If you like a little background noise with your Friday morning coffee or lunch, you’re in luck! I’ve got a couple of videos for you to check out today. Let’s get started!

First Apple TV’s MLS show Game Changers released an episode on Christian Benteke yesterday. The Washington Post also profiled Benteke, covering his career and impact on the Black and Red.

Second, Trinity Rodman stat down with Craig Hoffman – formerly a Washington Spirit employee, now host of The Hoffman Show – for a rare interview. They discuss her play for the National Team and The Spirit and her feelings on brunch. We’ll get her on Hey Spirits! one day!

Napoli clinch first Serie A title in 33 years after draw with Udinese (ESPN)
Seeing a team bring one home after decades of falling short is always cool, (speaking as a Cleveland fan); although as a typical American, I feel like there’s something anticlimactic about winning on points with a draw. I found this longer form piece on what the win means to the city, also from ESPN, fairly interesting.

Arsenal: Laura Weinroither fourth player to suffer ACL injury this season (BBC)
ACL tears have been a problem across the women’s game, but with 4 players with the same injury in one year, it really feels like it’s time to ask what’s going on at Arsenal.

Late addition to the FKs: Loudoun United FC are supporting a Miles for Melanoma 5K in support of head coach Ryan Martin’s sister-in-law. The 5K takes place tomorrow at 9 a.m., starting in Yards Park in Washington, DC. If you’re interested, sign up or donate here.

Finally, here’s your schedule for the weekend. D.C. Defenders have played their last game at Buzzard Point for the year (and I’ve heard a rumor the field is being re-sod), so they won’t be making an appearance in the table for a while. I’m always open to including more teams, though, so let me know if there’s another local team I should add!

Washington Spirit vs. San Diego Wave FCSat., May 6 at 1 p.m. ESTAudi FieldCBS
Loudoun United FC vs. Indy ElevenSat., May 6 at 7 p.m. ESTSegra FieldESPN+
D.C. United vs. FC CincinnatiSat., May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ESTTQL StadiumApple TV
Old Glory DC vs. New England Free JacksSat., May 6 at 8 p.m. ESTChoctaw StadiumFS2, TRN

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Kudos for getting this post up so early. The DP team must not sleep–are you all vampires, creatures of the night?

My understanding is that women athletes suffer a significantly greater risk of ACL injuries than men do. The explanation I’ve heard is that it has to do with foot pad strike–the hips between men and women (especially pre-child birth) are different and therefore women in a similar athletic sport at a similar level (so college or professional or high-level club soccer) experience a higher number of ACL injuries. https://www.hss.edu/article_soccer-acl-injury.asp#:~:text=Female%20soccer%20athletes%20differ%20from,Williams. I’ve seen some limited research indicating that post-childbirth, this incidence goes down.

David Rusk

Let me add my kudos to JoeW’s. It’s a pleasure to have a full week of breakfast hour Freedom Kicks.

Bryan McEachern

Triple the praise! This crew is putting on the ritz for the community to enjoy.

And yeah, JoeW is correct. Anatomy drives ACL tears in the ladies over men. It’s kind of like in coed, if the girl doesn’t have an ACL repair scar, or two, she’s probably lying that she played advanced ball…..(hyperbole, easy folks…). Honestly, it is pretty common, unfortunately…

Bryan McEachern

Oh, linked in the Arsenal ACL article is another discussion about the causes and research of the ACL epidemic in lady’s soccer. It’s a good read, with a bit more expansion in areas that I wasn’t aware of. Give it a look!

Brendan Cartwright

Goff is reporting that Birnbaum is out for the Cincinnati game with a hip injury, and that Pedro Santos is out as well, with a thigh injury.

Seeing the knocks that Birnbaum was taking against Charlotte, that’s not surprising. There’s no word on how long he’s out, but missing the Open Cup game against New York and the Nashville game seem to be real possibilities.

With Santos, hopefully it’s not too bad. Ruan is returning this week from a similarly described “thigh injury,” and he only missed a short while. Santos has been quite good in the wingback role.

Goff mentions that Derrick Williams and Jacob Greene are the frontrunners to replace those two. I have every confidence in Derrick Williams, even though Birnbaum was playing at a pretty high level. I thought Williams did quite well when he came into the game to replace Stevie B. As for Greene, he’s been pretty solid defensively, and got his feel-good goal against Charlotte. He should be pretty high on confidence. Despite the goal, I still don’t think he really complements the attack as well as Santos. One option might be for Ruan to play right wingback and Andy Najar to shift over to the left.

Either way, the injuries are bummers, but I have faith in our immediate replacements.

Talonesque #

Don’t exactly agree on Greene being a downgrade offensively, and not just because he scored with aplomb last game. If he starts on the left, his speed will be very useful. Santos has arguably played as a very defensive wingback, and though it’s largely worked so far to stop crosses coming in from the opponent’s right, going forward we’ve been extremely right side reliant, and both Ruan and Najar have been caught in bad positions because of it. I’d be curious to see what having actual fast width going forward potentially on both sides would look like for the team, and I’m sure Benteke would benefit.

Brendan Cartwright

To that point, Goff notes that Jeahze is out of custody, but likely still in Sweden and still under suspension by MLS.


The thing we’d lose with Greene is finesse on the ball. Santos receives the ball very well in tight spaces and usually has to be fouled to get dispossessed (hence his injury). Greene is much faster and I’d imagine plays more direct. I’d imagine this would help with getting the ball up the field faster, but may come at the cost of possession. I think he’s also less likely to suffer the kind of beatings Santos has since he’ll be in possession less time. And we get the added benefit of him crashing the box.

David Rusk

Thank you, Annie, for the weekend schedule feature. This was the first time that I noticed the my Spirit ticket for tomorrow is 1 pm, not their normal 7:30 pm starting time. I might have missed the match altogether.

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