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United News (and Revs too)

Latest name to emerge in D.C. United's search for Latin American help:


Age: 24
Position: Forward
Club: Argentinos Juniors (fifth place in first division, Apertura)
Size: small (5 feet 4, 145 lbs.)
Goals: 10 in 60 league matches since 2004

I am hearing from sources south of the border that, if a deal is reached, it would be a one-year loan with option to purchase.

Here is a photo from Clarin (he is the one getting tackled from behind).

*Sources tell me that the Revolution was approached last week by a European club interested in acquiring star forward Taylor Twellman, but New England rejected the offer and does not plan to negotiate. Twellman signed a long-term deal with the Revs last winter.

By Steve Goff  |  January 7, 2008; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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the stats you cite don't sound very impressive -- only 5'4" and 10 goals in 60 matches. why is United interested in this guy?

Posted by: de | January 7, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, he's only 1" shorter than Tevez. His scoring record, though, is more concerning - especially is he's a starter. If he's a 45' player, then the circumstances are mitigating.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 7, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I appears that most of his appearences have been as a sub just in the box scores that I have pulled. (Not a thorough examination)

Posted by: jgildea | January 7, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Not a regular starter, I don't believe.

This is soccer, not basketball. If the guy can play, height is not a big deal.

Posted by: Goff | January 7, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Do we really need another target forward?

Posted by: paul | January 7, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

For those who want more info on his appearances/stats

Posted by: emanon | January 7, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We need a forward who's taller than an average 7th grader. Someone has to go for those headers in the box! With Boswell and Gros gone we've lost a lot of height!

Posted by: Beltwayrob | January 7, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

This is soccer, not basketball. If the guy can play, height is not a big deal.

Posted by: Goff | January 7, 2008 12:03 PM

Unless you're marking Jan Koller or Peter Crouch :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 7, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: grumpy | January 7, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This is not helping the cynic in me... Just for comparison, last season the two guys we were looking at were Fred(A-League MVP) and Emilio(Honduran League Golden Boot Winner). Compare that to Peralta(Argentinian Second Starter, and Niell (Argentinian First Division Forward with 10 goal is 60 games)

I hope I eat my words in a few months but are we really upgrading here?

Posted by: Chris | January 7, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This Argentinos page suggests it's a done deal. DC paying $60,000 for the loan with a $900,000 (!!) option to buy

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Having height can and does help in certain aspects of soccer.

Lacking height requires a player to excel in other areas of the game they call football.

Effective players can be practically any height in soccer.

It is a game that is very accomodating to most athletic body types (something that cannot be said of a sport like basketball, in which height is definitely a key/bonus, or American football in which girth is a huge asset at some postitions and height is invaluable in other positions).

Posted by: ruler | January 7, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Gomez and Moreno are basically out the door, this is an upgrade from nothing.
Emilio is the target guy, we need a guy who will come in and do what Moreno did. We need him to hold the ball advancing it and look for Emilio.
If this was a smurf and only three apples high, but he gets the ball to Emilio for goals, then I'm fine with it.

Posted by: gomez4prez | January 7, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

El "Enano"!

Interesting nickname.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 7, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Best year for Niell was 2006 - in the Clausura, he had 6 goals in 18 games and was 10th leading scorer in the league. He fell off to 1 goal in 9 games for the Apertura. He was mainly a starter during all of 2006. He probably vaught the eye of DCU back then as they were looking at another Argentinos Juniors forward (Aldo Osorio) around that time.

For 2007, he had identical stats in both the Clausura and Apertura - 9 games (only 1 start so he was mainly a 2nd half sub), 1 goal - his Apertura goal came gainst River Plate.

Argie press is also reporting that Rosario Central is looking at him.

Posted by: Zman | January 7, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"*I'm hearing that, in addition to Argentine second-division defender Gonzalo Peralta, D.C. United is focusing in on an Argentine forward. That's all I know at the moment..."

Whenever I read that Steve is "hearing" about something, for some reason I envision him -- Jack Bauer-like -- standing over some poor, sweaty DC United media relations intern with 9 mm in one hand and a tape recorder in the other.

"You'll tell me," Steve tells the shaking intern, "or you will REALLY know the meaning of pain! And I don't mean Kevin!"

Posted by: Joe Doc | January 7, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

5'4, 145. Good grief.

Then again I met Alex Pineda Chacon at a coaching course last summer. Not the biggest guy I've ever met, and he torched the league for a year or two.

You can either finish or you can't. Right Taylor Twellman?

Posted by: jasonVA | January 7, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The fact that another Argentine 1st division team is interested is a cause for hope. At 24, he'll also keep improving. Sure, it'd be nice if he had some size, but there are plenty of high-quality small attackers.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 7, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'll reserve judgement til later- our front office has a pretty good track record of finding LA talent.

However I'm having a small crisis that I need help with- I just moved from DC to NoVA and comcast doesn't have fsc with the normal digital cabel package like rcn did. How do you get the channel? (cause you probably know how wonderful there customer service is...

