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D.C. United News & Notes

*Tiyi Shipalane has joined the club on loan from USL-2 Harrisburg and will be eligible for the Champions League match against Toluca on Wednesday at RFK Stadium, Coach Tom Soehn said.

To make room for him on the senior roster, Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo (infected wrist) was placed on the injured list. GM Dave Kasper doesn't expect Khumalo to play again until early to mid-October.

*Adam Smarte will remain on trial all week. "He played in PDL as a right-sided marker in a three-[man backline] and right back in a four," Kasper said.

*Shipalane and Julius James (Houston) are cup-tied and ineligible for next week's U.S. Open Cup final against Seattle.

*Soehn, on Shipalane: "He's not afraid to take people on. He's a good server of the ball. If you add some quality guys around him [by joining DCU], I think he can flourish. But he's new to us and it's going to take him a little time to adjust, and he has to earn his wings just like everybody else. We saw signs of a quality guy and we wanted to take a chance on him."

For Kasper's thoughts on Khumalo's infection and Soehn's thoughts on Danny Szetela, who has not been in uniform the past three matches for unspecified reasons, please continue to the second part of this thread.....

Kasper, on Khumalo: "His cast was basically from his wrist to near his shoulder. In talking with the medical staff, when he said 'I feel dripping in here', he's working out in 100-degree temperature and 100-percent humidity, so it's not like he complained of pain. Sometimes when you get an infection, it hurts. He went in a week ago Monday for a checkup to take the cast off, examine the bone and see if he can go to a smaller cast. That's when they found the infection."

Soehn, on Szetela: "It takes time to adjust to a new team and where you fit in and making sure you win your teammates over and win your staff over. He didn't come fit, and that will all work itself out. ... Everyone coming in has to understand that you have to work hard every day. The guys who have been here understand that, and that's something new guys have to figure out. It's something I think he is starting to understand."


By Steve Goff  |  August 25, 2009; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Did Szetela come to the team pregnant and decide not to tell Soehn?

Posted by: sitruc | August 25, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

will shipalane learn to wear his clothes correctly before he starts?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope he works out. If not, the DCU totally wasted its allocation pick. An allocation pick is a terrible thing to waste in MLS...

Posted by: therealfootball | August 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Those comments about Szetela were completely unhelpful and I'm even more confused now than before I read them.

Posted by: rmontcal | August 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@sitruc -

Once when I was a kid my parents got me a hamster, and it was supposed to be a boy hamster. And then the hamster was pregnant and it had babies, and some of the babies died. And we gave some of the others to the elementary school, so we had some class hamsters for a while.

So I guess I'm saying, maybe.

Posted by: the_slammer | August 25, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So is it safe to assume that Szetela is not a hard worker or his work ethic is in question and that is why he is not seeing the playing field? I do not buy that excuse. He played for most of the match vs Firpo and that was about a month ago.

Posted by: no_recess | August 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure that Szetela was fit when he came here. He played in 2? 3? games already and went the full 90 at least once.

Now, whether or not hes busting his butt in practice is a different story.

Posted by: strago | August 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

rmontcal:

I thought they clarified things. It sounds like Soehn expected Szetela to work very hard in practice to get himself up to full fitness, and Szetela (in Soehn's eyes) was cutting corners in some way. Maybe he skipped one of these fitness sessions? Knowing exactly what he did is just speculating, but these comments at least point you in the direction of the problem.

Hopefully it works itself out. Any team in MLS could use a player of Szetela's ability.

***

I've seen Shipalane in person twice now (this year's USOC game, and our previous meeting with Harrisburg in 2007), and I feel like he'd be at his best using his speed to get to the endline, then cutting into the box. I didn't see evidence in either game that he's a particularly gifted crosser (though he also didn't give me a reason to think he's an incompetent crosser either). In either case, a player with his speed and zeal for going 1v1 at defenders should be able to get around outside backs and get into the box. Movements like that cause chaos for defenses, since they have to face their own goal and sprint just to be anywhere near the play. In a situation like that, Shipalane would have options for a pass towards the penalty spot, a hard, low cross just beyond the keeper's reach to the back post, or to continue on the dribble looking for contact. I'd also like to see him look for situations where he can cut in and have one man to beat between him and a 1v1 with the keeper. It's a great way to draw freekicks, at the least.

