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Posted at 9:59 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Monday kickaround: Happy new year, RFK Stadium, D.C. United, Toronto FC, Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake, MLS draft

By Steve Goff

Happy new year! Here's hoping you enjoyed the holidays with friends and family. The Insider consumed one too many decadent french-toast bagels, not enough fish tacos at Mama Kwan's, and just the right amount of Amarula.

Now back to work.

Many notable events await us on the 2011 calendar, from Copa America to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Women's World Cup to the start of 2014 World Cup qualifying. All are eclipsed by this fact: RFK Stadium turns 50. The gem on the banks of the mighty Anacostia didn't actually open until October 1961, but that won't stop us from celebrating all year. (Perspective: Paul McCartney performed there ... with The Beatles.)

Things are sure to be cheerier at the old ballpark for D.C. United this year, for they can't get any worse. Good news is already sprouting: With Jeff Cunningham looking for employment overseas, Jaime Moreno's MLS career scoring record of 133 goals might hold up for quite a while. Next on the active scoring list: Landon Donovan with 103.

An Uruguayan media report says United is interested in acquiring defender Rodrigo Brasesco, of Racing Club in Montevideo, on loan. He turns 25 this month. Neither Coach Ben Olsen nor General Manager Dave Kasper responded to e-mail requests seeking comment.

Elsewhere in MLS.....

Toronto is reportedly getting set to add former New England Revolution assistant Paul Mariner as its head coach to its front office and ex-Netherlands international Aron Winter as the technical director head coach. Only Chivas USA has yet to fill its coaching vacancy, but Real Salt Lake assistant Robin Fraser is the choice. Two sources said he was in talks with the club over the weekend, and a person familiar with the negotiations indicated that the deal was done. Speaking of RSL, the Insider has learned that the club has agreed to a new, long-term deal with Canadian midfielder Will Johnson, whose contract was to expire after the 2011 season.

Coaches and GMs are heading to South Florida later this week for the scouting combine ahead of the Jan. 13 draft in Baltimore. In case you missed it last week, MLS's Generation Adidas class is set, and it includes Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Top prospects? Joe Mauceri has it covered.

By Steve Goff  | January 3, 2011; 9:59 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United, MLS  
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Next: D.C. United news & notes


Just what everyone wants -- a 34-year-old American forward. Shrewd negotiating ploy!

Posted by: Reignking | January 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Racing Club? Good, we need a fast defender.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 3, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hoorah, SI is back!
So RFK turns 50, Houston is starting their stadium, San Jose looks to be making serious moves forward, Sporting KC is looking to be a beautiful spot, POrtland just joined MLS and their renovated ball park looks awesome.

So who is left in the stadium loser's club? New England, DCU, anyone else?

Posted by: DCB23 | January 3, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, not sure if they updated the article on you, but now that website is saying White is going to be the coach while Mariner is the TD.

Posted by: PEddy | January 3, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Mauceri's grades seem pretty harsh. Zero A's, three A-'s? Wow. Zak MacGrath, who performed so well at the Milk Cup, is a B. An 'A' only means that a player will get some first-team action during his first year and possibly be an impact player by the end. It is amazing to me that only 3 potential draftees are rated that high. Perhaps this speaks to the longevity of a professional soccer career and the relative smallness of a soccer team compared to football (thus fewer rookies making the team). Or perhaps the lack of hype surrounding the draft.

Posted by: glfrazier | January 3, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Winter in Toronto.

Good day to be a coach named Fraser/Frazier.

Posted by: Reignking | January 3, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone going to the draft this year? And if so, do you want to get some pizza's and have a pizza draft?

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 3, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

So who is left in the stadium loser's club? New England, DCU, anyone else?

Columbus is starting to look a little ratty. They should probably upgrade. ;-)

Posted by: SoccerVA | January 3, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- You've had a week to work on a joke about Brasesco. That's the best you could come up with?

Posted by: fischy | January 3, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

just out of curiosity, is RFK older than all the other MLS stadia put together? I'll bet it is.

