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Soccer Insider: March 7, 2010 - March 13, 2010

D.C. United wins, USSF talks Turkey

*Jaime Moreno, MLS's career scoring leader, scored in the 77th and 80th minutes to spark D.C. United's 2-1 comeback victory over Real Salt Lake in the opening match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Robbie Findley converted a penalty kick late in the first half before Moreno, 36, chipped Nick Rimando...

By Steve Goff  |  March 13, 2010; 10:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. men's national team  
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Saturday kickaround

*In what was scheduled to be his final appearance on loan for Everton, Landon Donovan came on in the 67th minute of Everton's 2-2 tie at Birmingham City. Donovan, whose situation might change if the MLS players go on strike, had a few nice touches but no scoring opportunities. *D.C....

By Steve Goff  |  March 13, 2010; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Costa Rica , D.C. United , Freedom , MLS  
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U.S. World Cup roster countdown

When will U.S. Coach Bob Bradley name his World Cup roster? In 2002 and '06, Bruce Arena unveiled his selections about six weeks before the Americans' first match. Using that timeline, we would find out by May 1. For this World Cup, FIFA is requiring teams to submit a preliminary...

By Steve Goff  |  March 12, 2010; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Friday kickaround

*USA midfielder-forward Clint Dempsey has returned from a knee injury, playing about 30 minutes in Fulham's 3-1 Europa League loss at Juventus on Thursday. Meantime, forward Charlie Davies, badly injured in a car wreck in October, says he is getting closer to a return. "I'm starting to dribble and trying...

By Steve Goff  |  March 12, 2010; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , College Soccer , D.C. United , England , MLS , Scotland , U.S. men's national team , USL  
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Weekend TV listings

What are you going to watch? FRIDAY Italy, Catania-Inter Milan 2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel Germany, Schalke-Stuttgart 2:30 p.m. ESPN Deportes U-17 girls, USA-Cayman Islands 8 p.m. FSC Mexico, Tecos-Indios 9 p.m. Galavision SATURDAY Australia, Sydney-Wellington 4 a.m. FSC England, Spurs-Blackburn 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 Germany, Moenchengladbach-Wolfsburg 9:30 a.m. GolTV...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 11:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  TV  
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MLS players' union response

Some players spoke out about the labor negotiations. MLS felt obligated to respond to the players. Now the players' union has answered MLS. (Merry-go-rounds bring back fond childhood memories, don't they?) Executive director Bob Foose: "Recent comments from players simply reflect the fact that the players are unified and, per...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 8:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS: labor talks were 'productive'

In response to comments made by players after the labor negotiations in Washington this week, MLS President Mark Abbott told the Insider on Thursday that "the meetings were productive and we have scheduled a number of additional meetings. While I can't discuss what takes place across the bargaining table, I...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  MLS  
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Eskandarian sidelined indefinitely

Alecko Eskandarian, a D.C. United fan favorite and MVP of the 2004 MLS Cup who was sidelined by concussions on two occasions, is taking an indefinite leave from soccer. In an e-mail to the Insider, Eskandarian said: "As a result of injuries that I suffered, I am being forced from...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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MLS players prepared to strike

MLS players have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike if a collective bargaining agreement with the league is not reached in time for the season openers in two weeks, the Insider has learned. In a written vote, more than 350 players supported a strike and only two opposed it,...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  MLS  
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Poll: Your non-MLS plans

When labor issues led to an NHL work stoppage five years ago, hockey fans had few alternatives to follow their favorite sport. If the NFL shuts down next year, where will football fans turn? In both cases, these leagues are the best in the world -- in the case of...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  MLS , Poll  
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Thursday kickaround

Two touching postgame moments last night: When the final whistle sounded on the USA's 9-0 rout over Haiti in the CONCACAF U-17 girls tournament in Costa Rica, Haitian keeper Alexandra Coby fell to the turf -- overwhelmed by the result of the match and undoubtedly the emotion of her nation's...

By Steve Goff  |  March 11, 2010; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  CONCACAF , CONCACAF Champions League , D.C. United , Mexico , TV , Women  
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DCU wins, strike looms, Fire deal, Victorine retires

*In an encouraging performance two weeks before the MLS season is scheduled to start, D.C. United defeated Santos Laguna, 3-2, in a friendly before a capacity crowd in Torreon, Mexico. Chris Pontius (a header off a corner kick by Christian Castillo) and Jaime Moreno (assisted by Brandon Barklage) scored in...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 11:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Mexico  
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MLS labor talks, to be continued

After two days of talks in Washington, MLS and the players' union decided to ... keep talking. I suppose this is good news, for the league didn't cancel the season and the players didn't go on strike. Man of the Match, which at the moment is a tactical, 0-0 draw:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  MLS  
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Matchday: Champions League

