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Monday Kickaround

*The Insider has learned that GolTV's Phil Schoen and former USA defender Marcelo Balboa will form the English-language announcing team for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier Aug. 12 on mun2, the cable outlet operated by Telemundo. Andres Cantor and Sammy Sadovnik will do commentary on Spanish-language Telemundo. The Spanish duo will be on site in Mexico City, the English tandem will not. The English audio will be available on Telemundo for those who have Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) capability.

*Paul Tenorio's Gold Cup match report from the Meadowlands.

*Oguchi Onyewu played 64 minutes in AC Milan's 2-0 loss to Inter Milan before 42,531 in Foxborough, Mass. Chelsea scored in the 76th and 78th minutes to defeat Club America, 2-0, and complete the World Football Challenge with a 3-0-0 record in front of 57,229 at Cowboys Stadium.

*Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton replaced Houston's Pat Onstad (strained back) as Kasey Keller's backup on the MLS all-star roster for Wednesday's match against Everton in Salt Lake City.

*Allie Long's goal in the 89th minute helped the Washington Freedom (6-6-5) stay very much in the WPS playoff race with a 3-2 victory at Chicago, eliminating the Red Stars from contention. Gold Pride (Bay Area) is also out, leaving four clubs for the final three postseason berths.

By Steve Goff  |  July 27, 2009; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  Freedom , Gold Cup , MLS , Mexico , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

RE: the mun2 announcers, thumbs up for Phil Schoen, but HUGE THUMBS DOWN for Marcelo Balboa!

Posted by: apqjr | July 27, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Since I am not quite yet emotionally prepared to discuss the debacle that was the Mexico-US game yesterday I will offer my utterlu meaningless thought on the other subjects in this morning's kick around:

Schoen and Balboa-Interesting combo. I still miss the American Soccer Show.

Way to go Freedom! Props to Abby for doing what marquee players are supposed to do--come up BIG. Good job by Long to pull out the game winner. Now they have to follow if up with good results or they will be watching the WPS playoffs like me.

Good for Zach Thornton. Always nice to see a Maryland boy doing well again.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Huge game for Freedom Wed night at the Plex.

I hope Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan get fired very soon.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Well at least Ching has some pride. Clearly the backline or the coach doesn't have any. The performance on Sunday is a shame, but you really cannot say that Mexico is clearly the better team. Hopefully the first team will put together a great performance in Azteca. I really thought the roster for the Gold Cup was lacking quality. I do not understand why players like Namoff or even Wynne don't get the call over a 32 defender like Heaps. I really think that Arnaud, C. Clark, Heaps, Parkhurst, and to a certain extent Robles do not belong on this team whether it be the A or B squad. Cooper and Pause are marginal players. Goodson, Marshall, Pearce, Beckerman, Ching, Davies, Feilhaber, Quaranta, Rogers, Holden, Perkins, and Cherundolo were good additions. I think that Holden and Marshall may have played there way onto the roster or at least the callups for the match at Azteca.

Posted by: no_recess | July 27, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

That announcing team makes me thankful I am probably going to watch in a bar.

Posted by: beach3 | July 27, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Atlanta had more people for its mid-week Milan-America game than an Italian derby in New England? And Dallas could only pull 7k more in its brand new stadium -- both of those on weekends?

I hate hearing John Harkes say dArby. Not Terrence Trent, either.

Posted by: Reignking | July 27, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"you really cannot say that Mexico is clearly the better team."

-no_recess
-------------------------------------------
You and some others might not be able to but for me personally--Actually, "yes", I can; Sadly, yesterday they sure as heck were the better team.

I agree with you in that I hope that our first teamers give a MUCH better performance in Azteca.

I am not ready to kill the guys who got waxed yesterday. Last night, I was ready to pull their passports and revoke their citizenship but this morning, my perspective is different. They fell apart and they got outclassed. Most of them were were clearly in over their heads...


Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Ouch. The Danish anthem was placed instead of Spain's when Contador was honored.

Posted by: Reignking | July 27, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Ugh....The Mauling at the Meadowlands....please make it go away.

Hey, at least DC United ran roughshod on San Jose....for 30 minutes....

Posted by: DWE4 | July 27, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

DWE: This morning when the alarm clock went off and the ESPN radio kicked in I was hoping that I had somehow remembered thins incorrectly from last night (delusions the by product of desperation and despair)--but just just as soon as the the first Sportscenter was winding down--there it was. "Thumped" was the word they chose to use before explaing that it broke the successful home soil defense streak...

Yes. Please make it go away...

Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'll be watching the Spanish coverage on the 12th, just like yesterday. Somehow the U.S. has become famous for having the best goalkeepers and worst commentators.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 27, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@no_recess: Mexico scored 5 goals and were the better team. Surely you're not arguing that all five were lucky goals?

