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Morning Kickaround

Before I head to the airport for a flight to Boston and tonight's DCU-Revs match.....

*The entertaining video highlight package from the 2-2 tie between Dallas and Houston is available by clicking here.

*As you will read in my print-edition story, Franco Niell has been left off DCU's game-day roster for the third consecutive time. (He is expected to play in tomorrow's reserve match.) Anyone have a Dulles-to-Buenos Aires flight timetable?

*Post columnist Marc Fisher continues to stir things up about the DCU-Poplar Point stadium issue, which took another turn yesterday.

*Howard University's coach pleads not guilty.

After watching the England-USA video below, click down to the continuation of this thread and read Post colleague Camille Powell's account from the stands at Wembley, where she spent a few hours of her European vacation watching the 2-0 friendly.


"I've now been to matches in the U.S., France, Japan, Germany and England, and I guess the thing that surprised me the most last night was just how orderly the experience was. Outside of the rowdy band of red-faced, chanting English supporters that pushed its way through the crowded platform at the Green Park tube station, the trip from central London out to Wembley was fairly quiet. I wore a navy blue U.S. soccer shirt, and my friend Janet told me that she wasn't going to help me if I got harrassed -- but not one person commented on it. I've taken more heat for wearing an Orioles t-shirt at Fenway Park.

The stadium itself is beautiful, particularly when it's all lit up at night. Once we got inside, I paid £7 for a pie (beef) and a pint (Carlsberg), and planned on taking them back to my seat -- except that (as a recorded announcement kept reminding us) 'alcohol is not permitted in view of the pitch.' So not only did everyone have to drink their beers out in the concourse, they had to buy them before the game -- beer sales were cut off 10 minutes before kickoff.

The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner, and sang along to 'God Save the Queen,' drowning out the girl group that was there to perform it. They gave their biggest cheers to David Beckham, who was presented with a gold cap by Sir Bobby Charlton before the game in honor of his 100 caps. They started singing 'I'm England 'til I Die' shortly after kickoff, followed by 'Rule Brittania.' They ignored the halftime penalty kick shootout between three fans (the winner took home a signed England jersey). They clearly lost interest in the game by the second half: Three guys in the section next to ours were more focused on starting the wave -- which they finally did, only to have it be interrupted by Steven Gerrard's goal. And judging from the comments of the guys sitting behind me, they weren't impressed by the U.S."

(Neither were we, Camille, neither were we.)

By Steve Goff  |  May 29, 2008; 8:10 AM ET
 
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Next: Matchday: DCU at New England

Comments

"The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner"

I'm not going to take some high and mighty stance on this one. I only point this out for the Toronto whiners who complained about booing during O' Canada on Saturday. This stuff happens. Get over it.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 29, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but the difference is that nobody cares about Canada

Posted by: Ameobi | May 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it is time to go back to ZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Matthai | May 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

It's time to tell Franco good bye.

I like his energy and his effort, but energy and effort with no goals doesn't amount to anything.

Posted by: Mike in Takoma Park | May 29, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Senor Goff: Does Marc Fisher take the Post Ombudsman seriously? In your opinion, is there any point in pointing out errors of publicized fact in Fisher's columns to the Ombudsman? Or does it not matter -- that is, is accuracy irrelevant to the point of his columns so bringing their inaccuracies up with the Ombudsman is a waste of time? Thanks.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Mike in Takoma Park: You don't tell Niell "bye" without having a replacement already brought in. Right now, after Emilio and Moreno, we have Niell and that's it (since Doe's gone for a while on Liberian National Team duty, and Q is playing another position where we have no depth). And Bolivia wants Moreno next month.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I love the short-sighted views of Marc Fisher. That money is going to Clark if it isn't going to DC United.

And besides, you had a proven and committed partner and developer in Victor and Will to begin with so after Fenty screwed the pooch, if this works out in our favor, this is what the city deserves for blowing off a great guy who was vastly more apt to serve Ward 8 residents in his project than any other person (cough, cough, CLARK!) in the back pocket of the DC government.

Can't wait to see the articles in the years to come about how the gentrification of Anacostia from Clark's development stripped the land of all its heritage.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

DCU, it seems, is not winning the publicity battle. If there are details missing from the stories, as we have been lead to believe, then their PR department needs to make sure that info is put out.

Instead, it appears that 'no comment' allows the pundits and other opponents to fill in the gaps however they want.

And they are filling those gaps. Kornheiser went on an extended anti stadium, anti DCU, anti soccer screed this morning.

The team needs to improve it's PR handling of this if they want to succeed. It's hardly unusual to ask for more money in any negotiation. That's why it's a negotiation. But after it's made public, you have to control the message.

My .02

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

BTW, those who have been bashing Nakamura: he writes the story with the facts he has. If DCU has no comment, then only one viewpoint makes the story.

He has no obligation to hold the story until another viewpoint gets their act together to comment. He goes with what he has.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

That was my take on Nakamura's story also. He went with what he had. Why let someone else break the story while he waited for more. He also tried to get more details from Council members, and they had none for him.

I'd have thought that DCU's FO would have learned from how inept PR from RSL almost sunk their stadium efforts.

At the time I was holding up DCU's FO as a shining example of good management.

Not so much any more.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. stunk yesterday. I don't know why Eddie Johnson keeps getting chances. And Onyewu is good for one screw up a game that causes a goal (got smoked by Gerrard's run). Our boys were totally outclassed. It was so obvious. The progress to get the U.S. to a high level is going real sloooooooooooooooooow.

Posted by: Oh well... | May 29, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson? How about Wolfe?

Crazy.
--------------
Looks like it is time to go back to ZZZZZZZZ
-------------
Or maybe, Matt, it's time to go back to PG County...

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Is it me, or is this whole Stadium crap just the DC Government creeping every 4 months closer to making a decision whether to build a stadium a Poplar Point? It's a waste to continue reading anything about it until the shovel hits the dirt.

Posted by: TCompton | May 29, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The US team showed again that it's afraid to attack at times. Now, that wasn't our top attacking tandem and we were missing Landon but still. The bite of creativity and finishing is still lacking in American soccer.

I'll forever blame that on our youth system in this country. We will always develop a country of goalkeepers and midfielders when we stop encouraging the kids with the talent to score to do so. If your team pounds another team of kids 20-0 because you have a kid light up the net - do it.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If this whole stadium situation was a player, it would be Josh Wolff.

Hyped a long time ago, had a lot of promise, got a little banged up along the way, seemed to disappear for awhile, but then is called back for the public to see and does nothing.

Posted by: Hoost | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Fisher plays the race card even though the Council Member for Life from Anacostia is a big pusher of the soccer stadium.

That said, can one argue factually with Fisher's piece? Why should DC pay to build a stadium for DCU if there's no return on the investment? I see no one making a case that the $$$ adds up. Fenty may be all that the haters say, and more, but that doesn't mean he can't add and subtract dollars and votes.

New Carrolton won't be so bad, you'll see.

Posted by: Old WNT fan | May 29, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Who needs airline itineraries? Niell fits in a Priority Mail flat rate box. Just punch a couple of holes in it so he can breath.

Lollipop Guild F.C. awaits a new striker.

Posted by: Erick | May 29, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I was at the US/England match last night. Just to clarify a few things, there was very little booing of the star spangled banner. I heard it, but it was a very small minority.

The jeering was reserved for anytime the US supporters started chants of "USA! USA! USA!" they would quickly get drowned out.

A lot of the kids nearby me were interested in starting the wave, but I wouldn't say the English fans lost interest in the game.

I also had a navy blue US jersey on and was totally ignored. People didn't seem to notice it.

England was clicking well last night, winning headers and producing quick passes to open up the midfield. As for the U.S., I know they can play better, they missed a good chance to impress.

Posted by: J. | May 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Are we even going to score a goal in all of our internationals?

Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

another example of how pathetic our front office is. getting destroyed in the PR battle for a stadium. "no comment". gimme a break. come up with something. it's the same way only. ooooooooh, don't want to comment on our great scouting trip to south america, other teams might pounce on these gems like Niell!!!

Posted by: Bill | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

at least the english press was impressed...

"It was a dismal match contested by one very average team and one really awful one," wrote BarryGlendenning on the Guardian's "minute-by-minute" website blog. "I'll leave it up to yourselves to decide which one is which.

"Steve Gerrard and Wayne Rooney played well for England, but it's difficult to put into words just how feeble the opponents were. A set of traffic cones would have put up more resistance. . . . "

And from BBC Sports' Phil McNulty: "A satisfying night for [England Coach] Fabio Capello with what was the most impressive of his three matches in charge -- although all this must be placed in the context of some pretty lame American opposition."

Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Are we even going to score a goal in all of our internationals?

Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM

===============

The way they played yesterday? Nope. I'd guess we see even less of the ball vs. Spain and Arg then we saw yesterday.

Central MF was terrible in that regard. Clark has a low ceiling of expectation, but Bradley I expected more of, and I thought he was awful.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If Marc Fisher did even elementary research (like, say, reading the Post coverage), he'd know that McFarlane didn't "lose" the competition to develop Poplar Point -- the Fenty Administration rigged it against him by looking at his proposal to develop it and then devising specs for the project that his proposal didn't meet. So DC gave up the chance to get a stadium for free and develop Poplar Point, and instead we taxpayers are going to end up paying the infrastructure costs for developing Poplar Point (what McFarlane requested originally) and the cost of building a stadium, instead of just the infrastructure cost. If Fisher could get out of his "greedy sports team" template, he'd see the real story here is about our showboating mayor.

Posted by: MM | May 29, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Mizage,

You missed the BBC article that jabbed "a pedestrian United States side."

Classic English understatement. The perfect adjective.

Posted by: Erick | May 29, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Camille Powell can now expense her entire vacation. OK, maybe just the tickets, tube fare, pie, and beer. Glad to know that she has a US jersey (DiNunzio are you paying attention?).

Two requests for her:
1. Extend your "vacation" for another month and cover Euro2008?
2. Compare the German sausages to the English pies.

"The English fans ... sang along to 'God Save the Queen,' drowning out the girl group that was there to perform it."