If you are watching the return legs of today's UEFA Champions League round-of-16 matchups, your observations are encouraged in our comments section. The Lineups:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Euro Champions League  
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Collins John still with Fire

Despite an impasse in contract negotiations, trialist Collins John, the Dutch forward with a checkered past, is training with the Chicago Fire today in Houston. [He is No. 15 in the top photo on the link.] I reported last night that, after talks broke down, he was planning to return...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS talks, Mia's husband, Man U-Milan

*Negotiations involving MLS and the players' union, which resumed Tuesday, will continue today in Washington, league officials confirmed. Never mind Donovan and Beckham: The most important player in MLS right now is mediator George H. Cohen. *Mr. Mia Hamm, a fan of the beautiful game, is retiring from baseball. *Catch...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  MLS , TV  
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With season near, RFK in need of spring cleaning

D.C. United's home opener is still 3 1/2 weeks away -- an eternity! -- so by the time you've ironed your red-and-black scarf, stocked the cooler, cleaned the grill and gotten your tickets in order, everything should be almost back to normal at RFK Stadium. At the moment, however, the...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Early Wednesday kickaround

*As first seen on the Insider's Twitter feed, the Chicago Fire and trialist Collins John have been unable to reach agreement on a contract, and the 24-year-old Liberian-Dutch forward is planning to return to Europe to seek other opportunities. John, Brian McBride's teammate at Fulham before the American forward returned...

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 1:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  CONCACAF Champions League , MLS , Mexico  
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Americans abroad, Tuesday edition

Tuesday MF DaMarcus Beasley 90 minutes in Rangers' 2-0 win at Kilmarnock MF Maurice Edu 22 for Rangers D Jay DeMerit 90 in Watford's 1-0 loss at Swansea City F Kenny Cooper in 18, didn't play in Plymouth's 2-0 loss at QPR D Frank Simek in 18, didn't play in...

By Steve Goff  |  March 9, 2010; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  
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D.C. United TV schedule update

Fifteen D.C. United matches will appear on Comcast SportsNet this season, and combined with nine national telecasts, all but six games will be shown on regular outlets. However, because of programming conflicts, neither the season opener at Kansas City nor the home debut against New England will be accessible except...

By Steve Goff  |  March 9, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Video: Great Pepsi World Cup ad

Starring Messi, Drogba, Arshavin, Henry, Kaka and Lampard:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 9, 2010; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa  
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Tuesday kickaround

*Landon Donovan would like to stay at Everton a little longer. Everton would certainly like to hold onto him. But the loan agreement between the Premier League club and the Los Angeles Galaxy requires Donovan to return to the States next week. What would you like to see happen? *While...

By Steve Goff  |  March 9, 2010; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF Champions League , England , MLS , TV  
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MLS, USA women, Freedom and Terps updates

*Awaiting Dallas' acquisition of goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to be finalized. FCD first expressed interest in the veteran last week and negotiated a deal throught MLS. His previous club, Kansas City, had the right of first refusal, even though it had no intention of retaining him. Had the club not exercised...

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  College Soccer , Freedom , MLS , Women  
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Hartman to Dallas

Following up on our exclusive report this morning..... Veteran goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who was left without a club after he and Kansas City parted ways, has been acquired by FC Dallas. Hartman, 35, joined FCD over the weekend and is scheduled to undergo a physical today, I'm told. Under an...

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  MLS  
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D.C. United roster updates

With the club in Mexico preparing for a friendly Wednesday night against Santos Laguna, the preseason roster continues to evolve. Jamaican national team defender Jermaine Taylor has finally arrived on trial after being sidelined with a groin injury. Other newcomers include defender Daniel Woolard, who was recently released by Chicago,...

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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MLS Cup, labor talks, Kevin Hartman's future

*The league is close to finalizing the venue for MLS Cup in November, and according to Insider sources, the four finalists are: New York: Red Bull Arena, which opens this month, will be the league's finest and would provide a vibrant setting in the nation's biggest market. Toronto: TFC made...

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  MLS  
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Video: Real Madrid wins, Barcelona draws

After this weekend's results, Real Madrid and Barcelona share first place in La Liga, with the Galacticos ahead on goal differential with 13 league matches left, including an April 11 showdown at Estadio Bernabeu. While Real overcame a two-goal deficit in the final 30 minutes to defeat Sevilla, 3-2, on...

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Spain  
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Americans abroad

Three Americans on the field for an English Premier League match? It happened in the second half Sunday afternoon at Goodison Park in Liverpool as Everton routed Hull City, 5-1. Midfielder Landon Donovan, who is scheduled to return to the Los Angeles Galaxy soon, had a goal and an...

By Steve Goff  |  March 7, 2010; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Americans Abroad  
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