Posted by: troy6 | January 3, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why does almost every American recently looking for a club in Europe end up on trial at Randers? Yura has got some real pull there? This has to be bad news for Freddy Adu...

Posted by: fischy | January 3, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

glfrazier: I doubt Joe's rankings are significantly affected by hype or lack thereof. He watches these players a lot: if you go beyond just the table of rankings, you can see brief summaries of his assessments from the multiple times each year that he saw each player play. It is true, though, that the consensus among many observers -- not just Joe -- has been that this draft class is weaker than the last couple of years. That's consistent with Joe not ranking as many players highly this year as he has in the last couple of years.

No comment on DCU ending up with a very high first round draft pick during a comparatively weak year.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 3, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Just curious: has anyone determined what the financial hit is to the District if DC United moves out, leaving RFK with no tenant? The District will have a large plot of property and a stadium producing no revenue and creating an (additional) burden to the DC taxpayer. Wondering if the District has a plan in place for the property.

Posted by: onenetnut | January 3, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Brad Guzan makes a very good save (Catch)

Lovely analysis.

Hull wins 3-2. Jozy again doesn't make the 18.

Posted by: Reignking | January 3, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, SG!

Posted by: Kosh2 | January 3, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe they intend to use RFK and its environs as a movie set for the screen adaptations of various urban warfare video games.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 3, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Why does not some sugar daddy put up some scratch and start a public company to sell shares and build a proper soccer stadium either in DC or Virginia? It should go like hot cakes!

Posted by: crimsonmac | January 3, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Under the terms of the lease with the National Park Service, the District can essentially abandon the site when there is no longer a major tenant. The District loses whatever net revenue there is, and NPS loses the rent it was receiving. (I've heard that both figures are in the low seven figures, but I'm not sure.) Of course, then the process of coming up with alternative uses for the site would commence, and a new NFL-class stadium would certainly be a part of the discussion. So would an MLS-class stadium, but presumably DCU would already have one, either in the suburbs or in Baltimore, which was the reason it moved out in the first place.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 3, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

SoccerVA, Columbus's stadium was ratty the day they cut the ribbon.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 3, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Goff - Happy New Year!

BTW, for the record, The Beatles did NOT play at RFK, instead at the now defunct Washington Colosseum, though McCartney once played RFK in the 90's.

And since we have a new mayor now, DCU should press their case for a plan as Onenetnut raises a good point for leverage:

"... what [is] the financial hit is to the District if DC United moves out, leaving RFK with no tenant? The District will have a large plot of property and a stadium producing no revenue and creating an (additional) burden to the DC taxpayer. Wondering if the District has a plan in place for the property."

Posted by: dayface | January 3, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

dayface btw

the beatles DID play at RFK on 8/15/1966, back then it was known as DC Stadium.

they played the Washington Colosseum on 02/11/1964, the day after debuting on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Don't attmept to out goff GOFF!!

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | January 3, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hull wins 3-2. Jozy again doesn't make the 18.

Posted by: Reignking | January 3, 2011 12:05 PM

Sounds like you've been using the old hot-tub tine machine to travel to '09-'10.

On Mauceri's rankings -- Take 'em with a few grains of salt. He's got Combine players ranked in the 150s and even over 200. I admire the effort he puts in, but his analysis leaves a lot to be desired...unless MLS is doing a horrible job evaluating talent.

Last year, he ranked one player as a can't miss "A"-- Corben Bone. Guess what? Bone missed. He's not done yet, but he couldn't get playing time in Chicago, and did horribly when he did play briefly. Mauceri had Irving Garcia ranked 8th, but MLS didn't see that as he became a 3rd rd pick. He ranked Perk #23 and Sean Johnson #62. Perk couldn't even make an MLS team and Sean Johnson is now in the national team camp. ##29 and 30 -- Okugo and Ream. # 26 and 2 -- some guys I've never heard of named Jon Ports and Chris Cutshaw. I have no idea why Mauceri had these 2 unknowns ranked higher than Okugo and Ream, but history hasn't borne out those ratings.

