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United to Copa Sudamericana

By virtue of finishing third in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, D.C. United has been invited to compete in the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-tier club championship. Chivas and Pachuca of Mexico are the others. The draw will be held Tuesday in Buenos Aires. United will likely play its first game in September. United also competed in this tournament in 2005, losing to Catolica of Chile. Both United and Houston lost in the Champions' Cup semis, but United was awarded third place based on overall goal differential in the entire tournament.

By Steve Goff  |  May 21, 2007; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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This is great news, and could be a great opportunity to make a better impression in international competition after the dissapointment against Chivas. However, this will be at a point in the year where the MLS season is getting important, with playoffs on the horizon, plus DCU will hopefully have had a good run in the Superliga.

Therefore, squad management becomes a big deal to avoid a similar late season swoon to last year. Hopefully Soehn will rotate Gomez, Moreno and Olsen, among others, to prevent this.

Posted by: tmc | May 21, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, my friends, to Special Game C


Posted by: Masked Norteno | May 21, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully we can atone for Troy's gift to Chivas, and win the whole thing. Revenge is great attribute for a tournament like this.

Posted by: DC United Fan | May 21, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Damn, any other year, I would want to win this as I'm pretty sure the winner gets a birth into the Copa Libertadores. (Goff, do you know about this?)

On the other hand, with MLS Cup at home this year, I think the league and playoffs mean so much...I hope this doesn't detract/distract.

Posted by: NattyBo | May 21, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic News!!!

Posted by: Kinney | May 21, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

WOOHOO! big time international matches > reg. season MLS, no doubt.

now, lets spend that DP cash and get into copa libertadores

Posted by: d, dc | May 21, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess we could use another forward after all.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

NattyBo- not quite. the winner of Sundamericana (technically Copa Nissan Sudamericana) gets to play the winner of Liberatadores (technically Copa Toyota Liberatadores) for, I think, a car dealership in BA, or a trophy or something. Compare it to UEFA Cup, except Liberatadores clubs can also play in Sudamericana, so the level of play between the two tend to be closer than the UEFA ones.

Posted by: northzax | May 21, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone remind me why we finished third in the Champions' Cup and not Houston?

Posted by: Arrrlington | May 21, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

As I said above, DCU gets third place for better overall goal diff. in the Champions' Cup.

Posted by: Goff | May 21, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JSF | May 21, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

(Sorry...I'll read more carefully next time.)

Posted by: Arrrlington | May 21, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

September should be plenty of time for the team to get its groove back!

Posted by: TCompton | May 21, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Great news, even though if I was in Houston's shoes I'd feel a bit slighted. Maybe I'm crazy, but overall goal differential seems like less of an achievement than being knocked out in extra time (since, over 2 90 minute games in the semifinals, DC lost while Houston was tied).

Whatever. We're in, and it's a big opportunity for us to prove that we're at the CONMEBOL level. Last time we got knocked out by a future semifinalist, and only by a wild comeback. Hopefully, we have grown and can push further into this tournament.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 21, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Bet this news helps snap the team out of the post-CONCACAF funk they've been in. I bet you'll see a couple guys come out for practice tomorrow with a sharpened sense of determination.

Posted by: soccer nerd | May 21, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Goff, did you seriously not know anything a couple weeks ago when I e-mailed you about this and the Wiki entry? Was it just today you learned about the invite?

Posted by: Keenan | May 21, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I will now do my Copa Sudamericana happy dance.

And by dance, I mean drinking.

Posted by: Goose | May 21, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know about DCU's entry until today. Didn't even think about it until today (other than your e-mail, keenan). To be honest, it doesn't excite me very much. While it does provide more int'l competition, it comes at a tricky time of the season and will require major travel. Now if it were Libertadores, it might be worth it, but this tournament is clearly a step below.

Posted by: Goff | May 21, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm not sure how great this is either. Between the MLS season, Open Cup, that other Cup/Liga thingamabob in July/August that is already a lot of games. We sure could use some more defenders.

Posted by: Glenn | May 21, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Great news. Now lets sign Sheva.

Posted by: Tommie | May 21, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I think any int'l event is helpful in the grand scheme of things, but as Glenn points out, the time of year is troublesome.

Posted by: Goff | May 21, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

who cares about the MLS...well I care..I just care more about international tournaments.

This is GREAT news...I'm really excited.

Posted by: Matt Y | May 21, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

While the schedule will be crowded - it will give the players and many fans the chance to bring their passion to an otherwise long (and at times predictable) MLS season. A lot depends on who we get in our brackets, tomorrow just became the most exciting day overnight.

