With Ben Olsen’s men struggling at the start of the 2013 MLS season, some good news is needed in the nations capital.
This might just be it. This morning the Washington Post spoke to a leading official who revealed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is optimistic a deal can be done to build a 20,000 capacity stadium at the preferred location of Buzzard Point.
D.C. City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, who oversaw construction of Nationals Park, believes the framework for a new stadium could be in place “inside of a year.”
But for many D.C. fans, they’ve heard it all before. And with the ownership group growing increasingly antsy about the length of time its taking to push the stadium through, potential sites in Maryland are growing in consideration.
However, it is definitely worth waiting for the land at Buzzard Point to be released and for MLS’ most decorated franchise to be relocated there. But it has to be soon. The likelihood of that happening is foggy, as so many different groups own so many different portions of land where United want to build their new home.
(MORE: Hard to see Olsen surviving much more of this)
The attendance at RFK for the rivalry game with Philadelphia was officially 12,349, but many argue it was probably less than that. The fans in D.C. are as loyal as they come, but they need a new facility and so does the club. Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Union was their fourth straight and their current record of 1-5-1 leaves them bottom of the Eastern conference. But when they won MLS Cup in 1996, they started off 1-6-0, so there’s that hope to cling on to if you’re a D.C. fan.
If Olsen does remain past this season, or even until the end of the 2013 campaign, he will need to attract better players on higher salaries and entice them to a club moving forward. New stadium plans will play a pivotal role in that, as one of United’s worst starts to an MLS campaign further punctuates their need for a new stadium. And fast.
Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.
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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.
Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”
[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]
There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?
Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?
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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.
Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.
[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]
Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:
“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.
“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.
“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”
Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.
[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]
The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.