Wednesday, May 31, 2006

100!

D.C. United 5, Columbus 1
D.C. United striker Jaime Moreno scored his 6th goal of the season and 100th career goal in MLS, scoring via penalty kick in the eighth minute as D.C. United hammered Columbus 5-1 at RFK Stadium. Great effort by United as they are now tied with Dallas for the league's best overall record at 6 wins, 1 loss and 3 ties for 21 points.

D.C. United 5: Jaime Moreno (6th-PK) 8th minute, own goal 48th minute, Gros (2nd) 58th minute, Eskandarian (5th) 71st minute, Filomeno (1st) 78th minute

Columbus 1: Joseph Ngwenya (2nd) 21st minute

Next up for D.C. United: New England Revolution at RFK on Saturday June 3 at 7:30 PM

Steven Goff's article on the game in the Washington Post.

Congrats to Jaime! He's an example of this blog's title. As a member of D.C. United he's shined silently, scored goals and won titles.

Thanks to Duffman, a member of Barra Brava for the above pic!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Please be thankful for those who gave their lives in service to our country.



Thursday, May 25, 2006

Benjamin is Seven Months Old!

He's rolling around now and will be crawling soon. He's about 20 pounds and a little over 28 inches tall. He likes the jazz and classical music we play for him from the iPod (Best invention ever!). He's discovered how to play "peek a boo" with his burp cloth. He'll cover his face and I'll ask out loud "Where is Benjamin?" and he takes the cloth off his face and smiles and I yell "Peek a boo, I love you!". June 5th he begins day care and while I know he will thrive in the environment, he really loves being around people, I'm very nervous. All is well with the little guy. He's healthy, happy and a joy to be around. My little buddy.

These are the most recent pictures of Benjamin. Double click to enlarge the photo. Enjoy!







Wednesday, May 24, 2006

John Coltrane

I was running errands at a hectic pace yesterday, listening to XM Real Jazz Channel 70 when I pulled into the Costco parking lot. John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things” came on. Despite the time crunch I was under, I remained in the car mesmerized by this version.

I’m a relative newcomer to jazz, thanks in part to XM’s jazz stations, so I’m learning more and more as I listen.

Coltrane’s been called the most influential tenor sax player in jazz history. He has the ability to take a fun tune as this (from The Sound of Music) and extend it into thirteen minutes of sophisticated music. This is very impressive.

He possesses a very interesting sound, playing his sax in a way that it stands out ahead of other instruments. Yesterday this stopped time for me.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Update on My Cousin In Iraq

Got a nice e-mail from my Aunt today about my cousin and how he is doing. He's doing fine in Iraq. Without divulging too much, here is a brief summary:

They are continuing to establish a positive relationship with the locals. Watching CNN one would think that everyone there hates them, but it isn’t the case.

He has had nothing but good things to say about his troops. "When I volunteered to deploy with a reserve battalion, I never dreamed that I would end up with such a solid group of men…It’s amazing and inspiring to me, especially since many of these guys dropped everything in their life to volunteer for this". He continues by saying that having older, more experienced Marines really pays off on a daily basis over there thanks to great pre-deployment training, and the ability to learn quickly, they have become effective.

He talks about the weather over there: Temperatures are over 100 degrees now. In his first month there, he described some thunderstorms they had when it rained so much at least half the streets in the town were under a foot of water. His first sand storm "came in fast from the northwest and was an immense mountain of sand. A bunch of us were outside watching it. The storm must have been moving a mile a minute because it quickly came upon them. The entire sky became a kind of hazy orange, a color that you couldn’t possibly think would occur in nature".
"Even when the wind blows, it has trouble getting through the 80 pounds of gear they wear. He says that no one complains about the gear, however, especially the armor. It’s hard on the knees and back, though".

In closing, he's homesick but since he’s getting into a routine over there, time is passing more quickly. He loves all the Motomail we send. I update him mostly on the Redskins, his favorite team.

Please keep every service man and woman in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world in your prayers daily. Thanks.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Nationals vs Orioles


















Interleague play starts this weekend in Major League Baseball. The Orioles will travel from Baltimore to play at RFK Stadium tonight through Sunday. It will be the Orioles first appearance in D.C. since 1971. I'm planning to go to the Sunday afternoon game.

