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Hello? Is There Anybody in There? ...

Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home
Come on now
I hear you're feeling down
I can ease your pain
And get you on your feet again
(Floyd, Pink -- The Wall)

I apologize for the lack of information the last day or two. Been tied up with NCAA basketball work (and will also be preoccupied this weekend).

I'm hoping to pass along a few DCU tidbits later today, but if not, allow me to offer a Q&A session. Post your questions here before 5 p.m. and I'll start answering late tonight or early tomorrow.


By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2007; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Q&A  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Shalrie Watch
Next: (Goal)keeping It Real


We're out here, waiting...

Whats the latest on Fred?

Posted by: the cheat | March 22, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I've heard enough "Blanco to Chicago" rumors over the past month or two to figure that, even if the move doesn't happen, it's being seriously considered...which means I have to ask: who's idea was that, the "soccer peoples'" (Sarachan et al.) or the "business peoples'" (Guppy, AEG, et al.)? Just sounds like Luis Hernandez II: Electric Boogaloo to me...I'm going to guess "Guppy et al." and file it under "Some People Never Learn."

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 22, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Do you anticipate any realistic LA Galaxy rebranding (new colors, uniform) by the start of the season? Would they implement change mid-season with Beckham arrival (seems amateur, but I would not put it past AEG/MLS)?

Finally, how many teams do you think will actually have an exclusive (nonpatch) sponsor this season? It looks like to me the waiting game for the Galaxy deal has delayed all deals for a season. You have mentioned DCU will probably wait until next year. So far all I count officially is RBNY and Real Salt Lake.

Posted by: Coop | March 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What are your thoughts on the new USL team based in Annapolis: Crystal Palace USA? Do you think Crystal Palace has a hidden agenda other than fielding a team in the US third division.

Posted by: J | March 22, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Assuming the best about Fred, and he goes midfield wing, which current starter goes to bench? Simms?

Fred to right, Olsen back to holding, Simms to first midfield sub?

For the record, I think Simms has shown well so far in the three games so far.

Posted by: Cubicle | March 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Who do you think would be the first player who would be valuable enough to a team to 'graduate' to designated player status from the regular roster in order to keep them in the league, or will an MLSer have to prove themselves overseas before earning the big paycheck back home?

Posted by: bbarrie | March 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to share an experience I had last week overseas. I was in Jerusalem for the Barcelona-Real Madrid game, the first soccer game I watched outside the US. All I can say is it was amazing. The chanting, drinking, cusing, dancing. It is amazing how both those teams are able to attract fans across the globe. In Israel, it seemed as if everyone was pulling for Barca. I get the idea that are very similiar to the Dallas Cowboys (I hate them with all of my heart), because the Cowboys are the most recognizable NFL team outside the US. I really wish the US had that kind of vibe during huge soccer matches. Hypothetically speaking, say DC United beats Chivas, and actually ends up winning the CCC, do you think they would have a good showing at the FIFA Club World Cup or is it way too early to think about it? Thank you.

Posted by: DC United Fan | March 22, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I can answer something about that Palace team.

They have a pretty active youth side over here (and the teams are pretty good, I must say), and so I think the idea is to use the team to look to recruit from the American talent pool.

Goffinho, two questions ...

Boswell's launch party ... what went down? Did you sample the official Bud Select products? Did you go in drag to get the free bar for ladies from ten to midnight?

What's the news coming out of the U.S. training camp? Who's impressing, who's not?

One last one, just to make it fun ... your list of favorite stadiums/places to watch a game?

Posted by: G-Unit | March 22, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

it's so nice to have flank players:

Casal sounds like a project with potential... if he turns out well, will his be a one-year stay, or is there a possibility he could be in black and red for a while?

also, i've read that team policy dictates that Fred wear "da Silva" on the back of his uniform instead of "Fred." any truth to this?

Posted by: jeremy | March 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Will United be working any trades to add some backline depth? I have confidence in the starters, but one pulled hamstring and we are hurting.

