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Soccer Insider: January 18, 2009 - January 24, 2009

Video: USA-Sweden Goals

All five of 'em........

By Steve Goff  |  January 24, 2009; 11:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Matchday: USA-Sweden

The first game of 2009 is upon us: USA vs. Sweden Home Depot Center 8:30 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision Though neither side is close to full strength, the match will provide an opportunity for both coaches to assess depth heading into World Cup qualifiers early this year. The...

By Steve Goff  |  January 24, 2009; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Brazilian to DCU

According to D.C. United GM Dave Kasper, Brazilian defender Roger will arrive in Washington late next week for a physical and to begin workouts with the MLS club. "We'll evaluate from there," Kasper said. No contractual agreement is in place, he added, but when asked whether it was a trial...

By Steve Goff  |  January 24, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Qualifier at RFK?

The Insider has learned that Washington's RFK Stadium is under strong consideration to host the USA's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, the last match on the Americans' 10-game, final-round schedule. Of course, there is a good chance the USA will have wrapped up a World Cup...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Two Legs for USL1

USL1, the second tier of the U.S. pro soccer system, announced today that its postseason championship will be determined with a two-leg final instead of a single title match. Seven of the 11 teams will qualify for the playoffs, with the top seed receiving a bye. The three first-round series...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  USL  
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DCU Scheduling Change, Kirk Update

MLS has not even released the complete regular season league schedule yet, and already there has been a change to D.C. United's previously announced home opener on March 28 at RFK Stadium: The opponent will be the Chicago Fire, not the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. The league...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Weekend TV Listings

What are you going to watch? SATURDAY England FA Cup, Hartlepool-West Ham 7:45 a.m. ET Setanta England FA Cup, Doncaster-Aston Villa 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel England FA Cup, Manchester United-Spurs noon FSC Italy, Juventus-Fiorentina 2:30 p.m. FSC UNCAF Cup, Belize-El Salvador 4 p.m. Galavision England FA Cup, Kettering Town-Fulham...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  TV  
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Friday Kickaround

*The USA opens its very busy 2009 schedule with a friendly against Sweden tomorrow night at Home Depot Center (8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision). Of the 22 players in USA camp, 18 will be in uniform and as many as 17 will play. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan has returned...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team , USL  
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Video: Donovan's Goals

USA forward Landon Donovan, on loan in the Bundesliga, scores twice in Bayern Munich's 5-0 friendly victory over Mainz, increasing his total to four:...

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 12:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Germany , U.S. men's national team  
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United News and Notes

*Argentine playmaker Marcelo Gallardo will join the team in a week to 10 days, GM Dave Kasper said. Besides the sports hernia surgery last summer and the knee problem that ended his 2008 season, we found out today that Gallardo had adductor surgery in December. It was performed by the...

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2009; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen

Despite the ankle issues, Benny is going to give it a go..... "I am cautiously optimistic about maybe getting through a season. The verdict on the ankle seems to be: 'It is what it is.' It's not going to get better than it is now. Knowing that helps me go...

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Greetings From RFK

The weather is balmy, so DCU has changed course and decided to stretch the legs and conduct a light workout on the artifical turf field. As you know, Marcelo Gallardo has been excused for the time being. Jaime Moreno is at the stadium, but not training. Former Los Angeles defender...

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Thursday Kickaround

*Two months after the MLS season ended, it starts again. D.C. United opens training camp today, though the term "training camp" is a little misleading. Much of the next seven days will be filled with meetings, physicals and indoor fitness workouts before the club moves outside to the RFK training...

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  D.C. United , Italy , Spain , TV  
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Thoughts With Williams Family

MLS veteran forward Andy Williams and Real Salt Lake are reaching out to the American soccer community in hope of helping his wife Marcia, who has a rare form of leukemia and is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. The next 45 to 60 days will be crucial,...

