Black and Red United Archives for January 2013

Oguchi Onyewu is available; should D.C. United pursue him?

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Oguchi Onyewu parted ways with Sporting Lisbon today, making the 31 year old center back a free agent. In the past, Onyewu has expressed a preference to come to Major League Soccer at some point and that D.C. United would be his first choice team. If the team were able to sign him, Onyewu would instantly become the best defender on the team, even though he hasn't played very many games over the past few years.

Back to school: D.C. United Academy alumni college preview

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As D.C. United fans, we're lucky to live in one of the true hotbeds of youth soccer in this country, as the club has built one of the top MLS academy setups around. As a website, today we're very lucky to have Top Drawer Soccer's Travis Clark, one of the top experts covering amateur soccer in the U.

D.C. United Scouting Report: New York Red Bulls

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The New York Red Bulls are a real threat to win the Eastern Conference. They're only two points behind the Montreal Impact, and have a better defense than the Quebecois side, while scoring more goals than their fellow contenders Sporting Kansas City. They've beaten every single team that would make the playoffs in the East if the regular season ended today, as well as the Houston Dynamo (in 6th by virtue of a tiebreaker), Real Salt Lake (currently topping the Supporters Shield table), and the LA Galaxy (defending champs, currently 2nd in the West).

Filibuster Podcast - Week 26: Dave Johnson talks Monumental Sports, and Matt Coyne previews the 2013 Atlantic Cup finale

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The guys get together this week to talk about D.C. United's 1-1 draw to Toronto FC and are joined by longtime play-by-play man Dave "It's in the net!" Johnson to talk about the new online streaming deal Monumental Network has struck with United. We close the night with a preview of the team's upcoming trip to New Jersey to face the Metros, with some help from Matt Coyne from SB Nation's New York Red Bulls site Once a Metro.

De Rosario, Jakovic, and Porter called up to Canada

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It was announced today by DC United that captain Dwayne De Rosario, defender Dejan Jakovic, and midfielder Kyle Porter have been called up by the Canadian national team for their upcoming friendly in Spain.

The three of them (De Ro, Jakovic, and Porter) will leave the team after DCU's next match against their hated rivals, the New York Red Bulls.

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls lineup: 2 goals from the Atlantic Cup

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The D.C. United game against Toronto FC was frustrating for any number of reasons, which include the defense not concentrating for 90 minutes and the offense not creating enough chances. Our opponent this Saturday is in a funk of their own, having just lost 3-2 to lowly Chivas USA. If the New York Red Bulls fail to get all three points this Saturday, that means they will be on a four match winless streak and will have dropped points to two of the three worst teams in the league.

Fantasy Focus: Having a Blas

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With 114 points, Liver Plate led all teams this round. Blas Perez (DAL, $9.0M) wore the armband and scored 2 goals and added an assist over 2 games for 36 points. Diego Valeri (POR, $7.8M) scored a goal and an assist over 2 games to help contribute 16 points, and Javier Morales (RSL, $9.4) scored a goal over two games on his way to 13 points.

Richmond Kickers 1-0 Dayton Dutch Lions: Kickers through to the semifinals

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The Richmond Kickers won a low scoring affair against the Dayton Dutch Lions 1-0 on Saturday evening, propelling themselves into the USL Pro semifinals. Neither team created many chances, but the Kickers converted the only opportunity presented to them and then rode their league leading defense to close out the match.

The Last Word: DCU vs TFC at RFK

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On the field, D.C. United played to a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC on Saturday night at RFK stadium. The game had some high points and some low points for the home team, but perhaps the most important event of the evening occurred after the match as the team had an extended team meeting to air the grievances (to use Steve Goff's Seinfeld-inspired metaphor).

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC Chalkboard Doodling: So many passes!

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We're trying out a new feature here at B&RU. I'm going to try and look over the Opta chalkboards after matches going forward to see what we might have missed in our initial assessments of the matches. My first foray into this sort of article was earlier this month, when we looked at the effects of running out different combinations of central midfielders.

