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Early Saturday Kickaround

*Read about Santino Quaranta's return to D.C. United after USA duty.

*The Washington Freedom looks to wrap up a WPS playoff berth.

*The Los Angeles Galaxy reports more than 80,000 tickets have been sold for the Saturday night spectacle against Barcelona at the Rose Bowl.

*RSL Coach Jason Kreis has been fined an additional $3,000 and suspended another match for his outburst last week, meaning he will not be on the sideline for tonight's game at Chicago and next week against Seattle. Sounders all-star Freddie Ljungberg was handed a $500 fine for his tirade last week.

*I posted this Friday on the Insider's Twitter feed, but in case you missed it, I hear that Toronto is in negotiations with Haitian national team defender Lesly Fellinga, 23, from Heerenveen in the Netherlands.

*Play some golf, raise some money and perhaps chat with United players at the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation golf outing Sept. 13 at Penderbrook in Fairfax, Va. Click here for details. Nicole was the step-daughter of former DCU coach Thomas Rongen.

*MLS today:
Toronto at New England, 7:30 (Direct Kick)
Kansas City at Dallas, 8:30 (Direct Kick)
RSL at Chicago, 8:30 (Direct Kick)
DCU at Houston, 8:30 (FSC)
Columbus at Colorado, 9:30 (Direct Kick)
Barcelona at Los Angeles, 11 (FSC)

By Steve Goff  |  August 1, 2009; 12:07 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Freedom , MLS , Spain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. United News & Notes
Next: DiCicco Suspended One Game


Um, NY Red Bulls suck. That is all.

Okay wait, gotta say something positive. Olsen back and will slowly work his way into game shape, Gomez getting fitter & fitter, Jaime being spelled out this year to last the season, decent to above average performances from our rookies, we WERE avoiding the injury bug - touch & go at this point, Szetela coming on board looks potentially promising. It's possible DCU may be set to rise at the right time.

Let's get a W in Houston for once!!

Vamos United!!

Posted by: KireDCU | August 1, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"Lesly Fellinga"

A) Whoa, it's a family show.
B) That's not nearly as cool as "Zoltan!"

Posted by: delantero | August 1, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"Let's get a W in Houston for once!!"

I hear ya Kire. Gotta think this month is a big turning point in our season.

We need points, plain and simple. Someone needs to step up and take the game . . and I don't care who it is, but Gomez, Emilio and Moreno come to mind. But here's to hoping they are upstaged by a rookie like Party Boy!

Posted by: delantero | August 1, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

"Let's get a W in Houston for once!!"

I hear ya Kire. Gotta think this month is a big turning point in our season.

We need points, plain and simple. Someone needs to step up and take the game . . and I don't care who it is, but Gomez, Emilio and Moreno come to mind. But here's to hoping they are upstaged by a rookie like Party Boy!

Posted by: delantero

Agree completely. However, apparently the guy I know named Party is different than the guy you know. This probably won't make any sense to you unless you're an SE grilla, or are closely affiliated.

F Houston! Vamos United!!

Posted by: KireDCU | August 1, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

For whatever reason SI didn't update before I posted and I missed this so from the last thread:

Tony DiCicco, head coach of the Boston Breakers, is suspended for his team's August 1 match vs Saint Louis Athletica, fined $1,000 and required to perform six hours of community service to the sport of soccer. The WPS Disciplinary Committee issued this decision after DiCicco publicly criticized game officials after the Breakers match vs the Washington Freedom on July 29.
What would Beckham do?

Damn. I just turned on espn and Becky was on SportsCenter as I typed that. Why is he on SC? Why is he on this edition? Becks is still going with the handshake line. Can they be called BSPN again? Of course the hardest hitting question was Becky being asked about his kids thoughts of his underwear ads.

Posted by: sitruc | August 1, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Becky was part of the SportsCenter Top Plays. I was waiting for an animation to turn ESPN into BSPN.

Posted by: sitruc | August 1, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how Ljungberg is going to afford that fine. Yikes, what a headache.

I don't golf, and I can't afford it anyway, but if I could, I'd play the Megaloudis Foundation golf event. I hope it's a great success.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 1, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't know whether anyone has previously posted a link to this item from Friday's Weekend section:

Posted by: universityandpark | August 1, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The Freedom's W-League team plays the Ottawa Fury at 6 pm today for a spot in the championship game. You may think this team isn't much compared to the WPS team, but their roster includes Christine Nairn, who scored the game-winning goal against Canada for the full national team a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: kevinwparker | August 1, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

P.S. The above game is being played at the Soccerplex.

Posted by: kevinwparker | August 1, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

what was the deal with RSL? I apparently missed whatever happened.

