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Friday kickaround: Red Bulls gain top seed in Eastern Conference, Jaime Moreno the prankster, Moreno Comcast roundtable

*A 5-19-6 record. Last place. A dismal attack. A minus-20 goal differential. D.C. United in 2010? No, the New York Red Bulls in 2009. A year later, the Red Bulls are the Eastern Conference's top seed heading into the MLS playoffs. They clinched first place Thursday with a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution. So there is hope for United. Now DCU just needs to sign the equivalent of Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, and draft the likes of Tim Ream and Tony Tchani.

*Jaime Moreno wasn't just a great scorer and creator for United. He was also a champion prankster. Goalkeepers coach Mark Simpson told me that, when Thomas Rongen was coach (1999-2001), Moreno would hide Rongen's cigarettes. "If anyone is missing anything, you just go to Jaime," Simpson said. On the D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has tales of briefcases and lizards.

*Host Russ Thaler, TV ace Dave Johnson, radio veteran Tony Limarzi and I discussed Moreno on a Comcast SportsNet roundtable. Watch:


By Steve Goff  | October 22, 2010; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United, MLS  
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Next: A final goal for D.C. United's Jaime Moreno

Comments

"Now DCU just needs to sign the equivalent of Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, and draft the likes of Tim Ream and Tony Tchani."

Chang reaction: "Who?"

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 22, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

United will be good next year, but I am interested in who will play outside full backs. Graye performed well, but development from year to year is key. Also, who will be our over-hyped signing?

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | October 22, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I was in the midst of composing something profound contrasting the fortunes of a loyal servant who was badly let down by his club and the end (Moreno) with those of a very talented but immature and callow young man who had badly let down the club that nurtured him through thick and thin (Rooney).

As sometimes happens when you take too long trying to be profound, you snooze, you lose: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/9118602.stm

Good thing I didn't burn Mr. BaRRD's new Rooney jersey.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | October 22, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

A little confused to see Rooney stay...

Posted by: Reignking | October 22, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Great sign about Rooney at the bottom :)

Posted by: Reignking | October 22, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, I think next year will also be a mostly rebuilding year. There are really only a handful of players I think need to stay for us to build on: A. Najar, B. Hamid, S. Quaranta, B. Boskvic, Zayner, J. James and C. Shanosky (because we haven't seen him yet). Graye has been good too. We need at least 2 solid defenders (maybe super-draft guys) and 3 forwards (although I'm not completely sour on Hernandez yet).

Posted by: ericruenes | October 22, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"I was in the midst of composing something profound contrasting the fortunes of a loyal servant who was badly let down by his club and the end (Moreno)..."

Apart from refusing to let him leave last off-season, can't imagine what you mean.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 22, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't Simms on your need-to-stay list? This was not a good season for him, but chalk that up to injuries. Last year, he was tremendous.

Posted by: glfrazier | October 22, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Graye performed well, but development from year to year is key.

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | October 22, 2010 8:34 AM

did he? I just remember him making the same critical mistakes over and over that cost us a lot of points. He embodies the problem the team had early on in which it failed to mentally compete for the full 90 minutes, only he continued to have the problem throught the rest of the season.

Posted by: VTUnited | October 22, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

For those of you with iPhone, the MLS is a great one. Free, with live commentary/play-by-play, and pretty much immediate highlight videos, of goals during games, and full packages afterwards. After the debacle that was the new website launch, I feel Luke they nailed this.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 22, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If healthy, I still like Burch.

Posted by: Reignking | October 22, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

If healthy, I still like Burch.

Posted by: Reignking | October 22, 2010 10:00 AM |

maybe it was because of the small sample of games, but I thought he played much better this season than he had over the last two.

Posted by: VTUnited | October 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten about Wallace? I routinely bench Burch in my FIFA11 and play a much more effective Wallace. I know it's just a video game but I've gotten some nice overlapping runs interchanging Najar and Quaranta on the wings... :)

Also, I thought Dane Richards goal last night was sick. Would love to see Najar get greedy like that and put some blasts on frame next season. No point in trying to thread a ball in to cinderblocks Dundee or floppy Hernandez...;)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 22, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

On that note, FM11 is out today. But I've got Benidorm playing in La Liga in 2018, so I think I'll stick with FM10 for now.

