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Posted at 2:32 PM ET, 01/24/2011

D.C. United opens training camp

By Steve Goff

Greetings from Delaware, where I have arrived for a college basketball assignment tonight. (A Marriott that shares a parking lot with a Bob Evans? Life is good -- and simple.)

Before heading north, I attended D.C. United's first session of training camp this morning at Greenbelt Sportsplex, an indoor facility just outside the Beltway that shielded the club from the bone-rattling cold. United will train there three times this week and at a health club in the city before departing to a warmer climate next Monday (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

I will have a story about Ben Olsen's day with the club in Tuesday's print editions, available online tonight. For now, a few notes to share:

*Midfielder Dax McCarty, who captained the U.S. national team in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chile, has been given time off after three weeks of camp in California and will probably join United late this week. Forward Joseph Ngwenya is overseas and will report this week. Defender Ethan White, a homegrown signing from the University of Maryland, has a calf injury. He was also slowed by an ailment at the recent U.S. under-20 camp.

*First-round draft pick Perry Kitchen received a rude introduction to MLS, suffering a bloody nose when a stray ball struck him at the end of a fast-paced drill. "When it first hit me, I was thinking, 'Wow, welcome to the team,' " he said. "It's just bloody, I'm fine."

*Chinese striker Yang Men, who was in camp last fall, will begin another trial with United next week. Otherwise, no other new players are expected in camp. (For a look at the initial list of players, click here.)

*Olsen said he won't necessarily name a captain to replace Jaime Moreno. "I don't want to make a big deal out of it. I hope we have more than one leader on this team. I hope we have a bunch of guys who collectively know what to do and we don't have to have one guy. I don't think that is necessary right now. We're trying to build our team right now and be together. I don't think we need to single anyone out at this point. We'll see how this thing evolves. We have plenty of time."

If he were to name someone, Santino Quaranta, Clyde Simms, Josh Wolff and Dax McCarty would be prime candidates.

What is the status of United's search for a proven forward? Keep reading.....

*United is still in search of a true scorer to strengthen an attack that set the MLS record for fewest goals in a season last year.

Insider: What is the status of your pursuit of a foreign striker?

Olsen: A foreign striker. Does it have to be a foreigner?

Insider: Presumably.

Olsen: Why presumably?

Insider: Not a lot of choices available domestically right now.

Olsen: Maybe.

Insider: Really?

Olsen: Look, we're looking for a forward. I don't think it's any surprise to anybody. I've always said: I'm happy with what we have, but if you can bolster that area, it's always nice to do, to get another guy who is competing to score goals because it's obviously a place we felt we weren't good enough and we need to fix it."

By Steve Goff  | January 24, 2011; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  Ben Olsen, D.C. United  
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Next: Tuesday kickaround: Los Angeles Galaxy, D.C. United, MLS, Robbie Keane, Georgios Samaras, Maryland Terrapins, Aston Villa, local Hall of Fame

Comments

"Olsen: A foreign striker. Does it have to be a foreigner?"
-------

Cheeky, that Bennie is... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | January 24, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Zipfutbol will tell us that Kitchen will score many goals with his nose.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 24, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"I'm happy with what we have?" I like the new young team, but we can't be satisfied with our forward situation. Who's leading us up top next year? I don't see that dominating presence, but then again, with a new team may come a new dynamic. We can't get the record twice in a row, can we?

Posted by: bspence11 | January 24, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

What did I miss? Last time I knew, Quaranta was DC United's captain.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 24, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@bspence11, Ben isn't going to throw his team under the bus. He isn't going to say "all my forwards are crap." He's going to say "They're great guys, but of course we're always trying to get better." He going to say things like "We want to have competition at every position," not "Joe Snodgrass is a punk, and I'm only playing him because everybody else is worse."

Posted by: glfrazier | January 24, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

United will train there three times this week and at a health club in the city before departing to a warmer climate next Monday.
=================

What is the name of the health club?


Yang Men, there's no need to feel down.
I said, Yang Men, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, Yang Men, 'cause you're in a new town,
There's no need to be unhappy.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 24, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Nick Addlery
Lucio Filomeno
Matias Donnet


Keep Kasper out of the search for a forward.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 24, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I think OWNTF just found the Yin to Yang's Men

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 24, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Are they looking at American strikers? Mike Grella, Charlie Davies, and Herculez Gomez could all use some more playing time.

