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Morning Kickaround

*Here is what Revs midfielder Shalrie Joseph had to say about teammate Khano Smith's brutal tackle on Kansas City's Herculez Gomez, who just happened to have ended New England captain Steve Ralston's season two weeks ago: "He didn't get a yellow, he didn't get suspended or fined or nothing. So we know coming in [to Saturday's game] that we definitely wanted to give him payback and make him know we didn't appreciate what he did to Ralston, our teammate."

Here is what he had to say last night in a prepared statement: "I want to apologize for my comments after our game on Saturday night against Kansas City. I was still caught up in the heat of the match. I regret implying that we were looking for payback. I know my comments don't reflect the feelings of my teammates or the club."

The Revs concurred, saying, "There was no concerted effort to single out any player on Kansas City's squad. We would never condone such behavior or actions."

To review the video again, click here.

*The expansion Seattle Sounders will introduce their designated player tonight: Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who turns 32 in April. He spent last season with West Ham after 10 years with Arsenal. So if Ljungberg is a DP, then keeper Kasey Keller apparently is not. (Keller's name is listed on the latest MLS salary list, but his earnings are not.)

*D.C. United defender Greg Janicki, in his own words.

More news below.....

*The USA women will continue their victory tour Saturday in Richmond in the first of three friendlies with South Korea. Tampa and Cincinnati are the other sites. Kickoff at UR Stadium is 6 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $70.

*The U.S. under-20 roster for the Women's World Cup in Chile (Nov. 19-Dec. 7) includes three Washington area players: Virginia GK Chantel Jones, Georgetown MF Ingrid Wells and Penn State MF Christine Nairn, a Bowie native who, at age 18, is the youngest member of the squad.

*Soccer America's men's soccer top 10: 1. Wake Forest (15-0-1), 2. Akron (13-1-2), 3. Creighton (10-1-2), 4. Maryland (13-3-0), 5. Northwestern (11-1-2), 6. St. John's (12-1-3), 7. North Carolina (11-3-1), 8. Loyola, Md. (14-0-1), 9. UC Davis (12-2-3),10. Tulsa (11-3-1). The Terps will visit Virginia this Friday and host UNC next Friday. Tonight: American, which is tied for first in the Patriot League, plays at Virginia.

*Soccer America's women's top 10: 1. Notre Dame (18-0-0), 2. Stanford (16-0-1), 3. UCLA (14-0-2), 4. Portland (15-1-0), 5. North Carolina (15-1-1), 6. Florida (15-2-1), 7. Florida State (13-2-1), 8. Texas (12-2-3), 9. Texas A&M (14-3-1),10. Oklahoma State (15-1-2).

*TV today:
Netherlands, Den Haag-PSV Eindhoven 3 p.m. ESPN Deportes
Germany, Werder Bremen-Bayer Leverkusen 3 p.m. GolTV
England, Newcastle-West Brom 3:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
France, Bordeaux-Havre 4 p.m. Setanta
CONCACAF Champions League, Olimpia-Joe Public 8 p.m. FSC
CONCACAF Champions League, Firpo-Houston 10 p.m. FSC

You can catch me on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" this evening around 5:30 p.m.

By Steve Goff  |  October 28, 2008; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , TV , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jose vs. Fabio
Next: D.C. United Winding Down

Comments

Is Keller not a DP or will the DP rule be changing and they are just waiting for that to officially happen to reveal his salary?

Posted by: beach3 | October 28, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I think his original statement is a much more accurate reflection of his feelings. Joseph is a fantastic player, but his endless whining at the refs under any circumstances is annoying and often seems to take him off his game.

Players get hurt but if you allow blatant obvious payback like Smith's, you are going to have a whole lot more hurt players.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | October 28, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Khano smith is a disgrace to the league, and always has been.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 28, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I guess I should watch my back next time I go to a DC - Revs game now that I said that.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 28, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Brings back memories of Khano's attempted headbutt on Craig Weibel in last year's MLS Cup right in front of the ref. He should have been ejected right there.

