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More From D.C. United Training Camp.....

*Although D.C. United has been scouting in Central and South America, the club is not necessarily looking for a traditional playmaker to replace Christian Gomez. Or so they say.

"We're going to look at this group," General Manager Dave Kasper said, referring to players in camp, including Santino Quaranta, Danny Szetela and Floribert N'Galula.

Coach Curt Onalfo added: "First and foremost, we feel very comfortable with the players we have in this squad. ... We will continue to evaluate players, whether they are in the league or outside, to continue to help our team. We have had some significant signings and we feel very good about our team as we go into the season."

Nonetheless, after losing interest in Gomez and trading Fred (who was mentioned as a possible playmaker), I find it hard to believe the club will not add a creative central midfielder in the coming weeks.

Much more on the continuation of this thread.....

*Chris Pontius, on playing one primary position (probably forward) after moving around constantly last year: "I want to find more stability this year, but we'll find out more as preseason goes on and we bring in more people and figure out the system we are going to play. I do think it will be important for me to establish myself in one role. I am comfortable in midfield or forward, but whatever they decide, I will need to focus on it and get better at it every day."

*Santino Quaranta is also looking forward to playing one position after shuttling between slots last season. "I have talked to the coaches, and we want to stick to one thing this year and get comfortable with that position. It's not easy to go from the right to the forward to the middle. We have talked about where it will be -- we'll keep that [secret] for right now -- and stick to it."

*Quaranta, on his recovery from left foot surgery: "I have just started cutting [as part of his running routine]. I have been running straight forward for about a month; that's not a problem. I probably have about three weeks until I am back into it with the guys. It might be sooner than that. They told me four to six months, and it will be four months next week. These things are serious because it's my foot and it's underneath, and everything I do is planting and taking off."

*Devon McTavish, on Bryan Namoff, who is recovering from a head injury last fall: "He has had a rough couple months, but I think he is starting to make the turn. Hopefully, we will have him back soon, but it's not something you can rush. We miss him here, that's for sure."

Onalfo, on Namoff, who has been sidelined since mid-September: "One day he is going to wake up and it's going to get better. I saw him two days ago and he was in good spirits. I feel like hopefully he will be able to incorporate back into our team, but right now he is not training, so I have to plan accordingly. Those things can take three to six months."

*Boyzzz Khumalo was home in South Africa for a month and attended some league matches, including Orlando Pirates games. "The vuvuzelas were everywhere, of course," he said of the ubiquitous horns. "I didn't have one, but they were right behind me making a lot of noise."

*Most players, including team union rep McTavish, declined to comment on the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but captain Jaime Moreno said: "We're all hoping it gets sorted out as soon as possible for the good of the sport."

*The link to my print edition story about United's first day of training camp and the ownership/stadium issues.

By Steve Goff  |  February 2, 2010; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Hmmm. Our central playmaker to be "Square Ball" Santino Quaranta, Danny "Headcase" Szetela or unknown Floribert N'Galula? If that's really the choice we are in for a long season.

Posted by: Ron16 | February 2, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Why does google translate "We're going to look at this group" into "Mission Accomplished"?

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I def. doubt that it will be Szetela or Quaranta, because both are not good when put centrally.

Quaranta doesnt have the patience, and often is too antsy to lose it, and not hold it to bleed off pressure from the forwards to open up, like Gallardo, moreno, and etch' all did. He loves just chucking the ball wtih hopeless air through balls.

Danny showed in the little time he had playing more promise, but given his age, and lack of playing time and experience, he still is not ready IMO To take over this role for our team.

N'galula? Who knows, but I doubt given his past history of being let go all over the place, and reports of him slowing down since his injury I doubt he is the answer also. Maybe as a simms replacement if he is playing bad this year... but we'll see.


But the question is, now that the window is closed, are we really going to go after someone? Or are we going to wait til' june to bring someone in? I have a feeling it will be til' june...

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | February 2, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

As I posted on an earlier thread, I don't really see us signing an AM. This is going to be a defense-minded team that looks to counter when the chance occurs.

