It’s been a short and kind-of-weird week, and now the weekend is almost here! I will be spending most of it deciding whether the haircut I got on Thursday evening is bad enough for me to get it re-done on Sunday.

D.C. United’s Lewis O’Brien probably returning to England (Washington Post)
Disappointing news, if not entirely unexpected.

Washington Spirit midfielder Paige Metayer named NWSL Rookie of the Month (Washington Spirit)
Went undrafted, has started almost every game for the Spirit, and is now Rookie of the Month. Prepare yourselves for my “Paige Metayer: Rookie of the YEAR” campaign in a couple months.

D.C. United players earned some honors as well:

Rosters for 2023 MLS All-Stars Skills Challenge (MLS)
Includes TWO Black-and-Red players: Christian Beneteke and Tyler Milller. Folarin Balogun, among others, will appear for Arsenal.

Washington Spirit sign French defender Annaïg Butel (The DP)
The Spirit have now signed two players from Paris FC this transfer window. Hopefully this will help them turn around their current two-game losing streak.

FIFA head of refereeing explains what it takes to officiate the World Cup (The Athletic)
I thought this was a pretty interesting feature on how refs prepare for the World Cup.

Finally, here’s your local teams schedule for the weekend:

D.C. United vs. Inter MiamiSat., July 8 at 7:30 p.m. ETAudi FieldApple TV
Loudoun United FC vs. Louisville City FCSat., July 8 at 8 p.m. ETLynn Family StadiumESPN+
Washington Spirit vs. San Diego Wave FCSat., July 8 at 10 p.m. ETSnapdragon StadiumParamount+, NBC Sports Washington

And a reminder that you can watch some of your Washington Spirits in the USWNT send-off match this Sunday:

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Talonesque #

So, haven’t seen a DC game at Buzzard Point in some time, obviously not out of lack of interest, but mainly trying to save money for this and that. At any rate, decided I’m currently in good enough shape to enjoy the experience, and found my favorite section was only resale tickets slightly out of what I’d like to pay. I guess it’s a good thing the stadium largely sold out for a home game, but I do wonder, given the opponent and the storyline, how many fans will groan to not see Messi. Forget the fact he’s not even officially announced yet as a signing (Messi has the league and Miami over the proverbial barrel in negotiations, I’m sure).

Decided to catch some other game that isn’t going to be fans complaining next to me about a missing superstar rather than rooting for the home team.

Last edited 4 months ago by Talonesque #
Brendan Cartwright

I haven’t been to Buzzard Point this year either (having a second kid takes up a LOT of your time, kids), but I’m really looking forward to seeing the new touches that they added.


Good call to choose another game. My friends and family were sending me screenshots of the ticket prices after Messi made his announcement. Quite amusing.

Brendan Cartwright

Wayne has said that there will be new signings (or at least one) to replace O’Brien. The front office has said that nothing is imminent. Do we we believe that the front office is just downplaying things during negotiations, or that Wayne is speaking much more of what he wants rather than what actually is (or is perhaps trying to put pressure on the front office to bring what he wants to reality)?

Bryan McEachern

I know this: We lucked into LOB, at best a deft FO grab in the heat of the situation. We would be in deep dirt if he wasn’t on this club the past few months, maybe even considering to stir the pot with a wooden spoon. I am grateful for his tireless contributions.

Talonesque #

I was in a bit of a debate on the last kicks about whether a central midfielder body would as valuable to acquire as a left wingback.

My general conclusion is that Durkin and Canouse need a body that isn’t Palsson to back them up, and that we’re not going to find a left wingback of substantial quality with the money and time we’ve got. I think the FO can likely find someone centrally that can do a job, and that we’ll have to sort out the left wingback position in the offseason having hopefully dumped Santos and Jeahze’s salaries- the first is already past his expiration date, the second was a disaster all around

Brendan Cartwright

Reports are that Franco Ibarra is being loaned out to a mystery club in MLS, to make Atlanta roster compliant (too many U-22 guys). DC and Atlanta have worked together often before, and DC has a history of getting a defensive minded young midfielder because of roster rule shenanigans. Might we see this happen?


He went to Toronto — but it points up some less than smart business. Taxi Fountas is earning $90,000 more than the cut-off for the 3rd DP in terms of allowing the team to get up to 3 U22 players instead of being limited to one, in this case Chris Durkin.

