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The Aftermath (Veron and NCAAs)

No Veron at RFK. Read my short story here. You are sure to notice in there the reference to DCU not necessarily pursuing a designated player to fill the slot they thought would go to Veron. Players are a-comin' this winter, but they might not carry Veron's superstar status.

No Hokies in the College Cup final. Read my longer story here. FYI, Patrick Nyarko, Tech's junior star from Ghana, told me after the game that, at this point, he is 100 percent planning to return for his final college season. A player who might want to consider turning pro now is Wake forward Marcus Tracy. He's good, really good. Smart, fast, good vision, nice touch, a constant threat around the box. For those of you who missed the late match, Ohio State was clearly superior to UMass but had to hang on for a 1-0 victory. Should be a fun final Sunday. TV coverage begins at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. (With Tech heading home, so am I.)

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2007; 11:06 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gameday: Final Four
Next: World Champions, NCAA Champions

Comments

we don't need veron. we will find some younger, cheaper players who will do the same as what Veron would do.

let's just hope they do it soon.

Posted by: steve-o | December 14, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't give up on DP.

Zidane! Zidane! Zidane!

Posted by: Parlez-vous francais | December 14, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I fail to be as optimistic as some of you. With all that we will lose this offseason, we need quite a bit of tallent to improve over last year. Another few Erpens, Filomenos, and Freds won't do much when Emilio's our only real playmaker.

Posted by: Glaucon | December 14, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Emilio isn't a playmaker at all.

Excellent goal scorer? Yes. Playmaker? No.

Posted by: noptov52 | December 15, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Glaucon (and really everyone),

I remember reading Bigsoccer threads from offseasons ago titled "The Sky is Falling." I remember offseasons where people wanted to cut Ben Olsen, and trade Christian Gomez so that Mr. Adu could play.

Heck, while I didn't participate in sharing those gloom-and-doom scenarios, I wanted to think them.

But, I've realized that... It's fun. It's very fun, even when you want to put the world against you. It doesn't help anything though.

Jaime's not gone yet. Christian's not gone yet. We have ~$600,000 in cap room, not counting the money offered to Jaime and Christian. We have allocation money.

We have the type and quantity of prestige to attract players more interested in winning than a paycheck. We have owners with resources. We have the most developed scouting system in MLS. We have Kasper. We have Payne. We have Soehn, even if not everyone sees that as a good thing. We have an organization that won't bring in a player just to fill a slot.

Sure, yes, our playmaker situation is questionable at the moment. Kpene and Dyachenko hasn't won over the ventilators. Christian and Jaime haven't signed yet. We'd like to use our connections to bring in Juan Carlos Arce, or Kerlon, or some young wing/playmaker from Independiente. But I'm not worried if these things don't happen.

There's still a lot of time, and we have Goff to sift through the rumors, and fact check, and... Well, suffice to say I'm very glad we have him.

Now if it's February 1st, and we haven't done anything, I'll look at the sky in fear.

Posted by: B.A. | December 15, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

After Poplar Point, SuperLiga, CCC, MLS playoffs, Sudamericana, and now Veron, forgive me for having a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Here's to the end of 2007.

Posted by: Glaucon | December 15, 2007 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe this means Gomez comes back. I think he's still got quite a bit left in the tank, but I'd expect him to hit the wall soon, if not this coming season then the one after. It's hard to fault the front-office for balking at a two year deal.

If Gomez doesn't come back, and we don't bring in a high-profile playmaker, then I think Fred can fill that role. It's his natural position. He had his ups and downs last season, but considering it was a brand new team, league and country, (and he was playing out of position), I was extremely impressed with how he performed. With a full season under his belt and moving back to his natural spot I'd predict a breakout season. His skills and mentality seem better suited to central attacking play, at least to my untrained eye.