Coincidentally, this is how many of MLS's speedy wide players (Richards, the Nyassi brothers, Ashe, etc) should play more often. Most of those players can't cross to save their lives, yet persist in slicing their crosses over the goal or floating in weak crosses that center backs devour.

For United, with no particularly imposing forwards, high crosses have to be perfect or they'll be cleared, so why not do something a bit more dangerous on the ground? A 50/50 ball in the air between anyone we have and, say, Chad Marshall is going to be cleared 95% of the time by Marshall. Play that ball on the ground, though, and our odds of either getting to the ball or being fouled go up quite a bit.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@sitruc and the_slammer - Nice. I really needed that laugh. Thanks.

It seems to me that Szetela may have come into camp both unfit and with a mild case of Billy-Big-Boots-itis, or it could be that Soehn has failed to recognize youthful swagger and confidence. Hmmm...let's deliberate shall we?

On the one hand we have Danny Boy - who has been associated with such nasty rumors that speak to work ethic and attitude issues (don't ask for a link please, it's a grapevine thing...I'm sure I heard or read it from somewhere). Do these issues persist? Then we must also consider the circumstances of his coming back. Was it truly his choice or not? Or it could just be a very confident young blood ready to do the business and chomping at the bit with some serious swagger and is having to adjust to a coach and tactics that are forcing him to slow down.

On the other hand you have TS who...well...err...let's see Mommy always said if you dont have something nice to say...well he's TS.

At least that's what I gleaned from that coded coach talk that he offer Goff. There case closed. That will be $79.99 and I'll see you next Wednesday.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 25, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

So, Goff, tell us about the dust-up between Szetela and Burch and why Soehn has chosen to take Burch's side.

Posted by: olddcufan | August 25, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

will shipalane learn to wear his clothes correctly before he starts?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 25, 2009 1:00 PM |

I'm pretty sure when you get to the "show" you get pointers on 'conducting yourself in an interview' and 'how to put on your shorts'.

Posted by: ncguy | August 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Kasper must have cut that class when he was at medical school at Maryland when they covered post-surgical infections and other risks. It would be malpractice to allow someone who just had surgery and was in a cast of any size outside for any long period time in high temperature and humidity, much less working out. Furthermore, absence of pain is not a sign of no infection or other complication, and the dripping should have triggered an immediate examination. To pass it off as sweat in hot weather is sheer stupidity. This player might have a negligence action against DCU if his recovery is impaired by this irresponsible action.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

no_recess and strago:

Szetela did get through those games, but he clearly ran out of gas. The Firpo game is an especially strong example. He started well in the middle, but was moved wide so that the team could hide McTavish (who was offering nothing in either direction on the right). Firpo abandoned trying to build off their left wing after that, and instead started bypassing midfield entirely. Szetela, meanwhile, ran himself to exhaustion and offered little influence from around the 40th minute onward. It was a tactical gain for DC in terms of defending, but it cost us our most potent attacking threat from the first half hour of the game.

My point is that there's getting through 90 minutes, and there's being able to go 90 with no problem. Szetela might be able to fight his way through a full match, but it's much better if he can go 90 and maintain his level of performance.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Too bad about Boyzzz. Mid-october! Yikes. And the whole thing is just gross. First the nasty compound fracture, then the globs of infected puss. Ick.

Posted by: WorldCup | August 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

that's the first i've heard of something going on between burch and danny, but i guess i'm not surprised. burch has always seemed to be somewhat of a prick, from getting into it on the field, but also inserting himself into some dumb drama about freddy when he wasn't even on the team at the time.

Posted by: joe_hill | August 25, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@Goff: Can we please get some inside scoop on this Szetela issue? All these coach speak has done is tell there's something HUGE going on that we don't know. Is there?

Posted by: tundey | August 25, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I saw Shipalane with Harrisburg City. He didn't make much of an impression but to be honest, neither did Boyzzz or Janicki last year. Harrisburg is a well coached, well organized team. It will be interesting to see if he is able to contribute to DC and how long it will take for him to to settle in.

