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United Wins Renegade Match

The Texas Pro Soccer Festival near San Antonio is not off to a good start.

Get this:

Disgusted with the width (57 yards?) and general condition of the field to be used in the tournament, D.C. United and Chivas USA agreed to go their own way this morning and play each other on an acceptable training pitch. Both sides used first-team players.

United won, 2-1, on goals by Luciano Emilio (assisted by Marcelo Gallardo) in the first half and Franco Niell late in the game.

The regularly scheduled game tonight will go on as scheduled, but with reserves.

United will participate in the planned matches Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Since the regulars were probably going to be held out anyway in anticipation of the Champions' Cup opener next Wednesday, the reserves will play most of the minutes.

DCU STARTERS: Wells; Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch; McTavish, Simms, Gallardo, Fred; Moreno, Emilio. Subs: Niell for Moreno, Stratford for Simms, Quaranta for Namoff (McTavish moved to right back), Dyachenko for Gallardo. Red card: Fred in second half, but Mediate was allowed to replace him (just a scrimmage, folks).

By Steve Goff  |  March 5, 2008; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United Sweeps Doubleheader

Comments

Gallardo sets up Emilio for a goal - hope to see that combo plenty more times this season.

Posted by: Eric Z | March 5, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see those two score and Gallardo assist.

Posted by: Sam | March 5, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

That can't be good for the tournament organizers. Nothing worse than having 2 of your marquee teams elect to not play their first teams for the scheduled game....haha!

Thanks for the awesome info Goff!

Posted by: strago | March 5, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Preki disgusted by something? Nah, I just can't see it...

Posted by: Kenobi | March 5, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

DC Wins!! DC Wins!!
Treble here we come!
or
Here comes Trouble?

Posted by: jgildea | March 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the fields are like down in San Antonio, but the ones here in Austin are unseasonably dry, and therefore, hard as a rock. I could see how pro teams wouldn't want to play on it.

Posted by: dano | March 5, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Who is hosting the tournament?

Posted by: Mr. Awesome | March 5, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Yay! We scored! The sky ISN'T falling! The sky ISN'T falling!

Posted by: DWE4 | March 5, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

What - our official pitch isn't as good as some patch of grass elsewhere. Why was it that San Antonio didn't get a team again?

Posted by: Texas Pro Soccer Festival | March 5, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

did this game follow normal substituion rules? or was it more like a friendly?

Posted by: pat | March 5, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the TPSF is a first-class event. They can't find location around San Antonio with a pitch that's 70 yards wide? And they didn't anticipate this would be a problem when the big boys came to play?

Posted by: BillyBob | March 5, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

YES! I am genuinely excited by this win! Finally we get to read the news we've been waiting to hear all training camp!

to DC and Chivas, way to keep it real by not playing on a 57yrd field, even though it probably would have been an awesome game to watch

Posted by: Springfield | March 5, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh United United

Posted by: td | March 5, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

So, are the first teamers going to play anything else except for scrimmages? While I'm happy if they don't get injured before enxt week, I'm still a little leery (today's win notwithstanding) of how they'll do in a rusty state versus Harbour View

Posted by: Phil | March 5, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think most everyone is as relieved as I am about this....more who scored and how than the result. Not that I doubted they'd get on track but I'm hoping they do it before game 4 like last year....particularly with non-MLS games coming up first!

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

Does this win count as an 'A' match?

Posted by: sitruc | March 5, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

what a bummer! the husband and i are down here (literally across the street from said narrow field) and are going to the matches tonight....

Posted by: jess | March 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

VAMOS UNITED

Posted by: Andy | March 5, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

did this game follow normal substituion rules? or was it more like a friendly?

Posted by: pat | March 5, 2008 02:20 PM
==========================================

A red card followed by a substitution says all that needs to be said about how "normal" this match was.

Posted by: tri-village | March 5, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

A texas renegade match! It sounds like there should have been a steel cage involved. Or maybe that was one of the problems with the original field.

Also, good to know that the Little Striker That Could aka the Soccer Playing Gnome aka Franco Niell scored. But, hey, preseason.

Posted by: stairs | March 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the team have gotten promises for stuff like this BEFORE they agreed to come?

Posted by: Brian | March 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth am I so happy to find out the details of a meaningless preseason scrimmage? I guess this has been an exciting off season, but still, it occured to me as I was eagerly reading about the scrimmage that I really need to get a life!

