Dips Fan Day

Dips Fan Day

Thursday, June 6, 2019

DC United Hosts Washington Diplomats Weekend, 2019

Paul Cannell and photographer John Ruplenas with his most famous photo.
From left, Thomas Rongen, Dave Johnson and Steve Danzansky.

Brian Pillinger, the Diplomats first team captain.

DCU VP Chris Hull and Paul Cannell.

Dips fan Stewart Small and Morrie Diane.

Thomas Rongen and Paul Cannell.

Dave Johnson and longtime Diplomats defender Roy Willner.

Bill Judd and his original drum head.

From left, Roy Willner, Thomas Rongen, Brian Pillinger, Karl Minor, Pete Mehlert, Kip Germain, Steve Danzansky and Paul Cannell are introduced to the the crowd at the DC United vs San Jose Earthquakes match.
Karl Minor, Brian Pillinger, Paul Cannell, Steve Danzansky and Roy Willner during TV interview.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Dips Reunion Details

The Washington Diplomats Reunion that D.C. United is supporting will take place at Audi Field Suite #1, on Friday, May 31, beginning at 7 pm. Admission to the reunion will be $50 per person, which includes food and welcome drinks. Diplomats alumni who are already planning to attend include Paul Cannell, Carmine Marcantonio, Sonny Askew, Roy Willner, Steve Danzansky, Kurt Kuykendall, Brian Pillinger, Pete Mehlert, Dave Carbray. RSVP to Jim Reed at jreed65844@aol.com asap.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Washington Diplomats Reunion Set- May 31, 2019, 7 pm, Audi Field

DC United will host a reunion for all former players, employees and fans of the Washington Diplomats at Audi Field on Friday, May 31, 2019, beginning at 7 pm. Chris Hull, Vice President, stated, “DC United is very keen to honor the game in the Washington-metro area, and recognize the Diplomats contributions in helping build a foundation for today’s fanbase. Our club owes a debt to the Dips, and would like to celebrate their legacy.” Hull noted that, “specifics will be finalized in the next couple of weeks, but the date is confirmed.”

The event, which will include food and drinks, will take a special look at the 40th anniversary of the 1979 club, which finished with a franchise best record of 19 wins and 11 losses, including a memorable match against the New England Tea Men at RFK Stadium in the midst of what the Washington Post described as “a game-long downpour that turned the field into a swamp.”
 
Paul Cannell, one of many Diplomat alumni who will be attending the event, recorded a hat trick as the Dips overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit to win in overtime, 3-2. DC United is working on  recognizing former Diplomats when they host the San Jose Earthquakes the following evening at Audi Field.
 
To be certain you will be a part of this very special evening and receive further information as it becomes available, please email Jim Reed at jreed65844@aol.com. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Washington Diplomats June, 2019 Reunion Update

A rep from DC United has asked me to seek those who would be "passionate about attending an organized, ticketed Dips Reunion/get together in the first few days of June, 2019," possibly at Audi Field, in conjunction with a DCU home match. There has been talk of a drinks/dinner type of event, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. Players, staff, fans and soccer lovers all welcome. I have been asked to collect emails or other forms of contact so that DCU can start a database to communicate with those interested as their plans become clearer. If this is something you would like to participate in, please feel free to contact me at jreed65844@aol.com so that we can make this an event to be remembered!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Leroy DeLeon, All Time Leading Scorer, Traded

1976 headline from the Washington Post.
At the start of the 1977 season, Leroy DeLeon (pronounced Dilly-on) was not only the leading scorer in Diplomats history, he was the all-time leading scorer in Washington pro soccer history, having scored 15 goals during his two seasons with the short-lived Washington Darts, in addition to 18 while with the Dips.

Yet, these distinctions belied a disquiet few, if any, knew about. "I never felt relaxed playing with the Washington Diplomats," he told Donald Huff of the Washington Post. "If I scored a goal, everybody was your friend. If we lost and I didn't score, no one would speak to me."

Despite this perception, DeLeon "really loved Washington." He was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes for Mark Liveric just three games into the 1977 campaign. "I didn't see this coming. It really hit me kind of hard," he said at the time. "I was playing as well as anyone on the team."

The reason for the trade had nothing to do with DeLeon's attitude or game performance, but could be summed up in an age old adage in professional sports, "to get quality you have to give up quality." So stated Diplomats coach Dennis Viollet, who admitted to "always" having a desire to acquire Liveric. Neither player had scored in the 1977 season when the trade took place.

The lack of communication between Viollet and DeLeon became readily apparent in the aftermath of the swap. "Every time Dennis brought in another English player, I was switched to another position," DeLeon felt.

"Maybe he (Viollet) just wanted an excuse to bench me. But he couldn't because I was playing as well as everybody else. Everything was English, English, English. I had to fit in around them."

"I'm surprised he felt that way," Viollet admitted. "I've always considered him one of the most skilled players around and maybe that's why I demanded more from him."

Despite taking the trade hard, DeLeon demonstrated the class that made him a fan favorite. "Time will tell," he reflected when asked how he thought Liveric would fit in with his new team. "I hope Washington wins for Dennis' sake."

San Jose was the clear winner in the transaction, as DeLeon finished the year with 6 goals and 10 assists, all with the Earthquakes. Liveric posted 2 goals and 1 assist with the Dips.

Neither Viollet nor Liveric would be with the club for very long after DeLeon's departure. Viollet was relieved of his coaching duties with the Dips in the midst of the 1977 season, and Liveric would leave Washington to head back west with the Oakland Stompers in 1978.

Sunday, January 20, 2019