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Happy Monday

The trip back from Havana went swell. Thanks for asking. Customs in Miami didn't even bother to check bags, as they are known to do on flights from Cuba. I knew I could have snuck an Industriales baseball jersey and a case of Havana Club back into the States.

Before downing pineapple soda and strawberry-flavored cookies at Havana's Marti Airport, I got a chuckle from the the lost-in-translation list of "Forbidden Goods In Their Baggage Of Hand" posted above the ticket counter:

-- household cutlery
-- paper knives
-- knitting needles
-- tradesmen is tools
-- darts
-- sporting bats
-- billiard, snooker or pool cues
-- catapults

That last item must really tick off frequent medieval travelers.....

Anyway, good to be back on imperialist soil. (Fidel told me to say that. Really.)

*Houston stretched its Western Conference lead to seven points over Real Salt Lake with a 3-1 victory over Kansas City. Nate Jaqua stepped in for the USA's Brian Ching and scored twice. The Dynamo is 6-1-3 in its last 10 league matches, but will soon be tested by a busy MLS/Champions League schedule.

*Ronaldinho missed a PK, but Brazil rolled on the road anyway, 3-0 over Chile in a World Cup qualifier. The Brazilians will host last-place Bolivia this week. Click here for the updated South American standings.

*Georgetown is off to its best start in eight years following a 6-0 rout of Hartford. The Hoyas (4-0) have still not conceded a goal this season. Meantime, Maryland scored three goals in about 25 minutes as part of a 4-1 victory over Davidson.

*I know we don't have a lot of Mexican supporters here on the Insider, but this is a pretty cool video clip of Andres Guardado's opening strike in the 3-0 victory over Jamaica on Saturday at Azteca:


By Steve Goff  |  September 8, 2008; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , MLS  
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Next: Afternoon Updates

Comments

Senor Goff,

What can you tell us about Carlos Will Meija?

Thanks.

Posted by: J | September 8, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Hiya Goff,

Got that box of Cohibas like I politely asked for?

Posted by: Section 130 | September 8, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Goffinho.

Where's my Mojito and Cuban Cigar? :P

Posted by: strago | September 8, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

The Good -- Carli Lloyd listed DC as her 2d choice.

The Bad -- Heather Mitts didn't list DC at all.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 8, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Azteca, beehive, enormous...

Posted by: Felix | September 8, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Senor Goff, you just got out in time. Ike seems pretty upset without Tina.

Posted by: Bootsy | September 8, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF - where are you getting that info from?

Thanks!

Posted by: apqjr | September 8, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/

also picked up from Heather Mitts' blog that the US WNT is planning to expand the upcoming tour from 3 to 10 games. http://www.heathermitts.com/blog.htm

if you're bookmarking, and interested in the local youth scene, check out this new blog -- loyalists may recognize the author http://playtofeet.blogspot.com/

Posted by: OWNTF | September 8, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

So, this week should be a good one at the Manhattan offices for MLS, right?

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 8, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Goff.

Posted by: Kosh | September 8, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Is The Good, The Bad and The Coyote Ugly making an appearance this week?

If so, I'd like to nominate Jovan Kirovski for his role as a San Jose sub against DC Saturday night. Within minutes of coming on he helped set up DC's goal with a dumb 40-yard backpass and then killed off a nice passing sequence for San Jose that should have scored a goal (instead of shooting 1v1 against Crayton he passed to obviously offsides Sealy).

Only problem for Jovan's nomination is that I'm not sure whether to consider it Good (for DC) or Coyote Ugly (for San Jose).

Posted by: garbaggio | September 8, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

You can get Havana Club in Mexico and Canadia, as well as many other places.

I just finished off my last Cuban-bought bottle about a month ago. :(

Btw, b/c you were in Cuba legally, you could have brought back stuff for your own personal use and Customs would not have been able to confiscate it.

In fact, a TON of ppl pay for their Cuba trip that way by bringing in premium cigars and selling them to cigar shops.

Posted by: uclacarlos | September 8, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Just like the WPost to leave out UVa.