The most bizarre thing is that, even knowing that it is a meaningless preseason scrimmage, I still really appreciated finding out what happened.

Goff, you have created a completely irrational addiction!

Posted by: Why? | March 5, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Cherrio United

Posted by: The Jim | March 5, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

La semana proxima, tenemos que ganar!

VAMOS UNITED!

Posted by: DCBird | March 5, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Shouldn't the team have gotten promises for stuff like this BEFORE they agreed to come?"

Posted by: Brian | March 5, 2008 02:48 PM

"I don't know what the fields are like down in San Antonio, but the ones here in Austin are unseasonably dry, and therefore, hard as a rock."

Posted by: dano | March 5, 2008 02:19 PM


The field shrunk in the dryer.

Posted by: jgildea | March 5, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Too bad they couldn't go to Charleston this year...

Posted by: RK | March 5, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

For just a friendly I wonder what Fred had to do to receive the red card.

Posted by: voyager | March 5, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Stairs may have beaten me to this, but:

Renegade match -- was Eric Cantona the emcee?

Posted by: gringo | March 5, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How skinny is Steele Stadium? Compare it to a regulation field at the Soccerplex in Germantown, MD

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Soccerplex,+Germantown,+MD,+DC&ie=UTF8&ll=39.153035,-77.310019&spn=0.003453,0.007102&t=h&z=17


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Byron+Steele+High+School+Cibolo,+TX&ie=UTF8&ll=29.564928,-98.263049&spn=0.003873,0.007102&t=h&z=17


It's best to open in separate browsers and pop back and forth to compare.

Way too much time on my hands here. It must be nearly spring.

Posted by: Arlington, DC | March 5, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

so, we don't mind if the reserves get injured on a substandard pitch?

Posted by: Glenn | March 5, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

""so, we don't mind if the reserves get injured on a substandard pitch?""

We care if anyone gets injured, but the collective salary of the reserves is less than what a nice Mercedes might cost.

Sounds prudent to me.

Posted by: delantero | March 5, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

For just a friendly I wonder what Fred had to do to receive the red card.

Posted by: voyager | March 5, 2008 02:59 PM
==========================================

Presumably it was something that would have gotten him a red card anywhere else. Regrettably, these "friendly" events are not immune from anything. Just ask Freddy Llerena, a one-time AU player.

Posted by: tri-village | March 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

So, would that make DC United the Renegades of Funk?

Posted by: Tom Morello | March 5, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm not in the tiniest bit surprised at this. When the event was first announced, I looked the stadium up on a website for Texas HS stadia. The site included pictures. It looked terrible. I dunno what the people who organized this event were thinking.

Posted by: Bootsy | March 5, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

DCU STARTERS: Wells; Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch; McTavish, Simms, Gallardo, Fred; Moreno, Emilio. Subs: Niell for Moreno, Stratford for Simms, Quaranta for Namoff (McTavish moved to right back), Dyachenko for Gallardo. Red card: Fred in second half, but Mediate was allowed to replace him (just a scrimmage, folks).


Quaranta for namoff it seems like Quaranta is making the team.

Posted by: 135 | March 5, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

57 yards? So the plane landed in San Jose by mistake??

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | March 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Addiction?? Who's addicted?

Posted by: Curious | March 5, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Dunno what that lone building is on Elbel Rd., but that vacant area (backyard?) on the northwest corner of Elbel and Roy Richard looked like it was big enough for a soccer pitch -- a couple of goals, some corner flags, and voila! Instant Texas renegade match.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The jig is up, the news is out
They finally found me
The renegade who had it made
Retrieved for a bounty


(Can't believe I'm the first one to post this)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 5, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

How did Quaranta look in the time he got?

Posted by: Leaky123 | March 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

see if you can spot this one ...

But he is a king when he's on his own
He's got a bike and that's his throne
And when he rides he's like the wind
To you and me he's a renegade

Posted by: Matte | March 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear we won something for once, and scored finally. Seems like our team took this serious and went balls to the wall to possibly win this.


Im happy friends. Lets hope we hear more good things about our team and gallardo overall.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | March 5, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

what i don't get is why DC passed up the Charleston tournament they've done for the past couple years and agreed to play in this one without realizing what they're getting into.

wouldn't they have done some scouting of the training facilities there before planning to spend a significant chunk of their preseason there? or at least have specified in the contract some minimum conditions that the field must meet?

