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Morning Kickaround

*Click here to read all about D.C. United's approach to tonight's U.S. Open Cup round-of-16 match against USL1 Rochester at Maryland SoccerPlex (7:30 ET) and the status of several players, including Ben Olsen.

Other Open Cup games:
-- New York (MLS) at Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) in Annapolis, Md., 7:30 ET
-- Richmond (USL2) at New England (MLS) in New Britain, Conn., 7
-- Kansas City (MLS) at Carolina (USL1), 7:30
-- Houston (MLS) at Charleston (USL1), 7:30
-- Cleveland (USL2) at Chicago (MLS), 8:30
-- Miami (USL1) at Dallas (MLS), 8:30
-- Chivas USA (MLS) at Seattle (USL1) in Tukwila, Wash., 10

*Goal-starved Kansas City picks up USA international Josh Wolff (1860 Munich) and Chelsea inks Portuguese midfielder Deco (Barcelona).

*Anne Applebaum's Euro column on today's Post op-ed page.

*From James Lawton's Euro '08 essay in today's Independent:

"It was a tournament that took us by surprise and was even more thrilling for that. It reminded us of what can happen when teams play with freedom and confidence, when the common denominator is competitive courage and not skulking caution. We went from one match to the next with the highest of expectations and a surge of the blood. We craved more of Arshavin and Ballack, Fabregas and Xavi, Torres and Iniesta."

Today's poll.....

By Steve Goff  |  July 1, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
 
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Next: Matchnight: U.S. Open Cup

Comments

The Who Cares Open Cup.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Make it go away. Please.

Posted by: Ron | July 1, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

I say don't expand it. 16 quality sides are easy to find in Europe; 24 would guarantee a number of weaklings playing poor -- and likely defensive -- soccer. If a few good teams are likely to be kept out of a 16 team tournament, that just makes the qualifying rounds that much more intense.

The only team out of this year's tournament that people wanted to see was England, and they have no one to blame but themselves. The only team in this tournament that shouldn't have been was Austria, but the automatic bid for host team's is another argument.

Posted by: troy | July 1, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Too many more teams is a bad thing. I can hardly watch all of the Euro games as it is...although I do find myself in withdrawal.

Posted by: strago | July 1, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

As a fan of sitting back with a beer and watching soccer, I wouldn't mind seeing more teams. That mean 4 more games to watch. Selfishly, I only care about Italy winning it, but I just enjoy the competition.
I would say that it invites a lower quality opponent to advance into the tournament, but I'd argue that Germany was fairly lucky throughout the tournament. They didn't play very well and their games were pretty ugly. So adding a couple of outside teams wouldn't bring the level of play down and it may add some teams that are playing better at the time of tournament.

Posted by: moreno4prez | July 1, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Reducing the qualifiers and expanding the tourney would be a good move for US Viewers, permitting us to see more teams play. I think a larger first round bracket would be very exciting indeed.

Goff- now that Euro is over and the transfer window is open, what else have you heard regarding transfers? Seems like many of the players hold out to transfer after putting their skills on display.

Wenger plays his reserves in the FA, and personally I think it entices more young players to want to come and play for him because they will see playing time in important tourneys. Clearly it is more sporting to put your reserves up against 2nd division teams and results in a more exciting tourney. Young talent needs to get on the field in situations of import to develop into sound reserves, and while it is tempting to put out your best and go for a promising berth in the CL, I think the long term health of the club is better served by playing reserves.

BTW- $25 is way too much for a Soccerplex seat. Maybe $10 would get me to drive up from Kensington.

Posted by: Arsenal Fan | July 1, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

16 - adding more teams to the Euro tournament cheapens the quality of the play. If you cannot be one of the top 16 teams in Europe, then you have no need to be on the pitch.

Greece
Italy
France
Sweden

These were bad teams. They made for terrible competitions.

More games will not help the competition or build in more viewers. Your confederation championship should not rival the World Cup - 24 or more teams in Euro 2008 would push it dangerously close to that.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 1, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Goffer,

I saw today on du Nord that Vaalarenga is having a pretty lower-mid-table season. Any updates on Troy and how he's doing over there? I'm curious to see whether he's adjusting well to the play or if their record is indicative of how he's playing. A mid-season interview with him would be great to read.

Posted by: Max J. | July 1, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

My main issue with expanding Euro to 24 teams is that it would create the annoying setup of having some 3rd place teams in their groups make the knockouts and others not -- despite playing different competition and not being able to directly compare them.

I much prefer a format (16 or 32 teams) where it's just the top 2 teams per group that go on.

