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Open Forum

If the skies are indeed friendly, I will be on my way to the Wasatch Front this morning.

While I'm off the grid, the floor is yours -- United? Garber? Freedom? UEFA Cup? Fire away. You should know that Cuban refugee Reinier Alcantara, who has had trials with Chivas USA, San Jose and Charleston, is close to finalizing a deal with Miami in USL1, one of his representatives said. Earlier this week Miami signed former DCU defender Facundo Erpen and long-lost MLS veteran Diego Serna.

I have scheduled a thread to appear midday with the weekend TV listings and might rejoin you later from Salt Lake City.

By Steve Goff  |  April 10, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Next: Freedom Player Juggles Careers

Comments

Have a safe trip!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 10, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering if anyone who saw Ange N'Silu play would care to share their impressions. I am eager to hear about him.

Posted by: Wiggan | April 10, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Re: N'Silu. He's big, yet showed good foot skills. He has some speed, but isn't a "burner" by any stretch. I thought he looked a little raw, but it was his first start. Overall he did well and I can at least see why his reported salary is greater than Doe's because his size and skills may provide a greater potential upside. I would like to see him get more minutes -- maybe the Open Cup match against Dallas -- to see if there is anything more there than a 3rd or 4th forward option. N'Silu looks promising, but so did David Stokes at first blush.

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 10, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm interested in the economics of the Erpen signing. I would assume he could have returned to Argentina and played second division football (if Peralta can anyone can). Yet he chose USL-1. Is the money better? or does he think that playing in USL-1 keeps him in the eyes of MLS scouts for entering Philly, Vancouver and Portland teams?

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 10, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the report Griffin. I was hoping he would bring speed up top, which Emilo lacks, and be able to chase down a thru ball.

Posted by: Wiggan | April 10, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

FYI Jozy has made the preliminary roster for the first time.

Posted by: Reignking | April 10, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Garber? No reason to shoot the messenger. I'm wondering where our hot shot owners are. They haven't said a damn thing in weeks, probably trying to unstick their heads from between their legs after realizing they aren't as savvy as they thought they were. They should be shouldering the blame 100 percent.

Posted by: beach3 | April 10, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Yet he chose USL-1. Is the money better? or does he think that playing in USL-1 keeps him in the eyes of MLS scouts for entering Philly, Vancouver and Portland teams?

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 10, 2009 7:47 AM
-------------------------------------------
Pretty good theory. Wouldn't be the first time.

Another thing to add to that is we don't know if he already managed to get his Residency (Green) Card or not or how close he is to getting one. That could be the real wildcard. He might want to get that hooked. If he manages to keep a work permit then that will help.

If he does have one then you can only be out of the country for a limited time without putting it in jeapoardy..

Dude has been here for what at least 4 years now? It might be pretty close to five.

Could be a combination of the two. Maybe he just thinks the chicks in Miami are really hot and he likes the weather...

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Garber? No reason to shoot the messenger. I'm wondering where our hot shot owners are. They haven't said a damn thing in weeks, probably trying to unstick their heads from between their legs after realizing they aren't as savvy as they thought they were. They should be shouldering the blame 100 percent.

Posted by: beach3 | April 10, 2009 8:25 AM

Yeah-enough with the "fans let the club down" bit.

Screw that.

But then again, if Uncle Vic bout the club just looking at it as a means to and end to get his hands on this Popular Point development rights, considering the bath that real estate has taken and that he has some in San Fran that he would like to move--how likely is it that he will just write this whole thing off and try to run and cut bait asap?

Big Willy, I have a different take on that guy. I think that he actually cares and bought the club--in part--because he loves sports and really enjoys owning a pro sports franchise (or at least the rights to administrate one)...

Enough with blaming the fans!

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

wow, Diego Serna! How old is he now? Must be in his 40s, no?

Posted by: fedssocr | April 10, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Miami FC is the biggest club in North America! Why wouldn't you sign with them?

Posted by: Reignking | April 10, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Love the Wasatch Mountains. Absolutely spectacular scenery.

Thank God we don't have to deal with the concrete floor they used to call a soccer field in Salt Lake. Maybe one day a large mining company will build a stadium for us. I'm willing to give up the mineral rights to my paltry 1/4 acre if they do.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | April 10, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Thank God Erpen is gone from the MLS. If I had to listen to Max Bretos and Chris Sullivan call him "Erpen!" like they live in a Brazilian slum one more time I was going to shoot myself.

Garber interview has ruined my week....

