Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game 5 - DC United 4:1 Real Salt Lake

So I managed to avoid seeing the score of this game during the time I was on vacation and was able to watch it on tape. As always, I don't look at anyone other blogs or articles before writing up my review, so I apologize if my comments are redundant.

I liked the formation. Not sure about giving the new kid Stratford the start in midfield, but it looks like Soehn wanted to give him some minutes, and I bet he has been great in training sessions and this was a reward. Quaranta should remain in the right midfield role at least until Olsen returns and if the formation remains 3-5-2, maybe Olsen is returned to defensive midfield. Gallardo, Emilio, and Moreno worked very well together with Quaranta and Fred/Burch working the wings. Even Namoff and Martinez made several runs into the box which I have been waiting for defenders to do for years. I would still like to see Moreno in the midfield but I'll take this formation for the next few weeks to see how it progresses.

I was not at all happy with Wells. He seemed indecisive and poorly positioned. He made one excellent reflex save, but was several yards away from a bushel of near misses. And one play particularly vexed me. On the free kick from the top of the box which hit the post, he didn't even make an attempt. I want to see the goalie dive for it even if it is a futile attempt. Let's see some effort out there. And I hope D gave the referee full marks for this game. Best officiated game I have seen this year.


Forwards (Emilio and Moreno) B

Excellent use of his body to shield the defender and earn the penalty. He seemed a bit better at the post up but still not great. Moreno was his menacing best. Keeping possession, making good passes and converting his penalty kicks. I could do without the heart attack chip shot, but as long as he continues to convert, he's my guy at the spot.

Midfielders (Gallardo, Simms, Fred, Quaranta, and Stratford) B+

Simms seemed a bit off during the first half. Uncharacteristic bad passes, losing shape, and out of position. I think it was probably how badly Stratford was playing, but I was still surprised by it. Stratford was obviously a bit overwhelmed and was justifiably removed. I think he'll be fine, but he was all over the place and not accomplishing anything. Fred goes down with what looked like a quad bruise. But he and Quaranta looked very nice on the wings. Gallardo had his best game this year and both his and Tino's goals were things of beauty. However, Gallardo's has goal of the year potential. Wow.

Defenders (Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, and Wells) B-

I liked the runs they made. I liked the covering for each other. I liked the toughness. I liked the good decisions they made. I hated the goal tending.

Substitutes (Burch, Dyachenko, and Kirk) A-

Excellent work by this group. I still don't like Burch in the midfield. he has no right foot and his crosses aren't very accurate. But is an emergency situation, he played very well. Dyachenko did well to push the attack and allow Gallardo to play closer to the goal. Kirk got his feet wet. I want to see some more from him.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Game 5 - DC United vs Real Salt Lake

JCM is on vacation and will post a review when he returns this week.


DC United 3:1 Real Salt Lake

Friday, April 18, 2008

Game 4 - DC United 1:2 Columbus Crew
Apologies for not posting a preview of this game. I had one
half finished, then work got busy and I spaced on finishing it. Sorry

I am worried. I wasn't this worried last year when DC United started with three losses and a tie in the first four games. Then I was thinking, new coach, new players, give them a month and we'll see what happens. Now I am thinking same coach, two home games, a road game against the awful RSL, and some more new players. There have been two shutouts and another one goal game. There has been better defense, and there has been an inconsistent offense. Why do I feel worse? Why do I feel like there isn't going to be a huge turn around? Why do I feel the depth issues are as bad or worse as last year? Is it all Ben Olsen? Is it Gomez' absence? Or Perkins? Man for man, I like this starting roster more than last year's. Peralta and Martinez are better central defenders than Boswell and Vanney were. What are the problems?
  1. Emilio is not a post up forward. He cannot play with a man on his back, and another closing in from the side. He will invariably cough up the ball. Most of the time he can't control the ball so it stays at his feet. It bounces away and the defense takes possession.
  2. Too much offense has been flowing through McTavish. His skill set is not developed enough to distribute the ball forward. Balls on the ground are not precise enough or not given the proper weight. Crosses are balloon balls which give the defense too much time to recover and disrupt the play.
  3. Not enough runs into the box. United's offense seems to be build from the back and then pass around the outside of the penalty box until someone wins a corner or gives up the ball. For a team that went like two years between corner kick goals, that is not a winning strategy.
  4. Quaranta should be starting until Olsen returns. This seems so obvious. Keep Burch and McTavish out of the midfield. Put Santino up top and Jamie in the midfield. How about playing Jamie in the middle and Gallardo in the "Donovan" USMNT position? A little up and a little right. Let Namoff play a little forward to fill the space with Martinez on his side to compensate when he runs forward.
  5. Atrocious gambles and goals in the box. Both goals this week were the result of bad marking and bad goalie positioning. There is no virtue in playing great defense for eighty-eight minutes and two minutes of kiddie league tactics.
Look, it isn't all doom an gloom. If the referee had called either of the obvious penalty fouls, it would have been a completely different game. But I am less optimistic than I can remember, maybe since 2003.


