Ahead of D.C. United’s Armed Forces Match against Sporting Kansas City this Sunday, D.C. United players paid a special visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on MAy 15th. United’s Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Bill Hamid, James Riley, Dwayne De Rosario, Nick DeLeon, and Dejan Jakovic spent time in the Military Advanced Training Center, where amputees injured during service are given special care with the goal of assuming pre-injury capabilities.
United will be dedicating Sunday’s match to all the armed forces who sacrifice everything to keep the United States safe. For this special event, Jason Pak, a patient Pontius and Riley had visited back in April, will conduct the ceremonial first kick.
D.C. United hopes to return to Walter Reed National Military Medical center, as each player who participated leaves with new admiration for our armed forces. Join the Black-and-Red in thanking our armed forces this Sunday at 5 p.m. at RFK.
D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius on Robbie Russell:
“I just want to congratulate him on a fantastic career, not only is he a great player, but he’s a great person, and that means just as much to me. He has had a fantastic career and a fantastic run, and he will be successful in whatever he does after soccer.”
D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic:
“I want to wish Robbie Russell all the best in the future. He’s definitely a really positive mentor since he has come to D.C. A guy with a ton of experience, whose been a voice and a leader on this team, and we’re going to miss him.”
D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen:
“Robbie has had a wonderful career, and we as an organization were lucky to play a small part in it,” said D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “He has helped mold our young players and has left, in a short time, a big imprint on this club.”
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando:
"Saddened to see Robbie Russell's career come to an end but it was a pleasure to share the field with such a true pro. One of the smartest, most unselfish, and worst-dressed players I ever played with and although his last PK in 2009 was memorable, it's his Brandi Chastain celebrations that I'll miss. Good luck in your next adventure bud."
Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman:
"Not only was Robbie a great player but he was an even better person. He was the utmost professional and it was a pleasure to play with him. He'll always have a place in the hearts of the RSL family for the hard work he put in and of course for his penalty he took to win the MLS Cup 2009."
Real Salt Late defender Chris Wingert:
"Robbie Russell is definitely one of the best teammates you could ask for as an athlete. Great player, great locker room guy, and somebody that will have just as much success outside of soccer as he has in it. Congrats on a great career Robbie!"
Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers:
"Robbie was a major part of our success from '09-'11. He brought a lot of high-level experience to this team and he knew how to win. He fit in everywhere…I think the only position he never played was striker! I'll never forget the PK he took in '09 to win us the MLS Cup. He was so calm when everything was on the line for us. He was a winner at soccer and I have no doubt he will be a winner in the next phase of his life."
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis:
"Robbie Russell played an integral and critical part in the changing of the culture at Real Salt Lake. He will be forever remembered for his 2009 MLS Cup-Winning Penalty Kick, but his true contributions were much more thorough, impressive, and long-lasting than that one kick. His legacy at RSL can and will never be forgotten.
I, for one, owe him a personal debt of gratitude for what he gave to me and this club."
D.C. United and our partner IMP are giving you a chance to win! All you have to do is like this post and you can win 2 tickets and 2 beers to tomorrow’s D.C. United match against the Houston Dynamo and 2 lawn tickets to see the National play live at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Like your chances? Like this post!
Collin Martin, former D.C. United Academy standout and current Wake Forest Demon Deacon, was called into the United States U-20 Training Camp in Carson, Calif., from April 22-29 in preparation for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The freshman midfielder/forward hails from Chevy Chase, Md., and has trained with Manchester United in 2008 and German side Hoffenheim in 2011. The young midfielder has made an impact with both United’s Academy and professional level— scoring a game-tying goal for United’s reserve team against the New England Revolution. Furthermore, Martin impressed coaches and players alike at several practices with United’s First Team in 2012.
Martin— named First Team All-Met by the Washington Post— helped the U-18s reach the USSDA National Championship in Texas and was named an Eastern Conference starting XI midfielder at the end of the 2012 season.
The 18-year-old graduated early from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and went on to feature in 20 games for Wake Forest, starting 15 of them. The young standout tallied one goal and registered six assists in the 2012 season, helping the Demon Deacons reach the first round of the NCAA tournament. Martin was then called into the U-20 camp in December of 2012.
"Collin being called into camp is important for D.C. United," said D.C. United Director of Youth Development Sonny Silooy. "He is still 18, still very young. When someone is already selected at just 17, you know he already has a lot of talent. He has potential to make the First Team for D.C and maybe the United States National Team someday."
Collin will join 23 other players in California, including current Major League Soccer standouts Will Trap and Jose Villarreal.
Today, April 5, 2013 marks the official 100-year anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Since its inception, U.S. Soccer’s mission has been clear—make soccer a predominant sport in the U.S. and facilitate development at every level of competition.
