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Saturday Kickaround

*From Maryland to MLS Cup, Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza are a victory from another championship.

*Seattle's gloomy forecast.....
Today: 46 degrees, windy, 100 percent chance of rain
Sunday: low to mid 40s, windy, 70 percent chance of rain

*MLS's board of governors met Friday, but from what I understand, no major decisions were reached. However, the league is apparently giving serious consideration to holding MLS Cup at the site of the higher-seeded participant. The biggest obstacles are weather and stadium availability. Well, we've witnessed the match played in the Boston area three times without severe cold, so the risk seems worth taking, even in Toronto (48 degrees and sunny Sunday) or Chicago (54 and sunny). As for the stadiums, only a few would have potential conflicts with football games, but if the league were to commit to the new plan soon, it could ask the NFL and college officials to not schedule games in Foxborough, Seattle and Houston on MLS Cup weekend. Another issue is whether holding the final at small venues in San Jose or Kansas City would be acceptable. In those cases, alternate venues could be offered (Oakland and Arrowhead).

*USL's reaction to Baltimore and Tampa Bay joining the renegade group that is forming a new second division.

*The Virginia Tech and Virginia women were eliminated from the NCAA tournament while three other ACC teams advanced to the quarterfinals. Today Maryland will attempt to defeat North Carolina for the first time after 30 losses and one tie.

*Another Ben Olsen memory:
benolsen.jpg

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2009; 6:56 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , USL  
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Next: Sunday Kickaround

Comments

Hi def can't save the dross that is Liverpool - Man Citeh....

Beautiful game my fanny....

Posted by: JkR- | November 21, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'd be okay with having the final at the higher seed, but I'd rather see some tradition built around the game itself, so I say hold it at the same venue every year. We now, well, starting next year, have a TREMENDOUS facility in Red Bull Arena. 26,000 seats, easily accessible by public transportation, and the cache of New York. I know when I played high school football here, every team set the same goal: Get to Atlanta, get to the Dome. I can't imagine it wouldn't be the same sort of striving point for professional players. Make it like the Super Bowl, with each team getting an allotment of tickets. If you want to reward the Supporters Shield winners, give them a thousand or two more. This also puts tickets at a premium, which builds excitement.

Thoughts?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 21, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

From the USL statement "tortuous interference," what are the TOA guys doing? Waterboarding other USL team owners?

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 21, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

How can MLS have a "higher seeded participant" when the East and West groups are supposed to be equal? Will they take the top eight teams and seed them?

I'm OK with the current arrangement for the MLS Cup venue, but I'd rather not have the final played on a plastic carpet.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 21, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, if that is sarcasm, that's a funny joke. If it's not, tortuous interference with contract is a legal cause of action.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | November 21, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

keep Benny in DC!

Posted by: GraciasRiquelme | November 21, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The USL guys misspelled it in their statement.

From Wikipedia: tortious interference

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 21, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The heart of a Lion banner is one of DC's greatest banners ever, and fitting tribute for Ben Olsen. His on field absence will be sorely felt.

The fortress RFK banner from the 08 US open cup is another great one: http://www.behindthebadge.com/2008/09/us-open-cup-championship-in-ph.php

Posted by: invncbl | November 21, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

*USL's reaction to Baltimore and Tampa Bay joining the renegrade group..."

Renegrade?? Spell checker letting you down, Steve? Or perhaps a 6th GRADE spelling teacher??
The Old Copy Editor

Posted by: kaynfred53 | November 21, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The jig is up the news is out they've finally found me
The renegade who had it made retrieved for a bounty
Never more to go astray
This will be the end today of the wanted man

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's go people, we gotta stay on the replay bandwagon. From Sunderland's 1-0 win over Arsenal:
"But the Gunners could not believe they were not awarded an injury time penalty for [Fraizer] Campbell's challenge on [Carlos] Vela with referee Alan Wiley waving their appeals away."
This was blatant cheating by Campbell and Sunderland that the official missed. The only fair thing to do is to replay the match and pillory Fraizer Campbell for time and all eternity for his actions.

Obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek. But I have to say I am bothered by the vitriol directed at Thierry Henry this week. The guy's in extra time in a World Cup playoff match, he's doing everything he can to lead the side he captains to S. Africa, he makes a desperation play without thinking about it, it leads to a goal and goes unseen by the only person who needed to see it. He's been sheepish about it, almost embarrassed, and has said and done all the right things in the aftermath. His reputation in the game up until this point has been fairly close to perfect ... so why is he getting hammered so badly? Is it because he's French, and it's such a cool kid's thing to hate everything French?
Think about this: Assume the referee did see the handball and called it. The action by Henry remains the same, but at the end of the game, no one will be talking about it. So how can you hang someone for something that only mattered because someone else blew the call?
The ref deserves the lion's share of the criticism here, but FIFA does as well. You could see the official try to confer with the side judge and figure out why the Irish were so up in arms, but as nothing was seen, nothing could be called. If the fourth official were allowed to have a monitor, he could be viewing replays while the celebrations were going on, and any questions or possible reversals of calls could be relayed to the match official through the headsets.
It's completely unfair to the Irish team and its fans that they are not going to the World Cup because of this. But to blame Thierry Henry is short-sighted and is the easy way out. And while it won't help Ireland, maybe this will be the incident that forces FIFA's hand and introduces some sort of technological help for the officials.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | November 21, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It took the Barra Brava over 30 man hours to make those banners for two minutes of exposure.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why Marcus Hahnemann gets no net time for Wolverhampton. It seems like they've given up a ton of goals lately.

Are they trying to get religated?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 21, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@ Jacob

Sounds ok in theory but the New York (and anywhere else) would be very debatable. We really don't have a 'National Stadium' like England's Wimbley.

We do have 'Little Wimbley' in the parking lot of RFK. We could hold it there after RFK crumbles.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 21, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Using your hands in soccer is illegal, so he did something illegal. illegal=cheat, so they are just calling him what he is. no matter whos fault it is, henry is the one who used his hands not the ref and not FIFA. I want players like Henry and players like DOS santos, and ronaldo to get fines and bans for trying to cheat the ref. Everyone always trys to blame refs, yes they make bad calls, but why are the players never fined? why are the players never banned? I know its to late, but it would have been nice to fine maradona too

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@JkR-

I hope you watched the 2nd half!

I see Jozy started and played 75 minutes today. I look forward to watching the match replay to see if he did anything of note.

Gloomy weather in Seattle? Who could have predicted?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

RE: "I say hold it at the same venue every year. We now, well, starting next year, have a TREMENDOUS facility in Red Bull Arena. 26,000 seats, easily accessible by public transportation, and the cache of New York. . . . Thoughts?"

No. Congrats on your new facility though.

I like the idea of the team getting the most points having home field advantage for the final. With 8 teams getting into the playoffs, there needs to be a greater reward for getting it done during the regular season. And that way you are more likely to have the game played in front of a packed house of rabid fans.

Weather won't be an issue for anyone with any sense. Don't cater to weather whiners. They are not true fans.

Tomorrow we will be loud in Qwest Field despite the Sounders not being on the field and the sheets of rain (which will be only the second time it has rained at a football game in Qwest that I have been to, out of 20 matches).

Posted by: rice1234 | November 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

USA Today has in interesting article on the ACC ties between the two coaches in the MLS Cup. Scroll down past the poll.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 21, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

And good news about Marcia Williams. She's in remission. LiveStrong Marcia!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 21, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Are they trying to get religated?
_________________________________________

I think this typo could yield a joke or two of a gynecological bent.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

No. Congrats on your new facility though

================================

By "we", I was referring to MLS and US Soccer fans. Qwest would definitely be considered, but, plastic

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 21, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Messiah men and women are in the round of 16, trying to defend their respective national titles. If they survive, they have to turn around and do the quarters tomorrow; DIII is on a pretty tight schedule. (You may now dust off any previously unused Handel jokes.)

