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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. (Thanks to Insider ultra-loyalist Dadryan for the tip.) Located on a slope in the International District, it's around the corner from the quiet Panama Hotel tea house and a few blocks from bustling Uwajimaya Village, an indoor marketplace where Asian specialties are plentiful and the Kinokuniya Bookstore offers an eclectic mix of reading material. Best of all, these businesses are a short stroll from Qwest Field. Upon my arrival at Maneki last night, the hostess, scrambling to accommodate an early-arriving crowd, asked whether there was a soccer match that evening. Moments like that have to be music to The Commish Don Garber's ears.

In a league plagued by underperforming suburban stadiums, it's refreshing to visit an MLS outpost where the venue is near the heart of a vibrant city and within walking distance of both mass transit and restaurants/pubs that have plastered the club logo on windows and doors. Yeah, I know, it supposedly rains a lot here, Qwest is too big for MLS's purposes and artificial turf is a scourge, but there's no denying the league made the right move by coming here. Regardless of which club you support, you can't go wrong by attending MLS Cup in Seattle this fall.

That said, D.C. United is in town to meet the Sounders tonight (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Read my story about Christian Gomez. Check the Seattle weather forecast.

For news about another ACC coaching departure, the Confederations Cup and Asian World Cup qualifying, please jump to the secondary portion of this thread.....

*A few weeks after Oliver Weiss's abrupt exit from 2007 NCAA semifinalist Virginia Tech, Trevor Adair is out at Clemson. In April, Adair was charged in a domestic dispute.

*Confederations Cup today:
Spain vs. Iraq, 10 a.m. ET (ESPN2, Galavision)
South Africa vs. New Zealand, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2, Galavision)

*World Cup qualifying today:
South Korea-Iran, 7 a.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Australia-Japan, 11 a.m. (FSC)

Australia, Japan and South Korea have already clinched 2010 berths. An Iran victory coupled with a Saudi Arabia-North Korea draw locks up a slot for the Iranians. If there's a winner in the Saudi-NK match, that team goes through. An Iran tie and a Saudi-NK tie secures a spot for the Dear Leader. Regardless, the two third-place teams will face each other in September to earn the right to face Oceania champion New Zealand in a playoff for an additional World Cup berth. Check the group standings here.

By Steve Goff  |  June 17, 2009; 6:58 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , Confederations Cup , D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Beware of the Barons
Next: Despite Pain, Spain Gains

Comments


Glad to see Australia will be back at the WC finals. They showed a lot of class in 2006 and deserved better than elimination on a shaky PK call late in a knockout match against an utterly gutless opponent..

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 17, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Was in Seattle during May with other Galaxyfans.

It's good to see MLS and Soccer being embranced and promoted so much.

Some of it actually makes many visiting fans a bit jealous to be honest.

Posted by: Ben7LA | June 17, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think anyone would be able to go to MLS Cup since it is part of SSFC ticket packages. :p

Posted by: sitruc | June 17, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd really like to go, for the same reason I got hooked on the game in the first place, the atmosphere/experience.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 17, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Johann Smith is available after being waived by TFC. He's very quick, fast, good individual skill (sometimes predictable what moves he's going to show). Former Bolton youth and senior team player. Get him !!

Posted by: Charisma_Man | June 17, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Johann? Loved him on the Smurfs.

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Despite the legions of suburban kids playing soccer when it comes to professional soccer and its fans soccer is largely an urban sport in the United States. I would much rather have a team in an ungainly football stadium (RFK) in the city near mass transit than miles outside of the city. I think the rush to build soccer specific stadiums wherever the clubs were offered good packages by suburban municipalities is something many MLS teams regret. I bet Chicago wishes they were still playing downtown.

Posted by: churtmah | June 17, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goffer...if you are into cure meat product, check out Salumi, about 4 or 5 blocks north of Qwest Field

http://www.salumicuredmeats.com/

Posted by: Tweaked | June 17, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Owned by Mario Batali's dad, right?

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

In a league plagued by underperforming suburban stadiums, it's refreshing to visit an MLS outpost where the venue is near the heart of a vibrant city and within walking distance of both mass transit and restaurants/pubs that have plastered the club logo on windows and doors.

By Steve Goff | June 17, 2009; 6:58 AM ET

Very well said, Steve. Can someone please forward this on to Messrs. Chang and Payne?

Sad, we thought those cookie cutter soccer specific stadiums were going to make the league - but they've been fool's gold. Or should I say, fool's pizza?

Posted by: Kev29 | June 17, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Regardless, the two third-place teams will face each other in September to earn the right to face Oceania champion New Zealand in a playoff for an additional World Cup berth."

