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Real Madrid, Real Maryland, El Pibe

As we told you last night, Brazilian superstar Kaka has passed a physical and is set to join Real Madrid, which means, barring injury, he will be in uniform for the Spanish giants at FedEx Field on Aug. 9 against D.C. United. Is Cristiano Ronaldo next? Sure seems that way.

On the subject of Madrid, did you see the half-page ad in the Post sports section today? Impressive (and expensive).

Also on the subject of Madrid, I had this conversation with an American Airlines ticket representative in Costa Rica last Thursday:

AA: "You're from Washington? Do you know how far it is to the FedEx Field?"

SI: "It's a few miles outside the city. Why do you ask?"

AA: "I'm planning to see Real Madrid this summer! Do you know about this game?"

SI: "Why yes, my good man."

I proceeded to give him the name of a DCU ticket rep. He proceeded to give me extra meal vouchers (mmm, Schlotzsky's) to wait out the three-hour flight delay.

The other Real, USL2's Real Maryland, will host the Northern Virginia-based amateur side Aegean Hawks in a U.S. Open Cup first-round match tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. The winner will face Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) or the Ocean City (N.J.) Barons (PDL) next week. Although the official pairings have not been set, the survivor of this four-team group seems certain to face D.C. United in the round of 16 on June 30.

This Sunday, Real Maryland will host a free youth clinic with former Colombian and MLS star Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama. For details, e-mail or

By Steve Goff  |  June 8, 2009; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Spain , U.S. Open Cup , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: MLS Observations
Next: Italy, Mexico, Algeria


Happy now, I-270?

Posted by: Reignking | June 8, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

We won't have any argument about running when it comes to El Pibe.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 8, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

So, El Pibe to Real Madrid, and Kaka to take a position with American Airlines, and SI to Real Maryland?

Do I have that right?

Posted by: JkR- | June 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Steven Goff - Keepin' it Real.


Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 8, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I am calling upset, Hawks 2-0. Then the Barons will win, which the Hawks will then win setting up an Aegean Hawks v DC United game. I think that will be exciting.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 8, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Real Madrid have not been the same since Makalele left. I wonder who they're going to get to do the hard work that no one on the team seems willing/capable of doing.

Posted by: TCompton | June 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Is tomorrow's kickoff 6:00 or 6:30? Real MD's site lists 6:00:

Posted by: Pedalada | June 8, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Osorio hasn't been fired yet. I'm surprised. I figured by breakfast today he'd be out.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I guess no WPS thread today. Brief thoughts:

*FSC production was terrible -- couldn't see any of the action that was in the shaded portion of the field. Not sure if there's a cure for that with multiple cameras or that's just the price you pay for a 3pm game at HDC.

*Sol look ready to move up a division.

*4-3-3 didn't work so well without Lindsey.

*Sonia still rocks.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Just got an email telling me that USL 2 side Harrisburg City Islanders is hosting a friendly with Crystal Palace FC from London. Holding it at Clipper Baseball Stadium in Lancaster, PA (Home of the Barnstormers). Should be a good show.

Posted by: lrg1231 | June 8, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Would someone please let know that Chest Rockwell's account has been hacked by someone who is sending out tweets.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 8, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

hard work and real madrid, that works about as good as Osorio coaching the red bulls........

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 8, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Good read...

Got me to think...I would've thought by now that we would have a stud or two ripping up some of the European leagues...

Posted by: Reignking | June 8, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of tv production (OWNTF), I thought the US/HOND match production was excellent, some of the best yet. They rarely missed action due to a replay and there were so many angles and isolations that were in tune with the match. After the first goal, they turned a camera on Dempsey's reaction. Also, the replays were great, I thought. If you watch the one of Gooch's ball over the top in the 2nd half that Altidore just missed cradling down, you'll see the lofted ball never leaves the top of the picture and is sometimes just tangential to the top of the screen. I would think this takes a lot of skill to get this captured real time.

Too bad Altidore didn't have the skill to bring it down.

Posted by: EssEff | June 8, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse


Rest assured, I will have some more tests for the Post's character limit in the near future.

For what it's worth, I'd hope that if my account was hacked they'd do something even more the opposite of my normal activity, like praise the Nationals or take the side of Virginia in a debate of some kind.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 8, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse


There's so many things wrong with that article I barely know where to start. The overall point may be valid, but the evidence he cites seems oddly chosen. He says "Essentially, three members of the back four are the same in Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo and Oguchi Onyewu" even though Cherundolo has been out for some time with injury.

He says of Beasley, "can we just admit already that [he] peaked four years ago?" We can and we have - even Bradley appears to have reached this conclusion.

He talks about the importance of form, and says that Clark should have been ahead of Feilhaber in the pecking order. OK, but 1) Feilhaber has been playing regularly for his club team, too; and 2) Clark has never previously shown himself to be up to the challenge of playing at the National Team level and Feilhaber certainly has more upside.

