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Thursday Kickaround

*For the second time in six days, playoff-contending Colorado was on the verge of a devastating loss to last-place San Jose. But in an eerily similar outcome to last Friday's 1-1 tie on the road, the Rapids (10-8-8, 38 points) were awarded a penalty kick in second-half added time and salvaged a point when Conor Casey converted again -- his MLS-best 15th goal -- for another 1-1 draw. "It's Groundhog Day for us," Quakes Coach Frank Yallop said. Annnounced attendance in Commerce City: 6,234.

*In the CONCACAF Champions League, Cruz Azul advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory at Columbus, which remains in second place, two points ahead of Saprissa with two games remaining. ... Toluca (4-0) pulled away from winless San Juan Jabloteh, 3-0, to move to the brink of securing passage.

*In the friendly battle of goats, Chivas Guadalajara defeated Chivas USA, 2-0, before 22,879 at the Rose Bowl.

*Read my story about Marathon's misadventures in traveling out of politically delicate Honduras for tonight's match against D.C. United at RFK (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision). Check the RFK forecast from the Capital Weather Gang.

*Women's college soccer: Ninth-ranked Maryland (8-0) visits No. 6 Florida State (7-1) tonight. ... George Mason (8-1) hosts CAA preseason favorite James Madison (4-4) at 7 p.m. in Fairfax ... Catholic's 3-2 win over Stevenson on Thursday improved the Cardinals to 8-0 with 23 goals scored and two allowed.

For today's TV schedule.....

*Soccer on TV:
Italy, Genoa-Juventus 2:30 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel
Spain, Sporting Gijon-Zaragoza 4 p.m. GolTV
Copa Sudamericana, LDU Quito-Lanus 5 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
Copa Sudamericana, San Lorenzo-Cienciano 7 p.m. FSE
CONCACAF Champions League, United-Marathon 8 p.m. FSC, Galavision
Copa Sudamericana, Cerro Porteno-Goias 9:30 p.m. FSE
CONCACAF Champions League, Pumas-Real Espana 10 p.m. Galavision

By Steve Goff  |  September 24, 2009; 9:21 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF Champions League , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans Abroad, Wed. Edition
Next: MLS Home Openers in 2010


I would like to take this moment to apologize to DC United and my fellow supporters.

The Club is still very much alive in this competition and tonight could have a lot to say about that. I've never missed an important match in my tenure as a plan holder. I've rarely missed unimportant matches over that same stretch. I will go back on my vows as a fan by not being there tonight.

Good Luck boys.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | September 24, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Steve, you might ask someone in IT why all of the sports blogs are set up to center the text rather that left justify.

It's really annoying.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 24, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse


you posted this thread just while I was posting about Real Espana (another Honduran CCL team) and their travel troubles in the last thread.

Can we expect a reserve team or more of a normal strength starting XI from DC United tonight?

I paid money to see the DC reserves trotted out for "non-efforts" against both Firpo and Toluca and don't want to repeat that mistake.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 24, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

although, one good thing
center justification
makes haiku better

Posted by: OWNTF | September 24, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Tech folks are aware of centering issue, hoping to resolve it soon

Posted by: Steve Goff | September 24, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Huge game for DCU -- strong lineup expected. However, Burch, Jakovic, Namoff are out with injuries and Gomez is suspended.

Posted by: Steve Goff | September 24, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Goff is a reporter. Why do you want to hassle him about a bug in the website's style sheet? Meanwhile try a different browser.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I was able to fix the center-alingment problem by doing a cache-clearing reload (Ctrl-Shift-R).

Posted by: MattinSW | September 24, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Goff.

As a DC United fan, I think it's great that the deposed Honduran president snuck back into his country and is now holed up in the Brazilian Embassy.

This is important and he should hold out, regardless of any temporary inconveniences due to political protests and the current authorities attempt to control the situation.

He should dig in his heels and make a principled stand until at least October 11 and the US World Cup qualifier in Honduras.

Bunker in, dude.


Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 24, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

On the TV front, the u-20 World Cup begins today on ESPN 360 with Egypt v. T&T at 1:48.

Posted by: soccerglue | September 24, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Bimbo v Comex. You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 24, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the heads up soccerglue.
Hoping I can catch at least the second half of the DCU match tonight. Inlaws taking us out for Sushi to celebrate our anniversary. I've strategically picked a restaurant adjacent to Union Jack's to facilitate the ol' "mind if I run over and check the score?" trick.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 24, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, no justification issues on safari, either regular or mobile. Must be a Windows thing?

