D.C. United news and notes

September 23, 2013
(D.C. United)
(D.C. United)

*D.C. United is exploring the possibility of a postseason trip to Indonesia for two or three friendlies in early December, General Manager Dave Kasper said Monday. A decision whether to go is expected by the end of October.

The club’s primary benefactor, Jakarta-based Erick Thohir, has emphasized the importance of global branding through travel and player signings.

United employs an Indonesian player: midfielder Syamsir Alam, who has not appeared in any league matches this year but has bolstered United’s name recognition in the world’s fourth most-populous country.

Under the new investment group headed by Thohir, United is aiming to play overseas every offseason.

United’s technical staff prefers to take such tours soon after the season ends rather than incorporating them into training camp, when travel and logistical issues could disrupt preseason preparations.

The promoter working with United arranged a visit to Indonesia by David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy after the 2011 MLS season.

United has not visited Asia since early 1997 (Japan and Hong Kong).

*Efforts to provide a live stream of the U.S. Open Cup final next Tuesday have failed, leaving GolTV as the only outlet to watch United play at Real Salt Lake.

GolTV is in the second year of a three-year deal with the U.S. Soccer Federation to carry the championship match. The channel owns both the TV and online rights. The USSF was hoping to persuade GolTV to stream the match or allow the federation to do it.

Once a primary option for soccer viewing in this country, GolTV lost a swath of its cable and satellite platforms when beIN Sport launched last year and secured the rights to several European leagues.

GolTV, based in South Florida, carries the German Bundesliga, Mexican second division, and Brazilian, Argentine and Uruguayan leagues, as well as some Dutch matches.

United will host a watch party at Lucky Bar in Dupont Circle. Other bars and restaurants that partner with the club (and have GolTV access) will carry the match, as well. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. ET.

*At 3-20-6, United will need to win two of the final five league matches to avoid tying the MLS record for fewest victories. No wins or one win would result in the worst overall mark in league history. Tampa Bay won just four in 2001 but during a campaign shortened to 27 games by the Sept. 11 attacks. Chivas USA won four of 32 in ’05. (MLS teams now play 34 games.)

United will not finish with the fewest points: Tampa Bay earned 14 in 2001 and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars posted 15 in 32 matches in 1999 (last year of the shootout era).

United is in danger of becoming the fifth team (and third non-expansion team) to go winless on the road in league play. The final two trips: Toronto FC on Saturday (Ben Olsen will hold back many regulars ahead of Tuesday’s Open Cup final) and Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 18.

United’s remaining home matches: Chicago Fire on Oct. 4, Philadelphia Union on Oct. 12 and Houston Dynamo on Oct. 27.

*Two Salvadoran players reprimanded for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal with the national team are former United players: Midfielder Christian Castillo, who was with DCU for the first four months of the 2010 season, was banned for life by the Salvadoran federation, while midfielder-forward Eliseo Quintanilla (five goals, five assists in 2002-03) received a six-month penalty.

Midfielder Dennis Alas, who played for third-division Real Maryland in 2008, was also banned for life.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff | September 23, 2013