Thanks, Tommy | a DC United Match Reaction

Well howdy, United fans. How does it feel to have your season officially at an end with three matches (two league, one Champions' League) to go? I know we're still mathematically alive, but...yeah, not looking so good, is it? Kinda makes you wonder if we had pulled the trigger on firing Tommy a month or two ago if we might still be alive and kicking, given a manager not intent on destroying his teams' confidence and making mysterious tactical and personnel choices? Should Tommy take all of the blame? Nope. Stott deserves more than his fair share, but Tommy set United up to fail. I'll try to do a few talking points here, but excuse me if I just give up half way...

* Fault #1: Tommy Soehn, Part I. Might as well fire him now. There's nothing left to do this season, and he's lost the team. Honestly, the expression on Gomez' face when Tommy yanked him on 42 minutes should be the defining image of this season. A mix of anger, disgust, and outright confusion played across the Argentine's features, and my only response was, "yep." How many times has Tommy pulled the first-half trigger of late? And what message does that send to guys already struggling for confidence? And bringing on Fred to save your season? Really? I just want to know how we managed to go the entire season without losing at home until we really needed to not lose, then we dropped three in a row. Unbelievable. Kinda says something about Tommy's motivation of the team and how much they wanted to fight for him, huh?

* Fault #2: Tommy Soehn, Part II. So weren't we all pretty much convinced that Tommy ran out a lot of "B" squad guys against Jabloteh to rest the big guns for this critical match? So why did we start three of the four attackers from the midweek match...and yank two of them before or at the half? What kind of idiotic game was Tommy playing? If you have a clue, please let me know. Best guess? We scored five against a clearly inferior side that didn't know how to defend as a team, and Tommy thought that putting the same guys out against one of the best organized defenses in MLS would yield the same results. Incredible.

* Fault #3: Kevin Stott. Okay, so blaming the refs is a mug's game, but...Stott was awful. First, he set himself up for failure by letting numerous semi-muggings go in the first half. Small surprise that he didn't send the Chivas defender walking for mauling Benny from behind, but saw fit to send off Benny for trying to hit a quick restart that happened to nail the guy who fouled him (at least that's what it looked like to my admittedly biased eyes). But the one that takes the cake? Down 2-0, and Jaime touches a ball ahead in the box, goes down as a defender comes across him, and gets...a yellow for diving. Is it possible to be helped to dive? True, we still would have had a lot of work to do, but the momentum certainly would have been in our favor provided Tommy nailed the PK. Wonder if we'll get another much-deserved criticism of the ref in the "week in review" nonsense that always seems to find fault with decisions that don't go in our favor? Small comfort, that...

* Fault #4: Tommy Soehn + Marc Burch. Seriously, is there anybody left on the planet that still thinks Marc Burch might morph into a defender some day? I mean, besides Soehn? Two consecutive defensive fiascos that destroyed what little hope we had of making the post-season should be a big neon flashing sign that even Soehn can't miss. Can he? Enjoy USL when we get a real coach next year who can spot the obvious, Marc.

I'm tempted to go on, but I'm just not feeling it right now. I half went into this match expecting to lose, but the manner of the loss is just disgusting. There were moments where we looked like we might grab a goal, but they came when we were already 2-0 down and down a man--dead and buried, in other words. Up until that point? An abomination for a team that needed to win if you ask me. And if you're wondering how I posted this so quickly, it's because I started typing it in about minute 70 of the match, only keeping half an eye on our huffing and puffing in trying to avoid completely embarrassing ourselves.

I just wonder what sort of damage we might have caused if Tommy had said "damn the torpedos!" and gone for it from the off, letting Pontius and Quaranta race at defenders as they were doing in the late going? This was a Chivas team using Bornstein in central defense after all. Pardon me now while I go drink myself into a stupor of frustrated regret and melancholy.

Thanks, Tommy.



  1. Well... I must say... I predicted is outcome. And Your right DC manage to stay unbeaten at home and when it most mattered they couldn't do it. Man!!! I don't understand? How much DC has fallen. This year was suppose to be an redemption year but it just continued... Everything is wrong in DC, to the staff to the technical to the owners down to the players... DC as a team can't play together. They say the best offense is the defense... But DC has neither... Not to mention no mid-field... No strikers no nothing... Personally, I think DC is getting destroyed internally... Within DC some one is holding DC back... DC has "TRADITION" in their jersey??? Why? What tradition? But yea... It's a official DC will not be making the playoffs again... Soehn has brought this team down... Since he's taken of DC, DC hasn't produced nothing...

  2. "DC hasn't produced nothing" since Soehn has taken charge. Well, technically, your double negative makes this a correct statement. Last I checked, Soehn won two Supporters' Shields and an Open Cup, which isn't a terrible return. Of course, you might argue that the Open Cup run was paved with home matches and USL sides, but it's a trophy. And winning the Supporters' Shield anywhere else in the world would have been two league titles, so...

    Still, the heart of your argument holds. It could be argued that those two Supporters' Shields were delivered by a talent cycle that was beginning to wane in the wake of its MLS Cup win and probably a better job could have been done to build up the side rather than rearranging the deck chairs around a set of old fixtures that were drifting slowly into decline.

    That's not entirely Tommy's fault. He hasn't been provided the proper tools by the FO, but presumably he had some input into who was signed. That said, he's been slow to make larger tactical adjustments and his personnel management has been awful (hanging players out to dry in the media, the first-half sub patterns, persisting with players who are clearly past it or who never had it).

    There are a few useful pieces here, but I can't see how this off-season won't bring a massive clear-out.

  3. Good-bye Emilio. Good-bye Fred. So-long Burch. Hasta la Vista Gomito. Your Gold watches are ready Mr. Moreno and Mr. Olsen. Have a nice trip Mr. Soehn. Sorry to see you all go, but we need to try something new with younger, less expensive players and someone who can organize and inspire them.

  4. so how come no one is ripping Dave Casper didn't he put this crap team together.

  5. Hi, Anon.

    Did you read the comment above yours? I don't know who or what you've been reading, but there's a fair amount of FO (Front Office, which includes Kasper) bashing going around my neck of the blogosphere.

    With that said, Soehn's tactical choices, team selection, substitution patterns, man management, and dealings with the media haven't exactly drawn the best out of the talent at his disposal, have they? The team that went out onto the RFK pitch on Saturday with its playoff life on the line gave a listless and uninspired performance. Regardless of their relative level of raw ability or skill, that has to fall on the coach.