Top Stories

Thursday Kickoff: Guzan, Villa advance to cup final, Baltimore United (?) and more



He might not put the performance on his highlight reel, but the result is all that matters to Brad Guzan right now.

Guzan made three saves and Aston Villa battled from an early deficit to defeat Blackburn, 6-4, on Wednesday to take a wild Carling Cup semifinal on a 7-4 aggregate at Villa Park.

Aston Villa will play either Manchester United or Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 28 in the cup final.

The Villains fell behind 2-0 after two Nikola Kalinic goals in the first 26 minutes, but a Stephen Warnock strike evened the aggregate score, and James Milner converted a 40th-minute penalty after Christopher Samba was sent off for taking down Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box to regain the lead for the hosts.

Guzan, entrenched behind Brad Friedel in the starting XI for Aston Villa throughout the Premier League season, has a chance to leave his mark on the 2009-2010 campaign by helping the Villains to their first piece of silverware since claiming the 1996 League Cup.

Here are a couple of other items to talk about at the water cooler:


The Maryland Stadium Authority gave the green light on a $100,000 feasibility study to determine whether Baltimore could financially sustain a soccer specific stadium that would potentially lure an MLS franchise to Charm City, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

The closest team to Baltimore, of course, is D.C. United, a team that has gone on a magical mystery tour in seeking a new home in and around the nation's capital. The MSA previously completed a feasibility study in Prince George's County, Md., on the outskirts of Washington, but the county council unanimously voted against the proposal because of cost issues last April.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has reportedly been intrigued by the possibility of an MLS franchise in her city after the AC Milan-Chelsea match this summer drew a sell-out crowd to M&T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore is also one of the 18 cities that made the final cut in the USSF's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.


Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs and Manchester United defender John O'Shea are both out for the season.

The 20-year-old Gibbs fractured his left foot in a UEFA Champions League game in November and will need a bone graft after the fracture failed to heal on its own.

O'Shea, suffering from blood clots, hasn't played since Ireland's World Cup qualifying loss to France in November and was shut down today, Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed.

Arsenal currently stands atop the Premier League standings with 48 points (tied with Chelsea, though the Blues have a game in hand). Defending league champion Manchester United is a point off the pace.


Could you picture D.C. United moving to Baltimore? Can't wait to see Guzan (and Friedel) get a crack at a cup final? Think Arsenal and Man. U can overcome their injury woes?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. btw, i completely agree with the idea to renovate the RFK lot with a new stadium built to be the MAIN home for the USMNT. i know USSF is in Chicago…but come on, it’s DC!

    but why move to Ravens stadium…the Redskins are across the street.

  2. idk, i think even the politicians would shy away from an NFL team after the Skins lied about paying for their stadium…haha

    in fact, the responses i got from politicians i sent letters to asking to support DCU’s stadium replied that the Redskins are to blame for a lot of this reluctance. BLEEP you Dan Snyder!

  3. someone doesnt know the metro DC/Balitmore traffic scene very well…yes, even on Saturdays. 40 minutes?!?! I WISH!

    further, most of those fans at least were in the same city. this is completely new. and a DC rival…

  4. This argument is sooooo Old!!! its meaningless, yeah you know what if you don’t win you don’t get in. Period! is championsleague meaningless? Same set up! it only benefits teams that have depth and can get on a roll. Is the world cup meaningless? SAME SET UP!!!! Listen when Ball state beats duke in the NCAAs we cheer, if you can’t beat the weak teams you don’t deserve to be a champion period.

  5. I am sorry but Sports are a business a HUGE business at that, if its not about making money then you play rec league, when the players make as much as they do then its about profit. No rich person makes hard earned money to piss it away to own a team, that is ludacris, the problems in the epl is a culture clash the times are changing there and the fans are struggling with the change, when your expenses far out reach your incomes you have to cut them and the only way to do that is to sell. Look at Man City, how long do you think that owner will stay if he starts bleeding more than the 110+ million Pounds he lost last year, he’s not staying, its win now or go home, this is a business you best believe that.

  6. Ugh, the braves haven’t been in the playoffs in like oh I don’t know 4 years!!! Theres nothing else to do in the summer but go to six flags or watch WNBA, Atlanta needs a team its metro population is 5 million, I think you can get enough of 16,000 to 24,000 during the summer.and just so you know the best sports town in the US voted by Sports illustrated is in you guessed it Gwinnett County which is in Georgia! its a hot bed for soccer,Aurthur Blank make it happen!!


