Black and Red United Archives for January 2013

MLS Week 5 Open Thread: D.C. United Bye Week Scoreboard Watcher

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While D.C. United's bye comes probably a week late, the Black-and-Red will be making good use of the gap in the schedule, working out the kinks in the attack and focusing on little things to make the team more dangerous in possession. But the fact remains: United will not play this weekend. So let's focus on who will be playing.

My Top 5 Favorite Podcasts Focused on D.C. United/Soccer

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It's the first bye week of the young 2013 Major League Soccer season for D.C. United, and it comes at a good time for our hometown boys. According to Ben Olsen, the team will be working on fundamentals to overcome the problems exposed in last weekend's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, and to figure out what they will do for the next several weeks while Nick DeLeon is sidelined with an injury.

Filibuster Podcast: Week 5 - USA vs. Mexico, D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew and Greg Roche vs. Bye Week

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Better late than never, right? We have so much material to bring you on this week's episode of Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast that we had to push it back a day and leave some of it on the cutting room floor. And we still clock in at over an hour and a quarter. But it's worth every second - we promise.

Indonesian Rumor Roundup: D.C. United to open a "semi-academy" and play a winter tour?

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New rumors are flowing out of Indonesia and so I bring them from their fingers to your eyes. Just remember, we are not yet totally sure how Indonesian media fits into the spectrum of trustworthiness in rumors. All I know is that, for now, they are still more trustworthy than Central American sports rumors, who like to use their pieces to suggest moves for teams.

MLS Statistical Analysis, 5.1: Yeah, it's early. So what?

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Most MLS teams have played four games, with the others having played just three, but far be it from me to resist the pull of analyzing the stats for the season to this point and drawing grand conclusions from small sample sizes. It's MLS Statistical Analysis, back for 2013.

For those who haven't seen it before, it's my (possibly) exhaustive look at the league's offenses, defenses, and goalkeeping through numbers, with a special emphasis on D.

Nick DeLeon To Miss 6 Weeks With Hamstring Injury

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We'll get a chance to see how D.C. United copes with some early-season adversity this year. After losing Dwayne De Rosario for this first two games of the season due to a suspension and watching John Thorrington suffer a long-term injury just as he was starting to round into form, United received some more bad news today.

Richmond Kickers 4-0 James Madison Dukes: Kickers finally rolling in the preseason

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After a rocky start to the preseason, the Richmond Kickers are finally on a roll. Their current streak started with a 6-1 win over Longwood University, continued with a 3-0 over Virginia Commonwealth University, and kept going with a 4-0 win last night over James Madison University. D.C. United loanees Conor Shanosky and Taylor Kemp got the start, with Shanosky playing center back and Taylor Kemp playing left back.

USA vs. Mexico: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying TV, Live Streaming, Time, Lineups, Prediction and GameThread - Return to Azteca

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Coming into today's Hexagonal games, the United States is one of only two teams with a win in two matches. Of course, we're also one of only two teams with a loss, which does take away somewhat from that feeling. Mexico, our hosts and opponents tonight, have two draws to their credit. Of course, all of that will have precisely no bearing on tonight's World Cup Qualifier between the top two teams in CONCACAF.

Fantasy Focus: Dallas and Chivas Players Star -- Seriously.

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Week 4 is in the book, and we have a new overall leader in the league, as well as a new addition to the weekly leader list. Allie's Awesome Team scored 77 points, with midfielder Patrice Bernier (MTL, $8.0M) leading scoring with 18 points as captain, followed by defenders Josh Williams (CLB, $5.3M) and Matt Hedges (DAL, $5.

USA Vs. Mexico: World Cup Qualifying Scouting Report

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November 2, 1997. That's the last (and only) time the United States has played a competitive match at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and avoided defeat. Despite the fact that every part of the game in this country has improved in the ensuing decade and a half, it remains our best result in what is far and away the toughest venue in a region full of them.

Introducing the Black & Red United Store!

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You asked for it, and now you've got it. Today, I'm very proud to announce the opening of the Black & Red United online store at Gameday Depot. We've got a few t-shirt designs over there right now, and we'll be adding new products periodically, including one already in the pipeline - so keep an eye out for more in the near future.