If that happens we'll need help on the left wing, along with striker (esp if Jaime leaves) and central defense. There's a lot of holes to fill, but we've got the best front office in the league so I'm more excited than worried. ;)

Posted by: uranderson | December 15, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Disspointing, and with Moreno, Gomez and Gros possibly all leaving, DCU management has their work cut out for them. However, the franchise has proven they can sort these things out.

The offseason is still young, but it would seem to make sense to make decisions on whose returning quickly, so they have plenty of time to scout and fill in these potential holes.

Also, congrats to K.C. One more hurdle to go, and it looks like that one will be cleared. Would anyone else find it hilarious if they got their stadium built before DCU and NYRB?

Posted by: J. | December 15, 2007 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious? No. Sickening? Yes.

Posted by: Couch burner | December 15, 2007 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Goff,
During a Q/A I asked if the DCU top brass deserved a harsher look by the owners. You took that to mean I was referring to Soehn. I wasn't.
To say Kevin Payne has had a miserable year is like saying the Dolphins have a lot to be proud of.
His team may have won the SS, but they were bounced from what, 5 total competitions? His dealings with the Mayor were a complete failure. His Veron dream is in pieces. At what point does the management bear any responsibility for how our once mighty team is now a perenial loser in competitions, continues to be homeless, and is scrambling to field a team?

Posted by: David | December 15, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

""Players are a-comin' this winter, but they might not carry Veron's superstar status.""

Last season brought Fred, Emilio, Burch and the emergence of McTavish. Anyone that concerned with the loss of Veron should remember that neither Houston nor the Revs had a DP and both reached MLS Cup.

David, ""for how our once mighty team is now a perenial loser in competitions, continues to be homeless, and is scrambling to field a team?""

I can think of 12 other MLS teams that would trade places with us.

Posted by: delantero | December 15, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Great picture of Wake in the post today.

Thank you!

now onto the national championship

Does anyone know if DC has a "Wake Forest" bar? I'm assuming every bar in DC will be showing NFL on Sunday afternoon...

Posted by: Wake | December 15, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

hey Wake if you find one, particularly in alexandria, please post. it could really alter my schedule (driving home) tomorrow.

Posted by: akdeac31 | December 15, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

also...this kid lapria that's up for the hermann award is NASTY. he looks like a little hippy with long red hair in a ponytail and a bushy red beard, but he is awesome. he's fast as lightning and never stops running. nyarko looked great last night (that's all i've seen of him) but if he loses the award to lapria he earned it.

Posted by: akdeac31 | December 15, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

exactly I don't know what you guys looked on Veron, he's old and lately hasn't being able to play due to injuries, dc united front office should be taking a look at younger players like Arze, or tha red hair striker from Arsenal (Argentina) that single handed killed America in Mexico and he's only 18

Posted by: koolcaio | December 15, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Just read Lapira's wikipedia entry--he is American but has a cap with Ireland. Does that mean he is yet another potential national team contributor the US has lost to another country?

Posted by: DC Boston | December 15, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

As with Adu and others, there are competing interpretations of what counts as "competition" for this purpose. To my knowledge, FIFA has never issued a definitive ruling, and probably never will, unless and until someone forces its hand by actually attempting to join a second national team.

Also, Lapira is not just a Hermann candidate, he is the incumbent Hermann laureate; one of two, actually. The other is also at Notre Dame: Kerri Hanks. In fact, I vaguely recall that the two have been linked in the gossip columns.

Posted by: 22201 | December 15, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I've managed to watch the BSPN2 telecast that I recorded last night. Wynalda was not that bad on this occasion. This confirms my belief that one of the biggest problems with his performance on World Cup and MLS telecasts has been that he has too many of his own axes to grind. However, by now he is so far removed from the college game that no such axes exist. I suppose that if he ever appled for the head coaching position at a major college program and was rejected, we'd never hear the end of it.

Posted by: 22201 | December 15, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"His dealings with the Mayor were a complete failure."

