Blog

29 August 1:48 pm

With a win or tie tonight, United will tie its streak of 13 unbeaten at home

With one of D.C. United’s biggest home games tonight against the New York Red Bulls, what better place to play the game than at RFK Stadium, in front of the best fans in Major League Soccer.

It has been a goal of the Black-and-Red all season to take back RFK. Signs hang in the locker room, the team tunnel, and elsewhere reminding the team that its important to make RFK a difficult place to play.

With one of D.C. United’s biggest home games tonight againstthe New York Red Bulls, what better place to play the game than at RFK Stadium,in front of the best fans in Major League Soccer.

It has been a goal of the Black-and-Red all season to takeback RFK. Signs hang in the locker room, the team tunnel, and elsewhere remindingthe team that its important to make RFK a difficult place to play.

United’s only loss of the season came on opening night –March 10th – when Sporting Kansas City bested the Black-and-Red in extra time1-0. Since then, D.C. United has been a powerhouse at home. Here’s a look intothe League’s second longest home-undefeated streak:

  • It’s been 172 days since D.C. United lost at home – theequivalent of nearly half a year (5 months and 19 days).
  • It’s been 1080 minutes of game time.
  • United has won nine times, and tied only three times. It’sbiggest wins were 4-1 thumpings of the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas.
  • United has scored 29 goals while only giving up 11.
  • With a win or tie tonight, United will tie its streak of 13unbeaten at home (United was 10-0-3 over a 13-game home stretch in 2007).

D.C. United hosts the New York Red Bulls tonight - Join Olsen's Army

28 August 3:47 pm

A look into Wednesday's DC-NY clash

As we approach the latest chapter in D.C. United-New York Red Bulls history tomorrow night at RFK Stadium, here’s a historic look back into Major League Soccer’s fiercest rivalry.

In the history of Major League Soccer, no other team has beat a team as much as D.C. United has beat the New York Red Bulls. D.C. United holds an impressive 31-20-7 all-time record against the Red Bulls. At home, D.C. United holds a 18-9-3 advantage, scoring an impressive 65 goals against the New York Red Bulls.

As we approach the latest chapter in D.C. United-New YorkRed Bulls history tomorrow night at RFK Stadium, here’s a historic look backinto Major League Soccer’s fiercest rivalry.

In the history of Major League Soccer, no other team hasbeat a team as much as D.C. United has beat the New York Red Bulls. D.C. Unitedholds an impressive 31-20-7 all-time record against the Red Bulls. At home,D.C. United holds a 18-9-3 advantage, scoring an impressive 65 goals againstthe New York Red Bulls.

Biggest win: 9/16/1998 – when the Black-and-Red beat thethen-MetroStars 5-0 at Giants Stadium.

Most goals: Jamie Moreno, with 24 to his name.

Fastest goal: On 6/24/12, D.C. United stunned the New YorkRed Bulls at Red Bull Arena with a Pontius goal just 31 seconds into the match.Pontius’ header from point blank range was D.C. United’s fastest goal in theclub’s 17-year history.

Post-season record: 5-1-1. United’s only loss came in ashootout on 9/24/96 after the score remained deadlocked at 2-2.

20 August 4:43 pm

We asked around the locker room to find out which player is United's fastest

With the Chicago Fire coming to RFK on Wednesday night, get ready to hear a lot about the visitors’ overwhelming speed in the coming days.  Dominic Oduro, Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe combine to give Frank Klopas the fastest forward line in all of MLS. 

But D.C. United has some burners of their own.  On Monday, we took a largely unscientific poll of the Black-and-Red locker room to find out which player is D.C.’s fastest.

With the Chicago Fire coming to RFK on Wednesday night, getready to hear a lot about the visitors’ overwhelming speed in the comingdays.  Dominic Oduro, PatrickNyarko and Chris Rolfe combine to give Frank Klopas the fastest forward line inall of MLS. 

But D.C. United has some burners of their own.  On Monday, we took a largelyunscientific poll of the Black-and-Red locker room to find out which player isD.C.’s fastest.

Of thirteen players asked, four chose Dejan Jakovic.  Another four chose Chris Korb.  Three selected Andy Najar.  Two named Ethan White. 

Below are a few of the best answers.

Chris Pontius when asked about D.C.’s fastest player:

“Wolffy…twenty years ago.”

Joe Willis explaining his choice of Chris Korb:

“It’s beyond me. You look at Korb and you think there is no way this little guy is goingto be faster than me.  But somehowhe is.”

