DC United

Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno headline DC United’s Mount Rushmore, according to ExtraTime Radio

Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno headline DC United’s Mount Rushmore, according to ExtraTime Radio

The trophy case is full for D.C. United with 4 MLS Cups, 4 Supporters’ Shields, 3 U.S. Open Cups, a CONCACAF Champions Cup title and a Copa Interamericana title to the club’s name.

As such, there are so many great players to have worn the Black-and-Red over the years and with the sports world on hold, ExtraTime Radio is running through a Mount Rushmore for each MLS team.

It should be no surprise that Marco “El Diablo” Etcheverry is the first name on the list from the ExtraTime Radio crew. One of the all-time MLS greats, Etcheverry was the backbone of the first (and arguably best) dynasty in league history.

Over the course of his eight seasons with the club, El Diablo tallied 34 goals and 101 assists in 191 league appearances. The Bolivian midfielder’s assists rank sixth on the all-time MLS leaderboard and he led the team to three MLS Cups while winning league MVP in 1998. Just five players in MLS history have been named to more MLS Best XI’s with his four straight nods from 1996 to 1999.

Following Etcheverry on D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore is Jaime Moreno, another no-doubt candidate.

He leads the club in games (329), goals (131), assists (102), PK goals (42) and game-winning goals (26). Moreno spent all but one of his 15 MLS seasons rocking the Black-and-Red and was the first player in MLS history to score 100 goals and 100 assists. (Landon Donovan is the only other player in league history to accomplish the feat.) Moreno is as decorated as any player in club history with 12 titles over his 14 seasons with the club and, just like Etcheverry, is one of the very best MLS has ever seen.

The third member of D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore according to the ETR crew is defender Eddie Pope.

Drafted by the team in the first-ever MLS College Draft in 1996, Pope immediately become a mainstay of the backline and earned four nods to the MLS Best XI in his career. Pope scored the winning goal in the 1996 MLS Cup and accomplished the same feat the next year in the Copa Interamericana.

Not only did Pope shine for the Black-and-Red, he also cemented his place in U.S. Soccer history with his performances for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The fourth spot on D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore was much-debated by the ExtraTime crew with names like Christian Gomez, John Harkes, Raul Diaz Arce, Bill Hamid and others bandied as options. But their fourth spot went to Ben Olsen, who has been a part of the Black-and-Red since his MLS Rookie of the Year-winning season in 1998.

Olsen made 221 appearances over 12 seasons for D.C. United and then became an assistant coach with the club. When Curt Onalfo was fired midway through Olsen’s first year as an assistant coach, he was promoted to interim head coach and has been at the helm of the club for the last 10 seasons. Olsen led D.C. United to the US Open Cup title in 2013 and earned MLS Coach of the Year honors in 2014 when the Black-and-Red went from worst to first to win the Eastern Conference title.

Surprising Chelsea trying to live up to its glittering pedigree

Surprising Chelsea trying to live up to its glittering pedigree

Weekend mornings haven’t been the same since the English Premier League paused its season. The hope is the EPL is back on NBC sometime soon. Until then, NBC Sports Washington is devoting a week of stories to each of the Big 6 clubs in England: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City. Because we miss the Premier League, too. 

Our first week continues with a look at Chelsea, a Premier League surprise this season but a club which went from a complete afterthought for almost half a century in England to a powerhouse rivaling any in Europe the past 15 years. 

For 49 seasons, Chelsea was the little brother of English soccer. 

From 1956 to 2004, the Blues watched every major rival win a championship. Arsenal won the top division six times, Everton four, Tottenham and Manchester City once each. And Liverpool (13) and Manchester United (12) were in a class by themselves. 

Calling Chelsea an afterthought would be generous in those years after they won the title in 1955. They were relegated from the top flight four times. They once spent five years in the second division from 1979 to 1984. Other than a handful of F.A. Cup wins, there wasn't much to go on. 

That’s all changed now in the 21st century. Little brother has become one of the gleaming jewels of European soccer. Chelsea has won the Premier League five times since nabbing that first one in the 2004-05 season. 

This year’s club surprised before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic halted play in March, but the young squad has a lot to live up to. An unlikely fourth in the standings with possibly nine games to go if the games restart this summer, that’s not going to satisfy many Chelsea fans in west London - and around the world - going forward. 

How could it? The memories of five Premier League championships still ring across the grounds and in 2012 Chelsea won the Champions League for the only time in club history. Legends like John Terry and Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, now the Blues’ manager, set the bar high for rising players like midfielder Mason Mount and American wonderkid Christian Pulisic, among others, during a youth movement. 

Chelsea won the Premier League by eight points in 2004-05 and 2005-06 under Jose Mourinho and again in 2014-15 during Mourinho's second stint. They needed every single point in 2009-10 when a devastating 8-0 season -finale win over Wigan Athletic secured their third championship in six years. But it was close with Manchester United finishing just one single point behind in the standings.

After an ugly 10th place finish in 2016 that led to Mourinho's second departure, Chelsea returned with another championship in the 2016-17 season, which was Terry's last. In the past 15 seasons of English football, Chelsea and Manchester United lead the way with five championships each. Not a bad way to end a drought of almost a half century.  

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2020 MLS All-Star Game canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

2020 MLS All-Star Game canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game has been canceled for the first time in its quarter-century history because of the coronavirus pandemic.

MLS All-Stars had been scheduled to play counterparts from Mexico’s Liga MX on July 29 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. MLS said Tuesday that the 2021 game will take place at Banc of California Stadium, most likely against All-Stars from Liga MX.

The third Campeones Cup between the MLS and Liga MX champions also was canceled, along with the second edition of the Leagues Cup between teams from those two leagues.

MLS was stopped two games into its season in mid-March because of the pandemic.

The league and the MLS Players Association have exchanged proposals on how to resume play. The union estimates the league’s offer would cost players $220 million over time and that its proposal would cut $100 million from 2020 salaries that total about $310 million.