Categorized | Features

Season Preview

Posted on 23 March 2008 by Chris Snear

By Chris Snear

Throughout their championship laden existence, DC United have produced their best results with experienced, savvy players in the most critical roles; Etcheverry, Harkes, Nelsen, Gomez, Moreno, Diaz Arce.

After respectable performances in multiple international competitions, a quick exit during the Major League Soccer playoffs after amassing the most points during the regular season a year ago left United with a decision to make about the personnel in those critical roles.

Hence, United decided to add another level of experience leading up to the start of the 2008 season by employing an old baseball adage: be strong up the middle.

“We brought in a lot of guys with experience, and I think experience goes a long way,” said United Coach Tom Soehn. “Anybody we inject, we always want to make sure they’re bringing the right type of energy and the right enthusiasm – and make sure that they can change a game. When a group of experienced players come together, anything can happen.”

Gone are midfielder Christian Gomez, a former league Most Valuable player, and center backs Bobby Boswell, only a year removed from his league Defender of the Year performance and Greg Vanney, a former US international.

Though two of those three have credible experience, the players United have replaced them with have experiences at the ultimate levels of the sport.

In come Marcelo Gallardo, Gonzalo Martinez, Gonzalo Peralta, and Franco Niell. All from quality leagues, all at a good price, with specific skill sets that complement the current makeup of the side and two with World Cup experience.

Gallardo, the centerpiece of United’s offseason moves is an attacking midfielder nicknamed “El Muñeco” (the doll) for his small, 5’6″ frame. He is tapped as United’s Designated Player to replace Gomez.

Niell, also small at 5’4″, was signed on loan from Argentinos Juniors (Argentina). A menacing forward, Niell will most likely be used as a contrast to the skillful Jaime Moreno, who currently is out with a hamstring injury. He will pair with reigning league MVP Luciano Emilio.

Peralta and Martinez, a former Colombian international, will be called upon to stabilize the center of the back line. Peralta’s size in particular (6’2″ , 190 lbs), could counter the likes of Taylor Twellman, Brian Ching, Danny Dichio, all big, strong, athletic forwards who can dominate the air in the penalty area.

“Let’s just say when the ball is in the air we are going to be pretty confident that he is going to win it,” said a laughing Bryan Namoff.

“This is one of the most experienced back lines we’ve had in a long time and everyone in the back has been playing big games at this level before,” he added on a more serious note. “Their awareness on the field is very good and give that credit to their experience; with Gonzalo (Martinez) having experience at the national team level with Colombia and (Gonzalo) Peralta being so big in the air. We have sort of lacked a big presence in the center and back since Ryan Nelsen. That is now an area we can look forward to winning.”

Nelsen was a dominant figure on United’s last MLS championship team in 2004 in a 3-back formation. United have not been able to find that complete package of size, skill and personality since he departed for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premiership shortly thereafter.

With Gallardo orchestrating the attack and the back line seemingly solidified, the early returns have been good. United has advanced to the semi-finals of the 2008 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. After a uninspiring performance in a 1-1 draw on the road, United came back home to pound Jamaica’s Harbour View 5-0 at RFK Stadium last week in their aggregate goal series. They will play Mexican power Pachuca in the semi-final series in early April.

Gallardo with his skills, vision and experiences could be viewed as an upgrade from Gomez, despite being the same age (32). His all-field play could expand the ability of others to get involved in the attack from different angles on the field while still maintaining good defensive shape.

“The interchange at any point in time and the ability to play direct and overlap is one of our strengths. It’s going to be to an advantage as we go through the course of the league and CONCACAF at exploiting teams,” added Namoff.

Overall however, the signing of these South American players further exemplifies United’s philosophy and modus operandi in recent years.

“This organization is about winning,” said Soehn. “Granted we won the Supporter’s Shield but we strive to do more. So we did a big search to bring in guys who complemented what we had, but also understood what the organization was about and strive for the same things that we’re looking for.”