This guy hurts his team at the most inopportunte times. And I thought Blanco was supposed to be the league's ticking time bomb.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | October 28, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Disagree about Khano Smith. He's never struck me as the smartest guy in the world but his payback tackle now makes sense.

When the referees and league don't protect your teammates, you need to. Herculez Gomez is a dirty player, always has been, so payback tackles like Smith's are bound to happen to him.

Posted by: ahelms10 | October 28, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

It is ironic that ESPN has been complaing about bounties in the NFL all week, when it was probably just trash talking. When an MLS team actually admits they were going after someone, and they lay a horrid tackle on him, will ESPN actually cover it? Probably not. Thanks Goff!

Posted by: Kyle6 | October 28, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

@ ahelms, sorry but that's rubbish. Smith should be dealt with harshly, because if the league doesn't nip this in the bud, it will infect the league. Not to say Gomez shouldn't be dealt with too, but it is easy for cowards to take cheap shots in a soccer game. MLS has to clean it up.

Smith has never impressed me as a character guy on the field. Quite the opposite.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 28, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

How healthy is Freddie?

Has he seen FieldTurf?

At least the weather is similar.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 28, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, OWNTF. Slamming into a player who isn't expecting such a hit as Smith's is an act of cowardice. A red card was certainly warranted.

Football players are padded. Hockey players, too. Soccer players have a thin bit of plastic covering two inches of their shins.

I love clean, hard tackles as much anybody (I prefer giving than receiving, of course). But Smith's tackle was reckless and cheap.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 28, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I think those comments are worthy of a one match ban.

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | October 28, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Soehn hasn't been fired yet?

Posted by: delantero | October 28, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I believe the three U20 players whom Goff mentioned are all redshirts; indeed, folks who redshirted precisely for this reason. What will be really weird is what happens when the rest of the U20s head for Chile, just as NCAA postseason play starts in a couple of weeks. Obviously some teams will be hit worse than others. Also, some players have apparently declined callups in order to remain with their college squads.

Posted by: universityandpark | October 28, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

OT: Just thinking, we have the possibility of watching Brian Carroll and Bobby Boswell in the MLS Cup final.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 28, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

This is a horrible mistake by Seattle. I don't get this signing at all.

Posted by: Hoost | October 28, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

On Sat. night, Khano made it firmly into my book of Revs players I will always hate... Look, your team's a man down and you do that in front of the linesman- that was a completely idiotic move on his part. It was a completely deserved red card and I think he should get suspended for that. Now I have to say that nothing will save his reputation with me- even scoring a gwg in an MLS cup final might not do it.

Posted by: revsfanindc | October 28, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Another full day in the coca cola championship with American's other than Marcus seeing little action.....

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 28, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Khano's a wild card. Perfectly capable of keeping both teams in the game as alternately the best and the worst player on the field. I worry that he's not very bright because of some of the stupid stuff he's pulled, and this challenge on Gomez is on the list. The only redeeming thing about it is that it wasn't from behind, so Gomez had a chance to see it coming, but that's small consolation in the face of an unnecessary and rough tackle.

On the other hand, Gomez challenge, while it doesn't excuse Smith's, was very late. As Rally said on the Revs' tv broadcast, Gomez' claim that "he slipped" doesn't hold water. Do I think he intended to break Ralston's leg? Of course not. But he hit him late with no play on the ball whatsoever, and it should have been yellow carded.

Joseph's comments were, at best, ill-advised. But that's all I'll say about that...

Posted by: marshallg | October 28, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I like that the reports from Sky say that Freddie is in line to make 16 million Euros over two years.

