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Morning Kickaround

*Please read my print-edition feature on USA midfielder Michael Bradley, whose passion for soccer was instilled at a young age while spending time at United and Fire practices.

*It's not much, but here is the United preview for tonight's match at Saprissa (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel).

*News alert! Someone in CONCACAF finally found a way to beat a USL1 team. Santos did the honors, thumping Puerto Rico, 3-0, in a Champions League match. Meantime, Montreal went on the road to beat Joe Public, 4-1. The USL clubs' combined record in CL play is now 5-1-2. You can catch Pumas at Firpo tonight (10 p.m., Galavision).

*Toronto defender Jim Brennan and Canada Coach Dale Mitchell plain don't like each other. Meantime, desperate for points against Honduras and Mexico in World Cup qualifying, Canada will be without Spain-based midfielder Julian de Guzman, who is injured.

*Revs backup keeper Doug Warren has a hyperextended elbow and will miss the rest of the season. Rosters are frozen, so the club cannot add anyone. It's complicated, though. Read this.

*A plug for a local women's college game on Friday: No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0-0) vs. No. 16 Georgetown (8-0-2) at North Kehoe Field in Washington. Kickoff is 3 p.m.

*MLS tonight, New York at Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m. ESPN2. Yeah, both clubs need points to improve their playoff hopes, but never mind the match -- it's another new stadium! Welcome, Rio Tinto. Let's review MLS's other soccer-specific venues:

COLUMBUS
Pro: First of its kind.
Con: Not very interesting.
LOS ANGELES
Pro: Big-event feel.
Con: Nothing in walking distance.
DALLAS
Pro: Excellent sightlines.
Con: Nowhere near Dallas.
CHICAGO
Pro: Real soccer atmosphere.
Con: Nowhere near central Chicago.
TORONTO
Pro: Cosmopolitan setting.
Con: Artificial turf.
COLORADO
Pro: Nice design.
Con: No atmosphere.
D.C.
Oh, never mind.

I really like Toyota Park, but I've got to ask.....

Due to expected weakness caused by fasting, I probably won't join you again until late tonight for live discussion during the DCU-Saprissa match. Cheers!

By Steve Goff  |  October 9, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , College Soccer , 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: A Few Minutes With Troy Perkins
Next: Matchnight: DCU at Saprissa

Comments

Very interesting article on Bradley and enjoyable interviews with former DCU players Adu and Perkins. Keep up the great work.

News from across the pond this morning, Jon Spector is up for sale as one of the 8 players West Hamm trying to unload so they can cut costs.

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

Happy Yum Kippur.

Posted by: Colm | October 9, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

RFK is my favorite "soccer-specific" stadium in MLS.

It is just as "soccer-specific" as any of those other multi-use facilities that clubs around the league use.

"Soccer-specific" (especially in the US) is such a misnomer. All these venues host other events or sporting contests.

But having venues owned by MLS investors is the key to the league's success. RFK doesn't fit that category (like most of the new venues around the league do), so RFK -- as much a I love it -- must and will be replaced.

Posted by: DC | October 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Re: DC, oh never mind...

See today's Post on DC, Maryland and Virginia budget cutbacks, Layoffs, Trims in Education, Services Coming

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/08/AR2008100801587.html?hpid=topnews

I don't think there's gonna be too much public/private stadium building in the near future.

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 9, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Maybe, but at least the Real Estate will be cheaper.

>>>>>>
""I don't think there's gonna be too much public/private stadium building in the near future.""

Posted by: delantero | October 9, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Good story on Michael Bradley, thanks!

Poor Canada - no de Guzman or DeRo

Posted by: ahelms | October 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Will Chang knows how to fund a stadium in non gift ways - AT&T Park - so lets SCREW DC and negotiate with Clark!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 9, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

the opener in the RIO TINTO for RSL isn't even sold out.

Posted by: mizage | October 9, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Good piece Goff, well-edited and tight. Didn't know you were of the faith; have a good Yom Kippur.

Posted by: jloome | October 9, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

RFK is probably more soccer specific than all those on the list.
Never been to any of the ones on the list but I voted for HDC, even though the pitch often looks thrashed the venue does have a big game look that is attractive at times.
How about that crowd for that Atlante/Olimpia match? They really seem to like embellishing their banners with Sweet Leaf. I'm surprised there is no link to Vilar's free kick goal.
The Bradley story was great, I'm glad he doesn't appear to give a rip about the criticism. I wish him continued success on and off the field. Lucky kid, who hasn't squandered incredible opportunity.
I think we could use a lot more Michael Bradley's than Pacman Jones' in this country.
Thanks for the World Class Coverage Steve!

Posted by: dadryan | October 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

MB's story just goes to show you how having a pro league here has helped the game in the US as it wouldn't have before...

