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Posted at 1:47 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

D.C. United news & notes

By Steve Goff

*D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid can't understand why he hasn't been cleared to play. Hamid, who had shoulder surgery last fall, has made strides in the rehabilitation process but has yet to appear in scrimmages or friendlies.

"The shoulder is 110 percent. I feel 100 percent ready physically. I feel 100 percent mentally. I'm ready to lead back there and be back on the field. I'm just pushing these guys to get me cleared."

"I am not 100 percent clear yet. I don't know why. The whole thing boggles my mind at this point. It's really frustrating sitting here telling everyone I am ready and proving it on the field and not getting a chance."

United Coach Ben Olsen said Hamid will see doctors this week to determine whether he is ready to play at the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C., which begins this weekend. "He's been training almost full out and we have to be smart and listen to the doctors," Olsen said. "I don't want to do anything to jeopardize his career. I have no doubt he'll come back and it will be hard to keep him off the field."

In Wednesday's print edition (available online tonight), I'll have much more on the goalkeeping situation, including comments from 43-year-old Pat Onstad, the keepers coach who came out of retirement two weeks ago and is the projected starter in the MLS opener against the Columbus Crew on March 19.

For much more team news.....

*Forward Charlie Davies returned to France to pack his belongings. He is expected to return to Washington on Wednesday night.

*Don't be surprised if United introduces legendary forward Jaime Moreno as a coach in the youth academy or in a player development role. Club officials won't discuss the matter, but I'm sensing that something is about to happen.

*Defender-midfielder Devon McTavish is sidelined with concussion issues. ... Midfielder Junior Carreiro (ankle) is sidelined for several more weeks. ... Rookie defender Chris Korb left training today with an illness. He is close to finalizing a contract with the club.

*Goalkeeper Joe Willis, midfielder Brandon Barklage and forward Blake Brettschneider will remain on trial in South Carolina. No other trialists are expected in the immediate future.

*During an intrasquad scrimmage today, the teams were:

-- Onstad in goal, Jed Zayner (right back), Dejan Jakovic and Perry Kitchen (center backs), Daniel Woolard (left back), Dax McCarty and Clyde Simms (central midfield), Chris Pontius (left wing), Andy Najar (right wing), Josh Wolff and Joseph Ngwenya (forwards).

-- Willis in goal, Ethan White (right back), Conor Shanosky and Rodrigo Brasesco (center backs), Marc Burch (left back), Brandon Barklage (right wing), Kurt Morsink (defensive midfield), Fred (attacking midfield), Branko Boskovic (left wing), Santino Quaranta and Brettschneider (forwards).

Midfielder Stephen King worked out on the side. Goalkeeper Steve Cronin (broken wrist) worked on fitness.

Just a scrimmage, but perhaps a hint at what to expect in the coming weeks.....

By Steve Goff  | March 1, 2011; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Why in Gods name are Blake and Brandon not signed yet? Do we just not care about how players do in preseason? "Wolff will provide leadership and guile," "Fred will add depth and a veteran presence," we got it. But what about the people who are actually scoring and assisting in preseason?

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | March 1, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Hamid doesn't burn any bridges with the coaches or training staff with his youthful eagerness. It's March, Bill, and you have a whole career ahead of you. Trust that they have your best interest in mind even if you have to wait a couple more weeks.

Posted by: beach3 | March 1, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Even if Brettschneider and Barklage sign, they are reserves, not starters. They'll fill out the roster, play in reserve matches and perhaps crack the first-team game-day roster. That's it. I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

Posted by: Steve Goff | March 1, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, Goff.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff.

OT: It appears that Fanhouse is gone, replaced in the new HuffingAOL world by Sportingnews content.

All well and good, I can ignore them as well as anybody, but the fabulous Brian Straus hasn't tweeted yet about his immediate future. Anyone know what's going on with Brian? His last contribution was an excellent one one one with Don Garber...

Posted by: JkR- | March 1, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Memo to: Bill Hamid

From: a media relations professional

Subject: Shut up!

Bill, if you want to get in hot water with management and the coaching staff, keep yapping away. But if you want to regain your starting position from a 43-year-old who has forgotten more about the position than you know today, then continue working hard and stop talking to the press, FCOL! (For Crying Out Loud!)

Free and unrequested advice done.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 1, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

No disagreement there, Goff, I would be shocked if they started. However, someone's going to get injured on the wing, and we're going to need someone to come out of nowhere and score a few goals. Year in and year out, we lean on unproven "starters" with no backup. Barklage and Brettschneider deserve to be signed, as a lot of the players on the roster haven't impressed yet (Wolff and Quaranta especially).