MLS 2013 Week 5 Match-Ups, Schedule, TV/Streaming, Predictions

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Halfsies. That's what our prediction league did in Week 4, every one of us going 4/8. While we're all focused on the USMNT for today, Week 5 of Major League Soccer's 2013 season sees D.C. United take the week off from playing, but that's no reason not to pay attention. So let's see what the rest of MLS has in store.

MLS 2013 Week 5: All of Black & Red United's coverage of D.C. United's bye week

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All the info you need to watch the rest of MLS as D.C. United enjoys works out the kinks during its bye week.

Halfsies. That's what our prediction league did in Week 4, every one of us going 4/8. While we're all focused on the USMNT for today, Week 5 of Major League Soccer's 2013 season sees D.

The Last Word: Closing The Book On D.C. United's Loss To The Columbus Crew

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Before we begin, let's take a brief moment to recognize what D.C. United has accomplished. It's been more than a full calendar since we saw United lose at RFK Stadium. Since March 2012, this team has gone through many transformations, some for the good, some for the bad, but one thing has remained constant - RFK is an effing fortress.

MLS Weekly Wrap - Week 4: Who thought we'd ever be saying "Chivas & FC Dallas roll"?

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Let's jump right into what was another low-scoring week in Major League Soccer - though thankfully, there were blessedly fewer draws than last week. Here's what happened in Week 4:

D.C. United 1-2 Columbus Crew: Here's our recap and The Last Word on the afternoon from the Editor Emeritus himself, complete with more links to other pieces on the game.

MLS Power Ranking - Week 4: Montreal Impact on top, Chicago Fire on the bottom, and a jumbled up mess in between

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Remember back in Week 1 when Chivas USA was the obvious pick for the last spot in our power ranking? And then, the next week, when FC Dallas lost to the Goats, they were the obvious pick? Fast forward - all of two weeks - and they're the top two teams in the Western Conference standings. Who'da thunk?

World Cup Qualifying: Mexico vs. USA - When Last We Met... Jinxed no more at the Azteca

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In which we look back at the last time CONCACAF's two powers squared off. It was the first - and so far only - time the U.S. had ever won in Mexico's Estadio Azteca, the scene of tomorrow's World Cup Qualifier.

World Cup Qualifying: USA vs. Mexico Lineup Projection

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Projecting the lineup for the United States' trip to Estadio Azetca to play Mexico is always a tough task, complicated further by Juergen Klinsmann's refusal (or inability due to injuries) to run out the same lineup twice and the fact that one of his most trusted players, Jermaine Jones, will not be able to play due to injury.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew Recap and Highlights: Goalkeeping showcase ends 2-1 for the visitors

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Nobody in D.C. United's locker room was happy with the team's 2-1 home loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Not only did the loss snap their 17-game home unbeaten streak; not only did the two goals double the number conceded by United on the season; not only was Bill Hamid forced to stand on his head again to keep the score as low as it was.

MLS Week 4 Open Thread for all things not D.C. United

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D.C. United get an early start this weekend, with the round's only nationally televised game, but there's plenty else to talk about in MLS and around the world...

  • If we put our heads together, maybe we can solve the conundrum of playing fewer midweek games while simultaneously putting more teams into international competition, not playing in blizzards and not scheduling games during FIFA fixture windows.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew: TV schedule, lineups, prediction and GameThread

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Job One for the weekend is accomplished, with the U.S. Men's National Team taking all three points out of snowy, snowy Denver last night. Now it's time for the second order of business: keeping D.C. United perfect at home. This week's obstacle is the Columbus Crew, who will be without their starting striker Jairo Arrieta but will still have dangerman Frederico Higuain pulling the strings.

USA vs. Costa Rica: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying TV, time, lineups, predictions and GameThread

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"Big game tonight" doesn't begin to approach the magnitude. If the United States Men's National Team fails to net a result in this evening's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, we'd be heading into Tuesday's even bigger and tougher match in Mexico City with no wins, no draws and no points through two games in the 10-game final round of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew: When Last We Met... LEWIS NEAL! LEWIS NEAL!

