Friday, October 26, 2007

Slight, unimportant internets fallout from our Burch Transcription Services

The Offside Rules picked up on our Burchie transcription and it seems to have stirred some people up. For the record, we did not intend for a bus to pass over Marc's defenseless body, we just thought it was kind of funny. We'll take his left foot over Freddy's any day.

We continue in our undying love for you Marc... now shorten that service wind up and give Chicago the beat down they deserve next Thursday.

Maybe we need new calls for Burch from distance.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Marc Burch on Freddy Adu

Marc Burch, The Edgell Supporters current favorite DC United player, was interviewed yesterday morning on The Junkies (Washington D.C. morning radio show). Marc was quite candid on his thoughts about Freddy Adu.

On Freddy Adu (transcribed by Dirty Supporter):

Junkies (EB): Is everybody happy to be rid of Freddy, does anybody talk about Freddy these days?

Burch: We don't really talk about him, and a lot of people are happy to be rid of him. He's a little bit of a cancer in the locker room, we have good team chemistry right now, and I don't think anybody is really missin' him. I don't really care too much about Freddy so...

Junkies (EB): Did you think he was a dick, you never really played with him though right?

Burch: I think his ego is a little bit bigger than he is, he's 5'1" and his ego makes him 7 feet all.

Junkies (EB): Did other guys on the team agree with you, without callin' them out?

Burch: You're friends with your teammates, but it gets to you eventually, people like that, sometimes you can't stand them.

Junkies (Cakes): You're basically saying he's just a diva, who's had everything handed to him by the MLS, and he's not nearly up to the level of his press clippings?

Burch: He's as good as he can be, for his age.

Junkies (EB): Did guys on the team believe his advertised age?

Burch: Uhhh, no comment on that one.

End of transcription. Complete interview audio is here.

We knew there was a reason we like Burchie so much. He also had some really funny things to say about Ben Olsen and Fred (or as the Junkies call him "Fred Nubbins"), the transcribing process is still going on for those quotes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 MLS Playoffs First Round - Leg 1 vs. Chicago Fire

United finishes out the season at home with the most exciting 0-0 draw I have ever seen against Chicago and a 3-2 loss against Columbus that showcased some very creative attacking from United. Now it is on to the playoffs where DC faces everyone's favorite knockout competition rival, Chicago Fire.

Does the past dictate the future? Do current trends remain constant?

I'm not a big believer in the past dictating the future especially if the participants change. Both DC United and Chicago Fire have new coaches and a mix of new and old players. The past also paints an ugly pictures so let's look at current trends:

September and October MLS records

Chicago Fire (L,W,T,T,T,T,W,T,W) 3-1-5
Goal Differential: +2 (GF 9, GA 7)

DC United (W,T,W,W,T,W,T,T,L) 4-1-4
Goal Differential +9 (GF 20, GA 11)

October MLS records

Chicago Fire (W,T,W) 2-0-1
Goal Differential: +2 (GF 3, GA 1)

DC United (T,T,L) 0-1-2
Goal Differential -1 (GF 3, GA 4)

DCU record head-to-head with Chicago during the MLS regular season 1-0-2

A few notes on these trends. Chicago was fighting for a playoff spot throughout all of these games and therefore was playing with more urgency than usual. DC United was playing to win the Supporter's Shield throughout all but one of these games (which is the only loss) so they were also playing with more urgency, but probably less survival instinct than Chicago. Concerning the head-to-head statistics, we can probably throw out the one win as Chicago was a different team in June.

Now, what does all of this mean? Chicago has been consistent over the last two months including the last 3 games but not overly impressive and DC has been impressive in the last two months but is now in a slight decline. We can be reassured that the decline is not much of a trend as it has been only 3 games and the last game was meaningless as far as winning trophies goes.

Hope and Dreams for the first leg of the first round of the playoffs

1. The injuries heal quickly, wolverine style.
2. Simms shuts down Blanco again.
3. Burch practices his amazing service without a wind up.
4. We get goals in Toyota Park. I don't care who or how, we need away goals to get some momentum going into the rest of the playoffs.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Match 2.29 The Setup: DCU v CHF 10-13-07

With two games left in the regular season DC is looking to clinch home field advantage and win the Supporter's Shield. Chicago is trying to keep it's playoff hopes alive by staying up with KC and keeping the surging Beckspiracy at bay.

This is the third and final regular season meeting between the Chicago Fire and DC United. DC United won the first meeting at RFK and drew at Toyota Park with the awe inspiring Jaime Moreno/Matt Pickens show.

Unfortunately Jaime will be with the Bolivian National Team this weekend as Bolivia begins World Cup qualifiers. DC will also be missing Bobby Boswell (bad behavior), probably Josh Gros (head injuries again), and possibly Fred (groin). The Fire will be missing Jeff Curtin and Justin Mapp to injury.

Hope and Dreams for Match 2.29

1. The Hunchback of Chicago meets Clyde Simms and is subsequently shut down.
2. Luci and Benny both get goals.
3. Gros gets better and has not done any permanent damage.
4. McTavish goal.

Previews From Our Compatriots

Poplar Point Perspective

Match 2.28 The Result: DCU v KCW 10-5-07


Considering all the facts, we looked pretty good I thought, just no finishing, but then neither did KC. We need to close on the opposing attack faster to hurry their decision making. We are still in the hunt for the Supporter's Shield but Chivas is right there with us.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.28

1. It appears that teams are now keying on Emilio and physically abusing him, we need Christian to really get going so we can take advantage of the focus shift.
2. I arrived in time and we were all disappointed in the result.
3. 14K showed up... KC to St. Louis! At least 14K looks more crowded in a soccer specific stadium.
4. McTavish did not score, however, he looks very comfortable out there in any of the positions he plays.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Match 2.28 The Setup: DCU v KCW 10-5-07

Condensed Preview: 1st of three matches against playoff hungry teams. KC has behavior issues, DC has injury issues.

Hope and Dreams for Match 2.28

1. Emilio notches another towards the DC single season goal scoring record.
2. I can get to my mom's house in time to see the game... thanks Cox.
3. More than 10K show up to the game in KC.
4. McTavish goal, header preferred.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1b The Result: DCU v. Chivas de Guadalajara 10-5-07 Second Leg


Aggregate: DCU 2 CDG 2, CD Guadalajara wins with the only away goal

"We Are the Champions" anyone?

For all the talk about going out and playing our game and taking the game to Chivas, we sure looked liked we were bunkering for a 0-0 draw. Not that I blame Soehn for the strategy but when you give the other team that many opportunities, something is bound to find the back of the net. We needed to play perfect defense and while we did a decent job, we let one ball bounce around in a dangerous area for too long. DC United waited until it was absolutely necessary before we put anything into the attack, by that time we didn't have a lot left in the tank.

We missed Fred and Burch. Burch would've given a little more to the counter with his service and Fred would have been a nice sub in or out for Gros in the 60th to put more energy on the pitch. I really would have liked the win or at least some combination that allowed us to advance, but I have to admit I'm not all that broken up about it. Back to the Supporter's Shield and the MLS Cup.

Facts and Reality for Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1b
1. We adjusted fine to the pace of the match, but if your bunkering, something is bound to go in.
2. Nothing special was about right, we didn't do enough...
3. Mexican clubs still rule in Mexico.
4. McTavish had a few decent shots, maybe Burch has awoken the defensive striking beast.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1b The Setup: DCU v. Chivas de Guadalajara 10-5-07 Second Leg

The second leg of the round of 16 match up between DC United and CD Guadalajara. Burch is out with a red card, Fred is possibly out with injury, Namoff is banged up a little but I expect him to be able to go. The Goats lost their coach between the last time we played them and now. A loud, hostile crowd in a big stadium in Mexico. We'll have to come out and strike early to have a chance.

I start my statistics class tonight (wish me luck) so I'll be getting home just in time for the tape delay at 11. Vamos United!

