Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by sch2383, Nov 13, 2003.
This will get interesting.
I didn't realize we don't have a pick in next years draft until the 4th round. Jeebus, Hudson is an idiot. Given his tendency to let young players rot on the bench it's probably just as well. Why ruin anymore kids' futures by bringing them into a Hudson-coached team?
Even if Etch, Stoich, and Ivanov are gone next year I don't have any faith that Ray will put together a decent team. After all, he's the one who scouted Ivanov in the first place, so it makes me wonder whether his talent evaluation skills are worth anything.
This club needs another major house-cleaning next season, starting at the top.
Goff does another great job.
Great summation of a topsy-turvy season.
My only complaint is flushing out what Kovalenko means when he said "What he had to deal with was unbelieveable." Is he referring to injuries? Players' tantrums? Bad officiating? What?
we've had nothing but a ton of high draft picks since they dismantled the team in '99. I consider it a blessing that we have none next year.
Goff "reported" a few days ago that Hudson would be replaced and that Johnston was the leading candidate......
Odd, for someone who claims a knowledge so vast, to be so wrong that he has to back track mere days later. Wonder if that means that the rest of his views are crap too?
I write for unitedmania, and one of the reasons I sort of hid that with my Marco alias is that I would hate for people to think my opinions carried more weight than anyone on this board. It doesn't. I know as much (or as little) as anyone who follows the team rabidly. That's it.
That's why I feel justified in saying I can't imagine where these opinions are coming from. Does Goff just hate the team? Just looking at this latest example of journalism:
United's staff couldn't "decide" about Earnie's role on the team? Given United's injuries, it's not surprising their most versatile player had to play different roles. Even Whinealda remarked that that was the best thing about having Earnie.
Interesting to mention how Esky wasn't ready for MLS play and struggled, yet every team in the league had the same assumptions. Strange that he doesn't mention that Chicago was so smart to pick Nate Jacqua in the first round and let Damani Ralph dangle until every team had a shot at him and declined, yet it was Ray that is implied as the buffoon. And Noonan? Please, who would have suspected his play? Certainly not Bradley, who was reportedly offering NJ's entire draft for the rights to Alecko. Whatever. Hindsight is easy.
United doesn't have a pick until the fourth round? So what? As if that makes any difference. They have Cerritos, Martins, Esky, Quaranta, Convey, Dema, Olsen, Quintanilla, Nelsen, Petke, Prideaux, Namoff, Ivanov, Rimando (or Warren), etc. all under 27. They will even have Stewart as a relatively young 34. Even better they have Stokes and Carroll both still roster exempt and with a year of experience under their belts. United does not need a single draft pick, but even if they do, a deal can be easily arranged.
Complaining to officials? Like Prideaux being given a free pass makes up for a failed PK call on Esky early in the season, like it makes up for NJ being given 57 minutes of extra time to tie a game at RFK, like Ali Curtis deserved to have a goal taken from him, on a CK no less. Please, to imply United doesn't have legitimate gripes with the refs is ludicrous.
Then one last slap at Stoitchkov is newspaperworthy? That just seems petty to me.
I respect Goff in general, but lately I do not understand why he takes such blatant digs at DC United. I for one am losing respect for him every time he does it.
Take a step back and think about it...
Marco10 - I disagree with quite a bit of what you said but I've got a cold and I'm tired and I just can't respond to you point by point now. Hopefully someone else will. Suffice it to say, I think you're off-base about Goff and this article.
However, I do want to make one point very clear. At no point in his last article did Goff say Hudson was going to be replaced by Johnston or anyone else. This is the exact quote:
Read that carefully. All Goff says is that Hudson is in greater danger of losing his job than Kasper. Nowhere does Goff say that Hudson is going to lose his position. So the accusation with which you begin your tirade, the accusation that you try to use to undermine Goff's credibility, has absolutely no basis in anything Goff actually wrote. In short, it's bullsh!t.
If you've got a bone to pick with Goff, his writing style or his take on the team then fine. Have at it. Goff's writing is in the public eye, I'm sure he's used to the scrutiny.
