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Tuesday Kickaround

*The final act in World Cup qualifying is Wednesday with six slots available. Will you be able to watch the matches? Yes and no.

ESPN2 will show the Ukraine-Greece match live at 1 p.m. and Setanta has Bosnia-Portugal at 2:45. Slovenia-Russia can be found on Setanta Xtra on DirecTV at 2:45 and on tape on normal Setanta at 8:30. You'll also find Bosnia-Portugal on tape on ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. Sorry, no standard coverage of France-Ireland, Uruguay-Costa Rica or Egypt-Algeria. You'll need to find a pirated feed online or pay a cover charge at your favorite futbol-friendly watering hole.

ESPN Classic and Galavision has the USA-Denmark friendly at 2:30 and, even though ESPN2 will join the match in progress after Ukraine-Greece, Classic will maintain coverage from start to finish so you won't have to re-set your TiVo/DVR. GolTV will carry the Italy-Sweden friendly at 2:30.

*Spanish publication Marca predicts the pots for the World Cup draw and a doomsday group scenario for Spain: Netherlands or Portugal, Ivory Coast and USA.

*All is quiet on the D.C. United front: The vibe I am getting is that the club won't make a decision on a head coach until the week after Thanksgiving.

*We're awaiting final guidelines for this year's MLS expansion draft, which will take place next Wednesday and supply Philadelphia Union with 10 players. Clubs will be required to submit protected lists by Monday.

*For the first time in eight years, Maryland did not receive a first-round bye in the NCAA tournament. The defending champions (12-5-2) will host Loyola (Md.) on Thursday night. With a victory, the Terrapins would visit seventh-seeded Penn State on Sunday -- their first NCAA away match since 2001. Maryland has played 19 consecutive tournament games at Ludwig Field (not including semifinals and finals on neutral fields).

"It was a little surprising," Coach Sasho Cirovski said of his team not receiving one of the 16 seeds despite being ranked in the top 10 almost all season. "But we lost early in the ACC tournament and now we just have to get ready for Loyola. We can't worry about the seeding."

Thanks to its ACC championship, Virginia (14-3-3) was awarded the No. 2 seed behind unbeaten Akron and will await the Bucknell-Princeton winner Sunday in Charlottesville.

Click here for the complete tournament field and pairings.

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2009; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Schelotto's Status

Comments

US, Spain, ivory coast and Portugal/Netherlands? Now that is a serious group of death scenario. Any of those are capable of at least a quarterfinal run, if not a semis.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | November 17, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Any word on when ISN'T the team sale that doesn't exist?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 17, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Again off Topic, but I'd like to hear any feedback on people's opinions on soccer for tots programs, etc. Not trying to start a big debate about it, but I'm curious about some particular folks opinions on putting 2-3 year olds in a "class" like Kicks for Tots, or Soccer Tots. Anything to nurture my daughters interest is a go for me, but if it could be counter productive, or anyone has a particular opinion about a particular program I'd like to hear it.
We already kick balls around in the yard and practice goal celebrations after they are scored in our homemade, pvc, micro goal...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 17, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie is set to try an unorthodox method of treatment in a desperate bid to speed up his recovery from an ankle injury.

The Dutchman will have placenta rubbed into the damaged area by a Serbian housewife who successfully healed a former Feyenoord team-mate Danzo Lazovic.

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

We already kick balls around in the yard and practice goal celebrations after they are scored in our homemade, pvc, micro goal...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | November 17, 2009 11:05 AM
____________________________________
Until DaughterRyan is about 4, that's what I'd stick to. We got son-of-schmuckatelli in Soccer Tots at the Fairfax Y when he was 4 and he had a blast. He still plays (intramural) as a collegian, so something must have "taken." Good luck, and enjoy!

Posted by: schmuckatelli | November 17, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Of course maryland has played many NCAA tournament games away from home since 2001, as the College Cup is held at a neutral venue...

Posted by: teo_68 | November 17, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Spain deserves a tough group for a change. The past 2 have been the weakest in their respective tournaments.

2006:

Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

2002:

Spain, Paraguay, Slovenia, South Africa

Posted by: StanShmenge | November 17, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@dadryan -- Darryl Gee!

If he's in your area.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 17, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The toddler classes are OK, but don't have high expectations going into it. At that age, very few kids will show an aptitude or interest in ball control.

The one at the MD Soccerplex stresses fun and physical activity at that age, rather than soccer skills. The kids spend as much time running around without the ball as they do with the ball. Some kids get bored or intimidated and want to sit in their parents laps after a while. Some just stand there while the other kids are running around. It's all OK. Parents shouldn't pressure their toddlers to participate.