Hopes and Dreams for Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1b

1. We adjust quickly to the pace of the match.
2. Nothing special, just that we do what it takes to advance.
3. A US club win in Mexico.
4. McTavish header.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Match 2.27 The Result: DCU v TFC 9-29-07


I brought a friend to this one and at halftime I was worried that between our lackluster play and seats behind the press boxes I might have brought him to the wrong game. United did decent with the pace and control of the game in the first half but we certainly were not making the most of our chances. Kpene still can't finish, though I still want to think there is something there because he puts himself in the right places. Troy got caught again on a keeper side free kick... that can't happen anymore.

Olsen and Moreno came in at half for Gros and Kpene. The difference that those two make on the field is unbelievable. The Supporters often talk about what will happen when they are gone, but we have yet to come up with any solutions. I hope we get a few years with them as super-subs when they can no longer go the full 90. Back to the game... with Olsen in, Fred goes to his more comfortable left flank and starts to inflict damage on Toronto. The equalizer comes in the 52nd on a back heel from Fred to Burch at the corner of the box and then Burch sends a laser in for his first goal. BURCH FROM DISTANCE! Then Fred takes his chance from nearly the same spot as Burch in the 57th and puts a beautiful shot past the keeper. And the goals continued with Jaime scoring in the 66th on a great ball from Clyde Simms and then Emilio finished us off in the 70th with an insane rebound left foot sky volley... whatever it was, it was amazing. 4 goals in 20 minutes to come from behind and win. So it turns out this was a good first time match. Hopefully we can bring them back again.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.27

1. We were the better team but we waited until the second half to show it.
2. Fred gets an assist and a goal and Emilio gets #20.
3. The infield was not gone yet, but we are getting close.
4. Burch from distance!!! Like a laser rocket.

HDNet, thanks for allowing us to have the highlights this time.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Match 2.27 The Setup: DCU v TFC 9-29-07

Toronto Fried Chicken comes calling at RFK with pretty much only the draft in mind. I guess crashing DC United's Supporter's Shield Party would also be a decent consolation prize. DC will not be overlooking Toronto as they need the points to continue on the path to the Shield.

United will be at full strength while TFC will be missing Sutton (GK), Dichio (F), and O'Brien (M) which are some of their better players. I want to see us get back to our goal scoring ways. The stadium should be packed and the weather will be beautiful, see you at RFK.

Hope and Dreams for Match 2.27

1. We are the better team and we show it.
2. Fred and Emilio get back into the swing of things.
3. The new, non-infield grass is down.
4. Burch from distance. As noted by Fullback Files, we should probably start a pool on this.

One last note:
MLS and DC United, you should thank the unavailability of HDNet because that is the reason we felt compelled to go tonight. We are sitting in terrible seats thanks to procrastination on my part and what I'm guessing will be a huge crowd.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1a The Result: DCU v. Chivas de Guadalajara 9-26-07 First Leg

DCU 2 Chivas 1

It took DC United about 25 minutes to get adjusted to the pace of the Chivas game. Namoff had a particularly difficult time adjusting, but once he did, he hung in there just fine until the injury. Gros and Carroll came on as subs and also found difficulty keeping up with the speed and flow of Chivas.

Great blind strike by Olsen and beautiful dummy by Emilio. Simms earned his goal in a very Ben Olsen fashion by cleaning up a deflection.

As previously noted it took DC awhile to get used to the speed and once we did we went down a man. With all the shots Chivas had we did a good job to only let one in. The one goal we did let in was a collective breakdown from the cross to the box to the net.

Quick and creative. They really use the whole field, but their crosses and finishing leave something to be desired... and I'm ok with that.

A lot of fun, lots of fans from both clubs and lots of beer in the air on the second goal.

We will be out Burch for the next leg and we will be in their house. It will be hostile, but I think that, considering their weaknesses in the attack, we can bring it to them. We know their pace so our time needed to acclimate ourselves to their game should reduce dramatically in the next leg. Hopefully we won't be playing a man down again either.

Facts and Reality for Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1a
1. 2 goals on 5 attempts, not as many as I would have liked, but we won. At least we are efficient... right?
2. Possible injury to Namoff, but I don't think it was serious.
3. Considering the number of people at the game the the traffic was very light on the way to RFK. We cheated and went through Alexandria though.
4. Simms and Olsen both from a bit of distance, but no Burch from distance. Burch got a first yellow that I never saw and a second yellow that was soft, especially for a second yellow, but I guess I can see it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1a The Setup: DCU v. Chivas de Guadalajara 9-26-07 First Leg

The fierce rivalry between the US and Mexican soccer continues in the Copa Nissan Sudamericana. Chivas de Guadalajara (the Real Chivas) and DC United face off in the round of sixteen. The last time the two teams met, Chivas de Guadalajara defeated DCU 3-2 on aggregate in the CONCACAF Champions Cup and although both teams participated in SuperLiga 2007 they did not get a chance to meet.

The feelings about this match are expressed quite well in this episode of Access United.

Basically, we owe them one. Come out tonight and sing our boys to victory.

Hopes and Dreams for Copa Nissan Sudamericana 2007 Match 1.1a

1. Lots of goals so we can go to Estadio Jalisco without the pressure.
2. No injuries that will damage our MLS hardware chances.
3. Light traffic on the way to RFK.
4. Burch from distance.

Match 2.26 The Result: DCU v Chicago Fire 9-23-07, The Supporters First Road Trip


So much to say but not much of it has to do with the match itself. We squeaked a point out of the match with the miraculous cross/strike by Jaime. Our backup midfield is about as good as our backup strikers and that is to say, not that good. I will report on the trip itself later but time prohibits me at this point.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.26
1. I don't think we necessarily fell asleep we just didn't have the right tools.
2. Jaime brought the control but he had to fall way back to get it leaving Emilio up top alone. Simms entry into the game helped us get forward a little more.
3. Getting a point out of this game was a miracle.
4. Burch looks like the long season is getting to him, can we rest him?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Match 2.26 The Setup: DCU v Chicago Fire 9-23-07, The Supporters First Road Trip

Coming to you from downtown Chicago. The weather has been beautiful for the last few days and Chicago is a fantastic city.

After a two hour delay at Dulles we got to our hotel in Chicago just in time to catch the last ten minutes of MLS Prime Time Thursday . Chicago looked slow and tired but consistent. Let's hope they are still tired today. The stakes of today's game are a playoff spot for Chicago and the Supporter's Shield for DC. United will be missing their midfield today as Olsen, Fred, and Gomez all sit for yellow cards. We still have Moreno and Emilio up top so our attack should be ok, but we'll have to fill in the other holes.

We are on our way to Toyota Park so I will catch you all this evening. Vamos United!

Hope and Dreams for Match 2.26
1. We have not fallen asleep during our 10 day rest.
2. Jaime brings the control to the game so we don't miss our starters so much.
3. 3 points while on a road trip would be amazing.
4. Burch from distance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Final word on the Ben Cup

After days and days of deliberation we decided that we did not want to use behavior as a deciding factor and the Ben Cup is indeed a tie. The Cup itself remains in Utah until DC claims it next year.

RSL Ben's take on it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Match 2.25 The Result: DCU v RSL 9-12-07, second leg of THE BEN CUP!!!!!! [UPDATED]


We played well enough for the win, but not quite enough for the Ben Cup. Let's take care of Ben Cup business first and then we can talk about the match. The Ben Cup Series ends in a deadlock with both teams scoring 2 home and 1 away goal for an aggregate of 3-3. Because the result is unprecedented I believe that, as much as it saddens me, we have agreed to leave the Cup in Salt Lake City for the next year. The Ben Cup Executive Committee still has to work out some of the details, but it appears that neither team has won Ben Cup 2007. Maybe we can go to the count on fouls committed, which, after last night, will undoubtedly go to DC (aggregate 45-24). Or maybe attendance. After the Bens have an after-Ben Cup meeting, I will report back on the happenings and the decisions. I know you are all desperately awaiting our decision.

