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Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 12/22/2010

Happy holidays from the Soccer Insider

By Steve Goff

When 2010 began, Waka Waka could've been a suburb of Walla Walla, Howzit was a skin condition and Koman Coulibaly was an anonymous referee from Mali. The Brazilians were unbeatable, the Uruguayans unlovable and the Spaniards unable. The Americans were an afterthought.

The Dutch played elegant soccer under any circumstance, vuvuzela had not entered the mainstream vernacular and South Africa couldn't possibly pull off a successful World Cup.

Andy Najar was a carefree kid in a youth academy, Chris Wondolowski was an MLS everyman and the Colorado Rapids were a perennially middling club.

Qatar was a speck of a nation with laughable ambitions.

What a year.

This little blog and I have been through a lot together, from rusty RFK to Rustenburg and from the sun-enriched shores of the Indian Ocean to the wind-swept waterline at Lake Ontario. So with a sliver of opportunity during the holiday season, we're taking a break to recover, refuel and re-energize. We'll be back in about two weeks. My college basketball responsibilities will take priority in the winter months, but rest assured, the Insider will continue to hum along with D.C. United, MLS and U.S. national team news, features, exclusives and insight.

Your patronage and loyalty, wit and perspective have been priceless during this special year. To you, I raise a glass of Pinotage and say, "Sisonke!"

By Steve Goff  | December 22, 2010; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup, D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  MLS, World Cup  
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Cheers Steve, get some rest and re-learn what your family members' names are. Thanks for a strong 2010, and we look forward to even more in 2011. More *what*, we don't yet know.

Posted by: 22206no1 | December 22, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

thanks Goffer!! enjoy your much earned and deserved break!!

Posted by: torrey151 | December 22, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

And here is an early Christmas gift from the readers of the Guardian: Holden is the highest rated footballer in the EPL so far this season.

Posted by: glfrazier | December 22, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks! Enjoy the beach!

Posted by: JkR- | December 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Muchas Gracias, Goffino! Let's hope we all have a better 2011...especially DC United!

Glædelig Jul og godt Nytår to all the Insider Faithful

Posted by: soccerman | December 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

And Mrs. Insider can make plans for a party of three, at least until March.
Thanks Steve.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Zulu Goffinho, for a great 2010! (no pun intended)

Hope you had a great Hanukkah. Looking forward to clicking onto Soccer Insider many times in 2011!

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 22, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the updates and laughs over the year! Have a great Holiday. Looking forward to 2011!

Posted by: mmsq | December 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to you and your family.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | December 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, Steve, and to all my fellow soccer-loving SI loyalists.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Sisonke, SG! Thank you, sir, for all of your excellent, hard work during what has been a very busy yet memorable year. Enjoy your time off so that you can come back fresh for "DC United, 2011 - Reloaded and ready to strike, part 44.25"...or, you can just come back fresh.

To the faithful I wish you all Happy Holidays and the best wishes for great health, success, fortune and prosperity to be shared, cherished and enjoyed with friends and family alike.

To my club - DC United - it's players, execs, owners and yes, FO too and to all their families I wish you all Happy Holidays and the best of luck for many years to come. It's been a stinker of a year, or two...or three and we have suffered - all of us. But we love you. You are our pride, our passion and our tradition. You are OUR CLUB.


Posted by: Kosh2 | December 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

you're the best SG! thanks for all that you do to keep us junkies informed. have a happy holiday!

Posted by: VTUnited | December 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Cheers Steve! Thanks for all the great info. Happy Holidays!

Posted by: kdaciek | December 22, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Cheers Steve! Thanks for all the great info. Happy Holidays!

Posted by: kdaciek | December 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve, get some rest; but also thanks to all of the other posters for getting me through my summer research stint at HRSA and providing much needed distractions during my graduate studies. I enjoy the goofiness as well as the very insightful comments on the game.

Posted by: grubbsbl | December 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 14 days until Goff's next post!

A well deserved break. All the best for the holidays, Steve.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the great year, Steve!

And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Insider colleagues.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to DadRyan for sending me a Jamie Moreno poster! Thing is a beast in my study (bedroom 2) next to my George Best poster.

Posted by: grubbsbl | December 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Great job on Soccer Insider! Always look forward to your Mason hoops coverage as well.

Posted by: deepvalue | December 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Jaime is keeping you company grubbs. Reminds me I need to go have that thing custom framed in the new year.

That's kind of interesting that they say Howzit in SA and it is also heard a LOT in Hawaii.

With that, lot's of Aloha to all and Mele Kalikimaka!
Hoping 2011 is at least more interesting for us United fans.

