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Morning Kickaround

*The Sepp's World Cup bidding proposal will seemingly bring the tournament back to Europe in 2018 and perhaps the USA four years later. What do you think?

*Read my story about the USA national team's return to Washington after a four-year absence.

*Read my other story about DCU bust playmaker Marcelo Gallardo's injury.

*Snark alert: If the WPS holds another draft without any marquee names, did it really happen? The Washington Freedom selected four players (three from Virginia, one from Terpland) who had already performed for the club in the W-League. The team also made discovery claims on a Norwegian forward and Canadian goalkeeper.

*The Maryland men's team, with a 7-3 record and ranked No. 12 by Soccer America, will attempt to recover from its late-game meltdown at Clemson with a tough non-conference home match tonight at Ludwig Field against No. 20 Charlotte (8-1). Virginia, which has won four in a row to improve to 6-3 and earn the No. 18 ranking, hosts Liberty.

*Your TV options today:
-- CONCACAF Champions League, San Francisco (Panama) at Houston 10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision
-- CONCACAF Champions League, Marathon at Cruz Azul 8 p.m. Telefutura

*For a change of pace, video from the 2-2 tie between Newcastle and Wellington in the A-League (Australia). The first goal comes on a disputed penalty, the late equalizer on a no-brainer penalty. In between, a deflected strike from distance and a ridiculous goal. Quality of play? Eh. Take a look:

By Steve Goff  |  October 7, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , College Soccer , D.C. United , U.S. men's national team , Women , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Few Minutes With Bob Bradley
Next: United's Costa Rica Adventure

Comments

Freedom lucky to get Becky Sauerbrunn. She really did well in the nation's cup. That is going to be a tough defense to crack.

Posted by: Beckster | October 7, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Saw the national team last night heading into the hotel, as I was leaving the office. Ching, Dempsey, Hejduk all politely thanked me when I wished them all good luck. Landon's head never came up.

This confirmed my peon (sp?) status. I was heartbroken.

I will forgive him if he nets a brace against Cuba.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 7, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I would've stopped all of those Aussie goals.

Posted by: Hope Solo | October 7, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

If DCU can't unload Gallardo (which seems highly unlikely), they should just buy out his contract. What's the point of bringing him back next year? Why try to rebuild around someone so injury-prone and who will most likely be gone at the end of next year anyway?

Posted by: MN Kicker | October 7, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Joe: I'd bet that those 3 are more likely to appreciate it because they aren't recognized all that often. Of course, knowing that they are in town and together makes it easier :)

Posted by: RK | October 7, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

If buy out his contract means you spend the same amount of money to NOT have the guy play, that sounds a bit goofy. If you have to spend the $$, try to get something productive out of Gallardo. I would think that his experience might be something useful and "shareable."

Of course, there is the possibility, however slight, that DCU can shop him around and get his contract picked up by another club (Argentine, most likely). Pursue that option, get the guy healthy, assume he's here next year and make the most of it.

Posted by: 22206 | October 7, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Senor Goff, lovely article about the Nat's and RFK. Great connotations with lines like "the sport lost its gritty, urban stage." Nice reminder of the history of our stadium with soccer in general and the importance of a downtown stadium. Plus, for as much as people gripe about it, RFK has soul that most of these new SSSs will never have. Like James Brown vs. R. Kelly.

Posted by: e | October 7, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If buy out his contract means you spend the same amount of money to NOT have the guy play, that sounds a bit goofy.
Posted by: 22206 | October 7, 2008 9:10 AM
========================

Makes sense to us.

Posted by: Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson | October 7, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"It's a savvy, knowledgeable crowd," said forward Landon Donovan, "except for that guy who wished us good luck at the hotel. I ignored him."

Re: "gritty urban stage." Sigh. RFK has taken over the moth-eaten mantel of disrepair from Veterans Stadium.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 7, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Makes sense that the Australian league took the name of A league from the USL. Quality is almost as good as we had there about 8 years ago. But they still get crowds so have something to build on.

Posted by: DCUinCT | October 7, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Great information on the history and return of national team play at RFK - its good for those of us new to the city.

Has anyone in the DC or maybe the Chicago media asked the USSF or Sunil about the high ticket prices for such early round matches? It seems to have an impact on drawing crowds for mediocre to poor opponents. Unlike the match in Chicago, at least DC has the advantage of playing on a weekend.

Posted by: JT | October 7, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Add Sasha K. to that mix of guys who were appreciative of being recognized.

I'm with you, RK. I was surprised to see them and I was in the middle of putting on my Ipod (Molly Hatchet, of course) when I spotted them.

I'm hoping to run into them sometime today. I may get arrested for appearing to be some sort of stalker -- I have that look about me -- but I may risk it nonetheless. Perhaps if I show them I can do a rainbow over the team bus they'll let me chat with them...

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 7, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

anyone know where they practice or where there hotel is?

Posted by: dc fan | October 7, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

i know at one point the training field was RFK and it was closed to the public. i would love to know what type of accommodations they have ...