On to the match itself. 3 games in 7 days is tough. 7 points in 7 days is phenomenal. A beautiful Wednesday night with a smallish, but ruckus crowd. RSL gave us a lot of space throughout the game but especially to start the game. The space created a lot of chances but nothing we were able to put in, it seemed like we were having some bad luck. Then Gomez hooked up with Emilio for his 19th goal of the campaign. I have watched the Beckerman goal a few times to see who is at fault. Boswell obviously hesitated to defend, but how did he have THAT much room in the middle of our side of the field? Where were Carroll and Gomez? I'll have to watch again. A bunch of fouls, offsides calls, and a blocked PK later, Fred hits Gomez for a header that was almost a mirror image of the earlier Gomez to Emilio goal. Then the ref tried to keep RSL in the game and Perkins came up with a huge save on the questionably awarded PK.

I don't think I have been this frustrated with the foul calling since last season. Last night seemed awfully one sided. How does Devon McTavish get body slammed by the neck by Carey Talley and then RSL gets awarded a PK? It's a simple question, anyone have an answer? According to MLSnet Team Totals DC leads the league in fouls committed at 434 with Toronto being our closest competitor at 391 (Dallas 374, Colorado 370). Is it possible that we ACTUALLY foul that much more than the other teams in the MLS? Are we dirty? I'm willing to concede the fact that I am blinded by my fanaticism, I just want someone to confirm that we are 64 fouls dirtier than Colorado.

Obviously we need to rest people and we need to find another striker so I can't fault Soehn's lineup. Carroll started instead of Simms, Boswell instead of Vanney (still not sure who owns that position), and Kpene was in for Moreno. Olsen and Gros started on the wings, Fred came off the bench for Kpene at half. We didn't look lazy, but more like there just wasn't a lot left in the tank. Christian looked particularly quick out there though, which was a nice change. Both he and Fred ran at the defense a number of times in the second half with a lot of speed.

According to Dirty D Supporter, Kpene is "irrelevant, a non-factor." I think that is a bit harsh, but probably only because I still have hope that he will be a factor. He gets pushed off the ball far too easily and is not doing the basic stuff right, like pulling the trigger when he gets close.

One of the pleasant surprises was Brian Carroll's aggressive play, it was nice to see that, although I don't think it lasted very long. That could be because he faded or because I stopped paying attention to him specifically, I still need the objective DVR view of the game.

Esky is class and deserved the cheer from the supporters as he came over to chat after the game.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.25

1. A tied Ben Cup?
2. How is it possible to draw a Cup game?
3. They should have gone to extra time and then a shootout
4. Burch still didn't get a goal, but one of his crosses last night bent at a ridiculous angle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Match 2.25 The Setup: DCU v RSL 9-12-07, second leg of THE BEN CUP!!!!!!

The most prestigious sporting competition involving DC United and Real Salt Lake (unless RSL ever makes the playoffs) kicks off tonight at Estadio RFK in DC. This is it, the big game for the Cup. With the Cup being currently forged in the depths of Sandy, Utah, both teams will be pumped to get their hands on it. United faces an uphill battle as they sufficiently overlooked Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the competition and find themselves down 2-1. A goal differential of positive 2 is the only way to take the Cup back from RSL.

RSL will be coming in full strength and having won 3 of their last 6 matches. With the addition of the three Argentines, RSL are actually starting to show signs of a soccer team. Who knew? This may be a bad thing for them though because DC will not so easily overlook them. United will be missing Jaime Moreno, who has been called up to Bolvian National Team duty, but the rest of the team, including Josh Gros, will be ready to go. This is the lineup I'd like to see:


We will see you all tonight at the game.

Other previews of the Ben Cup:
The Royal Review (RSL Ben )
The Poplar Point Perspective

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.25

1. Winning the second Ben Cup competition, DCU's first.
2. The Ben Cup
3. The Ben Cup
4. Burch from distance.

The Ben Cup: Leg 2

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Match 2.24 The Result: DCU v. NE Revolution 9-9-07


There was a different feeling about this game. DC seemed very cool and collected. They looked like they really enjoyed being home. They looked so calm that after they went down 2-1, I thought for sure they were giving up. I was wrong and I'm happy about it.

-McTavish returned to the starting lineup. He always seems to be in the right place to keep goals from going in.

-Gros is back from the head injury/migraines. His fresh legs were a godsend. And maybe it was just me but was Joshua Gros getting creative out there? Little creative touches and such.

-Emilio was holding his own against the physical play of New England. My only complaint with Emilio is that he can't hold the ball and he gets knocked off the ball too easily, not so in this game.

-Olsen came in to the game for an exhausted Fred and immediately widened the field.

-Soehn made defensive substitutions at the right time and we still scored more goals.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.24

1. DC returned to form with only small lapses of judgement.
2. The midfield had moments of dominance and with the number of games we've played in the last week, that's saying something. It was nice have Gros' fresh legs in there.
3. Twellman scored one of those that he always scores, urghhh.
4. No goal for Burch and he seems to need a few stutter steps to hit those crosses, not that I'm complaining, just an observation.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Match 2.24 The Setup: DCU v. NE Revolution 9-9-07

I guess from here on out all of the matches are important for Supporter's Shield standings, but not all of them are against Supporter's Shield contenders like this one. This match will determine superiority in the East and in the MLS.

New England comes into RFK after a rest week and winning their last two MLS matches (KC and RBNY). DC comes home riding a 7 game unbeaten streak that started beating New England at home 3-0. This is DCU's third game in 9 days and they already looked mentally tired on Thursday against Chivas. In order to win this game they will have to find the energy to do the small things right and especially make smart passes.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.24

1. The last 60 minutes of the Chivas game were an aberration and DC returns to form.
2. Midfield dominance. We live and die by the way these guys play both in the attack and on defense.
3. Twellman doesn't score.
4. Burch from distance.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Match 2.23 The Result: DCU v. Chivas USA 9-6-07

DCU 2 Chivas USA 2

MLS Primetime Thursday started at 11:15 PM this evening. Who knew 11:15 PM was considered "prime time"? I was starting to have a nervous breakdown as I frantically refreshed Soccer Insider for updates, refreshed the match tracker on MLSnet, and listened to an endless loop of adds on WMET 1160 AM in hopes of hearing something... anything. Goff came through with the first report of the 3rd minute strike by Luciano "It's in the net" Emilio.

First Half (starting in the 9th minute due to above debacle): DC controlled most of the first half although they looked a little disorganized. Moreno was able to send a nice ball to Emilio for his first goal. Moreno also contributed to Emilio's second strike, as it was Moreno's blocked shot that got away from Guzan that Emilio put in the back of the net.

The turning point in the game was the odd Perkins clearance turn Razov deflection and subsequent goal. Before this goal Chivas looked somewhat lost and uninspired. The goal gave them new life at the end of the first and into the second half. DC seemed content to allow the new found inspiration by not winning 50/50 balls, making bad passes, and giving way too much space to the attack. Chivas' goal in the 60th was the result of a 10 minute complete loss of form and team defense. From that point, our offensive attempts consisted of short fallen crosses from the back which created one chance, a Burch to Olsen to Emilio string of passes. Soehn was obviously looking for the draw when he added Brian Carroll in the 76th. With a defensive sub we should have shut down the match, but we insisted on letting them have space and time with no counter of our own.

Just a few final thoughts. Our team speed is slow, or our team is slow, however you put it, in comparison to Chivas USA we lack speed. Chivas exploited our slow defense and never allowed us time to recover between attacks, credit goes to them for that. I'm not sure if it was the speed issue again, but we were not winning balls. DC did not get to the ball fast enough and when they did they got muscled off. We also took a few steps back with our team passing, a lot of bad passing from everyone, not hard enough, too hard, no previous thought before passing, we saw it all tonight.

There are a few good things to take from this. We saw what the other hot team in the MLS looks like. We might need to prepare for them in the playoffs. A draw like this should motivate us to remember the important, basic things like team defense, passing, and winning balls.

Bring on New England.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.23

1. 1 point, from the way we played, I'll take it.
2. Both goals from Emilio and it is good to see him get the goals he so badly wants. What's this talk of him leaving in December and being the highest paid DC player?
3. A hard match I wanted, a hard match I got. We started as the dominant team and ended as that inconsistent team from 6 games ago.
4. Burch's left footed crosses have officially been added to the DCU repertoire.