Posted by: adamsunited | April 10, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

That USL press clipping has a pic of Hercules Gomez while they are referring to Erpen. Shows you some people who work in the industry have no clue what they are writing about.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 10, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

OK I do finally see Erpen in the pic, but it's half of him next to H. Gomez.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 10, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Have a safe trip, Steve. And to my Insider colleagues, have a great and blessed weekend.

2 Timothy 2:8-13

Posted by: joedoc1 | April 10, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Open Forum?
Anyone tuning in for Paris-Roubaix Sunday?
Favorites to win the Hell of the North?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Erpen also probably likes getting a regular paycheck which does not bounce or get held back - I recall more than a few Argies make that comment upon deciding to move to the USA to play. As others noted with 3 MLS expansion teams coming in the next two years, there will be plenty of opportunities for depth players which Erpen could become.

Posted by: PhillyMLS | April 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Where can I find an internet feed for this week's game?

And why do we expect a stadium when we can't even get televised games?

Posted by: rose-family1 | April 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@Fedssocr

Wiki is your friend....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Serna

He's actually younger than GBS.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | April 10, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Article from the A section of the paper

"Soccer, a Link to Normalcy For West Bank Palestinians"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/09/AR2009040904480.html?hpid=sec-world

Posted by: emanon13 | April 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

How about talking to the Redskins about swaping stadiums? Since it's obvious that the Redskins want to comeback to DC, why not let DCU take over Fedex Stadium and the Redskins take over RFK and turn it into a brand new stadium. We already know what everyone involved wants. DCU can use Fedex almost as it is.

Posted by: fedster | April 10, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@dadryan: gotta pull for Hincapie, right?

@stancollins: I didn't understand the import of what you said in earlier thread about an Amusement Tax. What difference does that make? Aren't the taxpayers still on the hook for bond payments one way or the other? And if so why should they be, if DC United's revenue projections fall short?

Posted by: OWNTF | April 10, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Post colleague Paul Tenorio will preview Saturday's Washington Freedom home opener with a feature about a local player with dual professions.
=============================

Did I miss this?

Posted by: OWNTF | April 10, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

How about talking to the Redskins about swaping stadiums?
__________________________________________

This idea has already been discussed ad nauseam in previous threads. First, the National Park Service owns the land underneath RFK and its parking lots, and must approve any post-RFK use of that land. There would be a period of public input, environmental assessments, etc., and who knows how long that might take. Then construction would begin. The swap could not happen until the new stadium was ready for occupancy, so DCU would need a temporary home. As discussed in previous threads, the options are not good, unless a major pointyball stadium would have United as a secondary tenant. It is probably no coincidence that every time that FedEx Field has been used for soccer, starting with the 1999 WWC, it was not during pointyball season. Ditto for the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, M&T in Ballmer this summer, etc. Finally, Snyder would have to let DCU have FedEx for a song, as it is otherwise far too big for United's needs, and not very Metro-accessible.

Still, I must admit that the possibility that, as Winston Churchill said about democracy, it is the worst option one can imagine, except for all the others.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 10, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fedster, can you pass me some of that stuff that you are smoking. Snoop and Meth and Red will want to know who your supplier is... :D

DCU couldn't afford to use Fed Ex, unless it was somehow free. And the wannabe NFL Fantasy Manager and Amusement Park Mogul has expanded that place where it's to big for his ca$h cow.

DCU would drown in that bad boy..

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@stancollins: I didn't understand the import of what you said in earlier thread about an Amusement Tax. What difference does that make? Aren't the taxpayers still on the hook for bond payments one way or the other? And if so why should they be, if DC United's revenue projections fall short?

Posted by: OWNTF | April 10, 2009 10:24 AM
__________________________________________

To reinforce OWNTF's point: So long as interest rates are positive, the timing of the receipt of tax revenues is material. If it takes 25 years to collect the revenues that you were expecting to collect in the first 15 years of the stadium's operations, that could turn a good deal into a bad deal. (I'm sure people can find a more extended discussion of the concept of present value somewhere.)

Posted by: universityandpark | April 10, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF:Big George without a doubt!USA!USA!;-) I think he's got one of these left in him.

New Topic: This may sound corny to some, but would it be too much to ask DC United fans to wear their scarfs, jerseys, hats, etc. on Fridays??? I've seen these calls out to Sounders fans to do the same, in hopes of sparking more interest(not that they need any more as they're shutting people out of Qwest...).
Lots of us wear our swag on match days of course, but if we wore the stuff on Fridays we might get those random, "well, what's up with United anyways?" type of comments from co-workers etc...
This is also sparked by last nights Office and it touching on soccer crazies... I know it's asking a lot of typical DC stiffs, but if we really started showing our colors on Fridays we just might make some more people curious...
Of course it would help if the game was on standard TV tomorrow...but hey, if any one asks, I'd gladly let em' know where they could catch the game tomorrow!
This couldn't hurt. I'm sure there are those who already may do this, it couldn't hurt though could it?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Any website suggestions on where to watch the game online?

