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D.C. United news & notes

Would you believe more medical setbacks for D.C. United? Nothing serious. Defender Carey Talley sat out Tuesday's training session after having a wisdom tooth removed and defender Rodney Wallace departed with an illness. Considering United's surge of injuries, this is considered a good day around RFK Stadium.

Then again, defender Dejan Jakovic, his right arm in a sling after being diagnosed this week with a fractured clavicle suffered in the Philadelphia match April 10, said the prognosis of four to six weeks is actually "six weeks, at least. Everyone is dropping like flies. It's crazy."

Jakovic was injured in a first-half collision with teammate Julius James but remained in the match against the Union.

"His cleat chested me and his knee hit my jaw," the Canadian center back said. "It was a full hit. It was probably fractured from the hit, but it got better. I returned to training, but then the other day, I was just running, no contact or anything with the ball, and I just heard it pop."

There is good news. No, really! To learn about it.....


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*The club might sign midfielder Junior da Silva, the younger brother of former DCU midfielder Fred, now with Philadelphia. Junior has been on trial for several weeks, and with the glut of injuries, he would provide attacking depth.

"He is an 18-year-old that has a lot of potential. We are continuing to make our evaluation," Coach Curt Onalfo said.

When asked if Junior might be added soon, Onalfo said: "Possibly, possibly. He is a talented young attacker who still has a lot to learn."

*Midfielder Clyde Simms, sidelined after straining a hamstring in the season opener, is getting closer to returning. He participated in exercises but worked out on the side while the rest of the squad engaged in full training.

"It's day by day," he said. "Fortunately we have the weekend off. Hopefully I will be back [for the U.S. Open Cup game against Dallas next Wednesday or the New York league match May 1 at RFK Stadium]. But we have to be smart this time around because last time maybe I could have come back too early and maybe that is why I am here now. Just have to be smart this time around."

Although Onalfo shares Simms' optimism, "I share it cautiously because let's be honest: He was out four weeks with a knee injury, he trained one week, and then is out four weeks. We need him -- we need his athleticism, we need his leadership, we need his quality. We just have to be hopeful that he continues to get better and then find a way to intelligently incorporate him into the team."

*Defender Juan Manuel Pena (hamstring) jogged on the side.

*Considering his squad has yielded the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute of three consecutive matches, Onalfo emphasized late-game scenarios during five vs. five in the final stage of training today.

From the sideline, he could be heard yelling: "This is where you can't fall asleep! This is the 80th minute! Who is going to make the play?"

The players seemed to respond well to the session.

"We expended enormous energy pressing the game [against Chicago] and, then in the second half, we still had [some chances] and those moments, we have to find a way to make bigger plays," Onalfo said. "So now it's the 80th minute and we have to step up and make some defensive plays and we fall short. What is really a hopeful situation with our backs against the wall, all of a sudden we are back to where we were before. We have to find a way, regardless of how many injuries, how depleted we are, to somehow get over that hump.

"For me, it's a philosophy we are trying to bring into the training session. I wanted a very intense, hard session at the end of it when guys are tired. That's when: 'Can you pick up your concentration? Can you find something more inside yourself to get through it?' That's our focus. It's just training, though. We have to translate it into the game. The guys have a great attitude; they are working hard."

By Steve Goff  |  April 20, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Carey Talley, Clyde Simms, Curt Onalfo, D.C. United, Julius James, MLS, RFK Stadium, Rodney Wallace, soccer  
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Comments

There is good news. No, really! To learn about it....

Meh, not really....

Posted by: KireDCU | April 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It really is a sad state of affairs when mights and coulds are considered good news.

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts...

Posted by: DCU_Rick | April 20, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"He is a talented young attacker who still has a lot to learn."
=======

Frankly, at this point I wouldn't mind an entire team like this. At least we'd know we're building for the future.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Good news? Actually, it is good news to hear that Simms is at least cautiously optimistic about an early return. I'm not sure that I'd agree signing Junior is "good news". It's actually a mark of desperation, and this eventuality is due to the failures of the front office to provide other options.

Is he talented? I guess, compared to most American 18-year olds. I wouldn't oversell it, though. He ain't even in Najar's class. He certainly isn't at the level of the three young Brazilians the Galaxy brought in. He really does have a lot to learn. I imagine he will sign for close to the league minimum. Even in Open Cup play, he will be overmatched, but he will add some depth. If the team had other options, this would not be under serious consideration. I think Yates would have been a stronger addition.

I like that the team is trying to gains Latin flava, but there will be better options. Contact Alianza in El Salvador -- bring in Rodolfo Zelaya when the window reopens in July. In the meantime, there have to be more polished options than Junior.