Posted by: Phil | July 1, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I too am going through Euro withdrawl, but I believe has more to do with the quality of the tournament this cycle (compared with 2004 for instance). The addition of 8 teams would make the knock-out round too large. Unless, of course UEFA maintains the knock-out phase beginning at the quarterfinals...that would make pool play even MORE important. But what's the sense in that - there would be fewer games and less money! Let's face it, the decision to expand tournaments is not to include teams based on QUALITY of the football, but on the $$ (insert your currency here) the tournament creates!!

Strictly based on group phase point totals, these 9 teams would have been considered for Euro08 had it been 24 teams:
Team pts +/-
Bulgaria 25 +11
Serbia 24 +11
Scotland 24 +9
Finland 24 +6
England 23 +17
Norway 23 +16
Isreal 23 +8
Denmark 20 +10
N. Ireland 20 +3

Would the addition of 8 of these teams make the tournament THAT much better!!?? I say NO, but it would certainly bring in MORE MONEY.

Let's GO United, take that first important step towards winning the Open Cup!!!

Posted by: Redd | July 1, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

For those complaining about the US Open Cup game, where else can you see an MLS team play in such an intimate setting? If DCU and the Fire win, you could see 2 MLS teams play next week at the Soccerplex!

I'm looking forward to tonight's game!

Go United!

Posted by: Dsmac | July 1, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see it expand, because I'd like to see all of the major countries playing, plus some that normally wouldn't have a shot. England, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, some Eastern countries...ok, so maybe 4 more at most. 8 seems like a lot.

Posted by: RK | July 1, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Well, theoretically you could see two MLS teams at the Soccerplex. Getting there is a nightmare and once you get there parking is an utter fiasco. If a weeknight game unless you can leave work at 2:00, the soccerplex just is not worth the enormous hassle of getting there and back.

Posted by: Ron | July 1, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

While they only scored one goal (via PK), Austria generated many chances in their first two games against Croatia and Poland -- at least they were entertaining to watch.

Teams that were difficult (boring) to watch included Romania, France and Greece. I'd be fine with more teams in Euro as long as they don't produce more 1-0 defensive struggles.

Posted by: United fan in TN | July 1, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Is Lindsay Applebaum related to Anne?

Posted by: sitruc | July 1, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

this year's euro was basically perfect.... so why mess with the formula? if we can get full tv coverage of the qualifiers next time around here in the US, we will be set.

Posted by: stairs | July 1, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

re: OPEN CUP

needs to be televised
needs a big sponsor
needs to be taken seriously by MLS HQ

IMHO its the greatest non-league play we (United) are a part of this season...

sure seeing United play a Mexican side in Superliga is grand, but seeing UNited play another US based team from another US league, makes me proud to be an American... and proud of American football (not throwball)..

OPEN CUP is as Asmerican as it gets....

Posted by: An American | July 1, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The Soccerplex is charging children over 2 years old the full $25 admission price. Great way to build the sport with our youth, price them out of the stadium. I was set to take my 3 year old to this match, but I think I will go to the Crystal Palace match instead (Children under 5 are free) and tickets are $9 less for adults.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 1, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. How did Kansas City pick up Josh Wolff? I thought Toronto had the next allocation because of all the fighting over McBride.

Posted by: Ameobi | July 1, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Josh Wolff warrants an allocation at this point.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 1, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I think the US Open Cup could be a better tournament by using spots like the Soccerplex.

Its a good opportunity for clubs like DC United to spread out their fan base and bring in the fans close to DC who may not normally be able to make it to RFK for a game. I think United and every other MLS team should do this more often for US Open cup matches.

Besides DC fans should probably start getting used to the idea of leaving DC for a United game.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 1, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Off Topic -

To our northern neighbors: Happy Canada Day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTOm7gofXnQ

Let the Rush lyrics begin.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 1, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

These were the lineups when we lost to Harrisburg (a team from a lower division than Rochester) last summer:

**********************************
DCU: Jay Nolly; Marc Burch, Bobby Boswell (Devon McTavish 45), Domenic Mediate; Stephen deRoux, Brian Caroll (Josh Gros 45), Clyde Simms, Rod Dyachenko (Justin Moose 65), Jeff Carrolll; Brad North (Mira Mupier 58), Nicholas Addlery.