As I wrote before, at the WNT-Canada match I seemed to be the only person in section 309 who knew the words to the SSB. Sad.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm telling you this US program got stuck in the mud the second we lost Klinsmann to whatever the real reason was for him to not take the job. The day we start having SERIOUS youth systems in each CLUB in which they harvest the best and dump the rest the USA will not be serious contenders. Picking 20 year olds on "draft day" is a freaking JOKE! You can't start to develop your pro career when you are that old! Adu may be a tricky dribbler but honestly, compared to most European squads, do you think the gnat will ever be a force? IT'S A JOKE! Frakie "big pants" Hedjuk looked exactly how we played, ugly and funny.

Posted by: Felix | May 29, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

""they weren't impressed by the U.S."

My assumption is that we extended sympathy to England . . . as anything but an English victory would surely have lead to a widespread and deep depression throughout the nation.

As friends and allies, we could never allow that to happen. As it were, the US Men's team was the Lexapro/Wellbutrin/Cymbalta tonic so that Terry/Euro 08 miss could be put to rest . . .

(Or we are just that bad)

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

USA has had a striker void since the retirements of Wynalda and McBride. Except possibly for Altidore, there seems to be no one on the horizon capable of filling this huge void.

Michael Bradley was invisible much of the match. Dempsey tried but had little help from his mates. USA had no fluidity until Adu entered. Maybe he'll get a start against Spain or Argentina. England is decent side that carved USA apart. I cringe at the approach of good sides like Spain and Argentina.

Posted by: Running Cloud | May 29, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Before I head to the airport for a flight to Boston and tonight's DCU-Revs match..."

"We were just another band out of Boston
On the road to try to make ends meet
Playin' all the bars
Sleepin' in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street"


Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Honestly Steve, how do you put up with working in the same building as Marc Fisher!

Posted by: Tweaked | May 29, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@Old WNT Fan

"New Carrolton won't be so bad"

Examples

Crew Stadium, Pizza Hut Park, Toyota Park, Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

A stadium in New Carrolton won't need 25-27k seats.

It'll only need 18k. And your mid-week nights will be like FCD last night - Announced = 8,000+, Actual 2,000 maybe?

Look - I won't take a pot shot at Maryland here. But cities develop where they are for a reason and an urban destination is always better than a suburban one. New Carrolton will be a terrible commute for VA fans just as an Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax/Dulles commute would be for MD fans.

That's not to say they couldn't build a great venue there and a great place to see a game, but the burden of travel in this area isn't going to get easier ever.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Fielding Wolff and Johnson up front consigned us to being shut out as long as they were out there. Johnson, when on one of his rare hot streaks, is great; Johnson, when on one of his much more common droughts, is useless. Wolff is past it as far as high-level international soccer is concerned.

The US showing yesterday looked like a team prepared to lose. Where was the fire? Clark looked like the only player with some passion (but lacked the class needed to accompany it). Bradley did not impress in what was his best chance to earn himself a Premiership contract, though that doesn't mean he won't still get one.

Overall, I was really expecting a lot more out of us. I wasn't expecting a win, but we frankly deserved to be beaten by more than 2-0, and England didn't exactly set the world alight.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 29, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

This is a pretty depressing morning for US/DC soccer.

On the bright side, it's just a friendly - and it's just Fisher.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I guess we'll have to wait for Kevin Payne's inevitable letter to the editor clarifying some things. Of course it will only get read by all the United fans and it won't reach the thousands of District residents Fisher and Nakamura slant every day.

On the bright side, I hope Fishers ears are burning because his butt sure as hell is getting lit up on his blog.

Posted by: Chico | May 29, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

And they are filling those gaps. Kornheiser went on an extended anti stadium, anti DCU, anti soccer screed this morning.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:08 AM

Thanks for the warning - going to give the podcast a miss today.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why do many of Camille's reports include food? I distinctly remember that being a focal point of Washington Post Live's G'town coverage during last years NCAA basketball tournament.

It the Post's master plan to have Steinberg and Powell take over the Food section?

Posted by: Kim | May 29, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Well that was a sad, sad performance.

If anything was taken from that piece 'o sh*t display, I would say it's this...there are a few in that bunch that that should never be considered starters and a few that should never wear the shirt again. Hopefully Big Bradley sorts 'em out. I doubt it though.

I am tired of waiting for some fantastic from Eddie Johnson. It's not so much that he sucks (which he does), it's more a case of a lack of balls with a pinch of laziness. I get the same speed from Findley, who comes with some desire to try and take people on and hunger for space. Stick a fork in Johnson's a**, he's done.

Wolff sucks just as bad. All you "Wolff for DC" lovers out there, hope you watched the game. The only thing he does better than bring irrelevance to a game is his stupendous ability to do a Houdini in the attacking 3rd. So he blows too. I think MLS overstated their 10 grrr per month rating of him.

The rest of the that team is flawed too. Playing people out of their natural positions could not have helped much either. Little Bradley tears up the Eridivise at attacking mid, but his Big Bradley insists on playing him as a defensive mid. I guess Daddy knows best.

Oh well. Hopefully the embarrassment of last night (and the colossal a**whipping to come in the next two weeks) sparks a nasty fire in this team's collective gut that will serve to scortch poor Barbados come qualifying. Naturally, the Islanders will get pummled - and that will make us all feel good about ourselves and will give us something behind which we can hide the embarrassment of these friendlies - and alas, some of the very bold among us will dare to use the words "domination" to describe our efforts against...Barbados.

Posted by: Kosh | May 29, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

the strange thing is that Fisher seems to believe that the choice is between a soccer stadium or a pretty riverside park. Clearly that land is going to be developed no matter what. So, it's not a choice between a park and a soccer stadium. It's a soccer stadium or another office/apartment/condo building. And I'm sure Clark is asking for infrastructure investment on the part of the city, altho likely not in the $150 or $225 million range.

And where is all of this available land that he talks about?

He also over-inflates the number of events at the baseball stadium. 82 baseball games, plus the pope is only 83. What else is scheduled for that stadium? 220 for Abe Pollin arena seems a little high to me, but it is more believable.

I do sort of agree though that spending all that money for a stadium that will host 35 events a year doesn't make too much sense in bad economic times.

DCU should be trying to work something out with the DCSEC to allow the club to collect more of the game-day revenues from RFK. Now that we have RFK more or less to ourselves again there isn't too much for me to complain about.

Posted by: Glenn | May 29, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg has a couple of DCU items on his blog.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

PG stadium sites are inside the Beltway, on the Metro, and a very few miles past RFK if you're driving from VA. It's nothing like Pizza Hut, etc. but the same arguments to & fro get posted here every time there's a Post zzzzzzztory, its boring any more

Posted by: Old WNT Fan | May 29, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I was at wembley too and I didn't hear any booing during the anthem. Of course, I was singing at the top of my lungs much to the dismay of those nearby. I tell ya, singing along with kelly rowland (the "other" destiny's child woman) isn't easy. She often strays into pitches that only dogs can hear.

On the match, if we are worse than a set of traffic cones, how did they fail to score lots of goals? Reminds me of lavolpe saying we play like his grandmother immediately following mexico's 2-0 loss to the US. England certainly outplayed us, but they had some difficulties turning their control of the midfield into an effective attack.

I didn't feel self-conscious at all wearing US gear, knowing that no englishman would consider the US to be a strong enough opponent to ridicule. I did get several variations of "good luck...you'll need it."

Posted by: troy | May 29, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I've asked it before and I'll ask again: WHAT did the DCU front office SEE in Niell in the first place that made them think a player of his height could actually succeed in this physical league? I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I'd still really like to know.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

> New Carrolton will be a terrible
> commute for VA fans just as an
> Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax/Dulles
> commute would be for MD fans.

I commute from PG county (between Greenbelt and New Carrollton) to Alexandria every day. It takes about 45 minutes driving through town, or 55 by Metro. Really, it's not a big deal.

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

Posted by: rke | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm a DCU fan since '96, a half-season plan holder and a District resident. If the $225M number is accurate this won't happen. I understand that those of you who live outside the city don't care how it happens, you just want it done. But that represents a 50% jump in the city's contribution, and even that was going to have political consequences. I've asked my councilman to support the $150M, but even I won't support it if DCU demands $225M.

It's too much--fiscally and politically.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 29, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@ Juan-John

Perhaps they saw Freddy Adu, the second coming, Argentine style? OR it could be that someone lost a bet down there...and we are all paying for it? Do either of these work for you?

Posted by: Kosh | May 29, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

It would for people who may ride a bicycle or even walk to the game.
There are not a whole lot of us but Poplar Point would give great opportunities for improving what is already a beautiful ride from a few approaches. The revolution will not be motorized! Unless it's a Volkswagon of course...

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Guys, lighten up a bit. Fisher is an idiot and just because he has the microphone doesn't mean we are not going to get a stadium at PP. I think you all are over-estimating Marc Fisher's influence. He is a man with a flawed, factually incorrect opinion. He has no say in how the council will handle this situation. I'm still more optimistic than I was two days ago.

Posted by: BK | May 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't count out a player on height alone but it sounds like Kasper really struck out on this one. He must've impressed down in Argentina but they obviously didn't factor in the physical nature of MLS.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Watching the highlights of the 2nd England goal, that was on Pearce moreso than Gooch. Pearce never slid over and left a gaping hole for Gerrard to run through once Boca stepped up, and by the time he turned around and chased, it was too late. Gooch's positioning was actually decent, and he needed Pearce's help in covering for Boca. Overall it was just poor, poor communication.

And what the hell was the midfield doing on that play? Barry is a good 5 yards ahead of each of the midfielders once the ball was laid off - and he had a good 10 yards of space in front of him to run into if he wanted to. Absolutely zero pressure on the ball. That's just awful.

Posted by: el diablo | May 29, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It's naive to think that the U.S. will be able to compete with the likes of England until we get several players who start on teams playing deep into the Champions League.

I agree that our youth development system needs a lot of work. My two cents worth: my son has played in three local leagues, and the leagues with better coaching and organization tend to attract more well-off kids, who generally don't have as much of a passion (or ability) for the game as the African and Hispanic kids he's played with. It's a shame. Landon Donovan has said that he played against some great players in the youth ranks, and very few of them got to play at a higher level.

