Ages ago, the first rule in intra-office sports was: "Always let the boss win." Thankfully for Brian Carroll, that rule has relaxed in today's competitive environment or the D.C. United midfielder could have found himself on the waiver wire after his foursome outshot United president and CEO Kevin Payne's group to win top honors at the Third Annual United for D.C. Charity Golf Tournament, presented by United Bank.
On a picture-perfect September day, 33 foursomes took to the links at Reston National Golf Course in Reston, Va., to raise money for D.C. United's charitable arm, United for D.C. Carroll and his foursome from Merrifield Garden Center shot an amazing 15-under-par 56 in the captain's choice best-ball event, edging out Payne and his foursome from the Magellan Group.
The Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin awards both went to D.C. United alumni, as assistant coach Mark Simpson collected the prize (a Nike lob wedge - for his short game) despite serious competition from Mike Petke and several others. Former United captain John Harkes took home the closest to the pin award, in addition to providing a little comic relief for a couple of foursomes.
Harkes was playing ahead of the foursome of Mike Petke and the Screaming Eagles - who were also an all-hole sponsor for this year's event - and provided a light-hearted challenge for Petke on the 18th green. Harkes lied spread-eagle on his back on the 18th, providing an inviting target. Petke found the sweet spot on his second shot, but came up just short.
Along with the action on the golf course, United for D.C. held a silent auction and raffle. United senior vice president Stephen Zack proved that the best way to win a raffle is to buy a lot of tickets, as he collected a large share of the prizes. Good-natured jeers spread through the crowd, but Zack was fair; he passed on the majority of his wins to other players in attendance.
In total, United for D.C. expects to announce that over $50,000 was raised through the event, nearly $15,000 more than in 2003. The event continues to be one of the most popular events offered by the charity, attracting current and former United stalwarts and other luminaries such as ESPN's David Aldridge, Comcast SportsNet's Russ Thaler, WTOP's Dave Johnson, Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan and MLS commissioner Don Garber.
On Monday, Alecko Eskandarian was named Major League Soccer Player of the Week for week 24. This is the second time that Eskandarian has won the award, voted upon each week by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association. Both nods for Eskandarian came on the heels of multi-goal games - June 19 against Columbus and Sept. 11 against Dallas He is only the fourth player to be earn Player of the Week honors twice this season. He joins teammate Jaime Moreno, San Jose goalkeeper Pat Onstad and Los Angeles forward Jovan Kirovski as two-time winners of the weekly honor.
Doing it in style
The team goal-scoring race has settled into three packs this season, with D.C. United leading the second group, sitting fourth overall in goals scored. But nobody has done it with as much flair as the Black-and-Red. Of United's 35 goals, six have been chosen by fans as the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week, the most of any team in MLS. This week, two goals from United's 3-0 win over Dallas are nominated: Freddy Adu's exclamation point and Alecko Eskandarian's second goal. Early voting favored Tony Sanneh's stoppage-time winner, but Eskandarian and Adu were hanging neck and neck just behind.
John Roushkolb is a contributor to DCUnited.com.