Now if you're comparing the A teams, then I agree that Mexico is not better.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Balboa? I suppose it can't be worse than Bretos and Sullivan. At least those two are used to making calls from a studio.

On television, it looked like a lot more than 57,229 in Arlington. I was surprised when they announced that number. While I expected it in the other stadiums used for the "tournament," I was surprised to see real grass in that stadium.

I’m glad the Freedom can control their own destiny.

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The only way for me to stop the irrational and seething hatred when it comes to our Southern Neighbor in sports is a crushing blow to them on August 12.

And honestly - I still can't think who that team in white on Saturday evening was. They looked completely disfunctional - and it started early with Gomez and Emilio acting like Rec League-ers over who was taking the PK!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Really though, shouldn't there be a plan for taking PKs when Jaime is off the field, especially as he's off the field for 50% of the season so far?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Huge game for Freedom Wed night at the Plex."

===========

Yeah, and if any strong-lunged fans want to help the Freedom Fighters make the Soccerplex stop sounding like a golf tournament, please join us in Section 111 (northeast corner) that evening. For further information, email me at StarCityFan (at) comcast (dot) net.

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 27, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@VBB -- its not irrational. Now my hatred for Bretos and Sullivan, that may be irrational. But I'm not sure.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Ugh...

Balboa is a stiff.

Worse than his delivery is that ridiculous haircut that he has been going with for the last ten years. Silly.

Buenas tardes, Senor Cantor.

Posted by: ErickSp8 | July 27, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I like Sullivan. But Bretos simply doesn't know when to stop talking. He is completely incapable of shutting his mouth for even a second. And the stuff he does say is typically idiotic. But at least he's not Christian "I-Wanna-Be-From-The-UK" Miles.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

No, he's not, he's "I Wanna Be From Mehico," which is worse. The dude is from California, where's the phony accent coming from? And the fawning over the Mexicans is just intolerable. I really didn't like Wynalda as an announcer, but it's hard to picture him fawning like that, and if he was in the booth yesterday I think he may have clubbed either Bretos or Sullivan or both.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF,

Couldn't agree more. I realize that FSC is not a high pay outfit like the suits in Bristol or other places. But Max Bretos is the equivalent of the High School A/V club.

Good lord.

Sullivan isn't bad, except that while talking he seems to forget names of players frequently.

Bretos has gotten on my last nerve. He may have a place in soccer broadcasting in this country - but I don't want to hear it anymore. It's my hope that as more money gets poured into FSC due to Champions League and ratings related advertising boosts they can hire a little further up the food chain.

Now - back to Bristol, CT - this clown doing the halftime updates during the World Football Challenge - missed names, ages, dates, times, etc. GOTS-TO-GO.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: I assume that you were talking about Sullivan--I am not a Sullivan guy--Dude does irk my nerves but I don't think that dude is "faking" the accent.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think Bretos has Cuban ancestry. The dislike for Bretos can actually bring our two countries closer together - an unusual form of soccer diplomacy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1 and @ yankiboy

Yes what I meant was the US best team vs. El Tri's best team. No I do not think it was a fluke that Mexico scored 5 goals. There team is a quick and effective counter attacking side that can expose a slow back line. I know that Spector, Onyewu, Bocanegra, and DeMerit are not the fleetest of foot, but they position themselves very well. Also the Midfield of Donovan, Dempsey, Clark, and Bradley should not give the ball away as much as the one that played on Sunday. I think that the "A-team" can hold the better in possesion, not allow Mexico to take away the shape of our backline, and finish opportunities better than our B-squad (I guess I am just stating the obvious). With that said I think that El Tri will bring their best effort and I don't think that we are head and shoulders better than they are. Only time will tell who the better National Team is.

Posted by: no_recess | July 27, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh. If you were talking about Sullivan, then the accent comes from the 2 or 3 years he spent overseas, as an adult. It's the Brad Friedel/Madonna accent phenomenon.

I holidayed once in London. When entering the tube, we used the staircase because there was no lift. Did you know that there are few rubbish bins in the city due to the IRA? Come one Dover! Move yer bloomin' arse.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Bretos seemed to enjoy that second half. it was very strange. it was like restrained jubilation or something. i appreciated sullivan's frequent reminder that it wasn't like the mexicans ran roughshod over Donovan/Onyewu/Howard, but it didn't stop Bretos from opining about how the mexicans would hold this over US supporters heads for a long time. It was just very odd, and probably the last time i'll be tuning in to a FSC broadcast they call. and is an HD feed really too much to ask for in 2009? We all have to pay extra for that low rent channel, and they have commercials about "watching the beautiful game in HD", but they still haven't caught up with the times.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Born and raised in Cali. Per wikipedia, he played in Mexico . . . and also Hungary, France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark. Why not a Hungarian accent? Or German?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Really though, shouldn't there be a plan for taking PKs when Jaime is off the field, especially as he's off the field for 50% of the season so far?
Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

There is a plan. When Moreno is not on the field, Gomez takes the PKs. I just don't understand why Emilio was not aware of that plan. I can't think that I've ever seen Emilio take a PK, but Gomez has converted many for us over the years.

