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Tuesday kickaround: D.C.'s interest in Raul? Sir Alex backs Bradley, Salgado scores, TV listings

*For weeks while I was in South Africa for the World Cup, rumors swirled that D.C. United was pursuing Raul, the Real Madrid legend who had just finished his 16th, and presumably, final season at the Bernabeu.

So upon my return, with Raul reportedly headed for Schalke in Germany or perhaps an English side to finish his sterling career, one of my first questions to United President Kevin Payne was whether the MLS club did, indeed, make a bid for Real's all-time leading scorer. His answer was curious, to say the least.

"All I will say is that I think Raul would have been an unbelievable addition to our league and to our team," he said, before adding: "I am not going to confirm that we were talking to him."

In Spanish media circles, the New York Red Bulls were also briefly linked with Spain's scoring king (44 international goals).

United remains in the hunt for a marquee forward. "It's safe to say that, if we can find a forward, that is the position we would try to fill," Payne said. He cautioned, however, that "the stars really have to align to get big-name players." The international window closes Aug. 15.

*Manchester United Alex Ferguson, on U.S. World Cup Coach Bob Bradley:

"I like Bob. I like his approach. I think he's got a steely determination about him. I think he's done a fantastic job. I'm surprised the USA have not sprinted to his house to get him a new contact."

Coaches typically back one another (unless Jose Mourinho is involved), so it was not completely surprising to hear Ferguson's response to a question about Bradley. The USSF is not going to base its decision on whether to retain Bradley on the opinion of other coaches. Nevertheless, such kind words from an eminent figure surely must resonate a little bit, no?

Keep reading.....

*On the day that his contract agreement with MLS was formally announced, 16-year-old forward Omar Salgado scored in the first half of the U.S. under-20 national team's 1-0 victory over China at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. The Americans will play Denmark on Wednesday. Salgado will be available in the 2011 MLS draft.

*If your cable or satellite provider offers GolTV in high definition, your first HD viewing will be this weekend with coverage of the Emirates Cup in London, featuring Arsenal, AC Milan, Lyon and Celtic.

*Today's TV options:
CONCACAF Champions League, Toronto-Motagua 8 p.m. ET, FSC
Copa Libertadores, Chivas-Universidad Chile 9 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
CONCACAF Champions League, Los Angeles-Puerto Rico 10 p.m. FSC

By Steve Goff  |  July 27, 2010; 10:04 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , England , MLS , Spain , TV , U.S. men's national team , USSF  | Tags: Alex Ferguson, Bob Bradley, D.C. United, Raul  
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Next: Video: K.C. Wizards' stadium commercial

Comments

"The stars really have to align to get big-name players", Kevin? It's interesting, then, how the stars have aligned for so many other teams this year.

I guess the "stars really have to align" for the F.O. to put together a competitive roster at the beginning of the season, huh?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 27, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Should have gone after Guti. Now he would have made things interesting around here...

Posted by: Louise9 | July 27, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If Sir Alex only read more US soccer blogs, he would know that Bradley is a complete idiot who only got the job because his kid is the starting center mid.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Raul doesn't strike me as a good fit for MLS. I don't see any particular team getting that much better by playing with a well past his prime striker that demands good service to be effective.

Posted by: JkR- | July 27, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF,

You forgot to trash Bradley for staying the Arena course, and mention that he was only a fallback after the Klinsmann deal fell through. So he obviously can't be any good.

Posted by: Kenobi | July 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I have failed to find any recap of the U-20s game at the Milk Tourney. Anybody find anything?

Posted by: glfrazier | July 27, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Why is it called the Milk Tourney? Is Sean Penn sponsoring?

Posted by: CYork1 | July 27, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"the stars really have to align to get big-name players."

Yea. I new SSS would align quite a few stars. Selling these guys on a rat infested state of the art in 1960 stadium is a tough sell to say the least.

