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United Revisited


Greetings from the RFK training grounds. Much warmer than yesterday, thank you for asking.

Nothing urgent to report at the moment. Some 4 v 4 drills in tight space are going on right now. No Fred contract/transfer updates. Sorry. He's practicing again (with some sharp-looking silver-and-yellow/gold boots). Brian Carroll is not here because of national team training camp in Florida, but you already knew that.

FYI, the entire team (except for Carroll) is expected to travel to Guadalajara on Saturday, but after the first week of training, several players will be sent back to Washington. The core of the squad will go straight from Guadalajara to Denver following the Chivas match for the MLS season opener. In case of injury, players will be summoned to join the group in Colorado.

I'll update you later if anything arises. Otherwise, feel free to use this thread for comments and questions.

[UPDATE] They're going full field right now. Fred is playing on the right side working with Emilio, Moreno, Gomez. He's very quick with the ball, smooth runner, superb skills. It's only practice, but it's clear this guy can play. Emilio took a couple knocks on the ankle/foot, but seems okay (and of course followed with a goal). They're also trying Fred very deep on the right flank (like a wing back) but giving him the freedom to shift centrally and go forward to join the attack. Interesting. He seems to have the skill and sophistication to play several different roles.
[UPDATE] Soehn on Fred: "When you've been around soccer long enough, you can tell if someone can play or not. He can play. Like anybody coming into a new organization, it's going to take time to understand what is expected and how the system works. It takes time to adapt and adjust, and the good ones do it quicker."
[UPDATE] Injuries? "My hip is hurting. My ankle is a little sore. Oh, you mean the team? No, everything is all right right now. Just a couple nagging things," Soehn said. Willis (toes) and North (hamstring) still recovering, Dyachenko's knee is getting better, Kpene tweaked his knee, but nothing serious.

By Steve Goff  |  March 20, 2007; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: New Jersey in Los Angeles?


Should, god forbid, the Chivas game get off to a bad start will Tommy try to pull some players for rest?

Posted by: jgildea | March 20, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Are you going to Bobby Boswell's bash tonight?

Posted by: Andy | March 20, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Any movement on Gomez' contract? Having Fred here and looking good might have a catalytic effect.

Posted by: Postmaster | March 20, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Could you give us an update on all the developmental players that we haven't seen so far, and what you think United has planned for them this season?

Posted by: Kinney | March 20, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

How's Arguez look?

Posted by: Matt | March 20, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

When Fred was in the wing-back position did they have another winnger (Simms?) in front of him making it a 4-4-2? Or is he running end to end like Josh?

Posted by: jgildea8 | March 20, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Goff, make bring your scarf to the Bozilla party tonight.

How the heck isn't that the theme tonight? Get the Wallflowers and Matthew Broderick and we're good to go.

Posted by: G-Unit | March 20, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The MAGIC RHOMBUS will lead us to CONCACAF glory!!

Great, with Fred able to play outside, Ben and Carroll can play centrally and Simms can rest.

Posted by: delantero | March 20, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it interesting that there's all this hoopla about designated players and major signings by other teams, yet the player(s) that may make the most difference were a couple of under the radar signings by United?

Posted by: TG | March 20, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like we're going to have quite the attacking team. Emilio, Gomez and Fred buzzing all over the place, Olsen and Carrol holding the middle, Moreno threading balls between the backs... seems like the only thing we're truly lacking is a back who can serve a ball.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 20, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see how MLS defenses manage DC's attack.

Over the last few years (Chicago Fire comes to mind) the trick was crowd the midfield and play rough. But with a few skill players who are good in tight spaces (Gomez & Fred), plus more defensive minded players (Olsen & Carroll), it'll be harder for teams to simply throw fouls at the "problem." I won't be surprised if DC's the most fouled team in the league by season's end.

Of course, with Gomez (and possibly Fred and/or Emilio) over the ball in set pieces, that tactic may be avoided for obvious reasons.

