Wednesday, June 13, 2007; 1:00 PM
Washington Post soccer writer Steven Goff was online Wednesday, June 13, at 1 p.m. ET to chat about D.C. United, MLS, Europe and anything else soccer-related.
The transcript follows.
Goff covers the D.C. United beat for The Washington Post and writes the
Steven Goff: Greetings. Welcome to the chat. Not as entertaining as the Soccer Insider. But quality nonetheless.
Burke, Va.: I am annoyed that Michael Bradley gets so much PT. I agree he should on the roster (probably at the same level and should get the same amount of playing time as Mapp) and play some, but there are way better choices to be out there...Coach shows way to much favoritism for him, and it is obvious.
Steven Goff: Nonsense.
Bradley is a young, up-and-coming player based in Europe who needs the big-game experience to be in position to contribute for the next World Cup cycle.
Is he a great player right now? No. If the U.S. were playing one match, would he start? Probably not. But in a tournament with several games in a short amount of time, you have to turn to a variety of players.
In the long run, the U.S. team believes, his experience in international tournaments will pay off for both him and the team.
Rocko: With his recent scoring explosion, do you fully expect Benny to surpase Jaime's MLS goal record?
Steven Goff: Ben is sitting right here with me at RFK. Seriously.
He says he will smash Jaime's record in 50 years.
Chapel Hill, N.C.: What did you think of the atmosphere in Toronto?
Steven Goff: Wonderful atmosphere. Most impressively, you see it in every section of the stadium, not just among the serious supporters. Will it last forever? We'll see. They're off to a great start, though.
Rick in Ashburn: Goff,
What do you think of Moreno getting called up to the Bolivian National team? Will he get significant playing time, or do you see him used in mostly a reserve role?
Steven Goff: He was called in primarily for his experience, but he's got some skill left too. I imagine he will start the opener.
Bethesda Soccer Club: Any chance you and DeNunzio will detail a stringer to go to the USYSA regionals or national championships? I know you said we don't cover clubs because we're not big enough and no one other than the clubs cares what happens, but on a regional or national level? Does that change the calculus at all?
Steven Goff: You would have to ask Jon about that. I highly doubt the regionals would get any coverage. Perhaps the nationals, depending on the number of local clubs that advance.
Insider Nation, DC: Goffster,
With DC talking about re-signing Dominic Mediate and also bringing in two players for trial, are there open roster spots to be able to bring those players in, or are they trialing to take someone else's job away from them?
Who on DC's roster should feel nervous right now?
Steven Goff: DCU has two openings, both developmental. They will likely drop someone from senior to developmental to clear up another senior spot. Wilson could be in roster trouble. Walker was in trouble before getting hurt.
Chantilly, Va.: Is D.C. going to address depth during the free transfer period? Our defensive backups are all midfielders except for McTavish, who plays both. What happens if someone gets hurt or called up to the national team?
Steven Goff: DCU is weighing its options. Keep in mind that the window will be open for two months, so it might be a while. I've heard rumblings of a Brazilian, but very far-fetched.
Fairfax, Va.: Any reaction to the news that Eddie Pope is set to retire after this season?
Steven Goff: No surprise.
As one e-mailer mentioned to me today, wouldn't it be nice if DCU signed him for one day so he could retire as a United player? Hmmmm...
Washington, D.C.: I know you hate to talk about the stadium, but isn't about time something is firmed up on this deal? Is there anything that us fans could do to help this cause? It's sad to watch on TV those great new facilities elsewhere and we're stuck with this relic! No fair. Thanks for your great coverage of the beautiful game.
Steven Goff: Ha!
Someday, my friends, someday.
It's going to be a very long process. I warned you guys from the start.
Sorry I don't have better news at the moment.
Fairfax Station: Any word on major European club games (e.g., Real Madrid, Chelsea) for DC United this year? Why can't we get Gold Cup games in DC at Raljohn?
Steven Goff: FedEx is too big and too expensive.
DCU's major internationals will be against Club America, Morelia and Chivas in tournament play.
