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Soccer Insider: June 22, 2008 - June 28, 2008

An Olsen Comeback?

Greetings from RFK. *Very interesting change to DCU's injury report: Ben Olsen, thought to be out most if not all of the season with serious ankle problems, has been upgraded to doubtful. No joke. His workouts have intensified in recent weeks and, although there are still concerns about the ankle,...

By Steve Goff  |  June 28, 2008; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Morning Kickaround

*The final round of Asian World Cup qualifying is set. Which four teams do you think will qualify for South Africa? The clear favorites are Australia, Japan, South Korea and Iran. *A link to my Beckham-Gallardo, LA-DC story in today's print edition. *I will follow up later today on Latin...

By Steve Goff  |  June 28, 2008; 8:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Nash, Reyna, Henry and Co.

A couple days old, but worth mentioning...... NBA star Steve Nash and former USA captain Claudio Reyna organized a charity soccer match in New York City the other day. Click here to read about it, click here to watch the video from APL Films....

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Misc.  
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Gallardo's Weather Forecast

Like his coach, Marcelo Gallardo is not happy about a marquee game being played at high noon in hot, humid conditions. "I was commenting on this with my teammates and other people on the club," he said through an interpreter. "I don't understand why you would do a game at...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Soehn Speaks

Coach Tommy, on the decision to drop Franco Niell: "We're going to look to make a change in the [summer transfer window]. We brought him in with pretty high expectations to push for a starting spot and unfortunately it didn't unfold like that, so we are always looking out to...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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DCU Update

Where in the world is Francis Doe? United expected him to return from Liberian national team duty early in the week, then changed his ETA to Thursday because of passport and visa issues. (Apparently, the Liberian federation misplaced his documents and he had to scramble to replace them.) However, he...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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And the Winner Is.....

We're down to the final two teams at the European Championship, which brings us to our final poll of the tournament. Cast your vote and then, if you'd like, explain your decision in the comments section. poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  European Championship  
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Morning Kickaround

*Insider loyalists were in the know before anyone else yesterday about Franco Niell's imminent departure. Late in the day, DCU made the official announcement, but without even the standard "We'd like to thank so-and-so for his contributions....." Just three paragraphs and no comments from club officials. Ouch! *Dallas and Houston...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Matchday Europe

Could today's Euro semifinal in Vienna possibly match yesterday's thriller in Basel? With Arshavin and Russia involved, anything is possible. Spain's time has come after decades of underachievement, but the Russians are so bold, carefree and confident. Kickoff is around 2:45 ET on ESPN2. As usual, this is the place...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2008; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  European Championship  
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No, No, Niell

[UPDATE: Pending league approval, Niell will be officially waived today.] (Red Sox fans will understand that headline.) Are Franco Niell's days in a D.C. United uniform (kids' size) numbered? Yes. The diminutive Argentine forward did not travel to Columbus yesterday for the reserve match and, with the July 1 contract...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2008; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Morning Kickaround

Top of the morning, lads. A variety of tasty items to share..... *Let's start with my United story in the print edition. Nothing you don't already know, but worth a read, nonetheless. *Chelsea really likes Raleigh. *Because of a scheduling conflict, the Red Bulls' U.S. Open Cup match Tuesday at...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2008; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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DCU Reserves Win

United earned a reserve division victory at Columbus this afternoon, 1-0, on Rod Dyachenko's 73rd-minute goal off a free kick by Marc Burch that knocked around the penalty area. Jose Carvallo and James Thorpe shared DCU's goalkeeping duties. Details of the potential pairings and sites for the U.S. Open Cup...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchday Europe

Germany vs. Turkey on ESPN, they are underway in Basel. The Turks hit the crossbar early. Can they maintain form and, despite being severely shorthanded, pull off a monumental upset? Your in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome here....

