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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 Bolivian defender Juan Manuel Peña, rookie goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Notre Dame) and first-year defender Barry Rice (Kentucky).

*Kansas City weather forecast Saturday: Rain likely, chance of thunderstorms, temperature range from 45 to 57.

*Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty responds to MLS Commissioner Don Garber's comments about United's inability to finalize a stadium deal in the area (you'll have to wait until the five-minute mark for the DCU segment):

By Steve Goff  |  March 25, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: D.C. United to sign Carey Talley

Comments

So you're saying there's a chance.

Posted by: Ol_Brob | March 25, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ha. Fenty was pitch perfect. His references to "this particular gentleman" (Garber) suggest either that Fenty is not the one who's been slapping Garber's back, or if he was, he was slapping a lot of backs that day and Garber's didn't much stand out. Maybe Garber should understand that perhaps MayorForLife Barry wasn't slapping his back, perhaps he was searching his pockets.

Am I worng? I was a little distracted. I haven't seen an outfit like that Fox anchor's get-up since the last time I saw a Mummers Parade in Philly.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 25, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"well you can certainly blame me for no stadium"...No worries I am.

Posted by: ncguy | March 25, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Fenty has never talked to Garber?

I mean, if that's true, I'm going to go bang my head against a wall for awhile.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 25, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Blaming Fenty for no stadium is like a 16-year old blaming his dad because the 16-year old has no car.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 25, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I love DCU and I like Fenty too. Is there any chance our owner or Garber isn't making a simple concession to get this done? Can we tell who is the more stubborn side?

Posted by: Rosslynite | March 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to go back and listen again (as painful as that will be) but I believe he said "I have not read or heard this comment but I may have seen something sbout it or read it somewhere" HUH?!?!

Posted by: boda-united | March 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

boda-inited... you heard correct. I think meant he read that there were comments, not that he actually read the comments.

Unless Dan Synder comes out and say he is not going to build a new stadium in DC for the next 20-100 years, getting a DC United stadium in DC is going to be tough.

I actually like Fenty too, I'd just wish DC could come to an agreement. It might take a new, more rich, investor to come in and re-spark interest/attention. (No offense to Will Chang because I think he has been a good owner. It is just that Chang could use some help.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I said this on an earlier post, but it's more germane here:

Dear Mr. Fenty,

You had a legitimate proposal from DC United a few years ago. As I recall - sitting about 10 rows in front of you - you were for it . . . before you were against it . . . before you came up with Plan B . . . before the economy tanked Plan B.

It think Ben F. once said, "A bird in the hand is better than a paper plan" or something like that.

If you need to hold someone responsible, look in the mirror.

Posted by: carnack | March 25, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe they were asking all those questions about the schools and funding of police security for world leader visits before they got around to asking about a soccer stadium. Talk about burying the lead....

Seriously, it's a bit ironic to hear Fenty say he doesn't think it's the best way to get things done to make public remarks like that instead of negotiating with the principals. I might have read about Garber or some other league muckety-mucks saying similar things about the MLS players...? If MLS is serious about this, it's more than a bit surprising that Garber has never met/talked with the Mayor. Time for Don to go pay his respects and discuss a "reasonable" proposal.

Posted by: fischy | March 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Finally in mfls. You should see the giant spreadsheet I created...

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I do think it's curious that Fenty says there has not been a lot of communication on this lately. Kinda fits with what I've been saying about the FO's performance....

Posted by: fischy | March 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Fenty's comments were entirely perfunctory, and, taken with Garber's ornery comments, indicate the level of warmth of the relationship between DCU/MLS and DC is something approaching 0 degrees Kelvin.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 25, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I thought Fenty's comments were pretty gutless and disinterested. He admits/says how important DC United is to the city, but it's like he doesn't know what's going on. He's the mayor -- he's supposed to know what's going on. Maybe there isn't enough in for it personally for him to care. Maybe that's been the trouble all along.

Pretty nice to be the mayor of a city that can afford to turn away business........

Posted by: big_spaniel | March 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Fenty was silky smooooth.

He maintained his calm demeanor and bounced it back in Garber and DC United's lap.

And he managed a dig at Donnie G at the same time.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 25, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Don Geronimo? How dare he!

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Fnety doesn't want to talk to Payne, he wants to talk to the big boss Garber.

Netanyahu was at the Mayflower? Did he get Spitzer's room?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 25, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@big_spaniel--If Garber has not in fact sat down with Fenty then I would have to call Donnie G as being the "gutless" one.

Someone needs to clarify. Because they can't both possibly be telling the truth.

Donnie G and KP: the ball is now back in hyour defensive third. Is Fenty fronting? Or is Garber fronting?

Either they have talked one on one or they or they haven't.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Surely if Garber is willing and able to insert himself in the CBA negotiations he'd be willing to get involved in the negotiations for the only team in MLS's present or current future without a sustainable stadium situation?

