Happy Friday! We’ve got a very busy soccer Saturday ahead of us, but you can take things easy for now with some Freedom Kicks.

New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir suspended and fined (MLS)
The saga continues. Vanzeir has been suspended for six regular season matches (and any other matches during the relevant time period). Six games is frankly light for a league with a zero tolerance policy against racism.

2023 NWSL Challenge Cup hits $1m in prize money (ESPN)
The Challenge Cup – started in 2020 to allow NWSL teams to play after COVID-19 cancelled the regular season – seemed a little… pointless this year, being played in between regular season matches and among teams who will already be playing each other twice in the season. The increased prize money will certainly give players an incentive to take these games seriously. The Spirit’s first Challenge Cup game is next Wednesday, April 19

Inside Gregg Berhalter’s leadership quest, and how it inadvertently ignited a USMNT mess (Yahoo Sports)
An interesting look at Berhalter’s years-long focus on becoming a better leader and how it led to his ill-fated comments on Gio Reyna after the 2022 World Cup.

Loudoun United encouraged by start to season (The District Press)
As reported by our own Ryan Keefer, coach Ryan Martin and Loudoun United players reflect on the season so far.

SSFC Spotlight: Chris Durkin displaying consistency with D.C. United (SSFC)
SSFC with a glowing profile of the Black-and-Red midfielder’s journey from youth soccer to the present and hopes for a future with the USMNT.

Josh Harris Group has tentative deal to buy Commanders from Daniel Snyder (Washington Post)
Yes, this is about the other kind of football, but I suspect I am not the only one who will be glad to see Snyder go.

Here’s your schedule for the weekend.

Loudoun United FC vs. Birmingham Legion FCSat., Apr. 15 at 6 p.m. ETSegra FieldESPN+
Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina CourageSat., Apr. 15 at 7 p.m. ETWake Med Soccer ParkGolazo Network, Paramount+
D.C. United vs. MontréalSat., Apr. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ETSaputo StadiumApple TV
D.C. Defenders vs. Arlington RenegadesSun., Apr. 16 at 12 p.m. ETAudi FieldESPN/ESPN+
Old Glory DC vs. Rugby New YorkSun., Apr. 16 at 3 p.m. ETSegra FieldTRN, MASN

That’s all I have for now. Enjoy the nice weather this afternoon, and the soccer tomorrow!

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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David Rusk

From Buenos Aires: props to Philadelphia Union for taking the battle to Atlas in Jalisco and moving on in CONCACAF Champions League. Not much other soccer news.

With its inflation Argentina has become the country of “billeteras gordas” (fat wallets). The biggest bill in circulation is 1,000 pesos, which in the mercado azul (blue market) is 400 pesos to the dollar; the “official “ rate is roughly 200 pesos to the dollar.

Thus, when we went for dinner last night my wallet was stuffed with 30 1,000 peso notes ($75) plus some smaller denominations.

But a light supper for three was only 10,000 pesos ($25) at a nice restaurant… so who’s complaining?


Ouch. It wasn’t too long ago the official rate was like 5 pesos to the dollar and the unofficial rate was like 8-9.

David Rusk

During the early 1990s under President Carlos Menem Argentina set the “new” peso at a 1:1 ratio with the dollar and struggled to maintain that for several years: la convertibilidad.

But because USA productivity increased rapidly in the 1990s (remember the Clinton Boom), USA and many other foreign goods became cheaper and cheaper and Argentine domestic industry essentially collapsed. Convertibilidad was abandoned.

The Bences bought their apartment in Barrio Norte in 1955. When the apartment was sold in 2010 after Mami and Papi had died, I calculated that with constant inflation and many devaluations , the apartment was worth 20 trillion pesos in 1955 pesos.

David Rusk

When we came in March 2020 for a much COVID abbreviated visit, as I recall the exchange rate was 80 pesos to the dollar. A five fold increase in three years!!!

Riky Nary

I can’t remember, does the final Defenders game also replace the turf completely after it? I feel like it was part of the contract to play there.

Brendan Cartwright

I think so. Also, Dwayne Johnson announced the upcoming Defenders game was sold out, which… DC United has notably not done this season.

Matt Glad

Well the defenders at 7-1 and first in the XFL. United is very much the opposite.

Brendan Cartwright

The beer cup snake tradition is arguably better and more organic than anything the supporters have come up with at Audi Field, too.



What’s the beer cup snake tradition? (don’t watch American football)


ah googled it and yeah more organic
Miss the RFK bouncing stands

Talonesque #

Anyone else massively bummed that United and The Spirit play in the same basic slot tomorrow? Not particularly surprising, but I like to see what both are doing. United are not an entirely pleasant viewing and emotional experience right now, The Spirit seem like they’re competitive in their league, and care about their infrastructure.

In short, thanks for making me choose between a long time addiction and a satisfying fix


I’m surprised that with the MLS on Saturday, the NWSL hasn’t gone hard into Sunday games even from a stadium scheduling standpoint.


Dante Vanzier should be gone. Go to a league in some forlorn country that tolerates that terrible, racist behavior. We don’t want it here.

On another topic, didn’t Rooney mention a couple weeks ago that he was looking to bring in another signing? Has anyone heard any news on that? (Not that one more signing is going to change this team). I was really hoping the entire off-season we’d get a really good CB from like the second bundesliga or something but my wishes never came true. Instead we got Derrick who seems to have earned a spot on the bench.

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