Posted by: yankiboy | August 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Who was it that had a black eye a few weeks ago?

Posted by: sitruc | August 25, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Can we please get some inside scoop on this Szetela issue? All these coach speak has done is tell there's something HUGE going on that we don't know. Is there?

Posted by: tundey | August 25, 2009 1:35 PM
_____________________________

It's simple. Danny Szetela is dating the Octo Mom and Kate Gosselin when he isn't giving sedatives to Michael Jackson, selling ShamWows, or getting involved in the manhunt for the VH1 reality show guy in Canada.

Sheesh.

Posted by: bs2004 | August 25, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chest Rockwell. Shipalane's speed will be a welcome addition. Actually it seems to me like Shipalane is a pretty similar player to Khumalo, so putting Boyzzz on the 6 game DL was a no brainer for me.

With Szetela, I don't think it's purely a fitness issue, although I see how you can infer that from these comments. He may have run out of gas in the Firpo match, but so did a lot of other players.

When the team first acquired him, he was said to be excused from the team his first weekend here for "personal reasons", which we later learned was because he was attending a friend's wedding in NJ (thanks to some great reporting from sleuth detective DadRyan). Then in some of Szetela's comments to Goff last week we heard "personal things" again. This is pure conjecture, but I'm guessing the problem has more to do with the Szetz coming up with excuses to miss multiple practices, i.e. not fully dedicating himself to the team. And if you don't practice, you don't play.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 25, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

DCUMD - Practice? I mean we talkin' bout practice? Common man. I mean it's just practice?

signed AI

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 25, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

bs2004:
next you'll be telling us that Danny boy is actually the sasquatch..

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 25, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Um, Szetela's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Danny pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

Posted by: B_A_ | August 25, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Khumalo is a wimp. Josh Gros would have played with the cast and rolling an i.v. hanger with antibiotics.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 25, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

therealfootball wrote: "I sure hope he works out. If not, the DCU totally wasted its allocation pick. An allocation pick is a terrible thing to waste in MLS..."

===

What makes you say that? This sort of allocation is different from the major/minor allocation money system. An unused "you suck" allocation goes away at the end of the year; so if we didn't use it this season, we wouldn't be using it at all. So the only way in which Szetela is a "wasted pick" is if someone else comes back to the US this year that a) we would have wanted and that b) Dallas (ahead of us in the order) would have taken a pass on.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | August 25, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Plastic fan. Stay away forever.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | August 24, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse
=================================

the same plastic fan who:

- had season tickets (along with plastic fans entire family) up through 2005 when plastic fan moved to So-Cal.

- hasn't missed a DCU game here in So-Cal since plastic fan moved here.

- rocks DC stickers on plastic fans car here in So-Cal.

- just happened to be visiting family in Maryland and ditched hanging out with said family to take a friend to the 3-1 win over Colorado at RFK a month or so ago.

- would've gone up to San Jose this year for the game but was still in Maryland visiting family.

- hooks up plastic fans laptop to his tv so he can watch all DC games that aren't nationally televised or shown here in So-Cal even though the video quality drops.

- has who knows how much DCU apparel (multiple jerseys, hats, tshirts/shirts, jackets, shorts, fleece's, soccer balls, signed soccer balls).

- has hung out with Boswell, Moreno, Gomez, Perkins (not to mention Conrad, Wynalda, Balboa, Lalas, Cunningham) just to name a few. Just ask Boswell how much I embarrassed him, in a funny way, infront of all his soccer buddies and their lady-friends.

- went to the 2006 MLS cup rocking my DCU gear, even though DCU got upset by NE in the Eastern Finals.

- has screamed, cheered, jumped, waved flags + banners with BB/SE.

- has chatted/cheered with Will Chang, slapped him high-5, and offered him my extra beer.

- decorated his somewhat corporate office, when plastic fan worked in Germantown, with all types of DCU posters (team photo posters, schedule posters, etc.).

- who always wore plastic fans DCU jersey to said place of employment during gamedays (or Friday's if there was a Saturday game).

