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D.C. United Updates

*Newly acquired defenders Dejan Jakovic is on his way to Washington from Canada today. With his arrival and the signing of Anthony Peters this week, United's four center backs are:

Jakovic (age 23): 6 feet 2, 178 pounds
Peters (25): 6 feet 5, 205 pounds
Devon McTavish (24): 6 feet, 170 pounds
Greg Janicki (24): 6 feet 3, 190 pounds

In case of emergency, left back Marc Burch (24 years old; 6 feet 1 and 185 pounds) is also available.

They are young. They are big. Now let's see if they can play together.

*United took the day off and will fly to Charleston, S.C., early tomorrow morning for the Carolina Challenge Cup. DCU will play Real Salt Lake on Saturday at 5 p.m., Toronto on Wednesday at 5 and the host Battery next Saturday at 7:15. As much as I would love to get back to Daniel Island, Blackbaud Stadium and the Three Lions Pub for the first time in five years, I'll be tied up with college basketball coverage for the next week-plus. For those planning to attend, you are certain to enjoy the city and venue. I think my next MLS game will be the Red Bulls-Crystal Palace USA friendly in Annapolis next Thursday.

*DCU GM Dave Kasper tells the Insider that the final 24-man roster will not be set until after the Charleston tournament. Does that mean the possibility of two developmental goalkeepers (Kocic and Thorpe) to back up Louis Crayton and a senior roster spot for veteran midfielder Domenic Mediate? We'll see. USL keeper Nic Platter also remains in the mix. Kasper said there are no plans, as of today, for any additional trialists.

By Steve Goff  |  March 4, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United-Freedom RFK Dates Set


Charleston related posts are not fair around lunchtime. I'm dying for some shrimp and grits!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Kev!

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 4, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

These guys are tall, but are they big? Oguchi is big.

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." Runyon

Posted by: OWNTF | March 4, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

those are some skinny guys, let me tell you. 6'5" and 205? they're going to be knocked off the ball a lot, I figure.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 4, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, I've kicked it around with Devon McT when he assisted with my son's youth team. I'm 6'0 and was several inches taller than he.

Although he was a bit trimmer, as I recall...

Posted by: JkR- | March 4, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Or does this mean Kocic gets upgraded to the senior roster (as originally offered) and Thorpe gets the other slot. Platter can always be obtained from the USL in the future, if needed.

Kev29, on the money.

Posted by: oz4dcu | March 4, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Kev -- I'll be sure to eat some this weekend.

Posted by: Reignking | March 4, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

JkR- MLS tends to exaggerate on height. For example, they list Taylor Twellman as 5'11", and there's no way in heck he's that tall.

Of course, his abnormally large head may have something to do with the discrepancy...

Posted by: Dynaformer | March 4, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

What do guys want, linebackers? And what forward or midfielder in MLS is going to knock them off the ball? Twellman? Ching? Blanco? He's a stiff breeze away from falling over himself.

Posted by: CHICO13 | March 4, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

To me, the worst was trying to pass off Nick Rimando as 5'10". I'm not much over 5'8" now that I'm in my dotage, and we saw eye to eye.

Posted by: b18bolo | March 4, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I would have said Burch looks at least 6' 1" but I've never been in his left footed presence.

The number of 200lb (14.25 stone) footy players is quite a small list. Peters is monstrous.

Posted by: JkR- | March 4, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's my worry:

With all the changes on D, it'll take about the first 1/3 of the season to gell. And we'll have a nice, strong middle 1/3 of the season. But Soehn won't manage minutes well with Jamie and Gomito, and they'll have a big tailoff toward the end of the year.

1st 1/3 - weak D, solid O
2nd 1/3 - solid D, solid O
3rd 1/3 - solid D, weak O

= middle of the pack season.

Yes, I realize this is very simple thinking. It's just what's on my mind.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

We'd better score a lot of goals off corner kicks.

@b18bolo: Not stalking the Freedom players today? :-)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What do guys want, linebackers? And what forward or midfielder in MLS is going to knock them off the ball?

Yeah, why not? We churn out college linebackers and tight ends by the fistful in this country who are 6'3" or 4", weigh 230+ and run 4.6 40s. Why aren't we getting a few of them to play soccer? Or the wide receivers, defensive backs, or point guards? Goff referred to Martinez last year as being built like a linebacker, which may be true, only he was built like a miniature linebacker. He probably wasn't as big as most high school linebackers around here. Yeah Peralta was big, but he was standing in cement boots.

How much do you think Kenny Cooper weighs? Who will win the 50/50 ball, Cooper or Delagarza (sp)?

Posted by: OWNTF | March 4, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The other problem with big dudes such as Peters is the additional pounding their joints take... obviously this can be semi-prevented with good fitness, but then again we were a little weak in that area last year.

Posted by: Dynaformer | March 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If you can get anyone of those football players you named to run for 90 minutes then sign them up. I'd like to see what their stamina is like when they're used to running for short bursts of speed and then taking a 2 minute breather.

Posted by: CHICO13 | March 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Kev -- I'll be sure to eat some this weekend.

Posted by: Reignking | March 4, 2009 1:31 PM

Enjoy! Have to say, I make a pretty mean version, for a Yankee.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF, guys that size wouldn't be that size if they had been playing soccer at a high level since age 10.

Also, in my son's last year of competitive soccer he was 6'3" 180 and the physics of the game for a body of those dimensions are very different. I can't imagine putting more weight on and having the type of touch, and speed bursts required. The size starts to work against you, and not insignificantly.