He complains that Altidore got playing time against Coast Rica when he hadn't been playing for his club, ignoring the fact that he scored 3 goals against T&T last time out (when he also wasn't playing for his club). He also complains about Adu's playing time in that CR game, even though he only came on as as sub and looked better than most of the starters.

The weirdest statement to me (one that i have heard echoed here) is "Part of the problem has been Bradley's curious reliance on a core of certain individuals -- regardless of their form." Assuming that core is Bocanegra, Onyewu, Howard, Bradley, Donovan and Dempsey, what exactly is the problem - those guys have been in good form for their clubs and (mostly) for the U.S.? Outside of those 6, we have seen very much a rotating cast of players, from Altidore to Spector to Torres to Adu to Casey to Feilhaber to Hejduk to Bornstein to Clark and on and on and on. And if you can't rely on a core group, then isn't that worse? Don't you have to play guys who are out of form then? Bradley has been trying a lot of things to try to find the right mix for this team and there are no obvious answers in some cases.

And, of course, he offers no suggestions for how he thinks things could be improved or done differently. Just that we no longer have a chip on our shoulder. An all-too-typical sports columnist bash & complain job without any real substance.

Here's the 18 I would be taking to South Africa, assuming injuries are not an issue:

GK: Howard
D: Spector, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Bornstein
MF: Dempsey, Edu, Bradley, Donovan
F: Altidore, Davies

Subs: Guzan, Hejduk, DeMerit, Beasley, Clark, Adu, Feilhaber

In the picture: Robles, Torres, Ching, Wynne, Casey, Pearce/Cherundolo

Jen Chang's post was done much better:

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Esseff, I think some of that has to do with their familiarity with the stadium. Another BIG difference is the use of steadicams on field level. I've been wondering why they haven't been using them. We all know they have them, they've just been left on the trailer.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 8, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse


I agree that it's a pretty slapdash column from Davis, and with most of your points. However, I'd hardly say that Feilhaber is playing regularly. He only just came back from injury. His one 90 minute appearance was his first full match in a year. That's a lot of rust to shake off. He's starting to play, but for me "playing regularly" means a couple of months of consistent PT. After a year injurd, I'd think he needs more time to get into form than someone who was simply not being put into games. I also think Clark has shown himself to be good enough, given the right midfield partner. Pairing him with Kljestan, for example, would be a turnover bonanza and a real fiasco for us. However, with players like Bradley, Feilhaber, and perhaps Torres, the danger of giveaways is much lower, and Clark becomes more viable.

Chang's article is better (which is rare, since he usually produces well-written articles full of flawed opinions), but comes with problems as well. For example, while he has a decent argument for Donovan as a wide player with freedom for the US, I'd argue that his finest moment against a big opponent was his showing against Mexico in 2002. In that game, Donovan lined up as our central attacking midfielder, with Reyna pushing wide right. Not only was it a tactical stroke of genius from Arena (Reyna wide completely fooled Aguirre, while Donovan's constant harassment of Torrado ruined Mexico's usual flow from defense to attack), but Donovan scored one of the biggest goals in US history. I'm not disagreeing with Chang's opinion; I'd just have presented it with different examples. Actually, since he didn't actually cite a specific moment, maybe that's the problem.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 8, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse


Soccernet should hire you instead of half the idiots they have on their staff now.

Then again, that could probably be said for a lot of people. Steve Goff, for example?

Goff, email me and I will give you the address to send the fruit basket to.

But seriously. I've noticed that a lot of posters on blogs and suck come up with much more intelligent, well-thought-out rants than the guys who get paid. Isn't it their JOB to do comprehensive analysises (

Posted by: kdiff813 | June 8, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. My post got cut off. Here is the rest, continued after the word (or...something) analysises:

(how in the WORLD does one say the plural tense of "analysis"?!!), rather than throw something together like Davis did here? ESPN should look into getting a new staff. I've noticed a lot of slacking overall recently. Ives and Chang seem to be the only guys who do their homework. And Davis is usually good otherwise, actually, but this article was fairly unsupported and contradictory.

Posted by: kdiff813 | June 8, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

kdiff: "analyses"

Posted by: troy6 | June 9, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

I guess no WPS thread today. Brief thoughts:

*FSC production was terrible -- couldn't see any of the action that was in the shaded portion of the field. Not sure if there's a cure for that with multiple cameras or that's just the price you pay for a 3pm game at HDC.

*Sol look ready to move up a division.

*4-3-3 didn't work so well without Lindsey.

*Sonia still rocks.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 8, 2009 1:53 PM

OWNTF (or anyone else): Could you make any sense of Whitehill's handball that led to the second goal?

Posted by: universityandpark | June 9, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Your analyses are taken in mid-stream of consciousness.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, troy. That one had been bugging me for a while and I'd thought I'd turn it over to the experts for further review.

Posted by: kdiff813 | June 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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