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Meat Puppets

We can't claim 3.7 trillion hits per month, we're not the place to watch video of attention-deprived fans running onto the pitch and we have nothing to offer on the personal lives of footballers, but what we do have is this:

Puppet power!

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Watch the first minute, or the whole clip, and then return here for your regularly scheduled Insider.

Okay, on to serious matters. (I take that back. Americans dying in Iraq is serious. Human rights issues in Tibet and Myanmar/Burma are serious. This is not serious. It's just football.)

*Speaking of Jose Mourinho (the person, not the puppet) and his former club, Chelsea, read this superb story.

*The Post Magazine ran this essay on one man's memories of Estadio RFK as a baseball facility. What's your favorite soccer memory?

*Dominic Cervi started in goal for the USA in yesterday's CONCACAF under-23 final, but where he plays next is anyone's guess. Less than a week before the MLS season starts, Cervi has still not signed with the club that drafted him, the Chicago Fire. I won't pretend to know the specifics of the negotiations, but shouldn't the Fire/MLS have been able to secure a deal with a promising, young American keeper by now?

*An American playing for the Brazilian women's team?

*The Washington Freedom, which will play in the W-League again this year before evolving into a first-division club in the new national league next spring, has signed 12 players.

*I leave you with River Plate-Sarsfield video:

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2008; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: USA Roster in Poland
Next: Murphy, Cezar, Kpene [updated]

Comments

Do you know what the Lama says?
Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga.

So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me.

And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know."

And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

Posted by: delantero | March 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Two of many RFK soccer memories:

1. Playing before a Diplomats game, circa 1981-82. The grass was gorgeous, the lower bowl actually had a couple thousands fans (all to see me, of course) that early, and we won the game.

2. Getting busted in the (closed off) upper bowl by a police officer on a motorcycle. He made me sit in a seat with his helmet on, pretending to be HIM while he rode around looking for my friends (who had long since vanished). I escaped after 15 minutes -- I left the helmet -- and returned to my "normal" seat where I proceeded to get abused for the rest of the game.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 24, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

i always thought that was people in masks, not puppets. the hand movements are much too complex to be a puppet?

Posted by: pat | March 24, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, can you ask Coach Soehn at practice this week what his plans are for the starting roster at KC vs the roster for Pachuca. The travelling Barra and most United fans would like to know. Thank you.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | March 24, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

A personnal mermory I have at Estadio RFK would be one that I cant rememeber, no it wasnt because I was wasted (lol). Its one when I was only three and my pops would take me to watch the Dips play. Now its the other way around I take him to the DC matches.

RFK is such a great place.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 24, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Chicago was barely paying Matt Pickens above the league minimum last season. Is it that shocking that they haven't signed the player who will presumably be the backup keeper this year?

Posted by: Math | March 24, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

MLS Cup '97. Going crazy in the rain with the Barra and 56,000 other fanaticos.

Posted by: Chico | March 24, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

That's Fantastic!

Posted by: dtd | March 24, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, can you ask Coach Soehn at practice this week what his plans are for the starting roster at KC vs the roster for Pachuca.

-----

Of course, but DCU rarely discusses possible lineups. My understanding is that the team is traveling directly from KC to Mexico, so whoever goes to the MLS opener will be available for the Champions' Cup match.

Posted by: Goff | March 24, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

As for the American playing in Brazil, I tried to find a video of her flip-throw, but couldn't. If anyone finds it, post it.

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Three ERFK memories, two go back the the Diplomats. Details subject to correction:

1) My first day game, '78 or so, against the (hated) Cosmos, sold out or near sold out stadium, national TV. We're behind the north goal, the Dips have a goal ruled offsides at the south goal. See movement at the far end stands that turns out to be a guy barrelling down the aisle, over the barrier and onto the field to slug one of the officials. First thought - "if this gets reported in South America, they'll know we're stating to take soccer seriously."

