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While You Were Sleeping

*The link to the print edition story about Boswell's exit and Perkins's imminent departure.
*The link to the Poplar Point development story and graphic (hard to see).
*Reliable sources tell me that DCU's new goalkeeper, Zach Wells, has been invited by Bob Bradley to U.S. national team training camp, which begins in early January. I concur with DCU folks -- the guy has big-time potential. The full training camp list, comprising mostly MLS players, will be released in the coming weeks.

*The link to the list of college players invited to the MLS combine next month.
*Despite the collapse of the proposed Dallas-LA-DC trade, rumors of Carlos Ruiz ending up with the Galaxy will not go away, especially in the Spanish-speaking press. Keep an eye on this one.
*From Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney:

Renovations to Buck Shaw Stadium, which operator-investor Lewis Wolff says will cost between $1 million and $2 million, won't be completed until early spring, so the expansion San Jose Earthquakes will start their home schedule April 12 against Chicago at the Oakland Coliseum. Where and if Coach Frank Yallop's team will play on opening weekend is up in the air. San Jose had been provisionally scheduled to host Red Bull New York at Buck Shaw March 29 but last week Quakes executive vice president David Alioto said that game wasn't possible. Whether or not San Jose and RBNY can play at the Meadowlands on March 29 is still being discussed. (The A's are hosting crosstown rival San Francisco in the final 2008 preseason game that day.) Both teams could be given a bye week but that would complicate the early weeks of the schedule. And one of the driving forces to adding San Jose as a 14th team despite Wolff's stadium plan still being formulated was to eliminate costly bye dates, as was the case for 2007 when Toronto came in as the 13th team.

*AC Milan wins, setting up a world final against Boca.
*Capello to England!



By Steve Goff  |  December 13, 2007; 8:12 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Goodbye, Bobby
Next: Another Boz Farewell


Jokes on you, I didn't sleep last night.

Posted by: sitruc | December 13, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

So, in essence, we've cast our lot with Zach Wells as United's starter next year?

Wouldn't you wait until the Perkin's trade is finalized or are they comfortable with Perkins and Wells?

How much was Troy worth to Valeranga?

SIGN Christian!!!! If we get Veron, Gomez can play withdrawn forward with Emilio higher. He could play with Veron in a 3-5-2. He always plays hard and while he had a few moments of stale play in 2007, he can still carry the game for you.

Posted by: delantero | December 13, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse


I'd guess Perkins goes somewhere in the range of 750k-1mil. Maybe more...but it looks like VÃ¥lerenga is bringing Perkins is to be the #1 from the start. I have no idea how much of the sale price MLS would get and how much we would get.

Wells has been VERY impressive, he's already been capped I think and I don't think we lose anything going from Perkins to Wells.

Posted by: strago | December 13, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Perkins is gone. As soon as he passes his physical, he will sign and the transfer will be complete. Financial details will surface once the deal is completed. As I've said, don't be surprised if DCU goes out and acquires another goalie to push Wells for playing time. Nolly's contract option was not exercised and he will have to earn a roster spot.

Patience: Many more moves on the way...

Posted by: Goff | December 13, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse


Keep up the good work! You easily have the best blog in the business.

Posted by: strago | December 13, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

No insight- just praise for goff. This goff is incredible. Being able to follow the moves piece by piece is great. Please keep up the great work.

Posted by: goff is the best | December 13, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Looks like PG United, eh? I can't see the Poplar Point deal resurrected at this point.

Posted by: John | December 13, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I tried posting the links, but I guess the blog doesn't allow that. In any event, there are four stories on the Perkins move in the Oslo papers this morning, his agent pretty much confirming the move from what I can gather.

Posted by: Evan | December 13, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Now there's a story on Perkins up on Valerenga's Official club site:

Posted by: Evan | December 13, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Since MLB is about to lose all of their players any chance DCU can grab the soon to be finished and empty stadium on South Cap?

If not would MacFarlane consider signing a lease if a stadium was built by another company on Poplar Point?

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 13, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

looking at the graphic in the dead tree edition both Archstone and Clark Realty have a spot marked as 'potential soccer stadium site or retail'. Hopefully one of those two is picked and we can work something out.

Posted by: bluemeanies | December 13, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

My question about the Poplar Point madness is whether McFarlane/Chang will be satisfied with one of the options presented today with room for a stadium. Would they rather have more land in the suburbs where they could control a bigger portion of the development? It seems like it would be hard to swallow if you thought you were getting this big tract of land to develop with the stadium as the centerpiece and now you just may get enough room for the stadium and nothing more ...

Posted by: tmc | December 13, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Stadium news sucks. That jack ... Would be satisfied for blocking of the stadium for United. I think he is one of those people who has personal hate towards football.

Posted by: td | December 13, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

And United will not lease from someone else. Paying a huge lease and not getting profit is the reason why United wants to own and finally make some profit.

Posted by: td | December 13, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

say it with me boys and girls: ONE TERM MAYOR

Posted by: myt! | December 13, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

And United will not lease from someone else. Paying a huge lease and not getting profit is the reason why United wants to own and finally make some profit.

Posted by: td | December 13, 2007 09:32 AM

Yeah but do we really want to end up like Colorado and Dallas with a half empty stadium in the burbs?

How sad will it be when the Skins come back to DC and the only DC team not in DC will be United?

I'm sorry but I think MacFarlane needs to try to work out something now with one of these developers while we still have a chance of leasing space at Poplar Point or better yet just buy Archstone!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

First, I would like to THANK YOU to Mr. Goff for his excellent reporting. I recall something about him wanting to take a vacation, yet there he was last Friday at RFK while we waited for the equipment sale to start, and it seems like he is doing heavy duty work all week. I hate my job, but thanks to Big G, I at least can enjoy 15 mintues of reading every morning. I wish this was hyperbolic, but I actually trust Goff's reporting more than I do those who give me my "serious" news. DC is lucky to have you.

Second, as we say good-bye to our Perkins and Boz, let's not be jerks. These guys came from NOWHERE to rise to the top of their MLS classes, and quite frankly, they are sources of inspiration for anyone who has been told "no." Yeah, they made some errors on the field, but who hasn't? Paul Robinson whiffed a passback that is partially responsible for England's vacation at home this summer -- that's football. Perkins and Boz are great role models, and they deserve to pursue success and bigger things in their careers. They wore the badge well, and if they keep going 110% out there, they may wear THE badge a lot more, too (USMNT, anyone...?). How many pro athletes at that level can you think of who also like to socialize with their fans as much as these guys (especially Boz) do? In no uncertain terms, they make me proud to be a DC native.

Along the same lines, Zach Wells is an EXCELLENT keeper who I think will be the next Perkins. I'm no authority, but I do have USSF coaching licenses, and I coach keepers. Wells's fundamentals are excellent, but what he has that will move him to the top is a furious attitude for protecting his net, and just the right athletic build to do so. You just can't teach that, and any kinks that need ironing will be smoothed out once he sees regular action. More than anything, GK is a mental position -- much like pitching in baseball. The confidence of a coach, of a team, AND of the supporters will produce guys like Perkins.

So enough with the nasties; save those for Fenty. He's the two-faced jerk.

Posted by: MtP | December 13, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Why hire Capello and then not give him the scouting guy he's comfortable with? You either trust the guy or you don't. In the words of the imortal Yoda, "that is why you fail."

Posted by: Matte | December 13, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Poplar Point is DOA. Deal with it and move on. For an excellent synopsis on it, read Bootsy's write up on BigSoccer on the DC United forum. Other than that let's talk about the team here.

Posted by: Chico | December 13, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the very kind words. And a nice summary of the Perkins/Boswell departures.


Posted by: Goff | December 13, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

clark realty and archstone (aka charles e smith) are the two biggest developers in the region and absolute cutthroats. they threw a stadium "option" in there for the marion barry people. it will not happen.

is there any word on potential central defenders? with boz gone, i am starting to really worry about our back line. anyone have any guesses they want to throw out there? wishes?

Posted by: moses | December 13, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

USA under-23s 0, China 0

(details to come on

Posted by: Goff | December 13, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

2 questions:

it seems that even if one of those two potential plans which include stadiums at poplar point were to work out, the delays they are talking about would make it unreasonable for DCU to wait that long to even consider it?

why isn't Patrick Nyarko invited to the MLS combine? Does that mean he plans on returning to VT for another season, or is he just not on MLS's radar?

Posted by: pat | December 13, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: dlew | December 13, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Only seniors are invited to the combine.

Posted by: RK | December 13, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It's a depressing morning to be a DC United fan with the news on Poplar Point, Boswell, Perkins and maybe Gomez.

I didn't see much about the China-USA u23 match at US Soccer's website but they do have some funny pictures of the advanced training methods used by Jozy Altidore and Sascha Kljestan.

Posted by: garbaggio | December 13, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to see Boz and Perkins go, but excited to see what Wells can bring.

United needs to keep at least one of gomez or moreno, i would prefer both but recognize that could be hard under the cap. Gomez's best moments the last two years have been charging to goal; its been his distribution that has fallen off. I like the idea of playing him as a withdrawn forward behind emilio and in front of veron.

Goff - any word on the next defender? What's up with Vanney? We've got a decent back four if he stays, but we are thin on experienced reserves. Or does United have another homegrown talent, a la namoff or mctavish, in the wings?

Also goff - any chance on getting an indepth interview at some point with Soehn et al to see what they think the prospects are for some of the guys we don't see a lot of, like moose and mediate?

Posted by: regular fan | December 13, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

*Poplar Point is done, get over it. United is not going to lease a stadium from another developer.

*The Post has been all over the $350 million that Macfarlane supposedly wants/needs in infrastructure, and presumably Post got that # from DC. But there is no apples to apples today other than "tens of millions" needed.

*How do the four bids stack up against what Macfarlane proposed to do? Are the new bids better or worse for DC? That would be interesting reporting.

Posted by: WNT fan | December 13, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Just a hunch - Clark will be serious about a stadium to secure more deals on waterfront space - they love it! I'm sure they'd bring in MacFarlane to help prop up the capital for it too.

Posted by: UVA-United | December 13, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

None of the developers are fools. They didn't get as big as they are by being stupid. I think some kind of deal could be struck between McFarlane and either Clark or Archstone. McFarlane puts up his capital and a garuntee of using the stadium and I woudl think a deal could be struck. Havign a venue that size could be a potential windfall for a retail heavy development if they can use it for things other than soccer games to fill out the schedule. Should be some interestign months ahead.

And hey, at least we don't have San Jose's problems.

Posted by: EricS | December 13, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Goff, thanks for your work and sorry you don't get to take that vacation, but really, silly season is in full force!

Best blog out there.

Posted by: DCaustinite | December 13, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse


For those of us newbies, what does "...and a 2009 conditional draft pick" mean? What are the conditions? Could you elaborate?

Keep up da good woik!

Posted by: Juan-John | December 13, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

MtP really summed it up as far as Boz and Perks. These guys weren't on anybody's radar, but United saw something. WIth Perkins, it took some work, but Boz came on so quickly....We hope they will continue to blossom. If so, we could see them with the USMNT. They deserve a tremendous round of applause for what they have ahieved already.

I think it's really amazing that Bradley is inviting Wells in, considering how few chances the guy has had to show his stuff -- but, the experience ought to serve him well. On the other hand, if that means he's going to be challenging Guzan for the role of top U.S.-based goalie, we may end up needing someone to fill Wells' shoes during USMNT call-ups. Personally, I expect Seitz to start moving up the USMNT ladder, but if Wells is good enough to get the call....One could note that Bradley seems to think more of these guys than their MLS' coaches -- but, that's being unfair to Kinnear. Having Wells sit behind Onstad is no knock against Zach. United is fortunate to get him...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | December 13, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I do not know the specifics of the draft pick in this particular trade, but commonly, the round of the pick is determined by a future factor. In this case, it might depend on whether Boswell goes to Europe after one season or how many games he plays in.

Posted by: Goff | December 13, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how those plans featured in the link Goff provided may have "optional" soccer stadium areas, but NONE actually drew a soccer stadium into their design. Where it says "soccer stadium or movieplex" the picture is of a movieplex. And the "Environmental Museum" is hilarious. Nothing says "protect our environment" like a mammoth constuction project! I'm all for green architecture, but that idea is a taste of PR gone too far. Better they save their money and bus kids out to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's HQ -- now that's a real "environmental museum."

Don't know about y'all, but I'm sick and tired of our civic "leadership" and its cronies treating us like fools. Cut the bull, and just tell it like it is...and that is meant especially for Mr. Fenty, who I strongly suspect to have had some quiet arrangement worked out with Clark when he made his absurd claims that he just wants this to be a competitive bidding process. I'm sure McFarlane is no saint, but DC bankrupted its karmic capital when it hung him out to dry.

Posted by: MtP | December 13, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Poplar Point is DOA. Deal with it and move on. For an excellent synopsis on it, read Bootsy's write up on BigSoccer on the DC United forum. Other than that let's talk about the team here.

Posted by: Chico | December 13, 2007 09:55 AM

Couldn't be further from the Truth.

The Archstone proposal is being done with Madison Marquette who has worked closely with MacFarlane on multiple projects. Not to mention MacFarlane has been in talks with them recently (any guess what that might have been about?).

My guess is that if the Archstone/Madison Marquette proposal wins out you guys will have your new stadium.

Posted by: Alarm Clock | December 13, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

No lie, both the Archstone and Clark deals include a stadium, now just let McFarlane work with them and it (THE FUTURE HOME OF CHAMPIONSHIPS) can still become a reality!

