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Now Where Were We?

Before being rudely interrupted by technology, we were discussing D.C. United goalkeepers, SuperLiga, the USA women's team, the future of Pat Noonan and Cory Gibbs, and other assorted football subjects.

To get back up to speed.....

*No news on the DCU front. Still waiting for the club to finalize a deal with a foreign keeper.

*An entertaining match between Houston and New England in the SuperLiga final. All things considered, the clubs put on a good show, and for a change, the Revs beat out the Dynamo for a trophy. Now let's hope the union and league can work out a better pay scale for the players in the future.

*The USA women allow two goals in four minutes and lose their first Olympic match? Really? Norway is a decent side, but still.....

As for the truly important matter, I'm no Paul Mitchell, but from watching MSNBC's studio coverage, I'd say Marcelo Balboa's hair is longer and better conditioned than Brandi Chastain's.

*Don't forget to set your alarm for 4:59 a.m. tomorrow to watch the USA men face Japan in their Oly opener.

*As we told you would happen, Noonan re-signed with the Revs and then was promptly traded. He goes to Columbus for a 2009 first-round draft pick, financial considerations and a better slot in the allocation order. Nice pickup for the Crew, which is on the heels of East-leading New England.

*The Gibbs-to-MLS deal is almost complete and he will be available through the allocation order in the next week or so. Los Angeles is atop the list and, according to one source familiar with the situation, the Galaxy is tentatively planning to claim him.

*Bolivia-Guatemala tonight at RFK. As we told you yesterday, Carlos Ruiz is not here. Thus, the RFK turf is safe from damage caused by dramatic falls.

*To read the transcript from my live online chat today, click here.

*You can catch me on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" this evening at around 5:30 p.m.

Back later with more stuff. Maybe.

By Steve Goff  |  August 6, 2008; 3:38 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Olympics , Women  
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Next: Looking Ahead to Guatemala

Comments

According to my watch it is only 3:50. The Insider really is hours ahead of everyone else!

Posted by: Future Shock | August 6, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Welcome back, although I think your clock is still off...

MSNBC? Why aren't you watching the Universal HD feed? Or the NBC Soccer Channel HD Feed (Channel 736 on Cox/Fairfax)?

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | August 6, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Still working the kinks out

Posted by: Goff | August 6, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Podium dude!
You got the sense of humor rolling this afternoon Goff, hope you hang on to it till WaPost Live!
Thanks for doing what you do.

Posted by: Dadryan | August 6, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I watch what I have access to.

Posted by: Goff | August 6, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Worse than the 2-0 loss to Norway were the hair styles on display in the MSNBC studio. Balboa needs to get a cut, or NBC needs to get a different commentator for his role. I vote for both to happen.

Posted by: Flowing locks | August 6, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

WHEW!! I'm tired!

Come on you Gooners!!

Posted by: Ray Davies | August 6, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, the sweet intellectual ambrosia of the SI blog! Now I can live again....

Posted by: 22206 | August 6, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Posted by: Marcelo Balboa | August 6, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion
Unobtrusive..."

Posted by: Joe Doc | August 6, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Who else clicked on "Insider" at exactly 3:00? And then every 10 minutes after that?

Posted by: boda united | August 6, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I still fear for the RFK turf with the rest of the Guats there.

Posted by: Brian | August 6, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Alright, so the match is at 5:00ET? I was confused because I added the USSF's match schedule to my Google Calendar and it runs until 7:30, so I was thinking there might be a pregame.

Ugh. /me sets alarm clock for 3:59CT and sets up the coffee.

Posted by: Colm | August 6, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That PK shootout last night was pretty poor. Ching and DeRo hit two of the worst PKs ever. And Reis really skied his over the bar.

The guys who put them right up the middle scored without any trouble. Since the GK always dives it almost seems like a no-brainer to just go right up the middle about waist high or maybe a little higher.

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what you say, Balboa can't touch my luxuriantly Pert-y locks.

Posted by: Paul Caliguri | August 6, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

You from Bht??
My money is on Tshering Chophel. The guy's capped!