Nick DeLeon:

“I’d say Andy is the quickest.  Fastest [pause] I’d say Korb,”

Pontius (continued):

“I didn’t know I could choose myself.  Then me.”

Chris Korb:

“I don’t think I’d lose to anyone.  I wouldn’t back down from a race." 

Pontius (continued):

“Here’s my Top 5: First, Dejan.  Second, Ethan. Tied for third, Nick and Andy. I’m five.” 

For a historical perspective, we asked two veteran membersof the team staff for their opinion on the fastest player to don aBlack-and-Red jersey during the respective tenures with the club.  Both David Brauzer (Equipment Manager –with team since 2005) and Brian Goodstein (Head Athletic Trainer – with teamsince 2003) chose forward Jamil Walker, who made 41 appearances for D.C. from2005 through 2007.

The Black-and-Red host Chicago Fire on Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30 PM - PURCHASE TICKETS

20 August 12:00 pm

Plus a look into matchup history with the Chicago Fire

Shanoksy (right) playing for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Today, the NASL named Fort Lauderdale Strikers midfielder Conor Shanosky Defensive Player of the Week following a strong performance on the road against the Puerto Rico Islanders on 8/18. Shanosky, D.C. United’s third homegrown player to sign with the first team (following Bill Hamid and Andy Najar), is currently on a season-long loan with the Strikers.

Shanosky has helped the Strikers to an 8-7-8 record this season, playing in 23 games with 22 starts for the NASL side.

D.C. UNITED VS CHICAGO FIRE:

Today, the NASL named Fort Lauderdale Strikers midfielderConor Shanosky Defensive Player of the Week following a strong performance onthe road against the Puerto Rico Islanders on 8/18. Shanosky, D.C. United’sthird homegrown player to sign with the first team (following Bill Hamid andAndy Najar), is currently on a season-long loan with the Strikers.

Shanosky has helped the Strikers to an 8-7-8 record thisseason, playing in 23 games with 22 starts for the NASL side.

D.C. UNITED VS CHICAGO FIRE:

D.C. United holds the all-time advantage against the Fire(16-15-10) and also holds a 10-7-4 record at RFK Stadium. When in the friendly confines of RFK Stadium,D.C. United has scored an impressive 33 goals in 21 matchups.

Biggest win: 4-1 over Chicago on 7/18/1998 at RFK Stadium (Roy Lassiter with 3 goals in the game).

Number of ties: 10 over 41 matchups.

Top goal scorer in matchup history: Jaime Moreno (10).

17 August 5:19 pm

Unprecedented access will tell a different story of the typical day for MLS’ 2011 MVP

D.C. United, along with NBC Sports Group, will participate in the production of a behind-the-scenes look at the 2011 MLS MVP, Dwayne De Rosario that will air as part of the “MLS 36” series on NBC Sports Network. Filming will begin tomorrow morning at 6:45 A.M. and will chronicle every move the Black-and-Red striker makes over the next two days as he prepares, and plays against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday at 5:00 P.M. (NBC Sports Network).

D.C. United, along with NBC Sports Group, will participatein the production of a behind-the-scenes look at the 2011 MLS MVP, Dwayne DeRosario that will air as part of the “MLS 36” series on NBC Sports Network.Filming will begin tomorrow morning at 6:45 A.M. and will chronicle every movethe Black-and-Red striker makes over the next two days as he prepares, andplays against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday at 5:00 P.M. (NBC SportsNetwork).

So far this season, NBC Sports Group has filmed similarpieces with Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), and Freddy Montero(Seattle Sounders FC).

Production will begin when De Rosario wakes up the daybefore the game against Philadelphia and will end when he leaves RFK followingthe game on Sunday evening.

Check back for updates on when thespecial will air on NBC Sports Network.

