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Olsen, MLS, Wigan, NCAA

Before I head to the airport for the long flight home to Washington, you should know that:

*Ben Olsen's retirement will be made official Tuesday afternoon at RFK Stadium.

*MLS clubs have until mid-afternoon today to submit their 11-man protected lists ahead of the expansion draft Wednesday. The league is planning to release the names of players available for selection by Philadelphia at some point today or tonight.

*Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney offers his MLS Cup player ratings:
RSL -- Rimando 7; Russell 7, Olave 7, Borchers 6, Wingert 6; Williams 5, Beckerman 8, Morales no rating (early injury), Johnson 5; Findley 6, Movsisyan 5. Subs: Mathis 6, Grabavoy 7, Espindola 5.

L.A. -- Ricketts 7; Franklin 6, Berhalter 5, Gonzalez 6, Dunivant 6; Beckham 5, Birchall 4, Kirovski 4, Donovan 5; Magee 5, Buddle 4. Subs: Saunders 6, Klein 4, DeLaGarza 5.

*A replay of MLS Cup will be shown on ESPN Classic Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.

*If only the Redskins would make such an offer: Wigan players say they will refund the cost of tickets to supporters who followed the English club to London for the 9-1 loss at Tottenham.

*Maryland upset seventh-seeded Penn State, 2-1, and Virginia registered its ninth consecutive shutout, 5-0 over Bucknell, to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. This weekend the Terps will visit No. 10 Harvard and the Cavs will entertain Portland. Scan the entire bracket here.

By Steve Goff  |  November 23, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , England , MLS  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround


Good luck to Ben.

Maybe DCU can take the money spent on him, and bring in a proper #10 to inspire the team as Etcheverry did years ago.

Posted by: khan1 | November 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I can see Olsen becoming the next "Nowak"-style coach for DCU. Young enough to muck it up on the practice field with the team, no-BS, whip people into shape. Whoever the head coach is, he's gotta be on staff. Richie/Benny would be sweet.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | November 23, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Indeed -- thanks for the memories, Benny. We expect you'll help create more good ones in another capacity.

Terps will have a tough match with the Crimson (nearly 60 years since my dad's tryout with the Crimson varsity ended due to burst appendix and complications -- but I'll be rooting for the Terps).

That was an exciting, albeit not very well played match last night. Hardly a "classic", but there were a few moments of high drama. ESPN had interesting camera angle for the PKs -- really brought you into it -- at first, I didn't I like that...but, in retrospect, it was pretty cool. Not sure what the RSL defense did to earn such high marks. I thought Movsysian and DeLaGarza deserved higher marks.

Posted by: fischy | November 23, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to make any nefarious accusations ... but are retired players part of the expansion draft? What would be the result if Benny retired now so DCU didn't have to protect him in the draft, worked out all winter, decided he could give it a go again, and re-signed with DCU in the spring? Just a thought that popped into my head.

Posted by: Hokienautic | November 23, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Agree that DeLaGarza deserved higher. Also thought Gonzalez deserved lower though.

So today is the last day for a whole year that we all get to speculate on the DCU protection list?!

I'm in with Namoff, Jakovic, James, Burch, Simms, Szetela, Quaranta, Fred, Pontius, Moreno, Emilio.

Posted by: DCUMD | November 23, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

glad to see Beckerman's enormous contribution was noticed by somebody, if not ESPN and whoever voted for the game's MVP.

Posted by: teo_68 | November 23, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ratings for Mathis and DeLaGarza should be higher. Mathis and Beckerman ruled in the middle, and DLG outplayed his old UMD teammate Gonzales IMO.

Posted by: b18bolo | November 23, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I do not think they will protect Szetela because I think the Phix was in on that from the get go.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 23, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

re:OWNTF and Szetela, is there any indication of what went down? My assumption has been that it must have been unsavory and deserving, or else you'd hear more explanation from the team and more protest from the player.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | November 23, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Szetela was FAT and out of shape, both when he signed and at the end of the season. Honestly, you don't need the FBI for this one.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 23, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It is completely MY BASELESS SPECULATION, without a shred of evidence. But my instinct from the outset was that if DS was coming back to MLS he wanted to play for Nowak, but there was no way to accomplish that within the league structure given the timing. So there was an understanding among all concerned that it would be one and done in DC. And perhaps (MY BASELESS SPECULATION) Soehn felt like, even within that short term that they bargained for, DCU didn't get full effort, and that made the special treatment that much more difficult to swallow.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 23, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, if that is the case, and he does head to Philly, he's about to get his clock cleaned by Piotr.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | November 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Any chance Ben Olsen's press conference will be open to the public?

