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D.C. United's Boskovic to miss Cup semifinal

Branko Boskovic, D.C. United's high-priced summer signing, will miss Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup semifinal against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium because of commitments to the Montenegro national team.

Boskovic, the starting central midfielder, will be available for Sunday's MLS match at Chivas USA in California before traveling home for Montenegro's 2012 European Championship qualifiers against Wales on Sept. 3 at home and at Bulgaria four days later. (England and Switzerland are also in Group G.)

While away, he will also miss United's league game against the Crew on Sept. 4. He'll return in time for the Sept. 11 match at Toronto FC.

Because the Euros are an official competition, United cannot prevent Boskovic from reporting to his national team. He also faces a scheduling conflict in early October, when Montenegro hosts Switzerland and visits England at Wembley Stadium.

With a 4-14-3 record and almost no hope of reaching the MLS playoffs, United has turned to the Open Cup to salvage its disappointing year. Boskovic has had only a modest impact since his arrival last month but distributes the ball from a center position and allows the team to play in a traditional, diamond-shaped formation. Without him, United is likely to play with two deeper-lying central midfielders.

On a side note, the USSF announced that, should United advance to the final against Chivas USA, D.C. would host the match Oct. 6 at RFK. If United faces the Seattle Sounders, the trophy would be decided at Qwest Field on Oct. 5.

By Steve Goff  |  August 26, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  Costa Rica , European Championship  | Tags: D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: UEFA Champions League group draw
Next: Bradley discusses coaching status with Gulati

Comments

If only DC United had more problems with its players getting called home for their Euro international games . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | August 26, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

So the team is paying him how much to miss 2 games this season? Fail.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | August 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

He's been adequate (but not really DP material). I don't feel like this is a huge loss.

Posted by: jake77 | August 26, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't feel like this is a huge loss.

Posted by: jake77 | August 26, 2010 2:46 PM
---

WHich speaks volumes to the DP-level players that Payne, Kasper, and Co. have brought in.

Talk about sad.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 26, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

WHich speaks volumes to the DP-level players that Payne, Kasper, and Co. have brought in.

Talk about sad.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 26, 2010 2:54 PM

what level of player do you want them to bring in for under $600K? Clearly a $5M+ guy like Henry or Rafa is out of the question, so what do you honestly want them to do?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Zzzzz....I'd rather talk about the new stadium.

It'll be tough because it looks like Columbus held back players from CONCACAF Champions League to go after this match. I'm not overly impressed with Boskovic so far, but he's better than the alternatives.

Posted by: DWE4 | August 26, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a pretty big bummer. We're certainly not better without Bosko in the middle, and I was really hoping that they would pull two great wins out from nowhere to get us the cup.

A guy can dream, right?

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | August 26, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

A minor miracle in the world of FIFA. A ref admits he was wrong.


LONDON (AP) -- World Cup final referee Howard Webb says he should have sent off Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong for his challenge on Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso.

Webb handed out a record 14 yellow cards -- two leading to a red for John Heitinga of the Netherlands -- as Spain won the final 1-0 in extra time.

Webb now accepts he should have given De Jong a straight red card for a flying karate kick into the chest of Alonso midway through the first half.

The English official said Wednesday that "one of the things I would change is the color of the card for De Jong's tackle. Having seen it again from my armchair several times in slow motion and from different angles I can see that it was a red card offense."

Posted by: SoccerGuru | August 26, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think it's important to see how we do without him in games we care about.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 26, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5499700/european-soccer-president-michel-platini-says-video-technology-not-needed

UEFA president Michel Platini contends that five officials should be enough to spot a penalty, hand ball or whether the ball crosses the line.

"I will always defend it and with a lot of rigor as I believe it is the only solution," he said Thursday. "In terms of technology, I'm very measured because I go on the basis that if you have an additional referee he can see it just as well as technology."

One of the latest flaps came Wednesday when Tottenham beat the Swiss club Young Boys 4-0 to reach the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Jermain Defoe scored a disputed second goal after controlling a pass with his left hand. The hand ball was missed by the extra official behind the goal. Defoe admitted handling the ball.

Posted by: Reignking | August 26, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? He hasn't done a damn thing, so now we can give someone else a shot. I'd like to see us try Q or Pontius in an AM role, with SImms sitting deep as the lone holder and Najar and either Q or Pontius out on the wing. Allsopp and Hernandez up top.

