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Soccer Insider: June 14, 2009 - June 20, 2009

Matchnight #16: United-Rapids

Greetings from the City of Commerce, home of the neat little stadium sponsored by a national sporting goods company. A comfortable, overcast day with a few sprinkles has given way to a mostly pleasant evening. Memories of yesterday's afternoon-long bike trek along Cherry Creek Trail through south Denver remain vivid...

By Steve Goff  |  June 20, 2009; 7:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Freedom Wins, Confed Update

Rebecca Moros scored in the 83rd minute as the Washington Freedom (4-3-4, 16 points) reclaimed second place in WPS with a 1-0 victory at St. Louis (4-4-2, 14). Abby Wambach left in the 41st minute with a leg injury for the Freedom, which has registered two consecutive shutouts after allowing...

By Steve Goff  |  June 20, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Freedom  
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Saturday Kickaround

*Read my story about D.C. United at the midway point of the MLS season. *Check the Denver weather forecast for tonight's DCU-Colorado match (9:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet). *The third-place Washington Freedom begins a stretch of three straight road games today at second-place St. Louis. I seem to recall an...

By Steve Goff  |  June 20, 2009; 7:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  D.C. United , France , Freedom , MLS , TV , USL  
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Poll: Which Way for USA?

In the first game of the Confederations Cup, despite playing shorthanded, the Americans actually led reigning world champion Italy before fading in the second half. In Game 2, they were outclassed by five-time world champion Brazil, drew another red card, showed glimmers of life after the break and still fell...

By Steve Goff  |  June 19, 2009; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (135)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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Weekend TV Listings

What are you going to watch? FRIDAY UEFA U-21s, Sweden-Italy 10 a.m. Setanta UEFA U-21s, Belarus-Serbia 12:10 p.m. Setanta USL1, Portland-Minnesota 11 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel SATURDAY Confederations Cup, Spain-South Africa 2:30 p.m. ESPN2, Univision Confederations Cup, Iraq-New Zealand 2:30 p.m. Telefutura Brazil, Paranaense-Palmeiras 3 p.m. GolTV MLS, San Jose-Los...

By Steve Goff  |  June 19, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  TV  
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Friday Kickaround

*You're not going to believe this: Needing to win at USL1 Montreal by four goals to overtake Vancouver and claim both the Canadian Championship and a CONCACAF Champions League berth, Toronto FC allowed a goal...and then scored six in a row for a stunning 6-1 victory. Dwayne De Rosario had...

By Steve Goff  |  June 19, 2009; 6:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Libertadores , MLS , USL  
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Fred Sidelined

D.C. United midfielder Fred, who departed last night's match at Seattle in the first half, is not injured as badly as the club feared, General Manager Dave Kasper said today. However, the Brazilian's adductor strain (groin area) will sideline him for Saturday's game at Colorado and likely keep him out...

By Steve Goff  |  June 18, 2009; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Thursday Kickaround

The USA was simply outclassed by Brazil in today's 3-0 Confederations Cup loss, though its second-half performance was an improvement after the dreary start. Kljestan's red card didn't help the cause. The Americans will undoubtedly qualify for the World Cup from CONCACAF, but will they begin to make strides on...

By Steve Goff  |  June 18, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (150)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. Open Cup , U.S. men's national team , Women  
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Matchday: USA-Brazil

Confederations Cup Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET. TV: ESPN2. USA LINEUP: Howard: Spector, Onyewu, DeMerit, Bornstein; Dempsey, Bradley, Kljestan, Donovan, Beasley; Altidore. Watch. Enjoy. Discuss....

By Steve Goff  |  June 18, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (238)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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United Rewind

I will always love RFK -- warts, rats, cats and all. I have been dazzled by Toronto and enjoy a cool Southern California evening at Home Depot Center. But Seattle is the total package. Well, almost. While Qwest Field's artificial turf is of higher quality than, say, Giants Stadium's, it's...

By Steve Goff  |  June 18, 2009; 4:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchnight #15: United-Sounders

We've reached the halfway point of D.C. United's league calendar, a mid-week stop in Seattle with an opportunity for the club to extend its Eastern Conference lead over second-place Chicago (no league games this week) to four points. The last time United dropped by Qwest Field was almost three years...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 8:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (425)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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North Korea Going to World Cup

With a 0-0 draw at Saudi Arabia today, North Korea secured its first World Cup berth since 1966. The other automatic qualifiers from Asia are Japan, South Korea and Australia. The Saudis will face Bahrain in a two-game regional playoff in September, with the winner facing Oceania champion New Zealand...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 6:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Bafana Bafana, Twellman, CONCACAF

*Bernard Parker, a 23-year-old forward with Red Star Belgrade, scored twice as South Africa, amid a cacophony of vuvuzelas, defeated New Zealand, 2-0, to move into second place in group play at the Confederations Cup. Spain leads with six points, Bafana Bafana has four, Iraq one and the Kiwis none...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 4:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  CONCACAF , Confederations Cup , D.C. United , MLS  
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McTavish's Cause

More than a year ago, I wrote about Devon McTavish's battle with Crohn's disease, a gastrointestinal ailment that has altered his life and career. Today, on D.C. United's blog, Devon revealed that his father has also been diagnosed with the disease and, despite aggressive treatment, has spent considerable time in...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Barcelona-MLS Doubleheader

The day before arch-nemesis Real Madrid faces D.C. United at FedEx Field, Euro champion FC Barcelona will play the final game of its three-match U.S. tour at San Francisco's Candlestick Park as part of a doubleheader with an MLS match, organizers announced today. The date is Sat., Aug. 8. The...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  MLS , Mexico , Spain  
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Despite Pain, Spain Gains

The European champions finally broke down Iraq's stout resistance and earned a 1-0 victory on David Villa's header early in the second half of their second match in the Confederations Cup in South Africa. Credit to Iraq's Bora Milutinovic, the international coaching gypsy, who utilized the only strategy -- everyone...

