31 August 2005

Surrender Dorothy!


DCU needs a get well game. RSL needs to win on the road. Pope is not called up for USMNT duty, so forget the vision of him playing the game then flying to Columbus to take part in an evening practice as though it was the Phil Collins Live Aid Tribute Soccer Tournament. Tino is called up, so the general thought is that Adu will be up top with Moreno. RSL will also debut their newly acquired (or on-loan) pride of the Minnesota Thunger

The big mystery is who starts in the back line for DCU, and how they'll play. If I see any more pictures of Bobby Boswell in "Rookie of the Year" recaps accompanied by a big, red arrow pointing down, I'm not going to be happy.

Prediction Time? DCU 2, RSL 0.

30 August 2005

Itemized Deductions

For a good recap of United's problems, US Soccer Players joins the anti-bandwagon that's forming. Fair enough.

The Newark Star Ledger complains that Freddy Adu wasn't in the Hall of Fame game, despite being on the poster. I suppose it's cheating to say that Ramos wasn't in the game either, and he was advertised. I guess I'm just tired of the "If Freddy doesn't play, the fans got cheated."

MLS preview of RSL v. DCU is up: Former DCUer Eddie Pope is listed as probable. Current DCUer Kenny Arena is injured. Dema serves his red card suspension.

Going to need to add some new blogs to the Blogroll soon...

Know when to hold 'em

Mike Doughty apparently covers "The Gambler" on his iTunes EP. Also, he apparently covers "Strange Powers" from the Magnetic Fields Holiday album, which was my favorite song on that disc. What does this have to do with anything? Well, the sharp eyed may have noticed that the "Chelsea Won" box has come down. It has been one month, I have paid my debt to ChesleaBlog, and the link no longer must remain, spoiling the red, white, and black color scheme I have going here...

But it was fun, having a cross-bet blog, so it must be time to do it again. Kali over at Real Salt Lake has kindly accepted the challenge. If DCU wins Wednesday, 300 non-ironic words will appear on her blog on why she loves DCU. If RSL wins, I will have to do the same for Real Salt Lake, or donate money to her favorite charity, which, she being a grad student, is probably herself. She gets the choice of payoff there.

So c'mon DCU, time to bounce back from three consecutive losses (four if you count the 6-2 drubbing given at the Hall of Fame game).

29 August 2005

Wall and Hall: Congrats #6

John Harkes is inducted today into the Hall of Fame. That needs to be remembered, and congratulations are certainly in order. His DCU time was special. His USMNT time helped pave the way for the future success of that team. His cutting from the USMNT let everyone know that Steve Sampson was a dick before that was the cool opinion to have.

He's on the Wall of Excellence, in the Hall of Fame, and I expect him to have a special section in Poplar Point. Maybe the Harkes goal at one end, and the Diablo goal at the other.


(Above: New DCU Defender Facundo Erpen carefully juggles the ball, before falling to the ground complaining that the ball punched him in the head. [AP/Wire])

Revolution 2 : 1 DCU

First: Dear Facundo Erpen -- We don't dive like that in DC. I want you to succeed on this team, but that dive was atrocious. Exaggerating an injury is one thing: Somebody took you down, you want them to pay. But inventing something out of nothing is a far more serious sin. It says "I'm too small a man to take my medicine, so I'll try and be deceitful to get out of it." Shame, shame. It's your first league game here, so I'll give you a break. But I hope Christian Gomez takes you aside before the RSL game and explains a few things. We're the black and red. We don't do that. On to the game...

Somehow, I felt it coming. After Boswell's poor back header resulted in his second own goal in as many league games, part of me was ready for the clock to reach 90:00 as soon as possible. New England had generated a few chances, and was almost no chance of them not putting one in the net by themselves. One point, and be happy about it.

Things started to get worse. Dema got a red card for having a history with the league. (Well, according to the stats, it was for a "Serious Foul Play". It looked to me like it was a dangerous challenge, but there was clearly intent to get the ball. Should have been yellow). The team looked distracted, and unable to feed the ball forward. Then Twellman beat Erpen to put the game away. From 1-0 with a chance to steal three on the road to a draw that might have been tough to take everywhere except the standings, to pure disappointment. This game hurt. DCU did not play as badly as they did against the Galaxy, but they didn't play particularly well and were marred by concentration lapses that have been coming all too frequently.

As discussed here earlier, a win by the Revs puts them in the driver's seat for taking the top seed in the East, while DCU now has to have ambitions for 2nd, and certainly for just making the playoffs (which I still think will happen).

26 August 2005


As you can see, a busy day blogging so far...

A few quick updates:

The MLS Unofficial Championship: I've stopped updating this, since previously I was working off of a limited set of data for games. MLS has now published results of every game for each season, so I've started trying to construct the entire back history giving the first MLS unoffical title to DCU after the 96 Cup. I've worked my way through 1999, and it's interesting stuff that confirms that only basing the cup off of the 2003 season is probably misguided. DCU starts with the title in 1997, but despite winning the MLS cup that year, the title belongs to another team at the end of the season. It isn't reunified with the MLS Cup title until 1999. It has been awarded (changed from one team to another) 49 times in this period.

Profanity and Soccer Web Sites: Joe and ScaryIce (from Climbing the Ladder) have commented below on the Tobias Lopez discussed here two days ago. Joe has now gone another step, posting his thoughts at We Call It Soccer. I agree with much of it, and that includes his praise of DuNord.

The Path Ahead, Part 2

[Part 1: DCU's final games]

In order to figure out the seeding battle for the rest of the East, a look at the schedules show that New England and Kansas City are teams battling with DCU for the top 2 seeds. The Fire only have seven games remaining to score points, five of them are on the road. A winning record despite the number of away games (projected at 3-2-2) only nets them 50 points and the fourth seed.

The biggest factor in this entire equation is, wait for it... the MetroStars. And DCU fans are going to be in the unfortunate position of rooting for a couple of Metro wins. The Metros have 7 of their 8 remaining games against Eastern conference opponents. If DCU can hold serve against the SuperClub, then the following Metro games become very, very interesting for seeding purposes:

Sep. 3rd, hosting Kansas City
Sep. 10th, at Kansas City
Sep. 17th, hosting New England
Sep. 24th, at New England

All of these games occur before DCU's final two games against the Metros. So wins will help DCU in the seeding race, but come at the expense of giving the Metros momentum (if you believe in that, and I do) before the final 2 games against DCU. The Metros also play their final game at Chivas, which should be very interesting. With a few wins, their season could have on that game. What's more, of all the guesses I've made about the remaining team's wins and losses, I am least confident in games that deal with the Metros.