Thanks for everything Steve and enjoy the holiday.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 22, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Happy Yule. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

I am off to London and Manchester where it's sunny and warm (NOT)to watch me some football. I trust I-270, OWNTF, and Rand-al-thor to ramp up their snarkiness and bad puns to cover my absence.

Looking forward to 2011 with my Soccer Insider family. A dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.


Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | December 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Felíz Navidad y prospero año a todos.

Muchas gracias, Steve-o

Posted by: fischy | December 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the great coverage and links, Steven.

Posted by: j_doe | December 22, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sisonke to you Steve. I hope sisonke a nice thing to say cause that is the message I am trying to convey.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | December 22, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Ke Nako!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 22, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Much thanks for keeping us informed and entertained.
BTW, Nostradamus predicted all of this 500 years ago. You should see what he said about 2011.....

Posted by: billq1 | December 22, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Goff,

From all of us here at ZipSoccerNation Alumni > Mid Atlantic Chapter.

Thank you for an informative 2010 & continued success - Enjoy your time off and Have a Happy Holiday Season & All the Best to You and Your Family in the New Year!

Caleb, Kofi, Ampai & Darlington all say hello. Go Zips Go !

Posted by: Zipfutbol | December 22, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Great coverage as usual Steve! Happy Holidays everyone! Thought a few people might be interested in this...

Posted by: I-95Exit43 | December 22, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

since I'm in Chicago, Wesolych Swiat! to everyone here on SI. Thanks Steve Goff for the only blog that really matters in DC. And here's hoping for a more enjoyable, watchable, winnable, and generally fun season.

Posted by: DCB23 | December 22, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Steve.

Posted by: stig1 | December 22, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, I-95Exit43. Well worth reading. Here's a teaser:

"A long-awaited study released Wednesday says a new soccer stadium in Baltimore for the D.C. United would generate a greater economic impact for the state than a minor-league soccer venue, and the city cannot support both.

The findings pave the way for resumed talks between city and state officials and D.C. United about relocating to Baltimore."

Posted by: Curious99 | December 22, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting tidbit from the full report:

"If a new stadium was built in downtown Baltimore, D.C. United fully anticipates implementing a full marketing blitz to support the move. The team would dedicate significant resources into advertising for season ticket holders, suites and club seats. Team officials further indicated that Baltimore, Delaware and Philadelphia would be areas that would be strong for attendance. With the addition of the InterCounty Connector (ICC), the team believes Montgomery County fans would have ease of access to a new soccer stadium in Baltimore and, as such, team officials would expect to maintain these fans. The team expects to pick up fan support in Northern and Western Baltimore and Delaware to make up for and exceed any expected fan base loss from the Hispanic population in the D.C. area, Loudoun County, Virginia and some Northern Virginia fans."

Posted by: Curious99 | December 22, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Undoubtedly, there would be some draw from Montgomery County. Maybe even comparable to what the Orioles used to get in the pre-Nationals era. Still. it's a hike.Much more likely on the weekends than mid-week games.

I got stuck on the the market stats. DC is twice as large a market. Even among D-2 cities, Baltimore would only be middle of the pack.

Other tidbits -- Most DCU sponsor businesses did not express interest generally in continuing sponsorship/advertising if the team moved. They opposed the move. In Baltimore, there was not a great warming to the idea of sponsoring or advertising with United there.

I'd say the $65 million projections for associated annual impact is wildly optimistic.

I read this study and I have to think that it's only going to reinforce DCu's efforts an interest in getting a DC-area facility.

Posted by: fischy | December 22, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve, the best to you and yours, and thanks for all that you do...and you do so very much.

Posted by: seahawkdad | December 22, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

That article lost me at "the" DC United.... sigh.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 23, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Happy Holidays Goffster! Thanks for your superb coverage!

Posted by: charlie015 | December 23, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Goff! Your references to South Africa may influence my decision about where to get lunch today (in the direction of Nando's Peri-Peri).

With regard to the Ballmer stadium, are the authors of the study aware that MLS awarded a franchise to Philly a while back?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Since the study cited "team officials" who intend to market the team in Philadelphia, is the DCU front office aware that there is a club that plays its home games in Chester?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Very happy to have traveled every step of the way with you, Goffinho...even though it was mostly vicarious travel for me. Cheers!

Posted by: BaltoFan | December 23, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Barcelona-Man United in DC next summer, Barcelona then plays Milan in Miami, and Club America in Dallas.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 23, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the coverage, Goff. Miss ya already.

