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Soccer Insider: August 24, 2008 - August 30, 2008

Matchnight: United-Red Bulls

Greetings from RFK. For the game-time weather forecast, click here. Some classic Ben Olsen quotes left over from the other day after training. Commenting on the birth of his first child (a daughter) in late September, he said: "I have taken numerous baby classes. They have only scared me more."...

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2008; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  D.C. United , Women  
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Edu and Rangers, Zenit and Man U

For an update on Mo Edu's status this weekend with Rangers ahead of Sunday's clash with Celtic, click here. Zenit 2, Man U 1 in the UEFA Super Cup:...

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team , World  
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Saturday in the Park

*Read about DCU iron man Clyde Simms. *Who needs a new stadium when you have the magic of Rice-Eccles? Real Salt Lake remained perfect on its concrete surface with a 2-0 victory over fading Colorado. Video highlights of Fabian Espindola's two goals are here. *In its final game before the...

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , USL  
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Television, Drug of a Nation

Lots of viewing options the next two days, starting this afternoon with the UEFA Super Cup between Manchester United and Zenit St. Pete (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). TONIGHT USL: Puerto Rico at Charleston, 8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel NCAA: Maryland at UCLA, 10 p.m. FSC SATURDAY England: Blackpool...

By Steve Goff  |  August 29, 2008; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Italy , MLS , Spain , World  
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DCU Updates

*Honduras has changed its mind and decided not to bring in Ivan Guerrero for the two upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Here is what happened: Honduras formally requested Guerrero and was hoping he would arrive at training camp next Monday. But because of United's U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday at...

By Steve Goff  |  August 29, 2008; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Morning Kickaround

*Read about Red Bulls prospect Matt Kassel, a freshman at the University of Maryland. The Terps open the season against UCLA at Home Depot Center tonight (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). *DCU's Jaime Moreno and Ivan Guerrero will play in upcoming World Cup qualifiers. *MLS tonight: Colorado at Real...

By Steve Goff  |  August 29, 2008; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  CONCACAF , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , World  
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Examining the USA Roster

Now that we know the USA roster for the Cuba and T&T qualifiers, let's take a look at each player..... GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard: no arguments Brad Guzan: no arguments DEFENDERS Carlos Bocanegra: no arguments Oguchi Onyewu: no arguments Heath Pearce: no arguments Steve Cherundolo: suspended for Cuba, eligible for T&T...

By Steve Goff  |  August 28, 2008; 8:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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USA Roster Announced

Finally, here's the 20-man squad for the USA's World Cup qualifiers Sept. 6 at Cuba and Sept. 10 vs. T&T in Bridgeview, Ill.: GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan. DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce, Frankie Hejduk, Danny Califf, Steve Cherundolo*, Michael Orozco, Marvell Wynne. MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley,...

By Steve Goff  |  August 28, 2008; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Moreno for Qualifiers

.....but not until he plays for D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup final. As we told you over the weekend, Bolivia requested the DCU team captain for World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador on Sept. 6 and Brazil four days later. United's concern was that he would miss the Open...

By Steve Goff  |  August 28, 2008; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , D.C. United  
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Morning Kickaround

You should know that..... *USA Coach Bob Bradley is tentatively scheduled to unveil his roster for the Cuba and T&T qualifiers around 1 p.m. ET today. Eighteen players will be in uniform for each match, but because it is an extended time together and injuries and suspensions come into play,...

By Steve Goff  |  August 28, 2008; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , MLS , Spain , U.S. men's national team , USL , Women  
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The 70 Percent Solution

It's one of those rare situations in MLS where every team has played the same number of matches (21 out of 30, or 70 percent), so let's take a look at the playoff pairings at the moment: EAST 1. New England vs. 4. DCU 2. Columbus vs. 3. Chicago WEST...

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2008; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  MLS  
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Behind the Scenes in Guatemala

What's it like to be part of the U.S. delegation for a qualifier in Central America? Here's a taste..... You'll love the fancy locker room, the Bob Marley lyrics on the chalkboard, the walk through the safety tunnel and the field-level highlights....

