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Let the Day Begin

Thanks to The Call for this morning's headline.

*Some thoughts on the Revolution reversing its slide with four second-half goals and a 4-0 victory over Chivas USA:

-- Taylor Twellman is one of MLS's greatest career goal scorers because of his finishing touch but also for making the perfect run. Last night he plays the ball wide to Steve Ralston and then slices between two slow-reacting defenders to connect with Ralston's cross for the first goal.

-- Watching a televised game from Foxborough with all the football lines and fake grass is painful. I found myself switching to other programming just to give my eyes a rest.

-- With only 7,600 in attendance at Gillette, the absence of sustained crowd noise was a major problem for ESPN's on-field audio. Several f-bombs dropped by players could be clearly heard on the broadcast.

-- Thumbs up for JP Dellacamera, John Harkes and their ESPN support staff for providing first-class work in Havana Saturday, Chicago Wednesday and Foxborough last night.

-- The video is here.

Okay, what else do we have this morning?

*Wizards ownership comments on the club's disappointing season.

*DCU's Champions League matches will be televised.

*Rene Simoes is out as Jamaican coach following another qualifying setback.

*Big game tonight in College Park as Maryland plays Boston College in its ACC opener. Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Ludwig Field.

Back later from RFK.....

By Steve Goff  |  September 12, 2008; 8:37 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , College Soccer , MLS  
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Next: DCU Roster Moves, Injury Updates


I wonder if the gridiron lines problem can't be overcome by technology. I mean, if gridiron ball can draw first down and scrimmage lines *onto* the field, why can't the gridiron lines be made to disappear and the soccer lines show? I suspect the development and deployment of such technology would be $1 million or less.

That said, wow the revs really turned it on in the second half last night. Laurentowitz and Dempsey scored absolute go-la-zos.

Posted by: Ron | September 12, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Harkes is pretty good and getting better.

Posted by: Ron | September 12, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I know that it will never happen, for a myriad of good reasons, but New England is never going to draw for non-marquee matches while they're playing 20 miles south of Boston and nowhere near most of their fan base.

The steady reemergence of the downtown stadium over the past fifteen years shows that moving sports teams out to the boondocks and surrounding their stadiums with 10 acres of parking lots is a failed idea.

The only sport that has successfully implemented suburban stadiums is American football, whose insane popularity would probably drive a stadium full of fans to watch their teams play just about anywhere.

Soccer doesn't have that sort of built-in mass devotion in the United States. Hell, basketball doesn't (I'm from Cleveland - I'm too young to remember Richfield Coliseum, but I remember driving by its empty hulk in the middle of a cornfield plenty of times. The only time the Cavaliers ever sold well there was when they were in the playoffs.).

What soccer does have is an urban-skewing fan base that is much more likely to turn out for games they can take public transportation to, or drive a reasonable distance to. A fan base made up of youth soccer teams from the exurbs traveling to watch one game a season isn't going to fill a lot of seats over the course of the year.

Look at Toronto, then look at Chicago. Which team is getting more bang for their new stadium buck? I think DC will do fine in Greenbelt, if that's what it takes to get into a revenue-controlling environment, but I think they'd do a whole lot better downtown or in an inner suburb like Arlington or downtown Silver Spring.

New England is the Cleveland Cavaliers in the late 1980s: a good team marooned in east Jesus. I'm just hoping we don't end up the same way.

Posted by: Matt in Shaw | September 12, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The Call...what a great band. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: zilla | September 12, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

to bad about rene, good coach and good person, just doesn't have the talent in jamaica

Posted by: vasco | September 12, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For those who are interested, the University of Maryland's sports radio is covering the BC game live at Coverage begins 7:40 ET.

Posted by: JB | September 12, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Red Devil | September 12, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Larentowicz has a cannon -- not the first long-range blast I have seen from him.

That Chivas right-back got abused all night!

Video starts off with Twellman missing a sitter -- so much for that finishing touch :)

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Hate to say it, but four great goals by New England last night. Too bad hardly anyone up there cares.

Posted by: BillyBob | September 12, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The terrible attendance at Foxboro has to be in large part due to the 7pm kickoff. Rush hour traffic in Boston is not to be messed with. Getting from the city or the surrounding area down to Foxboro by 7pm on a weeknight is nearly impossible.

Posted by: AndrewK | September 12, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else been unable to view any MLS clips recently? Clicking on the highlights link gets me to a media player page but it just sits there with Ready and doesn't play. I've tried it in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. It was like this for all of last weekends highlights as well... super frustrating.

