Tag Archives: DC United

Nationals Park, from section 117

Nats enter postseason with 95 wins, questions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sunday’s regular season finale at Nationals Park ended with the Washington Nationals winning their 95th game of the season, 10-7. They defeated the grieving Miami Marlins who, to their credit, didn’t fold when they went down 3-0, 5-2 or 8-5.

Max Scherzer, DC’s #1 starter was strong at the plate with 2 hits and 4 RBI (according to one source, giving him a 9-8 lead over Ryan Zimmerman in the second half) but uninspiring on the mound and basepaths. Nonetheless, he got the his 20th win when his teammates scored after his 5th inning exit. He should be on the mound on Friday for the first game of the Division Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Trea Turner and Danny Espinosa both walked twice, the latter being a damning piece of evidence against a pitcher going to arbitration. Bryce Harper looked injured, but still crush a 99 MPH fastball early and foul to right. Daniel Murphy also pinch hit, but recorded an out and eliminating him from the NL batting title. His health will be huge moving forward.

I predicted the Nats would win 90 games and be in contention for the division. They won it and I was off by 5. The New York Mets won 87 games, despite losing much of their rotation to injuries. They are in the play-in game against San Francisco.

Errata

Wait, why didn’t anybody tell me Vin Scully retired?! I kid of course, but seldom-mentioned in the ubiquitous Scully retirement coverage was that his first radio job was for WTOP in D.C.

DC vs. LA Playoff history

You know how previous results have no bearing on what comes next? Let’s expand upon that by bringing in completely different sports for an all-time intercity/intersport matchup! While Washington and Los Angeles have never met in the baseball postseason, they have in two different kinds of football.

1974

Sonny Jurgensen’s only playoff game is his final game, throwing 3 interceptions while splitting time with Billy Kilmer. The Redskins fell to the Rams, 19-10, at the Coliseum. There used to be clips of it on youtube, but not anymore – probably for the best.

1984

After a 14-2 regular 1983 season, the Skins easily crushed the Rams 51-7 (there was youtube video of this game within the last two months too) at RFK Stadium in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs…

…three weeks later though, they were upset by the Los Angeles Raiders (two years removed from Oakland) in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium, 38-9, and it wasn’t that close. I won’t find the video.

1986

After a 10-6 regular season, the Redskins defeated the Rams again at RFK Stadium, 19-7, this time in the Wild Card, the final playoff gridiron meeting between DC and LA for now.

1996

The inaugural MLS Cup us won by D.C. United, coming back from an 0-2 deficit to the Los Angeles Galaxy at Foxboro Stadium. Eddie Pope won it with a header in sudden-death overtime.

1999

In their fourth MLS Cup appearance D.C. United won their third championship, this time 2-1 over L.A., again at Foxboro Stadium.

On uniforms

Don’t forget — The guy in the red shirt always dies!

Nationals – please, wear the home whites and road grays.

Prediction

Dodgers over the Nats. If Stephen Strasburg was healthy, I’d say the Nats take it. He’s not and I don’t trust Gio Gonzales, even against a lefty-heavy LA lineup. That leaves Tanner Roark and possibly Joe Ross along with Scherzer, who will be head to head with Clayton Kershaw. Injuries to Daniel Murphy (we are praying for his buttocks and his family), Bryce Harper (undisclosed) and Wilson Ramos (out) are too much to overcome.

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New DC United stadium approved for Buzzard Point


It took over a decade to happen, but D.C. United will have a new home after the D.C. Council and passed funding legislation for a stadium at Buzzards Point – D.C. Council gives final approval to soccer stadium deal (The Post):

With the vote, the team secured a deal that could get it out of the aging RFK Stadium as soon as 2017. And Mayor Vincent C. Gray, with about two weeks left in office, secured a legacy.

The final vote was matter-of-fact, with the council’s 12 members approving the deal unanimously.

A companion funding bill also passed unanimously Wednesday authorizing nearly $140 million for the project — including $33 million in shifts from other projects and $106 million in new borrowing.

