Friday Grab Bag

So let's collect our thoughts a little before the weekend is upon us, bringing a crucial US qualifier at home to El Salvador (Can you say "must win"? I can, and I will) and a United road trip to Dallas (not a "must win," but awfully close).

Let's start with a guy who was a fixture in qualifying until the last time we played El Salvador...

* Heath Pearce, carreer road bump number...oh, I don't know, seventeen? So where does that leave him? If his contract isn't owned by anybody, does that keep him from signing outside of the "transfer" window, since he technically isn't being transfered? Your move, FC Dallas...

Hey, MLS, what's up?

* United signs Bill Hamid. And on a Generation Adidas contract to boot. Why's that? With Euro-suitors sniffing around, United and MLS actually decided to take the unprecedented move of not lowballing the kid. Shocking, I know. But it should be enough to keep him around for a few years before the big dogs across the pond up the ante. United fans may get to see Hamid sooner rather than later despite his not being eligible for MLS games. With the Champions' League all but in the toilet, why not throw the kid a few games and hand MLS duty over to Kocic when United's playoff dreams go up in flames in a couple of weeks? Wicks? Get him on the couch. If you can fix his noggin, he might just barely be worth keeping (though I wouldn't protect him in the expansion draft).

But this is MLS, so it can't all be positive news on the transfer front, right?

* Rolfe bound for Denmark. Ugh. You know, it's one thing to be losing journeyman defenders to the Scandanavian leagues, but now the gifted attackers are leaving too? First it was Movsisyan, a player who seemed to be coming into his own this year, now Rolfe is shipping out in the off-season. To be fair, Rolfe's progress has seemed stunted since he broke into the national team picture a few years ago, but I still think he's a quality player with that little bit of extra technique and flair for the unexpected who got buried in the depth at Chicago and stuck in the Donovan "betwixt midfield and forward" positional debate. With all of the new teams coming into the league these days, losing quality American veterans who know how to play the game can only have a negative impact on the standard of play.

Speaking of quality of play...Hey, Mr. Phoenix, what d'you think about United's attack?
We run out of ideas up there. We don't have that dynamic guy that's going to get behind you and hurt you.

You mean Emilio's not dynamic and has the first touch of an elephant? Right on, Tino. Snails stuck in molasses dipped in quicksand up there, huh? How about Soehn's tactical choices?
Well when you play even numbers with guys that they had last night you're not going to win too many of those. You have to be perfect. And if you're not perfect, you make that one mistake there's your goal and I felt that's what we did last night. We did it for 60 minutes or so, a pretty good job, we still gave up a lot of chances but Josh kept us in the game. And in a three you have to perfect and it's very difficult.

We have to look at the personnel here and understand that Josh Gros isn't here anymore. What suits us as a team, I'm not sure if it's three or if it's four [at the back], but that's not my decision. But in the end it doesn't seem like it fits us right this second and the guys that we have on the outsides, it's very difficult it puts a lot of work on us.

Amen, brother. The choir's all here, keep on preachin'! How about the kids being kept on the bench for the old warhorses?
To me, at 24 I don't need to be managed anymore and I don't think they do either. You just have to let the horses go and if they get tired bring them off. But these are guys who you'd hope are on the field for you because they're going to fight and even if they're not having their best game, they are going to do it for you defensively and that's all you can ask in a player. And I don't think we need to be managed, the younger guys.

Well, not needing to be managed is a bit of a stretch, I do think you need that at any age or level, but I agree in spirit. We know what we're going to get from the players of a certain age, and clearly what we're getting isn't good enough. That's not to say they don't belong on the field, but things would probably look much better, much quicker and more energetic, without all of them out there at the same time.



  1. While he certainly came off a bit as a malcontent, I agree with almost everything Tino had to say. The state of DC United makes me sad right now. A new coach won't necessarily make everything better, but I can't see how it will make things any worse.

  2. Tino brings the energy and creativity that so totally lacking in DCU's attack right now. He is right on in his assessment. He's a brave man to speak up and I am thankful that he did but it sheds light on the fact that Soehn may have lost this team. It certainly explains the team’s behavior on the field right now. That being said he may have joined Szetela in the infamous Soehn dog house or worse, he may be put on "Double Secret Probation".

  3. I can't quite reason why Tino didn't start on Wednesday night to begin with. Perhaps he already had a foot in the perverbial dog house door by letting his feelings be known earlier in the week. He certainly doesn't appear to be a happy camper.

  4. I can't help but wonder if Soehn is more concerned with managing minutes than managing matches. The early/halftime sub patterns fly in the face of his normal MO of waiting too long to make the change.

    With that in mind, would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that he has a set number of minutes each player is "allowed" to play regardless of how the match is proceeding? There is an element of Tino's criticism that seems to indicate this.