Looking back, he did a pretty good job in 2009. Notable misfires were ranking AJ Delagarza #59 and George John #65. While his order is way off, I think Mauceri had all the first-rounders in his top 21. In '08, like everybody, he had Cameron ranked way too low (#57), and he really missed on Brandon Macdonald (#68)

It's a tough business to forecast -- Mauceri probably felt vindicated when the Crew waived last year's first rd pick Bright Dike (Mauceri ranked him #187), but Dike's back in MLS with Portland.

Posted by: fischy | January 3, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

According to Football Manager 2010, Brasesco is 5'11" 165lbs.

The scouting of his attributes is from when he was 23 and has him as good in the air, a hard worker, aggressive and strong, somewhat slow of foot and essentially very little skill with the ball.

He's not going to be a great distributor back there, and is a little undersized, a little slow. But he could be a stopper/destroyer type in this league based on those ratings. Assuming he adapts and/or we use him right.

Posted by: uranderson | January 3, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Jozy on the bench (for Villarreal).

Posted by: Reignking | January 3, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Paul McCartney performed there. Wow. We really are talking ancient, almost forgotten history here.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 3, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine that United has any leverage with DCSEC as far as RFK goes. A small increase in concession prices at the baseball park may offset any loss in RFK revenue. The city might be happy to get rid of the last tenant in order to demolish the dump and get on with something else.

@fischy: sorry to disappoint. Rand-al-Thor beat me to the Uruguay pun.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 3, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Paul McCartney also played at the Hollywood Bowl with The Beatles back in the day...the difference...The Hollywood Bowl is a lovely updated facility that Paul played at just a year ago or so. RFK....spin as many albums as you want backwards, Paul wouldn't be caught dead there now. Get a SSS already DC!!!!!

Posted by: LAfanofSI | January 3, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

People pay to see Paul McCartney?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 3, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out why United would want Brasesco, even on loan. I've never seen him play but I've seen some of the scouting reports on him (probably the same onesDC has seen). He's too small as a center back and his best position anyway is right back (replacement for Namoff?). I'm always suspicious when Young South American players come to MLS and its limited team payrolls instead of going to Europe where the real money is. Brasesco could probably have gotten more money in Spain's second division than he will get at DC United. Or isn't he good enough for the Spanish second division?

Posted by: santi1 | January 3, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

well, since we do still need a replacement for Namoff, RB makes some sense. Although I'm not sure we need another slow guy at outside back.

Maybe he just really wants to live in the good ol' USofA.

Posted by: fedssocr | January 3, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure Brasesco's turning 25 and not 35? If so, he's a bit young for our tastes

Posted by: carmines757 | January 3, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The very end of this article mentions the possibility of a SEPTEMBER college football game at RFK:

"As far as the future for RFK Stadium, the DC United soccer team still plays there and there are also plans for an annual college football game to be played in September as well as future concerts."

Posted by: Pedalada | January 3, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'm more excited about the fact that we are looking elsewhere for defensive support. We got a first round worthy defender in Ethan White, now I hope we choose forward with our draft pick. Salgado's the obvious choice, but Nagbe or Bruin wouldn't be bad either.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | January 3, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The Maryland Stadium Authority is preparing to take the DCU talks to another level i.e. requirements gathering on what it will take to lock up United to a long term deal. (should be a quick conversation)
The MSA initiative is the only tangible solution & DCU needs stadium related income to fuel their desire to be an elite MLS Club year in and year out - its that simple.
It's not "if" they relocate to Baltimore just "when".
Kofi Sarkodi, Perry Kitchen or Darlington Nagbe would look great in DCU colors & Akron Zips are proven MLS performers - can be productive in year 1 see: Steve Zakuani Seattle, Teal Bunberry Sporting KC, Blair Gavin & Ben Zemanski Chivas USA.

S. Goff what is your intel on the Baltimore Stadium & Inner Harbor United - timeline???

Go Zips!

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 3, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

75 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 3, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

75 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 3, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's Orange Bowl has a MLS connection -- Stanford QB Andrew Luck was an intern for the Quakes.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 3, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

It's not "if" they relocate to Baltimore just "when".

