Black and Red United Archives for January 2012

Arnold Peralta Is Signing With Toronto FC - Did Kevin Payne Poach Him From D.C. United?

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It's somewhat ironic, or at least coincidental, that on the same day that we raise the question of how D.C. United would have fared this season without Branko Boskovic, another MLS team is in the process of signing a player who may have been on United's short list to replace him early in the year.

What If D.C. United Had Not Re-Signed Branko Boskovic?

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Heading into the start of the 2012 season, we didn't really know what to expect from Branko Boskovic.

The last we saw of Boskovic, he was destroying the New England Revolution in a U.S. Open Cup match, to the tune of multiple goals and several other chances. Surely you remember, because you were there.

D.C. United Roster Needs

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2012 saw D.C. United take a huge step in status from "playoffs, maybe?" to "contender." How can the Black-and-Red continue to progress (or, at the very least, avoid regression)? A three-part, comprehensive look at United's current roster with a focus on what we need at each position.

Let's be up front: D.

D.C. United Roster Needs: Goalkeepers And Defenders

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Let's be up front: D.C. United's last truly good defensive team was in 2007, and that was still a team that thrived almost entirely on using a combination of possession and attacking might to starve teams of the ball and scare the life out of them. Take away a couple key attackers - say, Jaime Moreno and Luciano Emilio - and the defense was a bit more exposed, and out we went to the Chicago Fire in the playoffs.

Bill Hamid is in London, watching West Bromwich Albion take on Queens Park Rangers

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Three days ago, Bill Hamid tweeted that "packing is stressful." Most of us who saw that just moved on, because packing can be stressful, especially around the holidays. However, given D.C. United's recent history with communicating training stints, a tiny red flag started stirring in the back of my mind.

Top 5 Announcements D.C. United Should Make in January

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In case you missed it, Doug Hicks, D.C. United's Senior Vice President for Marketing Communications, tweeted out the following a few nights ago:

Though the #dcu office is closed through the holidays, lots of good on & off the field news to roll out come Jan. Vamos United! #olsensarmy

- Doug Hicks (@DCUDoug) December 22, 2012

Coming on the heels of Martin's recent post giving voice to many D.

Rumor Roundup: Andy Najar, Branko Boskovic, and Disney Pro Soccer Classic

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The Andy Najar in Belgium story continues to cruise along, with United States National Team player Sacha Kljestan talking to the Belgian press about Najar. In particular, Kljestan remembers Najar scoring against Chivas USA in his last game before coming to Anderlecht. Ever since that goal, in Najar's first season, Kljestan has kept tabs on him, knowing that he would be great someday.

Benny Award 4: The Donnety, For D.C. United's Biggest Disappointment

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When a team makes its triumphant return to the playoffs after a 5-year absence, and when a team overcomes scores of adversity to best its biggest rival, it's hard to be disappointed. D.C. United advanced farther and enjoyed more success than many could have imagined in 2012. And yet things still could have been better.

D.C. United Announces Youth Development Partnership with Maryland's Freestate Soccer Alliance

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We all know that D.C. United is among the leaders in MLS when it comes to youth development. The U-16 and U-18 teams are perennially at or near the top of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system, both in yearly rankings and in domestic and international tournament performance. And, of course, no team in MLS has received more first team contributions from its academy products, and no other MLS team has a homegrown player on trial with a UEFA Champions League side.

Robbie Russell Earns New Contract With D.C. United

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Keeping the back line intact was an important priority for D.C. United heading into the 2013 season. United's defensive unit made strides this season, looking much improved from previous years, so keeping the group together would go a long way towards helping the team return to the playoffs next season.

The Andy: Nick DeLeon Is The Clear Winner For The D.C. United Rookie Of The Year Award

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So far in the 2012 Bennies, we've had two close contests with no clear favorites. We've had a pair of unheralded left backs competing for the Richie, and a bunch of underwhelming internationals competing for the Nelly.

This award isn't anything like those.

The Andy is our version of the Rookie of the Year, and there's no reason to even pretend that anyone other than Nick DeLeon will win.

Waiting On Action From D.C. United Ownership

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It's been over two weeks now since long-time D.C. United staff members like Stephen Zack and Kyle Sheldon (among others) packed up their desks at RFK Stadium. We were confused then, and we're still confused now.

When the layoffs happened, we took the team to task. But we also gave them a way out.

MLS First Kick: D.C. United Season Openers Announced

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I love this time right before Christmas. MLS silly season is in full swing - what with home grown player rights being swapped along with conditional draft picks and the other myriad comings and goings (and rumors thereon) that let us pass the off-sesaon. But if that's not enough to tide you over till March, MLS has thrown you a bone today.

Comparing D.C. United's Proposed Stadium to Other MLS Soccer-Specific Stadiums

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This has been a quiet off-season for D.C. United stadium news. Despite the lack of an announcement that a new stadium deal is complete, there seems to be cautious optimism among the D.C. United fan base that such an announcement will occur in the near future.

When that announcement is made, many of us will likely have the following reactions:

- Finally!