Posted by: Matt in Silver Spring | August 5, 2008 10:38 AM

Posted by: arlington4united | August 6, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Coverage of the men's games?

Posted by: TB | August 6, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, and on the Olympics, does anyone happen to have access to the Olympic Soccer channel? I scanned my Comcast program guide this morning and it wasn't listed.

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Norway has always been the US Women's Boggie team. am glad we got thm out of the way early and can now focus on the task at hand

Posted by: Tammyinlalaland | August 6, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I am a Soccer Insider-aholic

(passes the candle)

Maybe I was distracted by the hilarious spanglish interviews conducted by Fernando Schwartz (Chris Albright's spanish was priceless), but did the Revs skip the podium ceremony, as a subtle dig at Garber or just because of their spontaneous joie de vivre with their fan... I mean fans who were there.

Posted by: AM | August 6, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey according to the Washington Post, it is after 5:00. Quitting time. Yeah ;).

Posted by: I am off! | August 6, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

New blog software. Same timestamp problems.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 6, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The women actually didn't look terrible this morning. They created several decent chances against a pretty well organized Norwegian side. Just couldn't finish. Were thwarted a couple times by excellent goal keeping.

But it must be said that the defensive lapses that allowed the 2 early goals were pretty bad. Whitehill is clearly quite a loss in the center of defense.

And it also seemed to me that on the first goal Solo has to get that ball. I mean, I saw the contact, it's tough to get through that. But if you're coming off your line in that situation, you've just got to get to the ball. Otherwise stay put.

Posted by: Matte | August 6, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but what do people think about the Barcelona/Messi saga that's happening right now? Last I heard, the FIFA decision in favor of Messi staying at the olympics was overturned. Barcelona asked Messi to come back, and he said no. I really hope Barcelona stop being so petty and let Messi play, he deserves the opportunity to play in the olympics. It's not like he's overage, just overqualified...

Posted by: bennyf118 | August 6, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey, that's me! Paul Mitchell passed away nearly 20 years ago.

Posted by: John Paul DeJoria | August 6, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Marcello gets free Proceed from Guiseppe Franco?

Posted by: Karen | August 6, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Noonan to Columbus is a big move. For all the talk of Columbus being effective despite never looking particularly impressive, this is now a contender. For what it's worth, this particular Crew team is head and shoulders above the 2004 edition that went on that 18 game unbeaten streak (which I still regard as the luckiest thing I have ever seen...Columbus was badly outplayed in at least 2/3 of those matches). If Schmid can successfully integrate Noonan, Columbus will be both more dangerous and better to watch.

I do wonder why the Revs were willing to make the deal. I mean, sure, they got the money, a good position in the allocation line, and the draft pick (more valuable to them than most MLS teams), but at what cost? The deal, in a vacuum, is a good one, but New England just strengthened another conference rival. There is a realistic chance that New England and Columbus meet in a one-off match to go to MLS Cup 2008. Is that really who you want to deal a good player to? They couldn't have gotten these terms from another team?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 6, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Are you having any trouble with the feed?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 6, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

i'm with you glenn. if anyone can figure out where on comcast the olympic soccer channel is hiding, please post it here. i was able to program my dvr to record the african cup of nations final on some obscure mhz network... yet the olympic soccer channel is a mystery to me. i'm really looking forward to seeing these games - i know the US matches will be available, but i'd like to check out some non-US action as well....

Posted by: slowsky | August 6, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

If Fifa wanted players to be required to appear in the Olympics, they would have put the tournament on their coordinated calendar of international matches.

Clubs must release players for those dates. The Olympic tournament (since it isn't a Fifa event per se) isn't on those dates.

It appears the clubs (like Barca or Bremmen) are in their rights to have the players they pay good money to win them games like UEFA CL qualifiers.

I'm just glad Villarreal finished second last season, and they don't have any CL qualifiers, so Altidore can be with the US Olympic team.