I used to be ok with Bretos/Sullivan, but the two matches this weekend were just unbearable to listen to. They've gotten so much worse lately. Local broadcasters are allowed to show a rooting interest between the two teams on the field, national broadcasters are not.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 27, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I holidayed once in London. When entering the tube, we used the staircase because there was no lift. Did you know that there are few rubbish bins in the city due to the IRA? Come one Dover! Move yer bloomin' arse.

Posted by: I-270Exit1

Way to overegg the pudding, Eurosnob!

Posted by: Reignking | July 27, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Local broadcasters are allowed to show a rooting interest between the two teams on the field, national broadcasters are not.
=====================

I would prefer at least one complete homer who referred to the US team as "we". It's bad enough to play at home before a 90% adverse crowd, without having to listen to announcers who are fan boys of your most hated rival.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bretos and Sullivan were terrible. I watched most of the game in spanish because I cant stand the pseudo support against the USMNT. (The only reason I changed is because I was watching the second half with my old man and he asked if we could watch it in English. Funny thing as soon as the old guy sat down Mexico scored...) I forgave them for openly supporting San Jose on Saturday night because they are from SoCo but I couldn't stand their odd support for anything non-USMNT team. Bretos at one point in this Gold Cup had me believing that every player on the Honduras national team was the equivalent to the next Ronaldinho even as the US lead 2-0.

Its funny though, while I dislike most of the broadcasters in America, is there anybody we don't complain about on this blog? I can't think of one person we have ever said positive remarks about. Why are we all such haters? From now on, should we just play music over the game?

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Hope Solo had some highlight reel saves in the first half of the StL-Gold Bond match. Too bad they're not all on the WPS highlights.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I will probably watch the WCQ in Spanish anyway. I like to imagine I understand Spanish -even though I don't- and Telemundo/univision usually pumps up the crowd volume so when I am a few beers deep I will foolish fool myself into thinking I am there.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Adrian Healey and Derek Rae are top notch.

I like Rob Stone.

I like Julie Foudy too, but she arouses dark feelings in many Insiders.

Andreas Cantor is to soccer what Jim Cramer is to finance.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Will the Wednesday night Freedom match be on the tube?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Freedom are on Comcast at 8:00 (pre-game at 7:30).

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Team Doc shut off the audio early in the second half. I think Bretos was simply kissing up to the Telemundo guys, who apparently were in the same booth with Bretos and Sullivan. It was pathetic; then again, so was the game.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

thanks OWNTF. I'll be watching at home.

Can someone enlighten me on what the capacity for the lower bowl at RFK is?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: The last two cents on Sullivan's accent. Dude grew up in Cali. I'm not trying to be a smart Aleck but there is a big Mexcian and Central American influence in many parts of that state.

I think that it was the Interstate who was making similar points:

Friedel came back to us talking like an Englishman. Those weren't even his "formative" years.

Many times, people are products of their enviroment. They aren't "fakin' the funk" (see, I get to drop a Tina Marie refernce).

I personally don't want a media match commentator being so homerific as to say "we". As a fan I say "we" all day long. I don't want to hear any sports commentary crew saying "we". It just seems very amatuerish and unprofessional to me--even when said club is paying your salary.

Sullivan still gets on my nerves. It seems like he is too busy trying to impressive his global football knowledge.

bretos should be doing Spanish language tv or in the Monday night Football both replacing Kornheiser because he's not anywhere near as funny as he thinks he is or has been told that he is...

Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and if any strong-lunged fans want to help the Freedom Fighters make the Soccerplex stop sounding like a golf tournament, please join us in Section 111 (northeast corner) that evening.

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 27, 2009 9:42 AM
________________________________________

You'd be more effective if you were in the southeast corner (i.e., closer to the beer garden, whose patrons you could get to join in). Part of the problem with the 'Plex is the fact that most of it is dominated by shrieking little kids, including the northeast corner. It would be better to work to establish the south end as an area that is more adult-friendly.

Posted by: universityandpark | July 27, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I like Julie Foudy too, but she arouses dark feelings in many Insiders

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

---------------------

Indeed, here voice is like fingernails running down a chalkboard to me.

Posted by: combedge | July 27, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bretos was about as bad as he has ever been for the US vs. Mexico final. He just can't contain himself with inane comments. Once he referred to the U.S. as "EEUU" saying it in Spanish ey, ey uh, uh. This is an abreviation for Estados Unidos in Spanish. Its not spoken. Absolutely ridiculous. Sullivan was ok. He's an analyst and generally tells it like it is. The fact was that Mexico completely broke down our midfield and defense after the PK. It happens, move on. The real game to fret about is at Azteca next month.

