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.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Match 2.14 The Result: DCU v Dynamo Houston 7-8-07

DCU 0 Dynamo 1

There are some games where you can just feel like we don't have it in us. There was no danger or urgency in our game and Houston knew it. The fact that my wife commented on how many Houston players were back on defense says it all (and she fell asleep shortly into the second half). They clogged up the middle of their narrow field and we had nothing going for us on the wings. Offensively, there were very few strings of passes, although I do remember one rather lengthy possession that appeared as though DC thought they were up a goal and killing time. Between the loss and homework that's all I have in me tonight, on to the reality...

Facts and Reality for Match 2.14

1. We didn't steal a point, we didn't steal anything, we barely broke into the house and when we did we weren't really interested in taking anything.
2. The defense... I'm not sure if it was better or worse but we sure look unorganized out there.
3. In my book credit for the goal goes to Mulrooney, Ching is a cherry picker.
4. Still no luck for Erpen with Colorado, if he continues to play at center back it may take a long time for this wish to come true.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Tour

Week in and week out the Edgell Supporters follow DC United but throughout the year there are a few other special events that demand our attention. The first of those events is the Tour de France.

After all the doping suspensions and forced retirements the Tour starts this year without a previous champion and without a clear favorite. The open field with few favorites will give us an exciting race from start to finish.

We are a patriotic group so we always support the American riders and Team Discovery. America's hope for winning it all this year rests with Levi Leipheimer (Team Discovery). We can probably expect a stage win from Americans George Hincapie (Discovery) or David Zabriski (CSC). The Edgell Supporters favorite rider is from Kazakhstan, Alexander Vinokourov (Astana). In the cycling world Vino is known as an aggressive and non-traditional rider because of his solo attacks and willingness to take on anyone or any team. Along with Vino the other top riders in this race are Leipheimer and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).

For all of you non-Tour enthusiasts (I can't imagine there are many Tour watching readers) I encourage you to watch some of the mountain stages and sprint stages. Some of the most exciting moments in sports come from the attacks mounted in these stages. There are 4 races within the race with winners in the youth (white jersey), climber (polka-dot jersey), sprinter (green jersey), and team classifications. There are also awards for the most aggressive and attacking riders.

The tour begins today on the Versus Channel (used to be OLN) with coverage in the morning and in the evening. 189 riders, 21 team, 20 stages, and 23 days.

There is something on besides baseball. Watch the Tour.

The Royal Review

RSL Ben is finally gracing us with his Internet presence on The Royal Review. He'll give you RSL game breakdowns and Ben Cup coverage from the other side. Good to have you on Ben!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Match 2.14 The Setup: DCU v Dynamo Houston 7-8-07

The last time Houston lost was on May 26, 2007 at RFK against our own DC United. Since then they have won 6 out of 7 and outscored opponents 15 to 3. During the same time period United has won 4 out of 6 with a scoreline of 13 to 6.

Houston will be missing deadly free kick artist Brad Davis and possibly the #1 at keeper, Pat Onstad. DC will probably still be missing Boswell, Olsen, and Moreno to Copa America duty and Kpene and Namoff to injury.

Judging by current form and our road record, DC is in for a very tough match. Houston is coming off a 4-nil win against RBNY and DC just stole three points from an Eddie Johnson-less Kansas City. Houston will no doubt aim to abuse the disorganization of our back line. Brian Carroll, Fred, and Moose will have to step in to slow down the attack before it gets too dangerous. DCU will need to continue to attack the wings to free up space for Christian in the middle and he will have to use that space effectively if we want to get on the board.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.14

1. We steal a point against a hot team on the road.
2. The defense shows some sign of coming together.
3. Ching does not score.
4. Erpen scores from distance.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Match 2.13 The Result: DCU v KC Wizards 7-4-07

DCU 1 KC 0

We got the first winning clean sheet of the campaign. It was ugly but we earned the win.

DC started out pretty hot with a few opportunities right from the start. Then we got unorganized and lost form. The back line looked exactly like what we should expect from the patchwork it was put together with. I like Simms at D-mid, but I do not like him on the back line, he gave away too many balls and just looked like he didn't know what he was doing. In his defense, he probably doesn't know exactly what he is doing and he didn't get help from the rest of the defenders. Things got back on track with Fred's pass to set up Emilio for the goal right before half. There weren't a lot of good chances for DC after that and even with all the shots from KC we were still able to hold on for the win.

We acquired Fred for assists and Emilio for scoring, they both did their jobs today. We gave up a lot of shots and relied heavily on good play from Perkins and McTavish to bail us out. Sometimes individuals have to step up in order to get the win and that's ok.

