Monday, October 16, 2006

D.C. United Awards Reception

Last night I attended the Third Annual D.C. United Awards Reception. It was held at the Galleria at Lafayette Centre in Washington, D.C. There was a reception before the main event where fans in attendance could mingle with players, coaches and staff. I caught up with a couple friends in the front office and chatted with Mark Simpson, former goalkeeper and now assistant coach. I've played in D.C. United's charity golf outing a couple times with Mark, who is a scratch golfer. We were trying to set up a time after the season to get a round in. We're both rookie Dad's as he and his wife welcomed their daughter back in May.

D.C. United's 2006 team award winners were as follows:

Bobby Boswell - Humanitarian of the Year and Defender of the Year.
Facundo Erpen - Goal of the Year
Josh Gros - Coach's Award (Most Improved Player)
Christian Gomez - Golden Boot as the leading scorer, Fan's Choice Award and the team's Most Valuable Player

Here's hoping these guys aren't done collecting awards this season. A fifth MLS Cup would be a welcome addition to their trophy case:

The evening came to a close when Coach Peter Nowak spoke to the audience. He is disappointed at how the season ended (three straight losses after United sealed up the best record in MLS) and promises things will be different when the playoffs start Saturday. He praised the team and said they are champions and now they just have to earn it on the field.

Here is a recap of Nowak's comments:

Some of us will be back, some of us maybe not, but in the next four weeks we will do everything in our power to bring you trophy, to bring the passion back....Soccer is a game you can win, you can tie, you can lose. The choice is ours. But you guys deserve more than anything to be in Dallas and to raise the trophy again....I can assure you is going to be completely different team Saturday in New York, and we're going to go there, and we're going to beat them at home again!!!

He was passionate on the field when he played and you could feel the passion in his voice last night as he spoke. They'll be ready Saturday.

Your's truly with Christian Gomez. He was being interviewed and posing for pics so I handed a professional photographer with all this cool photography equipment my little Nikon point and shoot digital camera and he fired off this shot. I guess it's sort of like asking John Grisham to write a short story on a piece of scratch paper.

D.C. United begins the quest for their fifth title this Saturday in New York vs the Red Bull. Game time is 2:00 PM. The return leg of the first round home and home series is Sunday October 29th. Vamos United!

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