Friday, March 31, 2006

The Week In Review

Monday afternoon I'm at work, doing what I normally do at the accounting firm I work at, when my friend and co-worker Erick appears at the doorway of my office with a friend of his. Steve Francis. Former University of Maryland and current member of the New York Knicks, Steve Francis. Thing is he's not the first former Terp and NBA player to walk into my office. Last year Erick brought his cousin, Lonny Baxter by to meet people at the firm. As you know by reading this blog, I love Maryland basketball. I've been following the Terps since I was a little kid and the Ol' Lefthander, Lefty Driesell, was stomping the sidelines at Cole Field House.

So for this Terp fan, it was a thrill meeting Lonny, who was a member of the Terps National Championship team of 2002. And it was also a thrill meeting Steve as well. I'll always like this guy because one; he's a Terp and two; a month or so after Benjamin was born, Erick had Steve sign a little #3 Orlando Magic jersey below:

Since this was given to me, Steve was traded to the Knicks. I'll have Benjamin wear this once for picture purposes when he's able, then it goes into his sports memorabilia collection that I'm putting together for him.

Tuesday I went to the Fourth Annual Charity Kick-off Luncheon, which is a United for DC fundraiser at the Marriott at Metro Center. Bruce Arena the former D.C. United Coach and current US Men's National team coach was the featured speaker. He spoke about ten years of MLS and upcoming World Cup. Couple tidbits:

He plans to name his 23-man World Cup roster the first week of May, a couple weeks before the international deadline.

He expects to name as many as 10 alternates in case of injury during training camp or any of the three scheduled friendly matches in late May. Training camp opens May 10 in Cary, North Carolina. The World Cup begins June 9th and ends with the championship match July 9th in Berlin, Germany.

The US is grouped with Ghana, Italy and the Czech Republic. Arena said "There's no tougher group in the World Cup."

Kevin Payne, D.C. United President introduced the 2006 team and talked about the upcoming season and the possibility of new investors purchasing United's operating rights. He believes they are close to having a new ownership group with ties to the DC area in place soon.

I was at a table with 2004 MLS Cup MVP Alecko Eskandarian, who missed a lot of last season with a nasty concussion. After suffering a groin injury in training camp, Alecko said he is pumped up for the season and us fans are looking for a return to his 2004 form, where he scored ten goals and earned two Player of the Week awards. I also caught up with several friends from Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and La Norte, three of D.C. United's unofficial supporters groups.

Looking out for Benjamin, I managed to get midfielder Ben Olsen to sign a card and he added "To Benjamin, Nice Name!"

Here is the rest of my week....

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