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United, Freedom Updates

Greetings from RFK, site of tomorrow's Washington-Chicago, WPS-MLS doubleheader: Freedom-Red Stars at 4:30 and United-Fire at 7:30. Nice crowd expected (mid-to-upper teens?).

Freedom Coach Jim Gabarra tells the Insider that newly acquired Ali Krieger is scheduled to start (right back seems likely) and that midfielder Lori Lindsey, who missed last week's match at Los Angeles with illness, is questionable.

As for United, midfielder Ben Olsen (hamstring) continues his ascent up the injury list and is now considered "probable", which seems to indicate he will be on the game-day roster. However, Coach Tom Soehn said: "We are going to make sure he is 100 percent healthy before we put him in these situations."

Defender Avery John took a knock in last weekend's T&T World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica and wasn't available for the Mexico match, but said through a DCU spokesman that he is fine.

I imagine we will see Christian Gomez back in the middle with Jaime Moreno and Santino Quaranta up top (Luciano Emilio is suspended), Fred on the left, Chris Pontius on the right and Clyde Simms and Rodney Wallace in central roles. Agree or disagree?

Soehn, on the Kaka and Ronaldo signings ahead of the DCU-Real Madrid friendly in August: "It's a great situation for the players and the coaching staff. It's not too often people can come and watch two of the best players in the world.....and also get to see Ronaldo and Kaka. [laughter] No, what a great opportunity to see two of the best players in the world at a point where they are actually going to have four or five games [friendlies before coming to Washington] under their belt and they are going to start a season right after they play us. You're going to see them at their starting point. We're going to have our hands full."

The Fire arrived in town last night and is scheduled to visit the White House today. To see photographs of what the club plans to present to the First Family, continue to the second part of this post.....

Girls_Clothes[1].jpg

obama.jpg

By Steve Goff  |  June 12, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Comments

Dammit Steven, I just ate!
:-)

Posted by: dcufan | June 12, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope they brought stuff for the kids too. Also, I'm happy that they will not give him an English-style training jacket with the large initials B.O.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

ugggh. sick.

Posted by: the_slammer | June 12, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

While I like what Wallace did in his first shot in the middle, I would still expect Soehn to choose Fred over Wallace in that role, with Rodney the starter on the left wing...but, you're the one watching the team practice. Or, are you banned these days?

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Goff - any chance of Obama making an appearance at the game tomorrow?

Posted by: SSMD1 | June 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Fire Obama?

Posted by: Section117 | June 12, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Goff - any chance of Obama making an appearance at the game tomorrow?
Posted by: SSMD1
===============

You can't get good burgers at RFK.
You can't get good hot dogs at RFK.
You can get bad hot dogs and, if you get there early, the concession stand will still have buns.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

?amabO eriF

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | June 12, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if they're a rival - that's some serious swag and a great bit of pub for the league. Well played, Fire. Enjoy the honor of being a White House guest.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 12, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Why were they a White House guest? They didn't win anything.

Posted by: no_recess | June 12, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Please tell me Blanco didn't make the trip for today's visit?

Posted by: Hoost | June 12, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@Sect 117: Kudos, very well played.

@no_recess: Exactly what i was thinking.

@KevyKev: Nice array of gear but it will be at least the second soccer Jersey that he was given. While he was in Puerto Rico for the primary last year, Islanders management and ownership presented him with his very own, Islanders home jersey...

Posted by: yankiboy | June 12, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

mid-to-upper teens?

Definitely, might even top twenty.

Posted by: KireDCU | June 12, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we should continue to play Wallace in the middle, it doesn't use his speed and attacking danger, which we need.

Quaranta and Wallace on the wings, Fred in the middle, and (try this) Barklage and Simms in the middle. Against Chicago, I know, best to go with Jacobson or McTavish, but I see in Barklage a person to fill in for Olsen. He has skill, passing ability, and is tough and fiery.

Up top, Pontius, as he is one of our best finishers, and Gomez. He intrigued me when we put him in as a second striker, and he can then be replaced by Moreno (who needs to realize that at 35, 90 minutes is neither necessary nor wise). I really hope we win this one.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 12, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes I like that. Barklage can replace Olsen as the player to irritate Blanco.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 12, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I know this is off topic so I will apologize before hand.