2) Playoffs against the LA Aztecs, 1979. Overtime of the deciding game. Johan Cruyff (then an Aztec) apparently had enough of the heat, took the ball in the LA end and dribbled through the entire Diplomat team (some of them maybe multiple times) to score the goal and let everyone go home. I may see a better goal someday, but I'll never see one that impresses me more at the time. It was fun to have him on our side for the next two years, but he never topped that.

3) Sitting in my usual seat in the 200's, which for the Cup final last year had become the Dynamo front office section, during Houston's comeback last November.

Oddly enough, despite coming to lots of games, most of my best DCU memories have been via TV. Although the 2004 Conference Final was epic.

Posted by: stuck in 200 | March 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Great guy, the Lama.

Posted by: Jonathan | March 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Favorite RFK memory:

I remember watching United thrash a team called Joe Public from Trinidad. They had a group of maybe 10 or 15 supporters who must have been dying on the inside, but they were making the most of it. United fans celebrated, and Joe Public fans had a wake.

In many ways the wake looked like more fun.

Posted by: Rich Horton | March 24, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

We'll take real news, great insight and quality music references over constant back-patting, pictures of Albright in his skivvies and fake stories passed off as real news any way of the week, Goffer!

Posted by: Brian | March 24, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The year was 1996. After some 13 years with no top-flight soccer, DC was back on the map in the futbol world with DC United and MLS. It was so good to have pro soccer back after the demise of the Diplomats and then Team America, I didn't mind that much that DC United was awful.

But they didn't stay awful. I attended my first DCU match right around the time they started to turn things around that inaugural season. If I remember correctly, we went down 2-0 in the first half, but that DCU team did not quit. Maestro Etcheverry screamed even more insistently for the ball. He began to spray gorgeous, pin-point passes all over the field; creating dangerous chance after dangerous chance.

DC United then popped one in to pull within 1. A feeling came over the stadium that DC United was going to win. Sure enough DCU gets another one. 2-2. Then in the dying minutes its DCU 3-2.

I came away from that match feeling DCU was something special. There was just something magic about them. I went to couple more games that regular season, and DCU won those also, coming from behind. I quickly realized that DCU was not just going to be another incarnation of the woebegone Dips and Team America.

Sure enough, DCU went on to become The far-and-away most successful soccer club in the history of the United States.

You just gotta love 'em.

Posted by: Ron | March 24, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

US v Honduras World Cup qualifier that started at 10:00 am so that ABC could accommodate Saturday's college football telecasts.

It was the best atmosphere I've seen at RFK, despite being primarily Honduran.

That and I usually don't start drinking beer at 9:00 am.

Posted by: delantero | March 24, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

US v Jamaica, 1998, WCQ, 1-1 tie on a bad Agoos pass...the atmosphere was incredible...

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the promise that Cervi has, it was a blunder to pick him in the 1st round. Given his draft status, he likely wants a senior roster spot and salary. I hope he will be signed, but I've thought that he would be a tough signing ever since he was drafted.

Posted by: khan | March 24, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Love that post, Ron!

Ten years from now, I'm certain my favorite memories won't be of my childhood visits to RFK, but my adult visits with my wife and kids:
- watching my wife helping my youngest open a bag of peanuts without the peanuts flying all over the aisle
- seeing my two boys get hugs from Talon down by the fence, just behind the team benches
- the look on my sons faces when Talon handed them a Freddy ball!
- my daughter touching me on the shoulder and saying, "hey dad, did you see that..." referring to a nice cross or heel flick from United
- standing up to deliver high-fives after a United goal, and the sheer joy on everyone's faces
- a nice spring or summer night in a great stadium, watching a great team.

It's the stuff of life, and I love it.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 24, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"pictures of Albright in his skivvies"

Thank goodness for the masculine possessive pronoun. The alternative gives me chills.


"This is not serious. It's just football."

