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The Answers

Q: Which bores you more: 1) When United has bye weeks. 2) Discussions on whether Facu is horrible. 3) Stadiuzzzzzzz Questions.
A: All of the above.

Q: Other DC paper sources state that our favorite defender will be benched this Saturday in favor of McTavish. What's your read on it?
A: All the details, of course, were in the Insider three days before anyone else wrote about it. McTavish likely to start in place of Erpen, but where in the back remains to be seen. On Monday, he was in the middle with Boswell. I'm guessing that Namoff will play right back, Boswell in the middle, McTavish pinched inside on the left, Gros the left back with freedom to patrol the flank. Fred on the right side of midfield, Carroll and Olsen supporting Gomez, Emilio and Moreno up top.

Q: What is up with former Chivas iron man John O'Brien these days?
A: Last I heard, he was working out in the Los Angeles area, hoping to get another shot. With his injuries and inactivity, however, I wonder if his career is over.

Q: Freddy Adu vs Josy Altidore. Is it proof that Freddy was overhyped, or proof that soccer is not a one-player sport and Josy is benefitting from a better team around him?
A: First, Altidore is a goal scorer, Adu is not, so it's difficult to compare. RSL is a bad situation for most every player, especially for a young one in need of a breakout season to fulfill his Euro dreams. Altidore should benefit from the players around him (Reyna, Angel, etc.) more so than Adu.

keep readin'.....

Q: Is Erpen gone after this season? What is the biggest overall change in D.C. United media relations department since the new ownership took over? If Facundo Erpen gave the ball away but there were not any fans to see it, would there still be boos?
A: Erpen could be gone by June, if he doesn't improve. Media relations is the same (Hicks, Flores, Sheldon). So you're asking, if Erpen gave away the ball in KANSAS CITY, would there still be boos?

Q: Any word if DC would use the designated player rule?
A: At the moment, no plans. However, if this season begins to turn ugly, the front office could take action and pursue a major international acquisition when the June 15 window opens.

Q: Understanding we need to have all our players play better defense, how about this for an experiment: Start one of the next games with Gomez as the withdrawn forward and put Fred at the AM spot?
A: Interesting thought, but it seems the club's faith in Moreno is unwavering.

Q: What are the chances of Fred starting this game on the right?
A: It's time to see Fred go 90 (or at least 80).

Q: Why was Adrian Fenty at our last match if he did not announce anything about the stadium?
A: Was he REQUIRED to announce something? He was there as a guest of Victor MacFarlane, who is soon to become a very big player in city development.

Q: Will we ever know the real story of Jurgen and the USSF? What are the most reliable 'rumors'?
A: Only Juergen and Sunil know for sure, but in my opinion, it would not have been a good fit for either side. The love affair with Klinsmann is a little baffling, to be honest. Germany, playing at home in a World Cup, advanced to the semfinals. So?

Q: If you had the authority to use the designated player rule, who would you pick to come to D.C.?
A: Cannavaro, but that's not going to happen. Either is Ronaldinho, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. I'd love to see Gattuso one day.

Q: Why is it that the USMNT and the USSF are so reluctant to schedule international friendlies against European superpowers? Granted, I am pretty stoked for Copa America, but if the US has any realistic chance to advance in the 2010 World Cup, we need to be competing less against CONCACAF opponents and more on UEFA teams. I think Sunil Gulati has no idea what he is doing, and therefore should be fired.

A: The USSF isn't reluctant; it's not easy to schedule these games for many reasons (Euro qualifying conflicts, MLS schedule, money, availability, etc.). They just added a match in Sweden. The Gold Cup, against CONCACAF teams, is mandatory -- it's the regional championship. Copa is a great challenge. Sunil can be blamed for the coaching situation, but not scheduling.

Q: Do you still lurk on Bigsoccer?
A: Who needs bigsoccer when the Insider is around? :-)

Q: Will Steinberg be joining you for a tag-team, slap-in, slap-out session in your second straight weekend in Columbus?
A: I was in Cleveland last week, but no, I'm sure he's busy with the Wizards playoff game Saturday night.

Q: Why is it that less coaches in MLS wear a suit and tie? I remember Peter Nowak always wearing a suit and tie, along with most other international managers/coaches, yet MLS and the USMNT coaches wear warmups; I think it is quite disrespectful. Has anyone else made that observation. Do you think it is American thing, or are there coaches in the Premiership who do not wear suits?
A: I've never given it much thought. Sorry.

