Seen, heard and written the past few days.....
*Thomas Rongen, the former MLS coach and current D.C. United color commentator, made history with American Samoa (a first goal! a first victory!), but in the end, it all wasn’t enough as the Pacific island squad lost to Samoa, 1-0, and fell short of a berth in Oceania World Cup qualifying group play. Can’t wait for the documentary.
*While American Samoa will remain near the bottom of the FIFA rankings, America holds steady at No. 34. Mexico is 20th.
*Despite being on the full-time job for just a year, D.C. United’s Ben Olsen is now third in coaching longevity among Washington’s five major pro teams, thanks to Bruce Boudreau’s dismissal by the Capitals.
*United’s Andy Najar will train with Tottenham Hotspur for about a week, the third DCU player to head overseas for informal workouts. Bill Hamid (West Brom) and Perry Kitchen (Freiburg) were the others.
*MLS teams are making final decisions about contracts and options this week, with the list of players eligible for the re-entry drafts scheduled for release Wednesday.
*The expansion Montreal Impact signed midfielder Bryan Arguez , a former DCU prospect with U.S. under-17 and under-20 experience who has been overseas for several years. I’m hearing the Impact is working on a loan agreement with a Swiss-based Brazilian. Perhaps Felipe Martins, who is on loan to second-division Wohlen from top-tier Lugano?
*With a 4-2 loss to Louisville in the NCAA tournament round of 16, Maryland capped the season in a 1-3-2 rut. What’s next for the Terrapins’ top players? Senior Casey Townsend (17 goals) is a likely first-round pick in the MLS draft, while junior midfielder John Stertzer, sophomore forward Patrick Mullins and junior left back Taylor Kemp have drawn preliminary interest from MLS and are under consideration for Generation Adidas contract offers.
This weekend’s quarterfinal pairings:
No. 13 UCLA at No. 12 Louisville
St. Mary’s (Calif.) at No. 1 North Carolina
Charlotte at No. 3 Connecticut
No. 7 South Florida at No. 2 Creighton
*In the NCAA women’s tournament, top seeds Stanford, Florida State, Duke and Wake Forest have reached the College Cup, to be played this weekend in Kennesaw, Ga. Wake is coached by Tony da Luz, father of D.C. United midfielder Austin da Luz.