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D.C. United news & notes

*D.C. United defender Devon McTavish has resumed full-time training after recovering from a hamstring-groin injury and, although he will be available Saturday night against the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium, I would be surprised if he started.

"I didn't have any issues running straight; it was just cutting and kicking the ball," he said. "Today it felt good. My fitness is decent. It's up to Curt [Onalfo]. We'll see how I do in training" on Friday.

With Juan Manuel Peña set to make his DCU debut in central defense alongside Dejan Jakovic, McTavish and Carey Talley are the top candidates for the right back role. I'm guessing it will be Talley. Peña has not played in an official competitive club match of any kind since last summer, so his fitness might become an issue in the second half. In that case, Julius James would become the primary option off the bench.

More notes.....

*Bill Hamid, No. 2 on the goalkeeping depth chart, has a minor shoulder injury and the club will determine Friday whether he will be active Saturday. If not, rookie Andrew Quinn will back up Troy Perkins.

*Midfield trialist Drew Yates will continue to train with the club, but also might end up signing with Crystal Palace Baltimore or Real Maryland and split his practice time between DCU and the lower-division club.

By Steve Goff  |  April 1, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Vaughn was the natural backup to Namoff. Why did we cut him? Did he show up to training drunk or hung over or something?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | April 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

via @craigstouffer

Grabbed #dcu GM Dave Kasper after the team luncheon to ask about team's plans for 2nd or any DP: "We're not going that route."

Posted by: inzzo79 | April 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, so five days into the season and our injury list is as such:


At minimum three starters out injured. But worry not, Mr. Onalfo's teams have been amongst the healthiest in the league in the past several seasons!

Posted by: the_slammer | April 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse


McTavish ended up getting more of the minutes at right back in preseason than Vaughn did. Since they're roughly equivalent players, and McTavish has a bit more versatility, I can't say I was surprised at all that Vaughn was let go.


Holding Onalfo responsible for the injuries to Wicks and Namoff is ridiculous. Burch breaking a bone in his foot also seems like sheer bad luck, rather than some flaw in training.

However, the fact that McTavish and Simms have already had muscular injuries this quickly is somewhat alarming.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I had heard Ledo Pizza would have a stand at RFK. However, I had not heard that FatFace BBQ and Ben's Chili Bowl would also have stands at RFK. We do like Ben's Chili Bowl! This is a major upgrade. Well done KP.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I just went to the Fat Face BBQ web site. It looks great. Definitely, the real deal.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I was in Kansas City last week, so I'm all barbecued out. But I expect to return to sanity in a week or welcome Fat Face!

Posted by: troy6 | April 1, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Chest_Rockwell -- I wouldn't be surprised either, except 1) because of the CBA fiasco, the roster cut-down day wasn't until much later than when Vaughn was let go, so there was no rush, and 2) we knew that Namoff was out and would be for a little while, so we had no depth behind McTavish.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | April 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Love the concession upgrades. That's better than they had when the Skins played at RFK. Two thumbs way up!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 1, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Good Europa League matches today. Soccer is boring!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 1, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Chest - was never suggesting that Onalfo is in any way to blame for any of the injuries. Just that we do, like you say, have two muscle injuries already (like we always do) and that maybe KC's sports medicine/training staff could have had a large part to play on that team's relative health under Curt..

Posted by: the_slammer | April 1, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what y'all are going on about. I doubt there's anything that Onalfo is doing that is so unusual it's causing any injuries. Field players pick up muscular injuries, or sprains/tears, even in training -- and goalies do hurt their shoulders diving around.

The only thing to maybe blame Onalfo for is possibly bringing in Simms to try and play too soon after his knee injury. Obviously, he might not have been up to it. On the other hand, players pull hammies all the time. Hopefully, he has options besides McTavish. Better to wait a week than lose him for a month or two.

