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Thursday Kickaround

*The MLS playoffs get underway tonight with Seattle, the No. 3 seed in the West, hosting second-seeded Houston in front of another rocking crowd at Qwest Field (10 p.m., ESPN2).

*It's No. 1 vs. No. 2 in women's soccer today when the top-ranked USA visits Euro champion Germany in Augsburg, a southern city that will be among nine venues for the 2011 Women's World Cup. With no TV coverage, you'll have to follow the 1 p.m. ET match on the USSF's MatchTracker. Both sides are at nearly full strength. Since 2000, the USA is 6-1-3 in the rivalry.

*Following a 2-1 loss to Spain in its U-17 World Cup opener, the USA will attempt to rebound against Malawi in Kano, Nigeria, where it will be 93 degrees with a chance of storms. A waterlogged pitch forced Wednesday's match between Costa Rica and New Zealand to be suspended in the 21st minute. Malawi, a central African side known as the Young Flames, lost its first match, 2-0 to UAE. ESPNU will carry the match live at 11 a.m. ET.

Much more on the continuation.....

*Americans abroad:
F Kenny Cooper 56 in 1860 Munich's 3-0 loss to Schalke (German Cup)
GK Dom Cervi in 18, didn't play in Celtic's 1-0 loss to Midlothian (Scottish Cup)
GK David Yelldell 90 in Koblenz's 4-0 loss at Hoffenheim (German Cup)
MF Alejandro Bedoya 90 in Orebro's 1-1 tie at AIK (Sweden)
GK Luis Robles in 18, didn't play in Kaiserslautern's 3-0 loss at Werder Bremen (German Cup)
D Danny Califf not in 18 for Midtjylland's 5-0 win over Esbjerg (Danish Cup)
F Marcus Tracy and Aalborg at Hobro (Danish Cup)

*As reported on the Insider's first-alert Twitter page yesterday, the U.S. Park Police is continuing to investigate the crash that severely injured USA forward Charlie Davies and killed another passenger. "Potentially it could take a couple more weeks," a spokesman said. "These things are involved investigations." (Be sure to sign up to Twitter for breaking news and story links in 140 characters or less.)

*American University (9-3-2) extended its unbeaten streak to nine with a 3-1 victory at Georgetown.

*Soccer on TV:
U-17 World Cup, USA-Malawi 11 a.m. ESPNU
Argentina, Boca Juniors-Chacarita 2 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol; 11 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
Italy, Inter Milan-Palermo 3:45 p.m. FSC
MLS playoffs, Seattle-Houston 10 p.m. ESPN2

By Steve Goff  |  October 29, 2009; 6:02 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , College Soccer , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team , Women , Youth soccer  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Distant Goal by D.C.'s Own
Next: MLS Coaching Status


No vamos Seattle!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | October 29, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff thanks for all the updates. The only thing I can't find or get enough of though is how Davies is recovering. The last thing I knew of him is that he was probably going to have more surgery on his facial fractures and elbow. There is little about his prognosis, if everything else is looking good so far, how he is responding and talking. So far it has been a pretty big black hole as to his recovery in general.

Posted by: elfelixg | October 29, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Goff- I liked the postseason preview. Nice Job.

I know it's against the rules here, but I hope LA win. It would bring more attention to the league if Beckham wins the cup, and they are the only team in the playoffs with more than one player that I like. I hate Chicago, New England choke, Columbus stalled as did Chivas, RSL shouldn't be there, Seattle fans are annoying, and Houston are my second choice I guess.

Goff is right that it is wide open this year. I don't like parity it makes things boring as a neutral fan. Hopefully nesxt year some teams actually break out from the pack.

Posted by: bighungry | October 29, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: soccerfan80 | October 29, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Beckham in MLS Cup playing in front of the fans at Qwest field would be extremely good for MLS. No other scenario comes even remotely close with respect to the national TV ratings potential. I don't like the Galaxy but I would definitely like to see it happen for the good of the league.

Posted by: croftonpost | October 29, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Dos preguntas por favor:

*Why are the US Women playing Germany?

*Is Charlie in the DC area in the hospital or has he been moved?

Posted by: JkR- | October 29, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see RSL win the Cup this year.
I can't imagine rooting for any of the other teams, especially LA, who should win it.

Posted by: o35_still_kicking | October 29, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"We will go for it, for sure." Pia Sundhage predicting the style of play for today's match.

World Cup champions v Olympic champions in front of 30,000 peopele. If anyone finds a pirate web feed, please post the link.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Why not, JkR-? Germany is one of the best, the next World Cup is in Germany, and the US doesn't face much competition.

Posted by: sitruc | October 29, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Here's something random. I just found out that Louis Crayton tried out for the new Tampa Bay Rowdies of USL 1 last night. I live down here now and hope they sign him. He was real good for a while with United, it was a shame how it ended for him.

Posted by: paulp_00 | October 29, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Vamos Dynamo!
I'm hoping Houston silences the Sounders fans tonight. Or has them booing like the Seachickens fans they truly are.
Looking forward to Gals/Goats this weekend as well.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 29, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Cat Whitehill posted a link for a webcast of the match on her Twitter page.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | October 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why not, JkR-? Germany is one of the best, the next World Cup is in Germany, and the US doesn't face much competition.

Posted by: sitruc | October 29, 2009 9:16 AM
So, it's a friendly?

And, I don't see it listed on my normal list of potential web streams....yet.

Posted by: JkR- | October 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Small article in today's print edition of the Express: "United Unrest" by Brian Straus. Talks about possible DCU changes in the off season, including Soehn, Kasper, and the old timers. Got almost a half page, though mostly pictures.

