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Revealing Q&A With Kevin Payne

Here's the latest on DCU's Argentine escapades.....

Soccer Insider: What were your objectives in Argentina?
Kevin Payne: To look at players.

SI: How many did you look at?
KP: Several.

SI: You told the Insider the other day that you were interested in a couple players possibly available on loan...
KP: A couple of young players that we looked at that would be experiments and would fit into our reserve group and prospectively have future opportunities.

SI: Which club?
KP: Estudiantes.

SI: When will you find out whether they are coming?
KP: Within a week or two. They could arrive this summer. They're both midfielders. One is for sure a flank player, the other can play inside or outside. They're about 20 years old. They would probably come here on a free loan. We could take both, or one, or none.

SI: Did you make contact with Juan Sebastian Veron?
KP: We talked to another player down there, but I am not going to confirm who.

SI: Would he be a reserve player for D.C. United?
KP: No.

SI: Is he 20 years old?
KP: No.

SI: Veron has told the Argentine media on the record that D.C. United has approached him? Is he lying?
KP: Let's just say we certainly have an interest in making our team better and we think the advent of the designated player rule is a new tool for all of us. We really admire what the Galaxy has done and the chance they took with Beckham. It seems to be paying off for everybody. AEG has really stepped up and taken our league to a new level. From our point of view, we would like to find a player who has significant name recognition, who fits the culture of our team (winning championships) and is Latin. Our team has always had a Latin flavor and we think that is the direction we will continue to go in. Veron certainly fits that profile. He's been a great, great player, one of the best players in the world for a long time and still has a lot in the tank. So he would certainly be a guy on our radar screen, but we've looked at other players as well.

SI: Is it possible this player could be here this season, or is next year more likely?
KP: This season is possible and that would be our preferred outcome.

SI: When do you think you will know for sure about his availability this season?
KP: I would hope by this weekend.

SI: Are you going back down there?
KP: I just got back (laughing). If I had to go back down there to close a deal, I would, but I don't think that would be necessary.

SI: If this "mystery deal" doesn't work out, is there a contingency plan?
KP: We want to get better this year, so I don't know if a deal will happen, but we will look at it, for sure. We're not going to sit still. The players we have looked at are in Latin America, but we have also inquired about one or two Latin players who are in Europe.

By Steve Goff  |  July 25, 2007; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Drew Carey, David Letterman and Iraq
Next: SuperLiga Matchday: DCU vs. Morelia


More "off the rack," eh? Think KP has found the next Lucio Filomeno? No wonder he's being all Mr. Secret Agent.

Nice to hear Payne is still kissing AEG's ass. Maybe he thinks they can help him find a stadium out in the far 'burbs. Eastern WV United, anyone?

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 25, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Goff, superb info. Thanks a ton. But I'm confused. Why is KP so unwilling to even admit that they are in talks with Veron? Does that tip DCs hand somehow about attempting to sign him or someone else? He seems hardly willing to even mention his name, for pete's sake.

Why the CIA routine when it comes to this one player?

Posted by: Que? | July 25, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne identity = Dick Cheney's "undisclosed location"

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 25, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Awesome interview, Goff. Many thanks.

Posted by: silentbob | July 25, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Why is KP so unwilling to even admit that they are in talks with Veron?"

Because it keeps Goff writing, us commenting, talking, salivating, blogs humming, soccer media speculating. AKA. It creates buzz. And, if the deal falls through he can say we were all speculating and it was never in the works.

Posted by: MKTG DEPT. | July 25, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with "Que?"
Trying to act so mysterious in the face of so much information already released is just illogical.
Why doesn't he just say "yeah, we met with Veron but don't know how that situation will turn out" or something like that?
Seems silly.
I have to hand it to Goff for asking the "is he lying" question. That's solid journalism.

Posted by: scott47a | July 25, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Soccer Insider shows why the name of this blog is not accurate and just some nice sounding fluff. Well done Senior Goff.

Posted by: JoeW | July 25, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse


for KP to be that open about personal issues is amazing.

way to go goff

Posted by: vasco | July 25, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh Kevin, you're my hero. Have a cigar, please please please let my buy those higher-price tickets once you screw some local government into paying for most of your stadium. These scraps of information are why I love pro sports.

Posted by: Swoon | July 25, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Goffer. I needed a Veron fix.

Payne is trying to manage expectations. If he doesn't admit he is going after Veron, he hasn't failed when he doesn't get him. Given Veron's comments on the record, however, I'm not sure there's much management left to do.

Posted by: united4dc | July 25, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the work in staying on top of this: if things pan out, you'll probably be a bit busy for a while... although if you need a vacation, feel free to come on up to New England; there's no such efforts happening here.

Posted by: Evan | July 25, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Swoon, you're a moron. Never once, has anyone related to DC United mentioned requesting DC pay even 1 dime for any part of the stadium. They're asking them to pay for infrastructure improvements at Poplar Point, something EVERY developer would do.

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 25, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

$200 million is an unbelievable amount of money to request as "infrastructure improvements."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 25, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Mastodon Juan: Have you looked at the AWC Framework plan for Poplar Point? There is a lot of infrastructure to change and build. If DC can get some developer to pay for it, or a part of it, more power to them. I just don't think that they are going to be able to considering 70 acres of the site has to be a park.

DC United may have to pay more for Poplar Point than they wanted (which says something about the District's ability to negotiate fair market value). But until another big group comes forward into the public eye with a better plan, DC United has to be considered the favorite.

Posted by: Kinney | July 25, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"But until another big group comes forward into the public eye with a better plan, DC United has to be considered the favorite."

It costs very little to let it sit there until a better, or cheaper, plan comes along.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 25, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I may be dense and missed this, but does anyone know what became of DCU's interest in the Polish defender? Has their focus shifted, or did the Polish guy turn them down or both?

Posted by: T. Henry | July 25, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse


I don't think anyone in DC begrudges the Jersey Full Throttles their stadium. I'm not sure why any fan of an MLS team would begrudge another side a stadium. Then again, I have not spent 11 years supporting an utter failure. I'm sure that messes you up.

T. Henry-

I believe the team decided to pass on Bosacki awhile ago. I would hope that defenders are still being considered. Mosquera from Pachuca didn't look too bad against LA last night, and could be gotten for a pretty low price compared to other DPs.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 26, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The Beckham acquisition is "paying off for everyone"? He hasn't even taken the field in an MLS match (that counts). It seems a bit premature to praise that move.

Posted by: Terp | July 26, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The Beckham acquisition HAS paid off for everyone. DCU has pretty much sold out RFK for August 9th weather Becks has taken or even will take the field - those tickets are sold. Same with all the other teams. There are a lot of other reasons we could go into on why it's paid off for everyone.

Only Latin player who could come close to comparing to Beckham in name recognition right now is Riquelme. Seeing HIM at DC would be a dream come true, and will never happen.

Posted by: Sean G | July 26, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but I agree that the Beckham thing is paying off. If only because the sucker that I am, I'm starting to imagine things like Veron playing in the MLS. I sense this is a trap, but I'm hypnotized. Riquelme? Sweet lord. If we can start bringing some names onto teams without bankrupting the league/owners, how can it be bad? While yes, I'd love to snag that Brazilian 19-year old before he goes to Italy/Spain/England, that's a long way off.

Posted by: comfortstarr | July 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse


The "nothing is good enough for us unless it's in Poplar Point" mentality is yet another indication that DCU fans are too big for their britches.

McFarlane and Chang are asking for too much. I applaud audacity, and I think the Nats shouldn't have got the deal they did, but realistically, it's time to ID areas outside the district that are still convenient to mass transit and main thoroughfares. The DC equivalent of, say, Harrison: a working class suburb (though Harrison is actually as densely population and demographically urban as most parts of NYC) with interstate access and a good train line.

It's DCU arrogance spilling over to everything. No wonder they can't lobby properly, or win anyone over: "we're the most winning team in the DC area, so go build us a stadium."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 26, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The Beckham deal will only pay off IF the newbie folks who come to the Beckham game -- regardless of the venue -- decide it's worth their time and money to come back to ANOTHER game, one NOT including Beckham.

I wouldn't be surprised to see MLS/Galaxy be ambiguous as to whether or not he would start a game, but say -- barring injury -- that he would definitely see playing time.

I dunno if I'd want him to start, because I kinda wonder how many fans would leave if he were subbed out later in the game. The reason I say that is that you never know when you might see your hometown team score a goal (kinda like what Drew Carey was talking about).

That would force the fans to show up for the game on time, watch their hometown players do their stuff and maybe start developing a fan loyalty that wasn't there before.

But then again, soccer newbie-who-just-this-year-learned-the-offside-rule that I am, what do I know?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 26, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I hate trolls.Red Bull causes cancer.

Posted by: zosodave | July 26, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

It's a public message board for a national newspaper. Just because you disagree with me doesn't make me a "troll."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 27, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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