ESPN sucks (See: late start, feed going out, too many shots of players/coaches/allen hopkins instead of the match).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Match 2.23 The Setup: DCU v. Chivas USA 9-6-07

DC goes up against, the undefeated at home (7 wins, 1 draw), Chivas USA in a match that has Supporter's Shield written all over it. DCU stands at the top of the league with 1.91 points per game while Chivas sits well within striking distance at 1.80 with two games in hand on DC. Both DC and Chivas have been playing good soccer in the last month, I expect this to be a continuation of form and an entertaining match.

With Maykel Galindo up top for Chivas, DC's back line will have to be careful not to get caught up too high because he likes to burn people with his speed. Galindo, Razov, and Kljestan are all scoring threats but also know how to distribute the ball with 17 of the team's 34 assists coming from the trio. I believe that Clyde Simms will have the most important defensive role in tonight's match. In the last few Chivas' games most of the scoring threats have come right down the middle of the field. Clyde will need to frustrate the Chivas' attack early and the back line will have to continue to play the smart, team defense they have been playing.

On the offensive side of things, we need Fred to keep hassling defenses allowing Christian more space to distribute and taking the focus of Benny so he can play cleanup. I'll be looking for Luci to score so I can see him smile again. A win tonight puts us in the Supporter's Shield driver's seat.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.23

1. 3 points=Supporter's Shield is ours to lose.
2. Fred and Benny keep the goals coming.
3. This is going to sound weird, but I'd like us to have a harder time winning this match to get us back to reality. What if reality is complete domination?
4. Burch from distance.

The Fullback Files

You must check out this week's Table Talk over at The Fullback Files... the descriptions of the Galaxy are hilarious.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Match 2.22 The Result: DCU v. FC Dallas 9-1-07

DCU 4 FC Dallas 0

Ben Olsen is the Garbage Man. He cleans up any stray ball bouncing around in the box and puts it where it belongs, in the net. He caught Sala in a bad position early and then closed out the half by putting a blocked shot back into the goal. Christian Gomez added to the box cleansing by smashing a Dallas defense deflection back into the net by way of volley, beautiful strike. Fred is starting to make a habit out of cutting back across the top of the box and then taking a shot. This is a good thing. The way he works the cut back is the perfect misdirection and usually gives him time to put something on frame. Tonight it worked and he scored. On the night DC had 6 shots on goal and 4 goals, that's offensive efficiency.

Now on to the more important part of the game, another clean sheet and this time with Boswell in. This means we have depth at defense, but not only do we have depth we have clean sheet depth. The first 15-20 minutes were a bit of a struggle but everyone pulled together at the back to keep the ball out of the net. Even with all the offense Dallas was throwing at us early, they only managed 2 shots on goal. That means Perkins is no longer carrying the load and that the attack is getting shut down early. The one good chance Dallas had was thwarted by Boswell's clearance on the line.

So the attack got the job done and the defense continues to frustrate opponents. The only complaint is that in the first 15-20 minutes the midfield allowed too much through defensively, but even that was cleared up. A final thought... not that it needs to be said again, but Marc Burch is an assassin with his service from the back.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.22
1. No backup strikers were needed, all subs were of the defensive nature.
2. I'm not sure the chemistry of Los Cuatro (Moreno, Emilio, Gomez, Fred) was really that great, but the chemistry of the team as a whole was beautiful.
3. I feel avenged and good inside.
4. Burch almost had one from distance, but it was nothing in comparison to his crosses that created all kinds of danger tonight and resulted in at least two of the goals.

Match 2.22 The Setup: DCU v. FC Dallas 9-1-07

Sickness is spreading among the supporters so I have to make this quick and keep moving. This match is about the Supporter's Shield. DC gave up a 3-0 lead to draw with Dallas at RFK in the last meeting. DC is without Gros and maybe Emilio. Dallas should have Toja back after almost a month without him and Denilson is available to play.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.22

1. A backup striker scores, don't care who.
2. Progression is made with the chemistry of Los Cuatro (Moreno, Emilio, Gomez, Fred).
3. I really want to avenge that draw at RFK. It would make me feel right inside if we can get the three points.
4. Burch from distance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Antonio Puerta

I don't watch a lot of Spain's La Liga, but on Saturday I picked a fateful match to watch, Sevilla v. Getafe. I saw Antonio Puerta go down and his teammates rush to his side. It was a surreal experience. I don't know very much about Sevilla or Antonio Puerta, but I was very sad to hear the news of his death today. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Match 2.21 The Result: DCU v. TFC 8-25-07


This was the funniest game I have ever seen. It was stressful until Fred put his shot away and then it just became laughable. It looked liked a contest to see which team could give the ball away more. I have never seen so many balls passed to someone or something out of bounds. Terrible, sloppy play. Slide tackles that didn't even come close to the ball. I swear one time a sliding Toronto player came up short on the ball and continued to scoot along the turf to get to the ball. The Edgell Supporters were literally laughing out loud during most of the match. Toronto even broke the most minutes without a goal record previously belonging to RSL. Congratulations.

I know turf is supposed to make the game faster but the ball and the players looked extra slow tonight. It looked like the players on both sides couldn't get their feet moving because the turf was too soft (or maybe wet according to Max Bretos or Christopher Sullivan). Toronto had a lot of possession but they were less than dangerous with it. A lot of their service went wide or out of bounds. DC looked quite disorganized to begin the game but the defense played well enough to keep themselves out of danger. When Moreno came in DC at least started to show some form and string a few passes together. Maybe I'm sleeping on how much possession Olsen brings to the game because our midfield was unable to hold on to the ball for any decent amount of time.

For inquiring minds, the actual lineup (substitutions):

Gomez (Mediate)
Addlery (Kpene)-Dyachenko (Moreno)

We won on the road with three regular starters out and Moreno sitting for the first half. We kept a clean sheet which means we haven't given up a goal in the run of play in 5 games. We beat a team we were supposed to beat. These are all good signs even with the lack of chemistry on the night. On the other hand, we need to find someone besides Emilio to score goals and Olsen to keep possession (Am I off on the Olsen=possession theory? Does Carroll=the opposite of possession?).

Side note: Add Carl Robinson to the dirty players list.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.21

1. Kpene looked a little more creative than he has in awhile, no goal yet though.
2. Fred and Gomez didn't really work together, but then nobody really worked together until sometime in the second half.
3. Three points, not particularly beautiful, but three points it is.
4. Burch didn't have a lot of opportunities so we're still waiting for his goal.

Match 2.21 The Setup: DCU v. TFC 8-25-07

The easy supposedly easy points are never easy for DC United. If we want to make a run at the Supporter's Shield, we have to pick up the easy points. In comparison to what we've done over the last four MLS matches, today's match at Toronto FC should be easy points. But again, the easy points are not always a given for DCU.

To make the situation more difficult we will be missing several starters. Gros is still out with the concussion and will be until he gets back from the specialist in Pittsburgh. According to Goff, Olsen and Emilio did not travel with the team so they will also be unavailable. Toronto on the other hand should be returning some of their players that have been out over the last few weeks. I believe that both Dichio and Cunningham should be back for the TFC attack. Not that those two are amazing strikers, but they'll be hungry for goals.
[UPDATE: Jeff Cunningham will not be playing due to season ending surgery.]

If Dichio plays we need to have Boswell's physical play on the back line. I'd like Boswell in no matter what, but if TFC is without Dichio I'd be ok with Vanney given his current form. Other than that I don't think we need to change much up except to replace the starters that are out. The lineup I'd like to see is:

Namoff-McTavish-Vanney or Boswell-Burch

If we take this match lightly I think we go down a goal early but we pull it back and settle for the draw. If we come out prepared and ready to kill we will be able to put this match away shortly into the second half.
Come on ya Black and Red!

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.21

1. Kpene puts it in the net.
2. Fred and Gomez continue to work together, I really feel if those two continue to develop chemistry we could see some magic.
3. Three points, anything less than three from this game is a disappointment.
4. Burch from distance.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Night PrimeTime Warm Up

I got out of class early tonight and as a warm up for Thursday night PrimeTime, ESPN Classic is showing the Red Bull v Galaxy goal fest. I didn't get to see it the first time so this is a pleasant surprise.

