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United News and Notes

*Coach Tom Soehn was conspiculously absent from this morning's training session. Technical director Dave Kasper wasn't there either. That's because they both flew to Poland last night to scout a player. Team officials declined to reveal the purpose of the trip, but sources have told the Insider that United has targeted a central defender and hope to secure a deal soon. (Kasper going overseas is not uncommon and does not signal an imminent signing, but for the head coach to join him? Hmmmmm.....)

*Contract talks between United and Christian Gomez are off. "We're going to talk again in October," Kevin Payne said. "We don't want this to cause a distraction during the season." Gomez has so far resisted offers that would pay him $325,000. He is guaranteed $218,500 this year.

*Fred (groin) and Clyde Simms (ankle) were running side-by-side while the rest of the club worked out this morning -- a positive sign in their efforts to be ready for the next match, May 19 at Toronto.

*Trialist Edwin Twesigomwe will train this week and perhaps next week before the club decides whether to offer a developmental contract to the 19-year-old defender from Fulham's youth academy.

*FYI, the reason United is off again this weekend is because the club requested a bye week last month in case they advanced to the Champions' Cup finals. This week's break was originally scheduled by the league.

*The team will scrimmage this afternoon, practice tomorrow and then take three days off before returning to work Monday.

*Not DCU related and more appropriate for yesterday's postings about MLS rumors, but I am hearing that Columbus is shopping midfielder Eddie Gaven. With a guaranteed salary of $188,000, though, it's going to be hard to move him. Columbus has already traded Joseph Ngwenya to Houston for Alejandro Moreno, whom Sigi Schmid has always liked.

By Steve Goff  |  May 9, 2007; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Polish Connection


Can Eddie Gaven play a winger role? And if so, isn't that a position DC is looking to fill (esp since Fred gravitates to the middle). We should have the money, right?

Posted by: Gustavo | May 9, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, DCU would have no interest in Eddie Gaven and his monster contract.

Posted by: Goff | May 9, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

He can, but I don't think it's a good fit for us. Fielding Gomez, Fred, and Gaven all at once will either mean a midfield that doesn't cover enough ground or all three having to sacrifice their real talents to run and tackle. I wouldn't worry about Fred, who has looked like a real battler on top of his more noted skills, but more Gomez. The only way to fit them all in would be to play with just one forward, and that seems like a waste.

Plus, there is the fact that Gaven scored perhaps the most dubious goal in MLS history against us.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 9, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, just read that Freddy Adu is ok after being hit in the head by a GOLF BALL!

Why this is news, I don't know . . oh wait, because Freddy can't make any news on the soccer field.

Posted by: delant | May 9, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a couple of guys can't go have lunch in Poland (a place no doubt talked up by Nowak) without the media starting up the rumor mill. :)

Posted by: Kim | May 9, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Goff | May 9, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

so if kasper and soehn are both gone, and there are 3 days off of practice, then Edwin picked a pretty bad week for a trial, no?

Posted by: pat | May 9, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

My crystal ball tells me the line up will look like this in the near future:

Namoff, Bos, Erp, Wilson/Gros
Kpene, Olsen, Fred, Casal
Moreno (Addlery), Emilio

Posted by: delant | May 9, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Soehn and Kasper saw Edwin train yesterday, Ashton and Simpson will see him in a scrimmage this afternoon and he will likely be around next week.

Posted by: Goff | May 9, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

So, Goff, if they siign this central defender, this means walker is gone, but I hope it doesn't mean bye bye to Erpen. I think with yellow card accumulation, we'll need more defenders than we have. Erpen can play on the wing in a 4-4-2 and with bobby possibly going overseas next year, we'll want him.

Posted by: DCAustinite | May 9, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If this Polish defender -- AND Edwin -- are signed, who else is gone?

Posted by: B.A. | May 9, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So who would be interested in Gaven? I think he has regressed to a Quaranta like state now. Great offensive talent but lacks consistency. Plus the moneytag is not going to charm anyone either.

Posted by: Gustavo | May 9, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Edwin would be developmental (if they sign him). That means someone like Brad North might be in trouble.

Posted by: Goff | May 9, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Goff. I don't think DCU would have any interest in Gaven, especially since he's primarily an attacking midfielder like Gomez and Fred, rather than a true winger (not to mention the contract). DCU need to focus on bringing in a starting left back and/or another center back (for depth). If they look for a winger, it has to be someone who can deliver a good cross (in the mold of Stave Ralston & Terry Cooke), since that seems to be the primary deficiency in DCU's attack.

Posted by: James | May 9, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

If we sign the mystery Pole, it's Jamil Walker that ought to be nervous, not Erpen.

Posted by: Talion | May 9, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Plus, there is the fact that Gaven scored perhaps the most dubious goal in MLS history against us"

Are we talking about the Bradley switcheroo?

I've heard DC fans complain that the substitution was dubious (it was following a stupid rule to the letter, and was certainly gamemanship but not cheating, and mercifully killed the dumb "extra goalkeeper sub" rule), but I've never heard any whining about the goal.