Posted by: Sean | March 22, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What's the word on Omar Bravo's status for game 2 with Chivas? I believe I read here last week that, strange as it may sound, there may or may not have been a card accumulation preventing him from playing. I'm not sure how it is that would not be clearly defined but that's what I remember having read. He's the biggest offensive threat they have as I understand it, so no small matter. Thanks!

Posted by: Erik | March 22, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Thats it. If Fred doesnt have "Fred" on the back of his jersey, there will be hell to pay. He's Brazilian, he goes by one name, it should be on the back of his jersey. Case closed.

Where would the world be without "Kaka" and "Dudu" on the back of players' jerseys?

Posted by: the cheat | March 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Does it sound like Arguez will be able to get in the mix of a very crowded midfield for some first team minutes in the early season or will we only be watching him on Sunday mornings for now?

And pre-draft profiles had him as a player that could play in defense as well. Any sense of whether DC might consider him a possible backup in D?

Posted by: Matt | March 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This isn't the sort of question you probably had in mind and may be tough with your limited time this week, but it's been bugging me for a while and googling it has been tough going, so I thought I'd seek your help:

In the EPL, kids often walk out with the starting lineup and shake hands with the opposing team, etc. It seems like just a PR thing these days, but has it always been? What's the history of it and how it got started?

Posted by: HistoryBuff | March 22, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse


I've read that Shalrie Joseph is looking for a salary around 300k and bonuses in the 50k range. Can you tell us how the bonuses affect the team's salary cap? Are they exempt from the cap? If so, why don't some of the wealthier clubs pay low salaries with high (and easily achievable) bonuses as a way around the cap?


Posted by: Mount Pleasant | March 22, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

It sounds as though Fred will be finding plenty of time with the first XI; most likely on the flank (or some sort of hybrid-flank).

From what I've seen/read about Casal, he also sounds like a nice wide option, albeit young (though a quick learner according to Soehn). In your opinion, does Casal have any chance of pushing Gros to the bench?

Posted by: Jared | March 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

Posted by: Chico | March 22, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

How does Arguez look? Any potential for sub minutes this year?

Posted by: Kinney | March 22, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't MLS start their season a month earlier, and end a month earlier? Which would you rather soccer compete against -- basketball in March, or baseball and football in October?

Yes, if MLS shifted its season earlier northern teams would have to start the season with a month of games on the road in southern cities. But isn't that better than playing in October, which is by far the most crowded sports month on the American sports calendar? Even soccer fans like me lose most interest in the month of October.

Does MLS even know that they are losing fans like me that month?

Posted by: Sam | March 22, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Rafa Benitez suggested the other day that the big EPL clubs should be allowed to have their reserve teams compete in the Football League, as is done in Spain. I can't see it ever happening. Thoughts? Advantages/Disadvantages over loaning out players to smaller clubs?

Posted by: 5280 | March 22, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Any update on the Freddy Llerena/DCU situation?

How long does a Generation adidas contract usually last?

Finally, does Nike have any control over how many Nike endorsed players must be selected to the U.S. National Team?

Thanks and continue the great work!

Posted by: apqjr | March 22, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

David Gilmore or Roger Waters?

Posted by: Comfortably Numb | March 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

First of all: Props to EdtheRed for his "Luis Hernandez II: Electric Boogaloo" reference! Perfect!

Secondly, any sense of how the new owners are settling into their role? I understand Will Chang went to Honduras for the first leg match vs. Olympia. And, Steve I know you don't want to be asked this, but could you do us a favor and ask someone in the front office about the stadium. Finally, have you tradmarked "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" yet?

Posted by: Dan | March 22, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If NE does in fact trade Shalrie do you think they'll be in the market for a defensive midfielder? We seem to have several of them, what are the chances of a Simms + draft pick for Dorman or Ralston trade or something similiar?

Posted by: Mike | March 22, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Any news on the stad -- nevermind.

Posted by: iammrben | March 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Who put the bump in the bump ba-bump ba-bump?

Posted by: Tomcat | March 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Who do you think is the most improved team in MLS this offseason? Who's going to be worse off than last year?