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Scouting Report: Columbus Crew

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D.C. United and the Columbus Crew have started their seasons in roughly the same fashion. Both teams have a quality win, a road loss to a 2012 playoff team, and a draw that brought up more questions than answers. The details differ, of course. For Columbus, those results have been a 3-0 win at Chivas USA; a 2-1 loss at Vancouver where the scoreline is a bit flattering for the Crew; and a 1-1 home draw (with the Crew squandering a lead) with the San Jose Earthquakes.

World Cup Qualifying: USA in the CONCACAF Final Round, March Game Coverage

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Two big games for the USMNT this month, as they face Costa Rica in Colorado's DSG Park before traveling to face Mexico in the fortress they call Estadio Azteca. This is your hub for all of B&RU's coverage on this month's World Cup Qualifiers.

There's no doubt in anybody's mind that Bill Hamid had the best week of any goalkeeper in MLS during Rivalry Week this past weekend (actually the best player this week, as he's just been named MLS Player of the Week).

Filibuster Podcast: D.C. United's draw in New Jersey, previewing Columbus with Rick Gethin of Massive Report

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In this week's episode of Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast, we talk about what went right in D.C. United's draw against the New York Red Bulls (Bill Hamid) and what went wrong (everything else). We also question ChestRockwell's Old Person Cred, much to his dismay. The fact that he suffers from dismay is probably good enough to restore what Old Person Cred he might have lost in the show, actually.

World Cup Qualifying: USA vs. Costa Rica Lineup Projection

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The United States takes on Costa Rica this Friday in Denver in a must win game, especially with a visit to Azteca right on the heels of this game. No one really knows what lineup the mercurial German will run out, but that doesn't stop us from trying. My hope is that he will try a slightly more attacking lineup when at home, with only two defensive midfielders rather than his normal three.

World Cup Qualifying: USA vs. Costa Rica - When Last We Met... I don't really want to talk about it

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Starters on notice: D.C. United's lineup vs. the Columbus Crew

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Despite the affront, I am happy that national teams chose not to chose as many D.C. United players as they could have. Had the world been a more reasonable place, instead of one run by Germans with questions about their leadership, United could have been missing four starters and one key sub instead of just one starter and one key sub.

MLS Week 4 2013: Schedule, TV/streaming, predictions

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After a pretty great Week 1 for your humble editorial staff's predictions, we've kind of lost the plot. Week 2 did us no favors, and Week 3 wasn't much kinder. (Ben didn't get shut out this time, at least. So there's that.) Apparently the old cliche is true: when rivals play, you just throw out the records, along with any sense of logic or propriety.

MLS Week 4 2013: Complete Coverage

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All of B&RU's coverage of Week 4 of the 2013 MLS season, complete with international call-ups.

After a pretty great Week 1 for your humble editorial staff's predictions, we've kind of lost the plot. Week 2 did us no favors, and Week 3 wasn't much kinder. (Ben didn't get shut out this time, at least.

Casey Townsend, Conor Shanoksy, Michael Seaton, and Taylor Kemp are headed to Richmond

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UPDATE: Conor Shanosky, Casey Townsend, Michael Seaton, and Taylor Kemp are the four players who will start the season in Richmond. More details about the specifics with The Gofffather.

The Richmond Kickers took on the Georgetown Hoyas this past Saturday, losing the game 1-0. Two D.

Fantasy Focus: Rivalry Weak

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MLS Rivalry Week was a bit of a flop from an offensive standpoint, with just two games giving us more than two goals, two 0-0 draws, and a further four 1-1 draws. Still, the high scorer last week was eclipsed by this week's leader, Burnanator, who earned 76 points. Burnanator was led by Graham Zusi (SKC, 16 points as captain), Bill Hamid (10,) and Justin Morrow (SJ, 9.

MLS Power Rankings: Rivalry Week weirdness creates strange stability in our Power Poll

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It wasn't a high-scoring week in MLS, at least not outside the Lone Star State, but it was certainly wild. Get a handle on all the week's action at our roundup and have your say in the B&RU Week 3 Power Poll, the internet's only interactive MLS power ranking (we think).