But don't make crap up. Doing so only undermines your credibility.
No offense, but your posts shows an almost-complete lack of understanding of how journalism and newspapers work.
Let's take a look:
1) Goff "backtracking": His exact quote from "a few days ago" was this: "Hudson's contract and technical director Dave Kasper's deal expire this winter, and Hudson appears to be in the greater danger of losing his job. Sources around the league say New York/New Jersey MetroStars assistant coach Mo Johnston, a former Scottish star, has emerged as an early candidate to replace Hudson, although others would be considered. "
Do their contracts expire? Likely, from what we've all heard.
Is he in danger of losing his job? Well, the team finished with a sub-500 record and had an embarassing first round playoff exit.
But in the new article, he says: "United officials appear to be leaning toward keeping Coach Ray Hudson. Team MVP Dema Kovalenko came out in support of Hudson the other day, saying: "There shouldn't be any question that he should get another contract. What he had to deal with was unbelievable."
If Hudson is let go after a two-year record of 19-25-14, several MLS assistants, including the New York/New Jersey MetroStars' Mo Johnston, seem qualified to step in."
So, directly after (and I mean directly - unlike Web stories for only semi-updated sites, Washington Post deadlines are very tight to the conclusion of the contest) an embarassing loss, some within the organization were grumbling. Now, after three days to reflect, they "appear to be leaning" towards keeping Hudson. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.
2) "I write for unitedmania, and one of the reasons I sort of hid that with my Marco alias is that I would hate for people to think my opinions carried more weight than anyone on this board. It doesn't. I know as much (or as little) as anyone who follows the team rabidly. That's it.
That's why I feel justified in saying I can't imagine where these opinions are coming from. Does Goff just hate the team? Just looking at this latest example of journalism:"
What does this mean? You "feel justified" because your opinions don't carry more weight? What?
3) Stewart played at every position in front of the back line this season. If you were to ask Hudson where his best position is right now, do you think he would know? Or, if you "write for unitedmania," did you ever ask him? I think it's a pretty reasonable statement.
4) Esky: Where did he blame the club for that? He said that United thought it had found a contributor, and he didn't contribute. Meanwhile, other rookies did. This, obviously, was a hinderance. Where does he assign blame? Where does he "imply" Ray is a buffoon?
And for the record, there were several people on this board who called their shot when it comes to Esky. To say that he was a slam-dunk number one for anyone other than the MetroStars is a reach.
5) Draft picks: If you seriously can't see why it would be helpful to pick up a couple of roster-exempt, salary-cap exempt, talented young players, then you clearly have no idea how this league works.
6) I've got an idea: List every time fans of a team in this league thinks it got hosed by officials. List them all, and add them all up. You know what you'll see? You'll see it all evens out. It's not like there was a special set of crap officials that was reserved to work DCU games. Hell, Columbus was awarded only three PKs all year. Everyone in the league had to deal with these refs, and that was all he was pointing out.
7) The "slap" at Stoichkov: "He apparently wants to be considered for the Dallas opening, but with his temperament, he probably doesn't have much chance" is what you're talking about, I assume.
You're kidding, right? Do you think anyone short of Bobby Knight gets away with the type of yelling he does? He nearly HEADBUTTED THE FOURTH OFFICIAL, for *#*#*#*#'s sake.
This is the end of the season piece from Goff. This is the piece where he, as the guy who knows more about the team then ANY of us, who talks to more people then any of us, etc., gives us the analysis. In the newsroom, it's called the "obituary" or "post-mortem" (both of those may be spelled wrong - it's late). Every paper in the country does it - hell, I did it at the weekly I was at covering high school sports.
I know this sounds long winded, and that I've taken it really personal considering I've only met the guy a couple of times, and maybe that's true.
