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Morning Kickaround

If the DCU coverage in the Post sports section wasn't enough for you.....

.....the Business section looks at the impact of a big Ethiopian tournament at RFK.
.....and the Metro section has stories about the homeless soccer tournament and a Euro-viewing party at the Austrian Embassy.

*Sepp Blatter acknowledges having a Plan B for FIFA in case South Africa is not ready to host the 2010 World Cup.

*Crystal Palace Baltimore tunes up for tomorrow night's U.S. Open Cup match in Annapolis against the Red Bulls with a 2-1 USL2 victory at Real Maryland.

By Steve Goff  |  June 30, 2008; 8:33 AM ET
 
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Next: The Good, The Bad, The Coyote Ugly

Comments

Goff, how many of DCU's regular XI do you expect to start in the U.S. Open Cup match tomorrow night?

Posted by: silentbob | June 30, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

so is Plan B holding the 2010 World Cup in the United States of America or England?

Posted by: Fire Ron Guenther | June 30, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I continue to see how many ways RFK is being used for tournaments and what not and just shake my head in disbelief as to why DC does not EMBRACE a new stadium for United. I am not talking about the tens of thousands of fans that have already embraced the team, I am talking about the cities leaders and decision makers that still treat the sport with disdain. GET DC UNITED A STADIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Felix | June 30, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Can we get Batara to come to every game? They were awesome -- and that was the hip-shaking part of it!

Posted by: Drum city | June 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff -- I am very impressed by The Post's soccer coverage lately, including of course the Soccer Insider. Congratulations on the key role that you're playing in giving us the best US newspaper coveage of soccer.

I'd be interested in any demographic data that's driving the coverage and by what metrics we might see soccer take over as the No. 4 sport in the US (not including motor racing).

Posted by: Bill in Md. | June 30, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

2010: The Plan B

Definitely the United States. We have more than 10 venues that can host games at the drop of a hat:

DC, New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, Atlanta, Philly

You could then go to 2nd tier cities: Charlotte, Clevland, Indy, Nashville, Detroit, and Jacksonville.

No need to build ANY infrastructure.

Print the tickets and say GO.

It would beat our own record for highest attended tournament.

England is getting 2018 whether we like it or not. Jack Warner Vacations, Inc. has already bought up blocks of hotels and flights to the UK in 2018.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | June 30, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

NPR story about devoted readers of a Yankees sports blog who get together for a minor league game:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92008375

Anybody up for some Real Maryland?

Posted by: Ben | June 30, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Tucked away in the Blatter article is the word that next year's Confed Cup will test using 6 (!) officials including an extra two to police the penalty areas. How in the world that is going to work is beyond me. The 4 official system (2 refs, 2 ARs) failed pretty miserably mainly due to inconsistency between officials. How adding two more is going to help is an open question. I think referees see quite a lot of what is going on in the penalty area now. They just don't like giving PKs.

Posted by: Glenn | June 30, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the US is probably plan B, but how much you wanna bet that they'll have the games at noon like they did in '84 to placate the European TV companies?

Posted by: Juan-John | June 30, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Here is more information on the Ethiopian tournament:

http://esfna.net/esfna/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=151

This site indicates that events started yesterday. Were they held at the RFK practice fields or something?

And what is Marc Fisher's reaction to this story?

Posted by: tri-village | June 30, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Big stadium owners will jump at the chance to host sell-out crowds in the summer, when most gridiron stadiums are empty. In addition, the sad American dollar will make it easily affordable for FIFA, European, and Canadian fans. If this happens, I'll turn my basement into a B&B for $500 Euros/night including shuttle service to the Metro Station.

Just to nitpick, in Trinidad&Tobago it's Jack Warner Vacations, Ltd.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 30, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Gleen, what you are saying looks like they will be addiong AR's so its 1 center ref, 2 sideline AR's, 2 penalty box AR's and the fourth official. So all final judgements are still made by the center ref with the assistance of the AR's he just has two more AR's to consult/ignore if he likes so it might work.

Posted by: bluemeanies | June 30, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I would like to think that having a Plan B is simply being prudent in any situation. If four years ago, word had leaked that FIFA had a Plan B with regard to Germany '06, I would have said "zzzzzzzz..." Germany may have fewer problems than South Africa, but no country is immune to unforeseen events, such as the SARS scare that scuttled China's plans for the '03 WWC.

Posted by: tri-village | June 30, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Anybody up for some Real Maryland?

Posted by: Ben | June 30, 2008 9:36 AM

Been twice already. Would have been Friday but I was dead-tired from work.

Everyone local should try to make at least one game. It's almost our duty as soccer fans to support the grassroots level. Too many USL II teams come one year and go the next. If we ever want to develop a serious pro system in the US that can lead to international success, those leagues need the money. Clearly Project 2010 or whatever USSoccer dreamed up all those years ago is a failure.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | June 30, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Wow, DCU is already up to 3rd place. That was quick.

Posted by: RK | June 30, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Two thumbs up to the FIFA attempt to put more officials on the field and make it work. We have six officials on an NFL field and everything goes fairly smoothly ... why not in soccer?

Posted by: United fan in TN | June 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Plan B no doubt involves playing many games in the soccer palace that is RFK. Oh wait, RFK's turned into a trash dump, so I guess DC won't get any games. Landover might.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 30, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff -- I am very impressed by The Post's soccer coverage lately, including of course the Soccer Insider. Congratulations on the key role that you're playing in giving us the best US newspaper coveage of soccer.
---------------------
Bill, you've got that right.

And I think we have George Solomon, who was the AME Sports when all this started, to thank also.

Steve, if I'm not mistaken, it must have been him who listened to your entreaties to support the soccer beat.

Posted by: seahawkdad | June 30, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Allowing the WC to go to South Africa will be Blatter's greatest blunder (and that is saying a lot).

1) if he moves it he will be seen as not caring or trusting Africa, will be labeled a racist and all that other crap, plus he'll almost ensure losing the next bid for president of FIFA for that failure.

2) if he allows the tournament to proceed the deaths of any tourist will be on his hands for allowing a tournament to be placed in such a dangerous location.

South Africa is the Wild Wild West at its worst with tourists, local businesmen, foreigners and tour groups being robbed, killed, and raped. It is literally one of the most dangerous countries to be in on Earth. Do they think this will magically be erased during the WC?

I'm sure the payoff he and Warner and his other exec buddies got from SA to host it over Egypt or Morocco was huge.

Posted by: Matthai | June 30, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I do believe the new stadium at Poplar Point would only be used a handful of days throughout the year. . . . Ethiopians? Bah!

Posted by: Marc Fisher impersonator | June 30, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

South Africa is the Wild Wild West at its worst with tourists, local businesmen, foreigners and tour groups being robbed, killed, and raped. It is literally one of the most dangerous countries to be in on Earth. Do they think this will magically be erased during the WC?
=========================================

I believe the party line is that the hotels where most fans from abroad will be staying, and the routes from said hotels to the stadium, will receive enhanced police protection. But of course, that will only increase resentment on the part of ordinary South Africans:

http://mondediplo.com/2008/05/13southafrica

Posted by: tri-village | June 30, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and yet somehow I don't believe that some drunken Brit or American or Japanese or (insert nationality here) will follow every safety guideline at 2:30 in the morning whilst stumbling home from a night club or bar after the games.

They can't possibly protect everyone.

Posted by: Matthai | June 30, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, plan B huh, I wonder where it would be held? We need to get Al Gores giant weather machine, you know the one that can make natural disasters

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Posted by: alice | July 1, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

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