Happy United Day on a weekday! D.C. United’s 2023 US Open Cup begins tonight! I’ll be in attendance this evening, and at last, with all the warm weather we’ve been having, I may finally be comfortable at Buzzard Point… What’s that? It’s been chilly again? Well if the match temperature can be somewhere in the 50s, that’d be an improvement for me. To the kicks!

D.C. United Have Acquired Forward Cristian Dájome From Vancouver Whitecaps FC (D.C. United): Yesterday’s news is official today: Dájome is now a member of the Black-and-Red.

It looks like D.C. United will have two new members as of the closing of MLS’ trade window.

Washington Spirit trade Jordan Baggett to Racing Louisville for future draft picks (The DP): A great talent in a sea of Spirit talent, Baggett is now off to Louisville where she should have an opportunity for more minutes on the pitch.

Armenakas and Landry Earn USL Championship Team of the Week in Week 7 (Loudoun United): It’s rather satisfying to note Loudoun’s continued presence on the Team of the Week.

By the numbers: 10 early-season All-Star performers (MLS): I also vote Christian Benteke to the All-Star team.

Power Rankings: NYCFC soar, Red Bulls drop after Matchday 9 (MLS): Cracking the Top 20 in arbitrary rankings! Let’s go!

MLS Franchise Rankings: Comparing the league’s best-ever teams across eras (The Athletic): We all know who the best team in MLS history is….

U.S. Soccer hires Matt Crocker as sporting director (SSFC): We now know who will be influential in the hiring of the next USMNT coach. In the meantime, Matt Crocker will have some time to transition into the sporting director role as he will first support the USWNT as the World Cup approaches, and then assume his duties full-time in August.

Finally, a return to motorsports news. In case you’re thinking to yourself “Man, whatever happened to Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz?” Well, he’s had a rather fun go at stock car racing, and it’s really starting to pay off. He now leads the ARCA Menards Series, a series that many fans would label the 4th division of stock car racing, behind the NASCAR Truck Series.

That’s all for today! Vamos United tonight!

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Loved the Athletic read. Their writers are great, even when they’re not talking up 90s DCU.

Good for Frankie. I would not have pegged him as a racer or a goatee man.

David Rusk

I’ll be rooting for DC United tonight vs Richmond as best I can while waiting at Ezeiza International Airport to board our flight back to the USA.

So you’ll be spared more history lessons about Argentina, fútbol etc.

One final note: when we arrived a month ago the peso was 388 to the dollar. Yesterday it was 460. An 18.5% increase (ie devaluation) in one month!

USA inflation rate is 6% in a year.

And the Argentine governmental party is talking about running its Treasury Secretary for president?!!

Brendan Cartwright

I’d imagine that Rooney is going to trot out a lineup that’s pretty heavy on homegrowns tonight. He said before the Orlando game that he knew the lineup he would use against Richmond, and then started a pretty veteran-heavy lineup.

I think we’d be seeing Alex Bono, Jacob Greene, Matai Akinmboni, Kristian Fletcher, Jackson Hopkins, and Ted Ku-DiPietro. Andy Najar might get a run out. Hayden Sargis probably gets a start.

The point is that getting past Richmond is going to be no sure thing.

Brendan Cartwright

Anybody know if Cristian Dajome is eligible to play tonight?

Talonesque #

Who is the real Brendan Cartwright here?

Bryan McEachern

Fake Brendan!!!!!!

Matt Glad

Yea I’d say a young lineup and a stacked bench in case it’s dicey (Taxi, Klich, Benteke, etc.). I’d really prefer DC go for the Open Cup this year. They are flirting with a playoff spot at the 1/4 mark, but we’ve already mentioned that this team doesn’t really have an identity other than play defense and hope your DPs do something, not to mention limited depth, particularly in the midfield.

Talonesque #

I have no idea if Crocker is particularly competent or not- he has experience with Southampton, but whether experience at a team that has flirted with relegation and finally looks to be going down after years of it is a positive sign, couldn’t really say. National teams are radically different from club operations, so, overall, the hire is a bit opaque.

The one thing I would surmise from the hire is that Marsch is almost certainly the heavy front runner now for the coaching gig. US Soccer just hired the guy that wanted Marsch for the Southampton job just a few weeks ago, it seems like this is the federation saying, “we’re hiring the guy that will most likely hire Jesse and quell the fanbase.”

So, here we go.

Talonesque #

I for sure would like him to have more success in Europe, I do think a major reason he’s not had as much success lately is tactical rigidity. He likes creating chaos and relying on transition football on the pitch, but anyone who notes that and adjusts tends to have his squads under control. I’ve said this before, Redbull tactics are as much a transfer market strategy in action as an on the field system, and national teams don’t have a transfer market to game. The players you have are the players you have.

I’d like him to keep growing in club soccer, this World Cup cycle is too important to gamble.


Bingo. Marsch still has some growing to do as a coach…if he wants to. Being the American Bielsa (with considerably less influence and success) shouldn’t be his final evolution. There’s plenty of ways to include transition football concepts in a less demanding system.