Q: Were we misguided in thinking that United will be a conteneder this year? Are they really as good as we thought? Are they really as bad as they look?
A: United had the best record in the league last year and added attacking firepower, so it was reasonable to expect them to contend for a championship this season. After two games, however, the attack has not found a rhythm and the defense is a mess. Saturday's match will give us a good indication of whether those first two matches were an aberration or a sign of serious trouble.

Q: Is Addlery the first forward option off the bench (ahead of Walker)? Any inside scoop on these Zidane to MLS rumors?
A: Walker is sliding down the depth chart, in my opinion, and could be gone by the summer. Addlery appears to be a pure striker and would likely be the first scoring option off the bench. We'll see what happens Saturday. Zidane rumors come and go. (Materazzi to DC!)

Q: If you had your pick of the litter of American athletes from any sport, who would you like to be playing for "your" MLS squad?
A: Shaquille in central defense, Kobe and Iverson on the flanks, Arenas at withdrawn forward and Nash in central midfield.

Q: Did you catch the KC game last night, or at least the highlights? How downright embarrasing is the KC franchise to the league with the lack of attendence, on a home opener?
A: Terrible. The weather will scare away a potential walk-up crowd, but how do you sell so few tickets in advance to a home opener?

Q: Instead of having two separate teams play in the same stadium (Galaxy and Chivas), why not move Chivas to Miami?
A: Because Chivas has a Mexican fan base. Millions of Mexican immigrants live in Los Angeles. Few live in Miami. Besides, Miami's stadium situation (for MLS's purposes) is not good.

Q. Do you think Adu has the potential to develop into a starter on an elite club?
A: By elite, do you mean Premiership, La Liga, etc.? No.

Q: If Wilbon gets his wish and covers WC2010 in South Africa, will you get five good minutes on PTI?
A: Wilbon is usually on vacation in mid-summer. I'd love to see a columnist at the WC, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Q: First coach fired: Ellinger or our Scottish friend up in Toronto?
A: Johnston will get a pass this year because it's an expansion team. Ellinger might be in trouble by June.

Q: An 0-2 start really isn't a big deal in MLS, but for a team with high expectations and new ownership, it may be looked at closer. Has there been any actual or apparent pressure coming down from Chang (or one of the other owners) to make dramatic tactic or personnel changes?
A: No pressure from new management -- yet. If this team is struggling in June, you might see the investment team push for a designated player.

Q: Have you ever thought of changing the name of this blog to "Turn your head and Goff"? I'm just askin....
A: Are we in fourth grade again? Yeesh.....Grow up, Count Chocula!

Q: How's Brad North looking in training?
A: He's coming off an injury, so hard to say. He'll need to prove himself in reserve matches.

Q: What score does DC need against Columbus to quiet the natives? If Erpen is out, can he be traded to make room for another defender?
A: 1-0. Sure, they could try to trade him, but he makes around $115,000, and between the salary and his play, I can't imagine there would be many interested parties.

Q: Any chance RSL will replace Rimando w/ Keller?
A: Keller came very close to signing with RSL three years ago. Now, with Moenchengladbach going down, perhaps he will look to end his career in MLS.

Q: Do you see the Designated Player Rule blowing up in MLS's face next year when underpaid but not well known players like Christian Gomez, Shalrie Joseph and Dwayne De Rosario all hold out to try and get their teams to sign them to DP contracts? Can't we spread the wealth to some guys who have already proven they can play in this league?
A: Great point. Most current players understand the DP rule was created to attract international stars, but some will feel, and justifably so, that they should get some of that cash.

Thanks for the questions! Our next Q&A session will be a live online chat next Wednesday at washingtonpost.com

SG

By Steve Goff  |  April 26, 2007; 11:15 PM ET
Categories:  Q&A  
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Next: Before They Left for Columbus.....

Comments

Thanks Steve for offering to answer questions.

Next Monday or Tuesday, can you provide a link in your blog to your Q&A chat session on Wednesday?

Posted by: 12th man | April 27, 2007 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Nash is Canadian, no?

Posted by: Dave Nelson | April 27, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Good questions - and thanks for the answers.

Posted by: Mickey | April 27, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the oft-debated formation decisions, DCUnited.com says we're sticking with the 3-5-2 and not trying the 4-4-2 for now. Is this hype or real?

