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Posted at 3:50 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

D.C. United news & notes

By Steve Goff

dcucitadel.jpg
United practicing at Citadel football stadium in Charleston Tuesday.

Amid soft breezes, temps in the upper 50s and abundant sunshine, D.C. United trained for about 90 minutes this morning at The Citadel, South Carolina's military college. The venue was Johnson Hagood Stadium, the 21,000-seat home to the Bulldogs football program. On Wednesday, in its second match of the Carolina Challenge Cup, United will play the Chicago Fire at nearby Daniel Island. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET. (Live video available on the DCU Web site.)

Goalkeeper Steve Cronin (broken wrist) and midfielder Junior Carreiro (sprained ankle) did not travel with the delegation.

Rookie goalkeeper Joe Willis will remain with the club for the start of the season, Coach Ben Olsen said. When Cronin is ready in two months or so, United officials will have to make a roster decision. By then, Bill Hamid might have regained the starting job after recovering from his shoulder ailment, allowing Pat Onstad, who came out of retirement last month, to return to his full-time assistant coaching duties.

Hamid will not play in either of the two remaining preseason matches, Olsen said. [More on Hamid's situation later in this thread.]

Defender-midfielder Devon McTavish (concussion) is here but not allowed to practice. Rookie defender Chris Korb has a shoulder ailment and should return in a few days. Trialist midfielder Brandon Barklage will learn in the next few days what his future holds. (It seems likely the club will offer him a contract.)

Olsen plans to mix things up for Wednesday's match. Branko Boskovic, Clyde Simms, Jed Zayner and Dejan Jakovic worked out on the side today, a sign that they won't play against the Fire and will return to the lineup in Saturday's preseason finale against Toronto FC.

For a variety of updates and observations from Olsen.....

When I asked about Hamid's status, Olsen was unequivocal.

"Things stand where they always stood with Bill: six months [since the surgery] until he's cleared. The doctors have been clear about that. Six months is in about five days. That's when he will be cleared to participate in full activities. He won't play here. Then we will start allowing him to be in game situations [intrasquad scrimmages, reserve matches]. All signs point to his shoulder being healed. His shoulder is doing very well, but the doctor explained to us that you should wait six months before you allow him to go into full participation. That's what we are doing."

How have you dealt with Hamid's impatience?

"He is a young guy and he is eager to play. I love that about Bill. I was a similar guy. I was always trying to get onto the field when I probably shouldn't have been on the field."

You don't say, Ben?

"Yeah [laughing], I know where he is coming from. I just don't want to do anything to jeopardize his career. He is going to have a long career. If he went out there five days before the doctor cleared him and got injured, it's not a good situation. It's tough for young kids to understand that."

On Chris Pontius's best position: "We've used him up top, but right now for us, his best position is left midfield. He seems very natural there."

On Charlie Davies: "He took a few days off [last week] to go back to France. He came back rusty, like most people would. We've had to build him back up, and he's been great. He wants to learn, he's trying to get better, and get better quickly. He is going to be a guy that can help us throughout the season, whether that is as a guy coming off the bench early or eventually being a starter. We're still trying to figure that out."

On the starter at left back, Daniel Woolard or Marc Burch: "It's a battle. Woolard came in sharper, and a lot of that has to do with Burch being out so long [after recovering from a foot injury]. Burch has made great strides in the last week or two. That's going to be a tough battle to hold down that spot. Woolard has been very solid, very steady."

On the formation: "We need to learn this [4-4-2] system. Could that change? Always. We need to stay consistent with it for now."

Finally, I again pressed Olsen on his selection of captain to replace the retired Jaime Moreno:

"I'll tell you the captain....."

Yes, yes.....

".....on March 19." [the day of DCU's MLS opener]

Come on, man.....

"I don't know why I should."

Because it's an honor and people want to know!

"It is an honor. But my focus right now is the group. The group holds each other accountable. It's not a big deal. I'm sure we'll have a captain at some point."

My guess: Dax McCarty.

By Steve Goff  | March 8, 2011; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Comments

My fix is cured. Been waiting impatiently for this. Good stuff.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | March 8, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So selecting McCarty as captain on Saturday night (against Charleston) shouldn't be interpreted as Olsen having selected a permanent captain?

Posted by: emanon13 | March 8, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

My guess for Captain is Andy Najar.
He seems mature for his age and he's been our most consistent player.

Posted by: ussccr | March 8, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Taishar Charleston!

How's the shrimp over grits, Steve?

Great update. And yes, I see Dax as the captain. Which could be good for Tino, who can play without that burden to bear.

And say hi to Chuck Driesell while you're there. He took over the men's basketball team this year.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 8, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I like that stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 8, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Optimism is rampart in Charleston, 270!

(Bit of a reach - felt I had to go for it.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to go with McCarty as well, with Onstad as the alternate for the first few months.

Najar? Haha. He's not exactly Ovechkin.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 8, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Shrimp and grits -- they aren't over!

