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Harbouring Thoughts

Jason Amaguaña's perfect scenario for D.C. United's Champions' Cup opener at Harbour View next Wednesday?

"Ronny scores but we win," he said.

Jason is an operations manager for DCU. Ronny Amaguaña is his big brother, a wing back for the Jamaican club who has strong ties to the Washington area and a unique perspective on United through family connections and personal experience.

Ronny, 30, is Harbour View's only non-Jamaican player -- the son of Ecuadoran immigrants who was born in the United States, spent his teenage years in the D.C. suburbs and starred at Wheaton (Md.) High School. He played in the Czech Republic's third division, in the Honduran league, for Wilmington (N.C.) in the USL and the Virginia Beach Mariners (when current DCU assistant Mark Simpson was on the coaching staff) and in the Washington amateur leagues. Last year, while preparing to return to Harbour View, he played in two reserve division matches for United.

"Definitely, we're excited to play a big team like D.C. United," he said in a phone interview from Kingston last night. "It's a challenge for us. They beat us a couple years ago [on 4-2 aggregate in 2005] and a lot of the guys remember it."

Harbour View is entering the third stage of its four-quarter season and could have a significant fitness edge over United, which began preseason workouts just six weeks ago and has not played a serious match since the MLS playoffs four months ago. "They just started and are getting fit. We've played a lot of games, so hopefully that will work to our advantage," Ronny said.

Ronny is in his second season with Harbour View (he sat out one year to be with his ailing father) and was recently rewarded with a contract extension. An attacking player most of his career, he plays in the back for Harbour View and has the freedom to go forward. "They liked my pace and my crossing ability. It's up and down, up and down the field," he said. "The emphasis on the wing backs is to get forward" -- a tactic that could pose problems for a United side without injured right-side midfielder Ben Olsen and lack of depth on the flanks.

As for facing an opponent that employs his younger brother, who will travel with United in an official capacity and be at Harbour View's 7,000-seat stadium, "It's always strange to face a team you know, but it hits closer to home when you have family involved."

For more insight on Harbour View, click here.

**************

United will face Chivas USA tonight (9:15 p.m. ET) in the first of three friendlies at the Texas Pro Soccer Festival outside San Antonio. Tomorrow the team will attend the Spurs NBA game against the Indiana Pacers, an outing of particular interest to Franco Niell, Marcelo Gallardo and Gonzalo Peralta, who will get to see Argentine compatriot Manu Ginobili perform for the defending champions and winners of 10 consecutive games.

By Steve Goff  |  March 5, 2008; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

1st

Posted by: woohooo | March 5, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

dork

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Goff - Can we vote you soccer writer of the year?

Posted by: Goff's the Greatest | March 5, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

will these texan games be televised or shot through the tubes of the interwebs????

Posted by: mighty! | March 5, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Goff, don't forget about ol' Fabricio Oberto! He's doing the albiceleste proud in SA too!

Posted by: Nic | March 5, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Goff | March 5, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

WNT scores! 1-0 over china at 15 minutes. Tarpley had the goal. US dominating run of play. China only pressed forward once, earning a corner that was no threat.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

1-0 at half, WNT over china.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I thought Chivas was the final tune up before the Harbour View game?

Posted by: Chico | March 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Wnt starting lineup:

Solo, wambach, rodriguez, heath, cheney, markgraf, chalupney, tarpley, buehler, kai, rampone. Take list with grain of salt because players list given out by organizers doesn't match jersey numbers in every case. They also switched stadia this morning. Team only found out at last minute.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Error alert! Barnhart got start in goal. She's talland blonde as well -- and the player list was wrong -- so forgive the mistake.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Heath scores! 2-0 USA. Her first int'l goal.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

More errata: I said kai started, but o'reilly did. Kai subbed in for rodriguez.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Wambach scores. 3-0!

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Could you please kick Fisher in the junk?