Subs not used: Shawn Crowe

HAR: Matt Nelson; Ryan Pierce, Dustin Bixler, Tim Velten, Anthony Calvano; Chris Morman (Adam Clay 75), Brian Devlin, Mo Oduor (Mike Lookingland 78), David Schofield (Matt Tanzini 82); Brian Ombiji (Martin Johnson 68), Steve Fisher

Subs not used: Dave Kern, Jani Galik, Nate Baker
**************************************

We lost that game 1-0 to a less talented but well-organized team. I hope Tom Soehn starts some decent attackers tonight so we can break down Rochester's defense. Jaime and Quaranta are out but hopefully some of Fred, Luciano and Gallardo are rehydrated from Sunday afternoon's game and see significant action.

Posted by: garbaggio | July 1, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Please don't expand the Euro tournament. My billable hours may never recover as it is.

Posted by: Karen | July 1, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I hope to see Emilio and Gallardo for at least 45 minutes, regardless of aches and pains. Lets get in there, attack hard, (hopefully) build up a lead, and THEN rest our starters.

Posted by: Matt in Silver Spring | July 1, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Great back and forth on this, fellas. After reading both sides of each debate, I'm going with:
- I like the US Open Cup, but not for the full squad. I like the Arsenal approach, as someone outlined above.
- keep Euro at 16 teams. 24 waters it down (though the extra games on TV makes that part of it enticing).

And from the back of the Rush rack!

"The writer stare with glassy eyes
Defies the empty page
His beard is white, his face is lined
And streaked with tears of rage

Thirty years ago, how the words would flow
With passion and precision
But now his mind is dark and dulled
By sickness and indecision.."

And he stares out the kitchen door
Where the sun will rise no more...

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 1, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

To Ameobi re: Josh Wolff

From the linked article...
"The Wizards retained his MLS rights during his tenure at 1860 Munich."

Posted by: cs | July 1, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Fellas AND ladies! (Sorry, Karen...)

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 1, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Happy Canada Day to the Redcoat traitors, but still our friends and cousins to the North. God Save YOUR Queen.

And cheers to Rush, even though inspired by Ayn Rand. Just think if they read Joyce, instead.

One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity

Posted by: Spirit of Radio | July 1, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If the ugliness that will be these CBA discussions for MLS yields a bigger cap, greater quality, and more streamlined and transparent acquisition and rights rules - bring it on.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 1, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

After reading that KC "retained" rights to Wolff after he left on a free? to 1860 Munich, does that mean DCU "retains" rights to Ryan Nelsen, Lucio Filomeno and anyone else who left on a free or was released? Jeebus, MLS "rules" make my head hurt.

Posted by: griffin1108 | July 1, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

No problem Joe Doc. I think terms like guys and fellas are generic enough that they intend and carry no offense. For heaven's sake I'm a middle-aged female soccer/football fan. I know I am in the minority and that I can't have thin skin.

So when the Goffster starts a column "Good Morning, Lads" it doesn't offend me -- but it sure excludes me.

There is a flip side, however. There is never a line for the ladies rooms at RFK.

Posted by: Karen | July 1, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic: Marcelo Bielsa's Chile is playing Euro 08 Champion Spain on November 19th in Valencia...

Posted by: Loco Bielsa | July 1, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: td | July 1, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Don't expand Euro; it's great as it is. (Although, I would like to see an automatic bye to the final round for Scotland as their fans are fun and generally less dangerous than the brits...)

Josh Wolf is back. Oh, good. Makes me want to run out and watch Kansas play.

The article about the Euro and the number of teams with foreign born players was pretty interesting. I remember when the US was generally panned in the media for bringing in guys like Thomas Dooley for the 94 world cup because he wasn't "really an American." Now everyone seems to do it, except for us. Funny how things change.

Posted by: Hacksaw | July 1, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

don't forget to vote:
http://web.mlsnet.com/sights/goal_of_the_week/

Posted by: td | July 1, 2008 11:14 AM

I just voted for Luci, who is winning by 8 percentage points, but my conscience it getting back at me for not voting for Steve Ralston, whose nomination clearly deserves the win.

Posted by: Glaucon | July 1, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The article about the Euro and the number of teams with foreign born players was pretty interesting. I remember when the US was generally panned in the media for bringing in guys like Thomas Dooley for the 94 world cup because he wasn't "really an American." Now everyone seems to do it, except for us. Funny how things change.


Posted by: Hacksaw | July 1, 2008 11:17 AM


freddy adu is not "really an American." Not trying to say that he will be as good for us as Deco for Portugal or Podolski for Germany :P

Posted by: ngu | July 1, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

sorry, but no Open Cup for me today. That drive up I-270 is just torture. I've done it before for these games, but it has worn me down. And $25 for this? Please. Besides, you can't even get a beer in there!
I'll try the next time, but the location makes these games hard attend.