D.C. United 1-1 Toronto FC - Recap & Highlights: De Rosario and Convey exchange goals as both teams leave chances wanting

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It was a mighty fine 45 minutes for D.C. United on Saturday night as they hosted Toronto FC. The Black-and-Red dominated the game, creating several chances on Joe Bendik's goal after going ahead in the 10th minute through a Dwayne De Rosario wonderstrike from 30 yards. A deep pass from Perry Kitchen found DeRo found in the left channel, but cut inside, running parallel with the goal line before unleashing a right-footed, curling missile of a shot that beat the Toronto keeper at the far post top corner.

Richmond Kickers vs. Dayton Dutch Lions: Streaming, lineups, prediction, and playoff gamethread

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After clinching the Commissioner's Cup a week and a half ago, the Richmond Kickers now embark on their quest to win the double in the USL Pro Playoffs. This quest starts against the Dayton Dutch Lions, who they beat twice this year by a combined total of 8-4. This is also the Kickers' tenth straight playoff appearance, in which they have won two championships (both while the team was in USL-2).

Toronto FC vs. D.C. United TV schedule, streaming, preview, projected lineup, prediction, and live thread

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Tonight, D.C. United and Toronto FC will face off for the least interesting match of the week second of three meetings in 2013. With everything nothing really on the line for United - except maybe a lesser or greater chance of locking up the top overall pick in next year's SuperDraft - you can bet Ben Olsen will hold nothing back run out a reasonable squad that should mix youth and veterans while not unduly risking any injured players.

Toronto FC vs. D.C. United preview: Behind Enemy Lines with Waking the Red

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Happy United Day! And... happy bottom-of-the-table clash day, too. D.C. United can't climb out of the cellar tonight, but they can gain points on Toronto FC, he team immediately above them in the standings. So that means this game is super important... right? Anywho, I exchanged a few questions with Kristin Knowles of SB Nation's Toronto FC site Waking the Red to get ready for tonight's (not really at all) big, big, huge match-up.

Monumental Network to air the September 28 game between D.C. United and Toronto FC

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In news that had been teased a few days ago, Monumental Network announced today that they will air the September 28 game between D.C. United and Toronto FC, complete with pre-game coverage. This will be the Network's second foray into live sports broadcasting, having shown Washington Mystics games online this summer.

Ben Olsen's suspension rescinded; D.C. United's head coach will be on the sideline tomorrow

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Those of us who defended the actions of Ben Olsen last week against the Montreal Impact got a bit of validation today, as MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the D.C. United head man would have the automatic suspension and fine rescinded following the double ejection he and Montreal Impact coach Marco Schallibaum suffered in the second half of their game Saturday night.

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC - When Last We Met... We "won" the cellar

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In which we look back at the last time United played the Reds, a 2-1 home loss for the Black-and-Red on June 15 earlier this season.

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC Match Center - MLS Week 25

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All of our coverage of this week's game in one convenient spot.

As D.C. United's season enters the final third of the year, you start to see a few glimmers of hope for next year. The absolute despair of June has now begun to pass, as the fans move through the five stages of grief and because there are now a few players on the team that might actually be able to contribute on a good D.

MLS target Rodolfo Zelaya among the 22 Salvadoran national team players suspended for match fixing

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Rumored MLS target Rodolfo Zelaya was one of the 22 Salvadoran national team playerssuspended for participation in match fixing in 2010, including one game that the Salvadoran National Team played against D.C. United. United won that game 1-0 off of a goal by Adam Cristman. These 22 players will not be able to play for their club teams for at least thirty days, which will see them suspended for the beginning of Salvadoran Apertura; the federation has left the door open to lengthening the suspensions if they see fit.