Posted by: Beaker | April 27, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow, interesting view on Adu -- no potential to become starter in the prem, la liga, etc. Very few people would have said that 2 years ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

KC is a bad situation and I will be shocked if they haven't moved to St. Louis or somewhere else next year. If KC won't build the Chiefs or Royals new stadiums, the Wizards won't get one. That said, week night games never sell well. As late as late January/early February on their website they weren't selling any ticket packages because they didn't even have a deal to play at Arrowhead this year yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

So you'd bring in Cannavaro eh? Not Ronaldo, not Kaka, or Cole, or Damien Duff or Drogba, but a defender. Granted a total force and cleaner in the back but nevertheless a defender.

Posted by: delant | April 27, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll be interested to see Addlery play in the reserve match on Sunday. Steve, any chance he might see some minutes tomorrow night?

Posted by: Chico | April 27, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Indeed - Nash is Canadian (also South African by birthplace) and he supposedly has some very decent footballing skills. Didn't he play for the Canadian National Team at some level?

Posted by: DE | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Steve Nash is Canadian, but let's give him a bye, since he already DOES play soccer. Checkout http://www.stevenashmvp.com/quicktime/kick_it.mov for some juggling with a basketball.

Posted by: DCUnitedFan | April 27, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Q: Instead of having two separate teams play in the same stadium (Galaxy and Chivas), why not move Chivas to Miami?
A: Because Chivas has a Mexican fan base. Millions of Mexican immigrants live in Los Angeles. Few live in Miami. Besides, Miami's stadium situation (for MLS's purposes) is not good."

I'm surprised that Chivas is so narrow-minded that it's only interested in cementing its brand with Mexicans. Why not branch out to the rest of the Latino community (which, with Miami's huge population of folks from everywhere south of the border all the way down to the Strait of Magellan, you'd think they'd be able to do)?

And as for the stadium situation, why not use Dolphin Stadium? All they gotta do is ask the folks at RFK how it's done...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 27, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John, the major portion of the Hispanics in Miami are Cubans who could care less about a Mexican Soccer team. They love Baseball above all other sports.

Posted by: AlecW81 | April 27, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

more juan-john bashing, from a miami native:

1. Cubans don't care about futbol, generally. At least not mexican futbol. But AlecW81 is only half right, their are cubans aplenty, but the demographics are changing in S. Fla. due to a recent influx of central- and south- american expats.

2. Miami is a terrible sports town. too many diversions.

3. Playing at dolphin stadium would give an mls team the same attendance issues the fusion had when they played at lockhart, it's just too far away from the city. Marlins attendance is a joke, in spite of all the beisbol loving carribeans, and the fins draw well because they are miami's one true team and fans only need to trek out there 8 times a year, max. (playoffs? PLAYOFFS?)

I do think an mls team could do well if they played in the orange bowl, but if you think RFK is beat up... well...

Posted by: d, dc | April 27, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Good call on KC moving to St.Louis. Not a matter of whether, but when.
Better footie town by a long stretch!

Posted by: crowbar | April 27, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Uh, if Chivas USA didn't want to cement their brand with only Mexicans, they would have named them something like 'Hispanic FC', or 'FC South of the Border'.

Posted by: Kim | April 27, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

wow. steve nash is a talented man.

Posted by: moses | April 27, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

FYI about Miami: It is obvious that they have a large Cuban population, but they also have large Haitian, Jamaican, and Argentinian populations that go nuts for futbol. If they had an ideal stadium, it would be a great town for futbol. I also agree about Kansas City. They just don't care about the Wizards. It is time for them to move to St. Louis, and then change the team to Paris St. Louis (a la Paris St. Germain), with a little French theme to them.

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 27, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Steve Nash - very big Spurs fan.

And did someone mention Damien Duff in the conversation of "top players in the world"? You do realize he'll probably be playing for Sunderland next season.

Posted by: Kev | April 27, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John - To answer your question:

"I'm surprised that Chivas is so narrow-minded that it's only interested in cementing its brand with Mexicans. "

I learned sitting to a DC United fan who is Mexican-American during the Chivas match, that in the history of the club, Chivas (Mexican side) has never signed a foreign player. Every player who has ever wore a Chivas jersey has been Mexican. Supposedly, the team has a big following throughout the country, some even bigger than in their home town. So that probably plays into their marketing strategy.

Posted by: Falc | April 27, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Nash is a Tottenham supporter?

