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Morning Kickaround

Passport? Check. Visa? Check. Stack of cash to convert to euros and then to pesos? Check. Extra cash for jailhouse bribes? Check. Bonus cash for mojitos? Check.

Oh, sorry, just packing for Cuba. I am actually off to Miami for a day, then to Havana tomorrow. Before I leave, you should know that.....

*New England is revving up for the second leg of its Champions League preliminary series with Joe Public (not related to Joe Versus the Volcano) tonight at Foxborough at 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel). The Revs scored an important away goal (the first tiebreaker) in the opener and just need a 1-0 victory to advance to the group stages. However, several players are injured.

*Chivas USA has a tougher task, needing to win by two to force extra time against Tauro of Panama (10 p.m., Galavision, FSC). Sacha Kljestan will be allowed to play before joining USA training camp in Miami.

*Don't forget about the U.S. Open Cup final tomorrow night at RFK: DCU vs. Charleston (7:30 p.m., FSC). For an American soccer history lesson, click here.

*English media reaction to Berbatov's move to Man U, as collected by the Sofia Echo, and Robinho heads to Man City under strange circumstances, according to Real Madrid.

*Due to the hurricane, Jamaica and Mexico switch home dates for their World Cup qualifiers.

*Georgetown's Len Coleman, son of former National League baseball President Leonard S. Coleman, was named Big East defensive player of the week after anchoring the Hoyas' backline in a pair of shutouts to open the season.

By Steve Goff  |  September 2, 2008; 7:31 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Local Holiday Kickaround
Next: Cuban Countdown

Comments

Hey, Goffinho, are we making a side trip to Waponi-Woo on the way to Havana? Just remember to pack the orange sode.

Posted by: Throwin | September 2, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Calderon - "Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying in football! There's no crying in football! I don't have players, I've got a bunch of girls!"

Slightly paraphrased with apologies to Tom Hanks, I haven't watched ALOTO in a while. ;-)

Posted by: Throwin | September 2, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

vaya con dios Goff!

Posted by: strago | September 2, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Many of us U.S. fans would like to know why Bob Bradley continues to call up the same group of guys, regardless of club form. We would also like to know why he continues to exclude some of the best young attacking players, specifically Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu. Thanks and good luck down there.

Posted by: Scott | September 2, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Take me with you!

...Please?

Posted by: B.A. | September 2, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Twellman is listed as injured due to "facial lacerations"... what gives?

Posted by: Mickey | September 2, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

@Mickey: He collided with Cronin while scoring the first goal the other night. Cronin broke a finger and Twellman had a nasty cut on his face.

Posted by: Brian | September 2, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Be safe and enjoy your trip, Goff.

I think Chivas has the talent, skill and fitness to win that series out right without extra time. NE will definitely make it through as well.

Berbatov to Man U (yay!). Saha, otherwise known as Mr. Glass out of Man U (double yay!!). Citeh steal a Chelski target (tripple yay!!!). Citeh tried to steal Berba too (boo!). Chelsea (boo to the infinite power!).

OK, enough of that Euro stuff...DC United to win tomorrow and win big. We will be back in CONCACAF again! Yes!!

VAMOS UNITED!

and just for the heck of it...!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

Posted by: Kosh | September 2, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Twellman took a punch in the face from Cronin or whoever LA's keeper was while he was scoring a goal on a header Saturday night.

See "The Good" in yesterday's "The Good, the Bad, and the Coyote Ugly."

Posted by: Ben | September 2, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What a culo Calderon is -- he ran Robinho out of town, and now he wants to throw more mud on him.

Posted by: RK | September 2, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Miami? Are they having direct flights now to Havana or is it a Soccer Insider Special Charter?

Thought you had to fly to Mexico/Canada first.

Posted by: delantero | September 2, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Goff is on a special chartered plane...with US Soccer...

Posted by: RK | September 2, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm so jealous of your trip to Cuba! Enjoy yourself and remember those girls who are nice to you on the beach are not doing so because you write for the Post :)

Posted by: Felix | September 2, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

They don't call him the Soccer Insider for nothing...
Have an awesome time in Cuba Steve, I hope it's less creepy than the Gautemala trip.
I'm pretty sure Goff EXAMINED the US MENS roster in a previous thread Scott. I could be mistaken, but ADU is busy with his club team after spending significant time in the team for the Olympics, and I think we all know Cooper made a pass at BB's wife...

Posted by: dadryan | September 2, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hope you have a chance to read this...