The Centennial is truly a testament to U.S. Soccer’s supporters and participants, including players, coaches, referees, volunteers, ambassadors, and most of all the fans.
U.S. Soccer has reached many milestones in the years preceding its Centennial. The Women’s U.S. National Team has won two World Cups and four Olympic Gold Medals. The U.S. Men’s National team has enjoyed recent success, qualifying for the World Cup six times in a row, and reaching the quarterfinals in 2002, the first time in 72 years.
Additionally, Major League Soccer is in its 18th season. The high level of competition between the League’s 19 teams and 13 soccer specific stadiums has boosted media coverage to an all-time high.
In honor of this remarkable day, U.S. Soccer hosted a press conference at New York’s City Hall, along with a watch party for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s exhibition game against Germany, which ended in a 3-3 tie.
Lastly, if you’re in New York City tonight, make sure to look up at the top of the Empire Sate Building, as it will boast U.S. Soccer’s red, white and blue.
D.C. United's goalkeeper Bill Hamid knows how to make an entrance. Untied's stellar homegrown product earned the 2013 season's first Save of the Week. The 22-year-old netminder made a spectacular save, denying Giles Barnes' one-touch rocket from inside the six yard box during Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo.
Hamid earned 25% of the votes, beating Andy Gruenebaum of the Columbus Crew by 1 percentage point. The show-stopping save earned Hamid his first ever Save of the Week after multiple nominations for the honor.
2012 Rookie of the Year Finalist Nick DeLeon added some new, team-sprited ink to his right arm. The 22-year-old standout broke United's rookie regular-season scoring record last year, and now boasts a vintage D.C. United logo tattoo, showing his dedication to and passion for the Black-and-Red.
Do you share his passion? Show us your ink!
Twelve years ago yesterday marks a special day in history for the United States Men’s National Team—especially for D.C. United’s own assistant coach Josh Wolff. On February 28, 2012, the USMNT beat Mexico in a World Cup qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio. Entering the game for a black-eyed Brian McBride, then 24-year-old Wolff entered the match eleven minutes in. Then an injured captain Claudio Reyna subbed out towards the end of the first half, giving an opportunity to then New York MetroStar Clint Mathis. Just four minutes later, Mathis hit a long ball over the Mexican back line—a long ball Josh Wolff timed perfectly. Winning the footrace against Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos, Wolff slipped the ball into the empty net and immediately celebrated. Wolff’s contributions didn’t end there. With three minutes left in regulation, he spun a Mexico defender and escaped a double team. Wolff dribbled down the goal line, picked up his head, and slot the ball back for an open Earnie Stewart to calmly finish. The USMNT emerged victorious with a 2-0 win over Mexico, bringing glory to the fans in the stadium that day in Columbus, Ohio, USMNT supporters, and Americans everywhere.
A past MLS MVP and former captain of his country’s national team, Carlos Ruiz became the first-ever Guatemalan player to sign with D.C. United on Feb. 20, 2012. Although perhaps not the first from their countries to wear the Black-and-Red, many other United players are also foreign-born.
United center back Dejan Jakovic was born in Croatia, moved to Canada, and now plays for the Canadian National Team. Lewis Neal was born and raised in Leicester, England. Neal played professionally in England until coming stateside to play with NASL side Orlando City S.C. Three Black-and-Red teammates hail from Brazil—Marcelo Saragosa from Campo Grande, Raphael Augusto from Rio de Janerio, and young Designated Player Raphael from Àuga Boa, Mias Gerais (a Brazilian State). Also from South America is United forward Lionard Pajoy, hailing from Norte de Santander, Colombia. D.C. defender Robbie Russell was born in Accra, Ghana and lived on four different continents (Africa, Asia, North America and Europe) before his family settled in Amherst, Massachusetts. Recently acquired John Thorrington was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and then moved to Los Angeles, California before signing with England’s Manchester United. United’s newest Homegrown Player Michael Seaton, 16, hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica and represented his country in the CFU U-17 FIFA World Cup. Another new addition to the Black-and-Red, Syamsir Alam comes to D.C. from Jakarta Indonesia. In total, 11 United players come from other countries before arriving in the nation’s capital to put on the Black-and-Red.
For the first time ever, Major League Soccer games (eight of them, to be exact) will be broadcast on ESPN 3D, “the world’s first 24/7 all-sports 3D channel.” D.C. United’s April 21 match against regional rival Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium will be broadcast live on ESPN 3D at 5 p.m. ET. Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas will commentate and provide studio analysis for the second meeting of the I-95 rivals.
The 18th MLS season includes a total of 20 broadcasted games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN 3D.