But as someone who had to put up with this kind of whining for nearly three years, it just pisses me off. I guarantee you that, whatever you do for a living, I can't sit around and watch and tell you how to do it. I don't have any training, I don't have any of that specialized knowledge. Yet everyone seems to think that since they can read a newspaper, they are *#*#*#*#ing Woodward. (NOTE: here I am using *#*#*#*#ing as adjective, not as a verb. I am not suggesting that people are having sex with Bob Woodward.)
(NOTE: Not to say that he's not a handsome guy. I'm sure him and his wife are still going at it.)
(NOTE: But that's not to say I know that. Who knows, they may be having marital problems. Hell, he may not be married.)
You have got to be kidding.
Goff is the best MLS beat reporter around, and unlike 3-4 years ago, he has strong competition from damn good reporters. He uses sources who sometimes go unnamed. One of them, and you can take this to the bank, is Ray Hudson. Another is Kevin Payne.
Your comparison of the Post to a fan website with a readership in the dozens is a trip into the bizarre.
I'm sure someone is glad that "Unitedmania" exists, but for someone who isn't a fan of your team, it has almost no merit (without the occasional opulently-phrased Hudson quote that gets passed along to Big Soccer, it would have no value at all).
It's fine for amateurs who play at being sportswriters to write transparently credulous stories about how brilliant the team looks in practice. But does anyone really believe that Potemkin village stuff? It reads like satire of gullible DC fans. Every weekday, in training, DC players, running at sprinters' pace, dribble with Fred Astaire's feet, and shoot on goal with the aim of Sergeant York. It's a team of Yashins and DiStefanos. Then on Saturday they go out and lose to Dallas without scoring a goal and have the nerve to bitch about the referee.
And yet Steven Goff "hates" DC, and spreads lies and calumny. Setting aside how you might think my support of my team (who I think were very poor this year) might affect my perception of how your team performed, it's hard to disagree with the statement that DC was generally a godawful mess for much of the year.
Were there bright spots? Sure. What Goff does-- successfully, I think-- was to address why a team who played decent soccer for a stretch mid-season played so badly at the beginning and end, and what that has to do with the future. For that, there's a presentation of what has to be concensus opinion. For example: Goff's point that Stewart's ill-defined role diminished his play. For god's sake, STEWART said that. HUDSON said that. Your point that one of Stewart's strengths is his versatility--which is hard to argue with, as he has played in various positions at the international and club level--doesn't mean that a more stable role would have allowed him to offer more to the DC attack.
Goff also rejects a really facile, and embarrassing, excuse: that the refs were out to get DC. You can try to argue that one by piling on anecdote after anecdote, but the point really is that there were bad calls that went against DC, and bad calls that went for DC, and there was no systematic bias in actuality and absolutely no warrant for believing that MLS has any stake in screwing DC through bad officiating.
What's even stranger is that you go after Goff's reporting on whether Hudson will stay with the team as some reason to doubt his fairness or credibility. Do you realize that the discussion of Hudson's future after the loss in Chicago was based on talking to source/sources who said that Hudson might not be brought back, but a decision would be made later, and that Mo Johnston would be considered seriously? That's good reporting, my friend. Obviously naming sources makes reporting stronger, but citing "sources around the league" for this kind of thing should suffice. If you're alleging that Goff is just making up fictional sources to parrot his own opinions, then that's a hell of a charge. It would be national news, like Jayson Blair. Is that what you're saying?
Your wild, paranoid declamations are a fantastic throwback to the days of rampant conspiracy mongering among a set of DC fans, who were almost unanimously mocked. Maybe you're trying out some set-piece approach like old Tom Grillmaster's paint-by-numbers wind-up in which he lays out this rote list of fictional injustices and wacked-out mythologies. But fellah, Steven Goff's status as a sacred cow of MLS journalists is well-earned... and just who the hell are you?
What scares me is that the club seems to think part of the blame for a bad season is due to poor officiating.
I guess the Fire and the Quakes had very good years because MLS brought in Collina for their games.
After a poor season, a club has too look in the mirror and blame themselves. Sounds like United is doing that to a degree, but poor officiating is a piss poor excuse.
