Pardon the absence. Needed to get my affairs in order before the End of the World on Saturday (6 p.m. ET, pay-per-view only). I’ve designated RFK Stadium as our safe house. After enduing 50 years of punishment from brawny linemen, searing foul balls and pesky raccoons, the old building has become immune to the wrath of, well, everything: rapture, nuclear winter and Hristo Stoitchkov.
The timing of our alleged demise is perfect: We have guardian angels in town. Take that, crazies! Ajax is here for Sunday’s friendly against D.C. United (well, the game is scheduled to be played), and who better to offer protection than a team named for a Greek hero known for strength and courage? (Shhh, don’t tell anyone he committed suicide.)
Okay, back to business — for the final 72 hours anyway:
*A lot of buzz about USA international DaMarcus Beasley returning to MLS after seven years in Europe with PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, Rangers and Hanover. While there is interest in the winger, no U.S. club, at the moment, is willing to pay him more than about $200,000, so don’t be surprised if he ends up elsewhere (Mexico or the Netherlands). Beasley, who turns 29 this month, has a year left on his contract with Hanover, which would be happy to dump his salary after barely using him this season.
*After two days off, D.C. United gets back to work Thursday morning. Already without Charlie Davies (hamstring), Josh Wolff (groin) and Branko Boskovic (knee surgery; out for six months), the club fears reserve midfielder Kurt Morsink will miss four weeks. He injured an ankle in the first half of Monday’s reserve match at Philadelphia.
*It’s not every day that a reporter receives an unsolicited e-mail from a national team coach. But today, I was contacted by Grenada’s Michael Adams, who needed help reaching New England Revolution star Shalrie Joseph and his agent. Joseph’s services are urgently needed for the Gold Cup, which begins in about two weeks. Go Spice Boys!
Although the roster deadline is Saturday, CONCACAF doesn’t plan to release the official lists until Monday. Teams are at liberty to announce their roster earlier.
*Ticket sales for the U.S. national team friendly vs. World Cup champion Spain on June 4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.: 52,000.
*The U.S. under-20 national team played a 3-3 draw with France. Goal scorers: Conor Doyle (Derby County), Josh Gatt (Molde, Norway) and Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake).
*The U.S. under-17s will face the Czech Republic, Uzbekistan and New Zealand at the World Cup next month in Mexico.
*Just three weeks since Monterrey won the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, the preliminary stage for the 2011-12 tournament is set. From MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy (Supporters’ Shield) and Colorado Rapids (MLS Cup champions) received byes to the group round, while FC Dallas (MLS Cup runner-up) will face El Salvador’s Alianza and the Seattle Sounders (U.S. Open Cup winner) will play Panama’s San Francisco in home-and-home series.
*With the NFL season in limbo, Washington Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong is coaching youth soccer in Loudoun County. Read Rick Maese’s story and watch the video: