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

Matchnight: USA-ES

Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET TV: ESPN2, Telefutura. USA defender Oguchi Onyewu (knee) will not play. It is precautionary so he'll be ready for Wednesday's match against T&T in Nashville. Adu, Johnson and Howard (suspension) were also scratched. USA lineup: Guzan; Hejduk, Califf, Bocanegra, Pearce; Dempsey, Bradley, Kljestan, Beasley; Donovan, Ching....

By Steve Goff  |  March 28, 2009; 8:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchnight #2: United-Fire

Greetings from RFK, the 14th home opener in D.C. United history. Misty, cool, dreary day along the banks of the mighty Anacostia. Beware of Lot 8 potholes. You should know that, more than three months since Navy played a college football bowl game here, there are faint outlines of yard...

By Steve Goff  |  March 28, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Maradona, Olsen, USA, RFK

While you are enjoying the World Cup qualifiers this afternoon, take a few minutes to read: *The Post foreign service's feature about the cult of Maradona in Argentina. *My Ben Olsen feature. *A quick look at the USA-El Salvador match. *The Capital Weather Gang's forecast for RFK....

By Steve Goff  |  March 28, 2009; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Argentina , D.C. United , U.S. men's national team  
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United Acquires DiRaimondo

D.C. United has claimed midfielder John DiRaimondo, who was waived by the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday. DiRaimondo, who turns 23 next month, fills the developmental roster vacancy created when defender Ryan Miller was let go last week. The former Saint Louis University player has been in MLS for two years....

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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World Cup Qualifying Weekend

On a huge weekend of qualifiers around the planet, here's how things look: South America *The guay showdown goes down in Montevideo: first-place Paraguay (7-1-2) vs. fifth-place Uruguay (3-3-4). *Second-place Brazil (4-1-5), which has played three straight scoreless ties at home, faces sixth-place Ecuador (3-4-3) in Quito. Africa *The five-group...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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United News and Notes

*Fred (hamstring) says he won't play tomorrow, maybe next week. *Santino Quaranta (hamstring) says he won't play tomorrow, maybe next week. *Devon McTavish (head wound) says he probably won't play tomorrow but should be ready next week. "I've been better," he said. "I'm not feeling 100 percent." *Greg Janicki (head...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Seeds of Freedom

The Washington Freedom is off to Los Angeles today for Sunday's WPS inaugural match against the Sol at Home Depot Center (6 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel). Read why the Freedom might be a step ahead of the rest of the league and see video of the team.. Do you plan...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Freedom  
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Weekend TV Listings

So many qualifiers, so little time. Oh, MLS has decided to play on an international fixture date? Go figure. What are you planning to watch? SATURDAY Iran-Saudi Arabia 10:30 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel Wales-Finland 11 a.m. GolTV Russia-Azerbaijan 12:30 p.m. FSC Israel-Greece 2 p.m. Setanta Germany-Liechtenstein 3 p.m. GolTV Slovenia-Czech...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  TV  
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Friday Kickaround

*The Final Four in our NCAA-style, mock World Cup is set: Spain vs. Brazil Argentina vs. Germany We'll conduct the semifinals, championship game and third-place match early next week. Thanks to everyone who has participated. *Heading to RFK tomorrow night for D.C. United's home opener? Check out UnitedCast from the...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , FIFA , U.S. men's national team  
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Revs, USL, Freedom, Marquez

*The New England Revolution signs a 19-year-old forward from Cameroon: Stephane Assengue Ombiogno. Yup, we'll need a pronunciation guide: steh-FAHN ah-SENG-gay ohm-bee-OGG-no. *USL matches will be available live online for no charge. *As expected, the Washington Freedom has finalized contracts with USA forward Abby Wambach and Australian forward Lisa De...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Freedom , MLS , Mexico , USL  
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High School Showdown

This dispatch comes from Post colleague Paul Tenorio..... For followers of Virginia high school soccer, or the game in general, the matchup between the Post's top two ranked teams, No. 2 Robinson at No. 1 Westfield, has been postponed until Friday night at 7 p.m. Westfield has scored 20 goals...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C. United , Preps  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (Regional Finals)

We're down to the final eight teams in our mock World Cup, modeled after the NCAA basketball tournament. In the closest sweet 16 match, England edged Russia by 1 percent. South Region: (1) Spain vs. (3) England West Region: (1) Brazil vs. (2) Italy Midwest Region: (1) Netherlands vs. (2)...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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United, Freedom News

*Despite their official status as "questionable", I am hearing that defender Greg Janicki and midfielder-defender Devon McTavish probably won't play Saturday against the Fire. If that turns out to be true, my guess is that a three-man backline would see Bryan Namoff returning to the right, Dejan Jakovic in the...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  D.C. United , Freedom  
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Early Thursday Kickaround

*The Chicago Fire will be without starting defenders Gonzalo Segares and Bakary Soumare for Saturday's match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Segares is with Costa Rica's national team for the World Cup qualifier the same night against Mexico while Soumare is set to play for Mali in a qualifier...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Women  
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United Waives Miller

One game into the MLS season, D.C. United has waived reserve right back Ryan Miller, who was on a developmental contract. He had been with the club since mid-September of last year and appeared in three CONCACAF Champions League matches. No explanations were given and no roster replacement was named....

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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ES(occer)PN

Starting Saturday, the ESPN empire will carry three live matches in six days: SATURDAY World Cup Qualifier USA at El Salvador ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET Announcers: JP Dellacamera and John Harkes NEXT WEDNESDAY World Cup Qualifier USA vs. T&T in Nashville ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET Announcers: Dellacamera and Harkes. Sideline...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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RFK Food, Olsen, Freedom and Voting

*RFK Stadium has a new food and beverage concessionaire: Sodexo, a Gaithersburg-based company that has catered the Tour de France and Rugby World Cup and entertainment events at the Eiffel Tower, among other things. They also handle concessions at Crew Stadium. (Buck-a-Brat Night at RFK?!) *Catch an interview with D.C....

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  D.C. United , Freedom , TV  
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Freedom News and Notes

The Washington Freedom, one of seven teams in Women's Professional Soccer, has finalized its 22-player roster: GKs: Briana Scurry, Kati Jo Spisak. Ds: Cat Whitehill, Sonia Bompastor (France), Alex Singer, Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Karniski. D-MFs: Jill Gilbeau, Joanna Lohman, Emily Janss, Kristin DeDycker, Madison Keller, Jayme Leigh Cargnoni. MFs: Lori...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Freedom  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (continued)

The last four sweet 16 matchups (two here, two on the continuation of the thread): poll by twiigs.com poll by twiigs.com keep going........

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (Sweet 16)

If you haven't been following our little activity for the past week or so, it's a mock World Cup using NCAA basketball tournament pairings and regions based on FIFA rankings. All games are played in imaginary neutral locations where the pitch is immaculate and the weather is heavenly. We're down...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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Early Wednesday Kickaround

*USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel's red card with Aston Villa over the weekend has been rescinded. *El Salvador's roster for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against the USA at Estadio Cuscatlan (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Telefutura): Goalkeepers: Juan Jose Gomez (Firpo), Luis Castro (FAS), Miguel Montes (Nejapa). Defenders: Manuel Salazar (Firpo), Marvin...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2009; 7:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Copa Sudamericana , England , Freedom , Preps , U.S. men's national team  
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DCU Stadium, Injury Updates

Not particularly good news on either front. Read the Metro section story. Read the Sports section story. Comments welcome below....

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 11:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Sala Sidelined 4-6 Weeks

FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala, who started Saturday's season opener against Chicago, will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery today for torn medial meniscus in his left knee. Ray Burse (24 years old, eight career appearances) and Josh Lambo (18; no appearances) are the club's other keepers....

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  MLS  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (East Region)

The last four matchups in the second round (two here, two on the continuation of the thread): poll by twiigs.com poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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United Injury Updates

Defender Greg Janicki (head injury): "I think I will have more tests tomorrow to make sure I'm okay. I've been a little tired, a little groggy, spacing out. I'm going to sit out a few days this week, but I'm hoping to be ready for Saturday. ... I just saw...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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United's Kickoff Luncheon

Greetings from Gaylord Resort at National Harbor, the spectacular complex on the Potomac in Prince George's County. We're here for a good cause: D.C. United's charitable arm, United for D.C. But I'm also here for news, so here goes..... Let's start with primary investor Victor MacFarlane, who was returning from...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Schedule and TV For Chelsea, Milans

The World Football Challenge, organized by sports and entertainment giant Creative Artists, is as follows: July 19: Inter Milan-America, Stanford Stadium, 7 p.m. ET ESPN2 July 21: Chelsea-Inter Milan, Rose Bowl, 11 p.m. ESPN2 July 22: AC Milan-America, Georgia Dome, 7 p.m. ESPN2 July 24: AC Milan-Chelsea, M&T Bank Stadium,...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  England , Italy , Mexico  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (Midwest Region)

Two matches here, two on the continuation of this thread: poll by twiigs.com poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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AC, Inter, Chelsea U.S. Details

The official match schedule and TV details won't be formally unveiled until 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, but according to Ticketmaster, here are four of the six games: July 21: Chelsea vs. Inter Milan at Rose Bowl, Pasadena July 22: AC Milan vs. Club America at Georgia Dome, Atlanta July 24:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  England , Italy  
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Video: Tracy's Goal

Watch Marcus Tracy's header for Aalborg around the three-minute mark of this video:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2009; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Tracy Scores for Aalborg

Marcus Tracy, the Wake Forest star who bypassed MLS to sign with Aalborg in Denmark, started and scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second half of a 3-2 victory over Midtjylland today....

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2009; 10:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Milan-Chelsea in Baltimore

Following up last week's Insider reports, the international friendly between AC Milan and Chelsea this summer at the NFL stadium in Baltimore has been finalized. The official announcement will be made by promoters Tuesday. The match will take place on Fri., July 24. I'm curious to see the ticket prices...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2009; 5:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  England , Italy  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (continued)

It's time for the West Region: poll by twiigs.com poll by twiigs.com Jump below for more matches........

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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World Cup, NCAA Style (2nd Round)

Based on your voting, here are the matchups in our mock World Cup using NCAA basketball tournament regionals and pairings: South Region (1) Spain vs. (9) Costa Rica (4) Cameroon vs. (5) USA (3) England vs. (6) Nigeria (2) Russia vs. (7) Sweden West Region (1) Brazil vs. (9) Serbia...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  FIFA , Poll  
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Americans Abroad

GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 2-1 loss at Portsmouth Brad Friedel 65 (red card) in Aston Villa's 5-0 loss at Liverpool Marcus Hahnemann 90 in Reading's 0-0 tie at Crystal Palace Troy Perkins 90 in Valerenga's 1-1 tie with Aalesunds Brad Guzan 25 in Aston Villa's 5-0 loss...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2009; 5:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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United Rewind

Let's start with Ben Olsen's return to the starting lineup: "On the ball, I felt things were pretty good. I felt like I was coming back. I felt like my old self out there. I still have a long way to go, but it was a good start for me....

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2009; 10:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchday #1: United at Galaxy

Greetings from Home Depot Center for the start of D.C. United's 14th season in MLS. Very un-SoCal conditions: temps in the 50s, windy, chance of rain [update: skies have cleared]. The pitch appears to be in decent shape, considering the early start to the season and the fact that Chivas...

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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