Posted by: another fan | October 7, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Funny how when I clicked on Gallardo's article link ,once there, in the middle of his article is an advertisement saying "8 investment mistakes to avoid this year". I guess what would probably be no.1 for this year from a DCU perspective... yeesh!

Posted by: Felix | October 7, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

That video clip broke my eyes it was so boring. Thanks.
Seriously though, thanks for the coverage Steve, as well as Joe Doc with his man on the street report.
I gotta say it's nice to see a photo of someone stretching @ RFK. Jozy looks a little tight in the photo, hope he can loosen up enough to justify those shoes...
Go USA!

Posted by: dadryan | October 7, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think Joe Doc or someone else is going to post that info here, dc fan er stalker?

They are at the Breezeway in Fairfax.

Posted by: RK | October 7, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many tickets have been sold for the USMNT game this weekend?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Its all quit sad. Gone is the beautiful game DC once played, gone are the boys who played it, the last brought down by consussions, bad ankles and the burden of carrying "what was" for too many games.
The new boys try, but "flow" is what only a few teams can achieve and even fewer coaches can instill.
The stadium failure came at the worst possible time, cutting off the psychic drive and ascendency of "We are United."
Injuries or not, the current mix cannot be made to blend. Columbus was brought back. Can United be resurrected?

Posted by: ruthie | October 7, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Its all quit sad. Gone is the beautiful game DC once played, gone are the boys who played it, the last brought down by consussions, bad ankles and the burden of carrying "what was" for too many games.
The new boys try, but "flow" is what only a few teams can achieve and even fewer coaches can instill.
The stadium failure came at the worst possible time, cutting off the psychic drive and ascendency of "We are United."
Injuries or not, the current mix cannot be made to blend. Columbus was brought back. Can United be resurrected?

Posted by: ruthie | October 7, 2008 10:30 AM
-------------------------------------------
Its one season, not the end of the world. Geez....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Makes sense that the Australian league took the name of A league from the USL. Quality is almost as good as we had there about 8 years ago. But they still get crowds so have something to build on.

Posted by: DCUinCT | October 7, 2008 9:45 AM

I don't think Football Federation Australia went out of their way to take the "A-League" name from USL. The quality is actually quite good if you sat down and watched a game (Live on FSC). Sydney FC has faired quite well against the Galaxy (although they did go down to Houston in Hawaii).

Posted by: menyagi | October 7, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Correct, RK. Not my place to give such information. But rest assured the team is, shall I say, comfortable.

Good post, Ruthie.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 7, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Nice idea, but you can't buy out a player's contract without a hit to the salary cap. NY tried this with Reyna.

Basically, what's then happening is that you get to pay a player far more than his contract says he's actually worth. With Gallardo, he would get two years' salary for 1 year's work.

Now, with DPs, this shouldn't matter, but that's not the way the league saw it with Reyna. When the team did manage to buy him out, it was (a) in the context of "retirement," and (b) the $400k salary cap hit counted against his whole contract, not prorated by the date of retirement.

For DC to be allowed to buy out Gallardo's contract would be special treatment.

He has to be sold or retire with no further payment, by the way the league has operated.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | October 7, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

*The Sepp's World Cup bidding proposal will seemingly bring the tournament back to Europe in 2018 and perhaps the USA four years later. What do you think?
-----
England 2018 and US 2022 - it's the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.

Posted by: Kev | October 7, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I assume Gallardo will be back next year, and will miss significant games due to injury; I wonder if DCU will plan for this by (a) replacing Dyachenko with someone better, (b) relying on someone else to run the attack when Gallardo is out [presumably Moreno, but I'm sure Anonymous will be kind enough to tell me to wake up if that doesn't make sense], or (c) supply Dyachenko with cans of spinach in case of mid-game Gallardo injury.

Posted by: gringo | October 7, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Football Federation Australia went out of their way to take the "A-League" name from USL. The quality is actually quite good if you sat down and watched a game (Live on FSC). Sydney FC has faired quite well against the Galaxy (although they did go down to Houston in Hawaii).

Posted by: menyagi | October 7, 2008 10:47 AM
-------------------------------------------
Bro, I would imagine that he was joking.
As far as watching football Down Under Live
on FSC, I gotta go old school and VCR it ("no", I don't have tivo or a DVR. "Yes" I am behind the times--I said I was Old School). Trying to see the Costal Mariners take on the Melbourne Victory @ 3am, even on a Sunday morning is a bit much. They should replay them later. If they can do it with the USL then they should be able to do it with the A-League. I do dig the A-League Highlight show.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 7, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Kev: you missed the "perhaps" in the quote. The process for selecting a WC host is arbitrary and capricious. 2018 Europe, 2022 somewhere else, 2026 back to Europe.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 7, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean, no marquee names?

Becky Sauerbrunn?
Angie Woznuk?
Jill Oakes?
Kacey White?
Danesha Adams?
Kendall Fletcher?
Nancy Augustyniak?
Kristin Luckenbill?

