posted by: rigs88 | September 3, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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