I'm not sure that Chang and McFarland see it that way. I could be wrong, but the negotiations were going well with McFarland in the lead. I'm not sure the failing of PP and Fenty taking a turn quickly can be out on Kevin Payne.

Posted by: the cheat | December 15, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

22201 - i'm sorry i left that out. he's a pleasure to watch and i'm happy that he's getting some national team experience with his home country...this guys screams ireland (and hippy frisbee player)

Posted by: akdeac31 | December 15, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Lapira was born and raised in Cajun country. His mother is the one with the genuine Hibernian connection.

Posted by: 22201 | December 15, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It might be cool to have a guy like Veron here, but its not imperative. I was glad to hear DCU isn't rushing out for another DP.

Posted by: jasonVA | December 15, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Everyone, It has been a long time since we last spoke. I have heard about your not signing Mr. Veron and wanted to let everyone know that should you need my services in your midfield, I am more than happy to assist.
Cheers & Bottoms Up, Gazza

Posted by: Gazza | December 15, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

In response to David, if that's your real name, there isn't a single person associated with United (player or management) that prefer to keep over Kevin Payne. There isn't anybody more responsible for the success of United over its history. No one.

Posted by: Terp | December 15, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Gazza,

We can't offer you a DP slot. I'm sure you'll be happy to play for free pints and fish & chips.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | December 15, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Randon thought: Ohio St. must be happy that Florida doesn't have a men's soccer team.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | December 15, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Glaucon-

You're lumping Fred in with Filomeno and Erpen? That seems wildly unfair. Fred was a good player for us this year, even playing out of position. Sure, he didn't have the impact of Gomez or Emilio in their first years, but I'd argue he's much closer to those two than the former duo.

DC Boston-

I assume you mean Giuseppe Rossi when you say "yet another". Rossi wants to play for Italy instead of us; what are we supposed to do, kidnap him and force him at gunpoint to play for the US?

The way you're framing it, we are actively encouraging good young players to go play for other countries.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | December 15, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The opportunity to host NCAA championships, both men's and women's, will be yet another byproduct of a new SSS, if we ever get one.

Posted by: 22201 | December 15, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Chest: I have no idea whether DC Boston specifically meant Rossi. However, I'm pretty sure that Lapira and Rossi are not the only such cases. Wasn't there someone who was called up by Mexico for at least one friendly in the past year, and who might have been receptive to an invite from the USMNT (in his case, I think it would have been the U20 or U23 squad), had such an invitation been forthcoming?

Posted by: 22201 | December 15, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"Fred, Emilio, Burch and the emergence of McTavish. Anyone that concerned with the loss of Veron should remember that neither Houston nor the Revs had a DP and both reached MLS Cup."

But Houston and New England have maintained the stability of their rosters for several years. That's what my great concern would be if I were a United fan. I remember when Rongen took over, he won MLS Cup with Arena's team, then decided to get his guys in, and it took years (and two coaches!) before Nowak came in with a steady hand and got the team back on track.

I'm not trying to stir the pot, but with the turnover that has happened and is rumored to happen, it sounds like Soehn may be doing the same thing to the Nowak team that has been undeniably on of MLS' best for four years. It's not the DP that makes the difference, it's the ability of a coach to maintain the continuity of players and systems-- Houston and New England excel at that. Soehn may be treading on some thin ice if he tries to change too much too soon.

Not trying to bait anyone. Just making an observation.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | December 15, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"I can think of 12 other MLS teams that would trade places with us.