What's up with this guys anti-United articles in The Post?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/03/soccer_stadium_update_calling.html

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

That player's list was completely off. Ignore that post. Goal! Lloyd scores for 4-0.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Is Benny going to start? I would like to see him come on as a sub. Both Kirk and Fred can play the wing.

Posted by: no_recess | March 5, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

RE: Southeasterner

Everyone is lighting the guy up for the stadia piece. In the words of Tony the Tiger, "they're grrrrreat!"

Posted by: gilbert | March 5, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

So Fisher said that Fenty is being political by saying he supports the stadium but not at full public expense. And they mention that a soccer stadium will have nowhere close to the effect on the region as a baseball stadium. That really is crazy talk!! Did you hear they sold out tickets to Opening Day in 6 minutes yesterday for the Nats? Southesterner you must take a step closer to me.

Posted by: Reality | March 5, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Final
USWNT 4 China 0

Posted by: sitruc | March 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I used to see these guys twice a week for years, once at practice and once at the game. I hope Queto is doing well, great guy. Ronnie and Jason used to thrash about on the sidelines at our games. When he was something like 14 or 15, Ronnie started playing in the adult games. We had a former New England Teaman on the team. We won the Guate league Championship in 88 I believe.
Brings back memories of hooking up with Ronnie's dad on some passing combinations for goals in a "friendly" against a Chilean team and hitting Ronnie for a header goal in practice many years later.

Posted by: Mifflin | March 5, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

They sold out Opening Day at a brand new ballpark? I'm Shocked!!

Posted by: Chico | March 5, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

And how many tickets were actually available to the public or to the SE DC public in that 6 minutes?

After you factor in corporate sales, seats for all of Congress and its' families, the White House and the entire Secret Service, The DC Government and its families, the season ticket holders, the corporate oweners, the players allotment, figureheads from Major League Steriods/Baseball, and anyone else that is owed a favor - I'm sure 6 minutes must seem amazing.

Please - Major League Baseball was the first sport to get fat off of the fact that it's bloated and painfully long season is underwritten and supported by selling your corporate boxes for so much that you can play in an empty park and still break even.

Posted by: Reality Bites | March 5, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

""Curtin was placed on the season-ending injury list in September 2006 after suffering a right abductor strain and surgery for athletic Pubalgia.""

I don't know what athletic pubalgia is, but sounds like some kind of Beer fungus.

Who knew you needed surgery for it though?!

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Baseball is a widely popular sport across the country. MLS seems to have found a decent niche audience that can support the league under the current league setup. Get over yourselves. I am no Nats fans but they'll sell 3 million tickets this year.

Posted by: Reality 2 | March 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

2 million of those will be to Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox fans.

Posted by: HarryCaray | March 5, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey realty2 they also play 1,00000 useless games, they are happy for selling out the home opener..woooooooooo. Talk to us next year mid season and see wheather or not the have sells out throughout. By building a stadium you expect the average to double? I guess its RFK that made the nationals so bad, poor team. Dc only needs 5 thousands more fans averaged to sell out each game at there new stadium.

Posted by: dc fan | March 5, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The test for the Nats ticket sales, Reality, won't be opening day but the heat of July and August when they are languishing in the cellar.

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Could you please kick Fisher in the junk?

What's up with this guys anti-United articles in The Post?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/03/soccer_stadium_update_calling.html

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 5, 2008 10:05 AM

------------------------------------

Man has his right to his own opinion. I prefer not to give troglodytes the time of day, but to each his own.

Posted by: Who cares | March 5, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

No one said they wouldn't. They'll do just fine in a city that doesn't experience economic slowdowns due to a glut of employment that is never affected by them.

Baseball is widely popular - no one said that wasn't the case either. But in a game that is more about its statistics than anything else, realize that they lie. That 6 minutes likely only reflects single digit percentages for the total gate of opening day. Opening day for a team that is opening a new stadium in a city that didn't care about it when it was losing in "that dump".

I take issue with your use of that statistic as a measure of success rather than your opinions on anything beyond that. It's used to portray something that isn't accurate. 41,222 seats did not sell in 6 minutes.

