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Morning Kickaround

Every step along Calle Obispo, a narrow, brick-covered, pedestrian street in the heart of the old section known as La Habana Vieja, offers a new contradiction: Street lights flicker, residents of crumbling apartment buildings lean from balconies to watch the foot traffic, a jazz band entertains a small gathering in an upscale restaurant, a woman selling sandwiches in the shadows of an opening the size of a broom closet, police officers chat with street performers, a dance party breaks out in a barely lit room, boarded-up buildings sit alongside hotels with towering, carved wooden doors leading to a grand lobby with ivory pillars and fountains. This is Havana.

More from the Cuban capital later.

For now, you should know that.....

*Maurice Edu continues his world tour for club and country.

*D.C. United wins a championship.

*Puerto Rico shocks Alajuela, 2-1, to join fellow USL1 club Montreal in the Champions League group stage.

*The new women's league has scrapped Dallas and added the San Francisco area for its inaugural season next year.

*Kansas City acquires forward Herculez Gomez from Colorado for draft picks and allocation money and New England forward Adam Cristman is out for the year with a toe injury.

By Steve Goff  |  September 4, 2008; 8:09 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS , U.S. men's national team , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Matchday: U.S. Open Cup Final - Battery at United
Next: Cuba Libre

Comments

Janet Reno is in Havana?

Posted by: sitruc | September 4, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Steve, Why doesn't the Travel section pick up on some of your stories from Montreal, Guatemala, and Cuba? OK, maybe they've covered Montreal enough, but as someone who has never been to Cuba or Guatemala, these are very interesting pieces, I really appreciate your reports on the local flavor. The Travel section won't get this kind of stuff from any other Sports reporter, unless it's from winter baseball.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 4, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this won't happen but: I think the #1 priority for United should be the Champions League. To me, the MLS Cup is just another way to qualify for the Champs League. The Champs League is played during the final push and playoffs for the MLS Cup. I say we should use reserves for the remainder of the MLS season and the #1 team for the Champs League. Vamos United!!!

Posted by: Harpo | September 4, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

why not just win them both.

WE have one trophy, and now the desire to win them all should be back

Posted by: vasco | September 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

USL clubs are looking impressive recently, really holding up well with strong MLS clubs. Seems like their player quality has improved which is a good thing for American soccer overall but not a good thing for MLS clubs that want to acquire USL players.

Looking likely that they will have to pay more, given that the value of these players is determined by a global market. Really brings into question MLS' idea of not "setting precedents" for paying more for USL players. MLS is trying to keep player costs artificially low and it's affecting the quality and depth of MLS clubs.

Posted by: Eugene | September 4, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Goff, any idea why Charlie Davies is not getting call-ups despite his hot form this year for Hammarby? How does Bob Bradley justifying not calling him up?

Posted by: Eugene | September 4, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

justify not justifying

Posted by: Eugene | September 4, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Dyastinko is barely a USL-2 player. What is he still doing on DC's roster?

Posted by: explainthistome | September 4, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@ Vasco: I agree we should win as many as possible but with the crowded schedule, it is possible that if we try to win them all, we will be too banged up to win any of them.
Got to go to STUPID work.

Posted by: Harpo | September 4, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, according to Soehn, it sounds like MLS Cup takes priority over the Champions League. I'd like to see us win the Champions League too, but it would be really nice to get a 5th star (even though we'd just drop back to 1 over the crest after winning our 5th MLS Cup.)

Posted by: TCompton | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

As a very infrequent "contributor" but an avid reader, I wanted to thank you for your fantastic efforts on the Insider. In particular, I agree with I-270 regarding your posts from abroad. I think this is wonderful stuff and adds depth and background to the WC qualifying experience.

Posted by: teamn | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, Goff interviewed BBradley a few days ago -- that may answer some questions.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Goff -

Can you give as much insight as you can into Havana and the Cuban way of life either thru the blog or an article? My wife is cuban and I fear that with the current political tensions between the US and Cuba that we will never get to visit in our lifetime. Thanks in advance

Posted by: wags | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

2 for 2!!! What a great night for Ole' Yanki Yank.

United does what it needs and gets past a fiesty Charleston Battery who reprezented themselves and the USL very, very well. Another trophy for United. International play is now guaranteed for next year.


As far as my beloved Puerto Rico Islanders-
We freaking made history!!!

Puerto Rico Islanders advance!!!
3-2 on aggregate.

Second leg result from Bayamon, Puerto Rico:

Islanders 2
Alajuelense 1

Islanders gave up a goal in the first few minutes of the game and battled back.

Puerto Rico Islanders. Reprezenting the USL.