What was the problem with the goal itself?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 9, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I still think the Polish defender is Boswell's replacement. You don't take a year at 30K unless you plan to leave town. By getting him now instead of next year, he gets accustomed to the culture and team without quite as much pressure, and can help a struggling defense short term. It certainly would be nice to have depth in back later in the season. McTavish is out now, so heaven help us if someone else were to get hurt with so little depth.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 9, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Gaven? Three years ago he looked certain to be a regular for USMNT.

Quaranta - that's a word I hadn't thought about since his idiot dance in a Galaxy kit at RFK last August.

Posted by: K | May 9, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

do Fulham (and other EPL club) youth academy players get paid?

If so, how does it compare with the MLS development contract pay?

Posted by: pat | May 9, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

DC had an emotionally fragile, youngish primadonna winger who gave up the ball too easily and didn't fight on defense, and he got traded to Real Salt Lake. Why bring in another?

Posted by: d, dc | May 9, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

one thing that gets lost in DC's slow start has been all of our success of getting rid of, how shall I put this, very expensive dead weight. Parting ways with Quaranta, Rimando, Adu, and to some extent Eskandarian should all be comended as excellant moves. If we had just kept Prideaux around who plays, hmmmm, left back, signed Needham, and not traded to get Dyachenko back then it would have been a stellar 12 months of front office moves

Posted by: Diego R. | May 9, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Soehn just got a new dad's hankering for top quality sausages!

Posted by: Darth Hater | May 9, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Like that Ngwenya trade (primarily because it gives Houston one less threat and Moreno is going to retard in his skill set donning the Crewzer Yella.

Posted by: Masked Norteno | May 9, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Was there really a "goal controversy"? Or was it just a "sub controversy" based on a misunderstanding of the rules by DC fans?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 9, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

hey Mastodon Juan,

I think you know the answer.

The goal wasnt controversial, the sub was. Cheatin Bob is a douche, as is Gaven, as are the Metros, whose trophy case looks as empty as mine. Actually, screw that. My youth team won the league a few times, so I probably have more trophies than the Metros.

Posted by: the cheat | May 9, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Surely, the Metros would have a few trophies if they played in your youth leagues....

Posted by: Anon | May 9, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

whats with all the talk about Bozwell leaving? He hasnt done much to be looked at by clubs in Europe.

Gaven would be a waste of 188K, period!

Posted by: nando | May 9, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm with nando, what does Boswell or even Gomez for that matter have to show for an exit from MLS next season?

Posted by: Chico | May 9, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Mastadon Juan -

It appears you're eager for an argument.

At no point did I say the goal itself was illegal or that it should have been called back. I also think I can speak for all DC fans that know what we're discussing in saying that there's no misunderstanding. We all know what happened and what was wrong about it.

The goal itself was perfectly fine. Gaven was just faster than Nelsen, who could never quite get close enough to get even for a shoulder-to-shoulder bump that would have almost certainly won the ball (Nellie had, what, 50 pounds on Gaven at that point?). Really, as a goal, it was pretty impressive.

The substitution was allowed under the rules, so you technically can't call it cheating. You can, however, point out that it was devious, underhanded, and should have lowered anyone's opinion of Bradley.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 9, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Boswell scored against Chelsea. That alone may get him a dozen offers in Europe. He comes on a free transfer with USMNT caps at a young age for his position. The US has a decent track record of producing starters for European teams at central defender (Bocanegra, DeMerit, Gibbs, Berhalter, Onyewu, Borchers, Califf). Not to mention Ryan Nelsen coming out of Stanford/MLS.

Boswell will have no trouble finding work in Europe. Can he top the 200k-300k that MLS can afford? Not sure but I'd bet yes.

If Gomez is still in form late this season, he'll have good offers. But at 33 (next offseason), I'm not sure how many multi-year offers he'll get. Will he get enough money to consider moving? How many years is Payne offering? If Gomez can get a 3 year deal, I think he should stay in MLS. Otherwise he needs a good agent.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

well, isn't Prideaux on the injured list yet again though? So keeping him around wouldn't have done us any good. I think once McTavish gets healthy again he will help us a lot in the backline.

Posted by: Glenn | May 9, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope this Pollack has some speed, our defenders are quite slow. He should prepare himself for all of the polish jokes that are going to be thrown his way.

Posted by: DC United Fan | May 9, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Even if Boswell has a great offer from overseas, he'll look like a complete putz if he leaves. Check out his blog from yesterday about his love for the game etc.

Gomez would be missed, but at least he's been pretty up front about other ops.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"I hope this Pollack has some speed, our defenders are quite slow. He should prepare himself for all of the polish jokes that are going to be thrown his way"

"Pollack"? Classy. What epithets do you use for Latinos, or African-Americans? And who's gonna "throw his way" all the ethnic slurs? You?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 9, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I think Darth Hater is on to something, except it's not sausage Soehn's seeking on the trip, it's 3 or 4 nights of uninterupted sleep.

Gomez probably should have closed the deal last offseason, because his stock has certainly fallen so far this year.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | May 9, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

How many Polish defenders does it take to stop a bicycle backpass to the keep?