The Nelly: Vote For D.C. United's Greatest Newcomer of 2012

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The 2012 Bennies continue with an award for the best newcomer. The Nelly Award goes to the greatest non-rookie player on the D.C. United roster. This means that the player must either be new to the league or acquired via a trade or some other mechanism that isn't the Superdraft or homegrown signing.

Andy Najar to travel with Anderlecht to Turkey for their winter camp

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When we last left the official statements of D.C. United as to the length of Andy Najar's training in Belgium, club general manager Dave Kasper said that Najar would be there until the end of December. Kasper also admitted that there had been some attempts made to secure a loan for Najar to R.S.C.

Andy Najar Training At Anderlecht - It's Official

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You heard about it here first, and today it was confirmed in a news release by D.C. United. 19-year old star Andy Najar will be training with Belgium's famed Anderlecht this offseason.

The announcement today though implies that Najar will only be training with the team through the end of this month, which would seem to conflict with the earlier reports that Najar would also be missing Honduras' appearance in the Copa Centroamericana in January.

What Should D.C. United Fans Expect From John Thorrington?

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After all the anticipation and hype - which, if we're honest, was based on this being an otherwise slow news period for D.C. United - the Re-Entry Draft Process Mechanism Dot Com Thing saw the Black-and-Red add just one player: John Thorrington, a midfielder previously with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

D.C. United Adds John Thorrington In 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft

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In the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, D.C. United selected versatile midfielder John Thorrington, previously of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Thorrington came to MLS in 2005 with an impressive resume, having spent his youth in the Manchester United system, as well as Bayer Leverkusen. Thorrington was a regular for Huddersfield Town in the lower divisions of England before arriving in MLS with the Chicago Fire, where he earned eight goals and two assists in six seasons.

2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft: Will D.C. United Pass Again?

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The second round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 3:00 PM. After only Maicon Santos was selected by the Chicago Fire in the first round of the Re-Entry Draft last week, we should expect to see a bit more movement today, since teams will now have the ability to re-negotiate the contracts of players that they select.

Andy Najar out of Copa Centroamericana for Anderlecht

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Luis Fernando Suarez, head coach of the Honduran National Team, has told Honduran press that Andy Najar will not be on the team that is competing in the Copa Centroamericana due to the fact that Suarez does not want to interfere with Najar's time with Anderlecht. The top five teams from the Copa Centroamericana, which runs from 18 January to 27 January 2013 and was formerly known as the UNCAF Nations Cup, advance to this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup; that being said, it is five teams out of seven participants, with Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama the nations who contest this Cup.

Andy Najar out of Copa Centroamericana for Anderlecht

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The Honduran National Team coach says that Andy Najar will not be called in for the Copa Centroamericana due to the fact that he will be with Anderlecht.

Luis Fernando Suarez, head coach of the Honduran National Team, has told Honduran press that Andy Najar will not be on the team that is competing in the Copa Centroamericana due to the fact that Suarez does not want to interfere with Najar's time with Anderlecht.

Re-Introducing The Benny Awards

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2012 was a fun season to be a D.C. United fan. And yet our little blog has managed to get all serious and stuff this offseason so far. What's up with that? We've been spending all of our time saying goodbye to familiar front office faces, sweating the possible departure of our most prized possession, analyzing hypotheticals, and wondering what might happen if D.

The Richie Award: D.C. United's Most Underrated Player

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Every MLS fan knows the names of Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius. They're legitimate superstars. Bill Hamid, Andy Najar, and Perry Kitchen are well on their way too.

None of those players are nominated for this award. This award is for the other guys.

The Richie Award is named after Richie Williams, the central defensive midfielder on those early championship-winning D.

Filibuster Podcast Episode 15: Offseason Now! Breaking down MLS roster moves since MLS Cup and taking stock of D.C. United's roster

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The Major League Soccer offseason is well and truly upon us, as players have ceased to be strictly permanent objects and have fallen into a Schrodinger-esque quantum state, only existing in a particular place when observed (and elsewise existing in all places at all times). Such is life under MLS roster rules.

Thinking the Unthinkable: Rebranding D.C. United?

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With attendance reaching all-time lows for D.C. United in 2012 despite the team having its most successful season of the last five years and one of its most exciting seasons in memory, it's not surprising some external observers of the team have called for a rebranding of the club to jump start its relationship with its fans and the local community.

Andy Najar at Anderlecht: Training or Trial?

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According to reports coming out of Belgium, Andy Najar landed yesterday in Brussels and is now on trial with Anderlecht, the top team in Belgium and current home of U.S. international Sacha Kljestan. The Belgian newspaper also states the a loan deal until the end of the season is almost in place and that it would include an option to purchase Najar at the end of the season.

What If D.C. United Had Not Traded Danny Cruz For Lionard Pajoy?