So do we think San Jose will be dispirited or pissed off?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | September 24, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"I paid money to see the DC reserves trotted out for "non-efforts""

Well, considering our injury list, and how crappy some of our starters have played this season . . . I honestly think the line between reserves and starters has been blurred.

Posted by: delantero | September 24, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Bimbo v Comex. You can't make this stuff up.
Posted by: I-270Exit1

Friend of mine has a women's jersey from El Salvador (?) with the team's sponsor .. KOTEX ... emblazoned on the front.

Posted by: delantero | September 24, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I've read great book suggestions here before, and I hope it doesn't hijack this thread but can some of you guys suggest some good football related books. I'm going on a 10 day Hawaiian vacation next week and would love to bring along a good book.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 24, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, considering our injury list, and how crappy some of our starters have played this season . . . I honestly think the line between reserves and starters has been blurred.

Posted by: delantero | September 24, 2009 10:42 AM


Anyone who saw those lineups (v Firpo and Toluca) before gametime would have immediately known DC was not making a serious effort to win those games.

The bizarre thing was that DC started a fairly strong team ON THE ROAD at Firpo after starting the weak lineup at home. That fooled me into expecting a stronger lineup against Toluca.

Injuries and rotating players to keep them fresh DO influence the lineups but the starting teams for those games I mentioned indicated a pretty obvious lack of effort.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 24, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Easy, dad, too much Hawaiian and you get stuck on the same page for a really long time.

Not futbol, but since you're halfway between US and Japan, Barry Eisler's Rain series (featuring half-American, half-Japanese assassin John Rain).

And Pynchon, Inherent Vice. LA Times review here.,0,6295118.story

Posted by: OWNTF | September 24, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

MFischer is on Mike Wise's radio show right now...trying to explain (making excuses about) why the area around the nats stadium sucks. he just made a crack about RFK falling down. what a jerk.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 24, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Wise just asked about why DCU couldnt have a stadium at Poplar Point, and MFishcer explained why the deal fell through. on a plus side he did just refer to the team as "United", rather than "the United".

Posted by: VTUnited | September 24, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

We can't have a stadium at Popular Point because the DC council used all their political capital to bring a baseball stadium into town that no one wants.

That's okay, its Americas pastime.

Anyway, I say United wins 3-0 tonight. All goals scored are "own goals." Any takers?

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 24, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Dad, where are you going? I just got back from Oahu. Beautiful. Have you read the Beckham Experiment yet? A great read especially for us soccer geeks. I also recommend Oahu Revealed as a guide book.

Posted by: EssEff | September 24, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Military led coup? The military arrested and deported Zelaya on orders of the Supreme Court of Honduras after Zelaya repeatedly broke the law and contravened the Hoduran constitution.

But the international reporters can't seem to get it right so I wouldn't expect the sports pages to do so.

Posted by: teo_68 | September 24, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

If Marathon can manage to stay awake during the game, it would be worth someone interviewing players/coaches about the travel, etc. I am interested to hear why their petition to postpone was not granted. 20 hours before the game doesn't seem like sufficient time.

Posted by: nico78 | September 24, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the tip, that worked!

Posted by: teamn | September 24, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Teo 68, does the Honduran consitution allow for impeachment? If so, why didn't they just impeach Zelaya? If what they did was impeachment, then Micheletti needs to hire a PR firm to get that across.

Hard to see how Zelaya's sneaking back into the country is going to help anyone, even if it was a coup, however. Except for the bandana and scarf vendors.

(Gets shown a yellow for OT)

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 24, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@teo68 -- Once again -- he's guilty of "breaking" the most Orwellian law in the world. A provision that comes with an enforcement mechanism that makes it illegal to even propose changing the provision -- that causes automatic political disenfranchisement. I wouldn't want to stand on that provision as justification for a military coup.

Now. Please leave the politics out....especially if you're only going to post ridiculous talking points that offend anyone with common sense or democratic beliefs.

Posted by: fischy | September 24, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Ess Eff, thanks for da tips braddah, but I went to middle and high school on the windward side in Kailua. I got da hook-up covered.
Hope you had a good time, Oahu still has it's secrets despite how urban and overused it sometimes seems.
I was thinking the Becks Experiment might be perfect. Although OWNTF has me intrigued.