Does this mean that New Zealand, despite being the Oceania champions, might not make it to the WC Finals? Are they playing for their lives here? Seems a bit unfair to the Kiwis.

Posted by: WorldCup | June 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

While the bar, main dining room, and sushi bar have their charms, I hope you guys got a Tatami room Steve! You nearly brought a tear to my eye talking about the old neighborhood. MomRyan and I shared our first apartment right around the corner from Maneki on the top of that "slope". We could hear the crowd roar erupting from Qwest from our rooftop deck.

I wish there was some way to show the wonderful people of the District of Columbia how much of a positive thing it can be to have a vibrant *stadium district*. Seattlites were very skeptical years ago, but just look at em' now. As Ben7LA points out, it's hard not to feel a little bit of jealousy.

We really need to get Danny Snyder on board with a joint stadium venture on the spot where RFK sits today. A SSS for DCU/Freedom that will also beused for group play matches in 2018 or 2022, and the SuperDuperDome for the World Cup Final! Multi level parking structures with a "tailgate park"! Come on people! The future is now!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Oceania has never received an automatic bid to the WC finals. This prompted Australia to beg FIFA to move them the Asia, where they could compete for a non-playoff berth. The quadrennial runnersup in Oceania we happy because, with Australia out of the way, they did have a chance in hell of getting to the WC.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 17, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

be used not beused...
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I am curious about what has made Seattle such a great MLS venue, while older East Coast teams (NE, NYRB) suffer from general fan disinterest or perhaps poor marketing? One hopes NYRB will gain some traction with the Harrison stadium but where else in the country is there such pent up demand for MLS? I can't imagine that Philadelphia will replicate Seattle's first year success.

Posted by: sbg1 | June 17, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

This is just me thinking outloud, and I realize it's probably cost. But what's wrong with getting the old Convention Center site for a soccer stadium? You're trying to tell me you couldn't also do concerts there on I street year round? Right now the tennis folks have it, but every time I walk by there, I'm can see soccer pubs going up everywhere around there and giving us a real European, downtown stadium feel ... Just my thoughts.

Posted by: DCCenturion | June 17, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I thought the USA played today?

Posted by: Juan-John | June 17, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Bora is coaching up Iraq, I see...

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is just me thinking outloud, and I realize it's probably cost. But what's wrong with getting the old Convention Center site for a soccer stadium?

Posted by: DCCenturion | June 17, 2009 10:18 AM

Taken - big mixed development planned to help ailing new convention center

Posted by: Kev29 | June 17, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Iraq holds Spain scoreless in the first half...

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

So I guess people don't know that Iran is now coached by an American citizen and former MLS assistant? This is definitely one of the biggest US soccer stories of the year. It amazes me how little the US soccer media is aware of this.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | June 17, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I know about him. SI or someone did a story on him when he was appointed their national team coach. At that time he was with the Galaxy coaching staff, or LAG didn't offer head coaching job to him because of his heritage. Ali Karimi would do well for entertaining fans in MLS ...

Posted by: Charisma_Man | June 17, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Nice work Wendell Gee. Now the dude will be arrested for espionage and get a life sentence.
:-)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 17, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

GOOOOOOOOL DE ESPA√ĎA. GOL DE VILLA..

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Spain's crossing has been AMAZING all day, especially from Ramos, everything has been almost inch perfect from him.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Johann Smith goes from taking the pitch in an EPL match against Manchester United, to being waived by Toronto -- in the span of less than 3 years. What the h-e-double hockey sticks happened there? He had a bright future with the USMNT ahead of him, etc.

Posted by: fischy | June 17, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

OT but totally insane! Way to go Washington Post!
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/friday-follies/2009/06/bikes_vs_cars.html

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

h-e-double hockey sticks

Report abuse!

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Marcus Hahnemann has found a new home next season:

http://www.premierleague.com/page/Headlines/0,,12306~1694740,00.html

Posted by: Juan-John | June 17, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good fit for him...back to the Premier League.

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the post Steve. We Insider loyalists appreciate the opportunity to live vicariously through you and your road trips.

I've always loved the idea of the new Redskins stadium + DCU SSS at the current RFK site as Dadryan mentioned, but even that wouldn't give us the downtime feel of a stadium surrounded by restaurants and pubs like Goff is describing in Seattle. I'm not sure I see that as a possibility ANYWHERE in DC. Maybe in downtown Silver Spring or Bethesda?

Posted by: DCUMD | June 17, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to Seattle!