I was talking with my friend Ian at work and he's got a mini ticket plan for both teams. The question comes up--Who are you going to root for? The answer: I'm not really sure yet. Let me take you back a long, long time ago. September 1971. The Senators, and my boyhood baseball idol Frank Howard, are being moved to Texas at the end of the season. I listened to their last game at RFK Stadium on WWDC AM 1260. I had my dog Chester hanging out with me and I was heartbroken we were losing the Senators.

Fast forward a few months in 1972: My parents were at a dinner party and they met Orioles Public Relations Director, Bob Brown. Dad and Mom told Mr. Brown about how I was sad the Senators moved and how much I missed baseball. A few days after this meeting, I received a package in the mail from Mr. Brown. In it contained player picture cards, a hat, an Orioles shirt, a World Series program from 1971 and other items. I was hooked instantly on the Orioles and I wrote Mr. Brown a letter thanking him. Over the next couple years we corresponded with one another via US Mail and to this day, I owe my Orioles allegiance to Mr. Brown. That simple gesture on his part kept me a baseball fan. This was a very big deal to a ten year old. That's how I became an Orioles fan.

While I'm very happy that Washington D.C. got the Nationals, I'm still an Orioles fan and will always be, so perhaps I answered my own question here. I think Ian is going to wear an O's shirt while his wife wears a Nats cap.

Meanwhile, take a trip back in time by reading today's Post

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Since today is Mother's Day, my wife and her Mom took the afternoon to go see Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible III, so I had the afternoon with Benjamin. We hung out and watched some TV. He had his bottle and we played with some of his toys. I turned on the iPod, found the Baby Einstein Classics (Beethoven) and he relaxed and soon fell asleep. Note to new Dad's: Always keep your camera close by. He was snoring when I took this.

To Mom: Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

On The Road with Nils Lofgren

Nearly 4 decades on the road and counting for Lofgren

By LARRY McSHANE
Associated Press
NEW YORK - It's four hours before showtime, and Nils Lofgren sits in the undersized dressing room of a Manhattan club. He goes over the guest list, considers songs for the set list. Sound check awaits, and then two shows: One at 8 p.m., the second at 10:30 p.m.

It's a familiar routine for Lofgren, the brilliant guitarist who's spent the last 38 years on the road playing rock 'n' roll - leading his own bands, or with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Ringo Starr.

Lofgren's approaching his 55th birthday, but playing for an audience just never gets old.

"I love playing live," Lofgren says with genuine enthusiasm. "It doesn't matter if you're Elvis Presley, or me playing in a bar. You cannot buy your way out of the rule: There's only one chance tonight. You might go on a few minutes late, but you gotta go out there."

The always affable Lofgren is back on tour promoting his first studio album in four years, Sacred Weapon. Typically, it includes guest appearances from friends gathered along Lofgren's long musical road: Willie Nelson does a duet, while David Crosby and Graham Nash provide backing vocals on another song.

"I have some good friends, and I'm just trying to be honest about making music," Lofgren explains. "And those are some of the people who are willing to help you, even though you're not with the record deal, and the top 10, and all that political stuff."

Lofgren's last recording contract was a dozen years ago, and he doesn't miss working for a label. These days, he sells CDs through his Web site and works with a distributor. The new album is his 17th solo album, and it garnered the sort of glowing reviews that made him one of the mid-1970s contenders for the next big thing.

Lofgren, still fit in blue jeans and a black T-shirt, acknowledges that was a long time ago.

"The record companies? I'm just someone who's a failure to them," Lofgren says. "You made records for 37 years and you never had a hit.' They're just business people, and I'm a bad bet. I can't argue. I'm not going to tell someone what to do with their business. But I'm not going to grovel."

Lofgren's dressing room is tight, and he travels light: There's a guitar case and a small boom box. On this afternoon, it's playing John Lennon. It's no surprise that Lofgren's tastes run to classic rock and its antecedents.

"I still put on 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western (Music)' by Ray Charles, and any dingy dressing room brightens up for me," Lofgren says. "Thank God music is like a medicinal, healing thing."

Playing clubs brings Lofgren back to his roots. But he's become better known as one of rock's great sidemen.

He played guitar in Nelson's band when the country music great performed last December at the Kennedy Center. They performed My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys and Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys in honor of Robert Redford.