Posted by: PeteO1 | January 24, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

lgm6986:

Donnet, who was a right midfielder, doesn't belong on that list. Try Allsopp instead.

Kasper is due for another Emilio or Gomez, though. Maybe it's just a pattern that has to be followed. Hopefully he's signed his quota of garbage players, and now we can actually get someone good.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 24, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Must be a coincidence, the Freedom are bringing in Yang Women for a trial too.

Posted by: IamAM | January 24, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Grella would be a great pickup. Still not sure if Davies is ready.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | January 24, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson, come on down ...

Posted by: ihillvt | January 24, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Could Grella even be registered? I ask this seriously seeing that is proposed loan move the Motherwell fell through because he has been registered for to many teams this season, per FIFA rules? Not that it matters because the only link is a commentor on this blog. And I doubt Grella is ready to come back to MLS.

I would be half excited by Herculez Gomez but I am half convinced his good form was just a flash in the pan.

I do agree with Rockwell, Kasper is due finding a beast signing.

Oh and as much as it pains me to say this: I would not pay the salary demands likely to be asked by Davies for a return -even if it is a loan deal.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 24, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Just think of all of the YA busts you could bring back...maybe rekindle Team America.

Posted by: Reignking | January 24, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Goff, any word on what Jaime Morenos decision is going to be? Continue to find a contract somewhere, or go to coaching DCUs youth?

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | January 24, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Chesty:

I'll use Thiago Martens instead.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 24, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I forgot about Eddie Johnson. He is probably the most realistic option and DCU is on top of the allocation list so they would have the first crack at anyone who is returning from abroad.

Posted by: PeteO1 | January 24, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Steve, I'm glad that you also cover my other favorite team: George Mason U (playing the Fighting Blue Hens of Delaware tonight). You do good work!

I find myself, somewhat surprisingly, looking forward to seeing this DCU team this season. There have been some interesting and potentially very positive acquisitions.

But yeah, we still need a forward (foreign or not).

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 24, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: Sounds like what Olsen is saying is -- Tino is NOT the captain. So the question then is: Maybe Benny doesn't see Tino as a regular starter?

Posted by: dccal | January 24, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Dax seems the most likely captain, but he's not even in camp yet. No surprise to dodge that subject. Like nearly every position on the field, it's probably still up for grabs.

As for striker, I wouldn't be surprised to see a signing in the summer months. They've made huge strides in all other positions (except GK I guess), and have adequate depth players up top. If Olsen's Army is a 3-year plan, I don't expect every piece in place on day 1.

Not that they're putting anything off -- just waiting for the right opportunity. Just a guess, but waiting for someone like EJ makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: -rke- | January 24, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's that Benny doesn't see Quaranta as the Captain. I think that he's saying: "this is a team in transition. I want to see how it works out, who has the most influence in the club room, who ends up starting before I name a captain."

For instance, suppose he names...Wolff...who then ends up not starting due to injury. Or he names ...Quaranta, we get some like EJ who starts at forward, Wolff moves to outside midfield and Santino ends up sitting. Or he names...Simms, but then our starting central mids end up being Boskovic and McCarty. Or he names...McCarty, who takes the beginning of camp off (not a great way to start out as Captain).

I personally think Dax McCarty is the best choice. High energy, coming off an MLS finalist team, USNT candidate (granted, on the outside looking in) and a Benny-lite type of player. But...you don't want to anoint him Captain before anyone else on the team knows him or he gets a chance to build respect. And especially with him taking a break before camp.

Nah, I think the scenario is...we get all the boys together, start to get a sense of who's playing where, what the clubhouse dynamics are and then Benny steps in and announces his captain.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 24, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I was jogging through Lot 8 the other day and bumped into a couple RFK raccoons who had been rooting through KP's garbage, and they said Freddy Adu to United is all but a done deal. Oh, and they found Paul Tenorio's laptop in there too.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 24, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Doubt it

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 24, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Since Coper signed with the Timbers, I've been expecting United will end up with EJ. I hope they will also be looking at a big summer signing, since it doesn't seem anything is happening now. It's funny though -- if you read the Latin press -- or the clips on MLSRumors -- almost every decent young player out of contract in Central and South America is in negotiations with MLS....