General Colin Clarke does it again. our boys do it again. the win now complicates our USL1 playoff Championship run but those are the breaks. We just gotta live with that. If you want to be an elite club in your division you just have to learn to deal with the challenges. We played 4 games in less than a week and came out with freaking excellent results. No matter what happens in CCL group play, we got there. The rest is just "gravy"

Posted by: yankiboy | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Louis Crayton is an exciting player with full of energies and joy. I would like DC players act like him. He even call the rest of the dc players to come to cheer towards the supporter's section while everyone was standing around. He has been here only a few weeks and already becoming a fan favorite.
Not a convincing win it was win and gave ourselves a birth in the international stage again. Fred, the game winner. Congratulations DC United!!!

Posted by: arlington4united | September 4, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Viva Puerto Rico libre!!!!

Upps!!! Wrong forum!!!


===========================================
2 for 2!!! What a great night for Ole' Yanki Yank.

United does what it needs and gets past a fiesty Charleston Battery who reprezented themselves and the USL very, very well. Another trophy for United. International play is now guaranteed for next year.


As far as my beloved Puerto Rico Islanders-
We freaking made history!!!

Puerto Rico Islanders advance!!!
3-2 on aggregate.

Second leg result from Bayamon, Puerto Rico:

Islanders 2
Alajuelense 1

Islanders gave up a goal in the first few minutes of the game and battled back.

Puerto Rico Islanders. Reprezenting the USL.

General Colin Clarke does it again. our boys do it again. the win now complicates our USL1 playoff Championship run but those are the breaks. We just gotta live with that. If you want to be an elite club in your division you just have to learn to deal with the challenges. We played 4 games in less than a week and came out with freaking excellent results. No matter what happens in CCL group play, we got there. The rest is just "gravy"

Posted by: yankiboy | September 4, 2008 9:23 AM

Posted by: PR Islander Fan | September 4, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@arlington4united.

I am really liking Crayton. I like his fire. He is entertaining. I am feelin' ya on that one. Dude looks like a great pick up. For those of us who are happy with Crayton, we should thank Francis Doe coz he helped hook his boy up. Props to Crayton and Doe.

Posted by: yankiboy | September 4, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the Supporters Shield count as a championship? If so, then we have won a championship during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Posted by: DC United Fan | September 4, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The treble is still on!

Posted by: Kev | September 4, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

what treble? we failed to win the Champions Cup, so the double is still on.

Posted by: mizage | September 4, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the colorful updates Steve.
Glory, Glory DC United!
Interesting news for the WPL...I can clearly imagine throngs of topless, lesbian supporters in the bay area. Never mind the mickey mouse ears and orange slices, let's see some snoopys and bondage gear...
Looks like this CCL is warming up just fine, congrats to PR fans! The draw for me to Champions League is seeing little underdogs battle it out with the big boys. If MLS can't keep up this year I am sure we'll see better results next year.
I don't find any real joy in player's injuries, but I gotta admit that Christman out for the year is fine with me.
I like seeing the odds continue to stack against New England.
Go United!
Go USA!

Posted by: dadryan | September 4, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yep Crayton looked great. He took the stay in the box more message to heart. He even was sprinting to get the ball for a goal kick. I am glad to see him out there.

Stink bombs in the fan section really sucked. There was no breeze to clear it and it was a major irritant to the eyes and hard to breathe.

They were giving Vide the corner and he wouldn't push the ball up, then later he moved back and Martinez moved up. Dyachenko just doesn't have the right instincts to play striker. How about trying Tino up top as Emilo's backup? It was evident we were not going anywhere offensively with Emilo out until Fred came in. Our players also need to understand JM's days of sprinting for thru balls are over. JM is amazing to watch out there with the way he settles a sticky situation and how nicely he times thru balls to our players...anyone knocking him really doesn't get the experience factor he brings to us. We just need someone who can take his thrus and someone who can finish the cross. Dyachenko is not that someone, and we need to find Emilo's backup fast.

Posted by: Crayton4TW | September 4, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@DC United Fan :
You make a good point about the Supporters Shield. It says in the WaPo writeup that this is DC's first championship in 4 years. In the Behind The Badge writeup it says it's the 12th major title in as many years. So WaPo is not counting the Supporter's Sheild wins as "titles", but DCU counts them. Technically speaking, MLS sees the MLS Cup winner as the league champ. Personally, and I think in the eyes of many soccer supporters, the SS is a huge accomplishment and a valid trophy.

Regardless of the significance, you do get a sweet trophy for the SS, so it goes in the trophy case. Go DCU!

