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Blue Hawaii

No, I'm not there. Wish I were.

What to make of this Pan-Pacific Championship? Frankly, I have a hard time taking it seriously. Houston is near a large body of water, but it ain't the Pacific. I know, Brian Ching is from Hawaii and is a natural draw. And of course there is that David Beckham factor with the Galaxy.

But this is preseason for the MLS clubs, as well as for Japan's Gamba Osaka, and the matches will be played on artificial turf. If you are curious, ESPN Classic is carrying the tournament with live coverage at 11 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. (ET) tonight and the championship late Saturday night.

From the Associated Press preview:

Tickets for the event were selling for as little as $10, a bargain in high-priced Hawaii. "I went down and had a pina colada, and that was $10," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said.

Glad to see the boys are enjoying themselves. But I've got to think the Dynamo are more concerned with the Champions' Cup quarterfinal series against Guatemala's Municipal next month than this event.


*Euro Champions League resumes today with four round-of-16 first-leg matches, including Arsenal-AC Milan, Celtic-Barcelona, Lyon-Manchester United and Fenerbahce-Sevilla. You can see the Arsenal match on ESPN2 and the Barcelona game on ESPN Deportes, both live at 2:45 p.m ET. The Man U match will air on tape delay on Deportes at 4:45 and the Barcelona game on delay on Classic at 5.

*Death threats for Chelsea Manager Avram Grant.

*Might the Fire trade Colombian defender Wilman Conde to the Red Bulls?

By Steve Goff  |  February 20, 2008; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Next: Morning Kickaround


Arriba Municipal!!! LOS ROJOS!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | February 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

While it's not Arsenal-Barca I think the PPC will be interesting none the less. Many of us who are MLS fans first and foremost will get some viewing pleasure out of this tournament. Is it anything more than a glorified (and the usage of glorified is even debatable) scrimmage? No but it's been a long Winter and the competition should be spirited.

I would assume most of us like to see MLS vs. anybody regardless of format so I will be watching...and Tivo'ing.

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | February 20, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Steve - Euro Champions League resumed *yesterday*...tell me you didn't miss the end of the Liverpool-Inter match...

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 20, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

There were games yesterday and it resumes today. (sigh)

Posted by: Goff | February 20, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I like to think of this event as the akin to the Preseason NIT or the Great Alaska Shootout (or the Maui Invitational?). Great fun to watch, has no real bearing on the rest of the year, but a terrific way to start the season. Hopefully this can be a success.

Posted by: Chris | February 20, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Would the fire trade Conde to United? We could give them the rights to Nowak.

Posted by: Mike | February 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

No memorable quotes from Lilo and Stitch? None? At all?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Goffinho, thanks

Looks like I'm going to have to extricate myself from this beach front hammock for a little footie.

There's a colorfully adorned bar here hanging a Gattuso jersey near their TV . . . bet you 500 colones they'll be showing the match . .

Posted by: d | February 20, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I found this very interesting soccer related article about EBBSFIELD United, has any hear of them? If you haven't they have a coverage on this on CNN video via They are a team in UK that is fully owned by the fans check the link out for more information.

If this has already been posted. Sorry.

Posted by: yo its me | February 20, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Could you imagine Dc United owned by the fans?? Were we can make any changes we like?

Posted by: yo its me | February 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

here is a link to the yahoo video about EBBSfIELD, if anyone is interested.

Posted by: yo its me | February 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Beckham to Australia, Beckham to Hawaii... when is the Galaxy taking Beckham to Japan? China? Singapore? Dubai? Alexi Lalas needs to get cracking. Lots of new markets to conquer! I'm sure MLS won't mind if the Galaxy skip the Open Cup and a few league games to shop Beckham around the world and rake in the clams.

Posted by: SSMD | February 20, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Who do you think will play more games this year: Beckham or Reyna?

Posted by: Golden Baller | February 20, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Jeez dont be jealous that DC (and you) didnt get to go.

Posted by: Tim | February 20, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Pina coladas????

I know Dom Kinnear was born in Glesgie, but if there's any proof that he's now just a soft Californian, it's this. If he were truly a Scot, he would be drinking cheap vodka mixed with Irn Bru and brackish Hawaiian lagoon water.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | February 20, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

With a spoonful of Bovril mixed in.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | February 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Weren't the Pan Pacifics the fancy dancing competition in Strictly Ballroom?

Posted by: Richard | February 20, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

If the fans owned DC, Soehn wouldn't have a job, Erpen would still be here, Arguez won't have German lessons every afternoon, Moreno wouldn't have consistent playing time, and infighting would occur over which player should be DP #2: Shevchenko, Kerlon, or Arce.

And about a stadium: still Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: B.A. | February 20, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, the league feels it needs to have an "American" sports structure, so be it, but I think the Conde thing only serves to illustrate that as higher profile players and coaches come into the league, this absurd concept of "trades" becomes obsolete.

Off topic here, and sorry if you all have seen this, but The Guardian has an interesting "Sons of Ben" profile:

Posted by: cd | February 20, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I see the Guardian miscredited DC fans with the "pick St. Louis" chant.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | February 20, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Beckham to Korea and China in a week or so

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Supporters singing this in full voice this season?

I kid, I kid.

Posted by: NW FC | February 20, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

That is some disturbing stuff re: Avram Grant.
There are some dilousional people out there that think that is a completely normal way to act, and b/c of a sport!

Posted by: jgildea | February 20, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Arsenal 8-11 Milan

Posted by: the score | February 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Slow day... Anyone else see that small piece in The Atlantic about PKs? Seems that some Israeli professors analyzed 250+ PKs taken in top league play in recent time and by plotting the location of the kicks, determined that the goalkeeper's optimal choice is to stay dead center. By guessing right or left, they actually decrease the likelihood of a save. Their explanation for why keepers do dive is that in situations where failure is likely, there is psychological pressure to do something, even if that's less optimal than doing nothing. They wrote it up in the Journal of Economic Psychology, and you can download the article ("Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers") as a PDF here:

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

US WNT roster for Algarve is posted. Briana Scurry is not on it. Barnhart and Solo are. Mitts is injured (quad) but traveling with the team.

Posted by: WNT fan | February 20, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You know, it sounds as if those economists have too much time on their hands. But there's probably some consumer or market speculation angle that will win them the Nobel Prize.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

why is it that in a tropical paradise like Hawaii there are no real grass fields? Doesn't the University of Hawaii stadium have artificial turf as well?

Posted by: Glenn | February 20, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm TiVoing the weather report and will watch it when I get home. So don't spoil it for me.


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

why is it that in a tropical paradise like Hawaii there are no real grass fields? Doesn't the University of Hawaii stadium have artificial turf as well?

Posted by: Glenn | February 20, 2008 02:58 PM
The University of Hawaii plays in the same stadium, Aloha Stadium.

Posted by: Hierarchyfive | February 20, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I am interested enough in the PPC to watch it, but I would also watch the Carolina Challenge Cup, or any other preseason games they'll televise/hold near enough to my house to drive to.

However, I really hope that, should Houston or LA win, their fans do not try to count it as anything notable at all. This is not a significant tournament. It's a preseason exercise for 3/4 of the participants. We're talking La Manga Cup-level irrelevance. I'm not so much worried about Houston, since they seem to know how to act, but if LA wins you know Lalas is going to be telling all and sundry that the Galaxy are the kings of the Pacific or some such nonsense.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | February 20, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Arsenal oops - Milan oops. Lyon what? ManU what? sighshighshigh

Posted by: do you know? | February 20, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

270: you bet there is. Among other things, it's all about how there is pressure to do something, even when doing nothing will, at the very least, not hurt you, and might even help. This nicely parleys into all sorts of settings where people are under public or private pressure to be seen as making an action, because that is what makes them expert. Anyone can do nothing, right? You see this often in people in positions of power, you get no credit, if you fail, for doing nothing, even when it is the best option. Better to try something and fail spectacularly.