As far as voting goes, just rearrange the order below and click "VOTE" - even if you don't rank all 19 teams, give us the top of your order, and the cloudbrain will assign a lower constant to the remaining teams.

Two D.C. United players called up for national team duty; neither of them is American

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There's no doubt in anybody's mind that Bill Hamid had the best week of any goalkeeper in MLS during Rivalry Week this past weekend (actually the best player this week, as he's just been named MLS Player of the Week). Nor is there any doubt that many American soccer fans have been pining to see Chris Pontius don the Red, White & Blue.

MLS Week 3 Roundup: Top teams falter in Rivalry Week, presumed bottom feeders step up

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For two out of three weeks now, the 2013 Major League Soccer season has left us asking, "Huh?" Defending champs drawn by the laughingstock of the league. The team that lost to that laughingstock last week suddenly defeating a team some have tabbed to win their conference and the Supporters' Shield.

The Last Word: D.C. United and Bill Hamid Steal a Point in New Jersey

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On their first return to New Jersey's Red Bull Arena since D.C. United dispatched the New York Red Bulls in the 2012 Major League Soccer playoffs, both teams faced similar circumstances to last November's match: snow, lots of empty seats, and the Red Bulls desperate for a home win. This time, however, D.

New York Red Bulls 0-0 D.C. United: Recap and highlights - Good guys escape Jersey with a scoreless draw

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Outside of Bill Hamid and Dejan Jakovic - and maybe second-half substitute Marcos Sanchez - nobody playing for D.C. United had a particularly good day on Saturday. Nevertheless, the Black-and-Red escaped New Jersey with a scoreless draw against the New York Red Bulls. When I say that Bill Hamid - sorry, make that Man of the Match Bill Hamid - had a good day, I'm not kidding.

MLS Week 3 Open Thread - Rivalry Week is upon us

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We had such a good response to our Fantasy MLS/Non-DCU Open Thread last week that we decided to bring it back for MLS' first ever Rivalry Week. We've already got our Atlantic Cup GameThread for D.C. United's visit to the New York Red Bulls, but here's your place for all the other action. We've got Sporks and Fire.

New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United: TV, time, lineups, prediction and GameThread

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Happy Rivalry Day, boys & girls. As D.C. United fans, we get to celebrate the occasion with a trip to Our House (in the Middle of Jersey) and a nationally broadcast, network TV event featuring our boys in black taking on the hated MetroScum of North Jersey. Make sure you're up to date and ready for the 1 p.

Scouting Report: New York Red Bulls

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There is no rivalry in MLS quite like the one between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls. Seattle and Portland may have history dating back to the original NASL; the Galaxy and Chivas may be the only true city derby; Toronto may be about to set a league record for traveling supporters in Montreal.

New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United: Behind Enemy Lines w/ Once a Metro

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Three weeks into the season, you know the drill. We got in touch with Dan Ferris of our sister blog Once a Metro and exchanged a few questions about the upcoming Atlantic Cup matchup between his trophyless New York Red Bulls and our own 4-time MLS Cup winning D.C. United. Here's what went down.

Questions for Once a Metro

1.

Filibuster Podcast: Beating RSL, Locker Room Audio, Previewing Rivalry Week and the Red Bulls w/ Matt Coyne of Once a Metro

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It's time for the latest episode of Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast, and we've got a good one teed up for this week. We start off with a look back at D.C. United's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake over the weekend, including Lionard Pajoy's play throughout the game (good and bad) as well as John Thorrington's play (good) and injury (bad).

New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United - When Last We Met... D.C. threw the Metros down the well

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The stage was set for something dramatic, and the teams that comprise the original MLS rivalry did not disappoint. After exchanging playoff legs (nominally swapping which team held home-field advantage), two own goals in the first leg and a snowy postponement, the second leg of the 2012 Eastern Conference playoff tie between D.

The return of Dwayne De Rosario: D.C. United's lineup vs. New York Red Bulls

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If you thought that the past two games looked like the D.C. United team that battled its way into the playoffs in September and October last year, you would, of course, be right. But with the return Dwayne De Rosario, hopefully the team can conjure up a more potent offensive threat, one that saw United score the second most goals in the Eastern Conference last season.

