Hey there, so I guess some soccering happened this weekend, so let’s take a peek at it.

USA 0(4)-0(5) Sweden: excitement, dread, and demise as the Americans are eliminated (SSFC): Clearly the presence of a domestic club league in America was a scourge to National play! WaPo with some more.

Taxi Fountas submitted polygraph amid probe into racism allegations; contract termination imminent: Sources (Athletic, $): This development was, um, something, but I wonder what the people who scouted him and saw his games for months before signing him, then pushed to get him in sooner, they stayed silent about his first infraction think about all this. WaPo with more.

Goles ‘canaleros’: D.C. ficha al delantero panameño José Fajardo (TUDN): Friday signing number one from Panama, which smells like a stopgap one, as does the one for Eric Davis.

Nottingham Forest demand £10m transfer fee from Sheffield United for unwanted star who was exiled after paperwork mishap (S*n): Meanwhile in former D.C. signings, Lewis O’Brien remains a Forest player for now?

Washington Spirit looking to mentor next generation of female soccer coaches (WTOP): Hey, this is a good idea!

Anyway, it’s way too hot where I am, go enjoy your Monday how you see fit.

ByRyan Keefer

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

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Definitely planning on attending a Spirit match in the near future and supporting our awesome trio (plus snubbed star striker). What a shame that this is how they exit the World Cup.

Happy there’s some movement on the Taxi situation regardless of his guilt or Innocence. I think we’ll end up seeing the same conclusion as last time. Here’s hoping TKD and company can step up.


First, I pushed for the signing of Taxi and the early arrival. The first investigation was mishandled by MLS. They took a long time–too long, bundled it with the announcement that DCU screwed up by hiring Rooney after a minority candidate pulled out of consideration/before formal interviews. I trusted Taxi in the first case because: (a) he was on video and on tape and it didn’t look or sound like he was saying a racial insult (at least not the “N” word), (b) he was within earshot of 3 match officials and each of them said they heard nothing (c) 2 black teammates (Morrison and Benteke) were within earshot and they appeared to hear anything. And now he needs to go. It’s a shame it happened, and it’s a shame it happened after the transfer window closed.

For the US Women, they played very well against Sweden but finishing has been an issue for this team (and not just in the WC). We score a lot of goals against minnows but not against the Englands/Spains/Netherlands/Germanys of the World–especially when it’s not a friendly. Vlatko hasn’t been a good coach the past 2 years and especially this WC. And this is more than just a “replace the coach and it’s all good.” I was saying the last WC that Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands were superior technically to the US at that time. That was 4 years ago.

Bryan McEachern

They were uninspiring against Portugal, but I’d say that they were unfortunate against Sweden. Still, the coaching decisions, outside of a critical formation change, were curious. This was especially true with substitution utilization throughout the tourney.

Will Nelson

I don’t know why we didn’t go double pivot sooner in the tourney.


Heck, we should have been doing this a year ago. A lot of the former players pushed for the 433 because they say a double pivot as a retreat from US aggressiveness and Vlatko was passive. But any idiot could look and see how the better teams (England, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, France) were playing the US–putting bodies in midfield. If someone is going to put numbers in midfield you either need to go direct or match up the numbers.


Absolutely. Make a list of the top 20 women in the world going in to this WC and MAYBE 2 of them are American (maybe). And one of them (Sophia Smith) had a sub-par WC. The strength of the USWNT was their depth. And Vlatko refused to utilize it (and then mis-used by relying on an out-of-form Repinoe when he could have been putting Ashley Sanchez or Ashley Thompson out there).

Tactically, the US was penalized by Vlatko. But technically, we haven’t been progressing like the best Euro sides have been.

Will Nelson

Huh apparently Nottingham Forest are behind on payments to players and agents: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-12368333/Nottingham-Forest-owe-MILLIONS-overdue-payments-players-agents-legal-action-considered-dont-settled-debts-imminently.html

So its interesting that they are refusing to loan O’Brien and instead are demanding 10 million pounds ($12,786,250.00 at current exchange rate) for a full on transfer. Yet they wouldn’t sell to DCU, besides the fact that O’Brien wanted to go back across the pond.


If Nottingham Forest value O’Brien at over $12M, that just demonstrates their lack of financial acumen. O’Brien is a tidy player, but after seeing him here at DCU, he’s really an MLS TAM player. For example, look at last night’s match, Velasco was a $7M transfer to Dallas and he is lights out better than O’Brien in a similar position.


That’s partially misleading. DCU would not have tried to either extend the loan or purchase O’Brien if he wasn’t open to staying. He wants to play in the Premiership. But he also enjoyed being in MLS, starting, and playing for Rooney. He would have stayed if a deal could have been worked out.


Polygraphs are bunk, good riddance Taxi.


Not if you read the comments (which I do not recommend) on Pablo’s report on The Athletic…SMH

David Rusk

For 120 minutes USWNT did everything against Sweden but win. 22 shots vs 9; 11 shots on goal vs 1; 9 corners vs 3; 57% possession.