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 25, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

That was a really swell Taylor Twellman highlight running over Fenty's comments. Though I'll have to admit it's a toss-up whether I'd rather look at Fenty's face or Twellman scoring.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Fenty will come to the negotiating table when someone NOT affiliated with city government offers to pay more than 50 percent of the cost of a stadium.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

MLSsoccer.com has debuted. Actually, it still takes you to the old mlsnet address, But, it's a very cool looking site. Only problem I've found is that none of the links on the page work.

Posted by: fischy | March 25, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

As long as Mr. Chang spends most of his time, and more importantly, his community resources, in Seattle, there's not going to be a stadium in DC. Mayor Fenty is all about working with his people on anything and everything in DC. Look at who eventually got the Poplar Point Project - Forest Green, run by the Ratner family, one of the most politically connected democratic families in the country! Having a grand mission statement about winning championships and serving the community is nice, but it means nothing when the guy Mayor Fenty wants to see putting it in action in 3,000 miles away. This is Washington, DC, the Super Bowl of lobbying. Mr. Chang needs to hire some serious DC people with long histories of involvement in DC to get this done. Until then, Mayor Fenty can be as perfunctory as he wants.

Posted by: harkes4ever | March 25, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@harkes4ever

"Mr. Chang needs to hire some serious Adrian Fenty people with long histories of involvement with Adrian Fenty to get this done."

Fixed your post.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, an obvious point of dissonance here is that maybe Garber was referring more to PG county, where there was a press conference and a lot of backslapping, before the county elected not to allow SOMEBODY ELSE to spend money on the economic feasibility/impact study(sorry, still boggles my mind).

Posted by: teo_68 | March 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@benonthehill

Was trying to be subtle. Not that you're wrong in any way.

Posted by: harkes4ever | March 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like a man who is annoyed, but not to the point of distraction, by existence of our little league and it's commissioner, who he doesn't even name.

He has no intention of giving us any money, and will tell Chang and Garber that if they ever Do discuss it in a closed room.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 25, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Subtlety prob'ly not a strong point for me, come to think of it.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 25, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like a man who is annoyed, but not to the point of distraction, by existence of our little league and it's commissioner, who he doesn't even name.

He has no intention of giving us any money, and will tell Chang and Garber that if they ever Do discuss it in a closed room.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 25, 2010 2:49 PM

this sounds about right.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

ok, there were 3 distinct, fatal problems with MacFarlane's stadium proposal:

1) MacFarlane offered to pay for the stadium, if the city would pay for the infrastructure AND give MacFarlane the extremely valuable rights to develop the entire waterfront at Poplar Park. Not a good deal for the city.
2) MacFarlane hired Fenty's onetime political rival, Robert Bobb, to negotiate with the District. Imagine if the city had hired Alexi Lalas (while he was GM of some other team) to negotiate with DC--all of us would swear that the whole thing was a trap.
3) The District has largely exhausted its capacity to borrow money at acceptable interest rates. In other words, it's very hard for the District to come up with $150 million needed to fund the infrastructure. See the end of this article: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Gandhi-warns-mayor-and-city-council-to-cap-cookie-jar-88475622.html

Posted by: hungrypug | March 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Like I've said all along. Garber needs to stop farting around backslapping Drew Carey, Beckham, etc. and get serious about using any power he has to get some people into some meetings.

Fenty clearly states here that no one is even trying to communicate with him on the issue.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 25, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, no fantasy on the new site, either.

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is a lying politician. His first lie was his if a deal makes sense for the DC then we will do it. So how exactly has that deal for the Nats Stadium working out for the district? Also during a post season match against New England he flat out promised a new stadium for DCU. He is full of it. However I do not think there has been a RECENT DCU proposal to the district. Even there was a recent proposal it would be like banging your head against a wall.

Posted by: no_recess | March 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry lying politician is redundant.

Posted by: no_recess | March 25, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@no_recess -- You might want to check your calendar. Groundbreaking on Nationals Park started a year before Fenty even took office, and the deals were made long before then...

My point was that Fenty's comment is very telling. DCU may have contacted some developers about certain sites, but I'd bet there aren't any substantive discussions with the City. Perhaps, they feel burned by Fenty and don't want to waste their time, but if the FO wants to build in the city, they're going to have to talk to the city.

Posted by: fischy | March 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Barry Rice is from Kentucky? I thought he was a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.

Posted by: WorldCup | March 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

MLSsoccer
PIN number
ATM machine

Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

MLSsoccer
PIN number
ATM machine
Lying politician

Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan (from the morning thread)
Well hopefully, if what prokaryote says is the case, the "Free Preview" should just magically appear once it goes live. That's the way the Premium Movie channels work. After all, it's not much of a free preview if you have to order it first!

