Hi there, it’s hot and things are bad again like they always were so, nature is healing I guess!

Recaps of D.C. United’s 2-0 loss to Nashville SC by us and WaPo. In case you don’t feel like reading the sadness, this sums it up I guess:

Recaps of the Washington Spirit’s 3-0 loss to the Orlando Pride by us and WaPo. Mane Land with the other end.

The 25 most tenured athletes in D.C. sports (WaPo): I guess this is fun for a cursory sentence on Jaime Moreno, but Ben Olsen got done a little dirty imo.

‘It feels like my team loves me back’: Inside the Washington Spirit’s unprecedented Pride Night (PSW): Nice dive by Jason.

Markanich brace, Williams goal lift Charleston past Loudoun in dominant 3-0 win (Live 5): Such as it is, as I was on a plane.

DC United GK Luis Zamudio developing on loan with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (Pittsburgh Soccer Now): Nice dive into his plans and D.C.’s plans for him this month.

Andy Coleman says he’s running Swansea City now and the buck stops with him (Wales Online): A Jason Levien/Steve Kaplan-owned team with a Chairman who wants to be the public face of the club. Andy’s also part of D.C.’s ownership group, so maybe he feels like having a second job.

Hey, look at this former D.C. United signing!

Anyway, that’s all I have, do your thing today and stay cool.

Featured image courtesy of D.C. United // Hannah Wagner

ByRyan Keefer

Doing D.C./Loudoun United things on here.

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Brendan Cartwright

Good for Zamudio to be getting playing time, and to also be learning from Jon Busch. Nothing against Diego Restrepo, but Busch has some of the most experience of any MLS goalkeeper. Also interesting to hear about how tight Pittsburgh’s defense is, and that a component of that is Michael DeShields. A shame things never worked out for him here, but I’m glad he’s finding success in USL.

The Loudoun staff, the DC staff, and now the Pittsburgh staff all seem to have a lot of praise for Zamudio. I think Tyler Miller’s contract runs through next season, and by that point we might see Zamudio pressing for the starting job. Let’s see!


Busch was such a good GK. Part of a pretty fun SJ side.

David Rusk

Lost weekend. Not only did all four DMV clubs lose, but for an Old Glory DC try in the 73rd minute, none would have even scored! Soccer wise, 36 collective shots but only 6 on goal. Cummon, teams. You can’t score if you don’t put the ball on frame.

David Rusk

I was at Spirit match Saturday. What with rain and Spirit closing gates C and A, I got drenched. Misery extended to first half when Spirit looked disjointed and dismal with absence of six starters.

Second half both the team and the crowd perked up in large part through the substitution of Chloe Ricketts at attacking mid. She is a 5’1”, 90 lb. (?) BEAST, throwing herself at any opponent looming over her. She has Lucho-like elusiveness with the ball in tight spaces and a great eye for key passes. The crowd loved her. I predict that Ricketts will get starting job over Douglas next match.

Talonesque #

Lol, don’t get me started on Ricketts, very exciting player from what I’ve seen, don’t ordinarily see that level of skill and scrappiness, and to be so young to boot! In one of the games I’ve seen, pulled off the slickest, and frankly quickest, Maradonna Roulette I’ve ever witnessed. Big things to come.

Talonesque #

When I’ve attended Spirit games at Buzzard Point, I was definitely impressed by the clear turnout and representation shown by the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in the supporter section. Great piece, I had almost forgotten about the Krieger mess of an escape, and all that pushback. At any rate, glad this community was able to get a dedicated night, they’re going to be part of the Spirit culture consistently, and they deserve it.

Talonesque #

I’d be lying if I said I also wasn’t jonesing to talk about the USMNT’s gold cup performance (and to at least mention Mexico’s 1-0 loss to Qatar, just delightful).

There’s definitely some players at this point showing quality depth for this team, but I honestly wonder if US Soccer will regret letting BJ Callahan stay on for the tournament while Berhalter watches like Mufasa’s ghost. The point being, BJ is killing him. This is infinitely better than what Berhalter managed, in terms of actual quality play on the field.