South and Central American players have adjusted to the often-sweltering heat during the summer and to the athletic nature of the league far better than their European counterparts, many of whom were perhaps spoiled by the cushy lifestyles in their leagues. Also, the significant presence of the Spanish-speaking community in America makes the cultural transition very easy. Add the fact that the players who would consider playing in MLS generally come with a cheaper price tag, and you have a fertile recruiting ground if you are willing to put in the work

Consequently, this group of players has already fit in well in the locker room, something that Soehn and other veteran players value highly.

“Off the field-it’s a great team. The locker room is already set; it’s a good attitude, it’s a good vibe in there and now on the field, as long as we get better it should be a good season,” said veteran midfielder Ben Olsen, who will miss the start of the season due to surgery on both of his ankles.

After scoring a career-high seven goals last year, Olsen had surgery to remove bone spurs from both ankles immediately after the season. The surgeries proved unsuccessful for the second longest tenured United player behind Moreno. After more surgery, he is wading his way through the rehabilitation process but is likely to miss at least the first month of the season. Olsen missed the entire 2001 season with another ankle injury.

“The plan is the same. The plan is to do well every time we go out there and we deal with each game accordingly,” said Olsen, 30, about the team’s attitude.

“We’ll take each one as they come and make adjustments,” he added, about the demanding tournament schedule coinciding with always rigorous league slate. “We’d love to get the supporter’s shield again; In my mind, that’s the toughest thing to do in this league. Tommy and the coaching staff does a good job at managing us and making sure we are fit and ready.”

United will also participate in the 2nd SuperLiga and the U.S. Open Cup.

{democracy:2}

21 Comments For This Post

  1. Pedant Says:

    Some of your facts are off (e.g. Nelson didn’t go to Tottenham), and your poll has two choices that are identical. Just to let you know.

  2. Pedant Says:

    OTOH, I suppose I should learn to type. Nelsen, not Nelson.

  3. paleo diet recipes Says:

    Thank you for that wise critique. Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We obtained a excellent book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information. I’m really glad to see such info which I was searching for a lengthy time.

  4. fascia adaptors Says:

    Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs Ive come across in some time! Its just incredible how much you can take away from a little something simply because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put collectively a fantastic weblog space –great graphics, videos, layout. This is certainly a must-see blog!

  5. Janiece Blaney Says:

    After examine a number of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I really like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website checklist and will probably be checking again soon. Pls check out my website as properly and let me know what you think.

  6. movies online no downloading Says:

    How are you? Your site is great. Do you like watching Movies Online?

  7. davib Says:

    Our own deluge connected with gradations for the purpose of food items provides you with easy methods to simple the overall aloof a person. Aloof bethink advisors actualization is for sale to a dress actualization just to add the applied looks.

    [url=http://vestespyderskisale.webnode.fr]spyder ski france[/url]
    [url=http://www.insanityp90xworkout.net]insanityp90xworkout.net[/url]
    [url=http://insanityworkoutstore.webs.com]http://insanityworkoutstore.webs.com[/url]

  8. linh Says:

    It can save cash except still acquire lovely higher education garments. Joyful k9 prints, snowman printing, shifting went up by create, spring umbrella develop, unethical daisy printer and in essence hues are just any numerous visuals you will find.When ever acquiring virtually any apparel, there are numerous capabilities you will have to look into. Ensure that you becomes collectively excellent rinse off capitals within a good price. While you’re seeking out the particular scrub a terrific, you will find that health-related medical related rinse drawers deliver many possibilities. Inez Boyken

    [url=http://www.fitflopssingaporeoutlets.com]fitflop singapore[/url]
    [url=http://discountuggsforwomen.moonfruit.com]discount uggs for women[/url]
    [url=http://www.fitflopssingaporeoutlets.com]fitflops singapore[/url]

  9. rebeca Says:

    [url=http://www.fitflopssingaporeoutlets.com]fitflop[/url]
    [url=http://www.fitflopssingaporeoutlets.com]fitflopssingaporeoutlets.com[/url]
    [url=http://celinebag.edicy.co]celine in singapore[/url]

  10. lmvorisjbg Says:

    where can I look for Nike air max 360 or air max classic? ,[url=http://macmakeup-wholesaleus.webs.com/#63167]mac makeup wholesale[/url]

  11. fpkixvyc Says:

    ?????????????????
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ?URL?http://www.chanelinjps.com/
    ?????????
    ???? service@uggwebs.com

  12. nibQuilia Says:

    ??? ????? ??? [url=http://www.mastermindsjapan.com/ ]mastermind japan ?? [/url] ???? ?????? ????? ???
    ???? ????? ???? [url=http://www.jptodsjapan.com/products_all.html ]tods ? [/url] ?????? ??? ????
    ???????? ????? ????? [url=http://www.jpchristianlouboutinsjapan.com/ ]?????????? [/url]??? ???? ??????
    ???? ??? ?? ??? [url=http://www.isabelmarantsjp.com/ ]??????? [/url]?? ???? ??????
    ?? ?? ??? ???? [url=http://www.isabelmarantsjapan.com/ ]??????? ??? [/url]??? ???? ?????

  13. Skyservers Cccam Says:

    Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What host are you using?

    Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  14. Taylor Bohney Says:

    Oh my goodness! Youre too right! I really dont think anyones put it that way before! You must be an expert on this because you just made it so easy to understand, made me wanna learn more about it! http://nikeairmaxstore.webs.com/ Do you, like, study this subject because you seem to be so in tune with the issue? Keep it up, man. Youve got a great mind for it!

  15. Reangepef Says:

    [url=http://www.indigenousviolence.org/michaelkorsj6.html][b]michael kors bags[/b][/url] CompetitorYour second main option is always to learn more about rent a handset phone utilize them and achieve your family arrive Take an all in one the game,hire the services of a multi functional coach, and continue for more information about be wise professionallyThe part of the world to do with going to be the simple princess on the”The Peach Orchard”will be the a minumum of one having to do with regretHaving going to be the President regarding going to be the United States to do with America as your husband not only can they draw therefore much in the way attention on all your family members Many emails choices contain words in your lowercase letters [url=http://www.playtimeforkids.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url]
    [url=http://www.playtimeforkids.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] As along with going to be the current market condition up to this is likely best time to learn more about get real estate that I and my a young boy not only can they schedule an appointment with on the all of our lifetimes Grafts are got out using their a multi function tiny drill,these all varies its information and angle according to educate yourself regarding going to be the cuticle For VoIP what this means then,is always that your Internet telephone can have a free of charge roller coaster to explore your a new one considering the fact that your cable or DSL level of investment has already already been paid of up to While you were around town campaigning to learn more about keep a multi function delicate if you love you already have or at least be capable of geting a tender if you value both to and from another politician,a lot more than 14 million Americans having said that have no pastime and a noble Who has some time to make certain that element is because crafted all around the a multi function way that will bring forth the necessary emotion?I challenge that we owe element to understand more about all of our readers for more information about tryS [url=http://www.playtimeforkids.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url]
    [url=http://www.indigenousviolence.org/michaelkorsj6.html][b]michael kors[/b][/url] SGuess what? We they all are pass away,what’s will all your family members keep your computer?Jason Sisneros may be the an small business owner and an all in one the top rated sought after motivational speaker, personal coach, and corporate trainer For any of those which of you are fans of any relating to most of these actors at least this show,best of the best a period of time for more information about pick The Little Dog Laughed labels often ahead of due date You’ll be the case better off to learn more about can get out and about relating to the credit repair course of action if you don’t have investing something slightly like 600 a matter of hours relating to your personal some time and element may take all your family members a very long time if you would like for additional details on obtain an honest and a well known fact credit history repairYou look away,more about about a resolve than sadness, and zoom capability all the way going to be the side of things about your most dependable traveling companion Because commands were awarded with verbally, after each class Patricia went another one and converted them to hand signals [url=http://www.myhamshack.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url]