Seriously, team. $500k or even a million ought to impress some South American talent. I don't know diddly about any of these guys, but there's a guy being coached by El Diablo right now who has a nice resume by Bolivian standards: Diego Cabrera. Only one goal with the national side, but very effective with his club sides. Just an example.

Posted by: fischy | April 1, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@fischy -

Merely noting a pattern that's developed over the last several seasons of many of our key cogs in the lineup missing tons of time from muscular strains and injuries, that's all. This team seems to lack depth even when everyone's healthy.

Posted by: the_slammer | April 1, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought DCU was healthy last year.

And aren't most MLS teams not deep at all?

Posted by: Reignking | April 1, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

via @craigstouffer

Grabbed #dcu GM Dave Kasper after the team luncheon to ask about team's plans for 2nd or any DP: "We're not going that route."

Posted by: inzzo79 | April 1, 2010 3:08 PM

What the heck is DK talking about????

I hope he's just playing coy. This team has to have at least half a million to spend -- and I'm thinking it's substantially more than that -- with no brownie points from MLS if they don't spend it all. If they don't go out and get some DPs, I think that's professional malpractice.

Goff, is it possible to find out about how much cap room the team has, now that they've brought in Peña? I'm sure there are certain unknown variables such as Burch and Namoff and how much they might receive -- but I think, at this point, that it's fair to start questioning what the front office is doing and why...

When the season is over, I would love to see the final cap total for United. If they've left over 160k on the table without bringing in at least one DP this summer, I will be game to start a fire Kasper petition drive. Given what I presume is a salary base way below the cap level, the only reason I can see not signing a couple of DPs is if they've got someone really big (Seedorf, Vieira or such) already lined up for next year and need to hold the slot(s).

Posted by: fischy | April 1, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Fischy's reference to luring South American talent with the remaining salary budget reminded me of something.

A few year's back, DC had Jaime Moreno's cousin in a for tryout (was his name Aguilera?) and, for a while, the term "Jaime's cousin" became a bit of a shorthand gag for an imaginary foreign player that would arrive and provide the missing piece that would turn DC United into an unstoppable offensive force.

On Monday, Wigan was on ESPN (the game when Tevez got his hattrick) featuring a tall forward from Santa Cruz, Bolivia who resembles Jaime (but not in height) and is named Marcelo Moreno.

Is this the long sought after "Jaime's cousin" and could he lead us to the pot of gold at the end of MLS playoffs?

Or are Chad Ashton, Dave Kasper and Kevin Payne going to have jump back into the Hot Tub Time Machine and find another Veterano de Estados Unidos '94?

Either way, get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 1, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify my above remark -- I do understand that signing a DP implies the team will be responsible for some salary -- whatever is over the $330k or the $165k half-season. I'm not trying to spend Chang's money, but this a boon for a team. If Chang spends a few hundred thousand for a guy or guys who can put an average 4000 extra fannies in the stands, plus help secure the team at least one home playoff game, I'm probably really lowballing the additional revenues at $1.5 million. Even the lone playoff game is going to be over $700k in ticket sales -- maybe much more depending on crowd size and average ticket price -- plus concession prices.

I realize Gallardo didn't pay off. Just be smarter about it and it can't help but pay off.

Posted by: fischy | April 1, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

By the way -- the number I posted above -- that was based on a half-season DP, playing 7 home games. Bring someone in now -- to make the team more competitive and draw bigger crowds -- and there will be an even bigger revenue leap.

Posted by: fischy | April 1, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps there is no one of DP value out there right now. No reason for Chang to spend money for the sake of spending money. The last thing we want is for the FO to rush to sign somebody they probably did not want in the first place(Gallardo anyone?).The FO seems to be taking its time finding somebody that they truly want which is something I think most people on here can agree with.

Posted by: Unitedfury | April 1, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

There is no one right now. They couldn't transfer (eg Nfuko).

Posted by: Reignking | April 1, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Great, Wigan gets Jaime's cousin and we get squadoosh.

Posted by: dccal | April 1, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

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