Earlier in the day, Lofgren and Nelson drove out to a Virginia recording studio to work on the guitarist's new song, In Your Hands.

"We listened to it on the way over, and I got a little greedy and asked him to try the second verse," Lofgren recalls. "And you know, it was so effortless for him. All his ideas were great. We just picked the ones that fit in best with what I was doing."

The new album features Lofgren playing several instruments that he picked up while playing in Springsteen's E Street Band: dulcimer, dobro, pedal steel.

"One of the fringe benefits when I came to this record after 'The Rising'(tour), I was a decent beginner now on four or five new instruments," says Lofgren. "And it was fun to write on 'em. ... To have three or four inherently different sounds to draw on instantly gave me more colors, and kept me more engaged."

Lofgren enjoys a rabid cult following, which is what fuels his work these days. Live shows remain a particularly potent motivation.

"It's kind of my lifeblood," he says of his fans. "It's a small audience, but I'm very grateful for it. You make music to share."

Houston Chronicle

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Playoff Excitement

I picked five games, which was hard to do since I've witnessed a lot of great playoff action by every franchise in town. No Redskins games are here because the three playoff victories I've seen under Coach Joe Gibbs, version 1.0, I just knew they would win. 51-7 over the Rams 1/1/84, 19-7 over the Rams 12/28/86 and 41-10 over the Lions in the NFC title game 1/12/91. It was cool seeing the 'Skins win the NFC title and advance to the Super Bowl, but that game was pretty much over after the kickoff. I also left off D.C. United's MLS Cup victory in the pouring rain at RFK Stadium on October 26, 1997, while it was a wonderful game, one they played seven years later described at the end of this post was better, in my opinion.

So here are my five favorite playoff games, listed chronologically that I've seen in person.

June 4, 1978: NBA Finals, Game 6. Capital Centre, Landover MD

Washington Bullets 117
Seattle Super Sonics 82


I bought a ticket to this for six dollars and took a bus to the Cap Centre. It was a must win for the Bullets as they trailed in the series 3 games to 3. Going into the game, the Super Sonics had the edge. Bullets Guard Kevin Grevey was injured, and the backcourt was struggling. Coach Dick Motta inserted 2nd year player Greg Ballard at forward and moved Bobby Dandridge to guard. Risky move as Bobby D had very little experience at guard. It worked pretty well in the first half as the Bullets led by 12. The Bullets then scored 70 points in the second half and just ran Seattle off the floor. Everyone contributed. Mitch Kupchak finished with 19 points, and Ballard had 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Bullets routed the Super Sonics by 35 points win. It was the largest margin of victory by a team in NBA Finals history (This lasted until 1998 when the Chicago Bulls hammered the Utah Jazz by 41).

The Bullets and Sonics played an epic seventh game a few nights later, with the Bullets winning their only NBA title 105-99. Read more here.

October 6, 1983: American League Championship Series, Game 2. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore MD

Baltimore Orioles 4
Chicago White Sox 0


Not a whole lot to say about this game as the O's dominated the White Sox. It was one of the best pitching performances I've ever seen. Oriole pitcher Mike Boddicker dominated the White Sox in game two by striking out 14 and allowed only 5 hits as the O's won 4-0 to even up the best of five series. Gary Roenicke reached base four times, scored three runs and his two run homer in the 7th inning sealed up the victory for the Orioles. The Orioles would go on to win the series 3 games to 1 and Boddicker was named Most Valuable Player in the ALCS based on this performance.

October 15, 1983: World Series, Game 4. Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia PA

Baltimore Orioles 5
Philadelphia Phillies 4


I wasn’t able to attend the first two games in Baltimore, so I took the train up from Union Station and bought a ticket outside Veteran’s Stadium for face value ($25.00). It was an upper deck seat but I was there and witnessed the best game of this series in my opinion.

The O’s took a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning as Jim Dywer, Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray all singled to start the inning. With one out, Rich Dauer singled, scoring Dwyer and Ripken.

