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Monday kickaround: Jay DeMerit, Lionel Messi, Marcelo Gallardo, WPS playoffs

Before I head down to the University of Virginia on special assignment, you should know that .....

*The Vancouver Whitecaps, who will join MLS next season, are pursuing U.S. World Cup defender Jay DeMerit. Wolfsburg and some English clubs are also interested in the free agent.

*Barcelona's Lionel Messi will miss at least two matches because of the ankle injury suffered Sunday.

*Marcelo Gallardo (remember him, D.C. United fans?) suffered a serious knee injury eight minutes into his debut with Nacional (Uruguay) and will be sidelined at least two months.

*Despite an outstanding performance by rookie goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, the Washington Freedom was knocked out of the WPS playoffs by the Philadelphia Independence, 1-0, on Amy Rodriguez's goal in the 120th minute.

With the semifinal at Boston and a possible championship matchup in California, the Independence has played its final match of the season -- and perhaps ever -- in West Chester, Pa. (not to be confused with Chester, Pa., home of PPL Park). The club is exploring the possibility of a new home next year, perhaps at an area college closer to, or in, Philadelphia with a more suitable facility. At West Chester, on a two-lane road that passes stables, corn fields and lovely homes, the team plays on a football field with permanent markings, artificial turf and only 64 yards of width. Brand-new PPL Park is an obvious choice, but the Independence, a low-budget team in a low-budget league, can't afford the rent/expenses.

By Steve Goff  | September 20, 2010; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, Argentina, Barcelona, MLS  | Tags:  Lionel Messi, MLS, WPS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Messi injures ankle in Barcelona victory
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At least it wasn't a hamstring for Gallardo...

Posted by: Reignking | September 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Special assignment at UVA? Story on Alecko?

His presence was not talismanic enough to help the Cavs Sat nite, as they fell to an organized, and seemingly fitter, Wake Forest side.

Beautiful night in the 'ville, however, and a good enthusiastic crowd.

Posted by: JkR- | September 20, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Remember him? He stares at me every day. The 2008 "Welcome to OUR HOUSE" magnet is stuck on my cubicle wall. Actually, now that I think about it, looks like the mktg dept just used the same font and replaced "Our House" with "It Takes More".

Posted by: DCB23 | September 20, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

We should have gone after Demerit. Could have used him.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 20, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Demerit should go to Rangers. His competition would be a 40 year old David Weir and the Algerian Bougherra. Think Papac is another one of their central defenders. Demerit is at least as good as them if not better, and he'd get a crack at Champions League soccer.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | September 20, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I winder how much Nacional (Uruguay) are paying Gallardo to be injured.

Too snarky?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I would be surprised if Pia does not give Christina DiMartino a good hard look. She's got mad skills.

A-Rod's goal was superb, but her multiple misses were atrocious.

Sadly I fear that the WNT days of Cat Whitehill and Heather Mitts are numbered.

So Philly goes 120 minutes on Sunday and then plays a rested Boston on Thursday. That's a huge (unfair?) difference between 2d and 3d place.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 20, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Our House" + "It Takes More" = "Money Pit"


If Cat and Heather's days with the uswnt are numbered, they aren't the only ones. Lilly should have been cut by now - playing a 40 year old on the uswnt is ridiculous when there are better, younger, and faster players who need more experience. Also it would seem likely Leroux will supplant one of the strikers whose name is not Wambach.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 20, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Demon: doesn't work that way. Individual MLS clubs can't just "go after" USMNT players. If the league signs JDM and allocates him to Vancouver, DCU can try to work out a trade, but that would probably be a waste of time.

OWNTF: Tell it to Sky Blue. They finished 4th last season and won the whole thing (with a player-coach, no less).

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

its monday, so the "arcane mls rules" part of my brain isn't up and functioning yet, but how can Vancouver pursue a USMNT pool player without garuntee they would get him via a League allocation? I guess there was that drawing between them and Portland to decide who got the first selection in the rookie draft, allocation order, etc, so maybe they know they will hold the first USMNT allocation spot next year. I too wish DCU had tried to find a way to acquire him.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

VTUnited, this issue has come up before...but I can't remember how it was addressed. Would Califf be a relevant, recent example?

Posted by: Reignking | September 20, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Can Vancouver pursue DeMerit while they are still a USSF D-2 team? That could get them around MLS rules.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 20, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Seattle and Friedel, then, would be a better example...

Posted by: Reignking | September 20, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Reignking - I think the Califf and Keller examples would be relevant - does anyone remember how those transactions worked? did both teams immediately move to the bottom of the USMNT pool allocation list?

Philly also ended up with Orozco (sp?) too, and he would be a USMNT pool guy, if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 20, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Keller -- I always mix up my old, bald US keepers.

