Happy Monday, everyone. Standing in for Ryan today, so I’ll do my best to kick the week off right. It was a long weekend that saw a lot of soccer, so let’s get into it.

Treble achieved! Manchester City win Champions League despite tough test from Inter Milan (ESPN)

Manchester City complete the domestic/continental treble by winning the Champions League for the first time in their history, adding to their Premier League and FA Cup victories.

Recap: Washington Spirit battle to a 2-1 victory over Angel City FC (DP)

The Washington Spirit put 2 on the board and hold on to beat Angel City 2-1. They are currently level on points with first place San Diego in the standings, just trailing them by 1 in goal differential.

Recap: Atlanta’s fiery attack bests D.C. United 3-1 (DP)

D.C. United was able to make it a 1-1 match at the half thanks to Taxi Fountas, but 2 second half goals by Atlanta was the difference in a 3-1 loss. The Black-and-Red still remain above the Eastern Conference playoff line in 8th place.

Match Recap | #LDNvTUL (LUFC)

On Friday night, Loudoun United hosted Tulsa and was able to send them home with empty pockets, posting a 3-1 lead. It moved them just above the playoff line into 8th place in the East.

Wembley introduces dementia-friendly measures as part of stadium scheme (The Guardian)

Wembley Stadium is undergoing more training and adding measures to help fans with dementia still be able to enjoy a sporting event there.

Saudi’s Al Ettifaq bid to appoint Steven Gerrard as coach (ESPN)

The Saudi league is still going after European names, and one of the names they wish to bring in is Steven Gerrard to potentially coach Al-Ettifaq.

Monday’s gossip: Neymar, Lukaku, Koulibaly, Onana, Maddison, Raya (BBC)

The BBC has some interesting rumors this morning. The biggest ones: Al-Hilal is hoping to land Neymar as a consolation prize for losing out on Messi, and several Saudi teams are hoping to hire Jose Mourinho.

Uruguay dominate Italy to win first Under-20 World Cup (ESPN)

Uruguay, who beat the U.S. U-20s in the quarterfinals, beat Italy to capture the U-20 World Cup title.

Before we leave, I pay tribute to my friend Ben Cowherd, a long time drummer for the American Outlaws and one of the people who was instrumental in organizing the Backline Nashville SC’s supporters coalition. He was also my good friend. Ben passed away over the weekend when a careless driver struck him on his motorcycle while he was on his way home. Ben had a heart of gold, and no one was a stranger around him. He made everyone feel welcome at an event or match, and I had the honor of capoing to his beats and, as recently as February, drumming alongside him. His warm personality made him a favorite in the Nashville community and the U.S. Soccer community as well.

We were planning to see each other in a couple weeks when D.C. United visits Nashville, and now there’s a hole in my heart because he won’t be there. I send my deepest condolences to his family, American Outlaws Nashville, The Assembly and all members of the Nashville SC community that knew him well. Rest easy, my friend.

ByDonald Wine II

Donald Wine has been a soccer fan since he first kicked a ball as a kid. He moved to DC in 2007 and quickly joined the soccer scene, helping to establish the DC chapter of the American Outlaws and serving as one of the capos and drummers for over a decade. He is currently the manager of Stars & Stripes FC, but this community is where he got his start, and he continues to contribute to anything DC soccer related for this site because he enjoys it so much.

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David Rusk

First, Donald, I am deeply sorry to hear of the death of your friend, Ben Cowherd, an American Outlaws leader.

Second, I am constantly perplexed by the clack of engagement of the former Black and Red United Commentariat with The District Press’s outstanding coverage of Loudoun United and, above all, the Washington Spirit and NWSL.

I can understand lack of attention to some Spirit away matches that can only be viewed on Paramount+ which I don’t get either. But 14 matches are also televised on NBCSW.

And do no other Commentariat members go to Spirit matches at Buzzard Point? Surely I can’t be the only one.

Despite Messi’s coming to MLS, MLS is still a middling league in men’s soccer world wide (probably not yet top ten).

The same cannot be said for NWSL. Some top European clubs may have invested significantly in women’s soccer, but NWSL is undoubtedly the top women’s league in the world.

At Buzzard Point you can see the best of the best. The Spirit field 6-8 members of top women’s national teams, including 4-6 call ups for USWNT, ranked #1 in the world. I love Benteke, Taxi and the rest but you cannot say that about DC United.

Cummon’, Commentariat, let’s start paying attention to the quality coverage of Loudoun United and the Washington Spirit tha The District Press provides.

And I’ll huddle in a corner, savoring Wlll’s coverage of Old Glory rugby.

David Rusk

That’s “lack of engagement”.