16 August 3:23 pm

8 goals scored at RFK when on national television

When the stadium lights are turned on for nationally televised games at RFK Stadium, D.C. United loves to wow the crowd. In its two nationally televised games at RFK this season, D.C. United beat both New York and Dallas 4-1. Come on out and watch the Black-and-Red as they host conference rivals Philadelphia on Sunday at 5:00pm – another nationally televised match. TICKETS

HIGHLIGHTS: United’s 4-1 win over New York on ESPN2

When the stadium lights are turned on for nationallytelevised games at RFK Stadium, D.C. United loves to wow the crowd. In its twonationally televised games at RFK this season, D.C. United beat both New Yorkand Dallas 4-1. Come on out and watch the Black-and-Red as they host conferencerivals Philadelphia on Sunday at 5:00pm – another nationally televised match. TICKETS

HIGHLIGHTS: United’s 4-1 win over New York on ESPN2

HIGHLIGHTS: United’s 4-1 win over FC Dallas on NBC Sports Network

01 August 12:07 pm

We look at where the national press puts D.C. in their latest power rankings

As D.C. United turns its calendar towards the make-or-break month of August, it’s officially that time of year when scoreboard watching becomes an accepted – and necessary – practice.  As teams start comparing themselves to those around the league, so does everyone else.  We picked five MLS power rankings to see how the rest of America fancies the Black-and-Red’s chances.

Soccer By Ives Ranking: 7, last week – 7

As D.C. United turns its calendar towards the make-or-breakmonth of August, it’s officially that time of year when scoreboard watchingbecomes an accepted – and necessary – practice.  As teams start comparing themselves to those around theleague, so does everyone else.  Wepicked five MLS power rankings to see how the rest of America fancies theBlack-and-Red’s chances.

Soccer By Ives Ranking: 7, last week – 7

MLSSoccer.com Ranking: 7, last week – 9

What they’re saying:  PSG schooled Europeanchamps Chelsea a little more than a week ago, but it was a different storyagainst D.C. in the World Football Challenge.  Saturday’s 1-1 draw will remind MLS teams of the skill,heart and soccer on D.C. when they decide to turn on the switch.  Confidence should be helped after twoleague losses.

ProSoccerTalk Ranking: 6, last week - 7

SoccerAmerica Ranking: 5, last week - 6

SBNation Ranking: 7, last week - 7

What they’re saying:  At the start of July,there was realistic talk about making a run at the Supporters’ Shield.  Now, not so much.  They are still dangerous, but you haveto wonder if some other teams moved past them as United pretty much stuck totheir guns during the transfer window.

Across these five polls, the Black-and-Red – which have thesixth most points per game in MLS – come in with an average ranking of6.4 

What do you think of the power rankings? Does the nationalpress have D.C. in the right spot?

D.C. United takes on the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium this Saturday. Buy tickets

26 July 1:42 pm

After a two-day break, United's players returned to training with some good news

With the club’s first international friendly of 2012 less than 48 hours away, D.C. United returned to practice Thursday morning after a two-day break for All-Star activities.  Here are a few notes from RFK’s training grounds:

With the club’s first international friendly of 2012 lessthan 48 hours away, D.C. United returned to practice Thursday morning after atwo-day break for All-Star activities.  Here are a few notes from RFK’s training grounds:

Just hours after leading the MLS All-Stars to acome-from-behind victory over European Champions Chelsea on Wednesday night,Ben Olsen was back in charge of the Black-and-Red early Thursday.  Perhaps hoping to catch a few extrahours of sleep, Olsen had originally scheduled practice for later in the day,but moved training up to 9:30 a.m. in anticipation of 100-degree temperaturesin the Washington area come Thursday afternoon.

With the fanfare of Wednesday’s all-star game behind him,United’s second-year coach had already turned his attention to Paris St.Germain.

“It’s a chance for us to get a game and get some rhythm," explained Olsen. "The summer has been tough for us.  We’ve just have had too many weekendsoff.  This is a real game.  This is as real as we are going to havethis year.  This team is impressiveand it’ll be a great test for us.”

While Olsen was quick to move on from Wednesday’s historictriumph, some of his charges were still talking about their teammates' successes in Major League Soccer's showcase event. After practice, Chris Pontius’ 71st-mintute goal and MVP performance were majortopics of discussion.

“In the back of my mind I’m like ‘great I’m going to have tohear about this for weeks’,” joked defender Brandon McDonald – who is close friendswith Pontius.  “But I’m happy for him and I think he deserved it.  He came on and showed reallywell.”

Asked about Pontius' goal, which was born of a Dwayne De Rosario assist, Olsen acknowledged a rare slip in coaching decorum.

"I jumped up off the bench which I was a little surprised by," he admitted.  "So apparently I do like those guys." 

OLYMPICS:

Though it took place halfway across the globe, Andy Najar’sOlympic debut was another cause for joy inside United’s dressing room.  The 19-year-old midfielder started andplayed the full ninety minutes as Honduras opened Group D play with a 2-2 tieagainst Morocco. Los Catrachos face Spain on Sunday at Newcastle’s legendarySt. James’ Park.