I can’t imagine they didn’t know what they were doing there, so it begs the question why the team did this instead of finding a way to structure Taxi’s deal in a way the team could get some U22 players. It’s almost as if they decided they didn’t want the pressure to scout young talent.

Brendan Cartwright

Speaking of left backs, Goff lists Jeahze, Santos, and Greene as all out for the game against Miami. Sooo, say hello to Gaoussou Samake!


Goff is reporting that Miami is going to sign Jordi Alba (former captain of the Spanish National Team). I know he is 34 but he is joining Busquets and Messi. Miami must be doing their salary cap budget with smoke and mirrors. I am glad we are playing Miami this weekend and not later in the season.

Talonesque #

Wow, that is weird.

I actually have a bit of a different take about incorporating these players- I think it’s going to be difficult in an already difficult situation. Messi will walk, but have a harder time “disappearing” in games in order to reemerge and score, cuz no one’s forgetting Messi is out there, and he doesn’t have Mpabbe or Neymar to distract defenders. Anyway, he’s not able to athletically press, so that leaves a gap that must be filled in the team structure by another work horse. Meanwhile, Busquets no doubt is a classy passer still, but another player the tires have a lot of miles on, and might be falling apart by the time he adjusts to what is a very chaotic and athletic league. Lastly, Alba is primarily a left footed runner from defense who doesn’t effectively go 90 anymore.

I don’t think you add these to the worst team in the East, and probably the league, and immediately it takes off.

Oh, and Tata Martino will be fuming at everyone if they show the slightest hint of growing pains.

If this was the first game all of them were playing in under Martino, I’m betting heavily on a win.

Edit: I know it won’t be, but I still think DC would beat that soup even with added beef.

Last edited 4 months ago by Talonesque #

Just chiming to say I agree with your take. I just don’t see how all those ball possession oriented guys fit into Coach Martino’s running-based high press system. I also don’t see how Messi gets to be Messi without someone else occupying the defenses so the other team doesn’t just double team him. Coach Martino’s system requires a star who can advance the ball off the dribble after turnovers from the press. Almiron did that job very well back in 2018 but 2023 Miami doesn’t have an Almiron.


Y’all maybe don’t remember the NY Cosmos heyday.

Having an all-star team like Miami promises to have will be really effective. Will they necessarily win championships? No, but they’ll chew up MLS during the regular season. Good news for DC United tho as Inter Miami’s All-Star team will play Charlotte 2x, and play each of the 2 NY teams once — the 3 teams stalking DCU in the table seeking one of the last 2 playoff (Play-in) spots. Hopefully, Miami is too far out now to make up the ground and get a playoff spot.

Talonesque #

If you think the college players that got beat by an aging Pele and Cruyff are as good as modern MLS pros, sure.

(Spoiler, they’re not).


PSG proved that you can have all the great talent up top but that doesn’t guarantee you games, unless you also invest in the defensive side of things. Messi will create a lot of goals for Miami but he doesn’t play defense. Miami will be interesting to watch for sure.

But speaking of Miami, how are they doing it? I thought the league had a three DP rule and then a salary cap. Surely Miami has to be bending the rules, especially if the rumors are true and they are also going after Hazard and Ramos (not to mention Iniesta). How much does Joseph get paid? He’s a DP, isn’t he?


Rules are definitely being broken/made up along the way to let it happen. Messi’s contract not even being finalized is one such sign.

Talonesque #

Indeed, tough to get him on a TAM contract.



Let me gleefully rub my hands together and say that I am OUTRAGED that Messi, Busquets and Alba will not be playing against DC tomorrow! These guys must all be signing huge sponsorship deals that are somehow unofficially linked to their player contracts. If they are signing…

Also this weekend – I’m looking forward to the US playing Canada in the last of the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Sunday. 830 pmish on Univision for me. It will the 2nd of 2 games in Cincinnati – the teams will play after the earlier Jamaica v Guatemala qf wraps up.


Personally, I think part of what is going to happen is the league may make some league-wide changes. Like…adding a 4th DP. I will say this. Even if Miami gets someone (let’s say Busquets) to sign for under DP $, they’re going to have to take a chain saw to the current team. Martinez could be a good fit with Messi. Except he probably makes too much. They’ll absolutely need to move Pizarro. Yedlin is probably too expensive for them as well.

Brendan Cartwright

I’ve been wondering if DC should try to make a move for Robbie Robinson.

David Rusk

Testing system after rebooting.

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