Posted by: jburksva | March 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm fairly certain everyone knows what my thoughts are on Fenty and his previous words about DCU and a stadium.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Fenty did a good job relaying exactly how he feels... he doesn't care (other than some quick, bland lip service). And, sad to say, why should he? What does he have to lose if DC United vanishes under his mayoral term(s)? Now what does Garber have to lose if the club moves during his time as commissioner...?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

If the club moves to a profitable location with a stadium, Garber will have lost nothing.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 25, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Great googly moogly...RM up 4-1 at the break.

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Barry Rice is going to be a nice surprise to those at DCU. I've watched nearly every Kentucky home game during Rice's career and the kid can flat out play. It was a crying shame he wasn't drafted. A huge mystery to me. He will have same type of impact Boswell did when DCU brought him in under similar circumstances. He was arguably UK's best player ever and there have been somme good ones over the last 10 yrs. I know he's small for a CB at 5'11" but he's strong as an ox and very good with the ball at his feet. Rice won't disappoint if given an opportunity.


I know Rice will be cheering on UK today!!!!!

Posted by: MichaelVann7 | March 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

For once I'd enjoy hearing those anchors actually read Fenty his infamous quote and see how he reacts under the lights and camera.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If the club moves to a profitable location with a stadium, Garber will have lost nothing.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 25, 2010 3:51 PM

A profitable location in Northern Virginia, Baltimore or Montreal? I think he loses a little bit more with all three. I seriously doubt (tough talk aside) that MLS would be happy leaving the Washington DC area - that is not a win.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta United!

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Fenty really that clueless? "Didn't read the story..." What does he read? His staff should have given him a note, if not read the Post piece itself. "This gentleman..." What? Fenty tries to feign the old "this is the first time I've ever heard of this..." This bodes very badly for United from both political and management POVs.

Posted by: DennisW1 | March 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@Fischy

You totally missed my point. I did not blame Nats Stadium on the current Mayor. My point was that a stadium being built in DC may or may not necessarily be good for the District. I know I am stating the obvious, but my point was getting things done in DC is ALL ABOUT POLITICS and the most obvious stereotype about politicians is that they lie.

Posted by: no_recess | March 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Fox should first have administered to Fenty the "Hanging Chad Test" that Mr. Goff reported on recently:

2. Who is the MLS commissioner? (a) Gary Bettman; (b) Gary Oldman; (c) Don Garber; (d) Don Corleone.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Barcelona-Real Madrid live on ESPN360 right now.


Euroleague Playoffs, Game 2.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 25, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

That's basketball. Boooo.

Posted by: Reignking | March 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey man, the fire is still there, and it's high level stuff.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Just joined Argy Bargy Insiders! Haven't posted much during the offseason but now that the seasons starting up i'll post more often.

Posted by: spikeman | March 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

That Fenty acted like he had no idea who this gentleman is, referring to Don Garber, is a total slap in the face of MLS, DC United, and its fans. Either that or it's blatant incompetence by MLS, DC United, and our ability to secure a stadium. I wonder if Kevin Payne can weigh back in to help us understand which it is.

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 25, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

MLB.com
NFL.com
NBA.com
NHL.com
MLS.com

"One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong..."

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 25, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe for a second that Fenty didn't know who Garber is. I think it was his way of slapping MLS and DCU in the face. We now have a definitive answer as to how stadium talks have progressed with the District. Crabcake anyone?

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 25, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Gambrills has this right. lucky for him he's closer to baltimore then most of us.

the whole "that gentleman" thing and claim he didnt read the story (versus being given the quote) is an intentional insult. imperial fenty strikes again.

since mendelson has a primary challenger, anybody know what mendelson's views were?

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

It is not at all surprising to me that GARBER has not met with FENTY or even Fenty's people. Garber is pressing the TEAMS, i.e., their ownership groups, to get soccer-specific stadiums. Did the commissioner of baseball come meet with Williams about the Nationals stadium, or was it the Lerners and their people?

That said, on the one hand, I agree with those who wish that the TV folks had read Fenty his quote from RFK -- or even shown him the clip -- because he rather understand what he told us that day ("during the campaign" as he admitted).

On the other hand, it may well be that the team owners asked for too much in the original proposal (as per hungrypug | March 25, 2010 3:03 PM), and the fact of the matter is that times are tougher now, the economy is not what it was, and local governments just aren't as flush with resources as they were back at the beginning of Fenty's term.

Fenty is right in this -- it has to be the rights deal for the people of DC. It is going to be awfully hard to build campaign momentum on the issue of pouring money into a soccer stadium when we are still talking about closing schools.

Now, of course, I don;t doubt that those of you who live out in the suburbs would LOVE to see DC overspend on this -- we can't even tax you folks the way most cities can tax suburbanites who work in town, so what do you care about our budget woes?

