With the news that Homegrown Player Andy Najar has been transferred to R.S.C. Anderlecht, D.C. United players tweeted their well-wishes.
United captain Dwayne De Rosario:
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) January 30, 2013
2012 MLS Best XI selection Chris Pontius:
As much as is sucks to lose Andy, I'm genuinely happy for the kid. Great player, unreal potential, awesome person. Good luck Andy
— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) January 30, 2013
Fellow United Homegrown products Bill Hamid...:
Big ups to Najar.. Couldn't be more happier for him. Well deserved. Go show the world what u can do playa!!! Congrats kid
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) January 30, 2013
...and Ethan White:
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 30, 2013
Midfielder Perry Kitchen:
Good luck to Andy! What a great opportunity. He is going to kill it!
— Perry Kitchen (@PerryKitchen23) January 30, 2013
Defender Brandon McDonald:
Our team is really goin 2 miss @andy_najar !!! Truly happy for him & his family w this opportunity 2 fulfill his dreams! Hes goin 2 kill it!
— Brandon McDonald (@BMcDonald4) January 30, 2013
Defender Dejan Jakovic:
Big move for @andy_najar wish you all the best in Belgium with Anderlecht
— Dejan Jakovic (@DejanJakovic) January 30, 2013
And fellow former MLSer and Anderlecht teammate Sacha Kljestan:
Happy that we signed Andy Najar from DC United. Nice to have another former MLS player here at RSCA.
— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) January 30, 2013
In a recent series, MLSsoccer.com has been taking us back in time to highlight some of the biggest stars in the early days of Major League Soccer, and then explores where they are now. One of those stars is none other than D.C. United's first true number 10, Marco "El Diablo" Etcheverry.
Etcheverry spent 8 season with the Black-and-Red and led the team to four MLS Cup appearances, three MLS Cups (1996, ’97 and ’99), one US Open Cup (’96), one CONCACAF Champions’ Cup and a Copa Interamericana (’98). He was named MLS MVP in 1998, and became part of the MLS All-Time XI. He tallied 32 goals and racked up 101 assists during his time with the squad.
But where is he now? Find out on MLSsoccer.com.
Today, Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.com rated the top 10 U.S. Soccer players under 21 and placed D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen at #3 on the list.
Every year in MLS, first-year players hit the dreaded rookie wall, when legs and the mind get heavy thanks to the increased workload of games and travel. According to D.C. United coach Ben Olsen, there has been one exception. “The guy who really didn't go through it was Perry Kitchen,” Olsen said during last year's playoffs. "He went through it for like an hour one day." When Olsen made that statement, Kitchen was well into his second season with the Black-and-Red, but the comment is telling. While the midfielder's skill on the ball, heading ability, and tackling are all excellent, Kitchen's consistency, presence, and leadership are what coaches around MLS talk about most often. It's what allowed him to make the holding midfield spot his own last season, one that looks to remain in his hands for the foreseeable future. Not bad for a guy who is still only 20. “For me, he's been fantastic," Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth. "As a young player, establishing himself, he's so mature for his age. He's always been that way.”
Kitchen, a 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up, eluded the rookie wall and experienced no sophomore slump during his first two seasons in the League. In his inaugural MLS campaign, Kitchen became the only first-year player in United history to lead the team in minutes played (2, 726). And in 2012, the University of Akron product came up one minute shy of tying the club’s previous single-season record for minutes (2,805), held by Jeff Agoos in 1996.
Beach, fishing, movies and rest were the highlights of the Black-and-Red’s off-day.
While pre-season is in full swing, D.C. United was given a rare day off on Sunday. Some took the day to rest, while others took full advantage of the local beaches and attractions.
Daniel Woolard took a cruise up to St. Petersburg to go fishing with former D.C. United Strength Coach Pete Calabrese. While Woolard reeled in a few fish, he told me that he didn’t land any worth taking photos of.
Others, like Nick DeLeon, Joe Willis, Marcelo Saragosa, John Thorrington and Lionard Pajoy took the time to visit one of the most picturesque beaches in the world, Siesta Key Beach.
Siesta Key Beach Florida!!!Enjoying the day Off!!! @ Siesta Key Beach instagr.am/p/U_isgiPsUH/
—M.Saragosa (@MarceloSaragosa) January 27, 2013
Chris Pontius and newcomer Casey Townsend relaxed before going to see Django Unchained at a nearby theatre last night.
— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) January 28, 2013
While players were all over the map in terms of what they did on their off day, one thing was consistent, they all enjoyed a bit of rest and relaxation after an already long pre-season camp in Bradenton, Florida.
D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon has declined Trinidad & Tobago’s invitation to participate in a friendly against Peru on February 6. The 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist was born in Phoenix, Ariz., but is also eligible to play for the island nation due to his father’s ties to the country.
In his inaugural MLS season, DeLeon appeared in 28 games (25 starts), tallying four assists and breaking D.C. United’s rookie goal-scoring record (6) during the regular season. The University of Louisville product also added two goals in the MLS Cup playoffs, including an 88th minute game-winner in Leg 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Red Bulls.
D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario, who is currently at January camp with the Canadian National team, sits down for a quick Q&A to discuss his injury last fall and his future with the National team. De Rosario has made 72 appearances (59 starts) for the nation.
Related: De Rosario, Jakovic called up
Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic were both in the starting XI for Canada in a 4-0 loss against Denmark today in Tucson, Arizona. Jakovic went the full 90 minutes in the backline while De Rosario - entering his first international match since suffering an MCL injury on Sept. 11, 2012 against Panama - was subbed out in the 60th minute. This was De Rosario's 72nd international cap and Jakovic's 13th.
Canada next faces the U.S. Men's National Team on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX. United teammate Bill Hamid is currently with the U.S. squad, and the friendly against Canada is the only game preceding the opening match in the Hexagonal round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying on Feb. 6.
Five former Black-and-Red players - Raúl Díaz Arce, Marco Etcheverry, Roy Lassiter, Ben Olsen and Tony Sanneh – were nominated yesterday for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2013 elections. Olsen, United’s current head coach, and Sanneh are two of five players in the group of 22 nominated in their first year of eligibility.
Voting will continue through February 22, and players who appear on at least 66.7% of ballots will earn election into the Hall of Fame.
Raúl Díaz Arce
Díaz Arce featured for the Black-and-Red for four seasons (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001). The Salvadoran international finished as the Golden Boot runner-up in 1996 with 23 goals en route to helping the club capture the inaugural MLS Cup. United also claimed the 1996 U.S. Open Cup and 1997 Supporters’ Shield with Díaz Arce.
A three-time MLS Cup winner and one-time MLS Cup MVP, Etcheverry appeared in 191 games (180 starts) for the Black-and-Red for 1996-2003, tallying 34 goals and 101 assists. Etcheverry still holds the club record for his marks in games played and assists.
Lassiter is regarded as one the all-time greats in MLS, with a single-season goal-scoring record set in the 1996 inaugural season to support this claim. Lassiter joined the Black-and-Red for the 1998 and 1999 seasons (and returned in 2002), helping the team to its third MLS Cup in four seasons. The striker suited up for United 67 times (55 starts), tallying 36 goals and 17 assists in the process.
Olsen, United’s current head coach, joined the club as a player in 1998 and spent his entire 11-year professional career with the Black-and-Red. The midfielder appeared in 221 games (200 starts), adding 29 goals and 49 assists. The Pennsylvania native is second on the club’s all-time lists for games played (221) and minutes (17,098). Olsen also led the team to two MLS Cup titles (1999, 2004) during his on-field tenure at RFK Stadium.
Sanneh guided D.C. United to two MLS Cups in three seasons, helping the club win titles in 1996 and again in 1997, but falling just short in the final to the Chicago Fire in 1998. The midfielder/defender became the first MLS player to score in back-to-back Cup finals. In total, Sanneh played 71 games (69 starts), collecting 14 goals and 25 assists for the Black-and-Red.
You may be in luck! TheCup.us, a website dedicated to coverage of Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, is raising funds for a website redesign. The redesign will include expanded analysis of past and future Open Cup Matches.
The US Open Cup is the oldest American soccer tournament. The knockout style tournament dates back to 1913 and is open to all United States Soccer Federation Affiliated Teams, including amateur and professional teams around the United States.
If you can't contribute financially, there are other ways to help:
Volunteers have been the backbone of this website from the beginning and there's plenty of ways to help. If you can contribute, or know someone who can contribute in any of the following areas:
- SHARE: The easiest way to contribute is just to spread the word about this campaign, about this website and, most of all, the tournament itself. Indiegogo has share tools you can use, and there's always the 'old fashioned' way by posting to your favorite social media sites.
- AD SALES: Those of us who work on the site are journalists and website managers and not salesmen, so we need someone who speaks the language to attract advertisers who would find value in a site that attracts die-hard soccer fans from all over the country.
- WRITING: If you're passionate about the US Open Cup and have some solid writing skills, then drop us a line. We're looking for people to cover games, do feature stories, or help with historical articles.
- RESEARCH: Do you love digging in archives looking for historical info? You've come to the right place then. In addition to looking through various publication archives (or coordinating with local libraries to have them help with it), a lot of our research involves tracking down players/coaches/administrators to find some of this info.
WEBSITE WORK: TheCup.us is a Wordpress-based website, and if you have some website or graphics skills, then we could use your help as well.
For more information about the fundraising efforts of TheCup.us, visit them online now.
Former Black-and-Red defender Mike Petke, age 36, is the latest player from D.C. United’s past to accept a head-coaching job in MLS. The New York Red Bulls, United’s Atlantic Cup foe, made the move today to promote Petke from interim head coach to head coach. And just a few weeks back – on January 8 – former United captain Ryan Nelsen was chosen to steer the ship at Toronto FC.
On November 14, 2004, Olsen, Petke and Nelsen went the full 90 minutes to guide the Black-and-Red to its fourth MLS Cup title, a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). Now Olsen, Nelsen and Petke, respectively, represent the three youngest current coaches in MLS. And just last year, Olsen became the youngest head coach in MLS All-Star history when he led the select squad to a 3-2 victory against 2012 European champions Chelsea FC.