As Clint Dempsey has said, soccer is play-to-play in this country, if you want good coaching and competition. The only reason that he's a pro, beyond his inner drive, is that his parents were willing to drive hundreds of miles to Dallas to take him to play on a select team.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | May 29, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Mike in Takoma Park: You don't tell Niell "bye" without having a replacement already brought in. Right now, after Emilio and Moreno, we have Niell and that's it (since Doe's gone for a while on Liberian National Team duty, and Q is playing another position where we have no depth). And Bolivia wants Moreno next month.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:04 AM

Bootsy, let's walk through this logically. Doe's gone, and Niell still didn't make the 18-man roster for tonight. DCU thinks they have forward subs that don't include Niell.

Posted by: BillyBob | May 29, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

FYI

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Fisher is in for an online chat at noon

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. stunk yesterday. I don't know why Eddie Johnson keeps getting chances. And Onyewu is good for one screw up a game that causes a goal (got smoked by Gerrard's run). Our boys were totally outclassed. It was so obvious. The progress to get the U.S. to a high level is going real sloooooooooooooooooow.

Posted by: Oh well... | May 29, 2008 9:21 AM

Don't blame Gooch Boca was caught out of position as well on the Gerrard goal did you not see him marking high near midfield as Gerrard made his run right thru where Boca had just left? Boca got burned on the set piece as well now I see why Fulham has no use for him and honestly it's time to start looking for another center back perhaps Edu (small?) Jay DeMerit or Gibbs if he's ever healthy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Goffer!!!

Posted by: steve-o | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr Fisher,

In your column, you claim that a United stadium would be stripping Anacostia of parkland and compare it to "grabbing a chunk of Rock Creek".

Yet, in the plans from Clark, it clearly shows that the stadium space would not be parkland, but residential/retail space.

Can you explain your rationale and obvious inconsistency?

Posted by: d | May 29, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

rke wrote:

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

It won't stop you (in Alexandria) but be realistic, for those who live in Fairfax, Reston or further out in VA (Centerville, Ashburn) it will certainly affect their ability to attend games.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"It's naive to think that the U.S. will be able to compete with the likes of England until we get several players who start on teams playing deep into the Champions League."

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

We beat Portugal in the 2002 World-Cup without those types of players. We tied Italy last World-Cup (with 9 men) without those types of players. England didn't qualify for Euro 2008, yet we handed it to Poland just a few months ago - and they won their qualifying group.

You can't overreact because of one dismal performance. We started this game without Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, Josy Altidore, Benny Feilhaber, and Maurice Edu. In my personal opinion, those are 5 of the top 8 attacking/midfield options the USMNT has (along with Bradley, Dempsey, and Beasley).

My real concern is the seeming lack of b@lls by the US coaching staff since WC 2002. It's painfully obvious that our best talent comes from the under-25 crowd. For some inexplicable reason, our coaches are afraid to use these guys in tough competition. I guarantee that other top-talent youth around the world don't look 100% sharp in training, or look as polished as their veteran counterparts, but you still see guys like Bojan Krkic, Pato, Dos Santos, all being used when they don't seem "ready." The same could've been said for Messi, C.Ronaldo, and Fabregas when they originally started out. Our young guys, particularly Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore among others, need to be thrown out to the wolves. They can handle themselves.

Posted by: el diablo | May 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"...I tell ya, singing along with kelly rowland (the "other" destiny's child woman) isn't easy. She often strays into pitches that only dogs can hear."
-----------------
I e-mailed an English friend, "That was embarrassing."

He replied with a question: "The US team or the national anthem?"

I've got to say both.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, another Dallas game, another paltry attendance. Announced attendance 8,000, actual crowd, half that maybe?

Number of people cheering/clapping/otherwise making noise on Dallas goals, about 17.

Folks, Frisco is a failure.

Posted by: Ron | May 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Kenny Cooper's bending strike against Houston? Cooper/Altidore Strike force for WC2010-18!

(Yes I'm excited. Yes attendance in Frisco was horrible. I blame the FCD FO.)

Posted by: cowtown fcd | May 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with el diablo's point about tossing the young guns out to the wolves. Why not give Altidore the chance to get some real experience against the highest quality possible? Johnson has proven himself incapable time and time again. I don't see how playing Altidore could possibly be any worse than watching EJ not do anything.

Posted by: elopingcamel | May 29, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Kenny Cooper's bending strike against Houston?

Posted by: cowtown fcd | May 29, 2008 12:24 PM
===========

I think he got lucky on his first touch. It looked like he was trying to bring the ball down softly but it went behind the defender instead. If he was indeed trying to beat the defender on his first touch, then he needs to be on the national team because no American striker has ever done that intentionally.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Fisher is in for an online chat at noon

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM
=============

I'm too late, but I hope no-one submitted a question. Whatever you say, Fisher has the last word and will twist your statement to fit his bias.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

elopingcamel,

Altidore has a few knocks, and could actually use some rest.

Posted by: B.A. | May 29, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Cooper's strike is on the highlights that Goff linked to. The first touch to set it up is at least as good as the strike itself. How is that guy not seeing any time for the national team? Also interesting the dust-up between Robinson and the 2 Brazilians. Thoughts on that? I think the dude with the cast on had it coming, though of course Robinson also served the sending off.

Posted by: Mysterian | May 29, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

poster "Oh well..."

It looked like Onyewu timed his step perfectly to get Gerrard offside, but Pearce went the other way and held Gerrard on. It happens, especially in an exhibition on the road vs a sharp opponent. Onyewu didn't "get burned." He's entrenched at sweeper because he's the best the U.S. has, by far. Pearce looks like he'll be around for awhile, too.

I hope it works out for Niell, either in DC or another MLS club. He's a good player. But you can't just cherry pick in a possession attack, especially on a team as weak up the middle as DC is now.

Posted by: Not Onyewu's fault | May 29, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Cooper's first touch was not great. However, the defender took himself out of the play by overrunning and not staying goal-side.
Cooper finished brilliantly, though, no denying that. And it was against Onstad, not a schlub like Dala or Wells.

Posted by: marksman | May 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns?

Ramos or Dempsey?

Wynalda or Donovan?

Gori or Namoff?

Crush or Venom?

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns? Gooch

Ramos or Dempsey? Ramos

Wynalda or Donovan? Donovan

Gori or Namoff? Namoff

Crush or Venom? Venom


Posted by: 135 | May 29, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

To kill some time:

Crush or Venom?

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 1:22 PM

DCU could get Crush? I'd take her for the backline...so to speak....

Posted by: PotomacBoater | May 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So when the USA plays England, ESPN banishes that game to its Classic channel.

When it plays Spain next week, it'll be on ESPN2.

'Twouldn't it have been a better idea to have aired the England game on ESPN2?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

New Carrolton won't be so bad, you'll see.

Posted by: Old WNT fan | May 29, 2008 9:35 AM

Replies to that argue over whether this is convenient for suburban fans. I got news for you all. Except for a few Virginians around Alexandria or south, and a few PG fans, all of who would be driving -- Anacostia isn't a much shorter commute for suburban fans. It's a farther drive for Montgomery County or College Park than either RFK or New Carrolton. And the Metro ride is nearly as long for most Virgnians or Marylanders.

That said, why is it that Marylanders aren't making a stink about their state's interest? Why does it make economic sense there, and not in the District? Why did MacFarlane think it's a perfectly good anchor for development?

I know the spot because I drive and park there for Nats games. And I've walked across the South Capitol Bridge back from Nats games. so I laugh at Fisher's notion that this is "parkland". It's a trash dump with fencing, highway overpasses, and overgrown bushes and uncut grass. A drug den perhaps, but not parkland to be treasured and enjoyed by residents. If there's a serious proposal to make a real, usable, walkable par there -- I say "Bully for that"!

United's stadium needs to be close by the Metro, and easily accessible to the highway -- and without impeding other development around the Metro. Smart growth and all that. I think the spot envisioned, or one very nearby should be chosen. And I think, in decades to come, the District will appreciate the investment as DCU becomes part of the city's social fabric.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

When it plays Spain next week, it'll be on ESPN2.

'Twouldn't it have been a better idea to have aired the England game on ESPN2?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 1:53 PM

Yep - but the Spain match will not be on live. In fact, you won't be able to see it live on anything but ESPN 360 (for the 1% of the country with online access to it). Then Argentina is back on Classic.

A lot of this has to do with ESPN2 and their big contract with the French Open tennis... but the TV arrangements for this stretch of friendlies is not good at all.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve if it is in fact your Birthday have a Happy one!
Boston sure is a fun town to be in when the weather is nice.
Thanks for bringing us the Juice.
Yeeeaaaah Boston is a blast...
Memories...

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, gotcha. Thx, Kev. Forgot about tennis. Was thinking it would be another replay of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

We are not that far removed from the days when CONCACAF qualifying matches were hard to find live on TV much less friendlies.

I'm happy for all the football on TV I can get.

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, gotcha. Thx, Kev. Forgot about tennis. Was thinking it would be another replay of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 2:04 PM

Oh they would have done that too. What amazes me now is that the original ESPN seems to be off limits for live sports (other than primetime). They really can't skip the fiftieth SportsCenter re-run and First and Ten?

Oh, but wouldn't you know it. ESPN is showing the Women's Softball Tournament right now. But there was no room for our national team playing a country that usually brings in pretty good ratings?

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM

Perhaps - but would the Premier League beat out the hunting, fishing and outdoor shows? That's prime time for their ummm... rural programming.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's not assume that ESPN has some high minded mandate to cover sports objectively and fairly.

They are a media machine, with a niche showing some sports over which they maintain influence.

They do 'sports' the same way Fox and CNN do 'news'. As product.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I commute from PG county (between Greenbelt and New Carrollton) to Alexandria every day. It takes about 45 minutes driving through town, or 55 by Metro. Really, it's not a big deal.

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

Posted by: rke | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM

That's essentially just crossing the river, once you add the 30-45 minutes (or more) most Virginians will need to travel from places like Vienna, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William, etc to get to that point then it starts to become a little difficult, especially on a weeknight.


Posted by: Matthai | May 29, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's not assume that ESPN has some high minded mandate to cover sports objectively and fairly.

They are a media machine, with a niche showing some sports over which they maintain influence.

They do 'sports' the same way Fox and CNN do 'news'. As product.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM

Of course, I'm just curious as to why they decided to put matches on tape/Classic as a matter of business and their contract with US Soccer/MLS/et al.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I posted the following comment to MF's stadium column. Any thoughts?