Talonesque #

I think Washington Spirit are a vitally important and arguably more fun team than DC United right now, and I definitely want to watch and comment on both, but I think it’s worth noting the forces that are making this difficult- and that’s the damn streaming services. Paramount+ and Apple TV have no incentive not to show their product on the same, lucrative nights and at the same times, as well. In essence, you can go to Audi field, or you can watch a team play away, but you often can’t do both.

For me, there have been nights I’ve been sorely tempted to watch the Spirit instead of United, but I’ve always chosen my older obsession.

I suspect that the fan engagement has less to do with United fans’ disinterest, and far more to do with the fact that this commentariat migrated from Black and Red United on SB Nation. There are a LOT of Spirit fans I bet oblivious to this exciting coverage, and I think it might be time to find ways to let them specifically know about this site. I agree all United fans should be Spirit fans, but it might be time to acknowledge that the reverse might not be true.

Last edited 5 months ago by Talonesque #
David Rusk

I totally agree that there must be some way to reach out to Spirit fans to attract them to The District Press. I get the Spirit newsletter (very well done) but have no knowledge of a Spirit or NWSL blog. Can anyone enlighten me? Can The District Press connect with the Spirit newsletter to have it communicate with Spirit fans that DP exists ?

Ryan Hunt

Yup. With a young kid at home I have to prioritize price and time. It was a choice of getting Paramount + or season pass and the season pass was cheaper.


I’m very sorry for your loss. Driving feels scary enough in a comfy SUV nowadays, whether it’s the crazy drivers in the muscle cars or 18-wheelers veering between lanes. I’m not sure what a realistic way of improving road safety is when the default for everyone is trying to one-up the guy in front of them.


I’ve also lost a close one to an unnecessary car crash. The only solution to the ever worsening gauntlet on our roads is to allow for actual choice in transportation.

Will Nelson

In the penultimate week of the regular season for Major League Rugby, Old Glory DC (OGDC) were dominated by the Houston Sabercats (HOU). OGDC were resting regular starters as they have already clinched a playoff spot. They also ran out a new grouping in the back 3 that HOU looked to test all game long.
Houston would score in the first 20 seconds of the match as OGDC failed to receive the opening kick and it bounced into HOU’s possession. They would quickly try a through kick that the HOU winger would race onto and fall on in the try zone to dot it down for a try. HOU would fail to convert the try leaving the score at 5-0. Then in the 8’ after putting OGDC under tremendous pressure they would quickly work it out wide and into acres of space inside OGDC’s 22-meter line and race into in the corner to dot it down for another try. They would convert the try bringing the score to 12-0. OGDC would finally respond in the 12’. The first time all game that OGDC were in HOU’s defensive third, HOU would commit a penalty resulting in a line out from the 5-meter line for OGDC. OGDC would win the line out and go for a rolling maul that looked like Houston stopped it just short of the goal line. However, on Television Match Official (TMO) review OGDC was awarded a penalty try for HOU illegally collapsing the maul. This brought the score to 12-7. Unfortunately, that was the last time OGDC would score though they threatened a couple more times. In the 18th minute after being under tremendous pressure and some great tryline defense OGDC missed a tackle and HOU broke through to dot it down for a try. That try was converted, bringing the score to 17-7. The rest of the first half would be very back and forth. Late on in the 1st half in the 38’ OGDC looked to have scored, however there was no clear evidence for the ref initially to award the try. The ref went to the TMO for video review, and on video review you could not see if OGDC managed to dot it down in the try zone. In MLR, unlike MLS, if you’re watching the broadcast, you get a look at exactly what the TMO is looking at and hear the discussion between the ref and the TMO. The ref brought it back to a Houston penalty for offsides and OGDC would eventually turn the ball over. Houston would kick it into touch to bring the half to an end.

The second half started off with more back and forth action. In the 57’, HOU again broke through OGDC’s defense and dotted it down for a try. The try would be converted bringing the score to 24-7. Then in the 65’ after TMO review HOU was shown a red card after a shoulder to head after a missed tackle. That left HOU down a man for the rest of the match. OGDC would look to capitalize on the opportunity but would fail to do so. Late in the 79’, HOU would pick off a pass and break away sprint all the down the field and dot it down for a try. That try would also be converted, bringing the score to 31-7.  The conversion would come after the 80’ bringing the game to an end.

The win clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conferenced for Houston. Unfortunately for OGDC, New York went down to Georgia and beat Rugby ATL 39-24. This allowed New York to leapfrog OGDC into second place in the Eastern Conference and clinch the East’s final playoff spot. With one week left in the regular season here’s how the Eastern Conference shapes up. The New England Free Jacks are securely in 1st place on 63 points, and they host HOU for the final match. New York is in 2nd place on 42 points and hosts the Utah Warriors who are 4th in the Western Conference. OGDC needs New York to lose by more than 7 points as well as win in the final game of the season to take 2nd place and host the Wild Card game. OGDC are in 3rd place on 38 points and host Eastern Conference 5th place Rugby ATL to close out the season. Rugby ATL smashed OGDC when they visited Atlanta earlier this season. NOLA Gold are in 4th place on 30 points. Rugby ATL are in 5th place on 27 points. The Toronto Arrows are in 6th place on 15 points.

David Rusk

Buzzard Points Compiled for Washington Spirit. Now that Buzzard Point is the Spirit’s full season home, I have compiled their home goals and assists from the NWSL season and the NWSL Challenge Cup. I included the latter because the Challenge Cup is played entirely against NWSL opponents and is simply a way of getting more matches in beyond the 28-match regular season (as contrasted with DCU vis a vis US Open Cup, friendlies, etc.) the tally to date:

Buzzard Points (home goals): Rodman & Sanchez (3); Metayer (2); Hatch, Sheva, Silano, Staab

Talones (home assists): Hatch (2); Bailey, Metayer, Ricketts, Rodman, Tanner

Stay tuned. Spirit v NC Courage on Wednesday and DCU v Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Will Nelson

Sorry for the delay in providing OGDC coverage.

In the final game of the regular season Old Glory DC (OGDC) hosted Rugby ATL (ATL) at Segra pitch on a gorgeous evening for rugby. ATL had already been eliminated and were playing for pride, making them very dangerous. OGDC were playing to win and get the bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries. They were also hoping that Rugby New York “The Ironworkers” (that’s their nickname), formerly Rugby United New York, would lose by more than 7 points to the Utah Warriors and in the process score 3 or fewer tries. If all went according to plan, then New York would be in 3rd on 42 points and OGDC in 2nd on 43 points. That would mean that OGDC would host the eliminator round playoff game this coming weekend. On top of this, in their prior 3 attempts OGDC had failed to beat Rugby ATL (they were an expansion team last season). Well 3 of those 4 things would go right this past Saturday evening.

As a precursor match the U-18 OGDC Academy team took on the U-18 Rugby ATL Academy Team at 4:30. The OGDC Academy won that one at the buzzer 19-17. The replay of the game can be streamed on The Rugby Network with a free account (https://www.therugbynetwork.com/videos/young-glory-vs-rugby-atl-academy-mlr-academies-washington-dc-replay). That information is only known by me courtesy of the broadcast sideline reporter as he was interviewing Dan Soso the head coach of the Maryland Exiles Youth Rugby, a long-time local youth rugby team. OGDC’s Jack Iscaro got his start playing rugby for the Maryland Exiles under that very same coach. The Exiles were there watching the game that evening. They had been there cheering on the 4 players  that were selected for OGDC’s Rugby Academy (https://www.mdxyouthrugby.org/news/mdx-celebrates-our-players-picked-for-the-old-glory-academy-2785968.html). The Exiles have both boys and girls varsity and middle school teams. Additionally they have summer touch rugby U7, U9, U11, U13, and U16 teams. If you want to find out more about the local rugby scene check out The Tight Five Pub’s website (https://www.tightfivepub.com/). The Tight Five Pub is “The District’s First Rugby Fan Bar”. The Tight Five is owned by two former rugby players and it is in the Adams Morgan neighborhood downtown.

