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Greetings from Denver

These are words you definitely do not want to hear on the eve of the MLS season opener:

"This is your captain speaking. We're scheduled for an on-time arrival in Denver, where right now it is 23 degrees with snow and freezing rain. Thanks for flying the friendly skies."

Yes, it's cold here, and it's going to be cold on Saturday. The precipitation has let up and there's nothing on the ground, but more is expected throughout the day tomorrow.

By coincidence, United will be wearing their white jerseys and white shorts in snowy weather. "We're going with the camouflage look. You can't beat what you can't see," team spokesman Doug Hicks said. Speaking of the unis, United has been gone so long (Guadalajara and then Denver), equipment dudes Francisco Tobar and David Brauzer had to spend the day at a heat press applying names and numbers to the jerseys. Also of note, every team in the league will wear patches in tribute to the late Lamar Hunt.

The entire DCU delegation is looking forward to getting home, especially Coach Tom Soehn, whose wife is expecting their fourth child in the next couple days.

As for the team, they have practiced the last two days on fields outside the new Rapids stadium. As you already know from reading the Insider, Josh Gros is not here after suffering a Grade I (minor) concussion from the ball hitting him in the back of the head during the Chivas match.

I bumped into several of the players at Mendelsons deli here in downtown Denver. Bryan Namoff reports that the French dip was superb. Ben Olsen and Brian Carroll were huddled in a corner working on the USA Today crossword puzzle (isn't that for third-graders??). Olsen, Jamil Walker and Hicks are the big crossword nuts. (Speaking of which, I highly recommend "Wordplay" on DVD, a documentary about the NY Times crossword).

Commish Don Garber just walked into the team's hotel lobby. Ohhhhhh.......

For some pregame thoughts from Soehn, please continue reading...

On the weather's impact tomorrow: "You always hope for ideal conditions, and when you don't have them, you just deal with it. Both teams will be affected. It probably won't be as clean of a game as it would on a good day."

On his team's transition from the heat of Guadalajara to wintry Denver: "I don't think it matters too much. You get it out of your head and it's still all about performing."

What about the Brazilian Fred? "We may not need to find out or it could be very important" -- playfully hinting that Fred won't play at all. (It was a joke -- I think.)

On whether Tuesday's loss is still bothering the team: "It's not forgotten. I want them to remember it. I want us to learn from it and make sure we don't make the same mistakes. But in the same respect, we need to grow from it and move on."

On who replaces Gros in the lineup: "We're still going to decide that and come up with the right scenario."

On Gros: "Normally with concussions, you can tell the next day what you are in for, and he felt really good. It was more precautionary" for him not to travel to Denver.

On Perkins's state of mind after giving up the bad goal at Chivas: "In a lot of respects, it's better to play again so quickly. The great thing about our job is that, if things don't go the way you want, you can correct them immediately by getting on the field again. Troy is a good professional and he's looking forward to the next challenge."

By Steve Goff  |  April 6, 2007; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Denver Bound
Next: Good Mornin'.....


Great bits of info. Thanks Steve!

Posted by: Alex | April 6, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mendelson's, eh? Just go 2 blocks to Stout, walk over to Broadway and hit the British Bulldog for dinner. Great Paki food & plenty of soccer on the TVs.

Posted by: Allen | April 6, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Way to open a new stadium under "Ice Bowl" conditions.

As long as Perkins picks his head up, it will be anyones game.

1-1 based on conditions.

Posted by: murr | April 6, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Allen: I'm sure you didn't know this, but "Paki" is a very, very derogatory term coined by British racists to describe all Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi immigrants (the people who brought tasteful cuisine to England).

I'm predicting 2-1 for Colorado because they have the snow plow clear the spot only on their free kicks.

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 6, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

DC 4 Colorado 1

Four competitive games under our belt--one in frigid DC rain storm--means we don't really care what it's like outside.

Posted by: del | April 6, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that the deal with Arsenal extended to the weather?

Posted by: asfoolasiam | April 6, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steven, good info. Enjoy Denver. The Delectable Egg is a good dining choice if you like breakfast.

Posted by: Andrew | April 6, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Arsenal-CO in West Ham jerseys? But Arsenal is playing West Ham tomorrow. I'm confused already.

Posted by: the cheat | April 6, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

And this is why Steinberg has declared you an enemy: Good pregame info and stuff that would never make a column/article (the crossword stuff).

Posted by: Kim | April 6, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Goff | April 6, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to say thanks for another very interesting update.

Posted by: viva dcu | April 6, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

They better wear those fancy soccer gloves that you see in Bundesliga games...:)

Posted by: Dave the Wave | April 6, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and if you're looking for a good dinner try Buckhorn Exchange. They specialize in wild meats like bison, elk, yak, etc.

Posted by: Kevin | April 7, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Like your coverage in the Washington Post lately... Off the Rack, Yinka Casal, Preview!

Posted by: 12th man | April 7, 2007 6:38 AM | Report abuse

12th man said it first. I'll say it again, Nice work in the Post today.

"Beckham visit date" - very witty.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 7, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"They just have a very smart way of going about fielding their rosters and doing it in a way that is attractive to their fan base," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "We give them a tremendous amount of credit."

Unlike the rest of MLS which has to be spoon fed from the central office.

Kasper and Payne for President!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 7, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Apparently they're not going to start Mastroeni? Gomez is going to have a field day.

United 5 - Colorado 2

Posted by: Goose | April 7, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Stuck at work I really appreciate all the United info for me to feast on. Great job! Thanks Steve...

Posted by: Chico | April 7, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse


What's the stadium's nickname? Given that FedEx field was once "The Big Jack," is this one "The Small ...?"

Just wondering, you know, 'cuz "Dick's Sporting Goods Field" is too much to type.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 7, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The Crapids appear to be a team in transition, whereas DCU has its core players back. Give DCU an edge in fitness. DCU 2-1.

Posted by: Mitch | April 7, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Update from balmy Denver this morning.

Not getting out of the 20's today. Icy conditions have closed a few roads this morning in and around the Denver area. I'm stuck in the mountains just outside of Golden. Gonna be a fun ride to the stadium.

Can't speak for Goff, but I'm hoping the press box is heated!

Posted by: C Webb | April 7, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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