Posted by: delantero | December 15, 2007 08:51 AM

Really? Houston, when you include their San Jose history, has as many championships as we have. I doubt they'd trade. LA might not either. I'll just say this: I don't give a rats *ss what other teams would trade with us: I don't think any of us should be pleased with our poor play in the playoffs, and that we've not made it to the championship since Rongen was our coach. Wake up. Our team chokes down the road, relies on at least one Bolivian forward who has a remarkable ability to leave his A game at home when it matters, and we seem consistantly unable to get big deals done. Yes, Gomez was and Emilio is a revelation, but it's too little. Defense wins championships. I would trade our entire defense with several teams. But they'd never have it.
We're quickly becoming the Green Bay Packers of MLS in every way. Big winners in the early days, choked or worse since then, and an occassional brilliant player. Hold on too tight to the memories and we become complacent. It's time for management changes, and it's time the owners wake up to it.
My $.02.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"In response to David, if that's your real name, there isn't a single person associated with United (player or management) that prefer to keep over Kevin Payne. There isn't anybody more responsible for the success of United over its history. No one."

There's something really funny about that. We're in what, year 12 of the league now? We've won 4 of those years, but not in a really long time. So if KP is responsible for the success, is he not also responsible for our failures? Seems to me it's not fair to have it both ways. But as hard as I try to remember, I've never heard him take responsibility for any of our failures. Sure is quick to take responsibility for our success though. Just watch the video tape recap from season 1.

Posted by: David | December 15, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

oops meant: "it's fair to have it both ways"

Posted by: David | December 15, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

It's not fair to conclude that DC has only been successful in 4 years out of 12. The 98 team that lost in the MLS Cup also won the CONCACAF Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. The last two teams, which have been awful in the playoffs, have also won the Supporters Shield. Payne has done a reasonably good job of late and we've had a few players who won MVP or [insert position] of the Year. Sure, there was Erpen, Lucio, etc. But you have to say that he's been on the successful side more often than not.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | December 15, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Since I don't know much about Veron, it isn't his absence that bothers me -- it is that the defense is a big question right now. Who knows who would start today? Besides that, this team and the defense needs some depth -- something it severely lacked last year -- and DC can't even get a good started 4 right now.

Posted by: RK | December 15, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Perkins' physical? Has it happened? If not, when is it scheduled?

Posted by: Curious | December 15, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Perkins is heading to Norway this coming week. Assuming he passes the physical, he'll sign the contract and the transfer will be formally announced.

Posted by: Goff | December 15, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"we've not made it to the championship since Rongen was our coach"
Huh?
Where were you in 2004?
Your opinions might have more credibility if you got your facts straight.

asitis

P.S. It's spelled wRonagain. ;-)

Posted by: asitis | December 15, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Chest,

I agree that Fred is better than the other two, but my point was that another couple Freds aint gonna do much if our playmakers leave(unless they're Freds who can use both feet).

Can someone please feed Perkins some popey-seed bagels before he departs?

Posted by: Glaucon | December 15, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Asitis - you're right. Somehow I got the sequence wrong(en) in my head. Rongen in 1999, then Nowak in 2004. Sorry.

Posted by: David | December 15, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

As far as the defense is concerned, I think we're one really good centerback away from having an excellent back line. Right now our fullbacks are very good (Namoff and Burch) and I personally feel that with the right partner McTavish is solid.

Is Vanney the guy? I doubt it, but if we do go into the season with him as the 4th starter, then the defense will still be better than average. Of course we shouldn't settle for that, I'm hoping for an upgrade. In fact if I could only have one I'd rather bring in a stud center back than a playmaker, particularly considering the uncertainty in net.

Posted by: uranderson | December 16, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I think we may not find out about Vanney until everything else shakes out. He'll need to have a cheaper contract, that's for sure. It'll be interesting to find out who else DC is looking at, since everyone was so focused (for months) on Veron.

Posted by: RK | December 16, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

veron was a great player 5-7 years ago. why would any mls team want to buy him now? it will be better to get a talented youngster.


European Football Blog

Posted by: cahyo wijaa | December 16, 2007 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Blessing in disguise. Now let's give Gomez two years and re-sign Moreno to one more.

