Welcome to Thursday, y’all. By the time you read this, I will be asleep to prepare for my flight from Auckland to Melbourne for the Women’s World Cup Round of 16. We say goodbye to New Zealand for now, with the hopes that the USWNT will return. Until my flight, here’s the news:

Lionel Messi raises temperature on Orlando in “hot” Florida derby win (MLS)

Lionel Messi does it again, scoring another brace to lead Inter Miami over Orlando City in the Leagues Cup.

Tom Brady becomes minority owner at Birmingham City (ESPN)

Tom Brady has bought a minority stake in Birmingham City, becoming the latest celebrity to buy into an British club.

Gianluigi Buffon: Italy legend retires aged 45 (BBC)

Gigi Buffon has finally retired from soccer, capping an incredible career that sees him stand as one of the best goalkeepers of all time.

USWNT’s Lindsey Horan frustrated by Carli Lloyd criticism on team’s mentality (ESPN)

Lindsey Horan, who was “given” the #10 USWNT jersey by Carli Lloyd, responded to Lloyd’s criticism of the team’s mentality so far in this tournament. Lloyd has really stepped in it this time, and I’ll save my full thoughts for another forum.

USWNT problems run bone deep as they hope to find next level in World Cup knockouts (The Athletic)

Meg Linehan breaks down what’s been going on with the USWNT so far during the tournament.

Diego Rossi returns! Columbus Crew sign former LAFC star (MLS)

Diego Rossi is back in MLS, signing with the Columbus Crew.

Juventus beat Real Madrid as USMNT’s Timothy Weah scores (ESPN)

We got a USMNT combination on an assist for Juventus as Weston McKennie set up Tim Weah for a goal in a 3-1 preseason victory over Real Madrid.

That’s it for now. Stay safe out there.

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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Matt Glad

Me earlier this week: “Wow Columbus really sold their best player with a few days left in the window. That’s bold. I wonder who they’ll be able to find on such short notice.”

Me today: “Oh…”

Must be nice to have a competent group of individuals running your club.

Will Nelson

Germany is out in the group stage for the firs time ever in WWC history. Morocco and Colombia advance from that group.


Wow! I had Germany as one of the favorite, with their high press.

Bryan McEachern

It is yet another reminder that the world is catching up with the traditional powers. Great for women’s soccer. Congrats to Morocco and Colombia. Germany will dust off and reload for the next one.

Will Nelson

Woh huge rocking the boat news in Major League Rugby. Rugby ATL has been acquired by a new owner and will relocate: https://www.majorleague.rugby/news/major-league-rugbys-atlanta-team-to-relocate/.

After the passing of Rugby ATL chairman and majority owner Marcus Calloway in 2021, an investment group acquired control of the franchise on an interim basis. The move provided stability and kept Rugby ATL operational until a permanent ownership group was recently identified.


Well, when you think of how DCU acquired Lewis O’Brien for half a season, I have an option to throw out at y’all. Barca just terminated the contract of Sergino Dest. He’s available on a “free.” No transfer fee. So the transfer window doesn’t apply to him.

If we decide to migrate to a 442 (Rooney’s originally preferred scheme) then Dest becomes your right back. Najar–when healthy–plays in midfield. Or if we stay with the current scheme, then Dest plays as a wingback (which allows him to be more of an attacker).

Figure he might jump at the chance to get PT and minutes. And recognize he’d leave after the MLS season and sign with a European team in January.

I know, it’s a wild and crazy idea. But I’m a wild and crazy guy.

Last edited 3 months ago by JoeW
Matt Glad

I love this wild idea! I say just slot him in at right wingback. I’d be shocked if he came to MLS but it couldn’t hurt to be the first team to call him.

Will Nelson

Wouldn’t be Dest be subject to allocation order and we’d have to trade to get into the right slot?


The MLS dispensed with the allocation order because DC United was sitting 2nd in the order (first among non-expansion teams).

Brendan Cartwright

As they say, shoot your shot.

Talonesque #


Dest is a brilliant talent on astonishingly high wages designed by poorly run clubs, and has shown little consistency or mentality to affect games except for a few performances from the national team- for whom he has also been undisciplined and reckless positionally more often than not.

He’d be a talented DP, but not a good one.


Hard to imagine Dest would come to MLS. He’ll catch on somewhere in Europe..some team that wouldn’t meet Barca’s demands.

OTOH, Kemar Lawrence was released by Minnesota. Wouldn’t be a bad addition, even if we’re suddenly stocked with potential left fullbacks. He should’ve gotten his first MLS shot with DCU. Time to make amends.

Ryan Hunt

I think Dest would be worth a shot if he could be had for a reasonable wage with a multi year deal so we could ideally get a nice transfer fee in the winter.

I’m also wondering if Rooney uses the break after tonight’s game (come on, no way we win in Philly right now) to shift formations again. Palsson being sold leaves us a little thin at CB while Davis finally gives us a true LB. I could see him trying a 4-4-2 diamond or a 4-2-3-1 a bit. We need more chance creation then we’ve been getting.


With Canouse out until later in the month, who starts as the DM in a diamond? I think we get slaughtered if Durkin is lined up there – he’s not a DM.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure even two guys in front of the backline is the answer, since there really isn’t anyone suitable for those spots on the team right now. I like what we’ve got up top in a 4-2-3-1 at least, lots of parts we could shuffle around. It’s a shame how much flux we’re in this late into the year.


Erik Davis made the bench for tonight. I’m very surprised all of the necessary stuff for him to play got done this quickly


I think it’s very telling that on the MLS website, where they mention the acquisition of Fajardo, they mention our striker corps and do NOT mention Taxi. Maybe that’s just because he’s officially suspended. But reading the tea leaves, to me that says that the league and DCU are moving on and it’s just a question of whether we sell him to someone or terminate his contract.

Matt Glad

Would DC be allowed to sell him before this all gets settled? Not sure how the “legalities” work with that. I cant imagine teams are lining up to sign Fountas given this sh!t storm, but sports are weird sometimes and some people don’t care about stuff like this.

Michael Carter

This leagues cup has exposed a massive difference in quality between MLS and LigaMX … the quality in the referees from either league.

Will Nelson

Whose are better in your opinion?

Michael Carter

I’d take the whistle happy FMF referees in a heartbeat. Far more consistent, better at keeping games under control.

Michael Carter

Gazdag would be lucky to avoid red here.


Wow–I’m proud of how the team battled Philly. Frankly, I thought we had better chances and were the better team. And losing (or winning) on penalties is always a bit of a crap shoot. Davis looks like a really good addition. Hopkins showed well. Frankly, I was pretty happy with the entire team. And Gazdag deserved a red for putting a hand to the face of a player on the ground.

Will Nelson

On the replay it looked like his hand landed on the neck not the face. Still a red in my opinion.


I think Hopkins looked pretty good in both games. Mostly good passes anyway and progressive movement which is rare on this side.

Davis has always looked good — a player I’ve long thought should be an MLS target. Instantly our best free kick taker.

I think tonight was DCU’s best outing in Leagues Cup, even if they didn’t do much in the attack. Even if Philly’s game plan was to let DCU keep the ball, they did a good job of that, so there’s that.

Only a couple of hiccups in defense — man, Donovan Pines scares me…terrifies me at least once a game letting an attacker get past him. Even if he has the ability to recover often. Just shouldn’t be happening.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x