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Soccer Insider: February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009

Alcantara to San Jose?

The Insider told you yesterday that second-year left back Mike Zaher, dropped by D.C. United, is hoping to earn a roster spot with San Jose. Now we are hearing that Cuban forward Reinier Alcantara, who sought asylum during the national team's stay in Washington last fall and was released by...

By Steve Goff  |  February 28, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  MLS  
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Saturday Kickaround

*USA midfielder Michael Bradley converts a 69th-minute penalty kick during Moenchengladbach's 2-1 loss at Hertha Berlin, USA midfielder Maurice Edu goes 90 in Glasgow Rangers' 1-0 victory at Hamilton, and USA goalkeeper Tim Howard registers a shutout in Everton's 2-0 triumph over West Brom. *If you're looking to buy a...

By Steve Goff  |  February 28, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , U.S. men's national team , Women  
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Weekend TV Listings

What are you going to watch? SATURDAY England, Everton-West Brom 7:40 a.m. Setanta England, Middlesbrough-Liverpool 9:40 a.m. Setanta England, Arsenal-Fulham 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel Germany, Borussia Dortmund-Hoffenheim 11:30 a.m. GolTV Italy, Lazio-Bologna noon FSC Spain, Atletico Bilbao-Sevilla 2 p.m. GolTV Italy, Juventus-Napoli 2:30 p.m. FSC Mexico, Cruz Azul-Atlante 3...

By Steve Goff  |  February 28, 2009; 12:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  TV  
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Alvarez Out for ES, Maund In for USA

FIFA ruled today that San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Arturo Alvarez is not eligible to play for El Salvador's national team. The U.S.-born Alvarez, 23, is of Salvadoran descent. He has represented the USA at several levels and tried to switch soccer allegiances after his 21st birthday -- FIFA's deadline for...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  CONCACAF , U.S. men's national team  
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A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen

Before we get started with Olsen, you should know that, because of the wet, cold weather sweeping into the area this weekend, United's friendly against the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday has been moved to Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. (If you plan to attend, beware of traffic issues caused by...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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DCU Signs Defender

D.C. United has paid a transfer fee to Red Star Belgrade for Canadian central defender Dejan Jakovic. He is 6 feet 2, 23 years old, born in Yugoslavia, left for Canada with his family at a young age, played at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and was a regular with Canada's...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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DCU Stadium News

D.C. United President Kevin Payne told the Insider today that the number of potential stadium sites in Prince George's County has been reduced from seven to "probably three." He declined to specify the locations, but said all are in "transit-oriented areas. Some are right at the Metro and some are...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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D.C. United Updates

*Second-year defender Mike Zaher has been let go. He will pursue opportunities on the West Coast, presumably in the USL. Zaher is a left back, and with veteran Marc Burch and first-round pick Rodney Wallace on the roster, his chances of making the final roster were slim. *The goalkeeping situation...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Access to Freedom

The Washington Freedom will open training camp Sunday at Maryland SoccerPlex, and the public is welcome to watch the session. It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Field #20 (artificial turf). The weather could dictate changes. Check the club's Web site for more information. All sessions next week...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Women  
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Friday Kickaround

*Join me later for reports from the RFK Stadium training grounds, where D.C. United will resume workouts after a week in Puerto Rico. We should learn more about the goalkeeping situation, developmental signings and overall roster, which must be finalized by Monday. *The Washington Freedom signed four more players, three...

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , TV , Women  
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Island Magic

For the second consecutive night, a non-U.S. club from USL1, the second tier of the U.S. pro system, claimed victory in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. On Wednesday, it was Montreal. Tonight, it was Puerto Rico, which came from behind in the final 17 minutes...

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 9:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  CONCACAF , USL  
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We're No. 2! (Behind Skydiving)

As far as environmentally friendly sports and outdoor activities go, soccer is hardly green, according to treehugger.com: "The game unites cultures, countries and backgrounds in a common bond of athletic competition. It requires nothing but some friends, a ball and an afternoon full of fresh air: Unless you're one of...

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  History , Misc.  
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Guzan, Villa Ousted

USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Aston Villa were bumped from the UEFA Cup today with a 2-0 loss at CSKA Moscow (3-1 on aggregate). With Tim Howard on a yellow card suspension, Guzan is slated to start for the USA in the World Cup qualifier March 28 at El Salvador....

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  England , U.S. men's national team  
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Youri, Not Yanni

Clearly inspired by his two years in MLS, Frenchman Youri Djorkaeff is expressing his joy for life through a Euro-techno-rap music video (Thanks to Insider loyalist Simon for the priceless link.)...

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  France , MLS , Soccer and music  
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Thursday Kickaround

*The Red Bulls defeated the River Plate reserves, 2-1, this morning in Pilar, Argentina. Marcelo Gallardo went 90 minutes for River and, according to a Buenos Aires Web site, was involved in a minor incident with a New York player. For Red Bulls details, Michael Lewis's bigapplesoccer.com is on site....

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Argentina , Libertadores , MLS , TV , USL  
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Le Magnifique!

The USL1's Montreal Impact took a big step toward the CONCACAF Champions League final four with a 2-0, first-leg quarterfinal victory over Mexico's Santos Laguna in front of 55,571 at Olympic Stadium last night. Read the AP story here. Watch the goals down there. Tonight the league rival Puerto Rico...

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 12:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  CONCACAF , Mexico , USL  
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China Syndrome

This Reuters story about the national team coaching search truly sums up the dismal condition of Chinese soccer. Among the highlights: The candidates had to give "a 15-minute presentation and undergo a three-hour written test on their knowledge of education, management and sport." "I am not very confident," said the...