Posted by: blackandred777 | July 27, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Bradley clearly has his strengths. But Sir Alex's words dont' resonate with me. And I'm not surprised at all USSF is taking its time. The bottom line is that he did well, but at the end of the day he hasn't done much (yet) to improve the MNT. Surely the 2010 cycle was an improvement on 2006, but Bradley bungled (yes, bungled...the lineup selections against Ghana were shocking) an opportunity to at least match, if not improve on Arena's results from 2002.

Keeping Bradley for another cycle isn't a bad option. But Arena did more, arguably with less, in 2002, yet he couldn't build on that success in 2006. Based on that precedent, I'm not very confident Bradley would be successful the second time through. I think we need the quaddrenial infusion of new ideas and new energy to avoid becoming too narrow in our approach - tactically, player selection-wise, etc.

Posted by: DEFPOTEC1 | July 27, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: assocfoot | July 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I lose more and more confidence in Payne every time he opens his mouth. He never says or more importantly does anything positive anymore.

Posted by: decoi | July 27, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Raul is a waste as the current team is constructed. DC is at least 2 full seasons from being a legit cup contender, and that is assuming the stars do align with the existing players, much less new acquisitions. Payne and Kaspar need to continue to pursue the Hernandez type players for the time being.

Posted by: Henchlow | July 27, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

So many of you spew rhetoric that likens going to Maryland as something unholy. If you live in Alexandria, Baltimore is an hour away on a weekend. As I said above, Baltimore is a heck of a lot closer than Philadelphia or New York or Columbus. If your jurisdiction won't do anything to prevent this move, then can the vitriol for the jurisdiction that is stepping up to the plate.

Posted by: Cavan9 | July 27, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

+1 Standing ovation :)

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

blackandred777: The Capitals aren't faring too poorly in rat-infested Verizon Center:

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=295&sid=2012018

The key here is having an owner who a) has financial heft b) political capital in DC and c) knows what he is doing.

Will Chang fails on all three counts, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION.

He has stated he does not have the financial resources to build a stadium, and is looking to partner with someone who does. Hey Will if they have it and you don't what do we need YOU for?

Chang squandered what little politcal capital he had by bungling the Poplar Point deal and then blasting DC pols in the media afterwards. Bridges, once burned, tende to stay burned.

And Chang is right in the middle of all player decisions and other on-field decisions (just see his letter to the fans). In this respect he is no different than Dan Snyder. People can complain all they want about Kasper and Payne. But they are just doing what Chang wants them to do. They can't buy paper clips without Chang signing off on it.

DC United's core problem is not lack of a building, it is lack of competent ownership. Given a REAL owner with REAL resources (other than just OPM -- "other people's money") DC United would have a stadium in progress by now, and in the meantime they woud be thriving as they always had in good old, rat infested RFK; which, despite its age, is still one of the best soccer venues in the country.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ron16,

I don't totally disagree with you concerning Chang but to put all the SSS failings on him is naive, IMO. The local governments and their citizens definitely shoulder some of the blame.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: Unless, of course, he read more soccer blogs from 2009 and earlier, in which case he'd know that Michael Bradley was a terrible player and only on the MNT because his dad was the coach.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | July 27, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

...RFK; which, despite its age, is still one of the best soccer venues in the country.

Posted by: Ron16
-------------------------

You were on a rolll but lost me with that finish.

I have great affection for old RFK, but to suggest that it is "still one of the best soccer venues" is absurd. Off the top of my head I could name at least a dozen that are vastly superior.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Lets solve both problems.

Give Raul a 10 year $300 million contract contingent on him taking ownership of the team and building a new stadium in DC.

Maybe his buddy Jose Andres can open up a Tapas and Cerveza bar at the new Estadio United.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Chang squandered what little politcal capital he had by bungling the Poplar Point deal and then blasting DC pols in the media afterwards. Bridges, once burned, tende to stay burned.

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

That reads like revisionist history to me. If I remember correctly Fenty backed out of a promise to the organization that Williams had made because he felt the deal was potentially too lucrative through other channels to keep the promise. I also seem to remember that Fenty promised to work with United to get a deal done with a speech on 10/29/2006.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | July 27, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I sure would love a SSS in DC.