Posted by: Izzy | May 21, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It kind of feels like we (Dynamo fans) got ripped off but given the way we are playing and the already crowded schedule, I'm not terribly disappointed in being left out. We look worn out already and it's not yet June and we haven't had any national team callups or Superliga (nice idea but lousy timing to do it in July in Houston). Plus, with Sudamericana tournament being held during the US academic year, the Dynamo stadium (U of Houston) is unavailable for midweek games so it would have meant some Mickey Mouse arrangement for games.

Good luck to DC to carry the flag for MLS.

Posted by: JJ | May 21, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

playing in all of these tournaments certainly exposes the lack of roster depth in MLS. DCU will have played in the Concacaf Champions Cup, US Open Cup, SuperLiga, Copa Sudamericana, and the MLS regular season in just this one year.

I'm actually looking forward to next year when New England and New York will be playing in this many different tournaments and see how they hold up. DCU and Houston did really well in the CCC (both almost advancing to the finals) and have not been able to recover since the MLS season began.

Posted by: diego r. | May 21, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

This is tremendous news. We have a real shot at getting to the Semi's this year, as well, if the draw is similar to the past few years. We will probably play a chilean team again in the Rof16, and this team will not be nearly as good as that Catolica team that loaded up on Argentineans (which we almost beat). Even if it's Colo-Colo, I don't think Suazo will be around by next fall, so they shouldn't be too difficult either.

Posted by: Nick | May 22, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

why will new england and new york be in these tournaments next year

Posted by: ngu | May 22, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Why would you think RBNY and NE would be in ANY tournaments next year? Because they're playing well now? C'mon. We all know that RBNY will crash in the next month, and the Revs will lose MLS Cup to United... which is actually possible with the new playoff qualifications.

Posted by: AlecW81 | May 22, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I get excited about any chance to measure MLS up international competition -- especially when DC United is involved. But I'll reserve some of my excitement, just in case we're battling for a playoff berth at that time of year.

Besides all the other tournaments, we may lose a player or two to U.S. duty. Time to start getting those younger guys some real minutes. (Kasali Yinka Casal, please pick up the white courtesy phone.)

And Mr. Chang will need to cut a check for a new defender pretty soon.

Posted by: Joe S. | May 22, 2007 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Add my screen name to those who are very excited about DCU playing in the Copa Sud. I believe CONMEBOL will have the seeding draw today at noon. Goff, any chance of an update? Thanks.

Posted by: asitis | May 22, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

NY and NE will be in tournament next year because of misguided anticipation for the crowning of the April champions...


Posted by: JSF | May 22, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

How can someone not be excited? This is not like the UEFA Cup, where no 1st place teams get invited. Ask people in South America, and this is a prestigous tournament as well...How awesome would it be to have a home and away series with the likes of Boca Juniors, or River, or Santos? How can you be a soccer fan and not be excited by this...very disappointing. I am still waiting for the day MLS will be involved in Libertadores...

Posted by: Awesome | May 22, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I know nothing about this tourney. Never heard of it. Can anyone fill me in? How many teams, from where, where played, etc.? Thanks.

Posted by: grotus | May 22, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I know nothing about this tourney. Never heard of it. Can anyone fill me in? How many teams, from where, where played, etc.? Thanks.

Posted by: grotus | May 22, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kev | May 22, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Note that DC United does not play a match between September 9th and September 23rd, essentially giving them a bye week. That sounds as if the MLS front office had a good sense that DCU may well be playing in Copa Sudamerica this year and gave them scheduling flexibility up front.

Posted by: JJJ3 | May 22, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Kinda ironic that everyone gets excited that MLS teams get to play in the Sudamericana and provides them with the oportunity to play better teams that the quality that CONCACAF teams provide . . . yet when it comes to the US National team a lot of these same folks are happy to continue playing Guatemala, Peru B, Colombia C at home and sending a reserve team to the Copa America and continue playing powerhouses such as Panama in the Gold Cup with the A-team.

Another ridiculous performance in 2010 - here we come!

Posted by: 761-091 | May 22, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Another ridiculous performance in 2010 - here we come!"

Fire Bradley!

Posted by: JSF | May 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

United drew Chivas in a preliminary round match.

Posted by: Kev | May 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Another Chivas rematch. First leg at rfk and second leg away.

US Nat. Team...
I think the reason for the Gold Cup getting the choice players is because of the confederation/and/the fact that players are likely to be released by their teams for continental tournaments. Otherwise it be reverse (I'd hope).

Posted by: Izzy | May 22, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It's been 2 Hours since the beginning of the Sudamericana Draw...what are the details for United's matches?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

It's been 2 Hours since the beginning of the Sudamericana Draw...what are the details for United's matches?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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