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Morning Kickaround

A quick rundown before I sit in rain-slowed traffic to monitor D.C.'s shattered MLS club.....

*Perhaps an announcement from the USSF today concerning the national team roster for next week's friendly against England at Wembly. Perhaps. The core of the squad will be Euro-based players, and Coach Bob Bradley will add several MLS reinforcements. Remember: He is preparing for three friendlies, not just one, so you are likely to see some key players passed over for the first match. The roster will change slightly for each friendly. As a refresher, click here for the player pool. Who would you like to see chosen to face England?

*More than 48,000 tickets have been sold for the third USA friendly, against Argentina June 8 at Giants Stadium.

*What is with the new pitch in Moscow?

*Women's coach Pia Sundhage has unveiled a 27-player roster for a two-week training camp leading to a South Korean tournament next month. The list will be trimmed to 20 before the trip. Included are goalie Kristin Luckenbill and 23-year-old defender Ali Krieger, a Dumfries, Va., native who plays for Frankfurt. Goalie Nicole Barnhart (knee surgery) and team captain Christie Rampone (gall bladder) will not be at camp at the start, but could rejoin the team during the session.

*Crystal Palace USA, a second-year USL2 club based in the Baltimore area, is 4-0 with four shutouts following a 1-0 victory at Bermuda. Real Maryland, in its first year in USL2, avenged a 4-0 loss at Cleveland a few weeks ago with a 3-2 victory at Maryland SoccerPlex that qualified the Monarchs for the U.S. Open Cup.

*Our thoughts are with longtime D.C. United play-by-play man Dave Johnson, whose father passed away at age 72. Click here for more details.

By Steve Goff  |  May 20, 2008; 7:58 AM ET
 
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Comments

My XI:

--------Howard--------
Dolo--Gooch--DeMerit--Boca
--------Edu---------
Dempsey-------Beasley
-------Donovan--------
--Adu----------Altidore

If Donovan, Edu, and Altidore are not available for this match, put Johnson up top, Feilhaber in Edu's slot, and...I got no one for Donovan's CAM role. Perhaps Adu, but then I've got no one I like to take his place up top.

Posted by: troy | May 20, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

What should we be watching for in the Toulon Tournament?

I've set my TiVo so I hope that there will be at least some good competition and perhaps a diamond in the rough to be found out of the youngsters?

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 20, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

------
*What is with the new pitch in Moscow?
------

When you're putting down sod over an artificial surface, you're bound to get a bad, "temporary" field.

Hope no one gets injured and the the Moscow event is a success. Also hope for more permanent natural grass fields when possible.

Posted by: Green | May 20, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Dear Dave,

Sorry for your loss.

Posted by: TwoFans | May 20, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

----
What should we be watching for in the Toulon Tournament?
----

Only 40-minute halves.

This will be a decent exhibition, and we'll see some Olypmpic-bound players (although most of those guys will be on the seven other teams). The US U23 roster is far from their best, and the squad might have difficulty putting together some attractive football or wins. My players to watch are Shea from FC Dallas, Benny Feilhaber, Ferrari from Sampdoria, and former DC United reserve player Bryan Arguez.

Here's a decent preview By Jeff Carlisle:
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=536786&root=us&cc=5901

Posted by: Green | May 20, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

duh...forgot about Bradley. So, drop Edu and put Bradley in his place.

Posted by: troy | May 20, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

There is something about that Chernobyl fescue-bluegrass that makes it suboptimal for a soccer pitch.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Posted by: Ron | May 20, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

they aren't putting the new pitch over artificial turf. According to the article the old artificial surface was torn out after the Euro qualifiers last year and was replaced with real grass. Apparently the old real grass was lumpy so they laid down a new one two weeks ago. That doesn't seem like much time for the new one to really take root.

Posted by: Glenn | May 20, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@Glenn,

No, but NFL stadiums have long been in the business of laying down new sod on abused fields with no time to take root.

See: Heinz Field for Steelers vs Dolphins last fall on MNF.

Lambeau Field - playoffs

Home Depot Center - after the SSS hosts everything but soccer.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

CONCACAF Champions League on FSC

I love all that FSC does for the sport, but upset that ESPN didn't get in on this.


http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6562418.html?desc=topstory


Separately, FSC has scored English-language rights for the next four years to the CONCACAF Champions League, which kicks off its first competition this August. The 24-team, 56-match tournament, featuring clubs from North and Central America and the Caribbean, including four apiece from the U.S. and Mexico, is modeled after Europe's Champions League.

FSC will show all contests, including quarterfinal semifinal and final matches and all group stage matches featuring clubs from the domestic soccer circuit, Major League Soccer, to which the network also holds rights. The network also secured attendant digital rights. The winning team gains a berth in the December 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament that also airs on FSC.

The U.S. entries comprise the finalists from the MLS Cup championship match, the U.S. Open Cup winner and the team with the most regular-season MLS points. For the upcoming competition, the U.S. will be represented by the Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution, Chivas USA and D.C. United.

"We're excited about adding this asset to our portfolio," said Sternberg. "MLS is one of our core properties and this top flight international competition continues the U.S. domestic league's integration into the global soccer system."

Univision holds the Spanish-language rights to the CONCACAF Champions League, which succeeds the Champions Cup, an eight-team competition that FSC televised from 2005-2008.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 20, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

If they're worried about the way their grass looks, why don't they paint it? I understand there's a sports team in Green Bay Wisconsin that paints their "grass" so it looks good on television.