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I will be heading home on Sunday evening, most likely somewhere between Harrisburg and Frederick, when the MLS Cup final kicks off. Can anyone recommend soccer-friendly watering holes in that region? Thanks.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Using your hands in soccer is illegal, so he did something illegal. illegal=cheat...

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 21, 2009 1:33 PM
_________________________________________

So anyone who is called for, say, offside is a cheat?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The Terp women are sent home by the Albicelestes on a Casey Nogueira howitzer shot.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

trying to cheat the ref. Everyone always trys to blame refs, yes they make bad calls, but why are the players never fined? why are the players never banned? I know its to late, but it would have been nice to fine maradona too

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 21, 2009 1:33 PM
------------------------------------------------------

Now, we're talking about banning players for a handball? Can you guys all come off your high horse and admit the only reason you're savaging Henry is because the referee didn't make the call??!?!? If the ref had called the foul, no one would even remember the play, much less still be talking about it. Sometimes defenders stop shots or crosses with their hands or arms. I have never read a comment calling for them to be suspended or banned -- or rants calling them cheats.

The Lady Tar Heels beat the Lady Terps. To be expected, as UNC is probably the 2nd best team in the country, Stanford, however, may have one of the best teams ever. It would a real shocker if the Cardinal don't win the title.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the suggestion to have the MLS Cup in one place every year, probably Red Bull Arena -- 26,000 seats. How many do you think the MLS could sell year after year? This isn't England, where you're never more than a or 3 hour drive from London. You can sell a certain amount of tickets to locals, based on novelty. If you hold it in the same place every year, you lose even that pull. So, you're reduced to selling at least 20,000 of those tickets to fans of the two teams, who would buy the tickets and travel to NY/NJ on a week's notice. This is probably the worst possible outcome for MLS. Perhaps in 20 or 30 years, when the MLS Cup might become a big event, that scheme might be a good draw. For the near future, it would be even worse than the current system.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Indeed the second half of 'Pool - Citeh was much more fun than the first.

In the ManU - Blues match, Fletcher with an absolute screamer into the upper 90.

CANNOT hit it any better. Watch for it if you missed it...

Posted by: JkR- | November 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

most likely somewhere between Harrisburg and Frederick, when the MLS Cup final kicks off. Can anyone recommend soccer-friendly watering holes in that region?

--------------------------------------------------------------

You're going for "the funny", right???

There are a couple of sports bar/restaurants in Hanover that might have the ESPN channels regularly tuned in....If you're closer to Frederick, you might try Gettysburg Eddie's. They have several screens -- mbe they could put the game on one.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@dimesmakedollars -- According to one article, Jozy had a close-in shot saved, and he drew a free-kick, which produced a goal. Best part about Hull scoring 3 goals while playing with only 10 men: Spector didn't play, so Zola may finally have to admit Spector is belongs in his starting lineup.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You're going for "the funny", right???
_________________________________________

The Terp women are sent home by the Albicelestes on a Casey Nogueira howitzer shot.

Actually, it is a simple fact that I will be on the road tomorrow evening, and I have to deal with it one way or another. Further, there are always the proverbial diamonds in the rough. For instance, I watched the USA-Egypt Confed Cup match last June at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, where I happened to be at the time. I may return there tomorrow, although it would be a bit out of my way on this occasion. Alternatively, I could just get on the road early enough to check out Gettysburg Eddie's, and if it doesn't meet my needs, still have time to get to Frederick by the opening whistle. In any event, thanks for the suggestions.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

