Hi there, so a thing on doing a road trip with a baby. They get scarred by the length of it, and being stuck in the car seat, then the subsequent few trips thereafter, you wonder if a 15-minute to the hibachi place is going to turn them apopletic again. So the greatest move may very well be not to play.

Recaps of D.C. United’s 2-2 draw with the Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami by us and WaPo.

Recap of the Washington Spirit’s 2-2 draw with San Diego by us.

USWNT vs. Wales, 2023 friendly: Trinity Rodman’s brace downs Y Dreigiau (SSFC): This was on at said hibachi place! WaPo with more.

Meanwhile, there was a Chris Odoi-Atsem sighting in a big way over the weekend:

And Alecko Eskandarian returned to (nearish) his D.C. soccer playing home:

Could Commanders Return to Washington D.C., RFK Stadium Site? (SI): Hahaha of course they fucking could.

Anyway, it’s been a long couple of days for me, and hopefully I’m still in bed if and when you read this. Have a good one.

ByRyan Keefer

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

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Will Nelson

Canada’s b side definitely gave the US’s b/c side a run for their money last night in the Gold Cup Quarterfinal. Dayne St. Clair kept them in the game with several big saves. Matt Turner has definitely locked down the US #1 goal keeper slot as he came up big last night with 2 pk saves in the shootout.


Very exciting finish as the US ekes past Canada. The first 80 minutes of the game were so forgettable that the highlight/lowlight was probably when one of the Assistant Refs was injured after receiving a point blank ball clearance to the face in the opening minute or so of the game. That delayed the game for about 8 minutes right after it had kicked off and the game flow may have suffered.

The US made plenty of errant passes throughout the match that would probably be punished by a team like Netherlands, or Mexico, or even Panama. So, the win was nice, but there’s plenty of room for improvement if this squad is going to make it to the Final.

Turner came up big. Canada’s team captain Vitoria had tied the game and sent it to extra time with a well-taken PK right up the middle in regulation stoppage time. But he tried about the same shot in the PK tiebreaker and Turner didn’t let him beat him the 2nd time. That initial PK shootout save gave the US just a enough cushion to keep the edge and win.

Panama will be the better rested team when they play Wednesday and they have looked good pretty consistently in this Cup.


I’m viewing this match from a slightly different perspective. Having to battle back, deal with a lot of fouling, go to PKs in a win or go home match is superb practice for the US. Quite simply, the number of competitive (ie: not friendly) matches the US plays between now and the WC is few and far between. And PKs to-boot (no pun intended)? While part of you wants to win 6-0, I’m thinking big picture. Maybe 5 of these players will be on the US squad come the WC. So this is good practice and meaningful–especially for Matt Turner.

And if we think big-picture for Canada…their FA is a dumpster fire, undeserving of the team and coach they have. Herdsman has been going public begging for just a few more practices. While their first preference would have been to win this match 6-0, this result serves Herdsman perfectly. He can point to his plucky, hard-working bunch of lads and say “but we’re not going to beat the US when they have 2 practices for every one we have, when we don’t schedule friendlies on FIFA dates because we’re saving loonies!” Not looking at 2023 but looking at the WC, Canada needs to build depth, play a lot of competitive matches, get lots of practice time. They don’t have the talent of the US or Mexico. But they have enough talent that if they’re well-coached, healthy, and prepared then they’re dangerous. And the Canadian FA is preventing the “prepared” bit from happening.


It’s definitely good for team confidence and morale to rescue a result. Maybe kind of like that Nations Cup group stage game, before the World Cup, at the Cuscatlan where Jordan Morris headed in the late equalizer in a sloppy game on a sloppier field.

Matt Glad

What’s everyone’s opinion for the #1 transfer priorities? I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest a creative CAM. Move Klich back next to Canouse so he can move the ball in transition but have someone under Taxi and Benteke that can take the load off of them. Probably not what Rooney is thinking, but it would help make the attack more dangerous and consistent.

Ryan Hunt

I’m still of the opinion that LWB should be the priority. Dajome played decent there on Saturday but that was against a Miami team that mostly kept its RWB at home so he wasn’t pushed defensively as much as he will be against better opposition.