Of course, do cunning shooters aim for the middle, knowing that is the one place the keeper will never be? Left or right is a fifty/fifty thing, but you can be fairly sure he's going to move, the ball travels a shorter distance, and the target is larger. So why not? Well, for the same reason, from the other side, as the keeper moves. The shooter has a public expectation of success, if he shoots right down the middle and the shot is saved, he looks like an idiot who didn't try hard enough. Conventional wisdom says to go for the corners, even though it is more likely to be saved and more likely to just miss, because it looks harder. Better to try the tougher looking shot and fail then fail on the easier one.

Posted by: northzax | February 20, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Did Comcast Montgomery drop ESPN Classic from their lineup? If not, anyone know what channel it's on these days? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: MoCo-NoGo | February 20, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of ESPN Classic. What a match with Barca-Celtic! Barca so outclassed them, but Boruc kept the Scottish side in the game. I think Guzan made the right move in skipping Celtic -- at least, for now. He'd never get to play over this guy. Still, Guz can get some more caps this spring and summer, and maybe he could get his UK work permit in time for next season.....

BTW -- Comcast Motgomery has ESPN Classic at Ch. 265.

Posted by: FischFry | February 20, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

27 days to the first home match!

Posted by: Curious | February 20, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

cd says... "OK, the league feels it needs to have an "American" sports structure, so be it, but I think the Conde thing only serves to illustrate that as higher profile players and coaches come into the league, this absurd concept of "trades" becomes obsolete."


Couldn't disagree more. One of the few things I hate about soccer relative to US sports is the utter lack of trades and how talent acquisition boils down to a "rich get richer" system of just buying players. I think increased use of trades in UEFA would actually make the sport better and I'm glad to see MLS retain that as an active mode of talent movement.

More specifically, I see no reason for Conde to be anywhere but in Chicago in 2008 unless they manage to get a deal that they feel is right for them -- he signed a contract there and needs to honor it. If RBNY wants him enough and is willing to give up enough to make the Fire happy, then great. Otherwise, he stays in Chicago. I don't see how it's an issue.

Posted by: Phil | February 20, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks northzax. You're spot on with the expectation of "doing something." Someday we may be able to convince our bosses that by doing "nothing" we are actually taking a calculated path to greatest success.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

why the heck wouldn't you have a natural bermuda grass field in Hawaii? artificial turf? is the 80 degree average, plentiful rainfall, and abundant sunshine not conducive to the growth of grass? this isn't the frozen tundra or an arid desert- they call the place paradise. are they throwing the seeds on top of lava rocks? are they hosting monster truck rallies every weekend? whats the deal. ridiculous. watch beckham hurt his knee again on the crap. its a disgrace.

Posted by: mb | February 20, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"why the heck wouldn't you have a natural bermuda grass field in Hawaii? artificial turf?"

Because all of the irrigation water on Oahu goes to golf courses and landscaping for the high-priced resorts.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Because all of the irrigation water on Oahu goes to golf courses and landscaping for the high-priced resorts.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 20, 2008 08:11 PM

so the stadium owners (ie- the state of hawaii) are just too cheap to pay for irrigation for the 120x80yd plot of land?

i say to hawaii- its time for change, time for hope in a better (field surface), time for the pessimism and "can't (water the grass)" attitude of the past to be crushed under the feet of people like you and me- (people wearing athletic shoes that have spikes for digging into the earth's soil, not into plastic and rubber.) They want to divide us, but together, we can achieve our dreams (of a natural playing surface) and be proud again.

Posted by: mb | February 20, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

(manic applause ensues)

Posted by: mb | February 20, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

We all love Goff!!!

Posted by: The Spice Girls | February 20, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Does Goff have any artificial turf?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I remember there being a lot of lava rock in the dirt on the baseball fields on oahu. Not mostly smooth and powdery like the fields in Orange county. Aloha Stadium has long been a pile of rusty doo doo. Nothing happens there except for the probowl,hulabowl, and UH games. People in Hawaii wouldn't understand why you'd justify putting in grass so your beloved Beckham doesn't get hurt again. People love a good shark attack in Hawaii...
Hopefully the players go check out the epic strip clubs of Hawaii while they are there.

