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Polska Prospect

I've been poking around today to see if D.C. United's interest in a Polish player is, indeed, real. The consensus: yes.

"They're very serious," one person told me. "Far from a done deal, but there is one guy on the radar."

We know for a fact that Dave Kasper is flying out Tuesday night. I've also been told that Tom Soehn will be joining him in Poland at some point. United is off this weekend, so no games to prepare for -- perfect time for Kasper and Soehn to head overseas.

I do not have a name or club, but the player is a central defender, believed to be in his late 20s.

Does this mean the end for Facundo Erpen? Not necessarily. A defensive signing would likely affect Erpen's playing time, but perhaps not his roster standing. United has cash available and Gomez has yet to agree to a new contract (he might end up waiting until after the season before deciding whether to accept DC's offer).

I should know more middle of the week.

Feel free to speculate here.......

By Steve Goff  |  May 7, 2007; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Great information as always Goff! This is very good news. Between the current English trialist, and the possibility of this Polish central defender, it appears that United is now addressing their lack of defensive depth.

Any idea of whether the Fulham Academy trialist is also a center back, or plays outside?

Posted by: DCUfanSE | May 7, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

English dude is central and left side, but he's a developmental prospect, not an immediate impact player.

Posted by: Goff | May 7, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe its someone from Widzew Łódź, the club that Nowak played for.

The only defender I saw on the wiki page is a younger guy - Jakub Rzeźniczak.

Posted by: the cheat | May 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is great stuff! I can only hope that any players we go after will be in the mold of Ryan Nelsen. Excellent at reading the game, leading the defense, being a team leader, one on one, in the air.
Anybody want to see the shrine?
Just kidding.
Looking forward to the rest of the story. Afraid it may not be until August.

Posted by: JMR | May 7, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Great work as always Goff - by the way in your spare time could you find out who really killed Kennedy? You seem to be able to find out everything else posthaste.

Posted by: Henchlow | May 7, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that if a Polish player would go anywhere in MLS, it would be to either DC United or Chicago, simply because of the presence that Nowak has had with these two teams.

Posted by: Dave the Wave | May 7, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought our biggest need in defense was a left back. Or are we really grooming Gros and/or McTavish to be the long term solution there?

Great reporting Goffer!

Posted by: Diego R. | May 7, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Marcin Wasilewski???

Posted by: Allen | May 7, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Telling people on the internet they can speculate is redundant. It's also dangerous. can also help page views.

Posted by: sitruc | May 7, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Goff | May 7, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

So this is what Will Chang meant at the game when he said they were looking for a defender.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 7, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Why else would Gomez wait to sign his contract coming off a league MVP season other than planning on, or at least leaving open the option of, leaving the league next year. Is there any concensus on his future plans? Any mind reading going on up at RFK?

Posted by: DCU fan out west | May 7, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

If Gomez doesn't get in shape and pick up his game a new contract might be a moot point.

Posted by: Glenn | May 7, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Marcin Baczczynski from Wisla Krakow (born in June 1977), Grzegorz Bronowicki from Legia Warszawa (August 1980), or Arkadiusz Radomski from Austria Wien (June 1977)?

Posted by: Rick in Ashburn | May 7, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

or maybe Arkadiusz Glowacki from Wisla Krakow (March '79)

Posted by: Rick in Ashburn | May 7, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

is it a polish player or someone from elsewhere who is currently playing in the polish league?

Posted by: pat | May 7, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Polish player

Posted by: Goff | May 7, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Poland is probably the best league to bring a player over from for a reasonable price. The level of play is pretty even with MLS, and the pay at most clubs might even be a little lower.

Posted by: Max | May 7, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Would this Polish player not count against a Senior International spot? DC already has 3 in Gomez, Fred, & Emilio. Has MLS begun allowing 4 Senior International players now?

Posted by: cooper | May 7, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Arkadiusz Glowacki of Wisla Krakow would be my guess (28 year old 6'1" 175 lb. centerback w/ 16 Polish caps). He played against the USA at the 2002 World Cup.

Posted by: Zman | May 7, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Each team is allowed four senior foreigners. From what I've been told, the player is from a Warsaw club.

Posted by: Goff | May 7, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

No need for a senior international spot...
If Polish soccer players are like Polish geeks, you can get a senior guy for pennies on the dollar. Put that together with a cheap Chinese defender and the only thing missing is a couple of Desi's (they play cricket instead of footie). Work them all 12 hours a day and we'd look exactly like a DC government contractor. Do they come over on H1 visas? We could hold them hostage for years while their green card case is in INS backlog...

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 7, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, ICE backlog. I'm sure someone would be ofended for getting the Alphabet soup wrong.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 7, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Based on SG's latest clue (Warsaw Club), it narrows the field to Legia Warsaw and Polonia Warsaw. With Polonia in the 2nd Division, my guess is that they are not the team (granted, Erpen came from a 2nd Division Argentine team [Talleres] but the Argentine soccer league is higher on the food chain than the Polish soccer league).Grzegorz Bronowicki from Legia Warsaw is a 26 year old defender who seems to fit the lastest clues. Legia has a number of Brazilians which would help a potential new player on a team like DCU which has its Samba Boys - Fred and Emilio.

