Each match, D.C. United has important partners and fans perform the ceremonial first kick. On Armed Forces Night the first kick was taken by Jason Pak, a D.C. United fan and longtime soccer player who was injured while serving in Afghanistan. In April, Chris Pontius and James Riley visited Pak at Walter Reed Medical Center where the three formed an instant connection. D.C. United was very excited to have Pak at Armed Forces Night and thanks him and all of the former and current members of the armed forces.
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's Head Coach Ben Olsen has been a DC resident for over a decade now. Last fall, Olsen got involved in the politics of DC residency for the first time when he put his support behind the DC Vote initiative.
Tomorrow, Olsen will be in attendance at the DC Budget Freedom Happy Hour, hosted by DC Vote. The fundraiser details are below:
WHAT: $5 at the door gets you an extended Happy Hour with a DC Vote specialty cocktail, and enters you in a raffle to win D.C. United Tickets for their April 13th game vs. the New York Red Bulls and signed D.C. United fan gear. 100% of proceeds from purchases of Three Stars beers will go directly to DC Vote.
WHEN: Thursday, April 11 5:00PM - 8:00PM
WHERE: Cause 1926 9th Street NW, Washington, DC
Get behind D.C. United for Saturday's Atlantic Cup Match - tickets available online
In the 41st minute of the game against the Columbus Crew, with the score tied 1-1, D.C. United midfielder Kyle Porter tallied the go-ahead goal that was soon overturned due to teammate Lionard Pajoy’s passive offside position. MLSsoccer.com’s Nick Firchau examined the call and explains why Porter’s strike should have stood:
- Pajoy – in a passive offside position – runs toward the ball, but does NOT interfere with the play because he did not touch or actually play with the ball.
- Pajoy did NOT prevent any opponent from getting to the ball, nor did he obstruct a sight line.
- Pajoy did NOT make a gesture that deceived or distracted an opponent; simply moving toward the ball is not enough to do so.
- The Assistant Referee waving the flag to signal an offside does not stop the play; the Referee must blow his whistle, but Allen Chapman allowed play to continue (i.e. As the saying goes, play to the whistle).
Young Designated Player Rafael, 20, earned his first MLS “Goal of the Week” nomination after tallying a sensational 35-yard strike in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday. The goal is also the second-quickest tally in a D.C. United debut start.
The youngest current DP in the League, Rafael inked a deal with the Black-and-Red on Jan. 9 after notching 10 goals in 36 appearances for Bahia (Brazil’s Serie A).
After recording seven saves on Saturday in a 0-0 draw with the New York Red Bulls for his second consecutive shutout, Bill Hamid was twice nominated for "MLS Save of the Week" for Week 3. The first save up for contention came in the 67th minute when Hamid pawed away a Tim Cahill volley from inside the six-yard box. The second nomination was perhaps Hamid's most crucial - a clearance off the line in stoppage time to keep the sides even.
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!