CONCACAF Champions League: D.C. United vs. L.A. Firpo (Match Night Commentary)

2008_017 Firpo
Good evening everyone. As another busy summer rolls along, a new competition officially enters the fray with the preliminary rounds of the CONCACAF kicking off tonight. Starting off the competition will be D.C. United, who take on a team from El Salvador,

With Ives on vacation and out of the country, I'll be coming to you live from the press box at RFK Stadium with commentary and insight from the match. For those of you tuning in from home, be sure to stop by here to share your thoughts.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight, and as I noted in the preview posted earlier today, will be broadcast on FSC. Enjoy the match — starting lineups posted after the jump.


Hardly an encouraging start for MLS in this version of the CONCACAF Champions League. We'll see what Toronto and New York can do later on this week. That's all from me, but make sure to look for some thoughts later in the week. Thanks for tuning in, and have a good evening.


FULL TIME– Full time whistle blown, as Paul Delgadillo puts us out of our misery. Game might as well ended as 0-0. We'll see what Tom Soehn has to say after this one.


91st Minute– Free kick smashes into the wall, Firpo work for another corner. United have to be nervous here, need to preserve the draw.


90th Minute– Great play by United, as some impressive interplay leads to a brilliant opportunity for Gomez, but Firpo hit back on the counter. Avery John takes down the attacker right outside the box and earns himself a yellow card.


88th Minute– Szetela has stirred to life a bit, but with no results on the scoreboard.


85th Minute– United with a ton of build up, but can't get Jacobson blazes it wide. Could have done better with that. Firpo head wide on a counter, after the United defense leaves a player wide open.


83rd Minute– Gomez lays a corner back for Szetela, who skies it over the bar. Still working on the drinking game?


82nd Minute– Firpo have shouts for a handball waived off. Szetela taken down in the box on the counter, but nothing doing.


78th Minute– Firpo is starting to cramp up and makes another substitution. Let's see how many times they waste time between now and the game's end.


77th Minute– Avery John gets himself into the attack but can't get his cross far enough from the keeper.


75th Minute– Lots of space given to Firpo who misses to the right.

Attendance numbers from tonight: 8,026.


72nd Minute– Szetela with a great through ball that Emilio needs to do a better job with.


70th Minute– 20 minutes to go. Will either side find a breakthrough?


69th Minute– Firpo with a free kick from distance that Kocic almost lets slip through his hands, but he recovers to keep it out.


65th Minute– Chris Pontius is United's last sub of the game, coming in to replace Moreno. Firpo must be getting tired, and United is slowly seizing the initiative.


64th Minute– Is D.C. coming to life? Moreno creates some space for himself but his shot is deflected wide. Corner cleared.


63rd Minute– Firpo with a fierce shot from distance, Kocic forced to parry over. Can United counter?


60th Minute– Wallace with a diving header that barely misses. Moreno with a brilliant dummy to set up his cross.


58th Minute– The addition of Gomez hasn't really created much. Franco with a dangerous cross for Firpo, but no one can get on the end of it.


54th Minute– Emilio flagged for offside. United can't get anything going.


52nd Minute– Firpo looking dangerous on the counter, but Kocic with the save.


49th Minute– Szetela can't serve a good ball into Emilio.


46th Minute– Firpo gets the game back underway. McTavish has moved to right back for Jakovic, Gomez in the attacking mid spot.


HALFTIME– Teams are heading back out. Jakovic replaced by Gomez — bet that shows how Soehn views this game.

For those of you wondering, D.C. qualified for this game with their U.S. Open Cup win in 2008. Their finish last season in CONCACAF group play had nothing to do with this game tonight.


HALFTIME– United will have to improve in the second half if they want to end up on top at the end of 90 minutes. They've showed only brief flashes of a cohesive unit, and will need to look like a different team in the second 45 minutes.


HALFTIME– The half comes to a close. A rather drab performance from both sides, who find themselves a bit fortunate to be tied at 1. Remember that away goals count in this stage of the competition, so keep that in mind.


45th Minute– Firpo player down for quite some time after a supposed cheap shot from Szetela. Player then earns himself a yellow card.


45th Minute– Two minutes of extra time.


43rd Minute– Let's see what that goal does to this game. It certainly needs some help.


42nd Minute– Moreno buries the penalty. Keeper guesses the right way, but Moreno with a calm finish.


41th Minute– Penalty. Paul Delgadillo points to the spot after Wallace is taken down in the spot. Not sure about that one.