So, a puppet mentions your blog and it goes to your head and now you jeopardize your career by placing sports in a global perspective? Delete it before your editors see it.
:-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 24, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I waas watching the game at Summers on Sunday Morning, and I was about to mentally tune out the 15 minutes of soothing-to-death Sentanta background music when the puppets came on and I watched in disbelief. Clearly Goff has some connections.

Posted by: MN | March 24, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Goff is ridin' on spinners.

Posted by: Dave | March 24, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

270: are you at dos? I had the same response; a shudder until I noticed the pronoun.

Posted by: troy | March 24, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

July 2006 home game against Kansas City (I think). My first soccer game at RFK. Up until then I'd been to a few baseball games there, but never soccer.

Our seats were behind the Screaming Eagles section, and I couldn't believe all the yelling and flag waving and beer tossing whenever DCU scored a goal (final score was DCU 3-2 or 4-2).

Posted by: Juan-John | March 24, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Argentina 1999, with Earnie Stewart feeding Joe-Max Moore for the game's only goal late in the second half. If I am not mistaken, Keller rejected a PK earlier in that match.

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

http://www.blablagol.com.br/lateral-de-cirque-du-soleil/

Brazilian...er, American...girl's flip throw is above.

Best soccer memory? I don't have too many of them, so it's got to be DC 4 - 1 TFC simply because I got to go to a game for once.

Best futbol memory? Being the sole Argentina fan in Cholula, Mexico. Oh dear that was priceless.

Best football memory? Sitting on my couch watching Lionel Messi dance around defenders. :) Oh and you gotta love when I show up to a family reunion and my Man Utd cousins are ashamed to admit that Arsenal's in first place. Hasn't happened in awhile though... :(

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 24, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Also, Brazil-Germany in '93, with Germany getting three late goals, two from Klinsi, to knot it up at 3-3. This midweek daytime game drew about 35K fans.

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Lateral de Cirque du Soleil. That says it all.

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Bolivia 2 USA 2

Watching Marco Etcheverry spray passes all over the field and then Jaime Moreno torching Jeff Agoos and posterizing Tony Meola. United signing Jaime a week later was the cherry on top.

Posted by: ElDiablo | March 24, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Big hitter, the Lama...

Posted by: Carl Spackler | March 24, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

US v Jamaica, 1998, WCQ, 1-1 tie on a bad Agoos pass...the atmosphere was incredible...

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 11:08 AM

It felt like the Jamaica fans sucked the air out of the entire stadium. Nothing like it!

Posted by: Chris | March 24, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

That should actually read

Bolivia 2 USA 0

Posted by: ElDiablo | March 24, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

270: are you at dos?

Posted by: troy | March 24, 2008 11:48 AM
==================

No not at DOS (exit uno :-), but she's been in the news with her book and all and is the first to come to my mind when I hear "Albright."
>>>>>>

"Argentina 1999, with Earnie Stewart feeding Joe-Max Moore for the game's only goal late in the second half"

No-one even mentions how Lassiter's run to the far post, which took a defender with him, opened up space for Stewart. It was the best off-the-ball play I've ever seen.
>>>>>>>>>>

Entertaining flip-throw, but how many goals has it lead to?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 24, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

2004 Eastern Conference final ldo.

Posted by: silentbob | March 24, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Where is Wambach going to end up?

Posted by: Curious | March 24, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Best memory? October 1996, Game 3 against the Metrostars and watching everyone run out onto the field celebrating the last minute victory. After having no professional soccer for over a decade, and seeing the passion and commitment to a team that hadn't even completed one full season, it literally brought tears to my eyes. At that moment I was hooked on United forever.

Posted by: Tom | March 24, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Watching Joe Horvath snitch balls from behind players at speed with that left foot hook tackle that couldn't have been even slightly legal, but that was another time.

Posted by: CuriousonRFK | March 24, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

That should actually read

Bolivia 2 USA 0

Posted by: ElDiablo | March 24, 2008 12:22 PM
---------------
And if memory serves, Friedel got nut-megged on Jaime's 60-yard jaunt past Goose. I hope Moreno has one of those still in him!