Posted by: Matte | September 4, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@RK

No mention of Davies and the comments don't seem to make sense giving his form in Sweden

Posted by: Eugene | September 4, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Charleston represented the USL 1 very well yesterday and that Puerto Rico going through to the group stage is also a significant milestone. Eugene's comments are well taken. The USL's traditional ownership structure and overall improvement in quality should cause MLS to reconsider its relationship with this league. I realize that they are two very seperate and distinct entities but you have to take notice when New England loses on aggregate 6-1 to Joe Public and the PR Islanders defeat Alajaela to advance. Granted, injuries, fixture congestion etc. all play a role but its good that MLS is getting pushed by the USL.

Posted by: sbg | September 4, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

So for Saturday, it sounds like we're done Emilio, and Jaime and Guerrero are off to WC qualifiers. Am I missing anyone else?

Posted by: Section 130 | September 4, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Eugene -- nothing specific, of course, but he talked around it. That's the most you'll get from him -- which is a good policy for a coach.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on the raves for Crayton and the boos for the smoke bombs. I just don't get it why anyone would think that creating an unpleasant atmosphere for both the fans and the players is in any way cool. Question: Does the U.S. Open Cup have different sub rules? Why? (DCU used 4 subs last night.)

Posted by: Touchliner | September 4, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Why in the world were there so few people in the stands last night at RFK? 8,200?! I saw DCU advertisements for the game all over the Post and Express. Only reason I didn't go was because I was needed elsewhere to play for my rec league team. This was truly the most important game all season. No?

I guess it has to do with it being a school night, but other than that, I don't get it.

Posted by: Amanda | September 4, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting news for the WPL...I can clearly imagine throngs of topless, lesbian supporters in the bay area. Never mind the mickey mouse ears and orange slices, let's see some snoopys and bondage gear...
..........................................

There was none of that when there was a WUSA franchise there in 2001-03. Why would you expect it now? This is soccer, after all, not softball or golf or tennis or the WNBA...

Posted by: The Jeff | September 4, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Amanda,

I can't speak for other folks, but for me, going to a weeknight game means taking off work early, driving 3 hours instead of 2 just to get to the game and then not getting home until after midnight.

Posted by: Crippled Keeper | September 4, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Update on the battle against ACL injuries:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93309486

Posted by: The Jeff | September 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

J, and G are going to play in WQ games anymore if I am not mistaken.
Smoke totally fine. It brings more motivation for the players. We don't need to be complaining on everything. Waving flags and banners complains, streamers complains, smoke complains now complains for singing and bouncing too?
These are the reasons we should be in these sections.

Posted by: td | September 4, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought Honduras decided not to pick Ivan because he couldn't be in camp early enough due to the Cup Final?

Posted by: Crippled Keeper | September 4, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Steven I would love to read a more in-depth article on your experiences in Havana. You are experiencing something so many Americans cannot.

Posted by: Felix | September 4, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Amanda,

These two statements don't seem compatible:

"Why in the world were there so few people in the stands last night at RFK? 8,200?!"

and

"Only reason I didn't go was because I was needed elsewhere to play for my rec league team."

Other people have lives, too. :)

Posted by: Ash | September 4, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"*Kansas City acquires forward Herculez Gomez from Colorado for draft picks and allocation money and New England forward Adam Cristman is out for the year with a toe injury."
---------

What about the other Gomez? Is Colorado trying to unload him, too? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 4, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Smoke totally fine. It brings more motivation for the players. We don't need to be complaining on everything. Waving flags and banners complains, streamers complains, smoke complains now complains for singing and bouncing too?
These are the reasons we should be in these sections.

Posted by: td | September 4, 2008 10:36 AM ---------------------------------------------

A smoke bomb motivates players? How the h-e-double hockey sticks do you come up with that gem of wisdom and insight? Smoke bombs are just a few jerks' way of saying "Look how cool we are over here". It is meant to bring attention to the fan section, even as it totally obscures the view of the field for anyone sitting behind it. It doesn't motivate players who should be watching the game, not the crowd.

It's fine if there are fanatics' sections -- one could even accept some form of pyrotechnics (I prefer the red smoke from flares, myself) after goals have been scored -- but to willfully make it impossible for other fans (yes, the people not sitting with the Brava are also fans) to see any part of the field during the action...nothing cool about that. It doesn't motivate players -- it's just grown-ups playing with matches or smoke.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

And, yes, USOC games allow 4 substitutions. Why? Probably because the MLS teams involved are trying not to run their players into the ground.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

yo the jeff, I was kind of joking you know...
There was generally one reason straight dudes would somehow end up at the pride parade when I lived in Seattle...Lipstick Lesbian Floats! It may not be a reality, but a dude can have a fantasy right?

Posted by: dadryan | September 4, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I sat behind the BB/SE. I enjoyed the atmosphere. I think only 2 smoke bombs went off during actual play and they didn't bother me too much in section 232.