Posted by: fischy | January 24, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I would actually take EJ, and have long thought of that as a move which could benefit DC. Certainly he is not top caliber striker, but similar to Cooper, he can get the job done in MLS. I would also welcome the move as it would add some pace in the attack, especially if we go with a variation of a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Najar coming from either wing with EJ stretching the defense could actually be exciting to watch.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 24, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Bennie,

Please don't say I'm happy with what we have. I remember Curt said the same thing about this time last year and we know where that went.

While this team has improved from last year, it is still at best an average MLS team. We don't have enough quality to move strongly into the playoff level.

Posted by: dcufan531 | January 24, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Is keeper Alex Horwath not in camp?

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | January 24, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"While this team has improved from last year, it is still at best an average MLS team. We don't have enough quality to move strongly into the playoff level.


Posted by: dcufan531 |"

Thou speakest the truth.

+1

Posted by: Ron16 | January 24, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

54 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 24, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

dcufan531,
position by position please enlighten me on who in MLS has a confirmed starting XI, a better chance at longevity through a long season that we'll only be slightly bothered by Open Cup play for, or the depth that we seem to be building even when considering national team call ups we'll be certain to see with Jakovic, Boskovic, James, and perhaps any number of our young Yanks?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 24, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

> Insider: Not a lot of choices available domestically right now.
>
> Olsen: Maybe.

*Sigh*. Okay, already, I'll sign! God, stalk me, why don't you?

Posted by: NicknameNoOneElseHas | January 24, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Can I play? I'll start with RSL. Next is LA, Dallas and NY. Seattle, Colorado. Then, a handful of teams that are in flux, but probably deeper and definitely with better XIs than DCU. Houston made some nice pickups and could rebound quickly. Ditto for the Crew.

Posted by: fischy | January 24, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

So -- Cal's goalie, David Bingham signed an MLS GA deal. Presumably DCU will have the best odds in the weighted lottery. WOndering how the management would feel about bringing him in. He's probably a lot better than Willis -- some thought Bingham was the best goalie prospect. Is there room for Cronin, Hamid and a first-round quality goalie -- or will Bingham be trade bait if DC gets him?

Posted by: fischy | January 24, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Any chance of getting Chris Rolfe back? I would much rather have him than EJ.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 24, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought -- if DC does get Bingham, they might want to call up Portland and see what they'd offer to get Cronin back. A little dicey going forward with no experienced goalie, but Bingham might be MLS-ready a la Stefan Frei. Unless United has more confidence in Hamid or Cronin than I think their play has warranted, I'd seriously consider keeping Bingham.

Posted by: fischy | January 24, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice article Goffer. I like how every player says he wants to play hard for Ben and respects him.

Posted by: dsheon1 | January 25, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

@ lgm6986

Letting Adderly go is one of the biggest mistakes we have made lately.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | January 25, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Seemingly, but if Addlery were that good, he wouldn't be in the 2nd or 3rd or 5th division (whatever it is today).

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse in Juarez...seven killed at a soccer game.

And Rossi is staying at Villarreal -- extended his contract through 2016.

Posted by: Reignking | January 25, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Goff reports that Onolfo may be a new assistant at LA. Wouldn't this actually allow DCU to hire another assistant (or a scout) since his salary would no longer be paid by DC

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 25, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Depends on his contract, or if they just paid him off in one lump sum...

Posted by: Reignking | January 25, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

As much as a guy like Onalfo wants to stay involved, I doubt he'd take an assistant's job now if it cut off his DCU payments. That's a goodly chunk of change it would take a lot of years as an assistant to match.

Rossi staying with the Yellow Submarine? It's a great situation for him, and he does seem to genuinely love the seaside Spanish life. Gotta beat living in rainy old England. I just wish we could be celebrating his success as the star of the USMNT. I can see why he'd want to stay in Spain, but I think he will come to regret joining the Azzurri.

Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think, and I hope, that the reason United is not looking to spend big at the forward position is because forward is not necessarily the position we were most lacking in last season.