No wonder Becks' feelings are hurt and he wants to go to Milan.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 28, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This is a horrible mistake by Seattle. I don't get this signing at all.
Posted by: Hoost | October 28, 2008 9:32 AM
====================

There's a sizeable Swedish-heritage population the in the Seattle area, made up of people who thought that Minnesota was too cold or too sunny. Maybe the Sounders are trying to tap into that market. Maybe they should sign a J-league player too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 28, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

". It figured, my first MLS game on TV, I had to wear one of those funny headbands. He got the worst of it, though." Greg Janicki

Great attitude. He's a keeper (no, not 'keeper, although he may have to be one in the CCL matches)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 28, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I know nothing about Ljungberg -- what's the big deal?

Posted by: Reignking | October 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the league needs to take immediate action against Khano Smith and consider what to do about Shalrie Joseph and the rest of the team.

Something must be done. Players can't be targeted for vigilante "justice" in cases where the league didn't feel a punishment was necessary.

Perhaps Smith should be fined and suspended 3 games. Joseph should be suspended 1 game and perhaps the team should have to play at least one home game in an empty stadium.

This is really outrageous. It doesn't really much matter what Joseph said the second time, or what the team said after the fact. It's pretty clear based on his original comments that Gomez was targeted for violent retribution.

That's not protecting your players. That's premeditated assault.

Posted by: Eugene7 | October 28, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking,

He was on the invincibles!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

He's a 31 year old right midfielder, former Swedish captain (to draw Swedish-Americans), former Arsenal player (to draw Eurosnob Gooners), former underwear model, and has tattoos (to draw the ladies). So he's a still-expensive-but-less-expensive Beckham.

There, now you know everything. Bork, bork, bork.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Ljungberg

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 28, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Re: the Swedish Freddy - the man played for Arsenal for 10 years, so he has to have some flair to his game. Most teams could use him as a withdrawn forward or attacking mid.

At 32, perhaps the pace of the EPL has passed him by. But not MLS. He can still play.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 28, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should sign a J-league player too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 28, 2008 9:53 AM

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

Not maybe, definitely! They love their Ichiro...adding someone like Nakazawa would be perfect.

Posted by: combedge | October 28, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Janicki -- those "funny headbands" are worn with great pride by the DCU side. Welcome aboard!

Posted by: jealousmuse | October 28, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I love the hand wringing over Khano Smith's tackle on Gomez and Shalrie Joseph's comments afterwards.

The passion, loyalty, ability to hold on to a core group of players and way that the Revs fight for each other (and sometimes with each other: see Dempsey vs. Franchino a few years ago) is part of what makes them an outstanding MLS team (maybe not great, for the lack of trophies) and why they won the SuperLiga this year.

This is sorely missing from DC United.

Posted by: billindmd | October 28, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

When Khano Smith and the Revs lost their 4th MLS Cup at RFK, he came over to where the Revs supporters were seated.

He threw his jersey into the air, but unfortunately, instead of falling to a Revs supporter, it landed in the hands of a black-hoodied Barra member.

The Barra member threw the jersey back at Khano yelling "YOU'RE NOT WORTHY!!"

Posted by: delantero | October 28, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why would anybody think Keller would be a DP?? Thats just crazy talk. Secondly, Ljungberg was payed millions to go away. Bad knees + Field Turf +DP Salary = disaster on the horizon. With this guy and a washed up 40+ goalkeeper, I say they end up with less points than TFC their first year.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

First of all, Keller could've made more than that if he had stayed in the EPL. Secondly, he will be 39 next season. And finally, you don't know any of the other players on Seattle, so it is a bit premature to judge how the team will do.

Posted by: Reignking | October 28, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It appears IKEA is opening a new store in the Seattle suburbs, the team will take the field to "Dancing Queen' by Abba and all players must have silent consonants in their names like Ljungberg, Le Toux and Kqeller... coincidence, I think not.

Posted by: IamAM | October 28, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Gomez definitely laid a late tackle on Ralston. He was fortunate to do it at a distance from the ref. Should have gotten yellow, though - he was in the Revs half and it was a needless and desperate follow through.

And OF COURSE the Revs were gunning for him. That's the way it goes - you go out to get the fooker who puts one of your guys in a cast.

