Category Archives: DC United/MLS

Washington’s professional soccer team

Name the new DC Brau/D.C. United beer contest underway

More good local beer news — DC Brau and DC United are teaming up for a new beer. Here’s the DCU release – D.C. United and DC Brau collaborate to create DC’s only team-specific beer:

D.C. United, in collaboration with DC Brau Brewing Company, LLC, today announced that DC Brau will brew a limited edition D.C. United specific beer – the only one of its kind in the DC sports world. While the beer is currently without a name, the two have partnered to launch a contest giving D.C. United fans the opportunity to name the new brew. Fans can submit their suggestions online.

Here are the prizes:

  • Two (2) field-side seats and field level gameday experience (includes food in the D.C. United Hospitality tent and parking)
  • Your submission will be the official name of the beer
  • D.C. United/DC Brau prize pack

That’s a pretty sweet prize pack, even for a casual soccer fan like myself. I have some United on the tube this season which isn’t going well at all. Perhaps this can be a rally beer that gets them playing respectable soccer again. I hope so, Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog, The Post has pointed out over the years that his favorite fan base is DC United. Oh and of course, there is a worthwhile Bog post on the subject: DC United getting a team beer from DC Brau.

I’d love it if other area pro teams could do this, but I suspect national beer contracts with their respective leagues and official team beer sponsors will keep it from happening. Those deals bring in a lot of money for the big 4 teams and are also the same reason why getting local beer into the venues occurs slowly — the macro brewers are losing market share to the craft brewers, so they are just going to go harder on sports sponsorships and pouring rights.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Redskins will be #1 team in D.C. for a long time; Nats & Caps currently jockeying for #2

DC team pennants
Mike Rizzo: D.C. could become ‘primarily a baseball town’ – DC Sports Bog, The Post
I think that every professional sports team ought to be “aspirational” in everything they do. An example is trying to be the #1 team in a market. Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo seems to think so too:

“I think that Washington D.C. could become primarily a baseball town, with the Redskins always being right there in the picture also,” he continued.

That’s the right thing to say, but I doubt he believes it. The Redskins 75 years in D.C. and the overall popularity of the NFL are too much to overcome. The Nats, Capitals, Wizards and DC United are all fighting to be the second most popular team in the area. My guess is the current overall ranking looks like this:

1. Redskins
2. Capitals
3. Nationals
4. Wizards
5. DC United

I think the slumping Caps are just hanging onto the #2 spot and will probably be surpassed by the Nats this spring if they haven’t been already. The Nats are certainly in the best position to win D.C.’s next major championship, a spot the Caps occupied for about 5 years.

My personal rankings look like this:

1. Nationals
2. Redskins
3. Capitals
4. DC United
5. Wizards

With me, everybody is fighting to be #2 too — the Nats are my favorite D.C. team even during extended periods of awful seasons. Prior to last fall, I’d have put the Caps at #2, but a few things changed:

As I mentioned recently, I am holding back until I know DC United are staying in the area. I also like hockey more than soccer. DCU has a great hardcore fanbase, it just isn’t very large.

The Wizards are underachievers both on the court and in the hearts and minds of D.C. fans. There are plenty of basketball fans in the area, but the franchise has been so lackluster for so long that they haven’t been able to sustain a significant fanbase. Plus, during the Susan O’Malley era, she marketed the visiting teams and not the Bullets/Wizards.

So, try to be #1 Nats, but don’t me mad when you never get past being #2. This is big market and there is room for everybody.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Is a DC United stadium finally going to happen?

I think we are in Round 62 in the ongoing saga that is a new D.C. United stadium — the team’s managing partner Jason Levien is hopeful, according to Soccer Insider (The Post):

“The stars are aligning in a good way for us. We’re working closely with the right people and we feel better about it today than we did three months ago, no question.”

Levien declined to go into detail about negotiations or provide a timetable for a possible agreement. “We want to honor the process and confidentiality of the proceedings,” he said. “We feel we have positive momentum and we don’t want to do anything to deter it.”

I will believe that DCU has a new stadium when I’m sitting in it. The current speculation has them winding up in Buzzard’s Point, about 6 blocks from Nationals Park.

I am at the point of “I’ve enjoyed watching World Cup and Olympic soccer, I think I’m ready to get into D.C. United, but I’m wary of doing so in case they leave.” Nonetheless, I am going to try to get out to RFK Stadium to see them this year. 2013 Regular Season Schedule

As for RFK, Levien has a good attitude:

What we are not going to do is denigrate RFK in any way because there have been some amazing moments in people’s lives there. It’s hallowed ground, and while we are there, we want to respect it and enjoy it because at some point we are going to look back and not be there, and it’s going to remain a hallowed ground.”

