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Early Friday kickaround

*MLS labor talks here in Washington went deep into stoppage time Thursday night/Friday morning. Last I heard, the sides had entered a 14th hour. Can't they just settle it with penalty kicks? Cannon in goal, Garber steps to the spot ...

Yellow cards were given to both sides for leaking top-secret information about ... taking a dinner break. (The Insider's Twitter feed is guilt-ridden.) Players attending the session have been instructed to not speak with the media. As for the meal, why not just order in? Surely, RFK Stadium security would've rushed over a vat of tangy nacho cheese and crisp tortilla chips.

Does a late session indicate significant progress? Not necessarily. But at least they're talking -- and serious about getting a deal done by Sunday. Perhaps some news from both camps later this morning, eh fellas?

Meantime, Clark Hunt, whose family helped launch the league and operates the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, joined the resolute management chorus by telling the Columbus Dispatch that "a strike would cause ownership to become more entrenched in our positions. Looking back at all the struggles we've had, I can say that we would have a very hard time accepting it."

Much more for you.....

*The CONCACAF Champions League semifinals will be an all-Mexico affair after Pumas claimed the final slot with a 6-1 demolition of Marathon (6-3 aggregate). Cruz Azul, Pachuca and Toluca will also join the party.

*Besides England Manager Fabio Capello and the USA's Bob Bradley, witnesses at Craven Cottage for Clint Dempsey's sublime goal against Juventus included University of Akron Coach Caleb Porter (a finalist for the D.C. United job this past winter) and George Mason assistant Nick Carlin-Voigt.

*For the first time in USA women's history, an American squad has failed to qualify for a FIFA tournament. The U-17s were beaten by Canada on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie in the CONCACAF semifinals. Because T&T is hosting the U-17 World Cup in September, only two CONCACAF teams, instead of the usual three, were eligible to qualify. Mexico defeated Costa Rica for the other berth.

By Steve Goff  |  March 19, 2010; 1:40 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF , CONCACAF Champions League , College Soccer , England , MLS , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dempsey's goal lifts Fulham over Juventus
Next: Champions League, Europa League pairings

Comments

I guess Caleb has some spending money after he milked DCU for a lucrative deal in Ohio? Maybe not quite as gross as Capello just yet, but I'm guessing time spent galavanting around Europe will have him rocking a banana hammock in no time.

Thanks for the updates Steve.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 19, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Goff-
Can you confirm that Lawson Vaughn has indeed been cut from DCU camp? Not a huge surprise if it's true but still newsworthy nonetheless.

And I don't think ANYBODY wants to see Namoff step up to take a PK lol

Posted by: BurchFan4 | March 19, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a player beat his own keeper from midfield before. Palacios really should have gotten the credit for that o.g. despite not touching it. That was the worst goalkeeping gaffe I've seen since, well, Ochoa's yesterday.

Posted by: BooThisMan | March 19, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

If Vaughn is gone - DC has had quite the overhaul of departures this year. My guess is we are making cap space for Pena and Najar --- stated from Will Chang's twitter.

Najar has been quite impressive thus far in preseason - I wouldnt mind him cracking the starting roster sometime soon as CM/CAM. Maybe moving Santino back to RM and placing Najar at CM/CAM would look nice.

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | March 19, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Lol, Goff. You have a good sense of humor my friend.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 19, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Busy fixing my computer, so I'm up late.

@ManofLaMancha -- I'm not hooked into Twitter -- I've googled Chang's twitter and follow links there to questions posed. Not sure where you're getting your conclusions. The reason I ask is unless they're making Najar and Pena both DP-sized offers, they don't need to clear cap room. We're not sure exactly how much room they have, but it's in excess of $600,000 -- possibly even more like $700,000 (especially if there's a cap increase...they might even closer to $800,000 depending on what the increase might be). So, if Chang is suggesting somewhere in there (and I don't see it) that they're clearing cap room for those 2, he's utterly clueless about the team's finances.

On the other hand, if they're looking at signing big names that aren't in camp, then maybe Vaughn's $34,000 is in the way.

Seriously, though -- Vaughn was a victim of the numbers game. Graye and Rice will probably get developmental deals (Hamid and Najar might also, or Quinn). With Pena, Jakovic, James, McTavish, Wallace, Adams, Graye and Rice, they have a pretty full complement of defenders...and Namoff on the way later on, we hope. No room to give a senior spot to Vaughn. He was only going to stay on if the trialists didn't work out. Based on his being subbed out after only 20 minutes, I'm guessing you can expect that Woolard won't make the final roster either.

