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MLS Updates

D.C. United opens training camp amid the snow at the RFK training grounds. (Photo by Tony Quinn)

*Chivas USA traded allocation money to Dallas for the rights to Salvadoran Osael Romero, a 23-year-old midfielder who has 37 caps and eight international goals. His acquisition continues this winter's trend of Salvadorans returning to MLS. He joins D.C.'s Christian Castillo and Chicago's Julio Martinez. Their presence promises to rekindle support in U.S. Salvadoran communities, which turned out in large numbers for the first generation of countrymen to play in MLS, headlined by Raul Diaz Arce, Mauricio Cienfuegos and Ronald Cerritos.

*Philadelphia is reportedly close to signing a stadium sponsor for $20 million over 10 years. Meantime, United sold its stadium naming rights to ... oh, who are we kidding?

*Former United draft pick Jay Needham, a central defender who has played in the second division and overseas, returned from Norway to sign a three-year contract with Austin.

*During its upcoming camp in Bradenton, Fla., United is planning to play friendlies against Columbus, Toronto and New York as well as a possible scrimmage with the U.S. under-17 national team.

*Forward David Estrada, Seattle's first-round draft pick from UCLA, has signed with the Sounders.

*Forward Kei Kamara re-signed with Kansas City, which acquired him from Houston late last season.

*Awaiting word on a possible signing by Columbus.....

*Now we know why midfielder Steve Ralston, MLS's career leader in assists and matches played, turned down New England's contract offer: He wanted to go home, to St. Louis, where he will be the captain and an assistant coach for second-division AC St. Louis:

By Steve Goff  |  February 1, 2010; 11:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: More From D.C. United Training Camp.....


The Needham news was interesting...but 3 years?

Posted by: Reignking | February 1, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama to Seek Up to $4 Billion Boost for Education, Get your share Get a Medical Assistant Degree from

Posted by: lawrencejo2 | February 1, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I totally understand why Ralston would make this move to join a lower-division side at this time in his career -- coming off major knee surgery and having the chance to build something from the ground up in his hometown, where he'll probably be the head coach in short order.

What I don't understand is what is Needham thinking? He could get an MLS deal, if he wants. If he doesn't want to play for DC, well, they don't own his rights any more. He could sign with just about any team. And, why sign a 3-yr. deal to play in a high-school football stadium with a bouncy-bouncy plastic field and crowds that can be counted with a show of hands? He was a huge success in Norway. His career was headed in a good direction. This will kill it. If he wants to show himself off to MLS teams, then just sign a 1-yr. deal. I don't get it. Is he from Austin and desperately homesick?

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked Needham didn't wind up at FCD. As an SMU grad, it seemed like a sure thing, especially when FCD is weak at the CB position.

Posted by: jason1551 | February 2, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Did the team bring in any trialists besides the ones already mentioned (Wasson, White, Gumede, Adams, and Loewy)? Any word on Arzu as a potential trialist or any others that might be on their way?

Posted by: jason1551 | February 2, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

*.....Meantime, United sold its stadium naming rights to ... oh, who are we kidding?

(to be said in Mr. Burns' jovial tone), Hi-larious.

Keep 'em coming Goff.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 2, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

That one stung a little.

Posted by: sitruc | February 2, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I realize that Austin put Jay a lot closer to home (especially after being in Scandanavia) but as an Islanders fan, I am disappointed that we couldn't bring him back to Puerto Rico. He played very, very well for us and the only reason he left was to make the European move. Of course, Austin didn't exist at the time.

No chance Lance should Dude have signed for 3 years. Even if it is clear that they have an agreement with him and his agent to try and sell him to another European club. Heck. I think Dude might be able to play in Mexico but they don't but players from here.

So yeah, like RK. I am also confused and like Fischy, I am dumbfounded--considering where they play... Seems like a big step backwards for a guy who should be going forward...

Posted by: yankiboy | February 2, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Needham was the 2007 USL rookie of the year -- so, good start, right? Although he got the chance to play in Europe, it was the 2nd division of Norway; I'm going to go out on a limb and say MLS is better than that. Alta, in its first season in the 2nd division, would've been relegated if they weren't transitioning to a bigger league this season. Currently, it is mid-table team, with a stadium capacity of 3000. I don't think I would be enjoying myself, either.

So maybe he is just USL-level talent. He couldn't even get a run at an MLS tryout? BTW, has DCU lost his rights by now?

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, (redundant on a blog comment?), Charlie Davies just tweeted that he's going in for elbow surgery.

Posted by: JkR- | February 2, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

53 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Good stadium news for the DC team!

"From a business perspective, we are having a tremendous off-season. Season ticket revenue is on pace to double from last season, corporate partnerships are on pace to triple and all sponsors have renewed with us increasing commitments for 2010. We are also improving relationships with all of our core vendors for parking, concessions and merchandise. All of our business partners are more committed than ever, which includes our continued relationship with D.C. United.

We also have continued commitment from our owners, who are graciously investing in an exciting new addition to our stadium for the 2010 season. This new addition will greatly enhance the fan experience at the Maryland SoccerPlex and we are excited to reveal the new addition to our fans during preseason."

Expanding the beer garden?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 2, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Slow morning?
An old friend of mine shared this video with me of his son's team (Hilo, white shirts) losing the Big Island Division 1 championship game on a cheesy goal. He tells me the ref actually took off his shirt and ran to his car and drove away after he blew the final whistle...

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

man, $2 million a year revenue would be pretty sweet! Philly is cleaning up. I really find it hard to believe that no one can freaking find a place to build a stadium. I mean i know its that DCU doesn't want to (or can't) buy the land and build the stadium all by itself, but are things really so bad that everywhere else can...but DC can't? WTF? Either we have the worst local gov't or the worst owners.....or both! Obama must not be a soccer fan. I'm no democrat, but come on Steny (sp?) get off your @ss and use your power for good use. College Park or something inside the beltway even if its in MD.

I actually thing MD would be perfect except for Metro access problems. Shuttle buses from the metro stop to campus???? U of Maryland should be for it, they could pitch in, State of Maryland and DCU. No land or offsite infrastructure improvements needed. Just the actual stadium. And then of course Cirovski's recruiting would be that much easier, what high schooler wouldn't want to go play at an MLS stadium? Inside the beltway still, cheap to build.

Man, i need to win the powerball and buy the team!

Posted by: Brian76 | February 2, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@RK: Needham played in the Norwegian 1st and he was named as one of the best foreigners in the league. When Dude played USL1 he was good enough to be in MLS. Just look at our defense last year. Seriously. I haven't seen the kid play since '07 but I saw a lot online and on the tizzube and in person that year and I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that He would have been better than several of the guys that United shuttled in and out of the defense here last year.

Posted by: yankiboy | February 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

yank: the thing is, though, that if he were good enough for MLS, don't you think he would've tried out?

Norwegian 1 is the 2nd division in Norway (I really hate that).

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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