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 7:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  World  
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Americans Abroad

Landon Donovan was not on the game-day roster for Bayern Munich, which didn't need any additional firepower during a 5-0 rout of Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of a Euro Champions League round-of-16 series. The return leg is March 10. It was also a good day for English clubs...

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Gallardo vs. Red Bulls

Marcelo Gallardo, the $1.9 million bust who returned to Argentina after one injury-shortened season with D.C. United, is scheduled to play for the River Plate reserves tomorrow morning against the touring New York Red Bulls. See a Gallardo photo and read about it (in Spanish)....

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Argentina , MLS  
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Galaxy Cuts, Excitement in Seattle

Five players are waived by the Galaxy: GK Steve Cronin, D Mike Randolph and Troy Roberts and MFs Brandon McDonald and Ely Allen. Average age: 23.6. The Galaxy's final roster is likely to include Klein (33), Lewis (34), Ricketts (31), Kirovski (almost 34), Kovalenko (31) and Sanneh (37). On a...

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  MLS  
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United Notes

*Following up on our report from the other day that, despite being the reigning champion, D.C. United will have to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup..... The club's prelim game against Dallas has been finalized: Wed., April 22, 7:30 p.m., RFK Stadium. (It is part of the season ticket package.)...

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Wednesday Kickaround

*Americans abroad: GK Troy Perkins and Valerenga allow three goals in the second half of a 3-1 friendly loss to Russian champion Rubin Kazan. Click here for match highlights. *This story says D.C. United is interested in El Salvador national team left winger Cristian Castillo. United GM Dave Kasper says...

By Steve Goff  |  February 25, 2009; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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WPS Unveils Uniforms

What do you think? Click here for a photograph from the ceremony in New York. Find more photos like this on Women's Professional Soccer...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Women  
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Galaxy Moves

You might have already heard that Los Angeles dropped goalkeeper Steve Cronin (22 starts in 2008), who is now looking for work with the USL1 Portland Timbers but could end up back in MLS. You might have seen that 23-year-old defender Mike Randolph (15 starts) has, indeed, been waived. And...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  MLS  
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Dempsey Scores for Fulham

USA midfielder Clint Dempsey scores the equalizer on a 77th-minute header inside the six-yard box and then Bobby Zamora puts Fulham ahead three minutes later for a 2-1 victory over Championship side Swansea City in an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers will face Manchester United in...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  England , U.S. men's national team  
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Video: Making a List

The man of mail delivered three treats to House of Insider today: Netflix DVDs of "Frozen River" and "Man on Wire" and the March issue of the incomparable FourFourTwo magazine. Among this month's features is the 50 Greatest Football Television Moments. Number 1 is Kevin Keegan's fiery 1996 interview on...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Beckham , History  
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Serioux, Ferreira, Terps

*The trade the Insider has been telling you about was formally announced: Canadian defender Adrian Serioux from FC Dallas to Toronto FC for a first-round draft pick and allocation money. As you may recall, TFC claimed Serioux, 29, in the expansion draft two years ago, but traded him to Dallas...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Tuesday Kickaround

*D.C. United uniform number update, courtesy of the club's blog: Christian Gomez 10 Andrew Jacobson 8 Rodney Wallace 22 Chris Pontius 13 Ryan Miller 2 Ange N'Silu 9 (whatever happened to that Freddy kid, anyway) *Awaiting the official announcement of the Dallas-Toronto trade you read about here exclusively yesterday: Adrian...

By Steve Goff  |  February 24, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS , Poll , U.S. men's national team , USL  
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USA U-20 Roster Set

Thomas Rongen names his roster for CONCACAF U-20 World Cup qualifying, which begins March 6 in T&T: GOALKEEPERS: Sean Johnson (Central Florida), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas), Brian Perk (UCLA). DEFENDERS: Gale Agbossoumonde (unattached), Kyle Davies (Southampton), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning), Anthony...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  USSF  
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Serioux to Toronto

The Insider has learned that FC Dallas is planning to trade Canadian midfielder Adrian Serioux to Toronto for a draft pick and allocation money. Serioux, 29, began his pro career in Toronto with the A-League's Lynx 10 years ago. He started 24 league games for FCD last year and had...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  MLS  
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DCU-Terps and Other Notes

*D.C. United's scrimmage against NCAA champion Maryland on Sunday has been finalized: Ludwig Field, 1 p.m., free admission. *GOAL!Maryland, a group supporting United's plans to build a stadium in Prince George's County, has launched a Web site. Take a look. *MLS announced today that its Direct Kick TV package will...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Argentina , D.C. United , Euro Champions League , MLS , TV  
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Freedom Updates

After spending time at Maryland SoccerPlex today with Washington Freedom Coach Jim Gabarra and club president/GM Joseph Quinn for a future print-edition/web story, I can tell you that..... *Temporary stands are being assembled behind the permanent sideline bleachers across from the team benches, creating an additional 2,700 seats and expanding...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Women  
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Video: Franco Niell's Goal

The former D.C. United forward scores for Gimnasia La Plata against Huracan in Argentina:...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Argentina , D.C. United  
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Monday Kickaround

*Despite being the reigning tournament champion, D.C. United must play its way into the U.S. Open Cup this year because it missed the MLS playoffs in 2008. The Insider has learned that United will host Dallas in a preliminary-round match -- probably on a weeknight in April and probably at...

By Steve Goff  |  February 23, 2009; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Beckham , D.C. United , MLS , Spain , TV , Women  
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Americans Abroad

GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard 90 in Everton's 0-0 tie at Newcastle Brad Friedel 90 in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Chelsea Brad Guzan in 18 but didn't play in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Chelsea Marcus Hahnemann in 18 but didn't play in Reading's 2-0 loss to Bristol City Luis Robles...

By Steve Goff  |  February 22, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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