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Greetings From the Frozen Tundra

[UPDATED!]
It's always a little cooler at the RFK training grounds than the rest of the metropolitan area because of the vast open area surrounding the fields. Today: unbearable. It's probably warmer on the plains of North Dakota. Or Siberia.

Nonetheless, the ballclub was out there this morning for workouts. Saturday's starters had an abbreviated session. Let me say this: Yes, it's only practice (and he had the wind at his back!), but Jamaican trialist Nicholas Addlery can crack a shot with velocity and direction. He would not count as a senior international because he holds a green card, but would have to take one of the 18 senior roster spots.

Technical director Dave Kasper said the club will probably make a decision about Addlery in the next day or two. Asked which way they are leaning, Kasper declined to comment but did say, "He has shown well."

I also asked Kasper about the Internet rumors of DCU pursuing a young Romanian player. His response: "Never heard of him. We've had no contact."

I am saving a lot of good stuff on the general state of the club for the print edition story, which will appear on the Web site this evening -- sorry! -- but continue below for some comments from Fred.

FRED QUOTES (shifting between Spanish and English)

(On playing in the cold after coming from Brazil and Australia): It affects me a lot because I'm not used to it in Brazil, where it is always hot. I really don't like the cold weather. It definitely affects the way I feel about going out to train (laughing). But obviously we have to work, it's our job, so we have to do it.

(On how the cold affected him in actual matches): My feet were really cold so when I make contact with the ball I couldn't actually feel that sensation that you normally do. The touch is different. When it is warmer, I will be more comfortable.

(On playing on the right side of midfield): It's no problem on the right. I played there in Brazil and sometimes in Australia, but my position is midfielder so I like to help where I can.

(On his level of happiness here): I like it here a lot, except the cold. My job, my work, I am very happy being here. It was the right decision. When my wife gets here, I will be happier. (She is in Belo Horizonte awaiting a visa.)

(On the adjustment to a new league): I think I am going to adapt well. The Australian league is similiar to the U.S. The U.S. has more teams and MLS is better organized, but I will not have a problem. The style of play is also very similiar.


By Steve Goff  |  April 16, 2007; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I've lived in ND - sorry, no comparisons.

Posted by: JSF | April 16, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Goff any news from the front office on ticket sales/agents. I read on BS that Cope (who used to be my agent) is no longer around and my ticket guy hasn't been responding to e-mails since last Thursday.

Did they fire everyone? Are we now 100% at the mercy of TicketMaster?

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 16, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see the story tonight.
There are a lot of 'stories' out there about new DP singings that are immenant. Have you heard anything about the Crew's Barros recently? How about Angel to NYRB?
also a Romanian Winger for DCU?
Why this flurry of rumors/signings?

Posted by: jgildea | April 16, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Is it me, or has the Soccer Insider disappeared from the News Columns and Blogs section on the front page? I haven't seen it there for weeks, even when I expand the list.

Posted by: JTR | April 16, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I also heard that Zidane has agreed on a deal w/ the Galaxy. Any truth to this?

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 16, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

JTR-

just the question I was going to ask. how come I can find the Redskins Insider out of season, but I have to come to the DCU page to get any whiff of SoccerInsider?

Posted by: northzax | April 16, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't y'all have the Soccer Insider link saved on your favorites?

Otherwise, I can't help you. Feel free to contact washingtonpost.com's decision-makers.

Posted by: Goff | April 16, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

You're right about the weather. It's 51F at my grandma's in North Dakota right now. And to boot it's a nice spring 51F.

Posted by: Allen | April 16, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Two of the ticket agents I deal with on a regular basis are still gainfully employed. I know that for a fact, but I can't speak to the others.

Posted by: I-66 | April 16, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Steve --

Are Soehn, Payne and Kaspar still in denial of the true state of our defense? We need more/better defenders. NOW. The guys we have - Erpen and Boswell - have played well in the past but they're messing up big time and there's no one to replace them.

Posted by: de | April 16, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

JTR Wrote: "Is it me, or has the Soccer Insider disappeared from the News Columns and Blogs section on the front page? I haven't seen it there for weeks, even when I expand the list."

No, that is part of the WPost.com's mission to make regular users scour for information you want so that information you don't care about can have a prominent place on the front page! Sorry, Mr. Goff but the revamping of the WPost.com site continues to frustrate me.

I sure hope that DC United is doing something to break their bad habits. It seems to me that other teams actually pay attention to how we play and come up with game plans to break us down. However, DC United doesn't seem to care about the teams they are facing and approach each game the same way. Does the coaching staff seek to adjust their game plans based on opponent or do they philosophically believe that a solid DC game plan will defeat all comers?

Posted by: DCFan | April 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

%1F is shirt-sleeve weather in NoDak. Does your grandma get FSC?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Fred is already at match fitness, but not at "cold fitness"???

Posted by: Dave the Wave | April 16, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Per weather.com:
DC averages for 4/28: Hi 70°F Lo 46°F
Let's hope it's a warm evening 2 Saturdays hence.

Posted by: Postmaster | April 16, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This may be off topic, but I just went to MLSnet.com and they don't have Gomez' goal as one of the Goal of the Week nominees! That was one of the hardest free kicks I have ever seen (too bad the game wasn't on ESPN so we would know how fast it was). It made it on ESPN's top 10 plays of the day for Saturday, and they NEVER include soccer plays. How can this goal not be nominated? Who can we write to?

Posted by: Dsmac | April 16, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Call MLS in New York.

