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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 the first half. After Santos responded with a pair of goals, Boyzzz Khumalo provided the game-winner by putting away a cross in the 70th minute.

DCU LINEUPS
First Half: Perkins; McTavish, Jakovic, Pena#, Wallace; Barklage, Morsink, Quaranta, Castillo; Pontius, Moreno.
Second Half: Perkins; Vaughn, Taylor#, James, Woolard#; Shipalane, Wasson, DiRaimondo, Khumalo; Allsopp, Cristman.
#New trialists

*With no resolution on a new collective bargaining agreement, the MLS players are preparing for a strike in two weeks. So says Toronto defender Nick Garcia in a story by the CBC.

"We're anticipating not having the season starting [on time]. As of now, for us, we're very far apart -- even with the mediator there in D.C. We're hoping things can get done, but quite frankly I don't think we're confident things will."

*The Insider has learned that the Chicago Fire has reached a tentative contract agreement with Collins John, the Dutch forward who on Tuesday had considered ending his trial and pursuing opportunities in Europe.

*Midfielder Sasha Victorine, a 10-year MLS veteran who had 32 goals and 41 assists in 242 league appearances, has decided to retire because of recurring injuries. He will join Kansas City's front office and serve as a TV commentator for the Wizards. Most recently he played for Chivas USA.

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2010; 11:34 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Mexico  
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Next: Thursday kickaround

Comments

Nice win by United! If only we had some kind of audio or video to supplement!

Posted by: redskinsux | March 10, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Nick Garcia?? Didn't know he stilled played.... I've got my invasion tickets, and I've got my Fire tickets for the 17th... and I'm optimistic that something will get worked out soon enough.... it has to for the future of soccer in this country...

Posted by: BurchFan4 | March 10, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I've been blindly siding with the players for some time, but if they're too stupid to understand how much they'll put off those on the fence type of fans they are dumber than their silly haircuts make them look.

Even in DC, there's probably more momentum going for the baseball coming into 2010 than there is for these guys. A strike will not prove or even solve anything. Sign a 1 year deal. Come back to the table after this season, which is MAKE OR BREAK. The league will either thrive or flag depending on EVERYONE who is involved.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 11, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I guess Donovan can unpack his bags.

Posted by: BooThisMan | March 11, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Awesome news on the DC win, especially with a certain article that came out recently citing The more things Chang, the more United underwhelms

Posted by: Springfie1d | March 11, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Good to here. Maybe I was wrong about Khumalo, always thought he was speed and luck with very little touch. Maybe he's improving.

Also, the two goals an indication of Pena vs. Taylor?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 11, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

@Dad -- At the risk of sounding lefty -- either you're siding with the players, or you're not. The players aren't thrilled with the idea of striking. They're the ones who won't be getting a paycheck. If they're saying they are still very far apart, it doesn't sound like the league has budged much.

I wouldn't worry about the baseball momentum in DC. Have you followed the Nats so far? They really stink. No bullpen, and not a very deep rotation either. Not a lot of power, or speed, or defense. Two or three guys can hit for power, one can run, and two or three can play defense. They might clinch the no. 1 draft pick for the third year in a row, by the all-star break.

I'm sure the players are more concerned about themselves than the fans' interest, but their not the only ones thinking that way. It's not just the players who will be hurt by a strike, though. The league really isn't helping itself by sticking to its absolutely no free agency guns, and whatever else they're not moving on. Let's hope both sides find room to compromise.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@Demon -- Why single out Taylor? The entire back line was weaker -- probably at every position -- in the second half. 2 trialists, a trialist at D-Mid, and attackers who aren't as good at controlling and passing the ball as the guys they replaced.

That said, if Pena stays healthy, it's a fair bet that he makes the team over Taylor. It's possible both could make it, if Alston doesn't bring any new international -- but I'd guess that would be temporary. The numbers game. Burch and, hopefully Namoff back by mid-summer -- the team would probably want that international slot to bring in a DP-type after the Cup.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm probably being annoying again. I better hit the hay.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@fischy: I don't think DC will have 4 of their 7 international slots filled by pure CB's(Jakovic, James, Pena, Taylor), so i think its one or the other..

Posted by: BurchFan4 | March 11, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

If you let a strike happen. MLS won't last long. This isn't the NBA/NHL/NFL/MLB.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | March 11, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

I think there is one question that need to be answered to solve this CBA problem.

Who cares more about the leagues survival? The league or its players?

Take an example-- there's a restaurant on the brink of closing. Does the restaurant give in to keep it running if the employees are very close to calling it quits? Does management say, "sure, lets close down indefinitely".

Posted by: redskinsux | March 11, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

While I'm sure there are numerous issues for both sides.......REALLY????
So long, MLS. It's been fun.
You thought you were a laughingstock before - just wait!
Sheeeeeesh.......get a clue.

