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Friday Kickaround

*You know the result by now: Crew 2, Fire 1. Personally, I thought it would be the other way around, but full credit to Columbus for its determined and composed performance. Attendance was a respectable 14,688. Regardless of the opponent -- Real Salt Lake hosts New York in the Western final tomorrow night -- the Crew will be the favorite to win its first MLS Cup title Nov. 23 at Home Depot Center. ESPN2 had two sideline reporters. Why? Neither added anything to an otherwise excellent production. The game-winner last night:

*DCU midfielder Fred has gone back to the Australian league on loan until Dec. 31 to play six games for Wellington Phoenix. Before joining DCU last year, he played for Melbourne Victory. "Fred really wants to continue playing and maintaining his fitness during our offseason, so we have agreed to this short-term loan," United GM Dave Kasper said.

*Meantime in DCU land, the Insider has learned that Marcelo Gallardo is scheduled to have surgery in the coming weeks on both his knee and adductor (thigh/groin). Jaime Moreno already had knee surgery and, once he has reasonably recovered, will undergo a sports hernia procedure. Zach Wells had foot surgery this week and will be sidelined three months.

*Philadelphia, which won't play a real game until 16 months from now, will break ground on its stadium in suburban Chester on Dec. 1. The public is invited. The Commish Don Garber will be there.

*From Soccer America: On Bayern Munich's Web site, Landon Donovan was quoted as saying he's impressed with the level of play: "Here all the players, No. 1 to No. 22, are better. In America, there are only one or two good players in every team." Ouch.

*The new San Francisco/San Jose women's pro team will hold a news conference Wednesday to unveil its nickname, home stadium and logo.

*A former Howard University coach is found guilty of soliciting a minor.

There's more......jump below.......

*The 64-team NCAA women's tournament begins in earnest today with, among others, Virginia hosting Army at Klockner Stadium. The second game of the doubleheader is West Virginia vs. Princeton. Last night, Virginia Tech was eliminated by Brigham Young, 2-0.

*In men's conference action today, the ACC semifinals in Cary, N.C., have second-seeded Maryland facing third-seeded Boston College and top-seeded Wake Forest taking on fourth-seeded Virginia. The CAA semifinals are being held in Wilmington, N.C., with third-seeded George Mason, winner of five straight, playing second-seeded William & Mary and top-seeded UNCW hosting fifth-seeded Northeastern. In the Patriot semifinals at Colgate, second-seeded American faces third-seeded Holy Cross tonight.

Copa Sudamericana, first leg of semifinals, Argentinos Juniors 1, Estudiantes 1:

By Steve Goff  |  November 14, 2008; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , Copa Sudamericana , D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Weekend TV Listings

Comments

Two VT lost last night? Great!

Fred better not pull a hammy while "keeping in shape"...

Posted by: Reignking | November 14, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Donovan is one of those "one or two" good players.

Frankly, it pisses me off to hear quotes like that coming from him, especially when he could never man up enough to make it outside of his baby crib in SOCAL.

I hope Bayern and Klinsmann know his track record when he doesn't have his pacifier stuck in his mouth.

Landon is by far one of the best, if not THE best player the US has produced - he just needs to figure out how to play at that level no matter where he is. Being a big fish in a little pond doesn't mean much in the worldwide universe of football.

Posted by: roadkit | November 14, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Lots of stuff this morning. Muchas Gracias.

Hooray for Philadelphia. I write this with a great deal of envy and a smattering of bitterness.

Landon's quote says that he doesn't want to come back to MLS. Especially since you can interpret it as the #22 player is better than Beckham.

My son wanted me to dress up for Halloween, so I wore my replica and a pair of black shorts (really creative, huh?). I should have added a pair of crutches and wrapped an Ace bandage on my knee. No groin bandages, it's a family holiday.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 14, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

you really thought the fire could win?? They can only beat DCU in important games.

Glad to see BC doing great. That is one of the DCU's biggest mistakes - letting BC go. They should have let clyde go and pay BC.

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | November 14, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The good news for United fans re: the Chester stadium...

From the 95/495 interchange to Chester
109 miles – 1 hour 55 mins

That's a piece of cake for an away day!

Or Amtrak to Wilmington, then a couple stops on the SEPTA. See you in the bar car!

Posted by: Kev29 | November 14, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Was Landon Donovan really surprised at the talent level on the 21-time Champion of the German League?

That's rediculous. I think that he's probably right to say that there's 1 or 2 on each team that are capable of playing at a high level. It's usually, the few US National Team regulars, the hand full of DPs, and then a few others...