It works for Italy and they have some of the best players in the world.

Then we'll see the light and sign Messi in the summer transfer window :-)

Posted by: SoccerVA | February 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Goff--

I'm wondering if the team is looking to save money on this roster due to stadium / revenue issues. For example, do those considerations make a DP less likely? Or even signing a $300K CAM less likely?

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The current roster has many intriguing role players - but not one star. At this point, as much as it pains me to say, DCU will be competing with San Jose for next-to-last place.

Posted by: hoyanick1 | February 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

""We're going to look at this group," General Manager Dave Kasper said, referring to players in camp, including Santino Quaranta, Danny Szetela and Floribert N'Galula."

Salary Dump United :-(

Posted by: Kev29 | February 2, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Well i don't know that we "need" a number 10 just to have one. I mean if you're not going to get a true creator, then plugging someone in, just to say you have one, and paying more for that position than any other, makes no sense to me. We got real lucky with Gomez the first time, but really good 10's are usually harder to find on the cheap.

a withdrawn pontius or moreno and castillo and quaranta pushing up on the wings with allsop up to and you have 4 attacking players. Are they going to break people down one on one, maybe not but they'll be fine as a unit. Spend the money on a central defender and depth at mid and forward instead of a cheaper attacking mid who won't be worth the money you pay anyway. That may not be the sexy alternative, but it'll probably be the most bang for our buck...especially when the team is hemorraging money. Unless you can get a true DP worth the money both in skill on the field and putting butts in seats, save the money an use it everywhere else.

Posted by: Brian76 | February 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if the team is looking to save money on this roster due to stadium / revenue issues.

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 2, 2010 10:26 AM


ding ding ding!!!

Posted by: Kev29 | February 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Banking on Namoff to wake up one day and feel just fine fine fine -- 21st century medicine.

Posted by: iammrben1 | February 2, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It seems foolish to assume that the young players will improve with more defined roles, but that this would somehow not lead to more production from Gómez. Unless CG's salary demands are unreasonable, or he's been downing 4 milkshakes a day, or he kicked the GM in the nuts, it's a little crazy to act like he's, literally, worse than nothing...?

I would not gauge anyone else's potential at CAM based on the last two seasons, however. Q is the team's fastest player, and has some power and skill. Health is a concern, but in truth I bet the rest will do him good, long-term. Szetela is not going to stay fat forever, one would hope.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | February 2, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The front office definitely abused Gomez in not letting him go until the first day of camp. I think it reflects a certain level of discomfort with the current roster. I think, with a better supporting cast, they might get more out of Gomez. Maybe that's wishful thinking -- but I do think he's better than the current options. If Moreno has one more year left at 36, maybe Gomez has one left at 35? It's a more demanding role, but... I think the team must be looking at other option, otherwise it would make sense to have Christian in camp. To "cycle back" in his direction later, when his fitness is already an issue, makes little sense. All I can say is I hope Christian pushes himself into the best shape of his life, because some team will come calling.

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm suprised that the FO isn't even slightly interested in Christian Gomez. Did they offer him a reduced contract and he rejected it?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | February 2, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if the team is looking to save money on this roster due to stadium / revenue issues.

Posted by: kjm1971

ding ding ding!!!

Posted by: Kev29
--------------------------

I'm concerned about this, too. Few owners can lose money forever, and it's likely no coincidence that Will Chang is seeking new investors/partners right now.

I hope I'm wrong, but I fear we may be in for some lean times.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | February 2, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been mentioned but what is the initial Szetela-Onalfo relationship looking like? Body language says a lot, are they talking? Stand off-ish?

Posted by: DCB23 | February 2, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been mentioned but what is the initial Szetela-Onalfo relationship looking like? Body language says a lot, are they talking? Stand off-ish?

Posted by: DCB23

Huh? Do you know something we don't know? Did they have some kind of fight? Or pull a John Terry?