D.C. United Scouting Report: Toronto FC

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It's a fact: D.C. United will get a lovely prize for finishing 19th in Major League Soccer this season. However, much like Butch in Pulp Fiction, there's this slight sting called pride, and no matter what Marcellus Wallace says, it's awfully hard to ignore. Getting off of the floor of the MLS cellar won't mean much in the long run, and it will hurt the Black-and-Red next year at the draft, but it will also mean we don't enter the discussion of all-time worst MLS teams (for what it's worth, we're probably still not as bad as the 2001 Tampa Bay Mutiny, who overachieved in picking up 14 points).

United Abroad: Alumni News & Notes for August 2013

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A slow news month for most members of the United Abroad crew but I managed to dig up a few things for the community.

Also, in case you've been living under a rock for the past month, former DCU forward Charlie Davies is back in the states after completing a transfer to the New England Revolution.

Monumental Network to announce "major D.C. United news" this Friday

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Monumental Network, the online broadcast network owned by Ted Leonsis, sent out a tweet today saying that they would have "major D.C. United news" this Friday. The network has started to produce soccer specific content, debuting its Monumental FC show in July, which features Dave Johnson and which has generally featured interesting content.

Filibuster Podcast Week 25: Campeones (de USL), Montreal recap, Toronto preview with Duncan Fletcher

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The usual crew is back in action on this week's episode of Filibuster - the Black and Red United podcast, and we're celebrating the D.C. United-affiliated Richmond Kickers' USL Pro regular season title. We're also looking at what went right and wrong in the Black-and-Red's 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday.

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC lineup: Conor Doyle as a winger?

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As D.C. United's season enters the final third of the year, you start to see a few glimmers of hope for next year. The absolute despair of June has now begun to pass, as the fans move through the five stages of grief and because there are now a few players on the team that might actually be able to contribute on a good D.

Fantasy Focus: Robbie's Redemption

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With 100 points, n00bius led the league and nearly notched the top mark in all of MLS Fantasy (109 points.) Federico Higuain's (CLB, $9.8M) vice captaincy and two goals helped him to 28 points when captain (?!?) Erick Torres from Chivas was on bye. Robbie Keane (LA, $10.6M) scored a hat trick and 18 points, while Galaxy teammates Omar Gonzalez ($5.

The Last Word On D.C. United's Loss In Montreal & Ben Olsen's Fight With Marco Schällibaum

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With only 10 matches left in the MLS season, the team deep in last place fell on the road to the team entrenched in the midst of a playoff competition. D.C. United did little to help their mid-Atlantic brethren on Saturday night, falling 2-1 to the Montreal Impact in rather predictable fashion.

Their Words

-Sofiane Benzaza (Mount Royal Soccer): "Conor Doyle scores at the 81st minute with a beautiful left footed finish after Luis Silva feeds him a pass inside the box.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: DCU 1-2 Montreal

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On the day when the English Premier League opened play on the other side of the Atlantic, D.C. United traveled to British North American (the French speaking part) to take on the Montreal Impact for the second time in three weekends. Unlike their last meeting, when D.C. United put together its best league performance of the year by winning 3-1 over the Impact, United was a sloppier team this time around, but perhaps a more entertaining team as well.

Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United TV schedule, streaming, preview, projected lineup, prediction, and live thread

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D.C. United enters tonight's match coming off a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union, but the bigger story is probably the fact that United fielded the youngest starting eleven in club history on the night. With injuries holding several starters and oft-used subs out, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a similarly youthful lineup tonight.

D.C. United Scouting Report: Montreal Impact

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Sometimes the schedule maker is your friend. By June 2nd, the Montreal Impact were cutting through MLS like a hot knife through butter, going 8W-2D-2L while beating several playoff-chasing teams and winning the Voyageurs Cup in the process. While all that was going on, D.C. United was an MLS punching bag.