Be prepared to give away a TON of little things that are so freaking expensive for Cubans, like shampoos and soap. I always collect hotel soaps/shampoos/conditioners and pass them out to whomever. And I leave the toiletries that I brought.

It's fine to give this stuff to hotel staff and ppl in the tourist industry, but they are extremely well-off compared to Cubans working outside the tourist industry.

I hope you enjoy yourself. Cuba's intense. But you'll have a blast!

Posted by: uclacarlos | September 2, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Way, WAY OT, but from a previous thread I read this: "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.'"

There's an ad that airs on Comcast which shows Benny with a woman, presumably Mrs. Olsen, and a kid, presumably a son. While Benny is kicking it with the guys, Mrs. Olsen buys the kid a Beckham shirt. I'm sure you've all seen it. So, since the quote from the previous thread says Bennny is expecting his first baby, is the boy in the ad not Benny's kid? Is the whole ad a phony? Did his wife maybe have a kid before she and Ben hooked up? That just seems an odd scene for it to be a complete fabrication.

Any illumination would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Matte | September 2, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Would love to go to this game - very cool that you're going to report on it Goffer.

Posted by: Kev | September 2, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Why do you need to convert the dollars to euros and then to pesos?

Posted by: Freddy | September 2, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

Miami? Are they having direct flights now to Havana or is it a Soccer Insider Special Charter?

Thought you had to fly to Mexico/Canada first.

Posted by: delantero | September 2, 2008 9:09 AM
.........................................

For some reason I am reminded about how a friend in Olsenland once told me that the only time that Harrisburg International Airport did anything to deserve such a pretentious name was when someone hijacked a flight out of HIA and tried to get the pilot to fly to Cuba. (Actually, they have a few token flights to and from Toronto.)

Posted by: The Jeff | September 2, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@Matte,

The wife in the ad is Mrs. Olsen, wife of Caveman.

The Kid is a rent-a-kid for the ad.

Now go spend money at Dick's.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 2, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Why do you need to convert the dollars to euros and then to pesos?

Posted by: Freddy | September 2, 2008 9:51 AM

Guessing that's because the Cubans are not permitted to change dollars. But with so many tourists allowed to go there from Europe, they are equipped to change Euros.

Posted by: Kev | September 2, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Last night I heard a CBC interview with one Declan Hill, who apparently has just written a book about world football that contains some rather striking claims, to put it mildly. Does anyone know anything about this guy? Is he at all credible?

http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20080901.shtml

Posted by: The Jeff | September 2, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@Virginia Blue Blood:
thanks for the clarification. Yes, I'll be sure to rush right out and spend my hard earned dollars at Dick's ... (shaking my head ruefully).

Posted by: Matte | September 2, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Bien viaje amigo. I hope the SportsEds assign Paul Tenorio to us again.

RE: Dollars to Euros to Pesos. It's probably illegal to convert USD directly to Cuban pesos, embargo and all.

RE: Dick's commercial. Does anyone know if 4 versions were made, each for a different market? Wouldn't it be a waste of time to have four players on set and only make one commercial?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 2, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Olsen is a rank amateur.

Posted by: Guisseppe Franco | September 2, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

an odd scene? It's a commercial. or did you think that really was Donovan McNabb's mom in the Campbell's commercials?

Posted by: northzax | September 2, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

DAWSON LIVES!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Dick's | September 2, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Dawson,

I couldn't catch you outside of Dick's, but you better keep running - if I ever do catch you, "you're in trouble, boy!"

Posted by: Ben Olsen | September 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

besides, who would name a kid Dawson Olsen!

Posted by: Karen | September 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Saturn vs Volkswagen tomorrow.

GM vs Germany

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 2, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

re: besides, who would name a kid Dawson Olsen!

Posted by: Karen | September 2, 2008 11:12 AM


A Dick!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

I'm sure all of the required authorizations for you to travel to Cuba are in order, right? ;-)

Seeing as none of us fans can go, I just wanted to make sure.

Posted by: Big Brother | September 2, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

dude, I thought it was Dalston...
is that a name?

Posted by: dadryan | September 2, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

re: Declan Hill.

it's an interesting concept, obviously there are more corrupt places than others, and no sporting event can be truley seen as legit as long as there is money to be made by third parties (see: Serie A)

but seriously, if you were going to fix a game, why make it so Brazil wins over Ghana? wouldn't more money have been made on the other side? a lot more money? I can't believe there was a lot of cash riding on the Black Stars that day.

there's no spread, so you can't fix that. goals are too hard to fix (you can pay someone NOT to score, but it's a lot more risky to pay someone to allow a goal, unless you have everyone on your payroll)

it will be interesting to read his positions, but I remain skeptical.