I've pinpointed a couple bars that might show the match, but it doesn't look all that promising with all these question marks surrounding what exactly is happening in Honduras.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 24, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If CONCACAF made, that's right, I read that CONCACAF denied the request from the Honduran Soccer Federation to postpone the Marathon AND Real EspaƱa Champions League games, then they should in fact NOT take home field advantage away from the Hondurans. The airports have opened again. Of course, the USSF will make it's case to CONCACAF that it is not safe. After all, it's a crucial game and the US does not want to lose...which is almost certain playing in San Pedro Sula! If CONCACAF denied a request with airports closed, it must certainly deny a request to change venue with airports open! Doues anyone remember when the US played Iran in the World Cup? All the political hype...and what happened? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Let them Play in San Pedro Sula!

Posted by: Kromer523 | September 24, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@ fischy...The Honduran constitution gives the legislature the sole authority to call national elections. Zelaya ignored the law, held an election to change the constitution...also not a constitutional maneuver. The Supreme Court declared his special election illegal and embargoed the ballots. Zelaya and his supporters broke into the warehouse holding them and seized them.

If you look at the history of central america their greatest constitutional needs are protections from dictators and strongmen...that is why it is illegal for the president to propose changes to the constitution.

Unfortunately arrest procedures are not spelled out under the contitution, so the armed forces were ordered to remove Zelaya and they really didn't know what to do with him.

Not quite so simplistic is it?

Posted by: teo_68 | September 24, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

There is no way a soccer organization in its right mind (which I realize may exclude BANANA-CAF) would say that the present situation is safe for the US team. That's ridiculous.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 24, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, there hasn't been any violence in Honduras.

Posted by: Reignking | September 24, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Last post by me on the subject. I'm sorry if Honduras has become some right wing cause celebre in this country, but this is clip that provides more explanation on the constitutional crisis...sent to me by a Honduran friend, a former civil rights attorney who worked for land rights for indigenous Hondurans, hardly a rightwing nutjob...

Posted by: teo_68 | September 24, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Right wing cause celebre? Huh?

It has barely been talked about. Heck, I had completely forgotten about it.

Posted by: Reignking | September 24, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Geeez, and I worried about hijacking a thread with book suggestions...
Way to kill a thread dudes.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 24, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Look what they've done to my blog, ma
Look what they've done to my blog, ma
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag
And turned it upside down, ma
Look what they've done to my blog

Posted by: OWNTF | September 24, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

And now, for something completely different.

So I proposed a lineup that I really liked for tonight's game, but it included Gomez (I forgot about his suspension). A quick change:

----------- Moreno - Emilio
Wallace -- Szetela - Simms -- Pontius
John -- James -- McTavish -- Vaughn
-------------- Wicks

I'm still convinced Emilio will produce, as he has against Honduran clubs in the past (4 goals in 5 games for us). I also think playing Pontius and Wallace as wingers gives us some speed going forward. Both are capable of pushing into central roles during the run of play, and if Moreno can interchange well with them on those occasions we can confuse Marathon's center backs (Norales and Beata) and defensive midfielder (probably Acevedo). Toluca used the same kind of movement against us, so I think it's safe to guess that that's how they dismantled Marathon at the Estadio Nemesio Diez.

Marathon's primary weapon is speed, so I think our defense will have to drop off a bit as a unit. That, in turn, means that our forwards have to be able to hold the ball, because with the back four playing deeper the whole team needs to move back to prevent gaps. If Moreno and Emilio can do that, we should be looking for Pontius and Wallace to overlap as our next move. If those overlaps are varied, we can "disbalance" (copyright Christopher Sullivan) Marathon and create some chances.

There will probably be skepticism about including Szetela, but this is his best position on the field. It will also preserve Olsen for Sunday, where I think his lack of mobility will be less of a problem against a likely San Jose central midfield of Simon Elliott and Ramon Sanchez. Plus, this game could be Szetela's first legitimate test. Soehn's been playing him out of position on the wing for all but 20 minutes of his time here. I say throw him in the deep end in his best position and see what he does with it. This is a guy that has been capped and got himself a starting job for half a season in Serie B. He hasn't impressed so far, but I feel like this is the opportunity to change that.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 24, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's go with Chest's lineup. We can bring in Fred for a late offensive push (probably for Szetla). Olsen could replace Szetela late if we are up by 2 goals and we are trying to hang on. He doesn't have the speed but he can hang out as a shield in front of the center backs and disrupt thins with his tenacity and positioning.

In the back line our only defensive sub is Hambuergesa (we cannot use Janicki, especially agaisnt s team that destroyed him). He only goes in if we have an injury.

Up top we could take out Moreno late, move pontius up top and slide Szetela out right or put Fred or Quaranta (if he is OK to go)on the wing.

I hope we can get the two goals at Estadio RFK.

Vamos United!

Posted by: Golden_Child | September 24, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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