Welcome to our new Tuesday afternoon feature, the D.C. United news roundup. In it, I will bring you bits and pieces of information that you may otherwise have missed from around the internet in the past week. I will also try and include updates from Tuesday morning's practice, which various media types attend. In this edition, we will talk about nuggets gleaned from Twitter about today's practice, investor whispers, Egyptian coaches, and Baltimore prospects.
Our long national nightmare, the defense, is beginning to show signs of getting back towards health. Ethan White has begun practicing fully with the team again; Dejan Jakovic is up and running (sprinting even), though not yet back to full practice; and Emiliano Dudar is also back at practice, but very limited. Hopefully between these three guys there is a center back that can start for United against the Houston Dynamo. If Jakovic or Dudar are healthy enough, they will get put right in. Even if White is healthy enough to go 90 minutes, I would think Olsen would still give him more time to work back in since this is his first time fully practicing since the beginning of March. Regardless, it is a good sign that he is almost back.
In addition to the center backs, Ben Olsen has been giving some players a bit of a break today. Nick DeLeon, Chris Pontius, Marcelo Saragosa, and Danny Cruz all took it easy today.
In other news, Kevin Payne talked with Steve Goff about a nebulous timeline for new investment coming into the team. His exact words were "We hope these conversations with new partners will come to fruition this spring and conversations with the District can resume in late spring or early summer." This is the most specific that anyone from the team has been to members of the press about the team's stadium and investor prospects since the Prince George's County disaster. (Side note: One of the places where I look for tantalizing tidbits for you always comes back with an article about D.C. United moving to PG County as the first result; it hurts me every time) There is obviously nothing there yet, but the fact that Payne is willing to drop hints to the Goffinho is encouraging. (Come on, let me grasp at the straws that I have!)
Yesterday, the US State Department announced a soccer exchange program that will bring 11 Egyptian soccer coaches to Washington to work alongside United's staff. Specifically, the "Egyptian delegation will participate in trainings and workshops with American athletes; meetings with U.S. sports professionals; and clinics on coaching, sports administration, women’s empowerment through sports, Title IX, conflict resolution, and disability sports." This exchange is being conducted under the banner of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, a program of the US State Department. The coaches will be in town from May 9 through the 21st.
Finally, D.C. United has entered into a partnership with the newly established Baltimore Bohemians, and member of the USL Premier Development League. According to the press release, the Bohs will "provide D.C. United with prospects that may have the potential to play at the MLS level." I would assume that this means that they would help United identify players upon which they should put discovery claims. Also of note: the owner of the Baltimore Bohemians is Louis Angelos, the youngest son of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos (cue conspiracy theories).
Thoughts on any of these stories?