There were only 2 or 3 names I didn't realize.

Wish Woznuk was coming to L.A.!

Posted by: Todd | October 7, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. "Marquee names," you mean like Gallardo?

There's something to be said for Freedom getting established, solid, versatile, players with local ties and without lengthy medical files, and building a team. If DC United had MLS rights over every Terp who's played in the league in MLS, that would havae been a good thing, no? not that Andrew Jacobson didn't work out swell. . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | October 7, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

And I quote from the article:

"Gallardo earns $1.9 million, by far the largest salary in United history...about a quarter of the team's 28-man roster earns less than $20,000."

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

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime...

Posted by: spike_2.0 | October 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

2018 in England and 2022 in USA makes perfect sense to me. I don't know why USSF wanted to try to outbid England and other Euro countries in 2018 when they were certain to lose. I see 2026 going to a non-traditional country, like China or Australia.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | October 7, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The WPS "Marqee Names" were taken in two previous allocations of WNT pool players and foreign players.

Abby Wambach and Leslie Osbourne were on Fox Footy Fone-in last night (maybe the rehab center is near the studio). The limey blokes asked Abby a few questions about the Solo-Ryan controversy, but Abby didn't say anything particularly insightful. I really didn't see the point of bringing that up again.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 7, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Its one season, not the end of the world. Geez....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 10:43 AM

NO! it is the end of the world! >:(

Posted by: 2012 | October 7, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Not that Sepp Blather listens to me, but this is what I've been saying for years. There was no way that FIFA was going to continue a rotation that would leave Europe in the cold for 16 years. However, they could not revert to the de facto system of having Europe host every other Cup that was in place through 2006. As I've written before, having every 3rd Cup in Europe is ideal for the sport. It brings in the other confederations, while still regularly feeding the engine that makes FIFA so lucrative -- European football.

Although, the US has hosted more recently than Mexico, I fully expect that the US will get the 2022 Cup. My goal, right now, is to live that long (and make enough money to afford tickets).

As I've also argued before, I think the election of the Senator from Illinois will tip the scales in favor of Chicago's bid for the '16 Olympics. I also think it might be the thing that seals the deal for the US in '22, which will be announced while he's in office -- in the same way that Nelson Mandela's involvement sealed the deal for South Africa.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 7, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Gallardo's injury -- I think this will be the straw that breaks Soehn's back. It sounds as if the injury might have occurred because Gallardo was simply too tired to play -- at least to play without injuring himself. That falls on the coach, and I expect it will be in the forefront of Kasper's mind as he reviews Soehn's status. I like Tommy, but I don't think he'll be back.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 7, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice shout out to DC United fans from Bob Bradley and Landylakes, and I think they recognize that not all DCU fans are USMNT fans.

Ticket prices are ridiculous for an opponent like Cuba.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | October 7, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@Fisch Fry

I have a hard time believing that an Obama presidency will improve our fortunes in hosting the World Cup in the same way that Mandela's election helped South Africa. During the Apartheid era, the sports world shunned South Africa by banning them from participating in many sports. Mandela's election was a paradigm shift in governance and enfranchisement and allowed South Africa to be included again.

In contrast, we have participated in the World Cups, the Olympics, and many other international events. Our governing structure will not change and, Obama is, in essence, the representative of a long-standing political party that has held the presidency many times over.

Besides the 2022 bid will be awarded years from now. For all we know, Canada will then be the major economic power in the region with 10 teams in MLS (7 having moved from the US) and will get the bid.

I wonder if they'll cover this in tonight's debate.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 7, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@ I-270. Nicely played.

However, there are parallels. While our sports teams are welcome around the world, our government is shunned. There will be a paradigm shift in the world's perception of the country -- in the narrative of oppression here.

I don't know if Canada will have a lot more MLS teams, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a bunch of hockey teams move there...at least, I think that should happen. On a serious note, as for hosting the World Cup, they don't have all the huge stadiums we have...and Mexico doesn't have the same appeal for sponsors. So, we're the logical choice. In 2038, my money's on Canada, what with global warming making much of the US and Mexico uninhabitable...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 7, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Bro, I would imagine that he was joking.
As far as watching football Down Under Live
on FSC, I gotta go old school and VCR it ("no", I don't have tivo or a DVR. "Yes" I am behind the times--I said I was Old School). Trying to see the Costal Mariners take on the Melbourne Victory @ 3am, even on a Sunday morning is a bit much. They should replay them later. If they can do it with the USL then they should be able to do it with the A-League. I do dig the A-League Highlight show.


Posted by: yankiboy | October 7, 2008 11:36 AM


Yeah I know he's joking (I hope), I'm just a passionate Aussie missing the A-League, thank the heavens for FSC highlights. With the comp expanding next year to include 10 teams (Gold Coast and North Queensland FC) as well as rumours of both a 2nd Melbourne and Sydney team in 2010, its an exciting time to be a fan!! Melbourne again are the team to beat this year!

Posted by: menyagi | October 7, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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