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Back to Work

Hope you enjoyed the holidays. My break took me from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the snow banks of Ohio, from sea breeze to seeing my breath, from a 24-hour, in-house bar near the beach to a bar mitzvah in Beachwood (shalom, mates!) and from Awful Arthur's to Corky and Lenny's.

XM-Sirius highlight while driving through freezing rain on I-80: an acoustic version of Asia's timeless classic, "Heat of the Moment". (Seriously.) No match, of course, for this gem.

Best satellite radio moment: Etta James and Tower of Power with the Grateful Dead in a 1982 New Year's Eve show.

Lots to look forward to this week: MLS's Generation Adidas announcement, veteran re-signings, maybe a few foreign signings, trades are possible (though more likely before the draft next week), rookie scouting combine at Fort Lauderdale starting Friday, USA training camp at Carson beginning in earnest today. I'll be busy with college hoops much of the week, but will keep you updated as best I can.

*MLS draft fever: 10 days and counting. More on that later today. Lots of trade rumblings, including a potential three-way deal involving Dallas and Toronto and another club. I also hear Dallas is in the market for a veteran left-side midfielder.

*Landon Donovan has begun his Bayern Munich loan, saying of his third attempt in Germany, "I've grown up, especially mentally. I'm more experienced and mentally stronger, and I know what to expect here. Back then in Leverkusen, I wasn't ready for Germany and the Bundesliga. I thought for many months about the decision to come back, and spoke to lots of people. I know I'm ready for it now." For a full interview, click here. Bayern returns from winter break Jan. 27 in the German Cup.

*USA midfielder Bobby Convey makes a rare appearance for Reading.

*DCU reserve midfielder Ryan Miller , who was acquired in September and made two Champions League starts, is in Scandinavia to train with two clubs in preparation for United training camp.

*The goals from Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Mallorca (you'll want to turn off the audio):

By Steve Goff  |  January 5, 2009; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  Bundesliga , D.C. United , England , MLS , Spain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mapping Out the Future
Next: Terps News


The Return of the Goff! Middle Earth has been lonely without you, Steve.

Posted by: joedoc | January 5, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Don't know where else to post this. Thanks, Chest-Rockwell, for the summary. As for the football I saw two boring matches [ManUtd v. Boro (EPL) and Pompey v. Bristol City (FA Cup 3rd Round)] and froze my, ahem, hands and feet off in the process. Not that I would have given up the chance to be at either match.

Welcome back Steven and Happy New Year to all.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | January 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, he may be motivated, but how does Landon deal with a team that has Klose, Toni, Poldi, and Olic and possibly Tymoshuck and Gomez coming in the summer?

Posted by: Josh8 | January 5, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

With that post by Goff, my shaking and trembling is subsiding....

The Mallorca gol reminded me too much of DCU - in terms of Barca's defenders *not* being able to keep up with the attacker. Good run to shield the ball and a quality finish.

Second Barca gol was way offside, but the 3rd was beautiful. Toure's control was special - that or he had little strings between his boots and the ball.

Posted by: 22206no1 | January 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Philadelphia is on the verge of collapse. Nick Sakiviezc(sp?) is playing dangerous politics with Chester. You want a good story - start digging and you'll find quite a bit to cover.

Posted by: LCR-54 | January 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The Return of the Goff! Middle Earth has been lonely without you, Steve.

Posted by: joedoc | January 5, 2009 9:35 AM

No kidding! The abeyance of Soccer Insider forced me to read about FA Cup matchups between teams with Middle Earth-sounding names. Rivendell beat Helms Deep.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 5, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse


Podolski wants out, Tymoschuk is a defensive midfielder, and Gomez is a target man (much like Toni and Klose). Olic is the only player of that group that plays the kind of game Donovan does. And isn't this the kind of challenge he wanted?


Welcome back SG.

Dallas seems to be the team likely to swoop for Dave Van den Bergh, since NY is making one of its worst decisions in years (and that's saying something) in low-balling him. If I'm not mistaken, his American wife is from Texas, and Dallas was one of his original preferred destinations. A midfield with Rocha, Ricchetti, and Van den Bergh would be pretty strong; if they could then replace Guarda with someone competent, they'd be really dangerous.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 5, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Donovan is a good player, but there is no way he cracks that squad. If he stays there, he'll likely be just another Yank Abroad who doesn't even dress 95% of the time.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 5, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I think Bayern want to give Donovan the job, but he has to prove it's his. As with any large club, there are going to be backup plans. I think Bayern look at Donovan as a diamond in the rough who is substantially cheaper than Gomez.

Podoloski is gone soon. It's really up to Donovan to prove he belongs.

I think Donovan will crack the lineup and flourish, but well see, very shortly.

Posted by: strago | January 5, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Goff - welcome back!

