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Pre-RSL Training Report

Notes from a damp day at the Estadio RFK Training Grounds....

Josh Gros said his head injuries are still in the back of his mind a bit, so to speak, but that he expects such thoughts will diminish as the days go by. Physically, he said he experienced no discomfort whatsoever after Sunday's game, and is fine for tomorrow.

"I played 90 minutes just to test it out and see how everything went, and everything was fine," he said. "No effects. Nothing. I think I'm ready to go. I feel good."

Tommy Soehn seemed surprised even to be asked whether Gros would be available tomorrow; "Why shouldn't he be? He just played for us," he said.

Soehn also said the team needs to focus on its concentration tomorrow, a message he delivered to the team just before training ended and again to the media.

"The run that we've been on, it doesn't mean anything if we now let it slip," he told the media. "I've always said that talent gets you to the top, but character keeps you there. That means beating the good teams and getting yourself up for the teams at the bottom of the table, because those are the ones that can slip."

DCU clinches its playoff berth with one point against RSL, but Soehn dismissed that, saying "there's a lot to go yet, too early."

I'll be writing about Luciano Emilio for tomorrow's paper, but the team made sure to dispute some stuff that was said during ESPN's DCU-Chivas broadcast last week.

Here's what was said at the time:

Allen Hopkins: But the interesting thing as of late is that Emilio's been talking about parlaying some of this equity he's built up by his goal scoring form and maybe looking for a new club in December. The club hasn't really commented yet and maybe that's just Emilio trying to get more leverage, but one thing's for sure, his good play is certainly something that he wants to turn into maybe a bigger paycheck down the road.

Eric Wynalda: Well he's not been a guy that likes to stay in one place very long. I mean, his history will show you that. He moves around quite a bit, and trying to cash in, you can't fault the guy.

It's unclear to me exactly what reports Hopkins was referring to, but regardless, Soehn delivered DCU's take on the matter.

"I mean, he's under contract with us," the coach said. "That's all that needs to be said. We don't worry about next year until everything's over."

Emilio said much the same: that his intention is to return to D.C., but that he'll worry about that after the season. The Brazilian also said he has not yet been officially contacted by the Honduran Federation about playing for Honduras; he said it's not worth commenting on the issue until and unless he's officially contacted. I briefly spoke with Emilio's agent, who said what everyone else said; as of yet he's had no discussions about the future with MLS or the club. "I told Emilio to [have] a great year, and then we'll take it from there," the agent, Alexander Solis, said.

As for tomorrow's lineup, there's no point in even asking Soehn. The team's release puts Fred up top with Emilio and Gros and Olsen on the flanks and everything else the same.

That's about it for the serious stuff. On to the non-serious stuff.

** Like the staff four-on-four game that took place after training; "the Not-So Super Liga," Soehn called it before kickoff. "There's two speeds: slow and slower."

The rosters: Team Black featured assistant Chad Ashton, assistant Mark Simpson and two interns. Team Orange featured Soehn, equipment manager Francisco Tobar, assistant equipment manager David Brauzer and strength and conditioning assistant Mateus Manoel. I couldn't keep score, assuming anyone actually scored, but I asked some players for their thoughts.

"Um, they're all pretty bad," Gros said. "I just hope nobody gets hurt."

"This is probably the worst stuff I've ever seen," Ben Olsen said. "I've never seen such men.... Look at this...." Olsen dubbed Tobar the man of the match, sayin he's "a magician" with "vision beyond his years."

** Gros on why he's now wearing a green-colored soft cast: "I've gone through every color. I figured it was either this or pink, and I didn't want to do pink."

** I was curious whether anyone had plans to watch the Women's World Cup.

"Too early for me," Soehn said. "I've got young kids. I'll watch the U.S. in the final."

"Probably not," Gros said. "I'm not going to lie."

** Olsen on Emilio: "I've never seen a guy so happy after he scores goals. He loves to score goals, and we love that he's scoring well and he definitely loves it as well. In the shower after he scores two goals, he's singing and dancing, he's pretty happy. He knows that, he admits it: he loves to score goals. As long as he's scoring and we're winning, it's a good situation."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 11, 2007; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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I. Love. This. Blog.

It is the savior of soccer in America.