The Saturday match also becomes huge for DCU. My current projections do not call for a DCU win here, but giving 3 points to New England may mean they can't be caught by DC. A draw and things stay on schedule.

Here's how I figure it...

New England, 9 games remaining:
DCU, @RSL, Crew, @Metro, @ Crew, Metro, SJ, @KC, Chicago
Projected Results: 4-2-3 (+15 points, total of 57)

Kansas City, 8 games remaining:
Crew, @Metro, Metro, LA, @LA, Chicago, NE, @FCD
Projected Results: 3-2-3 (+12 points, total of 53)

Chicago Fire, 7 games remaining:
@LA, @Crew, @SJ, @KC, Metro, Crew, @NE
Projected Results: 3-2-2 (+11 points, total of 50)

MetroStars, 8 games remaining:
KC, @KC, NE, @NE, DCU, @Chicago, @DCU, @Chivas
Projected Results: 2-2-4 (+10 points, total of 43)

East Final Standings (projected)
1 57 pts New England
2 56pts DC United

3 53pts Kansas City
4 50pts Chicago Fire
5 43pts Metros

The Path Ahead, Part 1

There are only nine matches left, including Saturday's at New England, for DC United in the regular season. Currently, they sit 4th in the East with 38 points, -4 points on New England, -3 points on KC (1 game in hand), -1 point on Chicago (2 games in hand), +5 on the Metros, and +14 on Columbus.

A few things to note: Only four of the nine matches left are against conference opponents, and only this Saturday's game against New England is against a team that's higher in the table. That makes Saturday's game critical, as it is the last chance for the hypothetical "6 point swing in the standings" that will probably apply to playoff seeding. Five games are on the road, four at home. There are only three games in September.

The teams remaining are:
New England (away), RSL (home and away), Colorado (home and away), FCD (away), Metros (home and away), Crew (home). Maximum yield: 27 points.

Looking at that schedule, I think DCU can, with a reasonable effort and luck in results, take a total of 18 points. That would be a 5-1-3 record, based on DCU only losing one of the games away at New England or Dallas and drawing the other, taking both from RSL, and 3 points at home, 1 on the road elsewhere. That would give DCU 56 points, at a clip of 1.75 points a game. By way of comparison, a 1.75 pt/game pace last year would have given DCU 52 points, first in the East. In 2003, it would have placed DCU 2nd. In other words, 18 points should be good enough for home field in at least the first round (second leg).

But how about this year? We'll need to look at the other teams to figure that out.

25 August 2005

Closed Out

DCU 1 : 1 FCD (1-4 PKs)

Not exactly what was hoped for. Losing on PKs hurts, losing on PKs after you've almost closed out regular time with the win hurts more. I wasn't at this one, but Goff's story in the Washington Post makes you understand that this one was a heatbreaker/heartburner.

The good news seems to be that Adu was playing well in his return. The better news seems to be that Facundo Erpen is for real.

New England, the real rivals, on Saturday. This should be a good one, as even if Moreno hasn't recovered from his sprained ankle, New England is still missing Reis.

24 August 2005

US Open Cup Quarters

Tonight... Jamie and Nick out... Freddy and Ben ready to go... DCU coming off one awful performance, FCD coming off several...

Did anyone watch the ESPN coverage of Crew/FCD, and see the girls holding up a sign that read "F*C* Dallas, Go Crew" Great sign.

Prediction --
DCU 2 : 1 Steers

He shoots... wide right.

Tobias Lopez, over at US Soccer Players, writes The Tobias Lopez Column. That makes sense, in the same way that the Alan Parsons Project, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Mike Doughty's band all make sense as titles. His most recent column, apparently on what American Soccer Fans "Need to do", however, makes little sense. Go read it, then come back here (and don't be surprised to see the column pop up for commentary all over the place...). The last three points in the article are perfectly fine, but the first two got my dander up.

Okay, we ready? Let's do it, my comments in bold.

The Tobias Lopez Column: Your Part
By Tobias Xavier Lopez
FORT WORTH, TX (Aug, 23, 2005) USSoccerPlayers - Soccer fans in the United States have got to do a bit more. There are also areas where soccer fans need to do a bit less.

This is a clever introduction invoking something English majors like to call parallel strucuture. We'll leave aside the fact that he doesn't use it correctly and focus on the fact that within two sentences, Mr. Lopez has already set up the following expectations for his article: 1) He wants to lecture US Soccer fans; 2) He wants them to do more and less; 3) He thinks he is an authority on matters relating to fandom. Fair enough. He may have valid points on all three, let's find out.

This column might not get me a step closer to the Hall of Fame's media award, but sometimes a coach has to give his players the business in order to get the best out of his team. So here goes.

We've now moved beyond "I'm an authority on proper fandom" to "I'm a coach on how to be a good fan. Only bad players, and bad fans, don't listen to their coach. No orange slices at half time for the bad fans."

  • American soccer fans have to ditch the profanity from their chants and songs.

Yes, it's a tradition in England, Spain and other areas of Europe but so is female underarm hair, really expensive gas, and eating the culinary equivalent of bait. Perhaps all things European are not always desirable.

Oooh! Touche Mr. Lopez! You're right, we're all a bunch of Europosers who do anything that Europeans do. That's why all the US Soccer Fans have made The Weakest Link the most successful game show in the history of television. That's why we have a grand tradition of hooliganism at the hardcore supporter's groups like Barra Brava. See! Look, and be ashamed of those bat weilding thugs imitating Europe. We just do whatever Europe tells us to.

I know it sounds soft, but here's why cursing has to go. Soccer in the United States is a hugely eclectic audience and there is section of that audience that is turned off by a couple hundred fans belting chants highlighted by profanities.

Right, because Maryland never sold out a Duke game while chanting "Fuck Duke" and "You Suck" to Rock and Roll Part 2. I certainly didn't hear someone yelling "Fucking Guzman again?" at the last Washington Nationals game I was at. There's definately no profanity from the wide receiver "MICed UP" on Monday Night Football. Those sports are falling apart because families won't put their kids near that smut.

Now, I know the hardcore supporters are screaming, who cares? Well, you have to care because for now every soccer fan matters. When the soccer mom decides she doesn't want to attend a match where the kids are subjected to the organized swearing then soccer suffers. The kid suffers.