Apparently I'm someone who doesn't listen to my own advice as I should have never posted without thinking first. Reactionary posting is somewhat detrimental as I'm slowly beginning to learn. However, to salvage my point, I will say that it bothers me when people write things that are not obviously opinion, or fact. Don't care which you choose, but make it clear.
Anyway, many of the things you say are true, in so far as that is the way you are choosing to interpret Goff's writings. I choose to interpret them differently. Apparently, I am no more right than you are. He did not make it clear what part of his writing is opinion and what part is fact. Not only that, but he chose certain facts to the exclusion of others sort of to make a point. I disagree with that in a public forum, unless you're obviously trying to sway someone to your opinion.
You may choose to play semantic games, but I will say that what he wrote implied Hudson would be fired, and a replacement was being made ready. You may choose to interpret it as you will, and lay the blame on any misinterpretation as simply a deadline.
I am neither wild nor paranoic, I simply point out that he has a very negative tone because he chose to write about things that are negative. He could have chosen differently, and been equally as justified. That the way he chose to write is defended by posters equally pessimistic as he is somewhat justifies my point.
As for his implying Ray is a buffoon by not drafting Ralph, that is a stretch obviously. But I find it interesting, he didn't note the stats of Jacqua or Walsh, both drafted higher than Ralph. Wonder why he choose to leave that information out?
If he wants to be an opinion piece, he should say that. If he's being factual, he should say that as well and say where is quotes are coming from.
As for my feeling "justified". I say that because I never claim to know more than I do. I do not claim to have "sources" to back up whatever view I choose to write about. I say my opinions and use whatever publicly printed sources are available, or I don't claim any source at all and just say it's my opinion. The fact that journalists choose to use other mechanisms to justify their opinions means nothing to me.
Goff chose to write his articles with the slant that he did. He's not simply reporting facts. If he were, we're not having this debate at all. He's offering opinions, as if they were based in fact and that is what bothers me. His opinions are created with the the limited facts he chooses to use and he's interpreting them in such a way that it does not reflect well on DC. So, my point is, if he wants to bash DC in print, go for it. But, make it clear it's his opinion, or his interpretation, don't use his pulpit to force his views on others.
He's choosing to put a negative slant on things. I do not believe that is warranted unless he makes it clear that it is his opinion. You may choose to believe him, I do not. He may be a sacred cow, but that doesn't mean I like what he does in print all the time. He has been seeming to become much more negative recently and I felt it necessary to point that out as there are clearly alternative views he's neglecting to even mention.
Whatever, as I said previously, I have always had respect for Goff, but if he continues to along the path he is treading, I will lose respect for him.
It frigging says "analysis" right at the top of the article. If you can't see or choose not to see that, don't blame Stephen.
This time he's offering opinions. Before, he was reporting other people's opinions. Just because they don't fall in line with the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" path that your "journalism" takes doesn't mean those people didn't say those things to Goff.
Imagine the odds of people in a fractuous situation maybe trying to send mixed messages through the media!
You also are forgetting how many chances Ray had to draft Ralph and instead he drafted other guys and then never let them play. I think Jamil Walker is a better example of our stupid drafting and use of the guys we did draft. A kid with some talent but not considered someone who could help. he got a chance through injuries and showed he could play. We don't even know if two of our rookies can tie their shoes yet.
Sorry to all in advance for the long post ....
* As pointed out already, the word "ANALYSIS" appears at the top of the piece. That should make it pretty clear it isn't a straight "Here's what happened in United world today" story.
* From what Goff wrote earlier, you implied Hudson would be fired. All Goff did was report the fact that United officials were unhappy in the wake of the playoff loss. People do change their minds. Have you interviewed Payne? Have you interviewed Kasper? Have you interviewed Hudson? Have you interviewed any of the players since the season ended? I'm guessing those answers are all "No." So I'm guessing Goff has access to "facts" you simply don't.
* Exactly what positive things do you want Goff to write about? I've been one of the most positive people about this team all year, but you'd have to be blind to not see how poor the performances were in the last 2 matches. As a United fan, I can only hope you are not satisfied by the way this season went.