You can ignore the line about the UNC-MD game in my last post. I had already posted it, and it somehow got pasted into my response to fischy re sports bars.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I would oppose the higher seeding, just imagine the final stuck in one venue for a good amount of time. I wouldnt mind having the final in DC on and off but it just wouldnt work out. What Garber wants is an atmosphere but he doesnt really think what the fans will have to do. This is a massive country where road trips can take a week (coast to coast). Plane tickets are not cheap. Sounds like fun but in times like these the fans dont have the time nor the money to shell out.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha. A Seattllite admitting that it's only rained at two games of 20 he's been to, but tells us we shouldn't listen to weather whiners... Not to mention he has no idea that Jacob isn't' a Red Bulls fan. Oops, guess I just did.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 21, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

MLS' short-sighted owners blew their chance to buy Old Wembley. They could have put it up next to London Bridge in Arizona and MLS fans would have a warm weather venue in an Olde Historicall Location for every MLS Cuppe!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 21, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 21, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@Dips - I believe that's exactly what the MLS s concerned with. Having the higher seeded team host the Cup final rewards teams for strong regular season records and it makes it more likely to draw big crowds.

Sure, the visiting team will have only the most diehard supporters there, but most home teams would nearly fill their stadiums.

Look at the ticket sales two years ago for the final in RFK. A lot of people bought tickets early expecting DCU to be in the final. If DCU hadn't flamed out early, they might have sold our RFK. Then, look at the actual attendance the last 2 years. RFK was half-empty, and so was HDC last year. Having the home team there would make for bigger crowds and better atmosphere...like the World Series, etc.

The NFL can sell out the Super Bowl at neutral sites because it's become such a huge event. Even at that, there are a lot of team fans that make the trip and pay serious coin for scalped tickets. That won't happen for MLS for a loooooooong time. The neutral site for the MLS Cup works the first time because the local fans turn out based on the novelty -- this is what's happened in Seattle. Don't expect them to sell 42,000 tickets the next time around, if the Sounders aren't going to be in it. MLS Cup, like the conference championships, should not be held at a neutral site.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Errr -- that should read: "If DCU hadn't flamed out early, they might have sold out RFK.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to sound stupid -- I'm sure MLS will play the final next year in NJ...and they'll get a great crowd. It's a good way to market the league to area fans, and a great way to promote the new stadium.

That's a one-shot deal, though. Down the road, they won't get a big crowd to see a KC-Dallas final. If the Eastern Conf, can put a team there (not KC), there'll be some fans who make the trip -- it's less than a day's drive for the other cities. However, there won't be enough to fill the stadium. Having the game in a neutral site means it's hard for fans of both teams to make the trip on a week's notice. Having the final at a partisan site means the home team's fans will fill the place and make some real noise.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

RE: "Ha, ha. A Seattllite admitting that it's only rained at two games of 20 he's been to, but tells us we shouldn't listen to weather whiners... Not to mention he has no idea that Jacob isn't' a Red Bulls fan. Oops, guess I just did."

Huh? The comment re weather was an FYI. I will be there in the rain tomorrow with everyone else. No whining here. Whiners should watch indoor games.

My RB comment wasn't intended to be nasty. I just don't want the final to be in the same place every year, that is all.

But whatever, peace to y'all, on Monday next year starts. Only what, 4 months until the fun begins again.

FYI, good footie fans in DC. United support looks good on TV. Haven't seen it in person. But I saw Portugal/US at RFK in 96 during the Olympics. Great atmosphere.


Posted by: rice1234 | November 21, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

When was Crystal Palace promoted to USL-1?

Posted by: peridigm | November 21, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

A real-life feel good sob story just concluded in Monterrey (on Telemundo). Former Monterrey and el Tri player Antonio de Nigris died of heart failure earlier this week in Greece where he played professionally.

He was honored and eulogized in the pregame ceremonies (including a mass release of white balloons to the heavens by the players and crowd) as Monterrey hosted Club America in the first leg of the Mexican League quarterfinals.

And his brother, Aldo de Nigris, started for Monterrey and scored the only goal.