Posted by: TCompton | March 20, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I swear to God, I got chills reading that update. Is it just me, or is everyone else getting more excited than ususal about this season? Two cultured Brazilians, The Argentine Mastermind, The Boz, Caveman!! This could be one for the history books....

Posted by: grotus | March 20, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

fred-mania has taking root...

Posted by: l st | March 20, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

UVA's Adam Cristman seems to be doing pretty well up in NE. Given that he is local (born DC, college UVA) and picked after the now-cut Ricky Schramm do you know if DC gave him much of a look prior to the draft?

Posted by: Diego R. | March 20, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Going to be the greatest season ever.

Posted by: Rocko | March 20, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Are you ready to RUMBLE with the RHOMBUS!?!

Posted by: Dave the Wave | March 20, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Tim wrIt'll be interesting to see how MLS defenses manage DC's attack.

Over the last few years (Chicago Fire comes to mind) the trick was crowd the midfield and play rough. But with a few skill players who are good in tight spaces (Gomez & Fred), plus more defensive minded players (Olsen & Carroll), it'll be harder for teams to simply throw fouls at the "problem." I won't be surprised if DC's the most fouled team in the league by season's end."

I think the "Mug Mo & Go" tactic of Chicago etc was so efective because we only had Mo & Go as the normal contributers. Esky was so often hurt and we haven't had a winger to widen the field since Earnie. Freddy didn't add anything new unfortunately and Olsen and Carroll and Gros aren't creative enough. Now with Emilio and Fred being as effective as Mo & Go while adding new dimensions to the attack the Mug strategy won't work as well since there are too many creative types now with DCU. As delantero says above, THE MAGIC RHOMBUS!



Posted by: Ursula | March 20, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm a transplanted Chicagoan and Fire fan now living in the DC area. As I'm sure you can all appreciate, team loyalty is team loyalty, but having seen DCU play many times over the years I have always appreciated the way they play and the passion of the fans. No, seeing the team they are building this year, I am very excited to be in the area and hope to have an opportunity to be a part of what I think will be a very exciting year for an MLS side that is doing things the right way. If its possible to support two teams in the same conference (as long as they aren't playing each other, of course), then DCU has earned my cheers. (Plus it doubles my opportunities to root against New England.)

Posted by: Matt | March 20, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Do I understand correctly that DC is going to spend almost 2 weeks in Colorado preparing for the opener? Is this continued altitude training? Seems like a long time.

Posted by: 12th man | March 20, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Did Adu demand that you call him a more mature sounding name, or is it by your choice that you began calling him "Fred?"

He's only 17, I don't understand why he thinks he's too old to be called "Freddy" anymore.

Posted by: Joe | March 20, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

You can't be serious.

Posted by: Hawksaw | March 20, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

DC will train at Guadalajara. The opener at Colorado is only a few days after the Chivas match.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 20, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 20, 2007 01:11 PM "... seems like the only thing we're truly lacking is a back who can serve a ball."

You mean like Erpen? Watch the Chivas video again. It's his ball out of the back to Ben that sets up the free kick.

Posted by: Be thankful for what thou already hast | March 20, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

United will be in Guadalajara for about 10 days leading up to the second leg on April 3. They will then fly from Guadalajara to Denver for the MLS season opener on April 7.

Posted by: Goff | March 20, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If two weeks in Colorado helps DC spoil the opening of the new stadium and the debut of the ugly strip, then let 'em stay.

Wonder what the nickname for that stadium will be... :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually, young Master Adu insists on being called "Frederick." However, that would increase printing costs, especially since his name would be printed so often in the Post this season. So the Post compromised with "Fred."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

RE: Christman

Word at the draft apparently was that he was going to look for work in Europe and would be difficult to sign.

(I think that's what I remembered reading at the time)

Posted by: Eric | March 20, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

DCU thinks Arguez will be an excellent pro down the road. That's why they grabbed him when they could.