But the drop off can't be that big from there if we've got several other young Americans playing at different levels in the German leagues.

Posted by: TCompton | November 14, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Donovan is still just an immature fool. What a stupid statement on so many levels. Who could possibly be surprised that a top level Bundesliga team has a full roster of strong players? What a moron.

Anyway, on a more positive note; watching last night's game was really enjoyable. There was good soccer from both sides; there were no football lines on the field; and the crowd was pretty into it.

Posted by: hacksaw | November 14, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Donovan is a hosebag. I sense he's trying to position himself so that the Galaxy CAN'T bring him back. I mean, can you imagine the locker room after a comment like that?

roadkit, you said it best. LD needs to man up himself before he starts calling other people out.

I hope the whole thing backfires, Bayern doesn't offer him a spot, Galaxy cuts him, and he can't find work. What a jerk.

Posted by: Matte | November 14, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Donovan meant there were only "1 or 2" good players on the Galaxy. He's right about that.

Posted by: MalagaCFfan | November 14, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

F*** Landon Donovan! I really hope him and that stick up his butt just stay there. We don't need that kind of attitude in our league. You don't want to play here, then go somewhere else a-hole. This league has been great to this guy and he turns around and talks smack like that. I really hope he won't be back... ever.

Posted by: dculuva | November 14, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see BC doing great. That is one of the DCU's biggest mistakes - letting BC go. They should have let clyde go and pay BC.

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | November 14, 2008 11:15 AM
__________________________________________

This is a classic example of 20/20 highlight. You can check the archive of this blog at the time of the expansion draft a year ago. At that time hardly anyone questioned the decision to expose Carroll to the draft.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 14, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Was that our good friend Mr. Veron that scored?

Posted by: TheJim1 | November 14, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Carroll had a subpar season in 2007 with DCU. Credit to Brian for bouncing back, but he was not good last year.

Posted by: Steve Goff | November 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

That should be 20/20 hindsight, not highlight.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I second the comment about last night's game. Very entertaining match with quality goals. Fans, including the traveling Fire supporters, really added something to the match atmosphere.

From a DCU perspective, I'm glad that Cowlumbus won (or as Harkesy would say, "Da Crew"), since nobody will be able to equal DCU's MLS Cup winning record with three teams who have never won a title now alive for MLS Cup.

Posted by: billindmd | November 14, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely. Columbus got the 2005 Brian Carroll, and not the 2007 Brian Carroll.

Now, why 2007 Brian Carroll played so much worse than 2005 Brian Carroll, that's a separate (and interesting) conversation.

As for Donovan's comment, he could have phrased it more tactfully, but I read him as saying 'there's only 1-2 players per MLS team that are at the level of the top Bundesliga team.' If anything, that's generous to MLS.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 14, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Landon is talking about his own team, not ours (or virtually anyone else's).

Crew: Schelotto, Marshall, Rogers, Hejduk, Gaven, Moreno, Ekpo, Hesmer.

DC: Moreno, Gallardo, Olsen, Namoff, Emilio.

Houston: Ching, DeRo, Clark, Davis, Holden, Mulrooney, Boswell, Onstad.

Hell, even Colorado: Mastroeni, Gibbs, Cooke, Clarke, Casey.

What the hell is LD talking about, even LA has more that two:

Galaxy: Becks, LD, Lewis, Franklin, Klein.

Posted by: TrueCrew | November 14, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

TrueCrew - I think you kind of inadvertently made Landon's point for him. I only see a couple guys in that list that would make a matchday squad in a top European league. Sorry, just trying to be objective.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 14, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

To those who suggest we should have kept Caroll over Simms, while it's true that BC had a great year, Simms didn't exactly fare poorly. He played nearly every minute of every game, was incredibly consistent, and had 2 goals and 2 assists to top it off. Not bad for a d-mid...

Posted by: dcbird | November 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Although they play in the A-League, I believe the Wellington Phoenix is based in New Zealand. Something like Toronto FC playing in MLS.

Posted by: TestudoTheFearsome | November 14, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Further quote from LD - "The Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Donovan as saying that each MLS team has at the most "two or three who could keep up in the Bundesliga.""
==========================

Donovan has been ripped here (often) for NOT playing at the highest level possible; now he is being ripped for trying? I am not a huge fan of the guy, to be sure, but he is doing what he probably should have been doing long ago. Good for him, and good for the USMNT. I hope it works out in Munchen. ein zwei g'suffa!