In in the bottom of the 4th, the Phillies cut the lead in half as Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt singled and Joe Lefebvre doubled, driving in Rose. Gary Matthews walked and Greg Gross grounded into a double play. 2-1 Orioles.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Phillies took the lead as Bo Diaz doubled, advanced to third as Orioles pitcher Storm Davis threw a wild pitch. John Denny, the Phillies starting pitcher, singled and went to second on an error. Diaz scored on the play to tie the score. Pete Rose doubled, driving in Denny and the Phillies lead 3-2.

It got interesting in the Orioles 6th inning. Here goes: With one out, John Lowenstein singled. Rich Dauer doubled, advancing Lowenstein to third base. O’s manager Joe Altobelli had Joe Nolan pinch hit for Todd Cruz and Nolan was walked intentionally, loading the bases. Altobelli then pinch hit Ken Singleton for Rick Dempsey and Singleton walked, tying the game at 3-3. Lenn Sakata was inserted in the game as a pinch runner for Singleton and Altobelli brought in John Shelby to bat for O’s pitcher Storm Davis. Phillies Manager Paul Owens inserted Willie Hernandez to relieve Denny. Shelby hit a sacrifice fly to left , scoring Dauer scored and the O’s had a 4-3 lead. When it was over, Altobelli used four pinch hitters in the inning.

The O’s got an insurance run in the 7th as Dwyer doubled and Dauer drove him home to make the score 5-3 Orioles.

With one out in the Phillies 8th inning, Tippy Martinez was brought in to close the game. He got out of the 8th inning ok but in the 9th, he struggled. Bo Diaz singled with one out. Bob Dernier pinch ran for Diaz, advanced to second on a ground out and Ozzie Virgil drove him home with a single to centerfield. Joe Morgan ended the game with a line out to Lenn Sakata. The Orioles had a 3 games to 1 series lead. The next day Eddie Murray hit two homers and Series MVP Rick Dempsey hit one while Scott McGregor pitched a five hit shutout for the Orioles third World Series title.

April 16, 1988: Patrick Division Semifinals. Game 7. Capital Centre, Landover MD

Washington Capitals 5
Philadelphia Flyers 4


The Caps were trailing this series 3 games to 1. They fought back and forced a game 7. This game did not start out good for the Caps, who were down 3-0. Their prospects seemed hopeless. Once again in a crucial game the Capitals appeared not to know how to win. But the Caps fought back and in the third period, they took the lead 4-3 on Dale Hunter’s goal. The building went nuts. But the Flyers tied things at 4-4 and that’s how regulation ended. Immediately I thought of the 4 OT game 7 vs the Islanders that the Caps lost a year earlier. That year I was at a bar. This year I was there in person.

It would be a different ending. Larry Murphy pried a puck loose along the wall in the Caps end and Dale Hunter broke for the red line. Murphy hit Hunter with a perfect pass and Hunter skated in alone on Hextall. Hunter did a deke, shot and the puck went through Hextall and into the back of the net. Pandemonium broke out!

I’ve watched this replay over a thousand times and it’s still sweet. Mike Fornes (former HTS Caps play by play man) summed it up "…Murphy starts the rush… he hits Hunter…he’s in alone…a shot…and a GOAL!!!!!" The best thing about the goal was the sight of Flyers goalie Ron Hextall laying on his back and the Flyers defenseman breaking his stick in disgust on the top of the net.

Hunter had a great career for the Caps. He could win a big face-off, pummel an opposing team’s goon, then score a key goal. True, he made some mistakes in his career (1993 playoffs vs the Islanders and Pierre Turgeon). But Hunter’s goal, at the time, was the biggest goal in Capitals franchise history.

November 6, 2004: MLS Eastern Conference Finals. RFK Stadium, Washington DC

D.C. United 3
New England Revolution 3


United win 4-3 in penalty kicks.

90 minutes of regulation couldn’t decide this game. Thirty minutes of overtime could not decide this game. The two teams even went through the best of five penalty kicks deadlocked. In one of the more pressure packed games in front of a passionate crowd, the Eastern Conference title and a berth in MLS Cup came down to the sixth round of penalty kicks. United midfielder Brian Carroll converted his kick in the upper left corner. The season for the Revolution came down to rookie Clint Dempsey vs United goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Dempsey shot toward the lower right corner, but Rimando pushed it aside and danced around the corner of the field pumping his arms before a wave of teammates buried him. United were going to their fifth MLS Cup final and their first in five years.