As for the flip throw: a 2-litre bottle of Coke Zero to the SI colleague who remembers the UVA player well known for his flip throw (I-270, Exit 1, you are EXCLUDED from this pop quiz!)

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 24, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And if memory serves, Friedel got nut-megged on Jaime's 60-yard jaunt past Goose.
===========================================

A previous poster cast Meola in this role. (I was at this game, and I can't remember whether it was Friedel, Meola, or someone else.)

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it was Friedel. Jaime's scored on Meola so often I just figured it was him.

Posted by: ElDiablo | March 24, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Mine is a recent memory... Benny's hat trick

Posted by: DCUMD | March 24, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a random guess -- Mike Fisher.

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Watching Joe Horvath snitch balls from behind players at speed with that left foot hook tackle that couldn't have been even slightly legal, but that was another time.

Posted by: CuriousonRFK | March 24, 2008 12:42 PM
=========================================

I remember the 1980 home opener against Philly. Despite having had an excellent season in '79, Horvath was little more than trade bait, because of some high-priced new midfield talent, including Johan Cruyff. Injuries forced the team to start him against Philly, and he gave a truly inspired performance at both ends of the pitch, being involved in all three Dips goals, including a right-footed blast from long range for the final goal (he was a southpaw). There was no talk of trading him after that, although he suffered some injuries and never really regained his form. I wonder where Horvath is now?

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Where is Wambach going to end up?

Posted by: Curious | March 24, 2008 12:38 PM
==================

On the gold medal podium in Beijing!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 24, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Sorry if this has already been brought up but when is/was your MLS season preview published in the Post?

Didn't you have a full page spread in the Sports section the past few years?

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 24, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

RFK favorite soccer moment:

2004 Conference Final OT, PK thriller.

Plus, the fact that Taylor Twellman was on the losing team was an added bonus.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | March 24, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

MLS and DCU previews this Friday and Saturday.

Posted by: Goff | March 24, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to add that those puppets automatically make me think of Team America: World Police

America, F*@% Yeah!

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | March 24, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is before my time, but was anyone at the game between the Diplomats and the Tulsa Roughnecks that featured an incident involving Paul Cannell, as reported here?

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1093802/2/index.htm

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Where is Wambach going to end up?

Posted by: Curious | March 24, 2008 12:38 PM
==================

On the gold medal podium in Beijing!

Right you are. However, after she steps off the podium in Bejing, she will perhaps sign with a team in the new league: is she destined for her old stomping grounds or some other city?

Posted by: WordierCurious | March 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Where is Wambach going to end up?

Posted by: Curious | March 24, 2008 12:38 PM
==================

On the gold medal podium in Beijing!

Right you are. However, after she steps off the podium in Bejing, she will perhaps sign with a team in the new league: is she destined for her old stomping grounds or some other city?

Posted by: WordierCurious | March 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@tri village: I remember Cannell's swallowed-his-own-tongue incident, but not the one you posted.

By the way, the UVA flip thrower was Volga Wallace. Dude could throw it a quarter mile, it seemed.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 24, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

http://www.blablagol.com.br/lateral-de-cirque-du-soleil/

Brazilian...er, American...girl's flip throw is above.
__________________________________________

There was this kid on my high school soccer team who would always do this. 1 time he tried to do it and just fell flat on his face. Needless to say everyone (our team, the opposing team, coaches, refs, spectators) all had a good laugh.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | March 24, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Right you are. However, after she steps off the podium in Bejing, she will perhaps sign with a team in the new league: is she destined for her old stomping grounds or some other city?

Posted by: WordierCurious | March 24, 2008 01:23 PM
==========================================

Presumably there will be some sort of draft or allocation. The fact that Wambach once played in Washington in a defunct league is unlikely to factor into it. If she had stayed with the Freedom into the post-WUSA era like Golebiowski, etc., it may have been a different story. In fact, I wonder whether WPS will do anything in particular to address the fact that two teams (the Freedom and Jersey Sky Blue) already have rosters assembled, and all the others will be starting from scratch.