And that was made abundantly clear from Khano's tackle, which he barely protested from the replays I saw. He deserved the straight red - refs are not asked to take into account the status of interteam grudges and what happened earlier in the season, no matter what Nichol says (re: his comments on Badila's ejection). They're wise to have those things in mind, but you can't watch a foul like Smith's and say "oh, well, Gomez had it coming." Don't work like that.

The idiocy in the whole thing was Joseph coming out and telling the world that they were looking to chop down Gomez. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumber than Smith's tackle, in my opinion. Is it right to play out grudges? I don't know. That's part of what we pay for as fans, I guess. Passionless strategic ball is not really that engaging.

Posted by: Modibo | October 28, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

IamAM

the team will be taking the field to "Waterloo" by Abba

FYP

Posted by: Eugene7 | October 28, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I love the hand wringing over Khano Smith's tackle on Gomez and Shalrie Joseph's comments afterwards.

The passion, loyalty, ability to hold on to a core group of players and way that the Revs fight for each other (and sometimes with each other: see Dempsey vs. Franchino a few years ago) is part of what makes them an outstanding MLS team (maybe not great, for the lack of trophies) and why they won the SuperLiga this year.

This is sorely missing from DC United.

Posted by: billindmd | October 28, 2008 10:45 AM

Double rubbish. It's not "passion" to try to maim another player. It's cowardice and character weakness. And if you've spent time watching Smith play in person it's not surprising. You can send a perfectly adequate message without breaking someone's legs. DCU did have some of that criminal mentality with Stoichkov, and it made the team (and the league IMO) worse not better. Keep ultimate fighting in the cage, and soccer on the soccer field. They're both fine sports, but not a good mix.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Joseph lay into Jaime with a two-legged studs up tackle right off the bat in one of the early playoff games a couple of years ago? It might have been a regular season game but I just remember it was totally out of the blue and looked to be a harsh "statement tackle" to try and intimidate Jaime for the game. I've hated Joseph ever since.

Posted by: jwgreen40 | October 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I kind of understand the signing of Llungberg from a marketing perspective. But, from a soccer perspective, this has failure written all over it. The last I saw him, he could barely run. Maybe he's healed, but the guy is too old for this league. For Seattle's sake, I hope he proves me wrong, but the artificial turf is just going to make matters worse.

Posted by: EssEff | October 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I believe (hope?) Seattle is signing Ljundberg for soccer reasons first -- I don't think ticket sales are going to be a problem.

Posted by: Reignking | October 28, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You kidding? Smith sticking up for his teammate? What about the other 25 teammates on the roster who now have to play without Ralston AND without Smith...and you know a 2nd game suspension is coming for that ridiculous challenge.

If it was premeditated it was selfish and petulant. If not, it's just dumb dumb dumb.

Posted by: teo_68 | October 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

If Kano makes a tackle to revenge a tackle, then Fred should be able to go and rip his shirt in two parts like Kano did to him with no call and the jersey hanging off Fred. Right?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 28, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone know that in MLS, age 30 is the new 20.
lol

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 28, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone know that in MLS, age 30 is the new 20.
lol

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

To Eugene7:
"Perhaps Smith should be fined and suspended 3 games. Joseph should be suspended 1 game and perhaps the team should have to play at least one home game in an empty stadium."

Even as a Revs fan, I wouldn't argue taking a game on to the automatic 1-game ban for the straight red. Two games isn't wholly consistent with the league's prior behavior (and in disciplinary issues, consistency matters), but I probably wouldn't argue it as unduly harsh.

However, in a league that hasn't ever made a team play behind closed doors, even when fan behavior has gone over the line (e.g., racist behaviors or unacceptable objects thrown on the field (I am NOT complaining about streamers)), that punishment doesn't fit the crime. Actually, I can't remember a team ever being forced to play behind closed doors because of an on-field foul, however egregious. Can anyone else? Has that ever happened?

So, I guess let's just keep perspective.

(Before anyone thinks I'm a total homer: yes, as a Revs fan I disagree with what Shalrie said, and much as I like Nicol's candor, I disagree that Refs should ref differently in "meaningless" games.)