Posted by: hoyanick1 | November 23, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

This Penn State alum doesn't think losing to Maryland is an upset, even at home.

I mean, irregardless of seeding, of course...


Posted by: JkR- | November 23, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

this Maryland alum thinks it's fun to make PSU alumni...upset!


Posted by: troy6 | November 23, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Protected list!!


Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | November 23, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Calling me 'upset' is overegging the pudding...


Posted by: JkR- | November 23, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

did RSL really outplay LA so badly that their ratings should be so consistently higher? this was a 1-1 game for 120 minutes, so i feel like they should be more even. but this is my problem with such ratings: are they meant to measure the player against himself (i.e. a 10 would = the best that that player is capable of), or are they meant to measure against some ideal (i.e. a 10 would = the best any player is capable of playing)? or, are they also supposed to factor in quality of opponent, conditions and all that?

yes, i'm overegging the pudding on this. what of it?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 23, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

How dare you say the Redskin players should refund the fans their money...How will they buy their extremely expensive cars and give them highly expensive make-overs and show them off to the public...hmmm? explain that to me..????

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 23, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

surprised to see two people on here call for the protection of Fred. I do like Hokienautic's nefarious acusation..what would be the ramifications of Olsen unretiring in a few months, ala Brett Favre? DCU would be foolish to let Szetela walk for free to Philly. I will be disapointed if he is not protected.

my list:

1 Jakovic
2 Namoff
3 Simms
4 Quaranta
5 Pontius
6 Moreno
7 Szetela
8 James
9 Burch
10 Jacobsen
11 Khumalo

I would throw Gomez on here maybe, if Colorado is still picking up part of his salary.

Posted by: VTUnited | November 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If United trades Wicks to Wigan, we may get this headline:

"Wicks is Whack at Wigan"

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 23, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

So when will each team's protected lists be released?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 23, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 23, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Like @hoyanick1, I am wondering if they will allow the public in for the press conference tomorrow...and Goff is probably on a plane by now.

Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that Grabavoy's play got high marks. I was consistently impressed by his effort and skill last night. While the game wasn't a classic, it was hard fought. Arena's geezers just ran out of gas at about minute 80. So much for the "veteran core," guys on the wrong side of 30 with no youthful subs became a ticket to disaster in 120 minute match.

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 23, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Not to make any nefarious accusations ...
Posted by: Hokienautic

If you're not making unsubstantiated accusations, kindly leave the internet and go read a book or attend a music recital. This is not the place for you.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The NCAA Tourney committee screwed up with so many unseeded ACC teams. Of the 4 ACC seeded teams, 3 won (UVa, Wake, UNC) and only NC ST lost. Of the 3 unseeded ACC teams all 3 won (MD, DUKE, BC). Half the seeded teams lost - #4, #7 and all the teams seeded 11-16.

Posted by: soccerman | November 23, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Announcement re press conference:

"Media members may park in Lot 5 and enter through the Administrative Entrance"

hmm - what does that mean about fans willing to travel to the stadium via metro?

Posted by: emanon13 | November 23, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't mention "seeds" around DadRyan.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Fred is on my protection list just because I could see him being the kind of player that PU would target to build their team around. Skilled, mid-range salary, might do better in a different system.

Posted by: DCUMD | November 23, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with DCUMD. Soehn never settled Fred into a solid spot. New coach, new system, new Fred?

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | November 23, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I would argue that Fred is not a "mid-range salary" player. Per the salary list Goff posts, Fred is the 3rd highest paid player on the team at $225K (tied with Gomez and Olsen behind Luci and Moreno). In MLS, that is far too much to pay a player who does not produce. What has Fred done in 3+ years to warrant another season at that price? Id rather that money be used to find another Jakovic or Namoff.

Posted by: VTUnited | November 23, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Fred"?!

(I think BaRRD has this as her ring tone...)

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This Penn State alum doesn't think losing to Maryland is an upset, even at home.

I mean, irregardless of seeding, of course...


