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United Lite

Before giving United the lead at Harbour View last week, when was the last time Devon McTavish scored a goal?

"I think I was a junior in high school. No, it was my senior year at college. I scored in a preseason game my rookie year [with United], but that was it. As you could tell by my reaction the other day, it doesn't happen very often."

Nonetheless, he is the team's leading scorer. "Yeah, that should stand up until tomorrow," he said.

Ben Olsen, out with ankle problems, was at Estadio RFK today for conditioning purposes only. Well, that's what we assume. "I'm starting at defensive midfield tomorrow," he said. Yes, he was kidding.

On a serious note, "We're pretty confident they fixed what was wrong with the latest procedure. It proved that there was some more stuff they needed to take out. It's a real ankle now -- a beautifully shaped ankle. I probably have the prettiest ankle on the team right now."

Timetable? "I just set myself up for disappointment with these timetables, but I'll continue to work and hopefully in a week or two I might be incorporated into the training."

Goalkeeper Zach Wells, acquired during the offseason, has made several visits to RFK but has never played there.

"It's a pretty special place. I have some good memories and some very bad memories," he said. "MLS Cup was a good memory last year. The bad memories were getting pounded by United every time we came here. The last two years, probably our worst two losses [with Houston] came in D.C. We just felt like we were completely dominated. Oddly enough, after that loss at D.C. last year, we turned around our season."

Coach Tom Soehn was asked about the biggest improvement he expects playing at home.

"The field! It's awesome compared to what we had to play on down there [in Jamaica]. That's a sign of good coaching -- having a nice field. It's in fantastic shape, probably the best I've ever seen it here."

By the way, defender Jeff Curtin, acquired off waivers recently, is recovering from a groin injury and will join the club in the coming weeks.

Okay, Insider loyalists, predictions for the second leg?

By Steve Goff  |  March 17, 2008; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Maradona Gets High

Comments

Prediction for second leg: $275 at the official team store.

Posted by: Sam | March 17, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

After HV withstands the early DC pressure we get a goal late in the first half. HV comes out after the half trying to get the equalizer. We catch them on the break and Emilio puts the game away.

DC 2 - HV 0

Posted by: GoldenChild | March 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

$300 at the team store...yikes!

Posted by: rw | March 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

With better field conditions, players eager to impress fans, and fans desire to see DC United win:

DC United 6 Harbor View 0

Luciano 3
Gallardo 1
Fred 1
Neil 1

Harbor View is going to get 4 red cards, and would have to play with 7 men.

Posted by: DC United Predictor | March 17, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

""when was the last time Devon McTavish scored a goal?""

After getting the way of a shot and having the ball hit him in the, uh, groin, yeah, groin . . .

Benny O cracks me up, how about we replace Caligiuri with Ben until Ben heals?

Posted by: delantero | March 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

HV comes out in a bunker and DC grabs a goal just before halftime. HV opens up in the second half allowing DC to score two more. DC advances 4-1 on aggregate.

Posted by: dwbpnm | March 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I see DC winning this 3-0, 1 from niell 1 from Luci-gol and 1 from a Gallardo free kick.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | March 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Emilio and Niell start. Niell's speed creates more space for Gallardo to work, and he springs a forward for a goal within the first ten minutes. HV gets caught for two more counterattack goals in the second half. DCU 3 - 0 HVFC.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

2-0

Didn't Wells play in a reserve game at the Aux field with NY? I think this was the game that 17 yo Gaven's parents dropped him off at the field with a brown bag lunch (seriously).

Posted by: JSF | March 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Benny makes me laugh. I just hope he will get another hat trick against NYRB. My prediction is 3-0. Two from Emilio randomly and gonzalo perallta on a header from a corner kick in injury time.

Posted by: the jim | March 17, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

DC win 1-0 after a counter initiated by Burch in the late 1st. We struggle most of the game due to a lack of definitive leadership on the field but squeak by and everyone feels relieved it's over.

Posted by: Bob | March 17, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

About $350 at the store!!!

DCU takes the lead in the 1st 20 minutes ans takes a 2 goal lead into half time in the 1st 15 minuted of the sacond half they score again and a HV playes gets a red making it easier for DCU and to finish the game on a high note scoring 2 more time before time is up making it 5-0 DCU

VAMOS UNITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

wow that was bad grammar on my previou post LOL!!!!!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Harbour View's new and inexperienced chef leaves the chicken salad at room temperature overnight.

DC 5: HV 0

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

wow that was bad grammar on my previou post LOL!!!!!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 17, 2008 02:02 PM
===============
... and bad spelling on the follow-up.

FSC would like you to send an audition tape.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

LMAO!!!!!!! My Audition is going to be Miles!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

My DC United store visit doesn't happen until I get my economic stimulus check from the feds. I get so happy when Washington gives me an allowance.