I sure would love one of the new gull wing Mercedes, too, but I am not that surprised when politicians don't spend tax money to buy me one.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I need more people to call Comcast to request FSC in HD. Champions League and everything else is about to get started...I cannot handle another 6 months without!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF,

Why does it just have to be tax money. How about a stadium location offer and/or bond issue with no current burden on taxpayers.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | July 27, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I need more people to call Comcast to request FSC in HD. Champions League and everything else is about to get started...I cannot handle another 6 months without!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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

Add FIOS to the lobby and GolTV HD while we're at it.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | July 27, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Princebuster21,

You have to factor in everything, not just the concrete (or lack thereof).

1) RFK's location (right in the middle of a major city) is better than most of the SSS's, which for the most part have been built in the hinterlands or otherwisae so far from downtown it might as well be hinterlands. What good is a stadium that is so far out no one will go to it? Cases in point, Pizza Hut Park. DSG Park. Rio Tinto. Toyota Park. All great stadia, but useless to the massses who won't drive hither and yon to get there.

RFK, straight up 395, sail into Lot 8, tailgate if so inclined, short walk to gate.

2) Speaking of parking, you ought to hear the Crew supporters grumble about the abysmal parking at Yellow Football Team stadium. Park there once, and all of the sudden RFK ain't so bad.

3) The sight lines from just about anywhere in the stadium are great.

4) The pitch has historically been one of the best anywhere. That means something if you like to watch attractive soccer.

5) Bouncy sections. Need I say more?

I could go on, but I really don't need to. If we had an owner who would just shut up and sign the checks and let soccer people run the team and get some players in here, RFK would be rocking with 18 - 20 - 22k+ in the stands, and we'd have more leverage in getting a new stadium deal done.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I am so sick and tired of people suggesting that we can't get a stadium deal done because of the economy or the burden on the taxpayer. Wah! Wah! Wah! If the other areas in the league can get a deal done with the same adverse circumstances or possibly even worse then we should be able to get it done as well.

Posted by: blackandred777 | July 27, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Ron16 obviously has not watched a match from the mezzanine or most of the loud side... Once play goes into the Northeast corner of the pitch all site of the ball and the players on said ball are lost.. one has to rely on the "jumbo" tron to view the action in that corner...

I like RFK, but it is NOT the greatest soccer venue in the US..

Cowlumbus is far superior and that place sucks...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Gambrills4, where did I say I put ALL the failings on Chang? I did in effect say say his failings were the key failings, but they weren't the ONLY failings.

And it is clear now that DCU will never get a stadium built and probably never will be a good soccer team again as long as Chang is involved. Getting a stadium done is like a chain, and when the team owner is the weak link in the chain, that is a problem.

Chang is in over his head, pure and simple. He can't run a soccer team, much less get a stadium built.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick and tired of people suggesting that we can't get a stadium deal done because of the economy or the burden on the taxpayer. Wah! Wah! Wah! If the other areas in the league can get a deal done with the same adverse circumstances or possibly even worse then we should be able to get it done as well.

Posted by: blackandred777 | July 27, 2010 11:44 AM

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

Nothing gets built in DC without endless delays. In my 25 years here, I don't recall any project being built without a huge hue and cry, and most of the time, cancellation of the project. Verizon Center being the exception.

Federal presence here makes it unlike anyplace else, and the local politics make that fact worse, not better.

Jack Kent Cooke couldn't spend his own money in DC, as owner of the Redskins, and nothing has changed since then.

Posted by: JkR- | July 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

bonghits, you have taken too many. See if you can scrape some THC-tar off your dead brain cells and understand what I am about to say.

I have been going to soccer games at RFK since 1972. How long have you been? And I didn't say RFK was the best, I said it is one of the best.

I have sat in every part of that stadium. I don't say ALL the sight lines are good I said most all are good. I agree they are not good from the Mezzanine. People who sit there aren't there for the game, anyway.

The sight lines from the loud side are generally very good, unless you sit/stand too close to the field. I wouldn't sit in the front row at the Bernabeu.

