October 20, 2019

CAPS: Happy Birthday, Jay Beagle

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY JAY BEAGLE!

The Washington Capitals forward was born on 10/16/1985 in Calgary, AB, Canada.

Happy 28th Birthday to #83.

Jay Beagle during warmups at Verizon Center, May 2 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Jay Beagle and Wojtek Wolski – Captials practice at Kettler, September 14, 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals forward Jay Beagle poses with a participant at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the Dreams for Kids clinic on Feb. 2 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

D.C. United Game 28 Recap: Porter’s late goal salvages 2-2 draw for D.C.

On a day where D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno was inducted into the club’s Hall of Tradition, the current D.C. United team twice fought back from a goal down to take a well-earned point in a 2-2 draw with the two-time defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Chris Pontius scored in the 34th minute to dispose of an early LA 1-0 lead, then Kyle Porter scored in the 84th minute on a header, just three minutes after the Galaxy had retaken the lead, as United scored multiple goals in a Major League Soccer match for the first time since August 3, in a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact. United are now 3-19-6 (15 points) on the season. LA now stands 13-10-5 (44 points). [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 18 Recap: Martins leaves United defenseless in Seattle

Ten Major League Soccer teams played last night, one didn’t score a goal. If you have been following D.C. United during this 2013 MLS season, you can guess which team it was.

United fell to 2-13-3 (9 points) on the season with a 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, before a spirited crowd of 39,180. The Sounders are 7-2-2 after starting the season 0-3-2, and improved to 7-5-4 (25 points) overall. [Read more…]

D.C. United GAME 8 RECAP: Fire can’t keep Columbus from scorching United

Defensive miscues in the first half and the continued lack of ability to score away from RFK Stadium led to yet another loss by D.C. United, this time by a 3-0 score to the Columbus Crew in front of 14,090 at Crew Stadium. United fell to 1-6-1 (4 points) with the loss, and haven’t won now in six matches. The Crew improved to 3-2-3 (12 points). United remain last in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.

Dominic Oduro (his fourth of the season), Josh Williams (third), and Federico Higuain (his second, scored from the penalty spot) provided the goals for Columbus, all in the first half. A first half which was delayed nearly an hour by a fire that broke out in the top of the Crew Stadium scoreboard. In a statement, Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers said there were no injuries in the fire, which did not spread beyond the scoreboard.

Once the game started, however, it was a familiar story for United, who saw various defensive errors lead to Crew goals, a goal that United scored waived off for an apparent offside that on video review doesn’t exist, and an attack that while it created several opportunities, couldn’t break through and find a goal. United have only scored four goals in eight matches this season, none of which have come away from home. By contrast, the Crew have now scored 12 goals this season and Oduro has four by himself.

By the end of the first half, the Crew had three shots on goal and had scored on all of them. The first damage (other than that to the scoreboard) came in the 15th minute when Oduro opened the scoring. Jairo Arrieta crossed into the box from deep to United goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s right. Oduro met it with a solid shot to make it 1-0. Arrieta had started the play when he got on the ball behind the United defense shortly after a Crew goal kick.

United equalized in the 23rd minute through Perry Kitchen, but the goal was waived off either due to offside or a foul on Kitchen. Trouble was, Kitchen wasn’t one of the United players in offside position on the play. United had what appeared to be a legitimate goal waived off for offside in a 2-1 loss vs. Columbus at RFK Stadium earlier in the season. United head coach Ben Olsen appeared to be staring in disbelief at the referee’s assistant following the call, and the video of the play on the MLS website (as of this writing) was titled, “DC has a goal disallowed for offside.”

As this season has gone, it was no surprise then that three minutes later, Williams scored to make it 2-0. Higuain took a corner kick from Hamid’s left side. Williams hit a right-footed, one-hopper that eluded Hamid to his left. Hamid got a hand on it, but not enough to keep it out.

It appeared United would be able to go into halftime with a 2-0 deficit, but that changed in stoppage time when Arrieta was fouled in the penalty area by Brandon McDonald, giving the Crew a penalty kick. Higuain buried the chance from the spot to make it 3-0 just before intermission.

United forced Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to make several saves in the second half, but he handled them all cleanly, not allowing any dangerous rebounds and not allowing United to break its scoring drought on the road this season. Lionard Pajoy hit the crossbar with a free kick in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. D.C. outshot Columbus, 21-7, including 6-3 in shots on goal, but it wasn’t good enough on this night. One on which United played without midfielders Nick DeLeon and Chris Pontius due to injury.

United is off next weekend. The club returns to action on Wednesday, May 8, at home against the Houston Dynamo. United lost the 2013 season opener at Houston, 2-0.

Washington Redskins Select Florida Tight End Jordan Reed With Third Round Pick

The Washington Redskins have selected Florida tight end Jordan Reed with the 85th overall selection in the draft.

Searching for more weapons on offense, the Redskins drafted Reed (6-2, 236 lbs) to be pass-catching threat for Robert Griffin III. While at Florida, Reed displayed his versatility, earning snaps at running back, tight end, and even quarterback. In his final season at Florida, he led the team in receiving with 559 yards on 45 receptions and three touchdowns.

Reed’s addition is an intriguing one, especially given the fact that current tight end Fred Davis is coming off a major achilles tendon injury. The third rounder provides the Redskins with security in the case that Davis does not return to form a year removed from ankle surgery. Even if Davis comes back healthy, Reed’s athleticism and versatility still make him a dangerous weapon for Kyle Shanahan and the Redskins offense to employ.

More on the Redskins draft later on District Sports Page.

Washington Redskins Draft NC State Cornerback David Amerson With Second Round Pick

As expected, the Washington Redskins helped bolster their secondary with their second round draft pick, selecting North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson with the 51st overall selection.

Amerson (6-1, 201 lbs) established himself as a top draft prospect during his sophmore season of 2011 at NC State, amassing 13 interceptions — tied for second most in NCAA history — all while earning first-team All-ACC honors an the Jack Tatum Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.  However, his production dipped in 2012, as he notched just five picks while allowing a number of big plays in the process. A disappointing final season at NC State is believed to be the reason why Amerson fell in the draft.

Amerson still impressed scouts throughout the draft process, running a 4.4 40-yard dash at the Combine. The size/speed combination  along with his ball skills made him an attractive option for the Redskins in the second round, filling a need the team desperately wanted to address this weekend.

We’ll have more on the Redskins draft later tonight on District Sports Page.

Washington Redskins Announce 2013 Preseason Opponents

The Washington Redskins have announced their 2013 preseason opponents. Though the order of the games have been determined, specific dates and times for three of the four matchups are to be announced at a later date.

The team will open their preseason slate on the road against the Tennessee Titans between Aug. 8-11, then return home on Aug. 19 for a nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN at 8 p.m. They’ll then have another home tilt against the Buffalo Bills between Aug. 23-25 before concluding the exhibition season on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers between Aug 29-31.

Every game with the exception of the Steelers matchup will be broadcast on NBC4/Comcast SportsNet.

Despite the uncertainty of whether or not quarterback Robert Griffin III would see any action in the preseason, the Redskins still managed to draw a nationally televised game.  With a dynamic player such as Griffin and with the team coming off its first NFC East championship since 1999, it’s expected that they’ll receive more national exposure in 2013.

The NFL will announce its regular season schedule later this month.

Washington Capitals Game 34 Recap: Capitals Rally to Stun Sabres, Gain in Chase

BUFFALO | With their season hanging in the balance, the Washington Capitals rallied to eke out a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center Saturday night, opening a critical road trip by getting two valuable standings point.

A poor start put the Capitals in a 3-1 hole early in the third period, but a shorthanded tally by Troy Brouwer and a last-minute tally by Mike Green forced overtime, where Matt Hendricks and Alex Ovechkin both scored on Sabres netminder Jhonas Enroth in the shootout.

Ovechkin turned in a tremendous effort in Washington’s only visit to Buffalo, scoring his 17th of the year and also adding the deciding shootout goal.

The win comes at a critical time, as they gain points on the Jets, Rangers and Islanders, moving just five points back of Winnipeg in the Southeast race, and two back of the Rangers in the chase for 8th in the East.

Buffalo – a team missing their top sniper in Thomas Vanek, having traded defenseman Jordan Leopold, and playing backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth – scored just 3:01 into the game and didn’t trail again until Braden Holtby was pulled for the extra attacker. While the Caps nearly won the game in overtime, the shootout allowed Washington to steal two points out of Western New York.

The Sabres started off quickly, cashing in early on a turnover in the Washington end, as Christian Ehrhoff fired a shot past Holtby to put the Sabres on the board just 3:01 in. While Washington got a four-minute power-play when Mike Weber went to the box for a high-stick, the Caps couldn’t take advantage, having difficulty setting up on the extra-man advantage.

The Sabres boosted their lead to 2-0 just 79 seconds into the second as Villie Leino scored his first of the year past Holtby off a rebound of a Tyler Ennis shot.

Tyler Ennis went to the box just :28 after the goal, however, and the Capitals took advantage. Alex Ovechkin scored just :34 into the power-play to bring the Capitals within one, firing a shot past Enroth, and giving him his 17th of the year.

But another bad breakdown in the Washington end proved costly, as Leino was allowed to poke a puck sitting off the post just past the halfway mark of the frame.

While Washington outshot the Sabres 17-8 in the second, the Capitals fell further behind in the contest.

Troy Browuer cut the lead to 3-2 with a short-handed tally with John Carlson in the box for a delay-of-game penalty, beating Enroth with a wrister for his 13th of the year. Despite a power-play opportunity on a Tyler Myers hit on Jason Chimera, the Capitals pushed and couldn’t net the equalizer until the final minute.

With Holtby out, the Caps controlled the biscuit, but couldn’t beat Enroth. However, Green unleashed a shot from the point that went off the post and off the Sabres netminder to earn the Caps the valuable point.

Mike Ribeiro had a golden chance to end the game in overtime with Enroth down, but the netminder put in a terrific glove save. But in the shootout, both Hendricks and Ovechkin netted goals as the Caps moved to 2-0 for the year in the tiebreaker.

With just two games left until the trade deadline – and a chance to gain further ground Sunday in Philadelphia – the Capitals will see if they can cut the deficit further and try and to recover from the poor start to the season.

Hail to a Solid Defensive Performance

There’s not too much to critique on a given Sunday in a defense that holds its opponent to only 6 points, as the Redskins did to the Eagles this week.

Yes, it was an Eagles offense sans Michael Vick, but Vick also hasn’t been tearing up defenses this year. The Redskins targeted the inexperience of Vick’s replacement and, more importantly, were able to capitalize on it.

“[E]specially with Philly having a young quarterback, we wanted to really get after him and force some turnovers and steal every possession for our offense,” Kerrigan said when talking about the Redskins forcing 3 turnovers in the first half.

It was a should-win game, and the defense came through. In fact, they played well enough that Brandon Meriweather was able to leave the game later as a precautionary measure after tweaking his knee: ”

“Yeah, it was more me thinking about the future then me going back in there when we were already up by so much, and the defense was actually playing great,” he said postgame.

The defense earned praise from the most high-profile player on their team–even though he plays on the other side of the ball.

“Their play was great,” Robert Griffin III said. “Whenever your defense plays like that, it makes you feel as an offense that you don’t have to press to try to score every time. You can go out there and feel the rhythm of the game. The defense played great the whole game. They had some turnovers, got us the ball in great situations and we capitalized.”

Sunday’s game, though far from any kind of silver bullet for the Redskins’ defensive issues this year, was a solid foundation on which to build this week. Their opponent this Thursday will be a test of a different subject. Dallas has the sixth most passing yards in the league this year and an experienced (though turnover-prone) quarterback under center. The passing game has been the Achilles’ heel of the Redskins defense and will be a major factor in Thursday’s game.

The Redskins’ receiving corps also looked more collected after the bye week. Logan Paulsen had an excellent spin and reach move on his touchdown reception that assured six points for the Redskins even as he was being dragged to the ground. The more effort that comes out of the receiving corps, the more this offense goes from really good to positively nightmarish for opponents.

Overall, Thursday’s game should be one of the more exciting Thanksgiving Day matchups in recent history, especially between these two teams. Both are coming off wins Sunday. The offenses can score. And the Redskins’ defense should be focused again on not giving up big plays and exploiting a quarterback who, far from rookie status, has been known to throw several turnovers.

Moving out west, but still covering sports in the District

As you might have read in Sunday’s print version of The Washington Post, or today’s D.C. Sports Bog column, the editorial staff of District Sports Page (my wife, Cheryl, and I) are moving to the Pacific Northwest to Cheryl’s hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I promised her when we got married nine years ago I’d get her home and the time is right for us now to make the move. We’ll be moving her photography studio out there with the goal of being our own bosses.

The plan for our site remains the same: to provide our readers with daily, quality coverage of the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Redskins and Wizards. We have a terrific staff of writers and will be looking to supplement our coverage of a couple of the teams. We’re hopeful that our level of coverage will remain the same as it has been to this point. No, actually, we hope that it gets even better.

The biggest impact to our site is that Cheryl and I won’t be at the games in person anymore, at least on the daily basis we have been the last five years or so since we started doing this. We’ll be back often — D.C. is my home and we fully plan on returning for Opening Days, playoff games, holidays, etc. But I won’t be in the press box every day anymore and frankly, that was the last hurdle I had to get over for the move.

I’ve been extremely fortunate over the last five years as an independent journalist to enjoy the type of access I have with the teams in D.C., and I want to thank all four D.C. teams — and the area minor league affiliates — for the access and opportunity they have provided me, Cheryl and the staff of District Sports Page. With the contacts I’ve made I think I’ll be able to write analysis and opinion from Idaho the same as I can from D.C. But we will certainly miss being at the park, rink, court or field every as we have been the last five years.

Here’s where we need some help. We need some new writers, especially to cover the Redskins and Wizards. If you have interest in D.C. sports and writing experience, please reach out to me at David.Nichols@DistrictSportsPage.com. We aren’t a revenue-generating site (yet), but we can provide a platform for your work and help you get your foot in the door where a solo blog might not.

Thanks for reading District Sports Page, now and in the future.

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