D.C. United took the lead in the 11th minute on Alecko Eskandarian's goal, but Taylor Twellman tied it for the Revolution in the 17th minute. Jaime Moreno restored the lead in the 21st minute, but Steve Ralston tied the game with a penalty kick as the first half was ending.

Christian Gomez put United back ahead 3-2 in the 67th minute after he headed Earnie Stewart’s cross, but Pat Noonan tied things up 3-3 with about five minutes left in regulation.

In the OT, both teams were exhausted and cramping up. Play was scrappy and there was no score. It came down to penalty kicks. The attendance says over 21,000 were in RFK this night but they made the noise that 55,000 Redskins fans used to make then they played there. Both supporters clubs, Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava did not stop chanting and jumping up and down. I was standing at the last row in section 234 and the passion that night was incredible.

"It was the greatest game I have ever been a part of," defender Mike Petke said. “This game had everything. It was just incredible to be a part of it."

My friend Dave wrote a great article about this game here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Playoff Disappointments

Last night I went to see the Washington Wizards play the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 6 of their first round NBA Playoff match up at Verizon Center. By now everyone probably knows the Wizards lost the game 114-113 in OT and they lost the series as well, 4 games to 2. A recap is here.

It was one of the more entertaining, yet disappointing losses ending a season I've witnessed as a DC area sports fan. Driving home I decided to list the most disappointing playoff losses I’ve witnessed. Four of them were season enders, like the Wizards loss was. Chronological order as I really can't rank these.

October 11, 1979: World Series, Game 2. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore MD.

Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Baltimore Orioles 2

My first World Series game. Manny Sanguillen’s ninth-inning single broke a 2-2 tie and enabled Pittsburgh to beat ace reliever Don Stanhouse. Good pitchers duel between Jim Palmer and Bert Blyleven. Eddie Murray hit a homer for the O’s, who trailed 2-1 until the 6th inning when Ken Singleton singled to left, Murray doubled home Singleton, tying the game. In the top of the 9th, Bill Robinson singled to left field. Don Stanhouse was brought in replacing Tippy Martinez. Matt Alexander ran for Robinson and was caught stealing second. Bill Madlock flied to center. With two outs, Ed Ott singled, Phil Garner walked. Sanguillen pinch hit for Don Robinson and singled to right scoring Ott. Kent Tekulve struck out Rick Dempsey and Kiko Garcia and Al Bumbry grounded out to end the game. The O's would win the next two and take a 3 games to 1 series lead but they would drop the next three to lose the World Series 4 games to 3.

December 30, 1984: NFC playoffs. RFK Stadium, Washington DC.

Chicago Bears 23
Washington Redskins 19

The Redskins coming off back to back Super Bowl appearances (won one, lost one) and they won the tough NFC East and were favorites at home. The Bears thought otherwise and upset the Redskins by forcing 3 turnovers and 7 sacks in what was Coach Joe Gibbs first home playoff loss. With the scored tied 3-3 in the second quarter, Chicago running back Walter Payton threw a 19-yard touchdown off of a halfback option play. In the third period, Bears running back Willie Gault caught a short pass and raced for a 75-yard touchdown. Redskins running back John Riggins scored on a 1-yard touchdown run then cut the lead, 16-13. A roughing the passer penalty set up Dennis McKinnon's 16-yard reception for Chicago's game clinching touchdown.

April 16, 1985: Patrick Division Semifinals, Game 5. Capital Centre, Landover MD.

New York Islanders 2
Washington Capitals 1

The Capitals had a solid record of 46-25-9 heading into this first round series, which was a best of five then. The Caps had a 2 games to 0 lead and blew it. Billy Smith was on fire in goal for the Islanders in this game. Brent Sutter and Anders Kallur scored for the Islanders. I believe Mike Gartner scored the only goal for the Caps.

April 30, 1988: Patrick Division Finals, Game 7. Capital Centre, Landover MD.

New Jersey Devils 3
Washington Capitals 2

John MacLean scores the game winning goal in the Devils' 3-2 victory over the Caps. The Devils, who barely made the playoffs, were playing in their second playoff series ever. With this win, they captured the Patrick Division Playoff Championship while favored Caps were left to ponder another playoff failure.