Goals come from solid build-up play from the back, and a creative attacking central midfielder that can dictate the pace of the game and bring others into the attacking fold. Christian Gomez was that engine for us--since he was unceremoniously dismissed several years ago there has been a gaping whole in the center of the park that no one on the current roster has been able to fill. We need a leader and and a star to play that position--that's where I'd spend my money, and I hope that's where United is going to spend theirs.

Posted by: FbAller | January 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think, and I hope, that the reason United is not looking to spend big at the forward position is because forward is not necessarily the position we were most lacking in last season.

Goals come from solid build-up play from the back, and a creative attacking central midfielder that can dictate the pace of the game and bring others into the attacking fold. Christian Gomez was that engine for us--since he was unceremoniously dismissed several years ago there has been a gaping whole in the center of the park that no one on the current roster has been able to fill. We need a leader and and a star to play that position--that's where I'd spend my money, and I hope that's where United is going to spend theirs.

Posted by: FbAller | January 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

fischy - if CO stays away from the game for too long, he likely becomes less marketable for future coaching gigs. collecting $600k for doing nothing over the next 2 years would be great if he was near retirement age, but he likely needs to be able to coach for another 25 years or so.

FbAller - when you say "unceremoniously dismissed", do you mean when he demanded designated player money (and a garunteed contract, IIRC), and the club said "no thanks"? the club already has a pile of CMs, and right or wrong, are probably going to stick with them.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 25, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The most likely scenario is that United would have to pay the difference between Onalfo's old salary and his new salary, as that is what it means to guarantee a given salary. The implication of that is that Onalfo is effectively working for nothing, as he gets his old salary either way. A lump-sum settlement is unlikely, since there would have been no way to know what job offers Onalfo would receive over the period covered by the guarantee.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 25, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

EJ?? Really? What have you seen in the past couple years that makes you even remotely be interested in him? All I've seen is a player with a horrible first touch, and most of the time look lazy on the field. Great! He has speed. Unless you're planning to play kickball that isn't enough

Posted by: kevbalt | January 25, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The print edition story to which Goff referred above:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012405904.html

Posted by: universityandpark | January 25, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

By "unceremoniously dismissed", I'm reffering to the way that quite of few United legends were "shown the door" by the FO without enough negotiation or fanfare.

The fact that Moreno, the greatest player in franchise history, is still out there trying to find a team makes us look like total idiots.

There is a more graceful/respectful way to handle those situations. Could you see Man. U. treating Giggs the same way United treated Moreno?

Posted by: FbAller | January 25, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Moreno, the greatest player in franchise history, is still out there trying to find a team makes us look like total idiots.
_________________________________________

Was United supposed to help Moreno find a new team or something? If he is unable to find a team that wants him, that just shows that a lot of people have more or less independently made the same of assessment of him at this stage in his life.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 25, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Will try this again to get past the censor:

Could you even imagine Giggs b . .[whining]. . .itching about lack of playing time? And Giggs can still go 90. I mean, I loved #99 as much as the next guy, but let's not get carried away.

Also loved Gomez, but his performance in Colo and in DC upon return would suggest that the much maligned front office pretty much had that one pegged.

Plus they were counting on Gallardo. Which they didn't exactly have pegged.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 25, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

quite a stretch to call Gomez a legend, especially in the same breath as Moreno. there are a lot of guys in this League with a couple of Supporters Shields and an MLS Cup.

and like u&p said, what more would you have wanted DCU to do for Moreno? They let him play easily a season and a half beyond what any other MLS club would have, and have offered him a job in the club's youth system. and Unlike ManU, DCU has a salary cap, of which Moreno took up nearly 10% over the past few seasons. Thats too much to pay for a guy who cant contribute consistently anymore. I love the guy, and thank him for all he accomplished, but it was time.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 25, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF -- In the interest of accuracy -- DCU wasn't counting on Gallardo, when they dealt Gomez to Colorado. They were counting on Veron, who backed out of his deal at the last minute. Gallardo was a fall-back position. If Veron had gotten on that plane to DC, it would have been the biggest signing for the league outside of Beckham and Henry...and the last 3 years would have been very different.

Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Now that Gallardo's been added to the list, let's also add Emilio.

Agreed, I'm sure all of those guys complained about playing time, contracts, etc. And I'm positive that it was a major pain for the FO to deal with.

