Holy cow, well a bunch of stuff happened, so let’s get to it.

D.C. United places 2 players on leave after altercation, racial slur allegation: Sources (Athletic, $): Really great that D.C. put their hands over their ears about one of these players last year, only for it to blow up in their faces. WaPo with some more, including a buried lede on a new, non-Pirani signing.

D.C. United fires athletic trainer for discriminatory hand gesture (WaPo): As I was saying!

D.C. United finalizing transfer of Victor Palsson to Belgian club (WaPo): The third item of note, which would free up options on the Pirani front, but also this all happened over 8 hours on Friday, and it was too much!

Lionel Messi and the perfect free kick that announced his arrival in America (Athletic, $): Well he did that!

The Crew agrees to trade with Vancouver Whitecaps for Julian Gressel (Massive Report): Gresselmania returns East, hope he continues to do well.

Revealing Rooney’s successful attacking corner schemes – set-piece analysis (Total Football Analysis): This would have been up higher in the post if all hell didn’t go, but worth a look.

Anyway, go enjoy your day, such as it is.

ByRyan Keefer

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

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The DCU FO has a great deal of explaining to do here. The announcements about firing Reade Whitney and the Taxi-Robertha incident dropped very late on Friday – after Messi’s first game in Miami. Trying to hide something Jason? These incidents also raise numerous follow on questions. If Whitney felt comfortable making a racist gesture at a photo op, did anyone on staff know about his sentiments or otherwise encourage him prior to this event? Coaching staff works with this guy every day, I find it hard to believe that his behavior just surfaced out of the blue at the All Star break. Same with the Taxi-Robertha incident. Is this the first time since the Miami game last year that Taxi went off? None of this looks good and certainly raises an implication that there is far more rot in that clubhouse than currently reported. It is just so hard to remain a fan of this “team.” Looks like Dan Snyder dropped off the “Toxic Franchise” token at DCU on his way out of town.


A horrible situation.

Bryan McEachern

I am leaving. This has broken the camel’s back.

Screw this dumpster fire.

Oh, I hope when I use an “ok” hand gesture people will have that in the context intended. After 60 years of benign behavior, I am not tossing that, nor my New Jersey salute. I had no clue that “ok” was a “hate symbol”. Clearly, this dude must have had other crap going on to get tossed.


I was ok with a second chance for Fountas due to the lack of evidence. That second chance is over and it sounds like it’s time to terminate his contract.

I don’t know what to do about Robertha. There needs to be an investigation about the sequence of events.

These are players that weren’t brought in by the current coaching staff. Keep that in mind as this unfolds.


We’re going to have to give the young players more minutes with all the potential transfers/terminations on the horizon. Hoping KDP can get healthy and that Greene and Fletcher can push for minutes.

Matt Glad

Personally, I’d be fine keeping Robertha. Sure his response was violent but it’s hard for me to judge him based on what transpired. Maybe a discussion with the captains and/or whole locker room to discuss everyone’s feelings about Robertha?


If I were Robertha I would be looking for another team no matter how the investigation shakes out. No reason to stick around a club where management puts you in positions like that.

Last edited 4 months ago by wildbramble
Matt Glad

Fair point. I wouldn’t blame him either.


Fair point, I meant being unsure about Robertha with respect to letting the facts come out conclusively. It sounds like he is ok based off what we know at this time but I want to know the full facts.


We were all anticipating a rebuild post-Rooney, but that it’s not starting with the older former Premier League players is pretty funny. At least they seem committed.


The rebuild has been gradual since Rooney started coaching. First he evaluated the team he inherited. He decided that it needed a lot of change and got as much signed as he could in the offseason. It’s very hard to go from worst to first in MLS because you can’t just release a whole roster and sign a new one over night. You have go incrementally and stay under the budget. Plus, the replacement players aren’t necessarily available all at once.

Just look at how long it has taken Coach Arena to fully have his guys in all the non-DP roles at New England.

If Coach Rooney stays on for a year 2, expect even more turnover, specifically from the guys who he deemed worth keeping in round 1 but inherited. Exceptions would be Birnbaum, Pines, Canouse, and Ku-DiPietro.

Just look at how rosters evolved with new coaches in the past. It’ll be a good thing for the club to go through as the entire organization has to learn how to exist in something other than survival mode.


Just as a note, by new coaches in the past, I mean to reference successful longer term rebuilds in other clubs. Examples include Sigi Schmid and the 2005-2008 Crew, Bruce Arena and the 2009 – 2011 Galaxy, Bruce Arena and the current New England Revolution, and Greg Berhalter and the 2015 Columbus Crew.

