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D.C. United and Chivas USA finish 0-0, Stern John in camp with the Rojiblancos



CARSON, CALIF — With the season rapidly approaching, head coaches Ben Olsen and Robin Fraser had little to be pleased as D.C. United and Chivas USA played to a disappointing 0-0 draw on Friday afternoon.

The teams who finished at the bottom of the table last season have been optimistic heading into the 2011, but both struggled to generate scoring chances in the match. Charlie Davies went 45 minutes in the draw and appeard to struggle against the Rojiblancos defense. Davies made a number of clever runs forward, but was whistled offside numerous times in the first half. With U.S. head coach Bob Bradley in attendence, the pressure was on Davies to perform and after the match, Davies admitted that he is still a bit tentative with his runs. 

"Today during the 45 minutes, I only used a full on sprint two or three times when I should be using it 20 times," said Davies. "Coach Olsen hammered me after the first 45 minutes telling me that I could do better, but that's the way it's going to be for awhile."

After allowing Chivas USA to control the pace in the first 20 minutes of the match, D.C. impressed torwards the end of the first half with Dax McCarty instrumental in breaking up attacks. The recent addition from FC Dallas was able to add a calming presence in the center of the field for D.C. United not only breaking up attacks, but also creating counter attacking chances on the opposite of the field.

The Rojiblancos tested D.C. United more in the second half with Argentine trialist Marcos Mondaini impressing on the right flank. Jesus Padilla nearly broke the deadlock in the 55th minute forcing a save from Pat Onstad, but on the whole, the Chivas USA midfield made too many mistakes as the match became mired in midfieldHowever, as the action failed to impress on the field, Davies was seen conversing with Bradley in a reunion of sorts for the two men. 

"I called him before I made the decision to MLS and he told me that it was a no brainer because in this point, he said I need 90 minute matches to get back to full fitness," said Davies. "Once I heard that, it was all I needed and he said that he'll keep an eye on me so it's good to know that he's there and rooting me on as well."

Chivas USA struggled throughout the match to generate any real scoring chances and it was not until the 55th minute. While the Rojiblancos attack stuttered, the defense impressed with right back Zarek Valentin looking impressive going 90 minutes from the right back spot. The Rojiblancos also saw goalkeeper Dan Kennedy return to the field with 29 minutes of action in the second half. Kennedy missed the entire 2010 season after suffering a tear of the long head tendon of his left biceps during a match against Toronto FC in August. The goalkeeper is expected to challenge Sergio Arias for the number two spot behind Zach Thornton. 

While the action on the field was lacking, the intrigue came afterward, when Fraser admitted that Stern John was in camp with the Rojiblancos. An MLS forward from 1998 to 1999, John twice led or shared the league goal scoring lead while playing for the Columbus Crew. John returns to the league after spending the last ten years of his career playing for various clubs in England. A constant threat in his two years inMLS, John was an opponent of many of the Rojiblancos coaches and players with Fraser, assistant coach Carlos Llamosa and Jimmy Conrad each having faced off against John. 

John did not participate in the match as he is currently recovering from a knee injury, but looked impressive while taking shots off to the side during a post game intra-squad match. The Trindidadian forward fired a number of impressive shots that were too much for Chivas USA goalkeeper Sergio Arias.

"He’s coming off an injury and he’s looking for an opportunity to get on with a club," said Fraser. "When a guy has scored goals like he has in the places he has, you take a look at him."


  1. No doubt. It’s amazing how many people here fail to recognize sarcasm…this site must like be an oasis for the sarcasm oblivious. Very unusual when compared to the web at large.

  2. John is the type of guy LA should have picked up as 3rd Striker…Instead they are going to rely on Chad Barrett…I like what Fraser is doing

  3. Right now, there are very few clubs–maybe none–that Adu would start for in MLS.

    1. He’s limited in the roles he can play. Given the MLS style of play, he can only be a withdrawn forward or an attacking mid. DCU doesn’t play with an attacking mid (preferring two holding mids–plus, I doubt he’d beat out Dax McCarty or Branco Boskovic if the team did play with an A-mid) and at withdrawn forward he’d have to beat out Charlie Davies. So, that says he wouldn’t start for the team with the worst record in MLS last year and the team that needed the most offensive help.

    2. Maybe he’s start for one of the expansion teams. Portland–if they’re playing with an A-mid–could use a player to dish the ball to Nagbe and Cooper. And neither of the expansion teams has depth. So that would be a possibility. Other than that, I can’t think of an MLS team that he’d start at as an A-mid or withdrawn forward. KC maybe? Chicago (simply b/c they haven’t filled a lot of holes)? And if he’s coming here to sit on the bench and be a 13th or 14th man…why come to MLS?

    3. Can’t see him fitting into Seattle’s team at all. And don’t forget, Sigi is the guy who threw Adu under the bus when the U20 team didn’t advance. I’m not saying there’s bad blood there, only that I’m not sure Seattle is a good fit either system-wise, or coaching-relationship-wise.

  4. It’s not a vendetta I dint think. It’s a simple fact that no one will pay him what he’s getting from that Benfica contract. So until then there is no motivation to leave Europe .. Plus if you’re told ur a star for 5 straight years and show glimpses of it.. It takes at least 5 years for you to be convinced otherwise..

  5. I think you meant ‘aversion’…but in reality the aversion to Adu in the MLS is probably more on the MLS side.

    He has a big contract with Benefica which ends next summer if I remember, to bring him to the MLS, the MLS is likely to have to cover some of the costs…Until then he is in the 2nd division of Turkey and doing well it seems…but he seems to do well at every club for a while, then settles for a spot ont the bench….

    Adu is a Mushroom. A’fun-guy’ to watch, but always in the dark…

  6. I personally think Adu has a bit of a vendetta against Benfica. he is going to use that contract he has until the wheels fall off because he sees it a revenge for ruining his young career. whether or not that is what happened or if this is true is tough to tell but just a guess. He might actually think he can make it in Europe at this point in his career but that would be just stupid of him to believe that…who knows?

  7. I’m not sure which team he’d fit best with but I definitely think he needs to come back to MLS. It’s getting a little ridiculous, his going from team to team like this and struggling at each one.

  8. Glad to see Davies in MLS. Can’t wait for DCU to come to PPL Park.

    In regards to USMNT alumni, do any of you guys here think there’s a team/system in MLS that could use Freddy Adu? Seattle? Would like to see him come back here if there’s a good fit. (assuming he’s playing and training like a professional).


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