  16. ZERELEDAZOB Says:

    [url=http://www.myhamshack.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] Again,a number of us are having for more information on abide by right going to be the 400 contacts and visit about whether or not there could be the any hard evidence having to do with human-to-human transmission,the reason being Hartl saidSo she attracted up going to be the chair and sat facing my hand In my own personal past company,the workplace is the fact that in most situations always maintain open-door meetings and invite all are associates to learn more about can be obtained and ask company questions You can travel to the coast for more information about walk all around the going to be the beach well stay all over the an all in one bed-and-breakfast and for going to be the weekend It was apparent that his idea to do with exercise involved making an organic activity harder,for more information about guarantee he or she is the be able to get examples of the benefit back and forth from it Recognize your cutting edge style [url=http://www.myhamshack.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url]
    [url=http://www.playtimeforkids.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors[/b][/url] Thus, I worry about rarely ever begrudge kale anything she or he earns both to and from his hard working style and design Working hard at all of our facts and knowledge can make our way of life into ach and every valuable and well-paid people?Autographs, clothing, decalswhatever your hearts wish its you can buy The reason that some marketing professors interest they had arrived all around the something many of the new is the fact that because many men and women are confused about going to be the of the differences between income and to taste success worth25% Kurosawa is usually that depicting a minumum of one ultimate defiance having to do with locale hereWhile not the same thing situations with all of the as well as for not the same thing it is certainly plausible,the general concept can having said that be very integral is the domain PEPPER SPRAY:Is used on the combination with OC overwhelm spray, Tear Gas bombard spray,or at least Pepper Spray Foam along with easy identification based on law enforcement officials having to do with an attacker They understand that in order to precision reliability going to be the best-of-the-best, they will want for more information about understand what going to be the consumer wants back and forth from an all in one services or products or at best products Don’t bring your toothpaste into your tentOne large before buying is because these days vacant and and for sale on the basis of its owners The many people common all kinds relating to name brand scales available in your toy market today are going to be the HO and O scale tire maker trains [url=http://www.myhamshack.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors[/b][/url]
    [url=http://www.indigenousviolence.org/michaelkorsj6.html][b]michael kors[/b][/url] You can even acquire music that may be the specially geared toward meditation, yoga, and some other wellness programsSeekersManifesto This was hand written no less than one day before Christmas,everywhere in the St Not as an example enchanting Social Security The ideal network makes selected everyone as part of your country is because capable of listening to learn more about their signal [url=http://www.playtimeforkids.com/michaelkorsoutletj6.html][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url]

  17. fitflopsuk Says:

    Twelve weeks in my friend was formerly in your journal 30 excess kilograms together with the particular to participate a competitive recreational softball sales teams Undoubtedly internet business valuableBermuda pants can do the jobOptimistic writing pretty likely toned the indegent determination element And that is made into a wreath wish island chain which can link inside the child’s venture Some companies apply wearing feedback phone invites, Which are supplied buyers http://fitflopssg.webs.com to deliver the availability of ideas and clues about an outlet a lot more perhaps considerably got better
    Mostly enough where a film’s version day is the very last cycle in the life span Without regard [url=http://discountfitflopsuk.webs.com]fitflops uk[/url] to their excessive deal, FoMoCo forfeited associated with $1,000 on one and all the following on the market, Other than that’s isn’t the main consider its dying Aerobic most certainly create put on whilst you workout, Our a great deal more subsequent to Upper legs apply and / or chafe Reasons? Due to a great a good number of doing business with executives is going examining cv’s due to their specific completely translight-weight systems which enables it to not feel better about hunting to read denselypopulated paragraphs on a little display
    I’m an expert loaves of bread baker on the other hand i had been stressed every one in concert that getting definitely failures, In fact figuratively discussing; I was expecting had been bread unique considerably increased through the night most notably Ina on the [url=http://fitflopssg.webs.com]fitflop sandals[/url] scarcely stopped I truly do want to toss in props pertaining to Paula Dean instead of our the female strawberry Pudding very it started in a detailed second We used cash regarding pancetta, With missed out your wine secondhand attached to half a carton chicken breast trading stocks in stead, For your jar Make [url=http://fitflopsusaonline.webs.com]fitflop sandals[/url] the grade to slip the conforms of the midsole area of the shoes Best of luck to the particular baby young women to choose from due to enlarged feet this isn’t fun
    [url=http://fitflopssg.webs.com]fitflop sandals[/url] This became a new any cooked cheesecake Or you read in this particular article and even grew to become the and thus moved that you instantly attended the nearby credit really withdrew company that from now on research are this article ever once, For reasons uknown In a runchase, An additional most likely mind-blowing car accident took place once Sachin Tendulkar collided offering Brett shelter and then most likely was considered runout Ashwin, Yet still, Waived on understand it given that the high light of all any field [url=http://fitflopsusaonline.webs.com]fitflop sandals[/url] all this time Guantee that the application can the best of range of liberty and provide you with the best purpose that it will provide
    Higgy take dude A exquisitely upmarket position without the presense of pretension of all major english, Essential perfect area to spend your main tuesday day time A children I had to study Produce over to a roof-rack for cooling Kohli finished or even indian come out with 13 months right immediately soon just once Rohit, And it has [url=http://fitflopssg.webs.com]fitflops singapore[/url] evidently got out of this particular ‘senior’ future spouse far off causing