Forwards (Emilio and Moreno) C-

Very little possession from these two. When they were in position, they didn't make good decisions.

Midfielders (Fred, Gallardo, McTavish, and Simms) B-

Just an average game from this group. I still don't like McTavish in the midfield. Fred was good, but not great. Gallardo worked very hard but kept trying to get the ball to Emilio when he was posting up. A whole lot of effort with not much in the way of results.

Defenders (Namoff, Peralta, Martinez, Burch, and Wells) D

Terrible communication between goalie and defenders. Martinez and Wells were yelling at each other at one point. The two goals were comical and a third took a remarkable save from Wells to prevent.

Substitutes (Niell, Dyachenko, and Quaranta) B

Not bad from this group. Dyachenko showed good ball handling and vision. Quaranta was involved in trying to get the equalizer and Niell didn't throw up all over himself. He did whiff on his one good chance, though.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game 3 - DC United 0:4 Real Salt Lake

Oh, holy shit! This was the worst performance by a DC United team since the 4-0 shellacking in the playoffs by Chicago in 2005. There was nothing redeeming about it. Nothing. The goal tending was crap. The defending was worse. The midfielders couldn't pass to the forwards. The forwards couldn't make good runs. We will never speak of this game again.

This is two years in a row that United has started the backup keeper in Salt Lake City. Why do that on turf when you are also sitting Gallardo and Martinez? I said it last year after the RSL road game, and I'll say it again, starting every game shouldn't be a problem for a goalie with no injury issues. This isn't hockey. And wasn't Rod Dyachenko pulled from the game for his awful play at RSL? Yes, he was pulled in the 44th minute and wasn't injured. Nice choice, Tom, to put him in there. Maybe he doesn't play well on this type of field? Hmmm?

The only thing you can say in United's defense is that it was played on that god-forsaken artificial turf which causes the ball to travel at warp speed. It removes 3% of the bad taste. The 97% that remains is enough to make you want to take a shower. And don't forget, that makes two straight shutouts on the road. Dammit! Why are United the only team in the league who can't beat RSL in Utah.


Forwards, Midfielders, Defenders, and Substitutes F

Friday, April 11, 2008

Preview of Game 3 - DC United at Real Salt Lake

DC United, 1-0-1 (W-D-L), head to Utah to take on Real Salt Lake. DC United won last week 4-1 over Toronto FC. DC United lost their only road game 2-0 at Kansas City. United are tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference (1.50 PPG), 3 points behind Kansas City and New England (2.00 PPG) with a game in hand. Kansas City and New England are also in first place in the Supporter's Shield race with United tied for 6th.

Real Salt Lake, 0-1-1 (W-D-L), have not shown much improvement this season. They have allowed six goals in the first two games this season and only netted three themselves. They are tied for 5th place in the Western Conference (0.50 PPG), three points behind Chivas USA and in 11th place in the Supporter's Shield race.

United will be without Ben Olsen again, but otherwise should have the full compliment of players. I expect the starting eleven for United to be Emilio, Quaranta, Gallardo, Fred, McTavish, Simms, Namoff, Burch, Martinez, Peralta, and Wells in a 4-4-2 formation. Moreno, Dyachanko, and Niell all should get in during the second half. Look for Emilio and Fred to get on the goal sheet.


DC United 3:1 Real Salt Lake

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Round 2, Leg 2 - DC United 2:1 Pachuca

Pachuca advances 3:2

I sit about even with the top of the six yard box on the gravel end of the stadium. So sometimes my perspective is influenced by what happens right in front of me. Rarely does the in stadium replay help in deciphering whether what my eyes tell me happened actually happened. I'll give you two examples:
  1. My eyes told me that Emilio was butchered after misplaying the ball in the box right in front of me. Penalty! I read on Soccer Insider that Emilio says the player got the ball first and even though it looked like a dangerous play and I think clearly would have been a foul outside of the box, it did not deserve a penalty. Huh.
  2. At the other end of the field, my eyes told me that Fred had a clear chance on goal but was pushed off the ball. Penalty? This one apparently deserved one due to a shirt pull I couldn't see and still haven't. Damn RFK MicroTron scoreboard.