As for the Euro, I don't care. I appreciate the talent, atmosphere and excitement, but it's not my tournament. I don't see these players in person, and they don't play for or against my team (DC United) so I don't get that enthused. I checked out several games, it was fun and I'll watch again next time, but I don't care what they do with it.

(no, I didn't get up on the wrong side of the bed, and yes, I'm having a great day so far!)

Posted by: Rob | July 1, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about Wolff? If his play for the US is any indication, he'll be a waste of a roster spot.

Posted by: delantero | July 1, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Ralston. For all of the whining that we did about Toronto stuffing the ballot box, that's what DC's fans seem to be doing. Luci's goal is 3rd at best IMO.

Posted by: RK | July 1, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I am predicting a Miami FC upset of Dallas. Walter Ramirez is a pretty good player.

Posted by: Alan | July 1, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

So the Wizards retained the rights to Josh Wolff, but the Crew didn't retain the rights to Brian McBride?

Posted by: Wait... | July 1, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Emilio for GOTW. Partly because I am a homer, and partly because Ralson had ALL DAY, a few feet from the goal, to set up and shoot and score partially as a result of atrocious defending. Cooper's header was nice. Ekpo had a nice goal made possible by getting behind the defenders and the defenders inability to catch up to him.

Emilio, on the other hand, got up well for a cross that was a bit behind him and still buried it.

Posted by: Ron | July 1, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

i thought gallardo's goal was actually nicer. he was being pushed way off balance and hit a perfectly struck ball back across the goalmouth.

Posted by: pat | July 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think the Euro field should stay at 16 teams. Adding more teams could...

a) somewhat dilute the quality of the overal field in the tournament proper (props to Redd for his breakdown on this one). I say somewhat because when you factor in rivalries and the potential upset factor, adding more teams could prove to be beneficial.

b) severely impact the importance, determination, pressure and intensity of the qualification process. This one is a biggie for me because if all of the big boys are more or less closer to a guaranteed entry to the tournament proper then the qualifying process may lose some of the "squeaky bum time" factor that generates the buzz to the main event. Who didn't enjoy the pressure, the hype and the anticipation of every game, every kick of the English National team once they got into points trouble? Plus I think it's a good thing for a major side to sit it out every now and then, it generates a greater hunger and passion for the next available cycle (in this case the World Cup).

Keeping it at 16 teams will only strengthen UEFA as only the best sides will make it to the final dance (will they be the best once there? Different discussion.) While I like the idea of the rivalry factor that comes with allowing the Englands and Scottlands in the dance, the risk of increased mediocrity (and it's counterpart - the boring, mind-numbing self preservating tactics of "play not to lose" football) is too great a negative to impose on an already solid and successful format.

Posted by: Kosh | July 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

But how many people in Ralston's position would've just tried to shoot it ASAP? To have that kind of patience 6 yards from goal and then pull the trigger on that shot, to me, is incredible.

Posted by: RK | July 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Ralston. For all of the whining that we did about Toronto stuffing the ballot box, that's what DC's fans seem to be doing. Luci's goal is 3rd at best IMO.

Posted by: RK | July 1, 2008 11:36 AM


I voted for Ralston too because that was GOW the minute he took those sweet touches to fool both the defender and the keeper, then he proceeded to put that sucker away clinically. No where near as easy as it looked.

I was laughing my lungs out when I voted and saw Luci leading because it just screamed of ballot box stuffing to me. The thing we accuse TFC fans of doing. Comical. I know we want to keep the streak alive, but com'on now folks.

Now if Burch's rasper had gone in, GOW hands down, easy. But give dap where it's due and Ralston's goal was sweet and pure GOW material when stacked up against the competition for this week.

Posted by: Kosh | July 1, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

If Chicago and DC win tonight that sure sets up a potentially scintillating match next week.
A little spendy, but at what cost comes total scintillation?
Just thinking about it is undeniably scintillating.
I can see it now Blanco and Gallardo once again scintillatingly taking the field in a match up more scintillating than their last meeting...
I think the next EURO will be perfectly scintillating in exactly the same format we just witnessed. It would be cool if every match is available on basic ESPN and ESPN2.
I too am obviously having scintillation withdrawls.

Posted by: Dadryan | July 1, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I am voting for Emilio because I'm a homer and that's my job. Period.

Posted by: moreno4prez | July 1, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Dadryan

LOL. You just gave Christian Myles the word of the week for his commentary. Viewers be warned!