Posted by: saladyears | September 12, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Matt and AndrewK about logisitics being key to good attendance. I live in Loudoun and wouldn't make half of DCU's games if it wasn't for the fabulous egress out of RFK straight to major arteries. I can be home within 45 mins. from reaching my truck.

I think it's the same with Bridgeview from Weds. night. Having visited there once, the logistics are awful, and that really matters when school starts and you're playing midweek. The youth soccer clubs are gone, and it's hard core only, and only if you can leave work early.

Posted by: JkR | September 12, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the video link Steve. Really nice goals. Ralston's 1G 2A match could make him POTW. Larentowicz' goal could be GOTW, unless we stuff the box :-).

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 12, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Greenbelt is, at least, metro accessible (as long as they put it right by the metro) heck, I live in Mt. Pleasant and Greenbelt might actually be closer and more convenient than RFK (not for weekday games, however since I work at L'Enfant)

Posted by: northzax | September 12, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Harkes is pretty good and getting better.

Posted by: Ron | September 12, 2008 9:18 AM

Absolutely, JP.



Posted by: JayRockers! | September 12, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

A 7:00 PM start time on the east coast, mid-week, 20 miles south of the major metropolitan area should not be a shock to people.

It will be akin to that 7:30 PM mid-week start in Greenbelt!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 12, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think also, this was the start of Northern teams having attendance drop due to the cold. There was a big temp drop off last night, and it was chilly in the stadium.

Posted by: Will Speck | September 12, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

There are 6 teams in the new FIFA09 demo. Which one doesn't belong?

1. Marseille
2. Schalke
3. Real Madrid
4. Chelsea
5. AC Milan
6. Toronto FC

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

AC Milan & Schalke - they're not in the Champions League!

Oh wait - neither is TFC!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 12, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

There are 6 teams in the new FIFA09 demo. Which one doesn't belong?

1. Marseille
2. Schalke
3. Real Madrid
4. Chelsea
5. AC Milan
6. Toronto FC

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM

Real Madrid, they actually won something last season.

Posted by: Red Devil | September 12, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought I was the only that found the NFL lines very distracting. How do the keepers know where their box lines are? Pitches like these give MLS a bad rap.

Posted by: Bart | September 12, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse


Sunderland boss Roy Keane has fired a withering blast at FIFA vice-president Jack Warner by branding him ''a clown''.

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the complaints about the field. Larentowicz shot from 25 yds out. The lines remove all guesswork. Now you can cast an informed GOTW vote. I don't understand the complaints about the stadium either. There's plenty of parking...

Posted by: Bob Kraft | September 12, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Fifa's production team is in Canada. Hence, TFC's inclusion.

Agreed on all counts as far as Revs attendance is concerned. I was at the match, but met my friend at 4 pm in Harvard Sq, which meant I had to leave work at 3:30. Not many people can do that. I'm just glad it appears that most people realize the problem and don't try to blame the fans or some other misguided thing.

Posted by: Christopher | September 12, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Toronto FC? How accurate is the roster? Don't tell me Edu is on there, and how about future MLS MVP Chad Barrett?

Posted by: dadryan | September 12, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I am and have been more than disgusted with helmet ball game lines. MLS and the media network should work something out this is terrible presentation. They should play in some other high school grounds rather than to this horrible horrible fields.

Posted by: td | September 12, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Edu is on the cover of fifa09 (in a US kit, though).

Not sure what rosters they will be using, but they may use Sept 1 (hence the October release -- they want to make sure the Euro team are correct).

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

once again goff makes a point about bad attendance in NE and Chicago on wednesday, but DCU is not caled out for the 8k for the open cup final. The favortism is so sickening.

Posted by: WALLY | September 12, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Then leave.

Posted by: RK | September 12, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Q: Did you see yourself on the post-match video, quizzing (and possibly confusing) Michael Bradley on his goal-scoring technique?
A: Must've been someone impersonating the Insider ;-)


Goff, have you ever shopped at Ned Flander's "Leftorium"??

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | September 12, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Goff only mentions the attendance to point out that the noise level allowed some inappropriate language from players to be picked up on the broadcast. That was not the case at the USOC final. Although I agree more should have been at that match.

Posted by: LW | September 12, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Weeknight attendance has always been tough for the Revs and an earlier, 7:00pm, start made it worse.

Also, one factor in attendance this year is that because of all the competitions, there have been a lot more home games for the occasional fans to choose from.

The turnaround for the Revs is purely due to the return of Ralston and Mansally - it allowed the Revs to return to their familiar 3-5-2 and let everyone play their natural positions. The last few games, the front line of Twellman + ?, with no real AM, was completely toothless - putting more pressure on their defense.

