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It's Beckham Week in D.C.

We kick off the festivities with comments from England Manager Steve McClaren. As first reported by the Insider on Saturday, McClaren is coming to Washington to meet with Becks and check on his health and fitness.

The Galaxy is scheduled to arrive at Dulles via charter midday today and conduct a training session at a time and site to be determined. With the brutal heat in D.C. this week -- it's only going to be 98 today and 99 tomorrow -- they might want to forfeit and go home.

I will have more for you on United-Galaxy matters later.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 7, 2007; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: United News & Notes [updated with news-quotes]

Comments

Can we expect other writers, nay, whole other sections of the Wash Post to be covering the arrival of the Golden Ankle?

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Why were the Galaxy allowed to travel via charter?

If it's for "security reasons" for Beckham, doesn't this whole rule seem to have no teeth?

Posted by: Sean | August 7, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Charter?!?

Posted by: UVA-United | August 7, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"Why were the Galaxy allowed to travel via charter?"

I was going to ask the same thing.

For background, Red Bull planned to charter planes for the team for all away games this year, and MLS vetoed it because it would have given them "an unfair advantage."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 7, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

MLS changed its mind and decided to allow the Galaxy to use a charter. (I can understand the concern about Beckham wandering among the masses through a crowded airport terminal and waiting in the boarding area during an inevitable delay.) If other teams want to spend many $$$$ in the future on such an arrangement, I suppose they will be free to do so too.

Posted by: Goff | August 7, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Steve,

Please inform us of the time and route of the Beckham Day Parade, including the road closings. Please also state whether banks, government offices, and liquor stores will be closed.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 7, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

With the ridiculous schedule that MLS forced LA into, allowing them a charter is the least they can do.

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"forced LA into"!?!?
Yeah, poor Lalas never asked for this kind of attention. Please.
When you GM is a clown of a media wh*re this is what happens.

Posted by: jgildea8 | August 7, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

McClaren: "people have been writing things about the standard of football over there. But I need to see it myself and make that judgement [sic] rather than other people."

-Too bad he won't get to see any bicycle kick back-passes to the goalie.

I'll bet he wishes Beckham could be out there tripping over second base.

-If United gets another 3-0 result, I wonder how many of the first-time fans will be impressed enough to come back.

Posted by: gringo | August 7, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I would be surprised to see much of a return from first time fans. Even if it is a 6-0 win for us. Most of the people that are coming are gonna be Beckham groupies. Which will have there little hearts broken we he doesn't play.

Posted by: Justin | August 7, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Lalas is a true media wh*re. But, man, when they flashed the table on the screen during the DCU game, I noticed that the Gals have played only 12 games. DCU was the next lowest with 16 games played. It's going to be a busy couple of months for Goldenballs, Landycakes, and Co.

Posted by: DE | August 7, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"For background, Red Bull planned to charter planes for the team for all away games this year, and MLS vetoed it because it would have given them "an unfair advantage."

Its really because they wanted to keep Mathis away from the airport bar.

Posted by: the cheat | August 7, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It is a viscious schedule, and in increases the number of Gals games that he would miss if he were called into the England squad.
It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch ;-)
They better start earning 3 points or they are going to miss the playoffs.

Posted by: jgildea8 | August 7, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

http://sportsbusinessdaily.com/index.cfm?storyid=SBD2007080609&requesttimeout=500&fuseaction=sbd.main

The link above looks at sports coverage for USA Today, NY Times, and the LA Times. First let me say that the Washington Post belongs in that group, especially if you are going to include the LA Times. Second, considering all I care about is soccer, could you "leak" some internal WaPo numbers on MLS and Soccer coverage to show us how much better you guys are?

Posted by: Kinney | August 7, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

http://sportsbusinessdaily.com/index.cfm?storyid=SBD2007080609&requesttimeout=500&fuseaction=sbd.main

The link above looks at sports coverage for USA Today, NY Times, and the LA Times. First let me say that the Washington Post belongs in that group, especially if you are going to include the LA Times. Second, considering all I care about is soccer, could you "leak" some internal WaPo numbers on MLS and Soccer coverage to show us how much better you guys are?

Posted by: Kinney | August 7, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Is Beckham planning to meet Joe Gibbs and the Redskins? He seems to be making the rounds.

Posted by: Hoost | August 7, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

So I'm assuming at this point that Beckham will not be playing, is that the assumption everyone else is working under?

Posted by: Logan Circle | August 7, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Does the general public in DC realize that there's basically no chance he plays?

Posted by: JDO | August 7, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Any idea where the Galaxy will be staying? I'm assuming either the Mayflower or the Westin by Georgetown. FC Barcelona was going to stay at the Mayflower and moved to the Westin when they visited DC in 2003.

Posted by: Becks Groupie | August 7, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

MLS is a business - plain and simple!

Galaxy gets it's own chartered plane because they can afford it....for now :)

Will Beck's play - no way - why would yallop risk his best player to make the headlines - HEELLO - this is a business. The make sure he is ready and the rewards of playing him outweigh the risk.

I'm not sure why everyone is getting wound around the axle on this...it really is simple.....

44,000 tickets sold AWESOME!! maybe DC still start Chartering flights as well.

Posted by: BobF | August 7, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If that is the case, and Beckham will not play, then I'm looking forward to giving our boys a killer atmosphere to start their late-season surge toward MLS Cup. We have a league-leading goal scorer, a suddenly positive outlook on defense, and a slew of midfield options to throw out on any given day. After seeing our convincing win on Sunday, all I can say is I'm pumped to see what we can do from here!

Posted by: Logan Circle | August 7, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

-------
Does the general public in DC realize that there's basically no chance he plays?
-------

That's like asking if the general public is well-informed or reads the newspapers/internet just to get soccer info.

You'd get similar answers to all of those questions.

Posted by: Full Attendance in the Humidity | August 7, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Any idea where the Galaxy will be staying? I'm assuming either the Mayflower or the Westin by Georgetown. FC Barcelona was going to stay at the Mayflower and moved to the Westin when they visited DC in 2003."

Please tell be you are thinking fire alarm and not autograph.

Posted by: jgildea8 | August 7, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Any chance there'll be quotes in Friday's Post from England Manager Steve McClaren on what he thinks of MLS?

I'm guessing he'll comment on how large, loud and great the crowd was at RFK.

Posted by: quotes | August 7, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The other day, The Fox Soccer Report had Jeremy St. Louis interviewing Beckham. At the time, Becks said he was running full speed (for him) on the ankle but had trouble turning on it. Still, he expected to be ready to play in the game in Washington.

It's a delicate balance between doing what he must for the short-term to earn the big bucks and making sure he does not damage himself in long-term. My guess is that he will play some, but no more than 45 minutes.

Posted by: ho | August 7, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"-If United gets another 3-0 result..."

"Even if it is a 6-0 win ..."

After last year's thrashing, I'm just hoping that we win by 1.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

If Beckham has a serious shot at playing in their next match, wherever that may be, I'd expect that Yallop would send Beckham on sometime after the 75th minute. From a coaching prospective, it'll give Beckham a chance to run around on the field for a bit, plus the Galaxy may need to add some sort of offensive threat at that time.

But I don't care either way. As much as I like to make fun of the Galaxy, even without Beckham, they still have Landon Donovan and he's been dangerous enough against DC United in the past. Plus, this year, Olsen won't be in the middle of the park to help shut him down. That's assuming that Yallop plays Donovan in the center.

I just hope we don't embarrass ourselves again against these cellar dwellers. Why we play bad teams so poorly, I don't know. But the last LA game was awful, and last years match in DC was worse.

Posted by: TCompton | August 7, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

OK, so I just read one of the Beckham articles on ESPNSoccernet... I doubt he plays against United. I doubt he plays against New England... maybe he plays in New York.

But here's my question. How could a team with Landon Donovan, Joe Cannon, Chris Klein, and who knows who else... be such a dissappointing team? Has the attention caused by the Beckham signing made them loose focus? This team should be pretty good. What's up with them? Is it Yallop? Is it Lalas? There something seriously wrong with the Galaxy and Beckham playing in a few games will do nothing to save them.

Posted by: TCompton | August 7, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of people are overconfident about this game... LA thrashed us at home last year when they were just as bad. Remember the ugly tie against them in June when they barely had enough players to fill the roster? I hope we can build on Sunday's game but I am wary about this game.

Posted by: pat | August 7, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If anyone caught the LAG press conference on MLSnet.com, I cant remember who, Yallop or Becks said another 10 days, which to me sounds like he wont be playing in the DC game unfortunately. For LAG fans its frustrating because we need help.

But I should remind DCU fans, LAG vs. DCU at DCU has provided some lopsided games in the past like 3-0 in favor of DCU, or 3-0 in favor of LAG... Its anyones game folks.

Posted by: shirteesdotnet | August 7, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This game is a joke. LA Galaxy and Alexi Lalas knows that Beckham won't be playing but they don't disclose it because thousands have already paid top dollar for their tickets. Not only to the DC fans but to all other games too.

They should just come out and say he won't be ready until the beginning of September. I feel bad for those who've paid top dollar for tickets. HE IS NOT PLAYING ON THURSDAY. That's a fact. I'm glad I sold my tickets to this game early. If you check ebay and craigslist, you will find tons of people trying to unload their Beckham tix.

Posted by: posh | August 7, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

i hope beckham plays. i want him to get a nice, warm DC welcome by the SE's and Barra Brava. While, I won't be at the game, i'll be watching from home, spitting curses left and right. in the galaxy press conference, there did say 7-10 days, but he also said he hopes to get some time on the field "in Washington". time will tell. it may not be important to some DC fans, but with mcclaren coming, we can send a message back to europe. a message that states DC is a footballing city and we take it very seriously.

Posted by: antonio | August 7, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

It is exciting that McClaren will be in DC. I'm a little biased, but I think we play the most attractive, and mature style in the MLS and I'm happy that he will be reporting to the world on our game, and people will respect what he has to say. It is great to get to be ambassadors to the world for MLS.

My guess is that he will say the quality of play is on par with upper Championship/lower Premiership teams and that he will be surprised by the fan support.

Posted by: bribri | August 7, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Is Veron starting?

Posted by: Ohboyohboy | August 7, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

antonio... do we need a sweet pat on the head from the english to validate DC futbol culture? Who gives a d@mn.

Posted by: d, dc | August 7, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We don't need a pat on the head from the english, but it is always nice to be recognized for one's positive traits.

Who knows, perhaps the coach of the England National Team saying good things about DC's team and fans will make foreign talent consider an opportunity to move to DC as a positive move.

Posted by: d,dc | August 7, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Agree Bribri and I'm glad too that he's coming to RFK not Arrowhead or the swamp
Vamos United!
-K

Posted by: -K | August 7, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"I feel bad for those who've paid top dollar for tickets. HE IS NOT PLAYING ON THURSDAY. That's a fact. I'm glad I sold my tickets to this game early."

Ah, a true fan.

I'm envious of anyone who gets to be at the game, since I can't be there. A packed house to see DC United in a nationally televised league match... Damn you all.

Posted by: Joe S. | August 7, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that he will say the quality of play is on par with upper Championship/lower Premiership teams and that he will be surprised by the fan support"

And that Alexi Lalas is one crazy and stupid MoFo

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"we can send a message back to europe. a message that states DC is a footballing city and we take it very seriously."

Just as mainstream America doesn't care about European soccer, mainstream Europeans don't care about our game. Besides, how seriously does the collective DC take soccer if United is playing on an infield and doesn't have any plans for a stadium. Unfortunately, if Europeans watch the match, all they will remember is that in America, footy is played on a baseball pitch.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

-----------------------------------------------------
But here's my question. How could a team with Landon Donovan, Joe Cannon, Chris Klein, and who knows who else... be such a dissappointing team?
-----------------------------------------------------

it's partly due to us being in a rebuilding year, partly due to still not having fielded our first choice starting 11, partly due to a poor start and partly due to us only having played slightly more than a third of our season.

we're getting better and we have a huge number of games in hand. when all is said and done i expect us to have more respectable record heading in to the playoffs.

as for the game, i can't imagine a 4-peat, but i seem to recall going back to 2004 LA has won some multi-goal thrillers. '04 moreno (alejando) scored a hat-trick in 8 minutes, last year donovan did, i think in '05 it was 3-2 to the galaxy.

Posted by: duncan | August 7, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

people know that our overall infrastructure isn't as developed as the rest of the world's. however, they don't know that we can play the game quite nicely. it's not about getting a seal of approval. it's about getting any sort of notice. people at least NOTICIING OUR LEAGUE IS A GOOD THING. to notice that we are competitive is even better.

Posted by: antonio | August 7, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"I can understand the concern about Beckham wandering among the masses through a crowded airport terminal and waiting in the boarding area during an inevitable delay."

He should wear his Galaxy kit, then I doubt anyone would recognize him. Just make sure he's not in a shiny "Hugo Boss" suit.

Posted by: scott | August 7, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Goff, what is your opinion of the Danny Szetela move to ROMA??

I think it may be too early to tell, but it does have some huge potential.

Posted by: Sean G | August 7, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Those who point out that DCU's history against LA has often swung to the underdog stand on solid ground. Last August, as one who made the trip to Germany and watched the USMNT turn into 10 chumps + one lion (Ben Olsen), I recall smirking at a poster that the SE's set up to greet Donovan inside RFK: "Airfare to Germany: $2000. World Cup tickets: $200 each. Landon Donovan on the USMNT: worthless." Donovan proceded to thrash our boys and LA showed that we didn't have the invincible team as we had thought.

Regardless of Beckham, Abel Xavier will be a thrill to watch (though it will be great when LAG has two players who can kick a ball 60 yds and drop it on the money).

On another note, I'm curious whether Dom Mediate will see time. That thrashing last summer was also the game that nearly ended his career (I was sitting 5 yds away and the "challenge" was disgusting). It will have been exactly one year to the day since he broke his leg...could he have something to prove as Donovan did last summer?

Posted by: Swampoodle | August 7, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine what Becks' legs are going to feel like after parades, pool parties, and wine tastings. Maybe Lalas should make him the mascot.

Posted by: London Dan | August 7, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Are we allowed to beat the crap out of people wearing Real Madrid jerseys during the game or do we have to wait until after?

I can't wait to hear all the Eurosnob commentary in the stands for this one. I might have to bring earplugs.


Posted by: Southeasterner | August 7, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

In the Fox Soccer Channel interview of Beckham with Jeremy St. Louis that was aired Sunday evening, Beckham said that in the last few days the ankle responded really well to treatment and that it's his "goal" to take "some part" in the game in Washington (assuming the ankle continues to respond positively to treatment as it has). So, it really does depend on how he's feeling after practice today & tomorrow.

Also, the articles citing the "7-10 days from playing" interview are all over the place. I've seen some that quote him saying he's "7-10 days from starting," which would be consistent with his FSC interview goal of taking some part (i.e., not start) in the DC game.

And, yes, it's pathetic that I've given this so much thought.

Posted by: Anklegate | August 7, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

He may be 7 to 10 days for the DC game, but he's 60-90 days for NY.

Posted by: Hoost | August 7, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, at this point, sit Beckham until his ankle is 100% healed. If he plays on it half dodgy and takes another hit (ala the Sidwell tackle) then he is out for another 2-3 weeks, or longer. Personally I don't want to see him limp around the field for 10 minutes to make the 25K wanna be fans who bought $35 tickets happy. F them.

I'm just waiting for Wilbon to write another one of his here goes MLS with their switch-n-bait tactics again articles.

Posted by: Tweaked | August 7, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope to God those dorks on the a.m. version of WaPo radio can actually inquire about the score on Friday morning, regardless of the result.

On Monday sports editor Ruiz confined his comments to all things Becks and didn't even mention the 3-0 win over the Revs.

I hope we kick a mudhole in their butt and stomp it dry.

Posted by: Dave | August 7, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Please trade Ben Olsen! He's a non-factor and always ends up being either injured or carded.

Posted by: ball68 | August 7, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Godot told me to tell you he won't come this evening but surely tomorrow.

Posted by: morphit | August 7, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

What do we DC United fans have to do in order to get Mayor Fenty to get on board with the new stadium? Doesn't he realize that it is possible in four to five years that DC United may be pulling in more fans than the Nationals. After the aura of the new Nats stadium recedes and the awful Montreal team comes to the forefront, DC residents will be throwing themselves off a bridge just to see a United game. Plus, I hear SE and Barra Brava are going to have some of their supporters wear bikinis on gameday as part of the new MLS cheerleading squad.

Posted by: thekop | August 7, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If LA gets relegated will becks play USL-1 next year?

Posted by: i hate the gals | August 7, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope we kick a mudhole in their butt and stomp it dry.

Posted by: Dave | August 7, 2007 02:18 PM
-----------
That is LOL funny! I have tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard!

Posted by: Soy United! | August 7, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you're the best and I appreciate all your work with the Insider, but please refrain from the "I broke the story first" chest thumping. It's so JadeMLS and unbecoming for the premiere writer in the country to emulate such a worthless hack.

Posted by: No need to stoop to that level | August 7, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the charter plane thing because - did anyone else hear this? - Elliot in the Morning called the Crystal City Marriott and woke Abel Xavier (he was PISSED) to ask if Becks was going to play. They DO have a Landon Donovan registered but he didn't answer his phone. I don't usually listen to him but I was running this morning and flipped through stations.

Posted by: David | August 8, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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