Posted by: sbg1 | July 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Daniela warmed up with Athletica this weekend and STL paper is saying she may play again this year. Which if you were at the Plex that night is incredible.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Sullivan is the worst. Like somebody said above, he spends the entire time making references to anything South American to try to prove he has football cred. Shut up and call the game you has-been.

Bretos has no control over his voice, and not just volume. He is completely unable to pronounce words correctly due to his lack of understanding the purpose of inflection.

Honestly, I miss Wynalda. I almost miss Balboa.

Posted by: Jooseppi | July 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

Is MLS adding an E'Quipe today?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I like Dave Johnson. Not sure if he has any interest in doing more games on the national level, but he's certainly capable of it.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 27, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

That guy who did updates during halftime on espn this weekend was dreadful, VirginiaBlueBlood. I got over the stale, monotone voice, but he didn’t know what he was talking about, kept saying names wrong, and I can only listen to a person say “the MLS” so many times.

Like others, this weekend was the absolute end of Bretos for me. I can't even listen to him MST3000 style anymore.

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

When there's a choice, I will listen to the Spanish language soccer coverage over Fox Soccer Channel types. So I listened to Bretos & Sullivan for Saturday night's game at San Jose but tuned into Univision's Pablo Ramirez & Jesus Bracamontes for the Gold Cup final. They are both Mexican and it shows in their commentary but they're fairly evenhanded in their analysis.

They didn't have a problem with the PK Gio earned (to me, the shirt tug on Gio was no worse than what Goodson experienced in the 1st half). Not sure if the FSC crew saw it that way but the comments here (by those who watched) seem pretty outraged. Not that it helps the US in any way, but Gio's PK was less of a gift than the one Emilio earned at the beginning of the San Jose game.

I have no problem w Chris Sullivan, Bretos I can do without.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 27, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Dave Johnson can do any sport at any level. He's a talent and we're lucky to have him. We've seen him remain neutral on national programming as well.

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@SITRUC: I agree with you. DJ is the MAN. But I have even read some guys trashing here about how bad "horrible" he is. We are lucky to have THAT guy here. Dude's Wizard calls are great, as well.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 27, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Was Sullivan part of the XM Radio World Cup team in 2006?

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The whole Bretos issue - it really did bubble over for me this weekend.

Normally, I try to avoid heaping on the pile of criticism aimed at FSC, ESPN, announcers, etc. I know there are limitations and I know that soccer coverage here has really improved. Heck, you could argue that the US has the best coverage in terms of breadth and free access as anywhere in the world.

However, Bretos is D-List talent. Again - I realize that FSC's budget is not the biggest - but their corporate parent bought Champions League from ESPN, is planning on rolling out HD by January 2010 (meaning you will watch all of the group stage in beautiful, barely watchable standard definition), and will use broadcasters from the world feed.

Well, it's time to up the ante FSC. I'll live out this year without HD - but you better be able to not only get it to me in 2010, but not require me to call up Comcast and give them a reason to add another $5 to my monthly bill. Also - Bretos has got to go - and most of the rest of your current line-up. I'm not asking you to go get Derek Rae as it sounds like ESPN is going to hatch a huge plan for him and their increased coverage of leagues there - but you need to make sure Bretos is back to calling PDL games on local late night cable.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I had no problem with the FSC picture or announcers, the ref, the stadium, the crowd, the weather or the time of day.

My misery came exclusively from rooting for the team in white in the second half.

Posted by: JkR- | July 27, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so many reasons to be happy that I didn't watch Sunday's match...

Posted by: Reignking | July 27, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

So much hating!

We lost 5-0. I don't care who was playing for us, or who was calling the game. We should never lose to Mexico 5-0. If you don't like the broadcast, do what the rest of us do and flip over to the Spanish station, where the sound, picture and announcer quality (even if you don't understand it) is way better. Seriously, the Univision announcer was en fuego yesterday.

Posted by: ZidVicious | July 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe FSC in HD when I see it - notice they claim to be "targeting" Jan 2010 for the rollout...I'd be shocked if they have their act together by then.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

You'd be more effective if you were in the southeast corner (i.e., closer to the beer garden, whose patrons you could get to join in). Part of the problem with the 'Plex is the fact that most of it is dominated by shrieking little kids, including the northeast corner. It would be better to work to establish the south end as an area that is more adult-friendly.

Posted by: universityandpark | July 27, 2009 10:58 AM

============

Interesting thought, though the slope in front of the beer garden seems to be a haven for the shrieking kids.

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 27, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

thanks OWNTF. I'll be watching at home.