Was wondering if someone good give me advice. I am trying to purchase 3 tickets for tomorrow nights game. Usually this is no big deal as my brother and I just go on ticket master and buy tickets. We enjoy the loud side. My Dad wants to go, he is old, and simply wants to watch the game(i.e. not be on the loud side). Ticketmaster online keeps giving me tickets on the loud side and when I called DC United they only keep trying to sell me the Papa Johns four pack. Telling me they cant do it another way. Which , of coarse, makes no sense to me because I do not want 4 tickets, nor can I afford 92 dollars, and have no need for a papa john cooler.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can go about purchasing 3 tickets on the quiet side?

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

Matchups and roster management. I think Jakovic should be able to deal with McBride one on one. Rolfe can be a handful and should be shadowed by someone like Wallace with speed and athleticism. I like the idea of Barklage on Blanco, he definitely would agitate him and if that caused a mutual red card exchange, it's a trade I'll take every day.

I would start N'Silu over Moreno if Gomez also starts. Soehn needs to have a ball controlling veteran player on the bench to add later in the game. Finally, don't put Olsen under any circumstance -- let him rest and get 110%.

Posted by: griffin1108 | June 12, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Yet another reason for me to despise the Fire.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 12, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

nevermind on my post above. I have found a 4th person

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

re: grubbsbl
I would go through the Barra or Screaming Eagles ticket window to get good seats on the loud side.. regardless of the number of peeps you have in your party..

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | June 12, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@grubbs -- Bring cash. For $75 you should be able to score 3 tickets outside the stadium -- either in front, or in Lot 8. If you're really good, you can talk 'em down as low as $20 a ticket, especially if you wait until after kickoff. As for where you'll sit, most of the scalped tickets are on the quiet side -- however, you can sit wherever you want in RFK, without much problem.

Otherwise, look at Craig's List.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@bonghits -- I know it's Friday, but you should wait until evening. grubbs doesn't want tickets on the loud side.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

On Blanco? There can be only one, regardless of formation. Burchie and Blanco at the Plex. Never forget. If he does nothing else in his career here--and he might not--Burch deserves to be on the Wall of Fame just for that shining moment.

Let's all put aside our political differences for a bit and try to remember that hatin' on Blanco transcends everything. This weekend, I put out the hand of friendship to those with whom I disagree, so that we can all sing louder and louder of our mutual and extreme disrespect for Mister White.

For those of you upset, for whatever reasons, about the (utterly loathsome) Fire visiting the White House...uhm...the President is a Chicago guy? And at least one of his kids plays soccer?

Posted by: Landru | June 12, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Why were they a White House guest? They didn't win anything.

Posted by: no_recess | June 12, 2009 1:35 PM

President Obama is a proud Chicagoan - it's the city he considers home. I have no problem with him showing an interest in his hometown MLS club.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 12, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@Hoost: I don't know where I read it, perhaps the MLS site, but I swear I read somewhere that Blanco would not be with the team for their trip to the White House. Wondering if the White House website has anything on the visit?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 12, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Insert joke here about Blanco failing security screening.....

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

270:

You also don't like the initials on everything? I can't stand it. More antipathy towards the English way, I guess.

***

Here's what I think Soehn will go with tomorrow:

------ Moreno - Quaranta
--------------- Gomez
Wallace - Jacobson* - Simms - Fred
------ Burch - Jakovic - Namoff
--------------- Wicks

*Note: If Olsen is deemed fit by the trainers, then he plays instead. Folks, he's not made of paper mache. It was a muscle pull from an awkward movement (go watch the video, you can see the turn/lunge he injures himself on). It could happen to any player. I know they're being cautious, which is why I believe that if he's given the green light by cautious trainers, he'll be fine.

I disagree with a lot of the opinions on here focusing on Blanco; he played from halftime against El Salvador and the full 90 against T&T. Both games required lots of travel. Hamlett has been willing to rest Blanco this season home and away, and I don't think he'll risk him for this game from the start. We'll see him as a sub. Aside from that, getting someone who will get Blanco mad is a luxury; the bread and butter here is someone that will close his space down and force him to leave the middle of the field. I don't know if Barklage, who is more attack-minded than we were expecting, is the guy with the positional discipline for the job.

