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D.C. United news & notes

Addressing numerous D.C. United topics.....

*Dave Kasper will return as general manager, club president Kevin Payne said. "I still believe that Dave understands that job better than anyone else in the league. Dave manages the salary cap, the league rules, which are very complicated, and our technical department. He is involved in presenting [roster] options to our coaches and generally Dave, Chad [Ashton, the technical director] and the coaches would all talk about those options. In the case of bigger players, I get involved. In terms of broader strategy, I get involved. But it would not be accurate to categorize it as, 'Well, Dave picked the team and it didn't perform well.' At the end of the day, the technical staff has the most weight in deciding the players."

*United does not plan to sign any additional designated players. "In the absence of new investment, it is unlikely," said Payne, referring to owner Will Chang's pursuit of partners. Midfielder Branko Boskovic is a DP and under contract in 2011. Big-name DPs aren't necessarily essential to success (re: Real Salt Lake, Columbus, Colorado).

For more.....

*The club might pursue not one, but two forwards. "We may end up looking for a veteran forward who has scored goals and will still score goals, and maybe a younger forward who we think has a lot of promise and serve as an understudy," Payne said.

*MIdfielder Clyde Simms will fly to Germany this week for surgery to repair a sports hernia, which affected him all season, Kasper said.

*Forward Danny Allsopp's contract is guaranteed in 2011, but in all likelihood, he will request a release to pursue other options.

*Forward Pablo Hernandez is under contract until next July. "There are a lot of things we like about Pablo, but he has to learn how to score goals. It just wasn't good enough with his finishing," Payne said.

*On Boskovic, Payne said: "Our sense is that Boskovic's best position for us is central, although he has clearly demonstrated for his national team that he can play effectively out wide; he's not a heels-on-the-touchline wide player - he tends to commit to the channels a bit more - but he's such a smart and good player technically, we expect more out of him. This year he was trying to figure the league out, and frankly in too many games, he didn't have good enough players around him."

*United must decide whether to exercise the option of defender Dejan Jakovic's contract or attempt to negotiate a new deal.

*United will begin discussing this week whether to send rookie of the year candidate Andy Najar overseas for a couple of weeks of training with an English or perhaps a Spanish club. He might need the rest, however, after starting most matches in his first year as a professional, Kasper said. Homegrown signing Conor Shanosky has expressed interest in training in Europe during the winter.

Payne, on Bill Hamid's rehab from shoulder surgery: "In our minds, this was going to be a real test for Bill. He's a young man and hasn't always been as professional as he needed to be; he's young and had bad habits off the field, his dietary habits, things of those nature. But he has shown, in the ways he has embraced the rehab, that he wants to be very serious about his profession."

Payne, on Troy Perkins: "We still believe in Troy. It was a tough year and a surprising year from our point of view. The last few games he looked more like Troy. We expect him to come back, but we expect to have a healthy competition between Bill and Troy."

*United will have the No. 3 overall pick in the January draft in Baltimore, behind the two expansion clubs. DCU does not have its own second-round pick but did acquire New York's in the Carey Talley trade.

*The players are undergoing testing this week before taking 10 days off. For conditioning purposes, they will train in Washington for a couple weeks leading to Thanksgiving, then go on vacation until 2011 camp opens around Jan. 20.

*On the stadium search, Payne said: "It's possible we will have more information before the end of the year, but it may drag on into next year."

*On the club's financial health while remaining at RFK Stadium: "It is a challenging place to try to do business in a modern sports environment. It's hard for us to be financially successful and challenges us financially the longer we go without certainty on a stadium in our future."

*On Chang's search for investors, Payne said: "We've had real conversations with interested people but nothing is imminent."

By Steve Goff  | October 25, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ben Olsen will not be considered for D.C. United's head coaching job, club president Payne says
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Comments

So blame the technical staff, I suppose...

Posted by: Reignking | October 25, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Blame it on the rain.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"But it would not be accurate to categorize it as, 'Well, Dave picked the team and it didn't perform well.' At the end of the day, the technical staff has the most weight in deciding the players."

So, Dave...what would you say you do here?

Posted by: HowdyDCU | October 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This club's front office is as stale as the pretzels at RFK.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | October 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm a people person!