I was impressed with Najar in what little I saw of him last year. I haven't seen him play yet this year, but I think it's a long shot that he makes the real roster. Maybe he gets a contract for one of the Homegrown off-roster slots. He'll make good money for a 17 y.o. non-roster player, but it won't be 6-figures. Pena will probably make between $150k and $250k. That still leaves room for a DP, and then some (the above rough estimate of cap room includes a lowball figure for Pena).

Posted by: fischy | March 19, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I'm tired of writing Pena. Does anyone know how to make an enya (an n w/tilde above it)?

Posted by: fischy | March 19, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Props to the Canadian girls. Huge upset, I'm guessing.

Posted by: fischy | March 19, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm up this "late" because its when I wake up for work.


I get the feeling everyone from both teams is more likely to do this than anything else sometimes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voT5W9Doa-s


Hope I'm wrong. Don't want to be in Charleston for the last game played between MLS teams.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 19, 2010 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone thing Jakovic could play CDM?

Having the starting roster look like this:

GK: Perkins
Backline: McTavish-James-Pena-Wallace
CDM: Jakovic
RM: Khumalo
CM: Quaranta
LM: Castillo
Forwards: Pontius-Moreno

He has shown the ability to provide great distribution and ball control, has the defensive mindset, and probably could have a good strike at goal once and a while. Stamina would be the only problem. Just an extreme thought.

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | March 19, 2010 4:46 AM | Report abuse

@Fishcy
Here's your enya: ñ (via Google)

One of your funnier posts, Steve.

Posted by: KireDCU | March 19, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

The English have started to refer to Donovan as "Landycakes." All is right in the world.

Posted by: glfrazier | March 19, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Señor Quixote: you're not seriously suggesting we hand over playmaking duties to a 17 year old with half a friendly's worth of professional experience, are you? I think it's great the kid is getting time with the big boys, and hope he continues to train with them this season, but he's the future (maybe) not the present. I figure the idea is to give him a season's training with the senior squad with an eye on signing him to a Bill Hamid type deal in last summer if he shows well. He doesn't need to take up a roster spot just yet.

Ok, I have to confess: despite myself, I am getting worked up for the season to start and will be very put out if it don't happen.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 19, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

josh - the key word for me was *sometime.* not to start the season - but sometime during the season (open cup play, injury plagued match, etc.). Sometime during the season I would like Hamid to get a starting chance as well (most likely Open Cup play).

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | March 19, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes, a funny post Goff. But the funniest part is that you infer the nachos at RFK actually have crisp tortillas.

Posted by: spata1 | March 19, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I'm tired of writing Pena. Does anyone know how to make an enya (an n w/tilde above it)?
Posted by: fischy |


Try holding down ALT key and type 164
That will give you...ñ

Posted by: Mig18 | March 19, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

With Marathon out of the CCL, maybe DC is going to try and finally land Mejia?

Posted by: jason1551 | March 19, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

What happens when both sides can't come to an agreement on what to eat?

For all we know they could still be debating between Moby's and "the really good Chinese place I heard about" as options for dinner last night.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 19, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

"Surely, RFK Stadium security would've rushed over a vat of tangy nacho cheese and crisp tortilla chips."

I'm thinking more like lukewarm hotdogs and stale buns (if they haven't run out of buns).

I use ALT 0241 for n~ on a full keyboard with number pad. It doesn't work on my laptop.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 19, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Report from London
BlackandRedRedDevil

Please let all the Yankosnobs know that Clint Dempsey is being treated like a god in the papers and on TV.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 19, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Do the owners get yellow cards for speaking to the press, or is the ref being uneven handing out the cards ?

Posted by: emanon13 | March 19, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Back in '97 when the players sued MLS over the single-entity structuer, the players were shopping for a union. The subject of having to resort to a strike as a means of getting or gaining leverage was discussed at the time, as surely it must be if any union is to have meaningful sack.

Lamar commented at the time that if the MLS players ever struck, he would pull out and other investors would surely follow. Lamar, for one, given his NFL experience with 2 devestating strikes, got into MLS in no small part to avoid any conflict like that. I wonder if his son feels the same way.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 19, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The U-17 game was amazing, in a negative way. I have never seen any US national team play in such a stodgy fashion. The team lacks one individual of true excellence or outstanding speed and had zero imagination. Some of the fault has to lie with the coaching staff. During the 60 or so min I watched, there was not a single drive wide up the right flank. There were a few up the left and these were the only forays that actually created real opportunity. Otherwise, it was straight up the middle and boringly repetitive, trying to work through a central defense quite up to the task of stopping the efforts.

