Yet another Wednesday that snuck up on me. The US Open Cup is back in action! I lament D.C. United’s absence in this stage, but there’s still a magic in the tournament all its own. Let’s get to the kicks!

MLS All-Star voting: 7 bubble players who could meet Arsenal (MLS): A certain sweeper keeper made this list. If the MLS All-Star team took the field and ended up being just the D.C. United squad, I wouldn’t complain. We can play our part to help our players get a spot on the roster – go vote!

Power Rankings: FC Cincinnati eclipse LAFC, Columbus & Orlando surge (MLS): Cincinnati in first? Is that legal?

NWSL Weekend Take-Off: KC Current gets tough, Angel City stumbles (Pro Soccer Wire): Catch up on last weekend’s NWSL news here!

The Annapolis Blues are the NPSL Mid-Atlantic leaders in their first season. Standings are based on points per game as scheduling is a little different at this level.

I want to take this time to address all the teams in this conference. I have focused on Annapolis this year because it garnered my attention with owners like Dave Johnson and Kyle Beckerman, but this conference oozes DMV regional soccer. Let’s run down the list:

  • Alexandria Reds: Alexandria, Virginia (Limerick Field)
  • Annapolis Blues FC: Annapolis, Maryland (Navy-Marine Corps Stadium)
  • FC Frederick: Buckeystown, Maryland (St. John’s Catholic Prep)
  • Greenville United: Greenville, North Carolina (John Paul II Catholic)
  • Grove United: Richmond, Virginia (City Stadium)
  • Northern Virginia United: Fairfax, Virginia (George Mason University)
  • Virginia Beach City FC: Norfolk, Virginia (Powhatan Field)
  • Virginia Dream FC: Falls Church, Virginia (Meridian High School)

That’s a lot of soccer nearby. Check out your local team when you get a chance.

Jimmie Johnson, Garage 56 make strides with Le Mans test-day debut: The 24 Hours of Le Mans is this weekend (Saturday 10:00 AM) and I’m watching it for one big reason: NASCAR has an entry in the event. Sort of. Garage 56 is reserved to display a special vehicle; it does not officially compete with the other classes in the race. On this 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Garage 56 entry is a modified NASCAR Next Gen car. This thing is gorgeous. This thing is loud. This thing is quick. It’s putting up competitive lap times in practice, so the other vehicles should watch out, and not just because this thing is large. It will be piloted by 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button, and 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and skilled racer Mike Rockenfeller. The not-too-shabby Jordan Taylor from Corvette Racing is backup driver for the race.

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Per the DP order, I complied and have now registered by all-star team ballot.

Brendan Cartwright

Lots of reports that Messi is coming to Inter Miami. Glad we were able to get one game against them before he came.


True. But wasn’t Beckham’s first game in MLS against DCU and at RFK? Maybe my memory is wrong but that’s what I recall.

Matt Glad

Crazy and frustrating that some players just what to be in a certain market rather than in a good squad and organization. Miami is a dumpster fire and don’t deserve anyone close to Messi’s stature, but maybe I’m just bitter.


I don’t think it’s that DC is regarded as a small city. It’s if you’re in to clubs and being one of the “in” people than the cities in the US are NYC, LA, Miami. A few players have had girlfriends who wanted to get in to show business.

Brendan Cartwright

On the whole, it’s a good thing that people can go work where they’d like to, and live where they’d like to. I think DC has a lot going for it, and people like Rooney and Birnbaum are some of the ones that see that and want to stick around. I think Eddie Pope and Ryan Nelsen are a couple of other examples of people that live in DC even after they don’t “have to.” Ben Olsen is probably the ultimate “adopt DC” guy.

Is it hard for us to sign star players? Possibly. We were able to get Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas, but Sonny Kittel turned us down, and the Juan Sebastian Veron deal still hurts. But when we lose out, is that because of our geography, or more to do with the organization?

Sometimes, a place, a club, and a player just mesh. Sometimes they don’t.