Posted by: kdiff813 | August 26, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

No big deal. If Boskovic is part of Montenegro's national team then DC knew in advance that this might happen.

I have no problem with players leaving for legitimate national team duty.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 26, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yahoo has La Liga fantasy...

Posted by: Reignking | August 26, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hernandez seems to play pretty deep sometimes, so why not try him at AM with Q or Partyboy up top beside Alsopp.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Well said VTUnited.

The dude's been here for how long now? Yet people expect him to just light the league up already. Why? "Because he's a DP that makes all that money."

I am betting this is the saem gang that takes it personally when people call MLS a weak league.

You can't have it both ways, people. The dude from a small Euro league can either just walk in and set a weak MLS on fire, OR maybe MLS is just that tough and competitive enough to require an adaptation period. Heck anytime a player changes leagues (countries/cultures) there is always an adjustment peirod. Some guys take longer than others. Give the guy a break and some time. Don't go hanging the life and hopes of our crappy team around his neck because he makes low-end DP money. While we can debate how much he makes, many can see that the guy is good, he's quality. At least let him unpack his bags before you call him a bust for Pete's sake.

There role DPs and sexy DPs, love 'em or hate 'em, I'm sure Payne and Kasper know what they had in mind when they signed Branko as a DP.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited writes: "what level of player do you want them to bring in for under $600K? Clearly a $5M+ guy like Henry or Rafa is out of the question, so what do you honestly want them to do?"


Um, how about bringing in a player who's worth what we're paying for him. You're right that at

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | August 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@Kosh2,

You had me until your last sentence:

"I'm sure Payne and Kasper know what they had in mind when they signed Branko as a DP."

Posted by: benonthehill | August 26, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@ benonthehill

My point there was that Payne and Kasper were getting him to play and not fill seats. I think that Branko can play, he just needs time. Is he Becks, or Henry, or Rafa? Nope. I think they view him the way Seattle views Fernandez, a really good player who will make the team better.

Like I said, we can debate the price tag, but it's hard to question the guy's capabilities when he's only been here for so long on a such a sucky team as ours.

That's where I was going with that.

Posted by: Kosh2 | August 26, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

OK everyone, it's time to pile on Jermain Defoe for his admitted handball that led to a goal! Ready?

*crickets*

Oh wait ... there won't be any piling on, because Defoe isn't French. My bad.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | August 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Kosh2 on the Branko issue....

What happened to christopher_a_metzler? Did he have a stroke mid-rant? How do we check on him?

Posted by: JkR- | August 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Good news for Bradley? Villa crashes out.

Posted by: Reignking | August 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Or......cause it was a 4-0 beat-down and didn't send a team to the World Cup or home.
Seems different to me.

Posted by: marksman37 | August 26, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Kosh2 also, but I'll go one better. For the first time this season, since Boskovic and Hernandez arrived, we are dangerous in the final third. Boskovic is "invisible" because he receives the ball and directs it to where an attack might shape up.

Posted by: dccal | August 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Right on Kosh2. Give Branko a decent chance to get adjusted. He has looked aggresive and much more skilled than anything we had at AM before.

Posted by: lemovs1 | August 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@Kosh2,

Gotcha. Like I said I'm on board with your main point. And I suppose there's no disputing that they "knew what they had in mind." Whether that was rational or not is a separate question.

Posted by: benonthehill | August 26, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Dream scenario: United beats the Crew on Wednesday, then wins the Cup in Seattle.

What are the odds?

(OK, winning the Cup at RFK would be fun to watch in person. But the revenge factor of beating Seattle would be even better.)

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | August 26, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

what level of player do you want them to bring in for under $600K? Clearly a $5M+ guy like Henry or Rafa is out of the question, so what do you honestly want them to do?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 3:04 PM
-------

Well that Schelotto guy on Columbus isn't too shabby and doesn't quite break the bank, in terms of DP-salaries.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

what level of player do you want them to bring in for under $600K? Clearly a $5M+ guy like Henry or Rafa is out of the question, so what do you honestly want them to do?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 3:04 PM
-------

Well that Schelotto guy on Columbus isn't too shabby and doesn't quite break the bank, in terms of DP-salaries.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 26, 2010 5:31 PM

No kidding, but he did at one time have a DP salary. My point really was that it seems to be really difficult to find the GBSs of the world (high impact players at reasonable salaries). They did it once with Gomez, but haven't hit a homerun since.