Posted by: Zipfutbol

How long have you been around these parts, pardner? Remember Poplar Point? How about the PG County stadium?

And those were ANNOUNCED.

So unless you have insider knowledge (which I doubt) I'd say your overly simplistic statement is idle speculation, at best.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 4, 2011 1:02 AM | Report abuse

SportzNut21....that's the MLS connection???? What about Andrew Luck's dad being Oliver Luck...current Athletic Director at West Virginia and former Team President of the Houston Dynamo? I think that's the more profound MLS connection.

Posted by: voetbol07 | January 4, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Let's see how it works out for Robin at Chivas USA. If he is successful, this will be yet another entry in the horrible management record of Kasper.

Kasper made a dog's lunch of the hiring process for a new coach following Soehn's departure at the end of 2009. Rob was invited for an interview and scheduled one in DC in conjunction with a trip to Chicago to interview for that opening as well. After his plans had been made and the air travel for a circle trip confirmed to the point where substantial penalties and inconvenience would ensue if there were any changes (don't forget: this is MLS), Kasper told Rob that DCU wasn't really serious about him but he could come to DC and go through the motions of an interview. That way, DCU would be on good side of MLS mandates similar to the NFL's Rooney Rule.

Kasper was so obsessed with the Akron coach that he never gave anyone else any meaningful consideration. The mess he created looking for Soehn's replacement might have been cleaned up in 2009 if Kasper wasn't running the team.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 4, 2011 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's see how it works out for Winter at Toronto. If he is successful, this will be yet another entry in the horrible management record of Kasper.

Posted by: Reignking | January 4, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Let's see how it works out for me today at work. If I am successful, this will be yet another entry in the horrible management record of Kasper.

Equally as relevant...

Posted by: JkR- | January 4, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Why are the opinions on Anthony Ampaipitakwong so differing when it comes to the draft?

Posted by: ihillvt | January 4, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'd say spelling. Toughest part of scouting...

Posted by: JkR- | January 4, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

3:00 PM
Blackpool v Birmingham City (Fox Soccer Plus)
Man Utd v Stoke (FSC)
Fulham v West Brom (

Hope you planned for this and set your DVRs or decided to telecompute.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 4, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought Paul McCartney played for the Wichita Wings in the MISL?

Posted by: IamAM | January 4, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

He was the left Wing for Liverpool.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 4, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I thought he played for Villarreal?

Posted by: Reignking | January 4, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the McCartney jokes, let it be.

Posted by: IamAM | January 4, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Futbol players in Uruguay are popular with the ladies. I heard Brasesco is also known as Bra Access-o?

Posted by: WorldCup | January 4, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

ok, that was just bad.

BBC reporting Blackburn offering GBP20 million for Ronaldinho

Posted by: fedssocr | January 4, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Brasesco sounds like a lingerie shop where you have to buy six at a time in shrink wrap packages.

Yes, I am back from London where the only time I wasn't watching football in pubs was when they switched the TV to the Darts World Championships. Can't believe Webster took out Taylor in the quarter finals!!

Sadly had to miss my one live game tonight due to family emergency back here, but I'm still officially "Out of Office" so I think I'll slip back to the "library" to do some "research" at 3:00.

Happy New Year everyone.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | January 4, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

How long have you been around these parts, pardner? Remember Poplar Point? How about the PG County stadium? And those were ANNOUNCED
Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 4, 2011 1:02 AM
Gary A. McGuigan will communicate about the project and give formal 'public' intel but behind the scenes the dialogue is accelerating.
The MSA is very organized around this topic and has been for 2+ yrs. now - not sure why DCU fans keep questioning the validity. This is NOT PG County or the chaotic DC local govt., we are talking about - the MSA gets things done & they have public+private support($$).
Real development is taking plave in the Westport section of Baltimore along w/2/3 other immediate locations who want this project. Read the study listed on the MSA web site.

Darlington Nagbe of Akron to win The Herman Trophy - Kofi Sarkodi was the Soccer America Player of the Year 2010 - hope DCU selects him in the draft.

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 4, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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