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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/10/2011

Thursday kickaround: MLS schedule, D.C. United, Copa Libertadores, Eric Lichaj loan, Mexico-Bosnia

By Steve Goff

*At long last, just four-plus weeks until the season starts, the 2011 MLS schedule is ready! The league will post the full calendar later today. The first two weekends of the season were announced in December, but a variety of issues (TV, stadiums, international calendar, tournaments) delayed completion and stalled ticket and marketing efforts league-wide. The Los Angeles Galaxy couldn't wait, so on Wednesday the club unveiled a pair of ESPN2 matches at home: May 7 vs. the New York Red Bulls and July 4 vs. the Seattle Sounders.

*Read my D.C. United print-edition/online story, which includes a Charlie Davies update.

*United defender Dejan Jakovic played 90 minutes in Canada's 1-0 loss at Greece.

*Former United forward Franco Niell scored twice in Argentinos Juniors' 2-2 draw at Fluminense in a Copa Libertadores match. Video highlights here.

*American defender Eric Lichaj, struggling to secure playing time at Aston Villa, has been loaned to second-tier Leeds for a month.

*More than 50,000 at Georgia Dome watched Mexico defeat Bosnia, 2-0. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's odd goal:


By Steve Goff  | February 10, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, D.C. United, England, Greece, Libertadores, MLS, Mexico  | Tags:  D.C. United, MLS, Mexico  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Wesley Sneijder's brilliant goal for Netherlands in friendly against Austria
Next: D.C. United 2011 MLS schedule

Comments

Posted by: Pedalada | February 10, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

You're burying the lede -- Niell scored twice...on headers

Dude has some skills -- credit to the FO for finding/getting him and boo on the team which didn't figure out how to use him.

That mortgage company sure has a lot of soccer fan clients.

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

It's not exactly soccer -- it's cricket.

Straight out of Compton and on a cricket tour in Australia. The money moment is at 2:55, with the cricket rap, "Bullets."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12406114

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I definitely have that move.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 10, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I kept trying to figure out if that was an Onion video, fischy.

Posted by: sitruc | February 10, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

looked like the GK was way off the line early on that PK. But the rebound finish let the referees off the hook from having to make a decision.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 10, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Heck of a crowd in Atlanta for zero (English) marketing or publicity.

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused -- CD doesn't have to go through the allocation draft?

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

My career is going strong. My headers are lethal. DCU were foolish to let me go.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | February 10, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

No one could figure out how to use Niell because he wasn't very good.

Full credit to the FO for bringing in:

Franco Niell
Gonzalo Martinez
Gonzalo Peralta
Jose Carvallo
Quavas Kirk
Zach Wells
Gallardo

And all in one year! And shedding Bobby Boswell.

That was a breakout year, 2008. From Supporters Shield and 3d in attendance to out of the playoffs and 10th in the table in one year, and the beginning of a three-year snowball roll to the worst team in the league in 2010.

Absolutely full credit to the FO.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 10, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The cricket video is definitely surreal. Civilizing, of course, but surreal.

Posted by: glfrazier | February 10, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Everything was wrong with that goal. First, Hernández should have been booked for a dive rather than awarded the penalty. Then the keeper comes about three yards off his line before the penalty is struck. A Bosnian knocks it into his own goal, but Hernández gets credited with the goal - well, ESPN has it down as Bosnian o.g., but everyone else seems to be giving him the credit.

Still, no idea what the Bosnians were complaining about after the goal was awarded. The ball clearly goes over the line, and it doesn't look like there's a foul.

Posted by: BooThisMan | February 10, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Sign Louis Crayton. Soehn isn't around to screw with his mind anymore.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 10, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Waiting for the season to start & my book this spring.

World Cup Soccer in The Middle East will be avaibale eBook, audio, in print plus All lauguages.

www.MiddleEastSoccerBook.com

Posted by: Mansealy | February 10, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Quavas Kirk had a Generation Adidas Contract nearly made me give up being an MLS fan. He probably possess the worst technique in America. What MLS/LA/DC saw in him I will never know.

If DC turns it around this year, do we praise the front office or should it go to Benny?

Posted by: grubbsbl | February 10, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

DCU could also re-sign Josh "Whack" Wicks. Just couldn't use him in the Open Cup.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 10, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The Bosnians were crying foul on the rebound, contending Chicharito had tapped it in, which he can't do, of course. From our angle last night it was tough to tell, but that's definitely an OG.


50,000+ and I'd say at least 18-20K of them Bosnian. Excellent atmosphere. Very glad I went.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 10, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The Bosnians were crying foul on the rebound, contending Chicharito had tapped it in, which he can't do, of course. From our angle last night it was tough to tell, but that's definitely an OG.