Posted by: Dadryan | February 20, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

its time for change, time for hope
Posted by: mb | February 20, 2008 08:25 PM

Been watching O'Bama rallies lately?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

At halftime the Galaxy are at their 2007 worst. It's preseason for both teams although Gambia has been in training longer. Could be 4-0 but it's still only a misleading 1-0. In the 40th minute the Galaxy had been outshot 13-1.

LA had one good chance where a 40 yard Beckham freekick hit Kelly Gray right in the chest with the open goal at his mercy. Gray looked about as comfortable as if a live hand grenade had been thrown at him.

LA is playing lots of rookies and new guys. Donovan's hurt and Babayaro's not there either.


Klein----T. Roberts-----Vanney---M. Gavin

--------K. Gray-------Tudela

--Beckham--------------Pires (not Robert!)

----------Buddle----Ely Allen

Posted by: garbaggio | February 21, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Dynamo dominating Sydney. Stuart Holden and DDR in particular having their way on the attack. Finally, 25 mins in, DDR hits a long range shot for the first goal. Two minutes later Holden is in the right place to get a loose ball, turn and shoot for a second goal. Still the team to beat.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | February 21, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

The Pan-Pacific games sucked.

Posted by: sitruc | February 21, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Gol TV - American Soccer announcers pick DC United as their pre-season favorites to win MLS.

What do you think Goff? Is it to early to call DCU as 2008 champs?

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 21, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

wow, that LA game was terrible. I would have fallen asleep from it even if I was at the game. What a terrible display of soccer.

Posted by: TCompton | February 21, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Pre game thought: I wouldn't want want to be the Gamba equipment manager and have to carry all those cans of hairspray. Were those Japanese players trying to out-metrosexual Beckham?

In-game thoughts: Gamba definitely looked more fit and coordinated. LA was lucky not to give up 3 goals in the first half.

The Gals were a bit scrappier in the 2nd half and fighting for balls more than in the 1st. But it was still a sloppy performance.

Nice speech mb. You have my vote.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 21, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Interesting about the Avram Grant story, popping up at the same time as the Olympic pledge tempest in England that hearkens back to when their football team gave the Nazi salute in the '38 games. I was not aware of that history. See photo and story.

Posted by: WNT fan | February 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Here's a sad, but perhaps predictable, story about former DC United trialist Paul Gascoigne

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 21, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Following WNT fan's link leads to a better story on Gazza in the Daily Mail.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 21, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I just looked at the DC TV schedule, and I don't see Comcast Sports Net on there anywhere. Does anybody know if Comcast will still be airing DC games this year?

Posted by: Matte | February 21, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I believe Goff or someone else here said Comcast (or CSN aka Comcast Sportsnet) would be airing most games again this year.

Posted by: garbaggio | February 21, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Dynamo dominating Sydney..... Still the team to beat.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | February 21, 2008 02:08 AM

And you can tell this from a pre-season game on turf against an opponent that just got bounced out of the A-League playoffs. Yeesh, you are a symbol of the new whiny DC United fan.

Posted by: Cry Fest | February 21, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Not whining. Of course, I have great optimism for the DC teams. I hope that the revamped DCU lineup will be more successful in the playoffs -- I was just noting that, despite losing a couple of strikers, the Dynamo retains those characteristics that have made them the standout franchise in MLS. Yes, United won the Supporters Shield the last two years. I don't want to belittle that achievement, but the Dynamo have been the better team, and that has shown in head-to-head matches. I'n not saying the Dynamo will win -- just that they remain the team to beat, in order to claim the top spot.

And, in keeping with my support for DC sports teeams, I suggest that the Nationals ought to get in touch with Paul Gascoigne. It seems Gazza would fit right in with the team's new personality.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | February 21, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This should be an interesting one!

Posted by: Ric | February 22, 2008 4:21 AM | Report abuse

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