October has been a good month for D.C. United and San Francisco Giants owner Will Chang. Both of his teams are in the post-season. United clinched a spot on Saturday night and, last night, the San Francisco Giants advanced to the World Series with a 9-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS. Obviously, he is thrilled. He shares his thoughts below.
What it is like to have both of your teams in the playoffs?
Will Chang: My dream come true will be to bring home an MLS Cup and a World Series Trophy. It is wonderful experience to have one of your teams in the playoffs, but to have two is indeed very special. Both D.C. United and the Giants have overcome many adversities to get into the postseason.
When DeRo suffered a season ending injury, many people wrote us off. However, something special happened ... each and every player on our team stepped up and started to play better. That’s what championship teams do….they overcome adversity and succeed! The story about the Giants is similar. When Brian Wilson suffered a season ending injury, many wrote us off. Then we lost Melky Cabrera, again, many said our season was doomed. We lost two of our best players, everyone else stepped up and started to play better.
What was your reaction to Lewis Neal’s goal in the 91st minute?
WC: My first reaction was overwhelming delight. I showed it by screaming as loud as I could. Then the feeling of relief came over me, as I realized that this clinched our playoff berth, after several seasons of disappointment. I am so happy that Lewis scored the game-winning goal, too. It was a beautiful goal, but you also have to give credit to Branko who gave Lewis a perfect pass for an assist. I am also happy for Nick who set a club record for most number of goals by a rookie. There are many great players who started their career at D.C. United, so this is a special honor for him.
If, by chance, United and the Giants play at the same time - how do you follow both games?
WC:Fortunately, the World Series and the MLS Cup will not be played at the same time. During the season, if both teams are playing at the same time, I try to watch the D.C. United game in real time and watch the Giants on TiVo later. I try to impose a news blackout so that I preserve the element of surprise and excitement.
The Blackout is coming. Will you be there? Buy tickets
Following Saturday's important win, DC Mayor Vincent Gray sent a congratulatory tweet to D.C. United for it's berth in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs. This year marks United's first post-season appearance since 2007.
— Vincent C. Gray (@mayorvincegray) October 22, 2012
A summary of tweets from players, an owner, and media after clinching a spot in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.
What a feeling! Playoffs baby! That one was for you fans!
— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) October 21, 2012
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) October 21, 2012
Great to see DC United back in the playoffs. Congrats to one of my favorite former teammates, Benny Olsen. Job well done sir.
— Alecko Eskandarian (@alecko11) October 21, 2012
DC United go MLS playoff first time since 2007. Congrats to all the Fans and thank you for supporting after all this year.
— Erick Thohir (@erickthohir) October 21, 2012
spectacular atmosphere tonight at RFK, for season defining win for @dcunited . Great to have that team, and those fans back in the playoffs.
— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) October 21, 2012
— Michael Chabala (@Chabala6) October 21, 2012
— Perry Kitchen (@PerryKitchen23) October 21, 2012
— Brandon McDonald (@BMcDonald4) October 21, 2012
Head Coach Ben Olsen and ten players visited the Nation's Medical Center
On Monday, October 15, Head Coach Ben Olsen, Mike Chabala, Maicon Santos, Bill Hamid, Daniel Woolard, Stephen King, Josh Wolff, Brandon McDonald, Chris Pontius, Robbie Russell and Joe Willis visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The group toured the facility and met with wounded warriors.
The players shared their experience via Twitter:
What an inspiration! @ the Walter Reed Medical Center visiting wounded soldiers! This guy was amazing! No arms or legs twitter.com/BMcDonald4/sta…
— Brandon McDonald (@BMcDonald4) October 15, 2012
— Brandon McDonald (@BMcDonald4) October 15, 2012
Just got back from Walter Reed Medical Center. So grateful for the opportunity to meet some of the TRUE Heroes. Inspiring people
— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) October 15, 2012
Us posing with our guides after a humbling experience of meeting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital. W instagr.am/p/Q0mSLBom5j/
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) October 15, 2012
With my teammates meeting with Wounded Warriors. Support our troops!Freedom is not free
— Perry Kitchen (@PerryKitchen23) October 15, 2012
D.C. United's mission of "winning championships and serving the community" isn't only for the first team. On Sunday, October 14, D.C. United Academy players, coaches, and parents participated in the Acumen Solution's 8K Race for a Cause in Arlington, VA. The race helped raise money for United for D.C. - the club's charitable arm.