Posted by: Reignking | October 22, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten about Wallace? I routinely bench Burch in my FIFA11 and play a much more effective Wallace. I know it's just a video game but I've gotten some nice overlapping runs interchanging Najar and Quaranta on the wings... :)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 22, 2010 10:26 AM

I plug Wallace in at RB, and start myself on the left (ha). Seriously though, it will be nice to have Wallace back on the field somewhere.

Posted by: VTUnited | October 22, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Stunning news about Rooney. I thought he was gone. No way I will ever get a rooney shirt now though.
I wish I could be in the stands on Saturday to see Jaime one more time. I wish him all the best and I thank him for his years of service to the black and red.

Posted by: jjfooty | October 22, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Godfather, I was referring to this classless quote by KP:

For comments from United President Kevin Payne.....

Jaime says it was management's decision for him to leave after this season. Is that accurate?

"It's a collective decision that was unanimous. I don't know if he agrees, but management and team management all felt that this was the right thing to do."
Why was it the right thing to do?

"I don't want to get into that. It's time -- that's why."

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | October 22, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Goff/Johnson 2012.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 22, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Regarding next year, we need to keep our core group of defenders, Burch, James, McT,
Perkins, Hamid, Simms and maybe Zayner. Graye needs to stay on the bench until he learns to look behind him and stay with the runner. Up Front, Najar and Ponty ! Midfield- Boscovic and Wallace and ?? with Tino in support from the bench only. Tino is NOT a leader and when he gets the ball he moves to the center EVERY TIME and into traffic.

Posted by: patrick18 | October 22, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

BaRRD:

Payne's attempts at class are always painful, I agree. But in that context, the real answer was something no one wants to hear, especially from KP. The phrasing was inappropriately curt, but I think he was right to cut himself off at that point.

Dad:

"Has everyone forgotten about Wallace?..."

For practical purposes, yes. Man, why didn't they deal him a year ago while he still had some value?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 22, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I know it's just a video game but I've gotten some nice overlapping runs interchanging Najar and Quaranta on the wings... :)

-------------------------------------------------

See? This is why I don't waste my time on these games. It it was true-to-life, Wallace's crosses would all be deflected by tee man marking him out wide...and Tino wouldn't be interchanging with anyone. He'd be overhitting passes into the middle or slamming shots up into the stratosphere.

Maybe, they can fix that next year...with FIFA 2012

Posted by: fischy | October 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Is it OK to post info/links from the Examiner? MLS linked to an Examiner interview with KP. He rules out Olsen as coach next year. Also he defends United's 2008 campaign, which started so well and flamed out with injuries -- on the other hand, he admits it was a mistake to blow up the 2007 team. Finally, he makes some stadium news:

We’ve had conversations in the District, and there’s a couple of developers helping us....I believe that the incoming mayor wants us to remain in D.C. We have to figure out how to do that in a way that makes sense. At the same time, there’s a real opportunity, I think, in Baltimore. We’re going to have to weigh the realities that we’re faced with."

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sports/blogs/penalty-kicks/Paynes-pain-105493733.html#ixzz136fOiEhr

Posted by: fischy | October 22, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

LOL fischy. I was going to say that as much fight as Tino has shown, we could benefit by getting our hands on a real left sided International player... someone like that guy that plays for El Salvador... what's his name again?

Posted by: DadRyan | October 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Let's not go there. Seriously, though -- I've said this before: Maybe DCU should be looking at another young Salvadorean, Rodolfo Zelaya...having a good run with Alianza.

Posted by: fischy | October 22, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

For glfrazier: I should have put Simms on there as well. Wallace? He's good, but not brilliant. Maybe it depends on how he's used; he was good in midfield, but not so much on D. I think our mid is pretty strong now; our forwards though are pretty poor. BTW: for the record, I really don't want Juan Pablo Angel here, we need to bring in someone who can do the job well and can do it for at least 2-3 years. I would look very seriously at some of the guys playing in Uruguay (like Hernandez), Chile and Colombia (all of which produce good players that generally go unrecognized if they're not signed by a European club by the time they turn 19).

Posted by: ericruenes | October 22, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

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