Tony Tchani scored two goals and the Virginia men’s soccer team topped Hofstra, 4-2, Sunday night at Klöckner Stadium. Chris Agorsor and Matt Mitchell also netted goals for UVa (2-2-0), which won its second-straight game.

Posted by: RK | September 8, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for coming home Steve, other than the Open Cup Final you didn't miss much:-0
The video clip is pretty amazing. Any clip of Mexico's 3rd goal? I somehow caught it flicking the flipper on Saturday.
Makes me want to paint my daughter's face and bring her along to RFK in October:-)

Posted by: dadryan | September 8, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Potomac Fall's own Uche Onyeador get some time and an assist for Georgetown. That guy tortured my son (def) and his HS team for years....

Also, he used to play for DC United's youth set up for a season...

Posted by: JkR | September 8, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Check that: Uche had 7 Shots, 3 SOG, 1 goal and an assist...

Not bad for a sub...

Posted by: JkR | September 8, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Azteca does look impressive there. Also, a bit of a nice story by the Tri Colores (and its fans) wearing white to protest against gang violence in the country. Not sure the gesture itself will make a grand impact, but important nonetheless.

Posted by: KLB | September 8, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I've never gotten the "rivalry" thing with the Mexican National Team. Yes I recognize they and we are the two best teams. I love Mexico the country, I love Mexican food and beer, I've only been treated well by the people there and here, and to be honest, I like the way they play the beautiful game. Oh to have a 10th of that passion here. Azteca looked awesome that game. I've always felt that if we could change this to a "friendly" rivalry it would wind up doing more good for soccer in the US than the current malevolent one does.

Posted by: Doesn'tHateMNT | September 8, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

uclacarlos: technically, no you can't. even being in Cuba legally, possession of embargoed goods is still a felony in the US. not, of course, that people don't do it.

Posted by: northzax | September 8, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

..... I like the way they play the beautiful game. .....
=====================================

I think, then, that is where most people would disagree with you. Perhaps it is because a large amount of us only see the Mexican nat'l team when they play the U.S. team, but I have never thought of them playing "the beautiful game."

A hacking game, a whining game, a thugging game, a cheating game, some of the worst sportsmanship I've ever witnessed: that is Mexico's National team to me. Right or wrong. But I can only judge them on the times I've seen them play.

If they play the beautiful game all other times, thats nice. But I dont watch it so it doesnt exist to me.

Posted by: KT | September 8, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@Doesn'tHate:

I agree with much of what you say about Mexico and Mexicans. WHen I was in Mexico City I found the people very warm and gracious.

Their National Team, however, has a long history of grossly unsporting behavior when it comes to the USMNT.

Posted by: Ron | September 8, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

-- catapults

That last item must really tick off frequent medieval travelers.....
..........................................

Isn't that the (contemporary) British term for slingshots?

Posted by: The Jeff | September 8, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Jason La Canfora has a nice "fire Bradley" rant at the bottom of this Redskins Insider post this morning.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/2008/09/around_the_league_monday.html

Posted by: Luis | September 8, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

KT

There's nothing wrong with admitting to yourself that Mexico play nice, fluid, attacking soccer. Unlike the US national team who might just be the most boring team to watch, other than Bolton, in the world.

The rivalry got pretty intense for a while but I think the Mexicans finally realized the US isn't a bad team at all and now they truly respect each other, at least on a sporting level.

I saw the Mexico-Jamaica game and while Jamaica was barely visible, El Tri put on a show with some very nice movement and fluid passing. I love the way their outside backs (Salcido & Osorio?) contribute to the attack with their overlapping runs. Sven has done something to this team, they seem more calm and organized, which is something I always felt the Mexicans lacked.

It's intriguing that Sven threw Dos Santos and Vela out there as starters and apparently at the post-game conference he stated and I quote "These kids are the future of Mexico, How are they going to gain experience if they don't play?"

I wish Bob would take the same approach with Freddy and Jozy.

Posted by: Christian | September 8, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

-- catapults

That last item must really tick off frequent medieval travelers.....
---------------

Which is why I carry a trebuchet instead.

Too bad about Heater Mitts.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 8, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Christian (above) that Eriksson, who started Vela and Giovani, seems a lot more willing to try newer younger players than Bob Bradley does.