The kid suffers because, how to put this, the mother is an overprotective basket case. Show them the casual violence from the nightly news, whether it be Iraq or Columbine, let them read the Bible's descriptions of wars between various tribes in ancient Israel, or crazy anti-christ visions from Revelations, but heaven forbid they hear the F-word. That's what is really important.

If the chant was unoriginal, uninspired, and repetitive, we all suffer.

True. I can agree with that. The great thing is that most of the chants I hear don't fit that bill. There is enough inginuity that the profanity is an amplifier of humor, not a cause of it.

We're in a battle for hearts and minds here, and we've yet to reach the stage where we could care less about the individual when we're successfully recruiting by the thousands.
Any American support group that numbers 20,000 please stand up. That's what I thought.

I don't remember 20,000 caps fans singing in unison during the inevitable playoff loss to the Penguins. Sometimes I don't remember 20,000 Caps fans at most games. Name any sport in the US with a supporter's group of 20,000 people.

That's what I thought.

When the day comes that the Barn Burners, the Screaming Eagles or the Inferno sell out a stadium then you can chant anything you want. Go ahead and question a referee's lack of stable parents or a goalkeeper's tendency for pies. Let position players know what their names rhyme with. Let the coach know through a bawdy chorus that you care not for his substitution policy. And yes, let the opposition know where they are, what you think of them, and precisely where they can go.

Until then a guy can be clever without swearing.

It's like this, Buddy Hackett, Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor are brilliantly funny comedians, but I don't watch their acts with the kids in the room. There's a time and a place for everything and in this climate the swearing does more harm than good.

So let me get this straight. When there's plenty of room for a mom to take her kids and sit nowhere near the supporters, so that their chants are just a haze of syllables that sound like "O My Darlin'" as sung by the Red Army Chorus, there shouldn't be profanity. When the stadium is sold out and there's little choice in ticket placement, that's when Cobi's Mom Is A Whore should replace the National Anthem?

  • American soccer fans should take a lesson from 3rddegree.net's Buzz Carrick.

Here's a guy who built what began as a "fan" site into the most informative website of any club in MLS. His dedication to developmental roster moves, draft coverage and practice reports are something that fans in every MLS city must get together and provide. Seriously, we're a long way from any newspaper being able to afford package coverage.
Simply throwing up a website and writing one's opinion doesn't cut it.

Why not? 3rd Degree is a great site, don't get me wrong, but I like reading opinion. Ramblings of a Soccer Junkie, Footcer, We Call It Soccer, Soccer Thoughts, they're pretty much only opinion sites. And I enjoy reading them. Not every site needs to be a in-depth new gatherer. When it wants to be, that's great, but sometimes I just want to read a tirade about how much Steve Sampson sucks. Actually, I'm always ready to read that.

Any monkey can write a column.

See: Dramatic Irony

Go the extra mile like Carrick does and fill in the holes in team news that newspapers can't fiscally provide.

Not a bad idea when possible, but not by any means a requirement for a given site to get the "congratulations, you are worth of the Tobias Lopez Award for Good Soccer Website design"

Tobias, I know you're trying to help. I know you are sincere. But it misses the mark to say that the problem with US Soccer popularity is that the Core Fans are somehow keeping the curious middle class away from games. It misses the mark to go after sites that, given the 2005 boom in soccer web logs, are reflection of a growing popularity. You are abosolutley right, core fans should take people that can't afford tickets to games. Maybe there is more to life than BigSoccer.

MLS had more than a few missteps since its inception. It's just starting to find its legs in the last few years. The rise of the Soccer Specific Stadium is only helping matters. Don Garber identified 3 key markets for the growth of MLS: The Core Fan, the Ethnic Fan, and the Suburban Soccer fan. Asking 2/3 of them to change their behavior to accomodate growth for one third is bizarre. We can all grow together. In five years, down in Poplar point, I expect Barra and the SEs and LNs to be singing together, as profane in ever, while some 10 year old on the other side of the stadium watches in rapture as grizzled, crafty vetran Tino Quaranta matches wits with perennial all-star Michael Parkhurst.

The Day Aftermath

Tonight is the US Open Cup, live from Germantown, Maryland. But first, a few notes on the MLS-Real game from yesterday. I was pretty upfront on not caring about this game in the first place. Moreno's potential injury from this exhibition does not strengthen those feelings. Nor do I take any solace in their validation through either the scoreline or the injury toll.

MLS, as a whole, doesn't need to measure itself against European clubs any more. 10 years ago, you went to an MLS game and realized that much of the play was a clumsy calamady. Now, the game, no matter where it is played, is entertaining and play is sharp. No, the level of play is not EPL or Serie A levels, but so what? It's the best soccer you'll see in the USA, and it's pretty damn good sports and entertainment in and of itself. Individual MLS sides may want to try themselves out against Europe, or against South America, but MLS as a whole doesn't need to.

MLS's (read: Don Garber's) job is to put a decent product out there. After 10 seasons, games are much more likely to be decent well-played soccer by entire teams (as opposed to a few indivudals) than not, last Saturday's Crew-FCD tilt aside. Which is what made the Real game so, well, pointless. MLS went into this game with pretty much every factor aligned to hinder a great MLS performance. And they got whooped, giving every person who wants to say "Well, I would watch MLS, but Serie A spoiled me, so I only watch that now" all the ammunition they need. Without realizing that there are games in MLS every week that rival the typical EPL mid table, Serie A, Bundesliga games anyday. In the respect, MLS is a success. A success that you wouldn't know of because of this match.

Now it is time for Jamie to get better. And tonight... the US Open Cup Quarters.

23 August 2005

Hoo Boy.

It's 2-0 Real over the MLS team at the half. This was not a very good idea.

Update: 5-0. Ouch. I may or may not have more to say about that.

22 August 2005

Under the Milky Way Tonight

(Above: What's in the box? Pain!)

DCU 2 : 3 Galaxy

It's one thing to lose on just one defensive breakdown. It's a another when you a beat by a team that raises its game to a level and destroys you.

It's something else entirely when your team plays poorly for 90 minutes, playing underneath the level of the opposition. The Galaxy, to give them some credit, played decently. It is said of Landon Donovan that he only plays for 45 minutes. Sadly, it was minutes 40-85, and he played well enough to get two goals. If there was anyone on the Galaxy that was truly on, it was Cobi Jones, who made himself a pest throughout the entire game and made some devastatingly effective runs. That being said, the Galaxy were not, as a team, brilliant.