MLS reports that Hugo Sanchez is letting it be known that he'd consider an offer from MLS. My guess is he's noted Chivas USA's slow start, but he has to know that the early returns put Onalfo at the head of the chopping block list. Once the Spanish season ends, he'll be available to coach another Spanish team. Maybe, the DCU FO has to be proactive, for once.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I think my threshold for good news is pretty pathetic at this point.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 20, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of "talented young attacker who still has a lot to learn", what is Brandon Manzonelli doing these days ...

Maybe we can get this guy, Caio Correa, who's playing for Botafogo but has some roots here. http://www.boston.com/sports/soccer/blog/2010/02/caio_correa_bot.html

Posted by: Charisma_Man | April 20, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Instead of da Silva on the back of the jersey, can they put Fred's Brother instead?

Posted by: TheJim1 | April 20, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"There is good news. No, really!"

I don't get it, where's the part that says "Kasper tenders resignation"?

Posted by: Section117 | April 20, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Is it too early to start thinking about the first pick in next year's draft?

Posted by: stwasm | April 20, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Not just regarding this situation, but why do teams so often wait until the 80th minute to start playing with energy? I have seen so many games where I wonder why they didn't play like that at the beginning of the game instead of finally creating great chances at the end and watching the time slip away.

I realize that they have to conserve some energy to go a full 90, but why wait until the end of the game to play hard? Is it because teams think they are going to be the ones on top eventually, and then find themselves surprised to be down at the end of the game? Really, I am trying to make sense of it because you see it a lot -- not just with United.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | April 20, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Of course one of my bench players for Barca has to score... :/

Posted by: DadRyan | April 20, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Forget the stadium situation, everything this team does, or doesn't do, (especially anything said by the current coach and front office) makes me wanna go:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

it baffles me that a "major league" organization has no better options for depth than to sign a former player's younger brother who more or less has been hanging around training sessions.

Posted by: VTUnited | April 20, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get it, where's the part that says "Kasper tenders resignation"?"

You guys want to fire Kasper, Fire Onalfo, Fire even your GM Kevin Payne?

Your team seems to have done nothing but get worse everytime you ask for someone to be fired or let go...

Think about it.. Gallardo (who is doing fine at River Plate), Emilio and Fred were all the subject of ire for DCU fans now they're gone and your team is the worst in the league.

You wanted to Fire Soehn and again got your wish and have an even worse team than last year.

So, perhaps maybe firing people is not the solution unless you have some one else in mind for the job. Any good manager will tell you that.

Getting rid of Kasper, Payne and Onalfo won't suddenly bring you a Steve Nichol, Adrian Hanauer and Dominic Kinnear.

Cool the jets a little.

Posted by: jiji1 | April 20, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Zelaya is awesome. What a coup he would be. In fact, I'm surprised he is still with Alianza.

Posted by: Reignking | April 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I am slowly beginning to admire Onalfo's spirit. I hope it rubs off on the players and club for a solid second half of the season . . . cuz I've written off everything until July.

Posted by: delantero | April 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

im with you delantro - the guy is at least saying the right things, which wasn't always the case with Tommy. its not Onalfo's fault that everyone is hurt. its like blaming Jim Zorn for the Skins' oline last year.

Posted by: VTUnited | April 20, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Cool the jets a little.

Posted by: jiji1 | April 20, 2010 3:16 PM

++++++++++++++++++

My name is JkR- and I endorse this message...

Posted by: JkR- | April 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tim from Seattle, go cool your own jets and leave United's fans to their misery.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 20, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Is it too early to start thinking about the first pick in next year's draft?

Posted by: stwasm | April 20, 2010 3:09 PM
------------------------------------------------------

Not at all. I'm sure Portland Vancouver are already thinking about it, waiting to see which team will get the first pick. I wonder who DC could get with the 3rd pick.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get it, where's the part that says "Kasper tenders resignation"?"

You guys want to fire Kasper, Fire Onalfo, Fire even your GM Kevin Payne?

Your team seems to have done nothing but get worse everytime you ask for someone to be fired or let go...

Think about it.. Gallardo (who is doing fine at River Plate), Emilio and Fred were all the subject of ire for DCU fans now they're gone and your team is the worst in the league.

You wanted to Fire Soehn and again got your wish and have an even worse team than last year.

So, perhaps maybe firing people is not the solution unless you have some one else in mind for the job. Any good manager will tell you that.

Getting rid of Kasper, Payne and Onalfo won't suddenly bring you a Steve Nichol, Adrian Hanauer and Dominic Kinnear.

Cool the jets a little.

Posted by: jiji1 | April 20, 2010 3:16 PM
-------------------------------------------

Kasper has not been cutting it. His list of signings are beyond poor at best.

Gallardo was lazy with Unied. He played like he was too good for MLS and it showed in his play.

Emilio and Fred were both too incinsistent.

