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DCU, USA, MLS, Red Bulls

*Read my story from the draft about D.C. United's roster-building plan, including scouting missions to Brazil and Costa Rica.

*Unable to reach a deal to play Mexico in a friendly on Feb. 24, the USSF has scheduled a national team match against El Salvador at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (ESPN Classic, Telefutura). The Americans are already set to play the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3 and will have at least two World Cup tuneups in May.

*The MLS draft, held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention, will take place in Baltimore next year.

*Funny story from Hans Backe, the Red Bulls' Swedish coach: After being hired by New York, he was instructed to go to the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm to finalize a visa.

An official told him he would need to wait a bit because "the big boss wants to talk to you."

So he waited, unaware of the reason for the delay. The official returned and told him: "Just be prepared because the boss is crazy about soccer -- don't be afraid."

He went into see the "big boss", who told Backe: "I HATE the Red Bulls! I die for D.C. United. I give you the chance to leave the embassy in five minutes without your visa. That is the best way to do it."

As Backe explained, "He started talking about all the players in MLS. He showed me on his laptop all the players and coaches. He said, 'Okay, I give you another 30 seconds to decide if you'll go to the U.S. or stay in Sweden. I think you should stay in Sweden.' "

Finally, Backe received his visa.

"When we beat [D.C.]," Backe said, "I will send him a [Red Bulls] scarf."

By Steve Goff  |  January 14, 2010; 10:07 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Mexico , Sweden , U.S. men's national team , USSF  
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Next: A DCU Fan in Stockholm


Great story on Backe!

Good to know the State Dept. is not totally infiltrated with Eurosnobs. Not to say his taste in teams was very good, but if it can't be Chicago even DC is better than the Red Bulls.

Posted by: Modibo | January 14, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty funny stuff. Now, is this mysterious boss/United Fan an Insider Loyalist?!?

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope he's prepared to wait a long time for that victory...

Posted by: alecw81 | January 14, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse


so this is a redskins town yet we are conquering the world one embassy at a time..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 14, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Missed the normal nap time start watching the first handful of picks in the draft today and migrated to the back room and turned the volume low on the extra tv back there. I was reading a book to my daughter when the RB's came up on the clock and I pointed out their badge and told her "we booooooo the Red Bulls". Took her all of 3 seconds to jump on that band wagon and start high fivein' me about it. Then they took their time out, cut to commercial and I went back to reading. When ESPN came back to the studio and showed New York's badge again she said," Look! Boooooooo!".
Such a proud dad I am...:) Nothing like getting your kid to fall asleep while booin' the enemy. She'll probably be doing that for the rest of her life now! Ha!
Just another funny day in the life of a fanatic trying to pass on the bug to their kid. Fun stuff.
Thanks for all the coverage Steve.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,
Any insight on why the "big boss" is a DCU fan? What's his name?

Posted by: CapitolHill1 | January 14, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Anyone recognize a DCU fan on this list?

Ambassador: Matthew Barzun
Deputy Chief of Mission: Robert J. Silverman
Management Counselor: Mary Teirlynck
Agricultural Counselor: Steve Huete (resident in the Hague)
Commercial Counselor: Frank Carrico
Consul: Martin Tatuch
Defense Attaché: Colonel Bruce H. Acker
Economic Counselor: Laura Kirkconnell
Information Management Officer: Joel Wisner
Political Counselor: Marc Koehler
Public Affairs Officer: Christopher Dunnett
Regional Security Officer: Mike Reimer

Posted by: emanon13 | January 14, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore, huh? Got to make sure I have the afternoon off that day. We can hope United will have some picks to make -- and hope they won't be too high in the round. I'm afraid -- but for now I'll trust that the front office isn't blowing smoke about foreign signings.

Costa Rica -- Victor Nunez? Arrieto? Solis? Sirias?

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse


As long as it's not several of the Ticos that haven't made it in MLS (for example, if we sign Douglas Sequeira, I will begin preparing for a season of frustration and anger).


Note to self: Go to Sweden, find the embassy, bring beers and start chanting. Surely I won't be escorted out with quickness.

Glad to hear that the draft is in Baltimore again next year. Of course, I'll go and then regret it sometime in round three.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 15, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Backe saw the Consul. Which is me.

Mr. Bache is a very nice man, and he played around with my joke very nicely. It was a pleasure to meet him. After our interview I wished him well.

And I'm certainly not the Big Boss!

Posted by: big_spaniel | January 15, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Well played US Consul to Sweden!!

Send him some aqua vie after we stomp them (NYRB) at home this :-)

Posted by: RRP1 | January 15, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

LOL, great stuff!

Posted by: strago | January 15, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Martin are a stud!

Great stuff and it's great that Hanse has a good sense of humor.

He will need it to survive the 4-0 shellackings that are soon to come.

Really though...the hardest I've laughed all week!!!

Great stuff....

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | January 15, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good story and all...but seriously, you have a squad that struggled (NY) work hard, think outside the box, and find themselves a quality coach with a different approach...

And we hire Curt f'ing Onalfo.

I hate our front office.

Posted by: anonymousinva | January 15, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

you have a squad that struggled (NY) work hard, think outside the box, and find themselves a quality coach with a different approach...

And we hire Curt f'ing Onalfo.

I hate our front office.

Posted by: anonymousinva | January 15, 2010 8:02 AM
The proof's in the pudding.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | January 15, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Well I was over on the Gunnerblog, and what do I see? Bolivian wonderkid Samuel Galindo was poached by Arsenal.

Jaime...come on man, talk him out of it and get him to come to DC!

Posted by: Wiggan | January 15, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Great Job big_spaniel. I'm glad you were able to have a little fun with his before he gets here and gets a lot more from the rest of us.

I'm a little concerned about the offense this year. I think we have effectively cleaned up our defense. I presume Wallace will be at left back, Jakovic and James in the middle and Namoff(whoever can see straight), we should be okay. Simms in the middle of mid, Tino and Castillo on the wings. We just need someone to distribute to Pontius and another forward. Our service from the edges will be great and the defense will be stifling.

Posted by: jsm3 | January 15, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Haha . . . Soccer Insiders everywhere around the globe . . . beautiful

@ Mr. Payne: Suggest issuance of a special edition DC United Tatuch jersey to the Embassy in Sweden forthwith.

"He showed me on his laptop the Soccer Insider. He showed me what Chest Rockwell had to say about the Red Bulls. He said, 'Okay, I give you another 30 seconds to decide if you'll go to the U.S. or stay in Sweden. I think you should stay in Sweden.' "

Posted by: OWNTF | January 15, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Re: Backe -- it was a great story, but I am curious that you don't say anything to characterize the source.

Re: article -- the article says DC is also looking for a central defender. Is Matthew Booth, the South African central back, completely off the radar? His age makes him only as temporary solution, but I should think he might welcome the chance to play at a higher level than the South African league as preparation for the World Cup. And he was impressive during the Confed Cup

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 15, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Come on "Big Boss"! What's your user id?

Posted by: tailwagger | January 15, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

oops, read before posting -- well played big_spaniel!

Posted by: tailwagger | January 15, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

bring it, backe...

Posted by: rademaar | January 15, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

That was awesome!

Posted by: dogboy | January 15, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This is great! DC fans are strategically place in very influential positions. Time for Payne to start scouting Swedish players :-)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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