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 9, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is afraid to go to a match at a place that tells you how to enter:

Riot Into Stadium

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | October 9, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but it says that they're expecting it to be. I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure the stadium will do fine. Especially if RSL can continue fielding a competitive team.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Now I feel guilty as I sit here with my Snickers and Diet Coke, Steve.

Great piece on Bradley. What a tremendous environment for him to grow up in. I also like Bob's quote about his hope that his kids develop a passion for something. Good stuff.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 9, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Everyone is afraid to go to a match at a place that tells you how to enter:

Riot Into Stadium"

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | October 9, 2008 10:25 AM


**************************

I noticed the same thing when I visited the website!

http://www.riotintostadium.com/index2.php

MLS' first Hooligan Specific Stadium!

Posted by: garbaggio | October 9, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Although Puerto Rico Islanders lost to Santos Laguna 3-0 last night and I would have liked the score to be closer, I am still very proud of the performance that our boys gave.

We play in the USL1 Championship match against the Whitecaps in Vancouver on Sunday. The General Colin Clarke had to make some choices. Last night was our 4th game in a week. We played in Guatemala, Rochester and Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Our franchise really wants to win the USL1 Championship after winning the regular season title. We were also sitting at the top of our CCL group. We have to do everything to win on Sunday. After Sunday, we can concentrate on our last two Champions matches for group play, one of which will be home.

So if you are going to risk dropping a game, the Santos road game was the game to give as many of our starters a rest as possible.

We fielded a lot of reserves. Including the Meyers kid who got called up from the new Puerto Rican pro reserve side that we operate in conjunction with Sevilla of La Liga, Sevilla-Bayamon. Meyers hadn't even played in USL match all season long. Imagine going from playing in front of as few as 1500 people in Puerto Rico to playing away in the belly of the beast in such a hardcore location like Santos. I think that the kid did well.

Losing Hansen was brutal. Dude was trying an ill-advised, fancy play but anytime you try a bicycle you can argue that it has the potential be dangerous for your opponent. But to be shown a freaking RED card???

It was great seeing my boys playing on such a big stage. The fact that Santos played a lot of reserves also is beyond our control. They are a skilled side who outgunned us and "should" have beaten us. They are a clearly superior side. Our heads aren't down.

¡Vamos Islanders! More glory and the USL1 Championship awaits! Give that trophy a Caribbean vacation!

Posted by: yankiboy | October 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry. It will sell out. On Monday there was less than 1,000 tickets left. We get quite a few walk-ups.

Posted by: Bthing | October 9, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

DC,

Soccer Specific is not the same as Soccer Exclusive!

These stadiums were built specifically for soccer, but they are not used exclusively for soccer.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | October 9, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't help but think that if DCU had its own (new, soccer-specific) stadium, last Saturday's match woulda been a sellout.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

So quiet around here, who knew that there was a game tonight?

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

bradley should have stayed at Heerenveen. We can't have all our euro dudes being bench warmers. Any one see Trecker's article on the bob bradley team selection for the qualifiers? http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/8655296/U.S.-fans-want-to-see-some-new-blood-on-the-pitch . Neven Subotic is an american defender who starts for borussia dortmund. He's never received a national callup and now is hoping to get on the germ team. We could use some non-muppet defenders for the nats.

Posted by: mizage | October 9, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

i thought that if you draw attention to your fasting -- by, say, writing about it on your blog -- then it loses its merit? ;)

toyota Park is not "nowhere near the city." It's a few blocks from the city limits and a 15-minute drive from downtown (OK, an hour and 15 minutes in traffic, hence the poor crowd for the weeknight WC qualifier).

Would be great if Toyota Park were downtown or near downtown, but the support was not there from the city. The authorities (I mean, the authority, the mayor) didn't believe in pro soccer in the US and the city wanted to continue milking the Fire at Soldier Field.

Worse than the location is having nothing around there except for industry. Let's hope this bad economy does not ruin plans for a hotel, water park and restaurants and bars next to the stadium.

If they had just built a pub in the stadium, that would be enough but I guess Bridgeview's mayor put the kibosh on that.

Posted by: furia yanqui | October 9, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"He's never received a national callup and now is hoping to get on the germ team."

Wrong. Bradley called him in for the Switzerland friendly but Subotic demurred. Based on the latest column from Martin Rogers on yahoo it now seems he wants to play for Germany.

Posted by: Colin | October 9, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Have we stooped that low? A Trecker article?

I'd bet 90% of us here know the Subotic situation.

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

So quiet around here, who knew that there was a game tonight?

Posted by: RK


I'd say more of a scrimmage.

Posted by: marksman | October 9, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Steven.
Another great insight into our Nats squad from a local angle.
Also enjoyed your Perkins and Wee Man profiles.
Please keep spoiling us.

