D.C. United news & notes
*My profile of D.C. United Coach Curt Onalfo will appear in Saturday's print editions but is available online now. The story traces his roots in Brazil, his parents' influence on his career, his battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma and his approach to his second head coaching job.
*Expecting rookie goalkeeper Andrew Quinn and defender Jordan Graye to officially join the roster soon. United was awaiting their contracts to be approved by MLS.
*Onalfo said no decision has been made yet on whether No. 2 keeper Bill Hamid, who has a minor shoulder ailment, will be on the game-day roster for the home opener Saturday night against the New England Revolution.
*Josh Wicks update: He is still rehabbing his injuries in California, but with Quinn signed, he appears on the way out. When the players were introduced at the kickoff luncheon Thursday, Wicks was not mentioned. One source tells me that some lower-division clubs have expressed interest in signing him.
*Ticket sales are approaching 15,000, club officials said, and with a good walk-up from the Salvadoran community expected, a turnout in the upper teens seems likely.
*Non-DCU note: Aaron Pitchkolan, a 6-foot-2 defender who played four years with FC Dallas before being picked up by San Jose last year, has lined up trials in Poland next week, the Insider has learned.
*Club owner Will Chang was in warm-up gear at RFK Stadium, getting in an exercise session on a gorgeous spring morning. Asked if he planned to sign himself as a designated player, he responded: "I can't! Curt just cut me!"
For pregame comments from Onalfo and midfielder Santino Quaranta.....
Quaranta, on putting aside last week's 4-0 loss at Kansas City: "It's been very good. We have a very talented coach who teaches us how to put things in the past. That was last week, we move on, there are a lot of games left. ... The mentality has been very good. It's been chippy this week. The guys have been really focused. A lot of stuff came early in the preseason and we had a lot of success. We are going to take what happened last week as a positive and try to move on."
Quaranta, on adapting to his central midfield role: "It's hard to judge it by last week because Kansas City had five in the midfield and caused us a lot of problems. I couldn't really get into the attack a whole bunch. I am still learning, trying to understand. Going forward is natural for me. We've been going over a lot of it -- offensively and defensively -- in training this week, and I think I have done it. I am getting better every day."
Onalfo, on learning from last week's result: "You have to pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and make sure we are ready for what is going to be another dogfight against a very tough New England team that traditionally plays very well as a team with a very good team concept and competes hard and looks to get a lot of service into the box."
On team focus this week: "As I have said from the beginning, we have a very young team, we've made tremendous strides. It was our first step backward as a group, and you are going to have those throughout a long season. Unfortunately, it happened in the first game, but we are going to use it as motivation, we are going to learn from it and make sure we get things right in moving forward."
One player who is not young is Juan Manuel Peña, 37, who is likely to make his MLS debut by starting in central defense Saturday. Said Onalfo: "He was a big part of our success the last couple weeks of preseason. He brings a calming influence to our team. He is a very good passer, so when you are playing against teams that drop off and play low pressure, he is a guy that can really help in the back four in terms of playing quickly, playing balls over distance and breaking down low pressure. He just brings an experience that our young team needs. We have added some quality, experienced players in the last week, and it's just a matter of incorporating them into our team properly -- that takes time. Juan and Carey Talley bring those leadership qualities that our team needs."
On the Revs' approach: "I expect them to probably pick up pressure a little further back, but that doesn't mean they are not pressuring. They are still very hard to play through. It's going to be a game where we are going to need to move the ball quickly, it's going to be a game where we are going to need to make the game as fast as possible."
On United preparing for Shalrie Joseph, who is questionable with a hip flexor injury: "With or without him, they have a real galvanized approach. They have a way of playing on both sides of the ball, so with or without Shalrie, we know they will come with similar things. Obviously, if Shalrie plays, he brings a different dimension. He is, if not the best midfielder in the league, certainly in the top five."
Posted by: OhBoyOhBoy | April 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kenobi | April 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: strago | April 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 2, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fischy | April 2, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 2, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 2, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 2, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 2, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | April 2, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: emanon13 | April 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RIP-21 | April 2, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 2, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 2, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dsheon1 | April 2, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 2, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fischy | April 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jayemzee | April 2, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DadRyan | April 2, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DadRyan | April 2, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 2, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alecw81 | April 3, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 3, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.