Forty-five players from United's U-14, U-15, and U-16 teams ran with 15 coaches and parent plus the events hundreds of other participants. D.C. United front office staff also participated.
Most of the Academy players were sleepy and chilly at the start of the race (see above), but they warmed up during the run and enjoyed representing the Black-and-Red and a community event.
New Director of Youth Development, Sonny Silooy, finished first among the Academy coaches. And, as the photo on the right suggests, he was pretty happy about it.
A lucky fan has won the same watch
For the second year in a row, Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers has sponsored dcunited.com's Man of the Match voting. As part of the promotion, Lenkersdorfer generously provides a new Breitling Superocean Chronograph 2000M (retail value: $4,845.00) to both the D.C. United player that wins the most Man of the Match awards and to a fan that voted for Man of the Match and is selected in a random drawing.
Chris Pontius is having a career season and fans noticed. United's midfield/forward was named Pontius the Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers Man of the Match seven times this season. We will be awarded the new Breitling watch before the regular season finale on October 20. MLS Rookie of the Year candidate Nick DeLeon was second with four Man of the Match awards.
Chris Pontius isn't the person in the Washington region that will be sporting a new watch on his wrist. Christopher L. from Manassas, VA won the sweepstakes drawing. He'll receive his watch before Saturday's match as well.
Players share their love of reading with online students
After training today, Dwayne De Rosario and Perry Kitchen took a moment to participate in an online education event with K12.com. DeRo read “Froggy Plays Soccer” while Perry read “Splat!: The Colorful Cat” to some local students while the session was recorded for online use. Below are photos from the event.
A summary of tweets from players after Saturday's match in Toronto. D.C. United defeated Toronto FC 1-0 thanks to Hamdi Salihi's goal in the 88th minute.
Not the pretty but well def take that. Big 3 points #dcu
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) October 6, 2012
Fantastic 1-0 win today.. Great result heading into the international break
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) October 6, 2012
MASSIVE win for the club today! Strong effort from everyone 2nite!! BIG thanks to those who made the trip up 2day!! #vamosunited
— Brandon McDonald (@BMcDonald4) October 6, 2012
Massive 3 points this afternoon! Very ugly game but proud of the effort today. #vamosunited
— Perry Kitchen (@PerryKitchen23) October 6, 2012
3 points all count the same. Big time effort today and by those who traveled to support. #vamosunited
— Michael Chabala (@Chabala6) October 6, 2012
YOU TELL US: What did you think of the result?
Who would win a race between Talon and the Nationals' mascot Teddy?
It is a year of firsts for the Washington Nationals. 2012 marks the first time the Nationals have made it to the postseason, the first time they have won the NL East (and first for a baseball team in DC since 1933), and the first time Teddy won the President's Race.
For a few hours this afternoon, social media was buzzing about Teddy's win. All the talk about racing mascots made us wonder, who is the fastest mascot in DC? Is Talon faster than Teddy?
YOU TELL US: Who would win a race between Teddy and Talon?
A look at some of the stories from D.C. United 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday, September 29.
- Pontius scores first, but Dike answers as DC and Portland share points (dcunited.com)
- DC United not perfect, but happy with improving road form (mlssoccer.com)
- A shaky penalty kick decision in Portland; D.C. United benefits (NBC Sports)
- Pontius scores in United’s 1-1 tie at Portland (washingtonpost.com)
- Postgame observations: D.C. United 1, Portland 1 (washingtontimes.com)