Posted by: Zman | May 8, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong - Facundo Erpen got off to a poor start this season, but he is a lot better player than people give him credit for. Even you have rated him unfairly low his last couple of games when he played very well. His agressive style produces mistakes sometimes, especially when the pace of the game slows down and he loses concentration and he is also not quick enough to cover a number of players out wide, but his anticipation and reading of the game is quicker than any other defensive player on the team and he bails his teammates out with game saving plays repeatedly. I am thinking that the death of Facundo Erpen's playing time may be greatly exagerated.

Posted by: Erpen's Dad (no, not really) | May 8, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Henchlow wrote:

"Great work as always Goff - by the way in your spare time could you find out who really killed Kennedy? You seem to be able to find out everything else posthaste."

Hey, Hench, didn't you hear? Lee Harvey Erpen killed Kennedy. With a bicycle back-pass!

Posted by: Grotus | May 8, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I guess this means Walker would probably be done then so a roster spot would get freed up?

Posted by: Masked Norteno | May 8, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

LeesburgSoccerFan: With your knowledge of immigration loopholes, I think you work in HR at at software company in the Dulles corridor.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 8, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Please....not another Galin Ivanov

Posted by: DWE4 | May 8, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It is possible that Erpen can move back to the outside, in a 4-4-2. that's considerably easier to do and has a lot less responsibility than being an outside back in a 3-5-2, not to mention Erpen is pretty good going forward with the ball.

Posted by: DCAustinite | May 8, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean a 20 miute wait in the concession line for cold, $8 Kielbasa?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The one thing not mentioned so far about this Polish central defender is that Boswell may well be gone next year. If a new guy has some time to come in and get established this year, he could take over next year as skipper in the back. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Erpen at all.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 8, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh. I hope I didn't break the blog by using some xml in my last post. Sorry if I did.

-off topic
Nope, I'm just a techie who has seen a lot of good immigrants done wrong by a bad system. But where else can you go in the world to get paid to make robot dogs that play soccer? Asian countries are far more concerned with having the robots mimic bodily functions. Only in America do you get robots that kill each other or play sports (not mutually exclusive, btw). Since my dog punctures the ball with his teeth, the robot may actually be an upgrade. Also, I'm amazed we haven't heard any insensitive jokes so far.
--end off topic

The one thing not mentioned so far about this Polish central defender is that Boswell may well be gone next year. If a new guy has some time to come in and get established this year, he could take over next year as skipper in the back. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Erpen at all.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 8, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:
Grzegorz Bronowicki (born August 4, 1980 in Łęczna) is a Polish football player who currently plays for Legia Warszawa.

He has attracted interest from many French clubs in the 2006 season while sparking great gameplay in Legia Warszawa and the Poland national team with a string of magnificent performances, including the win Poland 2 - 1 Portugal.

**I think this is our guy

Posted by: Shatz | May 8, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It would be foolish to get rid of Erpen even if we get another defender. The defender could turn out to be an Ivanov, then what do we have? Even if he turns out to be great, it would be nice to have depth in the back for the first time in ages. Erpen could also make a pretty decent outside midfielder.

Posted by: Erp Fu | May 8, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In terms of pure Polska speculation:

1. Piotr Nowak's ex-club (Widzew Lodz) plays at Legia Warsaw (Legia is the only 1st Division team based in Warsaw) this weekend. SG mentioned that the player is on a Warsaw club but perhaps he is just playing in Warsaw this Sunday when Kasper and Soehn are visiting (Widzew Lodz has a game on Thursday which Kasper is perhaps attending as well).

2. Widzew has a 6'0" 27 year old defender on its roster.

3. This player has a familiar last name to DCU's last Pole............Nowak. It would seem odd that DCU would randomly target a Polish player given its preference towards Argie & Brazilian players unless there was some sort of tie to DCU's past or present with this player. On a related note, Hudson and DCU did target Legia Warsaw and 2002 Polish World Cup striker Cezary Kucharski in 2003 but there does not seem to be a lot of defenders from those days who stil remain at Legia.

4. My speculation narrows the player search to Marcin Nowak and he looks a bit like Piotr so perhaps they are related - see the attached link for a picture:

5. Marcin has been a fairly regular starter since 2001 (112 games - 3 goals heading into the current season). He has been a starter this season until the past few games (he has been listed as both a right back and a centerback in the box scores).

6. Perhaps Piotr made the recommendation to both Kasper and Marcin as to there being a potential match between the two of them. I am sure that DCU hope that the soccer genes are part of the family if they are indeed related.

7. Nowak is not a national team player so if he is indeed the player being targeted - the $ involved would likely not be large.

Posted by: Zman | May 8, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Everybody needs to calm down with the Ivanov comparisons. I trust Soehn to be looking more for skill, speed and defensive positioning than the "hairy chested Bulgarian" factor preferred by some of United's more colorful former coaches.

Posted by: Kenobi | May 8, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If he doesn't work out, we could always send him back to hospital.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Jacek Bak has been rumored to come to the MLS for a while now...could DC be the next club interested.

Posted by: Connor | May 8, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Bak doesn't exactly fot the profile we've been given. He's 33 or 34, if I'm not mistaken, and Goff has reported the guy they are looking at is in his late 20's.

Posted by: Rick in Ashburn | May 8, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

This can't be good player just average one.Polish league is not better than MLS so we can see another "Bulgarian defender".

Posted by: rodo | May 9, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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