    A sweet solution would be moving DCU to the Ravens stadium for two years while they blow up/redevelop the RFK site.

  8. MLS is better because it’s built to be financially successful. Seriously. That’s not a joke. MLS teams have lost money for years and it’s still around because the league has a solid operating structure, and now that it’s actually starting to look like an actual league (hard to follow when you’ve 8 teams of 10 making the playoffs…), there are teams starting to turn profits. Internationally, soccer is a hard sport to make a profit on. Still, MLS is a cheap-looking car which is absolutely beautiful under the hood while the EPL looks like a Lamborghini but drives terribly.

    When your top teams are bankrolled by billionaires or are almost a billion dollars in debt, that’s not sustainable. Real Madrid doesn’t have more money than they know what to do with, they just act that way. It also makes it more difficult for the US league, built to be economically sustainable, to compete at the level the NBA or MLB can internationally because of the desire for sustainability precludes MLS for competing with the Real Madrids of the world for the best players.

  9. I’m from Baltimore and I’d rather see DC United stay in DC. I realize RFK isn’t the greatest place to see a game but I have a lifetime of memories, including seeing the old Team America (as a kid), the landmark US victory over Ireland in the ’91 US Cup, the World Cup in ’94, and DC United since ’96. The place has charm and I can’t think of anything better driving down there (about 45 minutes for me) on a nice, mid-summer’s night to watch the Black-and-Red. As much as I love Baltimore, I know the city can’t support a team and average 16-20K per game. If Baltimore lures DC, attendance might speak a little at first but will soon be down in the KC range, 8-12K, if that. We’ve had several outdoor teams prior to and during MLS (remember the Maryland Mania?) and most of those failed miserably. I think it’s almost a little hard to believe that Crystal Palace FC wants to build a 10K seat stadium near the Ravens Stadium when they only draw 2-3K not far outside of the city. Just because people in Baltimore support the Blast (avg. 6-7K for a joke of an indoor league) and there were 70K for AC Milan-Chelsea doesn’t mean anything when it comes to supporting outdoor soccer.

  10. RFK is a pit. Things are going to get worse. I hope no one gets brained by falling concrete.

    Regardless of what I think of D.C. United or its fans, the league can’t afford to throw away tens of thousands of devoted supporters who have been following their team for 14 years.

    I just wish D.C. United’s front office would quit playing shakedown with local governments, and just build a freaking stadium with its own money. It doesn’t have to be nice. In fact, it could be a tinker toy set like Columbus’ stadium. But if were near a Metro stop, they would keep their current fans, no matter how badly they jacked up ticket prices.

    No politician nowadays is going to give taxpayers’ money away to a non-NFL professional sports team.

  11. i was a Sonics fan too. i don’t follow NBA anymore.
    i’d like to see the USSF spend some of that cash they are hoarding and rebuild RFK into a NATIONAL SOCCER STADIUM like Wembley or Azteca…

  12. Uncle Will wouldn’t rebrand United because, unlike the San Jose situation, MLS would have no plans to return to the District for the foreseeable future. Actually, it could be decades before MLS returns to D.C. My impression is that the Don have had his fill of D.C. politics. Quite simply, the United brand has value and I doubt that Uncle Will would want to start over from scratch.

  13. Having lived in Baltimore, I don’t think the city is ready for an MLS franchise. DCU meanwhile, has a great fan base and budding history. MLS should not let a move like that happen. That said, how about a compromise location like around Laurel,MD? The team would still be DCU but it will be easier for balt soccer fans to catch a game and expand DCU’s fan base.

  14. DCU fans deserve better, but if their FO is looking around for someone to build it for them in this economy instead of having faith & doing it themselves, then, phuck ’em, move the team to Baltimore. Then watch half the fans leave, and get revealled for being front running chumps who are too lazy to drive 40 minutes twice a month to support their team. All of that self-righteous “Best fans in the leauge Ha-Ha” would die right quick when Balto-United is kicking a ball around in front of 4,300 people.

    “Big fan from couch, I am a big fan from my couch!”

    A lot of other fans have suffered for years with longer commutes to games than 45 min each way. Show some sack & make the trip, whiners.


Leave a Comment