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Soccer Insider: March 21, 2010 - March 27, 2010

Matchday: United-Wizards

And so we begin a 15th D.C. United season at the same peculiar (and thankfully, temporary) venue where last year's campaign came to a heartbreaking conclusion. It's a cool, rainy and gusty evening at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, which, by next summer, will again belong solely to the T-Bones minor league baseball...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (201)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Emilio returning to MLS?

We might not have seen the last of Luciano Emilio, the 2007 MLS most valuable player who was let go by D.C. United over the winter. According to several sources, talks are intensifying about Emilio possibly returning to the league before MLS's registration window for international players closes in mid-April....

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Brazil , D.C. United , MLS  
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Saturday kickaround

*Curt Onalfo makes his D.C. United coaching debut in a familiar place. *DCU formally announced the acquisition of veteran defender Carey Talley and rookie back Barry Rice. *The gloomy weather outlook for the United-Wizards match. *Omar Cummings scored in the 55th minute as Colorado claimed a 1-0 victory over Chivas...

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , D.C. United , MLS , USA 2nd division  
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Countdown to D.C. United opener

D.C. United practiced in the rain at the RFK Stadium training grounds Friday morning before packing its bags for an afternoon flight to Kansas City ahead of Saturday night's opener against the Wizards (8:30 p.m. ET, Direct Kick cable/satellite package). As season preparations accelerate, the personnel evaluation slows. A few...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2010; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Friday kickaround

*My front-page feature on the ageless Jaime Moreno: "An alien came and took over my body." *From the Twitter account of new Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll: "At my first sounders game... This place is rocking! 37,000 fans going wild in the rain! Up 2-0 at the half!" *I realize...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Argentina , D.C. United , MLS  
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Weekend TV listings

What are you going to watch? FRIDAY Germany, Bochum-Eintracht Frankfurt 3:30 p.m. ET, GolTV Mexico, Tecos-Cruz Azul 10 p.m. Galavision MLS, Chivas USA-Colorado 10:30 p.m. Direct Kick SATURDAY England, Crystal Palace-Cardiff City 8:30 a.m. Fox Soccer Plus Germany, Bayern Munich-Stuttgart 10:30 a.m. GolTV England, Chelsea-Aston Villa 11 a.m. ESPN Classic...

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2010; 12:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  TV  
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D.C. United to sign Carey Talley

Defender Carey Talley, who began his MLS career with D.C. United in 1998, is about to return to Washington after being waived by Chivas USA. Talley, 33, trained with United today and was claimed through the league's discovery process late this afternoon. He cleared waivers Wednesday. United is negotiating a...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , USA 2nd division  
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D.C. United news & notes

*Two days before the season opener at Kansas City, D.C. United is looking for ways to bolster its lineup beyond the group of trialists that has been in training camp for several weeks. Is a move in the works? Perhaps some details later. For now, United is finalizing contracts with...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2010; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Toronto-Colorado trade in works

First seen on the Insider's Twitter feed this morning and now close to being finalized: Toronto FC is planning to send right back Marvell Wynne to the Colorado Rapids for midfielder Nick LaBrocca and a third-round draft pick. Wynne, a terrific athlete who is in the U.S. national team player...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  MLS  
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Thursday kickaround

*Mexico was held to a scoreless draw by Iceland in front of more than 63,000 in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer sets the scene. Said Iceland Manager Olafur Johannesson: "Normally, my players play in Iceland in front of 1,000 people. This was a very new experience for them. They're going...

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2010; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , D.C. United , Germany , MLS , Mexico , USA 2nd division , USSF  
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A few minutes with Bryan Namoff

D.C. United defender Bryan Namoff has been sidelined since September, the latest prominent MLS player to have his career interrupted by a head injury. After enduring pain, dizziness and blurred vision, making countless visits to specialists and being forced to shut down athletically, Namoff is progressing gradually and on course...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 10:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Video: Eto'o scores on bicycle kick

From Inter Milan's 3-0 Serie A victory over Livorno........

