Welcome to the FC Black Foot Blog. FC Black Foot was started at a DC United tailgate in the summer of 2008. We are an alternative supporter group of DC United. We have no dues, we have no rules, and there is absolutely no free beer. We created this blog to give out information for each game and our thoughts and opinions on all things DC United.

-Cheers, The Colonel of Music and beer

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DC United Open Cup P(review)

Tonight, DC United faces the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL 2nd division at the Maryland Soccer Complex in Boyds, MD for the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup. Actually, that’s the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup now in it’s 96th year (shouldn’t pass up the chance to give Mr. Hunt a tip of the hat).


United comes into this quarterfinal having squeaked by the PDL’s Ocean City Barons 2-0 in the last round. True to their home state’s character, the Barons gave us a scare.

How could it have been a squeaker at 2-0 you ask? United won, true, but barely thanks to a dubious penalty and some scrappy play.

After the miserably boring and badly played first half, the weather reflected the crowd’s mood as rain and a 10 degree temperature drop moved through at halftime. Despite my professorial projections of continued rain, my esteemed colleague, writer B. Fondak, predicted it would clear up after halftime. It did and so did United’s play.

Ben Olsen, one of three 1st team players to start the first half, along with Marc Burch and Rodney Wallace, came out at half for Chris Pontius and things started to look up. Pontius, who would end the game with at least 5 good chances on goal, immediately had an impact finding space at the top-center of the Barons' defense. Barons’ coach Neil Holloway must not have liked that substitution very much because he started to Hulk out about 10 minutes later and was ejected. In fact, he only left after a cop on the sideline "encouraged" him to leave!

The first United goal came in the 74th minute when Barons' keeper Ogunbiyi dove out to parry a long through ball. Ogunbiyi hit the ball and then took out the charging Ange N’Silu who tumbled head over heels. Note the order: (1) keeper hits ball (2) keeper hits player. Nonetheless, referee Jeff Gontarek pointed to the spot and Christian Gomez, subbed in for the injured John DiRaimondo in the 68th minute, took him up on his offer and slotted the ball in the Barons' net.

Wallace came out for Clyde Simms (does he have a PS3 yet or what?) in the next minute as Sohen looked to lock things down which…sort of happened. A former DC United official, in the stands that day, commented “this is where professional conditioning comes in” and it did. However, the “we’re-a-PDL-team-playing-an-MSL-team-and-have-nothing-to-lose”feeling also came in as the Barons bared down on the United goal flooding the box with players from all parts of the pitch abandoning their 1st half defense strategy. It almost worked, too, when the ball got by a diving Kocic only to be cleared off the line by Devon McTavish.

The men in black finally clinched the win in extra time when Gomito cracked a long direct kick on goal that the losers’ goalie Ogunbiyi deflected to the feet of N'Silu who quieted the obnoxious Jersey crowd for good and setting up tonight’s match-up.


The Harrisburg Islanders are coming off a quality 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the last round. Like United, the Revolution didn’t start many 1st teamers but lost the gamble. The Islanders got redemption after losing to the Revolution in the quarters of the 2007 Gold Cup. It should be noted that the Revolution also played a man down because of injuries and was actually down three men at one point in the second half. In other words, the Revolution were not at 100% or even 75%.

So, the Islanders will be a cakewalk, right? Ah, sweet hubris. That enticing and emboldening surge of confidence and surety that comes from victory and often precedes failure. We underestimate this Pennsylvanian team at our own peril. The last time DC lost in Open Cup play was in 2007 to, yep, the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Additionally, the Islanders are a mix of local and international talent that has won 10 of their last 14 games who, despite the cliché, have nothing to lose. Throw in Nicki Patterson, who leads his league in fouls with 28, and you have an intriguing game tonight that will see a United without Emilio and Moreno (injuries), Quaranta and Jakovic (international duty) and with a long list of players who went 90 minutes against Columbus Saturday. Expect to see Kocic start in goal again (adios, Mr. Crayton!) with N’Silu up top. Lastly, if Benny plays, he will be playing his hometown team. That’s right, Olsen was born in Harrisburg, PA some 32 years ago.

Prediction: United 2-1.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It's as long as Hughligans! His was a year- anniversary retrospective, of course, but...

  3. who the hell is the professor and what the hell is he a professor of? don't you have to have played a sport to be a professor of it?

  4. just kidding, i presume this is a smith write-up, good work, cut down the length though, LOL.

  5. Will you douchebags start posting pictures of hot chicks? You guys are treating this like we're here to talk about soccer.

  6. somebody is on vacation . . . Welcome Smitty!