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World Cup and MLS news & notes

*Despite missing Real Madrid's La Liga finale, Kaka says he will be 100 percent fit for Brazil's World Cup campaign.

*Fabio Grosso, the Italian defender who scored the go-ahead goal in the 2006 World Cup semifinal against Germany and the decisive penalty kick in the championship match against France, was dropped from the provisional roster by Manager Marcello Lippi.

*What is Landon Donovan's best position for the U.S. team?

"I have developed a comfort playing wide in the midfield on either side, so that would be my preference. But I also understand that in certain games, and even within games, those things change and tactically things need to change. I have always been very open to that. As long as I am on the field, I know I can make an impact and it doesn't matter so much where I am."

*John Maessner has stepped down as D.C. United's director of youth development, a program that helped produce first-team signings Bill Hamid and Andy Najar. In an e-mail, he said he had "decided to move on." Maessner, a former United midfielder, served for 3 1/2 years.

*Representatives from United and the Colorado Rapids, as well as 2011 MLS expansion teams Portland and Vancouver, are in Ghana on a scouting mission, the Insider has learned. United technical director Chad Ashton said two weeks ago that he planned to visit Europe and Africa.

*MLS suspended Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto from Thursday's match at the New York Red Bulls for elbowing a Chivas USA player last weekend.

*The U.S. women's national team, which will face Germany on Saturday in Cleveland, has been paired with Sweden for a July 17 friendly in East Hartford, Conn.

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By Steve Goff  |  May 18, 2010; 6:22 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Brazil , D.C. United , Italy , MLS , U.S. men's national team , Women  | Tags: Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Fabio Grosso, Kaka, La Liga, Landon Donovan, MLS, Marcello Lippi, World Cup  
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Next: Early Wednesday kickaround


I guess they had to go to Ghana since that Detroit tournament was canceled.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

We all figured Kaka was saving himself for the WC instead of trying to win La Liga for Real Madrid.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | May 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 18, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Senor Goff -- any more news on *why* John Maessner is leaving? Did he get a better gig? Had he become unhappy with DCU? I'm hoping this isn't a sign of even more turmoil with DCU. The Academy was the one source of good news we've had from this organization of late.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | May 18, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall seeing any write up on Chad Ashton. Last I heard, Dave Kasper was Technical Director. I know I've seen you reference Chad a couple of times now, but was there an announcement that I missed? Who is he? What experience does he have? Why was he brought in?

Posted by: dsheon1 | May 18, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Agreed chris. Losing Maessner seems like a big blow to the academy and the player development.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 18, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

dsheon1: Chad Ashton was named technical director back in January.

From the DCU website, under Club/Front Office:

"Dave Kasper joined D.C. United in 2002 after a stint with the New England Revolution where he served as the director of business development. After five years as United’s technical director, he was named the club’s general manager in September 2007."

The roster and coaching staff page lists:

"Dave Kasper General Manager
Chad Ashton Technical Director"

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | May 18, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like we're losing the one guy on the staff who was actually doing his job.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 18, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Off topic: My old Mac can't load SilverLight. Can the videos be hosted in a more universal format?

On topic: Clean house, starting from FO.

Posted by: peter_nd | May 18, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse


Welcome to the clusterf#*k that is Silverlight is just one of many poor decisions made by the folks responsible for the makeover of that site.

Posted by: Kenobi | May 18, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

John Maessner has stepped down as D.C. United's director of youth development

So, it's Katy bar the doors? Proverbial rats fleeing the sinking ship?

As for Chad Ashton -- He's been with the team for years. He was Soehn's chief assistant. Ran the team when Soehn was suspended or unavailable. And, yes, you did miss the announcement, after Soehn left.

Posted by: fischy | May 18, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Is there any "season" for the youth development program? Is it odd for Maessner to leave now rather than in the winter?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | May 18, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Ashton was the interim coach until they "picked" Onalfo.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 18, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bartapest1 | May 18, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

How is it that Tracee Hamilton gets a live Q/A on the Post website everyday yet I can't even remember the last time Goff had a live chat online?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | May 19, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Given Steve's schedule, his chats would be at 3AM.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

So Given Donovan's stated preference, we put him on the left wing, Dempsey on the right. No?

Posted by: WorldCup | May 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd like Dempsey up top with Altidore World Cup.
Stuart Holden on the right...

Posted by: DadRyan | May 19, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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