D.C. United Signs Swiss Defender Dennis Iapichino

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D.C. United fans can be forgiven for struggling to remember which new guy is wearing a given number. The Black-and-Red added another young player today, signing Swiss left back Dennis Iapichino. Iapichino, at 23 years old, is a former Swiss youth international and a product of the youth system at FC Basel, one of the strongest teams in Switzerland.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact lineup and Dennis Iapinchino

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The quirks of MLS scheduling, particularly in-conference scheduling, are at work again with D.C. United facing the Montreal Impact for the second time in as many weeks. United will likely revert to the team that had so much success against the Impact two weeks ago, while finding time to also work in the younger players later in the game.

The Richmond Kickers are the USL Pro regular season champions

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The Richmond Kickers cruised on the strength of two Matthew Delicate goals and some spectacular goalkeeping from Andrew Dykstra to beat Orlando City SC and clinch the Commissioner's Cup, the USL Pro regular season championship. While both teams have one game remaining, the Kickers now own the first tiebreaker over Orlando City, which is head to head.

Richmond Kickers vs. Orlando City SC: Streaming, lineup, prediction, and GameThread

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The Richmond Kickers have their second to last game of the season tonight, taking on Orlando City SC at City Stadium. The Kickers and Orlando City are currently tied atop the USL Pro standings, and a win by either team would give them the Commissioner's Cup regardless of what happens over the weekend.

Filibuster Podcast Week 24: US Open Cup, Philadelphia Union, and Playing the Kids

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Free from Adam's tyranny, Martin, Jason, and Ben take a look back at the US Open Cup game against the Chicago Fire and the loss to the Philadelphia Union over the weekend. The guys then take a meander through the youth and the future of the team, talking about Conor Doyle, Jared Jeffrey, Michael Seaton, Dave Kasper, and Ben Olsen.

Fantasy Focus: Hat Trick Landon

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With a total of 91 points, Thunderbolts led the league this week. Sebastien Le Toux (PHI, $8.7M) scored 20 points as vice captain, presumably because Chicago's Mike Magee was forced out at the 11th hour with an injury. Landon Donovan (LA, $10.1M) scored a hat trick on the way to 19 points, and Federico Higuain (CLB, $9.

The Last Word On A Match That Doesn't Matter: D.C. United's Loss To The Philadelphia Union

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In recent wins over the Montreal Impact in MLS action and the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, D.C. United used every weapon at its disposal. United used its current best 11 in both matches, with somewhat surprisingly successful results.

With the exception of Bill Hamid returning in place of Joe Willis, each change that United made to its lineup on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Union was intentionally designed to get a younger less experienced player more time on the field.

Washington Spirit officially on a winning streak, with 1-0 victory over Hope Solo, Reign

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The Spirit (3-14-4, 13 points) not only captured their second win in a row, but also earned a second shutout in front of 4,549 at the Maryland SoccerPlex and a national television audience.

Fans may have been chanting opposing goalkeeper Hope Solo's name Saturday night, but the Spirit's Ashlyn Harris had the last laugh.

Conor Casey strikes twice as D.C. United falls 2-0

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Playing a very young lineup on the road, D.C. United generated few chances, and lost track of Conor Casey on two separate occasions, and the big forward made United pay dearly both times. There were flashes of good play for the Black and Red, but too many mistakes and failure to capitalize on good positions meant that a 2-0 lead was impossible to overcome.

Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United TV schedule, streaming, preview, projected lineup, prediction, and live thread

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Tonight, we hope D.C. United enjoys the afterglow - instead of suffering the hangover - from their big U.S. Open Cup semifinal win over Chicago on Wednesday. The Black-and-Red return to their league campaign tonight against the Philadelphia Union. That's the same United campaign that improved to 3-15-4 with last weekend's win over Montreal.

D.C. United Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union

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To paraphrase one of my favorite bands, The Clash: I'm so bored with the Philadelphia Union.

It's not necessarily their style of play, which at least this year is less based on the principle of kicking the opponent until something good happens than it is about an idea I'd sum up as "let's just convert all of our scoring chances.