[UPDATE]: Preempted by WNBA, you have to be kidding me. Little League World Series on ESPN2 pushes WNBA playoffs to ESPN Classic. I guess live comes before replay. I was really enjoying the game.

The Edgell Supporters featured on

At last night's game an MLS record was broken by DCU's Jaime Moreno. Jaime is now the proud owner of the MLS scoring record at 109 goals. To commemorate the event featured a picture of the Edgell Supporters.

Ok so we weren't exactly featured, although they did have the good sense to show El Goleador in his entirety and only show half of my face.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Match 2.20 The Result: DCU v. RBNY 8-22-07 The Atlantic Cup Leg 3 (of 3)


Felicitaciones Abuelito Moreno! Numero 109! A PK, but 109 nonetheless.

The crowd was louder than I have ever heard and there were A LOT of people there for a Wednesday night game (it is hard to be objective sitting in 234 row 5, right behind the Barra).

We came out and dominated and finished in the first 20 minutes. The RBNY PK took a little wind out of our sails but we continued eating up possession and controlling the game. I have not yet watched the game in an appropriate manner to analyze it, but here are a few observations:

-Simms is always around on defense. He is cleaning up the ball in all sorts of situations. Not much help in the attacking third, but I'll give that up for a defensive mid that plays defense.

-Burch didn't have the best game but his service is still beautiful. He also had some acrobatic plays on defense.

-We need the scrappy, hustling Ben Olsen in all games, not just against NY. Even in this game he kind of petered out in the second half. If he can't always go in the hyperactive mode, maybe Moose can be that guy. We will really need someone in the next few years that can take on that role.

-Dane Richards was dirty last night.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.20

1. Another great performance from Benny, an assist and a goal, he loves to show up to beat RBNY.
2. Los Cuatro (Moreno, Fred, Gomez, and Emilio) are even passing together during warm ups, this is a very good sign. Oh and they dominated the first 20 minutes of the game. Keep it coming
3. The Atlantic Cup is ours again.
4. Burch got an amazing ball from Gomez but couldn't put it away, if this keeps up, Burch will be on the score sheet eventually.

Match 2.20 The Setup: DCU v. RBNY 8-22-07 The Atlantic Cup Leg 3 (of 3)

This is the third and final fixture in the Atlantic Cup with DC and NY splitting the previous two meetings. Both teams won at home but DC leads the aggregate 4-3. With a tie or a win DCU takes the Cup again. I'm finally starting to develop the requisite DC Supporter hatred for NY. I think it has something to do with them being so close to us in the Eastern Conference table. It makes them an enemy. Usually I dislike individual players on a team, but this is something special. I think because of the table proximity, just the name New York Red Bulls has stuck in my head as something I don't like.

It's been more than a month since the Edgell Supporters last visited RFK to watch FC Dallas come back on our 3-nil lead. We will be in attendance tonight, albeit in smaller numbers (just El Goleador and I). A Wednesday night game will probably need as many loud voices as possible, so we're coming to help.

DC will be missing Gros who is out with another concussion and he may not be back. Cautions have not yet bitten us but we have a bunch of guys one or two cautions away from suspension. I expect over the next few weeks we will see some guys getting MLS mandated games off. Not that I care, but the entity known as RBNY is missing some injured guys. None of them are named JP or Jozy though so we'll be facing the full strength RBNY side.

I'm glad that Soehn has seen that Vanney and Boswell are the ones that should be fighting for starting spots and that the other three are earning their place each week. Does Boswell get the start so he and Jozy can go at it again? I hope so. I'm a fan of individual rivals like the Burch/Schelotto match last week. Assuming that Simms gets the start again (which is the wise decision), the only other lineup change will be Olsen instead of Gros, bone spurs for a concussion. Seems like an alright trade. I think we will miss Gros's work rate tonight but Benny's rancor towards RBNY should make up for it.

Come on ya Black and Red!

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.20
1. Benny repeat performance. The hat trick might be a bit much, I'll take a brace.
2. Los Cuatro (Moreno, Fred, Gomez, and Emilio) build upon their teamwork from the Columbus match.
3. The Atlantic Cup
4. Burch from distance.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Match 2.19 The Result: DCU v. Columbus 8-18-07

DCU 2 Columbus 0

Great strike by Fred, I mean an honest to goodness golazo! Great play by Fred to set up Emilio's opportunistic goal on Hendrickson's friendly assist. We had good possession and control of the game tonight. No major defensive lapses but there was a little too much space in the midfield for the Columbus attack.

Three straight wins and all clean sheets, not bad at all. I don't want to jinx it, but in league play we look to be improving at the right time. We are not quite peaked, which is a good thing, but we are definitely on the upward climb.

Simms is an upgrade at defensive mid because of his distribution (not always perfect but better than Carroll) and his ability to shut a lot of stuff down coming through midfield. I hate to say this because of what it means, but we did not really miss Boswell tonight, Vanney was decent playing in his spot. Vanney = Boswell?? I don't know but I think the other three on the back line are there to stay.

Moreno, Gomez, Emilio, and Fred all played together tonight. Between injuries, international call ups, and mental absence I don't think the four of them have had enough time to learn to play together. Tonight they looked like they liked each other and they knew where the next move in the attack would be. With more time together and getting over egos (that's just my guess) we could have an unparalleled attack.

I like the win on the road and the style of play. Even more than those things I like where we are headed. I think for the first time DC has given me sustained hope. Such a wonderful and dangerous feeling.

Olsen sitting out on this one will hopefully have him ready to go next Wednesday against RBNY. We'll need energy and motivation to win that one. Come on ya Black and Red!

Facts and Reality for Match 2.19

1. Nothing for Moreno, but I feel it coming.
2. Our touches and passes weren't perfect, but definitely an upgrade from the last match. Long stretches of possession gave us control of the game and made it possible to kill time at the end.
3. Not a complete unleashing of the attack but close to it. We CAN score goals.
4. Burch did not score from distance, but man is he a revelation at the back.

Match 2.19 The Setup: DCU v. Columbus 8-18-07

In the year of our Lord Two-thousand and seven on the fourteenth day of the seventh month (7-14-07) the mighty DC United sinned against the soccer gods, settling for a draw after going up 3-nil on FC Dallas.

In the year of our Lord Two-thousand and seven on the eleventh day of the eighth month (8-11-07) the not so mighty Columbus Crew with the actually mighty Barros Schelotto committed the greater sin by allowing FC Dallas to take the full 3 points with a late goal in the 92nd minute.

Based on these most recent results math tells us the following:
FC Dallas = DC United
FC Dallas > Columbus Crew
Therefore DC United > Columubs Crew, right?

Tonight, the two sinners face off for the second time of the 2007 season. The first meeting was during United's 4 game winless season start and went to Columbus 1-0. The Crew, while not spectacular, are mounting a steady campaign towards the playoffs. United on the other hand are at times spectacular and other times less than spectacular. We'll call them inconsistent.

If we can disrupt Schelotto's distribution (8 assists on the season) we should at least be able to control the Crew attack. The problem we will have is finishing, not because of the Crew defense but because that is what United's problem is, the attack. I'm fairly confident the backline of Namoff, McTavish, Boswell, and Burch will handle the back as long as Simms is starting over Carroll in the defensive midfield position. Gomez has got to show something today for the attack or we might be better off with Dyachenko or Fred in his spot. At this point I don't believe Dyachenko or Fred are better footballers than Gomez but they seem to fit better in the team. Maybe even Moreno should be playing the 10 spot. I hope that Gomito finds his fit but I'm not holding my breath.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.19

1. Moreno takes the record with # 109.
2. First touches and passing are not our weakness. (This was a big problem in the LA SuperLiga match)
3. An unleashing of the attack potential I know DC has somewhere. I'd like to see 3 or 4 goals.
4. Burch from distance.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.4 Semifinals The Result: DCU v. LAG 8-15-07


The first 25 minutes were all DC. We controlled, strung a few balls together, Jaime had a humorous attempt on goal from midfield, and barely escaped an ugly yellow card meriting Beckham tackle. Then it happened. Did Perkins not know who was taking that free kick? First name Bend It, last name Like Beckham, Sir Goldenballs himself. Perkins looked lost. I'm no keeper. I'm scared of the ball. Maybe I just don't get it, but usually keepers only jump the wrong way on PKs. Then we just fell apart and the next 20 minutes were some of the ugliest I have seen in a long, long time. Neither team could pass the ball, put together an attack, or refrain from fouling. I'm not sure what happened. It was sickening. Oh and Moreno got pushed pretty hard in the box, no call. Just sayin.

