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Monday kickaround: D.C. United notes, MLS prospect, Gold Pride atop WPS, TV listings

*Ben Olsen, D.C. United's interim coach, was presented a signed game ball following his first victory as boss, the 2-0 decision over the Philadelphia Union on Sunday at RFK Stadium. Among the comments: "You talk, We will follow," signed by defender Julius James.

*Olsen's first big personnel decisions will come this weekend: United plays at Chivas USA in California on Sunday night, just three days before the U.S. Open Cup semifinal at home against the Columbus Crew. The cross-country flights and narrow time frame are sure to factor into his selections for the travel roster and starting lineup. "The Open Cup is a big deal for us right now," he said. "There will be an emphasis on those games because frankly that is the only trophy we can win this year."

*United midfielder-forward Chris Pontius was not listed on the pregame injury report but was held out for precautionary reasons Sunday with a sore hamstring, Olsen said.

*Agustin Viana, a U.S.-born defender from Uruguay who most recently played in Italy's Serie B, has attracted preliminary interest from three MLS teams, a contact close to the player claims. He is 26 and available on free transfer, presumably for next season. The identity of the MLS clubs was not revealed.

*Fueled by Marta's two goals, FC Gold Pride, the Bay Area entry in Women's Professional Soccer, clinched the top seed in the four-team playoffs with a 3-2 victory at Chicago and will host the championship game Sept. 26. On a side note, I do like WPS's creative playoff format: The No. 3 seed hosts the fourth seed, with the winner playing at the No. 2 team in the semifinals. That winner, in turn, visits the top seed for the final.

*Soccer on TV:
England, Manchester City-Liverpool 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes,

By Steve Goff  |  August 23, 2010; 9:03 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. Open Cup , Women  | Tags: D.C. United, MLS, WPS  
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Next: MLS weekend flashback


Welcome back from vacation. Post treats you well -- you get to spend a month in South Africa AND go on vacation :-)

Posted by: DCUSince96 | August 23, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Freedom in contention for 3d or 4th, 2d place is out of reach. Remaining games:

Sat 8/28 at Plex (Sky Blue) 7pm
Sun 9/5 @ Chicago
Sat 9/11 at Plex (Beat) 7pm

Posted by: OWNTF | August 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

And some of y'all thought Onalfo wasn't that bad.

(Disclaimer: FO still sucks).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 23, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say this, but our first win in a while came while Goff was away. The soccer gods must see Goff's absence as the necessary sacrifice for DC to win again.

If we all chip in and cover the chunk of Goff's WaPo salary that he gets for writing this blog, he can turn it over to Tenorio et al. and we'll win out.

Come on, it's so worth it. I'll handle the payroll end; make all checks out to me.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | August 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Huh? I was at RFK and covered the match yesterday.

Posted by: Steve Goff | August 23, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Rosslyn45's confusion was due to the lack of the usual player ratings and post-game wrap-up. Regardless, good to have you back, Senor Goff.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | August 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

That Gold Pride team comes to Atlanta Saturday. Sure would be nice if some of you fellow ATLiens could make it out.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Great game.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 23, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Steve.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 23, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Goff, it was in reference to the "Gone Fishing" post of last week and not getting the usual posts here (Twitter is blocked at work). It made better sense in my head. Of course you covered the game, I was referring to the blog.

Anyway yeah, what everyone else said. Mondays, man. Mondays.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | August 23, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I know I'll get the same old tired response about their record but I was very disappointed in the attendance at yesterday's game. Although it did rain the chance of precipitation as of yesterday morning was nothing more than 30% so that shouldn't have mattered either. A Sunday afternoon game and only 12,000 in the stands? I guess this must really be just a Redskin town because they seem to be the only team that gets supported in good times and in bad times (we'll see about the Caps in ten years or so when they may start struggling again).

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 23, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed the game -- long flight from home from a two week vacation. (The week before school starts may explain some of the empty seats.)

Sounds like the most important thing that happened while I was away was Moreno's announcement. Any news on the plans to honor him?

