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Your 2007 & 4 time MLS Supporters Shield Champions & 4 time MLS Cup Champions: D.C. United!

Another Fanatical D.C. United Supporter

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Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Welcome! I have been an avid Washington Capitals fan since 1977, when I attended my first game at Capital Centre, in Landover, MD, just 5 minutes from where I grew up in Bowie. I held season tickets from 81-92 there, in section 126, L. I then held season tickets from 99, until 07 at Verizon Center, first in 410 H, then in 408 E, then 408 A. This blog gets its name from where my seats have always been..."Behind The Goal Line". Being born and raised here in Washington, D.C. I also am an ardent & lifelong D.C. United, Nationals, and Redskins fan. This blog is not intended to be a "news" source, or anything of that nature, rather, it is just one lifelong fan and supporter's musings, opinions, thoughts, rants, perspectives, and observations on all things Caps, from on the ice, in the stands, to the front office, and around the NHL too. I will attempt to keep this updated as often as I can, so check back often as this is a work in progress.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2008 Training Camp Begins - South American Winds of Change Blow Into D.C.

On November 1st, 2007, Untied, and its black and red clad supporters closed the book on what was another very successful season, in bitter fashion. United was once again ousted from the MLS Cup Playoffs, by a long time rival they still have yet to beat in post season play, the Chicago Fire. As the days wore on in the following weeks, the pain and disappointment of that bitter end to the 07 season began to subside, and our thoughts began to turn towards the 2008 season. We knew some changes were coming, but we did not know the magnitude of those changes.

Fast forward to yesterday, when United opened its 2008 Training Camp, at RFK Staidum in Washington, and that scope of change at the Black And Red is now very clear. 6 are out, and 4 new faces are in. Gone are Troy Perkins, Bobby Boswell, Greg Vanney, Brian Carroll, Josh Gros and Christian Gomez. In are Marcelo Gallardo, Franco Niell, Gonzalo Martinez, Gonzalo Peralta, and Jose Carvallo, all of which are South Americans. Thier positions are listed here in the same order: Attacking Midfielder, Forward (attack), defender, defender, goalkeeper. They are comprised of 3 Argentine's, 1 Columbian, 1 Peruvian. 4 of those 5 will take up Senior International spots on D.C. United's roster. Carvallo holds a green card, and thus will not count against United's SI roster spots. All but Gallardo were introduced at a press conference which was held at RFK Stadium yesterday.

Expectations are running high, especially for Gallardo, who has had a very good international career, including being a key figure on the Argentine National Team, having 2 world cup appearances, in 1998, and 2002, and a total of 44 caps, scoring 14 goals. He will be United's replacement for Christian Gomez, whom United could not reach an agreement with on terms of a new contract. Gallardo should be a big step up from Gomez, but that still remains to be seen. My only concern here would be that Gallardo does have a bit of a history of some not so great behavior. Its not horrible, but not necessarily something that would be conducive to good locker room chemistry either. He has a temper, and has been red carded on several occasions in important matches.

Gomez leaves big shoes to fill, and not just in the numbers Gomez put up either. Gomez bled Black and Red. He gave everything he had on the pitch and off here. Gomez was not JUST a player, he was also a DCU fan, and that truly makes a significant difference. I think D.C has been pretty damn lucky to date with having players that were more than just players. Most of our more recognised players bled Black and Red, it was in their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. If Gallardo can even come close to that level of commitment and dedication, I think DCU will be pretty well off to have gotten him. I guess time will tell. I am very sad to see Gomez go, but I am excited about United's new signing. I just hope he will prove to us all he is worth our DP slot. For the time being, I am not so sure I would have allowed Gomez to walk. To me, Gomez has proven he is worth something close to a DP slot over the past 4 seasons. Again, I am cautiously optimistic that this will all work out in United's favor. I wish Christian Gomez all the best, and will always be a big supporter of him, and his play on the pitch, and his behavior off of it.

United has also finally entered the realm of the Designated Player and are using the Designated Player Rule (DP Slot) in signing Marcelo Gallardo. The terms of Gallardo's contract with United have not been disclosed, however he reportedly had turned down a contract with an Argentinian side, said to be worth ($U.S.) around $700,000. This leads us to believe that United has finally exercised it's option to finally use its designated player spot. Gallardo is set to be introduced today, in his own press conference, at the National Press Club, today at 12:00PM EST.

For further, and much more in depth reading, head on over to the Washington Post's D.C. United section, and check out Steven Goff's Soccer Insider.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Marcelo Gallardo Arrives in D.C.

