Happy Thursday, folks. Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I spent some of it getting more cherry blossom gear at the D.C. United Club Shop. While I gaze at it with love, here’s the news from yesterday:

Lionel Messi move to Saudi Arabia increasingly likely after PSG talks break down (ESPN)

Lionel Messi might break the bank, because reports are he could make north of $435 million each season if he makes the move to Al Hilal. Yeah, he ain’t coming to MLS.

Real Madrid rout Barca to reach Copa del Rey final (BBC)

Real Madrid, who lost to Barcelona 1-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal at home, came back to absolutely stomp out their archrivals on the road by a 4-0 scoreline. They will face Osasuna in the Copa del Rey final on May 6th.

What the record-breaking expansion fee means for new NWSL media rights (SSFC)

The Bay Area NWSL expansion team is coming with a group ready to spend a lot of money, and it could lead to a much bigger media rights deal for the league.

LAFC overpower Vancouver Whitecaps in CCL first-leg rout (MLS)

LAFC was way too much for Vancouver, winning 3-0 in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.

Romelu Lukaku representatives urge action after striker subjected to racist abuse at Juventus (ESPN)

Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse, scored, celebrating doing his normal celebration, and then got a second yellow because the ref considered it excessive, so he was bounced from the game. Serie A just can’t get a handle on its racism problem, and it’s maddening to see.

D.C. United Announce Pepsi as the New, Official Soft Drink of the Major League Soccer Club (DCU)

The official soft drink of D.C. United is now Pepsi, and to celebrate, fans will get 50% off all Pepsi products at the match this weekend against the Columbus Crew. Drink up!

Some funny stuff coming from St. Louis, who apparently had a fan podcast that was sent a cease and desist letter by Sporting Kansas City because they think they’re the Soccer Capital. Well, St. Louis City responded:

Funny, but we know DC is the true soccer capital of America. Jay-Z once said, “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” Check the numbers.

Last, but not least, Lewis O’Brien could make his debut for the Black-and-Red this weekend.

Alright, that’s enough for today. Enjoy!

ByDonald Wine II

Donald Wine has been a soccer fan since he first kicked a ball as a kid. He moved to DC in 2007 and quickly joined the soccer scene, helping to establish the DC chapter of the American Outlaws and serving as one of the capos and drummers for over a decade. He is currently the manager of Stars & Stripes FC, but this community is where he got his start, and he continues to contribute to anything DC soccer related for this site because he enjoys it so much.

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David Rusk

From Buenos Aires. Thanks, Donald, for the timely Thursday Freedom Kicks. I really missed no Tuesday and Wednesday Freedom Kicks. Sorry that last night’s 2-1 victory of Loudoun United over North Carolina in Open Cup in 120+ minute match came too late for inclusion in your excellent FK.

Bryan McEachern

Hi David, quick personal note: So glad you are having fun!!!!!

David Rusk

Thanks, Doc96. All of Delcia’s relatives and classmates since kindergarten live in or within 70 miles of Buenos Aires so we have plenty of family and friends to visit. This is my 26th visit of two weeks to three months since 1961 so Argentina is my segunda patria. A wonderful but tragic country — a tragedy of fumbled opportunities since 1930, almost a century now, and I have watched and lived it for over six decades.

Will Nelson

Dr Pepper > Pepsi (personal bias) anyway…I’m surprised Pepsi went with DCU rather than Charlotte since Pepsi was invented in New Bern, NC. There’s a small exhibit to the invention of Pepsi at the airport in New Bern (Coastal Carolina Regional Airport).

Brendan Cartwright

I think Pepsi is trying to make a push. Following the pandemic, it’s now Pepsi that is available at Regal Cinemas, not Coke. And making the switch from a Coke Zero to a Pepsi Zero is… well, it’s not the worst thing that happened because of the pandemic, but it’s definitely not great.

Bryan McEachern

I participated in the Washington Tattoo last night at UK Embassy. I urge folks to take a look at this in your free time. Ambassador Pierce is a force of nature, such fun.

DW2 still scooped me on O’Brien, as I was more into Glenfiddich than posting. Nicely done!

See ya’ll Saturday. Let the kwanzan bloom!