I'm sure Bradley will eventually work Freddy and Jozy into the mix but maybe not til we've clinched qualification to the next round. But 6 points from 2 road qualifiers so far is pretty good output.

The YouTube clip of Guardado's goal and the reaction in the nosebleed sections is a good one. Mexico trailed Honduras well into the 2nd half in its previous home qualifier against Honduras. This time they scored on a nice early freekick before Jamaica had even completed a pass.

Posted by: garbaggio | September 8, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"friendly" rivalry with the Mexican't NT?
What's the fun in that.

Who cares if their people are nice and you like their food, we're talking about soccer here and as far as I'm concerned dirty Sanchez and his lot are no friends of ours on the pitch.

Are you sure the white t-shirt thing was for gang violence? I thought it was to protest the kidnappings that happen oh...I don't know every 30 seconds.

Posted by: Thora | September 8, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@ KT,

"If they play the beautiful game all other times, thats nice. But I dont watch it so it doesnt exist to me."

This attitude is what makes soccer a 2nd tier sport in the US. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey fans who belittle soccer probably feel that way about the US MNT, the MLS, the EPL, etc etc etc.

Posted by: Bob | September 8, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I've done a little research and apparently the reason El Tri wore white kits on saturday, apart from the fact the game was supposed to be at Jamaica and was moved because of the hurricanes, was because of a campaign against violence in Mexico and that includes kidnappings, extortion, gang violence, and drug cartels.

Hopefully it works for them.

Posted by: Christian | September 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

mexico plays a way better style of football than the US team. US builds their squad to beat mexico. they are some CRAP against all other teams worth a hoot. mexico has success against all other quality teams. why? cuz they don't give a damn about some stupid rivalry with the US, they play football the way it should be played. though i will admit that they can be dirty.

Posted by: asdf | September 8, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

YO STEVE!: What's the word on any television coverage, or live video feeds for the next round of CCL? Will FSC be picking it up? Any chance with Comcast giving us the DCU/Saprissa home leg?
I'll probably just go to this match, but it sure would be nice for fans of these clubs to be able to catch these matches wouldn't it?
Couldn't MLS.live.tv be able to cover the matches involving MLS clubs?
Thanks

Posted by: dadryan | September 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve G - Will DCU sign me?

Posted by: Boyzzz Khumalo | September 8, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Senor Goff - Will I get a contract from DCU?

Posted by: Carlos Will Meija | September 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I realize you were in Cuba during the Open Cup, but I'm a little upset as to your lack of emphasis on another United trophy. I know it's not the MLS Cup, but giving United it's due is all that I ask for.

Posted by: JC | September 8, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

BOB,

Everyone Fan has the right to support what time he likes and dislikes. Beutiful game my --- no one can claim diving, cheating, and hacking the beutiful game. might they play some good soccer at times maybe but all that gets overshadowed by other things. Must we all remember that this was against Jamaica at HOME big diffrence watch those--- crack when they play away game where there no lights or the field is -----. I am not like you bob, if yo want to give them a pat on there back go ahead but dont judge people who don't give in so easy. a year from now this board will be filled by talk about another game of diving cheating spitting, etc with there fans jumping yes jumping US fans 10-2, throwing beer botlles, etc. You call it nice I call it a rivarly. Like the movie (shaolin soccer) "this game is WAR"

Posted by: DC FAN | September 8, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear the trip went well,

but take that Mexican crap off....

Posted by: Scott | September 8, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

i enjoy mexican soccer and i have been to azteca . it is an amazing place to see a game

Posted by: chris D | September 8, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

DC Fan

You make the same mistake alot of naive US Soccer fans make, assuming that diving, "cheating", whatever, is strictly a part of Mexican soccer.

I don't need to remind you of Charlie Davies flagrant attempts at earning gold medals in diving while playing soccer, do I?

Landon Donovan is another one, he dives ALL the time. I've seen Freddy Adu go down without anyone touching him. Jozy usually cries to the ref when he doesn't get the calls he wants.

What's your point?

