It’s the end of an extremely busy week for the District Press crew, but the work won’t stop now, as it’s a D.C. United game weekend once again!

D.C. United reacquires Argentine attacker Yamil Asad (Washington Post)
Asad returns for a third stint with United. Although signed just yesterday, Wayne Rooney said Asad may be ready to join the team in Columbus tomorrow.

Canada Soccer and the Women’s National Team agree on interim funding agreement (Canada Soccer)
While their dispute about a reduced 2023 budget and lack of financial transparency continues, Canada Soccer and the Women’s National team have reached an agreement to make sure the team gets paid for last year. It’s a step in the right direction, but Canada Soccer still has very far to go to do right by its Women’s team. News of the agreement came just hours after it was reported that players Christine Sinclair, Janine Beckie, Sophie Schmidt, and Quinn will testify before the Heritage Committee of Canada’s Parliament about the ongoing dispute.

Loudoun United hosts North Carolina in first US Open Cup match April 5 (The District Press)
The match date for Loudoun United FC’s first game in the US Open Cup has been announced. Looks like tickets go on sale next Tuesday.

What should the Washington Spirit’s team colors look like? (The District Press)
With the Spirit in the midst of a rebrand, we want to hear from you about what direction they should be heading. So click over, check out Donald’s summary of the current NWSL team color landscape, and let us know in the comments what you’d like to see from the Spirit!

Her name is Majesty: the rise of Naomi Girma (All for XI)
Start your Women’s History Month off right with an in-depth profile of NWSL Rookie of the Year and USWNT star Naomi Girma. (You’ll note we’ve also switched up our logo for the occasion.)

Meet the Spirit Draft Picks (The District Press)
The District Press wrapped up our series on Washington Spirit’s 2023 draft picks yesterday, with profiles on goalkeeper Lyza Bosselmann and forward Nicole Douglas. I’m very proud of the work André, Jo, and I did on these, and I hope you enjoyed them!

Get excited for tomorrow’s D.C. United game against the Columbus Crew with a recap of last week’s game and updates from the team.

Anyone have any fun plans for the weekend while they wait for more soccer? I’m thinking about baking a pie.

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Starting XI and match predictions for Columbus:
Najar Birnbaum Williams Jeahze
Hopkins/KDP Klichy Canouse Santos
Benteke Robertha

3-3 draw!

Matt Glad

I’d prefer KDP in for Robertha. Robertha definitely showed he probably deserves to stay in the XI, but you can’t deny how effective KDP was in his place against Toronto. Keep KDP close to goal and reward his performance. Totally agree with an actual winger playing on the wing rather than Durkin, as well.

Bryan McEachern

TKD is a spark off the bench. Keep him hungry. It’s a long season.

Talonesque #

Exactly, that kind of energy and threat off the bench is something to ride for as long as the player is motivated. At some point, TKD might well demand to start, both with performances and off field complaints, but I think you got to preserve that super sub effect for as long as possible. I’ve also written below that Robertha is a solid starter while not necessarily being as dangerous off the bench as TKD, so keep it up, I say


First, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ruan starts instead of Najar. That’s because I think we’re going to be defensive and look to counter just a little more and Ruan is (in my book) better defensively. I didn’t know Williams was ready to start. I think even if he was, conditioning would be a factor. So it’s likely to be Palsson. I know people were down on Durkin (sounds like a band name: “Down on Durkin”) but I’m fine with him starting. He’s not a true winger and with Durkin and Santos starting, there ain’t a lot of speed on the wings. But that’s what you use your outside backs for. What Durkin offers is the ability to slide in to the middle to help Canouse. And as happy as I am for Ted KDP, I think we still start Robertha because of his speed and size. Then Ted KDP later comes in as a forward or a midfielder depending upon the game state.


I’d love to see Ruan over Najar but I think Rooney likes Najar a lot. I’ve been over Durkin since his first days with us. Would rather see one of the youngsters

Bryan McEachern

Manage Andy’s minutes. Long season…..

Adam Taylor

I’ve been thinking about Teddy in Durkin’s spot, pinching in from that right side. The thing Durkin is missing in that role is speed/instinct on the break. But I’m not sure that’s the best use for Ku. I do wonder if maybe we see Najar push up into that spot with Ruan taking over at fullback.

I think it’s possible we see Ku start up top for Robertha, which frees Benteke to stay central more of the time rather than flaring wide to make room for Nigel on occasion. I’d say Ted could start for Pedro Santos, but I feel like he almost has to start against his old club.

My wild guess: Miller; Ruan, Pàlsson, Williams, Jeahze; Najar, Canouse, Klich, Santos; Ku-Dipietro, Benteke

Matt Glad

I know the season is in its infancy, but watching the Premier League’s cup madness this season I’ve been thinking about how DC should approach all these comps.