Oh and they said Baltimore is out of the picture which sounds nice, since that was a concern. I am actually in favor MLS putting a team in Baltimore, so long as it isn’t United.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Positive steps for DC United staying in the District

Study: $157M for soccer stadium
The long road to a soccer specific stadium for D.C. United is looking a little better. I hope something can be worked out and they stay here; I’ll believe when I’m sitting in it. I need to figure out when I’m going to see them this season. I have not seen them in years and my last trip to RFK was almost five years ago. Weird.

Soccer isn’t my favorite sport, but who knows, maybe my son will love it. I’d like to have the option when he’s old enough to care.

Baltimore is very eager to get MLS and that’d be great (especially if it is the Baltimore Bohemians – best corporate team sponsor ever), so long as we’re not talking about DCU moving there.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Almost a clean sweep for D.C.: Caps, Nats, DC United all win (Wizards don’t)

Yesterday, three D.C. teams played concurrently and all won — two over Boston area teams. The Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the second overtime in the game 2 of the NHL playoffs to take home ice advantage.

Just minutes earlier, the Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 behind Edwin Jackson’s complete game (The Post) in his home debut. Why won’t MLB let me embed video until the day after?

This followed a 13 inning win on Friday night:

DC United beat the New England Revolution at Foxoboro, 2-1 (The Post).


The Wizards lost though. Of course.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

MLS on Facebook: DC United 10th most liked team

DC United, the most successful Major League Soccer franchise as measured by championships comes in 10th place in Facebook Likes, just about the middle if the league. #1 is the Los Angeles Galaxy, which has international superstar, David Beckham on it. Data collected March 26, 2012



Team Conference Facebook Likes
1 Los Angeles Galaxy Western 359471
2 Seattle Sounders FC Western 247414
3 New York Red Bulls Eastern 151121
4 Philadelphia Union Eastern 92899
5 Chicago Fire  Eastern 90938
6 Real Salt Lake Western 85904
7 Portland Timbers Western 82735
8 New England Revolution Eastern 65105
9 Toronto FC Eastern 62280
10 D.C. United Eastern 60361
11 Sporting Kansas City Eastern 52424
12 Houston Dynamo Eastern 50506
13 FC Dallas Western 41744
14 Montreal Impact Eastern 37007
15 San Jose Earthquakes Western 31543
16 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Western 28429
17 Columbus Crew Eastern 24162
18 Chivas USA Western 21053
19 Colorado Rapids Western 20205

Full disclosure: I Liked DC United on Facebook.

More about this project: Ranking Facebook Likes for MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA and MLS

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

My take on “Rooting Interests: Who are D.C. fans?”

Rooting Interests: Who are D.C. fans?The Post
The Post did a survey on Washington D.C. sports fans attitudes, favorite teams/owners, etc. recently. It mostly confirms what we already know about D.C. area fans:

“Washington fans are really a wonderful blend of the best parts of Northern tier fans and Sun Belt fans,” former Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten said. “They’re really in the middle.”

Kasten is right on the money here which makes things like his marketing to Phillies fans all the stranger.

Washington is a Redskins town (less and less as the losses pile up and the owner is an embarrassment) and then a winners town. The Capitals are hot because they are winning, but I think that fanbase has reached critical mass in the sense that in the down years that will someday come, they will not be the afterthought they were during the dark years. I (and seemingly everyone else) expect the Nats fanbase to grow as the young, elite talent matures and the team continues to improve. The Wizards could become a really big deal if they can become a contender like the Caps. I think Ted Leonsis is correct that a strong Wizards team could awaken a sleeping giant of a basketball fanbase. Or at least a insomniac with a pituitary problem. As for D.C. United, the future does not look good as they have one foot out the door on the way to Baltimore for a new stadium they have not been able to get built around here. That saddens me, because I like having the option of a pro soccer team nearby. Who knows, my son may love soccer and want to go. I’m not planning on paying any attention to them if they leave BeltwayLand.

As for my own preferences, here is how I rank the D.C. teams in terms of attention paid-to, merchandise owned and a hope for a championship parade (although any would do at this point)

1.) Nats – on board since day 1, I attend Opening Day every year, go to more of their games than anybody else. I have caps, a jersey, t-shirts, mugs, other stuff.
2.) Caps – went to a game a year in the 1990s, got back into them early 2000s and went to a lot of games during the dark years, now one annually since tickets are hard to get. I have caps, jerseys, a giveaway t-shirt
3.) Skins – went from liking a different team to NFL apathy (Penn State does that to a man) to “if I am going to be a Washingtonian, I need to root for them despite Dan Snyder.” I bought a circa 1991 jersey off of ebay.
4.) Wiz/United – I enjoy going to each of their games and may turn them on TV from time to time. I owned a Bullets cap once but want a “clc” logo shirt now. If DCU stays, I’ll get a t-shirt.