I think that Taxi or Asad can fill in as a CAM while Klich drops back into LOBs role. It would leave us a little light on midfield depth, but you’d have six players (Asad, Canouse, Durkin, Klich, Palsson, Taxi) that can fill those three slots while Robertha/Dajome/Fletcher/Hurtado compete for the spot next to Benteke when when/if Taxi is played in midfield. Could also go with a 3-4-3 at times and do more bypassing of the midfield.

Matt Glad

Yea this is definitely the more logical answer. Taxi did surprisingly well dropping under Robertha and Benteke on Saturday. Asad hasn’t impressed me in this stint with DC. He did well on Taxi’s goal but has been a relative bystander otherwise. Maybe he just needs more minutes to get up to speed.

Will Nelson

Asad just isn’t the same as his first stint here.


Don’t forget TKDP when you talk about the spot next to Benteke. He’s probably demonstrated the best chemistry of all of our forwards when it comes to matching up with Benteke.

Brendan Cartwright

Goff mentioned that United is probably looking for someone a little more offensive minded to replace O’Brien, but he also says they don’t have a lot of cash, so I’m not sure what kind of offensive minded CAM they’d be getting.

And while Klich doesn’t really look flashy, he’s actually been among the best in MLS in creating chances. I think a lot of that comes from serving dead balls into Benteke, Birnbaum, and Pines, but he’s definitely lived up to his DP standing so far.

Matt Glad

I agree with you 100% about Klich. The last few games has made me realize how much I undervalued him. He’s a tidy player with great vision. I just think he’s best suited as a compliment to a more attacking CM. He’s been great this season for us, for sure!

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt Glad

Klich just knows what to do when he has the ball and how to do it. He’s clean, he looks at his options, and generally avoids getting pushed off or dispossessed. Great movement to stay involved in the play and be an outlet for his teammates too.

I doubt we’ll be able to get a starter at CAM on a budget unless some team has a desperate fire sale to gut their roster. I don’t think we can get a wingback to spell or replace Santos either. Of the two, I guess I’d lean more to getting another CM if we’re going to continue with the 3-5-2/ 5-3-2.

David Rusk

Hooray for the Commentariat for finally catching up to what I’ve been saying about Klich for a long time. I know that several of you don’t make it to Buzzard Point in person very often, but one has to see Klich in person to appreciate fully the work that he puts in.

And Asad may not have all the offensive tools of his first stint with DCU but he certainly put in an energetic defensive shift Saturday night.


Asad had a great backheel that led to the goal. If he can keep up the work rate, he would be okay. He probably is better as an effective substitute.


I agree with the importance of looking for offensive talent. While Rooney and Co. have their eyes overseas, I’m thinking our best options might be domestic–an MLS side seeking to dump a player to create cap room for a foreign acquisition.

That said…I could see adding more of an A-mid (and Klich plays the O’Brien role and sometimes pushes forward). But I don’t say that due to disrespect for Klich–he’s impressed the hell out of me. It’s just that given his workmate and all-around game, I could see him playing in a “box to box” role and being successful. I think cover for Santos is critical because he’s lost speed and he’s shown an inability to stay healthy playing 90 minutes every weekend.

The other thing is this: we get goals from Benteke. We get goals from Taxi. And then…crickets. Maybe a healthy TKDP or Robertha is that answer–but I doubt it. I’m not even sure TKDP is close to healthy.

Ryan Hunt

I’d like to see more goals/assists from our wingbacks. Combined, they’ve accounted for two goals and seven assists, and two of those assists were from Jeahze in the opener.

Teams don’t really fear our flank play right now so they can afford to bunch up on the targets in the middle. As much as I love him, Najar really needs to start having more of an impact in the final third. He’s got the skills to be creating chances, but he’s either dribbling too long or making the wrong pass.

Brendan Cartwright

Ruan has four assists in less than 800 minutes played. Not too shabby! Najar does a lot, but you’re right that it doesn’t result in a lot of end product. But he’s more of a play-before-the-play type. I’d like to see some more from Pedro Santos, or just some crosses to Benteke where he’s facing goal would be nice.