Can someone enlighten me on what the capacity for the lower bowl at RFK is?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 10:48 AM

=========

One page reports that RFK Stadium's "scaled-down house" has a capacity of 16,900, which sounds like the lower bowl. But if you're talking about the Freedom match, that will be played at the Soccerplex, which has a capacity of a little over 5,000.

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 27, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

at least Sullivan doesn't say Robie Royers. and yes his accent is an affectation, it's lasted too long to be anything else. i once had a friend who has the same affliction, it's annoying but at least he seems to know the english language, unlike bretos who is constantly using words he either doesn't know the meaning or pronunciation of, which is more annoying.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | July 27, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

For the first time the entire tournament, I thought FSC's picture was slightly better than Univision yesterday. The Univision feed was slightly ahead of FSC for me yesterday. Of course Univision keeps the stadium sound much higher which can be nice.

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@JkR-

exactly. to the extent that i was even paying attention to the announcers it was only to switch my focus away from the debacle unfolding on screen. if the announcers were praising Mexico, well they spent the last 35 minutes of the game slapping us around. did the US even put one good shot on goal the whole game?

and to think that i had to wait to watch the 8pm replay and went out of my way to avoid seeing the score before that. could have saved myself a lot of trauma. i don't blame Bradley - he was trying to bring Cooper and Quaranta on after the first (undeserved) goal but before they got on we gave up the 2nd and we had to push forward to try to get something. the backline lost all coordination and gave minimal effort after that - it was a pretty despicable display and any hope that i had for Marshall and Pearce after their play in the tournament pretty much went up in smoke. they remain 2nd tier at best.

i will say that i didn't see much being thrown by the Mexican fans for once. was security that good or do they not throw things when they are winning?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Between DC's failed "zipper" (a Zohan joke) incident at SJ, and the US kiddos (+ Ching) getting the business end of what could be synonymous with a "welcome to cell block D" treatment I am all soccered out...

...that is until the CCL starts tomorrow night. The life of a soccer fan, eh?

So now that I have cooled down a bit, here's what I have learned...

The kids approached that game like they would an MLS opponent - pushing for an equalizer when there was still enough time to regroup and grab the game again. They were wrong, and paid for it. Then it seems like they just gave up (that sentiment may well be unfair, as I think these guys are red-blooded Americans and would never do such a thing, but it still looked like they did).

BB needs to learn how to manage his starters in a tourney. 2 tourneys in a row and our guys were gasses in the 2nd half of each final. Dude, call in a useful and meaningful bench and USE IT. Nice job on getting this group of first cappers that far though.

Hope the big boys are stewing over this and it all ends up serving as that last but of motivation they need to walk in to Azteca and do the business.

And, what else...hmmm, seem to be forgetting something...oh yeah, I have had a night's sleep over it and I am still convinced that Max Bretos is a whale sized posterior orifice.

Posted by: Kosh2 | July 27, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I signed up for FSC one month ago. I've fallen in love with my mute button already.

Posted by: revsfanindc | July 27, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Fox Soccer Channel is part of the Murdoch empire which also includes England's Sky Sports. I would prefer any of the blokes who call the EPL matches to come over here and replace Bretos and Sullivan. And while we are in the transfer market for sportscasters, get Natalie Sawyer here ASAP!!

Posted by: agoldhammer | July 27, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The USA/Mexico game was very exciting to watch. Before the game, it took forever for Perkins to come out. I was wondering if the heat affected him. My only dissatisfaction with the coaching was that the backup goalie, Busch, played the entire game the night before in Seattle and then had to get to New York. If Perkins was unable to go between the pipes then our backup had just played the entire game the night before. Where we had trouble, it was blistering hot and the guys just wore out. Especially Goodson and Marshall. Not really their fault, the heat got me too and I was in the stands there. Personally, I think we should have kept some of the Europen based players and mixed they and MLSers. Kyle Beckerman and Logan Pause did well every game except yesterday. We did not hold or move the ball, plain and simple.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 27, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all."

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

hey goff, any truth to the Montreal rumor???

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Recap
A) Most, if not all announcers are terrible, unless it's in Spanish and you don't really know what they are saying. Then they are ok.
B) Mexico whooped us.
C) DC United needs to turn it up, and have a tough stretch through August/early September that could make or break the season.
D)Lance and Alberto are not friends.

Posted by: delantero | July 27, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Rumor: GRossi to AC Milan

Posted by: Reignking | July 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting thought, though the slope in front of the beer garden seems to be a haven for the shrieking kids.

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 27, 2009 12:04 PM
-----------------------------------------

Then wouldn't they make an inviting target for a beer shower?

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Are Bompastor and Sawa-san going to skip the France-Japan friendly on Saturday (I hope)?

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 27, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I have a hard time believing that the lower bowl at RFK only seats
16,900. I could be wrong though.