My initial take is that Crocker is a good hire. He has a couple of things that I think are real positives: First, he’s been involved with US soccer before (at a youth level but the point is–US culture isn’t foreign to him). Second, he’s been heavily involved in youth programs for England and Southhampton–and that’s a huge part of his portfolio in this job–to provide unity and direction to the USSF youth programs.

It doesn’t bother me that Southhampton is about to be relegated. So much of what happens in the Premiership is about how rich your club is. If you’re not in the top 7, you make 1-2 bad decisions or lose a key player and suddenly you’re flirting with relegation.

What to me is far more interesting that we have a hint of, is how diverse is his views of coaching candidates? For instance, it’s positive to me that he talked with Marsch. Not because I think that means he’ll hire Marsch. I think it means he’s not locked in to just an English coach. Now, how wide is his circle of contacts, his ability to entice someone who would be a good fit? That I don’t know. But I’d think that anyone who was in charge of the English Youth Team system for a while would have had interactions with the Dutch, French, and German counterparts.

David Rusk

I spoke prematurely below. By the end of the day the peso had devalued to 500 to the dollar.

Will Nelson



Why even sign someone like Hurtado? If Benteke gets injured, does throwing in Hurtado actually do anything? At that point we should just swap to a 5-5 formation and have our youngsters just be extraneous wingers, cause Hurtado won’t do anything.

Talonesque #

Unfortunately, that’s my perception, as well. There’s a big difference between getting a body that can do a job and a body that isn’t very proficient at soccer.


Just looking at his goal tallies on Wikipedia is brutal. We should’ve just drafted the biggest guy in college during the last super draft.

Brendan Cartwright

It’s kind of working for Orlando.

For our draft, we essentially “drafted” Ruan. Not a terrible return.

Ryan Hunt

Ruan isn’t a terrible return for a high draft pick if you’re mostly focused on this season, so far Duncan McGuire is the only top pick with meaningful minutes, but I remain unconvinced that he’s more helpful in the long run than most of the players who got drafted in the first round. Looking back over the last ten years or so, DC has done a pretty poor job managing their youth players. Paredes is really the only one who’s broken out. Harkes, Durkin, and Pines have turned into MLS squad players and that’s about it as far as I can recall. Losing Williamson was probably the biggest missteps and I don’t really think we’ve let anyone else truly slip through, but I doubt that young players see DC as a place they want to come to in order to make the next step in their game.

Couple this with an abysmal scouting department and DC needs to do better with youth to compete with MLS budget constraints and cheap owners.

Brendan Cartwright

Now you’ve got me wondering what Bryang Kayo is up to.

David Rusk

From Ezeiza International Airport: DCU beats Richmond 1-0 on Asad pk in 52nd minute. WiFi too weak for me to get broadcast

Argentine fútbol fans celebrating Taty Castellanos’ four goals against Real Madrid.


Taty’s match was insane. He had as many goals as passes.

Brendan Cartwright

Goff is reporting that Steve Birnbaum signed a contract extension through 2025. He’s playing well, and his current deal was set to expire after this year.

That will give him 12 seasons played for United. If he plays every game of the rest of this season and every game of the next two seasons over the life of his contract, he will STILL not have as many games played for United as Jaime Moreno. He’d have 328 games played, and Jaime played in 329.


I’ve tried to sum up the match tonight on Twitter — but here’s what I got. The kids were a hot mess. Way too cute with passing — too soft and one turnover after another.Ku-Dipietro had a stretch where he had 3 strong runs down the side, and instead of trying to bend a cross into a runner in front of goal, he kept trying to get cute and cut it back, passing it straight into the defender. I don’t think Fletcher successfully handled any passes that came into him in the air — a worse touch than Pajoy had. Hopkins struggled to contribute but suffered from the too cute with his passes syndrome. Sargis had the penalty foul, when he tried to kick the ball from the defender as he was falling down. Maybe got the ball, but the ref thought he brought down the defender. Akinmboni was a little lost, but not bad. Greene wasn’t great defending, and not great going forward, but not terrible either. Most of Richmond’s attacks came down their left side, exploiting the other side of DCU’s defense.

Asad was pretty good. Najar was fantastic. Vintage stuff, both on attack and defending. Bono saved our bacon multiple times. Durkin offered competent veteran presence. Klich did a nice job of settling down the team in the final minutes. Ruan struggled to make a difference, but to be honest, I didn’t think he was at fault. Surprised that he came off at half as Rooney switched from 3-4-3 to 4-4-2, but maybe Rooney wanted to keep his minutes low.


Thanks for the summary. I guess I understand why they aren’t seeing so many minutes now that the vets are healthy (plus the recent acquisitions). It seems like nerves/lack of focus. Hopefully Rooney gets them to calm down and keep it simple until they can hit those cute passes more consistently (and at the appropriate times).


I mostly agree though I can’t about Akinmboni, he looked like he knew what he was doing. Also thought Greene was good in possession and defense but couldn’t break the bunker at the other end.
Fletcher looked way overmatched and that was disappointing. Hurtado is a better option than him at this time.
Najar with a few oles to entertain the fans and drew the penalty. Bono with 3 or 4 great stops along with the penalty.

Brendan Cartwright

Open Cup Champion Bill Hamid and Memphis knocked out Atlanta. Nicely done to the big man!

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