Posted by: Reignking | September 20, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Marcello Gallardo. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. The Million Dollar Donut strikes again.



Posted by: jayrockers | September 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Vancouver probably could sign DeMerit outside of MLS. Maybe that's how this is being pursued, or it could be being done within MLS' auspices, since Vancouver does hold the first allocation slot for 2011. MLS rosters are already frozen, so it's too late for San Jose to get him under the 2010 allocation.

It's hard to believe he can't find a decent top-flight team in Europe, but maybe it's time for him to come back to the US...or Canada. I hear Vancouver is a helluva city. Gotta beat Watford.

Posted by: fischy | September 20, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@VTU -- I believe Califf was an allocation slot. Orozco was not part of the USMNT pool. Signed outside that process. The rules are arcane, but they are there....except for the lottery process, where it seems to be entirely within the league's discretion to use.

Posted by: fischy | September 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Gallardo didn't exacly work out but at least he did score some goals. Unlike our current DP, Boscovic, who has done absolutely NOTHING.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Gallardo didn't exacly work out but at least he did score some goals. Unlike our current DP, Boscovic, who has done absolutely NOTHING.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 20, 2010 11:54 AM

I had "before 10:00 AM" in the "When will Ron16 make his first negative post of the week regarding either Q, Bosko, or Jakcovic?" pool, so I guess I don't win anything.

Posted by: VTUnited | September 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited: did you specify the time zone?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 20, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited: did you specify the time zone?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 20, 2010 12:06 PM

I believe the rules say its EST, so I'm out of luck. there is still hope for me though in the "When will IGM slander the FO this week" pool...

Posted by: VTUnited | September 20, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The Whitecaps have the top allocation spot. They won a coin toss over Portland. San Jose is currently first but rosters are frozen. San Jose will slip to third next year. Ives talks about this a lot, and I am too lazy to find a link so you will all have to trust me. I would have loved to get DeMerit. I believe if you sign him as a DP the allocation no longer matters (don't quote me on this). Not sure he is worth DP money, but that hasn't stop our organization.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited, you actually won the poll. Remember the week begins with Sunday, not Monday, and I was ripping all three of them shortly after midnight following the galling loss to LA.


Posted by: Ron16 | September 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait just a minute. Wouldn't Demerit need to beat out Greg Janicki just to get playing time in Vancouver?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver already sounds like they have better talent evaluators than we do...

Posted by: alan19 | September 20, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Like Tom Soehn?

Posted by: Reignking | September 20, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver already sounds like they have better talent evaluators than we do...


That would be the much-hated Tommy Soehn. When are they going to fire him? ;-)

Posted by: SoccerVA | September 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The field for Philly Independence is very pretty. The game was a good one. The fan club for the Philly men's club walked past where we were and said that RFK is falling down. As a Freedom Season ticket holder I was amused, they had the wrong team. As a loyal DC United Season Ticket holder I was insulted. Old and crappy as it is, it is ours until evicted. If any of you go to the Freedom game, we were sitting with the drums and the bagpiper. It was alot of fun. Is Abby going to the NY team? She is not even co-captain of Freedom.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | September 20, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Goff has always been known for his detailed descriptions of all the places to which the Post has sent him. So how come we've never heard anything about fine dining in West Chester, PA?

Posted by: universityandpark | September 20, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

We have been to a few of the Philly games this season and for the old WUSA games. We like John Farrell stadium. It's a bit of a drive, but it's beautiful country there. It's a lot easier to drive to and more pleasant than having to go to something in downtown Philly. We asked about fine dining options the first time we went to a game there this year and the Philly front office emailed us several suggestions and couldn't have been more accomidating. They also let us know about several different options for overnight lodging ranging from B&B's to low budget motels. There are lots of cute shops, coffee places,bars and resturtants to choose from in the 'downtown' area near the university.People seemed friendly in town and we made a point of telling them why we were there and about the WPS.
I agree that some of the Philly fans were rude- we heard several rude comments and cheers. I don't know why they would have the need to spoil a friendly rivalry with such language and jeers. The Freedom Bravehearts did a great job cheering the Freedom, and could be heard drownding out the Philly fans and loudspeakers several times. I hope Philly stays in West Chester.

Posted by: soccerhead | September 21, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

soccerhead: Last Sunday was my one and only trip to West Chester this season, and I immensely enjoyed the experience. You are absolutely right about the picturesque milieu. (In previous threads I extolled the virtues of bypassing I-95 and Route 202 in favor of Route 1 and Route 52.) However, I don't expect to be going back there, for reasons discussed at length on another blog:

Posted by: universityandpark | September 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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