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Thursday Kickaround

*D.C. United has yet to finalize its list of trialists for the start of training camp next week, but one name that I am hearing is Barry Rice, an undrafted defender from Kentucky. Despite being just 5 feet 11, he became well-known in college circles for his aerial ability, prompting Kentucky officials to create a unique stat: contested headers won. In his last two seasons, Rice claimed 315 of 373 (84.5 percent). Whether he is good enough with his feet to make it on the pro level is uncertain, but given United's lack of depth in central defense, he seems worth an extended look.

*As we reported several weeks ago, Chad Ashton has moved from DCU assistant coach to technical director. He will be involved with scouting and the youth academy. The club made an official announcement this morning.

*Ricardo Clark's move to Eintracht Frankfurt from the Houston Dynamo as a free agent is now set. Because of inactivity during the winter layoff, he is not expected to play for a few weeks.

*Honduras has named a mostly domestic roster for Saturday's friendly against the United States at Home Depot Center (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). See the continuation of this post for the complete list.

*ESPN announced a May 11 debut for "The Two Escobars," a documentary about slain Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar and notorious Colombian drug king Pablo Escobar, who were born in the same city and shared a fanatical love for the sport before veering in different directions. The film "investigates the secret marriage of crime and sport and uncovers the surprising connections between the murders of Andres and Pablo."

*Former DCU assistant John Trask is Wisconsin's new head coach.

For more.....

*Americans abroad:
GK Brad Guzan 90 minutes in Aston Villa's 6-4 win over Blackburn: Villa is headed to the Carling Cup final vs. Man City or Man U after a 10-goal classic against Rovers.

*Soccer on TV:
Spanish Cup, Santander-Osasuna 2 p.m. ET, GolTV
U-20 women, T&T-Mexico 3 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
Spanish Cup, Atletico Madrid-Celta 4 p.m. GolTV
U-20 women, USA-Jamaica 5:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2010; 9:24 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , College Soccer , D.C. United , Germany , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United Travel and Radio Changes
Next: Weekend TV Listings

Comments

If you are watching that Spanish game, keep an eye out for Sergio Canales -- the next big thing in Spain.

Every big club wants him, too. It's going to be hard for Racing to keep him.

Posted by: Reignking | January 21, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

looks to me like Ricardo just booked his ticket to South Africa.

Posted by: troy6 | January 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Missed this -- Roberto Carlos is back with Corinthians, and Ronaldo...

Posted by: Reignking | January 21, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

USA/Honduras is also being broadcast on Telefutura...

Posted by: DadRyan | January 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

So far, this offseason looks worse than last season...Maybe it will turn around...

Posted by: alan19 | January 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So far, this offseason looks worse than last season...Maybe it will turn around...

Posted by: alan19 | January 21, 2010 10:27 AM

Welcome to the Broke A$$ United Circling the Drain Party! Cash bar.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 21, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping they would be able to get Rice into DCU's camp. There are a couple of other players that went undrafted, despite favorable reviews...players that were higher on most draft boards than the guy DC drafted -- guys that might be better options than Vaughn or Shipilane/DiRaimondo, and would provide a little depth.

Posted by: fischy | January 21, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So far, this offseason looks worse than last season...Maybe it will turn around...

Posted by: alan19

How so dude? Last year at this moment we still had no idea who our starting keeper was going to be. Pontius and Wallace were completely un-proven and NO ONE could have predicted their impact. Emilio and Fred were still around and making a ton of money for meager production. Soehn was still the coach. We signed a hot shot who plays for the ES national team! Also a big sturdy striker who probably makes 1/3 of the cash Emilio was bringing in.
Let the coach and staff at least get on the god dang plane before you cut the cheese and open up your big bottle of WHINE!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 21, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

Posted by: Reignking | January 21, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

79 days until we get to see Sonia in the Freedom home opener . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | January 21, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

We also didn't sign Jakovic until about late February. At this point, we look pretty underwhelming going into 2010 but there is still time for more changes.