Posted by: marksman37 | March 11, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Awesome that DC topped Santos! I am liking the forward duo of Pontius and Moreno. midseason Mexican reserves = start of the season MLS teams in my opinion. Also, I was following the tweeter account last night of the game - and it was nice to see some tweets that Wallace was overlapping and getting a few shots on goal.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | March 11, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

I haven't watched, followed, or cared about baseball since they went on strike in 94-95. Prior to that I was an avid O's fan that attended 10-20 games a season, bought memorabilia, and watched just about every game on TV that I didn't see in person. An MLS strike would be a major setback for the league, one that may not recover.

Posted by: peridigm | March 11, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I haven't purchased my season tickets yet. Anyone heard what happens if multiple games are cancelled? Do we get $ back?

If people think soccer gets bad press in this country now, just wait until a strike.

Posted by: Hoost | March 11, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@ peridigm: I agree 100%. The baseball strike was a huge contributing fator to soccer becoming my #1 sport. I never went back to baseball, and never will.

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | March 11, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

@ Hoost: We better get something back. I just lost my job, and I could use the money. That said, the DCU season is one of things I am looking forward to in these tough times. The tickets are paid for, so I planned to attend the games and enjoy them. Now if they go on strike, I am going to be pissed!

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | March 11, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Dozens of owners willing to invest millins of dollars in MLS.

Thousands of players willing to play in MLS.

Do the math.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 11, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@ fischy

I could see that. Still, two goals is a lot, and both players have stepped on the field for their national team. The reason it is a question mark is, quite frankly, because no one actually saw the game.

It's also an indication how desperate for answers we are in that spot.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 11, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Does [restaurant] management say, "sure, lets close down indefinitely".

Posted by: redskinsux
-----------------------

um, yeah, it happens all the time to restaurants losing money. probably more so than any other type of business.

of course, I'm the dummy who just bought tix to the season opener, so what do I know?

Posted by: troy6 | March 11, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The players have NO weapons other than the threat to withhold their labor. Management would be glad to go on with the current arrangement indefinitely. So, the players can't afford to let management be complacent.

They surely appreciate the risks of striking. But......

Posted by: DCUSince96 | March 11, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

@peridigm

+1

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 11, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

A player strike seems a little like cutting off the nose to spite the face. I can't imagine there are a lot of opportunities for mid-tier players overseas, and that USL business model is doing real well.

Posted by: cdsix | March 11, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It's about +3 by now for peridigm's comment. I don't know why baseball fans have put up with multiple play stoppages, steroids, etc.

I wonder how the Freedom marketing folks would use a strike. Would they put out ads like they did with the Snyderskins issues or will they ignore it because they share some FO staff with United? Anyway, if htere's a strike, the Freedom will be getting more of my time and money. They'd better stock up the Biergarten.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

At this point, the threat of the strike is more powerful than the strike. Let's hope calmer heads prevail.

Posted by: carnack | March 11, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Pompey
Leeds
The Eredivisie
Valencia

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

16 days until United's first match!

Call me an optimist.

Posted by: Curious99 | March 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I am hoping to go to Man Utd v. Liverpool. My flight leaves Weds, March 17th, the first day of the predicted (but not yet announced) BA strike. You will all forgive me, I hope, if I'm not very suuportive of unions striking right now.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | March 11, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Wow, an MLS team wins in Mexico . . yeah yeah, it's a friendly, but I'll take it.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You will all forgive me, I hope, if I'm not very suuportive of unions striking right now.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | March 11, 2010 9:28 AM

This is something that should strike fear in the hearts of MLS leaders. A strike is only going to send people looking towards Europe and South America for their soccer fixes (even more than they already do). Couldn't possibly be a worse time for this. Even the most casual of soccer fans has more access than ever to the Champions League, Premier League, Mexican League - with the World Cup on the horizon?!?!?

Of course, the players aren't stupid - they know a work stoppage is their only threat - and it's a big one.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I thought if you went to Federal Mediation, you had to then accept the mediators terms.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Mediation is not Arbitration. Arbitration is binding, mediation is not.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 11, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Good result. Any idea what was Santos' lineup as it was not posted on behindthebadge website ? Wanted to see if guys like Ludena, Vuoso, Quintero played.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | March 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Well then, is it too to switch and start calling Mr. Cohen an arbitrator then . .
. . let's pull a Gonzales v Ashcroft, dope em up slip in the forms, and grab some signatures.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind, saw the second article which lists the Santos lineup, and Ludena, their best player did not even play.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | March 11, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Mediation is not Arbitration. Arbitration is binding, mediation is not.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 11, 2010 9:44 AM

I can't believe it took a whole two minutes for this correction to be issued on a DC based Web site :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | March 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Read about what happened after the US U-17 girls beat Haiti 9-0 in CONCACAF tourney.