May 1, 1992: Patrick Division Semifinals, Game 7. Capital Centre, Landover MD.

Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Washington Capitals 1

The Penguins Mario Lemieux had 1 goal and 1 assist in game seven. The Caps blew a 3 games to 1 series lead and fail to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Penguins became just the 11th team (at the time) since 1939 to overcome a 3-1 deficit and win a seven-game series.

I saw three Bullets playoff games, all victories at the Capital Centre and the last one was 1979. There hasn't been a lot to cheer from them as they have made the playoffs just three times in the last 18 years. In the '80's and mid '90's, the Caps would consistently make the playoffs and were always labeled Stanley Cup contenders during the regular season. They could never quite put it together and make a serious run in the playoffs until 1998 when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals and were swept 4 games to 0 against Detroit.

I have never seen D.C. United lose a playoff game in person. Thankfully I missed last season’s 4-0 home playoff (and series) loss to the Chicago Fire as my newborn son Benjamin came home from the hospital that day.

I will put my top five playoff victories I've seen in person later in the week.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Benjamin's 6 Month Check Up

For my family, friends and blog passerby's, I promise to upload some more pics. Today Benjamin had his six month check up. Here are the stats: His head is 16.75" a little on the small side but no cause for alarm, he's 28 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds, 4 ounces. He's been gaining about a pound a month since January and this is normal. He's not underweight, nor is he overweight. Just right. We feed him between 24 and 28 ounces of formula a day and he is also eating the Gerber baby food three times a day. No ear infections or sickness in his six months and for that we are extremely grateful. Teeth will start coming in around the middle of this month and he should start crawling sometime during month eight. He is a healthy, happy baby. He got his three shots, cried a little, then fell asleep. He is snoring away as I type this. All is well.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bob Dylan's XM Radio Debut

Bob Dylan made his debut on XM Radio today, hosting a one hour show. Today's theme was weather. I really liked the tune selection and hearing Dylan on the radio was pretty cool. Great way to get through the morning. Lucky for me no one came into my office to disturb me ;)

Theme Time Radio Hour: XM 40 Deep Tracks
1. Blow Wind Blow by Muddy Waters
2. You Are My Sunshine by Jimmy Davis
3. California Sun by Joe Jones
4. I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine by Dean Martin & Paul Weston
5. Just Walkin’ In The Rain by The Prisonaires
6. After The Clouds Roll Away by The Consolers
7. The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix
8. Come Rain Come Shine by Judy Garland
9. It’s Raining by Irma Thomas
10. Didn’t It Rain by Saint Basil/Deaf Poet
11. Rainin’ In My Heart by Slim Harpo
12. Jamaica Hurricane by Lord Beginner
13. Let The Four Winds Blow by Fats Domino
14. Stormy Weather by The Spaniels
15. A Place In The Sun by Stevie Wonder
16. Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra
17. Uncloudy Day by The Staples

John Daly and Addiction

In an autobiography, "John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough" due in stores next week, John Daly says he lost between $50 million and $60 million during 12 years of heavy gambling. It was reported after he lost a playoff to Tiger Woods last fall at the American Express Championship in San Francisco, he drove to Las Vegas and blew $1.65 million in five hours playing $5,000 slots.

I've been a John Daly fan since 1991 when he came from the 9th alternate spot to gain entry in and win the PGA Championship. Classic Cinderella story from out of nowhere. In the years that followed, he's told various media outlets he's been addicted to alcohol, gambling, women (four wives), Diet Coke, M&M's and cigarettes. The one thing he's not addicted to unfortunately is winning, having won just once on the PGA Tour(2004) since he won his second major (1995 British Open).

He'll always be a popular draw wherever he tees it up though. He's always been generous with his money, and not just in casinos. He's donated a lot of time and money to charitable events. An example here. I last saw him in 2004 when he played at the Booz Allen Classic at TPC Avenel and I hope he comes back to DC in what could be the last PGA Tour event held here.