Posted by: 5280 | March 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

looks like dan beat me to it

Posted by: iammrben | March 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse


First, this blog is now a multiple times daily read for me. Thanks for doing it and doing it so well.

Question: what other footie journalists do you read on a regular basis? Who do you like/respect/admire for their writing abilities and insights?

Thanks and keep up the excellent work.

Posted by: ABitOffsides | March 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Dear Steven,

Is there any chance of MLS/USSF guaranteeing regular appearances in Copa Sulamericana or the Libertadores? Mexican teams have been very competitive (& I think MLS teams could be as well). What's the obstacle? Maybe TV money that MLS would [not] bring to the table?

Posted by: Morgan P | March 22, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Is it really true that Moreno will play for Bolivia in Copa America? Unlike past years callups could hit DC pretty hard this summer.

Posted by: Talion | March 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Strange question, but is by accident or intentional that each MLS team has their own distinct international "flavor"? United's obviously South American, NE is Caribbean, LA is Mexican, Chicago is Eastern European, etc.

Also, how is it that United keeps finding these players that no one else is interested in who make a major impact for the team? (Who else wanted Moreno, Gomez, Nelsen, Boswell, etc.?)

Posted by: TG | March 22, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

How about a Shalrie for BC or Shalrie for Simms trade?

Posted by: Shalrie to DC? | March 22, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What's with the continued lack of coverage of DCUnited on local news programs(except Univision and telefutura)? For once I would love to see highlights, in english (although I don't mind them in spanish). United has performed better over the past 5 years than any other local team. I wanna see the Caveman and pretty boy Boswell do post match wrap ups.

Posted by: mighty | March 22, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Sam's question -- or just shorten the season a month, ending it in September but still starting in April. October does seem way too long . . . but I won't even sign my usual Soccer Insider handle to this treasonous question.

Posted by: b. arnold | March 22, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Was there anything to the Colorado friendly (and poor showing - 4-3 loss to a B-side) against Valencia and the meeting with Villarreal execs other than a trip to Spain?

Posted by: holtz | March 22, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

If Shalrie Joseph goes to another team would he be paid the $167,000/yr he makes now or would he get the $300-400k he's asking for? If DC could get him for the former price than he might be worth it even if only for a year and then sell him to Europe and keep the transfer fee.

Is DCU going to sign another forward or is Fred being looked at as forward depth? With Moreno aging and only Walker and Dyachenko as tested back-ups DCU is looking pretty thin at that position not to mention the thin defensive corps.

Posted by: DistrcitCrookedEyes | March 22, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Are there long term plans (or discussions) to pull the USL and MLS together in a format similar to those in Europe with promotion and relegation?

Posted by: jrigger | March 22, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm a DCU fan living in Ohio, and I managed to schedule meetings in DC for April 3rd and 4th. Can you -or anyone- suggest a good place to watch the game? I saw in an earlier post that Summers might not be the quality place to watch soccer that it was when I lived there.

Posted by: dcudayton | March 22, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Soccer insider getting some love on in their soccer truth/rumors section. Maybe the Insider will become a national phenomenom now.

Depending on who you believe, the Revolution has been contacted by either two or four other MLS teams about disgruntled midfielder Shalrie Joseph.
-- Washington Post

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | March 22, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

You have any info on the rumor about Columbus close to signing a South American player? I believe it was Luis Bueno who first broke the story, but there's been nothing since Monday. Also, is the Zidane story completely dead?

Posted by: Steve | March 22, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with comments about Fred. Hopefully "team policy" is just a rumor. When Pele played for the Cosmos, which name do you think was on the back, the obvious or Naciamento (His full name with spelling apologised for in advance was Edson do Arantes Naciamento)?

Posted by: A Hardwick | March 22, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Still wondering what's going on with #99.

How has Mr. Jaime been playing during practice and in your opinion do you think he can keep his starting spot? Trade (I hope not)? Retirement?

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 22, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I need a job with fifa - any job - recommendations on how to crack that egg?