It’s very hard for DC to sign star players. That’s not unique to DC United. Caps, Wizards, Nationals, WFT — all struggle to attract top free agents.

OTOH, if Messi did make even a brief appearance here on July 8th, that would be the most international attention DC United will have ever gotten, including some of Rooney’s biggest moments.

It might lead to something eventually. I think the DC brand could have some real appeal internationally, even if it’s a negative domestically.

Brendan Cartwright

Worth mentioning that I believe all three of our DPs are locked in through the end of 2024. Benteke and Klich are on the higher end, age-wise, but have both been very good this year. Taxi was electric last year, but has been hurt and not quite as effective this year.

Messi is going to draw a lot of eyes, and may show a lot of benefit for Miami (probably moreso off the field than on it). United probably won’t have a chance to make a similar splash like that until 2025 at the earliest. But if our DPs do well, our veterans hang on for one more year, and some smart additions are made in each window, we might be able to make some noise on the field.


Sadly enough, if Messi does indeed go for Miami, we in DC won’t get to see him until next year. Our next game with Miami is July 8. No way he’s playing in that one. He’s likely taking a break, as he should. But this might be my mom’s only other chance to finally see him play in-person, we’ve tried before and he was always out injured.

Brendan Cartwright

Always the outside chance of a playoff game (I don’t know if United and Miami would conceivably meet in a Leagues Cup knockout round).


I don’t know why you are saying this. Inter Miami come to Audi Field on July 8. That’s literally the first date he could be available to play in MLS, with the transfer window opening 3 days earlier. I think there’s a decent chance he comes into the game at some point.

Bryan McEachern

Vague memories of Beckham Night at RFK: hoards of smartly dressed ladies all over the place…..


Honestly, I think that July 8 game is probably already sold out for DCU, just in the hopes that they get a glimpse of him.


I’ve seen some chatter that he won’t play till next year.


Well, the visa thing takes a couple of weeks. But also Messi has been playing without many breaks for a while now. He’s 35, soon to be 36. Outside the French league games, he played some French cup games, some Champions games, qualifier games, some World Cup prep games, all the WC games. If he were to stay in Europe, he would not be playing much of their pre-season games and regular season games would start at some point in August. Would anyone blame Messi if he needed a bit more than a month to rest? Granted, Miami can’t afford more losses, so they are probably hoping he starts as soon as they can guarantee him his work visa.


Rumor mill has he’ll be involved in the All-Star Game on July 19th at Audi Field in some capacity.

Brendan Cartwright

I dont really like voting for players to the All-Star Game. It’s mostly fixture congestion, in my eyes, especially if we’re not going to take actual competitions like the Open Cup seriously because of it. That said, Christian Benteke probably deserves a spot on the squad. It’s nice to have players that are the class of MLS in a specific area. Tyler Miller is up there too, with his distribution.

I had neglected to realize that Rooney was in charge of making so many picks. I think that’s likely how Miller makes the squad, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him add another United player or two (Pines?). I just hope no one gets hurt, and I hope that if a player is selected to the team, he has a bonus clause in his contract for that honor that he could really use.

Will Nelson

Something funny to me that I just noticed in the standings. Chicago is way down in 13th in the East, yet they are unbeaten at home (2W 0L 6D). They just aren’t great on the road (1W 5L 2D).

Will Nelson

2 OGDC players made MLR’s First XV of the week:
Nic Souchon (1 try scored, 20 tackles made, 21 ruck arrivals)
Kyle Baillie (1 try scored, 61 meters run, 16 tackles made)

Daniel H

“Check out your local team when you get a chance.”

100%. Great to see a DMV local soccer shoutout.

Last edited 5 months ago by Daniel H
Matt Glad

Pro Soccer Wire has a good summary on the revamped CONCACAF champions league (now the champions cup). In short, up to 7 MLS teams can qualify (5 from the league, 1 for Open Cup winner, and 1 for Canadian Champs). On top of that, the final is now one leg rather than home and away. I’m guessing the 5 teams are the champs, and the two highest finishing teams from each conference(?) I think I like it. Nothing drastic.

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