Diving is a part of the game, even if we don't agree with it but when it comes down to it, players will look for any advantage they can get. Messi, Aguero, Robinho, C.Ronaldo, etc, all these players take part in diving, yet it doesn't take away the fact that these are talented players.

Did you see the Honduras-Canada game? The Hondurans were going down every 2 minutes like there was a sniper in the stands. The Jamaicans were more concerned with stomping down the Mexicans than trying to put together any sort of coherent attack.

Lastly, your comment about Mexico winning because they were at home, well bud, the US team is notorious for getting results at home but struggling on the road, it seems kind of pointless for you to point that out when we all know Bob bunkers anywhere and everywhere, including Guatemala.

Posted by: Christian | September 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I realize you were in Cuba during the Open Cup, but I'm a little upset as to your lack of emphasis on another United trophy. I know it's not the MLS Cup, but giving United it's due is all that I ask for.

Posted by: JC | September 8, 2008 11:16 AM
-------------

What are you talking about??? The Post covered the game. I linked to it. What else am I supposed to do from Cuba???

Posted by: Goff | September 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Steve thanks for showing the video of Guardado scoring. I am a Mexico National Team supporter and check your blog more than once each day. Keep up the good work. I am glad you made it back from Cuba safely.

Posted by: Michoacano | September 8, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve thanks for showing the beautiful goal by Guardado. I read your blog multiple times a day and appreciate all the info that you provide.

Posted by: Michoacano | September 8, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Great job pissing Steve off JC...
Goff is there any chance we'll get motion pictures somewhere for the next round of CCL matches?

Posted by: dadryan | September 8, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

CONCACAF is still trying to arrange TV for Champions League.

Posted by: Goff | September 8, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

""mexico plays a way better style of football than the US team.""

HA HA! This is the only STYLE I care about . . .

U.S. MNT Continues Decade of Dominance vs. Mexico with 2-0 Win in Glendale, Ariz.

- U.S. Shuts Out Mexico for Eighth Straight Time and Improves to 7-0-1 Against Arch Rival Since 2000

""Since 1990, the U.S. is 10-7-7 in 24 games against Mexico, which includes a dominating 9-3-5 record in the United States (and a 1-0-1 record in neutral venues).""

Posted by: delantero | September 8, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

As they must say at Customs:

"Did we miss anything?" "Catapult!!"

This 80s musical flashback brought to you from Athens, GA by R.E.M.

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

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 8, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Welcome back.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Can't please everybody, Steve.
But your excellent articles and blog entries certainly kept me stoked all week.
Thank you for all you do and have done for the soccer fans in DC, US and yes, the world at large (that clip with "Jose Mourinho" was classic).

Posted by: marksman | September 8, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Goff

You should have just worn the jersey on the plane... Hiding in plain sight and all that...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 8, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Steven, if you had permission to go to Cuba you are allowed to bring back no more than $100 worth of goods from Cuba. So I hope you did get some cigars and other neat things.

Posted by: bob | September 8, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The headbutt at the end of Mexico's manhood-stealing 2-0 loss to the United States in South Korea pretty much sums up Mexico's game over the last decade. Can't win the big games; happy to cheat whenever possible. Combine that with the brilliance of their last coach and his inability to show any sense of sportsmanship after getting crushed in the Gold Cup, and I wonder how anyone can say anything positive about that team.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 8, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

JC - I thought the Post's coverage of the Open Cup trophy was pretty solid. Especially considering our main DCU beat writer was out of the country.

Let's face it. The USOC is satisfying, because we get to raise a trophy this year, and important, because we get a CCL berth next year. But there are bigger opportunities. In terms of the relative worth of accomplishments this season, I'd say it ranks below the MLS Cup, the CCC title, and the Supporters' Shield.

Now, what's all this chatter about Carlos Will Mejia?

Posted by: DCBird | September 8, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

You're right. I'm no fan of Mexico, but Guardado IS a beast. I like him when he's not wearing green.

Posted by: spectre | September 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Delantero;

When/If the USMNT/MLS teams go down and get three points in Mexico, then we can talk about dominance. Until the US will continue to boost its self esteem with meaningless friendlies and winning at home but when the WC comes around, we'll be packing our bags after three games.

The true measure for an international team is international results, which the US doesn't have, Mexico does.