Posted by: Reignking | October 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

1) So long, Danny Allsop. You will forever be known solely as the answer to the following trivia question: Who replaced Jaime Moreno in his farewell match for DC United?

2)Dejan Jakovic is class. United should resign him to a long-term contract. This guy has a real future.

Posted by: jofij | October 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Aw man, looks like another drab year for DCU in 2011.

Posted by: Matte | October 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

You know, I caught myself as soon as I hit submit on that post. Nowak did a heckuva job with this club the season after Ray Hudson left. With the exception of adding Gomez mid-season it was pretty much the same roster. Now, of course Gomez is a big piece, but coaching does make a difference. Hopefully they do better than "Oflano" this off-season. Give me something to hope for!

Posted by: Matte | October 25, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Chang's team did just win the NL pennant, and they stank two years ago. Props to them, quite an achievement.

Apparently it's put the man in a giving mood.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

1) So long, Danny Allsop. You will forever be known solely as the answer to the following trivia question: Who replaced Jaime Moreno in his farewell match for DC United?

2)Dejan Jakovic is class. United should resign him to a long-term contract. This guy has a real future.

Posted by: jofij | October 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It's not my fault
We're going to try to sign some players
Nothing to report on the stadium
Will can't find any suckers to buy into this train wreck
This has been a lousy investment
And did I mention its not my fault.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

What kind of "testing" are they undergoing? Goal mouth recognition?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Looking to sign a veteran forward who's scored goals, eh? Sign Jeff Cunningham and bench him for the season so that Moreno's record is safe!

Posted by: Brendanukkah | October 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

515 or so days until the start of the 2012 season.

Posted by: benonthehill | October 25, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"We may end up looking for a veteran forward who has scored goals and will still score goals,"... Paging Mr. JP Angel, Mr. Angel, please pick up the Black and Red courtesy phone.

Posted by: joemybro | October 25, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Lets hear more about Bill and the terrible things he's done. After we all remember what we did dumb, send tino to him to give him a life talk about how to act

Posted by: SexyOffender | October 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Did you ask if he still think we have the best fans in the league given that we didn't crack the top 10 in attendence? I'd love to hear him blame the customer.

Also, given that for the last few years he's waxed on about selecting a team that knows to play the beautiful, flowing, attacking game, I'm wondering why our team was exactly not that, aside from Najar.

Posted by: dsheon1 | October 25, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

And I should buy season tickets again why?

Posted by: Hoost | October 25, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@joemybro -- That was my thought. Question is how much of a pay cut would JPA be willing to take to stay on the East Coast? And, would the Revs pay him more?

As for Hamid -- I think if you want to understand what Payne was getting at, you need only look at Hamid's bulging waistline. He needs to realize this ain't baseball, and he's not a pitcher or DH. Just because he doesn't have to run around all game doesn't mean he doesn't need to be trim. Stay away from the sweets, no video games after midnight...that sort of thing.

That draft big is a big one, but if Chang isn't going to spend real money on real talent, we can look forward to an equally high pick next year. The other teams will keep getting better. Portland's signed 4 players already -- they scored as many goals as the entire DC roster. Maybe it wasn't MLS, but still...Montreal has the #1 pick next year, but DCU has a good shat at the second pick.

On Boskovic -- Montenegro's probably got it right -- he belongs on the wing. Unfortunately, DC doesn't have anyone who is suited to the CAM, and we're loaded with wingers, so "Boskovic's best position for us is central".

-------
*On Chang's search for investors, Payne said: "We've had real conversations with interested people but nothing is imminent."
------------

Have they talked with Leonsis?

Posted by: fischy | October 25, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The United could at least lie to their fans and claim that they will make an attempt to improve the club, but to say that they will not spend money on the team until new investors buy in and a stadium deal is in place is depressing.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | October 25, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Franchise death spiral

Posted by: GeneWells | October 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@ThePowerSchmuck69 -- Actually, that's not quite what Payne said. Chang doesn't have the money himself to throw away on DPs. So, Payne said they need new investors to make that commitment. There was no linkage to the stadium question.