Posted by: Dobey | October 9, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out what Trecker means by calling Robbie Rogers a bull in a china shop. He's never struck me as particularly clumsy.

Posted by: Amanda | October 9, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

the suburban stadiums are a real problem. Dick's Sporting Goods Park also has this problem...among others.

Posted by: nico | October 9, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

How hungover does Trecker look?

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Toyota Park...was there for the USA-Trinidad match. Inside it's very nice. I agree about the convenience to downtown issue though.

BTW, I thought Rio Tinto looked awesome. Maybe it was just clever photography but I was struck by how "European" its design looked.

Of course it looks like an away trip to see DCU-RSL there will have to wait until next year at this point. (sigh)

Posted by: CMJ | October 9, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The Tio Tinto stadium website crows about having a grass rectangle which is 90 yards by 130 yards, but I would like to know what the actual field dimensions will be (90 by 130 being well over FIFA maximums. I remember the anguish when the field in Colorado was measured at the FIFA maximum of 80 x 120. I think it has since been made smaller, as has the Home Depot Center field. Which begs the question: could you get for us the actual dimensions at all MLS fields? Baseball stadia tell you the distances to the fences, why shouldn't soccer teams tell you how many square yards you have to traverse?

Posted by: Hedbal | October 9, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Bank troubles potential to impact the EPL.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 9, 2008 10:03 AM

Since the US government bailed out AIG, and AIG is Man U's jersey sponsor...does that mean Man U is the next "America's Team"?

Posted by: SportzNut21 | October 9, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

You're about 2 weeks late with that joke...

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Can't help but think of the possibilities if the District of Columbia didn't have its own National Guard unit:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2400%20east%20capitol%20street%20se&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl

Posted by: Juan-John | October 9, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of stadiums:

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season. It is great to see over 20,000 fans here at RFK supporting D.C. United. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new soccer stadium at Poplar Point in Anacostia. World class fans, and a world class team like D.C. United, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Black-and-Red!"

-Adrian Fenty on Oct 29 2006 (right before a mayoral election mind you)

link to full article: http://www.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061031&content_id=77524&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: Hold Elected Officials Accountable For Their Words | October 9, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The Tio Tinto stadium website crows about having a grass rectangle which is 90 yards by 130 yards, but I would like to know what the actual field dimensions will be (90 by 130 being well over FIFA maximums. I remember the anguish when the field in Colorado was measured at the FIFA maximum of 80 x 120. I think it has since been made smaller, as has the Home Depot Center field. Which begs the question: could you get for us the actual dimensions at all MLS fields? Baseball stadia tell you the distances to the fences, why shouldn't soccer teams tell you how many square yards you have to traverse?

Posted by: Hedbal | October 9, 2008 1:06 PM

*********************************

MLS fields are variable. Wider fields mean more running and usually lead to more open play and more difficulty for defenses to bunker. Yallop brought in the sidelines at the Home Depot Center for the Galaxy and I believe they've stayed that way even though there have been 2 coaching changes since then.

The USSF's Laws of the Game allows fields to be as long as 130 yards and as wide as 100 yards (minimum length 100 yards, minimum width 50 yards). I don't know any fields that are laid out to the max standards.

For international matches the maximum is 120 X 80 yards and the minimum is 110 X 70 yards.

Posted by: garbaggio | October 9, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Good article on BradleyJr Goff, I still think his old man has no business leading us to South Africa.

Rossi is a Benedict Arnold, Subotic not so much. Subotic wasn't born here and spent most of his life outside of the US, he feels closest to Germany. Personally it would suck if he doesn't play for us but it's not like a Rossi situation.

Posted by: Thora | October 9, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Being as the only stadium I've been to that's listed (other than RFK) is HDC, I had to vote for that one.

Been there 4 times (5 if you count The Warped Tour). One of the best things about it is the bacon-wrapped hot dogs they sell outside the stadium after the game.

Needless to say after eating a few of those you can literally hear and feel your arteries tightening up.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | October 9, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I love your assessment of the MLS soccer specific stadiums, because it is very true. Thank you for speaking the truth.

Posted by: taly | October 9, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the city wants to reconsider the Poplar Point thing? MacFarlane wasn't asking for money from the city. Just give him the land. I don't know if that's the best deal for the city, but I wonder if the other bids are sill viable. At least, MacFarlane would get the redevelopment done....

Anybody attend the meeting on the Point plan this week?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 9, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Now - I'll take URBAN over subURBAN any day. The city should be the side show to any sports team - it should be the natural second draw for why you want to plunk down change and go see a game or get season tickets.

However, in a slight spin here. WERE MLS ever to reach a point where it had a legit reserve division and legit rewards for developing your own youth talent - I would think the facilities and infrastructure build of those two would help in that regards.

Still - the game day environment will remain muted due to location.

Clark - help campaign for DCU to be in your Poplar Point PLAN!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 9, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

About the field size, why do teams keep building fields for maximum dimensions?? They all think it's a great idea when they draw it up and then after a while they realize it's stupid and shrink the field. Then when it's all over you're left with stands being really far from the touch lines. Just look at Dick's park. the front row is so far back from the touch line now that it's pretty hard to crow about "being on top of the action".

Posted by: Johnny | October 9, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Dick - Pro:
First and only SSS to be completely ready on opening day of its first season.

Posted by: Jason | October 9, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Haymarket, VA -- the perfect place for a SSS. Beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to I-66, and we even have an ATM!

I can't speak on behalf of Prince William County officials, but I'm certain we can convince a farmer to part with his 50 acres for a good price. Come on out, y'all!

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 9, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

i assume that after the riotinto stadium, this one is next http://www.earthcam.com/clients/redbullarena/

looks to be in the middle of nowhere as well.

Posted by: mizage | October 9, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Germantown, MD - We already have a SSS. We built it before those Johnny-come-lately places in Columbus, Carson, etc. And we've long since bought off the farmers so that we can build townhouses, planned communities, and strip malls.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 9, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I know its off-topic, but wasn't sure if any soccer parents wanted to know about the Abby Wambach/Tailgate Party at DCU / Revolution game on the 16th. It is cheaper if you already have tickets to the game.
http://fans.womensprosoccer.com/events/event/show?id=2136787:Event:15531

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This is not on point, but Goff's mentioning of the USL teams reminds me of a quesiton I have about the Montreal Impact. Have you guys noticed that it seems that almost all their players have Italian names? Is there some sort of ethnic affiliation that the team has historically had? Sort of how like Sydney FC in Australia has been the Croatian team of Australia or how in the old days here you'd have a called the "So-and-so Bavarians." Any idea?

Posted by: Mike | October 9, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say something about DC United getting a stadium?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAizHZ0RnBM&feature=related

I hope someone gives us some live updates on the United match though. I think I'm just going to stay home and watch the game at Riot Into Stadium... My neighbors don't need to suffer through this with me any longer.
Lot's of action on the match night thread would be much appreciated.

Posted by: dadryan | October 9, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The RSL/NYRB game is now sold out.

Posted by: J. | October 9, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Not a chance I watch soccer tonight. I've got my own game, plus the Phils are on, plus The Office, Earl, etc...

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

RE: Wambach tailgate.

thanks. Maybe I'll take my son to make me look legit.

I hope I can stay awake during tonight's match. Lots of apathy about this one.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

ANyone know where I can get lots of confetti for saturdays game?

Posted by: dc fan | October 9, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

That you have an easy fast...

I refuse to watch soccer with football lines. Congrats to RSL for joining the SSS tier in MLS. My favorite remains Home Depot Center with a close second to BMO Field just for the fan atmosphere.

Posted by: Mason16 | October 9, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Hotspurs partnered with Earthquickies.

Posted by: td | October 9, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

@I-270: What ever you do don't fall asleep...

Posted by: dadryan | October 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

In some "local" college soccer news... the Virginia Tech women beat UVa for the first time in the program's history by a score of 1-0 in Blacksburg. Julian Johnson struck a powerful game winner a few minutes into the second half. I wish DC United could play as well as the Tech women did with all of their injuries and missing players...

Posted by: sitruc | October 9, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Yep, agnostics get to eat whatever, whenever. Shellfish, roast beast and milk at the same time, meat on any Friday. Condolences, Goff. Happy day of atonement.

Re: SSS. A well-run RFK sounds good to me. Loud, traditional, and able to grow to 55K by opening a gate or two. Metro access, centrally located, plenty of parking. The Fenway of its generation.

Posted by: DrWoo | October 9, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Starting lineup | October 9, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: SSS. A well-run RFK sounds good to me. Loud, traditional, and able to grow to 55K by opening a gate or two. Metro access, centrally located, plenty of parking. The Fenway of its generation.

Posted by: DrWoo | October 9, 2008 9:04 PM

I second that! In these troubling times why not? Shoot, I'd volunteer to help clean up some crap, shovel sh*t, etc for even a little thank you. Give me a couple tickets or some beers. Wouldn't it be nice if the club actually did start looking to it's supporters for some direction in moving forward?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Fenway of its generation.

Posted by: DrWoo | October 9, 2008 9:04 PM

Our very own Highbury! We even have a "Clock End"...

Posted by: FC | October 9, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

interesting takes on the stadiums

and much respect for respecting your tradition

Posted by: jg | October 10, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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