Posted by: DCUSince96 | March 25, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@DCUSince96: You were making sense until the last, ridiculous paragraph. Allow me to generalize too. Maybe, if you DISTRICT RESIDENTS would stop your GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES from stealing tens of millions of your own tax dollars, you'd have money to fix the bathrooms and install new light bulbs in your schools.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 25, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1

Amen!

Posted by: fentysupporter | March 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

It is not at all surprising to me that GARBER has not met with FENTY or even Fenty's people. Garber is pressing the TEAMS, i.e., their ownership groups, to get soccer-specific stadiums. Did the commissioner of baseball come meet with Williams about the Nationals stadium, or was it the Lerners and their people?

Posted by: DCUSince96 | March 25, 2010 8:01 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------

Oh Boy!!! DId you EVER pick the WORST example you could to make your point!!!

Actually, it was MLB and Bud Selig who did all the negotiating with the DC gov't. The league wouldn't even commit to move the team to DC until the city had a financing package in place. Moreover, the league forbade any and all of the competing prospective ownership groups from promising anything like paying for cost overruns. The Lerners weren't even chosen as the winning bidder to take over the team until months after ground had been broken on the new stadium construction.

So, maybe MLS could learn a thing or three from MLB about how things get done in this city....

Posted by: fischy | March 25, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

It is pretty simple...if MLS and DC United want a new stadium, they are going to have to carry a majority of the costs. What Fenty and the City Council see are Verizon Center and FedEx field--where the owners carried a significant portion of the costs versus Nationals Stadium where MLB hung the city out to dry and continue to nickle & dime them. Clearly, in the long-term, it is best for MLS or DC United to own the stadium--a 30K stadium in this area would be a cash cow.

Posted by: jnel | March 25, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I-270Exit1 - Oh give me a break, NYC in the 70s and 80s was totally corrupt and guess what? They still taxed the residents of NJ and CT that worked there. Commuters use the resources of DC - Fire, Police, roads, etc. and should pay their fair share. Period.

Posted by: colheights1 | March 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

the jurisdictions paid for infrastructure improvements for both fedex and verizon ne mci.

but that's all water ounder the bridge. fenty blew it when he reneged on the poplar point deal. he used the team to get the congressional legislation passed and then hung them out to dry.

what i want to know is whether he would agree to honest and constructive negotiating with the end goal of coming to an agreement. that's what i doubt. the same can be said for payne, but im a bit more optimistic about his willingness to negotiate. surely a mutually beneficial agreement could be made with give and take but it doesn't seem as if the fenty administration is willing to do anything to move the idea forward.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 26, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Nats Stadium either is now, or soon will be, good for the city. It was the catalyst for turning Class C warehouse and gravel pit real estate (low tax revenue) into Class A office real estate (high tax revenue).

Poplar Point could have done the same thing: turn zero revenue park land into high revenue office/entertainment district.

When you're talking urban redevelopment on the scale of Urban Renewal in Southwest in the 60s, the stadium in the 00s or Poplar Point whenever, no one on the private market side wants to be the first to sink money into an unknown (and their lenders don't want them to be first either). It's risky. They all want someone else to be first, but they'll all rush to be second.

That's why government sometimes has to be first (Nats stadium, Poplar Point). The rest will follow.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | March 26, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

So Fenty doesn't know who Don Garber is? What complete murky crap that is. I am willing to bet Fenty know PLENTY well who Don Garber is, what he said to DC United fans when he promised a stadium, and how this situation came to be. Lets face it folks, this mayor is doing what he does by putting all available funds into existing infrastructure for schools and what not. That is not a bad thing and it certainly scores brownie points with his voters. To completely play off like he knows nothing about what Garber said is a joke. He knows damn well but he is not going to spend money on a stadium for DCU it seems.

Posted by: elfelixg | March 26, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@I-270exit1:

Me thinks, that your blast of DCUSince96 was over the top, by just a bit.

C'mon, Bro: Let's not blame the victim for the crime.

As a fellow Marylander, I hope that we had or now subsequently have the safeguards in place not avoid having a similar debacle.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 26, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Fenty played it like a Stradivarius: First, he marginalized MLS's importance by acting ignorant of Garber's remarks - although it seemed important enough during his election campaign to make him stand in front of 20K supporters in RFK and say he'd make a DCU stadium deal. Then he deflected any blame by putting the onus on Don Garber to come up with a reasonable deal - although it's not the commissioner's job to make a deal - perfect! To the disinterested observer, Fenty seems like a perfectly reasonable person. Except, like many politicians, he's a self-serving, lying... well, you can fill in the rest.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | March 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@colheights1 & yankiboy: I deliberately went over the top in response to the ridiculous assertion that all suburb residents want DC to prioritize tax dollars for a stadium rather than schools, infrastructure, etc.

As DC claims that to be taxed without representation, would they allow taxed commuters to vote?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

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