Another Wednesday, folks! I’m currently 5 days into remembering why even the common cold is still no fun and debilitating. It has been a wonderful opportunity, however, to binge Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and coupling that with the surprisingly entertaining third season of Star Trek: Picard, I am now faced with the possibility of liking Star Trek again for the first time in nearly 20 years. Where were we… oh yes. Freedom Kicks!

As controversy engulfs U.S. Soccer and family, Gio Reyna heads back to USMNT (Washington Post): Some call for Gio Reyna to be suspended. I simply want the team to move on as quickly as possible to prepare for 2026, and getting young Reyna back on the pitch in red, white, and blue is the quickest way to do that.

FIFA reformats 2026 FIFA World Cup to include 4-team groups (SSFC): Speaking of 2026, the four-team group gets to live on!

USL Championship Team of the Week – Week 1 (USL): Spoiler: two Loudoun players are deservedly on this list.

Andy Najar will be out for a few weeks, while simultaneously, Lewis O’Brien awaits his visa:

Power Rankings: LAFC overtake Seattle Sounders after Matchday 3 (MLS): D.C. United are moving up in the rankings to 22. With the league being so large now, that’s actually better than 7 other teams, and all of Canada! For those interested, Hernan Losada’s Montreal is last on this list after remaining goal-less through three weeks (incidentally, SKC and Colorado are also goal-less in as many games).

Rushton reflects as she relishes a new challenge (ASD): A good read; I’m eager to see how Rushton can transform a team when given the reins to do so.

MLS NEXT Pro Announces 2023 Schedule and New Playoffs Format (MLS Next Pro): While interesting, there’s still something that bothers me about higher seeds getting to pick their opponents. It doesn’t bother me enough to argue against it though. I am, however, quite interested in seeing the “Timed Substitution Rule”. About the only time I’m ok with a slow substitution is when a player is deserved of a standing ovation (retirements, hat tricks, etc.).

We will have to wait another week to play as our favorite NWSL team:

For fans who think jerseys look better on players, here is the Thorns’ kit:

This writer is tired of the common sentiment “At least they tried something; it’s better than bland and boring”. This kit does not look good. A white kit with Thorns-colored trim would indeed be better than this.

That’s all for today. Get kicking in the comments!

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Bryan McEachern

Suspending Gio is utterly stupid and unproductive. He was already disciplined (to whatever degree Greg saw fit, if any) and he is an emancipated adult. His parents are entirely to blame for their reprehensible, back-stabbing, vindictive, self-absorbed, and brazenly public actions. Want to suspend someone? Let it be them. Hell, I’d ban them from all USSF activities going forward.

Time to move on from the toxic drama, and leave those two embarrassments in the rearview mirror. (One can, however, listen to salacious comments about them in future media, be is social, written or broadcast….drink it up…..let them experience the moldy stench of their well deserved exile…)


Agreed. I think the people saying “discipline Gio” are saying that out of frustration. Players say stupid stuff lots of times, or push back against playing systems, playing time, or coaches. The coach deals with it (as Burhalter did). And frankly, the idea of actually sending him home before the WC seemed a bit extreme to me (but then, I didn’t see Gio in practice or the scrimmage). Still, suspending Gil solves nothing.

I think the larger issue is the focus needs to be on the Manager. Until that person is hired, we aren’t going to have a full-time coach.

Bryan McEachern

The MLS playoff format is just strange. Let’s go back to “shoot outs, ala NASL” as a tie breaker as well…..

I give a Kerry Hessian shrug as well, but with a snear and snarl…

Talonesque #

I’d agree that Gio should be able to return to camp unscathed, the fact that he is is a further signal that Gregg is likely “still a candidate “ in the legal sense only. US soccer has no legal reason to deny his candidacy, and could be sued by Berhalter if they made that determination. That said, the man is out of contract, and I see no way after his leadership conference slip up for him to ever coach Gio again.

Bryan McEachern

It’s between him and Gio, if it is an issue. If Gio can move away from the influence (not the familial proximity) of his parents, you never know. That said, there should be more to the mix of identifying and hiring the next manager than just defaulting to Berhalter. He did many things right, but I am not convinced that he could coach us out of the round of 16 next time as well. Meaning, he does have limitations (IMHO) adapting when his system has been identified and dealt with (Netherlands).

Talonesque #

I certainly had and have soccer reasons why I don’t think Berhalter should be renewed, just stating what I think the situation is. I disagree that Berhalter and Gio’s relationship is salvageable at this point, we don’t know exactly what that relationship is at this point firsthand, to my mind it’s pretty clear it’s not that healthy a place to rebuild. This isn’t TV, sometimes the center just can’t hold. If this was a club situation, the board would have a choice between backing the manager or the player, firing or selling. US Soccer can’t whip up or sign another Gio, seems it’s a choice of four year exile or a fresh managerial start, and that seems an easy choice.

Bryan McEachern

Remind me not to be your manager…. (I kidd, I kidd….)

I a certainly not implying that I know their relationship is mendable or not. A kid could look at his psycho sideline parents and fix things up with the coach they tried to ruin, or maybe he’s as nuts as them, or maybe Greg is an overbearing vengeful monster in a passive aggressive way. Who knows?