Posted by: Ron | September 11, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"I played 90 minutes just to test it out and see how everything went, and everything was fine," he said. "No effects. Nothing. I think I'm ready to go. I feel good."

I love this in Gros. The average player, after several weeks of not hitting the pitch during a game, would "test it out" with maybe a 45-60 minute game. Not our workhorse, Josh.'s 90 minutes right off the bat, and probably another 90 minutes 72 hours later. Crazy athleticism.

Posted by: Beaker | September 11, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Good work, and I can second Gros' comment. I ahve zero interest in the wwc. Good luck to them and all, but really, 11 to 0?

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 11, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ron is right. This blog is the best US soccer related thing I read every day. Several times a day. Thank you.

Posted by: jasonVA | September 11, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

btw Dan is doing a nice job on the DC front while Goff is away. How about continuing the tag team when he gets back so we get even MORE great content?

Posted by: jasonVA | September 11, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Just to comment on WWC, North Korea tied US. the 11-0 was just an awful awful showing by Argentina.

Posted by: DC girl | September 11, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Dan. It's nearly reporter-like.

With you and Goff posting here, it's like a full on 24 hr soccer blog.

Posted by: Kim | September 11, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"I. Love. This. Blog."

Me too - its like a drug fix during the day.

I think BC should start and Benny come off the bench. BC's run and assist earned him a start in my book.

Posted by: bobF | September 11, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's a second for keeping you on board after Goff returns, Steinz. I'm loving the angles you take with the non-serious stuff!

As for the WWC, Argentina aside, though this morning's match was sloppy, it was definitely exciting to watch.

Posted by: DCBird | September 11, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

programming ALERT ... josh gros will be on Washington Post Live tomorrow at around 5:35 pm ...

Posted by: littles | September 11, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Eric Wynalda is a colossal ahole. He's nothing if not consistent in his aholness. Why is it they these TV guys can get away with saying this stuff as "facts" when they're based on nothing more than pure speculation. If Goff or Dan did that they would be fired, plain and simple.

As a side note, I expect more from Hopkins who I've always thought was not an ahole. Perhaps Wynalda is infecting him a bit.

Posted by: DJC | September 11, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Hopkins should be fired for not citing Bigsoccer while making his remark re: Emilio. (only half-joking)

Posted by: d, dc | September 11, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse


Real Lake City?

Posted by: Kim | September 11, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Pre-RLC? Real Lake City (FL)? Russian League Cup? Ralph Lauren Chinos? Help me out here.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 11, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

ReLiC? No, too young...

Posted by: RK | September 11, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Dangit. Kim beat me by 2'.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 11, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The only other thing I have to say is, next time there is a staff 4-on-4 match, there MUST be video. There simply must.

Posted by: Ron | September 11, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the heady days when Agent Steinz pounded the pavement covering Water Wars. Still the greatest thing I've ever read on-line. I still read the Bog daily, but miss the behind the scenes DCU stuff Dan used to bring. Cover United more in the Bog, Dan!

Posted by: grotus | September 11, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Rend Lake College

Republican Liberty Caucus

Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen

No, the sad truth is, I was thinking of the infamous JLC of Redskins Insider fame, and RLC just flew right off the keyboard. My bad.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | September 11, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

fred and emilio up top? i've been waiting for that pairing all season.

Posted by: antonio | September 11, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hopkins doesn't know what the F he is talking about.

Case in point - his article on Soccernet where he discussed the possibility of Benny Olsen for league MVP. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the angle - Benny for MVP would be outstanding - but he called him "D.C. United captain Ben Olsen."

Posted by: DE | September 11, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It's OK Dan, you're just trying to crack the Redskins' Insider password to triple post these articles.....

Posted by: Kim | September 11, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It will be intesting to see where Emilio plays next year. I'm guessing Europe, maybe Sweden, Norway, Denmark...

Posted by: tony | September 11, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

He'll be right here in DC.

Honestly, Ben Olsen should be the team captain. I love everything Jaime has done for United, and I was thrilled when he FINALLY scored in the run of play this weekend, but he needs to pass the armband to Ben.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 11, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Eric Wynalda: Well he's not been a guy that likes to stay in one place very long... He moves around quite a bit, and trying to cash in, you can't fault the guy.