50,000+ and I'd say at least 18-20K of them Bosnian. Excellent atmosphere. Very glad I went.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 10, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't see the point of signing another goalie. Who is realistically out there that would be a solid number 1? Plus, what happens when we have Hamid, Cronin and the new signing healthy? Just ride it out.

Posted by: grubbsbl | February 10, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Wicks is busy in Europe...

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Dario Sala is available.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 10, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, DC can always release someone when Cronin gets healthy. But having Hamid as the uncontested #1 gives me some concern.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

So CD didn't play at all in Wednesday's scrimmage? Mind blowing. Unless DCU has already decided not to sign him, I don't see how that makes sense.

I mean, if you're still considering signing him, even if you thought he was far and away the best player on the pitch on Monday, you've still got to do due dilligence on fitness and durability of a player coming back from injury the way Davies is. If you've only got him for a week, you'd better make sure he participates 100% in every exercise, every drill and every scrimmage during the time that you have him. You've got to be sure he is up to the rigors of a full season. If you don't test him, to the full extent that you can while you have him, you are leaving yourself open to getting screwed.

Anybody else have thoughts on this?

Posted by: Matte | February 10, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Forward Charlie Davies, who had a goal and an assist on Monday, did not play in Wednesday's 60-minute contest. There were no physical issues and Coach Ben Olsen wanted to take a closer look at others, a club official said.

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

MLS goalkeepers have those headers, let's face it. The first one was right at the goalie (who was moving) and the second was a flubbed cross. He wasn't successful here for a reason.

I'm just happy that Barklage sounds alive and well. He's the kind of player you want around the club.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | February 10, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Dario Sala is available.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 10, 2011 10:36 AM

sweet, the only MLS keeper who might make Josh Wicks look sane.

@Matte - based on what Goff has told us (CD is only counting $300K towards the cap, not a DP, they've released 2 of the other forwards that were trialing), it sounds like a decent bet that they will be keeping CD, pending today's physical.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 10, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Dario Sala is available.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 10, 2011 10:36 AM

sweet, the only MLS keeper who might make Josh Wicks look sane.

@Matte - based on what Goff has told us (CD is only counting $300K towards the cap, not a DP, they've released 2 of the other forwards that were trialing), it sounds like a decent bet that they will be keeping CD, pending today's physical.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@Matte
My guess is that Ben's job was to answer the question "Can he play?" They may be leaving it up to the doctors to answer the question "Can he handle the season?"

Posted by: FulhamDC | February 10, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@Jacob Ah, yes, that should have occurred to me. Must have officially gone down as an o.g. then. Mexican papers are reporting it as such, as well.

Posted by: BooThisMan | February 10, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Quavas Kirk had a Generation Adidas Contract nearly made me give up being an MLS fan. He probably possess the worst technique in America. What MLS/LA/DC saw in him I will never know.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Snappy dresser.

On the goalie situation -- I don't know if anyone saw my late thread post yesterday, but I think I have the perfect solution, if it works within MLS rules:

Samir Badr.

Let me say that so the FO can see it: Samir Badr

He won't have Hamid's injury questions. He's probably more ready to start MLS games, anyway. A loan deal until the July transfer window, would cover Cronin's absence, even under a worst-case scenario. I'm sure Badr would relish the opportunity to come home and play, and FC Porto would be happy to get him some first-team experience.

I'm assuming this only works as a Home Grown claim -- otherwise he might be subject to allocation or lottery. I really think DC should look into this -- I'm sure they could fit in his six-month salary into the cap. MLS frowns on pure loan deals, but maybe hehy'd make an emergency exception in this case -- especially for a former Academy player?

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@VTUnited

Where did you hear they've released 2 of the other forwards that were trialing?

Can you post the link? I looked at his twitter and DCU page and those places don't have that info.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 10, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

By my math, at $300,000, CD9 will need to score 5 MLS goals to meet the standard of "better value than 2009 Emilio" and 7 MLS goals to meet the standard of "better value than 2010 Allsopp."

Of course, his very first goal will make him "better value than 2008 Gallardo."

Posted by: OWNTF | February 10, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@Charisma_Man - Abe Thompson last week, and then Yessy Mena this week

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2011/02/charlie_davies_and_dc_united_w.html#more

Goff underlined the latter, perhaps to give us a clue on the CD situation. or at least thats how I took his formatting choice.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 10, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

JofA-ish: are you seeing a Charmin shortage in Atlanta today?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 10, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Quavas Kirk played great in goal that one half in the CL match after Wicks and/or Crayton and/or some other dude I forget got injured and/or tossed.

Maybe we should give him another look.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 10, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It looks like USSF's decision to cancel the match is having a profound impact on Egypt and Mubarak will step down.