Posted by: lmorin | March 19, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@lmorin. The Greg Ryan teams certainly played stodgy ball for years.

Especially in the 2d half, the US was trying to work through their #10, who is a helluva player, one I think has "true excellence." Keep in mind she's 16 years old (they all are).

It is exceedingly difficult in a U17 girls game to break down a defense that has 11 players behind the ball in their own back third. In part because it is usually not possible for the girls to switch fields with a single ball. I suppose the US could have rained long balls over the top and hope that the forwards connect, but I think it is less stodgy to keep it on the rug and try the type of interchanges and quick movements off the ball that the US was trying, albeit without success in the final analysis. And playing 3 in the back is certainly not "stodgy" as I think of it.

The US created several opportunities up the left flank, through Alex Doll of Bethesda. I think "zero imagination" is unduly harsh, especially as respects some of Doll's penetrating and creative passes.

In the end, you've got to finish your chances against a team that is bunkering down. PKs are a great leveler. No one who watched the game could credibly say that Canada has the better team.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 19, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I didn't catch most of the match, but I'll agree with OWNTF in that Canada was not superior in the run of play. Indeed we had a couple of missed breakaways that, had it not been a U17 match, would have had me swearing at the TV. Our GK had bad luck on one of the PKs, where she initially blocked it, but the ball spun over her and over the line. A heartbreaking loss for the girls.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 19, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

A heartbreaking loss for the girls.
Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 19, 2010 9:45 AM

Ah... yes. The broken hearts of 16 year old girls. Such tender things, those hearts.

Posted by: WorldCup | March 19, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Lamar Hunt comments in the 1990's regarding his experience with a players strike in the NFL which he called 'devastating'. Devastating for whom? The NFL survived those two strikes and is bigger and better than ever. Those strikes were just a blimp in the road. The effect of a player's strike on Major League Soccer? Long term survival not guaranteed.

Posted by: kanicko | March 19, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@Southeasterner, no the real problem was before the order. The owners wanted a single check, the players wanted the server to split the bill into separate checks... in the end, the owners and players decided to sit at separate tables.

Posted by: prokaryote | March 19, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

As for the Hunt/ownership comment, would you expect an owner to say anything else?

Posted by: LCR-54 | March 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

ñ: It's so easy on a Mac. "alt-n" then "n"

"On the other hand, if they're looking at signing big names that aren't in camp, then maybe Vaughn's $34,000 is in the way."

lol, but didn't figure he made that much.

If this whole thing goes down I'm blaming you and your tweets, Goff.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 19, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Devestating to the season and the teams, and in '87 for the season ticket holders of some teams that wouldn't give refunds for the scab games. Devastating for the Redskins in both years as they won strike-tainted Super Bowls and cannot claim that those championships were legitimate.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Those strikes were just a blimp in the road.
Posted by: kanicko | March 19, 2010 11:51 AM

Pretty sure that'd freak me out.

Posted by: crynyd | March 19, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986:
"Devestating to the season and the teams, and in '87 for the season ticket holders of some teams that wouldn't give refunds for the scab games. Devastating for the Redskins in both years as they won strike-tainted Super Bowls and cannot claim that those championships were legitimate."

Dallas fan, hey? Still crying about losing the last game to replacement Washington players after your regulars returned?

How quaint.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | March 19, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Tim Leiweke, if MLS players don't cave on free agency, there will be no MLS season.

The sad part is that MLS will lose less money by not playing.

To summarize - accept single entity uber alles or MLS will nuke American soccer for a year.

Time to take the bomb away from them.

Posted by: soccerreform | March 19, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Not a Dallas fan, and Gibbs's job with the scabs against Dallas goes down as one of the greatest coaching jobs in football history. I'm just saying that the '82 and '87 championships are tainted for a variety of reasons because of the strikes. Ask Darrell Green or Neil Olkewicz, the Redskins player reps. They'll say the same thing.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 19, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I really do hope the players strike...the MLS is run by a bunch of North Jersey goombahs that have watched the Sopranos too many times.
I doubt many people outside of this blog will even care if there is a strike.

Posted by: LCR-54 | March 19, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

North Jersey goombahs - isn't that redundant?

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 19, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Watched part of the U-17 U.S. team that succumbed to Canada. Most of our girls were very athletic, quick to the ball and focused. However, it's the same problem, not enough patience, not enough vision and not enough ability to execute at the right moment.

Posted by: juke2 | March 19, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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