Hi there District Press team! Wondering if the carousel for each of the stories on the main page could also include the up-to-date number of comments?

Kerry Hess

Believe me, we’ve looked into this and will continue to do so. A comment counter (akin to our previous home) is something built into the templates available, and thus, if the template doesn’t have it, we’re out of luck until the template creator adds it. Effort has been made to work with the template creator to implement this tool, or perhaps find a workaround. I hope that the comment bubble in the bottom right of pages helps mitigate some of the sting in the meantime.


Thanks Kerry, glad to hear you’re on it

Will Nelson

As pointed out on the team’s twitter account. Today is the 27th anniversary of the team’s first ever MLS, game which was also the first ever MLS game.

Brendan Cartwright

They lost that game, so it’s nice that we’ve managed to maintain the tradition established from Day 1!

Bryan McEachern

The Clash….Wynalda…..

Brendan Cartwright

Lewis O’Brien will be in uniform on Saturday. I do think he can be a huge improvement linking our defense and offense. Pedro Santos and Mohanad Jeahze will be in uniform too. I think Jacob Greene has shown well, at least as well defensively has Jeahze. Jeahze theoretically offers a bit more in offense, but hasn’t shown too much since the Toronto game. I think Greene probably gets the start, and Santos may start in place of Asad.

Robertha and Derrick Williams remain out. Maybe Donovan Pines will get a chance to build on his good outing against Chicago. Akinmboni should be available as well. Robertha remains disappointing, and perhaps Ku-DiPietro will be taking his minutes.

Talonesque #

More than a bit disappointed in Messi if he goes to Suadi Arabia, know he has certainly nothing to prove to anyone in the footballing world, but geez, don’t just be a financial institution at the end of your career. I have disdain for Ronaldo’s late career antics surrounding his clubs and managers, I don’t want Messi to be a complete sellout at the end.

Brendan Cartwright

Why go to a hot, politically repressive and tyrannical state when you could go to a hot, politically repressive and tyrannical state that also has hurricanes and alligators?

Talonesque #

I appreciate the humor, Florida is getting truly very bad, Saudi Arabia is many orders of magnitude worse

Dean Dykema

Lots of people have been leaving enlightened states like NY and NJ, and ending up in oppressive FL, for some reason. I can’t figure that out!


Florida just took the title as “fastest growing state.” If you consult their demographics, it’s due almost entirely to two factors: an increase in older retirees (percentage of people over 65 grew by 40% from 2010 to 2020) and immigrants–especially Hispanic.


Don’t know either. I’ve been to a couple of places in FL and that is really a place I wouldn’t want to end up in. I mean I did drive by a home in Sarasota that was flying a big Confederate flag and the other flags I encountered were very telling too. Not my cup of tea, not my cup of folks. And Miami, I don’t really see the appeal of it. Beaches in LA are nicer. Messi doesn’t really need the money, maybe he should just go back and end his career in Barca, they never did have the chance to say goodbye to him.


Nice to see DC United take a side in the Cola Wars.

Steve Comer

I will be looking forward to that Pepsi Max!


Interesting data by Doyle on MLS. He points out that based on available data (limited) DCU is killing it in the air–defensively and offensively: “D.C. United are dominant in the air, both defensively (Steve Birnbaum in particular) and in attack (Christian Benteke is a mountain). It adds up to them having the best aerial duel percentage in the league at 62.3%.” https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/thoughts-numbers-what-i-m-watching-for-in-mls-matchday-7


Re: Pepsi

I bike, run, and work in the yard. I like to have a little sugary desert at night—I’m young, fit, and thin, so I figured that was fine.

I just got the bloodwork back from my yearly physical, and I am pre diabetic. I am now trying to cut back on my sugar intake, and it’s tough—I feel addicted.

It’s great for DCU to have more funds, and it’s great for us to have little things in life that feel good, but excessive sugar intake has real world consequences for us and our loved ones. Take care 💞

Last edited 7 months ago by wildbramble

yeah about 15 years ago, stopped drinking sugar (soda, juice only exception is beer) tough at first but then you don’t miss it and it starts tasting weird to drink sugar or even artificial sweeteners. Even have a hard time drinking cocktails for that reason. Agree not the best sponsor but hey better than a pyramid scheme

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