If you like the singing and bouncing, you have to put up with a little smoke. If I were bothered by it, I would have had my choice of empty seats elsewhere in the stadium.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 4, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Look! Barra Brava have set off smoke bombs! I am so energized and motivated that I will score even though I am hurt! I will do it for them!!!

Posted by: Luciano Emilio | September 4, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I once had a beer with Bill Gaudette at a pub in Columbus. Good for him, good for the Islanders.

Also, congrats DC. You earned it, and beat a hell of a team in Charleston. I wonder how many of those Battery players will suit up for an MLS side next year.

Posted by: The Nordecke | September 4, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

To clarify some things: Guerrero will be available. Honduras decided that they didn't want him since United was only willing to make him available 48hours before the match (which is all FIFA requires them to do).
Also, I haven't seen if Jaime has actually accepted the request to play in Bolivia's qualifiers or not.

On smoke bombs: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On flag-waving obscuring your view of the match: if it bothers you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On beer-showers: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On "colorful" song lyrics: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters section.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 4, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

was the castle or fort or whatever last night in tribute to the maryland renaissance fair?

Posted by: getoveryourself | September 4, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

FSC is smart, though -- they keep the camera field-level, with BB filling up the screen. It seems as if the stadium is packed.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

On smoke bombs: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On flag-waving obscuring your view of the match: if it bothers you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On beer-showers: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters sections.

On "colorful" song lyrics: if they bother you, don't get tickets in the supporters section.

=====================

For those who rhetorically scratch your head as to why the "quiet side" isn't more like BB/SC, there is a great list of reasons for those of us who bring kids to the games.

The Supporters' Sections are a true asset to DC United and the Quiet Side thanks you.

Posted by: Papa | September 4, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

the smoke bombs are idiotic. Wave your flags, sing your songs, bounce up and down, etc, those are all great and add a tremendous amount of atmosphere. But how in the world is choking everyone with smoke a good thing? Some of us who do not buy tickets in the supporters section are still effected by the smoke and flares. And since the field side seats are only available on that side there is no choice in the matter for those of us holding those seats.

The stadium seemed darker than normal last night to me. Did anyone else notice that or am I just going blind?

Posted by: Glenn | September 4, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

How can you support wasting overpriced beer? That's just wrong.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Goff, any idea why Charlie Davies is not getting call-ups despite his hot form this year for Hammarby? How does Bob Bradley justifying not calling him up?"


Altidore, Adu, Davies....anyone seeing a pattern here?

Bob Bradley hates black strikers.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

My favorite moment of the night was after the game when Louis Crayton came dancing over to the Barra / SE, joy written on his face. It got even better when one of the Barra convinced Crayton to put on one of the Barra Brava 12th man jerseys.

Posted by: noptov52 | September 4, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"the smoke bombs are idiotic. Wave your flags, sing your songs, bounce up and down, etc, those are all great and add a tremendous amount of atmosphere. But how in the world is choking everyone with smoke a good thing? Some of us who do not buy tickets in the supporters section are still effected by the smoke and flares. And since the field side seats are only available on that side there is no choice in the matter for those of us holding those seats."


GOD FORBID you ever attend a match in Italy, Argentina, Spain, Croatia, Germany, Brasil.....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Altidore, Adu, Davies....anyone seeing a pattern here?

Bob Bradley hates black strikers.

How does that explain BB's Eddie Johnson lovefest?

Posted by: Roy Lassiter | September 4, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"The stadium seemed darker than normal last night to me. Did anyone else notice that or am I just going blind?

Posted by: Glenn | September 4, 2008 11:41 AM"

About half the spotlights were out on several banks of lights at one end of the stadium.

Posted by: noptov52 | September 4, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"A smoke bomb motivates players? How the h-e-double hockey sticks do you come up with that gem of wisdom and insight?"

Over the years a number of players from Moreno, to Esky to Gallardo have said so.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Altidore, Adu, Davies....anyone seeing a pattern here?

Bob Bradley hates black strikers.

How does that explain BB's Eddie Johnson lovefest?

=======


That should have read, "Bob Bradley hates black strikers who can score."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Power issues at RFK? Incredible!

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Amo el humo.

Posted by: Gallardo | September 4, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

How is Bob Bradley never really answering questions a good policy for a coach? I can understand why Adu and Altidore needed to get settled at their new clubs, but Kenny Cooper and Charlie Davies are not in that situation.

By talking around he, he's just obfuscating, not providing any answers rather than giving anyone insight into what happened, the rationale, or his thought process.

Frankly it's poor and it's masking poor choices leading to poor play on the field, whether or not we beat Guatemala 1-0.

If anything, Eddie Johnson is with a new club and in a similar situation to Adu and Altidore. He's also a young striker. Shouldn't he also be left with Cardiff to get settled?