I am on the record that Greg did a good job (from bombing out to Trinadad to the round of 16 with a couple international cups on the way is nothing to sneeze at, especially with a young (talented) squad. I just wonder if he hit his ceiling.

Now, on the other hand, if you set a precedent that a 20 year old player can take down a coach…..(we are not talking Messi)…..will you recruit the best coach available for this cycle? THIS is the damage done by by the precious Reyna parents.

Talonesque #

Berhalter did that damage to himself a bit at the leadership conference. I’m not saying that Gio, the person, took him down, but the situation is not one hospitable for that particular relationship. I think it’s also worth noting the other players that Gregg wasn’t using- Pefok, JAB, Pepi getting left off- that they might want to get back in the fold. Gio being in camp isn’t the reason that Gregg can’t come back, just an indication that him coming back is unlikely.


The Reynas have been out of control for years according to this report. And spent the entire world cup threatening to take Berhalter down. Berhalter speaking to a group of people about Reyna only affected the timing of their call to the USSF – reports were absolutely going to come out about Gio’s behavior whether he spoke or not, and they would’ve been on the phone moments later. This fiasco is not on Berhalter, and I say that as a critic of his system.

What I do agree with is that I think they can’t coexist. Gio’s family is not remorseful and he hasn’t made it explicitly clear that he’s his own man. Berhalter wants nothing to do with them. I think they choose a different coach and that person will have to deal with Gio’s behavior going forward. It remains to be seen even if the players accept him back honestly. He’s not the captain (or remotely close to being a leader).

Bryan McEachern

You may certainly be spot on, see my post right above. Just words, but those words could have been worse.

I really don’t have a clue, for the record…..

Talonesque #

To be clear, I see your point, but, reading back, I don’t think my point was understood. I don’t think Berhalter is at all responsible for the Reyna call. They must have been a nightmare. But I am saying that Gregg should not have given into that moment at the leadership conference- it’s not a firing offense in and of itself, but it does set up a situation where A) Gio is a massive, public problem for him if he gets hired for the next cycle and B) players might have a hard time trusting him if he has that inclination for bus throwing. It forces US Soccer to make a call for the new contract.

It’s an unfortunate situation, and I think Berhalter tried to handle it the best he could, but arguably not good enough, based on the conference mistake.
There’s a big difference between getting fired and getting resigned to a four year deal to be coach of a home World Cup.

Last edited 8 months ago by Talonesque #

Him speaking at the conference was definitely a bad idea, even if it wasn’t supposed to be made public. People talk, and it’s not some top level state secrets at stake. I think he and every other coach going forward will have learned from that, and I don’t think the players necessarily will worry about it, but it’s probably one of several nails in his coffin as far as continuing to manage the team.

Bryan McEachern

Gotcha. AND, for what its worth, I just read an article with Yahoo, that Gio is saying all the right things in camp, as are the majority/all of the players.

(I agree he leadership conference implies a prickly nature, understandable, to the parental saga. Although anonymous in action, it was reckless/unfortunate in its transparency.)


That’s good to hear honestly. The team does seem to be full of good guys who will hold each other accountable.

Bryan McEachern

The very nice Nashville center back (Zimmerman) was his typically generous self on interview. As was Hudson. The drama is being tamped down or was appropriately addressed, and is history. I wish Gio success in camp.

I hope his parents stay clear. Forever.

Ted Lasso time, how about some positivity?! Believe! Believe, Commentariat!


Hoping Lucy gets that chance. As between her and Losada, I thought she was the better hire. Her comments in this piece are really concerning, but pretty revealing as to what we always suspected and very much answering the questions as to why DC United sucked for much of the 15 years in the post-Payne era.

Not down to whether the team spent on players (all teams working with roughly the same budget except for the quality of 2-3 DPs — and now the U22 initiative). It’s been about the scouting, and DCU’s failure to invest in that has meant they’ve been forced to go after players who they already know from MLS and who have become surplus to needs at their old clubs. That’s guaranteed to produce a team which can’t compete for titles.

“When I arrived at the Club, there was very little use of data – we didn’t buy any technical data or have any staff to manage it – and there was very little in place with regards to a scouting department. My job was to build those departments and create a structure for our overall player recruitment and performance analysis”

Last edited 8 months ago by Fischy

Ummm.. Spam? It was fine until I posted an edit — all I did was change the spacing…

Where did my post go?

Last edited 8 months ago by Fischy
Brendan Cartwright

Carl Robinson was on the sideline for at least the Orlando game, and possibly the first two as well. Now he’s officially been announced as an assistant coach for United (and possibly the presumptive front-runner for the head job once Rooney leaves).

Also, did we ever find out what Chad Ashton’s reassignment looks like?


DC United former coaches are both 0 and 3 in the preseason. Ben Olsen and Hernan Losada are a combined 0 – 6. I wish them well but am glad to have Rooney who the front office does not seem to be able to deny quality players.


Yeah have been watching that, really hope Ben in particular can turn it around soon

Bryan McEachern

Kerry Hess!
Giving you props on the Trek!
I remember watching it on my family’s black and white TV while mucking around with my Major Matt Mason lunar station set up.
I will now click: “I’m not a robot.”

How Shatnerian

Will Nelson

Doyle predicting a loss to Yankees FC (aka NYCFC) because of our sloppy play out of the back and NYCFC forcing 18 high turnovers against Orlando.

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