The point that I'm trying to make is that there has been a lack in cohesion in style of play from year to year that can be directly tracked back to the FO dropping key players at the wrong time.

Posted by: FbAller | January 25, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

As much as I enjoy the dissection of ancient FO decisions, after two days without a morning kickaround I'm beginning to hope that the George Whoever basketball team that Steve covers is declared ineligible by the NCAA so he can get back to covering a real sport.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think Ben is dull enough to say, "we don't have what we need" at this point in the season and in his coaching career?

Let's speculate wildly about who it might be:

Fernando Torres: ewwww.

Fat Ronaldo: having trouble holding down a job. Plenty of tranny hookers in Southeast for him.

David Villa: His ability to compete on the european level is clearly waning. A transfer to MLS is definitely in the works.

Javier Hernandez: Clearly he's having trouble adjusting to the game in the UK where they have the BEST FOOTBALL ON THE PLANET because they invented the game. Who would want to go back to Mexico anyway when you could play in MLS? Plus there's a huge mexican population in DC.

Any others I missed?

Posted by: jdickinson187 | January 25, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Also loved Gomez, but his performance in Colo and in DC upon return would suggest that the much maligned front office pretty much had that one pegged.

Plus they were counting on Gallardo. Which they didn't exactly have pegged.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 25, 2011 10:46 AM
__________________________________________

There is a certain usage of the term "pegged" that ought to be of interest to the digital hygienists (censors).

Posted by: universityandpark | January 25, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

You forgot Rossi. Left of the Azurri in 2010, his best days (if he ever had any) are clearly behind him.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It's a huge commitment by Villarreal standards, that's for sure...this is a team that is used to taking the has-beens and turning them around. Maybe they are trying to build something a little more permanent.

Posted by: Reignking | January 25, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I had a dream last night that we won the opener 6-0, realistic?

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 25, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@I-270 - HOw about dissecting current decisions?

From Goff's twitter:

"D.C. United GM Dave Kasper says club will sit out lottery for Cal GK David Bingham and maintain standing for future use"

This is the first I've heard that the weighted lottery runs like USA allocation lotteries -- use it and you move down the list. Even if it does work that way, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. A bird in the hand is definitely worth more than the bird in the bush. Especially if you're not even sure there is a bird in the bush!! How often are there lotteries like this? Last year there was Gil and Zizzo. This year, we have Bingham and maybe Cody Arnoux -- though I believe Goff reported that the Caps are still insisting they have Arnooux's rights. Is there someone else in the pipeline? Is DCU aiming for Arnoux? Or, are they just hoping there might be another player later this year who better fits the teams' needs? Even if they just want to trade Bingham, I think DC ought to be able to get a first-round pick in return. That sounds better to me than taking the chance that the team would win the next lottery for some undetermined player. Even if there is another lottery it's hardly a guarantee the team would win it -- (note that DC had the best chance of getting Zizzo and still lost that lottery -- and KC won the Gil lottery, despite having the 3rd-best odds).

If I'm the GM and I would rather have Arnoux than Bingham, I still take my shot at Bingham. If the team really wants Arnoux later, they can trade for him. I gotta figure they could get him for no more and probably less than they'd get in a trade for Bingham.

Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Serbian court convicts 12 for slaying French football fan

A Serbian court on Tuesday convicted 12 hooligans of first degree murder for the brutal killing of French football fan Brice Taton in 2009, with two other suspects found guilty of violent behaviour.

The court handed down sentences ranging from four to 35 years in prison for the 14 men, all hardcore fans of Partizan Belgrade.

Taton was attacked in a bar and beaten by baseball bats ahead of Toulouse's 3-2 Europa League victory over Partizan on September 17, 2009.

Posted by: Reignking | January 25, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

A bird in the hand is definitely worth more than the bird in the bush. Especially if you're not even sure there is a bird in the bush!!
Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 11:20 AM
==========

I clicked to Report abuse of English proverbs.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if that comment at Rossi was making light of my earlier comment, but I'm going to assume it was at least in part.