Love to see it, though.

Posted by: JkR- | March 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The thing that stands out to me is that the age will benefit the team. All these guys are in the early or mid 20s. They should not wear down as easy as a 34 year old. They will make mistakes, but youth may be exactly what these team needs considering the attack is run by a bunch of soccer geezers (Emilio, Moreno and Gomez).

Posted by: therealfootball | March 4, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It's not just soccer. I was 2 inches higher back when I played college basketball. Height inflation is everywhere.

Posted by: Stevenho | March 4, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I hear you, but look at the NBA. Many 6'3" or 4" guys who can run all night long, and not whine about doing it on less than 7 days rest. A NCAA D1 tight end who got match fit for soccer would carry less weight, but he'd still be huge compared to MLS. And a central defender covers less ground than all field players, he's not out there hoofin' like Josh Gros.

Maybe it's not possible, which is why you don't see more of it, but I don't see why not, especially in central defense, and especially in the US of A.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 4, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 4, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Josh, Gooch is 6ft4 and 210. I don't see him getting knocked off the ball very much.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 4, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"I'll be tied up with college basketball coverage for the next week-plus"


Posted by: redskinsux | March 4, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of college hoops...

Is anyone running a March Madness pool? I-270? OWNTF? JkR?

If so, I'm in -- with Wisconsin-Green Bay winning it all.

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 4, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse


Have you been to an NBA game lately? Even if you put an NBA player in central defense, running around a soccer field for 90 minutes is a totally different demand on your body than a few trips up and down a court sandwiched between TV timeouts and free throws.

Posted by: Kenobi | March 4, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

If any of the Insider's happen to be the praying/positive vibes sending types send some the Ryan household's way could ya?The young one has got some crazy allergic reaction/ or mystery illness that is threatening to cancel our trip to Charleston in a week..
Head to toe rash sucks... Hoping the traveler's insurance isn't going to come in handy for an airfare refund...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. I'm running a March Madness pool - a car pool. Baseball, swimming, gymnastics, cub scouts. It's madness.

You said "Madness," right?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 4, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan - I just pushed "Send" on my positive vibes message to you and your family. Best of luck.

Seems to me that United's overall lack of size over the past few years was a significant detriment, especially on set pieces and during games against overtly physical opponents. Sometimes we were just bullied into defeat. Hopefully we'll start to assert ourselves a little more in both penalty boxes. The drawback of the big guys, however, may be a lack of pace to keep up with the speed merchants of MLS.

Posted by: SSMD1 | March 4, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I am glad they are tall,glad they are young. Worst comes to worst, we have something to Build on next year.

Count me as optimistic. I think we will make the playoffs. As long as Gomez and Moreno can go the distance.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 4, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Head-to-toe rash, DadRyan? Change laundry detergents recently?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I blame the internet. It has caused people to exaggerate all sorts of measurements like never before.

I think tall + wide = slow for some reason. I don't mind tall skinny guys if they move well. You mainly want the height for defending high balls and attacking on set pieces. Look at a stick like Clarence Goodson. He seemed to do pretty well back on defense...didn't he end up going to Europe somewhere? He's like 6'5, 120#.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I definitely want in on joedoc's March Madness pool...

Posted by: sitruc | March 4, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

No I-270Exit1.
It really is starting to look like a delayed allergic reaction to amoxicillin she was taking for an ear infection last week and into the weekend. Not itchy really, but it looks awful. Google Image Amoxicillin Allergy Rash and you'll see pics of kids who look just like her. Guess I was naive thinking an allergic reaction would show up after one or two doses instead of 12...
Thanks for the positive light beams though, we ALL really want to go to Charleston next week!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

those are some skinny guys, let me tell you. 6'5" and 205? they're going to be knocked off the ball a lot, I figure.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 4, 2009 1:27 PM

Maybe just a good photo, but I don't see this guy getting knocked around much:

I see him getting carded maybe, when Blanco bounces off of him. But that's entertainment!

Posted by: jealousmuse | March 4, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Dom getting a chance to earn a roster spot.

Posted by: ol-brob | March 4, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I am optimistic about the defense but not overly confident. On the up side they are a pretty young group, with some size. Footspeed may be a problem. Hopefully with Crayton, they can find some consistency. We leaked so many pathetic goals last season it was bad. With the salary cap you know there will be alot of parity in the league. Lets hope we are one of the superior teams.

Posted by: sbg1 | March 4, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

You said "Madness," right?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 4, 2009 3:04 PM

Love the Nutty Boys, but don't watch that, watch this!

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

23-24 is not young in soccer. A lot of careers are over in the late 20s. These lads may lack experience but this is a better group than last year. It is the endurance of the core of older players that concerns me.

Posted by: oz4dcu | March 4, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Steve, first you do an excellent job with up to the minute DC United updates. I was wondering with players like Jose Burciaga and Facundo Erpen unemployed, do you see MLS teams picking them up? And if DC needed a leftback why didn't they give Burciaga a chance?

Posted by: Unitedfan | March 4, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Happy someone else likes the nuttiest sound around; but this is the one, musically and topically (especially given what they'd done to that point -- an incredible leap). Man I love this song:

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 4, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Burciaga is a left back who doesn't play much defense and makes good money

Posted by: Steve Goff | March 4, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse


I'd want in as well.

Posted by: B_A_ | March 4, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Putting your kid in the white light of protection bro. Keep on the sunny side everything will be ok! Keep us updated.
Haven't signed on with this name in a while but it will pop up more frequently now.

Posted by: evanskr521 | March 4, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

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