It is really difficult sometimes to know whether or not a referee is blowing the game. I try so very hard not to blame the refs, but MLS makes that extremely difficult with the inconsistencies from week to week on how the game is called. My biggest beef last night was the yellow card on Emilio. Never have I seen a more obvious example of an official determining that he was going to give a card to a player the next time he did anything questionable and then not even get that right. Emilio leaned against a Pachuca player looking up for the ball. He didn't use his arms or elbows, he didn't even push the Pachuca player off his spot. He simply leaned with his rear while trying to get position. Needless to say, I wasn't hopeful for a well called game after that. It wasn't the regular MLS horror show, but it was inconsistent.

I really like the 3-5-2- lineup. I think Moreno's best position is withdrawn forward or attacking midfielder. If Martinez can play on the right side of the defense, DC United might have a viable alternative formation. And this isn't a knock on Burch. Just a more offensive formation. When Benny comes back (soon I hope), that would be a pretty potent lineup. McTavish was the weak link. Too many times the offensive buildup ended with a bad pass off his foot. He has a tendency to loft passes into the offensive third giving the defense time to get under the ball. He wasn't bad, just not the player I want to run the offense through. Pachuca clearly decided to find Fred and Gallardo and mark them closely, so that left the right side as the path of least resistance. Fred and McTavish switched sides a few times to try and throw the defense off, but it didn't seem to make a difference.

Gallardo was very good controlling the ball and distributing it. His free kicks/corners were not great, but I hope that is just my own comparison with Gomez and Etcheverry. Not every player who wears #10 will be able to put it in the upper corners from twenty-five yards out. Martinez continues to impress and Wells had two excellent saves. Peralta was a step slow, but against arguably the best team in North America. Niell was fine, but his goal was offset by his inability to do anything when he gets possession. He won't shoot or pass. He just holds on until he is dispossessed. But, all credit for taking the one timer and scoring. Gallardo had a similar chance a little earlier, but instead tried to improve his angle and ended up not getting a shot off. Sometimes you just need to put the ball on net.

Was it just me or were there a ridiculous amount of deflected crosses? It seemed that every attempt at a cross from the wing was blocked by the defence before it went ten feet. Just great defense by Pachuca.

Overall, this felt like a 1-1 game, but given the quality of the opponent, I'll take it.


Forwards (Emilio and Quaranta) B-

Emilio didn't have his best game. He was put in position to make something happen and just didn't have the ability to convert his chances. Quaranta was adequate. He was well positioned and even tracked way back to play some defense when the positioning got way out of whack. He looked like David Stokes backpedaling and stalling for time (I honestly think he would have continued all the way to the end line if the Pachuca player hasn't passed), but I appreciate the effort.

Midfielders (Gallardo, Fred, Moreno, Simms, and McTavish) B+

A good game from this group. Moreno was effective for about 75 minutes and I think it was a direct result of not having to make the long runs down field. He and Gallardo seemed to mesh well together in the middle with Simms playing stopper behind them. I want to see more of this formation.

Defenders (Namoff, Peralta, Martinez, and Wells) A-

The goal was more a result of pressing for the score rather than a defensive lapse. Excellent game from this crew.

Substitutes (Niell, Burch, and Dyachenko) A

Two goals from this group. What more can you ask for?

One final comment about Greg Garber's comments about DC United not doing well in these tournaments.

Shut up, Greg!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Round 2, Leg 2 - DC United vs Pachuca

Not much to say other than United needs to play a perfect game. Pachuca wants this as shown by their resting players this past weekend. United trails 2-0 and away goals don't matter.

I expect the starting lineup to be Moreno, Emilio, Gallardo, Quaranta, Simms, Fred, Namoff, Peralta, Martinez, Burch, and Wells.