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

Dear Mr. Fisher,

Though I am normally in support of your arguments, the ones laid out here are cheap and misleading.

First, DCU said they would pay for the stadium IF the club also received developing rights. To imply that the club is changing its tone is false. D.C. changed its tone after encouraging the club to pay for its Poplar Point lobbying effort. Fenty then made a U-turn and fouled up the arrangement.

Secondly, DCU is the most active team in MLS, with regard to games played. The team is regularly featured in international tournaments, which add games to the schedule and offer the club's supporters the pride of watching their team play against the top teams in our hemisphere.

Moreover, as any observer of the Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) can tell you, soccer stadiums are IDEAL locations for a variety of non-soccer events, including concerts, local high school championship events, track and field competitions, and more. To include these kinds of events in your Nationals ballpark list and not that of a potential DCU stadium shows either a lack of research on your end and/or a deliberate attempt to withhold facts in order to deceive.

I will think twice before I take your words as factual. With this column, you have let down your city.

And in case you think I have a bias, I am not a supporter of a city-funded stadium. I just believe in fair, honest, and accurate journalism.

Posted by: Dan | May 29, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Ramos or Dempsey?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Wynalda or Donovan?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Gori or Namoff?
Gori for show, Namoff for dough
Crush or Venom?
Who?

Posted by: schmuckatelli | May 29, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM
================

Saturday and Sunday mornings during this first half of EPL season would conflict will college gameday, NFL gameday, and whatever other show has four guys in suits behind the desk talking about where the tight end should line up in 4th and 1 vs 3rd and long.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Boston sure is a fun town to be in when the weather is nice.
Thanks for bringing us the Juice.
Yeeeaaaah Boston is a blast...
Memories...
---------------
Too bad Steve won't be in Boston, but in Foxboro. As you'll recall, there's a bit of a difference.

Hey, Steve, look for me, the lone DC United supporter with the Barra shirt on in section 113.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Show of hands:

How many of you guys think that you can reason with Fisher and persuade him to see things in a more soccer-favorable way?

OK. Next question.

How many of you guys think that the stripper really likes you and wants to see you, romantically, after the bachelor party?

Same set of hands. I thought so.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Kev

French Open Contract Cost = $$$$$$$$$$$$$
MLS/US Soccer Cost = $$

Thus French Open = Live on ESPN2 and US Soccer = Live on ESPN Classic

You can't put it on ESPN because you can't cut out the replay of First and 10, The Best of Mike and Mike in the Morning, Throwball Live, and OF COURSE Jim Rome is Burning (something in the pipe where his ideas come from).

ESPN knows when the French Open is going to happen years in advance. US Soccer puts it's calendar together for friendlies as they come up.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@Kev

French Open Contract Cost = $$$$$$$$$$$$$
MLS/US Soccer Cost = $$

Thus French Open = Live on ESPN2 and US Soccer = Live on ESPN Classic

-----------

Most of US Soccer is them buying the time from ESPN and selling the advertising, especially the women's games. ESPN does not pay US Soccer to show their games. They only pay for the world cup games. Even the qualifiers are time-buys. Classic costs less than ESPN2 which costs less than ESPN. I am surprised the games aren't just on ESPN Gameplan so people can buy them who want to watch them.

Posted by: AM | May 29, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone going up to NY for the Argentina game? What hotel are you staying at?

Posted by: strago | May 29, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So I-270, are you saying that if we stuff enough dollar bills into Fisher's garter we can get him to see things our way?

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 29, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@I-270, Exit 1,

I know, but that's what ESPN2 is for. College Gameday is on Saturday on regular ESPN from 10am-noon. And NFL Countdown is on Sundays on ESPN from 11am-1PM.

I see what you're saying and I should have clarified that it's likely that ESPN could bid up the contract and crush FSC from getting it. And since both sides would know that ESPN couldn't handle the own thing and FSC knows it can't out-bid ESPN, the deal would probably be as follows:

ESPN could and likely will buy Setanta to give them EPL rights and to grow their brand across the pond and globally. That will allow them to go to FSC and say that they get pick of up to two matches a week and FSC can contractually have a certain number of games a year involving Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. What's left is for FSC.

So you'd likely see a Saturday game from 10am - noon and then off to College Football in the fall and whatever else after December and then they could do any number of games on Sunday's considering NFL starts at 1PM and everyone cedes Fall Sunday's to the big show.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??
Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/05/23/DI2008052301423.html

Posted by: emanon | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If Bradley wanted to actually win the game, you would think he would have pulled the two AWFUL strikers off at the half. My god, it was like the WC in France all over again. I don't understand what he was thinking.

Anyway, as for Fisher, don't start going on his blog or website or whatever. He's like my dog, if he gets lots of attention, he just keeps doing the same thing. Fact is, the same arguments were put forward about funding the baseball stadium. And, I have to agree with his logic that a soccer stadium isn't going to get the kind of use that will generate revenue like the MCI center or Nats park. Rather than just say "oh he's a jerk because he's anti-soccer" DC United needs to come up with some good counter arguments and get them out to the public.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM

==========
Paste into browser

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/05/23/DI2008052301423.html

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns? Gooch. Are you kidding me?

Ramos or Dempsey? Ramos. Most skilled player US has ever had.

Wynalda or Donovan? Wynalda in his prime a pure striker. Donovan a very good attacking midfielder. Gotta go with Wynalda.

Gori or Namoff? Gori. Better on the ball.

Crush or Venom? I have NO IDEA what this is a reference to. Are they wrestlers, maybe? Sorry, no clue here.

Posted by: Ron | May 29, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone going up to NY for the Argentina game? What hotel are you staying at?

Posted by: strago | May 29, 2008 3:05 PM

I'm detecting another Spitzer sting operation...

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@AM,

Until someone calls shenanigans on this I don't think that the US Soccer stuff is time-buy anymore. It was. Yes. But after SUM took that under its umbrella too and did the buying of the rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, when ESPN went in to get the next World Cups and Euros itself the rights to US Soccer were also part of the deal too which also had MLS television rights in it.

The days of infomercial soccer in this country are over (save for the Pan Pacific Championship - OH BOY!).

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Never mind Mr. Goof, I found it.

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner"

Because some moron shouted "O!"

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Most of US Soccer is them buying the time from ESPN and selling the advertising, especially the women's games. ESPN does not pay US Soccer to show their games. They only pay for the world cup games. Even the qualifiers are time-buys. Classic costs less than ESPN2 which costs less than ESPN. I am surprised the games aren't just on ESPN Gameplan so people can buy them who want to watch them.

Posted by: AM | May 29, 2008 3:00 PM

Thanks for the scoop AM - didn't know they were still operating on a "time buy" contract. Thought that the MLS/World Cup deal might have changed things.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game too - terrible performance by the boys on the field and in the stands. We need to get organized from a supporter standpoint because our vocals are pathetic. 2 more years until 2010, who's gonna write some new material besides USA, USA and Everywhere We Go, People Aughta Know...weak.

I know we have time (to work on songs and our play) but Bradley looks like Arena 2.0. Where's the creativity and sense of style? If we're going to play longball, fine, but do it with conviction. We are a country still figuring out how we choose to play the game and right now we're a team playing without a purpose.

Posted by: London Dan | May 29, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Because some moron shouted "O!"

Posted by: I-270, Exit


Thank you, I needed that today :-)

Posted by: marksman | May 29, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

England is crap... that is all

Posted by: dc fan | May 29, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Once the football(soccer) games are over ESPN is dead to me.

Yeah...need some nicely tuned songs not just USA USA boog boog boog kind of thing

Posted by: td | May 29, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

On other matters: How the hell would the MLS provide any semblance of professional soccer if Blatter six Americans on the field by 2012? And what about Toronto -- 6 Canadians? Actually, I suppose Toronto would have it easier -- if the U.S.-based teams have to field so many Americans, they're not likely to use the remaining international spots for 'top' Canadians. DC United could really be in trouble.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 29, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Did I really get blocked for using m@ss holes?
Seahawk dad all I was saying is Boston's nice when the weather is nice.
He had to fly into Boston though right? Maybe grabbing a bite to eat before heading to Foxboro?
Good point though they aren't the Boston Revs, but we sure are DC United. Keep the stadium in DC or prepare to have your card pulled by seahawk dad; the suburban geographical expert.
Vamos United!

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I also had a navy blue US jersey on and was totally ignored. People didn't seem to notice it.

Posted by: J. | May 29, 2008 9:40 AM
==========================================

Probably because no one recognized it as a US jersey. Remember that they're now wearing bituminous--oops, anthracite.

Posted by: tri-village | May 29, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Probably because no one recognized it as a US jersey. Remember that they're now wearing bituminous--oops, anthracite.

Posted by: tri-village | May 29, 2008 4:48 PM

They would have recognized this!

http://media.espace.ch/images/gallery/167557_chappi1994wmeroeffnungusaal.jpg

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It's a complicated arrangement with SUM, but ESPN is really only paying for the World Cup rights - MLS and friendly US men's and women's games are basically throw-ins. Same with Telefutura and Univision on the Hispanic side.

G-d help me if ESPN buys Setanta... where are my 3 month old and I going to watch Aussie Rules and the Wayne Rooney puppet in the middle of the night? Snared!

Posted by: AM | May 29, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't think a soccer stadium would pay off:

Here's a reasonable estimate of the aggregate taxable ticket gross over a one-year period at the new stadium: 60 (events) x 20,000 (average attendance) x 25 (average price of ticket) = $30 million. This does not include parking, concessions, souvenirs, etc.

Also, I'm not buying the "U.S.-has-no-attacking-flair" argument until I see failure with a lineup looking like this:

...Altidore........Cooper...
...........Donovan...............
Adu.......................Dempsey...

Please stop complaining about player selection in friendlies. Now, Bob Bradley knows he won't call up Drew Moor or Josh Wolff for meaningful matches. I hope we get pounded by argentina and spain so he can take some other guys out of the equation as well.

Posted by: Glaucon | May 29, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse


Morning Kickaround
Before I head to the airport for a flight to Boston and tonight's DCU-Revs match.....

*The entertaining video highlight package from the 2-2 tie between Dallas and Houston is available by clicking here.