More nausea to begin the second half. Goldenballs to Receding Hairline. Bleh! I wonder if the game plan was to damage Martino, mission completed. Dirty, dirty tackle by Carroll, maybe that's why he started over Simms. He was a hit man. Beckham leaves the game and Posh Spice gives us the double hand royalty wave... huh? The second half was just as ugly as the first. A lot of hard fouls and not a lot of the beautiful game. We could not put anything worthwhile together and we looked juvenile. I don't even know if juvenile is an accurate observation, but that's the word that keeps coming into my mind. The other word is petty. That is probably because Dirty D Supporter is convinced that DC is cliquish and segregated. According to her, none of them are friends. Seems as good an explanation as any.

We lacked the organization necessary to beat the circus act. We couldn't settle our nerves in that atmosphere and once we lost what little game we brought we never really found it again. I don't mind losing when we the other team is better, but it really bothers me when I feel like we were the better team. Farewell SuperLiga, back to the quest for the MLS Cup.

One final thought, the Home Depot Center was empty to start with, but filled up nicely and got really loud. Good for them.

Vanney Rant:
Vanney is slow. Vanney is bad on the ball. Vanney fouls when he gets beat. Vanney should not play. All I can see him saying after the first half is, "Dude... did you see how I totally passed it to Beckham and then he touched it.... so awesome..."

Facts and Reality for SuperLiga Match 1.4 The Semifinals

1. Nothing went in early, less went in late.
2. Simms didn't get the chance to show why he is starting over Carroll because he didn't... that was a mistake.
3. Boswell made a run that really only could have been finished by a diving header, but that's what he gets paid to do right? Sacrifice all. I think a diving header would have put that ball in the net.
4. Kpene got chippy with Xavier, not a goal, but I don't mind someone giving a beating to that white haired freak.

Ok, definitely the final thought. We need to look into orchestrating some kind of collision where Xavier and Vanney hit each other and spontaneously combust, never to return to the earth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.4 Semifinals The Setup: DCU v. LAG 8-15-07

My favorite Beckham commentary.

The Galaxy are tired after a long road trip and a lot of games. They are missing Gordon, Jazic, and Gray to accumulated cautions. I still don't feel like this will be an easy one. I expect LA to come back home to the Home Depot Center and give it all they got. The SuperLiga may be their only chance to claim silver this year and I expect that they are well aware of this.

With Burch out on accumulated cautions and Moreno and Gomez not completely healthy Soehn will have some decisions to make. If Gomez can go I see Gros dropping back to fill in at left back instead of starting Vanney. Moreno and Kpene will both partner with Emilio up top and the rest of the lineup should be the standard.

Whether Beckham actually makes a difference or not, I always get the feeling that the other guys on the team want to impress him. They step up their game when he is around. DCU will have to find a way to remove the motivation and hope. I don't think it will take much... a couple early goals, suffocating defense, or a Beckham no show should do it. In any event, we will have to come out and show something to get the job done, this won't be a walk in the park.

Hopes and Dreams for SuperLiga Match 1.4 The Semifinals

1. We put one in early and a second one in late to finish the deal.
2. Simms shows why he is starting over Carroll.
3. Boswell makes some more of those runs we were seeing a few games ago.
4. Kpene scores.

Match 2.18 The Result: DCU v. LAG 8-9-07


Just a real quick review before we move on to SuperLiga. DC looked especially solid in the first half but still couldn't put a lackluster Galaxy away with authority. The killer instinct we saw in the Revolution game needs to make more appearances. The hopefully permanent addition of Burch and McTavish on the back line and the Brian Carroll replacement, Clyde Simms have shored up our problems on defense. So we are finding form as we head into the last part of the season and we are doing it without MVP Gomito, what does that mean?

Facts and Reality Match 2.18

1. RFK rocked ESPN2's microphones, I was sorry I couldn't be in the packed house.
2. Emilio scored again on a scorcher from outside the box.
3. The audible booing of Beckham was a welcome relief from the Beckham Blitz. I know it is sacrilege but David the Ankle shouldn't expected to be worshipped EVERYWHERE he goes.
4. No goal yet, but a great ball from Burch set up Emilio from distance.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Match 2.18 The Setup: DCU v. LAG 8-9-07

Here we go, here we go, here we go. Beckham is in town and I am not. I'm blogging from Utah in a Barnes and Noble and because they don't provide any power outlets I'm on a short electric leash.

The Galaxy's performance in SuperLiga shows that there is some improvement from the team but nothing to get too excited about. DC's SuperLiga play sparked them to a 3-0 win over the East leading Revolution. The Galaxy always get up for a game at RFK, Beckhampallooza or not. The inconsistent United will need a strong showing tonight to prove their path back to consistency.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.18

1. RFK rocks ESPN2's microphones.
2. Emilio scores again.
3. Beckham's pleas for grass only are heard by the commissioner.
4. Burch from distance.

Match 2.17 The Result: DCU v. NE Revolution 8-5-07

Better late than never right? I'm on borrowed time (both internet connection and battery) so we'll make this quick. I only saw the goals as I am still in Utah but I plan on watching the DVR edition when I get home on Saturday.

Facts and Reality 2.17

1. Twellman did not score, nor did any other New England player.
2. We got all three points.
3. Emilio scored two goals and one was off a creative pass from Kpene. I like Kpene's style and creativity.
4. No goal for Burch but started and created. Quickly becoming my new favorite.

Oh yeah, I attended the RSL/Houston game last Saturday. RSL not only won, but they could have won by more because they missed on several chances. Houston's packed schedule aside, RSL controlled the game in its entirety. Way to go Reds!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Match 2.17 The Setup: DCU v. NE Revolution 8-5-07

New England is starting to pull away in the east, DC is not starting anything, they are content middle-tablers. DCU needs to get points out of this weekend or we will start to think of Chicago and Toronto as our closest competitors.

That's all I have for this weekend, I'm on vacation in Utah. I'll be in the SLC this weekend (and throughout the next week) checking out the RSL v Dinamo game, come on ya Reds! Off to Cafe Rio for me.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.17

1. Twellman does not score.

2. Points, points, points. That's plural. That means three.
3. Emilio scores.
4. Burch scores from distance. I'm still testing the waters but he might be my Erpen replacement, no official word yet.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

DC United goes through to the next round of SuperLiga

DCU is the beneficiary of America's 3-2 win over Morelia and advances to the semifinals of SuperLiga against LA Galaxy. They can't score 6 goals again right?

SuperLiga Match 1.3 The Result: DCU v. Dynamo Houston 8-1-07

DCU 0 Houston 1

We looked quite tired in the first half. With the exception of Burch's limited long service and Kpene's ball into the box there wasn't much of an attack. We didn't use the wings at all and we didn't have any runs from the back. Obviously the narrow field has something to do with that but we played into their game plan and let them clog the middle. Defensively we did enough to keep them from scoring and got some luck on DeRo's miss.

In the second half we started out with a little more energy and offensive effort. Then almost as soon as we looked to be getting control of the match, the defense got caught on their heels on a great Jacqua/Ching combination. We continued to put pressure on Houston throughout the half and Jaime's presence gave us more control over the match. Two problems: Moreno didn't pull the trigger and Boswell missed a sitter.

Houston is good. They finish. DC is not bad, but we do not finish. I worry a little about our fitness as Houston has also played the same number of matches recently but didn't look nearly as tired as we did. Come on you Aguilas!