Kasper is the problem. Fred, Emilio and Gallardo all needed to be gone. Kaspe ris the one who has replaced them poorly.

And before you ask even if the team were to get worse Kasper needs to go.

Posted by: sacole13 | April 20, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Think about it.. Gallardo (who is doing fine at River Plate), Emilio and Fred were all the subject of ire for DCU fans now they're gone and your team is the worst in the league."

My snark aside, speaking for myself, I liked all three people you list here, but to focus on number two for a second, instead of offloading him to Philadelphia for something, ANYTHING, not only are any offers seemingly quashed, but last I heard, Philly submitted a discovery on Ruiz to boot.

Personnel decisions like not turning a seemingly viable asset into a return for your club (or the revolving keeper position post-Perkins 1.0, up to overpaying for Perkins 2.0) are why I think he should go. For what it's worth.

Posted by: Section117 | April 20, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

If anyone's got Kasper's email or Payne's email -- tell them to put in a discovery claim on Zelaya, asap....

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Emilio was terrible.

Posted by: Reignking | April 20, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

So, Barca are human...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 20, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@Section117 - didn't Goff report that Emilio didn't come to an agreement with MLS? Thats not DCU's fault.

I wonder how the Sounders would be doing this season with Gallardo, Emilio and Fred instead of Ljunberg, Montero, and some guy that sits on their bench...

Posted by: VTUnited | April 20, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@ delantero and VT United

I'm with you guys. I just decided to swallow my negativity and just back these guys like fan should.

Positive vibes for our guys.

Vamos United.

Posted by: seahawkdad | April 20, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Kasper is not included in this backing, however.

Posted by: seahawkdad | April 20, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@seahawkdad, agreed on all counts.

Posted by: Section117 | April 20, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I see it broken down into three types of fans: the fanboy, the fan and the cynic.

The fanboy sees nothing wrong anywhere, any time. "It's all good." He buys tickets when the team is great and when the team is poor -- essentially telling ownership everything's OK with him.

The cynic has nothing good to say, ever. If he didn't complain, he'd have nothing to live for.

The fan loves the team, wants it to do well all of the time, but will call it to task when he feels it's letting him/the community down. He wants a return for his hard-earned money, and sends a message to the club when it's making poor decisions by not buying tickets.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 20, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

For this club, the old adage "No news is good news," is appropriate.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

of course the year DC tanks there are two expansion teams to get the first two draft picks.

Kasper will probably give our first round draft pick to whoever is first in the allocation order when Bryan Arguez announces he is coming back to MLS though.

Posted by: joe_hill | April 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Emilio was terrible.

Posted by: Reignking | April 20, 2010 3:47 PM
-----------------------------------------------------

He wasn't terrible. If he was in close, he could shoot. However, he wasn't worth a DP deal. The idea was always that DC could get someone a lot better in his slot. Finally, it seems from Goff's interviews yesterday, it does seem the team will be serious in going after legitimately higher-priced talent, this summer.

--

An Argy-Bargy spoiler comment: 4 goals today. I had all 4 goal-scorers in my lineup. Unfortunately, I also had Valdes and Puyol.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- I get the humor in your comment. I guess, for the time being, that's also true. Come July 15th, I think the reverse will be true. Each day with no news will not be good news.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Call me a cross between a fanboy and a fan. I may whine or complain at times but I still give my hard earned money to DC United and the Redskins for their season tickets. If I had more money I would throw the Caps my hard earned money as well but their just too expensive for me.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 20, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Chrisma_Mam: Randon shout about Brandon Manzonelli. I wonder too but I have no clue what he is doing. I was surprised he didn't have more of an impact with New England.

I played with him when he was a freshman at Lafayette High School in Mo. (I was a senior.) Immense talent, I have also played against Drew Yates/AJ Delegarza many times and thought Manzonelli had more potential. Guess it never panned out though. My younger brother played with him in the Scott Gallagher set up, and they are still good friends. I would text my brother asking him what he knows but it is Dolphy Day at Le Moyne College so he is in a drunken stupor at this point.

Posted by: grubbsbl | April 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Positive vibes for our guys.
Vamos United."

On the eve of Fleche Wallone and Liege- Bastogne-Liege, the one day cycling classics in the Ardennes and location of the "Battle of the Bulge" comes this:

Eisenhower, told the generals, "The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this table."

Posted by: delantero | April 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Long live Mario Gori makes a move!

Posted by: Reignking | April 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Bethesda United made a bigger move, into the top 10. If Robben and Olic do well tomorrow, might even climb up a little more. Probably too late for a top 4 finish, but I think I've still got a shot at a Europa League spot.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You wanted to Fire Soehn and again got your wish and have an even worse team than last year.

So, perhaps maybe firing people is not the solution unless you have some one else in mind for the job.