Posted by: envirosound | April 10, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Actually DadRyan, that's a pretty good idea. I hear a lot of comments like "DC has a soccer team? Where do they play? My son/daughter would love to see them. He/she plays soccer."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from Alta (630" of snow so far this season) and the powder was waist deep. Better snow in Alta (with a beer at the Peruvian Lodge afterward) than Park City or Deer Valley, but all are excellent. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by: lasoccer | April 10, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

That's a good idea, Dad. But one correction: people would ask "well, what's up with THE United anyways?" ;)

Posted by: ZidVicious | April 10, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Erp-fu! Hayyyya! [Karate Kicks].

Posted by: WorldCup | April 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@ DadRyan - you have co-workers? i just sort of assumed you were like The Dude, only replacing bowling with futbol and a 70s beater for a bike.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 10, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So MD legislatures want to fast-track a bonds bill to finance Pimlico and keep the Preakness running.

Seriously, SERIOUSLY. Write your legislators and demand an explanation for the economics merits of this bill over the soccer stadium.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/08/AR2009040803017.html/09/AR2009040904053.html

The Post reports the following, but no dollar amount is associated with the Pimlico bill. So you can't really figure out whether this is a better or worse risk.

"The Preakness has been held in Baltimore for more than 100 years, and it is considered the centerpiece of Maryland's horse racing industry. The administration estimates the industry supports 5,800 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect jobs and has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 10, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So MD legislatures want to fast-track a bonds bill to finance Pimlico and keep the Preakness running.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 10, 2009 12:40 PM

Yeah, I saw that this AM and considered getting worked up into a lather, too. Could Preakness be higher on the priority list because it brings in betting money (and slots?). I don't know much about the horse racing schedule there, but I wonder if they have more races per year than a SSS would have events. In the old days, they'd race almost every day, right. I don't think it's like that anymore. Pimlico is a dump, but it's a long-standing dump that has significant history behind it (and betting!).

Posted by: DrBeaker | April 10, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@ DadRyan - you have co-workers? i just sort of assumed you were like The Dude, only replacing bowling with futbol and a 70s beater for a bike.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 10, 2009 12:28 PM
Woah, you live in my neighborhood dude? Kinda sounds like you ID'd me man... How the hell did you know I've got a 70's *beater*?
I have a handful of bikes but my round the towner is just that... It's even got a basket on the front for beer runs...:-)

You got me, any work I get these days tends to be contract work that I handle solo. I don't have any Zoobas, but I have joked about getting some... They do look awfully comfy...:-)

I'll tell you what, when I throw the LilRyan's jersey on her so we can rock them in tandem heads turn. I tested it on a trip to the market after I suggested this... Come on United fans, I know things may be a little depressing, but laying down and dying isn't our style. Let's rock the Black and Red every Friday! If the team is playing on a weekday, wear it the day before if you can!
With casual Fridays, this could actually work out couldn't it?
Draw attention to yourself on days outside of game day. If my wife can be oblivious living in the same house as me, just imagine how off the radar this stuff may be to everyone else out there.
We gotta REPRESENT if we want this team to stay.
Wear your scarf, hat, jersey, whatever. Wear em' till they stink, we can't get bounced without a fight.
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: My son wears his replica once per week (e.g. today). He even wears it to baseball practice :-).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 10, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Is it wrong that I kinda miss Serna?

Posted by: sobugged1 | April 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is it wrong that I kinda miss Serna?

Posted by: sobugged1 | April 10, 2009 2:00 PM
-------------------------------------------
No, but it is more than just a bit curious.

But no worries, when Miami FC isn't playing one of their 3 or 4 games on FSC, you can always catch their games online for free...

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

dad if you really wanna turn heads you and lilryan have to turn out in matching red freedom jerseys . . . . and skorts

Posted by: OWNTF | April 10, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Interstate, are you seriously trying to suggest that a season full of DCU comes anywhere near one Preakness weekend???

I'm no numbers guy but I would be amazed if a half a season of Redskins games brought Maryland the kind of cash that the Preakness does in one weekend (of course, a lot of that has to do with the fact that the club is based in Ashburn and the sweetheart deal that they got from the Maryland Stadium Authority and PG government).

The extended Preakness weekend is HUGE bucks.

I still am not so big about confiscating something with private ownership under the shady use of "imminent domain".

When the Canucks bought the company they knew that anything was possible because they had no connection here. The promise of salvation by slots (and hey, i was a slots proponent because while I am a compulsive type and would never dream of playing, I want to keep Maryland dollars here and get some of the money back from WV and DE and NJ that Marylanders have left there)...