Posted by: runningcloud | December 23, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Hiatus day 1: Still checking the blog every half hour for links to soccer news. Reignking wrote some funny stuff. JkR saw what he did there.
Hiatus day 2: X-mas eve. Not much blog traffic. Everyone must be flying somewhere. OWNTF posted an awful pun.
Hiatus day 3: X-mas day. The kids woke me up early so that they could open their presents. I had them wait until I checked the blog. No overnight news. Everyone must have been really tired from their flights.
Hiatus day 4. BOXING DAY! Lots of good EPL matches. JacobfromAtlanta-ish is re-posting comments from USMNT players' twitter pages.
Hiatus day 5: Links to youtube highlights from yesterday's games. Puns exhausted, Rand-al-Thor posted knock-knock jokes.
Hiatus day 6: No new comments. Not even a countdown from Curious99.
Hiatus day 7: No comments again. Washington Post website must be having issues.
Hiatus day 8: Still no comments? Posted some clips of '80's bands just to see if the site is working. It is. The link to the Sister Christian video was quintuple posted.
Hiatus day 9: Where is everyone? There must be something happening in the soccer world.
Hiatus day 10: No damn soccer news. I can't take much more. Where the hell are Tenorio and Bonesteel? They're supposed to post things when Steve is away.
Hiatus day 14: Checking the blog from the Montgomery County Library computer. Mine needs a new keyboard and screen. Kids won't let me use theirs. Wife says I need to go off-line for a while.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 23, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

article in Post today wondering why women don't support women's sports

Posted by: OWNTF | December 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Goffihno.

You continue to be our daily "confidant", providing the indispensable soccer thirst.

As soccer moves up, slowly but surely in this great country of "the brave and the free", we have a moral duty to recognize your personal commitment to your readers.

To you, and to the Washington Post, a plethora of gratitude from all South Texas soccer clubs and fans.
Texas Soccer Republic

Posted by: EFREN95 | December 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Goff, thanks for everything. 2010 was a huge year for soccer in America and you kept us in the middle of it all. Your legion of fans, including this one, is greatly appreciative (tell your editor). As the year draws to an end, here's a flashback to yet another example of the sport hitting the mainstream, and with a kick no less:

Posted by: bartapest1 | December 23, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

can anyone tell me why Landon needs "spousal support" from Bianca?

Posted by: torrey151 | December 23, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just to flesh out what Jacob reported above:

July 30 in Washington, DC (I assume they mean Landover, Md.) -- FC Barcelona vs. Manchester Utd.

Let's hope it's not ungodly hot...and that they have enough sense to schedule an evening match. For the $100+ a ticket they're going to charge. I'd like to be comfortable.

Posted by: fischy | December 23, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Robbie Findley will sign with Nottingham Forest pending a work permit. The fact he played in 10 out of 14 games this year for the Nats suggests he will win an appeal. Not sure what to make of this move.

Posted by: grubbsbl | December 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Goff, enjoy your break. So I guess now I'll have to spend my time on Wikipedia reading about the guys Bradley picked for the National Team Training Camp.

Posted by: aschreur | December 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Johnny: This? Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl....

Posted by: fischy | December 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, FTW!

Posted by: JkR- | December 23, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Happy Holidays to Mr. Goff and all the regular posters who keep us amateurs entertained.

Posted by: assocfoot | December 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Baltimore stadium study:

All well and good, but I don't see where anyone is putting up the up front money to build. I think it's a given that a stadium anywhere would generate money and jobs, but someone still has to put up the cash to build, and then the zoning people have to approve; that's the heavy lift, and always has been.

Does the study address that?

Posted by: JkR- | December 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve for all of your hard work. We are lucky to have you. Here's my contribution to the news updates during your well-deserved break: Platini will continue another four years atop UEFA.

Posted by: Pedalada | December 23, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

thanks to Goff and the Post for providing such excellent reporting all the year long. Soccer Insider remains the most visited site in my browser and even a 2-week break won't change that.

and thanks to everyone in the peanut gallery here for keeping the conversation lively and the animosity to a minimum. there are only a few places on the internet where civil conversation and discussion happen and it's nice to be a part of it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 23, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure whether the passing of Enzo Bearzot, the coach of the 1982 world champtions, has been noted on this blog:

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure whether the passing of Enzo Bearzot, the coach of the 1982 world champtions, has been noted on this blog:

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve. A great year for your coverage and for world soccer. Wish I could say thew same thing for DCU. Will the team always be a cheapskate? Will we never put up the dough to build a winner?
Wait till next year....we hope!
Happy New Year.

Posted by: lemovs1 | December 23, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve. A great year for your coverage and for world soccer. Wish I could say thew same thing for DCU. Will the team always be a cheapskate? Will we never put up the dough to build a winner?
Wait till next year....we hope!
Happy New Year.

Posted by: lemovs1 | December 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve. A great year for your coverage and for world soccer. Wish I could say thew same thing for DCU. Will the team always be a cheapskate? Will we never put up the dough to build a winner?
Wait till next year....we hope!
Happy New Year.

Posted by: lemovs1 | December 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

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