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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.


coyote.hiker said...

of course i'm gonna miss Troy Perkins.. but other than that, i'll like to see how this new team plays together...

DCF said...

Im not sure who we'll miss more. Perkins, or Gomez. We do have 2 supposedly quality replacements for Perkins, in Zack Wells, and Jose Carvallo. Both of them will be trying to win the starting spot this training camp. I think both of them are on par with Troy Perkins, so it would seem United is covered at GK.

As for Gomez, well I can only hope that Marcelo Gallardo pans out. If he does, he should be substantially better than Gomez, and should put up even bigger numbers. For now, we'll have to wait and see.

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