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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 from training with Glasgow Celtic and is likely to start. Seven players are seeking their first cap: goalkeepers Troy Perkins, Will Hesmer and Matt Pickens; defender Chris Wingert and midfielders Robbie Rogers, Jack Jewsbury and Stuart Holden.

Defender Jonathan Bornstein injured his foot, the latest medical setback for the USA squad. Chad Marshall, Sean Franklin, Jason Hernandez and Geoff Cameron have already been scratched from training camp.

*Here is the link to my print edition/web story on Ben Olsen's comeback attempt. FYI, because he has a guaranteed contract, Olsen will impact D.C. United's salary cap all season even if he were to retire tomorrow. The club would, however, gain a roster spot. After enjoying a light workout outdoors yesterday, United will shift to indoor fitness and conditioning today.

*As we hinted at two weeks ago, Columbus has hired one of its former players, Argentine defender Ricardo Iribarren, as an assistant coach.

*Real Maryland, a second-year USL2 club based in Montgomery County, has formed a partnership with the Colorado Rapids.

*Soccer on TV today:
English FA Cup, Derby-Nottingham Forest 2:15 p.m. ET Setanta
South American U-20s, Ecuador-Colombia 6 p.m. GolTV
South American U-20s, Argentina-Peru 8 p.m. GolTV
Argentina, Independiente-San Lorenzo 8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
UNCAF Cup, Costa Rica-Panama 8:30 p.m. Galavision

*Buckeye Barometer
(Countdown to the USA-Mexico qualifier Feb. 11 in Columbus)
Today: 25 to 43 degrees, cloudy
Tomorrow: 12 to 25 degrees, mostly cloudy
Sunday: 15 to 22 degrees, mostly cloudy

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 8:44 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team , USL  
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Next: Weekend TV Listings


Why hasn't DCU linked up with a nearby USL team, as the Rapids have just done with Real Maryland? We could stash players who don't quite make the smaller roster but could be useful later on, like Cordeiro.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 23, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Perkins start, and at what point does playing in freezing cold Columbus actually backfire on the US's own players?
Is it more of a determent to Mexico's player's or their supporters?

Thank you for clearing up Olsen's hit to the cap regardless of his role this season. Hopefully we won't be linking back to this thread endlessly to point that out. Unbelievable that people are still wondering why Christian Gomez is gone, hey maybe he'll end up at Real Maryland.;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 23, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Is there some particular rationale for the treatment of people in Olsen's situation for salary cap purposes? It sure seems counterintuitive to me.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 23, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Landon - American soccer has been waiting for you to shine on the international level - make us proud!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 23, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Wait. Shouldn't Real Maryland have formed a partnership with Real Salt Lake? Did the Royal Envoy from Maryland get lost on his way to the Court of Utah?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 23, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"Did the Royal Envoy from Maryland get lost on his way to the Court of Utah?

Posted by: I-270Exit1"

Yeah, must have gotten lost on I-270, don't you think? ;)

Happy Friday, and may the gods smile upon Ben Olsen's ankles.

Posted by: 22206no1 | January 23, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Any news on the locale of the April 1 qualifier against T&T? How about RFK?

Posted by: mojavebuckeye | January 23, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't the local teams "feeders" for the local team? This isn't baseball.

Posted by: sitruc | January 23, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't the local teams "feeders" for the local team? This isn't baseball.

Posted by: sitruc | January 23, 2009 10:13 AM
It's not a bad question...
Your response makes it seem like it never happens or can't happen.

Richmond Kickers and DCU have helped each other out over the years, including with players. But now the USL to DCU pipeline seems to run through Pittsburgh as well.

Also Crystal Palace Baltimore and DCU are building a nice relationship. They have trained together and Palace players have suited up for the now defunt United Reserve squad...

Posted by: yankiboy | January 23, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ sitruc. It's only in recent years that baseball has come to realize the value in having the minor league teams feed into the nearest big city major league team.

MLS might realize there's some value there, too -- helping out both the USL sides and the MLS teams.

Posted by: fischy | January 23, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Take a shot at a Mexico roster and give us a couple of potential darkhorses for inclusion.

Posted by: euroman | January 23, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If yankiboy is right about Palace, that would be a smart development. It holds the prospect of building greater support for DCU in the Baltimore area -- and it would be good for Palace, if their players are seen as future DCU stars.

Posted by: fischy | January 23, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@ euroman -- there was a significant development about Mexico on Wednesday. Rafa Marquez hurt his ankle and is likely out of the running for the USA game. Erickson's under huge pressure right now, and getting criticized for adding naturalized players.

Posted by: fischy | January 23, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I had thought about the Kickers when I asked the question, but have they or any other USL or USL2 team actually acknowledged being a "feeder" team for a MLS team. I thought the USL teams fought against that to a degree in the past although there were some agreements and understandings.

Posted by: sitruc | January 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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