WASHINGTON, D.C. - MARCH 19: Charlie Davies #9 of D.C. United celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
Charlie Davies' exploits in his first game back for D.C. United tops our list of the "Next 10" D.C. sports stories.
SB Nation D.C. is unveiling the top 10 stories in Washington D.C. sports in 2011. Before we do that, though, let's make mention of a few other big stories that just missed the cut. Here are the "Next 10" D.C. sports stories, so to speak.
20. Dwayne De Rosario wins MLS MVP: D.C. United made a shocking trade at midseason, acquiring the veteran, but well-traveled forward from the New York Red Bulls for offseason acquisition Dax McCarty. It was seen as a deal that could benefit both teams. Instead, De Rosario went on one of the most incredible scoring binges MLS has ever seen. De Rosario somehow nearly dragged an injury-riddled, inexperienced D.C. United squad to the playoffs, and for his efforts, he was named MVP despite not being on a playoff team.
- Dwayne De Rosario Acquired By D.C. United In Trade For Dax McCarty (StoryStream)
- Dwayne De Rosario Trade Raises Expectations For D.C. United, Leaves Dax McCarty Hanging, by Martin Shatzer.
- D.C. United Goes All In With Trades For Dwayne De Rosario & Brandon McDonald (Black And Red United)
- D.C.United Vs. Philadelphia Union: Dwayne De Rosario Sees It All In Black-And-Red Debut, by Samuel Chamberlain.
- Is Dwayne De Rosario The MVP Of MLS? By Samuel Chamberlain
19. Jim Larranaga departs for Miami: The local legend looked like he would stay in Fairfax forever, since he had turned down so many coaching jobs in the past. Instead, following one of his best coaching jobs yet, Larranaga departed for Miami, a program still recovering from the Nevad Shapiro scandal. The stunning move, which took place late in the offseason, forced the Patriots to scramble and hire former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who himself had been fired earlier in the year.
- Jim Larranaga's Departure From George Mason Seems Like A Script We've Seen Before, by T.J. Doyle
- Paul Hewitt Hired As George Mason Basketball Coach, Vows To Continue Program's Success (StoryStream)
- George Mason Basketball Makes Safe Move In Hiring Paul Hewitt, But Is It Right Move? by T.J. Doyle
18. 'Capital Punishment' brings summer basketball to D.C.: With the NBA engrossed in a lockout, Washington D.C. emerge as the center of the summer-league circuit. Not only did the Goodman League at Barry Farms garner much more attention, but thanks to the efforts of commissioner Miles Rawls and many more, the first-ever showdown between the Goodman League and Los Angeles' Drew League took place in D.C. in August. There were several hiccups in the game's planning, but the event lived up to the hype, as the Goodman League squad led by Kevin Durant and John Wall edged the Drew League squad led by James Harden and Brandon Jennings in the closing seconds.
- Goodman League Vs. Drew League Exhibition Final Score: Goodman Wins, 135-134 (StoryStream).
- Goodman League Vs. Drew League Game Was Showcase In D.C. Pride, by Danny Fersh.
- Love This Game: The Genius Of Basketball's Endless Summer, by Andrew Sharp
- Why Goodman League Is Not Your Typical Basketball Summer League, by Mike Prada.
17. Washington Capitals come through at 2011 Winter Classic: It was just over a calendar year ago when the Washington Capitals shipped up to Pittsburgh and defeated the Penguins in easily the most hyped Winter Classic game in the tradition's short history. You can thank HBO 24/7 and the classic Capitals-Penguins rivalry for that.
- NHL Winter Classic: Eric Fehr's Two Goals Lift Capitals To 3-1 Victory Over Penguins In Winter Classic (StoryStream)
- A Classic Weekend (Japers' Rink)
- Washington Capitals Show Defensive Killer Instinct In Winter Classic Victory, by Adam Vingan.
- On The Defensive: The Washington Capitals Bring A New Mentality To Pittsburgh For The NHL Winter Classic, by Jack Anderson.
16. Wilson Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela: In one of the scarier stories of the year, promising Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was hanging out in his home in his native Venezuela when a group of armed kidnappers took him away. They held him for several days before the authorities conducted a rescue mission to get him back. Nationals fans did all they could to show their support, organizing a vigil for Ramos and sending over their prayers in so many other ways.
- Wilson Ramos Rescued In Venezuela After Being Kidnapped (StoryStream).
- Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Another Shocker In Venezuela, by Rob Neyer on Baseball Nation.
- Washington Nationals' Wilson Ramos Was Big News Before Kidnapping, by Federal Baseball.
- Wilson Ramos Kidnapping Leads To Vigil At Nationals Park On Friday Night, by Chris Holmes.
- Wilson Ramos Kidnapping Gets Ignored Due To Penn State Scandal, by Mike Prada.
15. The Wizards and Terps get a new look: We all love uniform changes, so we all ate up the new looks the Wizards and Terps unveiled this season. The Wizards' rebranding earned high marks, while the Terps' was met with mixed results. In both cases, though, the play on the field did not reflect the team's new look.
- New Wizards Jerseys Include References To Their History, Washington D.C. (StoryStream)
- Maryland Football Unveils New Uniforms In Ceremony, Four Colors Featured, (StoryStream)
- PHOTOS: Maryland Football's Incredibly Unique Jerseys Vs. Miami, by Mike Prada.
- Maryland Uniforms Establish Terrapins As National Brand In Win Over Miami, by Martin Shatzer
- VIDEO: Sights And Sounds Of Washington Wizards' New Jersey Unveiling, by Michael Katz
- Elvin Hayes Thrilled With New Wizards Jerseys, Team's New Alumni Program, (Bullets Forever)
- Maryland Unveils Controversial State Flag-Themed Unis; Instantly Builds Buzz, Draws Criticism (Testudo Times)
14. Rory McIlroy runs away from everyone at the U.S. Open: The U.S. Open returned to Congressional Country Club this year, and one man stole the show. Rory McIlroy recovered from his Masters collapse in dominating fashion, winning the tournament in a manner we haven't seen anyone win a Major since Tiger Woods. In the process, he made a name for himself as one of golf's rising stars.
- 2011 U.S. Open: Rory McIlroy Wins First Major Championship In Historic Fashion (StoryStream)
- Rory McIlroy Wins 2011 US Open With Great, Historic, Surreal Golf, by Michael Katz.
Rory McIlroy, And Why His Masters Meltdown Finally Makes Sense, by Andrew Sharp
13. Stephen Strasburg mania returns: Stephen Strasburg did indeed return to the Washington Nationals in September after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, and he reminded fans why they got so giddy about him last year. Along the way, he took part in a series of minor-league rehab starts that were nearly as anticipated as his minor-league starts before his stunning 2010 debut.
- Full coverage of Stephen Strasburg's rehab (StoryStream)
- Stephen Strasburg's Return To Majors Was Reward For Diehard Nationals Fans, by Mike Prada.
- Stephen Strasburg, A Birthday And Remembering Why We Love Baseball, by Andrew Kinback
- Stephen Strasburg's Return Means Washington Nationals Will Have To Change Game Plan, by Andrew Kinback.
- Stephen Strasburg Returns: Reflections On When 'The Circus' Came To Hagerstown, by Jordan Ruby.
- Stephen Strasburg Has To Be Washington Nationals' 2012 Opening-Day Starter, by Andrew Kinback.
- Stephen Strasburg And Bryce Harper Will Give Rise To Each Other, by Andrew Kinback
- Stephen Strasburg And Other Phenoms: Where Is The Nationals' Star Headed?, by Al Yellon
- Strasburg's Return Part Of Nationals' Master Plan, by Grant Brisbee
All Systems Go For Stephen Strasburg, by Jeff Sullivan
12. The Clinton Portis era officially ends: Clinton Portis was officially released during the winter, officially ending one of the most unique tenures in Washington D.C. history. To this day, Portis has not been claimed by another team, which means Redskins fans alone can lay claim to saying they say Coach Janky Spanky in his heyday.
- What Is Clinton Portis' Legacy As His Time With The Redskins Draws To A Close?, by Jack Anderson
- 5 Favorite Clinton Portis Moments and a Sincere Farewell, (Hogs Haven)
11. Charlie Davies has a storybook debut for D.C. United: Considering the circumstances surrounding his 2009 car crash, Charlie Davies was lucky to even be alive, much less playing professional soccer. Few had any idea what to expect when D.C. United acquired him on loan for the 2011 season. It didn't quite work out as expected in the end, but in the beginning, boy was it special. Most notably, Davies' first game, during which he scored two goals in front of a boisterous RFK Stadium crowd to lead D.C. United to a season-opening win. As the old saying goes, if you didn't like that moment, you don't like sports.
- Charlie Davies Loan To D.C. United Finalized, Former U.S. Rising Star To Join Team (StoryStream)
- Charlie Davies Brings Stanky Leg To D.C. United (Black and Red United)
Charlie Davies May Have Found A Home With DC United If He Remains Healthy, by Ryan Rosenblatt
- Charlie Davies Joins D.C. United With A Great Opportunity, Plenty To Prove, by Martin Shatzer.
- VIDEO: Charlie Davies Scores Two Goals In D.C. United Debut, Does Stanky Leg
- VIDEO: Charlie Davies Shows Lots Of Emotion In Postgame Interview
For more coverage of Washington D.C. sports, visit our D.C. blogs:
- Hogs Haven (Redskins)
- Japers' Rink (Capitals)
- Bullets Forever (Wizards)
- Federal Baseball (Nationals)
- Black and Red United (D.C. United)
- Testudo Times (Maryland)
- Casual Hoya (Georgetown)