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2008; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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A Goalie's Goal

This clip of the Louisiana State keeper scoring against BYU over the weekend is beginning to making its rounds online and, predictably, found its way onto "SportsCenter." A nice kick for distance, but the manner in which it went into the net was ridiculous....

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2008; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Morning Kickaround

*Joe Vide took an unconventional path to MLS and D.C. United's starting lineup. *Cuauhtemoc Blanco says the Fire wants him to play two more years. *While MLS teams fell, Cruz Azul rolled to a 6-0 victory in its Champions League opener, all but assuring passage to a group that includes...

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2008; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS , World  
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Oof.

MLS teams lost tonight to Joe Public and Tauro. Not Pachuca and Saprissa. Not Pumas and Comunicaciones. Not Alajuela and Olimpia. Joe Public and Tauro. In a meaningful competition. In mid-season form. Oof. Now, it ain't the end of the world for the Revs and Goats; they still get to...

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2008; 11:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  MLS  
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DCU Trialists

First on the list is Ismael Ehui, a French forward formerly with Fulham. DCU is also looking at Stanley Nyazamba, a Zimbabwe midfielder from USL2 Richmond who had six goals and two assists this season. The club plans to observe some of the guest players who appeared in today's reserve...

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2008; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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The Reserve Clause

See how many names you recognize from New York's 5-2 reserve division victory over D.C. United today in Montclair, N.J.: D.C.: James Thorpe (GK) (John O'Hara* 75'), Pat Carroll, Greg Janicki*, Craig Thompson (Jonathan Burklo* 46'), Mike Zaher, Ryan Cordeiro, Jeff Carroll (Rod Dyachenko 43'), Quavas Kirk, Dane Murphy, Thabiso...

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2008; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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La Habana Bound

Over the next couple days, you will probably start to hear names of players being invited to USA training camp for the upcoming Cuba and T&T qualifiers. Here's the deal: A very preliminary list of about three dozen players is floating around, but the real, streamlined roster will be not...

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2008; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Gridlock of Champions

You are Chivas USA. You have struggled all season. You have been decimated by injuries. You are confronted with the sobering possibility that, one year after finishing atop the Western Conference standings, you will miss the playoffs. And now you face the possibility of as many as eight additional matches,...

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
Categories:  CONCACAF , MLS  
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The Special One

Jose, better than ever! After you watch the Setanta video below, read this completely unrelated but nonetheless brilliant piece written by Woody Allen. Lots of giggles....

By Steve Goff  |  August 25, 2008; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  World  
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Morning Kickaround

*Third-seeded Cleveland pulls its second playoff upset, defeating top seed Charlotte, 2-1, for the USL2 championship. *Freddy Adu debuts with Monaco. *According to this parody, I am in excruciating pain! *Media matters: I will be on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" on Tuesday around 5:25 p.m. and will host a...

By Steve Goff  |  August 25, 2008; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Italy , USL  
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Spanish Madness

Valencia's early strike provided a two-goal aggregate lead in the Spanish Super Cup, but Real Madrid roared back and, despite finishing the game with nine players, claimed a 4-2 victory and a 6-5 series conquest. Some great highlights. Be sure to turn the volume up to 11. (Let's hope the...

By Steve Goff  |  August 25, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Spain  
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The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

THE GOOD *Joe Vide's one-timer for his first career goal and Santino Quaranta's rocket. *Andre Rocha from 40?! *Chad Barrett turns, fires, equalizes. *Guillermo Barros Schelotto sets up Chad Marshall's early goal and later adds a PK and another assist. Can you say: MVP? *Steve Ralston's 350th career start. He...

By Steve Goff  |  August 24, 2008; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  MLS  
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United-Rapids, the Aftermath

I mentioned to Luciano Emilio after the match that he had earned two assists during DCU's 3-0 victory over Colorado on Saturday night. He shrugged and deadpanned, "I am a No. 10." Funny Brazilian. With all the absences, the formation shift, the new goalkeeper, the secondary players thrust into primary...

By Steve Goff  |  August 24, 2008; 1:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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