Posted by: JkR- | November 23, 2009 2:32 PM

As I stated in an earlier thread several days ago, whichever team lost this game would have a legitimate grievance, as they both should have been among the top 16 seeds, and should not have met in this round in the first place. Ironically, Penn State was arguably a victim of pro-Big Ten bias in the selection process. Not only did five teams from that conference get invites (I believe there are only seven member institutions with men's soccer programs), but four of them were seeded. You'd think the Big Ten was stronger than the ACC or something. For some reason Big Ten schools fare especially well in the RPI rankings, which are probably about as reliable as FIFA rankings of national teams. If only two Big Ten schools (Ohio State and Penn State) had been seeded, that would have freed up a slot for the Terps.

In other news, the Messiah men and women are both through to the Division III semis.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

And I thought having two minor leagues was stupid enough, but the "new" name takes the cake.

I just unsubscribed from the Silverbacks mailing list...that was just forwarding on the propaganda releases.

Posted by: Reignking | November 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: universityandpark | November 23, 2009 4:16 PM |

Excellent analytical work, U&P, nothing to argue with there.

It's hard for me to get upset by it one way or the other, as eventually you're going to have to beat some good teams if you expect to advance.

Posted by: JkR- | November 23, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Is there any word on how the Sunday night time slot did, ratingswise? Are we likely to see the MLS Cup final on Sunday nights from here on out?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Aaaaargy Baaaargy! Barca/Inter live and in HD tomorrow on your comcastsportsnet! Don't forget to set your teams yo!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Interesting bit here: Ben Olsen will be honored Tues. night at the Wizards-76ers game. DCU fans can get $14 tix in honor of #14:

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 23, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

News from the Goff twitter: Gomez gets a green card, no longer counts as an international on the roster, and Wallace has graduated Generation Adidas, meaning he'll have to be added to the protected list.

And last, and worst of all, the new breakaway second division, North American Soccer League.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 23, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Reignking's post sent me looking for the new name of this upcoming second division league...

The North American Soccer League. No, I'm not kidding.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | November 23, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Burch? Really? My money is on PU taking McTavish.

Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The protected list:
# Marc Burch
# Fred
# Dejan Jakovic
# Julius James
# Jaime Moreno
# Bryan Namoff
# Chris Pontius
# Santino Quaranta
# Clyde Simms
# Danny Szetela
# Rodney Wallace

Posted by: JkR- | November 23, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Here us the luit from DC United:

Marc Burch
Dejan Jakovic
Julius James
Jaime Moreno
Bryan Namoff
Chris Pontius
Santino Quaranta 
Clyde Simms 
Danny Szetela 
Rodney Wallace

Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

We will offer live video coverage of tomorrow's press conference on starting at 2:30 PM.

We'll have a special Ben Olsen highlight video (with all your favorite goals against a certain rival from NY) and a special photo gallery. Fans on Twitter can leave a comment for Ben using the hash-tag: #olsen14 or #benolsen

We'll also have the first interview with Ben after the press conference.

Posted by: DC_United_Digital_Media_Dept | November 23, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The unprotected list, so you don't have to do subtractive hybridization:

* Luciano Emilio
* Christian Gomez
* David Habarugira
* Andrew Jacobson
* Greg Janicki
* Avery John
* Boyzzz Khumalo
* Devon McTavish
* Ange N'Silu
* Ben Olsen
* Lawson Vaughn
* Josh Wicks
* Ely Allen
* Brandon Barklage
* John DiRaimondo
* Milos Kocic
* Tiyi Shipalane

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Szetela is protected.
Both goalkeepers are unprotected.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

-Posted by: DC_United_Digital_Media_Dept | November 23, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

whoa so they have been watching as all along!!!!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 23, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I-270: They get to keep Hamid, right?

Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Hamid is Gen Adidas or something and automatically protected.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

burch and fred????

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 23, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

or something...
Strange to be having Ben's farewell address or whatever it's going to be overlapping with Champion's League...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Homegrowns need not be protected. Hamid counts as that.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 23, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I distinctly remember Pontius or Wallace being a Generation Adidas player...

Posted by: redskinsux | November 23, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Wallace was GA but has graduated after one season. Pontius never was, as a college senior. Hamid is safe. If I'm nowak, I'm thinking jacobson or McTavish, leaning to jacobson, with the rumor that TFC has a handshake deal in place for Guevara to be picked, Andrew wouldn't be the worst destroyer selection behind him.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | November 23, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Wallace was but he graduated. Hamid still is.