Posted by: tri-village | March 24, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Most Memorable RFK Moments:

Every single game with Barra Brava is the most memorable moment in RFK !!!It is always a different experience and each and everyone of them is memorable win or lose!!!

VAMOS UNITED!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 24, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Favorite RFK Memory came in 1994, the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Saudi Arabi. I remember going with my dad, and my younger brother, and we sat in the middle of all the Dutch supporters. My dad, being a huge baseball fan, and very anti-soccer had a look of confusion on his face, as to why everyone was singing and chanting the entire time. Ever since then, he has been a huge soccer fan. That was priceless.

Posted by: DC United Fan | March 24, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid that someone is going to try that throw-in and break his or her neck...

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Favorite RFK Memory:

I took my 67 year old dad to his first professional soccer match last season, and it happened to be the game when Ben Olsen scored his hat trick against the Red Bulls. As I always do, I made sure to sit near the screaming eagles and Barra Brava. I also took him to the drum circle at half time.

After the game, my dad says "that was the most fun I've ever had at any professional sporting event". As the only soccer fan in my family, that just felt so good! He's been to all kinds of games in all kinds of sports over the years, so those words mean a lot to me.

Thanks to United and my fellow fans.

Posted by: David | March 24, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Great story David.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 24, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Must say that I'm on Setanta Sports is genius.

It's almost worth the $14 a month to DirecTV.

Shut up, Dave!

Be Champions!

Posted by: AM | March 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Must say that I'm on Setanta Sports is genius.

It's almost worth the $14 a month to DirecTV.

Shut up, Dave!

Be Champions!

Posted by: AM | March 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

Posted by: owendylan | March 24, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid that someone is going to try that throw-in and break his or her neck...

Posted by: RK | March 24, 2008 02:43 PM
_____

We'll see about that, mister...I've got a ball and some grass, let's see if I break my bones...

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 24, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Best RFK soccer memory: Barcelona vs. Juventis a few years ago. Ronaldinho was unbelievable

Posted by: virtueandvice | March 24, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

We'll see about that, mister...I've got a ball and some grass, let's see if I break my bones...

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 24, 2008 04:43 PM

...but is that grass a hybrid of Kentucky bluegrass, featherbed bent, and northern California sensimilia?

Posted by: Carl Spackler | March 24, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Best RFK soccer memory: Barcelona vs. Juventis a few years ago. Ronaldinho was unbelievable

Posted by: virtueandvice


I remember Barca and AC Milan......but not Juve. Maybe that one?

Anyway, bringing my dad to Nottingham Forest friendly and watching him track the penalty kicks at the end; '04 Conf Finals, 4th of July game with the kids in 02 (maybe??) where the youth fan club went on the field after the game for autographs. My wife caught one of the balls kicked out to start the game. All the guys signed it for my son - Ali Curtis, Stoichkov, Dema, Ray Hudson for a time reference.
Argentina vs USA; Eddie Johnson's coming out party for US; Soccer Bowl 80; MLS Cup 07; so, so many.....

Posted by: marksman | March 24, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you should have never posted that IOSS video. Instead of working on a paper, I instead watched every single video, sometimes more than once.

For Shame!!!

P.S. To spare you any guilt, I did get back to work on the paper after watching the videos.

Posted by: Rene | March 24, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

We'll see about that, mister...I've got a ball and some grass, let's see if I break my bones...

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 24, 2008 04:43 PM

...but is that grass a hybrid of Kentucky bluegrass, featherbed bent, and northern California sensimilia?

Posted by: Carl Spackler | March 24, 2008 05:15 PM

----
Actually, it's more like dirt. I'm gonna try it anyway.

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 24, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Dale River!!! Chi leeeeee no!!!

Posted by: Lost in BA | March 24, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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