A local MD player scored 1st goal for US.

http://www.ussoccer.com/News/U-17-WNT/2010/03/Horan-Scores-Four-Times-as-US-Under-17-Womens-National-Team-Downs-Haiti-9-0.aspx

Posted by: OWNTF | March 11, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

According to Soccer America's brief article Santos didn't use Luduena but did use some other important attacking players like Vuoso and the scientist Carlos Darwin Quintero. I'd like to see video of DC players scoring on Osvaldo Sanchez!

I wonder if they gave away free tickets in order to fill the stadium. Santos has a nice new stadium but it's hard to believe a midweek friendly w DC United would be a big draw.

Soccer America article:

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/37170/dc-united-tops-mexicos-santos.html

On the labor front, I'm more sympathetic than some towards the players but I'm also about +5 on peridigm's comments regarding the baseball strike in the 90's.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 11, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone else seen the Rueters photos from the Santos/United match? The one where Boyzzz is getting a yellow for celebration is absolutely hilarious and must be incorporated into a display at a game this season somehow.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 11, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Santos play an exciting brand of all out attacking soccer. If you remember they came back in the CONCACAF Champions League semis (2 yrs ago?) from a 4 goal deficit against Montreal Impact. They scored 5 (!!!) goals in the second leg and won 5-4, despite going down 2-0 in the first 20mins. This was when they had also had the impact of Christian Benitez, now of Birmingham City.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | March 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | March 11, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Goff fails to credit the game winning assist (John DiRaimondo)...do your research and pay attention to detail.

Thanks.

Posted by: kswiss311 | March 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh no, he didn't tell us about an assist in a friendly! What an awful reporter!

Posted by: Reignking | March 11, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Reignking, you sound a little overweight, I can tell because obviously you don't play soccer, or you would know that these guys are fighting to secure a spot on the squad, so every bit of press helps. So Goff should be consistent in giving credit, which he obviously does not in his post.

Thanks.

Posted by: kswiss311 | March 11, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The DiRaimondo assist was not mentioned in the initial dispatches from the DCU communications officer in Mexico. Therefore, I was not able to credit it in the moments after the match ended. It wasn't until the later roundup on the club's web site that DiRaimondo was mentioned.

Posted by: Steve Goff | March 11, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe it took a whole two minutes for this correction to be issued on a DC based Web site :-)
Posted by: Kev29
==============

Sorry, there rest of us were having a tickle fight.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@kswiss311: How would our knowledge of the third assist help anyone win a roster spot? Do you think that Onalfo reads Soccer Insider to find out who scored and who assisted?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a sh*t about "assists" anyway? This isn't hockey, eh.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Dozens of owners willing to invest millins of dollars in MLS.

Thousands of players willing to play in MLS.

Do the math.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 11, 2010 8:27 AM
-----------------------------------

Since you put it that way -- I'll do the math.

There's probably close to a dozen ownership teams in MLS now -- several teams are still owned by the same groups (Hunt and Anschutz). Almost to a person, I'd agree that they are "investing". They've bought into the pyramid scheme marketing of MLS. They put in $$ and get paid back when expansion team owners pay ever-increasing franchise fees. They make profits, hopefully, as the value goes up and make a killing when they sell their "interest" in the team/league. At worse, if they lose money, they've got a nice tax write-off.

Contrast that to the thousands of players who have spent thousands of hours, dedicating their adolescence and early adulthood to trying to fulfill the childhood dream of becoming soccer stars -- doing what they love and getting paid for it. Maybe getting some return for their considerable investment of time and very hard work...and having the chance to be appreciated for the skills they spent years developing -- the thing they're best at in life. I'm sure many hope to further cash in on their MLS experience with careers in broadcasting or coaching.

So, if this "math" problem was a response to redskinsux' question about which side cares more about the league and its success, I'd say the answer is clear: the players.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Nice, a hypothetical personal attack. Shunned.

Posted by: Reignking | March 11, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Contrast that to the thousands of players who have spent thousands of hours, dedicating their adolescence and early adulthood to trying to fulfill the childhood dream of becoming soccer stars -- doing what they love and getting paid for it.
Posted by: fischy
================

Seriously? Investing time and money in soccer with the expectation of a professional career is exceptionally high risk. Expecting a job guarantee is irrational.

Professional athletes are entertainers. I liken this to someone with a drama degree landing a role on a small-budget film or TV series (OK, it's MLS, maybe a local playhouse) and expecting a career guarantee.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of reporter errors...

Here's a quote from the CNN article Reignking linked to regarding Real Madrid's loss to Lyon:
"In total, Real spent a reported $340,000 on new players ahead of the current season, but their only hopes of silverware now hang on La Liga success."

Now there's a reporting mistake. Hey, what do a few missing zeroes add up to? SG didn't mess up, but CNN did.

Posted by: WorldCup | March 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- Of course, there is no guarantee. I'm talking about the cream of players here that are good enough to play in MLS. For most domestic MLS players, there is no realistic alternative to MLS. No guarantee, but while the league is there, these players have the opportunity to realize those dreams. If the league goes under, for 99% of the domestic players, so does the dream.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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