40th Minute– N'Silu comes out already, Emilio on. Apparently Tom Soehn is not happy.


38th Minute– A flashy spin and shot from a Firpo midfielder saved by Kocic.


35th Minute– Firpo seems content to sit back and let United take long shots. Moreno misses wide to the left.


34th Minute– United still seem to be moving in slow motion. Szetela has moved out to the right wing, as DiRaimondo moves into the attacking mid spot and McTavish into a defensive mid role.


31st Minute– Another shot skewed wide by Jacobson. Szetela hasn't seen much of the ball, but the team needs him to distribute and try and jump start a languishing attack.


29th Minute– D.C. still looks disinterested and quite sloppy.


26th Minute– Perhaps this will inject some life into a DCU side that has looked listless for most of the match.


25th Minute– GOAL Firpo. Janicki turns it over in the box, Mario Benitez finishes easily past Kocic.


23rd Minute– United can't string together anything going forward. Firpo isn't very impressive either.


20th Minute– Dangerous collision between Avery John and a Firpo player who gets stretchered off.


19th Minute– Another long range shot from Avery John this time. Barra and Screaming Eagles making lots of noise despite their small numbers.


18th Minute– Firpo rattles the side netting. DCU better be careful here, they're being very sloppy with the ball.


16th Minute– Jaime Moreno slow to get up is not what you want to see if you're Tom Soehn.


13th Minute– Firpo is in the middle of preseason which might explain some of their sloppiness. D.C., on the other hand, is not.


11th Minute– Wallace didn't bring his shooting boots with him, as he skies another one over.


9th Minute– DCU with some nice build up on the left. Wallace can't get over the ball, but United earns the corner.


7th Minute– Szetela does well to force a turnover but Wallace blasts a shot way over the bar.


5th Minute– Firpo earns a corner as Benitez beats the offside trap, but his cross is cleared. Doesn't amount to anything.


4th Minute– Neither team looking real dangerous. Trying to figure each other out. If Firpo has speed, they could be a threat to a back line that isn't exactly fleet of foot.


2nd Minute– Jacobson wide right on a shot from distance. Acres of space in the midfield.


1st Minute– And we're off.


PRE-GAME– Firpo with a solid contingent of fans here.


PRE-GAME– No anthems, they're just about to get this thing started.


PRE-GAME– Players on their way out to the pitch.


PRE-GAME– Not much in terms of crowd at the moment. Interested to see how it fills out.


PRE-GAME– Greg Janicki and Dejan Jakovic both starting in the back for United, haven't seen that once this season. Interesting to see how it works out.


PRE-GAME– Teams off the pitch and gearing up for the game.


PRE-GAME– The rest of the Firpo players are out on the pitch as drum noises and Firpo chants echo out from a corner of the stadium.


PRE-GAME– Firpo only has 12 men warming up at the moment. Odd.


PRE-GAME– No real surprises for United, though Danny Szetela appears to be starting in the attacking mid spot.


PRE-GAME– Firpo's bench: Hernandez, Gonzalez, Garcia, Merino, Quijada, Veliz, Barrera


PRE-GAME– Not even going to guess a formation for Firpo: Gomez, Sanchez, Monteagudo, Salazar, Turcio, Campos, Franco, Sanchez, Alas, Benitez, Leguizamon


PRE-GAME– Bench for DC: Wicks, Burch, Namoff, Gomez, Pontius, Emilio, Allen


PRE-GAME– Here is the D.C. United lineup:







PRE-GAME– It's extremely hot in the press box tonight. No surprise. In case this space goes without action for awhile, it's due to the spotty Internet problems that I've experienced before.

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49 Responses to CONCACAF Champions League: D.C. United vs. L.A. Firpo (Match Night Commentary)

  1. beckster says:

    Don’t think Namoff is starting and on the bench! Would had been nice if we had more than 3 starters in that line-up.

  2. Anthony says:

    Vamos United!

  3. travis says:

    Whoops! Thanks for catching that… I was wondering where Janicki was.

  4. Krista says:

    I’m excited for Szetela getting the start. Like to see where his match fitness is at.

  5. Anthony says:

    Szetela is going to be the only hope with such a weak lineup so far seen from Soehn

  6. Tim says:

    Let’s go DCU

    Travis it much appreciated that you are doing commentary I don’t think Ives has done a DCU game this season.

  7. Tim says:

    According to FSC Firpo is playing a 3-5-2

  8. Krista says:

    Uh wasted chance.

  9. Tim says:

    DCU just doesn’t have that killer instinct in front of goal.

