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D.C. United News & Notes

*Trialists are, indeed, on their way this week. No identities available yet. Reports out of Honduras last week said DCU was in negotiations with Marathon about acquiring defender Erick Norales and forward Carlos Will Mejia. United doesn't comment on potential signings and a Central American contact tells the Insider that it's "not happening."

*The DCU-Real Madrid friendly Aug. 9 at FedEx Field will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura.

*Ticket sales for the Real visit are around 40,000. Besides DCU's aggressive marketing campaign, the Redskins have been pitching the match to their season ticket holders -- but apparently to a lukewarm response.

*United is finalizing a formal proposal to host the U.S. Open Cup final Sept. 1-2. Seattle is also eager to host the game. My guess is that, if the Sounders defeat Houston in next Tuesday's semifinals, they'll win hosting rights from the USSF and play DCU or Rochester at Qwest Field. If DCU defeats the Rhinos and Houston beats Seattle, RFK Stadium seems to be the logical choice.

*Former United defender Gonzalo Peralta is apparently headed to Argentine third-division club Tristan Suarez, while ex-DCU forward Franco Niell scored on a pair of headers -- yes, headers -- in the final moments to help nine-man Gimnasia de la Plata avoid relegation with a 3-0 victory over Atletico Rafaela.

*United Coach Tom Soehn will appear on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" today between 5 and 6 p.m. Midfielder Ben Olsen will make an appearance tomorrow.

By Steve Goff  |  July 13, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Argentina , D.C. United , Spain , TV , U.S. Open Cup  
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Next: MLS's First XI All-Stars

Comments

Did anyone actually expect Redskins season ticket holders to get excited about the real football? Hopefully the game-day attendance figure will exceed 50,000.

Posted by: SSMD1 | July 13, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Steve has a "Central American" contact. Cool.

Hey DudeRyan, don't you have a few "Central American contacts," too?

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The WPS game of the week on Fox was boring (NJ @ Boston), but Comcast Sportsnet had Chicago/SF on at 8 pm for some reason. Exciting game; Cristiane hat trick; Tiffeny Millbrett is still awesome, and even though Gold Pride are in last place they're still very entertaining.

Formiga went down early on what looked like a minor foul. Writhing in pain, stretchered off. The announcer says, "well she has had ankle problems, so this might even be an injury rather than just the usual Brazilian 'flair', but we hope not." Naturally, with some magic spray, she came back on and went the full 90.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

In other years - sell out of Fed Ex would have been an expectation.

Many have economic reasons for not attending.

Some have moral reasons for not attending.

But clearly, the deep run in the Open Cup has just left a lot of potential ticket purchasers on the sidelines....

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

. . . and yes that makes me a geek who watched 2 WPS games back to back . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

i take it the US Open Cup folks aren't concerned at all about the final being playing in a non-neutral venue? that just doesn't seem right.

Posted by: bobbyoshea | July 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Didn't we win the USOC final at RFK last year? With Crayton?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. Open Cup Final needs good attendance. Best way to ensure that is to schedule the game at the home of one of the finalists. Maybe in the past, under different circumstances, the concept of a neutral venue made sense. In today's economy, money talks even louder.

Posted by: SSMD1 | July 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Attendance last year was 8200 for the final, but for $1.9 million we did get to see Gallardo lift a trophy!

So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ran into Kai Kasiguran of Harrisburg the day after the OC game with United. He said United definitely came to play, and that the first half was particularly difficult for the USL team. He said they gained confidence in the second half and really pushed to equalize.

He's a great guy. He's recovering from injury, and I hope another MLS team gives him a shot. The guy can flat-out play.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"lukeworm" lol That just reminds me of the commerical for the 1996 Olympics with Emmitt Smith trying to get football to be played in the Olympics. lol When will the pigskin fans know football inst going anywhere and we are greatly represented better INTERNATIONALLY by DC United.

When the Redskins start to have losing seasons and give every fan a bull load of hype then we might see more fans in the seats. lol =) that aint't

Les'Play'Som'FOOOOTball..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

CSN is rebroadcasting yesterday's game between Sky Orange and Boston (presumably a replay of FSC's broadcast, unless CSN did a separate broadcast for the Boston market or something) Thursday at noon. Also, the Freedom's game at RFK this coming Saturday will air live, with a rebroadcast late Saturday night. Saturday is going to be one busy day, with Seattle-Chelsea and an MLS match on BSPN2 in the afternoon, and United's game up against the Gold Cup in the evening.

Also, once more there will be a one-hour gap between the two halves of the doubleheader at RFK. A long time ago on this blog, someone gave reasons why this long break was needed to prepare for the second game. However, all the matches in Gold Cup group play doubleheaders were played back to back, weren't they?

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

PA-VEL NED-VED! PA-VEL NED-VED!

We should seriously pursue him. He's a winner, on the field and off.

Posted by: Konoha7 | July 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

No Kai. May be nice guy, but he's not MLS quality. I saw him at Messiah, Fire reserve and OC (ok, dismiss the OC, since he's recovering from injury and he only played as a sub), he is too slow on the ball.