Something for Nothing

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After days of rumors, speculation, and various reports it is now official. The former D.C. United forward Charlie Davies is coming back to MLS, this time as a member of the New England Revolution after a loan was completed with Randers FC and a trade was completed with DCU as NBC Sports and various other media outlets have reported.

Washington Spirit game recap: Hijinks, shenanigans, and oh yeah...a win!

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The Washington Spirit (2-14-4, 10 points) earned its first home win and the first shutout of the season. With the loss, Chicago (7-8-5, 26 points) was eliminated from playoff contention.

The game was suspended twice by lightning alerts and abandoned in the 81st minute due to a 12 a.m. curfew.

MLS Players' Salaries: New D.C. United player acquisitions are performing well for little money

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The MLS Players Union released their updated list of salaries for the league's players today, which is current through August 1. Each player has two numbers, their base salary and their guaranteed compensation. For those of you wondering what the difference is, I've posted the MLSPU's official language about it at the bottom of this post.

Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United Preview: Behind Enemy Lines with the #DOOP-y guys at The Brotherly Game

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If familiarity breeds contempt, it should be no surprise that matters tend to get heated when D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union take the field opposite one another. In addition to being separated by a mere 140 miles away, tomorrow will mark the fifth time the Black-and-Red have seen the Zolos (is anybody still calling the Union that?

D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union lineup: Open Cup afterglow

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After D.C. United's somewhat stunning triumph in the semifinal of the U.S. Open Cup, they now have 8 games to stay in a rhythm and prepare for the U.S. Open Cup final, which will be held in Sandy, Utah on October 1. The very first of those tune-up games takes United to Chester, Pennsylvania to play against the Philadelphia Union.

Let's Talk About the Midfield - Jared Jeffrey vs. John Thorrington

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Ever since Jared Jeffrey was acquired via waiver draft at the start of the international transfer window that closed yesterday, Ben Olsen has been faced by a dilemma he hadn't faced in 2013: real competition for a pivotal position on the field. With injuries to guys like Marcelo Saragosa and Lewis Neal, D.

The Last Word: D.C. United's Run to the Cup Continues!

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In Wednesday's first semifinal of the 100th US Open Cup, we learned what happens when a home team (Chicago Fire) who had gone 6-2-3 (21 points, 1.91 pts/game) in the eleven league matches since it had triumphantly acquired a hometown hero (Mike Magee) plays a road team (D.C. United) that had gone 2-7-2 (8 points, 0.

D.C. UNITED WILL PLAY FOR A TROPHY! IN 2013!! D.C. beat the Chicago Fire to advance to the 100th U.S. Open Cup Final

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Stop everything. I mean it, put whatever you're drinking down, drop the iPhone and take a breath before you read the next sentence. D.C. United will play for the 2013 Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup after going on the road to beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 Wednesday night in the semifinal. And there's little doubt that United were the better team throughout the match.

U.S. Open Cup Semifinal - Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United: schedule, streaming, preview, projected lineup, prediction, and live thread

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We've written enough about this game over the last few days that it should need no introduction. D.C. United is playing the Chicago Fire, and there's a berth in a cup final at stake - the 100th edition of the oldest competition in North America, no less. 'Nuff said.

Leggo.

Time: 8:30 pm EDT

Venue: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.

U.S. Open Cup Semifinal Preview - Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United: Behind Enemy Lines with Hot Time in Old Town

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Tonight, D.C. United will take the game for their biggest match of the season, but you already knew that. To get a handle on the Chicago Fire side that the Black-and-Red will face tonight, I exchanged questions with the Fire fans over at our sister site Hot Time in Old Town. Here's what resulted:

Questions for Hot Time in Old Town

For better or worse, unlike D.