Posted by: northzax | September 2, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

re: Declan Hill
I'm currently reading Soccer Against the Enemy by Simon Kuper (very highly recommended), and one of its chapters contains a very interesting look at how some clubs (specifically Dynamo Kiev) get involved with organized crime and governmental corruption. I'm looking forward to seeing what shakes out from Hill's reporting, and I'd love to hear if anyone has any input regarding his credibility

Posted by: jrnail23 | September 2, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Official word on how to get into Cuba with Uncle Sam's full approval:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html

Journalists and athletes in international competitions are specifically addressed.


Posted by: Larry | September 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I know this off the subject and go US when it plays Cuba, but a new episode of "i'm on setanta sports" was a classic.

here is the link!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xQMvYf2X64

Posted by: Monty | September 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

re: Cuban peso/Euro/US dollar

Pretty much only Cubans can use the peso; tourists MUST use the Euro. Even at places where they accept pesos and Euros, they'll charge tourists in Euros.

The vast majority of places that official delegates and journalists will frequent are exclusively Euro only.

In short, Goff needs only to change his US dollars to Euros. Period.

But. Some places accept Euros, but for trivial amounts of change will give change out in pesos.

Posted by: uclacarlos | September 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

but seriously, if you were going to fix a game, why make it so Brazil wins over Ghana? wouldn't more money have been made on the other side? a lot more money? I can't believe there was a lot of cash riding on the Black Stars that day.

there's no spread, so you can't fix that. goals are too hard to fix (you can pay someone NOT to score, but it's a lot more risky to pay someone to allow a goal, unless you have everyone on your payroll)

it will be interesting to read his positions, but I remain skeptical.

Posted by: northzax | September 2, 2008 12:07 PM
..........................................

From the bit of the CBC interview that I heard on WAMU last night, there is some betting that involves spreads. Also, Hill pointed out that they target the most underpaid sides. Thus, maybe some Ghanaians were candidates to be "persuaded" to lose by multiple goals, in a game where their chances to win weren't great to begin with. By contrast, the Canarinhos were probably better paid, and a loss in the round of 16 would have been a bigger deal to the players in a competitive sense, as they were legitimate contenders to go all the way.

The CBC interviewer asked Hill why gamblers would agree to talk to him in the first place, and he could only speculate.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 2, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

my all time favorite movie. seriously.

but its Joe Banks in the movie. am i missing something?

Posted by: Adam Spangler | September 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Re: Fixing soccer matches

People interested in this should check out Joe McGuiness's excellent book, "The Miracle of Castel di Sangre" (or something close to that). Great book about a smalltown team's improbable promotion and the dark things that happen as a result...

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 2, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope the field in Cuba is in decent shape and doesn't get a visit from Hurricane Hanna. Jamaica's weekend home qualifier against Mexico was switched to Estadio Azteca because of Gustav's brush past the island. I presume the other leg of the series will now be played in Jamaica.

Posted by: garbaggio | September 2, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It has been several days since forecasts concerning Hanna had it going anywhere near western Cuba. Ike may get as far as Havana, but not until well after the final whistle has blown.

http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm8/atl8projectedpath_large.html

http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm9/atl9projectedpath_large.html

Posted by: The Jeff | September 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

any idea/predictions what attendance will be tomorrow night? I am getting bombarded by DCU marketing (good for them trying to get the word out)

Posted by: tim | September 2, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or are there fewer DC United games on Concast Sportsnet this season? For those of us without the expensive cable packages that include FSC, it kind of limits are TV viewing of United!

Posted by: Dsmac | September 2, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, In CONCACAF I don't believe away goals comes into the equation. Goes to penalties.

Posted by: Phil | September 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Take it back. CONCACAF reinstituted away goals for the CL.

Posted by: Phil | September 2, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

northzax:

I'm not a match-fixer, but if I was going to do it, I would try to be subtle. With all due respect to Ghana, having them knock off Brazil would have a) cost much more (to pay off the Brazilians, who apart from Essien were all being paid higher wages and are under much more intense pressure to win) and b) caused more suspicion. This is why you read about betting syndicates trying to fix German 2nd division games; you try to do this sort of thing while no one's watching.

Phil:

Actually, CONCACAF finally changed things, so away goals do count. Thus, the goal the Revs got is even more significant than just cutting the deficit to one (especially considering the fact that the score by then should have been much worse).

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 2, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Len Coleman is a man-mountain!

Posted by: JSF | September 3, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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