I went to a football game there once, in October, and had to leave at halftime it was so hot, with the sun directly in your face. Good boiled peanuts underneath, though.

Posted by: Reignking | March 8, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If that isn't a perfect picture for Olsen's Army, I don't know what is.

(maybe 90% perfect - remove the throwball goalposts to get to 100%)

Posted by: Pedalada | March 8, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It's "shrimp and grits" NOT "shrimp over grits".

Posted by: bigwave | March 8, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Snarkin' it up Steve!
Great post.
Sounds like Benny is enjoying pushing your buttons as much as you to appear to push his...
Hoping for a season that has enough good in it to warrant more jovial blog entries.
Thank you and Cheers!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 8, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Where do the shrimp go, under the grits? Beside them?

What rank did Dax achieve on Star Trek: Deep Space 9?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 8, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Champions League really wanted Barca to advance to the next round.

Posted by: GeneWells | March 8, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Perry Kitchen for Captain
2nd choice - Dax
3rd - Clyde glide
4th - POntius
5th - Ben Olsen comes out of retirement and plays and becomes captain

Posted by: godpere | March 8, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Shrimp AND grits it is! Guess I need to get back to Charleston and get it right. DadRyan, will you buy me a beer?

Sheesh, next you'll be telling me it's not steak and cheese...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 8, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

My god, somebody buy a lottery ticket because I agree with Gene Wells for once....
Guess I should have suspected the 2nd leg would suck that much donkey dork after the first leg ranked top billing. What a waste of time.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 8, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Joe Doc, you aren't mistaken in thinking I'm actually in Charleston are you? I wish I was. Haven't made it back since the 09 CCC...
I'll buy you a beer if you visit me in Shirlington though...:)

Posted by: DadRyan | March 8, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I was there this weekend...ate too much...

Posted by: Reignking | March 8, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think that Benny is the craftiest person who's worked for United since Nowak.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | March 8, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Rain coming tomorrow in DC but then will clear up for the weekend. If the rain returns for the home opener, can we do this in the upper deck?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCU5okI7nnE

Posted by: Pedalada | March 8, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the Citadel. The home of white trash racist, sexist morons pretending to be in a fine military institution.

But at least they appear to have a nice field.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 8, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

OT, but anyone in the Atlanta area going to the Crew/Revs/Dynamo games this week? If you can find me at the Sunday game, I'll buy ya a cold one. ;)

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 8, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I was there this weekend, destroyed my diet.

SonicDeathMonkey, I'll be at all three. Anyone else?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 8, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Great read Steve, thanks as always. So lookin forward to seeing this team in MLS action.

Posted by: DCB23 | March 8, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse


Ah, the Citadel. The home of white trash racist, sexist morons pretending to be in a fine military institution.

But at least they appear to have a nice field.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 8, 2011 6:47 PM
==================

Nice to see the president of NPR checking in.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 8, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Really interested in going to those last two group games for us. KC will be quite the scene, with the AO. Tampa I could get friends to go. Or do I just save and get back to DC for a quarterfinal?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 8, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes. The Citadel. From which the attack on the Star of the West was launched. I do believe it is the only publically funded institution of higher learning in the US that actively celebrates the death of a couple million Americans. (could be wrong there, does Lord Amherst and his smallpox count?) in case you're wondering, the 'cadets' still carry the campaign ribbons from the Star of the West attack and that of the Confederate States Army. But what else can you expect of a place who's most famous graduate is William Westmoreland?

That said, I am a bit concerned that four days in France left CD 'rusty' hope that's code for 'jetlagged' not 'out of shape'. Interested to see who's going to partner Kitchen...white maybe?

Posted by: Northzax2 | March 8, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

SonicDeathMonkey, I'll be at all three. Anyone else?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish

=========
I may head to one.

Any one familiar with the KSU Stadium & General Admission tickets? From the stadium map it isn't clear where GA ticket holders would watch the game from.

Posted by: emanon13 | March 8, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

thank goodness they've come to their senses on Pontius's best position. It will be interesting to see what that does to Boskovic and I guess that means Quaranta finally goes to the bench where he belongs.

Good to see some competition for spots.

I worry a little about Najar. In Saturday's match he seemed to be a bit more hot-headed than he was last year. I hope the pressure and expectations of being RotY don't change him. He won't surprise anyone this year so it will be interesting to see how other teams approach him.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 8, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Any one familiar with the KSU Stadium & General Admission tickets? From the stadium map it isn't clear where GA ticket holders would watch the game from.

Posted by: emanon13
-----------------------------

The ticket rep I spoke to said the GA tickets are on the east side, and that they are filling up fast for Sunday's game. Also of note, Atlanta United, a SG thats trying to push for MLS in Atlanta will be sitting in 116, behind the goals. They have a promo code you can use to get $3 bucks off your ticket to sit there.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 8, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Approximately, 945,000 seconds until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | March 8, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

A couple of "racists" who graduated from The Citadel (for those of you sipping your Chai in the faculty lounge):

http://www.azcardinals.com/team/roster/Nehemiah-Broughton/e097ad2d-56e8-4757-a6e5-59d1aba04a1e

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_P._Riley

http://www.2theadvocate.com/sports/southern/80456682.html

Arland D. Williams, Jr.- saved five other passengers following the Air Florida aircraft crash into the 14th St Bridge and Potomac River (January, 1982). Williams passed the lifeline lowered for him by a rescue helicopter to others, and died as a result. Posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 8, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

That's a lot of effort for something no one took seriously, Rand-al.