Go Eagles!

Posted by: rkupp | September 12, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I am really amazed at the lack of attendance over all in New England. When New England was stuck at the bottom of the league table for so long, they always seemed to have lots of folks in the crowd. Has their front office just stopped agressive marketing efforts? It seems like something must have changed.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 12, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

caled out?
Sorry our 8k's singing, drumming, smoke bombs, and Championship trophy trump your WallyWorld Delusions bro.
You should really set your sights on next weeks CL match @ RFK.
Everyone will be waiting for your comment on Steve's biased head count.
By the way Wally did you read the Q&A that was posted yesterday?
Scroll down and READ Goff's answer on HIS favorite DCU moment.
You might be surprised.

Posted by: dadryan | September 12, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

8k to an out of STH plan game, while we've brought in more than 10k to our BSPN games. Having said that, a 7pm weeknight start time is kinda farked, regardless of what team it is.

Posted by: Section 130 | September 12, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Re: USOC Final Attendence

Look, until MLS teams start caring more about USOC, why should fans care? DC United did not put forth a strong effort in this tournament until they lost in other tournaments and had advance far enough to give them a good opportunity to win and get in Champions League next year. I'm not saying that is wrong, but that appeared to be what happened. So, without a big buzz leading up to the final, and with Tournament Final pricing, no wonder there wasn't a huge crowd for a mid-week game!

Posted by: Dsmac | September 12, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Re: DC United did not put forth a strong effort in this tournament until they lost in other tournaments...

how do you figure?????

they won every USOC game they played...

I didn't expect them to do anything during the Superliga and am happy they did not take it seriously... had you watched any of the game up at the 'plex and the NE game... who would have seen a United putting forth a strong effort..

your post is stoopid!!

Posted by: myt! | September 12, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The f-bombs were hilarious, mainly because they exposed Shirley Joseph as the whining little SOB he is. I'm sick of the slobbering over him, although Harkes did call him out a few times. He's a hack, plain and simple.

Roy Keane is now my hero.

Posted by: Brian | September 12, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the complaints about the field. Larentowicz shot from 25 yds out. The lines remove all guesswork. Now you can cast an informed GOTW vote. I don't understand the complaints about the stadium either. There's plenty of parking...

Posted by: Bob Kraft | September 12, 2008 10:34 AM


Until you ripped up the parking lot and gave the free parking lot to the movie theater...

As a Revs fan, I find a lot of things that could contribute to poor attendance.

1-Distance from Boston and lack of public transportation. There is a train stop at the stadium, by the way, but its only open for Pats game. If Kraft could somehow convince the T into opening it, we'd have a better chance at attracting fans. I know the fact that the Metro runs to RFK will bring me to more DC games this year.

2-Poor marketing. I'm in DC for college and I run into advertisements, etc. everywhere. The only advertisements I've seen for the Revs are on the front of a phone book and in tiny boxes in my community newspaper (I live a town over from Foxboro)

3- I think we have to blame the Boston news media as well. The most coverage I've ever seen of the Revs was when they got rid of the naked guy on the plane... and the news stations didn't even cover the game they played in that weekend. They never run game previews unless the Sox, Pats, Celtics, Bruins, AND BC are off for the night, and even when they do, the ask the players stupid questions about the Sox and Celtics. The station that carries the game doesn't even offer game previews! No wonder no one knows when they're playing, and its hard to find game recaps afterwards. If the Revs won a championship, Boston might start to care, but nobody even covered Superliga after the Revs won.

Ah well.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

regarding the lines on the field, why does TV choose to broadcast games from those places? If they really want a Revs game, put 'em on TV when they are on the road. A better live situation also makes for better TV (good pitch, full stands, loud crowd).

Keane is so sweet. That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Jack Warner! What? It was supposed to be an insult? Well, it's still the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Warner and better than he deserves.

Posted by: troy | September 12, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I have often had the same thought as Troy. If I'm ESPN and trying to put together an attractive package to drive up my ratings and interest, I never show games held at NY's swamp, NE, and Salt Lake. KC and San Jose only now and then. It looks bad and detracts from the overall presentation.

Posted by: JkR | September 12, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Duke @ VT at 7:30pm.

Posted by: sitruc | September 12, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

anonymous @1149am: You are welcome to defecting since you're in town for college... You could call yourself an EX-Patriot...
Pretty darn good coverage in the Post thanks to Soccer Insider, lot's of funny folks on the blog, the stadium is a Rotting Relic, but the tailgating is top notch!
Not to mention the club itself isn't too shabby either=)
I sense you are already feeling the pull of the Dark Side...