* Why would Goff "note the stats of Jaqua or Walsh? Is it your opinion that either of them had a better year than Ralph? Would you rather have either of those two players rather than Ralph on your team? Think of the readership, I bet more of them know how well Ralph did than whatever Walsh did. Ralph is the perfect example for Goff's point because it immediately drives home a very valid issue.
* You "write your opinions and use whatever publically printed sources are available." So you are not afraid to post all your opinions about DC United, but then you "hid" under an alias when you posted here? That's just wrong. Not to say others don't or haven't done that, but if you believe that strongly in your opinions, your name should be gold on here. ... You also have the luxury of writing whenever you want, whatever you want, under no deadline, no editors, nothing. Yours a different world and you're not in a position to blast Goff for his journalistic "style," just as the rest of us aren't either.
* I really think Goff is going to continue doing the great job he has always done, regardless of whether you respect him. I'm going to guarantee you that he doesn't go to work each morning thinking that someone who writes for a small but good team fans' site is going to respect his work. He has bigger fish to fry.
* And finally, and don't take any of this personally, but all has to be said .... I did my damndest to go head-to-head with Goff last year. Before any of the "writers" on here say one word about how he works - I'd like to see any of you try and do the same. What you'll find is that to keep up, you'll put in 60-65 hours a week, you'll work the phones until your ear hurts, you'll be constantly researching information and chasing leads because you know if you don't, you're going to get beat. And for ALLLL of that .... all that work ... my only claim to a scalp was one stupid story about what has turned out to be an inconsequential (for the most part) trade. He's the best. Period.
Writing for a web site doesn't make you a journalist - something I've acknowledged about myself numerous times this year. It also doesn't give you the right to play ombudsman to those who literally work their asses off to bring us the kind of soccer coverage you don't get in 98% of the rest of the country.
Anyone who had Goff as a competitor wouldn't bash him - they'd be too busy learning from him.
No personal offense intended, I just have really strong feelings on this issue.
Well, I think Haig and Knave and Freestyle have offered some pretty detailed responses that I pretty much agree with. To add just a few more points...
1. Goff hate this team? If there's one thing Goff hates, it's bad unattractive soccer. He's made that point repeatedly in his interviews and WP chats. But he's very objective, digs out some great details, usually scoops everyone else. And he doesn't take his likes and dislikes out on any particular team. B/c believe me, if that were the cause, DCU would have come in for some serious abuse this season.
You can be a supporter of this team (and his job is not to be a supporter but a professional journalist who knows the sport) and still lament what we've become. We are a team that gets distracted by referees, loses focus in matches and has acquired a rep around the league (with coaches and players, not just fans) as a semi-thuggish, whining bunch of punks. How terrible. Did we really earn all those PKs b/c we're fouled so often or b/c we "sell" the dives so much better? I don't see Goff's coverage as tilted toward the negative, only that the team has given him little to be estatic about. That would be true of Haydon's coverage as well--starting and ending the season with 7 game winless streaks is depressing stuff
2. I suspect you're a bit putout by his criticism of Etcheverry in the analysis. But I think it's tempered criticism--that admits the problem was primarily Etcheverry, only admitting that Marco has slowed up and doesn't produce like he once did.
3. As for the comments on Hudson's job security, I don't see his position changing. I do think it's fair to say Hudson has less security than does Kasper. But even if the position had changed, Goff doesn't make this stuff up. If he talks to Payne on monday and he say's "don't quote me but I think this team has gone as far as it can with Hudson and that's not good enough" than that comes out as analysis that Hudson's job may be in danger. And then on Thursday Payne tells Goff "but when I think of all the injuries, making the playoffs, Hudson probably deserves one more year to see if he can continue to build on what he's got here" then it becomes a report that Hudson will probably return. In short, I doubt Payne's mind is firmly made up on this stuff so what he tells/implies to Goff changes. So unless someone acts abruptly, we're likely to hear some more of this back-and-forth on Hudson for 2004.
