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Monday Kickaround

*Besides the Beckham dilemma, two unresolved issues remain for the league: the MLS Cup venue and All-Star Game opponent.

The Insider has been telling you for weeks that Seattle is the front-runner ahead of Toronto and Foxborough to host the championship match, probably on a late Sunday afternoon (Eastern time), though Saturday night has been discussed. The initial schedule set the game for an early Sunday afternoon kickoff, eliminating Seattle from contention. But a move to late in the day would make it possible to play at Qwest Field and likely shift TV coverage from the usual ABC to ESPN. A final decision is near.

As for the All-Star Game, we are now hearing that the league has had serious talks with Inter Milan about playing the MLS select squad at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. It would be part of a multigame North American tour for Inter. Two other unidentified European clubs and two Mexican sides are in the all-star mix as well (no South American contenders, from what I understand). A final decision is expected within a few weeks.

*San Jose defeats Houston, 2-0, in a preseason friendly.

*Revolution players are cookin'.

*Former New England and Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo has resurfaced in Miami.

*Please rejoin me midday for details of today's D.C. United-Prince George's County stadium news conference.

By Steve Goff  |  February 16, 2009; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , USL  
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Next: Greetings From Largo


What is Seattle's plan for a field when the Gridiron starts up in the fall? We're not talking lines on the field for the Cup final are we? Plastic grass is one thing, but lines?

Posted by: JkR- | February 16, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Asked this on a previous post, but does anyone know if DCU is changing their jerseys this year at all? I want to buy one, but I am wondering whether or not I should wait if new ones are going to be released.

Posted by: SadieV | February 16, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: FatSickBoot | February 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

re: SadieV | February 16, 2009 9:47 AM

Just called the Team Store, and they said 2009 jersey will be the same except for an American flag on the left sleeve....damn, I'll have to buy two more this year because of the flag!!

Posted by: Smitty8 | February 16, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

34 days till United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

RE: stadium press conference

1) any fans going to this?

2) any live coverage - online or TV?

Posted by: Pedalada | February 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

JkR, FWIW the folks in Seattle swear there will be no lines during soccer matches, regular season or otherwise. I guess we'll see.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | February 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Pedalada | February 16, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't know whether this has been mentioned before on this blog, but the NYT reports that Salcido did get his just desserts (lemon meringue, I suppose) for his foul on Altidore, and that he will be sitting out the next Hex match:

Posted by: universityandpark | February 16, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

What ever happened to RSL trying to get Real Madrid for the All-Star game?

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | February 16, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

If there is any way we can start games like this in the new stadium, I am all for it:

Posted by: Pedalada | February 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@ SadieV-

I asked the guys at the team store during the half off the store sale, and they said United are not moving to one of the new templates Seattle/Houston/RBNY are wearing this year, but they will be adding an American flag to the sleeve, opposite of the MLS logo. That's all I've heard, and I haven't seen any leaks indicating anything to the alternative.

Posted by: TheAMT | February 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't know whether this has been mentioned before on this blog, but the NYT reports that Salcido did get his just desserts (lemon meringue, I suppose) for his foul on Altidore, and that he will be sitting out the next Hex match:

Posted by: universityandpark | February 16, 2009 10:26 AM

For me, confirmation that the referee did a good job. I didn't see him show the yellow, but pleased that he did so.

Did someone say, "Fernando"?!

"Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | February 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the MLS Cup winner should automatically host the following season's All-Star game and the Supporter's Shield champion host the MLS Cup.

In the event of a double winner like Columbus last year, hosting the next MLS Cup should go to the other conference champion.

These games should be awarded in recognition of some level of excellence (in MLS terms) not be a showcase for stadiums. The TV details can be always be negotiated after the sites are awarded. This nonsense goes on every winter and it is a waste of time and energy.

Failing that, we need a "national" stadium somewhere neutral (my pick would be New Orleans) where footie fans from across the country could feel included, have a good party together, and create a little wildness and atmosphere around the events.

Posted by: oz4dcu | February 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I get what you're saying oz4dcu, but I don't want to risk seeing an MLS CUp match played on striped plastic in a half-full stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 16, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I liek the thought of Inter, but I have to believe the RSL is still pushing Real Madird. First have their partnership on the website and webstore, second there is the cancelled match from last year.

If the league takes the cheap route (get a mexican team to show up) it will be a poor turnout. Just look at last year when Santos showed up in Salt Lake to under 13,000 fans, or Tigres who barely drew 10,000. RSL fans would not be happy if our big match (next to the USMNT match) is yet another visit from a Mexican team.

Posted by: f4denz | February 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

oz4dcu, why not just have the MLS Cup at the home of the team in the final with the best record? You can argue the neutral site, like the NFL, but honestly I could see rewarding the best team in the final with the match.

I think the All Star match should be a rotating format like it is, which allows the fans of all the teams to get to see a All Star match every 15 years or so.

I would like to see the MLS cup not be played in the "friendly" climates, real fans will show up even in cold weather. Novemeber can be tricky but I really think the team with the best record that is in the final should get the advantage of home field. I would actually have a one week break between the end of the playoffs and the final to allow for travel and hosting plans.

I would also like the MLS to do more with the All Star match, turn it into a multi day event. Do a skills competition and a match (GA vs. non GA rookies) or something that can make this event bigger and get more fans involved. I think the NBA does a great job of this, 3 days of events and one day with free tickets for schools and kids. That is the kind of exposure and good PR the league could really use.

Posted by: f4denz | February 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I-270: If a team that plays in those conditions earns the right to host either game, what would be the harm? I think any winning team will pull enough fans to make it worthwhile.

f4denz: Your MLS Cup suggestion would be my first preference, but as I understand it a lot of stadiums aren't exclusive to teams and require long-term advance booking. Home field isn't a practical solution at this time. So we have to have some kind of neutral site. I'd prefer a "road to Wembley" kind of scenario (which is why I suggested New Orleans) and like all your All Star suggestions. But under current circumstances, it isn't going to happen. So I'd sooner see winning teams rewarded by hosting the next year's "events."

Thanks for the feedback.

Posted by: oz4dcu | February 16, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

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