Posted by: Eugene | September 4, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

That would be "Me encanta", not amo, Sr. Gallardo :)

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous, Bradley is also hating Cooper and he looks pretty white to me. Don't think it's a racial issue, just generally poor call-ups by our national head coach and lack of vision on how to compete at a higher level.

Frankly, I think we had our best performance when we beat Switzerland in Switzerland. Our game looked great. Since then Bradley has leaned very heavily on his veterans (with the exclusion of Michael Bradley).

I believe MB rightfully deserves call-ups and is one of our most talented young players at this point, but I'm surprised to see that he has 22 caps while Davies has 3, Kenny Cooper has 2, Freddy Adu has 8 and Jozy Altidore has 3. Seems way out of proportion. MB has certainly gotten the benefit of the doubt and backing of BB, but these other 4 guys have been marginal to our national team despite their quality. (Kljestan has 7 caps as another reference and Szetela has 2).

I would also point out that the transition from the U-20 level to the senior level has been very poor. Our stand-outs at the U-20 WC in 2007 have barely been called up since. (Sal Zizzo 1 cap, Johann Smith 0 caps -- Johann was one of our top players before the tournament but got injured weeks before the U-20 WC)

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

Regardless of the significance, you do get a sweet trophy for the SS, so it goes in the trophy case. Go DCU!

Posted by: Matte | September 4, 2008 9:55 AM

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

Well now that the league recognizes it and legitimizes it by giving the winner int'l births, in my opinion it is a legitimate championship. I, too, was puzzled by the Post's and FSC's constant references to the proud franchise of DC United not having won anything since 2004.

Ok, I wasnt surprised by FSC saying that. Just the Post.

Posted by: KT | September 4, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

United hasn't won a CUP since 2004. the SS is not a major title (if you look on the DCU website http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/load.jsp?section=about&content=trophy they don't consider the SS a trophy, either)

Posted by: northzax | September 4, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

bag all elephant key england this red boy england

Posted by: sitegocar | September 4, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

black wood english we keyboard

Posted by: busyhouseaus | September 4, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Those whining about smoke bombs are really blowing it out of proportion. A game is 90+ minutes, smoke bombs last a few brief minutes.

Complaining about smoke at a soccer match is like complaining about low-scoring in soccer. It shows your complete ignorance of the game on a global scale.

Do you want MLS matches to become like the graveyards at EPL matches? No standing, No beer, no tifo...

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 4, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Sitting field side at any sporting event is great - sitting field side last night was even more spectacular.

Cheers to free beer.

I'm glad that the NFL season starts tonight - not because the Skins can finally begin to disappoint me again - but mostly because no one will see the 19,000 fans at the Pizza disguised as seats.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 4, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Guerrero and Moreno will NOT be away for qualifiers. Their respective countries decided to pass on them, and will be availalbe for DC.

As far as smoke bombs go, they're not a real detriment to our players. Emilio, Fred, Gallardo, Moreno, Martinez, Guerrero, Peralta all come from leagues abroad where smoke bombs are common. I'm not advocating smoke, but to say they somehow hurt our players or upsets them is ridiculous. If anything they probably make them feel more at home and in a REAL football environment.

Posted by: Thora | September 4, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The smoke bombs last night lasted way more than "a few minutes." The lack of a breeze made it almost impossible for the air to clear quickly.

It's also hard to get fired up and start singing when you can't even intake any air without choking.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Every time the atmostpher cranks up the players automatically feel the level of intense to raise the game level. It's a secrete communication between players and the fans.
I appreciate every fan showing up to watch and support the team no matter where you sit. Smoke bothered me very first time but now I am very confortable with it. If anyone has health related or general issues sit across the supporters' sections.

Posted by: td | September 4, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Great game last night. I was impressed by the quality of the Battery. Why aren't #8 (Alavanja) and #6 (Alonso) playing in the MLS??? They both had great skill and seemed to be everywhere. Alavanja(8) would be a dramatic improvement over Dyachenko up front and Alonso(6) outran/hustled Santino all over the park. They both would be great pickups for DC.

Posted by: pompeychimes | September 4, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I like the smoke.

Posted by: Marlboro Man | September 4, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

""Yep Crayton looked great""

I love the guy too, huge upgrade, but let's not miss his mistake on their goal. He dove to the wrong side when he could have made an easy save to his left.

Posted by: delantero | September 4, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

United hasn't won a CUP since 2004. the SS is not a major title (if you look on the DCU website http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/load.jsp?section=about&content=trophy they don't consider the SS a trophy, either)

Posted by: northzax | September 4, 2008 12:36 PM
====================================
"Winners of Twelve Major Domestic and International Championships" at the top of that very site would like a word with you -- that would be the seven on that page, the US Open Cup last night, and four Supporter's Shields.