But, as I said, sight lines aren't the only thing. You have to GET TO THE STADIUM first, to even experience the sight lines. People *don't even bother to go* to places like Crew Stadium. So if you like going to games where you and 20 people are there in a sea of empty yellow bleachers, by all means go ahead. Be my guest.

Watching the gnats fly around at empty Pizza Hut park probably thrill you. Bong hits will do that to you.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ron, people go out to Rio Tinto. It's like 12 miles outside of city limits. Not that far. Capacity of like 18 even and they're drawing 16,500 pretty much week in, week out. Quit bashing them.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Ron, you've had some great points in the last two days, but when you start attacking people you lose all credibility. I'm still rubbed the wrong way about you calling me an adolescent crack head whenever that was... as you said, burnt bridges tend to stay burnt and when you go out of your way to insult people you are nothing but an arsonist.

Watching from the mezz also reveals just how screwed up the pitch is or was from the Eagle Bank Bowls they've played in the offseason.

Can not stand folks who seem to think they know what bong hits do to people when they've obviously never taken any themselves. Stop being a prick.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Jacob,

Rio Tinto had some people in it the other night. Most games, though, you can read "REAL SALT LAKE" painted onto the seats pretty well, though. Depressing.

DadRyan, oh, I get it. YOU are the only one allowed to take a run at people on this board you disagree with. You aren't exactly the picture of civility. So get off your high horse.

Ooops. Sorry. I didn't mean to say "horse". I mean put *that* in your pipe and smoke it. Oh. wait...

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Jacob,

Rio Tinto had some people in it the other night. Most games, though, you can read "REAL SALT LAKE" painted onto the seats pretty well, though. Depressing.

DadRyan, oh, I get it. YOU are the only one allowed to take a run at people on this board you disagree with. You aren't exactly the picture of civility. So get off your high horse.

Ooops. Sorry. I didn't mean to say "horse". I mean put *that* in your pipe and smoke it. Oh. wait...

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

The SI blog the past two days seems to indicate that the stadium issue is one of the most passionate issues with the United fan base. It seems that we are definitely sitting around waiting for something to happen and frustration is obviously kicking in.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick and tired of people suggesting that we can't get a stadium deal done because of the economy or the burden on the taxpayer. Wah! Wah! Wah!
====================

I am so sick and tired of people who want other people to pick up the tab for stuff they want but don't need. 1) Stuff costs money, and 2) money doesn't grow on trees.

You really think a SSS would "pay for itself"? You think it would fund the payments on a revenue bond? (Maybe it could "save or create" 10,000 jobs -- Ican we submit that to the OMB for an answer?)

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Ron is the "16" a testament to the age of girls you like to look at on the internet?

See, no fun when people use other's handles as some sorta low blow. I'll take a run at people, but these days it's mostly just Flounders trolls, women's soccer haters, or old crotchety @$$ holes who need to stoop to insults when the debate isn't swinging in their favor.

RFK has plenty of sight lines that suck. There is little debate there.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@Ron: The sight lines from our seats in the Mezzanine are perfect, and we go for the game. So please.

Posted by: dccal | July 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick and tired of people suggesting that we can't get a stadium deal done because of the economy or the burden on the taxpayer. Wah! Wah! Wah!
====================

I am so sick and tired of people who want other people to pick up the tab for stuff they want but don't need. 1) Stuff costs money, and 2) money doesn't grow on trees.

You really think a SSS would "pay for itself"? You think it would fund the payments on a revenue bond? (Maybe it could "save or create" 10,000 jobs -- Ican we submit that to the OMB for an answer?)

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

=======================================

To be fair you didn't address the point. Other MLS metros have gotten this done but or metro area hasn't. Anyway you cut it, the point has definite merit. There is no excuse for our area being than only one in MLS that can't work around the problem although JKR has a point about our area being a politcal clusterf**k.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I know this wouldn't work, but I wish they would just rebuild the rfk to be a sss, but D.C united would have to own the stadium in order to do that. I do not care anymore what state the stadium gets built in, as long as you can take the metro to the game, then I think it won't be as bad.

Posted by: ruffplayer8 | July 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Just to quibble a little about RFK being one of "the best soccer stadiums in the country". Maybe 10 years ago, but not anymore.

1. sightlines are not that good. On the loud side there are few seats that can see the ball in the corners (even if standing). Balls on the near side-line are also difficult to see. Add in poorly timed flag waiving and it gets worse.

2. pitch may have been good, but hasn't been quality since pre-baseball days. Dead spots galore and football numerals everywhere.

3. the gash behind the endzone really kills any beauty the place ever had.

4. concessions are horrible and lines are long.

The location is perfect, parking and transportation options are excellent though. The only MLS venues that are worse would be San Jose and KC right now. Those are about to complete new facilities very soon and you could argue that they are the same or better than RFK.

I have seen pictures of the temporary venue to be used by Vancouver. It is 100 times better than RFK. Put that temporary place up in the RFK parking lot until you get a long term answer.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | July 27, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: I hear ya. "Do as I say, not as I do". Loud and clear, buddy.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

To be fair you didn't address the point. Other MLS metros have gotten this done but or metro area hasn't.
===================

Maybe the other jurisdictions have figured out a way to grow money on trees, or their taxpayers don't care about subsidizing wealthy private teamowners. I don't know the answer, but I count it in Fenty's favor that he didn't bend over for MacFarlane.

"Everyone else has one" is not really an argument in favor. If there were a fiscal case to be made for public subsidy, I should think DC United would be making it from the rooftops. I don't think it's a fiscally sound case, and I have seen absolutely zero evidence or even argument otherwise.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone else has one" is not really an argument in favor. If there were a fiscal case to be made for public subsidy, I should think DC United would be making it from the rooftops. I don't think it's a fiscally sound case, and I have seen absolutely zero evidence or even argument otherwise.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

You'll get your evidence in September with the MSA study. So let me get this straight, every other area is just populated with morons but WE know better. Get real dude.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

A stadium study from a governmental stadium authority that paints a rosy financial picture of the publicly subsidized future . . . that will be a real surprise.

"Get real dude"? Bread and circuses, dude. That's the reality.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ron, not just the other night. Their attendance game by game:


19,970
12,659
14,224
12,945
15,588
19,513
16,216
19,101
19,469

That's 4 out of 9 games where they've filled it straight up. Last year, yes, you could read that early in the season, and if I remember correctly their lowest attendance last year was on a night where a snowstorm blew through. This year, ehhhh, not so much. Go back and look at the match highlights on the MLS website.

And your comment from yesterday about DCU being the only jersey recognizable around the nation... Wrong. DC's isn't to anyone who doesn't watch more than 5 MLS games a year. Anybody that does can pick out any jersey. Just like any other league. You think my cousin's 13 year old daughter knows the Packers' jerseys from the Oakland Raiders? Not a chance.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF,

Why don't you just get behind Fenty and join him in kicking the team out of town. I don't claim to know the economic particulars and I'm quite certain you don't either but with friends like you DC United doesn't need any enemies. Let's also not forget the intangibles a sports franchise brings to a city that cannot be measured in dollars and cents and is inarguable.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not gonna support Fenty unless he buys me a gull wing Mercedes.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

. . . with your money.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Although I am not espousing the idea I would gladly pay a tax in support of United if the stadium were built in Maryland or Anne Arundel County. Tax me baby!

There is no way this gets done without governmental cooperation of some sort. I never said taxes had to be part of the equation, you did. However, cooperation with respect to a site is an absolute must. If you think that also cannot happen then grab some Chespeake Bay seasoning and prepare to eat some crab cakes in the harbor area hon.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If they build it I will come.

I'll even buy you a Natty Bo, G4.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Now we're talking. Natty Boh it is. Vamos United!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 27, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The arguments for and against public investment and use of funds on private investment is as murky as your summer Weissbier.