Posted by: Goff | March 20, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Joe: Fred and Freddy are two different people. Here are a few key differences:

Fred: hails from Brazil.
Freddy: hails from Ghana, the Brazil of Africa (or so they say).

Fred: doesn't break the bank.
Freddy: breaks the bank and the Federal Reserve.

Fred: plays on the wing.
Freddy: doesn't want to play on the wing.

Fred: unproven in MLS.
Freddy: ditto

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | March 20, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

12th man,

Training in Guadalajara is basically altitude training for both Chivas and the Rapids. Guadalajara sits at over 5000 feet of elevation, which is about the same as Denver (5280 ft. - mile high). Plus there's the lower air quality that you'll get in Mexico.

Just for fun, Albuquerque is the metropolitan area in the US with the highest elevation.

Posted by: GUTuna | March 20, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

ouch..... truth can be painful... but... I do wish Freddy the best and I think most folks would as well. The real question I have is what will he be able to do with RSL? If he does well don't we get more from the trade?

For Goff and others who may know:

Any sense of how much Arquez will play? Also, he'll be gone for the U-20 WC right?

Posted by: Dan | March 20, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

good comparison, but let me add another

Fred: Unproven in MLS but MVP of Aussie league

Freddy: has only played what will be referred to in the future as a 'stint' for United.

Posted by: bribri | March 20, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

GUTuna: what about flagstaff, AZ? it's higher in elevation than Albuquerque. Albuquerque's elevation is 5314 feet. Flagstaff is 7000.

Posted by: l st | March 20, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

great updates!

Posted by: jj | March 20, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Freddy: Able to date teen starlets.

Fred: Probably shouldn't date teen starlets.

Posted by: Logan Circle | March 20, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Not sure of the rules for posting others work in your Blog, Mr Goff. But anyway, ESPN had an interesting look at DCU's new signings and the approach they are taking. It is worth a look and maybe a little discussion. They do seem to be a page ahead of some others in the league.
Read at this link

Posted by: DC in Tennessee | March 20, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Just a note related to where our old Freddy plays. Against Chivas USA, Ellinger played Ballouchy in the center and Freddy on the wing. RSL scored three times to take down CD Chivas USA 3 - 1, and Ballouchy had the assist on each of the three goals.

Don't know whether this is merely an Ellinger experiment or whether it foretells...but if it is the latter, Freddy isn't gonna be happy.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 20, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Cristman is awful... he won't fail to dissapoint.

If he's looking for work in Europe, it's probably as a waiter.

Posted by: JSF | March 20, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

tx as always for the updates. Love Soehn's response to the injury question.

Posted by: m | March 20, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

i think simms is better than carroll, watch and see who ends up sitting...

Posted by: ben | March 20, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

With opening today, do any other DCU players have blogs or such that we can keep up to date with how they are doing? I love how MLS players are so approachable and are not big headed, money hungry stars like NBA, NFL, and MLB guys.

Posted by: Kenny | March 20, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

From the link that DC in Tenn. sent:

"after they were apparently rebuffed in their bid to sway former Argentine international Martin Palermo from Boca."

wow, that would have been pretty cool.

Posted by: Rocko | March 20, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Freddy: Appeared on David Letterman

Fred: name of David Letterman's hair stylist

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 20, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Two weeks at high altitude still isn't enough... but it helps.

Posted by: viv | March 20, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

That EPSN link posted by "DC in Tennessee" is definitely worth clicking though to. Check out the comments too, some dude said that in the Chivas game none of the DCU players looked anywhere near as good as the Mexican players. Funny how it ended up 1-1 then, eh?

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 20, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I love all our DCU players, but Simms is not going to play over Carroll. There is a reason Carroll is with the national team and Simms is not. Also, in the Chivas game, I don't think Simms played quickly enough or had enough confidence on the ball. Hopefully he'll improve those aspects of his game.

Posted by: sg | March 21, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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