Posted by: Kosh | July 1, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

16 is the perfect number. It ensures that the slots are filled by Europe's top flight, as well as a few surprises (read: historically weaker teams). But these surprises, such as Russia and Turkey, are what make it exciting. Sure, England would be in with 8 more teams, but so would other smaller sides playing negative soccer. Groups of Death are entertaining, and produces fights for life in the group stage.

Posted by: taylor | July 1, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

United is missing a big chance tonight to increase its fan base. Let kids 12 and under in for free. Maybe they'll catch the bug and pester their dads to take them to RFK later.

Posted by: congguy | July 1, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@ Kosh
I agree with the vote for Ralston, absolutely scintillating!
It's good to see the United supporters who are comfortable enough in their own skin to recognize the other flashes of brilliance happening in the league.
I have also gotta agree with Gallardo making up for a couple crappy attempts with very poised finishing for his goal on Sunday.
Emilio's header was Dope too.

Posted by: Dadryan | July 1, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The article about the Euro and the number of teams with foreign born players was pretty interesting. I remember when the US was generally panned in the media for bringing in guys like Thomas Dooley for the 94 world cup because he wasn't "really an American." Now everyone seems to do it, except for us. Funny how things change.


Posted by: Hacksaw | July 1, 2008 11:17 AM


freddy adu is not "really an American." Not trying to say that he will be as good for us as Deco for Portugal or Podolski for Germany :P


NOT REALLY AN AMERICAN!!!! I think you should need to understand what it means to be an american. Being born here and considering yourself a 100%mexican,english,italian is not really an american. What David Regis did was not really an american. Bruce Lee was not born here either but if you told him he was not an american he would beat the --- out of you. No one forced Freddy Adu to play for the US, he could of chosen Ghana, he decided to play for US. He grow up here, adapted to the culture, loved the country where he calls home. I too was not born in America, I was born in South America came here when I was less than 5, but dammit I would fight for this country. America is a place where everyone dreams to live, however not many people who move here RESPECT or LOVE the country that gave it the opportunity. No one is forced to LOVE the US. Real Americans love it, repect it, and cherish is. So please next time you consider who is an american and who is not please rethink your answer.


Posted by: dc united | July 1, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ticketmaster does not have any tickets to tonight available right now. Is the game sold out?

Posted by: Planning to go? | July 1, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@ dc united
Amen, from another Naturalized, 100% American.

Posted by: Kosh | July 1, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ralston's goal was a beauty alright, but honestly, the combo of the good service from Burch and Emilio being off-balance (and marked, closely, unlike Ekpo and Ralston) and still putting a well-placed, strong header into the net is definitely worth goal of the week.

Posted by: Skyler | July 1, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

For Goal of the Week, I voted for me. I hit a rocket that flew into the upper left corner of the goal last week during my indoor game. It was just like Burch's missle on Sunday except mine went in.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | July 1, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@Chief Clancy Wiggum, don't try and sell us a bag of goods - I heard Hope Solo saved your shot.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 1, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard anything lately on Jeff Carroll? This would be a perfect match for him, as we don't really have much of a backup defensive midfielder to Simms anymore, except maybe Murph? Hoping JC will make it back sometime this year.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 1, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

No way Skylar. You must be one of those ballot-stuffing, thin skinned fans if you think Emilio even deserves consideration.

(I'm kidding, btw).

Posted by: contrary | July 1, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, Jeff Carroll had surgery that ruled him out for the season.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 1, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Oops, it wasn't the season (but potentially close to it). Toe Surgery, out 3-6 MONTHS.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 1, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If DCU wanted to build their young fanbase then the thing to do is have one or two MLS games per season when kids under 15 with a parent are admitted for free and let them sit in the upper bowl of rfk.

Posted by: Ron | July 1, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Who Cares Open Cup.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Make it go away. Please.

Posted by: Ron | July 1, 2008 6:15 AM
-------------------------------------------
Bro, does that mean that we won't be seeing you at the game tonight?

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@Chief Clancy Wiggum, don't try and sell us a bag of goods - I heard Hope Solo saved your shot.

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 1, 2008 12:54 PM
-----------------

Not only that, but then I punted it into the other team's goal to win the game.

Posted by: Hope Solo | July 1, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Happy Canada Day indeed.

Take off
To the Great White North
Take off
It's a beauty way to go
Take off
To the Great White North!

(decent sayin', innit?)

Posted by: SportzNut21, channeling Bob & Doug | July 1, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Even though they are currently at the bottom of the USL1 table (they are seriously underachieving this season), Rochester has some guys to watch out for:

Our United guys had better not get caught napping or my man, Maurico Salles might draw some blood. He is a quality player. I am not sure why he has never gotten a look from MLS. I have been following his career since 2004 (A-League/USL1), even when he went to the J1 in Japan and in MISL. He is an offensive threat. He forms a nice 1-2 with Johnny Menyongar.