Posted by: pat | March 5, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

How did Quaranta look in the time he got?

Posted by: Leaky123 | March 5, 2008 04:19 PM
=========================================

Is Goff (or anyone else) actually there?

Posted by: tri-village | March 5, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

DC Wins!! DC Wins!!
Treble here we come!
or
Here comes Trouble?

Posted by: jgildea | March 5, 2008 02:10 PM

sounds like a Rocky & Bullwinkle episode! lol

Posted by: andrew | March 5, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

what i don't get is why DC passed up the Charleston tournament they've done for the past couple years and agreed to play in this one without realizing what they're getting into.
wouldn't they have done some scouting of the training facilities there before planning to spend a significant chunk of their preseason there? or at least have specified in the contract some minimum conditions that the field must meet?
Posted by: pat | March 5, 2008 04:47 PM

From an interview with Soehn that I read somewhere... They chose to participate in the San Antonio tournament because the weather and field conditions is more similar to what they will be experiencing in Jamaica.

Posted by: DCUMD | March 5, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The Harbour View game conflicts with Charleston. Personally, I'd rather go to Charleston :)

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

WHO ON EARTH is MLS dealing with to be putting two of their teams on a pitch not previously examined?!?! It seems to be a norm for MLS to just wing it and play anywhere at any time. HELL this season 2 "pro" teams are playing WITHOUT STADIUMS in the Earthquakes and Kansas City. Oh and Seattle is coming into the league to play on a surface that later in the season will be certain to be convered with gridiron lines. This makes me sick!

Posted by: Felix | March 5, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

- The final whistle goes and after there only being two penalty shootouts outside the final in UEFA Champions League history before last night there has now been two in as many days. With the tie standing at 1-1 on aggregate Porto and Schalke follow Fenerbahçe SK and Sevilla FC in deciding who goes to the quarter-finals on penalties.

Posted by: RK | March 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I remember the national youth championships being played at Woodbridge High School, maybe in the early 90s, before they had a more formalized and organized tournament. Although there was new grass, the sideline sloped...because of the 4 ft x 4 ft drainage ditch. Classy.

Posted by: RK | March 5, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@RK:

As a member of the Host Committee for the 1990 Youth National Championships, I remember how much time was spent on selecting the right site. Had to factor in parking, seating capacity, proximity to hotels (this was 17.5 years ago, remember) among other things. Today there are a variety of locations we could use. But not in 1990.

Just defending the honor of dozens of volunteers who gave up 8 months of their lives to host a darn good event...

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 5, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout a renegade match or two at Poplar Point this year?

Posted by: Mr. Krys | March 5, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

A 57 yd wide pitch? Thats unbelieveable. From the satellite photo it appears like any regular high school football field with a running track around it. Even for HS soccer these fields are narrow and adversely effect the better skilled teams. I can't imagine that nobody bothered to take this into consideration prior to the arrival of the clubs to play. Its such rank amateurish planning that Chivas and United were right to go elsewhere to play. I guess they found another acceptable pitch. Why wasn't that one selected in the first place?

Posted by: sbg | March 5, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

This I know is wayyyyy off topic but maybe someone can help me understand why all of the scousers want Hicks and Gillet to sell the team to DIC? Is it because once again they are not in the top 2? Because to me it seems like they have given Rafa enough money to go out and get the guys he wants. They got Torres, Bable, Voronin (where has he been?), Beneyon, Skertle and Lucas. I think its just that Rafa hasnt got the best out of the team minus the past few games haha.

Also Hicks and Gillet got them a new stadium.Am I not seeing the reason why the fans want new owners? Is this gonna be just because they are American and Pool fans won't care after they win a title like at Man U?

Posted by: Matt | March 5, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

How did Wells play?

Posted by: Catherine-Lucia | March 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The practice field is just that -- a practice field. It cannot accommodate a crowd. Too bad the main field cannot accommodate, um, soccer.

Posted by: Goff | March 5, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"How skinny is Steele Stadium? Compare it to a regulation field at the Soccerplex in Germantown, MD"
_______________

Yeah, but let's be honest here...the Maryland soccer elite probably has more money than the average MLS club to throw around. Seriously.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Are you in Texas, or is this info from one of your many well-placed sources?