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

- Atlanta Beat General Manager Shawn McGee announced trading the No. 1 overall, Dispersal Draft pick and the Beat’s second round 2011 WPS Draft choice for three Saint Louis Athletica players: defender Kia McNeill, midfielder Angie Kerr (Woznuk), and the rights to second round 2010 WPS Draft pick Amanda Poach. The Beat obtains Athletica’s second round Dispersal Draft choice at the ninth overall selection.  

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

We want Christian Gomez!!!!

Posted by: VirginiaFan | February 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I think one way of getting to the bottom of this (salary dump) question is the following:

Will DCU spend up to the cap this season?

The cap is paltry. A team that fails to spend up to the cap is really saying something about its financial committment.

Not signing a DP says something as well, but the first question is will DC even spend to the cap.

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Riquelme! He's probably burned his bridges in Argentina by now.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | February 2, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I would rather the club see what they have on the current roster, than make a rash move to sign someone just to have a number 10, or make a major cap/salary commitment to an aging veteran who has not been productive for over 2 seasons (Gomez).


I would like to see what Szetela can do with a fresh start. Tom Soehn was by most measures, a bad coach. Thats not to say Dsz wasn't without some fault, but I think a fresh start will do him some good, and I am eager to see what he does.

and this business of thinking the club is trying to save money on salaries because of the stadium issue is nonsense. losses are shared across the league, so to think the club gains anything from not spending money (under the cap) on players is silly. the likely reason for not signing anyone is that there hasn't been anyone they liked enough.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Diminishing Cost United clap, clap, clapclapclap.

Posted by: rickinashburn | February 2, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited --

I fully admit I don't know the mechanics of the loss sharing, but I have two questions that maybe you can answer:

1)Doesn't DC's ownership save money by not signing a DP? I'm pretty sure it does. I'm pretty sure DC doesn't subsidize Beckham.

2)Are you certain that DC doesn't save money by spending under the cap?

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 2, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

""What is the initial Szetela-Onalfo relationship looking like? Body language says a lot, are they talking? Stand off-ish?""

Well, they were holding hands after 1st Period, but then by lunch they were mad at each other. Hopefully, by the time the bell lets us out, they'll be going to the dance again.

Posted by: delantero | February 2, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think what we are seeing at the present time with United is a fundamental shift of philosophy.

While we all love the fact that United attempts to play an attractive brand of soccer, at the end of the day, with the players they had at their disposal the past few years, it (the latin possession style - walk it into goal) wasn't working well enough.

it's a capable offense and we saw this team at times last season really put the pressure on the opposition. But more often than not, United became too predictable and easy to defend.

With the current crop of players and letting go of other players (Gomez, Fred and Emilio) , I think United is indeed banking on a harder working team. Seeing as how that is the way the rest of MLS is playing, it's high time United play that way also.

I'm not saying the changes they have made to this point is the answer to getting this team back to the top of MLS, but it's certainly a different approach, to which I am all for. This team has been too easy to defend for the past two years and it had everything to do with getting the ball to Moreno, Gomez and Emilio while the other players stood around.

Now the emphasis is on the wing players and wing defenders to get forward. To have a central midfield unit that works both ends of the field and can turn and move upfield quickly. I forsee the tempo of this team moving more quickly and quite possibly this team might be able to actually get a forward (Allsop, Quaranta, Pontius) BEHIND a defensive line for a change instead of settling for trying to work triangles through a crowded midfield and defensive third.

With that being said, I don't think the team is done yet trying to improve yet. Remember, we didn't get Jakovic until March of last year. We almost had Roger on our team. What a disaster that would have been..

Posted by: ARickey | February 2, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta et al may not turn out to be all-world quality in the CM, but they cannot be LESS productive than Gomez, Fred, Gallardo, and Moreno have been in that slot. It is ABSOLUTELY impossible to play less defense than the members of the overpaid and over-the-hill gang DCU has trotted out to play in the CM. What's worse is that the coaching staff kept hanging on and letting those overpaid "name" players continue to play until almost the end of the year, until is was obvious to the staff what had been clear to fans all year long: It was time for change. The rule is simple: if you are not playing well, you sit. If the GM brings in players that cost a lot and can't play then he should be sacked along with the players he brought. I am optimistic that even if we don't win, we will put on the field a team that plays as a group and plays to its maximum potential. If that maximum potential doesn't get the MLS trophy, well, I could live with it. Just don't make me watch players who look like they would rather elsewhere.