and Miles_Standish_Proud, KP is a cheat you know, so what makes you think the final would be in the emerald city?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

and Miles_Standish_Proud, KP is a cheat you know, so what makes you think the final would be in the emerald city?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 5:42 PM

somehow i failed to read the last paragraph of goff's post. i guess KP couldn't rig the USOC hosting system this time.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm so gonna whine for an entire month and 5 days about the injustice of US Soccer if Seattle goes through... ;)
I thought these things were bid on...
Has it been determined yet if the OC Cup Champ will get a CCL berth for the 2011/2012 edition yet?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 26, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Aesthetically speaking, I'd like to see a Cbus-Flounders USOC final. But I'd LOVE to see United beat the Crew and then destroy Seattle on their home field in front of a massive crows.

Posted by: kdiff813 | August 26, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Will anyone even notice Boskovic missing?
Payne amd Kasper bring a guy who they knew would have to miss Open Cup matches? Why are these two still employed?

Posted by: Verdeball | August 26, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the massive crows are ravens or even vultures?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 26, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey it could be worse...

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/fitness-still-issue-fire-dp-castillo


"In fact, Castillo feels so far behind that he asked to be replaced by a fitter player at halftime in both of the Fire’s last two games."

“In both games I asked the coach to take me out,” Castillo said. “I’d rather have a teammate who’s in better condition than me to come in so we can get more things done.”

At least we aren't paying $1.8 million for Branko

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 26, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited: I have no idea what the heck happened to my previous post, so I'll try again.

You're right that for

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | August 26, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I wonder why these are getting truncated.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | August 26, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

dccal:

Well said. That's how I feel about Boskovic at this point. Sure, I want more tangible results, but he has definitely improved the team. Plus, when I look at guys like David Ferreira (who needed half of a season to get going in MLS), I think patience is reasonable.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 26, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The more European internationals on DCU the better. Maybe a bit of country duty will light a fire in Bosko.

Good late CCL match - way better than most of that UEFA league junk today. And it's in a language I understand!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 26, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

1. It's just embarrassing how short the memories are of some people on this list. The Insider reported that Boskovic had specifically asked the Montegran FF to NOT call him up--he wanted to stay with United. But as Goff points out, since this is an official FIFA date, a club can't deny the callup.

2. Yeah, Boskovic is not a great DP--he has not set the league on fire. That said...Quaranta as an a-mid? Look, I have man-love for Tino. But we tried him at A-mid this year and he was terrible. The reality is we do NOT have a credible A-mid on the team (unless we play Jaime there and he can't give us 90 minutes in the middle of the field). It's not a disaster but it's the difference between starting Boskovic or starting King. And that's a HUGE dropoff in attacking and 2-way talent.

Posted by: JoeW1 | August 27, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

what level of player do you want them to bring in for under $600K? Clearly a $5M+ guy like Henry or Rafa is out of the question, so what do you honestly want them to do?

Posted by: VTUnited | August 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse
-----------

A better player than you could get for 400k, the max non-DP cap. Certainly I would expect that the owner feels the same way.

Branko isn't paid like Henry, but he was still the 10th highest-paid player in the league, at least before Geovanni got here. He makes more than Kasey Keller does, or Shalrie Joseph. "Helps the team some", which he no doubt does, doesn't get it done at that salary.

Maybe he does need more time, but he wants to give United a difficult decision in the offseason about him. So far he's not making it difficult enough.

Posted by: stancollins | August 27, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

1. It's just embarrassing how short the memories are of some people on this list. The Insider reported that Boskovic had specifically asked the Montegran FF to NOT call him up--he wanted to stay with United. But as Goff points out, since this is an official FIFA date, a club can't deny the callup.

Posted by: JoeW1

Are you sure that wasn't just for the friendlies? These games next week are more important.

Posted by: Reignking | August 27, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

what RK said.
He requested staying with United for the round of friendlies. Nothing was stated about the Euro Qualies. Who wouldn't expect him to play for Montenegro in meaningful competition?
It's fine anyway. I still thought it was weird seeing Gallardo hoist the OC trophy when as I recall the only minutes he played in the tournament were the last 15 minutes or so. Didn't feel like Gallardo had much to do with that trophy.

Would I want Branko back for the OC final if we happened to make it? Sure, but if the team can't get there without him so be it.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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