*As you will read in my print-edition story, Franco Niell has been left off DCU's game-day roster for the third consecutive time. (He is expected to play in tomorrow's reserve match.) Anyone have a Dulles-to-Buenos Aires flight timetable?

*Post columnist Marc Fisher continues to stir things up about the DCU-Poplar Point stadium issue, which took another turn yesterday.

*Howard University's coach pleads not guilty.

After watching the England-USA video below, click down to the continuation of this thread and read Post colleague Camille Powell's account from the stands at Wembley, where she spent a few hours of her European vacation watching the 2-0 friendly.


"I've now been to matches in the U.S., France, Japan, Germany and England, and I guess the thing that surprised me the most last night was just how orderly the experience was. Outside of the rowdy band of red-faced, chanting English supporters that pushed its way through the crowded platform at the Green Park tube station, the trip from central London out to Wembley was fairly quiet. I wore a navy blue U.S. soccer shirt, and my friend Janet told me that she wasn't going to help me if I got harrassed -- but not one person commented on it. I've taken more heat for wearing an Orioles t-shirt at Fenway Park.

The stadium itself is beautiful, particularly when it's all lit up at night. Once we got inside, I paid £7 for a pie (beef) and a pint (Carlsberg), and planned on taking them back to my seat -- except that (as a recorded announcement kept reminding us) 'alcohol is not permitted in view of the pitch.' So not only did everyone have to drink their beers out in the concourse, they had to buy them before the game -- beer sales were cut off 10 minutes before kickoff.

The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner, and sang along to 'God Save the Queen,' drowning out the girl group that was there to perform it. They gave their biggest cheers to David Beckham, who was presented with a gold cap by Sir Bobby Charlton before the game in honor of his 100 caps. They started singing 'I'm England 'til I Die' shortly after kickoff, followed by 'Rule Brittania.' They ignored the halftime penalty kick shootout between three fans (the winner took home a signed England jersey). They clearly lost interest in the game by the second half: Three guys in the section next to ours were more focused on starting the wave -- which they finally did, only to have it be interrupted by Steven Gerrard's goal. And judging from the comments of the guys sitting behind me, they weren't impressed by the U.S."

(Neither were we, Camille, neither were we.)


By Steve Goff | May 29, 2008; 8:10 AM ET
Previous: More on McBride | Next: Matchday: DCU at New England

CommentsPlease email us to report offensive comments.

"The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner"

I'm not going to take some high and mighty stance on this one. I only point this out for the Toronto whiners who complained about booing during O' Canada on Saturday. This stuff happens. Get over it.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 29, 2008 8:32 AM

Yeah, but the difference is that nobody cares about Canada

Posted by: Ameobi | May 29, 2008 8:37 AM

Looks like it is time to go back to ZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Matthai | May 29, 2008 8:37 AM

It's time to tell Franco good bye.

I like his energy and his effort, but energy and effort with no goals doesn't amount to anything.

Posted by: Mike in Takoma Park | May 29, 2008 8:38 AM

Senor Goff: Does Marc Fisher take the Post Ombudsman seriously? In your opinion, is there any point in pointing out errors of publicized fact in Fisher's columns to the Ombudsman? Or does it not matter -- that is, is accuracy irrelevant to the point of his columns so bringing their inaccuracies up with the Ombudsman is a waste of time? Thanks.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:02 AM

Mike in Takoma Park: You don't tell Niell "bye" without having a replacement already brought in. Right now, after Emilio and Moreno, we have Niell and that's it (since Doe's gone for a while on Liberian National Team duty, and Q is playing another position where we have no depth). And Bolivia wants Moreno next month.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:04 AM

I love the short-sighted views of Marc Fisher. That money is going to Clark if it isn't going to DC United.

And besides, you had a proven and committed partner and developer in Victor and Will to begin with so after Fenty screwed the pooch, if this works out in our favor, this is what the city deserves for blowing off a great guy who was vastly more apt to serve Ward 8 residents in his project than any other person (cough, cough, CLARK!) in the back pocket of the DC government.

Can't wait to see the articles in the years to come about how the gentrification of Anacostia from Clark's development stripped the land of all its heritage.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 9:07 AM

DCU, it seems, is not winning the publicity battle. If there are details missing from the stories, as we have been lead to believe, then their PR department needs to make sure that info is put out.

Instead, it appears that 'no comment' allows the pundits and other opponents to fill in the gaps however they want.

And they are filling those gaps. Kornheiser went on an extended anti stadium, anti DCU, anti soccer screed this morning.

The team needs to improve it's PR handling of this if they want to succeed. It's hardly unusual to ask for more money in any negotiation. That's why it's a negotiation. But after it's made public, you have to control the message.

My .02

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:08 AM

BTW, those who have been bashing Nakamura: he writes the story with the facts he has. If DCU has no comment, then only one viewpoint makes the story.

He has no obligation to hold the story until another viewpoint gets their act together to comment. He goes with what he has.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:12 AM

That was my take on Nakamura's story also. He went with what he had. Why let someone else break the story while he waited for more. He also tried to get more details from Council members, and they had none for him.

I'd have thought that DCU's FO would have learned from how inept PR from RSL almost sunk their stadium efforts.

At the time I was holding up DCU's FO as a shining example of good management.

Not so much any more.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 9:20 AM

The U.S. stunk yesterday. I don't know why Eddie Johnson keeps getting chances. And Onyewu is good for one screw up a game that causes a goal (got smoked by Gerrard's run). Our boys were totally outclassed. It was so obvious. The progress to get the U.S. to a high level is going real sloooooooooooooooooow.

Posted by: Oh well... | May 29, 2008 9:21 AM

Eddie Johnson? How about Wolfe?

Crazy.
--------------
Looks like it is time to go back to ZZZZZZZZ
-------------
Or maybe, Matt, it's time to go back to PG County...

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 9:26 AM

Is it me, or is this whole Stadium crap just the DC Government creeping every 4 months closer to making a decision whether to build a stadium a Poplar Point? It's a waste to continue reading anything about it until the shovel hits the dirt.

Posted by: TCompton | May 29, 2008 9:27 AM

The US team showed again that it's afraid to attack at times. Now, that wasn't our top attacking tandem and we were missing Landon but still. The bite of creativity and finishing is still lacking in American soccer.

I'll forever blame that on our youth system in this country. We will always develop a country of goalkeepers and midfielders when we stop encouraging the kids with the talent to score to do so. If your team pounds another team of kids 20-0 because you have a kid light up the net - do it.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM

If this whole stadium situation was a player, it would be Josh Wolff.

Hyped a long time ago, had a lot of promise, got a little banged up along the way, seemed to disappear for awhile, but then is called back for the public to see and does nothing.

Posted by: Hoost | May 29, 2008 9:31 AM

Interesting that Fisher plays the race card even though the Council Member for Life from Anacostia is a big pusher of the soccer stadium.

That said, can one argue factually with Fisher's piece? Why should DC pay to build a stadium for DCU if there's no return on the investment? I see no one making a case that the $$$ adds up. Fenty may be all that the haters say, and more, but that doesn't mean he can't add and subtract dollars and votes.

New Carrolton won't be so bad, you'll see.

Posted by: Old WNT fan | May 29, 2008 9:35 AM

Goff,

Who needs airline itineraries? Niell fits in a Priority Mail flat rate box. Just punch a couple of holes in it so he can breath.

Lollipop Guild F.C. awaits a new striker.

Posted by: Erick | May 29, 2008 9:37 AM

I was at the US/England match last night. Just to clarify a few things, there was very little booing of the star spangled banner. I heard it, but it was a very small minority.

The jeering was reserved for anytime the US supporters started chants of "USA! USA! USA!" they would quickly get drowned out.

A lot of the kids nearby me were interested in starting the wave, but I wouldn't say the English fans lost interest in the game.

I also had a navy blue US jersey on and was totally ignored. People didn't seem to notice it.

England was clicking well last night, winning headers and producing quick passes to open up the midfield. As for the U.S., I know they can play better, they missed a good chance to impress.

Posted by: J. | May 29, 2008 9:40 AM

Are we even going to score a goal in all of our internationals?

Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM

another example of how pathetic our front office is. getting destroyed in the PR battle for a stadium. "no comment". gimme a break. come up with something. it's the same way only. ooooooooh, don't want to comment on our great scouting trip to south america, other teams might pounce on these gems like Niell!!!

Posted by: Bill | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM

at least the english press was impressed...

"It was a dismal match contested by one very average team and one really awful one," wrote BarryGlendenning on the Guardian's "minute-by-minute" website blog. "I'll leave it up to yourselves to decide which one is which.

"Steve Gerrard and Wayne Rooney played well for England, but it's difficult to put into words just how feeble the opponents were. A set of traffic cones would have put up more resistance. . . . "

And from BBC Sports' Phil McNulty: "A satisfying night for [England Coach] Fabio Capello with what was the most impressive of his three matches in charge -- although all this must be placed in the context of some pretty lame American opposition."


Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM

Are we even going to score a goal in all of our internationals?

Posted by: mizage | May 29, 2008 9:41 AM

===============

The way they played yesterday? Nope. I'd guess we see even less of the ball vs. Spain and Arg then we saw yesterday.

Central MF was terrible in that regard. Clark has a low ceiling of expectation, but Bradley I expected more of, and I thought he was awful.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM

If Marc Fisher did even elementary research (like, say, reading the Post coverage), he'd know that McFarlane didn't "lose" the competition to develop Poplar Point -- the Fenty Administration rigged it against him by looking at his proposal to develop it and then devising specs for the project that his proposal didn't meet. So DC gave up the chance to get a stadium for free and develop Poplar Point, and instead we taxpayers are going to end up paying the infrastructure costs for developing Poplar Point (what McFarlane requested originally) and the cost of building a stadium, instead of just the infrastructure cost. If Fisher could get out of his "greedy sports team" template, he'd see the real story here is about our showboating mayor.

Posted by: MM | May 29, 2008 9:54 AM

Mizage,

You missed the BBC article that jabbed "a pedestrian United States side."

Classic English understatement. The perfect adjective.

Posted by: Erick | May 29, 2008 9:59 AM

Camille Powell can now expense her entire vacation. OK, maybe just the tickets, tube fare, pie, and beer. Glad to know that she has a US jersey (DiNunzio are you paying attention?).