John Ball is a work horse. He is also a pest and a provacatuer. He's always looking to start something with a guy from the rival team. He defends hard and he attacks. In my worthless opinion, he may very well be the best outdoor/indoor player that this country has ever produced. Certainly of the active players. He enjoys the villian role and works hard on the field, he's a hardcore competitor.

Mathew Delicate is a scoring threat also. Vallow is a decent keeper who sometimes makes some great saves.

Since we may have to play a lot of reserves they had better represent the United jersey better than that clock cleaning that they got in preseason against Richmond Kickers a couple of months ago.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to the Palace-Energy Dink FC match. I can't wait to see how my USL2 boys do against an RBNY team that may use more starters than some of the Metrofanatics and Empire supporters may be anticipating.

Last year Osorio and Chicago Fire lost to the Carolina Railhawks down in Cary. Rumor has it that Osorio really wants to show his new employers something and after relying heavily on reserves last year and not getting a good result, Osorio might want to throw a bit more at a USL1 oponent this time out.

Like I wrote before, for season ticket holders, the game is INCLUDED/"Free" in the package and someone else wrote that the kiddies get in free.

Besides, it's not everyday that I have the chance to see two players from face each other from the Puerto Rican National Team pool (Chris Megaloudis, RBNY & Carlos Morales, Palcace) potentially facing each other without having to travel or watch it on a screen. It is a very rare opportunity indeed. Besides, I freakin "hate" Red Bull.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

RE: GOTW. Emilio because I'm a homer and because it's a popularity contest, not a merit award.

RE: Ballot box stuffing. We (speaking for all of us homers) have already shamelessly admitted that we copied TFC fans' strategy weeks ago.

RE: Planning to go? | July 1, 2008 12:36 PM. Unless you're being sarcastic (if so, then it's funny), click on all the soccerplex links that Steve has provided for the last week.. If you can't fax them, call the main number 301-528-1480 and they'll take your order.

RE: American/Not American. I'll bet for damned sure that dc united, Kosh, and I (all naturalized citizens) can out-sing most native-born citizens in the Star Spangled Banner.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 1, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Ticketmaster does not have any tickets to tonight available right now. Is the game sold out?

Posted by: Planning to go? | July 1, 2008 12:36 PM

Anyone have any more info on this? Did Ticketmaster stop selling because we're getting relatively close to kick-off? I don't want to go up there and not get a ticket...

Thanks

Posted by: Kev | July 1, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Reducing the qualifiers and expanding the tourney would be a good move for US Viewers, permitting us to see more teams play.

Posted by: Arsenal Fan | July 1, 2008 7:27 AM
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Honestly, who cares about US viewers? It's the European championships. They get to watch the other teams during qualifying all they want. My two cents: if I were European, I'd want the tournament as is. The level of play is terrific. Perhaps this isn't the best 16 teams because of the quirks of the draw, but expanding the finals to 24 teams will dilute the level considerably.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Who Cares Comments by Ron.

Make them go away. Please.

Seeriously, what a ridiculous set of negative, whining comments. You don't care about the USOC? Fine. Keep it to your self. You don't see people coming up to tell you how much they dislike you or your wife...Follow their example.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of funny, 4 years ago people were damning the "quality of play" at EURO 2004. Largely because a very defensive Greece (who qualified for a 16 team tournament) won it. Now all the sudden it's perfect because the entertainment level was higher this summer?

Even the renowned hater of all things "Le Rosbif" (English), Michel Platini knows that commercially a tournament is better off with England, Scotland and/or Ireland involved. Three of the stronger economic nations with free spending, big drinking fans were left at home. Though historically, England qualify for the Finals - even when it was just 8 nations. In fact, Italy have about the same record of qualification as England for the tournament in the past 30 years.

I don't think that expanding to 24 countries will hurt the quality that much. Although it might slightly dilute the marquee match-ups, which UEFA touts as a selling point (e.g. - more likely to get a pairing of two world top 10s in that tournament than the World Cup).

Posted by: Kev | July 1, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If I am not mistaken, the seating is unreserved, and thus first-come, first-serve. In other words, someone who shows up and buys a ticket at, say, 6:00 p.m., may get a seat, whereas another person who made a ticket purchase weeks ago, but who shows up at 7:00 p.m., will probably have to settle for sitting on the grass behind the goal or something. Is that correct?