Club America hosts the return leg at Azteca next weekend but, for now, Aldo de Nigris is the man of the moment in Mexico.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 21, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

The Messiah men and women are in the round of 16, trying to defend their respective national titles. If they survive, they have to turn around and do the quarters tomorrow; DIII is on a pretty tight schedule. (You may now dust off any previously unused Handel jokes.)

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:22 PM
=========================

Back from Grantham, where Messiah men came back from 2-0 to beat Johns Hopkins, 3-2 in double OT. Meanwhile, I heard the Messiah women beat JHU 1-0 in overtime, at JHU.

Some of the JHU fans at Messiah today were pretty despicable, sad to say. One drunkard was escorted off campus by police. JHU's men's team was quite good.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 21, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

my bad rice, I've got a hair trigger with Sounders fans these days. You seem to be cut from different cloth than many before. I know you guys can't be ALL bad...:) Used to live there, but haven't been back in a couple years.

I'm already slated for a trip to Seattle in July, really hoping to catch a match at Qwest while we're there, crossing my fingers the league schedule's DCU to visit while I'm there, and not during my man's wedding... (Come on ESPN Primetime Thursdays!)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 21, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I just don't want the final to be in the same place every year, that is all.

Posted by: rice1234 | November 21, 2009 7:12 PM
__________________________________________

I've heard two variations on this theme. The first, which Garber seems to have in mind, is to award the Cup final to one of the finalists, presumably the one with the better regular-season record; in effect, staging the event on one week's notice, which may be cutting it close. The other is to award the final to the winner of the Supporters' Shield. That team may or may not make it to the Cup final, but there would be several weeks to promote the event.

DCU was in the first four Cup finals and the Revs were in three straight finals more recently, but I don't believe they would have qualified to host the game every one of those years. Further, no team has ever won the SS more than twice in a row. With the number of teams in the league increasing, if there is anything close to parity, repeats will be even less frequent in the future. Hence, the scenario that causes you concern just isn't very likely.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, I heard the Messiah women beat JHU 1-0 in overtime, at JHU.
_________________________________________

Actually, Messiah edged Otterbein, from the Crew's backyard, in added time at JHU; they tackle JHU tomorrow. Messiah actually earned the right to host the round of 16/quarters, but so did the men's team, so something had to give, and the women ended up playing in Ballmer. The hero of today's game was Amanda Naeher, sibling of Alyssa, the keeper for the U20 world champions.

BTW, in an earlier thread I speculated about where United territory would end and Union territory would begin. I've since played around with Mapquest and determined that Grantham is roughly equidistant from Washington and Chester. With regard to the I-95 corridor, the dividing line seems to be in the vicinity of Bel Air. So to make things simple, one could treat the Susquehanna as the DMZ.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Looking ahead to Sunday's NCAA men's action, here is an article on Terps keeper Zac MacMath, which contains an interesting factoid that is pertinent to Sunday's game, if you can spot it:

http://www.jewishsightseeing.com/2008-SDJW-Quarter%203/20080827-jewish-wednesday206.html#lowitt

Any discussion of a person with a Scottish surname who is a member of the tribe naturally leads to the following trivia question: What famous DC-born musician with a Scottish surname is a member of the tribe? For extra credit: What famous DC-born musician with a Finnish surname is a member of the tribe?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Repost:
I just heard on Comcast Sportsnet, Saturday night, that Ben Olsen may NOT retire. I'm not sure if they are kept up-to-date like Goff but I thought this is worth an announcement.

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

huh...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

FYI, good footie fans in DC. United support looks good on TV. Haven't seen it in person. But I saw Portugal/US at RFK in 96 during the Olympics. Great atmosphere.

Posted by: rice1234 | November 21, 2009 7:12 PM
__________________________________________

Speaking as a volunteer at that event, you're welcome.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@U&P: The young uns won't get your oblique references to hippie music: Country Joe and Jorma Kaukonen. Good question.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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