He was best at Messiah against weaker opponents.

Posted by: J_S_F | July 13, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I question Qwest and Seatle being awarded the USOC if they reach the final. They already get to host the MLS Cup Final. Then again, we got to host last yr and our attendance didn't help.

I hope we take both the Semi-final and the final seriously because if we do I feel a double coming on when we win the MLS too.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Carlos Will Mejia? Was his name mentioned over the winter?

The Falcons / Blank also tried to market through their season tickets holders, for the ACMilan/America match.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

. . . and yes that makes me a geek who watched 2 WPS games back to back . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 11:53 AM
------------------------------------------

You neglected to mention the upshot of these two games; namely, that the Freedom now has to claw back into the playoff zone, staring with Sky Orange on Wednesday.

Also, in the bizarre scheduling department: the Sol, which had a Saturday morning home game recently, played on a Wednesday afternoon last week. They somehow managed to draw a crowd of nearly 5K on both occasions.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I politely disagree, JSF. In the right system, Kasiguran can fit in well. He's technically strong enough, and while he may not work in a more direct style -- Chicago can play that way, for example -- he can in a ball-possession style (such as United).

@OWNTF: did Gallardo get injured hoisting that trophy?

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@ cow -- yes, and Freedom play 5 games in 17 days beginning Wednesday. I guess the bright spot for them is that no team but the Sol has played consistently well and so no team is out of it. They better figure out how to get Wambach on track though. Even so, the playoffs may be lacking with the Europeans gone.

@Joedoc -- shhh! I'm told that's one of the best parts of the new book Goff is working on . . . "The Gallardo Experiment" . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I hope we take both the Semi-final and the final seriously because if we do I feel a double coming on when we win the MLS too.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 13, 2009 12:24 PM
------------------------------------------

An argument could have been made for bringing out the big guns for the quarters last week. United's odds of getting into the CCL via the USOC route are probably far higher than their chances of getting one of the MLS slots. And they were within as little as 270 minutes (or as much as 360) of the championship, as opposed to 15-16 games or more of MLS regular season and playoff competition, making the bang for the buck that much higher. And that's not even taking into account the fact that they had the following weekend off.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Long live Franco Niell! Thanks for the updates on the DCU alumni in Argentina.

Goff, are the Jozy Altidore to Olympiatakos loan rumors true?

Will Boca Juniors play part of their training camp at the SoccerPlex this year, according to your South American sources?

It seems silly for the Gold Cup to take five days off, although I'm sure the quarterfinals being played on the weekend will help boost attendance.

Posted by: billindmd | July 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Pavel Nedved? I would have agreed with you were it 2003. At 36 and retired, I can't imagine that he would be all that interested in sweating out the summers in DC.

Posted by: TCompton | July 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

It seems silly for the Gold Cup to take five days off, although I'm sure the quarterfinals being played on the weekend will help boost attendance.

Posted by: billindmd | July 13, 2009 12:56 PM
------------------------------------------

As I pointed out in a previous thread, you can simply start group play a few days later. That means that more of the group play takes place during the week, but it minimizes the time that players are away from their clubs, as all the Tino fans out there will attest.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Two headers by Niell?

What next, Preki comes out of retirement and scores with his right for LA Chivas?!

Posted by: CDRHoek | July 13, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Sol (and the Freedom), some people may be interested in this item:

http://www.beulahsports.com/wps_7_5_09.html

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Reignking:

Mejia was attached to several MLS clubs, including DCU, according to the Honduran press. Norales was alleged to have strong interest from LA.

cow_pasture:

You're assuming the USSF will continue to give the Open Cup winner that slot. When it comes to the USSF and CONCACAF, anything is possible.

I agree with your point, though. We have been pretty fortunate to get to the semifinals, despite playing opponents who should have been grossly overmatched. I feel like, this close to another trophy, Soehn will play more regulars (off the top of my head, I think he played something approaching our best available XI against what was always going to be New England's reserves in the semifinal last year).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the DCU-Real Madrid match are plentiful:

Location (Fed Ex is much harder to get to for many people)
Price
The fact that many of the star players will not likely play the whole game or much more than half of it, if the past is any inclination of what might happen.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy to hear that they're having problems selling tickets to the DC United vs Real Madrid game. Screw 'em. The tickets are way too expensive, and we don't know what guarantees there are for Real to play certain star players. I'm a huge futbol fan, but the only reason I bought tickets was due to the United season ticket holder discount (and they're still more than they should be).

Posted by: futboler | July 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with both cow and rockwell, which is why I hope we play a strong XI. While I have enjoyed the mixture of lineups in the earlier round, I like winning trophies. Also, as this tournament grows, which I think it will, and become prestigious it will be nice to have a jump on all the other MLS teams.

And I am also a big fan of the CCL and view this as the easiest qualifying route (Hopefully as Rockwell pointed out USSF does not do something dumb).