I have the utmost respect for Goff, and what he wrote was consistent with his previous position. But I do feel the need to point out that if Chris Bergin had written it, a deluge of people would be pointing to it as inconsistent, calling him a liar or doubting his sources. I think this is a very good example of a good reporter keeping his finger on the pulse of a delicate and ever-changing situation.
As for rookies, I've been pushing their worth for a long time now, but I just cannot see how people refuse to recognize the HUGE BENEFIT to a team of adding great players at extremly low salaries ... sometimes (P-40) at a zero salary cap hit. Just think of this for a minute:
Subs: Noonan, Magee, Mapp (Note: I started Brad Davis to avoid any Justin Mapp diatribes)
For a team that is desparate for scoring, looking at Twellman (the only one we couldn't have gotten), Ralph, Noonan, Magee and Gaven does hurt. I do think that any one of them would have been our leading scoring forward ... sad isn't it?
Ding-ding-ding.............................I think we have a winner!!!
100% correct. As far as I know, and as far as I saw from watching MLS games that did not involve my beloved DCU, the officiating, league wide, was poor. Officiaiting had NOTHING to do with DC's lack of success this season. The fact that we couldn't put the sack in the onion bag (or however the hell that phrase goes) was about 90% of our problems.
If the excuse to bring back Hudson is: he had so many injuries to deal with and missing players that it wasn't a fair test of his coaching ability, let's see what he can do with everyone back and healthy. Then the guys in charge are truly deranged. We once went an entire season without playing the same lineup twice because of injuries, suspensions and national team callups. We made it to MLS Cup that season and Arena was the coach. I don't remember much complaining or woe is me crap. We can argue the difference in talent available, but bottom line is good coaches adapt and attempt to overcome with what they got and Hudson couldn't do that. Sure injuries and suspensions and call-ups have an impact, but they affect most teams and I don't see it as a valid excuse.
Oh yeah, Goff rocks!!
I think a telling statement of how lucky we are to have Goff and all the hard work he puts in is that Peter Wilt before the Chicago game told us that we have the best mls coverage in the nation and that they would kill for someone like Goff.
Personally, I think Goff does a tremendous job covering United and he always distinguishes between news peices and analyses pieces. Keep on writing and I will keep on reading.
Let's set aside the issue that this was CLEARLY the season ending ANALYSIS piece. Let's set aside the point for point rebuttal, which has already been done.
The real issue is that you have such a warped and biased approach to this team, that you can't read what is almost universally considered a solid, thorough and balanced piece without bouncing on BigSoccer and producing the screed above.
It's not Goff's freakin' job to be "positive".
[And hey, here's a thought, perhaps the reason Goff has been "increasingly negative" in his articles is that the tone and tenor of the clubhouse and the on-field product has gone into the crapper over the last 9 games? (and, btw, i'm not buying into your premise, just pointing out the alternative to your bizzaro world theories and postulations.)]
Goff actually interviews people. He has sources.
What YOU do is generally derivative of what he is providing you. Or do you rely on the WTimes for your material?
Do you see how crazy this sounds? You know a fraction of what he knows (and doesn't report), yet we're supposed to take seriously a bunch of half-assed criticisms of the best soccer beat journalist in the country?
UnitedMania is a neat fanzine. You aren't doing a heckuva lot to gain it any credibility by associating it with the posts on this thread.
You're exactly correct. It's registering with BigSoccer.com that gives you the right to play ombudsman to everything and everyone.
Thanks, Steven Goff, for the thoughtful and balanced analysis.
The greatest thing about the internet is that anyone and everyone can say anything and everything they want, for the whole world to see.
The worst thing about the internet is that anyone and everyone do say anything and everything they want, for the whole world to see.
(I can't recall who originially said that, but just know it wasn't me, and I'm not trying to take credit for it.)
Excellent article Mr. Goff!
Unitedmania does a good job at what it does, I hope they continue.
I disagree with Dema.
And finally, while I do not hold the refeeres responsible for our mediocre season:
This is neither fact nor opinion, 'tis fiction!