You an alum or something?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 8, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about the Atlanta games, yet...

Posted by: Reignking | March 8, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@Rand,

Probably not too many around here old enough to remember the bridge crash, but that was a truly amazing story.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 8, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The Pontius comment is real interesting. It does suggest that Olsen not only likes Pontius on the left, but likes him there to start. That means Ngwenya and Wolff are in competition to join Davies up top. It also suggests the possibility that DCU will use some of that cap room and allocation money they've accumulated to find another, bigger-name striker, perhaps this summer. More intriguing is the implication for Boskovic. DP? On the bench? A 5-man midfield is always a possibility, but probably not if they're not trying it out now. Can they buy him out and let him go early, maybe in the summer?

Posted by: fischy | March 9, 2011 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey, SDM, I'm game to get down with an SG. What's that code?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 9, 2011 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the Citadel. The home of white trash racist, sexist morons pretending to be in a fine military institution.

But at least they appear to have a nice field.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 8, 2011 6:47 PM
==================

Nice to see the president of NPR checking in.
_________________

Also nice to see the governer of Wisconsin reporting in. Cheese!

Posted by: andyschwartz | March 9, 2011 4:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm kind of a lefty, but I'm embarrassed by the discourse these last two days.

An entire university and everyone who ever attended it are racists? People who complain about flopping in soccer are racists and, therefore, political conservatives?

Man, normally I enjoy the meandering on to divergent topics, but this is ridiculous.

Posted by: troy6 | March 9, 2011 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say "chai"?

1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
4 cardamom seeds, crushed
4 Tbsp tea leaves
8 (yes 8) Tbsp sugar

Mix. Boil. Let stand a couple of minutes. Strain into cups.
Serves 6 leftist faculty members.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 9, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. I forgot the liberal, nanny warning. The chai will be hot.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 9, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone here have an idea of how to score some Gold Cup tickets before they go on sale to the masses next Wednesday?

Thanks!

Posted by: robrice311 | March 9, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

you said it, troy6. right there with ya!

Posted by: nairbsod | March 9, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse


That's a lot of effort for something no one took seriously, Rand-al.

You an alum or something?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 8, 2011 9:16 PM
==================

Negative. I don't even know a grad from The Citadel. Just providing some balance.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 9, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the Citadel. The home of white trash racist, sexist morons pretending to be in a fine military institution.

But at least they appear to have a nice field.
=================================
Speaking of Racism, I've seen more racism here in the DC metro area then when I was in the south. Don't know nothing about the citadel

Posted by: godpere | March 9, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one a little spooked by Ben's comments on Charlie?

"Rusty" and "coming off the bench" are not what I was hoping to hear.

Posted by: StanShmenge | March 9, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh you talkn 'bout this Citadel..I didn't know its History....yeah Pretty crappy I'd say. DC United should have practice at the little girls field or some high school in the area:

http://blackoncampus.com/2007/04/28/slavery-on-campus-part-2-the-citadel/

Posted by: godpere | March 9, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"people who complain about flopping in soccer are racists and, therefore, political conservatives?"

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

That is not what I wrote. I wrote that people who complain loudest about flopping are more likely to be conservative and therefore racist. Ot, something like that - to read the reactions. Ya gotta get the order straight. But, seriously -- that's conflating two different statements I made. One postulating about conservatives and one postulating about who are regarded as the biggest offenders. I didn't conflate the two.

Posted by: fischy | March 9, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey, SDM, I'm game to get down with an SG. What's that code?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish
===============
There's a facebook group re the discounted SG tickets for the Sunday match (Houston v New England)

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198436753509046

Posted by: emanon13 | March 9, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

What rank did Dax achieve on Star Trek: Deep Space 9?
===

Which Dax host, specifically?

Posted by: mason08 | March 9, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I wrote that people who complain loudest about flopping are more likely to be conservative and therefore racist.

Posted by: fischy | March 9, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
That's a very prejudicial statement. Also a statement made from pure ignorance. It is ALMOST as offensive as any racist remark, AND has nothing to do with this forum.

Posted by: boda-united | March 9, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

That's a very prejudicial statement. Also a statement made from pure ignorance. It is ALMOST as offensive as any racist remark, AND has nothing to do with this forum.

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

And, it was tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Sheesh,

Posted by: fischy | March 9, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

And, it was tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Sheesh,

Posted by: fischy | March 9, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
My sincere apologies. Foot planted firmly in mouth.

Posted by: boda-united | March 9, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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