By TRAVIS CLARK
It's been 11 days since their last competitive match, and with the Colorado Rapids heading to the nation's capital on Saturday, D.C. United will be anxious to be back home for their first league match at RFK since June 13. Their home record of 4-0-4 leaves a bit more points on the table than most team's would prefer, but they remain right in the thick of things in what is becoming a tightly-contested Eastern Conference.
Revenge will be on the docket as well, with the corresponding fixture in Colorado having been all Rapids, as two goals and an assist from Omar Cummings doomed United to a 3-0 defeat back on June 20. With Jamaica failing to secure passage into the Gold Cup quarterfinals, it is likely that the speedy attacker will be available to wreak havoc on a depleted United back line.
More important than revenge is ending their tendency to tie at home. As previously mentioned, D.C. has tied half of their games in front of the RFK faithful. While that hasn't killed their standing, it's no secret that come playoff time, it would be a tremendous boost to be the higher seed.
Here are some other D.C. United notes:
There is plenty, and with the MLS transfer window now open, it looks likely that more moves on the cards, even after the addition of Danny Szetelathis week. The release of goalie Louis Crayton and defender Anthony Peters last month, combined with the season-ending injury to rookie midfielder Brandon Barklage, leaves United with two open roster spots.
That prospect certainly means GM Dave Kasper will have a busy month ahead of him, as the front office continues to look for depth in the defense and midfield. At this point, it looks like the team will stick with just two goalies, as the revitalized Josh Wicks is the number one choice. Second-round pick Milos Kocic continues to serve as his backup, and has played well in the team's U.S. Open Cup run.
U.S. Open Cup Defense
To this point, United has enjoyed a successful defense of their 2008 U.S. Open Cup triumph. On Tuesday, July 21, they'll face the last non-MLS team in the tournament when the Rochester Rhinos visit the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md for the semifinals. Tuesday's match could also feature the United debut of Szetela, who, according to the team's blog, will be unavailable this weekend because the team has yet to receive his International Transfer Certificate.
It's interesting to note that United has yet to play a U.S. Open Cup match on the road — and if they win against the Rhinos, they'll also get to host the final at RFK Stadium in early September. The lack of travel has surely aided United's defense, especially when you consider how often MLS teams struggle on the road against lower opposition.
Gold Cup Duty
With Gold Cup group play now completed, Santino Quaranta and Dejan Jakovic remain on national team duty as both Canada and the U.S. qualifying for the quarterfinals. Both will be in Philadelphia on Saturday, as the U.S. face Panama and Canada takes on Honduras. Jakovic, who started Canada's first two group matches, will likely be in the starting lineup at Lincoln Financial Field. Quaranta has enjoyed a tremendous comeback to the national team, earning two starts and scoring against Honduras.
These are two who have been immense for United in 2009, and the sooner they return, healthy and in one piece, the better.
Who else should D.C. make a move for during the transfer season? Think they'll successfully defend their U.S. Open Cup title? Will United get the win this weekend against Colorado?
Technically, we are playing in Germantown each time, which is about 40 minutes away. That’s hardly a “home field” advantage. The only slight advantage we have is the crowd, and even that is minimal because no one travels that far to see United play some shitty USL or amateur team for a meaningless trophy.
As for my dilemma- I think I will watch United on MLSLive.TV, while simultaneously DVRing the US game. Then, the second the United game is over, I will run to my TV and immediately start watching the US game without reading any results online or anything. Hopefully, I won’t fall asleep! It’s been a tiring week, and I’ll need some coffee before I start watching either game tonight (unfortunately, this means watching the games while sober).
DC won the cup last year and had to be in this years open cup play in game. Nothing is fair rick. DC def needs depth in the back, a new lb would be great.
Rick H — stop trolling. The CONCACAF tournament and Interamerica Cup were in 1998 — which is eleven years ago. Both tourneys were run by the respective federations, not MLS. As for the Open Cup, dumb ass, you bid for the games to the USSF. Of course any MLS team that wants the home game will get one. Your shock at the “joke league” is just contrived BS — continue to keep your head firmly ensconced in your Eurosnob arse.
Kevin, you have a real dilemma there! Good luck…I will be watching the US game on TV, with the DC United game on my laptop via MLS.net (which was well worth the $19.99, especially when I am working out of town).
Huh, DC United will have a chance to win two US Open Cup trophies in two years but will have only had to play ONE away game in that tournament in that entire time span?
Bush league, it’s like they are being handed trophies. How us that a fair competition? And I read that their one CONcacaf championship was when the entire tournament was at their stadium. And they won another international trophy without playing an away game.
That kind of bush league silliness takes away from the value of winning those trophies in a fair competition.
I have tried to give MLS and US pro soccer a chance, thinking that ad time goes on it’ll get more stable and legit. But the Beckham book and the obviously contrived way MLS and other competitions are set up is too much of a joke.
I have given it a shot but it really is a joke league if teams can buy trophies by bidding to play all games in the cup at home.
What a shame.
Kevin, watch United. Full crowd expected.
What do I watch tomorrow?! If I watch United, it’s via webstream, as Comcast is blacked out in my region due to some stupid deal DirecTv has with local cable channels. If I watch the US, I can’t watch United, because I don’t have a laptop and my computer is in my den whereas my TV is in the living room. If I watch both online, my computer will get reallllyyyy slowed down (I have a Mac mini circa 2007, but it’s been truly awful since about January 2008. I would not suggest buying this particular model; other Mac are spectacular though!), and all I will be able to see is a grainy still frame with the little “rainbow of death” replacing the cursor. I would also get mixed up audio.
^^It’s always in the back of my head^^
But, with the addition of Szetela, it adds some depth with Olsen and Gomez reaching their Golden Years. We need a forward (Henry you’re always welcome to DC, screw New York).
Let’s not worry about the stadium situation, the front office is dealing with it daily. They know how much this team means to the fans, they will do everything they can to get us a stadium.
I can’t wait for the game tomorrow, although I wish Don Garber would stop having a FULL SLATE of MLS games on the night of an important major confederation game involving the US.
As a Barra member, and as such an avid DCU supporter, I’m still worried about that last bit…a future. The Bulls are having a stadium built, while we are left with a rotting carcass of a stadium. DC has been masterful given the economic downturn in its recent player acquisitions and nobody has turned themselves around (for the better) in such bold fashion relative to last year. Sure we have a very talented young side, which bodes well in the near future…but that long-term is very tricky. Hopefully, when the economic downturn settles, we still have a club in DC.
I envy DC
as a red bull fan, we are pathetic and I want what they have. Talent, Tradition, a future.
DeLarge If you don’t like DC then why are you here?
Why? Our midfield is loaded. If anything, we need a striker to replace the inevitably retiring Jaime Moreno, the erratic Luciano Emilio, and the underwhelming Ange N’Silu and Boyzzz Khumalo.
If we’re going to make a big signing, it should be a standout left back or a new striker. Midfield is our strength.
DC needs to make a move for Pavel Nedved
Dc sucks? I guess that’s why we are in a tie for 2nd right now and the MetroTards are the worst team in MLS history.