DC United tried to get a stadium built on the other side of the Anacostia River at Poplar Point but, that got scuttled by then mayor Adrian Fenty. Moving the team to Prince George’s County was also proposed, but that did not proceed very far. Building Nationals Park clearly delayed the soccer stadium, but in 2017 DCU and the Nats will be neighbors, separated by a mere 4 blocks. Navy Yard Metro will be the closest station to the soccer stadium as well.

I’m really happy for the fans of United; Dan Steinberg Post columnist (weird) and DC Sports Bog-er has said for years that they are his favorite fans. It’s hard to argue with him, they have a passion for the black and red.

TIME TO COMMIT

On a personal note, I have become increasingly interested in soccer in the last five years, but have been holding back on completely embracing United because I wanted to know they weren’t going to leave the area for some place like Baltimore or Philly. In particular, I did not want my six-year old son, who has developed an interest and aptitude for soccer, to get his heart broken. Now that we know the team is here for the duration, we’ll probably start attending games regularly. I think I might have to go to the store and get him a shirt for Christmas.

WHAT’S THE BUZZ?

Like many of the teams in our nation’s capital, United has an eagle for a mascot. One of the supporters groups is called the Screaming Eagles too. While tradition is important, this outsider thinks that becoming the Screaming Buzzards on account of their new location might be something to explore.

DCU is also considering rebranding a bit with the move:

I have a feeling not much will change.

OTHER USES

There is talk of the stadium being used for other events, like high school football and concerts. The Washington Spirits of the National Women’s Soccer League would probably play there occasionally. I wonder if the vagabond Chesapeake Bayhawks Major League Lacrosse team that has played all in DC, Baltimore, George Mason University and currently the Naval Academy might be looking to move as well.

THE OBSOLESCENCE OF RFK & MAYBE SOME METRO STATION NAMES

DC United is the sole remaining tenant at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium . The will likely play there a total 21 seasons, second only to the Redskins for longevity. Overall 13 baseball seasons were spent at RFK between the Senators and Nationals in the 1960s, 1970s and 2000s. With RFK’s inevitable demise (which deserves it’s own blog post) what becomes of the Stadium-Armory Metro station name? My guess is they’ll rename it to Hill East or something and remove the Armory reference entirely. Of course the city is tilting at windmills for the 2024 Olympics and/or a new Redskins stadium, so who knows? I wonder if the Navy Yard-Ballpark station gets another new name too, since two stadia will be served.

VENDORS

DC United and DC Brau already have a beer, The Tradition, so I can only assume local craft beer will be a part of the new stadium. Ben’s Chili Bowl is in several locations, so they may show up too. Since MLS doesn’t have all the national sponsorships that other leagues do, focusing on local/regional vendors and products is an appealing part of the DCU experience.

BALTIMORE IN MLS?

To the north, efforts to entice DCU to head up there were at least considered. I’m glad that hasn’t happened, but I’d be on board with a Baltimore MLS team. They have a lower-division team called the Bohemians after the infamous National Bohemian beer and since soccer is usually sponsored, that’d be one of the better one. That’d be a good instant rivalry, along with the ones with Red Bull NY (actually Harrison, NJ) and Philly Union.

MORE COVERAGE

D.C. United stadium approval improves its playing field in MLS in many ways. – The Post

City council unanimously passes legislation to build stadium for D.C. UnitedThe Wash. Times

Letter from D.C. United Managing General Partner Jason LevienD.C. United

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber talks D.C. United StadiumD.C. United

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A new DC United home may be near (and not a moment too soon)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there may be a new stadium for D.C. United in our time:

Sources: D.C. United and District government finalizing stadium dealThe Post

And not a moment too soon:

Well done X-Men moviemakers, I guess. You just destroyed the most all-time beloved venue of sport in the nation’s capital. There’s no way RFK Stadium would have held up that well in real life too.

In all seriousness, I hope DCU finally gets a new home; I’m withholding any significant emotional investment until I know they’ll be here for the duration. I suppose the Baltimore/Washington/Chesapeake Bayhawks might be interested in that venue as well.

H/Ts

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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.

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