Yesterday, D.C. United staff, along with goalkeeper Joe Willis and defender James Riley volunteered at D.C. Central Kitchen (DDCK). Together with the kitchen staff, we made meals for thousands of people in need. DCCK Volunteer Coordinator, Casey Thomasson prepped the group and explained what DCCK does for the community.
“We bring in 3,000 pounds of food every single day from different restaurants and hotels and organizations. We transform it into 5,000 meals all at once. Now, we don’t send these out individually… We want to try to create a more sustainable system of support for people in the community. That’s why we send these meals out to halfway houses, rehabilitation centers and after school programs. So, these programs can save money, while providing healthy meals to their clients.”
The passion for the program clear in his voice, Thomasson continued to explain that most of the cooks have come through DCCK’s internship program—a 14 week program for the previously disenfranchised to learn a valuable skill and get back on their feet. 100% of the last graduating class is now employed; the norm is around 90% which, if you’ll allow me to editorialize here, is unbelievably impressive.
While some volunteers cracked eggs to be used in lasagna, others prepared about 96 tins of turkey lasagna. Some DCU volunteers chopped jalapeños, while others prepared bacon and sandwiches for today’s breakfast.
On behalf of everyone at D.C. United, we want to thank DCCK for letting us spend the afternoon preparing meals for thousands and thank them for everything they do for the community.
Days after helping the Richmond Kickers seal the USL PRO regular season title, D.C. United loanee Andrew Dykstra collected an honor of his own.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper claimed the league's Goals-Against Average award with a GAA of 0.863, part of a standout season for the Woodbridge, Va., native. As a member of the USL PRO's stingiest defense, Dykstra led the league with ten shutouts in 22 appearances and posted 75 saves on the year.
Earlier this season, Dykstra was named Week 15 USL PRO Player of the Week for consecutive clean sheets against Orlando City SC and VSI Tampa Bay FC. He also earned a spot in the Week 9 USL PRO Team of the Week following a five-save performance against the Los Angeles Blues.
Dykstra played a key role in Richmond's run to the USL PRO Regular Season Championship, which included an unbeaten stretch of 22 games to start the season. The Kickers begin post-season play this Saturday with a quarterfinal matchup against the eighth-seeded Dayton Dutch Lions--the game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET from Richmond's City Stadium.
The Dallas Texans Soccer Club has produced some very successful soccer players in recent years. Among them are two of D.C. United's newest acquisitions, Jared Jeffrey and Conor Doyle. The pair were in different age groups, however in a recent interview with the Washington Post, Doyle noted that Jeffrey, "was a couple of years older. My dad coached him. My group was younger and knowing Jared went pro so early [in Europe], he would come back to train, we would all be in awe.”
With one regular season match still left to play, the Richmond Kickers are the USL PRO regular season champions! After beating Orlando City SC 2-0 yesterday, the Kickers have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Throughout the season, D.C. United has loaned six players to its USL PRO affiliate, building a mutually beneficial relationship. Andrew Dykstra, Conor Shanosky, Michael Seaton, Taylor Kemp, Casey Townsend and Collin Martin all featured for the Kickers this year.
Joseph Ngwenya led the way through the regular season, scoring eight goals and registering five assists for a total of 21 points, while Brian Ownby has seven goals and assisted six times for a total 20 points. And the season isn’t even over.
D.C. United’s Michael Seaton contributed to the score sheet five times and assisted once, while Casey Townsend also found the net twice. Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra leads the team in minutes play, featuring for 1800 minutes of play and registering ten of Richmond’s 11 shutouts.
Congratulations to the Richmond Kickers on winning the USL PRO regular season and good luck on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The D.C. love between the Nationals and the Black-and-Red continues. Yesterday, we blogged about Bryce Harper sporting a D.C. United jersey during an interview. Meanwhile, shortstop Ian Desmond, who attended United's July 27th match against the New England Revolution, got a taste of supporters culture, and now wants DCU fans at Nats Park.
This is how it started.
I have a question but I need some clarification first. Barra Brava- is the crew that cheers like crazy at DC united games correct?
— Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20) August 13, 2013
After some clarification, Desmond asked his followers this question.
Okay, so how to I convince the Barra Brava to come be crazy people at a baseball game?
— Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20) August 13, 2013
After some more Tweets, Desmond Tweeted directly at La Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles.
One of Washington's most influential journalists, and long time Nats and United fan, Clinton Yates, got in on the conversation.
— Clinton Yates (@clintonyates) August 13, 2013
A message from Volkswagen:
Volkswagen supports soccer players at all levels and fans across the world . Whatever the level, these players/fans have one thing in common: they “Never Stop Playing”, they “Never Stop Cheering”. Volkswagen has the most vehicles on the road with over 100,000 miles…they “Never Stop Running."
*Average mileage based on Wolfram Alpha data (www.wolframalpha.com). Vehicles on the road based on Polk global registrations of 2001 models and older in 48 countries, as of September 2012.
Bryce Harper recently wore his number 34 D.C. United jersey in his weekly sit-down interview with CSN Washington.
"Of course I’m going to rep anything I can from the D.C. area. I’m very excited to see them play, maybe sometime soon," Harper said.
Harper is one of many D.C. athletes seen wearing their personalized D.C. United jerseys recently. Wizards point guard John Wall was spotted in Vegas wearing his DCU jersey, and Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond cheered on the Black-and-Red at RFK while rocking his United gear.
— Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20) July 27, 2013
D.C. United is making history tonight. The Black-and-Red is fielding its youngest starting eleven ever. With a lineup of Bill Hamid (22), Chris Korb (25), Ethan White (22), Conor Shanosky (21), James Riley (30) Taylor Kemp (22), Perry Kitchen (21), Jared Jeffrey (23), Kyle Porter (23),Collin Martin (18), Conor Doyle (21), the average age is 23.21 years or 23 years, 78 days, according to Elias Sports.
D.C. United’s youngest lineup prior to tonight started on May 7, 2011. Again, the lineup is in order of age: Najar (18), Kitchen (19), White (20), Hamid (20), Pontius (23), McCarty (24), Davies (24), King (25), Jakovic (25), Woolard (26), Ngwenya (30). The average age of this starting eleven was 23 years, 200 days, or 23.55 years.
Not only is D.C. United putting faith in its youth, but four of its five Homegrowns are also in the starting lineup. Bill Hamid, Ethan White, Conor Shanosky, and Collin Martin all developed through the United Academy and are now starting together tonight.
All research is courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau.
D.C. United hosted a viewing party at Lucky Bar, and we captured fan reactions to last night's semifinal victory.