I'm not so blind as to not see the limitations of our team compared with the other teams in this region. It's quite obvious and the US isn't going to get anyone interested in the sport when the national team struggles to beat Guatemala and Cuba.

keep drinking the kool-aid son.

Posted by: Christian | September 8, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

THANKS FOR THE CCL TV UPDATE GOFF!!!!!!!
SHAKE THE HATERS OFF, AND NEVER MIND THE DEBBIE DOWNER BUZZKILL
you are much appreciated Steve.

Posted by: dadryan | September 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Great rant by JLC on Redskins Insider blog! Boy, that didn't sit too well with a few of the "The NFL is the only sport in the world fans". LOL!!! Love it! Keep up the good work JLC,Goff and WaPost!

Posted by: Keenan | September 8, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

No Catapults on the Pilgrimage home from Havana? Were you Sitting Still for the last 30 minutes into National Airport? Did Radio Free Europe (Havana Edition) broadcast the game? Did you Talk About the Passion of soccer with everyone in Cuba?

Posted by: Murmuring | September 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Azteca video was cool. I suggest a live experience to any and all the Tri Doubting Thomases. 100,000 screaing fans. Being escorted in by riot police. A few choice curses exchanged in Spanish. Sporting red white and blue in hostile territory. Pretty awesome but not for the feint of heart -- or those insistent on sitting in assigned seats.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | September 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

if you had permission to go to Cuba you are allowed to bring back no more than $100 worth of goods from Cuba. So I hope you did get some cigars and other neat things
-----------

Incorrect. Under the terms of my visa, informational material related to work is the only thing permitted back into the USA.

Posted by: Goff | September 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I can respect the way the Mexican league game is played. I saw Pachuca this year in Atlanta and enjoyed the linkage and quick attack that somewhat reminded me of Real Madrid.

That said, I think that the National Team rivalry kind of takes away from them playing that way, simply out of competitive vigor.

Go YANKS!! (Soccer is the only thing that lets me say it)

Posted by: Jacob | September 8, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Kurt Kuykendall, who was a goalkeeper for the Olympic team in the late 70s, said Azteca was a brutal place to play.

In addition to the poor air quality, the stadium was so loud that you literally could not hear a teammate five yards from you. He had no opportunity to verbally organize his defense -- it was a waste of breath.

He also said it was one of the most amazing soccer experiences of his life.

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 8, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Dadyran,

Ease up man! Goff ain't gonna quit. He gets paid to do this blog.

I've gotten so used to reading about Steve's meals in Cuba I'm wondering if he's fasting now that he's back in DC, or he doesn't think the dollar menu is that interesting to blog about.

Posted by: Show me the menu | September 8, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Show me the menu: what is your post supposed to mean?

Posted by: dadryan | September 8, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Go YANKS!! (Soccer is the only thing that lets me say it)
Posted by: Jacob | September 8, 2008 2:23 PM
=================

And when the Nobel Prize selection committees announce the 2008 Laureates.

Any Nobel Prize bars in town showing the results?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 8, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

That stinks that you couldn't bring anything back. I was in Cuba awhile ago on humanitarian visa and was allowed to bring back $100 worth of goods. Let it be know that I bought my cigars on the black market, so that Castro would not get his cut. Glad your back and hope you had a great time in Cuba with the wonderful people there. I bet you were followed most of the time. We were when we were there, we thought it was funny, I guess we looked dangerous. Ha

Posted by: bob- not Bob | September 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"swell"...hehe, sounds like you are watching Mad Men.

Posted by: EssEff | September 8, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"swell"...hehe, sounds like you are watching Mad Men.

Posted by: EssEff | September 8, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm not a real fan because I dont care enough to follow the national team of a country I dont live in?

Perhaps I am a more casual fan than you but bashing casual fans for being casual fans on a nationally read blog isnt really going to help grow the sport either. Just saying.

I guess my 'cavalier' attitude is the real threat.

Anyway, all my comment was meant to do was explain how and why some fans have come to hate the Mex Nats. Because we only see them when they play the US, and their antics certainly haven't made me a fan.

Posted by: KT | September 8, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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