Posted by: nairbsod | August 1, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone familiar with Union Jacks in Ballston? I'll assume they get FSC, but are they DCU friendly, and would I be wise to call ahead and make sure that I won't find too much resistance trying to watch the game there this evening? My buddy wants to hit a spot within walking distance, and I'd like to avoid Bailey's if possible...

Any input would be helpful. thanks.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 1, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm away on vacation and so not following the posts as religiously as usual - can someone tell me why Emilio is not in Goff's projected starting 11? Injury? Rest between concacaf games? Coach sending message?

Posted by: regularfan | August 1, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

On NPR earlier this morning, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor Marin Alsop discussed a recent football-inspired work by an avant-garde Mexican composer. (Among other things, a part was written for a referee's whistle.) Unfortunately, neither Alsop nor host Scott Simon seemed to understand that dribbling is a perfectly good football term. This story will be posted at the NPR site later today:

Posted by: universityandpark | August 1, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan: Union Jacks get FSC -no clue if they are DC friendly. I have only been on weeknights as I work in that vicinity. Whenever I go there, there is always enough room to grab a beer and watch a tv.

Not really a ton of info, I know, but I figure some is better then none.

I would call ahead.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 1, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: I don't know about Union Jacks, but if that doesn't work out, I've watched footie several times, mostly recently the Confed Cups final, at Mister Days in Clarendon, a somewhat longer walk.

Posted by: universityandpark | August 1, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

From Goff's article on Tino: "as often happens in the middle of a long rookie season, Wallace and midfielder-forward Chris Pontius have dipped in form."

can this definitely be attributed to a "long season"? or is it more just random fluctuations that happen with all players? i think blaming it on the long season is oversimplifying.

Pontius, for instance, played in 23 games last year at UCBS in just 3 months (almost 2 per week average), and looking at the box scores, most games he played the full 90 (or 110 in case of some overtime games late in the season). so he should be used to a packed schedule. heck DCU's overall schedule is a bit more leisurely than what he went through, as he's played in 24 games in over 4 months.

looking at Goff's own ratings, Pontius has dipped a bit over the past 3 games (until a 6 off the bench against Firpo which isn't on the chart yet), but he also hasn't had the best lineups around him either, with Quaranta and Jakovic out, so that could factor in. Wallace has been very consistent, ratings-wise, until his stinker in San Jose (which was a team-wide issue), so there's no evidence there to support the assertion either.

i'm sure the MLS season (+Open Cup, +CCL) is more rigorous than the NCAA in terms of travel, training, etc. but i don't think it's just as easy as saying rookie = tired by August. i guess we'll see how things play out in the Houston heat and then in El Salvador and maybe i'll be eating my words by then.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | August 1, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@grubbsbl, and universityandpark: Thanks for the input, I called UJ's and they sound like they'll be more accommodating than I know Bailey's can be. I haven't tried Mister Days yet, but I'll store that in the memory banks for the next time my FSC having neighbor flakes on us to go to Paul McCartney. We're just trying to get to the closest sure thing in a tiny window between putting the kids to bed and kick off.
Vamos United!!!

grubbs, you work around there? those are sort of my stomping grounds. If you ever see some dude with glasses and a King of the Mountains helmet hoppin' curbs with the kid trailer in tow, that's me!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 1, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse


It's probably not as simple as being an automatic drop off for every rookie, but it does happen at a significant rate throughout MLS. Another thing that might be tiring Pontius (and Wallace, for that matter): often playing positions that require tons of running. Our wide midfielders and central midfielders have to cover a ton of ground, and both have logged serious minutes there (Wallace has been almost exclusively in those positions).

Another point: Unlike their college experiences, where they were among the smarter players on the field at any given time, they're now among the least experienced. Faced with opponents that take up better starting positions means that they have to do even more running to make up for this experience gap.

I've always felt the "rookie wall" is mostly mental. Look at Pontius and Wallace; both are clearly in excellent physical condition, even for pro soccer players. However, the toll on their mental energy, trying to deal with experienced veterans, raised expectations, higher pressure, and more demanding coaches, seems to me the main problem. Players who aren't thinking as quickly or clearly make poor decisions, which leads to more running, and you start to have a vicious circle. Hopefully the breaks they've gotten here and there (Wallace being off tonight, for example) will help them feel mentally refreshed. We can't succeed without both of them playing well down the stretch.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 1, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Is the WPS match available on line?

Posted by: charleycox | August 1, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I know this comes too late for yesterday's game, but for future reference, always check the Freedom Web site. They almost always have a matchtracker, and often an audio or video link. For instance, I watched last Sunday's game at Chicago on my 'puter.

Posted by: universityandpark | August 2, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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