For my kids, I thought that 3 was too young for them to follow instructions, but they are almost 8 and 6 now and still don't follow instructions. But, if your daughter is already kicking the ball around, she might enjoy a kickaround with other kids.

And make sure she wears her DC United jersey. You'll see a lot of kids whose Eurosnob parents dress them in foreign replicas (no offense intended to BaRRD who sent you the Man United jersey).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Van Persie wants to recover quickly because the Netherlands have an afterberth in WC2010.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The strangest thing about the Van Persie story to me is the fact that the treatment will not be administered by a medical professional, but a Serbian Housewife. Like, how did the other guy find her to begin with? Is he just gonna drop by her house for half an hour a few times a week? Just weird.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 17, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan - I'd say continue with kicking the ball in the yard and get a nurf ball for in the house for when its too cold or wet outside. Start looking for clinics around 5 yrs. We put too much emphasis on clinics and coaches at the early ages, kids just want to kick the ball, score some goals and have fun.

Posted by: o35_still_kicking | November 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Does DCU realize that the expansion draft is Monday 11/23/09? This franchises front office is being very arrogant in not allowing the coaching staff to have a say in the make up of the future roster.

Posted by: no_recess | November 17, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Reposting because WaPo filters found a banned word.

From the Soccernet article on bizarre injury treatments, here's one that DCU and the USMNT might consider for matches in Mexico City.

Vi@gra is not on the banned substance list and has reportedly been game tested by a number of South American clubs [to increase blood flow] during Copa Libertadores matches at high altitude.

Smilin' Bob Bradley?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Re: expansion Draft...Frankly DCU only has 6 or 7 players that truly need protecting. Generally once a team loses a player in the expansion draft they are done...and we have plenty of expansion draft fodder!

Posted by: Tweaked | November 17, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

dadryan, your kids haven't been signed yet? US Soccer is sooo behind. Fire Bob.

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Serbian housewife?

I'll bet Arsenal could find a housewife in London who would treat Bendner's groin following the same protocol.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 17, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan, Your child will *remember* kicking the ball around with you for a lifetime. She will forget the stupid class 5 minutes after the last one lets out. Organized soccer before the age of 8 is pretty much a waste of time.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 17, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The lack of news from the club on any front reminds me of the season from August on - uneventful and boring.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 17, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan - I would echo the advice to ensure your child has fun at that age. Go to a 10,12, 14 year olds game. Ask a travel & house league team members a) if they enjoy the game and b) why. I have found the invariable answer is "I am having a great time". Not "I can hit the cross bar from 25 yards out". For me, the key is to get them into high school in a sport we can share together for the rest of our lives. Of course it has to be soccer....

Posted by: lrogers287 | November 17, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I really hope we don't get the Group of Death again.

Posted by: AtlantaMLS | November 17, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Is Tommy really gone, or is he around until the end of the year or the signing of a new coach, whichever occurs first? And what about his buddy Chad Ashton? I would expect these guys to have input into the expansion draft and "Super" draft unless a new coaching staff materializes overnight.

Posted by: b18bolo | November 17, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

So if any of the released players from DCU make another team and do well, we can finally hold the front office accountable? Kinda illogical to not have a coach in place before releasing players.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | November 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has followed men's soccer this year (esp the Terps) can only agree with Sasho. There is no shame in losing in the first round of the ACC tourney when it is comprised of 7 of the top 25 teams in the nation. They lost to the eventual champions in tsunami like conditions on a break away goal but thier overall record and RPI should have carried more weight. How in the world the Terps aren't a seeded team in the NCAA's is beyond me. Now with all that said, our boys need to step it up and put some balls in the back of the net. Looking down the road, they could eventually have to go through VA to get back to the Final 4. Anything is possible. Good luck guys and VAMOS TERPS!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | November 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hope the Terps lose.

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Everybody get in the lotus position and start sending out vibes for South Africa, Slovenia/Switzerland, Uruguay, and USA. (I'm assuming the draw precludes a second African countries from being drawn into the pool with SA.)

Posted by: benonthehill | November 17, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't consider that a doomsday group for Spain; I'd consider that a doomsday group for the US.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 17, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Steve,
Once the rules are established for the expansion draft will you do a breakdown on DCU's options on who they could protect and leave unprotected? Thanks!

Posted by: mellon02 | November 17, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Whose placenta?

Posted by: Senor_Funk | November 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: I started both my sons in organized soccer at age four. When I coached the younger son's preschool team, we were told just to make it "feel like a birthday party," so they would want to keep coming back. More than half the kids on that team now play travel soccer! And my older son (whom I didn't coach) plays in college and also with me on coed teams when he's home. IMHO, four is young enough, and fun is the key. (And, by the way, playing on the same team as your adult child is a real joy.)

Posted by: ldmay | November 17, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss the discussion on the potential new US uniforms?

Posted by: sitruc | November 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What's the purpose of running mock pot draws? I understand that the seeded teams will be spread among the pots, but the rest is random, isn't it? Isn't this just a waste of time and column inches/bandwidth just to get people riled up and griping about nothing?

Posted by: DrBeaker | November 17, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Can Santino use placenta or is it habit-forming?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 17, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This thread has taken some disturbing turns...

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 17, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Had to run that page through Google translator, it's quite a trip :).

Anyway it's not quite random, in recent years, the host and the top seven teams are all "seeded" into seperate groups, and the rest of the draw is arranged so no two teams from the same region are in the same group (with the exception of UEFA which gets 13 slots).

So they do a pot of just unseeded UEFA teams, and then the other pots comprise entire zones.

I don't think FIFA has made this year's draw procedure official, but it's assumed it'll be similar to the previous years, we'll probably know for sure after tomorrow.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Certainly no placenta-therapy at Messiah...

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

dadryan: My daughter did the Lil Kickers program out of the Dulles Sportsplex starting at 18 months old. It was very good. They didn't really do "soccer" instruction, it was more gross motor skills work that sometimes involved a rubbery ball. She did those classes until she was 4 and they did progressively get to kicking a ball and teaching some level of technique but it was still more motor skills and learning to follow instructions. My wife have taught her more technique related things than she got in the classes. She did do a thing through Reston soccer which was a little more structured and had licensed coaches she enjoyed it a lot. The main thing was she took these classes with friends and it was more fun to see them.

Posted by: owendylan | November 17, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss the discussion on the potential new US uniforms?
Posted by: sitruc
==========

No. Will the be as ugly as the old ones? Pinstripes, anthracite, USSF would be sent off that Heidi Klum designer show in the first week. What's her catch phrase? You just don't cut it?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The more players DCU loses to the expansion draft, especially the old, fat, slow, lame, and expensive ones, the better. I know thatis 2/3 of our team, but think of the cap space that would be freed up.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 17, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This year's NCAA tournament will feature a Pontius playing for UCSB, and a Warzycha on Ohio State's roster.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

270:

Couldn't agree more about the US jerseys. The home shirt still bugs me, since those stripes are separating wide bands of white and some weird light blue color. The away jersey doesn't bother me as a shirt for athletic use, but it does bother me as a US national team uniform. Dark gray is not a color I think of when I think of our soccer team.

***

I'm really not worried about United having no head coach in place for the expansion draft. The players that truly need to be protected are obvious, and whether it's 10 or 11 players you can protect, there will be several replaceable guys to make that list. I also don't think Nowak will be very interested in anyone on our squad that isn't part of the core group that anyone with even a beginner's understanding of the game would protect. I mean, how dumb would you have to be to leave Pontius or Jakovic out there?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

No draw will be good for us unless we are seeded. And, since we won't be, we will have two powerhouses and some african country who we will be expected to beat, but who will "surprise" everyone.

Sorry, but with the current crop we don't have what it takes to get out of the group unless we are very lucky. One injury to a key player and then what? Trying not to end up last in the field again? Can't wait til the summer....

Posted by: hacksaw | November 17, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the feedback gang. Especially the positive stuff. It's moments like this that make me very grateful for this wonderful blog. You guys rock. I've read up a little bit on US Soccer's stance on coaching philosophy and in particular when it was appropriate to start considering actually "coaching" kids. As so many of you pointed out, that having no expectations, and treating it as a "party" and especially involving groups of friends who may also be interested is the best approach. The mother of one of my daughter's neighborhood friends had called me about a flyer we'd seen at our preschool, talking about Kick for Tots. Our kids LOVE seeing each other at school, I can only imagine how stoked they be to be on the "same team".... We'll continue to try to round up the neighborhood and gauge their interest before we go spending money we don't need to be. We've already got plenty of balls and a sweet goal at home...;)

@I-270: You'll be happy to know she's got a home and away DCU jersey, but she's been known to rock her Red Devil's shirt for Auntie BaRRD on Champion's League match days...:)

@b18bolo: I heard from an inside source that Chad Ashton is the interim coach for DCU. Not that, that is a big secret. I bet you could call the FO and they'd tell you that.