Posted by: marshallg | October 28, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Freddy Ljunberg, to all of you haters:

"If you change your mind, I'm the first in line
Honey I'm still free, take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down
Take a chance on me...
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try"

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Reinking...you're posts are a joke.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | October 28, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Reignking - Laughing my head off 'cause your posts are a joke.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | October 28, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

What in the hell could Shalrie Joseph be saying to Rob Fereday on that call? Is he REALLY questioning the card?

Posted by: tpsteele | October 28, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

That's not protecting your players. That's premeditated assault.

Posted by: Eugene7 | October 28, 2008 10:04 AM

As if Gomez's tackle on Ralston was not?

Sorry, but I'm going to say it -- Gomez had it coming. Of course, Smith is an idiot to admit it, since it will warrant a further suspension, and it invites further retaliation from KC. In the other hand, at least he's honest about it. He's not pretending it wasn't intentional, like Gomez probably did regarding his tackle on Ralston. Smith deserved a red card. He deserves a suspension, too -- because MLS cannot officially condone retaliation. However, like in baseball, retaliation like Smith's may actual prevent injuries. If the other team knows that there will be consequences, they won't be so reckless with their own play.

It's important to remember that Ralston is on crutches and Gomez isn't. Actually, what Smith did is preferable to what happens in baseball, where the retaliation is almost always directed at someone other than the offending pitcher. It may be disconcerting to read comments like Smith's but anyone who thinks those kind of things don't happen is incredibly naive. I thought Ihemulu got away with a truly awful tackle, when he chopped down and broke Mediate's leg. He didn't get a card, and United never really retaliated. Dirty players don't stop after such tackles, unless there's a reaction.


Posted by: fischy | October 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

On Lundberg -- if he's getting a two-year deal, that is interesting. So many reports had Henry going to Seattle. I wonder if there's some thought that he might still be interested in that after the 2010 World Cup...in other words, after Freddie's 2 yr. stint is up -- after the 2010 MLS season, unless there's room for a second DP by then.

Or maybe Henry will be headed to New York. I bet he's pretty disappointed that the Wilpons did not bid on a franchise.

Posted by: fischy | October 28, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

HA! Anyone hear about Twellman? He's out for the season with a concussion. Too bad for NE! They are so done!

Posted by: kris77 | October 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

OK -- so they're calling (hard to spell -- no wonder they call him Freddie) Ljungberg's contract a "multi-year contract". Sounds like Henry might have to look elsewhere -- New Jersey? Miami? Unless MLS adds another DP spot, which I think is probable.

Posted by: fischy | October 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry fellas, there are written and unwritten rules in any line of work. These guys are professional soccer players, not Sunday afternoon Over 35 rec league hackers, so when someone breaks a teammate's leg (and doesn't get carded), there's gonna be hell to pay.

Gomez' breaking of Ralston's leg called for retaliation by the Revs (first rule); Shalrie Joseph broke a rule by being so candid about the Revs coming after Herculez Gomez.

Posted by: billindmd | October 28, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, I disagree with you. Smith's tackle on Gomez was like Rico Clark's kicking of Ruiz last year. It must be punished with a multi-match ban, the league has to come down hard and set a precedent.

I've seen Gomez play a lot and I never thought of him as a very dirty player. Very average actually. Smith is the opposite and he's earned himself that reputation.

If this is how NE operates, than the team must be punished. Maybe retaliation happens with other teams, but not so blatantly. Ralston didn't even know his leg was broken when it was broken. Hard to argue that Gomez intended to break his leg, even if it was a late challenge.

Posted by: Eugene7 | October 28, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

'The Revs concurred, saying, "There was no concerted effort to single out any player on Kansas City's squad. We would never condone such behavior or actions."'

Yet Gomez was fouled multiple times by several players. Including two prior tackles by Smith that may have warranted a card.

Good luck with the Mickey-Mouse officiating in MLS.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | October 28, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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