WASHINGTON – Banishing the nightmares of a poor 2010 season is paramount for D.C. United as they start a fresh year this week in the nation’s capital.
The team’s focus heading into a long preseason is creating and fostering a winning mentality that will carry into the season opener on March 19 against Columbus and beyond.
During the recent US national team camp, D.C. United midfielder Dax McCarty found himself with the opportunity for an ambitious bicycle kick from distance. What followed made him an instant internet sensation and gave the MLS veteran a signature viral moment for his career.
WATCH: McCarty's USMNT bicycle kick
The rookie defender and D.C. United Academy product is eager to start his pro career and excited to play for head coach Ben Olsen.
WASHINGTON – Every preseason camp in MLS is usually accompanied with a tinge of optimism, and the vibe around D.C. United is no different as preparations for 2011 get underway.
Players reported for preseason last Friday and, after a weekend of fitness testing and physicals, began training indoors at the Greenbelt Sportsplex in Maryland on Monday.
Too early for Power Rankings? Never. With preseason camps getting
underway across the league, the editors at MLSsoccer.com have convened
after a long winter to bring out the first rankings of 2011. And there's
little surprise that the team who made the single biggest splash this
offseason tops our list.
In the past four years, the methods of developing talent in the United States have seen drastic changes. Most MLS teams have academy programs of various shapes and sizes up and running, and 27 players produced through these academies have signed Home Grown deals.
This week, Maryland midfielder Matt Kassel became the latest MLS player to sign under the Home Grown rule when he agreed to terms with the New York Red Bulls.
There are several different ways to look at a performance like the United States’ 1-1 draw with Chile Saturday night.
First, there is the fact that you always play to win. That’s the point of sport, the point of competition, and by that measure, the US came up short. And it wasn’t just on the scoreboard, but in the body language of the players on the field for the first 45 minutes. There was a distinct lack of urgency from nearly the entire side.
In a way, that’s understandable. It was just a friendly against something less than the Chilean first team.
Dax McCarty played a starring role in the United States national team's 1-1 draw against Chile on Saturday night, showing the tenacity and touch that had many questioning why FC Dallas left him unprotected in the Expansion Draft.
McCarty – now with D.C. United – knows the middle of the field is a crowded place on the American squad, but he's prepared to fight for a position. A day before earning his fifth cap for the Stars and Stripes, he answered five questions for MLSsoccer.com.