Our good & tireless friend, and United beat reporter at The Washington Post, (and also the best soccer writer / reporter in North America) Steven Goff is reporting on his blog the Post's Soccer Insider, that Argentine attacking midfielder Marcello Gallardo (lastly with Parisian club- Paris Saint-Germain - "PSG" ) has arrived in Washington. Apparently he has come to finalise the details of a much anticipated signing, and it appears is set to join the club for the commencement of its training for the 2008 season, which begins Monday, 28 January, at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Well keep monitoring and keep you updated as best we can. One thing seems certain with this signing: It would now seem that the also much discussed and anticipated departure of 4 season veteran midfielder Christian Gomez, is in fact going to now occur. I'm sad to see Gomez go, however I am excited about this signing yet I'm still skeptical. Of all of the new foreign players signed thus far, Gallardo seems to be the one to get the most excited about if he is in fact signed, however there have been some "behavior" issues in his past that may cast some concern into the mix. I guess for now, well just have to wait and see. More as the news comes in...

EDIT: Steven Goff's print edition article for Monday's Washington Post, is now up and can be viewed here: Gallardo Set To Join D.C. United.

From the article:

"Gallardo, 32, has agreed to terms on a long-term contract, but United cannot officially add him to the roster until final paperwork is completed. United will hold its first practice this morning outside RFK Stadium, though it is uncertain whether Gallardo will participate right away or wait until camp moves to Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday."
So it would now appear that a deal is all but done.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Three Stripes - YOU'RE OUT!

Something I thought I would never see happen at D. C United, finally actually did. As if this offseason has not been trying, and disappointing enough for the ardent Black & Red supporters in D.C., theres now one more thing to pile on top of everything, and its not a very pretty site if you ask me. D.C. United has been stripped of its internationally recognised 3 stripes across the chest. Apparently, since DC is in the market for a front side jersey sponsor, ADIDAS basically told United, that it could not have the 3 stripes, and a jersey sponsor on the front at the same time. Kind of a bitch move by Adidas if you ask me. There is no reason why a front side jersey sponsor could not fit neatly BELOW the 3 stripes across the chest. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand why United chose to do without the 3 stripes, given the ultimatum they were handed by Adidas. It's either keep the 3 stripes, and have no front side shirt sponsor, and thus no additional income from such sponsor, or, nix the 3 stripes, grab a shirt sponsor, and rake in very large amounts of cash. I get it, its about the money, but I still do not like it, and still believe there is a way to have both on the front without one obstructing or taking away from the other, but thats just me.

Adidas has "allowed" DC the use of the 3 stripes across the chest as sort of DC's own "brand" if you will. However, the stripes never actually belonged to DC, and always have been a trademark of ADIDAS. United has become an internationally recognised football club throughout the world, and one of the single most distinctive things that made DC, well... DC, was the 3 stripes across the chest. DC was basically the only club in the world to use the 3 stripes across the chest, and that look became synonymous with "D.C. United". For 12 seasons, DC United has built a brand identity / recognition, and a large part of that was those distinctive 3 stripes across the chest. Personally, I highly dislike the plain 2008 jersey's, and I am not happy that the 3 stripes are now out, gone, apparently for good. Furthermore, there is not nearly enough RED in the kits. DC really should find a way to place something where those stripes once were. An idea I have always liked is using the District Flag. Bottom line, DC has lost alot of its visual distinctiveness. Now, DC's jersey is just like every other club's. It does not stand out, it is plain, and boring, and quite frankly, it now looks like a training top. I suppose however it might look slightly better once a good, and fitting front shirt sponsor is finally selected and added however. I guess well have to wait and see. In the mean time, see for yourself, and make your own comparisons / judgements.

First - the old 2007 jersey:

Now, the new 2008 jersey - sans stripes, and front shirt sponsor.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Black & Red's Intial Posting - Welcome!

Hello fellow Black & Red supporters, and soccer fans in general! I have finally decided to start a blog which will focus on one of my favorite things in life, D.C. United Soccer! I am a current season ticket holder, and have been regularly attending United matches since day one back in 1996. I have missed about 3 home matches since the 2003 season. I am currently a member of La Barra Brava since the beginning of the 2004 Season.

This blog is not intended to be a "news" source, or anything of that nature, rather, it is just one lifelong fan and supporter's musings, opinions, thoughts, rants, perspectives on all things D.C. United from on the pitch, in the stands, to the front office, and around MLS too. I will attempt to keep this updated at least once weekly, so check back often as this is a work in progress and were just getting started! Here's hoping for a gr8 2008 for D.C. United!!!!!!

EDIT: If you have any content you would like me to add, or you would like your blog or site linked to from this site, then please by all means contact me via email or through leaving comments here. I will add any content or links that are DC United, Soccer, US Soccer, MLS, or International soccer related. Thanks!

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