MLS wants to strengthen its ties with USL Pro, and what this could mean for D.C. United in a new stadium

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Back in January, when MLS announced its affiliation with USL Pro, the third division of the American soccer pyramid, the league in short order promised that the current setup, wherein MLS teams have the option of sending a number of players on season-long loans to an affiliated club without sacrificing those players' league eligibility, would be just the first step.

D.C. United Scouting Report: Chicago Fire

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It was news that caught no one by surprise. Geography has always determined most US Open Cup pairings, and when Orlando City SC crashed and burned at Toyota Park, there was no avoiding it. For the umpteenth time, D.C. United would have to face the Chicago Fire in an elimination match.

This is a big problem.

Filibuster Podcast: Week 23: #DempseyWatch, Beating Montreal, US Open Cup Semifinal against Chicago and a Philly roadtrip

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Going a man down won't stop us from bringing you a jam-packed episode of Filibuster - the Black and Red United podcast. This week, we go sans-Bromley but still manage to cover Clint Dempsey's transfer to the Seattle Sounders in addition to all the D.C. United talk you can handle. Optimism from the win over the Montreal Impact?

D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire lineup: U.S .Open Cup semifinal edition

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As we have been harping on for months now, the U.S. Open Cup is D.C. United's last chance to salvage anything on the field this season. The next step towards the final comes tomorrow night against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. But after United's 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact, there are questions at two key positions.

Fantasy Focus: D.C. United Renaissance!

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Despite apparently not making any changes to the team in who knows how long, Rayo Vallecano scored the most points this week, with 68 points. Chris Wondolowski (SJ, $9.9M) wore the armband and scored two goals and 24 points in his first game since the Gold Cup. Behind him Patrick Nyarko (CHI, $8.

Did D.C. United really just raise season ticket prices? Well, not really.

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D.C. United released their 2014 season ticket pricing and perks this afternoon, to a minor uproar on Twitter that was quickly drowned out by word of the Washington Post sale to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Seriously, tweeps, where are your priorities?) Several people immediately fretted that ticket prices were going up "significantly," but a quick look at 2013 prices vs.

Eyes on the Prize: Focusing on D.C. United's U.S. Open Cup Run

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The Black-and-Red have one real thing left to play for in 2013, and it's not pride. A win on Wednesday would put United into a Cup final, and that's where every bit of attention needs to be.

2013 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal - D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire: Match Center

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D.C. United travels to face the Chicago Fire in the only chance the Black-and-Red have for on-the-field glory in 2013.

On May 11, a team wearing all black, destined for utter failure in their league campaign, raised a trophy by winning the oldest knockout tournament in their country. This Wednesday, D.

The Last Word On An Unexpected Victory For D.C. United

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D.C. United played its best game of the season on Saturday night against one of the best teams in MLS. This wasn't just a matter of playing to the level of the competition. This was about real change happening. This was about our favorite team changing right before our very eyes.

Their Words

Steven Goff (Washington Post): Ben Olsen began removing his most effective attackers midway through the second half of a tied match Saturday at RFK Stadium.

D.C. United 3-1 Montreal Impact Match Recap: New faces win it for United

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After an absurdly bad first half of the season, D.C. United decided to reset. They focused on acquiring young, American talent to build a core upon which to build for the future. Tonight, we caught a glimpse of what that future might look like. Luis Silva opened the scoring midway through the first half, substitute Conor Doyle scored the game-winner in the second half, and Jared Jeffrey sealed the win in second half stoppage time.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact TV schedule, streaming, preview, projected lineup, prediction, and live thread

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D.C. United is probably the biggest underdog in MLS play this week, even playing at home. Tonight, the Black-and-Red welcome the Montreal Impact to the District for the home side's last run out before Wednesday night's US Open Cup semifinal in Chicago. The Impact are currently third in the Eastern Conference, but thanks to games in hand on both teams ahead of them, they actually lead the league in points per game.