Facts and Reality for Match 2.13

1. It was Vanney's first game with DC and it showed. I'm willing to give him a few more games before I resume my questioning of the trade.
2. I called for the clean sheet and it was delivered. Good work boys!
3. Moose's hustle and flow look like they burned him out by half, but I still admire the work he is doing out there.
4. At the time of publishing this Erpen had not yet scored, BUT he still has another half of a game tonight and another on Sunday to score.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Hate

I-66 got me thinking a little while back by commenting:

"So let me get this straight... your least favorite team isn't Red Bull
New York?"

As I have made reference to before, I am a fairly new DC United fan. I am completely committed to supporting the Black and Red, but I struggle with the requisite hate of Red Bull New York. I get the geographic thing and it's always a worthwhile pursuit to make fun of things from New Jersey. The problem I have is getting behind the competitive rivalry thing. Taking all 2006 matches into account we beat them 4 times and tied them 3 times which included a two legged aggregate win in the playoffs.

Most of the time I hate teams in the MLS because of the individual players on the team. I can't even get that going for me because there aren't any NY players that I hate. There are several candidates but none of them quite measure up. If Markus Schopp were any good he could be the one. Maybe Jozy Altidore could grow into it. I don't have the history with Quaranta but now that he is in NY he will definitely be a front runner. One hard foul from Mathis and I could be totally converted. But for right now I don't dislike any of them enough for it to translate into hate of RBNY.

New England on the other hand tied us twice and beat us twice in 2006, including their victory in the Eastern Conference Final. I hate them for that and we haven't even approached their roster. Dempsey and his rapper antics alone were enough but the Revolution boasts other easy to hate players like Twinkie Twellman, Franchino (mostly from last year), Heaps, Joseph, and Reis (from his Esky battery in 2005 that I only know about secondhand).

RSL won the first Ben Cup. The Fire beat us enough and have CJ Brown on their team. The Rapids beat us once, tied us once and they have the long haired Beckerman and Hernandez. Not to mention the keeper Coundoul and stinky Mastroeni. The Edgell Supporters often talk about smell-o-vision when watching sporting events. We tend to rate players by their level or type of smell. Mastroeni reeks of pastrami and the guys that worked for the moving company in Germany. The Colorado locker room is probably the most fragrant in the league. I digress...

The points is, there are many teams that I have reason to dislike or at least I have given myself reason to dislike. RBNY just hasn't given me a reason yet.

All of this being said, heaven knows that I have enough hate in my heart to be spread around pretty thick. I'm sure I can reserve a special spot for RBNY. I'm just going to need some time to work on it. I just hope the hate doesn't come because they are more competitive.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Match 2.13 The Setup: DCU v KC Wizards 7-4-07

This is the last Eastern Conference game for both Kansas City and DC before the all-star break. Three points earned is three points taken away from another top team in the East. This is probably the most important game of the first half of the season for both teams.

Eddie Johnson punished us in the first go around but he will be on duty at Copa America. DCU is still missing their call ups as well as Namoff and Kpene to injury. DC gets their first look at Vanney on the back line. DC has adjusted to missing players in previous games and I expect the adjustments to go a little more smoothly in Kansas City.

Hopes and Dreams for Match 2.13

1. Vanney shows us some of the experience we are supposed to be getting from him.
2. The first winning clean sheet of the season.
3. Moose's hustle and flow pay off in the form of his first MLS goal.
4. Erpen scores from distance. (Facundo, we prefer you in black, but we're still pulling for your long bomb)

allow myself...to introduce myself

At the request of THE Edgell Supporter, I'm going to work on exploring what I might be able to bring to the blog. Since my interests usually pertain mostly to gossip and drama, of which I should keep my nose out of, I might have trouble. I've yet to be able to tap into the personal side of DC United, except the small amount I know from my own insider. But, the least I can do is introduce The Edgell Supporters to those of you who don't know us, and might like to know more.

I (Diana or dirty supporter) am from NOVA, not Utah. I was an easy sell on loving the black and red since I have a connection to all 3 Carroll brothers, we grew up in the same neighborhood, and went to the same schools (and if I remember correctly, Pat was the first person I ever heard call someone a douche....funny moment on the bleachers of WSHS). I do shower regularly, but was given the nickname dirty from some Michael Jackson loving older "sisters"(great song). I've never played soccer, and I'm a girly girl when it come to sports (I love that Kali follows U of U gymnastics), but I'm shallow and these players are nice to look at. Benjamin wasn't lying though, my family does live in Utah, and that even happens to be where we got married 2 years ago.

Benjamin (Edgell Supporter) grew up anywhere and everywhere and has, from my knowledge, always loved soccer. He already gave a little background on how he came to know the black and red, but don't let him fool you into thinking it's all about the sport, he also thinks some of the boys are cute.

Andrew (El Goleador) is Benjamin youngest brother and probably the proudest of our small group. His soccer team just cleaned up in their league, and we hope he's famous someday so we can sponge off him.

We have other supporters that come in and out. We might be able to convince them to share their stories in the future.