And they did finish. Would have had two-three goals but for Swedish keeper Musovic’s other worldly saves. (11 saves in all.) the irony was that Musovic really didn’t have to do anything to win pk shootout but stand there and wave her arms. Sophia Smith had victory on her foot but missed frame by proverbial mile.

I feel sorry for Rapinoe. She already gets enough Internet abuse but the haters will really go to town now.

I thought that both Rodman and Sullivan (especially in double pivot with ex-Spirit Sonnett) played very well. It’s a disgrace that Sanchez didn’t see the pitch, especially with USWNT desperate for creative play in matches vs Netherlands and Portugal.

Chalk this early exit up to Vladko. Terrible job.


Vlatko did Rapinoe wrong, first by even including her in the plans for this WC, and then by continuing to put her in the game when she was the worst player on the pitch (we can hardly even discuss her ineffectiveness because the only critique some people have is “shes’s a ***t.”) She should be a legend for the women’s team, and now it’ll take years for the Internet trolls to die off before we can appreciate her accomplishments.

Hoping for a refreshed roster for the next tournament cycle. As much as people are discussing our failures at the youth levels, we’re still pumping out very good players. We need better coaching to keep up with the improved game plans in the women’s game, though.

Talonesque #

I had a surreal experience watching, as I found I had forgotten to record the live game, so had to watch a replay. The game seemed to be skipping moments, and blatantly made a ten minute jump in the second half, so I knew the broadcast was designed for PK’s. Then I thought, Rapinoe’s going to take a PK followed strangely by a premonition that this would be the first she would miss for club and country. This fear was compounded by the heaviness of touch, the lack of confidence and flair we used to see, and some pretty dreadful set pieces that Julie Ertz was furiously trying to get her to correct. After Sullivan, Horan, and Mewis had absolutely lashed their PK’s home, it felt like seeing a diminished Megan miss so spectacularly was the moment you don’t want in a PK shootout. Smith was clearly gassed after playing without pause the whole tournament, so I don’t blame her, and I don’t think it was Rapinoe’s fault, as you say, that she was on the field or taking that.

It’s all well and good for fans to surmise that Vlatko could see a role for her still off the bench and in scenarios like this, but we also assume that the coaching staff could judge her form, impact, and decline better than this. Vlatko would have taken heat for not including Rapinoe as an icon, but should not have brought Rapinoe the player. She’s never going to turn down her country’s call, and will never shy away from that stage. One of the sadder things to ever happen to a US player. On top of that, it sounds like the former president and his ghouls are jumping on the debacle with some predictably unbalanced takes. Shame on them.

David Rusk

As Tom Floyd’s WaPo article mentioned, soccer can be a cruel game. Against Sweden, the soccer gods went against USWNT. But two days before the Spirit, thoroughly dominated by Orlando, won 1-0 on Speckmaier’s 35-yard laser in the 90+8 minute. And who can ever forget DCU being outshot 22-1 but beating Montreal 1-0 on the Magic Headband’s goal!!??

Will Nelson

Or the 2013 DCU sucking in the regular season, but playing awesome in the Open Cup and beating RSL in the final on the back of a LEWIS NEAL! goal.

Talonesque #

It will be interesting to see what US Soccer does about the next USWNT coaching appointment.

I have a horrible feeling Vlatko is not out of the running, and there really is something rotten in the state of US Soccer

Will Nelson


US Eagles Mens XVs opened their summer tour with a victory over world cup bound Romania 31-17 in Bucharest. The Eagles jumped out to a stunning 31-0 lead before Romania attempted to mount a come back late.

Up next for the Eagles is a visit to Portugal to take on the Os Lobos in Algarve on Saturday.

Will Nelson

The 2031 Men’s Rugby World Cup hosted by the US is looking like the field may be expanded to 24 teams from the current 20-team format.


Will Nelson

At the bottom of that article is the current short list of cities including DC and Baltimore:

24 US cities have been shortlisted for RWC 2031. They are Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; Baltimore, MD, Birmingham, AL; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Kansas City, MO and Washington, D.C.

Cities currently on the list that have MLR teams: Atlanta (though Rugby ATL is being relocated under new ownership location tbd), Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Miami (expansion for next season), New York, San Diego, Seattle, and DC.

LA and Austin were owned by the same owner and were contracted after last season after an investigation by the league led to the teams being removed from the post season.

Brendan Cartwright

Apparently Neymar is considering coming to MLS (“considering”). DC will have an empty DP slot. Dare to dream!

Ryan Hunt

Nothing I have seen from Neymar makes me think that he’s put in the work to be a marquee signing in MLS. Admittedly I haven’t seen him play that frequently, but I think he’s the kind of luxury player that only really shines when he’s a piece of the puzzle and not the star attraction. Of course, Neymar would sell tickets and give DC exposure (maybe not the good kind if he wasn’t able to elevate the team).

Speaking of luxury players, Lingard is still available on a free. I’m not sure if he would just be Ravel 2.0, but he has a better pedigree at least.


0 goals last season

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