  10. Anthony says:

    hahahaha – the goalie for Fipro kind of looks like Jaime Moreno

  11. Krista says:

    What the hell? All that buildup and we give it away like that?

  12. Krista says:

    Def need to clear better.

  13. beckster says:

    Avery John is kinda scary.

    this is a bit slow – need a good drinking game

  14. Krista says:

    Every time we shoot over the bar = drink

  15. beckster says:

    well that sucks

  16. Krista says:

    Son of a b. Damnit jan. Horrible.

  17. Krista says:

    Passing sucks. Crossing sucks. Defending sucks. Shooting sucks. We equal win. :/

  18. beckster says:

    ok Krista, drink!

  19. Forrest says:

    D*mnit! Janicki played well for us at the end of last season, but when he’s gotten a chance this season he’s made a bunch of stupid mistakes, i.e. see the game at Colorado. I don’t get why MLS coaches in these games don’t start 8 or 9 regular starters, and then after scoring 2 or 3 goals make some subs in the second half. Instead they constantly throw out a lineup with only 1 or 2 starters, and then have to sub in starters later in a very high pressure situation.

  20. Krista says:

    Another drinking game can be when a fir player embellishes a foul. Floppin like fish.

  21. Dave says:

    website where I can watch online?

  22. Krista says: or

  23. beckster says:

    Our defensive midfield is non-existent which is putting a lot of pressure on the back 3 – can’t have just 3 in the back with 2 crappy defensive midfielders – just asking for trouble.

  24. beckster says:

    Come on Emilio!

  25. beckster says:


  26. Krista says:

    Oh please moreno.

    Yeaaaaaaahh. Least we are tied now. Need to regroup at halftime.

  27. Anthony says:


  28. EC says:

    link to

    to watch the game btw.

  29. Krista says:

    Huuuh multiple drinks for this time wasting foul.

  30. DC Josh says:

    I’m so confused about the structure of the CONCACAF Champions League. I thought this was the preliminary rounds, yet it is carried over from qualifying that occurred last season? I thought DC United failed to win a single game out of 5 in the qualifying last season? How did they make it to this stage of the tournament? Is this game single elimination of home/away? ughhghghghghghg…

  31. Krista says:

    Don’t know if I like that sub decision.

  32. jim b says:

    Firpo is a disgrace! Constantly flopping to the ground pretending to be seriously injured. Pathetic

  33. Krista says:

    Damnit. Work on crosses!

  34. beckster says:

    So we take out the one good defender we have? Whats that all about?

  35. Krista says:

    I know beckster! Me confused.

  36. Krista says:

    We need to keep possession and wear them down. They are getting tired.

  37. Krista says:

    Yup! How many shots over the bar? Lost count.

  38. Krista says:

    That is such BS. They deserve an award for their flopping skills.

  39. Krista says:

    Huh. Disappointed. Should have finished their chances. Not happy one bit about anything I saw.

  40. fenel says:

    MLS needs to give this competition more respect. DC’s performance was just pitiful.

  41. John says:

    This is unacceptable. If this league is going to move forward we simply have to be winning these games.

  42. Reid says:

    fenel – I agree, horrible showing last season, and looking like they picked up where they left off

  43. Kevin says:

    I’m embarrassed. This was just terrible. And the referee didn’t make it any easier! So many ridiculous fouls on United, so few legitimate fouls on Firpo. Ugh. I’m super pissed right now.

  44. Elvis says:

    to dc josh,
    DC qualified to the preliminary round to the group stages b/c they won the Open Cup

    and to Krista and jim b,
    dont complain, dc score by a penalty that was not

  45. Andrew says:


  46. FCB says:

    In the first half Szetela was BY FAR the best player on the field. That’s what playing (or even just training in Szetela’s case) in Europe will do for you. Just being exposed to the level of training and discipline most Euro squads demand made him better. Very fine passing, control, technique, anticipation, and movement off the ball.
    The only word I could come up with to describe the rest of DC’s players was: AMATEURS.
    There was no way they were going to win that game. And hell, Firpo was in it’s pre-season!

  47. Glass says:

    Andrew, the official numbers for the season will be determined in a couple weeks. Right now Mathieu Flamini has it… read the article about him on SI, it’s pretty good.

  48. Andrew says:

    thanks :-)

  49. K-ATL says:

    Um, Szetela was strong last night, but it’s not like he “played” in Europe. He was on the bench 99% of the time. Also, did Janicky play one meaningful ball that didn’t hurt DC last night? He is absolutely a liability.