Facts and Reality for SuperLiga Match 1.3

1. In two hours we will know if we advance based on the Morelia v. America result, stay tuned.
1a. [UPDATE] America 3 Morelia 2. DC advances.
2. I don't like Ching, but that was a nice left footed volley.
3. How did Boswell miss that sitter in the box?
4. Emilio isn't back yet, we need someone to finish.

[UPDATE] America v Morelia Bonus Coverage

Could they wear more similar colors? It took me awhile to figure out who I was pulling for.

17th minute - America scores.
54th minute - Morelia goes a down a man with a straight red to Mauricio Romero as he fouls while being the last defender. America is awarded a PK.
56th minute - America scores the PK. America 2 Morelia 0
67th minute - Morelia pulls one back. America 2 Morelia 1
73rd minute - Morelia draws even. America 2 Morelia 2
85th minute - Thank the soccer Gods, America scores again. America 3 Morelia 2
90th minute - 4th official gives 4 minutes of stoppage.
94th minute - That's it. America wins. DC is through.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.3 The Setup: DCU v. Dynamo Houston 8-1-07

DC United and the Houston Dynamo have posted identical results against their Mexican rivals in Group B, both beating Club America 1-0 and both drawing with Morelia 1-1. DC and Houston have split their MLS regular season meetings, each team winning at home. Houston has not lost a regular season game since May and DC is hoping that the SuperLiga will help them return to form.

Houston should be at full strength except for the injured Brad Davis. DC should have Namoff, Kpene, and a limited Moreno back but Moose will still be out with his sports hernia. According to the SuperLiga discipline report DC has no ineligible players while Houston's only ineligible is Brian Mullan.

Unlike the Mexican clubs, Houston knows how to frustrate DC by clogging up their narrow field and man marking Gomez out of the game. DC's creativity from the back (hopefully we'll see more of it in this game) should help loosen up the midfield. This will be a fight for possession so any playing time that Abuelito Moreno gets will be integral to our success. If all else fails we can just hope for a Morelia tie or loss.

Hope and Dreams for SuperLiga Match 1.3

1. By some combination of events we advance to the next round.
2. Brian Ching does not score.
3. Boswell walks the walk as he has already talked the talk.
4. Emilio gets back on the score sheet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.2 The Result: DCU v. America 7-29-07

DCU 1 America 0

In the first few minutes of the game Burch reminded me of what we miss with Namoff out, creativity from the back. Not only did he have a run up the line but he stayed with it and had a great cross into the box. Then in the 16th he makes another creative run and almost has a goal from it. We have missed that kind of play from the back. Burch continued in the second half with another great cross. Then Boswell started getting into the action and made several, though unproductive, runs. Having offensive threats coming from the back does wonders for our creativity and danger.

The first half was excellent. We controlled the game and we were constantly dangerous. We won the loose balls. Gomez looked much better in this match than he has in quite some time. Maybe that is due to the space he was given to work with, or maybe he just wanted it a little more. He certainly looked like he wanted a goal. Obviously in the second half Soehn changed his game plan (which worked, but I didn't like, I complain below) to protect the 1 goal lead. We continued hustling to the loose balls and played through the fouls.

Speaking of fouls, referee Carlos Batres was very close to completely losing this match. The fouls were hard and often. There were more infractions on the part of America but we had enough of our own that went uncalled. It wasn't so much the competitive advantage that the non calls created as it was the physical danger on the field that bothered me. There were some vicious blows out there. At one point McTavish wasn't even looking at the America player that went up for a header when he just threw his arms and body into the guy. Maybe Drew Carey was right, soccer really is a violent game.

My complaint with our performance is that we still don't have the killer instinct to put a game away when we have the momentum. Why didn't we press, when we were a man up and dominating possession? Why were our first two subs defensive? It's almost as if we had forgotten that just four days ago we were a man and a goal up and we gave up a late goal to only get the tie. This appears to be more of a coach's tactical decision considering the entire team's unwillingness to go forward late in the second half. Enough complaining, we won and we are still in the race for the SuperLiga Championship.

Facts and Reality for SuperLiga Match 1.2

1. Three points.
2. A backup striker scored. Very nice strike Dyachenko.
3. DCU didn't ruin the MLS unbeaten streak in this Mexico vs. USA competition, LA did last night.
4. We weren't mediocre, we have found a bit of a spark.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.2 The Setup: DCU v. America 7-29-07

After giving up this gem (at the 2:32 mark in the video) and settling for just one point a few nights ago, DCU comes in against Club America needing at least a draw. Knowing very little about the Mexican clubs, America should be a more difficult opponent than Morelia from name recognition alone.

Maybe we don't need to score SO early that we lose sight of the game in the later minutes. We'll have to keep our heads about us for the full 90 to get the draw in this one. Although maybe we need the victory now and hope for a point against still hot Houston. I really would like to see us advance in this competition. Our chances? I think that without a healthy Moreno (or another striker stepping up) our chances aren't very good. Either way, we'll be pulling for DC to regain form and continue their string of firsts by winning the first SuperLiga. Come on ya Black and Red!

Hope and Dreams for SuperLiga Match 1.2

1. A point.
2. Still want to see something from the backup strikers.
3. DCU doesn't ruin the MLS unbeaten streak in this Mexico vs. USA competition.
4. Some hope that we are not going to continue in mediocrity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vino is a doper?

I don't want to believe it, but with the current state of cycling I'm not sure I can not believe it. What is a Tour fan to do in this situation? The sport is a showcase of human endurance and will. It is amazing to see the riders compete day after day for three weeks. The Rasmussen/Contador show in the Pyrenees has been fantastic. But what if it is all a lie? What if they are all cheating? What are the options?

According to a survey, Italian fans favor legalizing doping with banning media coverage of the sport coming in second and stopping the sport for one or two seasons to get rid of the dopers coming in third. I guess those would be the options, you can legalize it, you can stop the sport, or you can take the money out of it by banning the media from covering it. None of those seem right to me, but the only other option is to keep going with what we have and catching dopers in the act during the Tour de France is just going to further damage the sport.

I guess we can enjoy Vino's mountain stage win until we find out he was doping there too. Just focus on the scenery and the atmosphere, absolutely electric!

Monday, July 23, 2007

SuperLiga Match 1.1 The Setup: DCU v. CA Morelia 7-25-07

SuperLiga makes sense. The soccer rivalry between Mexico and the United States is intense on the national level, why shouldn't we let that spread into the club level? I'm excited to see how the MLS clubs perform against the Mexican clubs. This is an important step in growing the league internationally. The exhibitions against Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Celtic are fine for entertainment but are a poor representation of how we stack up next to those top leagues. The timing and importance just aren't right. Although SuperLiga will feature Mexican clubs in preseason form, there is money to be won which should raise the importance of the games.

DCU plays CA Morelia tonight. I don't know a lot about Morelia except for what wikipedia can give me. We will know a lot more after tonight.
Benny and Fred with both be available but we will still be missing Moreno, Namoff, Kpene, and Moose. I'd like to see Burch in the back with Gros back in midfield. I'd also like to see Olsen drop back into defensive mid and Carroll on the bench.

Hope and Dreams for SuperLiga Match 1.1

1. We take the competition seriously.
2. The SuperLiga matches spark something that continues into our MLS regular season.
3. Balls coming from the back are sent to a DC player.
4. No miscommunication between Perkins and the back line. We don't need Perkins slipping into his unhappy place again (See: post-CONCACAF Perkins).

Match 2.16 The Result: DCU v. RBNY 7-21-07 The Atlantic Cup Leg 2 (of 3)


This one was no fun at all. I think it was about the 25th or 30th minute when I said to my wife, "This is how it is going to end, 1-nil." We didn't get to the loose balls first. We showed no real danger and even when we had chances we could not finish (Gomez and Addlery being the most significant non-finishers). I think the turf is particularly hard for Fred who couldn't keep the ball at his feet.