Posted by: Reality Bites 2 | March 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals in 2007, who were a bad team, averaged 23,998 per game which was one of the worst in baseball. And that was over 81 home games.

An MLS team, playing only 15 league home games, would be thrilled to average over 23K per game.

As good as DCU is in the grand scheme of MLS attendance, I don't see how there is any room here for attendance smack talk. Yeah, the Nats will get a boost from the new stadium in 2008 and then come back down for 2009. And yet, they'll still have the kind of atttendance numbers that MLS teams dies for.

Posted by: More reality | March 5, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

You know, I love United and will easily attend four times the number of soccer games that I will baseball, but trying to build ourselves up by tearing the Nats down isn't accomplishing anything. It just further marginalizes us as a fan community. The Nats stadium is a fait accompli - deal with it.

I personally hope the Nats draw well, since I don't think there is a lot of overlap in the fanbase, and the more successful they are, the more DC escapes its rep as a one sport (all Redskins, all the time) town. I'd love to see teams like the Caps and United (and yes the Nats even) held in the same regard as our precious NFL franchise.

Posted by: JB | March 5, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Baseball is barely widely popular and is clinging to its "National Pastime" tag with all of the juiced-up strength it has left. It is more popular than soccer currently but less-so then Football (American) and Basketball. It also suffers from the meaningless middle of the season where people really don't care and attendance plummets. There are a few teams that continue to draw well over the whole season but most do not.

Posted by: James | March 5, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals in 2007, who were a bad team, averaged 23,998 per game which was one of the worst in baseball. And that was over 81 home games.

An MLS team, playing only 15 league home games, would be thrilled to average over 23K per game.

As good as DCU is in the grand scheme of MLS attendance, I don't see how there is any room here for attendance smack talk. Yeah, the Nats will get a boost from the new stadium in 2008 and then come back down for 2009. And yet, they'll still have the kind of atttendance numbers that MLS teams dies for.

Posted by: More reality | March 5, 2008 11:29 AM

I don't think anyone will argue that baseball has more fans.

What we will say is that we aren't asking for a $600 million DC financed stadium blocks from the Capitol.

Yeah they play more games but we are asking for a lot less money.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 5, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention, final 4-0.

Posted by: troy | March 5, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this is great for other readers of this and makes Goff want to hang himself in his office.

A professional game that has a history as long as baseball does in America has no place to compare itself to MLS. And MLS should not put itself against MLB at this point. It's not an Apples-to-Apples comparison.

The MLS is a generational growth story - just like all the other leagues have been domestically and abroad. A 10 year-old in 1996 at it's launch is now only 22. There hasn't been a generation that has grown up rooting for a team because their parents did or following a league because there was one.

I never brought up DCU's attendance or said anything about what it is and should be and will be or won't be. I'm still stating that the Nationals sold only ~5,000 tickets in 6 minutes. And that six minutes was to fill out the electronic paperwork for requests that had been submitted a long time ago for people wanting to be there for OPENING DAY. And perhaps they'll come back for $1 Beer Nights.

Posted by: Reality Bites Again | March 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Back to the point.....any TV for the San Antonio games?

Posted by: Brian | March 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Various versions of reality:

I love baseball and I love soccer but the Nat's will not sell 3 million tickets this year. The Yankees barely sold that many last year. They'll surely have an attendance boost this year but I wonder if it will last.

Posted by: laur | March 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

any TV for the San Antonio games?

------------

These are scrimmages at a high school stadium.

Um, no.

Posted by: Goff | March 5, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

My bad- the Yanks had 4 mil- however the Nat's will not come close to that. Boston didn't even reach 3 mil.

Posted by: laur | March 5, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I really don't see what all the gripe about Fisher's article is for. He's not saying anything that isn't new.

Baseball is a much more established and watched sport in America than soccer is. This should come as no surprise. And as a result, its economic impact should be greater for the Nationals than for United because of it. This also should not come as a surprise.

While I would love for soccer to be viewed in America as it is around the world, I'm not foolish or naive enough to believe that it is, or will be with the construction of a soccer specific stadium for United.