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Italy  
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MLS, D.C. United news & notes

*MLS Cup will be played in Canada this year, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles were also considered. Toronto's setting, fan base and new grass surface made it a prime candidate. MLS's major concern was, and will continue to be, the weather in...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Poll: MLS opener

MLS is set to begin its 15th season Thursday night with the second-year Seattle Sounders, the runaway attendance leaders in 2009, hosting the expansion Philadelphia Union at Qwest Field. I am curious whether Insider loyalists are planning to watch (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes). Vote: poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  MLS , Poll  
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Wednesday kickaround

*D.C. United and rookie goalkeeper Andrew Quinn have agreed to terms on a contract, the Insider has learned. He will be third on the depth chart. Quinn, a DeMatha High graduate who played at Notre Dame and is the son of D.C.-based soccer photographer Tony Quinn, performed well with United...

By Steve Goff  |  March 24, 2010; 6:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , Americans Abroad , D.C. United , MLS , South Africa , TV  
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D.C. United welcomes Andy Najar

Andy Najar just turned 17, though he looks younger. He is as shy as a mouse, speaks softly and, having arrived in the States from Honduras just three years ago, is much more comfortable conversing in Spanish than English. But as D.C. United prepares to open the 2010 season, Najar's...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 6:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Payne adds to D.C. United stadium discussion

After reading MLS Commissioner Don Garber's exasperated comments about D.C. United's search for a new stadium, club president Kevin Payne provided the Insider with this written statement: "We understand and share the commissioner's frustration. When it comes to our long and arduous journey toward an appropriate, permanent home for our...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Garber fumes about United stadium situation

Asked on a media conference call about D.C. United's inability to reach a deal on a new stadium, MLS Commissioner Don Garber assigned blame on area political leaders and reiterated his concern about the club's long-term future in the D.C. area. "I am tired of going down [to Washington] for...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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MLS labor deal outlined

The new collective bargaining agreement has yet to be ratified, but MLS announced some details Tuesday: *As the Insider reported Saturday, the league has increased the salary cap by about $200,000 -- from $2.315 million per club in 2009 to $2.55 million in 2010, a 10.15 percent jump. It will...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  MLS  
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D.C. United close to acquiring Peña

Lots of ground to cover here at RFK Stadium. I will share the most important news now and create another thread later..... *Defender Juan Manuel Peña, who has been on trial with D.C. United for several weeks, has left the country temporarily in order to acquire a work visa and,...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Tuesday kickaround

*D.C. United waived reserve midfielder John DiRaimondo, who made just one league appearance last year but featured regularly in CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup matches. I am expecting the club to soon reach deals with Bolivian defender Juan Manuel Peña, 37, and rookie goalkeeper Andrew Quinn, who will...

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , D.C. United , MLS , TV , Women  
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Najar signs with D.C. United

Midfielder Andy Najar, a junior at Edison High School in Alexandria, Va., who excelled in D.C. United's youth academy, has signed a pro contract with the MLS club. Terms were not disclosed, but under salary guidelines agreed upon in the new collective bargaining agreement, he will earn at least $40,000....

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2010; 7:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Charlie Davies and the World Cup

The news involving Charlies Davies seems to get better by the day. Just five-plus months since being severely injured in an auto accident near Washington, the U.S. national team forward began light jogging Monday with his French club, Sochaux. He will continue to work with a physiotherapist for two to...

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , France , U.S. men's national team  
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D.C. United news & notes

*Like all MLS clubs, D.C. United is awaiting roster guidelines forged in the new collective bargaining agreement before making final personnel moves ahead of this week's league openers. Are homegrown academy players exempt from the 24-man roster? Do developmental roster slots still exist? What is the exact salary cap figure?...

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Monday kickaround

*I am going to post a link to Norman Chad's column, which runs in several publications, including The Post, because it is about soccer and because I usually enjoy Norman's snarky style. (The Insider engages in snark regularly and Wife of Insider's blog has "snark" in the title.) He is...

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2010; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Argentina , Freedom , MLS , Spain  
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Video: Messi's breathtaking goal

Lionel Messi scored three times Sunday in Barcelona's 4-2 victory at Zaragoza, giving him an astonishing eight in three matches over eight days, but the second goal stands above the others:...

By Steve Goff  |  March 21, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Argentina , Spain  
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Americans abroad

With the World Cup approaching, our Sunday roundup will be limited to players in contention for a U.S. roster slot, well-known veterans and other notable performances. Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus) and Charlie Davies (Sochaux) are recuperating from long-term injuries. (I am excluding injured Schalke...

By Steve Goff  |  March 21, 2010; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Americans Abroad  
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