I like the anthracite US jersey. Even the white and silver ones are not bad looking at some of the garbage Adidas is outfitting other nations with for the World Cup. It would be nice if the US would put out something with a bunch of red on it as they keep asking the fans to wear it. The US/CR match at RFK was an example of US Soccer to ask their home supporters to dress like the visitors. Stoops.

I've heard of afterbirth puppets and them being used by disgruntled maternity nurses to prank unruly teenagers, but never for ankle rehab...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 3:24 PM
========================

From disturbing to the disturbed.

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

You think that's disturbing? How about an 80K seat soccer-specific stadium.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/17/news/economy/silverdome_buyer/index.htm

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. They got the SilverDome for less than a 2 bedroom condo.

Pontiac United? Does the Red Line go to Michigan yet?

I wonder how Beckham will like playing indoors on turf.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 17, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Hope the Terps lose.

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

WTF?

Posted by: sbuck | November 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. They got the SilverDome for less than a 2 bedroom condo.
Posted by: OWNTF
=============

Sure, it's a great price for a fixer upper, but the taxes will kill you.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

131 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | November 17, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@DrBreaker and anyone else concerned with WC Draw,

You guys clearly are not familiar with Marca!

It's a daily rag that runs about 60 pages full of futbol news. Much of it is BS.

That said, their pots are very likely to be the way the actual pots look. They were just saying Spain, Holland/Port, Ivory Coast and US is a possibility.

Personally, I think the biggest thing is that we want CONCACAF and AFC to be put in the same pot. We know 2 pots for sure:

Pot 1 = Seeded teams

Pot 2 = UEFA unseeded teams

Pot 3 = CONMEBOL + ????

Pot 4 = CONCACAF + ????


I do not think we will be put in the same pot as CONMEBOL as then there will be seven teams in the other pot

If these pots are correct, we know we will draw 1 seeded team, 1 euro team and then 1 CAF/CONMEBOL or 1 AFC/CONMEBOL.

Out of the three unseeded CONMEBOL teams (assuming Uruguay does the business at home), I rate Paraguay.

Out of the 5 unseeded CAF teams, I rate Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Out of the 4 AFC teams and NZ, I rate Japan, SK, NK and Aus.

So, if the other pot is CONMEBOL/CAF - then I think we have a 3/8 chance of drawing a tough team from that pot.

If the other pot is CONMEBOL/AFC - then I think we have a 5/8 chance of drawing a tough team.

I would rather take my chances with CAF than with AFC.

Posted by: nycrishi | November 17, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Holland didn't make Bombo 1?

Posted by: diego_r | November 17, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has followed men's soccer this year (esp the Terps) can only agree with Sasho. There is no shame in losing in the first round of the ACC tourney when it is comprised of 7 of the top 25 teams in the nation. They lost to the eventual champions in tsunami like conditions on a break away goal but thier overall record and RPI should have carried more weight. How in the world the Terps aren't a seeded team in the NCAA's is beyond me. Now with all that said, our boys need to step it up and put some balls in the back of the net. Looking down the road, they could eventually have to go through VA to get back to the Final 4. Anything is possible. Good luck guys and VAMOS TERPS!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | November 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

-------

Agreed. We have about the same record as Penn, while playing in ACC plus playing Cal/UCLA first week, and they're seeded? It boggles the mind.

Posted by: M__N | November 18, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Marca is predicting that the worst case scenario for Spain is Holland/Portugal, Ivory Coast, and the USA. What they have effectively done to come up with that group is chosen what they feel are the strongest teams from each of pots 2-4. In other words, Marca is giving the USA a pretty nice compliment by selecting the USA as the strongest team in pot 4 over Mexico, Australia, and the like. Obviously I'm sure their opinion is only slightly skewed by the Confed Cup result.

Posted by: couchtoast | November 18, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Those predicted pots also demonstrate how huge (in my opinion) it could be if Costa Rica can come back and beat Uruguay to clinch a WC spot. In that scenario, it would seem that the four CONCACAF teams would move to Pot 3 with the 4 CAF teams while the 3 South American teams would be put in Pot 4 with the 4 Asian teams plus NZ. USA would then avoid playing CAF teams (a very good thing in my mind) and increase their chances of being drawn with an Asia/NZ team.

Posted by: couchtoast | November 18, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Eh, ignore the above comment. I got it all wrong. If CONCACAF gets 4 teams, I'm not sure what they will do. I guess lump CONCACAF with Asia in Pot 4, and then have CAF, S. America + NZ in Pot 3.

Posted by: couchtoast | November 18, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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