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | March 1, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

JkR, was talking with him about it on twitter last week. Said he really has no idea where he'll end up next, or what his next story will be. Feel bad for the guy, he's excellent.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 1, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about Bill. It's not like he's saying anything inflammatory. He wants to play and is eager to get going. Hard to see how management would be mad about that. Ben's quote sounds about right.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 1, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Concussion issues?

Devin, given the history of concussion issues with DC United, maybe its time to start updating that resume of yours or at least look into enrolling into some classes soon.

Speaking of concussion issues, what has happened to Namoff and Gros? I know what Esky's up to thanks to @alecko11 on Twitter.

Posted by: TCompton | March 1, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm cool with Hamid's frustration. I am also sure Olson has the experience to deal with the youthful exuberance. Nothing wrong with a player wanting to play. Ben will probably love it.

Those teams seemed oddly like the starters against the reserves, which is interesting to see that Bosckovic is not in the line-up. I'm still unconvinced by Wolf as a major contributor this season. Hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 1, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

TCompton: Namoff is still having vision issues, so I am told by two DCU staffers. And grubbsi, Boscovic was a starter (at wing)for the supposed "first team"

Posted by: b18bolo | March 1, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree. How can coaches be mad at a young player that wants to play? If anything, you should be worried if he's content to ride the bench.

Regarding lineup, would Olsen really tip his hand this obviously?

Posted by: tundey | March 1, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I may not have been clear: saying what Hamid said to management and the coaching staff is one thing, and probably appreciated by the bosses.

Taking it to the press because management and the coaching staff is not listening to you -- which is what Hamid is doing, like it or not -- is unwise.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 1, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I may not have been clear: saying what Hamid said to management and the coaching staff is one thing, and probably appreciated by the bosses.

Taking it to the press because management and the coaching staff is not listening to you -- which is what Hamid is doing, like it or not -- is unwise.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 1, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris Megaloudis is the kid's (Hamid) agent, right?

I'm sort of guessing right not that he is going to get the "Billy, ya gotta chill out, they are just playin' it safe with you" agent/buddy chat.

Which is just a nice way of saying "zip it!" in the press, young gun.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 1, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

When is the WaPo going to fix their awful-ly slow comment loading software? Remember the good ol' days when you would click submit and it would post within 10 seconds?

Great upgrade, WaPo. Now we regularly get to read comments twice!!

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@UnitedDemon1 - funny, as I was reading Goff's article, I was thinking...sign Barklage already!

He has been solid in the preseason on top of his brief, yet decent, showing in matches over the past two seasons. The fact that he appears to be able to play anywhere in the midfield is a definite plus for a contributor off the bench.

Posted by: combedge | March 1, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Season preview with Screaming Eagles President, Paul Sotoudeh, was on TSRC this week:

part 1:

part 2:

Hamid should know its too early to start whining to the press. Does he think there is some conspiracy to keep him from playing? Concern about Onstad's un-retirement?

Posted by: dwreck1971 | March 1, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the reson why United hasn't cleared Hamid must mean some1 has a hidden agenda... damn I wonder what pat thinks about this club... really as a united fan since 96 I love that crest but the FO is slowly cheapining the product... DC is run by communist... they r the deciders lol!!!

Posted by: rigs88 | March 1, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Those teams seemed oddly like the starters against the reserves."

Looks more like diamond vs. box. They need to work that ^%$# out.

I doubt either Wolff or Ngwenya will start, except in spots. They're kind of being wasted if they do. They won't do much as 90 minute players but will murder tired teams coming off the bench.

Glad to see Pontius lined up at MF where he belongs. If DCU is seriously considering playing him at forward, they should just trade him. He doesn't deserve to have his career destroyed because someone can't face reality.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 1, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

(A bunch of gibberish.)

Posted by: rigs88 | March 1, 2011 3:26 PM


Posted by: spidergoose | March 1, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

poor Steven King. that's gotta hurt to be the only out field player not participating.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 1, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

There's no "hidden agenda" regarding Hamid.

The club is simply being SMART for once, and not rushing a player back from injury, and right now there is no reason at all to rush him. We've got Onstad between the pipes for the first 2 months of the season, to allow Hamid to be completely healed, and then allow him time to work into game form with the reserves before mixing it up with the first team.