No, the problem was a DCU team that was flat. Flat awful. For a team that prides itself on passing, the number of inaccurate balls were staggering. For a team that prides itself on toughness, this team nearly gave up after the 70th minute, crossbar shots aside. For a coach that prides himself on smart coaching, some of the moves bordered on inexplicable. This was subpar in pretty much every aspect. Jamie Moreno manages to take a defender on the line, gets by him with a nifty move, but then decides not to shoot or pass but rather, go back and fake out the defender again. Quaranta didn't seem to find the ball much. The midfield play was sloppy, and the defense was erratic and flighty. It was embarassing.

So why? Is this fatigue from fixture congestion? Better hope not, since it won't get any easier from now on. Maybe it was heat differential. For the last month, DCU was training in hot weather and then played games in heat and humidity. Most of the previous week was cool though, so perhaps the humiture was more of a problem. My guess is that Josh Gros found some of those moody albums by The Curch and Cure from the 80s and was playing them pre-game. Everyone had a sort of lethargy that can be explained by exposure to a guitar driven melancholy rock about distances and broken hearts.

If I had a guess on what happened, it was a team wide falter in concentration. They're thinking of the Open Cup, the game against the Revs next week, two players going to Spain, and somehow the game against the Galaxy slipped through the cracks. I hope that's what the problem is, because getting you attention back is easier than getting strength back if you're beat.

Was there any good?
  • John Wilson played well, coming on for Clyde Simms (who never looked comfortable on the ball). Glad to see that his injury seems to be fading. Wilson was a bright light in an otherwise difficult game.
  • Christian Gomez also put out a good effort, buzzing around the field. He created some turnovers and chances, which gave DCU more of a chance than they deserved.
  • Josh Gros was running well and making those nifty interceptions to start counters before he was subbed out. Probably the brightest spot in the midfield.

The bad?

  • Boswell / Defense. Put the own goal aside. That was a difficult situation that no one should hold Boz responsible for. Even once you ignore that, though, this was one of Boswell's worst games in his rookie year. Galaxy players at the top of the box were able to move the ball off their feet way too easily. Players on the wing were left unmarked (especially Cobi). If we're going to ignore Boswell's own goal, then we're also going to ignore Prideaux's goal, which was a decently played set piece. Still, the defense had problems with shape, marking, and with playing the ball forward.
  • Moreno / Quaranta / Walker: While the midfield wasn't moving the ball forward enough, none of the forwards seemed to be showing for the ball particularly well.
  • Midfield Defense has been a problem all year, but you can't let Galaxy players have as much time as they had from 30 yards out. The midfield seemed flustered by the defensive line's play, and spent too much time playing too deep and giving up space on the outside.

All in all, one of the most disappointing games of the season.

19 August 2005


MLS announces the squad for the MLS Select vs. Real Madrid match. Becuase of the tight scheduling, players will not be able to make the US Open Cup match against FC Dallas. So DCU loses Jamie Moreno, which is expected. FC Dallas will lose Ronnie O'Brien. Fair enough so far. But DCU also loses Nick Rimando, while FC Dallas loses, well, um, nobody else.

FC Dallas is losing one player, while DCU loses Moreno and a starting keeper with the most shutouts in the league. This is not making me happy. By way of comparison, here's a list of some other teams that are sending more players than FC Dallas: Kansas City, Columbus (?!), the Metros, and Colorado. Are you telling me that FCD doesn't have more to offer than these clubs? Apparently.

I am not happy about this. I care less about this match than the all-star game. And to have this interfering with the Open Cup really makes me mad.

Oh Yeah, That's Pretty Cool

You ever read those stories about NFL athletes who always bought the new Madden NFL to see how the game portrayed them? They know that once you were represented in the EA sports game, that you had truly arrived. Well, now we can say the same for DC United. No, not Freddy being on the cover of FIFA Pro 06. Everyone knew that was going to happen at some point provided he didn't bomb out of the league (I still have my copy of FIFA with Eddie Pope on the cover). Nope, I mean the images of the Barra-Brava, Screaming Eagles, and La Norte banners being in the actual game. That's damn cool.

Images with the DCU Supporter Club banners taken from EA's preview site mirrored here.

Amendment to the Minutes of the Oversight Committee

The DCenters ran a post a few days back discussing Michael Lewis's overview of coaching in MLS. Lewis was arguing that foreign born coaches don't do well in MLS, and the DCenters noted that the head coach of DC United might wish to argue that. Yes, the DCenters also sent an e-mail to Mr. Lewis with pretty much the same opinion. Well, go ahead and read the article now, and Coach Nowak gets a nice mention:
The most successful has been D.C. United coach and former Polish international Peter Nowak, who directed the club to the MLS Cup crown last year behind an 11-10-9 regular-season mark. United is 11-6-5 through Sunday's games.

Now, the DCenters is sure it's not the only one to bring Peter's name to Lewis's attention. But we'll indulge our fantasy none-the-less. The other strange thing? The DCenters can't find any evidence of the old page where Peter's name was excluded, even checking the Google Cache (sadly only updated August 17), but we promise there was no selective quoting. There's also no mention that a change was made. Huh.

Mercy Killing

(Above: Chancellor Schroeder shows more touch with the ball in Germany than Landon ever did)

DCU hosts LA Gals, Saturday

Really, right now the LA Galaxy is a shambles. Their fans are on the verge of joining a Heaven's Gate reenactment society. Their coach is hated not just in DC (*cough* cutting John Harkes *cough*) but in the Home Depot Center. The San Jose Earthquakes are better without Landon than LA was with him. Reading Gals fans posting is like reading a thinly vailed poem about suicide from the goth girl in the 9th grade creative writing class. They want to be beaton, so Sampson will be fired. Hell, the Junkie has been commenting over here practically begging for the same thing since Adu buried them a month ago. At this point they are dragging themselves into RFK like Ol' Yeller's owner, searching desperately for the shot gun that will end things. I think DCU can oblige. Prediction... DCU 3 : LA 1

18 August 2005

Mortal Kombat: Finish Him!

USA 1 : 0 TNT

My predicted scoreline should have been the final score based on the number of chances, but 3 points is 3 points. And how did our DCU related players do?
  • Bobby Convey is still fast. And he is still overcome by the power of the holy spirit when he's unmarked 25 yards from the net. Caught up in these moments, he is overcome with the spasms of divine feeling. Also, he couldn't finish on a one v one, but another well placed shot in about the 72nd minute was stopped by a nice save from the TNT keeper. He gets an assist on the GW Goal, and despite a notch in his goal stats played very well. Since he knew he was going to miss the Mexico game anyway, he decided that one yellow card wasn't enough and decided to go for it all, getting his second yellow and the following red in the 88th minute.
  • Tino came in as a second half sub, and he looked really good. He should have had his first assist on a goal that was disallowed, but he showed great speed on the wings and some nice crosses.
  • Bruce Arena apparently told his played to "be agressive." I would say that after the first fifteen minutes, they were more passive-agressive. I can't say he outcoached TNT, but he was never sufficiently bothered by them.

