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DC United Loses To Houston Dynamo In What Should Be Curt Onalfo's Last Match

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Good thing we traded away Bobby Boswell two years ago...
Good thing we traded away Bobby Boswell two years ago...

I don't take this kind of thing lightly.  Because I would never want to hear anyone calling for me to be fired from anything.

But here's what fans (and team management) need to ask themselves: Do we feel like DC United can rebound from this terrible start?  With upcoming matches against Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew, and San Jose Earthquakes, is this current collection of players and coaches likely to earn ANY more points?  Or would the team be better served with a different coach in charge?

I know my answer to that question.

Even with Chris Pontius, Santino Quaranta, and Dejan Jakovic all set to return to the starting lineup in the next 2 weeks or so, Curt Onalfo has already shown that he can't win with this team.  With all those players back in action, DC United will no longer be the least talented team in the league.  Yet I have no confidence that our record will be anything better than the worst in the league.

If you're still on the fence about Onalfo, here's a few reminders:

  • DC United has given up more goals than any other team in MLS.
  • DC United has scored in only two out of our nine matches.
  • Out of DC United's four goals this season, three were the direct result of a bad mistake by the opponent.
  • Two of our regular starters were cut by their previous teams before the season.

Carey Talley and Kurt Morsink would not be starting for any other team in MLS.  What's even more troubling though is that we have players who are probably more skilled and definitely with more potential sitting behind them on the bench.

The player ratings are fairly predictable, but I hope you'll keep reading anyway.

For those of you who were worried that benching Troy Perkins was going to ruin his psyche, think again.  Perkins looked confident and calm.  He communicated well with the defense, timed his challenges perfectly, and stopped some pretty decent shots.  This looked more like the 2007 Perkins than in any other match so far.

If we were going to score, it was going to come from Danny Allsopp.  He created several opportunities, but the guys he set up always let him down.  Allsopp is one of the few players who deserves to retain his starting role once reinforcements hopefully come this summer.

I think we've already covered Carey Talley and Kurt Morsink.  The two players who went from the waiver wire to starting all nine matches for DC United look like they should both be seeking new teams again soon.  Talley's atrocious sliding tackle attempt on Luis Angel Landin forced Rodney Wallace inside, leaving his man Danny Cruz wide open for the score. If Onalfo does get to keep his job for another week, I really hope he realizes that leaving Talley and Morsink in the starting lineup is part of the problem.  You know what they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results...

I'm not going to fault Christian Castillo for his effort.  Earlier in the season, he looked totally out of his element in this league.  That is no longer true.  Castillo has definitely improved since coming to DC.  He had a poor game tonight, but Castillo is not just a lost cause anymore.

It wasn't Adam Cristman's fault that he was playing out of position tonight.  No it was actually Onalfo's fault that Cristman was asked to start at right wing for what was probably the first time in his career.  But despite having multiple opportunities with plenty of space on the right, Cristman didn't do much to help his cause.

As United fans, we can all wallow together in the deterioration of Jaime Moreno.  Really a sad sight to witness Moreno and Luciano Emilio looking so futile.

 ***

And so I think the team needs to make a change.  Maybe it won't happen this week, because I doubt United really wants THAT to be the story heading into their lucrative mid-week match against AC Milan. But still very soon.

I won't be surprised to see Curt Onalfo hanging around for at least one more week.  But if Kurt Morsink starts again next Saturday against Chivas USA, we should consider it immediate grounds for dismissal.