Pardon the absence: Ohio in-law visit.
Before we get reacquainted, a few travel shout-outs: Cleveland’s 100-year-old West Side Market for cabbage, cannoli and kiwi as far as the eye can see; the Grog Shop for the Woolly Bushmen show; Sweetie Fry for French toast ice cream; Greenhouse Tavern for gastronomic perfection; and Out of the Fire Cafe, the wisest one-mile diversion off the Pennsylvania Turnpike you’ll ever make.
Okay, back to soccer.....
*The long-awaited announcement of Erick Thohir becoming United’s new majority investor will take place Tuesday afternoon at a downtown Washington hotel, I’m told. Club officials declined comment.
Thohir’s interest in United came to light on the Insider in March. He is from Indonesia, owns several media properties and is a part-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. Will Chang, the club’s lone investor for the past three years, will retain a stake in the club.
I spoke with Chang briefly this evening. He had no comment about the club’s hierarchy changing. But he did say he is flying to Washington from his home in northern California and would be available to talk Tuesday. So there you go.....
*The MLS First XI for the all-star game against Chelsea was unveiled, although this is not necessarily the starting lineup for the July 25 match at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. D.C. United’s Ben Olsen, who will oversee the MLS squad, will make his starting selections based on form, fitness, tactics and other considerations.
The balance of the game-day roster, including the two commissioner picks, will be released July 15. Olsen will have at least one of his own: Dwayne De Rosario, who was voted to the First XI by fans via online, text and Twitter. Don’t be surprised if Chris Pontius ends up on the final list, as well.
*The top contenders have finally caught up to United in matches played (18), and after Sunday evening’s activity, DCU (33 points, +12) remains in the top slot (when applying goal difference).
Over the weekend, Sporting Kansas City (33, +6) settled for a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo (25), the Chicago Fire (28) lost at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-0, and the New York Red Bulls (31), winless at Foxborough since 2002, lost to the New England Revolution, 2-0. The San Jose Earthquakes (36 points from 19 matches) lead the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
*United had the weekend off and will begin preparing for next Sunday’s match at Houston (9 p.m. ET, Galavision, Comcast SportsNet/DC) — the first of eight straight against Eastern opponents through the end of August.