Happy Friday, everyone! I’m hoping the air quality has improved enough that we can all safely venture outside.

To start us off, Wayne Rooney wasn’t exactly pleased with the Necaxa game this week:

Washington Spirit statement on air quality in advance of June 10 match (Washington Spirit)
In light of ongoing concerns about air quality, Washington Spirit canceled their training yesterday and are monitoring before determining whether to go forward with Saturday’s home match against Angel City FC. Conditions in the D.C. area are expected to improve from yesterday, but it’s interesting that Loudoun United — also playing at home this weekend — apparently went forward with business as usual.


Canada announced preliminary World Cup roster: Who was left off and who makes final cut (The Athletic)
Preliminary World Cup rosters have been trickling out for a little over a week, and Canada has now release theirs. They’ve called 25 players into pre-World Cup training and will have to cut two before the tournament. Washington Spirit defender Gabrielle Carle is a notable omission from the list; she’s been getting regular call-ups before now.

Another MLS Breakaway episode is out from AppleTV, this one about former Black-and-Red player Paul Arriola.

Budweiser renews World Cup sponsor deal with FIFA despite 2022 fiasco (ESPN)
I personally would not want a partner who folded on a major part of our contract after several assurances that they would not, but I’m sure the money was good enough.

Italy win at Under-20 World Cup sets up final with Uruguay (ESPN)
Italy beat South Korea yesterday to advance to the U-20 World Cup finals, where they’ll face Uruguay, who defeated Israel in their semi-final.

Barring the continuation of our current climate disaster, here’s your schedule for the weekend:

Loudoun United FC vs. FC TulsaFri., June 9 at 7 p.m. ETSegra FieldESPN+
Washington Spirit vs. Angel City FCSat., June 10 at 7 p.m. ETAudi FieldParamount+
D.C. United vs. Atlanta UnitedSat., June 10 at 7:30 p.m. ETMercedes-Benz StadiumApple TV
Old Glory DC vs. Houston SaberCatsFri., June 9 at 9 p.m. ETSaberCats StadiumTRN, MASN

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Pines with the scientific shit talk, I’m so happy he’s hit his stride this season.


Hyped up is good!

Matt Glad

I appreciate Rooney’s bluntness. If this friendly had been during a bye week I would’ve understood, but midweek between road matches is a brainless move.

Brendan Cartwright

Ted Ku-DiPietro is questionable for the game tomorrow. Andy Najar is officially questionable too. That’s a lot of dynamism missing if neither of them can go.


True. And TKDP (right now) seems to link up better with Benteke than Taxi does.

Talonesque #

Can’t shake my suspicion that Taxi, aside from struggling with form after injury, is also not gelling with someone else being the attacking fulcrum and point of the build up, which Benteke undoubtedly is.

And before someone puts words in my mouth, you don’t have to be a selfish player or a diva to suffer from a change in team dynamics.

Last edited 5 months ago by Talonesque #
Brendan Cartwright

It’s a little weird. He seems to get on fine personally with Benteke (and Benteke with him), and he thrived at Rapid Vien in a set up with a big striker, Kara. It’s just a question of the system sorting itself out, and Taxi getting full fitness, I think.


I think Taxi is just one of those players that needs to get going, once he gets going, he’ll just keep going. Streaky player, it’ll come to him, hopefully sooner than later.


I think there are two things going on with Taxi and his comparable ineffectiveness (compared to last season). 1. He’s been hurt and never consistently been on the field for a long enough stretch to gell with the offense. 2. I think his best attacking game is playing behind a central strike and running in to space that striker clears (almost like a midfielder making a run forward–like how the young Michael Bradley scored most of his goals in Europe). But compare him to TKDP. TKDP will run in to space and behind the frontline created by Benteke. He and Taxi are almost opposites in terms of where they like to see the ball. While TKDP will run at people or sometimes go out to the wing, he’s very much a gun who finds space in the box or cleans up on missed/blocked shots. I think for Taxi to get more/better chances in his favorite spots, Klich needs to push forward more–almost become another forward and then he and Benteke are dropping the ball back to Taxi.

Talonesque #

All of this is accurate. I’d simply argue that there’s a bit more to it. Taxi when he had his best run of form was playing with Estrada, who quickly submitted to a secondary and supportive role to Taxi. Benteke is not a particularly selfish player, but his style is different and his current status much more pivotal. The whole team wants to feed him, and feeding and being second to someone else is not something Taxi has done for us.

We’ll see where this goes, I have my doubts that it meshes. That said, if this gets figured out, wend have a very effective frontline.

David Rusk

Loudoun United get the DMV weekend off to a great start by beating FC Tulsa 3-1 with a own goal and a brace by Zack Ryan.

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