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
Categories:  European Championship  
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Quick DCU Update

*Half the roster did not practice today. Fear not: The reserves have a match at Columbus this afternoon so about 14 players, plus a few guests, made the trip. Both backup keepers -- Jose Carvallo and James Thorpe -- were part of the delegation. *Midfielder-defender Domenic Mediate did not travel...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Q&A

You've got lots of questions, I've got a few answers. Live online chat on washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. ET today. Click here to submit questions, follow the exchange live and to read the complete transcript later....

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Q&A  
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Morning Kickaround

*All of Germany will be watching today's European Championship semifinal between Die Nationalmannschaft and Turkey (2:30 ET, ESPN), but not all of Germany, the country, will be supporting Germany, the team. With between 2.5 million and 3 million residents of Turkish descent, German loyalities are splintered. Sort of like when...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Open for Business

In the U.S. Open Cup's second round, Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) advanced on penalty kicks at Harrisburg (USL2) following a 2-2 tie that saw goals by each club in overtime and three ejections, including the Palace coach. Palace, in its second year of existence, will host the Red Bulls next...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2008; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Keeping It Real

Real Maryland, the first-year USL2 club based at Montgomery County, will host Firpo of El Salvador in a friendly on Friday night. For more information, click here. Meantime, Real defender Matthew Eby, whom I profiled in The Post in April, is off to Greece with the U.S. deaf national team....

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2008; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  USL  
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No New Tale to Tell

D.C. United has taken the day off, so not much to share, except..... *The club was approached about right back Dan Gargan, a former Colorado starter who left pro soccer last month shortly after signing with Chivas USA, but has no plans at the moment to look at him to...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2008; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Morning Kickaround

On this sunny morning in the nation's capital, as we mourn the loss of a comedic legend and savor his famed American football/baseball routine, plenty of international football to discuss..... *With the USA Olympic women's squad set, we now await the 18-man men's roster. The FIFA deadline is July 23,...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2008; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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USA Women's Olympic Roster Set

Coach Pia Sundhage's 18-player list is official. Notable absences: Briana Scurry, Leslie Osborne (knee), Cat Whitehill (knee). GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.). DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati,...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Women  
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Ad-vantage Beckham

His new TV commercial........

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Beckham  
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Euro Drama

Now that we're down to four teams....... poll by twiigs.com THE SCHEDULE Wednesday: Germany-Turkey, 2:30 (ESPN) Thursday: Russia-Spain, 2:30 (ESPN2) Sunday: championship, 2:30 (ABC)...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  European Championship  
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Video From Salvadoran Comeback

El Salvador 3, Panama 1 (3-2 aggregate):...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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The Good, The Bad, The Coyote Ugly

Let's start our weekly session with a non-MLS item that would definitely be considered Coyote Ugly. (Click here.) THE GOOD *Admit it, you never thought you'd see this scoring combination: Goldthwaite from Ubiparipovic. *Or how about key goals by Tino Nuñez to put RSL ahead and Steven Lenhart to earn...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  MLS  
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The CONCACAF Dozen

The second round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying concluded Sunday night with a shocker: El Salvador scoring three times in the final 20 minutes -- the first two by former DCUer Eliseo Quintanilla -- to defeat Panama, 3-1, at Estadio Cuscatlan and win the home-and-home series by a 3-2 aggregate....

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2008; 12:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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DCU-San Jose, the Aftermath

Dodgy first half, solid second half and, despite another Zach Wells blunder, United wins again. Most importantly, what did you think of the giant, VW-refurbished clock (made to look like a speedometer) on the south wall? The video highlight package is available for viewing by clicking here. PLAYER RATINGS: Wells...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2008; 9:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchday DCU, USA, Europe

Welcome to the Sunday mega-thread: *San Jose at DCU, 3 ET (CSN, Telefutura) *USA at Barbados, 3 (ESPN Classic, Galavision) *Italy vs. Spain, 2:30 (ESPN) *Other World Cup qualifiers, including El Salvador and Bermuda looking to upset Panama and T&T, respectively. Just for the fun of it, discussions on all...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2008; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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