Even if we start off the season in weak form, remember MLS often favors middling teams that make the playoffs and get hot when it counts. Oftentimes teams don't show their true form til the final 1/3 of the season after their AUGUST acquisitions.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 21, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@alan19,

I'm less concerned with our off-season acquisitions at this point. We've brought in a SOLID keeper. Offloaded a lot of salary that didn't produce. We have a fresh coaching staff that will hopefully be able to bring out more in Wallace and Pontius' development. We've signed a spark plug for the wings. A big guy for the front who can hopefully find the back of the net (or at least the motivation to find the back of the net). God willing guys like Barklage are healthy, and Danny Szetela's best days are ahead of him.

It could always be better. But this club/league have bigger issues.

We need the CBA to get done. We need it to be fair to owners who've risked a lot bringing this league to us and to players so that the league can grow. It's important that it lay the ground work for a league that can start stocking its rosters to pursue CCL titles and build momentum to being a bigger regional player.

We also need a stadium. I'd like to continue to follow DC United in close proximity. I'll take two or three seasons on the chin to secure a stadium deal that creates the foundation this club needs!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 21, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

remember MLS often favors middling teams that make the playoffs and get hot when it counts. Oftentimes teams don't show their true form til the final 1/3 of the season after their AUGUST acquisitions.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 21, 2010 11:04 AM

And don't forget about the advantage for teams NOT playing internationally - always a big help.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 21, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey there Goff, any chance DCU is renewing its pursuit of Walter Martinez?

Posted by: axman664 | January 21, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Size is a factor? A 5 feet 11 defender seems par for the course in MLS.

Posted by: lord_dorpaldonger | January 21, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I wish United kept records of "contested headers won." I think 5'10" Brian Namoff would lead the league. It's not his leaping ability, it's his positioning that does it for him.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

what VBB said

Posted by: OWNTF | January 21, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ramón Núñez from Cruz Azul (Mexico) is with the Honduras team although he didn't originally get called up.

Posted by: Honduran-Salvadoran-American-In-Texas | January 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

remember MLS often favors middling teams that make the playoffs and get hot when it counts. Oftentimes teams don't show their true form til the final 1/3 of the season after their AUGUST acquisitions.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 21, 2010 11:04 AM

And don't forget about the advantage for teams NOT playing internationally - always a big help.

Posted by: Kev29

-------

You mean like RSL last year?... Absolutlely

Posted by: mbyrd28 | January 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Despite being just 5 feet 11" ......JUST?! With the vetical abilities you say he has, "just" 5' 11' sounds good enough for me. (As long as the rest of his play matches up.)

Posted by: boda-united | January 21, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

lord_dorpaldonger:

Maybe for an outside back. MLS center backs below 6' tall are rare, and have to be that much better than everyone else to be any good.

***

Let me back up Reignking's recommendation of watching Canales. Do yourself a favor and look him up on Youtube. Glorious stuff.

It would be great if Rice works out. Prodigious leaping ability is never a bad thing to add, even if he just becomes a stoppage-time sub when we're facing a barrage of long balls and corners. However, until reports from camp come out, I'm not going to sit around dreaming of the next Bobby Boswell.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 21, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Leaping is nice. Winning headers is better. Lots of guys can out-jump John Terry or Nemanja Vidic. But those guys WIN headers.

As long as he leaps to win, tell him to bring his boots and try and win a spot on the roster...

Posted by: JkR- | January 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Just got a call from a reliable source that the United are preparing for a league wide lock out. There is little chance of the season starting on time and the Fire may be kaput.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I like telling lies just for a troll.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 21, 2010 2:11 PM

----

FYP.

Posted by: stancollins | January 21, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

An extended look seems like a good call. You don't necessarily have to be tall to play center back as Thomas Vermaelen is proving with Arsenal but you do have to have good feet, good positioning, and be able to read the game.

Posted by: diego_r | January 21, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that being a DC fan can be very hard and very upsetting at times! DC is falling behind in every way possible. I blame the front office and owners! Pride? Ego? What ever the reason it's really hurting DC! The NY and DC rivalry has shifted a bit(Not trophy wise) but by organization growth. DC usually sees NY has lower then them. But that all has changed this year. The FO talked about change but honestly... I see the same feces but different toilet. Onalfo isn't an upgrade from Sohen! Also when acquiring new players old, past their prime doesn't help the cause for nothing. DC need to start producing quality players and recruiting young players. If money is the issue well a new ownership and management should take care of that. On the stadium front that's needed for the foundation of DC! Without that DC is a crumbling cookie!!!

Posted by: rigs88 | January 21, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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