How are you going to socialize and strip Magna of it's number one assett when they are trying to keep from going under.

It's a complex situation but the use of imminent domain often seems very convienent and shady to me... I'm not saying that it is never justified but...

Oh, well. Hey I'm gonna go post about DC United in a thread about the State's Preakness takeover...

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

As some of you have alluded to previously, what's up with the Post's coverage on the possible move or SSS issue. This is not meant as a slight to Steve, but this is a big story. I just scanned over WP.com's sports section and there wasn't a single link to relocation story. When their is opposition to the SSS there are links everywhere. I'm sorry but I have a real hard time believing that this isn't a WP statement as to their feelings. Does anyone disagree with me about this?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 10, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Interstate, are you seriously trying to suggest that a season full of DCU comes anywhere near one Preakness weekend???"

yankiboy: I'm saying that we don't know the numbers. I have not found the dollar amount that MD would have to raise for Pimlico and the other racetracks. However, we do know that MD will be on the hook if there is a shortfall in revenue.

You point about eminent domain important. It's a poor use of authority.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 10, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

As some of you have alluded to previously, what's up with the Post's coverage on the possible move or SSS issue. This is not meant as a slight to Steve, but this is a big story. I just scanned over WP.com's sports section and there wasn't a single link to relocation story. When their is opposition to the SSS there are links everywhere. I'm sorry but I have a real hard time believing that this isn't a WP statement as to their feelings. Does anyone disagree with me about this?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 10, 2009 2:56 PM

Yes, I disagree. DCU moving really kind of a non-issue right now. The only guy truly talking about moving is Garber. DCU's ownership, as of a few weeks ago, said they're going to do whatever they can to stay in the area. There's really nothing left to be said at this time. There are hints that other local communities are interested in DCU, so anything else is just a speculative story, a la CNN, Fox News, CNBC, et al 24 hour news channels. Let's wait for actual news, I say.

Posted by: DrBeaker | April 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Dr, I disagree with you on one thing:
Uncles Vick, Will and Hicks, et al--it would be nice to hear more from them--something-anything.

Is it too much to ask to say that they are aware of the Donnie G's comments are will be vigorously pursuing any othe rlocal possibilities?

Can a Brutha get SOMETHING?

Posted by: yankiboy | April 10, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

DrBeaker,

You really don't think it warrants a link on their sports page? Speculative or not, it's still a story. What if the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL commish were to do the same thing. Are you really trying to tell me there wouldn't be a link on their sports page about it. Cmon, with a straight face now try that one more time.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Some of you guys must have missed the link Mastodon Juan posted in the last thread:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/09/AR2009040904136.html

Don't shoot the messenger....
@I-270Exit1: Rock on! Why not wear a United jersey to baseball practice? I can't not laugh at myself in my old cycling jerseys anymore, so I end up in soccer jerseys for a lot of my rides...Maybe that's how dimesmakesdollars ID'd me?

@OWNTF: I'd actually like to make at least one game this year, might be able to spring for a tshirt...I think the skorts are out of the budget this year... Do they actually have toddler Freedom jerseys? Are the skorts actually available to the public as well?
I know some biking babes that run them skort things...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | April 10, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan,

I saw the link in the last thread. I was referring to wp.com/sports. There wasn't one link to the story on the page when I checked about 30 minutes ago.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

dadryan: it's a good idea. I wear a jersey on the Saturday nights I have to work (as a bouncer) and get comments. My girlfriend has taken to wearing hers to 'wear your favourite football team jersey day' at work as well. (ok, sometimes she wears the Reading third jersey cause she likes the orange) maybe I'll wear my white one out to happy hour tonight.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | April 10, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

You really don't think it warrants a link on their sports page? Speculative or not, it's still a story. What if the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL commish were to do the same thing. Are you really trying to tell me there wouldn't be a link on their sports page about it. Cmon, with a straight face now try that one more time.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 10, 2009 3:13 PM

Ah, maybe this is the issue. I don't use Washingtonpost.com much at all, so I'm thinking "story" not "link". I do agree that a link would be a reasonable effort to put in for Goffinho's exclusive interview.

Posted by: DrBeaker | April 10, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The initial Garber story was, indeed, presented on the sports page yesterday as a link to the blog item/transcript. The actual Garber news story that appeared in the print edition is now available on the United/soccer page.

The final story probably should've appeared on the front of the dotcom sports page late last night, but did not. I'm guessing the current merger of the sports newsroom and dotcom operation contributed to the confusion.


Posted by: Steve Goff | April 10, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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