What soccer does have going for it is that there is a global interest in the sport and a steadily growing interest/demand/market for it in the United States.

Plus, the globlization of the game increases the attractiveness for investments in soccer (such as a state-of-the-art DC United stadium) that could assist the economy in ways that Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey cannot. For example, a new DC United stadium in the District could benefit the econcomy and community through:

(1) Increased international (and domestic) tourism through participation and hosting international and domestic tournaments and matches;
(2) Helping to intigrate and benefit (economically from) an increasing Hispanic/Latin American community who have strong social ties to soccer; and
(3) Helping to merge/strengthen the DC Metropolitan area participants in the Nations largest and highest participated youth sporting activity.

Posted by: TCompton | March 5, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ted, Fisher might not be saying anything new but it's the way he says it. It's with a decidedly anti-stadium, anti-soccer slant. And his facts are either wrong or non-existant. To a District resident who could care less about DC United it's a no brainer to NOT support the new stadium if all he has to go by is Fisher's bogus reporting. He needs to be called out on it (as does Nakamura IMHO ) and show some spine and answer his critics.

Posted by: Chico | March 5, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I actually care less about the WNT updates a few people love to post about than the Nats, and I don't mean the USMNT.

Posted by: baseball still better than women's soccer. | March 5, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Chico nailed it on the head.

The occasional negative slant of the non-sportswriters at WashPost can have a big impact on the team. It's all the more frustrating when a similar negative slant is not readily apparent when the non-sportwristers at WashPost evaluate off-field matters affecting the District. (Example: the recent deal by the District to fund upgrades at Verizon Center for the benefit of Abe Pollin received little if no negative criticism from the non-sportwriters at WashPost).

Posted by: Mickey | March 5, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I played with Ronnie growing up in the area. The best player I ever played with or against, second would probably be Brian West. The guy was just good at everything, it is great to see he is still playing.

The last time I saw him was at an indoor game in Rockville. He must have had 8 goals on 10 touches as a kind of target forward. Nice guy and family too, always asked about my father and sisters. Guess I am going to the home leg now and will be rooting for him to do well.

Posted by: Dancy | March 5, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

any TV for the San Antonio games?

------------

These are scrimmages at a high school stadium.

Um, no.

------------

Well, its not a ridiculous question....ok maybe it is, but the Skins training camp games are held on a college field (or used to be.....didnt they go back?) that is smaller than some high school stadiums. And they're all on TV. Not trying to equate the two and start a whole new topic on here, but it'd be nice if at some point we got to where preseason games were broadcast too.

Posted by: Brian | March 5, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

baseball still better than women's soccer., why would we post Nationals updates on a soccer blog?

Posted by: sitruc | March 5, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Troy: Thanks for the reporting from Portugal. I hope you can manage more of the same in the coming days.

The New York Times reports that Ian Sawyers, who was just hired to coach the NY/NJ team in the WPS, is there to scout international prospects. Do you know of any other such WPS-related activity?

Posted by: tri-village | March 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The emphasis on the wing backs is to get forward? They can get forward all they want and just watch as Fred and Emilio counterattack them to shreds.

Posted by: DCUMD | March 5, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie is my cousin and I'm happy that he's living his dream of playing professional soccer. Along with being a great guy and cousin, he has always been a great soccer player and his dribbling skills are unbelievable. I remember while growing up together, I played with him and against him and every time he would touched the ball I couldn't help but watch to see what kind of magic he would create. It was as if I were watching Jordan with a soccer ball. I'll be at the game Tuesday night in RFK with the rest of my family and I hope he has a great game in front all the people that love him. Good luck bro.

Posted by: David A. | March 17, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

ronnie is a very good friend and a great soccer player,it brought tears to my eyes watching him play a pro game in front of thousands of people and family and friends, i will always support him and i know his dad has the biggest smile on his face as we speak,big ups ron we love u and keep living ur dream

Posted by: medardo | March 19, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

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