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup , Spain , U.S. men's national team  
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Wednesday Kickaround

Seattle already ranked high on the Insider's list of favorite U.S. towns, and now that the Emerald City is an MLS destination, its stock is soaring on our metro-meter. We give especially high marks to Maneki, the city's oldest sushi bar, dating from 1904. Fear not, the fish is fresh....

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 6:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , Confederations Cup , D.C. United , MLS  
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Beware of the Barons

For the second straight week, the Ocean City Barons, a fourth-tier, amateur PDL team from the Jersey Shore, has upset a club from USL2 (professional, third tier) in the U.S. Open Cup tournament. Their reward: a round-of-16 meeting with reigning champion D.C. United at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County on...

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2009; 11:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup , USL  
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D.C. in Washington

D.C. United just wrapped up a 75-minute workout on artificial turf at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, south of Seattle. Twenty of 24 players made the trip for the matches against the Sounders tomorrow and Rapids on Saturday in Denver. The exceptions were Jaime Moreno (hamstring injury), John DiRaimondo and...

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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USA World Bid Venues

Greetings from Seattle. I'm planning to head over to Starfire Sports Complex in a bit for D.C. United training, but for now..... *The list of venue candidates to be part of the USA's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup has been trimmed from 58 to 45. Most...

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  USA World Cup bid  
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Tuesday Kickaround

I will be aboard a 757-200 much of the day, en route to Seattle for tomorrow night's D.C. United match at Qwest Field. While I am at 39,000 feet, you should know that..... *Most of United's roster made the trip west for the matches against the Sounders and the Colorado...

By Steve Goff  |  June 16, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , D.C. United , History , U.S. Open Cup , U.S. men's national team , USL  
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Italy 3, USA 1

The red card to Ricardo Clark in the first half was excessive and changed the complexion of the match, and despite taking the lead on Landon Donovan's penalty kick, the Americans crumbled under Italy's pressure and were beaten by two players with two very different connections to the U.S. program....

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Italy , U.S. men's national team  
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Moreno Sidelined

D.C. United captain Jaime Moreno will miss both league matches this week because of a hamstring injury, club officials confirmed today. Moreno, MLS's career scoring leader, was injured late in the first half of Saturday's 2-1 victory over Chicago at RFK Stadium. He will not accompany the club to Seattle...

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Matchday: USA-Italy

USA LINEUP: Howard; Spector, DeMerit, Onyewu, Bornstein; Feilhaber, Clark, Bradley, Dempsey; Donovan, Altidore. ITALY LINEUP: Buffon; Grosso, Chiellini, Legrottaglie, Zambrotta; Gattuso, De Rossi, Camoranese, Pirlo; Gilardino, Iaquinta. Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ESPN. Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome. Enjoy!...

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Italy , U.S. men's national team  
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Noonan to Rapids

Two industry sources tell the Insider that the Columbus Crew has traded midfielder-forward Pat Noonan (five games, two starts, one assist) to the Colorado Rapids. Details to come..... UPDATE: It's now official as the Rapids have sent a 2010 first-round draft pick and allocation money to the Crew for Noonan....

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  MLS  
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Poll: USA-Italy

Vote! poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Poll  
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USA-Italy Countdown

USA vs. Italy Confederations Cup group play Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, Galavision (live), ESPN2 (tape at 10 p.m.). *USA defender Carlos Bocanegra is questionable with a hamstring injury suffered late in the Honduras qualifier. Italy star defender Fabio Cannavaro is out, while central back Nicola Legrottaglie is doubtful....

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Italy , U.S. men's national team  
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MLS Observations

NO DRAWS Nine straight league matches without a tie? What's going on here? MVP AGAIN? Never in MLS history has a player won consecutive most valuable player awards, but with a league-high 10 goals in 13 appearances and the defending champion Crew back on track, Columbus's Guillermo Barros Schelotto is...

By Steve Goff  |  June 14, 2009; 9:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  MLS  
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Sunday Open House

*With the Confederations Cup getting underway today and the World Cup one year away, The Post's Johannesburg bureau updates us on infrastructure preparations amid growing anticipation among South Africans. There is also a video production accompanying the story. *Italian defensive star Fabio Cannavaro is battling a calf injury ahead of...

By Steve Goff  |  June 14, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Confederations Cup , Freedom , USL  
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United Rewind

Shall we begin with Christian Gomez's gorgeous free kick? Or Josh Wicks's excellence in goal? Or Marco Pappa's strike? Or the shots off the crossbar and post? Or the baffling penalty kick decisions, especially the first one? Actually, let's broaden things a bit and consider the presentation at RFK, the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 14, 2009; 12:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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