- who wore this to a game and got to really rub it in Swine Flu's face after the game: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedsxing/3378126242/

But if that list (and who knows all the stuff plastic fan left off thanks to short term memory loss) and the fact that plastic fan decided to miss the last 60 minutes of a game. Yes I did watch the first 30, of a DC/Galaxy game last Saturday so he could go to a concert with atleast 2 bands he really wanted to hear for a total of $60 when originally it would've cost $200, than yeah I guess I am a plastic fan.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Warning---graphic----

Ok, here's a stupid question. If Boyzzz's arm was that infected, no one could smell it? Or no one took the time to examine the arm and see if it smelled "south of cheese"? My daughter had a cast on her arm a couple years ago and a months worth of sweat has a stench, but I'd think red, blue and green oozy stuff would have a whole 'nother level of stench to it.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | August 25, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@Poopy_McPoop

Alice In Chains and Tool? What'd you do, set your time machine to 1991?

Posted by: edgeonyou | August 24, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

How's Alice in Chains playing shows without Layne? Seems weird.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 24, 2009 9:20 PM
======================================

I wish I had the Doc Brown delorean but no did not travel back to 1991. Here in the lovely Inland Empire of So-Cal they had an all day rock festival this past Saturday with Alice In Chains, Tool, and to a lesser extent Street Sweeper Social Club and Linkin Park.

I was gonna skip it because tickets were like $80/$90 per ticket and I wasn't about to pay $160-$180 (for 2 tickets), plus parking for festival setlists of AIC or Tool.

However, last minute I was offered 2 tickets for free and all my girlfriend and I had to do was buy a Tool concert tshirt for the person offering us the tickets. So with the tshirt and parking it was $60, for what originally would've cost $200+. Not a bad deal.

Got there right as AIC hit the stage and they absolutely killed it (yeah I know I'm such a plastic fan that I missed part of the 1st half and all of the 2nd of the DC/Galaxy game).

It's the same band members, minus Layne, and the new lead singer was on point the whoe set. I was actually kind of skeptical about trying to replace someone like that but this guy was really really good. I highly recommend seeing them, if given the chance.

Of course I really wanted to see Tool, who I had seen a month or so ago back at The Patriot Center in Fairfax when I was back east visiting family. They killed it in Fairfax and did it again last weekend, as the headliners of the festival.

Funny side note, Linkin Park played in between AIC and Tool's sets and they weren't 1/2 bad. I don't own any of their albums but, live, they're not half bad. But at one point the power went on on the stage during their set and that was funny. Better it happen to them than either AIC or Tool.

Oh, yeah, and to that plastic fan guy, even while at this rock show, at one point I turned to my girlfriend and said, "Wonder how DCU did tonight?" and as soon as we got home 1st thing I did was check the score of the game. I'm totally a plastic fan even though the game was still on my mind while I was rocking out to AIC and Tool, and even to a lesser extent Linkin Park.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 25, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody see that moronic ESPN poll about OchoCinco? The poll asks if OchoCinco took a year off and trained do you think he could play in MLS. What is really stunning is 43% of the country are actually stupid enough to think it's possible. I guess if Tiger threw a thirty yard tight spiral then almost half the country would think he would only need a year of training to play in the NFL. Didn't the Michael Jordan baseball fiasco teach these idiots anything.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

From my experience in talking to the typical ESPN sniffing US Sports but not soccer fan, they all believe that any pro football or basketball player of any consequence would dominate a soccer game given minimal training.

It's bizarre.

At least I've never heard anyone say it about a baseball player. Yet.

Posted by: JkR- | August 25, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

What does "in 18" mean? I see this posted several times in the American's Abroad thread fro certain players?

Posted by: SoccerGuru | August 25, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

soccerGuru:

I take it you are not sitting on top of a hill somewhere...

"in 18" refers to the 18 players who are dressed for the game.. 11 of which start.

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 25, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Danny's up to some of this stuff still?
http://usa.worldcupblog.org/files/2008/10/danny-szetela.jpg

Sorry for posting that again, but... Maybe Tino and him are at odds considering Danny's got the rosary inked on and tino just rocks it on the Old School Madonna tip? I mean how many guys can you have in your time rockin' the rosary?