Posted by: going abroad | March 22, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I've read some of the stories written in the
Washington Times that a reporter keeps saying
that DCUnited ''may never'' be able to build a
Stadium at Poplar Point because this project would have to be put out for bid by residential
development companies--is this true
And what is your opnion on the stadium issue

Posted by: DCUSanAntonio | March 22, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What do you think about reply cams for whether the ball crossed the goal line?

Posted by: Hacksaw | March 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yup... make that "replay" not "reply"....

Posted by: Hacksaw | March 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Steve -

Any news on Ricky Schramm???? Do you know if he is trying to play somewhere else now that DCU didn't work out for him?

Thanks. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Mike in D.C. | March 22, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

David Gilmore or Roger Waters?

Posted by: Comfortably Numb | March 22, 2007 12:07 PM

Hey Numb,

You mean "Syd Barrett or Roger Waters?" Both Geniuses. Both kicked out. Sorta like: Richie Petitbon or Norv Turner?

Posted by: grotus | March 22, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Wizard of Oz: Watch it with or without Dark Side?

Posted by: Confuscious | March 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Clearly the best Pink Floyd song for the Soccer Insider should be Pink Floyd's "Fearless" (Meddle album) for the use of You'll Never Walk Alone at the end of the song.

Posted by: Tweaked | March 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Rumors are that the Crew might be picking up a midfielder from south america. Heard anything about that?

Posted by: Shaft | March 22, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

1. alumni: how's adu doing out there in SL? any comments from him lately? what about nicky or esky?

2. will Toronto FC suprise the league with the most rabid fanbase (after DC of course!)? Seems to me they are really selling tickets at a good clip up there.

3. should I get season tix even though there are 4 games I can't make it to...or do I just buy individual game tix as I have planned?

Posted by: l st | March 22, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Benny vs. Ditka

Who wins??

Posted by: Rocko | March 22, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Where is Fabrice Noel currently? Are any MLS clubs looking into bringing him in?

I also hear Jay Goppingen is available for forward depth.

Posted by: B.A. | March 22, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

l st,

Get the flex plan tickets.

Posted by: Kozy | March 22, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Who has been your favorite United player to cover? Which one has been the biggest headache?

Posted by: Kenny | March 22, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

When will the RFK announcers stop announcing to fans that "the official time is kept on the field..."

Saying that every half just reinforces the idea worldwide that Americans are just football noobs who know nothing about the game.

Posted by: jyindc | March 22, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not Steve, but all of the following topics may be responded to with "Zzzzzzzzz":

Individual ownerships
Any superstar other than Beckham coming to MLS
WC2010 roster

Posted by: Wheat from chaff | March 22, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Is Ditka driving? I'm gonna hafta go with da Bear Bus. Ditka is God.

Posted by: G-Unit | March 22, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

With all the money they have, why don't those Brazilian stars fix the gaps in their teeth?

Posted by: Taylor Twellman | March 22, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

If Fred can play might Soehn consider a 4-4-2 formation in Guadalajara?

Posted by: loco | March 22, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Any word on how our old friend Freddy Adu is doing at RSL? Is he becoming the player everyone wants him to be in his new location?

I am pulling for him (just not when he faces DC) but personally, I think he wants too much too fast - Adu wasn't the best player on DCU but I get the feeling that he thought he was.

Posted by: Streets | March 22, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Curious about levels of tix sales for the year. Does the front office have a good feel for attendance based on the last few years? Upward trend or steady?
Is there number they are looking for and does that number correlate to profitability? Etc, etc...
And how is money from things like CCC or International friendlies allocated? How does that affect the club's bottom line?

Posted by: DC in Tennessee | March 22, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

what kind of mls preview is in the works at the post?
also, how often will you be traveling with united this season?

Posted by: eugene, or | March 22, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

How to get a job at FIFA? Become one of Jack Warner's relatives or pay him a lot of money.

Posted by: Glenn | March 22, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I think trading away Freddy Adu the worst trade in sports history.

Posted by: Sean | March 22, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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