Feb 10, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT
You get the feeling D.C. United fans cannot quite sort out whether Linoard Pajoy hitting for two goals in a preseason friendly is a good or bad thing. He struck twice on Saturday as United prevailed easily (4-0) over North American Soccer League champion Tampa Bay in the ongoing Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
It’s not that Pajoy doesn’t have some use around RFK Stadium for Ben Olsen this year. It’s just that his imprecise finishing leaves fans feeling somewhat conflicted.
What’s easy to like is the Colombian forward’s work rate, his ability to be a real bother as teams attempt to move the ball out of the back. And his ability to be effective as a hold-up forward can give Olsen a different look when needed.
But “diligent toil” can only go so far in establishing a forward’s value, as we all know. At some point, it’s about bottom-line production for strikers. Three goals and an assist in 12 matches? Meh.
Plus, it didn’t help that Pajoy arrived from Philadelphia for Danny Cruz, a hard-worker himself from the flanks, and a popular man around RFK.
This looked quite a bit like Olsen’s first-choice lineup, minus Chris Pontius, and with someone other than Nane (a trialist) alongside Perry Kitchen in the midfield.
So seeing Pajoy have a good afternoon – against a second-tier side without its top men, it should be said – as a starter alongside Dwayne De Rosario at striker might put United fans at ill ease. They may begin to wonder if Olsen and upper management will decide he is the first-choice striker.
Some would see that as settling.
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A salty relationship between the Bulgarian striker and his Dutch boss led to the “Dream Team” member departing Barcelona a year later.
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The 42-year-old’s 126th career goal is a world record.
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The 27-year-old Belgian saw a picture that touched him enough to reach out.
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After being knocked unconscious by a flare, the Russian shot-stopper will be fit to play a crucial league match this weekend.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:21 AM EDT
England has refrained from bidding for World Cups since their relationship with Sepp Blatter has soured, but that could change in the next vote or two.
Mar 30, 2015, 8:20 AM EDT
Barcelona striker Neymar was furious with former Premier League defender Gary Medel, who clattered him hard during the first half of a physical match.
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The 26-year-old scored for the Mexican team this weekend, but remains frustrated at the club level.
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Are Saints about to lose another young star to one of the Premier League’s “big five?” We’ll find out this summer.
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