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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 Salt Lake (9 p.m. ET). A preview is here.

*The Euro Champions League groups are set.

*The Pumas-Harbour View game in the CONCACAF Champions League was postponed until tonight (weather permitting) because of the storm raging through the Caribbean. Jalapa (Guatemala) defeated San Francisco (Panama), 1-0, in their first leg last night. An update on the group situations.

*Steven Gerrard and now Owen Hargreaves. England will be without both midfielders for its upcoming qualifiers.

By Steve Goff  |  August 29, 2008; 9:03 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Examining the USA Roster
Next: DCU Updates


Group H looks like a killer

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

UEFA Cup matchups are out, too.

I thought Matt Kassel was the awful backup QB for New England?

Posted by: RK | August 29, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: bob | August 29, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Group D is just straight up nasty.

Posted by: Jacob | August 29, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Sacha Kljestan to Franch club Monaco???
As an United fan, sick of hearing and seeing Owen Hargreaves injured all the time. He must have a 3 month baby's body.

Posted by: td | August 29, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

We know Jaime is cleared to play on the 3rd... but what about Guerrero... is he also allowed to leave on the 4th?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Actually, England may not miss either. Both are great players, but they have depth at those positions. Lampard and Gerrard seldom form a great partnership, and one should always sit in favor of the other IMHO. They can play Carrick and Lampard, who will stay out of each others way, at least.

OT, but, while I am as big a fan of FSC as anyone, when they come to town to televise United, that means the game is in lo-def, and their presence becomes a negative.

Posted by: JkR | August 29, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Am I correct in remembering that CONCACAF doesn't use away goals?

Kassel looks like a good kid, I can't blame him for taking the (probably) partial scholarship to College Park instead of the minimum deal from Red Bulls (I wouldn't blame a kid coming out of the DCU system either, so I'm not a homer) If the league really wants to encourage and reward good youth systems, there should be a different version of GenAd, let teams sign one player a year to a two year deal at say, $40k and have them not count against the cap or roster limits. those teams with academies would have the opportunity to have two additional players on their rosters. now that is incentive. after two years of reserve games and the like the player must either be promoted to the 18 man squad or put on waivers. Academy players cannot be traded unless the new team is willing to promote them to the 18 man roster.

also, Goff, Ives said something about Altidore having a problem on the nats? any intel on that?

Posted by: northzax | August 29, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Jozy made a side comment to a reporter about his ankle, and BS decided that this was why he wasn't really starting. It didn't stop him from hopping over a signboard after he scored.

Posted by: RK | August 29, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RK | August 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Charleston battery are on fsc tonight for anyone who wants a usoc preview.

Posted by: pigman sweet | August 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Agree the league will have to do something. It will surely be hammered out in the upcoming labor negotiations?? At least I hope so.
For now, the league needs to keep building a better relatioship with NCAA and it's coaches. That is their farm system to some extent. Much like in college football but, obviously not to that extent.

Posted by: marksman | August 29, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I could've gone to that game vs. PR, too, tonight, had I known.

Posted by: RK | August 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

northzax: I do believe that the CONCACAF Champions League does in fact count away goals. I haven't read anything specific about the rule, but in several of the game summaries where both teams have scored, the away goal reference was used to signify the importance of the goal.

Goff: What's this weekends injury status look like for United? DC United's website says the following players our out:

Mediate - Concussion
Peralta - Hamstring
Fred - Hamstring
Wells - Performance ;)

And the following players are questionable:

Olsen - Ankle
Doe - Toe
Gallardo - Hernia

Is this what we should anticiptate for tomorrow?

Posted by: TCompton | August 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I think Group D flatters to deceive a bit. Sexy names, but not quite the quality you'd imagine. Liverpool have relied on some fortunate escapes this month.

As a neutral, I like the looks of Group F. Evenly matched - Fiorentina are nearly back to their best.

Posted by: Kev | August 29, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Charleston battery are on fsc tonight for anyone who wants a usoc preview.

Posted by: pigman sweet | August 29, 2008 10:13 AM
Pigman, you beat me to it. Thanks, Bro.

Tonight my beloved Puerto Rico Islanders, fresh off getting a decent result against Alajuela in Costa Rica will attempt to beat the Charleston Battery up a little for my beloved DC United (just joking Battery fans--y'all know that we have a great rivalry going on in the USL1).

So y'all get 2 for 1: Preview of the Battery (whose USL1 form has been terrible of late) & another look at Puerto Rico Islanders. Hopefully Petter Villegas plays tonight for PRI.

Posted by: yankiboy | August 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | August 29, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Group D is going to be a KILLER group...for Liverfool. The Scouse is going to have a rough season this year if they don't shape up their act. One can only back into success so long before it catches up to you.

Looks like Arsenal are going to be up against it this year too, no cake walk group for them for once.