The Shield likely isn't on that page because it's not a new trophy that's awarded every year -- there's only one of them, and it's passed to the supporters of the team that wins it before the MLS Cup every season.

Posted by: Howdy | September 4, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

On Smoke Bombs - if you continue to light them in the stadium (despite numerous orders from team management to not do this) then please do not complain if security tightens up over other issues. None of you scored any goals, made any saves, tackles, or had any other effect on the outcome of the game.

Posted by: Zack | September 4, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The smoke was fun the first few of times, but the novelty wears off quickly. And by the 10th or 11th the novelty was over and done. Put a fork in it already.

You could hardly see the pitch either because of the smoke or the burning to the eyes.

Posted by: delantero | September 4, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CD | September 4, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Any video highlights available online from last night's game?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

One time I saw stink bombs thrown on stage at a professional theatre event. Shockingly, it didn't help the performance.

Posted by: Beloved Cartoon Mouse | September 4, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Donde esta Mastodon Juan?

Posted by: We're Bored Of Winning Trophies | September 4, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Please keep up with the commentary. You make us feel like we are there with you. Good luck National Team. We are all rooting for you.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | September 4, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I wish that the Supporter's Shield was more prominent a piece of hardware in MLS. It is an amazing feat in and of itself given the mess of a schedule that the top teams have to work with and the million other things that MLS does backwards.

Posted by: elopingcamel | September 4, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Any video highlights available online from last night's game?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 4, 2008 1:32 PM
------------------------------------------------
There's a link at the beginning of this article:

http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20080904&content_id=185300&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: TCompton | September 4, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

screaming eagles you should move to the other side. you guys are the ones complaining right now i know it

Posted by: me | September 4, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to get smoke bombs, can you at least get them in a variety of delightful scents? If my eyes are burning and I am having trouble breathing, I just want for the 15th time a smell other than that sulfur. You could probably go to one of those bathroom vanity candle shops and really motivate the players by some overpowering scent that makes them want to crap.

Posted by: Wintergreensmoke | September 4, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Garber has to say about smoke bombs...
It's a no brainer to not sit where you will be uncomfortable, and there is plenty of space in RFK to be "more" comfortable... Sooo sit somewhere else, buy a scarf or bandana and cover your face. Complaining on the internet about it makes you appear very *sensitive*, in the most pu$$y catish way.

Posted by: dadryan | September 4, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think High Times might have some special smoke bombs for sale .

""bathroom vanity candle shops and really motivate the players by some overpowering scent""

Posted by: Cheech | September 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

You'd think that the Charleston supporters could've stopped by South of the Border on their way up and brought some better fireworks and smoke bombs.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

screaming eagles you should move to the other side. you guys are the ones complaining right now i know it

Posted by: me | September 4, 2008 1:45 PM


Yep Barra ia harDCore!!!!

Posted by: Indeed | September 4, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

United hasn't won a CUP since 2004. the SS is not a major title (if you look on the DCU website http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/load.jsp?section=about&content=trophy they don't consider the SS a trophy, either)

Posted by: northzax | September 4, 2008 12:36 PM
====================================
"Winners of Twelve Major Domestic and International Championships" at the top of that very site would like a word with you -- that would be the seven on that page, the US Open Cup last night, and four Supporter's Shields.

The Shield likely isn't on that page because it's not a new trophy that's awarded every year -- there's only one of them, and it's passed to the supporters of the team that wins it before the MLS Cup every season.

Posted by: Howdy | September 4, 2008 1:13 PM

+++++++++++++++++++++++

sure, but right now it's sitting outside Kevin Payne's office, right? so why isn't it listed as being in the trophy case?

I'm not saying it's not important, I am saying that if you looked at the DCU website, you would see nothing about the SS. If it was as important to them as the other trophies, it should be there.

Posted by: northzax | September 4, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"A smoke bomb motivates players? How the h-e-double hockey sticks do you come up with that gem of wisdom and insight?"

Over the years a number of players from Moreno, to Esky to Gallardo have said so.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 11:52 AM

They have said that smoke bombs motivate them? I seriously doubt that any of them have ever said that, much less all of them. Either you're deliberately making things up, or you're very confused.

No one said the supporters shouldn't have fun, and no one said the supporters don't help motivate the players. The issue here is not cheers, drumming, songs and flags. We're discussing smoke bombs.

I think they're fun, but I also think they're annoying. I don't like smelling them for up to five minutes, and I don't like that I can't see any of the field for a minute.

To AlecW -- it has nothing to do with sitting in a supporters section -- the only thing you listed that affects only those in the supporters section is the beer throwing. All the other things affect all those who are sitting on that side of the field -- and I might add that I prefer that side not just because I can sing with the Brava, but because the seats are much closer to the field (and I think the seats also slope higher), giving better views when the field isn't obscured by smoke.