Without Blanco, Chicago will probably play from the flanks via Rolfe and Pappa. This is why Wallace will probably be more useful wide (going against Rolfe, a player he can overmatch physically). I actually thought the experiment with him in the middle was a good one, since he has the dynamism and aggression to both get into lots of tackles (like Olsen) and get forward to be involved with the attack (more than Jacobson or McTavish). However, for this particular opponent, I think he'll be more useful for us on the wing. If we can control the wings, we'll force them to be a much more one-dimensional team.

On the other flank, Fred will probably not defend Pappa as much or as well as Wallace will on Rolfe, but I think you live with that because Fred is in good form right now. It seems harsh to bench Pontius, but he'll almost certainly be our first sub (I suspect for Gomez).

In the back, Burch has been unspectacularly steady of late, but I wonder about his positioning and lateral speed against Nyarko. IfJohn is fit, it's at least worth considering to use his speed for this one instead. I'm not sure how I would handle it, but it would at least cross my mind. I doubt we'll see a change, though.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Let's all put aside our political differences for a bit and try to remember that hatin' on Blanco transcends everything. This weekend, I put out the hand of friendship to those with whom I disagree, so that we can all sing louder and louder of our mutual and extreme disrespect for Mister White."

Here here.

Posted by: jdickinson187 | June 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

With Blanco and McBride, and our lack of a strong defense, this game might need to turn into a shoot out. Not a great time for Emilio to be out, but atleast the water bottles are safe.

As much as I love Moreno and Quaranta and Gomez, that does not put a lot of speed running at the defense. What about Quaranta swapping with Fred? It would be fun to see the craftiness of Gomez, Moreno, and Fred up front breaking down the defense and giving time for Pontious and Quaranta to out hustle their marks with runs down the side.

Wallace is too good to leave off the feild, but I agree from watching him this year and last year with the Terps, he seems more comfortable on the flanks.

Posted by: Nate8 | June 12, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Wicks
Namoff, Jakovic, Burch
Pontius, Simms, Wallace, Fred
Gomez
N'Silu/Moreno, Tino

Although I still don't see why Pontius doesn't get a shot at striker first.

Posted by: delantero | June 12, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@Chest -- not sure what you're disagreeing about with respect to Blanco -- however, I agree with you that he's not likely to start. He came on as a sub last time @ RFK, and was fairly effective. Given that he played 90 on Wed., it's unlikely we'll see him starting. Still, unless the Fire (or DC) have a comfortable lead, he's sure to come on in the second half.

As for Jacobson, I don't think Tommy's ready to trust him, when there are alternatives. He doesn't get this start now. His chances will come later on, when the games start coming fast and furious.

On other matters -- there's a "Landru" here? How cool is that? This old-time Trekkie approves.

"There was war... convulsions... the world was destroying itself. Landru saw the truth; he changed the world."

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Landru on Blanco: "You're not of the Body! You're not! You're not of the Body!!" "Lawgivers! Lawgivers!" (that's Trekkie for "Refs! Refs!")

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Hamlett has been willing to rest Blanco." Must disagree with Chest here. Macbeth was the one willing to rest Blanquo.

Posted by: dccal | June 12, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Out! Out! Throw him out for diving. Out - no damn spot kick!" -- as Shakespeare quoted Lady Macbeth.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

fischy: Peace be with you.

"The Return of the Archons": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kPkgBq8eew

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't is MacBurch who took out Blanquo?

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@dccal -- Just riffing off your brilliant post. Not meaning to diminish your billiance. Much respect.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@fischy: That's a high compliment from the master. Thanks!

Posted by: dccal | June 12, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see two defensive midfielders in this match, instead of one defensive midfielder (Simms) and one attacking midfield in a defensive midfield position (Pontius or Wallace). How about this lineup?

Wicks
Namoff-Jakovic-Burch
Quaranta-McTavish-Simms-Wallace
Fred
Moreno-N'Silu

Posted by: DCUMD | June 12, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Now, I will have to go to DC in October just to see the reception for the actual MLS champs. At least Obama had the common sense not to appear in any photographs with either the Fire players or their evil swag. ;)

Posted by: crewfanscott | June 13, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

fischy: Blanco and all the Fire "shall be absorbed".

Posted by: Ron16 | June 13, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

To repeat a query from a previous thread: Is Ali Krieger any relation to the composer of "Light My Fire?"

Posted by: universityandpark | June 13, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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