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No Carroll?

Brian Carroll did not practice again today with United and didn't travel with the first team to Los Angeles. He has a leg injury of some sort, but still awaiting details. I suppose it is possible he could fly to L.A. with the rest of the team Saturday and play in the reserve match Sunday, but it appears he will not be available for the regular league match. In that case, I think you will see Ben Olsen playing behind Christian Gomez in midfield, with Fred on one side and either Moose, Gros or Dyachenko on the other. In the back, don't be surprised to see, from right to left, Simms, Erpen, Boswell and Namoff.

An update on LA's player search.....

I asked Frank Yallop if, indeed, the club is in the running for a second-tier Brazilian forward (as we reported here on the Insider a week or two ago). His response: "We have a lot of stuff in the running, but as you know, it is very difficult to sign players. We are still working on a [foreign] forward. I won't say whether he's Brazilian or whatever, but we're still waiting on some paperwork and some details, and we're hoping that we will have someone signed for that June 15 window."

By Steve Goff  |  May 31, 2007; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Comments

what about McTavish back on defense? Is he still not 100%.

Posted by: DC fan in NYC | May 31, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd imagine it would be Gros on the left side of midfield. That would allow an easy in-game adjustment that doesn't require using a sub. If it was called for (for example, if the game appears over as a contest), we could always move Gros to outside back again, with Olsen going to the left and Simms coming up to defensive midfield. This would give Gros more practice at left back. Or, if we feel the need to push for a goal (like in Toronto), we could just move Simms into midfield alongside Olsen.

It's a shame about Carroll, though. He has started to get back into good form. I hope it's nothing long-term.

Is the question of whether to start Emilio or Kpene still unanswered?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 31, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Why not Casal on the left flank of midfield with Namoff playing behind him? He appears to me to be one of the few players we have who is a natural wing. I believe the club will get greater engagement and performance from Emilio if he gets better service from the flanks.

Posted by: rob | May 31, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I am expecting Kpene and Moreno to start up top. Casal has defensive issues, so I would be surprised if he started. We'll see...

Posted by: Goff | May 31, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Casal would be an interesting option. Ian Russell is inexperienced as a right back, and was also out of MLS for a couple years. Casal may not defend much, but he would also put a potential weak link under a lot of pressure. I don't expect him to start, but I do hope he gets in.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 31, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

If it is a young 2nd team midfielder who gets the start against LA and TS bases the decision on the recent Houston reserve game, Moose looked better than Dyachenko or Casal, who really did not leave much of a mark on that game.

Posted by: Eric Z | May 31, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Re: our weak link versus theirs. I don't like it. If Goff says Casal has defensive "issues", I think that's polite speak for "cover your eyes when he's on defense." Given the back line's lack of pace, they don't need players zooming at them unmarked by players in the middle of the field. Gros, Moose or Dyachenko are much better choices to start the game.

Posted by: griffin1108 | May 31, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Goff - Wondering what you are hearing out of Las Vegas Football Club and Casino?

Posted by: Hoos United | May 31, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering the same thing as DC fan in NYC: where's McTavish?

Posted by: Jeff M | May 31, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I hear nothing about Vegas's bid, other than what I read today. And of course what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

McTavish has returned to training, but he hasn't played in a league game in several weeks, so I would be surprised if he started this weekend.

Posted by: Goff | May 31, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Just curious what you are hearing about the Las Vegas Football Club, Casino and Slots?

Great work as always.

Posted by: Hoos United | May 31, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Casal is a fine player, he just seems to have difficulties in paying attention to actual playing instead of watching.

Goff still hasn't answered my question if Yallop is suiting up for this weekend.

There really doesn't seem to be much to the Vegas thing, other than Caliguri waving a couple of million dollar bills saying that he knows people who want a team.

Posted by: Kim | May 31, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"There really doesn't seem to be much to the Vegas thing, other than Caliguri waving a couple of million dollar bills saying that he knows people who want a team."

I thought that was all it took to get a MLS team.

Posted by: noptov52 | May 31, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"I thought that was all it took to get a MLS team."

The soccer specific stadium is the real killer. Money is nothing compared to the ability to shepherd such a project through all the city, county, state, and special interest group hurdles. The league won't take you without a stadium deal in place, from what I gather.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 31, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Leesberg- Yep, its the stadium thats the neccesary piece then the fee. The last story mentioned that the ownership group was willing to pony-up itself to build it and were still choosing a location. If this is more serious thatn dramatic grandstanding I would think that they have a) chosen a site and b) are fairly close to closing the real estate purchase- they just need to know they will have a team. Or it could be a dramatic gesture that they are trying to pull with partners at the sun.

Posted by: bluemeanies | May 31, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

griffin1108-

I don't need our man SG to fill me in on Casal's defending; I've seen him. He is about 90% committed to attacking. When he's in a game, it's like we're playing with an extra forward.

I'm not necessarily advocating Casal as a starter. I do, however, think it is an intriguing gamble. With us also fielding an unfamiliar back four, this maybe isn't the time to leave one flank open in that way. However, I would like to see him on as a sub unless we find ourselves leading but under pressure or down a man somehow. Maybe Casal comes on for Moreno and Fred moves up top?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 31, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder that within 24 hours we are scheduled to have another soccer-themed movie, "Gracie", inflicted on us. The advance reviews have been mixed (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gracie/).

Posted by: Go Penn State! | May 31, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Carroll is trade bait.

That should stir things up a bit..

Posted by: Todd H. | May 31, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"Just a reminder that within 24 hours we are scheduled to have another soccer-themed movie, "Gracie", inflicted on us. The advance reviews have been mixed (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gracie/)."

And just how ironic is it, that on the day that the WaPo BASEBALL beat writer gets to schmooze with Hollywood hottie Elisabeth Shue -- in town promoting "Gracie" -- and the WaPo SOCCER beat writer is stuck covering a baseball game?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 31, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

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