That's really interesting - although for a second I thought you were saying Nash was afraid of the Nuggets and hoping that the San Antonio version of the Spurs were going to beat them so they didn't have to play AI and Carmelo in Round 2.

This is what I get for reading NBA recaps before coming to Insider...

Posted by: Kyle (Falls Church) | April 27, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes - StL is a way better soccer town than KC...in fact, I always thought it was odd that the league started with KC instead of StL. I guess it was because of Lamar Hunt...

Posted by: DE | April 27, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

steve nash > facundo erpen

Posted by: dfunkt | April 27, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so you don't rate Adu as a starter for a top team, why? What have you seen that leads you to believe he'd not make it?

Posted by: DCFan | April 27, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

from what i've heard, freddy failed to impress during his training stint with manu back in december(?). SAF had very little to say about adu aside from affirming that the red devils would not be pursuing him (this according to the manu official site).

Posted by: moses | April 27, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

At the moment, Freddy is a good, but not great, MLS player. Good MLS players don't become starters in Europe's top leagues. Maybe he'll show something this year, but right now, he is not a top-flight Euro player.


Posted by: Goff | April 27, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: moses | April 27, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Delantero, el sabio, if you're questioning a dream of bringing in a defender like Cannavaro -- either I'm missing your sarcasm or you're drinking the front-office kool aid. Say it ain't so.

Posted by: gringo | April 27, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the answers folks, wouldn't have known anything else otherwise.

Anybody know the average attendance of Miami's USL D-1 team? Just curious, since they play in a 7,000-seat stadium.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 27, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Of course not, I just don't know if I could take a guy named FABIO on United.

""Delantero, el sabio, if you're questioning a dream of bringing in a defender like Cannavaro -- either I'm missing your sarcasm or you're drinking the front-office kool aid. Say it ain't so.

Posted by: gringo | April 27, 2007 01:11 PM ""

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Falc hit on the head.

Chivas has never had a player on its squad that was not Mexican in its 100 years of existance. Further, the original roots of the team comes from the poor people in Guadalajara which is a contrast to their biggest local rivals, Atlas.

Only if you have Mexican nationality, can you play for Guadalajara (actually a few years ago there was a kid that played for Guadalajara that was born in the US but had dual nationality).

Posted by: Vic | April 27, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

OK, so Chivas shouldn't play in Miami. How about San Diego? Still a lot of Mexican-Americans, and even closer to the Mexican border. That way they could still have a natural rivalry with LA, but not absolutely poach the same fan base. It is awfully dumb to have two teams in the same city when MLS is still trying to develop.

Posted by: Troy | April 27, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Chivas had no interest in San Diego, where the stadium situation is not ideal. It was either L.A. or nothing. In the long run, Chivas/LA/MLS believe there are more than enough futbol fans in SoCal to support two clubs.

Posted by: Goff | April 27, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As for the dress of MLS coaches, not all of their colleagues overseas wear ties all the time. Jose Mourinho of Chelsea usually dresses quite nicely, but also looked like the Michelin man for some of the colder games over the winter. For example see the photo at http://www.7sur7.be/hlns/cache/fr/det/art_347749.html

Posted by: Falls Church | April 27, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Have I gone insane here or is it you guys? Chivas and the Galaxy are 2 of, if not the top 2, best supported clubs in terms of attendance. Fact.
Also, they already have the most electric rivalry in MLS as they are the only true derby. Why would they get rid of that?
Chivas is in "research mode" regarding a move to the northeast of LA which has a higher Mexican population concentration than the area they are in now. (though I think they should move to North Hollywood in the big empty lot at the last stop of the subway)
I'm a Fire fan first, but living in LA even I get a little caught up in the Superclassico. There is no way they should move Chivas.

Posted by: papa bear | April 27, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Agreed.

Posted by: Goff | April 27, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Blah!

Posted by: Count Goffula | April 27, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

that's what manutd said over a year ago, here's what they said after Adu's training stint.

"Freddy has done all right," Ferguson confirmed. "He is a good talented young boy but there is nothing we can do about him. What we did was to bring him here to give him an idea of what United was like, so he could see the place and see how comfortable he was with it.

"He is a very confident and talented boy but nothing can be done just yet. He will go back to the United States and we will keep a check on him. Then, when he is 18, we will have to assess what we can do next."

Posted by: Soap | April 30, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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