Will Nelson

Old Glory DC (OGDC) ventured to the Greater Boston area this past Saturday. Specifically, Quincy, MA where The New England Free Jacks (NE) play home games at Veterans Memorial Stadium, otherwise known as Fort Quincy in Major League Rugby (MLR). NE was an expansion team the same year as OGDC the pandemic shortened 2020 season. NE really have turned Veterans Memorial Stadium into Fort Quincy as they have only lost at home twice since starting play in the league. They were 23-2 overall at home going into this Eastern Conference Final game. NE was also the best team in the league in the regular season coming into the game with a record of 14W-2L-0D and had a first-round bye. While OGDC came into the game as the lowest remaining seed in the playoffs as the East’s third seed with a 7W-8L-1D record. OGDC was playing on 6 days rest having just played on Sunday in New York. They got home to Leesburg at 3 AM Monday morning. They also lost a practice day last Thursday to weather before they shipped up to Boston on Friday.
I will say that OGDC’s owners did right by the fans yet again having arranged a bus for the eliminator round game in New York the previous week. This past weekend they not only arranged a bus for fans and players’ families, but also a hotel room for the night. They looked like they had a great time despite the 25-7 defeat suffered by OGDC.
The game started out quickly with NE forcing a turnover by OGDC’s Junior Sa’u. The attack went up the middle quickly and Center Le Roux Malan broke through to dot it down between the posts in the 4’ for an automatic conversion and a score of 7-0. 
It looked like NE had extended their lead in the 9’ off a scrum, but on Television Match Official (TMO) review an illegal forward pass as OGDC’s Danny Tusitala anticipated the play and stepped up breaking up the timing of NE’s play forcing the forward pass. Then a few minutes later OGDC were guilty of consecutive scrum penalties. After the second, the Free Jack elected to kick it into the corner for a line-out near the five-meter line. Then NE beat OGDC at their own game and a rolling maul on the lineout resulted in a try dotted down by Hooker Andrew Quattrin. Fly-half Jason Potroz missed the conversion attempt leaving the score at 12-0 in favor of NE in the 12’. 
Then OGDC committed a cardinal sin and were penalized for it, as the kickoff went too deep in the 14’, and NE let it go out the back of the endzone. That resulted in a scrum at midfield controlled by NE. NE would get a gorgeous 50-22 kick off the scrum for a line-out in great attacking position. OGDC would stop NE’s maul, but NE broke it out wide and a great tackle prevented a try. However, the ref had been playing advantage and brought it back for an offsides against OGDC inside their own 5-meter line. NE put it out for another line-out, but again OGDC’s defense stood tall until they were guilty of being both offside and a high tackle. NE opted for the penalty kick goal attempt, which was converted from short-range by Potroz bringing the score to 15-0.
A few minutes later, it looked like OGDC were going to score as they blocked a box kick attempt inside NE’s 22-meter line that NE recovered but were forced into touch resulting in a lineout to OGDC. OGDC’s maul would be stopped cold by NE, so they would attempt to work it out wide to the far side of the field on an advantage for a penalty by NE, but they would be stopped. The ref brought it back and OGDC put it out for another lineout, but that rolling maul was stopped as well and OGDC would eventually turn it over. 
Off the hydration break, OGDC started with a lineout, the maul was stopped, and, in the breakdown, NE were guilty of a Not Rolling Away penalty. OGDC elected for a scrum and NE would be guilty of back-to-back scrum penalties. By rule in MLR you can only try to reset a scrum once. OGDC elected for a tap and go quick restart and almost turned it over right away, but New England was guilty of a knock-on. OGDC would scrum again, but they eventually lost the ball forward turning it over to NE. And again, another bout of offensive pressure by OGDC failed to produce results. 
It was even for the rest of the half, but in stoppage time, OGDC were guilty of a penalty. NE elected for a penalty kick attempt and Potroz converted leaving the score at 18-0 at half in favor of NE.
Both teams made subs coming out of the half, but neither could convert offensive pressure into points. Stout goal line defense stopped two NE attacks cold. Outside of that it was even to start the second half and the score was identical at the hydration break.
After the hydration break NE put the game out of sight with a dagger of a try. OGDC’s Back Three Kurt Baker was guilty of a knock on. NE’s Center Ben LeSage picked it up and dropped a grubber (a kick along the ground) that bounced into the try zone and Wing/Center Taniela Filimone won the race and jumped on it dotting it down for a try in the 64’. Potroz converted the try bringing the score to 25-0 in favor of NE.
OGDC would finally get on the scoreboard in the 72’ with a try by Center Thretton Palamo who was found wide by a great cross kick from Fly-half Joaquin Diaz Bonilla. Bonilla converted the try, but it was too little too late. The final minutes ticked away despite desperate offense by OGDC, and the game finished 25-7 in favor of NE who were in control the whole way.
Thus, OGDC’s most successful season to date came to an end. The Free Jacks will face the San Diego Legion who dominated the Seattle Sea Wolves in the Western Conference Final yesterday evening 32-10 at Snap Dragon Stadium in San Diego, CA. The battle for the MLR Shield will take place at Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois (home of MLR’s Chicago Hounds, and former home of MLS’s Chicago Fire) this Saturday at 3 PM EDT.

David Rusk

I watched the match on Fox Sports 1 (or 2) that I taped Sunday morning. What struck me was that all the ruggers were quite burly except for OGDC Argentine fly half Joaquin Diaz Bonilla .

With the elimination by a last play draw of the USA in the qualification round, we’ll be rooting for Argentina’s Los Pumas in The upcoming Rugby World Cup. Almost all the Buenos Aires based members of our clan will be going to France for the World Cup matches. Los Pumas are currently ranked eighth in the betting line.

Will Nelson

Bonilla isn’t as burly as the others, but he’s fast and currently OGDC’s best taker for try conversions and penalty kick goals.

David Rusk

BTW, my bet is (per Argentine naming practice) that Diaz is his patronymic and Bonilla is his matronymic. If so, he should be referred to either as Diaz Bonilla or just Diaz. Ask him next time you see him.

Will Nelson

The United States, Canada, Uruguay, Chile, Georgia, and the other 2nd tier teams in international rugby just got screwed this past weekend. As SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Aregentina) has announced a partnership with The Six Nations (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, and Italy) to form a new worldwide league for the international rugby windows of July and November that will start in 2026 (https://super.rugby/therugbychampionship/news/sanzaar-and-six-nations-rugby-set-to-launch-new-international-rugby-competition/). Two international unions will join SANZAAR in one of the two pools to balance out The Six Nations. Those unions are Fiji and Japan. SANZAAR and The Six Nations will own and operate the new league with no input from World Rugby. Previously those windows had been tours that allowed tier 2 teams a chance to test themselves against the best. A second tier competition is being established and that will be World Rugby’s defense and a poor one at that.

Of the second tier nations, Georgia is getting screwed the most as they beat both Italy and Wales in the Rugby World Cup last year. The US who is hosting the 2031 Rugby World Cup will have poor prep as they will have no matches against tier one opposition. For more on the impacts see Americas Ruby News coverage (https://www.americasrugbynews.com/2023/07/01/canada-usa-uruguay-and-chile-miss-out-in-new-international-competition/).

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