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Posted at 9:01 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Monday kickaround: D.C. United, Women's World Cup, Barcelona-Real Madrid, Maryland Terrapins

By Steve Goff

*D.C. United will introduce Ben Olsen as the head coach at 11 a.m. ET. Watch live on the club's Web site. The print edition story is available here.

*The Women's World Cup draw will take place in Frankfurt at 1:30 p.m. ET. Watch live on and The United States, Germany, Brazil and Japan are the top seeds. The Americans' group will include Australia or North Korea; a European opponent; and either Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, New Zealand or Colombia. Full details here.

*Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. 3 p.m. ET. GolTV, ESPN Deportes and No words necessary.

*Maryland is headed to the NCAA quarterfinals after defeating Penn State, 1-0, for its 15th consecutive victory. Seven of the eight top seeds avoided upsets to reach the quarters. The only exception was No. 7 South Carolina, which was ousted by No. 10 Michigan, Maryland's opponent Saturday at 1 p.m. in College Park.

By Steve Goff  | November 29, 2010; 9:01 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, D.C. United, Spain, Women  | Tags:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ben Olsen to be named D.C. United coach
Next: USA will play North Korea, Colombia and Sweden in group play of Women's World Cup


From the last thread for Francisco, personally I think Jakovich shows more ball skills than most CB's in MLS. Again, he's no Shalrie, but it was amusing seeing him pushed forward in the Open Cup match vs Columbus.

Benny glad you are willing to stick around through the hard times. Personally I'd tell KP to screw himself and look for an assistant job elsewhere, but you must really love DC. :)
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 29, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Equatorial Guinea. I saw them open for Rush in '88.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 29, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I really hope Goff and the rest of the media will hold Payne's feet to the fire for his awful reversal on the coaching hire. I don't think anything will come of it, but he should be asked over and over and over and over and over and over why he publicly criticized Ben time and time again only to hire him.

Kevin needs to be directly asked "Did everyone else turn you down" and not get off without giving a clear answer.

Posted by: beach3 | November 29, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Without a stadium resolution, all of this is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Where is the Balto stadium study?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

After saying he would never do that to Ben he just did. Kevin Payne seems to tell you anything he thinks you want to hear. He is not doing Ben any favors. If I were Ben I would go for a guaranteed contract.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 29, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I'd take Equatorial Guinea over Rush. Go Terps!

Posted by: knape1 | November 29, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne needs to explain and then apologize to everyone (fans, Ben, media, etc.) for his "reversal" about DCU's requirements for a coach. All good coaches start somewhere - Why not here! Why not now!

Good luck, Ben! I've renewed my season ticket and will be at the games supporting the black and red.

Posted by: edmundburke247 | November 29, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Without a stadium resolution, all of this is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Where is the Balto stadium study?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 29, 2010 9:36 AM


Love Equatorial Guinea. It is best grilled over a high fire.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | November 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if we'll be grouped with our North Korean allies.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I wish Ben luck. The trouble with this hire is that he's got such strong ties with the club that if it doesn't go well it'll be hard to let him go.

The Onalfo hire last year was a bad one. If they had done a better job on that one they would not have had to let him go mid-season, and they wouldn't be in this situation now.

But ... after 2 seasons looking for a new head coach, and settling for a proven loser and a rookie, it's clear: NOBODY wants this job.


DCU sucks. Poor talent and talent evaluation. Noncommittal ownership. No stadium. Poor revenue stream. The only thing we've got going for us is us. The fans. We're still one of the best fan bases in MLS (though we can't claim to be THE best any more ... at least not hands down). We've gotta bear through a couple rough years, that's the way I see it. I think only new ownership is going to right the ship, and I'm sad to say it.

Posted by: Matte | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if we'll be grouped with our North Korean allies.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: blackandred777 | November 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty pissed about Payne's earlier comments too. If Ben wasn't ready toward the end of last season, what made him ready now. It would have been easy to be non-committal and then hire him. At this point its gotta be even harder for him to overcome that attitude.

Posted by: jake77 | November 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The DC FO is inhabited by amoral pigs who have been found out by the rest of the league. That is why they can get no players or coaches. This place is poison and you have fo feel for Dax McCarthy, who just went from the championship game to being traded to the hell hole that is DC (anyone who thinks he is going to be motivated, is dreaming). As has been said before, there is no future here for United and I for one will behappy to see this "stinking fish" disappear.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | November 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Will anyone at the press conference have the cajones to ask KP to explain his earlier statements?

Posted by: boda-united | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Is it me or does Payne sound just like Cerratto when he was defending the hiring of Zorn.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | November 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Man there is some 1st class beeactin' and moaning going on here. Nobody wants the job of coaching DC united? That's BS, there are plenty of out of work coaches that would jump at the chance. Yes Onalfo wasn't the best choice but I like the FO's keep it in the family approach.

Poor talent and assessment? Well someone had the insight to sign Najar (who seems to be one of the hottest young players in recent MLS history) and start him on a regular basis.

Anyhow the Zorn/Benny comparisons are way off the mark, it's apples and oranges. Zorn spent how many seasons with the Redskins as a player? Benny is respected by everyone and anyone associated with the club from the front office to the fans.

Also who cares if KP said the job wasn't a lock for Benny, they looked around and re-thought the situation, that's business. Benny's selection as coach is the most excited about this team I've been in years. Vamos United.

Posted by: SoehntheExit | November 29, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Irregardless of whether Olsen is the right choice, I doubt he's going to put any unmotivated players in his starting lineup. If he can do anything it's light a fire under someone who needs extra "inspiration".

Here's a good article from Soccer America's Paul Kennedy regarding the crazy selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA will pick the hosts on Thursday. The representative from #203 ranked Papua New Guinea wants to take the FIFA executive committee place of Oceanian Fed's suspended Tahitian president. This might give the man from New Guinea the decisive vote on FIFA's 22 or 23 member (no one really knows how many) executive committee in deciding where 2 World Cups will be held:

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 29, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse


My comparison had nothing to do with the history of Zorn or Ben. It was entirely about the story Payne was conveying during the news conference and the story that was conveyed during the Redskins news conference. The two were eerily similar.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | November 29, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr. BaRRD and I have decided that we will renew our season tickets if any one of the following three things happen.

1. DCU hires an experienced coach with a proven winning track record.

2. DCU signs an impact player.

3. There is REAL news on the stadium front.

Strike One! Much as I love Ben as a player and admire his commitment and passion, Payne's comments a couple weeks ago were one of the few times I've agreed with him.

Still hoping on the next two points. But I expect a strike out.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | November 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@BaRRD -- I'm at the same point you are, and I don't expect any good news, either

Posted by: fischy | November 29, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Apparently BBC's Panorama programme will be dealing with FIFA corruption tonight and will allege that 3 members of the committee voting on the WC selection process have taken bribes from a Swiss sports marketing firm. Wonder if this will effect the England bid's chances.

Posted by: fedssocr | November 29, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is making interesting comparisons to other DC teams' coaching hires.

I'd make a different comparison. It's like DC United desperate to find anyone to score some goals and then bringing back Luciano Emilio months after they decided he wasn't worth a new contract. That was done because the front office lacked the foresight, the insight, the knowledge base, the creativity, the reach and pull and the money to bring in someone they didn't already know really well (someone they'd already decided wasn't up to the job).

For the most part, these guys are basically just phoning it in. No one wants to work for these clowns, and they have no clue where to begin to find real talent to bring to the team.

Ben Olsen may turn out to be a fine coach, but he's working under an enormous handicap on account of the front office's ineptitude.

Posted by: fischy | November 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

fedssocr -- yeah, we've been discussing the upcoming show and its contents here and elsewhere for a while now. If you're interested in exhaustive discussiosn of this, take a look at:

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 29, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"Ruthie" is spot on! NEVER expect Payne's
Press (i.e., PR) Lap/LickingDogs to challenge their massa'. UDC Team/Players' tactics-rules violations; coaching management, ethics; Payne's duties & responsibilities in and outside the organization are altogether unscrutinized, secret; financial records of UDC operations remain concealed from public; et cetera. For this, thank Payne's Press/PR Props and Major League Soccer
Official Poodles!?!

Posted by: Lehoi | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Simpson?

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse


+1. Like the Najar signing, if this hire turns out to be a good move (and it may well) it is simply the product of a collision between desperation, utter incompetence and unadulterated dumb luck.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Who are you, and how did you get in here?"

"I'm the locksmith. And I'm a locksmith."

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Definitely not buying season tickets next year. The club should have brought in an experienced manager who can spot the flaws with the team and make the personnel changes to right the ship. Instead we get an in-experienced manager and the same folks who have been making bad personnel decisions will stay in charge.

Posted by: onenetnut | November 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I've got it! They hired Ben because they don't have to cover relo costs.

Posted by: Reignking | November 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

. . . and stop calling me Shirley . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | November 29, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I renewed my season tickets awhile ago, because as much as it's been painful the last few years, I enjoy seeing live soccer and I'm hoping that Ben is Jason Kreis and not Curt Onalfo.

Curt had a tough run here. He obviously didn't mind being the thirty-fourth choice to lead DC United last year. He's still on the payroll.

However, everyone knew that anything short of top half of the table was not going to keep him around.

I still think that coaching in MLS is the same as it is anywhere else in the world or other major US leagues. You manage egos and relationships. You're more rewarded for your ability to identify talent, arrange talent, and properly pay for talent.

I feel good that Ben has the eye for the talent. I don't feel good that the guys signing his checks do, or that they understand how to pay for it. Or perhaps they do understand how to pay for it, it's just that the RFK Lease really eats into EVERYTHING.

How's that new Capital Hill development going?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Lehoi, what in the world are you blathering on about? Unless you are implying something fishy about the way the United for DC charity is run, it's hard for you to have much credibility when you repeatedly refer to the team as "UDC"

This is a private organization, we are not stockholders, we have zero right to know the financial details of United's operations. Tactics-rules violations? What?

Posted by: spidergoose | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with VBB. I renewed my tickets when they had the 1-day 10% off sale. I like going to the stadium and seeing the games live. Even if the team sucks I still like the experience of being there...for now anyway.

I wish there was a way we could get rid of Kasper and Payne though since they are the one constant in the annual debacles. Yet they skate by without any consequences which really baffles me.

Posted by: fedssocr | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else watching the WWC Draw?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We get North Korea, as C2, meaning they will be our first game.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not able to watch and appreciate your updates, thanks.

I don't like facing the Commies 1st. They gave us fits in China in 07.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 29, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Colombia for Group C. Position C3.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Colombia for Group C. Position C3.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Colombia for Group C. Position C3.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Sweden as C4.

Final Groups, in order:

A: Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France
B: Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, England
C: USA, Korea DPR, Colombia, Sweden
D: Brazil, Australia, Norway, Equatorial Guinea

Pia looks rather bored. Maybe just not happy with getting the Fighting Fearless Leaders again.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

USA gets a tough draw. Sweden is ranked #4 and Korea DPR #6 by FIFA.

Posted by: look4wrd | November 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The issue that some people (including me) are upset over is KP's credibility.

If he thinks it's fine that he said one thing and then did a total about face because they thought it through further, then why should anyone believe his word on the next thing out of his mouth?

This is a classic example of a credibility gap.

Posted by: dsheon1 | November 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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