Posted by: rcdwriting | February 2, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure VTUnited is right. The whole point of single entity is that the league owns the player contracts. Individual clubs are only on the hook for paying their DP's the amount over the league max, IIRC. But I don't think anyone really knows the ins and outs of the league's finances.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 2, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Where can I go to find a complete training camp roster for the United?

Thanks for the help.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Tom Soehn was by most measures, a bad coach.
--------------------------------------------------------

Which measures are those? Win-loss record? He won a Supporters' Shield. Know what that's for? Best record. Other hardware? Open Cup. Player performance? How about an MVP for Emilio? Soehn got beat by things out of his control: Perkins going abroad, and all the things the FO did to replace him -- trading Boswell for Wells and then signing Peralta to replace Boswell; dealing Gomez and bringing in Gallardo; letting Carroll go in the expansion draft; drafting and then letting Needham, Robles, Arguez and Jacobson sign with other teams (yeah, they had Arguez for a year first); an aging cast of players without good young replacements (see above); and an incredible string of injuries (including losing Gros for good -- and don't underestimate the significance of Namoff's concussion - if he's healthy at the end of the season, we probably beat KC and make the playoffs).

Danny Szetela may yet be a decent pro player, but he hasn't really shown enough anywhere to make any team want to hang on to him. And, Soehn had nothing to do with that.

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

kjm1971 - I am no expert on this, but as I understand it, the single entity structure means the teams share all costs, and thus any gains or losses. It is my understanding that the Leauge is responsible for the salaries up to the cap ($2.4M). so to answer your questions...

1) By not signing a DP, DCU only benefits from not paying the premium over the first $400K, which is what a DP counts against the cap. So for instance in 09, Luci made around $750K - DCU would save $350K out of pocket.

2)I am not 100% certain on this, but like I said above, the league shares costs. I suppose DCU would possibly be saving the League money by not spending up to the cap, but that serves little benefit to the club.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Where can I go to find a complete training camp roster for the United?

Thanks for the help.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw

This is a pretty good place:
http://www.blackandredunited.com/2010/1/31/1286118/dc-united-training-camp-roster

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Boom, roasted.

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure teams are largely responsible for their own payrolls, with the exception that the league covers a portion of a DP's salary (the $425k or so that hits the salary cap -- the excess is the team's responsibility). That said, it's a fraction of a team's costs. If DCU isn't signing a DP, it's because they want to use the cap room for other players, or they're saving it to use for a DP when they see one they like.

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

hey fischy, if you want to be the guy on this board that defends tom soehn, go for it. I liked the guy, but after 08 (which was Nowak's team), he did nothing. I will not begrudge him the fact that injuries were a major factor, and that he was basically handcuffed to the 3-5-2 based on the players he was given (the only way to fit an aging Olsen and Simms on at the same time), but after declining success each season, it was time for a change.

Missing the playoffs with the talent that was on this roster the past two seasons is inexcusible.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Missing the playoffs with the talent that was on this roster the past two seasons is inexcusible.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 12:45 PM

Tom Soehn is unlikely to be Knighted for his service to the game, but the Rosters he had available to him on a game to game basis the last 2 Augusts and September were not playoff teams.

Remember being thrilled at the availability of of Joe Vide and Lawson Vaughan?

Posted by: JkR- | February 2, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

and Fischy - Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean you should talk down to them. Being snarky is one thing (snark should be encouraged!), but being condescending is quite another.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

JkR - agreed, but if he had done slightly better in May/June/July, they would have been in the playoffs both seasons.

I do also recognize that fixture congestion was a MAJOR issue. again, I liked Soehn, and think that it was unfortunate that so many chips were stacked against him.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Riquelme! He's probably burned his bridges in Argentina by now.

_________________________________________

As much as I'd love to see that, I seriously doubt that would ever happen.