Fantasy Focus: Robert Earnshaw Leads the Way... What?

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Week 2 appears not to have been as high scoring as Week 1. Bethlehem Steel F.C. was the high scorer of the round with 67 points, riding captain Graham Zusi's (SKC) 18 points, as well as 9 points from Amobi Okugo (PHI) and 8 from Bill Hamid. Bethlehem Steel's 145 point total is still not enough to claim first place overall, which is held by last week's point leader, Killer Angels, who have 149 points over the two weeks.

MLS 2013 Week 3 - Complete Rivalry Week Coverage

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All of Black & Red United's coverage of Week 3 of the 2013 MLS season, right here for your consumption.

Parity reigns supreme, and that means that every now and again there will be a week that defies prediction. Last week was that week - Montreal and Vancouver both remaining perfect through two weeks?

MLS 2013 Week 3 Schedule, TV/streaming, predictions - Wow was last week tough on our predictions

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Parity reigns supreme, and that means that every now and again there will be a week that defies prediction. Last week was that week - Montreal and Vancouver both remaining perfect through two weeks? Philadelphia winning - on the road? Chivas winning anywhere? I'm not sure I'm ready for this brave new world.

John Thorrington out for 8-12 weeks with severely sprained MCL

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We knew it would happen sooner or later, John Thorrington was always going to miss some time this year due to injury. It just happened to be "sooner." Thorrington will miss the next 8-12 weeks with an injury very similar to the one that sidelined Dwayne De Rosario for the last 2+ months of last season, a severely sprained MCL, suffered during a sliding challenge with RSL forward Alvaro Saborio.

Interactive MLS Power Rankings: Parity reigns over Week 2

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I said last week that there would be volatility in the Power Poll this early in the MLS season, but wow, did I never expect some of the results we saw this weekend. Should be lots of churn in this week's edition, but I suppose that's up to all of you. Here's a little cheat sheet of this week's results before we get to the voting.

MLS Power Rankings: B&RU Interactive Power Poll Archives

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Check here to see all the results from each week's interactive power rankings on Black & Red United.

The season has officially started! Well, that's the case for every MLS team save the New England Revolution (and, some of our readers would argue, D.C. United). At any rate, that's enough for us to launch another new feature here at B&RU: a weekly interactive power poll where you, our community, will rank every MLS team from strongest to weakest each week.

D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake: United claim deserved 1-0 win

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That's more like it. Ben Olsen shifted his formation and made adjustments throughout the match, but the end result was there: 1-0 to the good guys. Lionard Pajoy's second-half finish put United ahead, and they would hold on through RSL pressure late to win 1-0.

The game started slowly, both sides clogging midfield and generally feeling each other out.

The Last Word: D.C. United Defeats RSL in Home Opener

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On a beautiful night at RFK Stadium, only three days removed from the horror of Snoquester Noquester, D.C. United played at home for the first time in 2013, in front of 17,072 fans (and fireworks!), and defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0. It was a game that D.C. United needed to win to get the season moving in a positive direction, but it was also a game that gave us everything we love about this Black-and-Red team while also giving us all the things that infuriate many of us.

MLS Week 2 Open Thread: Your place for all things Not D.C. United

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"Did you see that sick finish by [Sporting Kansas City player]? He totally embarrassed [Toronto FC player]!"

"Yeah I did! But that response by [Other TFC player] - talk about surprising!"

These are the kinds of conversations we haven't really had a place for here at B&RU.

D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake - TV/streaming, time, lineups, predictions and GameThread

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Last week was the return of MLS for the year, and - the result notwithstanding - that was good. But today is the day we've really been waiting for ever since D.C. United crashed out of the playoffs last fall: our return to RFK Stadium. Our opponent tonight is former United 'keeper Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake.

Scouting Report: Real Salt Lake

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In the aftermath of D.C. United's ill-fated decision to go all in in pursuit of every trophy on earth in 2008, the club has spent years rebuilding with the idea of matching previous eras at RFK. You know the history: The club's glorious first four seasons saw us win two trophies in each season, while the mid-2000s saw the Black-and-Red consistently contending for honors.