I’m an optimistic fan, but DC is ways away from competing for MLS Cup. I think winning trophies is powerful for players and an organization in general. The Open Cup is probably the lowest hanging fruit, in my opinion. So few MLS teams take it seriously and it rewards the winner with a CONCACHAMPs spot. Why not go for that silverware 100%? I’d say the same for League’s Cup, but that competition could be stiff if teams take it seriously.

What are everyone’s thoughts? Am I too pessimistic too early?

Talonesque #

Ways away from competing for the cup, reasonably put, but I still think a playoff appearance should be the priority. Gaming the cup system could just as easily fail, we shouldn’t abandon the hunt for the regular season to any significant degree. Fans ultimately want to see a post season, let’s get there.


First, some incredibly important news you missed: Jenni’s Ice Cream has a new flavor out. It’s called “Biscuits With the Boss” and it’s based on Ted Lasso’s shortbread “biscuits” he brings to Rebecca.

Second, I agree–good job profiling the Spirit draftees.

Third, looking forward to seeing what Asad will bring. I think Rooney feels that he’s probably a good guy to have on the team. Maybe he’s a big contributor. Or maybe he fits the culture Rooney wants and is a good sub now and then. We’ll see.

Fourth, I can’t believe the Canadian Women haven’t been paid. Canada is (in my experience) a country very much about fairness, doing the “right thing” and equity. What a damning indictment of their Federation that the women have been playing for year without getting paid. I bet the Federation Executives were getting their paychecks. Regardless of what you think of the relative merits of the issues in this negotiation, non-payment of serviced rendered for a year–that’s mockery.


Damn! Now that’s the kind of sacrifice and cutting edge reporting we’ve come to expect from this team of writers and soccer fanatics. Willing to risk your own palate, to go where none has gone before, in the sake of spreading information and being the first. I am beyond words with admiration. And jealousy.

Talonesque #

It is remarkable how often National sporting institutions force women’s teams to fight for even a scrap of monetary compensation, let alone increased incentive. To those higher ups wondering, no, they are not just “happy to be here” or “grateful they get to play.” Making them do double shifts as legal plaintiffs just for pay is insultingly cynical.

Bryan McEachern

Keep the new logo. I dig the pony tail.



Talonesque #

Yeah, I like it, as well.


I like it also. Looks great.

However, it is not great as an icon that shows up in favorites bar. It is a bit too complicated.

Talonesque #

It’s possible we see Durkin replaced by Hopkins, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I think Rooney thinks that it provides solidity in transition, even though Durkin is one of the most ineffective defensive presences on the team. Najar and Ruan is a toss up. Finally, it will be absolutely fascinating to see who starts with Benteke. I personally liked what Robertha offered, and love TKD off the bench with his energy- I don’t think you get that combo in reverse.

It sounds harsh, but ultimately, if you’re reliable off the bench for goals, sometimes the smart move for a coach is to keep that dynamic going.

However, Rooney might well reward him. Think the crystal ball is cloudier for this lineup than usual.

Last edited 8 months ago by Talonesque #

Agree with your points. We weren’t bad in the first half last week, which probably earns most everyone another start. I’m not sure at all about the defense, but I do think Najar continues starting until he gets hurt (or if his performance dips). Durkin probably continues to start unless Hopkins makes a push in game (I bet Durkin trains very well).


I get your point about earning a rep as a goal scorer off the bench. Can anyone say “Baby-faced Assassin Jr.”?

Talonesque #

It’s no secret that we will learn a lot about Rooney’s thinking on players based on this week’s lineup, with Birnbaum almost certainly regaining his spot, Canouse and Palsson are going to be a thing.

Personally, I hope Canouse can hold onto his spot as a destroyer next to Klich. I know not everyone was enamored with his passing game from the position, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the level he will remain at when he has a more settled relationship with the newest DP. I love his tackling, and the stability he provides if Klich gets caught a little up field. I don’t think we get the same from Palsson, he just seems to be decidedly OK at a number of things without being outstanding in any particular area of the game. Maybe he changes my mind with a solid Klich partnership short term, long term, I think we want Canouse to retain that spot (he’s only 27).

This is not to say that both of them cannot start, it’s a possibility that Palsson and Birnbaum start at CB with Akinmboni moving to the bench. At some point, Palsson’s starting fate is likely in Canouse’s hands, and I’d prefer for the former to be a quality utility player off the bench to cover defensive positions.

Bryan McEachern

It is pleasing to philosophize about…gasp…depth… DC United…..

Let’s go bag a win tomorrow! Vamos!

Talonesque #

Ha, good point, we at least can bring something off the bench at this point. I still don’t necessarily have solid faith in a playoff run, but a strong performance in Columbus (let alone a result) might well spark hope

Last edited 8 months ago by Talonesque #
Matt Glad

Spirit have announced the signing of 15 year old(!!) Chloe Ricketts. Who is now the youngest player to ever sign an NWSL contract! Hope to see more young signings around NWSL to grow the pipeline!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x