Honestly, they started this back in October? What a mess. Fortunately they're not playing their final in the United States. We take the look of our soccer fields EXTREMELY seriously.

Posted by: TCompton | May 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I want to see Kenny Cooper starting at some point...

Posted by: RK | May 20, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The UEFA CL will be in HD correct?

That should give the "international soccer" fans some pause the next time they want to comment on the "state" of MLS fields.

Of course, I'd prefer if all venues had ideal grass surfaces, but obviously it can be a fairly big issue (even for organizations like UEFA that have all sorts of money to throw around).

Posted by: USA | May 20, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I highly recommend seeing a Crystal Palace match. They are looking good.

Posted by: peridigm | May 20, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"D.C.'s shattered MLS club"...

Funniest line ever.

Posted by: Section 130 | May 20, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Sad news for Dave Johnson, one of the hardest working sports guys in this town and a true friend of soccer. And he has to be one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. His remarks at Gordon Bradley's ceremony were outstanding.

Our prayers are with you, Dave.

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 20, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Argentina has released their roster for the USA vs Argentina friendly....yikes!

Roberto Abbondanzieri (Getafe-España)
Oscar Ustari (Getafe - España)
Gabriel Heinze (Real Madrid - España)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid - España)
Maximiliano Rodríguez (Atlético Madrid - España)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid - España)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona - España)
Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo La Coruna - España)
Gonzalo Rodríguez (Villarreal - España)
Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol - España)
Jonás Gutiérrez (Mallorca - España)
Ever Banega (Sevilla - España)
Javier Zanetti (Internazionale - Italia)
Julio Cruz (Internazionale - Italia)
Esteban Cambiasso (Internazionale - Italia)
Nicolás Burdisso (Internazionale - Italia)
Martín Demichelis (Bayern Munich - Alemania)
José Sosa (Bayern Munich - Alemania)
Javier Mascherano (Liverpool - Inglaterra)
Lisandro López (Porto - Portugal)
Fernando Cavenaghi (Bordeaux - Francia)

We should all bring wecams to the game and point them at Ever Banega, everytime he touches the ball!

Posted by: Ameobi | May 20, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, meant to say WEBCAMS!

Posted by: Ameobi | May 20, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"FSC has scored English-language rights for the next four years to the CONCACAF Champions League"

Now all they need to do is teach their announcers to speak English.....

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | May 20, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Deepest condolences to Dave.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | May 20, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Condolences to Dave Johnson and his family. It says a great deal about David Sr. that encouraged his son's interest in soccer, despite being a "football/basketball guy."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 20, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

So no closed practice for DCU today?

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 20, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Thoughts are with Dave - an excellent play by play man for both United and the Wizards. Always been a big fan.

Posted by: Kev | May 20, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

These games should be pretty exciting. I'd like to see a pleasant mix of vets and U23ers in the three games.

For England, I say we go with size:

Howard
Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Spector
Donovan, Edu, Bradley, Lewis
Dempsey, Cooper

For Spain we should mix it up a bit:

Guzan (or Seitz)
Orozco, Onyewu, Bocanegra
Donovan, Mastroeni, Bradley, Edu, Beasley
Dempsey, Altidore

The for Argentina:

Howard
Hejduk, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Spector
Donovan, Bradley, Feilhaber, Beasley
Ching, Adu


Posted by: TCompton | May 20, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Condolences to Dave Johnson and his family.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 20, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Of the zillion great venues in the world, UEFA plays a final at one with a questionable pitch? That's just unbelievable. Then again, they havent' played at some of the fine MLS stadiums, so I guess pitch quality is all relative.

Anyway, best to DC United's best announcer and his family.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The firewall here is blocking all the links that I know have information, help a brother out - what channel is the Man U v. Chelsea game on? It's 2pm, right? thanks.

Posted by: e | May 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The firewall here is blocking all the links that I know have information, help a brother out - what channel is the Man U v. Chelsea game on? It's 2pm, right? thanks.

Posted by: e | May 20, 2008 11:44 AM
-------------------------------------------
Bro, you know that the game is on tomorrow, right? Wed 5/21, the "Deuce" (ESPN2). Pregame show starts @ 2pm.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 20, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

UEFA CL final is on (in English) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Spanish commentary is available on ESPNdeportes and espn360.com

Posted by: Disney | May 20, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The UEFA CL final will also be re-broadcast on ESPN2 at 7pm Eastern on Wed.

Posted by: Primetime | May 20, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

So no closed practice for DCU today?

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 20, 2008 10:02 AM
==========================================

Even if practices are closed, isn't that why helicopters were invented?

Posted by: tri-village | May 20, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"...team captain Christie Rampone (gall bladder) will not be at camp at the start..."

I can just see the players lining up at the doctor's office and saying, "I will have my gallbladder removed."

Posted by: tri-village | May 20, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Dave, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Diane. Your friend PC

Posted by: UMBC Soccer | May 21, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Dave, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Diane. Your friend PC

Posted by: UMBC Soccer | May 21, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Dave, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Diane. Your friend PC

Posted by: UMBC Soccer | May 21, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Dave, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Diane. Your friend PC

Posted by: UMBC Soccer | May 21, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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