You must have been traveling on Dec 22...seems XM may very well have been aware of its listenership on that day. While driving in the freezing rain on I-70, we got Jesus & Mary Chain's "Happy When it Rains" and the Decemberists' "A Record Year for Rainfall" and then while later stuck (for literally 8 hours, still on I-70) in Indiana we appropriately heard REM's "Can't Get There From Here."

Posted by: combedge | January 5, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Convey might have played himself out of the lineup.

What's the story with Miller? Has he worked out some deal just to get in some additional training? Or, is this a chance to introduce himself to these teams?

Sounds like quite a New Year's Eve show -- I'll have to check out the clip later.

Posted by: fischy | January 5, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"...with Bobby Convey slicing a good opportunity wide right" -- sigh, deja vu all over again.


Posted by: GrillMaster | January 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Philadelphia is on the verge of collapse. Nick Sakiviezc(sp?) is playing dangerous politics with Chester. You want a good story - start digging and you'll find quite a bit to cover.

Posted by: LCR-54

Philly is on the verge of collapse because a team won a championship, and another is still alive. If both win, the world will implode, starting at Franklin Field.

Posted by: Reignking | January 5, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Will my fervent hope that one of the "veteran resignings" be Bryan Namoff be rewarded?

Posted by: b18bolo | January 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I did not heed your warning about the audio on the highlights, and now I find myself bored... yawn... oh, and Henry casually scores a goal... yawn...

It's like the golf or tennis channel cover soccer. quiet please. thank you.

Posted by: TCompton | January 5, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, Corky and Lenny's... Probably didn't make it downtown to scope out the digs of USL-2 champ Cleveland City Stars at Krenzler Field, did you Goffo? No reason to if you didn't have other business downtown. Hope some Great Lakes beer was served at the bar mitzvah.

Now about this absence. It was treachery to post around the new year after I had checked repeatedly through the 28th or so, only to give up (I thought a Jan 5 return really meant Jan 5!). GIVE IT UP - you may have a life but many of us do not (uhh, like me)!

Posted by: Modibo | January 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse ...What are the differences between Germany and Major League Soccer (MLS)

Donovan: "...The playing styles are different too. You get more one-on-one situations in the Bundesliga, the players are technically strong and good on the ball - the MLS is faster and more physical.“
TCompton: So, you're saying that MLS is faster AND more physical than the Bundesliga? Interesting.
--------------------------------------------- You're here until 15 March for now, but the club may well want you to stay for longer. Is that a pressure situation for you?

Donovan: "Obviously there's pressure, but I like that. I'm at my best under pressure...“
TCompton: Uhmmm... So, are you saying that you didn't feel any pressure when you started against the Czech Republic or Ghana in 2006, or that WAS your best?

I really hope Donovan does well, but I have my doubts. He's a good player, but I wonder whether his confidence is better than his abilities.

Posted by: TCompton | January 5, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Check that out. Good read regarding that very subject.

Posted by: strago | January 5, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Goff, Its good to have you back!

Are you going to explain what your last post really meant? The Mapping Out the Future post. Also, any word on Namoff or how DCU plans to compete in this league next season? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by: dculuva | January 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Welcome *back* back Steve, we missed you.
OBX in the winter must be awfully relaxing, nice. Hope you skipped Dirty Dicks...
Speaking of Bayern, I had to shuttle the gift card my wife had forgotten at home up to Cassiana Spa on Saturday to find the Bayern/Hoffenheim replay on the flat screen in the waiting area and an awesome aquarium that kept Lil'ryan mesmerized.
After lots of soul searching I may have found that career change I was looking for:-)
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Donovan fits into a groove in Germany and thrives this time around.

Yo Reignking: you buying lottery tickets yet,or what?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Mapping Out the Future was making fun of the map, which clearly doesn't understand dc politics

Posted by: Steve Goff | January 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Dallas seems to be the team likely to swoop for Dave Van den Bergh, since NY is making one of its worst decisions in years (and that's saying something) in low-balling him..."

Word going around reliable NY folks is that NY and Van Den Burgh have come to an agreement, and VDB will be back for New York. Keep in mind that NY only paid half of VDB's salary for the last couple years, and was looking to keep his cap hit down, but apparently they're not trying to battle him anymore.

Everything I'm hearing could be totally wrong, but I don't think that he's the player Dallas is looking at.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | January 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Convey might have played himself out of the lineup.

Posted by: fischy | January 5, 2009 10:31 AM
Ok...can't not comment on fishy mentioning Convey ....based on the match reports and blogs it looks like Convey "has the feet" -all through the first half good runs down the flank but his lack of match play has clearly affected his ability to cross and think in front of the confidence. He needs to get out of there and into a regular playing situation to see if he can get it back.

Posted by: Beckster1 | January 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Corky and Lenny's is the best! I tried to get there myself over the holidays, but ran out of time. It was easier when the parents lived in Shaker Heights. Now they are out in Hudson. Maybe next time...

Welcome back!

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | January 6, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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