USA World Cup Soccer Team Named

UNITED STATES 2006 WORLD CUP ROSTER
Goalkeepers (3): Marcus Hahnemann; Reading (England), Tim Howard; Manchester United (England), Kasey Keller; Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra; Fulham (England), Steve Cherundolo; Hannover (Germany), Jimmy Conrad; Kansas City Wizards, Cory Gibbs; ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Frankie Hejduk; Columbus Crew, Eddie Lewis; Leeds United (England), Oguchi Onyewu; Standard Liege (Belgium), Eddie Pope; Real Salt Lake

Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley; PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Bobby Convey; Reading (England), Clint Dempsey; New England Revolution, Landon Donovan; Los Angeles Galaxy, Pablo Mastroeni; Colorado Rapids, John O’Brien; CD Chivas USA, Ben Olsen; D.C. United, Claudio Reyna; Manchester City (England)

Forwards (4): Brian Ching; Houston Dynamo, Eddie Johnson; Kansas City Wizards, Brian McBride; Fulham (England), Josh Wolff; Kansas City Wizards

The U.S. soccer team will begin their pre-World Cup training camp May 10 in Cary, N.C. They will play tune up matches (friendlies) on May 23 vs Morocco in Nashville TN, May 26 vs Venezuela in Cleveland, OH and May 28 vs Latvia in East Hartford, CT. They are scheduled to depart for Germany on June 1.

The team is nearly evenly balanced between those playing professionally abroad and those playing in Major League Soccer. 12 players play in Europe while 11 play in MLS, the same ratio as the 2002 team.

The U.S. is solid in goal with Kasey Keller being the USA’s all-time leader in wins (51), shutouts (44) and World Cup qualifying appearances (31).

The Defense has a pair of players appearing in their third World Cup. Eddie Pope is the veteran with 78 appearances and Frankie Hejduk follows with 72 appearances. Steve Cherundolo goes to his second straight World Cup after being unable to participate in games during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan because of an injury suffered the day before the USA’s first match against Portugal. Eddie Lewis played in 11 of 18 World Cup qualifiers, scoring two goals and delivering two assists. Carlos Bocanegra, Jimmy Conrad, Cory Gibbs and Oguchi Onyewu are all making their World Cup debuts.

Four time World Cup veteran Claudio Reyna leads a midfield that includes Landon Donovan, who at age 24 is already the leading assist man in U.S history with 23, and has led the US in points the past three years. DaMarcus Beasley 24, is playing in his 2nd World Cup. Both Pablo Mastroeni and John O’Brien are also returning vets. O’Brien having recorded the USA’s first goal in Korea just four minutes into their first game, a 3-2 victory against Portugal and one of only three players to play every minute of every match. Ben Olsen battled back from various injuries and has shown coach Bruce Arena that he was worthy of his selection by scoring a goal in the USA's 4-0 victory over Guatemala on February 19th and in the team's 1-1 draw with Jamaica on April 11th. Personally, I’m happy for Ben as he’s been a hard worker on the field for D.C. United and a class act off the field as well, having been named the US Soccer Federation’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2004. Bobby Convey and Clint Dempsey are making their World Cup debuts.

Brian McBride is the only player in U.S. history to score goals in multiple World Cups and he has a pair of big ones in World Cup play, scoring the game-winners in the 3-2 opening match victory against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup and the 2-0 win against Mexico in the Round of 16. He has 29 international goals. Josh Wolff makes his second World Cup appearance. He setup McBride for the game-winner against Mexico four years ago. Eddie Johnson is the only US player to score a goal in his first four matches, all of which were in 2006 World Cup qualifiers. In Brian Ching's World Cup qualifying debut, he scored the equalizer in the 88th minute to give the U.S. a huge road point in a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on August 18, 2004 in Kingston, Jamaica

Arena has also named 13 alternates who will be available should any injuries occur. After the official 23-man roster is submitted on May 15 to FIFA, a player may only be replaced on the roster as a result of an injury.

U.S. Men’s National Team Alternate List
Goalkeepers (2): Tony Meola (New York Red Bulls), Matt Reis (New England Revolution)

Defenders (3): Chris Albright (Los Angeles Galaxy), Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Todd Dunivant (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Midfielders (5): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), Chris Klein (Real Salt Lake), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City Wizards)

Forwards (3): Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)

The USA is in a tough group (Group E) along with the Czech Republic, Ghana, and Italy. The U.S. schedule: Czech Republic on June 12 in Gelsenkirchen, Italy on June 17 in Kaiserslautern and Ghana on June 22 in Nuremberg.