Two requests for her:
1. Extend your "vacation" for another month and cover Euro2008?
2. Compare the German sausages to the English pies.

"The English fans ... sang along to 'God Save the Queen,' drowning out the girl group that was there to perform it."

As I wrote before, at the WNT-Canada match I seemed to be the only person in section 309 who knew the words to the SSB. Sad.


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 9:59 AM

I'm telling you this US program got stuck in the mud the second we lost Klinsmann to whatever the real reason was for him to not take the job. The day we start having SERIOUS youth systems in each CLUB in which they harvest the best and dump the rest the USA will not be serious contenders. Picking 20 year olds on "draft day" is a freaking JOKE! You can't start to develop your pro career when you are that old! Adu may be a tricky dribbler but honestly, compared to most European squads, do you think the gnat will ever be a force? IT'S A JOKE! Frakie "big pants" Hedjuk looked exactly how we played, ugly and funny.

Posted by: Felix | May 29, 2008 10:03 AM

""they weren't impressed by the U.S."

My assumption is that we extended sympathy to England . . . as anything but an English victory would surely have lead to a widespread and deep depression throughout the nation.

As friends and allies, we could never allow that to happen. As it were, the US Men's team was the Lexapro/Wellbutrin/Cymbalta tonic so that Terry/Euro 08 miss could be put to rest . . .

(Or we are just that bad)

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 10:10 AM

USA has had a striker void since the retirements of Wynalda and McBride. Except possibly for Altidore, there seems to be no one on the horizon capable of filling this huge void.

Michael Bradley was invisible much of the match. Dempsey tried but had little help from his mates. USA had no fluidity until Adu entered. Maybe he'll get a start against Spain or Argentina. England is decent side that carved USA apart. I cringe at the approach of good sides like Spain and Argentina.

Posted by: Running Cloud | May 29, 2008 10:20 AM

"Before I head to the airport for a flight to Boston and tonight's DCU-Revs match..."

"We were just another band out of Boston
On the road to try to make ends meet
Playin' all the bars
Sleepin' in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street"


Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 10:22 AM

Honestly Steve, how do you put up with working in the same building as Marc Fisher!

Posted by: Tweaked | May 29, 2008 10:23 AM

@Old WNT Fan

"New Carrolton won't be so bad"

Examples

Crew Stadium, Pizza Hut Park, Toyota Park, Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

A stadium in New Carrolton won't need 25-27k seats.

It'll only need 18k. And your mid-week nights will be like FCD last night - Announced = 8,000+, Actual 2,000 maybe?

Look - I won't take a pot shot at Maryland here. But cities develop where they are for a reason and an urban destination is always better than a suburban one. New Carrolton will be a terrible commute for VA fans just as an Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax/Dulles commute would be for MD fans.

That's not to say they couldn't build a great venue there and a great place to see a game, but the burden of travel in this area isn't going to get easier ever.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 10:28 AM

Fielding Wolff and Johnson up front consigned us to being shut out as long as they were out there. Johnson, when on one of his rare hot streaks, is great; Johnson, when on one of his much more common droughts, is useless. Wolff is past it as far as high-level international soccer is concerned.

The US showing yesterday looked like a team prepared to lose. Where was the fire? Clark looked like the only player with some passion (but lacked the class needed to accompany it). Bradley did not impress in what was his best chance to earn himself a Premiership contract, though that doesn't mean he won't still get one.

Overall, I was really expecting a lot more out of us. I wasn't expecting a win, but we frankly deserved to be beaten by more than 2-0, and England didn't exactly set the world alight.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 29, 2008 10:30 AM

This is a pretty depressing morning for US/DC soccer.

On the bright side, it's just a friendly - and it's just Fisher.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 10:34 AM

I guess we'll have to wait for Kevin Payne's inevitable letter to the editor clarifying some things. Of course it will only get read by all the United fans and it won't reach the thousands of District residents Fisher and Nakamura slant every day.

On the bright side, I hope Fishers ears are burning because his butt sure as hell is getting lit up on his blog.

Posted by: Chico | May 29, 2008 10:40 AM

And they are filling those gaps. Kornheiser went on an extended anti stadium, anti DCU, anti soccer screed this morning.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 9:08 AM

Thanks for the warning - going to give the podcast a miss today.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 10:44 AM

Why do many of Camille's reports include food? I distinctly remember that being a focal point of Washington Post Live's G'town coverage during last years NCAA basketball tournament.

It the Post's master plan to have Steinberg and Powell take over the Food section?

Posted by: Kim | May 29, 2008 10:48 AM

Well that was a sad, sad performance.

If anything was taken from that piece 'o sh*t display, I would say it's this...there are a few in that bunch that that should never be considered starters and a few that should never wear the shirt again. Hopefully Big Bradley sorts 'em out. I doubt it though.

I am tired of waiting for some fantastic from Eddie Johnson. It's not so much that he sucks (which he does), it's more a case of a lack of balls with a pinch of laziness. I get the same speed from Findley, who comes with some desire to try and take people on and hunger for space. Stick a fork in Johnson's a**, he's done.

Wolff sucks just as bad. All you "Wolff for DC" lovers out there, hope you watched the game. The only thing he does better than bring irrelevance to a game is his stupendous ability to do a Houdini in the attacking 3rd. So he blows too. I think MLS overstated their 10 grrr per month rating of him.

The rest of the that team is flawed too. Playing people out of their natural positions could not have helped much either. Little Bradley tears up the Eridivise at attacking mid, but his Big Bradley insists on playing him as a defensive mid. I guess Daddy knows best.

Oh well. Hopefully the embarrassment of last night (and the colossal a**whipping to come in the next two weeks) sparks a nasty fire in this team's collective gut that will serve to scortch poor Barbados come qualifying. Naturally, the Islanders will get pummled - and that will make us all feel good about ourselves and will give us something behind which we can hide the embarrassment of these friendlies - and alas, some of the very bold among us will dare to use the words "domination" to describe our efforts against...Barbados.

Posted by: Kosh | May 29, 2008 10:56 AM

the strange thing is that Fisher seems to believe that the choice is between a soccer stadium or a pretty riverside park. Clearly that land is going to be developed no matter what. So, it's not a choice between a park and a soccer stadium. It's a soccer stadium or another office/apartment/condo building. And I'm sure Clark is asking for infrastructure investment on the part of the city, altho likely not in the $150 or $225 million range.

And where is all of this available land that he talks about?

He also over-inflates the number of events at the baseball stadium. 82 baseball games, plus the pope is only 83. What else is scheduled for that stadium? 220 for Abe Pollin arena seems a little high to me, but it is more believable.

I do sort of agree though that spending all that money for a stadium that will host 35 events a year doesn't make too much sense in bad economic times.

DCU should be trying to work something out with the DCSEC to allow the club to collect more of the game-day revenues from RFK. Now that we have RFK more or less to ourselves again there isn't too much for me to complain about.

Posted by: Glenn | May 29, 2008 11:00 AM

Steinberg has a couple of DCU items on his blog.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 11:03 AM

PG stadium sites are inside the Beltway, on the Metro, and a very few miles past RFK if you're driving from VA. It's nothing like Pizza Hut, etc. but the same arguments to & fro get posted here every time there's a Post zzzzzzztory, its boring any more

Posted by: Old WNT Fan | May 29, 2008 11:15 AM

I was at wembley too and I didn't hear any booing during the anthem. Of course, I was singing at the top of my lungs much to the dismay of those nearby. I tell ya, singing along with kelly rowland (the "other" destiny's child woman) isn't easy. She often strays into pitches that only dogs can hear.

On the match, if we are worse than a set of traffic cones, how did they fail to score lots of goals? Reminds me of lavolpe saying we play like his grandmother immediately following mexico's 2-0 loss to the US. England certainly outplayed us, but they had some difficulties turning their control of the midfield into an effective attack.

I didn't feel self-conscious at all wearing US gear, knowing that no englishman would consider the US to be a strong enough opponent to ridicule. I did get several variations of "good luck...you'll need it."

Posted by: troy | May 29, 2008 11:22 AM

I've asked it before and I'll ask again: WHAT did the DCU front office SEE in Niell in the first place that made them think a player of his height could actually succeed in this physical league? I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I'd still really like to know.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM

> New Carrolton will be a terrible
> commute for VA fans just as an
> Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax/Dulles
> commute would be for MD fans.

I commute from PG county (between Greenbelt and New Carrollton) to Alexandria every day. It takes about 45 minutes driving through town, or 55 by Metro. Really, it's not a big deal.

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

Posted by: rke | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM

I'm a DCU fan since '96, a half-season plan holder and a District resident. If the $225M number is accurate this won't happen. I understand that those of you who live outside the city don't care how it happens, you just want it done. But that represents a 50% jump in the city's contribution, and even that was going to have political consequences. I've asked my councilman to support the $150M, but even I won't support it if DCU demands $225M.

It's too much--fiscally and politically.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 29, 2008 11:27 AM

@ Juan-John

Perhaps they saw Freddy Adu, the second coming, Argentine style? OR it could be that someone lost a bet down there...and we are all paying for it? Do either of these work for you?

Posted by: Kosh | May 29, 2008 11:28 AM

It would for people who may ride a bicycle or even walk to the game.
There are not a whole lot of us but Poplar Point would give great opportunities for improving what is already a beautiful ride from a few approaches. The revolution will not be motorized! Unless it's a Volkswagon of course...

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 11:32 AM

Guys, lighten up a bit. Fisher is an idiot and just because he has the microphone doesn't mean we are not going to get a stadium at PP. I think you all are over-estimating Marc Fisher's influence. He is a man with a flawed, factually incorrect opinion. He has no say in how the council will handle this situation. I'm still more optimistic than I was two days ago.

Posted by: BK | May 29, 2008 11:32 AM

I wouldn't count out a player on height alone but it sounds like Kasper really struck out on this one. He must've impressed down in Argentina but they obviously didn't factor in the physical nature of MLS.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 29, 2008 11:35 AM

Watching the highlights of the 2nd England goal, that was on Pearce moreso than Gooch. Pearce never slid over and left a gaping hole for Gerrard to run through once Boca stepped up, and by the time he turned around and chased, it was too late. Gooch's positioning was actually decent, and he needed Pearce's help in covering for Boca. Overall it was just poor, poor communication.