Also, to say that the parking fee is included is a bit disingenuous, since parking at the Plex is ordinarily free to begin with, isn't it? But again, the lot that serves the main stadium is not large, and will fill up on a first-come, first-serve basis, so a lot of people will be hoofing it from lots that are attached to more remote pitches.

Posted by: tri-village | July 1, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

One of the problems with this tournament was that there were 2 host nations, neither of which probably would have qualified on their own merit. That meant only 14 teams "deserved" to be in, while two more deserving sides were left out. While the Benelux teams may host together, or some of the former Yugo republics might host together, most tournaments will have only one host, and usually it will be a worthy side.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

tri-village:

Yes. It's general admission.

The parking included may be a way of preventing the traffic jams which tend to happen when an attendants collect parking fees. It's odd because one lone driver and a minivan of eight pay disproportionately for the space used. Parking is free for all other events.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 1, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I also loved Applebaum's piece -- the Euro tournament on the Op-Ed page? Wonderful. I would quibble with her understandings, though. Nationalites and loyalties can be fluid. That doesn't diminish them. I was a NYer when the MLS began, and declared my loyoalty to teh MetroStars, who happened to have my favorite player, Tab Ramos. Then I came to DC. I slowly built up a loyalty to United. I've even thrown over a lifetime of rooting for the Mets, to be a Nationals fan. Just don't ask me to give up the Giants for the Reedskins....

Nationality can be the same thing. You live in a country, you start rooting for the national team. If you've got talent, you might even aspire to play for the team. That kind of identitity loyalty may seem too malleable, but it is sincere.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Whoops -- typo corrected version:

I loved Applebaum's piece -- the Euro tournament on the Op-Ed page? Wonderful. I would quibble with her understandings, though. Nationalites and loyalties can be fluid. That doesn't diminish them.

I was a NYer when the MLS began, and declared my loyalty to the MetroStars, who happened to have my favorite player, Tab Ramos. Then I came to DC. I slowly built up a loyalty to United. I've even thrown over a lifetime of rooting for the Mets, to be a Nationals fan. Just don't ask me to give up the Giants for the Redskins....

Nationality can be the same thing. You live in a country, you start rooting for the national team. If you've got talent, you might even aspire to play for the team. That kind of identity and loyalty may seem too malleable to some, but it is sincere.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The Who Cares Comments by Ron.

Make them go away. Please.

Seeriously, what a ridiculous set of negative, whining comments. You don't care about the USOC? Fine. Keep it to your self. You don't see people coming up to tell you how much they dislike you or your wife...Follow their example.

Posted by: | July 1, 2008 1:56 PM
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Whoah....
I don't really find the repeated negativity about the USOC to be very productive or helpful either but having said that (yeah, here comes the "but"), this is a forum for people to post their opinions.

The comment about people not liking him--I don't know him and it seemed to make thing "personal". The "wife", I assume that it was some George Carlin bit that I never heard before or some other, hip pop culture reference because if it wasn't it was really over the top.

Long live the USOC!!! I want to see some upsets--just as long as it ain't United going down.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

What's the rule for offsides when a shot carom's off of the crossbar?

Because when Dube sent in his shot, Ralston was clearly in an offside position. Ralston then played the carom directly. Does the fact that it hit the crossbar attenuate the 'pass' so that it is not as if it was played in by the offensive player?

Posted by: DE | July 1, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Like I wrote before, for season ticket holders, the game is INCLUDED/'Free' in the package and someone else wrote that the kiddies get in free."

Nobody told this season ticket holder that the U.S. Open games were included in our package. It would seem like a weird offer to make, since there are far more season ticket holders than there are seats at the Soccerplex.

Posted by: Jon | July 1, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@FF
Honestly, who cares about US viewers?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 1:53 PM
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Hmmm, UEFA when they get to sell those broadcast rights that help them generate even more revenue???

I agree with you about the expansion, though. 16 is great. It's symmetrical and just seems to make more sense. The best 2 third place teams thing--unless my team is one of those team--I absolutely hate it.

It really seems like Platini and proponents are thinking about increasing those already nice profits, doesn't it.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Like I wrote before, for season ticket holders, the game is INCLUDED/'Free' in the package and someone else wrote that the kiddies get in free."

Nobody told this season ticket holder that the U.S. Open games were included in our package. It would seem like a weird offer to make, since there are far more season ticket holders than there are seats at the Soccerplex.

Posted by: Jon | July 1, 2008 2:53 PM
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Bro, I was talkin about Crystal Palace season ticket holders. The game is "free" for us tonight. The club is making good on the promise (which just made my season ticket package an even better deal than the good deal that it already was).

