I feel like a disgrace for neglecting my wonderful but few readers during this time of year when
there is so little else to read in MLS circles. With this blog's constant focus on United roster
developments, this should be my Super Bowl! But instead I've been wasting away on the pine. A few
life changes have revised my priorities slightly (I'm a new father!
In my last post, I claimed that Tom Soehn had an ADR this year of 3.11. What does that mean? Is
that good or bad?
Well as readers of this blog know, I've been passing down player ratings of either "Top
Shelf", "Call", or "Rail" to players after every match. I've also been
tracking those ratings over the course of the year, and displayed all of them here.
Win, loss, or tie, the result of this match didn't matter much to me as far as the CCL goes. We're
just not a better team than Saprissa or Marathon, so even if we'd managed to beat Cruz Azul at
home, we still had relatively no chance of advancing out of the group stages. But this match had a
larger meaning than that.
After 60 minutes of this match, I was all ready to come on here and say I was wrong about wanting
to punt the CCL. A goalless draw would have been a wonderful result. But as is typical with this
club, we let up 2 soft goals off of shotty defending. And now we're staring up from the bottom of a
fully stacked group.
By definition, the Donnety award goes to the player who has been the biggest disappointment this
year. Yes, harsh, I know. But this award's definition could probably be interpreted in a couple
different ways. And because I love controversy, of course I will leave that interpretation up to
you. Do you give the award to a guy who has played well at times, but hasn't lived up to the hype
or to his high salary?
A tie at home against a lesser Western Conference opponent certainly should feel like a loss.
Somehow for me though, this one doesn't. Maybe it's because we outplayed Dallas, to the point where
I think we really deserved the win. This felt like it should have ended at 2-1. Oh well. I guess
we'll just have to steal back those extra two points when we play them again on the road in two
In a match where we were missing Emilio, Moreno, Namoff, Fred, Vide, and Peralta, a loss wasn't
necessarily surprising. I guess the bright side is that we escaped without any more injuries! Also,
I saw tonight that we've got some young players with a lot of heart, and that's got to count for
something, even if it didn't earn us any points.
In a season that's had its fair share of ups and downs, we've finally got something to show for it!
Maybe a title in the US Open Cup wasn't necessarily the goal for this season, but it's certainly an
accomplishment the team should be proud of, and most importantly, its great that United has fought
its way back into the international picture.
I considered making the hour drive to RFK on Sunday morning to see the DC Reserves in action, but
decided to play an impromptu game of tennis for the first time in 8 years against by
brother-in-law. The good news: I still got it. The bad news: The Reserves lost.
But just in reading the summary of the match, there are several juicy tidbits that could have an
impact on the first team:
This was the first non-Open-Cup game of the season that I didn't see either in person or on tv, and
that's probably a good one. Because aside from maybe the match at RSL early in the year, this was
easily DC's worst performance yet. I should have taken the Fullback approach and prepped for this
game with some red wine, or better yet, I should have been taking in the game with my arch nemesis
Due to a limited budget, I haven't made it to too many United games this year, but this was a game
that I feel was probably much better to watch in person than on tv. Good atmosphere at RFK as
always (and the lights stayed on!), but it seemed like less attendance than usual. All in all, a
pretty exciting game, including a frantic final 10 minutes that had my usually quiet section
Just got finished watching the match immediately following my three hour drive home from Virginia
Beach. At least I should say I just got finished watching 81 minutes of the match. I missed the
rest thanks to the lights at RFK delaying the match past 10:00 pm. What's with that anyway? That's
I missed the match entirely. Wound up going shopping with Mrs. Shatz in advance of our Ocean City
trip. First full-team match that I've missed all year.
But we did get some answers to the questions that I posed yesterday:
Does [Soehn] choose to start the highly paid Quavas Kirk in this match, or keep using him only in
the safety of the Reserve division?
Just when it appeared that United had found its best starting XI, we have to go and get two players ejected. I guess we all know that players are going to have to sit out a game here and there for disciplinary reasons, but two at once can be brutal. Especially when those two are your highest paid player and most consistent player.
Who would have thought that United's first road victory of the year wouldn't come until June,
against the Alpha Dog of the league Chicago? In the first half, this match felt like a couple
earlier in the year, where DC dominated possession and had probably double the scoring
opportunities, but failed to finish.
I'm slowly starting to calm down enough to admit that that was a pretty exciting and fast-paced
game. But for United it was again a tale of two very different halves. Or maybe I should say a tale
of the first 30 minutes and the last 60 minutes. Preki made tactical changes at halftime that
In the first match between the two players who will be linked in the minds of DC fans for the rest
of their MLS careers, Christian Gomez dominated United and Gallardo with two assists. Even Facundo
Erpen scored a revenge goal, in a match where he had shockingly zero bicycle kicks.
I was really surprised to see United's players so happy after this match. Earlier in the year, the
team was knocked out in the home leg of the Champions Cup after a victory that wasn't enough to
earn them the aggregrate win. And the same thing happened tonight, as United falls 5-4 on
aggregrate goals in the 2008 Ben Cup.
After such a tiring and emotionally draining match just three days earlier, I guess it was pretty
easy to see this coming. Especially once you saw the starting lineup. Gallardo, Martinez, and Wells
deserved the rest, so I won't complain about the lineup, especially since I don't think that
starting our true top XI would have even really made a big difference in this game.
2-1 was probably a pretty fair result to this match, with all three goals being scored by
substitutes. Dyachenko's goal was well-deserved from the run of play, and Niell's goal was probably
a bit lucky for him to get the ball in that position, but it was great to see him finish to stop
the Kpene comparisons.
At least it appears that way as far as I see. Goff told us this morning that David Blumer and Josh
Gardner would not be offered contracts by the club. So if you look back at this post, you'd realize
that there are only 18 players left who I've considered as being in competition for the 18 senior
Gasp! And here we were thinking that MLS only made rule changes in order to benefit the Galaxy!
Maybe this was announced earlier and I missed it, but a change to the MLS roster rules has come up
today only because of Goff's latest post announcing the signing of Justin Moose to a Developmental
contract, and the news that Kpene and Dyachenko are still eligible for Developmental contracts.
United's second pick in the Supplemental Draft went to a British player from WVU (a Britaineer??)
named Dan Stratford.
Big question for DC United fans is... Does he have a green card? Because all of a sudden we're
getting pretty low on foreign player slots. From the little I've read on Stratford so far, I'm
thinking he does not.
If I had a choice of one player that would leave DC United in the offseason and I wouldn't be upset
at all, it would be Jay Nolly. If I had a choice of two players that would leave DC United in the
offseason and I wouldn't be upset at all, it would be Jay Nolly and Bryan Arguez.
Reports are that Arguez will be transferring away from MLS to Hertha Berlin of the Bundesliga, for
a sum of around US$350,000, of which DC gets I think around $250K, with the rest going to the