There have been offers, such as AC Milan's under-21 team, I heard, but the schedule is just too cluttered (league matches, Open Cup, SuperLiga, Sudamericana).
Arlington, Va.: Is all the grumbling by the "Internet nuts" regarding the play of the U.S. (who are 3-0 and unscored-upon in the tournament) a good thing or a bad thing? The quality of play in Gold Cup has been fairly bad overall I think. And the quality of the officiating has been really bad. How much different with the Copa be? How different will the roster really be for that tournament?
Steven Goff: Every time the U.S. plays Guatemala, it's going to be physical and ugly -- look at the history. Any win against Guatemala is a good win. U.S. has been far from perfect, but three wins and no goals allowed is pretty good, eh?
A handful of players will appear in both tournaments, but several new MLS guys will be called in for Copa. The roster deadline is June 21. Boswell, Olsen and Namoff are under consideration.
230: What's the buzz on the what the backline will look like this coming Saturday with Boswell out on red?
Steven Goff: It's gotta be McTavish. The club would love to get Burch a start, but I don't know if this is the situation for it.
Woodbridge, Va.: Is Juan Sebastian Veron is the foreign player of note United is looking at? Any truth to that rumor? Is the nationality right at least?
Steven Goff: Not that I've heard.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Which teams have impressed you at the Gold Cup? Any chance of Canada joining the big two?
Steven Goff: Canada-Guatemala in the quarters will not be a pretty match, I'm guessing.
Costa Rica has been a disappointment. Panama has some danger to their game and Honduras could make a run deep in the tournament.
Falls Church, Va.: Goff, pass the keyboard to Ben.
Congrats, Ben! You took a lot of steps before the volley on your third goal -- how'd it feel, did you know the ball was going in?
Steven Goff: Ben has departed the press room. Sorry!
He has said, though, that he was essentially playing with house money -- leading 3-1, why not rip one from 25 yards?
Moment of Youth: Are you as excited as I am with the young crop of players that Bradley is working into the US lineup and the amount of depth this team can to work with? On another note, Dempsey is on the cusp of being a player we have never seen come out of our country.
Steven Goff: Indeed, this is part of the process as we enter a new World Cup cycle. You've got to get these young guys experience in a relatively intense setting. Dempsey has certainly joined Beasley and Donovan as definite starters in big matches.
Capitol Hill: Why did it take DCU so long to get the wings involved in the offense. Everyone knew it was a problem but it took until the 9th game to figure it out. It sure did pay off. Gros, Fred, and Benny were excellent. Can we expect this to continue?
Also, if we lose Jaime, Boz, and Benny to Copa America what kind of line-up are we looking at? What other teams are losing significant amounts of key players potentially?
Steven Goff: Fred was slow to adapt. Gros is not a pure flank player (crossing, etc.). But the club seems to have found their way and added diversity to the attack. Will it continue? We'll find out Saturday.
United is preparing for the loss of a couple players to Copa (Moreno, maybe Olsen, Boswell or Namoff), but they feel they have the depth to be successful. Players such as Moose, Dyachenko, deRoux, McTavish, etc. will see more minutes.
Ceeeez, Colombia Heights: Goffer, why hasn't DeMerit seen any playing time in this Gold Cup??
Steven Goff: DeMerit has played in this tournament, but minutes are dictated by form in training.
Ashburn, Va.: At this point in the season, (June - after beating NY), if things keep up, I'd say Tom Soehn should be considered for Coach of the Year.
He took new players and placed them into positions that they were not used to (sharing, cross passes, playing wing, etc.). After a rough start, I hope DCU continues to improve and give much credit to TS.
Steven Goff: At the moment, KC's Curt Onalfo is coach of the year in his first season, but let's see how things unfold through the summer. Soehn had a very slow start, but seems to have found the right combinations.
Yunnan, China: Two questions Steve:
First - When is Fred going to start playing up front with Emilio (instead of Jaime)? Those two could be dangerous together.
Secondly - Is Sunil Gulati a total a-- for involving the USMNT in two back-to-back international tournaments?