There was some controversy over this article that dared to suggest that a demographic group who have are more likely to have lived in the area longer are most likely to support the most established local team. People were looking for stuff that wasn’t there.

Oh and about D.C.’s Greatest Fan, someone is missing. It’s just not right!

In the end though, I almost find the timing of this coverage — in the middle of the NFL season instead of say, the dead of winter or August, the most curious part of the whole endeavor.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

RFK Stadium’s 50th anniversary

Opening Day flag
RFK Stadium at age 50: Redskins, baseball and much moreThe Post
Happy 50th Birthday, RFK Stadium!SB Nation DC
THOMAS BOSWELL: RFK Stadium: After 50 years, it’s still personalThe Post
GALLERY: A look back at RFK StadiumThe Post
UPDATED 10.03.2011: When RFK Stadium opened DC Sports Bog, The Post (yay mega nerd)

Last week I noted the 50th anniversary of the final game at Griffith Stadium. Several days later (50 years ago today), District of Columbia Stadium opened for a Washington Redskins vs. New York Football Giants. The visitors won 24-21 and it would be years before it became an intimidating and beloved venue. During the Joe Gibbs era, it was probably the toughest place to play for visitors in the NFC. The USFL’s Washington Federals also played football at RFK for two seasons in the 1980s.

[flickr : Photos tagged with RFK Stadium/slideshow]

The Washington Senators moved into D.C. Stadium in 1962 saw very little success, having a winning season there only once, 1969, the same year the stadium was renamed after slain senator, Robert F. Kennedy. It is worth noting that the Senators were the first winning team to play there, at least based on overall season record. The Senators moved out of town following the 1971 season.

Did you know it was almost known as LBJ Stadium?

For years, RFK Stadium was a handy piece of leverage for MLB teams looking to get a new venue built. The threat of moving to RFK Stadium got a stadium built for the Houston Astros and helped the cause of several others. It wasn’t until 2005 that it got to be used as a baseball stadium permanently when the Washington Nationals were created out of what was left of the Montreal Expos. The Nats played there for 3 seasons before moving to Nationals Park. I think I saw 32 games there and here are the RFK memories I wrote up in 2007

United match

DC United is the lone regular tennant at RFK and I am disappointed I didn’t get out to see them this season. I did get there in 2006 and had a great time. That being said, I hope DCU gets a new venue and RFK can eventually torn down to make may for a new Redskins stadium.

RFK Stadium has alsobeen the home of many international soccer games, including some of the 1994 World Cup. The Washington Diplomats also played at RFK.

Mr. $nyder tear down this stadium

When the Redskins played their final game at RFK, The Post did a great section about the history of the venue. The design is half-broken and dated, but the content is still great.

Ballpark still life

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

RFK Stadium is a great home if your are a cockroach — for DC United, not so much anymore

Struggling with crumbling RFK Stadium, D.C. United is desperate for a new homeThe Post
Washington’s most successful team over the last two decades, DC United, plays in its worst facility. Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, home of 312 United matches (and by my calculation approximately 810 Senators games, 243 Nationals games and 255 Redskins games and that’s just regular season and I did not take in account the Federals of the USFL and Diplomats of the NASL), will be 50 years old this fall and is falling apart DC Sports Bog, The Post. The cockroaches and raccoons don’t seem to mind though.

DCU thought they would be in their own stadium at Poplar Point by now, but then Mayor Adrian Fenty nixed the redevelopment deal. An attempt to move to Prince George’s County, Md. also fell through. DC United says it is eying locations in the District, but Baltimore is openly trying to poach them. I hope that United finds away to stay in this area and I think they have certainly tried. I am inclined to go to a game or two a season, but who knows, maybe my son will really like soccer — I’d really like there to be a team around in case he does.

If United does move to Baltimore, they are dead to me and they better leave the name and colors behind. I don’t mind Baltimore having a soccer team, so long as it does not come at the expense of Washington’s.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DC United wins with Ben Olsen’s Chili Bowl

I have already mentioned how impressed I am with DC United’s marketing push and how it really put them on my radar. Well, they did it one better yesterday, when they teamed up with Ben’s Chili Bowl. Yesterday, the landmark U Street restaurant was Ben Olsen’s Chili Bowl for the day.

At Saturday’s opener, Ben Olsen’s Chili Bowl t-shirts (DC Sports Bog, The Post) are being given away, so now I really wish I was going to that game (went to Sunday’s Capitals game instead after we magically found tickets) but I will make it out to RFK Stadium at least once this season to see DC United.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)