DC could never offer the same for a USOC match at the 'Plex. Like you said, it's not possible. Still seems like the tix are a bit pricey for the the DCU-ROC match though. Just my take.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Also, about the possible expansion. It would seem to me that it would benefit the host country(ies) and actually take away from the other member nations - if in fact there were fewer qualifiers (or important qualifiers filling their home stadiums) and more finals matches.

I don't know exactly how Aus/Switz, Portugal and Holland/Belgium have done in financially following tournaments, but an expanded field could provide more return on their investment in stadiums and infrastructure. Having been in Portugal for Euro 2004 - I know that the country put a ton in to improvements before the tournament.

Posted by: Kev | July 1, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather be on the Podium, than jump at the opportunity to dis the general gist of the thread...
We all know you couldn't care less about the USOC dude, just let it go.
Good luck DCU tonight and to everyone headed up for the match.
I hope Emilio and or Gallardo start and run up the score a little bit and give the folks who dropped hella scrilla a nice show.
Vamos United!

Posted by: Dadryan | July 1, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Any further news on the approach United is taking with this game? I'm really hoping to see Gallardo, but another source said he probably won't play. We saw your print edition saying Jamie and Tino are out. Any updates?

Posted by: Dave | July 1, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, UEFA when they get to sell those broadcast rights that help them generate even more revenue???

Posted by: yankiboy | July 1, 2008 2:53 PM

US broadcast rights for UEFA soccer can't be very significant. There just aren't that many viewers. Perhaps UEFA has a flat rate in selling those rights -- I don't know -- but they certainly aren't worth as much here as they would be in some other non-European countries.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I love DC United goals the most but I voted for Ralston.

I didn't notice him being offsides but if he was closer to the goal line than the 2nd to last defender when his teammate shot he would be considered offside. Whether the ball comes off the crossbar, post or keeper - the attacker can't knock in a rebound if he took off from an offsides position.

Doesn't mean officiating crews will always catch it.

And, on a somewhat separate note, does the "Ralston line" still exist?

Ralston was for many years considered the best example of a pretty good MLS player who wasn't quite US Nat team caliber. But he made many appearances for the Nats in the years leading up to Germany and might have made the team if not for a late injury.

Posted by: garbaggio | July 1, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

US broadcast rights for UEFA soccer can't be very significant. There just aren't that many viewers. Perhaps UEFA has a flat rate in selling those rights -- I don't know -- but they certainly aren't worth as much here as they would be in some other non-European countries.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 1, 2008 3:18 PM
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But it's not as if there is a choice to be made between selling to the US and selling to other countries. If there are more games, they presumably would be sold to the US *and* to other countries.

The real question for US viewers is whether Disney would be interested in televising all those additional games, at the expense of beach volleyball, etc. (I assume that only Disney, with its multiple channels, would have the capacity.) For instance, the Mouseketeers may well decide to show only selected first-round games, leaving us roughly where we were with a 16-team tournament.

Posted by: tri-village | July 1, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The ratings for Euro 2008 were very positive. The final drew a 3.1 - which is less than half the very successful 8.6 that the World Cup final drew two years ago. But that's a good number for soccer - I bet Disney are happy about it and look forward to 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: Kev | July 1, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't really find the repeated negativity about the USOC to be very productive or helpful either but having said that (yeah, here comes the "but"), this is a forum for people to post their opinions.
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But this was not an opinion about a topic, but an expression of lack of interest in a topic. To give another example, there are apparently some people among us who care whether Ralston was offside on his goal. Those who aren't especially interested in that question are surely far larger in number. Should all of those people post to this blog, merely to indicate their lack of interest? That would clutter the log with non-substantive posts. It would be far better for them to remain silent, and to let those who are interested continue their conversation.

Posted by: tri-village | July 1, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Well one of the stories during Euro 08 was how there was such a dearth of other sporting events on that much of talk radio was switching to Euro discussion and we were seeing ABC televise more events. The demand is there, but the supply was not. Qualifiers are undercovered in the US but the entire tourney was covered. Were they to increase the tourney to 24, I would not only want to see it, but also would have the opportunity to see it.

Frankly at 24 the quality at the 12 bracket would be higher than the quality at the 16 bracket as is...quality is irrelevant as the level of play would improve as the tourney went on.

Posted by: Arsenal Fan | July 1, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ralston was definitely offside then...watch the highlight film, second reply...there's a ton of space between him and the next closest defender.

Posted by: DE | July 1, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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