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Dust in the Wind

All we are is dust in the wind

Welcome to Kansas -- the state, not the band or the university.

First impressions of CommunityAmerica Ballpark, the Wizards' two-year temporary home until their new stadium is completed:

I thought I would hate it. I actually kind of like it.

It's a funky little place for soccer, a baseball stadium in a suburban commercial development area just off Interstate 70 that includes Target, Dave & Busters, Hooters and Kansas Speedway. It's about a 20-minute drive west of downtown Kansas City -- Missouri, not Kansas -- and maybe 25 minutes from the airport.

The field layout is similar to when United and the Nats were sharing RFK, except here the field is further back from the first-base dugout and lower box seats, which means the pitcher's mound and home plate area do not interfere with the soccer field. Because of this arrangement, a ticket behind home plate or on the lower level along the first-base line will not offer good sightlines.

This field seems more angled toward the right field corner as well. Temporary seating has been added above the tall left-field wall and the grass berm behind one of the goals reminds me of Maryland SoccerPlex. There is a big gap beyond the far sideline -- where the bullpens sit for baseball -- so assuming the main TV cameras are located on the permanent end, it's going to look strange for viewers at home.

On display is a giant billboard of Claudio Lopez, a PowerBall update sign ($36 million today!) and an enormous bull/cow placard with a hole in its right eye cavity, presumably a target for the Kansas City T-Bones hitters who usually play here.

Thoughts from the DCU folks, who conducted a light workout this evening?

"The field is in great shape. For this time of year, I expected far worse," Tom Soehn said. "Obviously it's a small venue, but it's not bad. It plays really nice."

Said Bryan Namoff, who will have to defend for one half the corner where grass covers the baseball infield, a la RFK: "I played on a baseball field before so I'm used to it. We were expecting a lot worse. It's still a little soft on the new turf, but there's no bumps like RFK. They did a great job."

Team notes:

*Marcelo Gallardo ran into former Argentine national teammate Lopez in downtown Kansas City -- Missouri, not Kansas -- this afternoon and had a nice chat.

*The travel roster: Wells, Carvallo; Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch, P. Carroll; Fred, Simms, McTavish, Gallardo, Mediate, Kirk, Stratford, Quaranta, Dyachenko (can't play, red card); Moreno, Emilio, Niell.

By Steve Goff  |  March 28, 2008; 8:37 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Matchday: DCU at K.C.

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