The other thing about the smoke is it is actually unhealthy. I had a big laugh on Saturday when the Red Bulls' supporters set off a particularly potent smoke bomb that trapped the group in a big, thick cloud. I was laughing at their distress as they waved everything they had in a desperate attempt to clear the smoke out...

Thora -- no one said the smoke bothers the players. You're throwing up a straw man argument.

td -- As I wrote above, the seats on the Brava side are far better. They're much closer to the field -- they're also better designed for soccer because they go in a straight line parallel to the sideline, unlike the semicircle on the other side, and they slope more steeply. If the seats on the other side were comparable, your argument might be a fair one. However, the seats on the quiet side aren't as good. It's not unreasonable to ask the supporters to be at least a little respectful of others. I don't want to take away the flags. I don't even want to take away their ability to celebrate goals even with a little pyrotechnics. The problem is when they're set off during play. Maybe the Brava doesn't have trouble seeing the field because the smoke is largely over their heads, but it ruins the game for many paying customers behind them who can't see the field.

And the smoke does not motivate the players. The cheers, the singing, waving flags and the drums might. The smoke isn't something they would notice unless they're looking at the stands, which we hope they're not doing.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, guys... Charleston wasn't much, but played hard, and running through Chicago and New England was no mean feat.

It sucked that I had to choke down both your win and Palin's rant on the same evening. I had an early morning meeting so I couldn't even get drunk to deal with it.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 4, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I might add that, during the Beckham game, the smoke bombs down below made the air in the upper deck miserable for several minutes. My girlfriend's kids are very sensitive to smoke and they had to clear out of our seats for a couple of minutes. That was in the upper deck. So, for those who are arguing that these things affect only the supporters' sections...Get Real!

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

MJ -- isn't it time you came over to the dark side? By dark, I mean the black of DC United. I certainly don't mean joining with the GOP. I wouldn't wish that on anyone...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Where are you dudes going to smoke bongs?

Posted by: Cheech and Chong | September 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Charleston looked pretty good last night. They had speed, the ability to dribble and create. They made a few spectacular tackles in defense. The goalie made one terrific stop off of Jaime. Don't sell them short. I was wondering why I don't ever see such exciting, uptempo and skilled play when I watch the USL on TV.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the thought that smoke bombs belong ONLY after goals or halftime/end of game. they're are like streamers in that vein. if we start to get too many, they will actually start cracking down on them, and on a still, muggy night like last night, the smoke lingers forever. set them off when there is something to celebrate, not just because you have them, or we'll be looking at more and more restrictions.

Posted by: northzax | September 4, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I bet td throws smoke bombs at Toronto players taking corners.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You know what would be neat? If fans in the back celebrated by firing paint bombs at the supporters sections. After all, the supporters could always sit somewhere else if they don't like it....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Paint? Sounds like something Columbus, sponsored by Glidden, should do.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I would argue that the pyrotechnics offer our team a strategic advantage, against certain clubs. I would argue that when the barra puts up the sort of amazing and beautful show, complete with smoke, it adds to the disorientation of playing on the road. Our players are used to it. I think this advantage is much less when playing a team from CA or the MFL that is used to the atmesphere. I want much more smoke and pyrotechnics. I don't want to get involved in any politics but google the supporters group "bad blue boys" and check out their pyro shows. This is what we should aim for.

I think this is a good lesson for young children to learn--disable and confuse your enemies with smoke and fire and then dispatch them with skill and cruelty.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 4, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

How bout some flare guns or concussion grenades . . . that'd be disorienting . .

""--disable and confuse your enemies with smoke and fire and then dispatch them with skill and cruelty. ""

Posted by: Smokey the bear | September 4, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The only thing worse than the smoke bombs is all the complaining about them. I mean really! United just won the US Open Cup!, and the majority of the Insider comments are about smoke bombs.

Both the Barra and Eagles did a great job last night. For the 8,000 or so people at the game, it was still a great atmosphere.

Posted by: TCompton | September 4, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

pompeychimes:

Lazo Alavanja isn't in MLS because he was the worst regular on the worst United team ever. I don't care that he was dangerous last night, he still sucks and always will in my book.

***

On smoke bombs: Non-issue. Sit on the quiet side if smoke, flying beer, or having to stand are a problem.

On the game: I thought Charleston played well from the moment we scored until about the 30th minute. You could argue that they were at least our equal during that stretch. After that, though, we were the better side until desperation time late on. It was great to see Fred finish a 1v1, since he normally hits them right at the keeper. Dyachenko really struggled, but did do well to dummy the ball on for the winner. Other than that, it was more of the same from him. Our defense seemed to have an off night...lots of ball-watching and reacting too slowly. Luckily, the midfield and forwards managed to hold the ball enough so that Charleston never put us under sustained pressure.

