It’s Friday yet again! I, for one, am glad temperatures in D.C. have cooled off a bit for the weekend, as the warm spring weather of the last few days revealed that my AC is broken. Why don’t you all enjoy these Freedom Kicks, while I deal with that?

The draws for the third round of the U.S. Open Cup took place last night. D.C. United will play the Richmond Kickers, who advanced very early this morning after their game against Cleveland FC was plagued by hours of weather delays. Loudoun United FC will face Flower City Union. Both D.C. and Loudoun United will host.

Speaking of the Open Cup…

Loudoun United defeats North Carolina FC 2-1 in first Open Cup game, to play Flower City Union in Third Round (The DP)
Our own Ryan Keefer recaps the latest Loudoun United game – their first in the Open Cup.

Washington Spirit adds Mami Yamaguchi to coaching staff (Washington Spirit)
The Spirit’s technical staff continues to grow! Yamaguchi is a former professional player, who appeared for the Japanese Women’s National Team, in addition to most recently serving as assistant coach for Detroit City FC. Like many of the Spirit’s new acquisitions, she attended Florida State University and played for the Seminoles under Mark Krikorian, now the Spirit’s President of Soccer Operations.

Loudoun United forward Zach Ryan has been nominated for USL Championship Player of the Month for March. Ryan scored 3 goals and made one assist in that time, although he also earned a red card. Vote for him at the above link.

USA vs. Republic of Ireland, 2023 Friendlies: Scouting Republic of Ireland (SSFC)
Stars and Stripes FC breaks down what to expect from the Republic of Ireland when the USWNT takes them on in a series of two friendlies on April 8 and 11. As we’ve previously reported, there are five Washington Spirit players eligible to play in these games!

England beat Brazil in Finalissima penalty shootout (ESPN)
England won the first Women’s Finalissima, a match between the winners of the UEFA Women’s Euro and the Copa América Femenina. The performance by both teams should have the USWNT shaking in their boots, frankly.

There are no Spirit or Loudoun United games this weekend, but here’s what else is going on:

D.C. United vs. Columbus CrewSaturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.Audi FieldApple TV
Rugby Atlanta vs. Old Glory DCSaturday, April 8 at 6 p.m.Silverbacks ParkTRN, MASN
Seattle Sea Dragons vs. DC DefendersSunday, April 9 at 7 p.m.Lumen FieldESPN2/ESPN+

Have a good weekend, everyone!

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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My fiance has a friend that is looking to start following NWSL more closely, and asked if there’s somewhere that provides frequent (daily, though weekly could also work) updates and coverage of the league/players as a whole. Anyone know of anyone or any outlet that does this? I know DP covers the Spirit probably better than anyone else, and I know there’s other sites like ours for some of the other teams. Likewise, I know Jason does a pretty good job over at ProSoccerWire, and the staff at the Athletic covering the league does good stuff too. Anyone else know of any other sources that would be good to pass along?

Matt Glad

Pro Soccer Wire does a decent job covering the entire league. They also have great writers as well.

Matt Glad

I love MLS’ scheduling. In the first 7 weeks DC will have played Columbus twice, then never again for the rest of the season. Let alone before playing most of the Eastern Conference. Never disappoints with weird matchups. There’s usually two teams that play back-to-back weeks every season too. Pure, avoidable, comedy.

Bryan McEachern

Speaking of weekend fun:

Rangers vs Celtic 7:30 AM EST Saturday. Put a bit of joy into your Easter weekend.

Will Nelson

FYSA if you want to watch the Old Glory DC game live. You need to sign up for a free account on The Rugby Network. It’s being shown on tape delay tomorrow evening on MASN at 8 PM. The game actually kicks off down in Atlanta in about 10 mins.

Matt Glad

My best stab at this lineup:
—— Benteke – Taxi——

Unless Canouse slides in a RB. Which, in hindsight makes more sense than changing the formation given the team is very vocally optimistic with how the season has started.

Matt Glad

Well it’s Palsson at RB. Don’t like that decision but we’ll see how the game goes.

Matt Glad

Somehow that’s a pk but all of DCs this season haven’t been. If the ref needs 5 minutes to decide it’s not clear and obvious is it? What a joke.

Matt Glad

Terrible game. I’m really starting to question Rooney’s coaching. The team has gotten worse since the first game. He refuses to use actual wingers in a 4-4-2 and is having this team chuck balls to Benteke and hope for the best.

After the first two games some of us agreed that the defense was gonna be an issue but at least the team was playing good soccer. Since then it’s been downhill. This team has zero structure or organization as the ball moves forward. Watching how fluid Columbus was vs how stagnant and lethargic DC were was nauseating.

If Rooney comes out again and says “it was a tough result but we liked what we saw from the lads” then it’s a long season ahead.

Bryan McEachern

This is a terrible product. Sorry. Just is….

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