The Washington Post

Soccer fans have mixed blessings

D.C. United’s goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, has been let down by the team’s defense as well as its offense. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

D.C. United

What has happened to Washington’s Major League Soccer team? Last season, United had an MLS regular season record of 17 wins, 10 losses and 7 ties (17-10-7), then lost in the Eastern Conference finals of the MLS playoffs. It looked as though the team, under coach Ben Olsen, was moving in the right direction.

This season has been a disaster. United has a record of 1-9-2, the worst in the MLS. The team has lots of problems.

United can’t score. The team has managed to put only six balls into the net this season. I know soccer is a low-scoring game, but six goals in 12 games is ridiculous. And breakdowns in the back line have let United’s opponents score too many easy goals.

Maybe Olsen can get United going. But if he doesn’t, he might become United’s ex-coach.

Ali Krieger, right, challenges Washington Spirit teammate Diana Matheson during practice. (Tom Fedor/The Gazette)
Washington Spirit

Here’s some good soccer news: Women’s professional soccer is back. The Washington Spirit is playing in the new, eight-team National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

This is the third major attempt at a women’s pro soccer league. Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) operated from 2009 to 2011. Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) disbanded in 2003 after three seasons of play.

Hopefully, the new league will have better luck. It should. The NWSL teams have such stars as Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo from the U.S. World Cup team. The Spirit play at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County in a fun, fan-friendly atmosphere.

So get with the Spirit. The Spirit’s record is not much better than United (1-4-3), but at least the team scores more goals than United!

David Beckham

David Beckham, the great midfielder from England, announced he is retiring from professional soccer. Beckham was perhaps the most famous (though not the best) soccer player in the world for the past 10 years.

My guess is that there are lots of KidsPost readers who have a David Beckham shirt or poster somewhere. He played for some of the most famous professional teams in the world, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.

Beckham’s fame and glamour sometimes overshadowed his play on the pitch. He was a very good player for many years. Beckham was a wonderful passer, especially on crosses in front of the net, and probably the best in the world at free kicks and set plays. As they said, no one could bend it like Beckham.

David Beckham, soccer’s most famous current player, is tossed into the air by teammates in Paris. (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Fred Bowen is the author of 19 sports books for kids, including two soccer books: “Soccer Team Upset” and “Go for the Goal!

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