Eric Wynalda's career (Wikipedia):

1988-1989 San Diego Nomads
1990-92 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks
1992-94 Saarbrücken
1994-96 VfL Bochum
1996-98 San Jose Clash
1999 León (loan)
1999-2000 Miami Fusion
2000-01 New England Revolution
2001 Chicago Fire
2007 Bakersfield Brigade

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 11, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

With Rimando and Esky coming back to town will there be something special either here or over in that other place?

Posted by: Glenn | September 11, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Bench Olsen for Carroll?


Unless Olsen is hurt, he should start. He just rested the last game, and after this weekend, we have a long break. Carroll's run was great, but one play doesn't eliminate an entire season (not to mention the fact that Olsen also looked strong and contributed to a goal, even if it was less of the highlight reel variety).

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 11, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Wynalda play with the Battery for awhile too?

Posted by: gringo | September 11, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

anyone know if DC is going to post the video tribute to moreno online?

Posted by: keithw | September 11, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wynalda moved around so much because everywhere he played everyone on his team thought he as a complete jerk (including the German fans....)

At least he's predictable....

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 11, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

How about US citizenship for Emilio? He's better than Wolff

Posted by: RB | September 11, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

2002, Wynalda signed with the Battery but tore his ACL in the preseason, and retired.

Posted by: RK | September 11, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Shame to see those comments about the WWC.

Last time around it was, so I hear, the biggest women's sporting event ever. This time it's buried in the mix of Fall sports in both US and Europe.

But I'd think that the pros would at least take interest and support the WWC -- the only place where US soccer truly dominates. Have a little pride, eh?

At the very least, I wish they wouldn't diss the women in interviews.

Bad form, Gros.

Posted by: rke | September 11, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, rke, they should be supportive. A strong WWC is good for American soccer, both Men's and Women's.

Posted by: David | September 11, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

well, can they be supportive without actually having to watch the games? I mean they are kind of busy these days. I'd rather have the guys sleeping than getting up at 4:30 to watch a soccer game on TV.

Posted by: Glenn | September 11, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I think there's a long way from not supporting or not caring about the women's national team to not watching.

Gros is just being honest that he's not likely going to watch any games. The time difference is probably a factor, too.

Posted by: Kim | September 11, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Gros, Olsen, Emilio: I love this team!

Did anyone else feel a sense of glee looking at Steve Nicol slam down his clipboard after our third goal?

Does anyone else feel a slight bit of empathy for Red Bull fans for having to suffer through so many mediocre seasons?

Does anyone else feel that it's predestined that DCU is gonna grab MLS Cup this year, adding to our 10 titles?

Posted by: Bill in Md. | September 11, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I know its minor, but I like the little pictures now appearing int he blog. Keep up the good work guys!

Posted by: Frederick, MD | September 11, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Why should the guys give a damn about the WWC? Nobody else does?

Women's Team Sports are just like Men's Team Sports... played underwater.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 11, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Gros was asked if he had plans to watch a WWC game. These guys live and breathe soccer for a living. Give them a break if they don't necessarily make plans to watch it when they get home.

Posted by: Joe S. | September 12, 2007 3:34 AM | Report abuse

"I've always said that talent gets you to the top, but character keeps you there. " Actually it was legendary UCLA coach John Wooden who said this. Still sounds smart thought.

Posted by: nutmegger | September 12, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Sure, the boys are busy, need their rest, don't have to watch every WWC game. And JG was being honest... it's just that to me, the way that statement read, he sounded disinterested. He could have taken the opportunity to say something supportive and still be honest.

Pros need to know that their offhand statements to the media can be powerful -- in either a positive or negative way. A nice plug there could have tuned a few more DCU/MLS fans into the WWC, which would be good for everyone interested in the progress of US Soccer.

Posted by: rke | September 12, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Why does Gros have to be good party member and pimp the WWC? I respect Josh more for being honest than trying to spoon feed us some marketing line that will not sound genuine.

Posted by: Oscar | September 12, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Why should the guys give a damn about the WWC? Nobody else does?

That is curious. There are numerous threads on this blog, each containing dozens of posts, that pertain to this event that allegedly nobody cares about. Some of these posts appear to have been submitted as early as 4:30 a.m. Can anyone offer any hypotheses as to where these posts are coming from? Extraterrestrials, perhaps?

Posted by: Section 410 | September 12, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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