Anyone else? What is the lower bowl capacity at RFK presently?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Goff! Do you know the lower bowl capacity for RFK?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Here;s a question for ya'll. Maybe it was just the small and eerily quiet crowd @ Foxboro, but I can't remember watching a game on TV where I could so clearly hear the ball being struck almost every time. I was wondering if maybe the guys in Milan just hit the ball more solidly than the pros over here.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

When I watched the tape of Seedorf's Baltimore goal, I was surprised by how loud the strike was.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 27, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

They were definitely getting some noticeably hard kicks in, but it was all amplified with mic placement. Gillette was quiet, but those mics were seemingly always right there and their level was up.

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan, I thought you knew all about "bowls"?

:-)

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 27, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Fischy I too noticed the quiet atmosphere. To be honest I only watched about twenty minutes because I was so angry at the US Mexico game I was considering not being a soccer fan for the rest of my life. I flipped over and watched the game after my buddy, who was there, sent me a video clip text and in my mind I thought why is it not louder. Then he texted me and said "this game isn't very competitive." I guess it makes sense for the subdued effort from the crowd if someone standing in the crowd could notice the lackluster performance on the field.

Off topic, but Gooch has got a ways to go to crack the starting eleven, and possibly even Bonera is ahead of him on the CB depth chart. Its not his defending, which was admittedly, and surprisingly, shaky this preseason -I am going to chalk that up to nerves-, its his passing and composer on the ball that strikes me as his most glaring flaw.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Is Sr. Goff looking for Steve Fossett between San Jose and Sandy, UT?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but Gooch has got a ways to go to crack the starting eleven, and possibly even Bonera is ahead of him on the CB depth chart. Its not his defending, which was admittedly, and surprisingly, shaky this preseason -I am going to chalk that up to nerves-, its his passing and composer on the ball that strikes me as his most glaring flaw.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 3:55 PM
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I think he may have made a major mistake in going to Milan. They will tolerate no mistakes and he could find himself out of the starting 11 from the get go. I hope I'm wrong. I know Ajax were after him and given their shaky defense he would slot in the first 11 and get great experience in the Dutch league which plays the most attacking football in Europe. Lack of PT means regression.

Posted by: agoldhammer | July 27, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I like Phil Schoen.

Google can't come up with an exact total, but I'd guess around 22k for the lower section of RFK.

I think The Gooch's passing has improved along with his footwork, and was reasonably impressed with it during Confed Cup and the game against Club America.

That new Cowboys Stadium felt like it was swallowing me whole with how tall it was, and that was with me watching from home.

And I couldn't find it glancing through, but somebody mentioned MST3000, and my intial reaction before, "Hey, I do that too," was "Hey, a reference I get!"

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

On the Gooch thing...1 1/2, may be 2 games with a new squad? Let's give him 20 more min of field time before we announce his career as dead, shall we? It's going to be a testy start, but Gooch has played in Europe long enough to know what he's got to do. He's a pro and can play at that level. Let's give him time to acclamate himself to the team, the culture and the city.

This version of AC Milan will be nothing like the ones before. They sold the likes of Kaka and have brought in...? They have cash and AGING stars issues. They need to sort some things out. Right now they don't look like Scudetto contenders, but the window is still open.

Posted by: Kosh2 | July 27, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And Ives is saying Houston has agreed to a transfer fee with Livorno for Rico Clark.

I like that move. I like him as a player, I like the form he's been in, I like what I understand of their roster, I just think it sets up well.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The lower bowl must be >18,500, because when we announce those attendances there isn't anyone sitting in the upper bowl.

Posted by: the_slammer | July 27, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

A lotta help y'all been...
Especially you joedoc;-)

In case anyone was wondering, RFK supposedly seats 17-18k in the lower bowl. Any one think we can fill it for the Open Cup final?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The lower bowl must be >18,500, because when we announce those attendances there isn't anyone sitting in the upper bowl.
-----------------------------------------

Are you counting the mezzanine as part of the lower bowl or the upper bowl?

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 27, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

When I watch on tv a game like the Colorado one, with an announced attendence of 18,248 and see this many empty seats (http://web.mlsnet.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5617087), it makes me think the lower bowl (I suppose including the mezzanine) is over 20k.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I was including the mezzanine...I remember for USA/Cuba, it seemed like probably everyone with tickets was there (it being a one-off event without many giveaways or season ticket noshows) and they announced 20,293. There was a smattering of people in the upper deck for that match.

Posted by: the_slammer | July 27, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@dadryan: depends... will you be sitting at home watching the game or in the stands?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 27, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

the_slammer, the number I got was from someone in the DCU office. I was transferred once, then put on hold while the young lady found out. How many do you think can be seated in the mezzanine? 1,500?