DC United 1:1 Pachuca

Pachuca advances 3:1 on aggregate.
Game 2 - DC United 4:1 Toronto FC

When the game was 3-0, I thought that it had the feel of a 4-0 game. United was dominating possession, the defense was stout, the offense was creating dangerous chances, and Toronto looked like a team which was beginning their second season and had great difficulties on the road. The two goals to start the game were a great sign, and just before the red card we were thinking in our section that the only way things could get worse for TFC would be to go a man down. Then they did. So on came the subs in the second half. Niell was awful again. I'm thinking he will go down with the likes of Filomeno, Guppy, and Donnet. Gallardo on the other hand looked great. I love the long balls over the top. Not your typical MLS prayer, but tactical decisions based on the positioning of the opposition. If he grows his hair a little longer, I might start having El Diablo flashbacks, but with a better shot.


Forwards (Emilio and Quaranta) A-

I liked the Quaranta up top and Moreno in the midfield experiment. I want to see more of it.

Midfielders (Gallardo, Fred, Simms, and McTavish) B+

Once Olsen makes his way back on the field, United should really have a potent lineup and quality depth on the bench.

Defenders (Namoff, Peralta, Martinez, Burch, and Wells) A-

Excellent work by this group.

Substitutes (Moreno, Niell, and Dyachenko) B-

Moreno actually stole the ball from Niell just before he scored because he was taking too much time. When Moreno thinks you are stalling in the box, that's saying something.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Preview of Game 2 - DC United vs Toronto FC

DC United welcomes Toronto FC to town this weekend looking get back on track after consecutive shutouts on the road to Kansas City and Pachuca. United was great at home last season with a 9-2-2 record (W-D-L). DC are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Chicago with a game in hand.

Toronto FC had an anemic offence last season which they hope will improve this year. They set the league record with an 824 minute scoreless streak. TFC are a horrible road team, with a 1-4-10 record and a -23 goal differential. Like DC United, Toronto has no points after their 2-0 loss last weekend at Columbus.

I expect United to play the same roster they used against Pachuca: Emilio, Niell, Fred, Gallardo, McTavish, Simms, Burch, Peralta, Martinez, Namoff, and Wells. My guess is that Moreno will be saved for the Pachuca game next Wednesday. I also expect the top subs to remain Quaranta, Mediate, and Dyachenko.


DC United 2:0 Toronto FC
Nationals Stadium

Not a soccer post. Just a very long rant.

I've lived in the DC Metro area my entire life. A few things go along with that. I expect to run into traffic whenever I go out. It might be 1 AM on a Tuesday, but there might be a five mile backup on the Beltway. I know this and adjust my expectations accordingly. Another thing is diplomatic plates. If I see them, I try to give them a wide berth. I know they probably don't have insurance. If there is an accident, it's on me to get my car fixed even if it wasn't my fault. I think most long time residents have first or second hand knowledge of a fender bender or worse with a car with diplomatic plates. Comes with the territory. A third thing is the tourist, especially at this time of year. I work just off the Mall and at this time of year, the Metros are crawling with high school students visiting DC from all over the country, families seeing the cherry blossoms, and foreigners with their cameras. None of these things bother me. It's part of being a Washingtonian. It would be like a New Yorker hating all the cabs, or someone from Los Angeles hating Hollywood. Doesn't make any sense.

There is something else that is part of being a Washingtonian, and it is The Washington Post. I've read it my whole life. It is one of the dominant papers in the country, maybe number two behind the NY Times. I get it everyday and have my whole life. I love the Sports page. I devour the editorials. However, the Style section is getting on my nerves, specifically the critics: movies, television (except for Lisa de Moraes, love her), and now architecture. If you haven't read the recent review of the new Nationals Stadium, it is a prime example of what really bothers me. So please excuse me while I dissect this review.

It is a machine for baseball and for sucking the money out of the pockets of people who like baseball, and it makes no apologies about its purely functional design...As people circulate through the stadium's public spaces, where beer can cost $7.50 and the cheapest hot dog is $4.50, the human traffic flow unifies the two central purposes of the building: baseball and the fleecing of baseball audiences. This circulating motion wrings money out of you like wet laundry on the spin cycle.

Sorry, the two central purposes of the stadium are to generate income for the owners (and the city by way of taxes on food and tickets) and to provide a place for the public to watch a baseball game. There is no fleecing. To fleece someone is to swindle or cheat them. While the public may be unhappy about their tax dollars being used to build the stadium in the first place, you cannot fleece someone by overcharging them for something they aren't forced to buy. Otherwise, car dealerships would be guilty fleecing anyone who pays full sticker price. If you don't want to buy a $4.50 hotdog or a $7.50 beer, eat and drink before you come to the stadium. And weren't we talking about the design of the stadium?