Posted by: Matt in Silver Spring | March 5, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Not in Texas

Posted by: Goff | March 5, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Joe: I loved the fact that it was there (at my high school), but that drain stunned me! Stupid football team :) Things really changed in the years after that, that's for sure.

Posted by: RK | March 5, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey RK,

I hear you! I remember they did everything they could to eke out every inch of playable surface area, but there's only so much one can do to a high school football field.

I'd love to see nationals around here again soon -- Germantown would be ideal, of course.

BTW... I did media relations for the tournament, and it was then that I met the esteemed Steve Goff, who even then illuminated with the brilliance we all enjoy today.

(Steve, send that check to: Joe Doc, 601...)

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 5, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Steve, did you see MacFarlane's post on Fisher's blog?

It is indeed a post of beauty.

We are indeed fortunate to have such ownership.

And, yes, I do believe that truly was Victor MacFarlane who wrote that.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 5, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Who scored the Chivas goal? What's up with Esky?
Not at all surprised by Emilio scoring, keep it coming when it counts dude.

Posted by: Dadryan | March 5, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

*Dude from Portugal, are you posting from Algarve about the WNT-China game?

Posted by: WNT fan | March 5, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

if chivas used starters too who were they? wouldn't hurt adding them to your post

Posted by: MarkVA | March 5, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

eskandarian is hurt -- groin

Posted by: WNT fan | March 5, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

one blogger's account of Pia-Ball from Portugal; sounds awesome; looking forward to Germany final --

"Possession was the name of the game and they played it well. One touch passes ping-ponged around the pitch, starting at the back and working their way through the midfield to the forwards. There was the occasional long ball thrown in, just to keep China guessing, but the U.S. dominated the match exploring the angles of the pitch with short passing.

After the game, Abby Wambach was pleased with the team's performance.

"The first half of that game is one of the best halves we've played in a long time, not even these past four games, but the past couples years. Things are starting to feel right, where it's not a struggle. We're learning how to play the game in angles, " she said."

http://www.fairgamemag.com/index.php/eng/fair_game_blog

Posted by: WNT fan | March 5, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

This I know is wayyyyy off topic but maybe someone can help me understand why all of the scousers want Hicks and Gillet to sell the team to DIC? Is it because once again they are not in the top 2? Because to me it seems like they have given Rafa enough money to go out and get the guys he wants. They got Torres, Bable, Voronin (where has he been?), Beneyon, Skertle and Lucas. I think its just that Rafa hasnt got the best out of the team minus the past few games haha.

Also Hicks and Gillet got them a new stadium.Am I not seeing the reason why the fans want new owners? Is this gonna be just because they are American and Pool fans won't care after they win a title like at Man U?

Posted by: Matt | March 5, 2008 06:17 PM
----------------------------------------

I don't know too much, but i'll try and help you, Matt. I don't know all the reasons why the fans hate Hicks & Gillette, but they never liked them ever since they both came out and said they were trying to get Juergen Klinnsman to come coach. There are constant rumors in the papers and such about how the owners don't like Rafa and want him to go. Now it looks like they are trying to sell the club to make some quick profit. That's as far as my knowledge goes.

Voronin has been out for awhile because of an ankle injury, but he's just now started to get back into training.

Posted by: andrew | March 5, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

WNT fan, troy is at Algarve...

Posted by: RK | March 5, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

DC winning 2-1 at the half. No idea who scored.

Posted by: Jason | March 5, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Backline is Mediate (6), Pat Carroll (21), Cordeiro (22), and one of the starters (5, who I believe is Peralta).

Midfield is Quaranta (25), Moose (8), Dyachenko (15), and Stratford (16).

Forwards are Neill (34) and probably Cesar (whoever #35 is).

#5 scored the first goal.
Neill assisted the other forward (#35) on the second goal.

Posted by: Jason | March 5, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Peralta is listed as #2 on United roster page. There is no name for #5... could it be Curtin?


Goff any insight?

Posted by: Will | March 5, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

No Jamil Walker in either match today (at least as of the half) Is this a bad sign for him and/or a good one for Quaranta?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wrote that and then realized the number was wrong. It might be Schmitz.

Posted by: Jason | March 5, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

2-1 final.