What I find disappointing is that I'm not sure they've thought this through, in terms of the numbers or the "plan". Personally, looking at DCU's declining attendance, I am not sure they can afford not to bring in some proven, sure-fire international talent.

You could argue that winning will fill the stands and that winning can be achieved with lesser lights. I'm not sure I buy into this premise.

Goff writes: "Big-name DPs aren't necessarily essential to success (re: Real Salt Lake, Columbus, Colorado)."

Is that true? Who was RSL's best player? Saborio. DP. True, the team won the Cup last year, but they barely edged DCU into the playoffs -- one ball off the woodwork in the final game made the difference. They were a great team at home, but they stunk on the road, and almost missed the playoffs.

Columbus? Schelotto may never have made a mark in Europe, but he was a very big deal in Argentina and South American football. DP. One of the top talents to ever play in MLS.

Colorado-- They're hot now, but they still barely beat out KC for the last playoff spot. They may be a real contender now, but they didn't have the most successful season. Though they don't have a DP per se, they probably the most potent striker tandem in MLS. If DCU can achieve that without a DP, more power to 'em. I doubt it.

Posted by: fischy | October 25, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

You can't make this stuff up.

(from the following website:)
http://ezinearticles.com/?Einstein---Definition-of-Insanity&id=12047

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Think about this quote for a second and ask yourself, does this quote apply to the way you run your company? Have you been doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? If so, then you might want to keep on reading.

Posted by: tcbannon | October 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Next year should be better because we'll have some first-round stud in the mix. Hopefully Pontius and Wallace can regain and surpass their rookie form, and Graye should continue to develop. Is Namoff ever going to play again?? I know he's a little old these days, but he was our best defender for several years.

I think we should keep Jakovic and draft a CB. We can build around those two in the middle with James for a very solid backup, and with Graye and Wallace as wingbacks, for the next half decade at least. The improved defense will allow Hamid/Perkins to be more successful and confident. The midfield is slightly better than mediocre, and I don't think it's the priority. We have Pontius, Quaranta, Bosko, Varela and Najar comprising a decent mix. With Jaime retiring, clearly our focus for player acquisitions should be up top. Cristman shows tremendous heart and passion but his technical abilities are limited, to say the least. We might want to keep him around, but Allsopp should be on the next plane out of DC. I say we keep Pablo on a trial bias- see how he looks through July or so, then decide where to keep him or not. With new acquisitions in the mix, hopefully he and Cristman will have to work harder to earn spots, and the team will be better for it.

Posted by: kdiff813 | October 25, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think my expectations for 2011 could actually be worse than 2010 but DC United achieved something in that respect. I think a single win in 2011 would be an accomplishment, considering they probably won't name a "new" head coach (Ben Olsen) until late March.

After the miserable coaching search last year (which went about as well as the stadium site search and investor search) who in this organization is actually capable of getting something done? Answer - nobody.

I'll renew season tickets for the tail gating but I doubt I'll bother stepping into RFK.

Posted by: Southeasterner | October 25, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what people are so upset about in regards to next season being worse. They don't need a stud DP, they need 4-5 starting level players and two of them to be potential stars in MLS. I'd rather the money get spread around than go to one guy. The only comments about adding players was right one I agree with. DC needs to add two fowards, not just one.

The one thing that bothered me was how negative Payne was about players and the technical staff. "....frankly in too many games, he didn't have good enough players around him" tells the whole story of this season. Not good enough players nor coaching is the fault of Payne and Kasper. This doesn't mean they need to be fired, although I'd be fine with that, but at least take some responsibility.

Posted by: Dancy1 | October 25, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

What kind of "testing" are they undergoing? Goal mouth recognition?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 25, 2010 5:31 PM

Well played, sir. Very well played...

Posted by: BmoreDave | October 25, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, despite what some people say and think, you deserve to keep tinkering with the club that we all owe you for.

However, it's obvious that you can't be the guy who talks to someone and says, "It's nothing personal, I still believe in you, you're going to land on your feet, but the coaches and players can't always take the rap for our roster turnover every 6 months."

I'm sure Dave Kasper DOES understand every contract and MLS player roster nuance there is. Since 2007 we've done it all, full DP, half DP, cheap half DP, upgrade to DP, 6 month options, loans with options, loans with no options, youth acquisitions, home grown signings, allocation money movements, draft pick movements, 18 month contracts, emergency GK pool call-ups, lower division call ups and loans, etc ad nauseum.