Posted by: Curious99 | August 23, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't WPS use the same playoff format of the Professional Bowlers Association from the 1970's. You beat the #4 guy, you get to go against Pete Weber or Marshall Holman or whoever. Can't believe I still have those names in my head - I used to watch a lot of TV as a kid. Wait, is my inner monologue still on? Oops, sorry. Click.

Posted by: IamAM | August 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Agustin Viana needs to be capped!!! This is why Bradley should be fired because he fails to cap ever player possible........ (Joking)

In all seriousness, I hope this guy is decent and that he does return to MLS. I am a big fan on MLS going after this type of talent. And I hate to lose players such as Parkhurst, Goodson, etc to smaller leagues (but I understand why it happens).

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Don't forget Earl "The Doomsday Stroking Machine" Anthony. Best Ever.

Posted by: benonthehill | August 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@Gambrills4 - personally speaking, until the product improves, I dont feel like shelling out $100+ to take my family to every home game. at this point, I'm planning to attend the Open Cup semi, and whatever game is deemed to be the "Salute to Jaime Moreno".

Posted by: VTUnited | August 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

whatever game is deemed to be the "Salute to Jaime Moreno".

+30,000 I hope

Posted by: OWNTF | August 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If ever a team deserved to see it's attendance dwindle, DC United 2010 is that team.

Why was the game played on a Sunday afternoon, anyway? Did Comcast have the gametime moved so they could show the Redskins and Ravens Saturday night? God forbid NFL teams should have to play on a Sunday.

I was glad to see the team win and will be back at RFK for the Open Cup and some Saturday games.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I have a simple way of looking at it, if we win then it's good money spent. So yesterday was a fun game to watch. If we don't win but we gave an honest attempt, still good money spent. If we give up and things are hopeless...then it's not money well spent and I really question renewing for next year. AND if the team tries to keep milking "tradition" then I feel patronized and maybe just maybe that's the end of my purchases.

btw, in the second half it seemed the crowd was getting more into it after the second goal. That's all it takes. Give people something that entertains them and they will remain loyal. I think I recall two days this year when I was the only person in 237. Sad. The two times I've organized groups to come out, we lost.

oh, and home ownership wouldn't hurt either...I'm ready for a BMO or Columbus structure at this point.

Posted by: DCB23 | August 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I am sympathetic to the argument concerning the product but I also don't want DC to lose United and attendance woes are not what we need to keep the team from bolting for greener pastures.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 23, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Gambrills, I watched the weather closely and the higher probability of a crazy thunderstorm had us bowing out at the last minute.
A little rain is no biggie for me and the boys, but with the kid and fragile wife* in tow it could have been a drag for them or frustrating to me if we had a weather delay or god forbid the power went out again...

The product on the field has to improve. I am leaning toward going to the OC semi next week if I can swing it as it may be the only game with anything other than pride left on the line. Also sounds like Benny is more concerned with that than Chivas this weekend.

Hey, I might bring the LilRyan out for the scrimmage with Georgetown on Wednesday if that is still going on...:)

Posted by: DadRyan | August 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Freedom in contention for 3d or 4th, 2d place is out of reach. Remaining games:

Sat 8/28 at Plex (Sky Blue) 7pm
Posted by: OWNTF | August 23, 2010 9:28 AM

That's a key matchup. The winner has a good chance of making the playoffs, the loser's in trouble.

Posted by: kevinwparker | August 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't WPS use the same playoff format of the Professional Bowlers Association from the 1970's.

Posted by: IamAM | August 23, 2010 11:19 AM

Yes, pretty much:
9/19: #4 team @ #3 team
9/22: Winner @ #2 team
9/26: Winner @ #1 team

Last year, surprisingly, the #4 team coming in swept the games and came away with the championship. But I seem to recall that happening a lot in bowling, too.

Posted by: kevinwparker | August 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Tanking MLS to go for a competition that nobody, not even the sposoring organization, takes seriously? Wow. How far away are the days of Bruce.

Posted by: lgm6986 | August 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

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