Posted by: It is a crowded schedule | August 6, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I do wonder why the Revs were willing to make the deal.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 6, 2008 5:24 PM
==============

Their FO is drunk off the SuperLiga $750,000.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 6, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

$850,000

Posted by: I thought it was | August 6, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

This isn't connected to your blog. What's wrong?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

if anyone can figure out where on comcast the olympic soccer channel is hiding, please post it here.

Posted by: slowsky | August 6, 2008 5:26 PM

I seem to remember seeing the soccer and basketball channels in the HD tier last night - in the 200s? Don't quote me on that - not in front of my cable box at the moment.

Posted by: Kev | August 6, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, the sweet intellectual ambrosia of the SI blog! Now I can live again....

Posted by: 22206 | August 6, 2008 4:57 PM
---------------
Did someone say "Ambrosia"!

"Spending all my nights, all my money going out of the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes
I'm right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time..."

Posted by: Joe Doc | August 6, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

*Don't forget to set your alarm for 4:59 a.m. tomorrow to watch the USA men face Japan in their Oly opener.


That's what a DVR is made for! I've triple checked that it's scheduled to record, though.

Posted by: Beaker | August 6, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It appears the clubs (like Barca or Bremmen) are in their rights to have the players they pay good money to win them games like UEFA CL qualifiers.

Posted by: It is a crowded schedule | August 6, 2008 5:27 PM

Yep - and making it to the group stage of the Champions League is estimated to be worth about $20 million to clubs. Ask Rangers fans how much it sucks to lose in qualifiers - and they miss out on the UEFA Cup too!

Posted by: Kev | August 6, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

US Women are a disgrace. Choked and got embarassed in the World Cup by Brazil and choked again - 2 goals in the first 4 minutes! - at the Olympics. They're great at friendlies that don't count against marginal competition on home turf but show their true colors during the only real women's tournaments out there. The whole kickballing, underperforming, gagging lot of them should be sent home and replaced by some college players that care.

Posted by: Hmmm | August 6, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

You people who fixate on soccer announcers/commentators have either have too much time on your hands or you have delusions of being sports media critics. The Balboas, the Foudys, the Caliguiris and the rest are what they are. They all typically do at least a passable job. Get over it. The game's the thing, as Joe Garagiola used to say.

Posted by: Ron | August 6, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll be getting up to watch the game. There's no chance I could avoid the result all day.

Posted by: RK | August 6, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

OLYMPIC GAMES ON COMCAST

The games are on MSNBC every morning. I read some where that Comcast isn't offering the NBC Channel. I would check MSNBC.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

That made no sense.

Posted by: RK | August 6, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

US Women are a disgrace. Choked and got embarassed in the World Cup by Brazil and choked again - 2 goals in the first 4 minutes! - at the Olympics. They're great at friendlies that don't count against marginal competition on home turf but show their true colors during the only real women's tournaments out there. The whole kickballing, underperforming, gagging lot of them should be sent home and replaced by some college players that care.


Posted by: Hmmm | August 6, 2008 5:35 PM
----------------------------------------

The US women have won every single tournament they have played in this year. Check you stats again.

Posted by: k | August 6, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The games are on MSNBC every morning. I read some where that Comcast isn't offering the NBC Channel. I would check MSNBC.
==========================================

Actually, this weekend's games will be on the USA channel. Also, I get the impression that some people are specifically looking for an HD feed, which MSNBC and USA are not.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 6, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"As we told you yesterday, Carlos Ruiz is not here. Thus, the RFK turf is safe from damage caused by dramatic falls."

Goff, you crack me up. It was a long 27 hours without your puckish tomfoolery.

Posted by: Modibo | August 6, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Telemundo will have many of the non-US mens matches. I printed out the giant 60+ page program schedule when the link was posted here a while back.

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

China beat Sweden in women's soccer...isn't that an upset too?

Posted by: RK | August 6, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

That feed this morning looked HD...maybe I'll just plug my laptop into my new tv...

Posted by: RK | August 6, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The game's the thing, as Joe Garagiola used to say.