Ruan’s the riskier of the two even though it does result in some offensive production. Najar’s ability to dribble and keep plays alive is valuable. Sometimes the ball either just doesn’t get into the box or our suspect finishing ruins the play. It’s great to have both though!


Najar was onside when he scored the goal Saturday but Williams (I believe) in an offside position shielded the goalkeeper from the cross so was considered to be interfering with an opponent. Too bad. That goal may have changed the outcome of the game.

Talonesque #

Three thoughts sum up how I feel about the US vs Canada game.

First, Miles Robinson, get a grip. You were sloppy with your hands on plays twice in the box, both could have been penalties, you lucked out on one. I’ve praised an in-form Robinson for being the most error-averse CB in the pool, this was downright unprofessional in the most basic aspect of the game.

Second, this Gold Cup roster just did not bring any dynamic wingers other than Cowell, and it’s painful to watch. Zendejas is having a shocking tournament, Gressel blew his big chance both in the run of play and off dead balls. Busio frankly served in more dangerous set pieces. Jordan Morris in his current state (injured) should not have been brought. The preliminary roster was clearly shit in this department for the gold cup, one Kevin Parades or Tyler Boyd, we’re in
Much better shape. As is, horrendous.

Lastly, normally in this situation I say “credit to the opponent,” but Canada deserve 0 credit for playing soccer. They did not for a majority of the 120 minutes. Their strategy was to avoid second yellows tackling in their own half, and I don’t even really mean soccer tackles. They did bring on younger, energetic players to hit us when we were gassed, that’s not the same as playing the game from the whistle. This is not an argument that playing negative isn’t part of the game, but this is an argument they just didn’t play the sport for well over an hour. Shameful for anyone who wants to be known as a power in the region.

Bonus: Turner, good job.

Last edited 4 months ago by Talonesque #

This would have been a very good tournament to “blood” Parades.

Will Nelson

I don’t know if Vfl Wolfsburg would have let him come for the tourney…


Good point. He was released for the U-20 WC though. And at this time of the year, Wolfsburg is out of season and this is an official FIFA-sanctioned event.

Talonesque #

Pretty sure there would be some level of coverage if Wolfsburg had found a way to deny the request, but Gray, Antonio, and Bailey are all EPL players important to their teams who are here. Which is all to say, it doesn’t sound like Parades was hugely sought in the buildup, and in hindsight, that’s unfortunate for everyone except maybe Wolfsburg’s preseason.

And, to be clear, I’m not even saying Parades to the gold cup or bust. We needed better, more in form wingers, and they exist in the pool outside of him. A USL level player for Canada got a goal, and played better than anyone but Cowell, and that’s shit.

Will Nelson

Old Glory DC announce new head coach Simon Cross. He is on a 3 year deal.

Will Nelson

Haven’t seen a Freedom Kicks for today, Tuesday 7/11, so here’s some an interesting article I found about fixture congestion in MLS: https://www.espn.com/soccer/story/_/id/37990340/mls-needs-investment-depth-manage-fixture-congestion
The DP writers can take their time. Y’all are doing a great job.

Brendan Cartwright

Tony Alfaro got traded from NYCFC to LA Galaxy. I think United should be looking at some trades, although CB is one place that I feel pretty good about our depth. Steve Birnbaum is getting pushed to the bench. Derrick Williams, Brendan Hines-Ike, and Victor Palsson are all in their primes, and Donovan Pines is about to enter his. Matai Akinmboni is our top-rated prospect. Hell, I keep thinking Hayden Sargis will have a role to play.

Hope Tony enjoys the weather in LA.

[…] They’re joined in the conference playoffs by #2 Greenville United FC (Greenville, NC), #3 Alexandria Reds (Alexandria, VA), and #4 Grove United (Richmond, VA). The third-seed Alexandria finished the regular season by handing Annapolis its only loss of 2023 thus far. That stoppage time game-winner was scored by former DC United standout Chris Odoi-Atsem. […]

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