Posted by: Joe S. | December 16, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

"Really? Houston, when you include their San Jose history, has as many championships as we have. I doubt they'd trade. LA might not either. I'll just say this: I don't give a rats *ss what other teams would trade with us: I don't think any of us should be pleased with our poor play in the playoffs, and that we've not made it to the championship since Rongen was our coach. Wake up. Our team chokes down the road, relies on at least one Bolivian forward who has a remarkable ability to leave his A game at home when it matters, and we seem consistantly unable to get big deals done. Yes, Gomez was and Emilio is a revelation, but it's too little. Defense wins championships. I would trade our entire defense with several teams. But they'd never have it.
We're quickly becoming the Green Bay Packers of MLS in every way. Big winners in the early days, choked or worse since then, and an occassional brilliant player. Hold on too tight to the memories and we become complacent. It's time for management changes, and it's time the owners wake up to it.
My $.02."

posted by Mr. Blank

Really "since Rongen"? You must have a Rumplestilskin memory. Did you miss the Piotr Nowak years?

And no DC United is not the Green Bay Packers of MLS. We have won the SS a few times and entered International competitions because of them.

Could DC United be better, sure. Hopefully management can bring in a few more players this winter and take us to the next level.

Posted by: Mr. White | December 16, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Rumplestilskin memory?

Posted by: Strawintogold | December 16, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

While it would have been nice to see a player with Veron's background on the pitch with DCU, I don't think DCU needs a DP to be successful. I like what they have done with types of players they have found in the past; Fred, Emilio, Gomez, Perkins, and Boswell to name a few. I also like some of the draft choices Olsen, Gros, Namoff, Nelsen, etc. All of these guys plus Jaime have been the nucleus of trophy winning teams. I like the way DCU has built teams in the past and for one don't care if DCU ever has a DP.

Posted by: Randy | December 16, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

re: Rumplestilskin memory?

Posted by: Strawintogold | December 16, 2007 12:21 PM

To be filed under "Indispensable Destiny"...

Posted by: Ron | December 17, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm really bummed that Veron isn't coming. Among other things, it means we still won't convince the 'Euro-snobs' that it's worth coming to the stadium. They'll go out of their way to watch some teams play on satellite TV but won't support their local club despite the fact that they've never set foot in the countries they're watching on TV, and haven't watched a whole MLS match in five years.

Besides, Veron is (still) excellent in his own right, and would have made us a better team.

Posted by: Amanda | December 17, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Some reports mentioned Veron could have made up to 20 million if signed. It appeared to be an almost done deal, since Estudiantes coach left the team, and he had been a factor in Veron's return to Argentina. Other blogs said Veron's wife came to look for homes in the Washington area.
BTW, the '98 United team was much better than Chicago. Arguably, it was one of the best MLS teams ever. Super-dumb playoff system had Fire playing on 9 days rest and DC United on 3 plus a cross-country flight. Diablo visibly exhausted. Oh, the old days...

Posted by: DC Fan | December 18, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

"I can think of 12 other MLS teams that would trade places with us."

Posted by: delantero | December 15, 2007 08:51 AM

-----
On the field, I don't think that Houston or New England, and perhaps Chicas would trade places with DCU. This, given these teams' quality, and some of the uncertainty with DCU's side. [The 'keeper, Gomez/Moreno, defense, and wing play being at some level of doubt.]

Off the field, neither the Gals, nor the Crapids, nor TFC, nor the FIRE, nor Dallas, nor RSL would trade places with money-losing DCU. With the pending venues [hopefully] in KC, new jersey, and Houston, I don't think that these teams would trade places with the apparently anti-SSS stance of the local government in DC at the moment. Even cowlumbus are in a better situation with Crew Stadium than DCU.


So, to summarize:

ON the field, at least 2 teams, and perhaps 3 are in a better situation than DCU.

OFF the field, 9 [and perhaps 10] teams are either currently in a better situation, or will soon be in a better situation than DCU.

In fact, only the quakes, ver. 3.0 are likely in a worse situation, both on and off the pitch than DCU.

Posted by: khan | December 18, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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