Posted by: Ron | August 6, 2008 5:38 PM

------------------------------------

Too bad we don't have the soccer equivalent of him yet.

Posted by: Kenobi | August 6, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

many of the matches will be in HD on the Universal HD channel (250 in Arlington/Comcast) I think that channel had a lot of the hockey games during the winter olympics

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The US match tomorrow morning will be broadcast in HD on Universal HD - Comcast channel 250 (UHD) in most of the area.

http://www.ussoccer.com/schedule/index.jsp.html

http://www.hdsportsguide.com/

Posted by: Kev | August 6, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The games are on MSNBC every morning. I read some where that Comcast isn't offering the NBC Channel. I would check MSNBC.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2008 5:43 PM
==========
MSNBC is on ch 30 if you live in Arlington. Not the HD but the regular one.

Posted by: arlington4united | August 6, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see MLS reacquiring some recently exported talent like Noonan, Gibbs and Jaqua and hanging on to Cooper.

Now where's our backup keeper from Shangri-La?

Posted by: garbaggio | August 6, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

what's the lineup looking like for tomorrow morning? Jozy and Freddy up top, and...

Posted by: e | August 6, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

McBride is up top

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, the "marginal competition" they've beaten home, away and on neutral grounds are the same teams they have lost to.

Posted by: sitruc | August 6, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I was going to make a "FREE INSIDER" post at 3:00, but then realized I couldnt. It appears the dates are still messed up. I dont think it's Atlantic time in D.C.

Posted by: strago | August 6, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I would have s...

Posted by: Briana Scurry | August 6, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

WP servers shipped off to Antigua, no doubt.

Posted by: RK | August 6, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

garbaggio:

I'm guessing our keeper is a member of an NF-Board national team. My money's on Tibet or Gozo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NF-Board

e:

While I can see Nowak playing Altidore wide so that Freddy can play his ideal role, I think Nowak has shown in the past that he's perfectly willing to play Adu wide if that is truly the best XI in his (Nowak's) eyes. With that in mind, I'd like to see this team:

-------- Altidore - McBride
Adu --------------------------- Kljestan
-------- Szetela - Bradley
Orozco - Edu - Parkhurst - Wynne
------------- Guzan

Adu will have some freedom to drift in, as will Kljestan. Szetela has played on both wings before, so he could drift wide (with Bradley holding in the middle) if either wide player's pinching in leaves us in a momentary bind. I do worry about the width here (with no natural wide players), but then the squad has only one in Robbie Rogers. I think the most important things (aside from obvious ones like "start McBride") are to free Bradley up to get into the attack and to find a spot for Kljestan, who is somewhat quietly having a dynamite season for Chivas USA and would give us another threat to score. Japan places a lot of emphasis on keeping the ball, so someone like Kljestan (who is usually reliable in possession) is important.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 6, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing our keeper is a member of an NF-Board national team. My money's on Tibet or Gozo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NF-Board
.........................................

Perhaps the District of Columbia ("Taxation Without Representation") should be a member of this gang.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 6, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: The Jeff | August 6, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

If Gibbs can pass a physical, the Galaxy would be foolish to pass on Corey Gibbs. They rank dead last in MLS in goals-against.

The issue may be fitting him under the "cap."

Posted by: Hedbal | August 6, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

are they going to leave this real grass in place for Sunday's match?

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

are they going to leave this real grass in place for Sunday's match?

Posted by: Glenn | August 6, 2008 8:25 PM


Ives says no.....

Posted by: JkR | August 6, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Mitts was awesome. Rampone too. Worst game I can recall seeing Markgraf ever play. She will turn it around. I hope Chalupny is back for Japan.

Lingering midfield problems. The emphasis has supposedly been in possession and build-up, but the team is still lacking the final pass, and even the build-up was weak. Better than Ryan ball by far, but still lacking. I'm not sure Boxx has the first touch to do what Pia seems to be expecting her to do. Of course, the game was screwed up because the quick lead let Norway pack it in for 40 minutes of the first half. But they need to break that down somehow. O'Reilly and to a lesser extent Lloyd showed promise off the dribble, but the central players could not hold, distribute or penetrate off the dribble to the extent necessary. Pia needs to give Aly Wagner a shot, and maybe put Hucles back where she's comfortable. Tarpley seemed off.