Marcos Sanchez interview and Nick DeLeon's tattoo

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I know that it has been awhile, but its time for this season's first installment of the link roundup. Newly signed D.C. United midfielder Marcos Sanchez gave an interview with fifa.com, in which he talked about his current and future goals. He sees MLS as a stepping stone to Europe, a path which players such as Roger Espinoza and Andy Najar have followed.

Presenting the 2013 D.C. United Field Guide

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Our community here at Black & Red United is awesome, and it's not just because of the passion for soccer and D.C. United or the debates and threads we get into. It's things like this that put you guys over the top. Stunned Duck, one of our longtime regulars, has come through for us again with a one-page Field Guide as D.

Let's talk about D.C. United's attack without Dwayne De Rosario

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With Dwayne De Rosario serving the final game of his two-game suspension tomorrow, D.C. United will again be without its most important attacking piece. We've already given you our thoughts on the probable lineup and a scouting report of this weekend's opponent, Real Salt Lake. So let's dig a little deeper into some of the possible replacements for DeRo tomorrow and what implications would come from a given selection.

Week 2 MLS Injury Report

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Since MLS no longer provides them, I thought that I would throw together all of the team provided information related to injuries so that you can have one place to reference it as you make the final tweaks to your fantasy rosters and predictions. Remember, this is team provided information, so no guarantees are made on its accuracy even if MLS says that the teams "will be expected to include up-to-date, accurate injury information, for each match.

Join Black And Red United's MLS 3 Goal Monte Group

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MLS has replaced last year's Pick 'Em game with 3 Goal Monte, where fans pick three players they think will score in upcoming games. You also pick a captain, and if your captain scores you are said to be on a streak. It's a game for both the obsessive nerds and for the people who think fantasy MLS will take up too much of their time.

D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake: Behind Enemy Lines with RSL Soapbox

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We're getting geared up for D.C. United's home opener this weekend, and if you're reading this, you probably are too. So read on to get an insider perspective on this week's opponent from our Real Salt Lake-focused sister blog, RSL Soapbox, and their managing editor Matt Montgomery. My questions to Matt are first, and my responses to his questions are further down the page.

Filibuster Podcast: Recapping D.C. United's loss in Houston, previewing RSL

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We won't let a little loss in the worst place on earth (outside of New Jersey) stop us from keeping our weekly podcasting schedule! We won't even let some (not) snow knock us off track. We've got the latest episode of Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast right here, ready for your consumption.

2013 U.S. Open Cup: More teams, more money

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The format for the 100th edition of the U.S. Open Cup was released today and D.C. United could have players signed to first team contracts playing for three different teams. All 16 MLS teams based in the United States enter in the round of 32; the Richmond Kickers will enter in the previous round, along with 6 of the 7 of the US based NASL teams (the New York Cosmos won't start play until the fall).

MLS 2013 Week 2 Full Coverage

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Your one stop shop for all of B&RU's Week 2 coverage.

Week 1 of the 2013 MLS season saw most of our editors here at B&RU make very similar predictions on most matches. Which is a little weird when you think about it, because nobody had played a game yet, and so opinions should be more varied on each team.

MLS 2013 Week 2 Schedule, TV/streaming options and predictions

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Week 1 of the 2013 MLS season saw most of our editors here at B&RU make very similar predictions on most matches. Which is a little weird when you think about it, because nobody had played a game yet, and so opinions should be more varied on each team. At any rate, there's a three-way tie atop the pecking order, and last place is only one game out of it.

How will Ben Olsen tinker with D.C. United's Week 2 lineup?

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With one game worth of evidence in the books, Ben Olsen can turn tinkering for this weekend's game against Real Salt Lake. If you remember the end of last season, Olsen would typically start a more conservative team for road games, which typically included Lewis Neal either on the left wing or in the middle, and a more attacking team for road games, often featuring Branko Boskovic or Maicon Santos.

Fantasy Focus: One Week Does Not a Season Make

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MLS week one is in the books, and we're either patting ourselves on the back or cursing ourselves and sobbing gently in the corner. We begin with a nod to Killer Angels, whose 85 points set the B&RU pace, with the key move being making Graham Zusi the captain, and reaping the benefits with 28 points.