Whether he was smart to say so out loud, can anyone say Donovan's wrong? Are there more than 2 or 3 players on DC United who could play in the Bundesliga? Are there even 2 or 3? Virtually any MLS player who could do so would already be there, no?

So, I think we do need that kind of attitude in MLS -- that is, guys pushing themselves to be the best they can be. There's no use in pretending MLS is something it is not.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 14, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Wellington isn't in Australia? You don't say!

Posted by: Reignking | November 14, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Roadkit:

"Frankly, it pisses me off to hear quotes like that coming from him, especially when he could never man up enough to make it outside of his baby crib in SOCAL."

Except for the two titles he won in NoCal, of course

More Roadkit blathering:

"Landon is by far one of the best, if not THE best player the US has produced - he just needs to figure out how to play at that level no matter where he is. Being a big fish in a little pond doesn't mean much in the worldwide universe of football."

So it sounds like you agree with his assessment, it's just that you like to sound cool by badmouthing him? Either that or schizophrenia, one of the two...

Posted by: EricB1 | November 14, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about the full context of Donovan's quote, but I do recall that a week or so ago he complained that the MLS is tough because the rosters are full of guys who are living hand to mouth and can't pay full attention to their training.

I don't disagree with what he said, but he's not going to win anyone over in MLS with those comments. I also think he's blowing some smoke up Bayern's a@@ because everyone knows he's familiar with Germany from Leverkusen, so he's gotta participate in a lovefest to win over fans and media. Klinsmann apparently called him "THE really exceptional player in North America, Mexico included,” so there's something else going on there.

Posted by: Modibo | November 14, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Feels weird defending Donovan, but here's something else he said -- "I was too young back then and said, 'This country is not for me,'" Donovan told Sport1.de. "But that was my problem. I wasn't ready. Now I'm much different as a player and as a person."

Posted by: OWNTF | November 14, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Donovan's statement about 1-22 was the general overall talent. Being that deep. He said that each team as 2 or 3 players that can play in the Bundesliga, but after that there is a significant drop off. I would have to say that I agree with him. I'm a diehard DCU fan who has season tickets, butI have to admit that he isn't far off.

Now the statement by a German magazine that MLS isn't even on par with the German 3rd division is just stupid, but that was not something that LD said.

He did score 4 of the first team's 6 goals against their reserve team. Not too bad if he is trying to make an impression.

Posted by: Grunt11M | November 14, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't really care what Donovan thinks of MLS, though I do find it interesting that he was willing to play so many years in a league with, by his math, less than 30 "good" players. No matter what he thinks or how many good players MLS actually has, I hope he makes it at Bayern or somewhere else in Europe where he will be under constant pressure to succeed, and then actually follows through and succeeds.

As for Carroll, I have thought DCU made the right choice and have seen nothing to change my mind. Carroll simply is not cut out for the 442 we play. He needs that deeper partner that bursts forward and gets into the more physical confrontations, while he focuses on out-thinking the opposition and breaking up plays through positioning. When he's had 2 other central midfield partners (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008), he's been amongst the top defensive midfielders in MLS. When he's been stuck in a 442, however, he lacks the needed physicality and struggles to find the balance between going forward and getting back (usually resulting in him not supporting the attack in a constructive manner). Simms is simply better in our current formation. It plays to his way of playing the defensive midfield position. If we went to a 5-man midfield, this sort of nostalgia would be reasonable, but this season would have been worse with Carroll still here and Simms gone.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 14, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Donovan is an outstanding player. That does not mean that he is not a d@*%#&e.

Posted by: LWPA | November 14, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't think anyone can argue with what he was trying to say - that the level of play in Germany is much better than that in MLS. No kidding; big surprise. But, for Pete's sake, he doesn't need to trash the league in the process. That's just stupid and shows he's got no sense of when to keep his stupid mouth shut.

Posted by: hacksaw | November 14, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Not good news regarding Gallardo for next year. I am wondering now how much DCU will get out of his second guaranteed year. Lets hope for a speedy recovery for Moreno, Gallardo and Wells.

Posted by: sbg1 | November 14, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

LD's quote was on the BM web site, after all...

Posted by: Reignking | November 14, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice this: Landon Donovan is the first high-profile American to leave the US after the election. He must be a Republican. At least he's following through. None of the liberals ever made good on their similar threats.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 14, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

LD doesn't want his DP money taxed more ;)

Posted by: Reignking | November 14, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good for Fred, I guess he really can't stand the cold. I find myself wondering more about his return to MLS than Beckham's.