It sure would be nice if DC or somewhere else other than Baltimore (which, lets face it will shovel any and all money it has and doesn't have at capital projects in an attempt to lure people into that pit of despair) had money enough to want to spend it on United's new home. That's just not the case right now, and if the PR flack a few years ago was bad on public financed stadiums, right now it's really not worth the fight (unless you want your annual salary and your investment holdings broadcast to the socialistic masses out there).

However, the question is the following - is DC United and its home an anchor or a tool that could spur private development that would ADD or at the very least not cause devastation with its loss. To us - sure. Most of us see good long-term growth prospects for this in an appropriate venue. To others, it's 50/50.

Can the turnstiles at the VW Arena generate enough traffic to support other local development in the form of apartments, condos, retail, office, etc that would get someone to help the team secure land and financing for a stadium? Tough to tell.

Does DC have a Metro supported neighborhood that could get some help in revitalization from helping the team locate there? The taste from Nationals Park still lingers.

Kljestan with a goal in Champions League action!

I'd say, if we really want to see DC United stick around here - we're going to need Will Chang to be best friends with Jim Clark and Ray Ritchie.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

the stars really have to align to get big-name players."

Yea. I new SSS would align quite a few stars. Selling these guys on a rat infested state of the art in 1960 stadium is a tough sell to say the least.

Posted by: blackandred777 | July 27, 2010 10:42 AM
------------------------------------------------

I'll stay out of the pissing match above that's tangentially related to the stadium -- but I have to say the above comment really misses the mark. If DCU announced plans for a new stadium today, they'd be pushing it to get in before the end of the 2012 season. Even if they announce one in the off-season, it doesn't seem likely they'd get in before 2013. If it takes a new SSS to sign a good player, we've got years to wait.

Really, there are few stars that would play anywhere in MLS, if they have other, European options. NY and LA stand out as exceptions because European players might be intrigued by the prospect of living in one of those cities. Other teams will have to pick up the crumbs.

Posted by: fischy | July 27, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I would respectfully disagree about a new SSS not helping with a DP. I agree with the Europe, LA, and NY comments but I definitely think DCU is at a disadvantage with the stadium issue. RFK is just not an appealling place to play with respect to the other new stadiums in the country. It has a special place in my heart but it is a tough sell.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | July 27, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Really, there are few stars that would play anywhere in MLS, if they have other, European options. NY and LA stand out as exceptions because European players might be intrigued by the prospect of living in one of those cities. Other teams will have to pick up the crumbs.

Posted by: fischy
-----------------------------------

It will be a long, long time before a huge star at the top of his game comes to MLS (if ever). The money, competition and acclaim just isn't enough, of course. But the U.S. and MLS does have an increasing appeal to the lost-a-step stars.

There's no doubt NY and LA have a leg up on the rest of us as far as attracting the big international name players go, but there are several other MLS cities that are quite cosmopolitan and have international reputations. Among them are DC, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto...and Vancouver is coming.

Don't forget that Johan Cruyff played for the Diplomats in DC. (image: http://bit.ly/dDrPZ2)

That said, though, our local stadium situation sure doesn't help.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 27, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Jacob, that's tickets distributed. Not fannies in seats. Their actual attendance seems an little over half those numbers. In any case, lets see how they do when their team falls in the table.

Posted by: Ron16 | July 27, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Go look at the highlights. Those are fannies in seats. They're supporting that team. Call out Dallas. Call out Colorado, who is up and down, but more down. They're doing pretty horrible. Their stadiums are 40 miles from downtowns or something like that. Quite hating on RSL. They're doing it the right way in all way, shapes, and forms, and many teams, including DCU, could learn some lessons from them

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

what's your point Ron? We've fallen to the bottom of the table and look at our attendance. DCU is on par to set it's all time worst average attendance record this year.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Stop pinning your hopes on getting some former star player to come in the MLS. It just makes MLS and its fans look foolish. the MLS can't be considered a serious league when it continues to do that.

Posted by: Aerowaz | July 28, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Getting back to soccer: Payne seems to see our biggest need is a striker. I say it is a playmaking midfielder. Can we take a vote?

Posted by: paulkp | July 28, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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