Posted by: laur | January 7, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

A bit OT, but I am curious as to whether any possible stadium sites are within spitting distance of the major development project in College Park that is described in this morning's Post:

Posted by: 22201 | January 7, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I have Comcast. You have to get an extra package for FSC and Gol. I think it's under $10 for the package and you get around 10 channels.

Posted by: Comcast | January 7, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse


If Comcast is similar in NOVA as it is in DC you can get FSC & Gol TV on a sports tier for $5 a month. Right now i get basic cable & the sports tier so I pay less than $25 a month.

Of course when DC United's season begins I'll have to change my service to expanded basic so I can get CSN.

Posted by: song219 | January 7, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The big name rumors and DPs have altered everyone's perspectives on things - as well as last year's signings. My faith still resides in Dave "Diamond in the Rough" Kasper and Kevin "Ka-Ching: Return on Investment" Payne

And we're all also waiting for the name to pop up that replaces Veron.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 7, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks song and comcast.

Posted by: laur | January 7, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Fred has 5 pounds and 3 inches on him and Gomez has 10 pounds and 4 inches on him.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 7, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

El "Enano"!

Interesting nickname.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 7, 2008 12:53 PM

All we need now are an elf, a few hobbits, a wizard, and a ranger. Oops. Never mind. We're supposed to be collecting rings, not destroying them.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 7, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

22201 -- I think the answer to your question is yes, because I think the plan is to somehow link the College Park "East Campus" with the College Park Metro, and while I don't recall that the potential sites for DCU were specifically identified, I think one of them was accessible to College Park metro. More on the "East Campus" project is here.

Posted by: WNT fan | January 7, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Diego Maradona is 5'5". not saying this guy is anywhere near that talent level, but just shows that height tells you next to nothing about a player's ability.

Posted by: jamie | January 7, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Today in the UAE...

Internazionale (Italy) 1 x 2 Internacional (Brazil)

Internacional scoops the millionaire tournament prize after beater Stuttgart and Internazionale.

Nilmar scored the game winner on a stunning bicycle kick.

Posted by: JP | January 7, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

girth is a huge asset at some postitions

^^ thats what she said.

Posted by: Barra4life | January 7, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

How tall is Richie Williams?

Posted by: Chico | January 7, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

How tall is Richie Williams?


Is he allowed to stand on his victims?

Posted by: Matt | January 7, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse


Wasn't Justin Moose just shoved off for essentially being too small?

Maradona was a penguin and STILL taller than this guy. Shawn Wright-Phillips thinks this guy is small.

Will we see Gary Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis invited to trianing camp?

Posted by: Erick | January 7, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Come on people short players have a lower center of gravity and hard to knock off the ball. Comparing Justin Moose to any soccer player is like comparing a 1984 Buick to an Audi A4.

And, Maradona was the greatest player in our generation. No doubt.

Posted by: bristol | January 7, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Moose's size had nothing to do with it. Just not very good.

Posted by: Goff | January 7, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I'll withold judgement too. He and his size could be good, or could be bad, I (we?) don't know enough to say either way at this point.

Posted by: David | January 7, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Beltway Bob, we have Adderly for heading the ball. He scored a nice header last season.

Posted by: Adderly can dance | January 7, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

just compared niell's stats to gomez's back in Argentina...

very similar...

take any 4 year period and gomez has about 10 goals per 60 gmaes, roughly....

Goff, can you let us know when Niell comes for a visit so we can welcome him as IAD!!!

Posted by: myt! | January 7, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

By contrast the 6 foot 1, 160 pound JUSTIN MAPP has played 116 MLS games (starting 97)and scored only 11 goals with 24 assists.

Posted by: stats, shmatz, height, schmieght | January 7, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I have Comcast. You have to get an extra package for FSC and Gol. I think it's under $10 for the package and you get around 10 channels.
But the rest of the channels are worthless.
Not a regular starter, I don't believe.

This is soccer, not basketball. If the guy can play, height is not a big deal.
Exactly. As long as he can run (unlike american football players mad bear runing on the feild) and someone could provide passes not long ball though. He should be good to go.

Posted by: td | January 7, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is a Bill Veeck ploy. Neill will nutmeg defenders and then follow the ball between their legs.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 7, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about how small he is? What I'm concerned about is that Niell seems to be either an unused sub or a late-second-half sub for the Argentinos Juniors. Considering the money, he's got to be pretty good, or else DCU wouldn't bother. About Justin Moose apparently being "shoved off" because he's small, well, whether we like it or not, Argentine strikers tend to be more skillful regardless of size than American midfielders, and Moose hardly ever played. We can't really compare the two.

I don't really see Niell as a star at DCU so much as a filler until a better pair for Emilio is found. Sounds good for now, but we need to focus on depth in the defense.

Posted by: Catherine | January 7, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

*In a Nelson voice at the people who tried to get twellman but got rejected* HAAHHHHAHHHH!

Posted by: Warren | January 7, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I love that picture. Wee "El Anano" looks like a lil' Subuteo man getting knocked off of his stand.

Posted by: Dobey | January 7, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

5'4" mehhh..... count me with the crowd that's skeptical. There's no one else out there that's taller with the same talent, that we could get for the same money or less?

does anyone else think that we can now be a bit choosier especially when a players rep approaches us?

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | January 7, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

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