I always thought the lower bowl would seat @ 20k at capacity but I guess I was a little off.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@bingers4GZ, of course I'll be at the Open Cup final. Same as last year, missing every game at the plex and going to the final. Kinda like Gallardo. I did make one of the play in games at RFK this year though sooooo. You know, still not too shabby. I must not have that elite Seattle Soundersesque commitment to my club I guess... ;-)

It just dawned on me that it would be really hot, and hilarious if we could get some black and red babes to dress up like those cheer leaders in the Smells Like Teen Spirit video and go KARAZY! How about hundreds of Kurt Cobain suicide zombies in black and red striped sweaters wandering around RFK... Wouldn't that be classy?


Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

i am sure a banner the exclaims
"sounders.. do the Cobain!!" will suffice..

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 27, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan well that sounds a fair bit more official than my random rememberances from USMNT games.. :) it's possible that the lower bowl is 17-18k, the mezzanine has another 1.5-2k, so to see people in the upper bowl we'd need to break 20k or so. That sounds about right, the Honduras game this year was listed at 26k and there was a few rows of fans ringing the entire upper deck. And last year's terrible game against Chivas (the last home game) drew 28k and there were people scattered through the upper deck too.

Wonder how many we'll get tomorrow night? 12k? 8k of whom are El Salvadorian?

Posted by: the_slammer | July 27, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL. I cried when Cobain died...
I was at the US/Cuba game slammer. It was quite full that lovely day.

I just hope we can fill the lower bowl for the Open Cup. Most importantly I don't want Sounders travel support to find themselves comfortable anywhere except when hiding over in lot 3 or when they're standing in line to get chicken strips.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Who did Ricardo Clark foul when he got redcarded against Italy in the Confed Cup? Gattuso?

Maybe Livorno hates him, too, and decided to reward Clark for attempting a Gillooly.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 27, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: torrey151 | July 27, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I just earlier raised the point to Gooch has a ways to go. His career is not dead, and I for one hope he plays every game this yr. Unfortunately, only the strongest US supporter would argue with me that Nesta or Thiago Silva are worse then Gooch. I mean seriously, Nesta proven quality -often injured which is good- and Silva was hands down better in these preseason games. Here's to hoping Gooch plays though.

I am saying the lower bowl has to seat over 20k. Every game that I have been to in which they announced over 18k I still see plenty of seats. For instance, I sat on the quiet side for the 2-1 victory of Chicago about a month ago (pretty sure that one was over 18k) and I had my choice of seats around me (I was also with 2 other people.)

At the Colorado game I didn't really notice any open seats but I sat on the loud side.

I am hoping for at least 15k for the USOC final. Unfortunately, I will be in graduate school which is in Flagstaff, Arizona so I don't think I can make that one.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

If conditioning is supposed to be a strength of U.S. soccer teams, why were the players so gassed in the second half? Others have pointed out that Mexico had to go to PKs in its game Thurs. against Cost Rica and still looked a lot more fit. Did the U.S. take extra practice or something on Sat. that would contribute to fatigue being a big factor?

Posted by: hudson22 | July 27, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting, Torrey.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 27, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

You going to NAU grubbsbl?

Interesting little thing there torrey151. Strange enough as it may sound I was riding around NoMa yesterday afternoon for a bit, and you'd be lying to yourself if you tried to say that "NoMa" hasn't changed drastically in the last 4-5 years. I can certainly picture the elevated out building behind Union station without even roasting bowls...

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

im no soccer expert...more of a hockey and college hoops guy...but i think the same philosophy applies across all (most) sports...you have to value possession of the ball (puck) more than the other team...

mexico valued their possessions more...made safe passes even if they werent up the field....always!!!!

the us seemed content to make a couple of controlled passes and then force long passes all over the place...in the end it just turned the ball over and created major problems for themselves...and momentum quickly shifted...

also, shoot on goal...how many shots did mexico take and how many of those were on goal...now compare that to the us...a shot right at the goalie is better than a shot wide...

to me that was those were the differences that led to the breakdowns...

lets just forget about how bad it got...its was over after the 2nd goal...pathetic that they couldnt play with more pride as the score got worse...

Posted by: deadskin | July 27, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

and speaking of NAU...i got both my Bachelors and Masters there...love that place...

btw..NAU Hockey Rules!!! GO Ice Jacks!!!

Posted by: deadskin | July 27, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

grubbsl:

You really in grad school at NAU? I'm in the bio program and I will look forward to seeing you around campus in a couple weeks.

Posted by: Josh8 | July 27, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Dude! My aunt is a professor at NAU!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Hope everything is ok with mr Goff!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 27, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzz.......

Well, I've written before about how it would be kind cool to have a stadium district at the waterfront, though I'm thinking the 100V property is a real hike from the Metro. A mile is doable, but it's not fun.