Anyways onto my summary of the game. It was an even back and forth to start the game. OGDC would open the scoring with a try in the 8th minute, but it would not be converted leaving the score 5-0 to OGDC. Then in the 12th minute OGDC would receive a yellow card for a high tackle. That put OGDC down a man for the next 10 minutes of play and ATL would make good the man advantage. Right off the restart from the penalty ATL would dot it down under the posts for a try with automatic conversion in the 13th minute bringing the score to 7-5 in favor of ATL. Then shortly before the hydration break in the 21st minute off the scrum from an OGDC turnover on a knock on. ATL would convert it bringing the score to 14-5. Then in the 25th minute, ATL would break OGDC’s defensive line and lose it after being tackled just short of the try line. OGDC recovered in in the try zone and forced a scrum at the 5 meter line. ATL’s physicality would be on display as they would make good used of the scrum to score another try. They would go on to convert it leaving the score 21-5 in favor of ATL. The momentum was on ATL’s side at this point in the match. Tempers would flare first in the 27th minute. Then again in the 29th minute after a dangerous chop tackle by ATL that would see a yellow card for ATL. After the full team confrontation, the ref pulled the captains aside and informed them that any player starting or running into a confrontation would be liable for sanction. That cooled heads on both sides (if only MLS refs would do that). In the 31st minute, ATL turned the pill over in a scrum leading to a line out for OGDC at the ATL 5-meter line. Just as they had done and would do all night ATL stuffed OGDC’s rolling maul. A quick tuck and several passes later OGDC broke through a gap in ATL’s line and dotted it down for a try. They converted the try climbing back into the game and bringing the score to 21-12. Then in the 36th minute, there was a long series of plays and a penalty advantage. The advantage ended when OGDC turned it over. The ref brought it back to the spot the penalty committed by ATL occurred. OGDC put it into touch for a line out. Once again ATL stuffed OGDC’s rolling maul. A quick series of phases and OGDC got it out wide and punched it in. The try was converted bringing the game to 2 points difference at 21-19 to ATL. The last series of phases in the 1st half ended in awesome fashion. OGDC blocked a box kick in the 40th minute, picked it up and rumbled on a breakaway into the try zone. The conversion put the ball into touch bringing the action packed first half to a close with OGDC back in the lead 24-21. That was OGDC’s 4th try meaning a bonus point in the standings.
The 2nd half would start with some back in forth action. ATL nearly took the lead back in the 46th minute when they broke OGDC’s line and were on a breakaway. OGDC with some great covering runs got back and stopped them just short of the try zone. The ATL player would fail to release the ball resulting in a turnover on penalty. OGDC would go for the line out, but their rolling maul was stopped, and they box kicked it away. A few minutes later in the 49th minute, OGDC would chip it over ATL’s line. An OGDC player would run through ATL’s line to catch it and then offload it before he was taken down. The receiving player then carried the ball into the try zone. That try was converted bringing the score to 31-21 in favor of OGDC. In the 55th minute, ATL’s bruising physical style of play was on display as they battered their way through OGDC’s defense and into the try zone. They would covert the try closing the gap to just 3 points at 31-28. Right before the second half hydration break it looked like OGDC would have an excellent scoring opportunity coming out of the break with a scrum on ATL’s 5-meter line. OGDC had stolen the ball and went fast working it out wide. A massive carry by OGDC, then another series of phases but OGDC would lose the ball just short of the try zone. ATL recovered in the try zone, but then stepped out across the backline. Then the hydration break occurred at that stoppage. As I said previously, it looked like OGDC would have control of the scrum at ATL’s 5-meter line. However, the Television Match Official (TMO) reviewed the play and let the Ref know that there had been a knock-on by OGDC in the process of the ball ending up in the try zone. Thus, converting the scrum to being controlled by ATL. One thing that was obvious throughout the match was that OGDC was dominant on lineouts. At this point in the match, it was noted by the commentators that OGDC had won control on 12 of the lineouts whilst ATL had only won control on 1 lineout. That dominance would continue for the remainder of the game. A few minutes later, ATL would be ruled offside and OGDC would once again put it into touch for a lineout. OGDC won the lineout, but once again their rolling maul was stopped by ATL. However, the number of ATL players stopping the maul left gaps on the other side of the line. OGDC would quickly pass the ball several times and break through a massive gap in ATL’s line to dot it down for a try. TMO reviewed for a potential forward pass penalty against OGDC, but there wasn’t one. OGDC’s try was confirmed on review with that one going down as being scored in the 70th minute. It was OGDC’s 6th try of the match and 6th different try scorer for OGDC. Unfortunately, the conversion went way wide leaving the score at 36-28 in favor of OGDC. Late on OGDC turned the ball over and ATL drove hard getting near, but once again being stopped short of the try zone by great recovery defense. In the 80th minute a final scrum controlled by OGDC would occur courtesy of an ATL penalty. OGDC would win the ball in the scrummage and kick it into touch bringing an action-packed match to an end.

Old Glory’s 36-28 win over Rugby ATL marked a new franchise record for regular season wins at 7. It’s also the first time that OGDC have beaten Rugby ATL having lost the previous 3 matches between the teams. OGDC’s win was the first thing they needed to host their first ever playoff match. New York would lose to the Utah warriors by more than 7 but score 4 or more tries. As New York scored 4 or more tries in their 43-33 defeat against Utah they would get a bonus point. This left OGDC and New York tied in the standings with 43 points. However, New York is in 2nd place on tie breakers. As such OGDC will be headed to the Mount Vernon neighborhood of New York this coming Sunday for their first ever playoff match. The match will be broadcast live on FS2 at 6 PM EDT on Sunday 25 June. The winner will play at New England in the Eastern Conference final at 5:30 PM EDT on July 1 broadcasted on FS1.  The western conference eliminator round match will also be broadcast on FS2 on Saturday 24 June at 6 PM EDT.

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