Rossi might yet get to a World Cup with the Azzurri, but I don't think he's guaranteed a lot of playing time. He doesn't play in Italy, he's really an American, and he's short (not a huge problem if you're a midfielder, but usually seen as a big negative for strikers, especially the way Italians play) -- he's always going to have a hard time forcing his way onto the pitch. He maybe wildly outscoring any forwards back in Italy, but I'd bet he's always going to be second choice for Italy.

With the USA, he'd have been the featured player in a strong 2010 run to the quarterfinals at least, and be the featured striker over the next 2 cycles at least. So, yeah -- I know his best days are ahead of him, but I think there's a good chance he's going to regret choosing Italy. He'll have a good life, I'm sure, but he might still wish he'd gotten over his childhood fantasy of playing for Italy and chosen differently.

Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I clicked to Report abuse of English proverbs.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 11:24 AM

also, abuse of Geico proverbs.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 25, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

How did Serbian hooligans get baseball bats? They don't even play baseball there. If Serbians are buying baseball bats, it can only be for one purpose. They ought to have stricter bat control laws....

Posted by: fischy | January 25, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@jdickson187
What about that Rooney fella? When's the last time he scored without a fist full of 100 pound notes?

Posted by: FulhamDC | January 25, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Gallardo is nothing whatsoever like Gomez and Emilio, who were back to back MVPs of the entire frikkin league, for cryin out loud. And Gomez was an All-Star Starting 11 for several years running, if I'm not mistaken.

Gallardo never did sheis. Zip, nada, squadoosh. A complete and utter bust. I would say girly man, but that would be an insult to the many fine female players I know and respect.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 25, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

In fact, as long as Goff's stuck at the Cracker Barrel or whatever, I propose to throw it open to you long-time MLS fans for your picks for "Top 5 epic fail signings in MLS history." Let's see if Gallardo isn't a consensus pick.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 25, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Gallardo never did sheis. Zip, nada, squadoosh. A complete and utter bust. I would say girly man, but that would be an insult to the many fine female players I know and respect.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 25, 2011 11:44 AM

would you call popping LandyCakes in the nose nothing?

epic fail signings-

1) Lothar
2) Denilson
3) Reyna
4) Luis Landin
5) Mista

Gallardo at least was on a team that won a USOC.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 25, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Man I LOVE pre-season soccer.

You've got people all full of cool-aid... er, I mean, hope. Who can't seem to differentiate between reality and the promised land.

Then you've got the people holding a glass half-full of piss that will disagree with anyone just to prove them wrong (even if that makes them sound like an optimist).

Pre-season is like how our bodies don't really remember physical pain. We remember off-season of years past when we signed someone who made everyone happy, only too see a complete disappointment on the field.

Take last season:

We signed Perkins to shore up the goals allowed, thinking one of many problems were solved... (or not)

We had a good number of young players who gained lots of experience the previous season (because of an obscene number of injuries) returning who were going to "step it up" in the new campaign.

We had a coach no one really liked, but he did have the fewest number of injuries on his teams, so we thought MAYBE we wouldn't see a repeat of the previous season.

We even saw Jaime Moreno lead pre-season scores allowing us to believe he had somehow managed to gain a third wind.

Ah... Pre-Season. How I love thee. Nothing but blue skies and lies before the inevitable constant decline of an organization in decay.

Pre-Season.

Posted by: TCompton | January 25, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: Cracker Barrel is a step up from Bob Evans - better grits and country-fried steak.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Pre-Season. How I love thee. Nothing but blue skies and lies before the inevitable constant decline of an organization in decay.

Pre-Season.

Posted by: TCompton
---------------------------------

OK there, Eeyore. Is this the post that will allow you to later say "I told you so"? Hang on tight to your cynicism and negativity. Hope you enjoy it.

I've seen some moves that hold promise for this team, even if 2011 isn't the full return to glory we'd like. We WILL be better.

Would I still like to see a high-scoring, young, world class DP signed? Uh, sure. I'd like to be carried into RFK from Lot 8 by a dozen scantily clad virgins, too.

If you can't be at all optimistic in the off-season" I don't want your version of sports fandom.

Vamos United!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 25, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to be carried into RFK from Lot 8 by a dozen scantily clad virgins, too.
Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 25, 2011 5:22 PM
==========

I hope I'm not there, I really don't care to see scantily clad Jonas Brothers and nine of their friends.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 25, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

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