@Poopy, I'd agree that every time I've seen Tool they've killed it. As for Layne, I really only have memories seeing shuffling around Capital Hill back in the day. Dead man walking to say the least... It made me curious though, and after doing a little searching I'd say the band has nothing but righteous intentions in touring again. I'm more offended you missed watching United on television to see Linkin Park...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | August 25, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I just want to go on record that during high school while playing with the Baltimore Bays in the Score and the Shore Tournament I suffered a double compound fracture in my left arm (both bones came out my skin.) I had two surgeries immediately and was giving a cast all the way up to my shoulder. The incident occurred on August 2nd. I participated in every high school preseason practice (started on August 13th) and played for the Bays in our next tournament later in August. I was told that a "dripping sensation" would be normal as it would be hot in the August heat in DC.

I am just sharing this story to say I can see and understand why the trainers could miss this. We don't know how much Boyzz complained about the problem.

It appears Danny has an attitude problem. This doesn't shock me. Over the yrs we have seen numerous youth national players developed these problems. One reason could be in the simply fact we only have 1 residency program in this country, and this creates the image in these young players minds that they are special and deserving of anything.

Chest thanks for you input on Shipalane. I am excited about this player physical abilities. One thing DC often lacks in some speed and power. Naturally, he needs to posses the technical abilities to play for DC United.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 25, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Growing up my two favorite participatory sports were football and futbol. It is beyond my imagination that anybody could think they could just walk onto the field of either one and instantly be any good. It's amazing how stupid some people are.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 25, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The problem is people often lack an understanding of how hard it is to kick a ball long with accuracy, trap a long pass, ping a 30 yrd ball on the ground to someones feet, etc. One problem is professional players make in look easy so people feel that it is easy. Also, people usually remember when they played u-6 soccer and think it is similar to that.

It's kind like my idiotic idea that I could play pro baseball cause half of the MLB is over weight and does little running. (I think I could throw a ball hard and catch it from time to time. Hitting, well that's another question. But in another ESPN poll over 60% of people think they could hit a home run in the big leagues with an aluminum bat.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 25, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

GOOOOOAAAALLLL!

Altidore!

In the Carling Cup!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 25, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse


soccerGuru:

I take it you are not sitting on top of a hill somewhere...

"in 18" refers to the 18 players who are dressed for the game.. 11 of which start.

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | August 25, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Duh!! Thanks for the obvious clarification bonghits4gomez

Posted by: SoccerGuru | August 25, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I am rooting against Red Bull, right?

Posted by: B_A_ | August 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"in 18" means "not Adu" in both Portugese and French

Posted by: OWNTF | August 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Yes I am.

Posted by: B_A_ | August 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the keeper for Red Bull Salzburg was born in Philly.

Glad he chose to play for Sweden!

Posted by: Reignking | August 25, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Chad OchoCinco, played 4 years in High school, and I believe some in college. He is a huge soccer fan. and he is already in great condition already, 90 min. condition no. but I think that if he trained for a year without playing throwball he could at least compete for a developmental contract. just too old

Posted by: BarraLoco | August 25, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute - I'm not saying that the ESPN poll isn't idiotic, but I don't think that it's completely out of the blue either. Ochocinco played soccer growing up all the way into high school but gave it up because he believed he could actually make money playing football.

He is a solid athlete - strong and fast - and if he had skills to begin with (a somewhat big "if" but still) then given a year, he could conceivably make an impact on an MLS team.

Again, not defending the poll or its results, but it's not completely moronic. There have been two-sport professional athletes in the past. Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and Brian Jordan all played both football and baseball...and actually made some impact in both leagues.

Posted by: combedge | August 25, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I just like the word already BTW

Posted by: BarraLoco | August 25, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Szetela will adjust his level of dedication or whatever is necessary to get back onto the coaching staff's good side.

It's not unusual for talented young players. A few weeks ago I was watching a Mexican league game on Telefutura and the color guy, former coach Jesus Bracamontes, shared an anecdote about having to cut Miguel Sabah from some kind of youth Nat camp some years back because he overslept a noon practice session. The same Sabah who scored the winning goal in the qualifier at Azteca earlier this month.

