Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So Long, Brian

Well, I got my wish. Brian Carroll was left unprotected and was selected in the Expansion Draft by San Jose. While I have appreciated Carroll's effort, his lack of skill became more and more apparent over the last two years. Maybe in a different system he will be a more productive player. So good luck out west, Brian. You won't be missed here, but you were a part of a very exciting era in DC United's history, including an MLS Cup and two Supporter's Shields. So, that says something at least.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Who Will Go?

With the San Jose Earthquakes reentering the league, there will be a dispersal draft. Each current MLS team will lose a player while being able to protect their top eleven. This got me thinking, who would I protect and why? So, here is my list of the eleven players I would protect, assuming all are under contract and are returning for next season. And I don't know what the rules are for developmental players, so I will assume they are available.

Luciano Emilio
Christian Gomez
Ben Olsen
Clyde Simms
Bryan Namoff
Troy Perkins
Marc Burch
Devon McTavish
Bobby Boswell
Justin Moose

So who does that leave unprotected?

Jamie Moreno
Greg Vanney
Rod Dyachenko
Josh Gros
Jamil Walker
Jay Nolly
Domenic Mediate
Guy-Roland Kpene
Stephen deRoux
Jeff Carroll
Brian Carroll
Nicholas Addlery
Bryan Arguez
Shawn Crowe
And a few other players you've never heard of who are on United's 40 man roster.

So the obvious question: How can DC leave Moreno unprotected? Honestly, I don't think San Jose would take him. Too injury prone, too old, too expensive. He is great for United and I hope he can play for a few more years. But, San Jose needs to be looking three to five years down the road and Jamie simply won't be playing that long. So who do I think San Jose would pick from this list? Rod Dyachenko. Who do I want them to pick? Brian Carroll. We'll see what happens.

I'll update the list as I learn more about the specifics of the rules.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Playoff Game 2 - DC United 2:2 Chicago Fire
Chicago Advances on 3:2 Aggregate

I'm angry. My anger exists on many levels. I will try to calmly and clearly explain who I am angry at and why. A few notes: I haven't seen any replays except for what was on the stadium screen. I don't know who was pulled for poor play and who was injured. Any incorrect assumptions I make I apologize for in advance.

First, I am angry at Tom Soehn. The major reason I am angry at the coach is that the tactics he employed in the first game of this series put DC United in a terrible position. There is no way around it, he played for the tie in Chicago. When he didn't get it, DC had to chase the win in the second leg. This played exactly into what the Fire wants to do, counter attack. It is what Chicago did tonight, and when you are chasing goals against a good countering team, you can get into trouble fast. And tonight DC was in trailing-by-three-goals trouble.

Second, I am angry at DC United's midfielders. Christian Gomez has not been playing as well as he did last season and with the addition of Fred and Olsen's good play the DC United attack has moved from the center of the field to the wings. Bring it up the sidelines and cross to the middle. This worked well for about three months, but starting at the end of September the crosses started missing their targets. It seemed that everything either didn't make it over the first defender or went way over the top. Tonight was no different. An unbelievable amount of crosses were well off target.

Third I am angry at Marc Burch, Greg Vanney, and Bobby Boswell. It is inexcusable to allow man after man to run free through the line of defenders. I'm all for playing high and trying to run the offside trap. However, I am more for preventing goals. Those three were horrendous tonight and have been off for most of the season. Perkins has been tremendous this year and was better than his GAA, but these three have been playing a matador defense for a few months now.

Fourth, I am mad at the referee. Consistently inconsistent, that's the MLS referee mantra. No yellows in the first half, nothing called on multiple hand balls in the box by Chicago (I'm not the only one who saw them, right?), constant time wasting all game long. However, the first big call he makes is a questionable call in the box after Gomez puts in the series tying goal? Where was this guy all night? If he had been making the tough calls all along, I would have respect for his season-altering call. I might not agree with it, but I would respect it. But he didn't call any of the other tough ones, and there were multitudes.

Finally I am mad at MLS. Get rid of the home and home series. If Chicago can't finish in the top two in the conference, they don't get a home game. Find better referees. Hire them from Europe if necessary. The ones you have aren't getting the job done. Maybe if Beckham says it, Greg Garber will finally do something about it.


Emilio (C) Not a great game, but again, he didn't get good service
Moreno (B-) A decent game, but not involved in anything that dangerous
Gomez (A-) Held on to the ball too long in the first 45. Amazing in the second 45.
Fred (B) Ran his rear off for 90 minutes.
Simms (B-) Terrible first half. Awesome goal.
Olsen (B-) Had his moments, but seemed more concerned with drawing fouls.
Vanney (D) Defense needs to be reworked this winter. I don't see him back.
Boswell (D+) Looked at fault on at least one of the goals.
Namoff (B) Again the best defender on the field.
Burch (D+) Looked like he was pulled for bad play, not tactics.
Perkins (A-) Did everything he could to keep United in it.
Dyachenko (A-) Assisted on both goals. Great game.
Addlery (C) Good effort, great positioning, awful finishing. Three whiffs?
McTavish (B) Pushed up well when United needed offense.

I am really upset about how the season ended. Three things need to be addressed in the offseason. The defense needs to be looked at and revamped, the bench needs bolstering, and a stadium needs to be finalized.

Have a great winter everyone. I'll post as DC United news seems appropriate.