Paging Don King

I'm certain you recall the huge kerfuffle a couple months ago when the Wizards waived Kevin Hartman and all the talk was about what an outrage it was that a great, great veteran goalkeeper was being so badly abused by the MLS system that he was unable to find work.

That was one explanation.

Another one came to light last night in Our Nations' Capital as Hartman was badly abused by DC United who, after lighting him up for four goals despite rarely being able to find the net this season with bloodhounds and a map, may have proven that the guy was unable to find work not because of an MLS conspiracy but rather because he stinks.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPUsKvmpCb0&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube- Highlights: D.C. United vs FC Dallas - U.S. Open Cup[/ame]

To be fair not much of anybody would have stopped the third one, but on the others, particularly the second (1:57) you've really got to do better.

After the game, DC coach Curt Onalfo was eager to heap praise on the teams' painfully young Academy signing, Andy Najar, who had his first professional assist in the fourth minute and followed that with his first-ever pro goal just after the half.

Unfortunately, Onalfo had the same view of the second event as the roughly 2800 paying customers after being ejected in the 31st minute for quietly and respectfully explaining to referee Chris Penso that he was perhaps a trifle mistaken on a foul call.

A cynic might suggest that the Uniteds caught fire because of Onolfos' absence, although by that time Adam Cristman had already put them in front 1-0, which was not coincidentally the first time they've had a lead all season. Normally, Katie Morgan spends more time on top than DCU.

On the other hand, perhaps they were gleeful over the news that their former Brazilian DP, Luciano Emilio, was returning to the squad. A few months ago team GM Dave Kaspar was telling reporters that DC was dumping Emilio and "going in another direction" but since that direction turned out to be mostly downwards, they're ponying up for the 2007 league MVP once again.

Team officials say that they signed him mostly because he substantially lowered his asking price, which is undoubtedly true, but it's equally true that if they don't do something to rectify the state of a team which, after just four games, already finds itself twelve points behind the Red Bulls - no, seriously, the Red Bulls - their fans are going to start voting with their feet.

I may to have to revisit my previous opinion that the Nutrilite Canadian Cup "tournament" is a worthless third rate gimmick the CSA created so that they could pretend there was a Champion of Canada just like real countries with actual soccer leagues have.

Not that the actual value has changed much, but the entertainment level was superb last night in what they laughingly refer to as - I kid you not - "Match Day One" - someone named Roberto Brown of the Impact does his best Roy Jones Jr. impression, giving Nick Garcia a straight left to the head, dropping him like a bag of hammers and knocking the defender out cold.

See around 20 seconds:

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Garcia was knocked unconscious and had to leave the game, as did Mr. Brown. Garcia is reportedly suffering from a "headache".

The scene with two TFC officials helping Garcia off the pitch is reminiscent of that old SNickers commercial:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPRscxQZs8E&feature=related"]YouTube- Batman snickers ad[/ame]

This was just one of many highlights of the match, which also saw six yellow cards and a bone-deep gash to Ty Hardens' leg, courtesy of a Matt Jordan cleating, that required 22 stitches to close, all of which contributed to a whopping nine minutes of added time in the first half alone.

Dwayne DeRosaio, displaying a talent for understatement, afterwards declared that "these games are going to be physical".