Top 5 New Items at D.C. United's Team Store in 2013

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In light of D.C. United's disappointing opening game against the Houston Dynamo last Saturday night, we've had a lot of spirited commentary and debate here on Black and Red United about what went wrong down in Texas. As we get ready for United's home opener later this week against Real Salt Lake, it's likely that debate will continue, particularly in light of RSL's superb road win against the current Supporters' Shield holders, the San Jose Earthquakes.

The Last Word: Closing The Book On D.C. United's 2-0 Loss To The Houston Dynamo

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In the opening game of the 2013 season, D.C. United suffered two late goals at the hands of the Houston Dynamo - a familiar result in a far too familiar place. Here's what the rest of the local media has to say.

Their words:
  • Chris Pontius (via Steven Goff) - "I felt good about it for about 10 minutes in the second half.

Ethan White and Taylor Kemp start for the Richmond Kickers against the Carolina Railhawks

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The Richmond Kickers played their second preseason match this weekend, but the first that included D.C. United players. Both Ethan White and Taylor Kemp started against the Carolina Railhawks, while Conor Shanosky played the entire second half. Shanosky was kept out of the starting lineup by Phillippe Davies, formerly of the Vancouver Whitecaps and a recent call-up to the Canadian National Team.

MLS Power Rankings - Week 1: Introducing the B&RU Interactive Power Poll

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The season has officially started! Well, that's the case for every MLS team save the New England Revolution (and, some of our readers would argue, D.C. United). At any rate, that's enough for us to launch another new feature here at B&RU: a weekly interactive power poll where you, our community, will rank every MLS team from strongest to weakest each week.

D.C. United drop opener to Houston Dynamo 2-0 - recap and highlights

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Well that was - unfortunate? unlucky? deserved? - predictable. For 80 minutes tonight, D.C. United did just enough to keep the curse at bay down in Space City against the Houston Dynamo. They weathered the opening 20-minute salvo and played the Orange even through the middle part of the first half before starting to bend a bit during the last 10 minutes before the half.

Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United - TV, time, lineups, predictions and GameThread

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At last, our long national nightmare is over. MLS is finally back, and D.C. United kicks off the 2013 campaign with a toughie: at the Houston Dynamo, in a stadium where nobody has beaten the Orange and a city where the Black-and-Red have never won. Add to that the Dynamo seeming to have our number and the Dwayne De Rosario's suspension for a preseason bout of insanity (and also headbutting), and Ben Olsen's side will have their work cut out for them.

Play in the B&RU MLS fantasy league for a chance to win FABULOUS PRIZES!

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If you're a regular reader around these parts, you've already seen us invite you to our league on MLSSoccer.com's Fantasy Soccer: Manager game. And you've already seen our fantasy expert's sage advice on building your roster for Week 1 (which starts today! woo!). And because rosters don't lock until 15 minutes before the first kickoff of the day (which would make the deadline 3:45 this afternoon), there's still time to join in the fun.

Scouting Report: Houston Dynamo

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Every team in the world has an away game on their schedule that never seems to go well. Sometimes they just get outplayed, sometimes they fall victim to the one special moment in an otherwise even game, and sometimes the ref just screws them. It's always something.

For D.C. United, that away game has been "at Houston Dynamo" since Texas gained a second MLS club back in 2006.

Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United: With DeRo officially suspended, how will D.C. react?

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We knew it could be coming, and this morning, it came. Dwayne De Rosario has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for his apparent headbutt of Danny Cruz in the team's last preseason game. Right now I'm fighting the urge to indulge my righteous indignation - no disciplinary action for last year's Philadelphia Union fracas (read: brawl) in a preseason game, no indication that any action would have been taken if this had happened earlier in preseason, no extra discipline for Osvaldo Alonso's dangerous tackle this preseason on Chris Tierney.

MLS 2013 First Kick Countdown: 1 day - Prediction Time!

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Well, folks, we've nearly made it. The season starts tomorrow with Sporting Kansas City's visit to the Philadelphia Union and really gets going (clearly) with D.C. United's nationally televised Texas trip to take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals. So what better time to invite some good old fashioned speculation from our readership?