Steven Goff: Soehn said yesterday that with Fred finally settling into the flank position, he is unlikely to move him. I do agree that Fred's best position is withdrawn forward, so perhaps we will see him up there at some point during Moreno's absence. Of course, that creates an opening on the flank and might cause more problems than it solves.
As for the second question, wait a minute, weren't USA fans begging for the team to be included in the Copa? You can't skip the Gold Cup (our regional championship), and the USSF (as well as most fans) thought it would be a great opportunity to participate in one of the world's biggest events as well. Is the scheduling ideal? Of course not. You try to win the Gold Cup and you gain experience at Copa. MLS teams lose players for a few weeks, yeah, that's a bit of an issue, but in the long run, it was probably wise for the USSF to accept the Copa invite.
Frederick, Md.: After seeing part of Golden Cup or Copa de Oro, how far is the US team going to go in the next Copa America Tournament?
Steven Goff: I'd be surprised if the USA made it out of the first round.
No big deal -- they're guests in a tournament that means an awful lot more to the South American teams.
Raleigh, N.C.: The Galaxy are a hollowed-out team, with Cannon, Donovan and Albright (now out for the year) representing the MLS superstar level for their positions, and the rest of the team representing the marginal starter/key sub level of MLS. So they can't really trade their way out of this.
Are you aware of any feelings from MLS HG about the chance that the Galaxy won't make the playoffs? I'm sure they're worried at least some, but on a scale from 1-10, how would you characterize the worry?
Steven Goff: Galaxy traded for Edson Buddle today and dealt Tyrone Marshall to Toronto.
They are also in the market for a foreign forward. I reported on the Soccer Insider yesterday that they are pursuing Honduras's Carlos Pavon.
I'm sure MLS would love to see Beckham and LA in the playoffs, but at the moment, it's not looking good.
Alexandria, Va.: Steve:
Any rumblings on whether United will consider using their DP this year, or if they'll keep it in their back pocket for a rainy day and look for sub-maximum salary reinforcements?
Steven Goff: Back pocket, rainy day.
I would be surprised if they used it this season. Having said that, though, if the perfect situation emerged, I'm sure they would consider it.
Rockville, Md.: Given any thought to watching a game from the "rowdy" parts of RFK?
Steven Goff: Dude, I'm working during the game!
Arlington, Va.: what's the deal with Mexico? They gave up the first goal to Cuba and then ended up losing the Honduras (!!) in their last match. Are they not taking the tournament seriously? Are they missing some of their good players? Or are they just in a down cycle now?
Steven Goff: Yeah, good question. Very surprising to see Mexico struggle like this. They're at full strength, or near full strength, right? I imagine Hugo Sanchez's style is an issue. A loss tonight would likely set up a quarterfinal with the USA.
Captin Boondoggle: Brian Carroll had a good game Sunday after several subpar efforts. Any reason? Has he finally gotten over his wanderlust? Was there a nagging injury holding him back?
Steven Goff: He sat out the LA game with a quadriceps injury, but played well Sunday against New York. He's usually a very solid, consistent player -- I was surprised how much he struggled early in the season. In the 4-4-2, there are greater demands on him and so far he has done well with it.
From Holstein's: The next time someone asks you about the new stadium, you should stop your answer midsentence, write "Don't stop," and go to black.
Steven Goff: LOL
Well done, Holstein
Don't stop believin'.....
Reston, Va.: I'm sorry did someone just seriously string the words "Superstar" and "Albright" together?
Granted Chris has come a long way and is a good MLS player, but 'Superstar'?
Steven Goff: Definitely not a superstar.
Re: Pope retiring: Wouldn't it be nice if DC could give him one last playoff run? Make that trade, KP.
Steven Goff: If DCU acquired him, I imagine it would be a ceremonial late-season move only.
Woodbridge, Va.: If you could pick anyone to lead the National team, who would it be and why?
Steven Goff: Harkes as head coach, Wynalda as assistant.
Steven Goff: Done.
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