Behind the Badge: Graduation day
Things are hopping around the RFK Stadium this week. The Black-and-Red host the Los Angeles Galaxy tomorrow night, the second home game in a span of five days for the club. United trained on the RFK Stadium pitch Tuesday morning, working around the stage construction for HFStival, scheduled for Saturday. Following the show, the RFK turf will be removed and a new pitch set in place for United's next home game, June 12 vs. the Colorado Rapids.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins saw action over the weekend with the Northern Virginia Royals in the USL Pro Select League. Perkins backstopped the Royals against the Wilmington Hammerheads and Charlotte Eagles. Perkins made 13 saves on the weekend, eight coming against the Eagles as Northern Virginia dropped a heart-breaking overtime result.
In addition to May being the busiest month on the D.C. United schedule, it's also graduation time for the Black-and-Red's three new draftees. Freddy Adu will travel to Bradenton, Fla. on Thursday afternoon to participate in commencement exercises at the IMG Academy on Friday. He will rejoin the team for Saturday's match against Colorado. Joshua Gros will attend his Rutgers University graduation, scheduled for Thursday, June 20, without missing any United gatherings. Kevin Ara is scheduled to graduate from Harvard University on Thursday, June 10.
D.C. United's official website recently underwent a major redesign, becoming part of the MLSnet.com Internet Network. In addition to streamlining the content, one of the biggest improvements is the availability of live and archived video. Fans can now watch nearly every match live on the internet. You can also check out highlights from each match, or replay it in its entirety whenever you'd like.
Fans can also find great D.C. United merchandise on the newly redesigned site - not that they haven't already. Sales for 2004 have exploded, with web site sales driving the boom. Year-to-date sales through April have already surpassed total sales for 2003. Not surprisingly, Adu merchandise is driving the boom, especially sales of replica jerseys.
John Roushkolb is a contributor to dcunited.com. His column runs every Tuesday.