All inherited broken teams and took years to turn them around.

Matt Glad

I’d be shocked of Rooney came back for another year. I’d imagine he leaves someone like Robinson or Brillant in charge to carry the torch of his philosophies. Either way this team is a rudderless ship without a sporting director who has an actual vision besides “uhhhh let’s just try to win some soccer games and get through this season”

Last edited 4 months ago by Matt Glad

You’re probably right about Coach Rooney moving on after this season. There will be jobs opening up in the Premiership for him to work.

Hopefully his successor has a similar overall philosophy about possession and can continue the rebuild that Rooney started.


Looks like Cincy will go from wooden spoon to Supporters Shield in two seasons.


What an ugly mess.

First, I think it’s likely that Taxi said something ugly. But I also wouldn’t rule out Robertha (who had just been called out for dogging it in a match) knows that Taxi has previously been accused of this and makes an accusation. I hope there were witnesses who can confirm. If so, Taxi is gone. If there aren’t witnesses and it’s just “he said, he said” then Taxi is probably still gone. But you have to wonder if Robertha also goes–the only reason we haven’t talked about him as being a poor luck acquisition is Flores happened about the same time as Robertha.

Second, if this is the league investigating this, expect it to be drawn out. So we lose two strikers (who aren’t practicing or playing during this time–suspended with pay) during a crucial playoff drive. Not good for personnel, not good for the locker room. Ugly all around.

Will Nelson

Yeah I see us maybe squeaking by as the last playoff team at this point. Unless the transfers coming in somehow magically turn the recent run of form around.

David Rusk

With so much bad news, I’m not surprised that Ryan didn’t add the Spirit’s Challenge Cup match against the NC Courage Saturday night. After playing the Courage to a scoreless first half, the Spirit gave up SIX GOALS in just 22 minutes!

DP reported that the match would be televised on NBCSW but it wasn’t, and I have never seen able to link up with Paramount + which supposedly comes free with my Spirit season ticket.

Just as well given the result.

David Rusk

I’m World Cup news Argentina was battling Italy to a 0-0 draw when Italy’s all-time leading scorer won a header by inches to score 1-0. Argentina must still face Sweden and South Africa to get out of group.

The skill level and teamwork have greatly advanced since I last saw Las Albicelestes play years ago against the USA. Then it looked like little girls trying to play against grown women pros. No longer. They are tough.

And Eufemia Banini is always a pleasure to watch as she was with the Spirit several seasons ago.

David Rusk

That’s Estefania Banini. Sorry.


Going back to the US’ game on Friday, I was less disappointed with the final score than the sloppy touches I saw in the first half. Vietnam played hard and I give them credit for it. But our players made it real hard on themselves with aimless passes, very heavy 1st touches, and trying to force the ball through traffic. The opening goal was more characterstic of what I’m used to seeing, and hopefully we’ll see more of it once the nerves (?) have worn off.

I also demand more Ashley Sanchez!


Listening to the “Total Soccer Show” on Saturday and Joe Lowery essentially said Sanchez is nailed to the bench in favor of DeMello. Lowery also added, and I agree, that essentially Antunovski couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag and relies upon the general excellence of his players to succeed.

Ryan Hunt

What an absolute disaster. Robertha is clear to participate already according to Tom Bogert.

Between this and their handling of Losadas player management practices, it’s seems to me that the front office doesn’t seem to realize that a good portion of modern fans care about ethics a lot more than we care about results. I think that giving Taxi the benefit of the doubt last year was probably the right thing to do, but given how slowly MLS handled that it made him look really guilty and was always going to put a target on his back this year, making him more likely to lash out again if he hadn’t learned his lesson fully.

Talonesque #

Hope that reporting is accurate, and that Robertha continues on. I hoped his reaction would have been forgivable from a legal and ethical standpoint by the club, seems my worst fears were unfounded.

Taxi is a disgrace, and though from an on the field perspective, as well as the likely departures of Palsson and the gap in quality O’Brien’s absence will bring, we’re pretty much in the off-season already. From an ethical standpoint, we have to be firm as a fanbase that we never want him to play again for our team:


Agreed. Also, that muppet Levien needs to grow a pair and actually face the media and give a full accounting of what the eff is going on. Also, just for consistency’s sake — Kasper Out!

Will Nelson

I wonder what kind of dirt that Kasper has on everyone that he’s still around.

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