On the other hand, as I've also written, a NoMA property is by far the coolest idea -- but it largely shuts out drivers. Only 395 really comes anywhere near there, but the Mass Ave exit/entrance could be overwhelmed. Still, look at the "Phone Booth" -- I'm sure the Wizards and Caps fans used to drive to Landover.... A platform over the tracks is insanely expensive -- in NYC, it was projected to add about a billion dollars to the stadium cost -- but it's inevitable that some developer will build one. The property there is a natural for development -- like Park Avenue in NYC, once they built over the train lines.

If there were a shovel-ready project there -- build a platform, then a stadium and the other stuff -- maybe ready for 2013, that would have to the first choice...a location for the ages.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes I am really going to NAU. I am going to graduate school for political science. To Josh8, that would be nice. I have never stepped foot on campus -or in the state- and assume I am going to be lost. I have heard many good things about the school and apparently the Insider soccer blog supports my school of choice too.

Fishcy I lack a little understanding. What do you mean by NoMA?

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

NoMA is a relatively new moniker. It means north of Massachusetts. Really, it includes all the new development along lower Mass Ave (both sides of the Avenue) -- more or less from the old Convention Center site down to Union Station and then east. A lot of new condos -- NPR built a headquarters there, but they're already planning to sell and move to less trendy digs. There's some properties near the Georgetown Law Center that are still waiting to be developed, and big plans for the real estate behind Union Station. The linked article refers to Akridge's plans to develop behind Union Station, because an Akridge spokesperson said that DCU sought information on a number of their properties.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: Announcers, I didn't hear the Bertos call of the US/Mexico game, but his "work" on the SJ/DCU game was awful. Absolutely terrible -- reminded me of an announcer from another sport who's been told he's now got the network soccer games and in his first year of trying to "learn" the game.

As for announcers I actually like, count me as a vote for Adrian Healey and Derek Rae.

Posted by: edgeonyou | July 27, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Aren't the potential Revolution plans also over railways?

Posted by: sitruc | July 27, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The District set up an economic development zone, with big tax savings for the properties along Mass Ave from Mount Vernon Square on down. Now, they're aiming north -- defining NoMA as the area between New Jersey Ave, up to K St, then a rectangle bordered by North Capitol, New York Ave, Union Station and about 4th St. NE. Apparently, Akridge has or is bidding on air rights over the tracks, behind Union Station -- what they're calling Burnham Place. The article wonders if United is interested in getting in on that action. It would be an amazing location.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzz

this was a great goal in Balto Friday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19lXuL8JYZ8

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@I270

The qualifier in mexico city will be a test. Dos Santos is actually on the mexican 1st team along with most of those guys who beat us 5-0. If Dos Santos continues to play well, we might be in trouble.

Posted by: g3impreza | July 27, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Awfully visionary, but extremely expensive fischy. I can see it, but you know me, never not pipe dreamin'.;-)

DC doesn't make it easy for projects like that though, and I really couldn't see that happening very easily. Then again, as I pointed out that whole neighborhood is a hell of a lot different than it was just 3 years ago. All that Chinatown redevelopment is oozing north.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Livorno hates him, too, and decided to reward Clark for attempting a Gillooly.
Posted by: Joel_M_Lane
==============

Christopher Sullivan said that Gillooly was the Gattuso-like member of Team Harding.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

grubbsl, yes, by all means put up a message or something here when you move out to the Flag. It shouldn't be too hard to find me, there aren't many VA cars around and fewer with JMU tags.

Posted by: Josh8 | July 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- expensive, but probably not very expensive for United. The development plan is there already. Dedicating land to a stadium might make some of the property less economically productive, but it might also act as an economic/political catalyst like the Verizon Center did. Obviously, I have no idea if the city would participate and what United's contribution would be, but the team isn't going be responsible for all that other construction. I'm guessing that from United's perspective, the principal concerns would be how soon the project could get done, and whether the developers would welcome the facility. But, man, talk about setting down a marker that the team is going to be a central part of the cultural life in the city....

Besides, if they can find alternatives within the city, they can better finesse the Council politics...might put a little more pressure on Council members from other wards.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm feelin' ya fischy. DCU would benefit greatly by getting involved with some big hitters round here. Kinda nice that McFarlane is out of the picture ey? Let's the imagination run wild doesn't it?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah -- lets the imagination run wild. Much more likely they're really focused only on the SW waterfront property. But, it's cool to ponder exciting alternatives.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

It's just great to hear that United is speaking with private developers like Akridge. The NoMa property would be an incredible location, but I'm not sure I see the Council going along with it.

The 100 V St SW location looks really enticing also though. A mile from the Metro might sound far, but it doesn't look any farther than Poplar Point would be. And if you think about it, no farther than Camden Yards is from the Inner Harbor. I can picture a stadium district with restaurants lining the ground floor of Half Street. Someday...

Posted by: DCUMD | July 28, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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