Plus at this stage of the season DC has to be considered one of the favorites -in group 4 or 5-to win the MLS Cup.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@cow_pasture, I've heard elsewhere that the USOC winner isn't a lock for CCL 2010-11 edition yet.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone that's a Redskins season ticket holder actually been approached by the Redskins regarding the Real game? Back when tickets went on sale a family friend who has Skins tickets called the Redskins looking to buy through them to get his discount. The Redskins ticket office had never heard of the game let alone the fact that Redskins season ticket holders were entitled to priority/discounted tickets. In the end he was unable to buy them from the Redskins because they couldn't figure out what was going on and had to buy tickets in the general public sale.

Posted by: mfrahm | July 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

shoot! Chest beat me to it on the CCL Qualification Question! Agghhhhhh!


@Goff:If Real Madrid/DCU is locked in on FSC/Telefutura, are you assuming CCL is going to be on Telefutura as well?
Or do you think Comcast might be able to cover the probably well attended match vs Firpo on the 28th?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I hope DCU can integrate the trialists that are offered contracts fast because we have a boatload of games coming up. Late July and August is looking brutal: USOC semifinal, CCL home/away vs. Firpo, 7 MLS league games & Real Madrid friendly. Ugh. Have I left something out?

Posted by: sbg1 | July 13, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Is it certain that the U.S. will get four CCL slots in '10? And if the allocation of these slots is not three to MLS and one to USOC, as is the case now, what would be the most likely alternative?

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully the game-day attendance figure will exceed 50,000."

-------

It'd be a miracle if it did. Too bad they couldn't have done it at RFK. A sellout would look a lot better than a half-empty stadium...

Posted by: Juan-John | July 13, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

How can a turf field be the venue of choice over any stadium with a natural surface? Lame.

Posted by: Matte | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Are the Brava and Eagles sitting at midfield or at an end?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Jacob -- I'm in the Eagles neck of the woods and my ticket's in 131, behind one of the nets.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | July 13, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

How can a turf field be the venue of choice over any stadium with a natural surface? Lame.

Posted by: Matte | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM |
-----------------------------------------------

Because it's a bidding process. Because Seattle can expect to have twice the crowd DCU would, one would expect they'll come in with a higher bid.

Posted by: fischy | July 13, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Real now has more star power than chelsea and ac milan combined, plus a good 20k United fans and we can't get better attendance at fed ex field then there balitmore counter parts? something is wrong with that picture. I wonder if this would have been the same if we had the game on a friday or sat night

Posted by: Norteno4life | July 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

those Argentine highlights were crazy. Gimnasia got hosed in the first half on two consecutive handballs in the box that weren't called. then what was up with the two guys carrying the opposing player off the field (as if he were severely injured), only to have him push away and walk under his own power while turning on them angrily. next thing you know, he and one of the Gimnasia guys are both getting ejected. then the next clip shows one of the goalies going down after (apparently) being hit by a small projectile.

and only after all that (and another red card to Gimnasia and a whole lot of near misses from both teams) does little Frankie Niell put in two headers in succession for the miracle finish. wowee zowee.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 13, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Real now has more star power than chelsea and ac milan combined, plus a good 20k United fans and we can't get better attendance at fed ex field then there balitmore counter parts? something is wrong with that picture. I wonder if this would have been the same if we had the game on a friday or sat night

Posted by: Norteno4life | July 13, 2009 4:54 PM |
---------------------------------------------

United = plus 20,000 fans? Hardly. It's a rare day when United draws that on its own. Not to mention that many who would be interested in Real are already in the United camp. Throw in the possibility that this isn't likely to be a very competitive match. finally, I challenge your other premise. I think Milan has a deeper following here, going back years. And Chelsea is 3x the draw of either team, thanks to FSC and the Champions League. Real Madrid probably hasn't played on either FSC or ESPN in a couple of years.

Posted by: fischy | July 13, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I won't attend DCU Madrid due to the price. And I figure most of that flies home to Spain.
If I buy 2 tickets to RM - DCU, that is $150- yes I know there are various prices but none are very low. For that I can buy 6 Open cup tickets - which is what I will probably do if I can get out of work early enough to make the commute.
DCU has finally priced me out of the market...and I know it is really Real that did it, it comes from DCU and directly affects them, so it is as much their fault as anyone's.

Posted by: googlio | July 13, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Ticket sales for the Real visit are around 40,000. Besides DCU's aggressive marketing campaign, the Redskins have been pitching the match to their season ticket holders -- but apparently to a lukewarm response."
Yeap, this is going to be a very disappointing idea to have the game at FF. If they have chosen RFK we will have a packed house. Now after all these spending on trying to attract people to that game they can't bring enough people to the stadium. People can't really afford to that many games in a short period of time. Milan v Chelsea right around the corner.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 13, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone think they would get a better crowd @ RFK?

Because it's a shorter walk from the Metro?

Or, are you just saying it would be packed because RFK is half the size?

Posted by: fischy | July 13, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone think they would get a better crowd @ RFK? Posted by: fischy | July 13, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Cuz it's our homefield fischy. Don't let the dollar signs, and hype make you lose the plot.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I think about C.R
lol~
well http://www.nowgoal.com/30.shtml

Posted by: fetrew | July 14, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

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