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A Few Minutes With Louis Crayton

Before we get started with Louis, a few more items to share.....

*The three-story Marcelo Gallardo banner above Gate A at RFK Stadium has been removed. Eerily, Ironically, it was in a damaged state and had to be discarded.

*United President Kevin Payne is scheduled to conduct a live online chat at on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET. Click here to submit a question in advance, follow the action live and read the transcript.

Crayton rejoined the club last week after attending his mother's funeral in Liberia. Dora Crayton was 74. He lost his father, Louis Sr., almost 18 years ago at age 64. Life expectancy in war-torn Liberia is 41. Louis has four brothers and three sisters. He is the youngest. His eldest sibling, through a complicated family background, is 62.

"The reason I wear number 27 is because my father was born in 1927, he died on April 27 and my parents were married 27 years."

Much more below.....

While in Liberia, he was introduced to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who three years ago defeated former soccer superstar George Weah for the presidency. "I had a chance to say thank you for the good work she is doing back home and to present her with a gift from D.C. United -- a jersey with her name and the number 70, which is her age. It was a very brief meeting because I was busy with my mom's funeral."

How is your right shoulder?

"It's pretty good. Yesterday for the first time since we started the preseason, I went out and really tested it. Thank God, everything is fine right now. It's about 95 percent. I am still working on it. I come here to RFK every morning on my own and do exercises before practice and see how my shoulder is coping. Before we start the season, I think I will be 100 percent okay. It's just an injury that has to be treated with time and patience."

Have you have discussions with United about your contract, which expires at the end of July?

"Right now, what is most important is the preseason and the regular season. I want to leave that option to them to see what will happen. I definitely want to stay and continue to serve this great organization. So it is up to them if they want to continue with me. I expect to hear from them as the season progresses. I represent myself [instead of using an agent]. I know what I want, so I speak for myself."

Coach Tom Soehn, on Crayton: "He has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. He did a good job of working. He lost a lot of body fat and he has come in a lot fitter and stronger. And he continues to work hard to make sure, when opening day comes, he is 100 percent."

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2009; 4:12 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Americans Abroad, Tues. Edition


Great stuff today, Goff. Thanks.

Posted by: jpeace121 | February 17, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Irony is the opposite of what you expect to happen. So there is nothing ironic about the Gallardo poster. By now, we know that everything remotely related to Gallardo becomes broken with his magic touch, so the condition of the banner was expected.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | February 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

By coming to camp fitter and stronger and making comments like this, "I definitely want to stay and continue to serve this great organization," Crayton is starting to look a lot like the anti-Gallardo.

Posted by: jburksva | February 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

yes, what would have been ironic is if the Gallardo banner couldn't be removed because it was stuck.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | February 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Love the self representation bit. Scott Boras alone could probably reduce MLS GMs to tears.

Posted by: Colm1 | February 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

One would assume the Russell Athletic banner of Gallardo inside the stadium is also scheduled for removal...?

Posted by: Juan-John | February 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What would have been super-ironic is if the banner had fluttered down to the field and started flying all over the place instead of placidly looking on.

Posted by: davemcl | February 17, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Gallardo fellow you are talking about? I have had season tickets since 1997 and that name doesn't ring amy bells.

Posted by: Dew930 | February 17, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I know Amy Bells. Amy Bells is a friend of mine.....


Goff, I was wondering about a bit of info in your story -- regarding the Wizards new stadium. When they moved last year to the baseball park, it was supposed to be short-term thing, 2-3 years, no? Now, you're writing they hope to be in their new stadium in three years. What's the story there?

Posted by: fischy | February 17, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

KC stadium:

Last I heard, they were clearing the area and preparing it for groundbreaking, but uncertain when that might happen

If anyone has seen a more definitive timeline, please share

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 17, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Questions submitted.

Posted by: B_A_ | February 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone was wondering, I haven't submitted questions for KP.

Posted by: fischy | February 17, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr Payne,

Great job at United for all these years!

I was hoping that you might be able to provide some insight as to the other stadium sites available within the District and to what extend United pursued/evaluated these sites before settling on PG County?

Cheers and here's to another CUP!!

Posted by: delantero | February 17, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Get on Google Earth and look for yourself.

Vacant lots in DC near a metro station are few and far between. And those that do exist are prohibitively expensive or already spoken for.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 17, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

33 days to the first United match of the season!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 17, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

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