United 2-0.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, any word on which players are coming down for the Richmond game on Saturday? I'm hoping to see some starters...

Posted by: Mark | March 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Soehn has a sense of humor? Has it ever been on display before? I never noticed.

Benny, now that goes without saying.

To all you guys predicting the early goal, I'd say DCU better score early. It was apparent in the first game that they're still struggling for match fitness. If we don't score early we're in trouble.

Posted by: Matte | March 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JSF | March 17, 2008 01:49 PM

Would that be "Joint Strike Fighter," by any chance?

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

DC: 3
HV: 0

Posted by: yankiboy | March 17, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Bob. We win ugly, 1-0.

Posted by: S | March 17, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope we aren't wearing those hideous warm-up jerseys. Any word on sponsors? A new kit?

Posted by: Jason | March 17, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I would be satisfied with 1-0. Whatever gets us to the next leg and gives us one more game with all of the new guys playing together.

Posted by: Just Advance! | March 17, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Pain!

Posted by: Clubber Lang | March 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that a team gets a lot of red cards in a single game, what is the minimal amount of players a team can have in the field?

Posted by: Pregunta de Futbol | March 17, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

To all you guys predicting the early goal, I'd say DCU better score early. It was apparent in the first game that they're still struggling for match fitness. If we don't score early we're in trouble.

Posted by: Matte | March 17, 2008 02:09 PM

=========================================
Actually, the six goals I predicted are going to happen in injury time.

Posted by: DC United Predictor | March 17, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

DCU 4, HV 0
Niell 1
Fred1
Luciano 1
and Gallardo on a free kick.
I liked the sound of Peralta with his head.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
UNITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Dadryan | March 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

1000 drunk barra
with plenty of smoke bombs

Posted by: drunk guy | March 17, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Jason:

What warm-up jerseys? The shirts we wore at Harbour View are the 2008 uniforms. They're all over the website. The stripes were taken off to make room for a sponsor, which as of yet has not appeared.

I can't wait to get back into RFK and see it without all the baseball clutter, and with a proper field.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 17, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Harbour View silences the home crowd with a 2-0 winner, with the latter goal coming in the closing minutes of stoppage time off of a nightmarish counterattack.

First goal? An own goal as Gonzalo Martinez makes a familiar impression for the supporters.

DCU supports will proclaim the sky is falling. Tommy Sohen will be forced to change formations. A beloved veteran will be traded.

By the end of the season, DC will win the Supporter's Shield for the third consecutive time.


...what?

Posted by: James | March 17, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I hear Bear Stearns has some money they could use for a shirt sponsor deal. Maybe we should give Mr. Schwartz a call?

Posted by: Shirt Sponsor | March 17, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

4-0

Emilio '7
Neil '25
Gallardo '43 On a long bomb
Emilio '62

Posted by: parka | March 17, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

In answer to the question about the number of players on the field ... If a team drops below 7 men on the field, the match is abandoned and the team is forced to forfeit.

Posted by: Seven Men | March 17, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

2-0 DC;
Neil on a through ball from Marcelo at the end of the first and Lucy sticks in a rebound off a Marcelo free kick at the end of the second.

Posted by: jgildea | March 17, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Any word if any of our players will be selected for the Poland friendly next week? Any other on anything about the Poland match?

Posted by: beltway bob | March 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

First, HAPPY SAINT PAT'S fellow Insiders.

Now, I think the home field advantage and a better pitch will allow for more cohesion. That said, 3-1. Neill around 20' on a superb through pass from Luci. Gallardo 45+' on a free kick. HVFC get's one right after the half by catching our back line ball watching.
Finally, Emilio grabs a rebound form a corner late in the game.

Posted by: gilbert | March 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or has the team gotten much quicker over the last year. Good to see the energy

Posted by: Smoov | March 17, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

No matter the outcome, Mastodon Juan will find something to whine about.

Posted by: Nostradamus | March 17, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with jgildea -- 2-0 DCU. Ugly, but effective.

Chest -- I think Jason was being "snarky". We're all delighted to see DCU play in those Adidas workout shirts. That much less money we have to drop at the DCU store. I just need to get a DCU badge, and "Volia" -- an unofficial official jersey.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 17, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"No matter the outcome, Mastodon Juan will find something to whine about.

Posted by: Nostradamus | March 17, 2008 03:56 PM"

PRICELESS!

Posted by: Soy United! | March 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that a team gets a lot of red cards in a single game, what is the minimal amount of players a team can have in the field?

Posted by: Pregunta de Futbol | March 17, 2008 02:41 PM
=============================================


In answer to the question about the number of players on the field ... If a team drops below 7 men on the field, the match is abandoned and the team is forced to forfeit.