Posted by: gosounders | June 17, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to know the Iraq team won't go home to face beatings and other punishment from Saddam's sons.

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 17, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

1-0 Spain, final.

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@DCUMD: The development that is planned and at somewhat of a standstill around Nats Park is pretty close. If Poplar Point could get done, and even if they didn't plan on bringing in the retail/restaurants they have slated for Half St. it would only be a short walk or Pedal Cab ride over the bridge. Eventually the folks in Anacostia may recognize the opportunity they might have on their side of the bridge?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Hahnemann - good move

Posted by: Kev29 | June 17, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Eventually the folks in Anacostia may recognize the opportunity they might have on their side of the bridge?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 11:55 AM

The folks in Anacostia are all for it. Unfortunately, they need a lot of assistance from their elected officials in the Wilson Building for something like Poplar Point to proceed.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 17, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Even though New Zealand is the Oceania champions, they don't deserve an automatic WC berth. They cruised past minnows such as Fiji and Vanuatu in their region.

Their two-leg match against the 5th-place team from Asia for a WC berth is fair.

Posted by: Cerealman | June 17, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve,
I'd be very interested to here how much the local media covers the team. For example, on the local TV news after the game, do you they do real game coverage vs. the 8 second or less wrap ups we typically get here in DC.

If they do, I'd think that'd make the future of Seattle soccer's popularity even brighter.

Posted by: KireDCU | June 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"I'd be very interested to here how much the local media covers the team."

There are no soccer articles in the print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. None.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 17, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: joedoc1

It's nice to know the Iraq team won't go home to face beatings and other punishment from Saddam's sons.
----------------------------
That would get you a lot of negative rep on BigSoccer, well done.

Posted by: EricB1 | June 17, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Is Ryan Nelsen expected to play for New Zealand?

Posted by: Ron16 | June 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

There are no soccer articles in the print edition of the Seattle PI, because there is no print edition of the Seattle PI. The newspaper folded earlier this year. The on-line version of the PI continues, and has some Sounders stories. Seattle Times has some good Sounders reporting and blog, courtesy of Jose Romero...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/
http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/

Posted by: Pudge_Dooley | June 17, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

There are no soccer articles in the print edition of the Seattle PI, because there is no print edition of the Seattle PI. The newspaper folded earlier this year. The on-line version of the PI continues
-------------------------------------------------

Thanks for explaining I-270's joke. It's always funnier when someone takes the time to fully explicate the punch-line.

Posted by: fischy | June 17, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

And Dadryan, while we'd take Snyder's money for a stadium I want nothing to do with him as owner/investor for United. He would ruin this team, like he has the Skins. Sure, they are profitable for him, but zero titles in how many years? They are hardly even competitive.

Posted by: delantero | June 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe NZ will has such a simple ride to the World Cup. What a joke...play Vanuatu and other similar opponents then your toughest match is against a 5th place Asian team...?! Ridiculous. They should play a S. American opponent, imo. Let CONCACAF and AFC playoff against each other.

Posted by: nico78 | June 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan- I guess Poplar Point could get there someday, although I think that would be at least 10 years away. It's frustrating every time you drive down S. Capitol St and see no restaurants. A Green Turtle or Hard Times or something would slay on the ground level of one of those empty M Street office buildings.

Delantero- I don't think anyone has ever suggested Snyder buying a portion of United. But I wouldn't mind leasing a chunk of land from him if the Redskins were to buy the RFK plot.

Posted by: DCUMD | June 17, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ron16:

Nellie is out injured.

nico78:

Actually, the odds are stacked against New Zealand anyway. The 5th place Asian team is not going to be a joke. If I was a bookie, I'd give New Zealand pretty long odds of getting past any of their possible opponents. Besides, CONCACAF did get that playoff last time (Trinidad & Tobago overcame Bahrain).

***

I am totally eating sushi tonight after reading SG's opener on an empty stomach. If I had time now, I'd have it for lunch as well.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@fischy. I forgot to add the ":-)"

LOL

j/k

POS

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Whatever.

Posted by: roadkit | June 17, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

total agreement DCUMD, and what he was getting at is more what I'm thinking delantero. A joint effort and cooperation in getting what the two teams want/need done @ the RFK site.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

uh oh. the sushi talk must have pissed off the gai jin...? ;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan...i enjoy how much you rile up all the people on seattlesoccertalk. it's too bad you couldn't make it out to the game. all this sushi talk has convinced me to leave work early and get some before the game. i will enjoy the sushi in the ID in your honor.

Posted by: discnutt | June 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

cheers!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 17, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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