So now we wait for LA to come to town, and for DCU to try and get even closer in the Supporter's Shield Race. I'm gonna go ahead and say that right now, it is all about seeding and momentum for DCU. It's hard to see them not being in the post season.

17 August 2005

Quickly, quickly

Prediction --
USA 3 : 0 TNT

No Man is an Island

Harrisburg City 0 : DCU 1

Sounds like a fun night as 4,000 turned out in Pennsylvania for an exhibition between USL Division 2's Harrisburg City Islanders and DC United. Washington Post doesn't cover the event, but local coverage was pretty good. As expected, it was pretty much a reserve team out there. Josh Gros managed to play in his old stomping grounds, but Ben Olson didn't. I wouldn't read too much into that, as giving Ben pleanty of time to heal is a very good idea right now.

Also, please note that while the goal was scored by Jason Thompson, another name should be starting to surface on DCU fans radars: Matt Nickell. He got a few minutes in the Chivas game, and while he's way down on the depth charts at forward, it should be interesting to follow his progress. He's currently tied with Jamil Walker for DCU's team lead in goals in the reserve division, with 3 games fewer played than Jamil. There is nothing that screams "This guy is a star developing" yet, but his play has certainly earned him some notice.

16 August 2005

The Oversight Committee

From Michael Lewis's fairly complete retrospective on coaching over at MLS Net comes this:

Traditionally, foreign-born coaches without any U.S. professional coaching experience have not fared well in the league. Several teams learned the hard way in 1996, when former Ireland international Frank Stapleton (15-17, fifth and last place in the Eastern Conference and out of the playoffs with New England) and England's Bobby Houghton (11-20, five and last place in the Western Conference and out of the playoffs with Colorado).

In alphabetical order, here's how other foreign coaches have fared:

  • Argentine Carlos Cordoba (Miami Fusion), 8-11-0 in 1998 (five shootout wins). Was fired.
  • Serbian Bora Milutinovic (MetroStars), 7-25 in 1999 (four shootout wins), 8-25 overall. Left the team under mutual agreement.
  • Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira (MetroStars), 13-19 in 1997 (two shootout wins). Left the club to coach Saudi Arabia in the 1998 World Cup.
  • Portuguese and Mozambique native Carlos Queiroz (MetroStars), 12-12 in 1996 (one shootout win). Left the team to coach Grampus Eight in Japan.
  • Brazilian Ivo Wortmann (Miami Fusion), 21-28-4 from 1998-2000 (five shootout wins). Was fired and replaced by Ray Hudson.
  • Other foreign coaches in the league included England-born Ron Newman (Kansas City) Scottish native Steve Nicol (New England) and Canadian Frank Yallop (San Jose) are not included in this group because they had coached in the United States for years before their MLS posts, or in Yallop's case, had played in the league and was familiar with the unique rules and players.
One could suggest a name that offers contrary evidence, assuming that MLS playing experience is not the same as US coaching experience.

Grabbing Some Silver

BASA? Yup, that's the plan, according to Climbing the Ladder. An interesting idea, and I certainly know of some people I would plan to vote for. What is more interesting is that I'm pretty sure this is the first year that an idea like this would work. For whatever reason, 2005 is the year that american soccer blogs really started appearing. I'm not sure why this is, but if I had to guess, it was that at some subconscious level, we're no longer afraid of MLS disappearing over night. There's also enough of a media presence on MLS and american soccer to make a meta-media presence worthwhile. Both positive signs.

As for the actual words, I will not shamelessly campaign for anything. Well, not yet.

15 August 2005

The Mind, It Boggles

Update! From the Junky, a remarkably similar take. [Updated 16 August 2005, 8:35AM]

From a QA session on the MetroStarts new stadium at MetroEmpire:

KRD: The announced stadium capacity circa-twenty thousand is smaller then any previous projections had announced. Why the change? Is this an indicator that AEG might be content with the MetroStars being a Jersey based team and are serious about their commitment to a New York franchise?

NS: It has always been our vision to launch a second team in this area. Our studies of the market size and their attendance habits indicate that a market exists for two teams. Once we have the right situation and the timing is right we will pursue that opportunity.

A second team? I wasn't aware that they had a first. The Metro...wha? Never heard of them...

MLS: Martyr League Soccer

I just finished Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World: An (Unlikely) Theory of Globalization. The book is certainly thought provoking, and one can certainly take issue with the idea that Globalization is reflected throughout soccer. However, one theme that isn't stated on the cover that runs through the book is the idea of victimization. In his chapters on Red Star Belgrade, Celtic/Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barca, and even Brazil's professional scene, one common concept is the idea of fan as victim being necessary for identity. Through all of this, Foer doesn't touch on MLS. But I think the idea is true here was well as anywhere.

Fans can take identity from champions (see ManU's international support, or people that wore Bulls jerseys in the early 90s). But fans also bond together tightly if they feel like the world conspires against them, and against their team. It is as if all of the ills that someone has personally felt can be represented in the way their team is constantly thwarted in league play by a conspiracy of officiating, tranfer rules, bullying championship clubs, and most of all, fate (see: Sox, Red).

In the case of MLS, while this applies to a limited extent on team affiliation, it applies much more to the feeling of MLS as a whole. Consider the fact that most of the US soccer blogs are dedicated to the soccer scene in general, and teams are looked at within the context of MLS as an entity. MLS is constantly examined in relation to the rest of the world's soccer scene on these blogs. This is not a bad thing, and certainly a worthy subject. But it is not the only subject.

There are many people who view MLS as a second or third rate world league. There are many theories on how to make MLS better in comparison with the rest of the world: Sign more internationals, impose a system of relegation/promotion, better develop home talent, change to a more traditional soccer season, advertise international matches better, get ESPN to promote MLS better... each of these has been offered at one place or another as a way to make MLS as a whole better. Until then, the american soccer fan persists in the belief that MLS isn't as good as the rest of the world, and is being held back from reaching its true potential. The american soccer fan is a victim of the rest of the world, conspired against by league management and a too-often indifferent mainstream sports media outlook. Too often it feels like fans root for MLS inspite of its talent level and organization. It is a badge of honor for these people: "Look, I root for MLS even though I know the world is better. That makes me authentic as a fan."