Posted by: dadryan | September 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Chivas didn't deserve to lose 4-0. That said, they had no serious chances and wore themselves out trying to get an equalizer (only to be shut down time and again). Smith's goal, aside from being quality, killed Chivas. You have to wonder about that team's ability to handle adversity without Marsch. There are a lot of hotheads and followers, but not much in the way of leadership. You know you're in trouble when you have Ante Razov in as your captain.

Speaking of noted jerks in MLS, was anyone surprised to see Jay Heaps take an elbow from Atiba Harris and not start acting like an idiot? I mean, Heaps was for once actually fouled; there was blood from his nose on his hand. So basically, you crack Heaps in the face, and he acts like a pro. You bump him legally or win the ball in a tackle but also knock him down, and he acts like you kicked his mother.

The first goal was nice, but it would be unreasonable to ignore the fact that Nagamura and Talley completely botched the play to the point that they might as well have tried to score the goal themselves. Twellman played the ball wide, and they just let him go. Does anyone that's ever seen Twellman play really think he's going to do anything in that situation other than charge for the near post at top speed? All either Chivas player had to do was run in his path so that Twellman would have to foul or change his run.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The girdiron lines on the field make MLS look tacky to fans of Euro soccer. But I don't really care what they think. The running tracks around some Euro fields look tacky too, but they don't care what I think.

I'm remember when all MLS matches were played on striped fields, so the occasional grid doesn't bother me. I remember when all matches were broadcast in black and white, so the yellow soccer lines on the white grid don't bother me. If they really bother you, all you have to do is kick in few hundred million to buy a new stadium.

In other words stop whining.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 12, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate Warner being put in this place, but Keane was plain wrong in this situation. You can't refuse to release a player for international duty. Sunderland should be fined or docked points for that.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | September 12, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@I-270, Exit 1: And an NFL game was played on a baseball field last week on national TV. :)

Posted by: Brian | September 12, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"If they really bother you, all you have to do is kick in few hundred million to buy a new stadium."

Or, change the channel. Which many do.

Posted by: Neilsen | September 12, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Matt in Shaw -- Greenbelt is an inner suburb, check the map. For many fans in DC and MD, it may be just as easy (or easier) to get to than RFK, for most in VA it will be marginally harder.

@270 -- sage advice

Greenbelt will be nice, you'll see.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 12, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

i've seen mexican games- toluca-chivas maybe?- played on American football lines before...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

For you revs fans - the Revs/Chivas game was played over AFN here in Iraq. What more coverage do you need? Oh and the only way the revs are going to get more fans to games is if the FO poneys up some money and goes out to get a respectable DP. Twellman is by no means a ticket seller.

Posted by: ef | September 12, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

1. I'm pretty sure New England's attendance declined with the move to the new stadium (and the huge increase in ticket and parking prices).

2. I think it also had to do with fans putting up with MLS sillieness (i.e. gridiron lines, games on FIFA dates, etc) for a while before realizing, "Hey they're never planning to change this." I wonder how long Toronto fans will put up with it?

3. I too wonder why they dont have technology to automatically change the colors in certain areas of these fake turf fields. Think of all the advertising they(the NFL) could sell?

Posted by: Drew-ROC | September 12, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Portland Timbers, with no chance of making the USL playoffs, had over 13,000 fans last night. And New England's playoff bound team can't even get 8000 for MLS. What a joke.

Posted by: furball | September 12, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

RE: Comparisons of attendance figures

Midweek USOC finals should be compared to other midweek USOC finals. Midweek WCQ matches should be compared to other midweek WCQ matches. Midweek MLS games should be compared to other midweek MLS games.

As I pointed out in a thread several days ago, the crowd of 8,200 at RFK was well within the range of 6-10K for USOC finals in recent years. As the saying goes, you should ignore the cases of dog bites man, and focus on the cases of man bites dog. If the crowd at RFK had been under 4,000, or if it had been over 20,000, that would have been worthy of discussion.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 12, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What are New England's ticket prices? Are they that much more? Can't be the move to the new field, as the new field is about a hundred yards from the old field.

Anyway, it seems like there has to be a reason.... Maybe Alexi Lalas can figure it out and save us...

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 12, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

There are 6 teams in the new FIFA09 demo. Which one doesn't belong?

1. Marseille
2. Schalke
3. Real Madrid
4. Chelsea
5. AC Milan
6. Toronto FC

I figured it was that Gelsenkirchen wasn't a world class city...

Posted by: Eric B | September 12, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

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