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.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), today announced the 13 U.S. cities and venues that will be hosting Gold Cup matches this year.
The Gold Cup is North America's premier international tournament, which 12 teams participate in every two years. This year, the tournament will run from July 7 to July 28. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have already qualified. Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Martinique from the Caribbean as well as Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador from Central America will also participate in 2013. The final Central American spot will be filled this Friday, with the winner of Panama vs. Guatemala advancing.
Complete List of US Host Cities for the 2013 Gold Cup
- Dallas – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
- Atlanta – Georgia Dome (Atlanta)
- Baltimore – M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
- Chicago – Soldier Field (Chicago)
- Denver – Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver)
- Hartford – Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)
- Houston – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston)
- Los Angeles – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
- Miami – Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
- New York – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
- Portland – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, Ore.)
- Salt Lake City – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
- Seattle – CenturyLink Field (Seattle)
The full D.C. United preseason roster was released on Friday. Below, we introduce the seven trialists on the list.
A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, 26-year-old Altman currently plays for the Minnesota Stars FC. The defender was originally drafted by the New England Revolution in the second round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, but joined the Minnesota Thunder after being waived by the club. Since joining the Minnesota Stars in 2010, Altman took on the role of team captain and earned more minutes in the past two seasons than any other player on the team.
Neven Markovic is 25-year-old Serbian soccer player, who most recently played for MLS' Sporting Kansas City. Markovic was a member of the 2012 Sporting roster who won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The left back previously played for a couple of teams in the Serbian SuperLiga, including FC Rad Belgrade from 2005 to 2008.
A graduate of Old Dominion University, Joseph Nane was originally drafted by Toronto FC in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. At the end of the 2010 campaign, the Cameroonian native was traded to the Colorado where he spent two seasons playing for the Rapids. The midfielder appeared in nine games in 2012, notching one goal in 446 minutes.
Demitrius Omphroy is an American-born soccer player from Alameda, California. With his Filipino roots, the versatile 23-year-old has one cap with the Philippines National Team. After four years at the University of California, Berkley, Omphroy was drafted by Toronto FC in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
Although he was born in Venezuela and lived in Colombia until he was 13, Restrepo is an American who has seen time with both the U-17 and U-20 US National Teams. The goalkeeper won the starting role with the University of Virginia Cavaliers in 2009, leading the team to a National Championship. While at the UVA, Restrepo broke several of US Soccer Star Tony Meola's records including games played (25), minutes played (2348), shutouts (16), consecutive shutouts (11) and consecutive scoreless minutes (1176).
Ryan Richter is a 23-year-old midfielder out of Pennsylvania. He currently plays for the Charleston Battery in the USL. A graduate of LaSalle University, Richter was drafted by the Philadelphia Union in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft. After his contract was not picked up in 2012, Richter joined D.C. United for preseason and finally landed with the Battery for the 2012 season.
Like Kyle Altman, Matt VanOekel currently plays with the Minnesota Stars. VanOekel originally played for the Minnesota Thunder of the USL before the team folded, he was then picked up by their successors, the NASL Minnesota Stars where he soon became the starting goal keeper.
— Taylor Kemp (@Tkemp02) January 19, 2013
DC to Bradenton.
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 20, 2013
Haha first flight as a pro and @tkemp02 can't get it right haha text me when you can dude.
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 20, 2013
Just landed in Florida off to Bradenton legggo ...
— Jamaican (@MichaelSeatonn) January 20, 2013
Hotel da Primeira viajem da Pre temporada... #Florida#VamuqVamu# instagr.am/p/Ut3VmVPser/
—M.Saragosa (@MarceloSaragosa) January 20, 2013
Home for the next 12 days.Sarasota, Florida instagr.am/p/Ut1v1nueiw/
— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) January 20, 2013
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 20, 2013
With their call-up to the Canadian Men's National Team, Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic will head to Pheonix, Arizona for ten days, before joining the Black-and-Red.
Looking forward to rejoining the #canMNT for our upcoming camp
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) January 18, 2013
Off to Phoenix
— Dejan Jakovic (@DejanJakovic) January 20, 2013
Early morning flight to Phoenix...
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) January 20, 2013
Today United Builds participated in the Greater DC Cares' MLK Day of Service. A group of 15 volunteers, including Lance Rozeboom, from the club spent the day beautifying Jan's Tutoring House. Among other tasks, the volunteers refurbished the library, painted, and cleaned the facility.
Through the United Builds program, the D.C. United staff, players and fans work together on community projects and initiatives benefiting a variety of non-profit organizations. The Greater DC Cares' MLK Day of Service is an initiative that brings thousands of people together each year to participate in various community services around Washington DC.
D.C. United's draft pick was not in Indianapolis at the SuperDraft, but that does not mean that he wasn't just as nervous and excited for the day. In a Q&A yesterday with dcunited.com the rookie said of his new club, "that was the club that like I always kind of dreamed about joining, and for that to actually happen is, ya know, I cant even really describe how happy I am right now."
A friend of the Colorado native shared the below Tweet after spending draft day with Taylor:
With the combine and SuperDraft coming to a close, the 2013 season feels closer than ever. The team will report to their first training session tomorrow, before departing for Florida this weekend.
Ahead of the start of preseason, rumors continue to circle about Andy Najar and whether he will remain with Anderlecht after his one month loan. But head coach Ben Olsen told MLSsoccer.com that he's "Expecting Andy to be back. That's what I'm preparing for."
With the 17th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, D.C. United chose a defender out of the University of Maryland. Taylor reacted immediately to the news:
— Taylor Kemp (@Tkemp02) January 17, 2013
Fans, teammates and media welcomed the young lefty through Tweets:
— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 17, 2013
— Maryland Athletics (@umterps) January 17, 2013
Alumni Taylor Kemp, selected by DC United in the 1st round, and Drew Beckie, selected by Columbus in the 2nd round, find homes in MLS Draft!
— Real Colorado Soccer (@RealColoSoccer) January 17, 2013
Meanwhile... @dcunited just got their left back of the future! Can't wait for the new season
— Brandon Zebron (@Zebron_James18) January 17, 2013
Staying home! Taylor Kemp selected by @dcunited with 17th overall pick!
— Maryland MenSoccer (@MarylandMSoccer) January 17, 2013
@dcunited keeping it in md as always. Cant wait for the chemistry with kitchen
— zachary trout (@zacharytrout2) January 17, 2013
— Stephanie Zok (@StephZok) January 17, 2013
— Lindsay Derby (@lulubelle228) January 17, 2013
Former D.C. United defender Jeff Agoos – who helped lead the club to three MLS Cups in the first four MLS seasons – sat down with USsoccer.com to discuss the beginning of his National Team career. The U.S. Soccer Federation has been in operation since 1913, and is celebrating its Centennial this year.
On January 10, 1988, still at UVA under Head Coach Bruce Arena, Agoos received his first cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT). The squad played in a friendly against Guatemala and, in the second of the two-game series, Agoos recorded his first international goal. Describing it as a simple tap-in, Agoos would go on to score three more times in 132 additional USMNT appearances, and would be on the roster for two FIFA World Cups.
Today, D.C. United's Andy Najar played 90 minutes, in a friendly, for R.S.C. Anderlecht in a 4-2 victory over Dutch side SC Heracles Almelo. Najar is with Anderlecht for a one month loan, and will report back with D.C. United for preseason when his loan is complete.
In other news, D.C. United and the Columbus Crew announced today that the clubs will meet on January 26 for a preseason friendly. Both teams will be in Bradenton, Florida for Central Florida Soccer Spring Training.