Posted by: dogboy | February 2, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The Namoff news is very worrying. Adding depth at right back might be a bigger priority than finding a creative midfielder.

If we can bring back Christian Gomez for relatively cheap

Posted by: diego_r | February 2, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to put Namoff in contact with the Capitals' Brian Pothier and his doctors.

Posted by: jburksva | February 2, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

SBI has turned fischy into a snarling, argumentative, pyro maniac...

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think I was being condescending. I explained about the Supporters Shield because I don't know what people know about such things. If it appeared condescending, please accept my apologies.

I agree he had to be replaced because he'd become overwhelmed and was clutching at straws to save a bad situation. Sometimes you have to start fresh. Both for United and Soehn.

I don't think he's a bad coach. When he has the right pieces, he can be a great coach, but he wasn't the guy to rescue the team when things came apart.

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

VTU, respectfully, that's selective memory. The team at the end of June 2008 was in or tied for first after the Galaxy "Heart of a Lion" game. Both years the team was well positioned to make the playoffs until devastating injuries. Blaming Soehn for missing out on a point or 2 early on is disingenuous at best. If Jaime makes a PK in 2008, they're in. We lost 5 points to inexplicable ref decisions early on last year. Those factors are at least as culpable as anything Soehn may have done.

Posted by: JkR- | February 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- mostly it's a lack of sleep. Watched a great Dr. Who last night, but the 8 yr. old got scared by it. I was up until after 2, just getting him to sleep.

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

""Blaming Soehn for missing out on a point or 2 early on is disingenuous at best""

I dunno, man, I remember harping on Soehn's early season comment that (paraphrased) losing early points isn't too big of a deal (b/c the team was just getting it together and making a run later was more important.)

Points are points. Early, late, no matter.

Posted by: delantero | February 2, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

Just a couple minor quibbles:

I have absolutely no problem with the club drafting Arguez and selling him on for $300k after a year of nothing. I can't remember the percentage MLS takes out of transfer fees, but very few draft picks would be traded for $150k in allocation money within MLS after just one season. Looking at it that way, it was a very tidy piece of business.

Also, since Jacobson came crawling back, his salary seemed to be somewhat less than we'd have had to offer him to keep him straight out of the draft. It's not a big difference, but it's also not like he would have made much of a difference on the 2008 team.

***

I think a lot of people here are taking these public statements at face value without thinking of all the reasons Onalfo and Kasper would say them. When both of them come out with endorsements of the current squad, it could be that they've taken the tone of the group and believe that our players need a confidence boost. After all, it's been 2 years of coming up short, and the person held most responsible was already dumped for a new guy. It would be quite reasonable for morale to be kind of low.

One simple way to improve that is to go around telling people that you think it's a good squad. So far, that's been Onalfo. Everything he's saying has been about how he feels good about this team.

To me, this is likely about controlling context. If the club is only talking about our future moves, the players have to wonder what they're doing that's so wrong. However, if the club is talking about how good our group is, then those moves are, in context, more like the last pieces of the puzzle.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, but Soehn is not exclusively responsible for those points, or for not making the playoffs. Which is all I'm getting back to.


OTOH, I have no recollection of that quote or anything like it, nor would I find it in any way meaningful. Look's like coach speak after tough losses.

Posted by: JkR- | February 2, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

fischy - no worries. perhaps i should have used "unsuccessful coach after year 1" rather than just "bad coach". Soehn's a good guy, and a fresh start in Canada will do him good.

JKR - again, agreed to some extend. my point was more about the games that slipped away over the past 2 seasons. for istance @ San Jose this year - up 2-0 against a terrible club, and we settle for a draw? bad reffing was surely a factor in the LA game last season, where DC also gave up a 2-0 lead, but that can't always be the reason (even though it too often seemed it was).

Posted by: VTUnited | February 2, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Which Dr. Who? :)

dadryan, are you impressed that SBI won an award from a web site no one has ever heard of?

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

VT we seem to agree on everything except that

"Missing the playoffs with the talent that was on this roster the past two seasons is inexcusable. "

Other than that, we're golden. See you in a future thread.

