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Morning Kickaround

*Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic (USSF bio) has played for the U.S. under-17 and under-20 national teams, but because of his birthplace (Bosnia) and family roots (Serbia), he has a choice of countries to represent on the senior level. Despite initial indications that Subotic, 19, was eligible to play for Germany, FIFA has ruled that he is not. He has until age 21 to choose Bosnia or Serbia; otherwise, he is locked into the USA. Considering where we are in the 2010 World Cup qualifying cycle, a commitment to one of those three programs is expected soon. Already this year, the USSF has secured a player with multiple affiliations, Mexican-American Jose Francisco Torres; can it do the same with Subotic?

*Dan Steinberg and the Sports Bog spend time with D.C. United goalkeeper Louis Crayton and D.C. United "goalkeeper" Quavas Kirk.

*College soccer tonight in Charlottesville: The Virginia women put their 20-game home unbeaten streak on the line against nemesis North Carolina, which is 32-0-2 in 34 all-time meetings with the Cavaliers. Seventh-ranked Virginia is 12-2-1 overall this year, 6-1 in the ACC. Fifth-ranked UNC is 14-1-1, 7-0.

*If the New York Red Bulls make the playoffs, they will be without defender Carlos Mendes in the first round. He has sports hernia surgery in Germany and will be sidelined two to three weeks. Mendes has played in 17 league matches (10 starts).

*Chris Rolfe's hat trick last night was the first by a Chicago player since Nate Jaqua in June 2005 against Chivas USA. You can watch the complete highlight package or just take a look at Rolfe's spectacular second goal:

By Steve Goff  |  October 24, 2008; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: World Cup Futures


C'mon Subotic!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 24, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Did FIFA actually make a non-eurocentric ruling!?!

Posted by: Kyle6 | October 24, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, Serbia may offer Subotic better opportunities for his international soccer career. The national team has more competitive games (Euro Championship qualifiers and tournament, in addition to the World Cup) and Serbia is among the top 15 to 20 teams in Europe. Also, playing qualifiers in Europe instead of Central America would help him maintain good relations with Dortmund, or whatever European club he joins in the future. (I can't see him joining Bosnia - maybe due to his ethinc background, but mostly because they have less potential than Serbia, in my opinion.)

If Subotic chooses the USA, I think it will be for personal reasons (family preference, or preference for American lifestyle), or because he sees better opportunities for advancement in the U.S. program (albeit for an arguably weaker team).

Posted by: SSMD1 | October 24, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse


- Qualify for the World Cup from a relatively weak confederation
- Thin competition for a starting position
- Easy to find a hairdresser who can do cornrows.

- Trans-Atlantic travel
- Low profile of the national team
- Speed limits and left-lane slow pokes

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 24, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Right now Serbia is leading group seven in Euro qualifying with nine points. They are a very talented team which has an excellent chance of qualifying for South Africa. It is true that the USA are practically there already, but choosing Serbia would benefit Subotic's career more than USA for reasons already mentioned by SSMD1.

Posted by: bigwave | October 24, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Chris Rolfe's second goal was definitely my favorite. As a DCU fan who cringed the whole game having to rout for the Fire, I'm glad I watched this game. Rolfe was awesome!

Now if dc can just fight through this game on Sunday, we might have a chance of winning!

Come on United!

Posted by: kris77 | October 24, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Sweet. Here's hoping to Subotic choosing us!

Posted by: strago | October 24, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I know a lot of bloggers on this site aren't much in to women's soccer let alone women's college soccer but thanks Goff for mentioning the UVA/UNC game tonight. It is huge and readers from NOVA should note that the top goal scorer for the Cavs this year is Langley's Megan Lenczyk so let's cheer for the UVA women and hope they can pull off the big upset!

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 24, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

If Ned can get over felling like Ronegn disrespected him and he comes to play for then great. If not, I wish him the best and life goes on...

Posted by: yankiboy | October 24, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

^Y'all know what I meant :)

Posted by: yankiboy | October 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was listening to the UnitedMania podcast from a few weeks ago and they guys were talking about how we blew our chance with Subotic. Apparently Thomas Rongen told him that he wasn't athletic enough to be part of the US program.

I would not be surprised if he has no interest in coming back, given his success at Dortmund and having multiple options.

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | October 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

That highlight was a perfect example why I John Harkes is not a good commentator. No drama, no urgency. In his monotone style, he belabors a trivial point while Blanco sends the ball into the danger area, ball bouncing around the box and Rolfe scores a beauty. WSOP has better commentators than Harkes.

Posted by: MikeyG | October 24, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I know a lot of bloggers on this site aren't much in to women's soccer let alone women's college soccer...

So what? A lot of bloggers on this site aren't much into Serbian soccer, either. You don't see people apologizing for talking about Serbia, do you?

Posted by: universityandpark | October 24, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The playoffs start Sunday for DC United. (Ok, they actually started last Thursday when united advanced.)

Posted by: Curious99 | October 24, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

You missed Beckster1's point, universityandpark.

I think it's worth mentioning who UVa has lost to in the ACC...

Posted by: sitruc | October 24, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't.

Posted by: Reignking | October 24, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm biased, sure, but Subotic should play for the US. Serbia's a solid squad but qualifying in Europe is terribly difficult. He'll be lucky to play in one World Cup for Serbia during his career.

And sitruc, no, it's really not worth mentioning which one ACC team beat UVA. Perhaps if ever beats UVA again, then maybe will finally merit a mention. For now, it plainly obvious that was a complete and utter fluke.

Posted by: defpotec | October 24, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

So what? A lot of bloggers on this site aren't much into Serbian soccer, either. You don't see people apologizing for talking about Serbia, do you?

Posted by: universityandpark | October 24, 2008 10:31 AM


Geez, get that chip off your shoulder.

You're talking apples and oranges.

Posted by: combedge | October 24, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Stop with the posts about fruit. I don't care for apples v oranges. I try to watch them, but it's really boring.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 24, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, not too many opportunities to watch so you shouldn't get too bored I270 but should be a good game and I for one would take it over Serbian soccer.

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 24, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Again, I forgot the ":-)s" in my parody of the "I hate women's soccer" faction.

If you have FIOS, the Big 10 channel (a click up from FSC) shows a lot of women's soccer. The lakeside field at Northwestern is very picturesque. Can't imagine how they ever control their crosses with so much wind from the lake and no buildings to block it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 24, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Subotic should commit to the US because he owes his soccer career to our academies.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 24, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Did FIFA actually make a non-eurocentric ruling!?!

Posted by: Kyle6 | October 24, 2008 9:37 AM

The decision has nothing to do with place. It's about a precedent -- too much shopping around. He has no real ties to Germany, other than his very recent residence there. He doesn't qualify for German citizenship, so how can he really get around that?

I think we have to appeal to Subotic's sense of decency. Does he really want to represent Serbia? Maybe he does, but it's morally dicey -- not least because of their soccer hooliganism. Can't imagine he'd pick Bosnia. No real roots there, and they're not a strong program.

Serbia does have a stronger program than we do -- now -- but that doesn't necessarily help Subotic. With the USA, he might quickly jump into the starting lineup. Despite what Rongen believed, it seems he IS that good. I haven't seen him play much, but he looks more solid than any of our current defenders. Plus, we're not Serbia. He might not become a household name here, but does he really care if he's a household name in Serbia? Besides, in the long run, I bet he plays more World Cup games with the USA than he would with Serbia.

The big negative I see for him is really the travel. If he can get past that, I think he'd do better with the red, white and blue -- I mean the USA.

The blogger formerly known as Fisch Fry

Posted by: fischy | October 24, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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