I think this is the kind of thing Joe alludes to when he refers to Eurposers. Its as if we have ceded ground, happy to root for a league that will always be second best. After thinking for a bit, I've decided that this worldview, um, well, I've decided it sucks. I root for United not because I am a soccer fan first and a DCU fan second. Rather, I am person with Washington, DC ties. DCU is the local soccer team. I root for them as a resident of the area first, and a soccer fan second.

Maybe this is a luxury of supporting a class organization like United. The Metros don't seem to have much conncection to their city. Ditto Kansas City. It's more like these are places where an MLS team happens to be, divorced from its city itself. Ticket sales reflect that. I'm hoping that Harrison might change that for the Metros. The league deserves some blame for this, with the disastorous NY/NJ name, the idea of "The New England" revolution, the catchy names that didn't reflect a city's heritage (The Clash were from London folks). MLS thought that "Market" and "City" were interchangeable terms, and they paid for it. DCU was always represented well locally: the red stripes that reflected the Washington, DC flag, the rejection of the market names, we got a local team that helped reflect a local personality earlier than everyone else. MLS is now correcting.

The fact is, MLS will not get better as a whole, but rather as the sum of its parts. To put it another way, Kansas City won't get better because MLS as a whole gets better. Rather, MLS will improve becuase Kansas City improves. Not just in talent, but in ability to reach their core fans and bring them out. I think Garber's comments on the "Core fans" being a focus for MLS means they have recognized this.

Bruce Areana, as quoted in an MLS column, stated that he thought the average talent level is MLS is about the same as 10 years ago. But digging deeper, we find that he thinks it stayed level because there's less international talent imported. In other words, domestic talent has improved while there's less international talent bringing the average up. That bodes well, as domestic talent continues to be the focus of team development. The international rules are fairly strict at the moment, so any change will likely mean more international talent, and domestic talent should continue to advance. Each MLS team should become better over the next ten years thanks to domestic players.

Don't root for MLS and your MLS team inspite of its talent level. Root because of it, because your team can get better and win in a league that's getting better all the time.

Expectations Met.

(Above: Jamil Walker pretends that Chivas is a rubber chicken, and this is the most friendly family photo we could find of what happened next.)

DCU 3 : 0 Goats

These are the games you should win. Even without Moreno, Adu, Eskandarian, and even Ben Olsen when he tweaks a muscle. The line from MLS headquarters is "Chivas is getting better, and once the transfers arrive, watch out!" That line is wishful thinking. Chivas needs help at every poisition but keeper, and they need a lot of help. Their defense was probably the least bad thing about them, as they didn't get beat because of their own poor play but rather got beat by superior play. Three goals was about what you could expect, but the fact that Chivas had difficulty sustaining an attack, or midfield pressure even after conceded half the field? It does not bode well for making the playoffs.

DCU did what they had to do: Put away an inferior team without your best players. Now Moreno can come back in time for the hosting the Galaxy, and the hope is that we might see Adu and Esky back around the same time. That being said, let's give Jamail and Tino credit for doing a credible job. Let's also pray that our new acquisition doesn't displace Boz in the back. I mean, Boz has been playing decent defense all season. Then he started scoring on set pieces. Now he's making runs and playing beautiful balls to open strikers. He has earned his starting role.

More notes later, as we finally have a long week to talk about stuff (and the exhibition match in PA should really be DCU's chance to try out the line-shift at the half. There are 11 subs, right?)

12 August 2005

The Buddle Muddle

Ouch. Now, we don't entirely know what this means yet, but it doesn't look good.

Open Question

Supposing, just supposing, San Jose wins out in the West. Then they get moved, to, for the sake of discussion, Rochester. And let's say Kansas City or Columbus don't finish well, near the bottom of the East. Then Kansas City moves to Houston.

So the potential realignment could be...

East: DC, Harrison, New England, San Jose/Rochester, Columbus
West: Gals, Goats, Rocks, (everyone beats the) Wiz, RSL.

Could we then say that San Jose got promoted to the East, and the Wiz (or Columbus) got relegated?

The West - MSL's Division 2.

No Moreno. No Adu. No Esky. No Matter.

Prediction-- DCU 2 : Goats 0. Nowak plays the reserves, and Kenny Arena scores both goals on set pieces.

If this all comes to pass, I will not stop laughing until next Thursday. But I do expect DCU to win, even with a somewhat depleted staff.

11 August 2005

The Opposite of Pick-Up Game is Drop-Out Game?

DCU 3 : 0 MetroStarsThatWantToLeaveMLS

This was a stange game, in that the DCU could have won 6-0. At the same time, if the Metros equalized early in the second half, maybe it's a draw or worse. Amado Guevara leaves the pitch with two cautions. Then he thinks about leaving New York, and MLS altogether. Jamie Moreno gets a (deserved) red for taking down a player. The Metros send multiple shots over the crossbar. 10 on 10, and it could have been 9 on 9 if both Namoff and Leitch get sent off (both of which could have been justifiable).

So what else did we learn?

  • Santino Quaranta likes the USMNT very, very much. He was completley in this game, brilliant on the ball, crafty in the runs. Honestly, this is why Freddy Adu should be given time to mature. Santino when rushed in during the Hudson era looked woefully out of place. Now in two years you can see him taking Jamie Moreno's role.
  • Bobby Boswell gets the 500th goal for DC United. It's funny that a rookie should get that goal, and it's even funnier it comes on a set piece, a free kick that functioned more as a short corner, set up when
  • Dema Kovalenko secures Man of the Match status for me. His run draws Guevera's fould that set up the first goal. He then gets one himself.
  • Brandon Prideaux previously was, as Joe succintly put it in the comments to last game's post, "a complete disaster." So let's give him some credit for this game, where he played better.

More thoughts later, but enjoy the AP Pic above that neatly captures the feeling of this game.

10 August 2005

Tino Tino Little Star

Someone liked Tino's Gold Cup PK in the finals: US Squad for T&T Qualifier.

Other names of note for DCU followers:
  • Former DCU forward Chris Albright gets another as a defender. Fair enough, he's earned it.
  • Bobby Convey is becoming a traditional sight in the USMNT. Hopefully the same will be true of Reading this season.
  • Also notable? Eddie Pope not in the back line. I hope he gets one more home game as a Nat, just so there can be an appreciation. He's done a great deal.

Taking the Lunch Money

Tonight the Atlantic Cup Rivalry sees its second game. We can safely ignore the author's mistake that somehow the Metros snuck into the RFK trophy case and stole the Atlantic Cup from last year so that they "MetroStars (as holders) will retain the cup [in the event of a series tie]" There ain't gonna be no tie.

