- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Defensive change pays off
Question of the Day
Sometimes, a little change can go a long way.
At the beginning of this MLS season, D.C. United first-year coach Tom Soehn continued to use a five-midfielder system first put in place by former coach Peter Nowak — a stylish attacking midfielder during his playing days.
Three games into the season though, United was 0-3, having been outscored 7-3. Soehn decided then and there to put his stamp on the team. Referring to the midfield as “too crowded,” Soehn tinkered with his lineup, eventually settling on a four-man back line of Josh Gros, reigning MLS Defender of the Year Bobby Boswell, Facundo Erpen and Bryan Namoff.
The result has been a six-game unbeaten streak for United. Perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the shift have been Gros and midfielder Ben Olsen.
Under Soehn’s system, Gros has the freedom to make opportunistic runs up the left flank.
“I’m getting more comfortable back there,” Gros said. “They’ve been trying to tell me to pick my time when to go forward. So I’ve been watching a lot of film in order to read the game better.”
“I was working on that move all week,” Gros said.
Olsen has been able to find a home playing out wide on the flank where he can make offensive runs knowing that a reinforced back line is behind him. Against the Red Bulls, he tallied a career-high three goals.
“The difference of being out wide in a 3-5-2 and a 4-4-2 is everything,” Olsen said. “In a 3-5-2 you are dealing with box-to-box and straight up-and-down running. You’ve got your man and you are running with him all the time. In a 4-4-2, I have Namoff behind me who is doing a great job. In a 3-5-2, I would have to back track with my man, now I can pass him off to Namoff … out-wide in a 3-5-2 I’d be dead.”
The Chicago Fire — tonight’s opponent at RFK Stadium — are the only team in the Eastern Conference that has an overall winning record against United (12-11-5). The Fire beat United 3-2 at RFK in the last game of the season in 2006.
Olsen believes United has to approach tonight’s game differently than in the past.
“They don’t always beat us with the soccer, but that passion they come with sometimes has been greater than ours and that is what has to change,” he said.
While United will have to play against the Fire without Boswell, who is serving a one-game suspension, Gros doesn’t think the team will be in too much trouble.
“Bobby has big shoes to fill but we will be all right,” Gros said.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow