Monday, April 14, 2008

Too early for mashing the panic button?

There is always one weekend in the beginning of the MLS season where I miss one of DC United's matches. Sara has her birthday in early April, so I spent that weekend either out of town or out to dinner with her for her birthday. Last weekend was that weekend for this season and against the norm, I was actually able to catch part of United's match against RSL. I only watched 5 or so minutes of the match before I turned off the TV.

I am not going to go into what happened, as I didn't watch more than 5 or so minutes. What I did see was that Carvallo was useless in goal on the first two goals. I played goalkeeper in high school, and I have seen video of my play, so I know what useless in goal looks like. Carvallo was useless in goal on the first two goals. I am not certain why Soehn felt that an away trip to Utah to play on a carpet was a good idea for a guy's first MLS start, Steve Goff even asks the same question.

The biggest thing I have come up with is I am wondering what is going on with Ton Soehn. I am not 100% sure on what he is doing with the line-ups. Yes, I know that we have had about 5 matches in 14 days now and have yet another one this coming Thursday, giving guys a rest is something that the coach needs to be doing. I understand that, but why have your starting goalkeeper on the bench for an away match at a venue that you have utterly failed in the last two seasons? Give the backup goalkeeper the home start, on grass, in front of your supporters.

In addition to the goalkeeper issue, I am trying to figure out why Soehn refuses to use Fred in a central playmaking position, if our current central playmaker is out of the match. Rod Dyachenko is no Christian Gomez or Marcelo Gallardo, yet for some reason for the last two seasons, Soehn has felt the need to insert Rod in for both of them and ask him to fill their shoes. Rod simply cannot do the things that Gallardo does. I honestly think that if Gallardo is not going to be on the field, Fred should move from the flank to the inside and take up the role of the playmaker.

I realize that we have just started the season and in MLS, unless you go an entire month without a point, you make the playoffs, so there is really not that much to sweat about right now.


Several of Tom Soehn's decisions this early season, and at the end of last season, have troubled me. Why not use the other two subs in the first match at Harbour View when your team has run out of gas? Why have Emillio and Moreno play in the final match of the 2007 season, when they risk injury, and got injured? Why try the three man defense line with players who have yet to prove that they should really be starting in a four man line?

I am not one to start a witch-hunt for Soehn to be fired. I think that he did a very good job last season with his first year in charge. However, I am starting to think that in order for DC United to be the club that everyone wants them to be, the FO, the players, the coaches, Garber & Co. and the supporters, maybe it is time that the head coach should begin to coach as if his job depended on each result? Coaches in Europe and South America play each match as if it were their last in charge, most of the time they get results because they have to. A swift kick in the butt from time to time gets results; maybe Soehn needs a swift kick in the butt.



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