Posted by: Goff | April 16, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Postmaster, that match is in Columbus, so the weather in DC on the 28th is inconsequential.

Posted by: AlecW81 | April 16, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

AlecW81: "Postmaster, that match is in Columbus"

Thanks, careless of me. 2° cooler there on average.

Posted by: Postmaster | April 16, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"It made it on ESPN's top 10 plays of the day for Saturday, and they NEVER include soccer plays."

On the one hand, kudos to ESPN for showing a non-ESPN-produced soccer goal.

On the other hand, jeers to the SportsCenter anchors for naming the scorer of that goal as "Chris Gomez."

Posted by: Juan-John | April 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

SG - DCU still has one open roster spot once Knepe signs. The question is - is the open spot a senior spot open or a developmental spot? Looking at DCU's roster on mlsnet.com, we would only have a developmental slot open as both McTavish and Dyachenko are shown as senior roster players (doesn't DCU usually announce when players gets contract upgrades from the developmental roster).

If Addlery gets a senior spot, is it safe to assume that one of those two players moves back to the developmental roster)?

Then, if DCU ever gets some defensive additions, I have to think that John Wilson's days may be numbered here, barring a trade of another player.

Posted by: Eric Z | April 16, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

When is John Wilson's ETA?! We could sure use his services! He was playing very well for us before going down last year.

Posted by: Erik | April 16, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Wilson returns to his old playing level, his speed certainly could provide an option at left back in either a 3 back or 4 back line with Namoff flipping back to right back - just have to hope that he will not repeat his late 2 PK-giving performance againt RSL.

If Wilson can not to return to his speed, his roster spot becomes very suspect if Kasper can find a new defender somewhere.

Posted by: Eric Z | April 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

This entry from Jen Chang's blog is relevant and uses the word "shambolic."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=2839103&name=chang_jen

D.C. United have been easily the most disappointing team so far, managing to make a mockery of all the preseason projections that had them winning the title. No one expected the D.C. defense to be a fortress, but so far it's been shambolic. Other than importing some new defenders to help Bobby Boswell, the only short-term remedy might be switching to a four-man back line.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

EricZ- I wouldn't necessarily rate Wilson as the low man on the totem pole in the backfield. I wouldn't claim to know the coaches' minds but I'm less than impressed with B. Carroll in the five games I've seen this year and Erpen, who I do like, has 2 or 3 significant flubs a game and is ' rather less than fast'.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

If Addlery is signed, he will be a senior roster player. Someone else will have to be dropped to developmental or waived altogether.

Wilson is healthy.

Posted by: Goff | April 16, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Do you have contact info for the decision makers I should contact about the soccer insider not being on the front page? Don't worry. I'll be nice.

Posted by: JTR | April 16, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Is it me, or has the Soccer Insider disappeared from the News Columns and Blogs section on the front page? I haven't seen it there for weeks, even when I expand the list."

Go to WP main sports page:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/sports/

Look at Sports index above Kornheiser and Wilbon image and click on "Columns and Blogs"

Soccer Insider is at bottom of the list.

Posted by: cuzco03 | April 16, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Soccer Insider is at the Bottom of the list."

Fools! They shall soon realize the true power of Darth Goff AND his Soccer Insider Storm Troopers!

Posted by: Dave the Wave | April 16, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Re John Wilson ""He was playing very well for us before going down last year.""

Uh, before he was hurt . . . . in the last 10 minutes against Real Salt Lake he caused 2 pk's and singlehandedly lost the game 2-1.

Posted by: dela | April 16, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Uh, before he was hurt . . . . in the last 10 minutes against Real Salt Lake he caused 2 pk's and singlehandedly lost the game 2-1."

I see I'm not the only one who's still bitter about that game. Horrendous defending on the part of Wilson. We need other options, badly.


Posted by: dcufansouth | April 16, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Goff - It's well after bedtime and no update or feature article on wp.com. I need some kind of substance to rest my DCU anxieties after a day's worth of babble on Big Soccer about the need for a 4-4-2 line-up.

Posted by: Sleepless in Souteast | April 16, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you could ask your mommy if you can stay up just a while longer.

Posted by: jgildea | April 16, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The defense is playing worse than last year, but I honestly think the biggest problem is that we are not possessing the ball well at all. Our defense last year was statistically good, but in practice was actually rather soft. However, we didn't expose them very much because our midfield simply didn't give the ball away. Right now, Carroll isn't even completing 50% of his passes, Gomez is a bit off form in terms of his passing, and we've had unrest on the flanks.

I'm not saying the defense is blameless, I'm just saying they aren't the only culprit. Our team's most fundamental requirement is that we absolutely must not give the ball away cheaply. We are giving the ball away for free right now, and will continue to lose (in any formation, incidentally) until we start keeping possession.

And for what it's worth, we don't fit a 442. The only reasonable four-back set up that fits us right now is a 433 of Perkins; Namoff, Erpen, Boswell, Gros; Simms, Gomez, Olsen; Fred, Emilio, Moreno. I have some issues with that formation (specifically, we should be able to bench Erpen but can't, whether Simms will possess the ball better than Carroll, and whether Fred and Moreno will move wide enough to stretch defenses), but if people want to move to a back four without thinking much about it, that's the only way that would work.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | April 16, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

lets trow the white towel, dcunited is done.

Posted by: koolcaio | April 16, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

The high in Irkustk, Siberia on Monday was 51. Looks like Goff was right on both counts.

Posted by: Stan | April 16, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Goff- Congrats on the #3 sports blog on WP.com

Posted by: Paul | April 17, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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