BOSKOVIC UPDATE:

After missing last week's Columbus match with a strained right calf, midfielder Branko Boskovic returned to training on Thursday and participated fully.  With a grueling August schedule looming, it would be a mild surprise to see Boskovic deployed against PSG - where the Montenegrin played for two seasons in '03-'04 and '04-'05.

06 July 1:10 am

17-year-old impressed D.C.'s first-teamers during recent training stint

Colin Martin playing with D.C. United Reserves

Equal parts excited and anxious, Collin Martin sat alone at a corner locker in D.C. United’s busy dressing room last week.  For the first few days, the latest academy product to be called up to first team training kept to himself - until the Black-and-Red’s captain broke the ice.

Equal parts excited and anxious, Collin Martin sat alone ata corner locker in D.C. United’s busy dressing room last week.  For the first few days, the latest academyproduct to be called up to first team training kept to himself - until the Black-and-Red’scaptain broke the ice.

“Dwayne [De Rosario] came up and told me to hang out withthe guys,” Martin said this week, recounting his recent training stint withD.C.’s senior group.  “They’ve beenreally welcoming and I felt like part of the team, which has been great.  Now, I feel comfortable and all I have toworry about is playing.”

The opening interaction was the first of many between Martinand a group that would both challenge and welcome him over the comingdays.  Moments after a drill last week,Brandon McDonald didn’t hesitate to remind the 17-year-old about the value oflate possession following an ill-timed turnover.  The next day, Ben Olsen and Chad Ashton spenttime after practice hitting balls to the native of Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

“When you aren’t playing with professionals you don’t thinkthat fast and you might not do all the right things,” Martin acknowledged thisweek.  “But when you are playing withthese guys it forces you to think and really makes you a better player.”  

The knowledge gained during his time in a professional environmentwill benefit Martin greatly in the immediate future.  Before heading to ACC-powerWake Forestin the fall, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High Schoolproduct will travel to the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland with the Under-20U.S. National Team. 

The tournament, held in late July, will feature some of theworld’s top young talent and - after training with him for the past week - D.C.’splayers expect Martin to hold his own.

“You can see he has a lot of quality and a lot of upside,”said McDonald.  “If you look at his play,he is ahead of his time.  [The coachingstaff] put him out here for a reason and that is for us to help him.”

“These kids are the future of the club,” added De Rosario.  “The more that we can get them to come up andexperience what it is like to practice with the first team, the more it createsa competitive environment in the youth ranks. Everyone will want to earn their chance.”

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04 June 4:17 pm

United's injury list dwindles as players take advantage of rest

A few notes from around RFK ahead of Tuesday's fourth-round Open Cup match against the Philadelphia Union:

Tuesday’s contest will be D.C. United’s first this year at the Maryland Soccerplex.  The suburban facility seats 3,200 fans but fits closer to 5,000 at full capacity.  Though playing away from home usually ruffles some coaching feathers, Ben Olsen seemed pleased to be heading north.

A few notes from around RFK ahead of Tuesday's fourth-round Open Cup match against the Philadelphia Union:

Tuesday’s contest will be D.C. United’s first this year at theMaryland Soccerplex.  The suburbanfacility seats 3,200 fans but fits closer to 5,000 at full capacity.  Though playing away from home usuallyruffles some coaching feathers, Ben Olsen seemed pleased to be heading north.

“Germantown is always a really nice field,” United’s coachsaid on Monday morning.  “I thinkit is a unique atmosphere for the fans, it’s a little bit more up close andpersonal.”

While United’s players were focused on Philadelphia comeMonday, most had been intently focused on the U.S. – Canada match Sunday nightas teammate Dwayne De Rosario captained Les Rouges in the scoreless draw.  Perry Kitchen has grown close to DeRothis season, but admitted some mixed emotions as he watched the border clash.

“It’s a weird situation,” Kitchen said.  “Of course you wish him the best.”

But?

“Being an American I’m always pulling for my country,” headded with a smile.

United’s injury list continues to dwindle as thoserecovering from ailments heal.  In a very positive sign, midfielder Danny Cruz practiced Monday after straining hishamstring in a 3-1 victory over Toronto on May 19.  Chris Pontius practiced fully but when asked if Tuesday’s matchwould be too soon for a return, the midfielder/forward responded in theaffirmative.