It's pretty amazing how riled up everyone has been getting lately with all the PROPAGANDA in the media regarding these footballers.
Of course this is the place to let it out, but isn't anyone at least a tiny bit suspect of the context of what Landon "said" on Bayern's own website? It'll all come out in the wash I guess.

Just remember what Flavor Flav said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVMbnF9-l5w

Posted by: DadRyan | November 14, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Big fan of the blog, just started my own American soccer blog. Check it out, http://dos-a-cero.blogspot.com/

Posted by: dosacero | November 14, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Landon was just flapping his gums, not addressing the UN for pete's sake.

Not everything said is well thought out and resaoned. Especially from an athlete with a microphone in his face.

Posted by: JkR- | November 14, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice this: Landon Donovan is the first high-profile American to leave the US after the election. He must be a Republican. At least he's following through. None of the liberals ever made good on their similar threats.
*************************************

Are you kidding? The exodus was so great MLS had to put a team in Canada.

Posted by: teo_68 | November 14, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone hasn't gotten this point that Chest has been making for the past year -- he REALLY thinks Carroll is only good in a 3-5-2. As for DCU "letting" him go -- as has been noted even more often, they could only protect so many players. There was broad consensus that we couldn't protect Carroll. In retrospect, we could might not have wanted to protect...? Actually, I can't think of anyone. I guess that's that.

As for LD's remarks --- they might seem harsh, but he's being candid. 1-22 in the Bundesliga would probably supplant all but a dozen or two players in the MLS. Hence, he's 100% accurate. Not tactful, but he's not a politician.

I did see a really interesting point made above, coming from something Donovan's said. Most MLS players aren't paid enough to be full-time soccer players. Imagine how much better Troy Perkins might have been if he didn't have to report to his desk job, too. So, it's not necessarily that the MLSers lack the potential -- but they cannot devote themselves full-time to the task of becoming great.

Posted by: fischy | November 14, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Only a handdful of MLSers will get a tax increase. 99% of the players make under $250k. And, even those few won't get a big increase -- it's only a slight tick up on the marginal income over $250k. Maybe a thousand or two for all but the DPs.

Posted by: fischy | November 14, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to go over to Cary (I'm in Durham) to catch Maryland's game, but the weather is horrible and I'm fighting a nasty virus.

Posted by: alecw81 | November 14, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Insider has learned that Marcelo Gallardo is scheduled to have surgery in the coming weeks on both his knee and adductor (thigh/groin). "

Not many comments on this. Has everyone given up hope that he will recover and contribute next year?

Posted by: Ho_Ho_Ho | November 14, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The Two Million Dollar Muneco will be back next year -- rebuilt. Better than he was. Better. Stronger. Faster.

Posted by: fischy | November 14, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

fischy wrote, "Only a handdful of MLSers will get a tax increase. 99% of the players make under $250k. And, even those few won't get a big increase -- it's only a slight tick up on the marginal income over $250k. Maybe a thousand or two for all but the DPs."

Spoken like someone who definitely won't be paying the extra 3-6 percent.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | November 14, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

No one is commenting on Gallardo because he's not coming back. This is the second surgery on his groin this season which can't be good. He's not being rebuilt, he's being prepared for retirement. No stadium and no healthy DP, can't wait to renew my season tickets.

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 14, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo is going to come back and be great next year.
Reminds me of Beckham's first year. I know it's not a fair to compare, but I'm betting on the longer time out is going to yield the more tasty return. Gallardo's second year impact on his club will eclipse Beckham's by a whooooole heck of a lot. Mark my Mofudging words dogs. Gallardo is going to kill it next year=)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 15, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Only a handdful of MLSers will get a tax increase. 99% of the players make under $250k. And, even those few won't get a big increase -- it's only a slight tick up on the marginal income over $250k. Maybe a thousand or two for all but the DPs.

Posted by: fischy | November 14, 2008 4:40 PM
____________________________________________

I guess with Obama's wonderful "distribution of wealth" plan, the underpaid players who make up the bulk of most MLS rosters will be getting a raise after all. I'm glad to see something good is coming out of this election.

Posted by: HarkesyRules | November 15, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Harksey, something good besides a stop to a war fought under false pretenses, an executive branch with contempt for constitutional rights, spying on American citizens, cronyism, massive payouts of tax dollars to the very wealthy, and so on.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | November 15, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Blessings Mastodon, blessings...I know this is a soccer blog and all, but it's nice to know a couple of folks out here have higher expectations for the future of America under Obama than just bringing the World Cup back to the US in 2018:-)

If any one really thought Mcain was the answer they are still crazy.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 15, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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