Without a doubt, Dave has done more roster movement in 3 years, than some guys would do in their entire careers. Because I know someone has the detail, tell me how many different guys have worn the Black & Red in the last 4 seasons. I'm going to bet 75 guys.

That's not exactly an exclusive club, and it shows how well our "core" has done at hanging tough through injuries.

I have nothing personal against Kasper. I just think that reality is not matching what others say about him publicly. We've hit bottom as a club for the time being. While we are throwing out everything this winter, it might as well be worth it to bring in someone else.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 25, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"...Oh, where have you been, Ted Leonsis? DCU turns its lonely eyes to you..."

I HOPE he steps in, buys the team, and restores some class to the front office.

Posted by: DMillsInDC | October 25, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Kasper is coming back? I just threw up a little.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | October 25, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would love to have Leonsis, but I think he is tapped out after buying Abe Pollin's share of the Wizards. As I remember, he really had to stretch to do this.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 25, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would love to have Leonsis, but I think he is tapped out after buying Abe Pollin's share of the Wizards. As I remember, he really had to stretch to do this.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 25, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would love to have Leonsis, but I think he is tapped out after buying Abe Pollin's share of the Wizards. As I remember, he really had to stretch to do this.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 25, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would love to have Leonsis, but I think he is tapped out after buying Abe Pollin's share of the Wizards. As I remember, he really had to stretch to do this.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 25, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I'll know I've made it when I get my name in bold in Soccer Insider.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 25, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

To heck with JPA...I want Diego Forlan in Black & Red in 2011!!!

Posted by: soccerman | October 25, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Given that our chances of actually landing Forlan are nearly nonexistent, I would gladly take JPA. Especially to shove it down the Pink Cows' fans' throats.

Posted by: kdiff813 | October 25, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Given the epic fail of 2010, why should anyone think the same guys can pick good players now? Who picked the "not very good" players around Bosko this year? The same guys who will pick them next year. Makes me wonder what Onalfo did to get sacked midway through the first year. Mere failure to do a good job doesn't cost you anything here -- witness Payne, Kasper & Ashton -- so what did Curt do?

Posted by: griffin1108 | October 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Chang will come in and hold people accountable. If I were Chang I would keep Payne on and fire Kasper.

Posted by: m20001 | October 25, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@b18bolo -- Just tap your heels together and say three times (or four times, whatever works for you):

"There's no investor like Leonsis."

Posted by: fischy | October 25, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Given that our chances of actually landing Forlan are nearly nonexistent, I would gladly take JPA. Especially to shove it down the Pink Cows' fans' throats.

Posted by: kdiff813 | October 25, 2010 10:14 PM
-------------------------------------------------------

"Nearly" nonexistent?? "Nearly"?? Whatever you're smoking...pass it on to DadRyan.

Posted by: fischy | October 25, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

What kind of "testing" are they undergoing? Goal mouth recognition?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 25, 2010 5:31 PM


Well played, sir. Very well played...

Posted by: BmoreDave | October 25, 2010 8:18 PM |

---------

+1 :)

Posted by: oneborntwice | October 25, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I still think Olsen could do with some seasoning, but to deny him the position and keep Kasper on is a bit of a double standard. Especially if Kasper sells Najar to a European club for those magic beans we've heard so much about.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | October 25, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"Question is how much of a pay cut would JPA be willing to take to stay on the East Coast?"

If you're talking non-DP money-- and based on what Goff said, you are-- you're not gonna get Angel. He can move to Argentina or Colombia and make more than the non-DP maximum.

Hilarious to see you guys begging for our scraps.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | October 26, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

If Payne is going to provide cover for Kasper, then both of them should be shipped out.

Posted by: chemweapon | October 26, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Begging for your scraps? Ninja please... With the way our forwards have avoided scoring goals this season we're looking at everyone on earth who might do better than the train wreck we witnessed this year.

And seriously, I know it's been a big year for y'all but you can't possibly have forgotten about 2009 Red Bulls already.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 26, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Damn! Kevin can't even hide it anymore! And still blames other people for he's decisions on the staff! eff Kevin!

