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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, barring complications, will officially join the roster soon. Whether all the paperwork will be finalized in time for Saturday's opener at Kansas City is another question.

Peña, 37, is from Bolivia, but because he played 14 years in Spain, he gained dual citizenship. To complete the U.S. visa process, he flew to Madrid this week. If he is not available this weekend, Julius James would likely start with Dejan Jakovic in central defense.

*United is close to finalizing plans to play Spanish club Valencia in early August at RFK Stadium. DCU is also exploring major friendlies at home in late May and July.

*Although the roster deadline is Wednesday at 5 p.m., United does not necessarily have to make any personnel decisions. The club is already roster and salary cap compliant, General Manager Dave Kasper said. The players vying for the last roster spots are all on trial, not under contract, so decisions on their future do not have to be made by tomorrow. That said, United would like to finalize the list by this weekend.

For injury updates.....

*Defender-midfielder Devon McTavish (strained groin) ran on the side and defender Bryan Namoff (post-concussion) worked individually with a trainer.

*Midfielder Clyde Simms, who had knee surgery last month and has been training regularly, might start Saturday.

"It feels good, it feels strong," Simms said. "Most of the swelling is out of there, and that was the biggest thing. It was my first knee surgery and I didn't know what to expect. It was a quick recovery. I feel pretty fit but I know the game is totally different than running on the treadmill. If they need me, I think I can [start Saturday], play as much as I can, be honest with them and let them know when I am tired."

Coach Curt Onalfo: "This was his second day training full-out with the team, so we have to see how he progresses throughout the week and make a determination whether he will start or be a reserve player for us in the opening game."

*Onalfo, on facing Kansas City, the team that fired him last summer, in his United head coaching debut: "For us, it's just another game."

He paused and then added with a smile, "My nose is growing like Pinocchio."

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: MLS labor deal outlined

Comments

¡Que Peña!

Posted by: Reignking | March 23, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

REVENGE!!!

Posted by: nairbsod | March 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Kansas City West (KC) vs Kansas City East (DCU). Some season opener.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Any rumors about these other friendlies in May/July?

Posted by: giardinie | March 23, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@Ron16, If it's just a matter of staying consistent, you've only got 2 1/2 more days before you can proudly stand tall and say you've done nothing but complain for the ENTIRE off season.

Good news on at least one of the friendlies being played at RFK. I won't bother with the others if they're played at FedEx, or Baltimore for that matter.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Insider,

Any info on when the 2010 webcast subscription will be available from MLS? The Matchcenter link on the MLSnet website has a screen that says standby for details: http://web.mlsnet.com/products/

Getting kinda close to the first weekend. Any chance this is just a result of the league waiting to see the result from the CBA negotiations?

Tough to watch DC from southern California.

Posted by: redstarsix | March 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I think it's all going to be at mlssoccer.com (the league's new URL)?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 23, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"If they need me, I think I can [start Saturday], play as much as I can, be honest with them and let them know when I am tired." - Simms

I love Simms, but I hope he's learned to be more honest over the off-season. He screwed the team at least once last year because he was on the field with the flu (or something like that) and had to get taken off at the end of the first half. I truly hope he can be truthful with the training staff about how he's feeling.

Posted by: DrBeaker | March 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I think a friendly in Baltimore at M&T in July would be a superb idea.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

DrBeaker:

Have you ever tried to gauge your ability to play through injury or sickness? It's not an exact science. You make your best, honest guess, and hopefully you're right. It's a gamble.

Plus, we all know full well that Soehn would have burned a sub at halftime anyway, just because.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: You know, you are right.

What was I thinking? This will be the greatest DCU team in history.

With 37-year old what's his face anchoring the backline, we will be impenetrable. With Santino "Backpass" Quaranta running the show and channeling Etcheverry in the middle, and all our unstoppable strikers up front, I'd be amazed if we lose or even tie so much as one match this season.

I've seen the light! We are going to win out. Put our names on the MLS Cup right now, its coming home to DC for sure!

Posted by: Ron16 | March 23, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@Ron16

It's not like if you don't think we're going to be terrible, then you MUST think that we're a lock for MLS Cup...

Posted by: carmines757 | March 23, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

@carmines757:

Except for the fact that this is DC United, which at least used to have a philosophy of acquiring talent that can contend for the Cup. Not this year.

Other than Jaime Moreno, this roster is mighty thin on talent, and mighty long on mediocrity; making this a mediocre team at best. And if you are DC United, mediocre IS terrible.

There likely is a reason for all this, namely Chang apparently does not want to sink heavy money into the team until such time as it gets a stadium deal going. But understanding that is not going to make watching us lose and tie games by the boatload YET AGAIN any easier.

Some here prefer to dwell in such delusions as Santino "Backpass" Quaranta being the answer for our CAM postion, when last season he couldn't even beat out a worn-out, faded, and slow Christian Gomez. And delusions such as a 37-year old defender actually being able to help this team when younger defenders with similar backgrounds were tarred and feathered and run out nof town.

Muerte o Gloria, remember?

Posted by: Ron16 | March 24, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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