The defense wasn't terribly bad but the miscommunication on the goal is happening a lot more with Vanney than it was with Erpen, just sayin'. The highlight at the back was that Burch was a reliable option, one match isn't enough to judge him on but it is certainly a good place to start. It is time to looking for a new option at holding mid, Carroll and Simms both just don't have what it takes. Just about everything we sent up from the back was to a New York player.

At this point in the season we have been consistently average and I don't expect us to snap out of it down the stretch. When we have our best 11 on the field I think we are above average (just right above average nothing to get excited about) but we can't count on having everyone in all the time. Somehow we have to get better play from the bench because the crowded schedule will not allow our first 11 to go all 90 in every match.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.16

1. Addlery... ugghh.
2. Three points was definitely a dream.
3. Perkins and his back line still don't have things figured out, another soft header went in.
4. Erpen scored!!!! Not from distance but a header to tie the game against KC.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Don't call it a come back, he's been here for years

60+ stitches in his knees and elbow, a 9 minute deficit off the yellow jersey, and a slick rainy course could not keep Alexandre Vinokourov down in today's stage of the Tour de France. Vino took the stage win in the individual time trial today beating the closest competitor (Cadel Evans, Team Predictor-Lotto) by 1 minute and 10 seconds. He closes his lead on the yellow jersey (still with Michael Rasmussen who had the time trial of his life today) to 5 minutes and 10 seconds. Starting with tomorrow's stage the next three stages are in the Pyrenees Mountains where we will see Levi Leipheimer make his attacks if he is going to do it at all. By Thursday we should know who will wear the final yellow jersey in Paris next Sunday.

Come on Vino!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Match 2.16 The Setup: DCU v. RBNY 7-21-07 The Atlantic Cup Leg 2 (of 3)

This is the start of the grind we have been looking forward to all season. MLS regular season, Superliga, and Copa Sudamericana all come together over the next 2 months (no Open Cup appearances as we bowed out of that one already). We are starting the grind off by taking on Red Bull New York tomorrow in New Jersey at Giants Stadium.

RBNY will be missing JP Angel for his red card last week but Jozy Altidore will be back from his U20 World Cup duty and looking to help his struggling team. DCU will be missing Benny Olsen to yellow card accumulation and Moreno, Moose, Kpene, and Namoff to injury. DC's depth will be tested this week.

New York comes in with only 2 wins in their last 8 games while DC has won 4 of their last 8 even though their form has been suffering. After the breakdown against Dallas I am worried that we have lost a little bit of our edge. Moreno definitely sparked the offense and he is out. Olsen is the heart of the team and he is out. With Moreno and Kpene out we will probably see Addlery or Dyachenko up top with Emilio. Olsen's replacement could cause more problems because Moose is out as well, so we might see DeRoux on the flank or Burch at the back and Gros back up on the wing.

New York will be looking to avenge the 4-2 Benny Olsen hat trick loss in June so this won't be an easy one. We will have to see something from the reserves if we want to steal the three points on the road.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.16

1. The backup strikers put something in the net.
2. All three points. I might actually be dreaming on this one.
3. Perkins can trust his back line enough to not come out so much.
4. Erpen scores from distance against KC.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tour Update

It appears as though our favorite for the Tour will have to wait until next year to have a chance at the yellow jersey. Injuries sustained from a crash in the 5th stage, including deep gashes in both knees which needed stitches, kept Vinokourov from staying with the leaders in yesterday's 9th stage. He starts the 10th stage 8 minutes back from the leader which will probably prove to be too much. We are crying with you Vino.

Now I guess we will pull for the climber Rasmussen (Team RaboBank) to build a big enough lead in the mountains that it will hold up through his below average time trialing skills.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Match 2.15 The Result: DCU v. FC Dallas 7-14-07

DCU 3 FC Dallas 3

This felt worse than any loss I have experienced to date.

For the first 50 minutes I couldn't believe what was happening, we were actually going to dominate a decent team. We scored early and then added to our lead. There were a few breakdowns in the defense, but Perkins was able to take care of them. Vanney was making tackles to stop the attack. The one troubling thing throughout the first 50 minutes was our inability to keep possession. Dallas had more possession and more control throughout the game and it finally paid off in the last 40 minutes. I still haven't re watched the game (we were at RFK) so I'm not exactly sure how it happened but the defense and Troy Perkins got abused.

Was it Brian Carroll (who seemed scared to give any help on offense throughout the game)?
Was it the lack of speed from Boswell and Vanney?
Was it the dependence on Gomez to defend (which he did quite well in the first half and then kind of decided to only play offense in the second half)?
Was it the Moreno for Kpene substitution (which I'm hoping was just a bad day for Kpene or I will never call for Moreno to leave the pitch again)?

I'm guessing it was a little bit of everything but I plan to rehash this one on DVR sometime this week.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.15

1. Moreno didn't score but his assists were beautiful.
2. Vanney.... ugh.
3. Everything was free, including the 3 goals we gave to Dallas for free.
4. Colorado didn't play this week, that gives Erpen time to practice his long range bombs.

5. I hate Ruiz.
6. Is it just me or can Toja jump unnaturally high?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Match 2.15 The Setup: DCU v. FC Dallas 7-14-07

Happy Friday the 13th!

The Edgell Supporters will be attending the game at RFK thanks to Intelligence Careers and PWSI (where El Goleador currently plays his soccer). Even the mother supporter will be in attendance for this one (maybe she just wants to get a good look at JC Toja, I know I do).

This will be DC's first chance at the 2006 Supporter Shield Runner-ups FC Dallas. Here at the Edgell Supporters we like to watch FC Dallas and we really like Kenny Cooper (God rest his injured soul) and JC Toja. The funny thing is we tend to like teams a lot better before we play them (See: Houston, even when we beat them) so FC Dallas may not stay on our good side for long.

DC is coming off a loss to the league's hottest team and a poor showing in the USOC, so a loss this week will look like a down turn in the season. On the positive side, most of our starters have had a full week of rest so we should have Olsen, Moreno, and Boswell back at full strength. Namoff and Kpene's (Moreno's 60/70th min sub in a perfect world) injury status will most likely be a match day decision. The lineup should look like this:

McTavish - Boswell - Vanney - Gros
B. Carroll
Emilio - Moreno

FC Dallas has great defensive play from its midfielders Toja and Ricchetti which will require us to be dangerous up the middle and on the flanks. We are going to need some good production from the trifecta up top so that the flank play from Fred and Olsen will make a difference. On the defensive side we will have to watch out for Oduro's speed and of course flopping from El Pescadito Ruiz. We looked pretty frustrated against Houston last week and Ruiz would love to add on to that. If we keep our heads on straight (I look for Carroll and Gomez to be the main targets for Ruiz) and brush off the bad calls we should be able to take care of things on defense.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.15

1. Moreno breaks the record in the run of play.
2. Vanney works his way into my heart with his amazing play at the back.
3. Free tickets, free food, free love.
4. Erpen from distance.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

last night's soccer

DCU 0 Harrisburg City Islanders 1
DC is out of the Open Cup. From the radio broadcast it sounded like we had possession most of the game but we gave away possession on bad touches and couldn't get our shots on frame. I haven't decided whether or not I care about the Open Cup but my disappointment is that we lost to a USL2 team. Oh and also that we didn't score a single goal. This does not bode well for the reserves offensive production. Does USL2 pay better than MLS reserves? Now if the Islanders can just beat New England.

I listened to the match on the Harrisburg station for a bit until MLSnet got their act together. While I appreciate the Harrisburg station's attempt to keep us updated, Tony Limarzi for MLSnet did an infinitely better job.

Argentina 3 Mexico 0
Having spent a couple of years in Argentina, I almost always pull for them, Mexico being their opponent just made it that much more enjoyable. The highlight of the match for me was this kung fu kick goal by Gabriel Heinze. So sweet...

How scary is it that Messi is only 20 years old?

Los Gringuitos 2 Uruguay 1 (U20 World Cup)
Speaking of U-20s, the US beat Uruguay in extra time, it wasn't pretty but we got the job done. You don't always have to win in the same ways with the same players, you just have to win. That being said, I hope Altidore and Seitz are injury free for the next match.