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

There was this kid named Robbie Rogers who went to Maryland for 1 year that was not mentioned in the article. Maybe you have heard of him.

Posted by: GLD123 | August 29, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There was this kid named Robbie Rogers who went to Maryland for 1 year that was not mentioned in the article. Maybe you have heard of him.


A lot of players have left Maryland early. I wasn't going to mention all of them.

Posted by: Goff | August 29, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It's absolute shame that a club can't sign one of it's top academy prospects because of MLS' stupid arcane rules

Posted by: Ameobi | August 29, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

amoebi: the club COULD have signed Kassel, they just chose not to offer him enough money to convince him to stay in Jersey. would you turn down playing for Maryland to play for the Red Bull reserves for 17k? I wouldn't.

Posted by: northzax | August 29, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Idiotic restriction #1: You can't sign a youth team player to a GA contract without giving up the right to give a GA contract for any more youth players for several years.

Idiotic restriction #2: If you sign more than two youth players from your team in three years, your rights to any more of your youth players are gone. Future prospects can sign with any team, with no rights accruing to the developing team.

So what that says is that there's at least one player NY expects to sign relatively soon who they regard as better than Kassel.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 29, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"the college game is stagnating?" Talk about fact-free analysis! Or criteria-free, for that matter!

Posted by: ian woodville | August 29, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

the college game is stagnating?" Talk about fact-free analysis! Or criteria-free, for that matter!

Posted by: ian woodville | August 29, 2008 4:14 PM

As I wrote in the story, with more top players bypassing college altogether or leaving early, the quality of the college game has not gotten any better in recent years. To say it has stagnated is probably being too generous.

Posted by: Goff | August 29, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Mastadon Juan missed an opening to re-state that the rules are not bent in favor of NYRB, otherwise they would have signed Kassel.

ICB I typed "OMG."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 29, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The rules most certainly are not bent for NY.

I think the restrictions on signing players from your own youth team are typical misguided MLS crap, though.

Given a set of criteria designed to establish that a young player has spent a given length of time in the youth system of a club, that they were genuinely a product of that team, that team should be able to sign as many youth team members as it wants, without conceding the rights to future youth players to teams with absolutely nothing to do with development.

But that means that cheapskate teams like New England would actually have to spend money. Jerk owners who aren't willing to put the basic, essential infrastructure money into their team want to leech off well-run forward-thinking operations like RBNY. It's beyond obscene.

And furthermore, if there are GA slots in the league, teams should be assigned slots, not players being assigned contracts, giving the team the authority it needs to transition promising young players from youth to senior team.

RBNY made a calculated decision not to tie their own hands regarding youth players and contracts beyond this season. That decision was cinched by the fact that Bob Kraft wants to be able to poach some other team's youth players. Kassel is a somewhat green, but strong, talented midfielder, capable of being a Mike Bradley-style box-to-box player, but with stronger dribbling skills.

Mike Bradley's development with NY was handled perfectly, starting with senior team training, playing second half minutes in games where the team had a one goal lead, then eventually becoming a 90 minute player. His learning curve, particularly with committing on defense, positioning and long passing, was very steep. Lalas was a fool to sell him (and was a fool to fire his dad before that), but thankfully, we'll get a very big allocation from his sell-on clause. If only Bob would give his son more of a free role, like with Heerenveen, but knock wood, he'll change his tactics.

The difference with Kassell is that he would not currently merit a senior roster slot on a team loaded at his position. I respect his decision to play for UMd for a couple years, until the cluster in midfield for NY clears out so he can get playing time to justify his senior spot. Even better, MLS will reconsider its rules and truly reward teams who have the vision to form great academy programs, instead of providing another way for the more penurious owners to skim off the talent of the teams who want to be true soccer clubs, instead of the second-thought soccer arm of an NFL empire.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 29, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

By the way, NY gave Sinisa Ubiparipovic a well-deserved senior contract. I liked Joe Vide, but thank God San Jose took Vide in the expansion draft, instead of Sinisa, who is ten times the player Vide is. But Vide was a very good signing for DC, as his nice goal attests. I hope he gets his senior contract back-- a player who has put in the dues he has shouldn't take a 60% pay cut.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 29, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

also, Goff, Ives said something about Altidore having a problem on the nats? any intel on that?

Posted by: northzax | August 29, 2008 9:58 AM

Or if not, any AMD?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Posted by: The Jeff | August 29, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey MJ!
You gonna be at the match 2 morrow?

Posted by: dadryan | August 29, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm driving through Richmond on 95S right now-- in-law holiday weekend on the Outer Banks that I can't get out of. So I'm glad for direct tv and fsc. I hate to be a pessimist but I think you guys will win a close on. DC is always up for us at home. I bet it'll be a good one. But a good sign-- I saw a couple guys in NY shirts walking up from Dupont Circle last night, so maybe we'll have some away fans tonight.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 30, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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