It has been an interesting weekend in DC United land. Looking at United's home-stand, anything fewer than five points from three matches would have been disappointing. To really work up one's enthusiasm, at least six would be needed. Seven points in three home games is good work, but now United hits the road for the first time. Saturday's game means the season will be one-eighth complete, the first possible point to start making any judgments. Even those will be premature, but that's what I'm all about. In the meantime, let's catch up on some non-game related news from the weekend...
OLSEN FOR NATS - THE CAMPAIGN: On Saturday, DC papers saw an interesting one-two punch that would have impressed even the Carville/Matalin types. Steve Goff in the Washington Post gives the clinical appraisal and cautious wording that one expects. It contains measured phrases praising Ben Olsen like, "Olsen's versatility also should help his cause." The words "should", "hope", and "might" are used throughout the piece. That's the "just-the-facts" approach supporting Ben. IF you want some nice agit-prop, John Haydon in the Washington Times comes out with a "OLSEN NOW!" column. Key grafs in the opening:
When U.S. soccer coach Bruce Arena names his 23-man World Cup roster on May 2, D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen should be on it.
He may not be a starter, but Olsen is the kind of player who can come off the bench and stir things up. Olsen brings leadership, experience and guts. He's also a good man to have in the locker room. The once scrawny kid Arena recruited to play at Virginia and who won rookie of the year honors at D.C. United has matured into a wise player.
Together, these pieces make an great combination pitch for Olsen. Accordingly, the DCenters has removed all other United players from our National Team Odds board, and moves the odds on Olsen to 2:1.
RED OR GREEN? In my print version of my Sunday Post, a blurb mentioned that DCU was in "preliminary" (read: very, very early) discussions with both Liverpool and Celtic for a friendly over here. Should Celtic be chosen, I will endeavor to get Cardinal McCarrick to explain to Irish Catholics, such as myself (sort of...), how to feel about rooting against the Bhoys.
MORE KICKS: I-66, who writes and co-writes the blogs Yeah So I'm... and DC Sports, both of which the DCenters has checked out and linked to from time to time, has launched a new soccer blog and joined the Barra. It's called Quarter Volley, and seems to be a general MLS blog, though I imagine DCU may feature over there. Welcome sir.