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Morning Commute: How Much Do These Soccer Exhibitions Matter?

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I'm not a big soccer guy, so if I'm way off here, please let me know. But here's my question: how can DC United play so well in an exhibition game against a European powerhouse, then play so poorly against MLS teams?

I know, I know, AC Milan wasn't trying their best. It's their offseason, they have no incentive to play hard, yada yada yada. But still, DC United didn't just beat them, they dominated them. United went up 3-0 on Milan in the first half, when both teams played their starters, then gave up two goals when both teams went to their reserves. In fact, United gave up those goals while being a man down after Brandon Barklage's injury. So really, they completely outplayed Milan in the important parts of the game.

But at the same time, as Black and Red United points out, this isn't the first time an MLS team has dominated a European team in a friendly. So my question is, why do these things happen? Someone who knows more soccer, please enlighten me.

Otherwise, here's every team's day yesterday summed up in one sentence:

Redskins: Albert Haynesworth still has problems, and Santana Moss has his teammates' support when it comes to the HGH allegations.

Nationals: They proved Tim Lincecum is beatable, and they're still being coy about Stephen Strasburg's debut.

Wizards: As they wait around, everyone continues to wonder whether Gilbert Arenas and John Wall can play well together.

Capitals: AHL affiliate Hershey gets ready to play the Texas Stars, who have a very generic nickname, in the AHL Final.

United: They beat AC Milan, didn't you hear? 

Maryland: Debbie Yow says no to all those Big 10 rumors, and I hope she's telling the truth.

Georgetown: (crickets).

On tap on SBNDC today: Jake Whitacre's Know Your Team History column. This one should be good.