Posted by: Jason | March 5, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Our old friend Veron scores once and has an assist in their Libertadores (sp?) match today. . . . Not that anyone cares anymore.

Posted by: Glaucon | March 5, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

United wins the night game, 2-1, on goals by Cezar and Quavas Kirk.

Posted by: Goff | March 6, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Any truth to the rumor that Niell will replace the gnome in the Travelocity commercials?

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 6, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Renegade Match ?!?! Lorenzo Llamas vs. Rick Williams (RIP)???????

Posted by: Grotus | March 6, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Two Algarve factoids:

-- The four-goal margin is the largest in the history of the U.S.-China rivalry.

-- Denmark beat Germany, so it is not self-evident that the U.S. and Germany will meet in the final.

Posted by: tri-village | March 6, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

San Antonio has ample soccer fields of proper dimensions...most are clustered in two soccer complexes in the same part of town (northeast San Antonio):

1) Retama Park - at least a dozen full size pitches

2) Pepsi Soccer Park - between six and ten full size fields

Both complexes are similar in terms of playing surface. At the end of the day, what matters is whether they watered the pitches or not. My adult team played at both places - both can be hard as a rock if left unattended. Then again, because in San Antonio the only way you get grass is by actively watering, they by default take better care of their fields that we do here is Virginia where we essentially leave them to fallow, shrug our shoulders and assume the gods will ensure adequate water and grass (never works, it seems). On the whole, they have better fields in Texas than here.

It must be something with the promoter or organizer. Shame it is so low-class.

Posted by: Erick | March 6, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Ya, saw that German women lost. Sounds like they have their own GK controversy now -- young star they rode to WWC title versus old star. Too bad if US doesn't get to play them in Algarve, since the road to Olympic gold almost surely goes through them. Maybe USWNT can challenge them to a pick-up game in a local park like DCU/Chivas. Also saw that Barnhart got the start for US v China but wasn't tested.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 6, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I was at the games last night and while the field at Steele High School wasn't great, it's not the worst I've seen, either.

Let me put it to you guys this way:

According to one Dynamo official, they like the turf because of "similarities to various CONCACAF teams fields...allows players to be familiar with these conditions."

It was no Puntarenas (for those who don't remember...go check out the highlights...well, lowlights really), it was a green field and looked hard. Then again, it hasn't exactly been raining in the area lately,either. Kinda dry.

Posted by: el naranja | March 6, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate you did not get the whole of the opinion on the field conditions in Cibolo at the Texas Pro Soccer Fest. When DC United saw the Steele field, it was not set up for soccer yet and being used for other school purposes. The field is actually over 70 yards wide (one of the reasons it was chosen) and was stripped that width for the game last night. Stephen, please feel free to change your article to the correct information.

The fields have also been over-seeded and watered in preparation for and anticipation of the event for the past 6 weeks. The rains this morning should also soften the field more. The field is green but does have a center field brown spot(the only one)- whereas in December, the field was half brown from the winter weather - basically dormant grass.

The other teams didn't have a problem with the field conditions. In fact, the team doctor found no problem with the field for play. Regardless, all the teams were aware this was a high school facility and that is in use during the day when they signed on for the tournament. Even so, the facility was in better condition last night than it was when it was approved for use by the teams in January.

It has been dry in south Texas and we are in the beginnings of a drought this year - strangely enough after last years flooding and torrential rains. Unfortunately, we do not control the weather.

Pepsi Soccer is a youth soccer facility. The fields are nice, but the facility is not built for viewing games outside of parents and siblings of the youth playing matches at that location, much less the ability to park, seat, feed, etc. masses of people for a pro soccer tournament.

With 6 weeks notice to pin down a location for the tournament, there were not many options that contained all the needs for a tournament of this size. Next year, that will change, with a new facility for continuing tournaments that contains all the needs for such.

And, lastly, all teams are aware this is a non-profit charitable event. Generally, it takes 6-12 months, not 6-weeks to prepare for such events. But, the Houston Dynamo asked and were delivered an event in Cibolo with Toronto FC, Chivas USA, and DC United signing on to play. (Most of the teams have have been great sportsmen.) That DC did not play their starters last night is their failure, not anyone else's. It is unfortunate. Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, and Chivas USA were the real champs by really playing up their fans, especially the little miniature ones, dressed just like them. DC disappointed their Texas base by avoiding their fans at the game last night.