Posted by: greg | May 9, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

What were the events that happened with the Bradley substitution? From the snippets it sounds interesting. Anybody care to describe what happened? Thanks!

Posted by: Lost in Space | May 9, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

There used to be an extra (fourth) sub in MLS, to allow a goalkeeper substitution in the event of injury.

In a DCU-Metrostars game a few years back, Bradley had burned his three subs with the game tied at the end of 90', but before the ten minute golden-goal overtime the league then played in the event of a full-time draw.

So Tim Howard was moved to an outfield position, an outfield player was moved to goal, and Gaven came in as a goalkeeper sub. The Metros managed to play the ball out to switch Howard and Gaven, and then Gaven-- 16 at the time-- torched the DC defense for a golazo to win the game and take the full points.

Switching goalies and outfield players for subs was nothing new in MLS, and the fourth sub had been used for that in the past (Campos several times, and believe it or not, Meola once), and the use of the fourth sub for a non-injured keeper dates back to Bruce Arena, who would bring in a "shootout specialist" in 1996 and 1997, but it surprised DC fans, who thought it was cheating.

The fourth sub was mercifully killed after the season, but there was no "cheating" involved, and in fact, Bradley had precedent. That doesn't stop the mouthbreathers who see any DC loss as a cosmic conspiracy.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 9, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

There's also an even stupider "cheating" grudge because DC fans believe that the Metros once failed to return the ball after they played it out after a DC injury. Metro fans believe the event was an in-kind response to an earlier incident in the same game, with DC going on an all-out attack with a Metro player (Pope, I think), bleeding in the DC penalty area after an inadvertant thump in the head. So there were a couple games a few years ago when both teams would throw the ball in and keep possession, even after an injury to the other team's player.

It was dumbfounding. What's even more dumbfounding is that some folks still hold a grudge about it.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 9, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, name-calling and replies that stray away from the topic at hand: the hallmarks of a losing debate. Then again, this whole thing started with Juan incorrectly reading between the lines to think I meant that the goal itself was somehow cheating.

It's interesting that not a single DC fan posting here today has referred to Gaven's goal as cheating; the two that have even discussed it stated baldly that it was not. And yet, our new buddy Juan continues to insist that we are all conspiracy theorists.

It is a great indicator of the Metro/Red Bull fan base's sad desperation that they look at Gaven's goal as one of their greatest-ever moments, along with such highlights as winning a preseason tournament.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 9, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"Surely, the Metros would have a few trophies if they played in your youth leagues...."

Do you have evidence to support this hypothesis?

This is scientifically inaccurate.

And Bob Bradley will always be Cheatin Bob.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I am going to be the first to say it. I think BOSWELL is overrated. It seems to me he was just picked by the organization as a "mr. dc" type of figure. I think he would fail overseas. Just my opinion, i dont think he's that good. the fact he scored against chelsea in a preseason game for them doesnt mean jack.

Posted by: jay | May 9, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse


opinions are like @$$holes. everyone has them. yours however is stupid. Boswell, while he may not be the greatest defender on earth, is one of the better ones in MLS. he is young,a nd is only going to get better.

Posted by: Steve | May 9, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Boswell was absolutely overrated last year. He's looked subpar to decent this season. Loses his man in the box far too easily.

Perkins was also overrated last year. He's made some truly poor decisions this year (far too tentative off the line when the ball is on the ground) and a tendency to let high shots fly through his fingers.

And Bob Bradley didn't cheat. He utilized the rules to get a win. Cheers to him for that. It was a stupid rule and was justly removed, but that's not his problem.

Posted by: Shmoo | May 9, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

an idiot removes -
all doubt by interjecting
many dumb statements

Posted by: JSF | May 9, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure what Burch would bring this team....He only cost us a case of stale beer, so I'd see that he might be packing it up...

Posted by: JSF | May 9, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Re: Edwin and the Polish signing

Unless I'm missing something, signing both players would give us 8 internationals?

(Polish defender)


If both players are signed, would we hypothetically trade North or Walker for a Y-I spot?

Posted by: B.A. | May 9, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Mastodon Juan - Thanks for the detailed description. Seems like a smart move by Bradley that won the game... and I am a DC United fan!

Posted by: Lost in Space | May 9, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"opinions are like @$$holes. everyone has them. yours however is stupid."

Isnt that what this board is for there steve, opinions about the team, etc.
dont get mad that i called out your Cosmo bachelor call my opinion stupid and then concede that he's average but good for MLS is, well, stupid, when people here are talking about him going to europe. good luck to him if he goes. dcunited will be better off.

Posted by: jay | May 10, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

""to call my opinion stupid and then concede that he's average but good for MLS is, well, stupid,""

Jay, buy a brain sometime. What you missed is that yes while some of us recognize Bos isn't Terry or Dida, he's shown great moments in a tenous 3 back line. That alone should make him a candidate for more than $100K/year in Europe.

""when people here are talking about him going to europe. good luck to him if he goes. dcunited will be better off.""

Who will we be better off with? The crazy pole headed this way? World Cup experience, European experience, does he easily replace Boswell? No, but he might be a fit for a season or two.

Posted by: dela | May 13, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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