Posted by: Seven Men | March 17, 2008 03:30 PM
=============================================
You sir are correct! The only time that I saw it occur was in September 2006, UNCG against VCU in Richmond. The odd thing is that there wasn't a fight just some mouth, ugly tackles, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So what if both teams are down to 8 and two players from opposite teams get into fisticuffs and are sent off? Do both teams forfeit? Is it a tie?

Just wonderin' (or hair-splitting)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

1 - 0 DCU - I hope. The midfield played horrible last week and must dominate the field if they expect to win.

Posted by: bobf | March 17, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

My last will and testament is that if I'm ever dying on a hospital bed, I want Ben Olsen to deliver the news to my family:

"We found some stuff in his heart. We thought we got it out, but then there was more stuff that we couldn't get to. I dunno, it's some medical term..."

Posted by: DCUMD | March 17, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Clubber Lang - ya wat eva - adriaannn

Posted by: Rocky | March 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Go Red Bulls. They'll give you wings!!!

Posted by: Juan Mastodon | March 17, 2008 12:47 PM
-------------------------------------------
Are they doing a promotion with Hooters? That would be the only way that they make that statement fly....

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say The Hooters?

"She was a be-bop baby on a hard day's night
She was hangin' on Johnny, he was holdin' on tight
I could feel her coming from a mile away
There was no use talking, there was nothing to say
When the band began to play and play

And we danced..."

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 17, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Joe Doc: Got anything by Icicle Works? No, not that one, something else.

How about Kajagoogoo? No, not that one, something else.

Dexy's Midnight...? Never mind, they're not Irish anyway.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with DC 3 - 1 HV.

I like the people who predict the exact minute and nature of the goals...do you have some sort of Back to the Future 2 sports almanac from 2015? Any advice for my NCAA tourney bracket?

Posted by: Jeff M | March 17, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"A whisper to a scream!" I remember cranking that one up at about 4:15 am at my Sigma Nu house, circa 1986.

I can still smell the stale beer. Then again, that could be the Lot 8 tunnel.

"I'm standing here on the ground
The sky above won't fall down
See no evil in all direction
Resolution of happiness
Things have been dark
For too long..."

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 17, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

go to worldsports11.blogspot.com and you wolud see an interesting stuff on expansion in Canada

Posted by: Ananymous | March 17, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Joe Doc,

Don't Change A Thing! Did you watch the show where they tried to remake INXS?

Posted by: Tron | March 17, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Unless they have new woolie caps I am predicting only $100-150 at the team store. Also, Harbour View gets really mad at the energized Brava taunting and there is a brawl where the two Gonzalos have to drop the smack. United, with 9 men, beats 10 men Harbour View 3-1, 4-2 aggregate. Oh yeah, and Barra invents new chants based on INXS hits. That would be freakin' awesome.

Posted by: T. Henry | March 17, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

1 day to the first home match!

For those of you who have wondered, I thought I'd explain my reasons for having continued this countdown since last December.

1. The countdown helped Goff's numbers. Not that he really needed the help (super journalist that he is.)

2. Not everyone can count; not even MLS! The DC United home page (sponsored by MLS??) shows a countdown clock to the first MLS game. That's nice - but reminding folks that D.C. United's season started sooner seemed worthwhile.

3. Most importantly, the countdown provided a gentle reminder that the focus should be on games that count - not practice / exhibition games. Last month's scrimmages didn't really matter except as training opportunities. The games against Harbour View do matter.

Hope to see everyone at RFK tomorrow night for a great game.

And win, lose or draw lets keep things in perspective. The games against Harbour View do matter - but it will be a long season - DC United could play almost 50 games (per comments by Coach Soehn to the Screaming Eagles yesterday). No matter how we do tomorrow, we won't really know if this is a good season until next November.

With that in mind, I'll point out that there are only 252 days until the MLS Cup.

Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with DC 3 - 1 HV.

I like the people who predict the exact minute and nature of the goals...do you have some sort of Back to the Future 2 sports almanac from 2015? Any advice for my NCAA tourney bracket?

Posted by: Jeff M | March 17, 2008 05:42 PM
---------------------------------------------

Oral Roberts will win it all.

Posted by: the jim | March 17, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Where in the world is Curious? I thought they would be counting down the hours and minutes to the first home game by now.


Posted by: Sec 131 | March 17, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Even I am not that compulsive.

Ok. 23 hours and 6 minutes to kick off.

Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Curious! I have gotten so used to your countdown--it's kept me psyched for the season. Can't wait to be at Estadio RFK tomorrow. It's been too long.