Posted by: ldmay | October 29, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I checked out the link (thanks DCU Rick). In the current game, the score is:

Sal. Oppenheim 135
Deutschebank 171

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This might not be the popular thing to say around here but, oh well, here goes...

...I'm kind'a rooting for Seattle to win it all. I know they are our most hated enemy lately but hear me out. They play an exciting game, their fans are fun to watch on TV and can you imagine what Qwest would look like on TV with the Sounders in the final?

Don't get me wrong, I still hate their guts but they are a worthy rival (if you can call what they did to us this year a rivalry). I want DC to have a strong rival. We are so used to smacking the Bulls around that we don't take it so well when someone does the same to us. I hope when Philly comes on line next year that they give us really tough games, with heat and nice strong (civilized) hate. I hope the Bulls can figure their crap out and give us spectatcular East coast games that ESPN would love to rig their scheduling to show. It makes the league stronger and serves a better product on the TV screen thingy.

Seatle bested us in the Cup and facilitated our watching from home. I hate them for that, but also respect them for it too. Strange, huh? I offer them the honor inter-team guard that is rightfully their's this year and hope their fans show the same class when we place their team on the business end of things next year.


Posted by: Kosh2 | October 29, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

They were nice folks when they visited RFK and all, but I'm getting tired of rooting for Houston for the cup. Still, if they crush Seattle tonight at Qwest, I'll thank them for the favor and throw my lot in with the orangemen. Vamos Boz!

Posted by: -rke- | October 29, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Any team that is starting to sniff at United's legacy of dominence is a non-starter for me. That means I can't root for LA or Houston, since an MLS Cup victory would give them three stars. For the good of the league, because I agree with Kosh2 on the importance of excitement and good TV for MLS right now, I'll hope for a Seattle-Columbus final - Sigi's group of upstart expansioners vs. his old team that has managed to carry on without him and make it back to the final, held in the loudest and largest stadium in MLS.

But if Seattle wins it, so help the internet, because the resulting smugness would threaten to clog the series of tubes so badly it would probably never come undone.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | October 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@paulp -- nice addition here. I believe Crayton lives in the Tampa area -- that's why he was keen to come to the US, especially the East Coast. I kinda figured he'd end up with the Rowdies.

Here's a fun fact that someone pointed out in the NY Times blog. Seattle's average attendance would put them 49th in Europe, just off of Fiorentina's pace.

Posted by: fischy | October 29, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Is Malawi's women's team known as the Old Flames?

Posted by: IamAM | October 29, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It would certainly be great for the league to have Beckham and Donovan in the nationally televised championship game, but I'm still having a hard time justifying rooting for the Galaxy. RSL over LA in the Final? Now that's something I could support.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 29, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I'd also like to hear more on Charlie Davies' recovery. It may be selfish, but I'm holding out hope that a closer look by doctors has revealed a recovery time shorter than originally anticipated. I'd hate to see him miss South Africa.

Posted by: WorldCup | October 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@bighungry, MLS should loosen up the cap for teams that draw a larger crowd and sell more merch. Clubs that meet these criteria would be better able to overspend the cap (even if taxed some to help out other clubs) and it would reward the fanbase that supports its team win a team that has a greater likelihood of winning. They might also reward successful teams that have to play international tourneys with an expanded roster and higher cap.

Then again, one of the problems in an unopen league with haves and have nots is that the bottom of the standings is kinda meaningless and boring without relegation.

Posted by: prokaryote | October 29, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@bighungry, MLS should loosen up the cap for teams that draw a larger crowd and sell more merch. Clubs that meet these criteria would be better able to overspend the cap (even if taxed some to help out other clubs) and it would reward the fanbase that supports its team win a team that has a greater likelihood of winning...
Posted by: prokaryote | October 29, 2009 11:39 AM |

Which, of course, is one of the two reasons that MLS applies the same salary cap to all teams -- to maintain competitive balance and avoid becoming a league of haves and have-nots like baseball and basketball, or the European football leagues -- giving each team and their fans equal chance of enjoying winning. The other being pure, overall cost control.

The cap does pretty much what it's supposed to do -- though the DP rule can give a considerable advantage to teams that are able to recruit and afford serious talents like Beckham, Ljundberg and Blanco. You might not like parity, but only three teams had below .500 records at home this year. That means most fans can go out to the game and expect that they have a better than 50-50 chance of seeing their team win or at least tie. I think that's a good thing for all paying fans.

Posted by: fischy | October 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a feed for the WNT match? The Cat Whitehill links shows tSportzentrum or something.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Very disappointing effort by the USA kiddies. A 1-0 win on a goalie blunder, in a game that was so dominated by USA that it should have produced several goals...if there was someone on the team who could score, or deliver the right pass at the right time. A real lack of understanding in the final third doomed most of the USA attacks.

I did see a couple of good things, though. Jared Watts looks like he will develop into a strong CB in the mold of a Vidic or maybe DeMerit. He can play defense -- made a game-saving sliding block -- and he's confident with the ball at his feet. The real revelation for me is Tyler Polak. I can't remember ever being that impressed by a USA left back, at any level. I wonder if 2014 would be too soon for him? Probably so, but I'd take odds he lays claim to the position for 2018. He has a great left foot. His corner kicks were uniformly good. He has the pace and ball control to go forward in the attack. Most importantly, he's clearly a skilled defender. He made several timely sliding tackles that show he knows what he's doing and that he is good at it.

Posted by: fischy | October 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

goal abby 35'

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

... off a cross by averbuch

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

149 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | October 29, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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