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2009; 7:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  MLS  
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D.C. United Notes

United has lined up four tuneups so far: Feb. 10 vs. Columbus in Bradenton, Fla. March 7 vs. Real Salt Lake in Charleston, S.C. March 11 vs. Toronto in Charleston March 14 vs. the Battery in Charleston As expected, a new loan agreement between United and a Ghanaian club has...

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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DCU, MLS Updates

*Marcelo Gallardo, D.C. United's Argentine playmaker, has been excused from the start of training camp tomorrow in order to continue his rehabilitation from last season's injuries and tend to personal matters back home. I am still awaiting word on when he is scheduled to arrive. The club will not have...

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Wednesday Kickaround

*The Daily Mail reports Glasgow Celtic is preparing a $2.9 million offer to MLS/Chivas USA for USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Meantime, Maurice Edu is sticking it out with Glasgow Rangers. *I hear that one MLS club is interested in acquiring Colombian defender Gonzalo Martinez's rights from D.C. United. (Not sure...

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2009; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Scotland , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Who Should Start for USA?

After a series of roster changes caused by injuries, here is what USA Coach Bob Bradley is working with for Saturday's friendly against Sweden at Home Depot Center (8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision): GOALKEEPERS: Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens...

By Steve Goff  |  January 20, 2009; 9:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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A Duke in England

We told you last week that Duke forward Mike Grella, who turned down MLS's contract offers after scoring 14 goals this past college season, was on trial at Leeds United. Today Grella registered a hat trick in a reserve match for Leeds, which has slipped to the third tier of...

By Steve Goff  |  January 20, 2009; 9:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  College Soccer , England , MLS  
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Tuesday Kickaround

*MLS has issued a statement in reaction to yesterday's report about ESPN's decision to alter its match coverage this season: "As part of our 2009 strategic planning process, MLS and ESPN mutually decided to move from broadcasting the MLS game of the week exclusively on Thursday to include other weekday...

By Steve Goff  |  January 20, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  MLS , TV  
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Video: Donovan's Goal

Second-half header during Bayern Munich's 2-0 friendly victory at Kaiserslautern:...

By Steve Goff  |  January 20, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Bundesliga , U.S. men's national team  
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Inauguration Pitch

On this Inauguration Day in our fair city, soccer and culture/politics intersect again on the Insider. We applaud new press secretary Robert Gibbs, a former North Carolina State goalkeeper; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's son Key, who starred at Virginia in the early '90s; first kid Malia Obama, who plays...

By Steve Goff  |  January 20, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Misc.  
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Philadelphia.....

Here is your chance to influence the nickname of the Philadelphia 2010 expansion club. The official ballot is here, the very unofficial Insider poll is down there. poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  January 19, 2009; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  MLS  
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ESPN Dumps "MLS Thursday"

From SportsBusiness Journal..... "After two years of anemic ratings that started low and finished lower, ESPN executives decided to cancel the league's regular Thursday night telecast on ESPN2 this season. In its place, ESPN2 will carry an MLS game of the week, which will air on four different nights during...

By Steve Goff  |  January 19, 2009; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  MLS  
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Video: Barcelona Takes Five

(Mute the audio)...

By Steve Goff  |  January 19, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Spain  
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Americans Abroad

GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard and Everton at Liverpool today Brad Friedel 90 minutes in Aston Villa's 2-1 win at Sunderland Marcus Hahnemann not in the 18 for Reading's 2-0 loss at Swansea DEFENDERS Carlos Bocanegra 90 in Rennes' 1-0 loss at Lille Oguchi Onyewu 90 (own goal) in Standard Liege's 3-2...

By Steve Goff  |  January 19, 2009; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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MLS Updates

*Why haven't Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy formally announced the Dema Kovalenko trade we told you about exclusively late Wednesday night? As a courtesy, teams are supposed to contact players involved in a deal before officially publicizing it, but Kovalenko has been in his native Ukraine and,...

By Steve Goff  |  January 18, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  MLS  
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