Posted by: Sec 131 | March 17, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Is weather going to be a concern??? 50 degrees and maybe some rain...If so, I hope that works against HV...

Posted by: Al | March 17, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Rain is traditional.

Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Curious:

If DC loses every game they play from here on out, they will still finish the season with 42 games played (2 Champions Cup, 30 MLS, 1 USOC, 6 Champions League, and 3 Superliga). The possibility remains that we could play up to 66 competitive games this year:

MLS: 30
MLS Cup playoffs: 4
US Open Cup: 4
CONCACAF Champions Cup: 6
CONCACAF Champions League: 6
Superliga: 5
FIFA Club World Cup: 3
Copa Sudamericana: 8

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 17, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Hope to see everyone at RFK tomorrow night for a great game.

And win, lose or draw lets keep things in perspective. The games against Harbour View do matter - but it will be a long season - DC United could play almost 50 games (per comments by Coach Soehn to the Screaming Eagles yesterday). No matter how we do tomorrow, we won't really know if this is a good season until next November.

With that in mind, I'll point out that there are only 252 days until the MLS Cup.


Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 07:04 PM

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

If we win the Concacaf Champions Cup (we'd know by about May Day, I think) it would be one of our best achievements ever and it would represent a huuuuuuuge downpayment on having a good season.

And thanks for the countdown, I'll be at RFK tomorrow night!

Posted by: garbaggio | March 17, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Chest, note that I was referring to Soehn's statement. That said, 66 games would be nice.

Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Chest Rockwell -- It's essentially impossible for DC United to play in Copa Sudamericana in 2008. The schedule totally overlaps with the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. If some MLS team is in Sudamericana, it won't be one in the CCL group stage.

So, you can knock 8 games off your "total possible".

Posted by: Phil | March 17, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Icicle Works? How about this one:

"Forgive me for the state I'm in
They cut the rope that I was climbing"

Last seen 1987 at the old 9:30 Club, when it was actually at 930 F St (instead of the shiny new sell-out emporium that exists under that name today)

Posted by: troy | March 18, 2008 5:06 AM | Report abuse

11 hours, 27 minutes to kick off.

Posted by: Curious | March 18, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Rain is traditional.

Posted by: Curious | March 17, 2008 08:57 PM

Last year didn't we have 5-6 home games in a row with rain? It got to the point where my girlfriend didn't even watch the local weather she just looked at the DC United home schedule to figure out if she needed an umbrella.

Today were off to a good start. All day overcast with rain predicted to start around 7:00pm.

Last year Emilio and Fred turned into frozen popsicles in the cold rain, hopefully our other Latin new comers will react much better.


Posted by: Rain Gods | March 18, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Rain might not necessarily be a bad thing for a result. It will slow down both teams, and I think the only chance HVFC has is to counterattack, so the rain will certainly limit any "fast" breaks. But then again, if I remember correctly from my honeymoon, it rains almost every day in Jamaica after 5:00 or so, so HVFC will be used to it.

Posted by: DCUMD | March 18, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Steve, if you're checking in before posting for today, put a link to today's sports piece on your post.

The on-line guys put the story under the team picture, not in the top position that the day's story usually inhabits.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 18, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

DC 3 - HV 0

McT has the hat trick! 10 hours!

Posted by: boda united | March 18, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Watching tonight's game on the TV, gents. Please eat a hot dog, bag of peanuts and a cold beverage for me.

I turn 43 today, so I'm celebrating with some grilled steaks, United on the tube and a fun-filled wrestling match with the kids in the family room. I'll lose again.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 18, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Senor Doc, many happy returns. May be a good night to grill some flank steak Argentine style.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Watching tonight's game on the TV, gents.
=========================================

Gents? Might you be excluding some people?

Posted by: tri-village | March 18, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

HAPPY B-DAY Joe Doc!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 135 | March 18, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Gents? Might you be excluding some people?

Posted by: tri-village | March 18, 2008 09:32 AM

Yikes! Sorry about that, O cherished female Insiders. It won't happen again...

Thanks WNT and 135! Heading off for a can of Ensure now...

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 18, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Well I managed to get the night off, but with Gas prices being what they are, making the drive up from NC just wouldn't be very bright, the train gets there too late to tailgate, and couldn't find a good last minute flight either :-(

Looks like I'll have to subject myself to FSC.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I'll have to subject myself to FSC.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 18, 2008 12:19 PM
==========================================

Since the most objectionable part of the FSC presentation seems to be the audio rather than video, you can at least get a bit of relief:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/

(I'm not sure why WFED doesn't mention its DCU broadcasts on its home page.)

Posted by: tri-village | March 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

GOAL DCU!!! McT off a set peice in the 25th minute! Only two more and he gets that hat trick I predicted!

Posted by: boda united | March 18, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

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