Posted by: rigs88 | October 26, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Did not see anyone focus in on these comments Mr. Payne made below highlighting the DCU problem.

“In the case of bigger players, I get involved. In terms of broader strategy, I get involved.”

With all due respect Mr. Payne, you should not be involved in any aspect of the technical department. Rumor has it that the phrase I get involved (read micro-manager) could apply to all components of DCU.

Posted by: williamdelaney1 | October 26, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Saborio is a DP. Might be wrong though. And I know Schellotto was last year, but then took a paycut back under the minimum this year.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

How much worse can we do by firing Kasper? We are already in last place.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | October 26, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Kasper and KP are joined at the hip, and the only way either one of them goes is if Will intervenes and orders the removal of one or both.

Kasper preaches that this is a results business; I have sarcastically thrown those words out at him many times. The irony is sheer that he is not held accountable in the same manner that he holds others accountable. That reality points to his dishonesty on a personal level and the organization's on a professional one.

If all of us bloggers want a change in management, the only power we have to speak with our wallets and make it clear to our DCU account reps and to Will that we have no intention of returning as customers until or unless substantial change is made. We must point out that last year during the off-season, Will promised a more hands-on approach to the management of the team and a greater amount of accountability.

Let's see how sincerely he meant that and whether he is serious about changing what has become under Kasper's watch a stone-cold losing culture with our favorite soccer team.

Posted by: lgm6986 | October 26, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the additional post, but Saborio is not a DP. He is also a perfect example of either what a liar or what a dope KP is when he spouts the praises of Kasper per above. Saborio was right under DCU's nose as a member of the Costa Rican team playing the USA in aqualifier at RFK. How does he sign with a team 2000 miles away in a fly-over square state/religious colony with no Hisapnic community to speak of? Two reasons:

1. Garth Lagerwey, former DCU announcer and Washington, DC attorney, also right our noses, is smarter than Dave Kasper, which is merely to say he smarter than a bag of rocks; and

2. Kasper is personally locked into scouting arrangements with an agent in Argentina and through his relationship with Pittsburgh's John Kowalski has ties in Eastern Europe. It has affected his judgment as he tries to do his job of building a succesful team and it is highly unprofessional and unethical. As such he seldom looks elsewhere for talent.

Posted by: lgm6986 | October 26, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

If Kasper is a soccer fan and follows CONCACAF club competitions, he would have known about Saborio. Saborio and Christian Bolanos were highly visible few years back when Saprissa took on Liverpool in the World Club cup tournament. When I saw them I suggested here/bigsoccer we go after them but our management is too dumb or naive to consider otherwise. So RSL saw what they liked and probably filed a discovery on him and the rest is history.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | October 26, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Isn't there a rich Russian out there that can come in and help Chang out?

Are DCU glory years gone with the big money NY and LA are throwing out?

Posted by: ihillvt | October 26, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Kasper and Payne are a really funny duo. In fact their so funny that DC United is the laughing stock of the league. I apologize for the lame joke, but if I don't laugh at the mess the front office has made of this team, I will cry.

Posted by: no_recess | October 26, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before about KP DC is not our club is he's club! Looking back at the glory days I noticed KP lifting the cup? wtf is that about? DC is he's team, and i guess DC means a lot to him! In other words, in other MLS teams when players or the staff aren't working out their replaced with better ones, not the case in DC! DC is a communist run team! KP has the last word on everything! I'd be willing to bet that DC has had chances to get a stadium but without any of their dead weight involved! It's obvious that KP and co. are old and a downgrade from the new MLS and are stupid and naive to think just because it worked in 96 thru 99 is gonna work now in 2010! KP makes it seem like DC is just going thru a bad spell but that's not the case! DC are a horrible business, awful front office, just plain amateur like product on the field, and simply bad decision making! Thank KP and co. for that! As long as KP is president DC WILL GO NOWHERE AND FAST! But you'll never know maybe all this is destined to be! But to the fans out there don't let your loyalty fool you, that's what KP relies on! Eff him if he think that I'm gonna pay to see the worst team in MLS history!!!

Posted by: rigs88 | October 27, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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