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We began our What If series this offseason by wondering how D.C. United would have fared without seeing Dwayne De Rosario suffer a PCL injury that kept him sidelined for most of the final two months of the season. We concluded that United still would have made the playoffs, but wouldn't have adapted the more conservative style that helped United embark on a long undefeated streak, and therefore probably wouldn't have been able to keep the New York Red Bulls off the scoreboard in order to win that playoff series.

Stephen King no longer on Re-Entry Draft list; Santos and Chabala remain

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The final list of players available in stage one of the Re-Entry Process has been finalized and it includes two D.C. United players: Maicon Santos and Mike Chabala. Chabala was a slam dunk to be on this list after being beat out by Chris Korb and Andy Najar for the fullback spots and Santos' streakiness continued, turning ice cold after a torrid start to the season.

Maicon Santos Selected By Chicago Fire In MLS Re-Entry Draft While D.C. United Passes

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The first round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft came and went today with merely a whisper. Ben Olsen and D.C. United adopted the conservative approach that we would have expected and elected to pass this time around, as did 17 other MLS clubs. Only one team decided to select a player, and that player happened to be from our very own home team.

Five 2012 Re-Entry Draft Targets For D.C. United

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It's the MLS offseason, and that means one thing: A series of obscure and/or confusing processes in which a team can acquire players! "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," a song commonly heard in the late autumn and early winter, was written about this sequence of player acquisition mechanisms.

The first of these is the Re-Entry Draft Process, which is exactly like a draft but no longer referred to as one.

MLS To Queens? Why Not Focus On Keeping United In D.C. Instead?

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Major League Soccer has made building a new stadium in or near New York City for the 20th MLS team one of its top priorities. League Commissioner Don Garber was the lead speaker at a press conference tonight regarding the possibility of stadium construction in the Flushing Meadows area of Queens, NY.

Who is the GREATEST TEAM IN AMERICAN SOCCER HISTORY: Is it the Galaxy? Is it United? The Cosmos? Somebody else?

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Every few years, United fans, we have to go through this. Somebody wants to claim that their team has a claim to the dynasty mantle or that theirs is the best American club side to step foot on the field. The latest is LA Galaxy COO and former MLS player Chris Klein, who said at the Galaxy's victory rally earlier this week, "I think we're looking at the greatest team in American soccer history.

D.C. United Remains Quiet While Other MLS Teams Begin Trading Players

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The MLS silly season has seemed just a bit sillier than usual this season.

With MLS Cup 2012 just two days behind us, the offseason has begun, and several teams have wasted no time with making moves. Surprisingly, it's been two playoff teams that have made the most moves so far, with Real Salt Lake abandoning huge parts of their roster, and the New York Red Bulls adding more players than they can fit on the field.

Rumors Continue to Swirl around Luis Fabiano and D.C. United

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While it seems ridiculous, rumors continue to swirl about D.C. United's interest in Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano.

Reports out of Brazil, first tweeted by Phil Schoen, are that MLS is negotiating with Sao Paolo over the acquisition of forward Luis Fabiano. While currently at Sao Paolo, he also played in 149 matches for Sevilla of La Liga, scoring 72 goals; he also has earned 44 caps for the Brazilian National Team, with 28 goals.

Rumors continue to link D.C. United and Luis Fabiano

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When I first saw this rumor floated, I considered it a ridiculous piece of fun, something about which D.C. United fans could dream with the new money that is in the club without any chance of it ever happening. And after reading all of these stories, they seem to reference each other as sources and trade in vagaries.

D.C. United Attendance: A Postscript on 2012

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Now that the 2012 Major League Soccer season is officially over, let's take one final look at D.C. United attendance and what we can expect in 2013. Attendance is a much discussed topic that is indelibly tied to many facets of D.C. United's soccer and business operations. We've been looking at the subject all season, so check out the previous posts (part 1, part 2, and part 3) as we put a wrap on this season's attendance series.

Emiliano Dudar, Maicon Santos among Re-Entry Draft Candidates

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D.C. United announced the list of players whose options were declined, which means that Emiliano Dudar, Maicon Santos, Mike Chabala, and Stephen King are all currently eligible for the Re-Entry Draft, which begins this Friday with stage 1. The team also reached new terms with Robbie Russell, who was thought the be on the road to the Re-Entry Draft; as Steve Goff just announced on twitter, Robbie Russell intends for 2013 to be his last season before retiring.

D.C. United Staff Members Lose Their Jobs As Reorganization Continues

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This sort of thing can happen in Corporate America. New ownership takes over an organization, gives the incumbent employees a few months to prove their worth, and then makes some personnel changes.

This isn't an entirely rare situation in the business world. When Proctor & Gamble purchased Gillette, surely they made some changes.

MLS Cup 2012 TV Schedule, Time, Predictions, GameThread: LA Galaxy Vs. Houston Dynamo

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This MLS season has been fun and enjoyable for all of us, especially for D.C. United fans. We were close to being able to attend one last match today at RFK Stadium, but we'll be watching on TV instead as the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo meet in the 2012 MLS Cup Final.

Time: 4:30 PM

TV: ESPN

Predictions: Each of the B&RU writers have made predictions for the result of the MLS Cup Final.