Hamid is really green, but is a beast in practice. Maybe we can raise him and keep him.

Posted by: ldmay | November 23, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if DC is expecting to get a transfer fee when they get rid of Fred.

Posted by: muskratinator | November 23, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone else could get more out of Fred.. I don't know. Did Tommy get the most out of his players? Fred at a reasonable price might find some better luck next season with the right kind of encouragement and a chance to gel with a consistent line-up?
Dude had a lot of crappy luck to kick off last year, I still wonder if there is something above and beyond the funk he seems to have become stuck in.

I gave up on him too, but I have had some time to wonder what a lot of these guys are thinking about their futures right now, and if they're retained what kind of year they could have in what will undoubtedly be a different situation than this past season.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm stunned by the decision to protect Fred. A waste. I'd have to see the other teams' unprotected players, but DCU are risking losing Jacobson or McTavish -- both of whom should be more valuable than Fred, next year. If Nowak wanted Fred, I'd be fine with losing him in the draft.

Posted by: fischy | November 23, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Players I'd rather see protected than Fred: Shipilane, Khumalo, Kocic, Barklage, Habarugira, McTavish. Heck, Gomez and Emilio toofor that matter. Just asinine, unless he's agreed to play for about 50K. Wow.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 23, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Are you guys drunk? Shipalane? Hamburgesa? DCU is obviously protecting their investment. Maybe they don't get jack for Fred, but like Crayton, dead weight will be easily shed on their own terms.
Barklage? How's his knee? What would the point be of protecting that kid? Kocic? Right, the guy who said the crowd was too loud!?!
Gomez? Good grief.
What ever happened to his foot that he cried his way out of the last match over?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 24, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Jesus Dad, Gómez got blind stuffed on a full-bore shot attempt. Great defensive play, but it looked to me like it hurt like a MF. I hope nobody takes him, but I wouldn't miss any other exposed players.

I give this list an A. Maybe I'd prefer Gomez protected instead of Fred, but otherwise I agree 1000%.

Psyched to see James on the list. He looked shaky the first couple games, but he's become the team's best player in the air, by far. Also like Jakovic he's now a full international in a respectable program. Ya don't just toss that away, not in MLS.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 24, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe they don't get jack for Fred, but like Crayton, dead weight will be easily shed on their own terms. "

I'm not sure if you're putting a negative connotation on Crayton. I thought that guy was great. Good keeper, great enthusiasm and a lot of quality experiencee. He won the Open Cup in 2008 for us! Yeah he was aging and a little bit older than you would want but there are some gks that are old but still do a great job, Pat Onstad, Van de sar, etc. GK's don't need the same conditioning as field players.

Posted by: redskinsux | November 24, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore, I would've liked to see Crayton this season instead of Wicks...

Posted by: redskinsux | November 24, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Godfather, excuse my sand paper reaction, but I don't know what else to say when people are vouching for cats who've barely even pulled on the shirt over a guy who's been through hell and back in the last year, under what we all seem to agree was a inept coach and front office. Fred still has more potential for success with the proper coddling. Gomez, after all the CRYING we heard for his return in 07/08 didn't amount to half of what was expected. I love the guy, and his dead ball skills are the best we've got, but he's no 06 Gomez.

@Skinssux: As much as I liked Crayton, it's a little silly to flash like you're going to get bent outta shape about a guy who had plenty of time to prove his worth. My point is his salary was far too high, much like Fred's is at the moment for his output.
If Emilio is gone, and Fred negotiates a cheaper deal, I can see him shining under a coach who might be a little more consistent. I will however throw in that I'm well aware of how difficult that has been for DCU in the last two years due to injury and international play. Not to mention depressing domestic cup play this year...ugh.

I liked Crayton, still do I suppose.
I like Fred, he REALLY sucked this year, but who didn't? I think a new coach could breathe some life into some of these guys, as well a less convoluted roster with so many fringe players. Fred is fast, and could fit in still in a lineup built around speedier, younger guys.

---------Boyzz/New Guy----

I know, lame right...Night.

I thought he'd lead Emilio to 20 goals again... OH well.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 24, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Gomez that is...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 24, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

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