DC fans have to look no further than Quaranta to see a player who lacked some emotional maturity but made the necessary improvements to his behavior and training habits to forge a good career (so far, of course).

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 25, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

combedge and barraloco,

He has taken too much time off. C'mon guys. The three athletes mentioned all kept up some kind of training and played at lower levels (not high school) before advancing to the upper levels. The notion is really an insult to professional athletes not just soccer players. A much better comparison is Michael Jordan. He took significant time off before trying to play baseball again.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

FYI,

OchoCinco quit playing when he got to High School. He played junior high soccer. However, he is a very knowledgeable fan of the sport. Case dismissed.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 25, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Case dismissed?! Give me a break.

FYI, Michael Jordan only took one year off before playing in the White Sox farm system and he was serviceable at AA. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but not horrible.

Posted by: combedge | August 25, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually, for a guy who hadn't played organized baseball in 15 years, MJ hitting .215 in a league two steps below the bigs is not bad at all. As I recall, he was also in the league's top 10 in stolen bases.

Chad Johnson (I just can't call him "Chad Ochocinco") would end up as a Beckham-esque free kick specialist, I suspect -- but that's just based on the tape from last weekend. But, I hear his kicking days might be over despite his success; the Bungles signed another kicker while their regular guy, Shayne Graham, is hurt.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 25, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

jen chang from ESPN about chad johnson:

"...However, I will say this - I have seen him up close work with the ball in solitary fashion. He has excellent ball control, skill and touch, easily at the level of your average MLS player and probably better than most.

When you combine his size and explosive speed (he'd easily be the fastest player in MLS), and then you see mediocre talents like say Calen Carr etc making a living in MLS, I'd be shocked if he couldn't at least perform at the level of a bottom-end squad player in MLS.

Also, bear in mind, soccer is Chad's first sport - the game he loved the most as a kid, the one he felt he was better at all through his childhood. He only made the permanent switch to football after it became apparent he would be able to make a living in the NFL. So you're talking about 6-7 years of further development in his soccer skills. If he'd stuck with the game, he'd easily be a pro."

Posted by: birdynumnum | August 25, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Big, quick, the touch of a U-15 player, and fit for 30 minutes.

Ali Curtis = Chad OchoCero

To add: Jen Chang is a fine writer, and I thank him for his contributions to the sport. But watching someone kick a ball around with flair does not equal being able to trap a scorching entry pass with Craig Waibel leaning on you in the 80th minute. I'm disappointed he would think so.

Posted by: JkR- | August 25, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

sitruc: Burch had it, if I recall correctly

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed I can't find an answer on SI tonight... I'm under the impression there is a 5 foreign player limit for the Open Cup. So aside from people being Cup Tied, I'm at a loss trying to find out who exactly is considered a foreign player in DCU's roster.

Does Emilio's Green Card change his status in this tournament?
Where is Chest Rockwell when you need him? I'm sure he's well aware of who's foreign and who isn't.
Is Wallace a foreign senior roster player? How bout Jakovic, and Kocic?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 25, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

sitruc: Burch had it, if I recall correctly

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse
_______________________________________________________

He still had it after the RM game:
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid9952952001?bctid=32858553001


Posted by: HarkesyRules | August 25, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

it is very rare for a closed fracture to get infected in a young healthy person or was it an open fracture?

burch sucks and needs to go. i say this every week. he cant cross, no speed, no ability to mark. all he has is a rocket launcher with no accuracy.

janicki shouldnt be anywhere near the bench or team anymore. he needs to be shipped back to the river rats.

Posted by: castroviejo | August 25, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

So basically Szetela came in expecting a starting role, never got one, and then pouted, which resulted in a scolding by the training staff and now he has to earn his way onto the field. This is why DC United has more trophies than any other club in American soccer.

Posted by: adamsunited | August 26, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Case dismissed?! Give me a break.

FYI, Michael Jordan only took one year off before playing in the White Sox farm system and he was serviceable at AA. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but not horrible.

Posted by: combedge | August 25, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

AA? AA is the equivalent of college ball. I'm trying to see your point but I don't see one. MJ failed in his pursuit of MLB. OchoCinco may be able to become a medicore college player but so what. That wasn't the point.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 26, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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