Hucles was completely absent until stoppage. Incognito. I was baffled at starting her up top instead of A-Rod. Or even moving O'Reilly back up top and Heath on the wing. I thought Heath and A-Rod had some impact off the bench, but there wasn’t enough time.

Kai needs to step it up, and they need to give her some better chances too.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 6, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. women suffered from defensive lapses at the World Cup last year, but that got lost in the horrible-tactics-Ryan/Solo mess. Kate Markgraf just isn't a world-class defender. Christie Rampone was better suited on the wing. The international game has grown so much, and U.S. defending isn't up to par. And Fawcett and Whalen aren't coming back.

Without Lilly (who had a poor World Cup) and Wambach (too great a loss), there are not enough "personality" players on the team. There are very talented, capable role players, but only Wambach seems capable of taking over games.

For this team of role players to succeed, I think they need to switch Aly Wagner for Carli Lloyd. Wagner's vision and passing abilities are beyond everybody else's, and the U.S. needs these qualities on the field.

The worst thing about this loss is it could mean no medal at all. If the U.S. now finishes second in its group -- Norway probably goes 3-0 now -- it goes into the knockout bracket that likely includes Germany and Brazil. So long, silver!

The format is rather odd. Here's some speculation:

The top bracket:

1F (Germany) vs. 2G (USA)
2E (Sweden) vs. 2F (Brazil)

The bottom bracket:

1G (Norway) vs. 3EF (Canada)
1E (China) vs. 3FG (North Korea)

Posted by: Troy | August 6, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Hucles was completely absent until stoppage. Incognito. I was baffled at starting her up top instead of A-Rod. Or even moving O'Reilly back up top and Heath on the wing.
==========================================

Or O'Reilly up top and Hucles on the wing. Today notwithstanding, Hucles has been pretty effective over the past several outings, playing her more natural MF position. In fact, I can't recall her ever playing up top before today.

I notice that one of the Kiwi goalscorers today is named Kirsty Yallop. I wonder whether she is related, however distantly, to a certain Anglo-Canadian footballer.

Posted by: tri-village | August 6, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The format is rather odd. Here's some speculation:

The top bracket:

1F (Germany) vs. 2G (USA)
2E (Sweden) vs. 2F (Brazil)

The bottom bracket:

1G (Norway) vs. 3EF (Canada)
1E (China) vs. 3FG (North Korea)

Posted by: Troy | August 6, 2008 10:34 PM
=========================================

This scenario looks entirely plausible. And the format is indeed a bit odd, insofar as both third-place teams go into the bottom bracket.

Posted by: tri-village | August 6, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

For this team of role players to succeed, I think they need to switch Aly Wagner for Carli Lloyd. Wagner's vision and passing abilities are beyond everybody else's, and the U.S. needs these qualities on the field.
==========================================

Where does Wagner's match fitness stand? When's the last time she played so much as 45 minutes?

Posted by: tri-village | August 6, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Wagner played 75 in a Peace Queen game, and a few second halves prior to that. I'd find a way to get her on the field, but not for Lloyd.

Markgraf not a world class defender? 180+ caps suggests otherwise. Yesterday was bad, but c'mon.

I really don't think the problem is in the back line, I think the mids have to step it up on both sides of the ball. Defensively, there's no cover for the player on the ball, and offensively, there's not enough holding and distribution, or creativity on or off ball. The best glimpses yesterday seemed to come from the younger players O'Reilly and A-Rod, and to a lesser extent Kai and Lloyd.

Hope it comes around soon.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 7, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

180+ caps says she's among the better U.S. defenders of the last decade. But world-class?

Watch tapes of the 2007 World Cup. Watch yesterday's first half. Then watch Germany's central defenders.

Now, again, what does 180+ caps mean?

Posted by: Troy | August 7, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

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