Kudos to the Battery and their fans. Both showed well.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 4, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

(Someone stole my handle earlier. No fair!)

Speaking as someone who has asthma and stands with the supporters, normally the Barra's smoke bombs are not that big a deal. I cover my face with my scarf or shirt for a couple minutes and take a puff on the inhaler if I have to. In a short time the smoke is gone. No big thing.

Last night, though, there was no breeze and it was hot and muggy so that the smoke did not dissipate the way it usually does, but just sat there in our faces. It was very unpleasant and I actually had to crouch down on the floor after the first goal (and second smoke bomb). Seven or eight minutes later I was like, WTF, where did Dyachenko come from...? I wish, given the conditions, that the Barra had not set off quite so many. One per goal would have been enough.

I also wish that the ATMs at RFK didn't suck. The in service one I found worked every second attempt. Usually.

Further, I wish that Devon McTavish would go out with me, and that I had a million dollars and a pony, and of course that we had a new stadium.

Anyone from the Barra who would like to respond to my list of requests is welcome to provide their contact information in this thread. I'll be in touch.

Posted by: human (TM) | September 4, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No juego en el fuego.

Posted by: Gallardo | September 4, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Goff: Mike Woitalla of Soccer America, who is staying at the Parque Central, reports that there appears to be little interest in Saturday's game among the locals. Do you know how many tickets have been sold?

Posted by: The Jeff | September 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish I had a boat and a pony. I'd ride that pony on my boat...in the middle of the new stadium.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Cuba will force people to attend the game.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I bet td throws smoke bombs at Toronto players taking corners.

Posted by: RK | September 4, 2008 2:20 PM
//////
Nope. I don't throw smoke or streamers. I sit other side of the supporter's section but i don't have problems. I am against throwing things on the field.

Posted by: td | September 4, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Chest -- as I pointed out, it's a false argument to compare the beer-throwing with the smoke bombs. The beer flies around the Barra, and that's cool. That's part of being in the Barra. The smoke ruins the views of the game for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people who paid to come see a game, not a cloud of smoke. Not to mention how unpleasant the smell is, and how unhealthy the smoke is to breathe. It's either stupid or dishonest to compare that to flying cups of beer.

As for sitting on the quiet side -- as I pointed out, the views from the seats on that side are vastly inferior. If we had a SSS it might be fair and reasonable to argue that anyone not wanting to sit behind the supporters could find a comparable seat somewhere else. That's just not true at RFK. No one's telling the Barra to sit down, or even to stop waving flags which do contribute to a positive atmosphere. Just tone down the smoke bombs. Make them special, when DCU scores a goal. That would add to the atmosphere, not just poison it.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Last night was the most fun I have had in a long time. I gotta say that, with benny out, that crayton is my favorite. Leadership and what appears to be a genuine love for the game. He seems 100% confident in himself, which is a real quality in a keeper.

Also, smokebombs make me so happy that whenever one gets lit, it feels like unicorns are "pooping" rainbows in my brain.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 4, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"MJ -- isn't it time you came over to the dark side?"

Absolutely effing not. But thanks.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | September 4, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

SMOKE

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Smooooooke on the waaaaaater
Fire in the sky...

*air guitar riff*

Posted by: Bjorn Turoque | September 4, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

why no talk of the fort? I was waiting for a joust along the sidelines to go along with it. King Arthur? No, King Barra smoking your behind. viva la raza, viva la barra brava!

Posted by: the vote | September 4, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

why no talk of the fort? I was waiting for a joust along the sidelines to go along with it. King Arthur? No, King Barra smoking your behind. viva la raza, viva la barra brava!

Posted by: the vote


My guess is that since 90% of the fans were on the same side as the "Fort" nobody saw it. Nice work, though. I saw it later at home on FSC.
BTW, thanks to FSC for televising events like this. Imagine that 10 years ago...

Posted by: marksman | September 4, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of bombs, how much do these Redskins suck?

Posted by: dadryan | September 4, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to commend the Washington Post for putting the coverage of a MAJOR SPORTS TEAM winning a MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP on the front page of their sports sec....

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | September 4, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

The passive-aggressiveness from the complainers in here is more nauseating and harmful to my health than 20 smokebombs in a small room.

Speaking of which, do jumping jacks in a small room after a CS (tear-gas) grenade has gone off... after that, a smoke-bomb is like a fresh breeze from the Rockies.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 4, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....tear gas day at Boot camp.
Ahhhh the memories.
Yeah, smoke bombs still suck.

Posted by: marksman | September 5, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

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