Poplar is only dead as far as United is concerned if McFarlane doesn't get a piece of it . .

the ball is in his court

Posted by: delantero | December 13, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The main problem with any proposal that includes a stadium is time. Nothing will get done by the time United's lease runs out. The team needs to be playing in their new digs no later than 2010. None of the proposals take that into account. Hate to be a wet blanket but that's the reality of the situation. PP is dead.

Posted by: Chico | December 13, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Alarm Clock has been right about several Poplar Point situations in the past here on the Goffblog. I would suggest that he knows a little more about the inside dealings of the situation than you Chico. I'll call PP dead when a developer who doesn't want a soccer stadium there is chosen.

Posted by: Anon | December 13, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll defer to Bootsy on BigSoccer who's been to every meeting and who's followed it closer than anyone I know. I want a stadium there as much as anyone, but I'm not going sit here and delude myself. United has two years left at RFK...tops.

read the 5th paragraph in this column

and if I'm wrong I'll be more than happy to eat crow.

Posted by: Chico | December 13, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Goff - I'm like Regular Fan. I've heard about DCU trying to get an international defender or (I guess) an MLS veteran. Have you heard who or from where? I agree the team needs to strengthen the backline. But, how will DCU be able to sign an international defender, sign Veron and Lopez, give existing players a raise and stay under the salary cap?

Posted by: Crazy Al | December 13, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't DC do what most other teams do and play at a temporary home after RFK is blown to pieces and before the new PP or wherever stadium is done? KC knows all about that :-)

I don't really get the timing arguement.

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 13, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Why couldn't the "new" Earthquakes just play their first home match at Spartan Stadium in San Jose (where they used to play). It's not like they're using it for anything in March (it's on the campus of San Jose State). BTW, for those that care...Buck Shaw is the home field of Santa Clara University (and only a few miles from San Jose so it wouldn't be a big travel mess for their fans); it also gets used for baseball. The playing surface can be horrible, but if they just lay temp sod over the dirt, DC United will have an advantage having dealt with this!

Posted by: exSFer | December 13, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that keeps me hopeful about Poplar Point is that at least the local officials below Fenty seem to want it (see Marion Barry's quote in the Post story). I doubt these proposals would include a soccer stadium unless there was some demand for it, and it just seems like a perfect location for DC.

Posted by: cunited | December 13, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

you know I understand the team needs depth on the backline, but why does it have to be an international defender. There are plenty of good defenders within MLS and there are bound to be a few in the draft. We got Erpen, and we all knew how that one ended. Unless you find a Conde or something I think there is more depth to be found here.

just an opinion

Posted by: United fury | December 13, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't DC do what most other teams do and play at a temporary home after RFK is blown to pieces and before the new PP or wherever stadium is done?

What site or sites do you have in mind? The only ones I can think of are even worse than the woefully inadequate venues in KC and SJ.

Posted by: 22201 | December 13, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

What site or sites do you have in mind? The only ones I can think of are even worse than the woefully inadequate venues in KC and SJ.

Posted by: 22201 | December 13, 2007 03:24 PM

Those are temporary fields what do you expect? You want a brand new temporary SSS until the final SSS is done?

(Expanded) William Greene
Navy/Marine Corps
(Expanded) Soccerplex

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 13, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Also goff - any chance on getting an indepth interview at some point with Soehn et al to see what they think the prospects are for some of the guys we don't see a lot of, like moose and mediate?"

I saw Soehn in the supermarket today and asked him this very question. His response: there's a chance that guys like moose and mediate will be on our roster next year, there's a chance they won't be.

Posted by: Glaucon | December 13, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

You want a brand new temporary SSS until the final SSS is done?

No, I want RFK until the final SSS is done.

Sinking a lot of resources into tripling or quadrupling the capacity of a venue such as Soccerplex to accommodate a tenant who will only be there for a year or two, with very little chance that there would ever again be an event that would fully utilize the expanded facilities, seems to make little sense. Expanding Greene Stadium makes more sense, insofar as it is already much bigger than Soccerplex, and thus requires that much less expansion; besides, HU can benefit over the long term. Even so I am dubious as to whether it would be worth it. (Ditto for the on-campus SSSs at GMU and Maryland.)

Of the other venues you mention, I wonder whether their respective owners would want the problems that would arise late in the MLS season, which overlaps pointyball season. And if people whine about the idea of traveling to Greenbelt, I can only wonder what they would think about Annapolis.

Posted by: 22201 | December 13, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

some of you guys are far too broken up about Perkins leaving. Wells is a better keeper than Perkins in about every way I can imagine. (not a knock on Perkins)

DC United fans are far too attached to the guy. This is the US, the one thing there is a surplus of is quality goalkeeping. I keep telling fellow Fire fans not to get broken up if we don't re-sign Pickens. He can be easily replaced as well.

Posted by: papa bear | December 13, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

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