As I've written before, I'm really not sure how this can be considered a rivalry. Yes, the "SuperClub" comments and remarks on Freddy (out 2-4 weeks) are pretty snotty. But honestly, isn't this like that one kid who was six inches shorter than everyone growing up who kept trying to start fights and cursed more frequently than anyone. You know the one, he had a buzz cut, a strangely hoarse voice for an eleven year old, tried to hang out with all the fourteen year olds in street hockey, and inevitably got the crap kicked out of him when he stepped over the line, as he would inevitably do about once a month. You hate him not out of respect, but because he's snotty, annoying, and won't go away. I kinda feel that way about the Metros. I'm glad they're getting a Ninetendo before anyone else (er, I mean, Soccer Specific Stadium) because maybe they'll have something of their own (as they have an empty trophy case) and start to grow up. Right now, they're just annoying, self-important snots. So there is a rivalry of a sort, but its the rivalry of one team constantly reminding another of its place, and god-forbid the wrong team win because then they'll be talking about it for months and won't shut up about it. Tonight there better be a timely beat down. Now, for other DCU fans, they boil down the conflict to a simpler, more primal distinction (as the thread title indicates).

Now, in terms of teams I can respect, right now that honor has to go to San Jose, who (to push this metaphor way too far) gets no attention from the people who supposedly are their to encourage them, but none-the-less are working hard and getting results. Their the kid always picked second for football, quiet, fast, decent kids whose parents are divorcing but you never heard a word about it until it happened. Sad, really.

09 August 2005

Plus ca change...

So I thought about a site redesign, but instead just changed a few things before updating the blogroll. I went with a lighter shade of white for the text, gave the commentary a bit more width, and added the nifty four star break between days. At one point, when I was starting this blog, I thought of naming it "four stars." The thing is, DCU is just gonna win another championship, and probably pretty soon, so I changed it to The DCenters.

Speaking of which, if any BB, SE, or LN people are interested in joining this blog and having posting rights, feel free to drop a line in the comments section. Go ahead and plug your events, link your sites, and do whatever. I am currently unaffiliated (though thinking about joining up at some point). It also would make sense since this blog technically has a plural title.

I also want to point out that soccer blogging really seems to be exploding this year. Most of the links to soccer blogs over on the right started in 2005, and those that didn't seem to have been initiated in 2004. Interesting.

Paging David Stern

For various reasons, last night I was watching a replay of an Australian Rules Football match on a local public station. The two teams were, I believe, St. Kilda and Geelong. Now, I'm not a big Aussie rules fan, but there was a interesting moment that showed the difference between Australia and the USA (and not the fact that no team in the US would ever be known as Geelong). No, what caught my interest was that at the half point of the match, a tussle broke out on the field. To all appearences it looked like the typical NHL scrum of jersey grabbing and chest thumping. Then one player just delivers a roundhouse to another. Cold-cocks him, closed fist right to the chin.

In the USA, this would be a time where Stephen A. Smith and Tony Kornheiser would issue thoughtful, or at least loud, analysis of how long the suspension should be. Then there would be a debate as to what message this sent to the children. In the Aussie world, they decide not to suspend the player because he didn't hit hard enough. Not saying it's a better way, just a different one.

08 August 2005

From the diary of Jair Marrufo

August 6, 2005

Dear Diary:
Well, another game successfully reffed by yours truly. It was in Chicago, and the ribs are great here! It was a bit crazy though. Only about 10 minutes into the match and Freddy Adu goes down with a knee injury. What a way to start! Needless to say, my first thought was to locate Dema Kovalenko on the field, but it seems he had nothing to do with it. I was going to caution him anyways, but I remembered that they play for the same team. It could have been a bit awkward to explan that.

Only a few minutes later Josh Gros comitted a foul. He's so young, and he looked like he was about to cry, so I wanted to console him. I remember that I had a pack of Twizzlers in my pocket, so I went to grab them to give him one, but mistakenly grabbed a yellow card. Well, I always learned you can't back down from a call once made, so I had no choice but to give it to him. Dema came over and muttered something to me. I couldn't make out whatever foreign talk that was, but I think it was something about my family and a pit of hungry boars. I would not be honest with you diary if I did not say he frightened me a bit.

After only a few minutes, Dema broke a perfectly legitimate choke hold with a blow using a closed fist. I could see that Dema was going for his finishing manuver, the Dema Domination Drop from the top of the turnbuckle, so I had to intervene with a caution. Dema said something about my knees, while insisting that the chokehold was illegal. I don't know exactly what he meant, so I'm happy he was able to get a goal later to calm him down. Still, I kept expecting him to try to take my legs out (I'm still pretty sure he had something to do with Adu going down... to do with Adu... to do... Adu... That's pretty funny!)

Anyways, the game was 2-0, when Dema astrally projected into Thiago's body, took over his soul, and tackled Gomez from behind. Unfortunately, none of the assistants saw the same astral projection I did, so I had to award a PK to the United. Still, I didn't issue a card because I know that Thiago was under the influence of Dema's evil sorcery.

Well, game is over now. I spoke with Dema after the match, and he seemed willing to let things be. I am thankful, since I did not want Dema to astrally project into my body. Now I am home, and all is well, except my dog keeps giving me a funny look and staring at my ankles.

The Problem of Pain

Maradawga's excellent weekend round-up is up (read his thoughts on the drawing power of stadiums) includes this note:

He should have come off as soon as he got hurt ... I think we all forget he's 16. His body can't handle the stresses the same way an adult's can. Read the quotes from the game. Freddy knew he was done ... don't force it, Nowak. That's the future of American soccer right there.

Now, throughout MLS many have questioned Freddy's heart. To be fair, the Maradawga is not one of these people, but others (including reportedly Piotr and Jamie) have wondered if Freddy had the toughness, the grit, the will to push himself and his team to the top. So Freddy hung in the game and tried to run on a sprained knee. We know that Wilson was willing to come in for Freddy earlier, but Freddy stayed out there. So long as he didn't do more damage to his (still growing) knee, he did the right thing by trying to tough it out, then coming off when it was clear this wasn't just a bang that would fade.

International Association of Fire Fighters Local #36

Chicago Fire 2 : 3 DCU
Stop me if you've heard this one: Chicago Fire come out, play a fairly good game dictating most of the course of play, and give up three goals in a loss. Seems to be happening quite a bit to those poor fellows.