Posted by: jiji1 | April 20, 2010 3:16 PM

Clearly, we're just not firing the right people. Duh.

In lieu of "Fred's Brother" on his jersey, I will also accept "Fredinho" and "Fred's Brohah".

Posted by: daandre3 | April 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo is doing so well that River Plate is experiencing its worst season....ever. Emilio is so good no one wants him. Still, if we had kept Fred, we would be as good as any expansion team this year and that would be a notch up from where we are.

To stay positive, however, I do like our "friends and family" approach to bringing in new players. Must save on actual travel and work and there is a built in phone plan.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | April 20, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Argy Bargy:

24 points with 5 (including my captain, Olic) to play. Given the small player pool left, it's going to be difficult for anyone to get ahead of me. It looks like everyone has more or less the same team.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I know there are some people who post here who are good at data. What I'm about to say is not researched, but I believe it to be true:

Over the entire history of MLS, more teams make the playoffs than do not make the playoffs.

Yet United, which had great success in the early years of the league, has missed the playoffs more than it has made the playoffs.

That's hard to do given that over 50 percent of teams, on average, have made the MLS playoffs.

Basically we'd do better with a coin flip than the management we've had.

Quarter for GM
Nickel for Technical Director
Dime for Coach

Change we can believe in!

Posted by: dsheon1 | April 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What I'm about to say is not researched, but I believe it to be true:

----------------------------------------------------------

Sounds like the Tea Party motto.

9 years in the playoffs, and 5 years not in (2000-02, 08-09). Even after this miserable season is over, they'll still be in the playoffs 3/5ths of the time. Better than a coin flip. But, don't let "real" facts sway you. You've got your own unresearched facts to guide you. That's even better than taking a minute to look at Wikipedia.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

On the good news front -- DCU Academy teams went undefeated this weekend in a swing up and down the Brooklyn-Queens Expwy. Shaquille Phillips is still scoring for the U-18s, with a goal in a 5-2 win Saturday; Michael Funes hit the game-winner in a 2-1 rally on Sunday; and someone named Aslin(?) Rodas scored a passel of goals for DC over both games. I believe he's currently from Ellicott City, and is probably the Aslinn Rodas who used to be from California and did a brief stint in Bradenton with the U17s in '08.

Assuming Najar does well enough to get a real roster spot next year, it would open up another Homegrown slot.... My guess is Funes has a leg up for the slot, but it's probably worth checking these reports to get a better idea. This team needs goals...

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@delantero This from Winston Churchill applies as well: "When you're going through hell, keep going."

Posted by: ldmay | April 20, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we at least stop putting "Tradition" on the uniforms? It's silly.

Hasn't San Jose/Houston won the same number of MLS Cups that we have?*

*Don't pretend that these were two totally different teams.


Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | April 20, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll one up ya there Palin-McCain, and I'm positive I'm not the first to suggest they stop putting the four stars on any jersey until they EARN a fifth.

@Chest, I don't doubt your numbers game dog, but don't go crowning yourself the king of the hill quite yet. Besides, did we ever come up with some sort of prize other than bragging rights anyway? Whatever would we do if there's a tie? Beer Bongs at twenty paces?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 20, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that nice Flounders have a third kit. DC clearly is behind most teams we have an archaic system of thought.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 20, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that nice Flounders have a third kit. DC clearly is behind most teams we have an archaic system of thought.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 20, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

This is the part where I throw the full rocks glass at the mirror in the bathroom.... Psych. Wasn't it my wack @r$E asking for a 3rd kit, only to finally be shut down by a Kevin Payne internet Q&A?

Maybe someone will buy ol' daddy o' a Sounders 3rd shirt for his birthday? That shiz would look crazy on the dance floor yo!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 20, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I mean the least you can do for your loyal fanbase, when the club is mired in fixture congestion is give em' an extra shirt to purchase and wear out to the bar on a random Tuesday night to catch some game being broadcast from a Panamanian baseball stadium, right?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 20, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Y'know -- DC used to have a 3rd jersey. Blue torso, along with white and red hoops on the arms. Haven't seen anyone wearing that one in years, though. I always liked it.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

It does predate my fixation for sure fischy, but I have seen lots of pics of the cat in the hat jawn.

Always thought something as simple as an actual game jersey in red would suffice. blah, blah.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 21, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Not at all. I'm sure Portland Vancouver are already thinking about it, waiting to see which team will get the first pick. I wonder who DC could get with the 3rd pick.

Posted by: fischy | April 20, 2010 3:40 PM |

I totally forgot about Portand and Vancouver. It figures that the year shaping up to be our worst ever will not result in our picking first overall in the draft.

Posted by: stwasm | April 21, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Sometime this season...D.C. United will be awarded a corner kick...and score an own-goal.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | April 21, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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