And what the hell was the midfield doing on that play? Barry is a good 5 yards ahead of each of the midfielders once the ball was laid off - and he had a good 10 yards of space in front of him to run into if he wanted to. Absolutely zero pressure on the ball. That's just awful.

Posted by: el diablo | May 29, 2008 11:37 AM

It's naive to think that the U.S. will be able to compete with the likes of England until we get several players who start on teams playing deep into the Champions League.

I agree that our youth development system needs a lot of work. My two cents worth: my son has played in three local leagues, and the leagues with better coaching and organization tend to attract more well-off kids, who generally don't have as much of a passion (or ability) for the game as the African and Hispanic kids he's played with. It's a shame. Landon Donovan has said that he played against some great players in the youth ranks, and very few of them got to play at a higher level.

As Clint Dempsey has said, soccer is play-to-play in this country, if you want good coaching and competition. The only reason that he's a pro, beyond his inner drive, is that his parents were willing to drive hundreds of miles to Dallas to take him to play on a select team.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | May 29, 2008 11:40 AM

Mike in Takoma Park: You don't tell Niell "bye" without having a replacement already brought in. Right now, after Emilio and Moreno, we have Niell and that's it (since Doe's gone for a while on Liberian National Team duty, and Q is playing another position where we have no depth). And Bolivia wants Moreno next month.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 29, 2008 9:04 AM

Bootsy, let's walk through this logically. Doe's gone, and Niell still didn't make the 18-man roster for tonight. DCU thinks they have forward subs that don't include Niell.

Posted by: BillyBob | May 29, 2008 11:53 AM

FYI

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 11:57 AM

Fisher is in for an online chat at noon

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM

The U.S. stunk yesterday. I don't know why Eddie Johnson keeps getting chances. And Onyewu is good for one screw up a game that causes a goal (got smoked by Gerrard's run). Our boys were totally outclassed. It was so obvious. The progress to get the U.S. to a high level is going real sloooooooooooooooooow.

Posted by: Oh well... | May 29, 2008 9:21 AM

Don't blame Gooch Boca was caught out of position as well on the Gerrard goal did you not see him marking high near midfield as Gerrard made his run right thru where Boca had just left? Boca got burned on the set piece as well now I see why Fulham has no use for him and honestly it's time to start looking for another center back perhaps Edu (small?) Jay DeMerit or Gibbs if he's ever healthy.

Posted by: | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM

Happy Birthday Goffer!!!

Posted by: steve-o | May 29, 2008 12:03 PM

Mr Fisher,

In your column, you claim that a United stadium would be stripping Anacostia of parkland and compare it to "grabbing a chunk of Rock Creek".

Yet, in the plans from Clark, it clearly shows that the stadium space would not be parkland, but residential/retail space.

Can you explain your rationale and obvious inconsistency?

Posted by: d | May 29, 2008 12:04 PM

rke wrote:

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

It won't stop you (in Alexandria) but be realistic, for those who live in Fairfax, Reston or further out in VA (Centerville, Ashburn) it will certainly affect their ability to attend games.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 29, 2008 12:05 PM

"It's naive to think that the U.S. will be able to compete with the likes of England until we get several players who start on teams playing deep into the Champions League."

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

We beat Portugal in the 2002 World-Cup without those types of players. We tied Italy last World-Cup (with 9 men) without those types of players. England didn't qualify for Euro 2008, yet we handed it to Poland just a few months ago - and they won their qualifying group.

You can't overreact because of one dismal performance. We started this game without Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, Josy Altidore, Benny Feilhaber, and Maurice Edu. In my personal opinion, those are 5 of the top 8 attacking/midfield options the USMNT has (along with Bradley, Dempsey, and Beasley).

My real concern is the seeming lack of b@lls by the US coaching staff since WC 2002. It's painfully obvious that our best talent comes from the under-25 crowd. For some inexplicable reason, our coaches are afraid to use these guys in tough competition. I guarantee that other top-talent youth around the world don't look 100% sharp in training, or look as polished as their veteran counterparts, but you still see guys like Bojan Krkic, Pato, Dos Santos, all being used when they don't seem "ready." The same could've been said for Messi, C.Ronaldo, and Fabregas when they originally started out. Our young guys, particularly Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore among others, need to be thrown out to the wolves. They can handle themselves.

Posted by: el diablo | May 29, 2008 12:08 PM

"...I tell ya, singing along with kelly rowland (the "other" destiny's child woman) isn't easy. She often strays into pitches that only dogs can hear."
-----------------
I e-mailed an English friend, "That was embarrassing."

He replied with a question: "The US team or the national anthem?"

I've got to say both.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 12:12 PM

Well, another Dallas game, another paltry attendance. Announced attendance 8,000, actual crowd, half that maybe?

Number of people cheering/clapping/otherwise making noise on Dallas goals, about 17.

Folks, Frisco is a failure.

Posted by: Ron | May 29, 2008 12:20 PM

Did anyone see Kenny Cooper's bending strike against Houston? Cooper/Altidore Strike force for WC2010-18!

(Yes I'm excited. Yes attendance in Frisco was horrible. I blame the FCD FO.)

Posted by: cowtown fcd | May 29, 2008 12:24 PM

I agree with el diablo's point about tossing the young guns out to the wolves. Why not give Altidore the chance to get some real experience against the highest quality possible? Johnson has proven himself incapable time and time again. I don't see how playing Altidore could possibly be any worse than watching EJ not do anything.

Posted by: elopingcamel | May 29, 2008 12:32 PM

Did anyone see Kenny Cooper's bending strike against Houston?

Posted by: cowtown fcd | May 29, 2008 12:24 PM
===========

I think he got lucky on his first touch. It looked like he was trying to bring the ball down softly but it went behind the defender instead. If he was indeed trying to beat the defender on his first touch, then he needs to be on the national team because no American striker has ever done that intentionally.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 12:40 PM

Fisher is in for an online chat at noon

Posted by: delantero | May 29, 2008 12:00 PM
=============

I'm too late, but I hope no-one submitted a question. Whatever you say, Fisher has the last word and will twist your statement to fit his bias.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 12:41 PM

elopingcamel,

Altidore has a few knocks, and could actually use some rest.

Posted by: B.A. | May 29, 2008 12:47 PM

Cooper's strike is on the highlights that Goff linked to. The first touch to set it up is at least as good as the strike itself. How is that guy not seeing any time for the national team? Also interesting the dust-up between Robinson and the 2 Brazilians. Thoughts on that? I think the dude with the cast on had it coming, though of course Robinson also served the sending off.

Posted by: Mysterian | May 29, 2008 12:51 PM

poster "Oh well..."

It looked like Onyewu timed his step perfectly to get Gerrard offside, but Pearce went the other way and held Gerrard on. It happens, especially in an exhibition on the road vs a sharp opponent. Onyewu didn't "get burned." He's entrenched at sweeper because he's the best the U.S. has, by far. Pearce looks like he'll be around for awhile, too.

I hope it works out for Niell, either in DC or another MLS club. He's a good player. But you can't just cherry pick in a possession attack, especially on a team as weak up the middle as DC is now.

Posted by: Not Onyewu's fault | May 29, 2008 12:59 PM

I agree that Cooper's first touch was not great. However, the defender took himself out of the play by overrunning and not staying goal-side.
Cooper finished brilliantly, though, no denying that. And it was against Onstad, not a schlub like Dala or Wells.

Posted by: marksman | May 29, 2008 1:12 PM

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns?

Ramos or Dempsey?

Wynalda or Donovan?

Gori or Namoff?

Crush or Venom?

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 1:22 PM

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns? Gooch

Ramos or Dempsey? Ramos

Wynalda or Donovan? Donovan

Gori or Namoff? Namoff

Crush or Venom? Venom


Posted by: 135 | May 29, 2008 1:46 PM

To kill some time:

Crush or Venom?

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 1:22 PM

DCU could get Crush? I'd take her for the backline...so to speak....

Posted by: PotomacBoater | May 29, 2008 1:48 PM

So when the USA plays England, ESPN banishes that game to its Classic channel.

When it plays Spain next week, it'll be on ESPN2.

'Twouldn't it have been a better idea to have aired the England game on ESPN2?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 1:53 PM

New Carrolton won't be so bad, you'll see.

Posted by: Old WNT fan | May 29, 2008 9:35 AM

Replies to that argue over whether this is convenient for suburban fans. I got news for you all. Except for a few Virginians around Alexandria or south, and a few PG fans, all of who would be driving -- Anacostia isn't a much shorter commute for suburban fans. It's a farther drive for Montgomery County or College Park than either RFK or New Carrolton. And the Metro ride is nearly as long for most Virgnians or Marylanders.

That said, why is it that Marylanders aren't making a stink about their state's interest? Why does it make economic sense there, and not in the District? Why did MacFarlane think it's a perfectly good anchor for development?

I know the spot because I drive and park there for Nats games. And I've walked across the South Capitol Bridge back from Nats games. so I laugh at Fisher's notion that this is "parkland". It's a trash dump with fencing, highway overpasses, and overgrown bushes and uncut grass. A drug den perhaps, but not parkland to be treasured and enjoyed by residents. If there's a serious proposal to make a real, usable, walkable par there -- I say "Bully for that"!

United's stadium needs to be close by the Metro, and easily accessible to the highway -- and without impeding other development around the Metro. Smart growth and all that. I think the spot envisioned, or one very nearby should be chosen. And I think, in decades to come, the District will appreciate the investment as DCU becomes part of the city's social fabric.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 29, 2008 1:58 PM

When it plays Spain next week, it'll be on ESPN2.

'Twouldn't it have been a better idea to have aired the England game on ESPN2?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 1:53 PM

Yep - but the Spain match will not be on live. In fact, you won't be able to see it live on anything but ESPN 360 (for the 1% of the country with online access to it). Then Argentina is back on Classic.

A lot of this has to do with ESPN2 and their big contract with the French Open tennis... but the TV arrangements for this stretch of friendlies is not good at all.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM

Steve if it is in fact your Birthday have a Happy one!
Boston sure is a fun town to be in when the weather is nice.
Thanks for bringing us the Juice.
Yeeeaaaah Boston is a blast...
Memories...