The game itself was wonderfully entertaining. For about 80 minutes, the play was fairly balanced, with perhaps Chicago seeing a slight edge in play. What has changed from the beginning of the season is the effectiveness of a United counter:

The thing that shows it all was DCU's ability to finish, first on a Carroll's goal, a beautiful set-up which, if Craig Laughlin called soccer, he would have termed a "Tic-Tac-Toe" play. Moreno sent a beautiful ball to Christain Gomez, who then sent a pretty drop to Brian. This is the kind of play where you understand why two people should get an assist for one goal. Gomez serves it up perfectly for Carroll, but he doesn't have the opportunity and space unless Chicago respects Jamie's run down the left side. For only a few moments DCU was dictating the play, but the important thing is how they did it. This is the kind of finish DCU wasn't making earlier this year.
Dema's goal was another example where DCU's counter suddenly seemed to be a fully mature, potent weapon. Tino makes a great run (showing that when his head is in the game, he can be deadly) and sends a perfect ball to Dema, who puts it far post off the left foot. The counter was so successful that even if Dema take too much of an angle and sends it wide, Gros has a chance to knock it in and we'd be talking about what a brilliant ball Dema sent into Gros.

So, what else did we learn?

  • Bobby Boswell is definately for real, and missed when he's gone. The line wasn't nearly as strong as it should have been. The Josh Gros experiment, while necessary, must be viewed as a stopgap measure at best. Yes, Gros was hampered by an early and undeserved Yellow. Still, by trying to play him as a winger you lose one of his greatest skills: the ability to step into an opposing pass and take it the other way at speed. As a defender, he can't take the risk that somehow the ball gets by him. The last 10 minutes where the Fire came close to equalizing were consistently marked by poorly cleared balls or passes made in haste and error.
  • Nicky Rimando has a great foot, and can handle a ball in the open field. That being said, he is not about to beat an attacker one-on-one, nor should he be asked to.
  • Wilson played much better, his defense was not perfect but blessedly free of some of the poor touches seen at FedEx. I also counted at least two attacks that started when he made some great plays to start it up.Ben Olsen is a workhorse. I don't write about him often, because you rarely see him do something extraordinary, but he is quite dependable.
  • DCU can win games against good competition on the road without all of their best players, and even when the required subs aren't playing 100%. That's a very, very good sign.It is not too early to worry about the playoffs, and about seeding. A win against the Metros on Wednesday puts DCU in complete control of making the playoffs, and well into the hunt for getting home field for at lest the first round (or, rather, the second leg of the first round). This game, the first since the all-star break, sets that up. So this win can be viewed as important from that perspective. It's also important since it continues the forward momentum that had been building before the break, and stops Chicago and New England from running away from the field with 1 and 2 in the East.
  • Expect ABC to develop John Harkes, MD for this fall's pilots. The story of a color commentator and former soccer star who diagnoses people based solely on TV images, then fights to make sure they get healthy. Learn the tragic back story of a slide tackle gone wrong forcing another TV doctor on FOX to walk with a cane.

05 August 2005

"I was just going for the fans."

Great interview with Boz at US Soccer Players. [Hat tip: DuNord]

04 August 2005

Well, that was fast...

How good is DC United?

Just check the US Open Cup website, where its brackets show DCU leading FC Dallas by 3 already. Pretty good, eh?

Seriously, I imagine this will get corrected at some point, so I got a screen capture below. And what is more important is the fact that there even is a US Open Cup website, which is pretty darn cool...

Boot to the Head
You Missed

1 Richmond Kickers : DCU 3, US Open Cup

No, I couldn't do the audio feed. Stupid !@#!@# Verizon. But it sounds like an entertaining game, a game where Gomez came off the bench and didn't sub Adu out. Both had productive outings, Troy Perkins got some time in the nets, and DCU moves onward in the quest for a double. Next game is August 24: FC Dallas @ DCU in Germantown, MD. Wow.

In other news, the Metros Playoff Failure got off to the right start, as the Metros go down to Rochester 3-1.

It also sounds like, despite the 2 goal win, the Kickers put up something resembling a fight. In short, they were not overwhelmed. My impression is that the gap between the A league and MLS is closing, even as the gap between MLS and the rest of the world has tightened. That's a lot of US Soccer depth.

Fixture list here.

03 August 2005

Wasn't there a PWEI song about this?

DCU vs Richmond Kickers, live audio feed from DCU's homepage. Yes, I expect DCU to win this. After last year's let-down, I have a feeling Mr. Nowak wishes to advance to the next round. Some are already worried about fixture congestion depending on how things play out. I am also worried about the same, but first you have to win this one.

I'm not there tonight, I'll be listening to the audiocast as well.

The song I'm thinking of was on that Dos Dedos Mes Amigos album.

The Day of His Daughter's Wedding

Steve Goff, aka the Goffather, chats at noon at Washington Post. Expect questions on the stadium, Kevin Payne, the release of Steve Guppy, a new defender from south of the equator, fixture congestion, whining about MLS not promoting the EPL matches, and the fact that Tottenham Hotspur can't seem to make a signing for anyone under 30. Also expect Steve to project a line-up for the US Open Cup match tonight between DCU and Richmond. Expect that line-up to be wrong. Not Steve's fault though, I happen to know for a fact that Piotr looks over Steve's guesses, then changes two names just to make Steve wrong. Well, I don't know that, per se, but I strongly suspect it.

01 August 2005

Goal 5K / Men At Work, Next 5 posts

Over at Climbing the Ladder, they're tracking the progress to the 5,000th goal in MLS history. Very cool.

Yes, there are several blogs I've added to my personal reading list, primary among them are Du Nord, the aforementioned ladder, and Footcer Socblog. Stuff pretty much everyone else already reads, but I'll put them on the roll soon enough.

Also need to get a permanent link to the works of the Goffather over a WashPost.

Yup, maintenance work ahead. I am also considering a template change to a white background with red accents. Apparently some people don't like the current black background.

Fame. Glory. Link-whoring.

You know, a few days ago Eric at Off Wing Opinion gave The DCenters a shout out (and picked up the rather silly Prisoner reference made here), and I totally missed it. Belatedly, I want to thank him (and Basil at Nats Inq.) for it. And considering he has now seen us and We Call It Soccer, it's only a matter of time until there's a special soccer section in his blogroll. Right?

But for a good overview of all sports, and for a cute picture of a kid in a Celtic kit, head on over to Off Wing Opinion. I make sure I visit it at least once a week, if not more often.

And that reminds me, need to update my blog roll at some point.