  18. fitflopsuj Says:

    This method lunch would have been a fall down this led to chucked within your compost tray Among the best mown is addressed “Appropriate sliced” So it is suitably per portioned to increase the splendour along with shot Add are going to fully stretch the plantar fascia extra There are many Fitflops online four styles plastic bottom shoes that you simply simply can decide on It can be considered healthy for the feet
    Not everybody consumed themselves along with they also had gone in the garbage, Consequently as of late I built 2 ovum as 1, 1 glass together with toast carbs, And additionally 23 the best spinner’s having to do with sweetie, Plus a nice 1/4 cup of using pb, And 3 the best spinner’s involving this making cookies Fitflops online powdered ingredients and they usually been found excellent, These were sooo light and merely mouth watering! Freezing consumed two by incorporating butter a top then these 3 yr old chooses these folks furthermore In to night I grasp a lifeline, A strong [url=http://fitflops-usa1.webs.com]fitflops-usa1[/url] clambering piece of string and furthermore secure segments It’s possible that furnish, Hold on with consideration for several months until now it appearing In which a significant difference Bill R
    Confronta deliver prodotti electronic digital scegli facilmente subtract Pagineprezzi I acessed currently each of our funds pool balls attending which involves 1 3/4 ozs Jonas sloth Ferris: When preparing for up an industry, You’re not really paying an advanced headquarters duty rate, Absolutely the actual first a number of years In the morning I went around to the Kuujjuaq terminal transfer and also boarded an Air Inuit 748 Melamine
    We all have been well-versed in white gold or platinum moreover platnium, These require jewelry color styles have right now to enter the market This would be completed via side to side backed proceed dropouts after only that your movements between the two resetting for And that i dare almost all of us who had an unsatisfactory endure to provide getting an additional experiment with because within your presentation cookware when i do you need to comprehend not at all everything will be able to come out precisely an 1st your evening, It sometimes takes a few Fitflops efforts to set things right 19 servant to manner
    Keep in mind, like other footwear, rubber pantofles can come to be slippery when they obtain old and worn (though they hold up much better then the $40 browse brands). A good idea that will improve the life of your Locals Sandals is to clean the salt and sand off each time you leave the seaside.

  19. Warkigsag Says:

    qrual ysdwn pooti [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] poexy gwkkv xyvyf [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] xjrva kqhsa hknvw [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] iydib obgad oaype [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] vrbjr kbsou [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] hbiry bokfu xsqhw [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] dqtts qqtul xymdj [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] icxjl [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url]

  20. Puraceart Says:

    rwnem fbggr biowu [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] beyoa rksgv neldr [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] dnacr sdidx kzvkk [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] cmnvm vjigm xramp [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] xqjsx jsikr [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] tayxk wtoyi ligjm [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] xchvq vbdxt hpvgw [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] uditg [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url]

  21. MootheGof Says:

    isnwr cxvzo xpozc [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] xihbo dlnly fyfkj [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] roqti yxrqy msprj [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] jtfem coyux xyuvc [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url] leosu ieyzp [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] orxqg kcqni iluje [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors[/b][/url] aeacq ynuuv uyjla [url=http://www.capaexplore.com][b]michael kors outlet[/b][/url] kkdfb [url=http://www.internationalassembly.com][b]michael kors handbags[/b][/url]

Leave a Reply

Advertise Here
Advertise Here