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 2:02 PM

Ahhh, gotcha. Thx, Kev. Forgot about tennis. Was thinking it would be another replay of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 2:04 PM

We are not that far removed from the days when CONCACAF qualifying matches were hard to find live on TV much less friendlies.

I'm happy for all the football on TV I can get.

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM

Ahhh, gotcha. Thx, Kev. Forgot about tennis. Was thinking it would be another replay of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 29, 2008 2:04 PM

Oh they would have done that too. What amazes me now is that the original ESPN seems to be off limits for live sports (other than primetime). They really can't skip the fiftieth SportsCenter re-run and First and Ten?

Oh, but wouldn't you know it. ESPN is showing the Women's Softball Tournament right now. But there was no room for our national team playing a country that usually brings in pretty good ratings?

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:13 PM

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM

Perhaps - but would the Premier League beat out the hunting, fishing and outdoor shows? That's prime time for their ummm... rural programming.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:18 PM

Let's not assume that ESPN has some high minded mandate to cover sports objectively and fairly.

They are a media machine, with a niche showing some sports over which they maintain influence.

They do 'sports' the same way Fox and CNN do 'news'. As product.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM

I commute from PG county (between Greenbelt and New Carrollton) to Alexandria every day. It takes about 45 minutes driving through town, or 55 by Metro. Really, it's not a big deal.

I'd still rather see the stadium in DC, but come on! The difference in travel time to New Carrollton or Greenbelt won't keep fans from going to games.

Posted by: rke | May 29, 2008 11:23 AM

That's essentially just crossing the river, once you add the 30-45 minutes (or more) most Virginians will need to travel from places like Vienna, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William, etc to get to that point then it starts to become a little difficult, especially on a weeknight.


Posted by: Matthai | May 29, 2008 2:31 PM

Let's not assume that ESPN has some high minded mandate to cover sports objectively and fairly.

They are a media machine, with a niche showing some sports over which they maintain influence.

They do 'sports' the same way Fox and CNN do 'news'. As product.

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 2:29 PM

Of course, I'm just curious as to why they decided to put matches on tape/Classic as a matter of business and their contract with US Soccer/MLS/et al.

Posted by: Kev | May 29, 2008 2:35 PM

I posted the following comment to MF's stadium column. Any thoughts?

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

Dear Mr. Fisher,

Though I am normally in support of your arguments, the ones laid out here are cheap and misleading.

First, DCU said they would pay for the stadium IF the club also received developing rights. To imply that the club is changing its tone is false. D.C. changed its tone after encouraging the club to pay for its Poplar Point lobbying effort. Fenty then made a U-turn and fouled up the arrangement.

Secondly, DCU is the most active team in MLS, with regard to games played. The team is regularly featured in international tournaments, which add games to the schedule and offer the club's supporters the pride of watching their team play against the top teams in our hemisphere.

Moreover, as any observer of the Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) can tell you, soccer stadiums are IDEAL locations for a variety of non-soccer events, including concerts, local high school championship events, track and field competitions, and more. To include these kinds of events in your Nationals ballpark list and not that of a potential DCU stadium shows either a lack of research on your end and/or a deliberate attempt to withhold facts in order to deceive.

I will think twice before I take your words as factual. With this column, you have let down your city.

And in case you think I have a bias, I am not a supporter of a city-funded stadium. I just believe in fair, honest, and accurate journalism.

Posted by: Dan | May 29, 2008 2:42 PM

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Ramos or Dempsey?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Wynalda or Donovan?
no comparison, since they played different positions
Gori or Namoff?
Gori for show, Namoff for dough
Crush or Venom?
Who?


Posted by: schmuckatelli | May 29, 2008 2:45 PM

Just wait until ESPN outbids FSC for the EPL rights to fill time on Saturday and Sunday mornings on ESPN2 and garners better ratings than MLS.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:06 PM
================

Saturday and Sunday mornings during this first half of EPL season would conflict will college gameday, NFL gameday, and whatever other show has four guys in suits behind the desk talking about where the tight end should line up in 4th and 1 vs 3rd and long.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 2:48 PM

Boston sure is a fun town to be in when the weather is nice.
Thanks for bringing us the Juice.
Yeeeaaaah Boston is a blast...
Memories...
---------------
Too bad Steve won't be in Boston, but in Foxboro. As you'll recall, there's a bit of a difference.

Hey, Steve, look for me, the lone DC United supporter with the Barra shirt on in section 113.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 29, 2008 2:50 PM

Show of hands:

How many of you guys think that you can reason with Fisher and persuade him to see things in a more soccer-favorable way?

OK. Next question.

How many of you guys think that the stripper really likes you and wants to see you, romantically, after the bachelor party?

Same set of hands. I thought so.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 29, 2008 2:54 PM

@Kev

French Open Contract Cost = $$$$$$$$$$$$$
MLS/US Soccer Cost = $$

Thus French Open = Live on ESPN2 and US Soccer = Live on ESPN Classic

You can't put it on ESPN because you can't cut out the replay of First and 10, The Best of Mike and Mike in the Morning, Throwball Live, and OF COURSE Jim Rome is Burning (something in the pipe where his ideas come from).

ESPN knows when the French Open is going to happen years in advance. US Soccer puts it's calendar together for friendlies as they come up.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 2:55 PM

@Kev

French Open Contract Cost = $$$$$$$$$$$$$
MLS/US Soccer Cost = $$

Thus French Open = Live on ESPN2 and US Soccer = Live on ESPN Classic

-----------

Most of US Soccer is them buying the time from ESPN and selling the advertising, especially the women's games. ESPN does not pay US Soccer to show their games. They only pay for the world cup games. Even the qualifiers are time-buys. Classic costs less than ESPN2 which costs less than ESPN. I am surprised the games aren't just on ESPN Gameplan so people can buy them who want to watch them.

Posted by: AM | May 29, 2008 3:00 PM

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM

Anyone going up to NY for the Argentina game? What hotel are you staying at?

Posted by: strago | May 29, 2008 3:05 PM

So I-270, are you saying that if we stuff enough dollar bills into Fisher's garter we can get him to see things our way?

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 29, 2008 3:10 PM

@I-270, Exit 1,

I know, but that's what ESPN2 is for. College Gameday is on Saturday on regular ESPN from 10am-noon. And NFL Countdown is on Sundays on ESPN from 11am-1PM.

I see what you're saying and I should have clarified that it's likely that ESPN could bid up the contract and crush FSC from getting it. And since both sides would know that ESPN couldn't handle the own thing and FSC knows it can't out-bid ESPN, the deal would probably be as follows:

ESPN could and likely will buy Setanta to give them EPL rights and to grow their brand across the pond and globally. That will allow them to go to FSC and say that they get pick of up to two matches a week and FSC can contractually have a certain number of games a year involving Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. What's left is for FSC.

So you'd likely see a Saturday game from 10am - noon and then off to College Football in the fall and whatever else after December and then they could do any number of games on Sunday's considering NFL starts at 1PM and everyone cedes Fall Sunday's to the big show.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 3:10 PM

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??
Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/05/23/DI2008052301423.html

Posted by: emanon | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM

If Bradley wanted to actually win the game, you would think he would have pulled the two AWFUL strikers off at the half. My god, it was like the WC in France all over again. I don't understand what he was thinking.

Anyway, as for Fisher, don't start going on his blog or website or whatever. He's like my dog, if he gets lots of attention, he just keeps doing the same thing. Fact is, the same arguments were put forward about funding the baseball stadium. And, I have to agree with his logic that a soccer stadium isn't going to get the kind of use that will generate revenue like the MCI center or Nats park. Rather than just say "oh he's a jerk because he's anti-soccer" DC United needs to come up with some good counter arguments and get them out to the public.

Posted by: Hacksaw | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM

Mr. Goff:
Where's the transcript from your chat yesterday??

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:03 PM

==========
Paste into browser

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/05/23/DI2008052301423.html

Posted by: JkR | May 29, 2008 3:12 PM

To kill some time:

Gooch or Mike Burns? Gooch. Are you kidding me?

Ramos or Dempsey? Ramos. Most skilled player US has ever had.

Wynalda or Donovan? Wynalda in his prime a pure striker. Donovan a very good attacking midfielder. Gotta go with Wynalda.

Gori or Namoff? Gori. Better on the ball.

Crush or Venom? I have NO IDEA what this is a reference to. Are they wrestlers, maybe? Sorry, no clue here.

Posted by: Ron | May 29, 2008 3:13 PM

Anyone going up to NY for the Argentina game? What hotel are you staying at?

Posted by: strago | May 29, 2008 3:05 PM

I'm detecting another Spitzer sting operation...

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 29, 2008 3:13 PM

@AM,

Until someone calls shenanigans on this I don't think that the US Soccer stuff is time-buy anymore. It was. Yes. But after SUM took that under its umbrella too and did the buying of the rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, when ESPN went in to get the next World Cups and Euros itself the rights to US Soccer were also part of the deal too which also had MLS television rights in it.

The days of infomercial soccer in this country are over (save for the Pan Pacific Championship - OH BOY!).

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 29, 2008 3:23 PM

Never mind Mr. Goof, I found it.

Posted by: bob | May 29, 2008 3:27 PM

"The English fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner"

Because some moron shouted "O!"

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

Sorry, I guess that makes me responsible for all the booing.

Posted by: J. | May 30, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I was at the match at Wembley. Two parts to the comments. First the experience.
The English may have invented the game, but they've managed to suck the life out of it from a fans perspective. $130 tickets for a friendly? No wonder the stadium had huge empty sections up top.
No beer in the actual stadium, just in the corrodors outside. And then the taps are closed during the actual 90 minutes of the match. English fans next to us shouted "Pariah Nation" repeatedly, and I have to say it was pretty hard to argue with them on that.
As for the game itself, I've been following and going to US matches for years, and this was the most pathetic team I've ever seen fielded. Bradley can't see the forest through the trees. I realize he has 3 friendlies to manage, but so does England, and they didn't hesitate to start their top 11. If this was our top 11, I see no need to buy tix to South Africa. Eddie Johnson has no touch. Period. Ever. The only spark we found was when Hejduk was inserted in the line-up, and Eddie Lewis added heart - and drive. Lame.
Bob Bradley can not manage his way out of a paper bag.

Posted by: David | May 30, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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