Dempsey is great for MLS, Seattle, and US Soccer

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In case you have been under a rock for the last few days, Clint Dempsey has signed a deal with the Seattle Sounders of MLS. The deal is for four years and in the ballpark of $32 million as reported by ESPN FC's Doug McIntyre.

Dempsey immediately becomes the best player MLS has to offer right now.

Now that Clint Dempsey is back in Major League Soccer, which US National Team players should D.C. United pursue?

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The news all across the American soccer twitterverse, in case you missed it, is that Clint Dempsey is leaving Tottenham Hotspur to return to Major League Soccer with the Seattle Sounders. But the mechanics of the deal is where the rest of the league should take note: it now seems that Designated Players are exempt from the allocation order for returning national team players.

D.C. United Scouting Report: Montreal Impact

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The Montreal Impact are something of an anomaly in MLS. It's not just the use of French, or the choice to have two different predominantly blue uniforms. The Impact's emphasis on keeping the ball on the ground and hitting teams on the counter is rather unusual. Possession teams in MLS generally try to play on the front foot as much as possible, while our counterattacking teams are often more focused on athleticism and longer passes out of the back than they are the technical ability required to connect several passes at a high speed through the midfield.

The Spirit Season of Pain Continues, And An Urgent Message to the Players of Washington

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Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was on the firing line all night, playing behind another pieced together backline. She faced 10 shots on goal and 23 shots total (19 in the first half alone.) She managed seven saves--all of the spectacular variety. Harris' 77 saves are just seven behind Western New York's Adrianna Franch's league-leading total of 84.

MLS 2013 Week 22: D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact Match Center

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All of Black and Red United's coverage of the Black-and-Red's Week 22 matchup with L'Impact de Montreal.

With only three days between this game and the U.S. Open Cup semifinal in Chicago, it is more than proper to declare the game against the Montreal Impact a tuneup. For certain players, perhaps like John Thorrington, that might mean that minutes will be managed, allowing him to be fresh for that upcoming contest.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact - Preview: Behind Enemy Lines with Mount Royal Soccer

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Two teams diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one that doesn't win anything this year. That's what this weekend feels like for me as a D.C. United fan as the Black-and-Red get ready to host the Montreal Impact, who are tops in MLS on the points per game table. To help us get a handle on how L'Impact and los Capitalinos match up, I exchanged a few questions with Sofiane Benzaza, the founder and managing editor of Mount Royal Soccer, SB Nation's Impact community.

MLS Expansion: How will a 24-team league look? Rule 1 for conference alignment must be to protect rivalries.

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Well, so much for standing pat at 20. The Don, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, announced at the MLS All Star Game in Kansas City that Major League Soccer will not, in fact, be spending some quality time as a 20-team league after the entry of New York City FC in 2015. No, instead, by 2020, MLS will jump to 24 teams.

About A Goal: Sloppy Positioning And Poor Marking See D.C. United Let The New England Revolution Draw Level

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The scoreboard at RFK Stadium looked very odd around 7:45pm this past Saturday night. In fact, it was doing something that it had only done once in 2013: Informing the crowd that D.C. United was winning at halftime, up 1-0 over the visiting New England Revolution.

This was a good omen. United's previous halftime lead at RFK ended in a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, and both US Open Cup victories at the Maryland Soccerplex saw the Black-and-Red up 1-0 at halftime.

D.C. United Goat of the Month for July 2013

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It wasn't the worst month ever, but on the field, it was pretty bad. D.C. United managed only two goals in July, both by new pick up Luis Silva, and both those goals came in losing efforts. United again failed to win in July, earning only one standings point, thanks to a scoreless draw at Colorado.

D.C. United Player of the Month for July 2013

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On the field, July 2013 was another awful month for D.C. United. Omitting the Chivas de Guadalajara game, which I think is appropriate, United scored only two goals and managed only one point - a scoreless road draw in Colorado. But some roster moves and some long-awaited signs of progress in the stadium hunt have me, among others, feeling more optimistic about this team, both on and off the field, than we have in months.