It's winter folks, even in south Texas. We even get snowfall once in a while. I'm thrilled the event hasn't been rained out like it would have been this time last year. I was really looking forward to this event with great enthusiasm - but this unfortunate article and the posted comments makes it plain you don't have the info you need to form a concise opinion.

Pro soccer has been known 'the accessible sport' - I like that about soccer. I hope DC remembers that in the future. A lot of people - fans, volunteers and sponsors are counting on them and the other teams to do their part in making this a successful event for youth soccer charities now and in the future.

Posted by: Enthusiast | March 6, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

How skinny is Steele Stadium? Compare it to a regulation field at the Soccerplex in Germantown, MD

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Soccerplex,+Germantown,+MD,+DC&ie=UTF8&ll=39.153035,-77.310019&spn=0.003453,0.007102&t=h&z=17


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Byron+Steele+High+School+Cibolo,+TX&ie=UTF8&ll=29.564928,-98.263049&spn=0.003873,0.007102&t=h&z=17


It's best to open in separate browsers and pop back and forth to compare.

Way too much time on my hands here. It must be nearly spring.

Posted by: Arlington, DC | March 5, 2008 03:09 PM

Arlington: That link to Steele is for another HS, not Steele. That is the field at the Schertz HS which WAS unacceptable.
This link shows the school over 2 years ago under construction:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Byron+Steele+High+School+Cibolo,+TX&ie=UTF8&ll=29.564928,-98.263049&spn=0.003873,0.007102&t=h&z=17

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

From previous comment

1) Retama Park - at least a dozen full size pitches

2) Pepsi Soccer Park - between six and ten full size fields

--------

Get your facts straight. First of all Retama Park doesnt even have active fields any longer and Pepsi Soccer Park (or what it is known now as Soccer International) is where the teams are training and are using four fields as practice fields. Its the best soccer complex in San Antonio and cannot be used for pro MLS matches - as there is no stadium seating, but its a nice venue for their training sessions.

Please make sure you have your facts. The terms that the teams requested of the festival was that only grass stadiums could be used. Since almost all of the large capacity HS stadiums are turf there really arent that many venues that could work. The facility was toured and approved by the teams. Why is it that DC United has a problem with the field and using their 1st team, when Toronto FC and Houston have had no problem playing their A Team - Ching scored 2 goals in the first match and DeRo scored one v. Chivas tonight.

San Antonio is a football town and almost every field is torn up and in bad condition. If there was a better option - I would assume that it would have been used. The field is NOT 57 yards wide, its closer to 67-68. Plus after seeing both the practice facility and being in the stands its much longer than the practice fields, which makes for a much better match.

As a Houston Dynamo Fan - I am anxiously waiting for the DC/Houston match on Sunday morning and I will be sitting with the Texian Army watching the Dynamo beat DCU to win this new 4 team festival.

Honestly, I watched a group of little kids on Wednesday night with DCU jerseys along a fence waiting for a few players to sign autographs, and they stood by the fence watching their DC United players walking by ignoring them, and your "A" Team (who was in the stands in jeans) exiting the stadium by jumping the fence so they didnt have to deal with the fans. After reading this blog - I can see that not only do you have classless fans, you also have a classless team!

I applaud the Festival for putting on an event like this in only 6 wks and after talking with several members of the Dynamo management staff on Wed night, they were quite impressed with the organizing team and were quite happy with their accommodations and the festival. I hope that this festival can turn into an even bigger event in the next couple of years.

Posted by: NJ | March 8, 2008 4:38 AM | Report abuse

I can see that not only do you have classless fans, you also have a classless team!
Posted by: NJ | March 8, 2008 04:38 AM

I don't know where you were when you saw that, but I can tell you otherwise. I and a bunch of kids around middle school age went to a DC game and the players actually make an effort to come talk to all the fans, regardless of age. So either you're making it up or you saw a very scarce event.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I am actually the head coach at Steele HS. The field is not perfect by any means, but fine none the less. Is it narrow? Sure. It was lined at around 68 yards wide. The field itself was in pretty darn good shape. It was a little hard but with a bit of water it played nicely. The players seemed to adjust quickly and we were all able to see some good, competitive soccer.

Posted by: coachmat | March 9, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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