Posts Tagged ‘DC United’

DC United’s Jaime Moreno finishes career as all-time goals leader for MLS

October 28, 2010

DC United fans hold a banner of Jaime Moreno during his final game at RFK Stadium October 23. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

DC United legend Jaime Moreno, one of the best players in the history of MLS, scored in the final game of his career Saturday night at RFK Stadium, but United fell to Toronto FC, 3-2.

Moreno finished his illustrious career as MLS’ all-time leading scorer with 133 goals.  The Bolivian star is the only player in the history of the league with more than 100 goals and 100 assists.

Dusty old RFK rocked the entire game.  Redskins fans wish they had a stadium and an atmosphere like this.  The noise was loudest when Moreno scored on a penalty kick in the game’s 39th minute.  Moreno calmly jogged to the ball and placed it in the right corner of the goal, past goalie Milos Kocic.

For the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

DC United fans celebrated the final game of Jaime Moreno's illustrious career at RFK Stadium October 23. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

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DC United defeats Ronaldinho and AC Milan 3-2 in international friendly at RFK Stadium

May 27, 2010

The team in black and red put on a show in front of a raucous crowd of 30,367 at RFK Stadium Wednesday night, but it wasn’t AC Milan. DC United, not the Rossoneri, was the team that provided world-class play as United outlasted AC Milan 3-2.

United’s fan club Barra Brava did their usual rowdy chants and celebrations at old school, rusty RFK, which is still one of the best football stadiums in the country. Supporters of AC Milan were also out in full force, creating an electric atmosphere.

It looked like DC United would be in for a long night when less than a minute into the game, Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho served up a no look pass to Pato. But United goalie Bill Hamid, 19, challenged Pato and caught his shot from close range.

To read the rest of my article on examiner.com, click here.

Local Sports should be Local

August 9, 2009

I have a problem with the order of the sports stories on Channel 4 tonight, read by Dari Noka.  He buried the DC United-Real Madrid soccer game near the bottom.  Real Madrid is one of the most famous teams in the world, the game was local, and 72,000 fans attended.  Then the final story was the Legg Mason Tennis Championship, also in DC, which featuring two of the top six players in the world. The last two items were local, so they should not have been behind an NFL preseason game and a minor golf tournament.

Here’s the rundown of how it went:

  1. Nationals win 8th in a row
  2. Tidbit about Redskin Carlos Rodgers’ injury
  3. NFL Hall of Fame Game
  4. Tiger Woods wins some golf tournament
  5. DC United – Real Madrid soccer game
  6. Juan Martin Del Potro beats Andy Roddick in tiebreaker in 3rd set of finals of Legg Mason tennis tournament in DC

Here’s how it should have gone:

  1. Nationals win 8th in a row
  2. DC United – Real Madrid soccer game
  3. Juan Martin Del Potro beats Andy Roddick in tiebreaker in 3rd set of finals of Legg Mason tennis tournament in DC
  4. Tidbit about Redskin Carlos Rodgers’ injury
  5. NFL Hall of Fame Game
  6. Tiger Woods wins some golf tournament

Maybe I should get a life but maybe local sports should be taken more seriously, like back in the day when we had Glenn Brenner, George Michael, and Frank Herzog, not to mention Bernie Smilovitz and Steve Buckhantz, plus good weekend anchors like James Brown.

Ok, I just realized the NFL preseason game was on channel 4 (NBC).  That makes it more understandable, but it doesn’t make it right.  It reminds me of when I worked at Mutual Radio years ago – a minor golf tournament would get a report a minute and 20 seconds long, because it was sponsored, more than twice as much time as was devoted to a Super Bowl report.

Soccer

December 4, 2008

I have to say that soccer will always be the sport with the best memories for me.  Playing every spring and fall as I did growing up for five and a half years – 11 seasons — was really great.  I was only an average player – I made an all-star team once as a defender.  But it’s just such a fun, simple, pure game.  I remember at recess in elementary school it was the thing to do.  There were so many kids on the field it was ridiculous.  It must have been 20 on 20.  Part of the problem with soccer in the U.S. is that once kids reach middle school age, the number of recreational leagues goes down.

 

I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience to watch a lot of soccer on TV.  Like hockey and baseball, soccer is a lot more fun to watch in person.  But what really gets me is the arrogant attitude that the U.S. sports media has on soccer.  It’s one thing not to like the sport very much, but to openly have such disdain for it is really over the top.  It’s not uncommon to hear sportscasters ridicule the sport, being proud of their ignorance, and dismissing it completely.  I actually believe that the lack of respect the U.S. sports media gives soccer is emblematic of the way many Americans view the world – as if we are the center of the world, and we don’t care to understand other cultures.  Is it possible that the whole world is wrong about soccer?  It is awesome to hear European or South American fans chant in unison for their teams. 

 

There is actually a slice of that flavor and passion in the U.S.  DC United, the Washington team in Major League Soccer (MLS), draws about 15,000 fans a game.  Though not a huge number, those fans are incredibly raucous, chanting for United and singing rhythmically.  It doesn’t hurt that they play at old RFK Stadium, where the bleachers literally shake.  It’s amusing to hear some people say that they don’t understand soccer.  Isn’t it the simplest of all the major sports?

 

Another thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that there was a moderately successful pro soccer league in the U.S. in the late 70s.  The North American Soccer League had the New York Cosmos, led by world superstars Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia.  They actually used to sell out Giants stadium, averaging 70,000 fans per game.  Those players were superstars in New York for a few years.  The Washington Diplomats often sold out RFK Stadium when the Cosmos came to town and had solid average attendance figures of around 20,000.  I went to an English Premier League match in 2004 where the stadium only held about 22,000 (Fulham FC).  However, too many of the NASL’s stars were in New York and the league expanded too fast, and the NASL folded in 1984. 

 

Much to the dismay of the U.S. sports media, MLS is slowly gaining interest in America.  If the sportscasters and sportswriters in the U.S. paid more attention to it, and if ESPN devoted more time to it, the sport would gain more fans.  However, nobody wants to take chances and mess up a successful TV formula of pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, and auto racing.  Meanwhile, baseball’s popularity may be waning.  The 2008 American League Championship Series was on TBS.  TBS?