Although much has been made of its wonderful views of the iconic Washington skyline, it is an inward-focused building, with the field at its center, and rings of concession stands around the edges hiding external views in most places. Even on the inviting open-air corridor of the third level, where people of normal economic means can buy seats without dipping into their kids' college funds, food stalls and bathrooms block what might have been a wonderful view of the Anacostia River.

Really, a baseball stadium is inward focusing? You mean people might want to be able to see the field when walking around the concourse? The game being what they paid to see, I think that a halfway decent argument could be made that it was a choice the designers made to make the field the most important area visitors should be able to see. And how might we accomplish that task? I know, put all the food stalls, bathrooms, offices, and such in places where they won't come between the fans and the field. What a concept. Oh, and we can make specific areas where people who want to take advantage of the location and height of the building can see the beautiful DC vistas, which are viewable for free from the top of the Washington Monument and the Kennedy Center.

The old and much-maligned RFK Stadium, where the Nationals played the past three seasons, might be a better building -- more visual interest, more presence on its prominent site, and a better mix of modern style with the city's vernacular gravitas...RFK Stadium at least looks like a stadium, with a classic shape that recalls noble precursors back to the Roman Colosseum.

This is the most laughable argument the writer makes. RFK reminds him of the Roman Colosseum? On what planet? RFK Stadium was placed in the edge of an established neighborhood which goes back centuries. My ancestors owned a shop about six blocks from the stadium site seventy years before the stadium was built. The Nationals stadium is one of the first building built near the Navy Yard in decades. RFK's presence was "downtown stadium", much like Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. In a baseball configuration, the stands were far from the field, nothing at field level in the outfield, because it was a multi-purpose stadium. Baseball specific stadia look like baseball stadia because form doesn't trump function. A modern baseball stadium puts a premium on getting fans as close to the field as possible. Also, they aren't completely enclosed. The outfield usually opens up to the city beyond for a reason. Football and soccer stadia are usually enclosed because the action can take place at any point on the field. So one corner is the same as the opposite one. At a baseball stadium, seats near the dugouts are clearly superior to ones out by the bullpens. Therefore, the design will be different because the needs are different. Decide on the number of seats you want, in this case just under 42,000, and then put them in the best locations possible, Roman Colosseum be damned.

Although it is positioned on one of the most symbolically significant and potentially beautiful axes of the city, aligned with the Capitol and next to the Anacostia River, it all but fades into the landscape.

A landscape that will be changing dramatically over the next decade. And if you look at the approach from Half Street, I dare you to say it fades into the landscape.
Two disastrously situated parking garages -- reserved for high-paying ticketholders -- obscure the front entrance, and its other three sides present a bland face to the world.

Newsflash, a stadium requires parking. Oriole Park, remember the one with all the presence, has parking structures just outside the stadium. There is also a bland convention center across the street. None of it detracts from the obvious beauty of the stadium. And don't get me started on the off ramps from I-95. Couldn't they have been beautified in the name of aesthetics? What's another $250 million to make the stadium 3% nicer to look at from a few specific angles? Money grows on trees right?

Yet there is nothing particular about baseball, except how it is structured financially, that precludes first-rate, daring and exhilarating architectural form. Ballparks look like shopping malls -- functional, cheap and cluttered with branding -- because the cities that build them are forced to design structures that will maximize the profits of baseball owners. Architectural seriousness is not among the priorities.

This one he has half right, but all wrong. Ballparks are like shopping malls. They are buildings which are made to be visited by the public. Inside them, there are very functional things the public expects, bathrooms, food, signs, elevators, and escalators. Therefore, if you are looking for similarities, you will see them. However, Macy's isn't going to build a pitching mound in the middle of it's men's department and the Nationals aren't going to be building a movie theater in center field. And the exterioirs are somewhat similar because what's important happens inside, so therefore, the focus and the money was spent there.

And so the dreary list goes on. The interior spaces, accessible only to the public that can afford more expensive seats, are covered in carpeting that looks as if it came out of a Courtyard by Marriott. The private boxes are so generic in their fittings and finish, they remind one of the inside of a recreational vehicle. Look out of one of the elevator lobbies on the top ring and you see the exposed mechanicals on the roof of the team's corporate offices, a forest of metal junk.

What a wity line. Courtyard by Marriott. Brilliant. Wait, I'm never going to see the inside of a Presidential Suite. What do I care if the fittings and finish are bland? And where exactly are the mechanicals supposed to be located? Ground level? Here's an idea, take a look at the tops of any other building in the DC area and tell me if the air conditioners aren't located on the top of the building. And he's worried about the view from the elevator lobby on the top level. God, this guy is an idiot.

All that for $611 million in public money. We have been trained to treat our sports teams, the industry behind them and the architecture that contains them with a grim sense of fatalism. Of course stadiums must be bigger. Of course the social space of an egalitarian sport will be distorted into a rigorous hierarchy of wealth and exclusivity. Of course the building will be crude and functional and inspire no one from the outside.

This is a medium sized stadium, around 10,000 seats smaller than RFK. For bigger is better, go bother Dan Snyder.

It is also a colossal symbolic failure with national and international import. At a time when the United States is losing a global argument about freedom and democracy, when China and countries along the Persian Gulf are proving to an attentive developing world that top-down leadership is the best and most efficient route to prosperity, the capital of the so-called free world built a monument to its national pastime that gets a C-plus.

It passes, barely. But as sports lovers know, sports is never just sports. And architecture, especially in a world capital, is never just architecture. Nationals Park might be a better experience than RFK, but it fails to say anything larger to the city, or the world.

"Look people, we are at war. Our stadia need to be beacons of freedom to the rest of the world. If you don't agree with me, you are supporting terrorists. Dictators are the way to go. By the way, I happen to be available for the job should it become open. I would deliver a A+ stadium. Just give me absolute power. I'll take care of making your city beautiful. All it costs you is your liberty." Nice argument. You almost had me. You, Philip Kennicott, are a moron.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Round 2, Leg 1 - DC United 0:2 Pachuca

A couple of streaks continue. DC United still hasn't won a game in Mexico, and DC United has been shutout in back to back games. It's games like this that make me believe that there should be stricter altitude rules. DC United was equal to the task through the first two thirds of the game. However, with about thirty minutes to go, United suddenly was unable to maintain possession. Some awful passes resulted in lengthy Puchuca ball control and the inevitable goal eventually came. Maybe Wells took his eyes off the ball to try and anticipate the cross he thought was coming, but it was just a great shot. The second goal looked to be a bad job of marking by Gonzolo Martinez. The Gonzolos had a good game, but here, Martinez simply seemed to lose track of his man.

A one goal loss would have been admirable and perhaps fortunate. A two goal loss was deserved.


Forwards (Emilio and Niell) C

Unable to maintain possession and Emilio seemed a step slow all night. I never thought they were close to scoring. Were there any shots on goal?

Midfielders (Fred, Gallardo, Simms, and McTavish) B-

A mixed bag here. Fred had a good game. I think he was the best DC player. McTavish was ineffective. Simms was average. Gallardo was good, he was just a bit off in his timing with his forwards.

Defenders (Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch, and Wells) C+

An uneven performance. Some nice defending would be negated by a clearance directly to a Pachuca midfielder.

Substitutes (Quaranta, Dyachenko, and Mediate) C

Nothing remarkable other than Santinos memorable slip which allowed a dangerous possession to end with a whimper.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Preview of Round 2, Leg 1 - DC United at Pachuca

Everyone knows the statistic: DC United has never won a game in Mexico. I know it, you know it, the players know it, Pachuca knows it, Alexander Ovechkin knows it, Barack Obama knows it, even my ninety year old grandfather knows it. So why bother showing up? It's a foregone conclusion, right? United will get a tie or go up a goal at home and then will come up short on the road. We've seen it before many times. So, forget it. Send in the scrubs. Concentrate on the regular season. Focus on the...What's that? United gets the second leg at home? Well then. That's different. And Moreno's back? That's great! Go for it guys. We'll see you when you get back.


DC United 1:2 Pachuca
Game 1 - DC United 0:2 Kansas City Wizards

I am going to be honest, I fell asleep a few times during the broadcast of this game. I had gone to the Nationals-O's exhibition game and when I settled into watch the DC United game, I was pretty tired. I made it about 15 minutes and fell asleep. I woke up after halftime and it was 1-0. I rewound the DVR and watched the goal. I then watched the last twenty minutes which was some pretty entertaining soccer. I'm not sure about all the offisides calls. It was really tough to tell with the camera angles they had. It sure looked like United got the raw end of the deal, but who knows.

No grades this week as I only saw about half the game.