Posted by: JkR- | February 2, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been mentioned but what is the initial Szetela-Onalfo relationship looking like? Body language says a lot, are they talking? Stand off-ish?

Posted by: DCB23

I still want to know what this was about.

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wild Speculation... Why would Onalfo and Szetela have a beef? Didn't they just meet?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

dadryan, are you impressed that SBI won an award from a web site no one has ever heard of?

Posted by: Reignking

What award is that?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Which Dr. Who? :)
---------------------------------------------------

"Blink" -- with the statues that move when you blink.

@Chest -- The team got some money for Arguez, but that doesn't translate into much on the field. Even at that, it's a drop in the bucket for the team's bottom line. We could have used him in '08 (and '09), when everyone was dropping like flies -- or, someone else with less international marketability. Whether it was bad drafting, or bad negotiating...my point was that the FO wasn't supplying Soehn with any real talent that might step in when a Quaranta or Gomez or Gallardo couldn't go.

@Dad -- I think it was the prestigious 5th annual Eazy-Peazy Lemon-Squeezey / Wimpy's Prize

Posted by: fischy | February 2, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Something from soccerlens. No way you have heard of that web site...

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Heard the name before, haven't looked at it till now. Is that like the TMZ of football blogs?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Can't tell. Not much content.

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I hate the idea of it, and I'm sad that I'm thinking about it, but I'd put money on the fact that Namoff won't return...ever. At first I figured that he was steadily improving, but Onalfo's comment that he was good 2 days ago, most likely means he wasn't good a few days before. It sounds like he's nowhere near coming back. I just have a horrible, horrible feeling about this. I hope I'm wrong and I wish Namoff all the best.

Posted by: DrBeaker | February 2, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes..

"Blink" is perhaps the single best Doctor Who episode ever made, and the irony is that the Doctor was only in about 2 minutes of it total time!

Stephan Moffat will be a blessing for the show.

BTW, just watched Human Nature/Family of Blood/Blink all back to back to back on my iPodTouch on my flight from Anaheim back to Baltimore last week. What a great way to fly!

Posted by: ARickey | February 2, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Human Nature / Family of Blood is my favorite.

Posted by: Reignking | February 2, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I know it's asking a lot, but I wish someone would point out to Goff and perhaps to the DCU front office that remarkably few teams these days play with a "traditional playmaker." You see all sorts of systems and alignments, but almost no one seems to employ a Valderama type player in the middle of the field (I am assuming that's what a traditional playmaker means) -- at least no one that has any real success. More often than not, you see two central midfielders capable of playing both offense and defense with one, maybe, playing a little behind the other.
The fact that Onalfo may be discarding this notion is, in my view, one of the most positive things so far this off-season.

Posted by: Jphubba | February 2, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Jphubba -- I can't speak for everyone here, but my concern does not stem from the team not having picked up a traditional playmaker/#10-type. My concern stems from the team having well-defined, well-known weaknesses that have not been even remotely close to adequately addressed. We dumped a lot of players, and thus a lot of salary; but we haven't used either the money or the roster slots it to fix the problems with the team.

Try this exercise: lay out what you consider at this point to be our first-choice starting 11. Then look over that lineup and ask yourself how many of those players are in the top half of the league's players at that position? I'm not asking about players with potential who may grow into such a role, but players who are there right now. I claim of our first-choice field players, there's exactly one: Bryan Namoff. And he may not be able to come back from injury. So exactly how excited about our roster should we be?


Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been mentioned but what is the initial Szetela-Onalfo relationship looking like? Body language says a lot, are they talking? Stand off-ish?

Posted by: DCB23

I still want to know what this was about.
*******

I was interested in knowing if Szetela seemed to be getting along with Onalfo and vice versa. That's it. No insider knowledge,just curious.

Posted by: DCB23 | February 2, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of you are severely under-rating Szetela and his current abilities.

His best position is in central mid-field, be it as a holding mid a'la Ben Olsen, or a creative attacking mid.

Is he the next Etch? Hell No.
Could he be just as good, if not better than Gomez in a few years? Yes.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 2, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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