I imagine we'll have Hamid for 2-3 seasons before we sell him somewhere in Europe, so we want to be extra careful with him.

The same is also true with Najar.

The good news?

Both of them should fetch a good deal of money, if they perform at league top xi levels, then I'd say 2-3 mill for Hamid, and 3-5mill for najar.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 1, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Korb has signed. Done deal.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 1, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

How is Boskovic in the better team?

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 1, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

My guess is the coaches want to look at certain combination of players, not necessarily an entire 11. It'll probably be similar in the Carolina Challenge where some "questionable" choices are made for the lineup.

So is King injured, or are we going in a different direction? I liked what he had to offer. I would be very disappointed if we don't have a place for him.

Posted by: SoccerVA | March 1, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I swear that someone asked about matches streaming from the Challenge Cup in some thread or another... I did a little looky-loo on Big Soccer in the Toronto forum to no avail, but miss thing emanon did me a solid and as usual posted the most informative link she could find. Looks like Toronto heads will be at least streaming the games they are playing in. Last couple years it seems like they've ended up hooking up streams of all games except for what used to be the Grand Finale Coffee Pot cup game as they were scuttle buttin' home.
I guess we'll see soon?
Thanks again "Miss" emanon... have fun! :)

Posted by: DadRyan | March 1, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Oops... I meant "miss emanon" as in, that is her alias, not implying she isn't an awesome chick. :) my apologies for my ill placed "bunny ears"... :/

Posted by: DadRyan | March 1, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Barklage has had a few decent moments in US Open Cup play against minor league teams. I am fine with him as depth. Being upset that a potential depth player coming off two serious injuries in two years isn't signed yet, but is still in camp, is plain silly.

Posted by: Dancy1 | March 1, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh Bill. Let's not have any team drama pleeasse

Posted by: FreddieFreeIoader | March 1, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 25,740 minutes until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | March 1, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I just spent 2:38 looking at a video of a training session. I want my 2:38 back. I'll settle for 2:08 (minus a 30 second restocking fee).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 1, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@b18bolo -- Not sure what you're looking at. I think it's pretty clear that Boskovic was the only starter on that side. It's possible Burch might still get a starting nod, but it does look like Olsen is determined ot give Woolard a chance to nail down the left back job. Everyone else that Boskovic was paired with is going to be on the second (or third) team.

That said, I wouldn't make any grand assumption. Looking at the lineups, I would guess that Olsen wanted to see Pontius on the wing with the first team. They're probably still figuring out whether he's best there or up top..and trying to decide who will pair with Davies (the choices being Pontius, Ngwenya and Wolff). So, Boskovic got shunted to the reserves for the scrimmage.

Barklage was a good find and his performance indicates he's recovered from his injuries. He should be signed. Brettschneider's goal-scoring also seems like a good harbinger. He's worth a shot for the year -- see how he develops. Neither guy is going to break the bank.

Posted by: fischy | March 1, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Store credit only, I-270. Could we interest you in a cup of the '96 MLS final?

Posted by: Curious99 | March 1, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

@Goff -- Is there no chance of DC selecting anyone in tomorrow's waiver draft? They have the first pick and there's 2 or 3 guys who are worth a look (Garcia, Chinn, and Cornell Glen).

Posted by: fischy | March 1, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

TV cameras have switched sidelines at Rio Tinyo. I like it. Field looks rough but hasn't caused a problem yet. RSL in full on attack mode.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 1, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Update: The owl kicked by Panamanian striker Luis Moreno has died, local officials announced today.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

thank goodness, animals don't have souls...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 1, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh Dadryan, %-/

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Julius James just subbed on for Columbus in the 60' against RSL in the 2nd leg of the ConcaChampions quarterfinals.

RSL leads 2-1. Game is on FSC and Galavision.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 1, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Salt Lake's pitch looks terrible.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 1, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The Birds 2: Revenge of the Owls. If you think owls are cute, magical mail-delivering birds, your world is about to change. A hooting horde of the nocturnal raptors descends on Deportivo Parreira's stadium, attacking the players and causing the fans to run in wide-eyed terror. The team is forced to play its matches during the day, but they didn't know about the mutant, diurnal* owls.

* No, Rand-al-Thor, diurnal is not a double urinal.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 2, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

DC United's own Andy Najar was recently announced as a Pro Ambassador for love.fĂștbol, an organization that helps underserved communities build soccer pitches where there is currently no safe place for children to play. Read more:

Posted by: lovefutbol | March 8, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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