Posted by: sitruc | February 10, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Not when Atlanta is home to Georgia-Pacific.

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@ VTUnited : Thanks, I misunderstood your post and thought you meant 2 more recent ones trialing (Yang Men + supp draft pick). I knew Abe Thompson was released before they left for FL, and remember reading about that Colombian dude.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 10, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Bosnians were crying foul on the rebound, contending Chicharito had tapped it in, which he can't do, of course. From our angle last night it was tough to tell, but that's definitely an OG.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 10, 2011 10:23 AM |

Why can't he? Once the GK touched the ball the PK kicker is allowed to touch again. A rebound from the post or crossbar he would not be eligible to play until touched by another player.

The referee was Maruffo...perhaps enough said on why they got a PK for the dive.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 10, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, the question we are failing to ask: Does Cronin's injury create a Goalie problem? If the FO always planned on going with Hamid as the number 1, this injury changes nothing.

Cronin will be back soon enough to challenge as the back up.

I saw your post yesterday and I like it. However, how did Badr leave? Was it on good terms or was DC upset because they wanted him as the homegrown goalie? Also, does breing a goalie in the Portuguese league really make you better? I'd bet MLS has produced more top goalie talent in recent yrs than the Super Liga

Posted by: grubbsbl | February 10, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

On the replay, it clearly looked like an OG, not a goal for Hernandez.

Will someone please explain why "Hernandez" is not on the back of his jersey when he plays for Mexico or Man U?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 10, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

t looks like USSF's decision to cancel the match is having a profound impact on Egypt and Mubarak will step down.

Posted by: sitruc | February 10, 2011 12:04 PM

_____________________________________________________________________________

Sublime genius.

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So what were the Bosnians and/or Herzegovinans complaining about then? Unless they were still going on about the original PK call, which would have been totally understandable.

Posted by: BooThisMan | February 10, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@VTUnited -- You might be right about the significance of Mena's departure. The Colombian press said he returned to his old team because the terms of the offer to him were changed. It sounded strange to me at the time, but there may have been some cap-related issue that caused DC to change its offer.

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The brittle and clumsy Caleb Folan of Hull City checking his MLS options, says the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/h/hull_city/9393798.stm

Posted by: JkR- | February 10, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I overheard someone from DC United yesterday saying that most likely the players that are in camp right now are the players that will be carried into the first regular season game -- meaning most likely no new signings and no (or very little) cuts are expected between now and the first league match.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | February 10, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused -- CD doesn't have to go through the allocation draft?

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 9:29 AM

-----------------------------------------------------------

Indeed. And DC United has what amounts to the first pick -- really a right of first refusal. That's why he's in DC's camp.

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Dare I ask why he doesn't have to go through that draft? I'm sure it doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Bosnians were crying foul on the rebound, contending Chicharito had tapped it in, which he can't do, of course. From our angle last night it was tough to tell, but that's definitely an OG.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 10, 2011 10:25 AM

-----------------------------------------------------

Then, the Bosnians don't know the rules of the game. Hernandez can't tap in a rebound if the ball hit the woodwork.. He can tap it in if the goalie saved it. (Can't do that in a PK shootout, but that's a totally different thing).

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Dare I ask why he doesn't have to go through that draft? I'm sure it doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Reignking | February 10, 2011 2:17 PM

he doesnt go through a "draft", he goes in the returning US Player allocation pool. DCU has the top spot in that particular allocation order, so as Fischy put it, we have right of first refusal on Davies.

This is different from the Arnoux situation, which involves the weighted lottery/draft that you might be thinking of.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 10, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What draft are you talking about RK? The weighted lottery for Arnoux? It's a different situation as he wasn't really playing abroad, he was with Vancouver. The allocation order for returning National team players is different and Vancouver's acquisition of Jay Demerit, and Portland's of Kenny Cooper are examples of it. Someone was saying that Cody's refusal of MLS's advances two years ago have triggered MLS to not allow Vancouver to sign him from the old 2nd division side. MLS wants to go give other teams a fair crack at signing him.

Still, maybe I'm just confused by your confusion.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 10, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You're right Fischy, saved shot is different. But the BH weren't happy either way.


You guys aren't kidding. I didn't see that many streamers watching Columbus Crew games a couple years ago. Literally one or more every two minutes.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 10, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Not to put too fine a point on it, but my legal training compels me....Arnoux did play abroad -- with Everton's reserves. He's not in the allocation pool because that's reserved for national team players. THe lottery is for dudes who basically are trying to do an end run on the SuperDraft, which is how MLS regards his trip to England and his Div 2 contract with the Whitecaps.

Posted by: fischy | February 10, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd be lost without ya' fischy fries!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 10, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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