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The Day Before the Finale [updated]

Almost all is well at Pros vs Joes Arena (aka Nuevo Estadio RFK aka Estadio RFK aka RFK Stadium), where Spike TV has completed taping of its sports reality show (I hear NFL running back Smokin' Ricky Williams was a participant). The boxing ring and basketball court are gone, but the markings from the 60-yard football field that scarred the new playing surface remain. Fear not, the rain and some landscaping work should eliminate it by kickoff Saturday night. (Sure it will.)

Okay, on to the important stuff:

*Josh Gros is out for the year...because of his wrist. Already sidelined with his concussion/migraine issues, Gros and the team decided it was the proper time to repair his wrist, which was broken for the 823rd time earlier this year. He had surgery yesterday.

*If United plays Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, the opener will be Thursday on the road. If United plays Kansas City, it is tentatively set for next Saturday night at Arrowhead. If D.C. faces Los Angeles, there is talk that the first leg would be a week from Sunday at Home Depot Center with the return match four days later at RFK. We won't know for sure until the end of this weekend's action.

*Jaime Moreno is back from South America, where he was on the Bolivian squad that got hammered by Uruguay and settled for a home tie against Colombia. Moreno played 58 minutes in the first game and was scheduled to come on in the second half against Colombia, but a Bolivian red card changed their plans. "Terrible" is how Moreno described Bolivia's results. "We are really disappointed with both games. We've got to keep fighting. There is nothing else we can do."

Moreno said that if United advances to MLS Cup, the Bolivian federation has agreed to not call him in for the qualifiers against Argentina and Venezuela in mid-November.

Some comments from Tom Soehn.....

On Emilio being on the verge of winning the Golden Boot: "The awards are still a reflection of the team. We've never addressed winning the conference, a little bit of talk over the Supporters' Shield, but we still have some things to accomplish. The awards are a result of the team doing well, so everybody is still looking at the bigger picture."

On the team's approach to the mostly meaningless finale: "Same as we have all year. I think we want to stay sharp and make sure that when the game comes, you are doing all the things you have done all year and results tend to take care of themselves. But you want to walk away from that game knowing that you continue to do all the things you have been building on throughout the year."

On the 1997 DCU squad and tomorrow's festivities: "It is always important to remember the past and the people who helped put D.C. on the map. We've got to stay focused on the present right now and make sure that we continue to do what they did -- get yourselves into the final and I'm hoping to have the same kind of atmosphere as they had."

On whether he will manage minutes tomorrow, knowing the club might have to play again Thursday: "A little bit. We've been on a three-day schedule [between games] forever and I think the guys have gotten used to it and find it a little difficult now when we have a week to prepare. Our mentality is a little different because we are used to playing. In a way, it might even favor us."

On Gros's wrist: "He needed it done. He's been playing with a broken wrist again for the whole season and it was an opportune time to take care of that. The surgery went great."

By Steve Goff  |  October 19, 2007; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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