UPDATE: Saturday's games between D.C. United and the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire and Charleston Battery have been canceled due to inclement weather. D.C. win their third straight Carolina Challenge Cup with six points from two games. Chicago finished second with three points.
The original version of the following stories claimed that D.C. United had won the Carolina Challenge Cup based on a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Fire. This was incorrect, and each story has been corrected to reflect that. Tiebreakers, in order of importance, are total points, goal differential and goals scored.
D.C. United will clinch their third stright tournament title on Saturday night if they draw or win against the Columbus Crew. In the case of a D.C. loss, the Fire will win the tournament if they defeat the Charleston Battery and are also able to make up their current defiicit in goal differential — D.C. are plus-three while Chicago are even after two matches. If the teams finish tied on goal differential and points, the title will be awarded to the side which scored the most goals over the tournament's three matches.
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. – As the saying goes, you learn something everyday. Today, I learned that alligators pretty much run the show here in South Carolina, and Dwayne De Rosario makes the occasional visit to MLSsoccer.com in his spare time.
How do I know these things, you ask?
Check out the photos I snapped at Blackbaud Stadium below for proof that giant predatory reptiles basically run amok in Charleston. Or at least that's what my imagination and that second alligator depiction are telling me. These signs are literally feet from the pitch and the stands and were posted in front of the dark, swampy field where Crew, Fire and D.C. United players were doing some promotional photos for NBC. It's safe to say things are a little different here. Clearly, I am not in Kansas anymore.
As for DeRo? He – or whoever runs his award-winning personal website – caught wind of Matt "MLS Analyst" Doyle's Countdown to First Kick piece from yesterday that examined whether or not the MLS MVP could repeat his 2011 brilliance in 2012.
De Rosario tweeted the following tonight, linking to this page where you can "Weigh-in on the million dollar question: Can DeRo Do It Again?"
My performance 4 the coming #MLS reg season seems to be all the talk. What you think? VOTE: Will I do it again this YR?
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) February 27, 2012
I, for one, voted "Ah... Duh... Yeah" but you may have a different opinion, so head on over and make your voice heard.
And, as always, be gator safe and remember that a fed gator is a dead gator!
I read an interesting Q&A on dcunited.com today where Kevin Payne says that Dwayne De Rosario is the most accomplished professional athlete in DC, and that the only guy in the greater market who comes close is Ray Lewis.
I liked that, mostly because I like solidarity, especially the kind of solidarity that leads you to make bold claims. But this raises a bigger question: Is Payne right?
In addition to Lewis — who plays in Baltimore for the Ravens, but whatever — the DC area boasts some notable athletes. The Capitals have Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis have the Williams sisters. (I know, I know.) So who's the most accomplished?
First, I'm taking Ray Lewis in a landslide because I walk around in perpetual fear that he'll pop up on my blindside and destroy me. If I weren't worried about that, though, I'd probably point out that he's only won one Super Bowl and only two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, numbers which are clearly inferior to De Rosario's (four MLS Cup titles, two MLS Cup final MVP awards, an MLS MVP Award and a Golden Boot).
SB Nation is also throwing its support behind Payne's assessment, while Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post counters that Ovechkin has probably been one of the best two players in the world at points in his career, a feat which DeRo can't claim.
Of course, by that logic, Serena Williams blows the rest of the competition out of the water, because she may be the best player in women's tennis history, nevermind that the Kastles' season lasts about one month and that most of her accolades come from Grand Slams rather than WTT play.
But the fact I just spent 290 words on it means that Payne has hit on something interesting. (Everything I write about is interesting, didn't you know?) So I'll submit the question to you: Where does DeRo rank in the pantheon of DC-area pro sports?
Welcome to the Depth Chart, a shallow look at the hot topics currently dominating the American soccer conversation. A story's RANK indicates its size, while its BUZZ (thumbs up, or down, or both) reflects its sentiment. Scroll beneath the image for links to the articles referenced within.
This week, familiar themes populate the Depth Chart: trades, the USMNT and yet another big LA acquistion.
(Photo courtesy of dcunited.com)
So for about two hours last night, D.C. United U-18 Academy midfielder Patrick Foss was on the front page of nytimes.com.
Before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, this is one of those cases where it's not what it looks like. The US youth national teamer's soccer accumen wasn't actually the focus of the article. Rather, Foss seems to be in the middle of a fight in Virginia over whether or not home-schooled students should be allowed to play varsity sports for their local public schools.
This is more than a case of a jock trying to game the system, because apparently Foss is really smart (second paragraph). Other than that, though, I can't really offer an opinion because I know almost nothing about Virigina public schools, and it's an inherently complicated issue.
What piqued my interest was the fact that Foss wants to try out as a kicker for the local football team.
At 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, I have my doubts as to whether or not Foss has a career in football. As a player who has been to US Soccer's Residency Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and who is less than four months removed from a start with D.C. United's reserves, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he'll have a career in professional soccer. I get that kickers don't get hit that much, but why take the chance of getting hurt?
That said, Foss is 17. He deserves to be able to have fun and be happy. If football can help that come to pass, more power to him.
Most of us know Dwayne DeRosario as a playmaker and all-around MLS bad-man. We can now add "shake-maker" and "acquaintance of a Pussy Cat Doll" to his illustrious resume. I'm sure he's as proud of these accomplishments as he is of his 4 MLS Cup rings.
If you haven't already, go ahead and spend the next 10 or 15 minutes perusing DeRo's recently released personal website. Simply put, this is the stuff MLS dreams are made of. You know, other than MLS Cups and all that other relatively unimportant nonsense.
So far the page getting the most love here at MLSsoccer.com HQ is the recipe for daily success that is dubbed "The Dero Rise and Shine Breakfast," which sounds pretty delicious even if it boils down to oatmeal and fruit.
Seriously, though, DeRo clearly didn't spare any time or expense on derounited.com. I'm going to go so far as to unofficially rank it No. 1 in the MLS player website sphere. Of course, David Beckham might have something to say about that, but I am just not willing to give out my personal information for the right to see pictures of Becks in H&M skivvies. I am, however, going to steal DeRo's core workout.
File Under: Random Reunions
Former D.C. United midfielder and tattoo enthusiast Santino Quaranta's retirement lasted about as long as his Ochocinco's soccer career. The one-time Black & Red fixture has traded-in a retirement in Baltimore for a short stint near Bollywood, signing on with Team Siliguri of the new Indian Premier League.
While the surroundings may be foreign his coach on this 2-month adventure will be quite familiar: former D.C. teammate Marco Etcheverry will skipper the team which features a pretty good centerback by the name of Fabio Cannavaro.
There's another MLS-associated name involved in the IPL: former Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson. Wonder how an Icelander who coached in Canada will take to the heat of West Bengal?