August treks on. It’s no longer a heat index of 200 degrees (I foolishly suggested to my wife that we go to the National Arboretum last Saturday with only one water bottle for hydration), so maybe temperatures can remain only regularly warm as we approach a return to local soccer. The Spirit and Loudoun United are on the field Saturday with D.C. United following suit on Sunday. Until then, the local news is shallow, so today, we’re branching out to stories that sound interesting!

But… what’s more interesting than the World Cup and Leagues Cup? You’re right! Those top my board as well! However, as of the time of this writing (so that I may be rested for an early commute in the morning), the results are unknown to me. Was Messi defeated by the superpowers of Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake?* Did Nashville send Monterrey packing with a “AND STAY OUT” letter after they stepped onto the field? Did the Australians unleash their “surely that’s not a real creature” wildlife onto the field, routing the English all the way to the airport so that the hosts can proceed to the World Cup final against Spain? You, dear reader, are in the future and can inform me of just how wrong right the above statements are! Meanwhile…

*Ok, I can’t…. I saw the results after scheduling this post and I see now how much I cursed Andre Blake. To the entire Blake family, I apologize. We’ll see if all of my predictions are cursed.

Neymar completes transfer from PSG to Saudi club Al Hilal (ESPNFC): A part of me thinks that the Saudi Arabian league is “just a phase, mom“, and in a few years, we’ll look back at it like we do China. Another part of me thinks the money is limitless in Saudi Arabia, so they can continue this as long as they want.

Manchester City dealt serious injury blow as Kevin De Bruyne faces surgery (Yahoo): Quick! Everyone else in the Premier League! Now’s your cha– oh, who am I kidding. While De Bruyne’s absence is a curse on the beautiful game, and perhaps a blessing for the rest of the league, Manchester City is most certainly still the favorites (checks notes) ONE game into the season.

Referee, VAR taken off Prem duty after Onana penalty error (ESPNFC): Maybe… everyone everywhere has some beef their leagues’ referees.

Chicago Red Stars sold to group led by Laura Ricketts (NBC Sports Chicago): *eyes emoji*

How Inter Miami navigated the MLS rulebook to remake its roster around Messi (The Athletic): Rules… followed? I still maintain the belief that any league should alter the rulebook to permit the world’s greatest player into the league. Nevertheless, if Miami really did play by the rules here (and their history doesn’t yield confidence that they did), then kudos to those in charge. While it’s done wonders for the team’s Leagues Cup performance, time will tell if Miami can rewrite their 2023 season where they currently find themselves 1st in the race for the Wooden Spoon.

Dane Jacomen Earns USL Championship Team of the Week Honors in Week 23 (Loudoun United): Recording a bunch of saves, a PK save, and a shutout earns Jacomen an easy ticket to Team of the Week.

That’s all for today. As always, get kicking in the comments!

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Don’t think I saw it anywhere else on here this week, but wanted to note that the Athletic reported that Carl Robinson, current DC assistant coach, has interviewed with Toronto for their open head coach position. They’ve also been interviewing other candidates as well, so who knows how likely it is that we lose him, but it was interesting to see his name come up in that report

Brendan Cartwright

I am feeling pretty strongly that Rooney will depart at the end of the season. I think he is legitimately invested in DC United, but his comments about the disappointment of not bringing in more players, his family still being over there, and wanting to test himself in Europe again make me feel like he’s out the door.

Carl Robinson seemed like the heir apparent (I can’t really see Pete Shuttleworth sticking around post-Rooney), but I’m in the camp that United needs an entire new rebuild from top to bottom. That definitely includes getting rid of Dave Kasper, but it would also mean an outside coaching hire. (Rooney would have been fine if he was going to stay in the States for several years.) So, wishing Robinson lots of luck in his interviews and hopefully it will force management’s hand into going out and getting someone with a vision to coach.

Bryan McEachern

Wayne is gone. Bank on it.
So am I.
There is no culture.
I hate writing this.
Lather, rinse, repeat.


I’m not sure if it would be a popular pick, but I’m actually really interested to see how Fred Brillant would do as head coach. Everything I’ve seen from him in press conferences and locker-room speeches has seemed really good. The players seem to really like him too. Even if he isn’t the head coach in the future, I’d really like to see him stick around


Not sure if Rooney will depart or not. Not sure how I feel about Carl Robinson as the heir apparent.

I think there is a crucial lesson from Cincinnati. They hired a GM who hired a coach and they were on the same page in terms of approach to the game, team needs. I look at how quick their turnaround was and it reinforces how critical it is for your team off the field to truly be a team that is all on the same page, supports each other. It’s not enough to have a good coach. Or have the coach run everything (which is pretty much what is happening now).

Matt Glad

Yea, it’s frustrating to see teams take so long to figure out this really simple system. Once you get an organization-wide foundation and philosophy it makes everything easier. There’s still no guarantee for success, but it means player scouting, tactics, etc are much more seamless. Same with transitioning academy products to the first team. Philly is another great example. Curtin deserves his flowers, but Ernst Tanner was the one that told Curtin this is how Philly will play soccer and this is how things are going to be run. They haven’t looked back since.


I’ll plus back “mildly.” I think Earnie Stewart was a major contributor as well. He hired Curtin. Got the academy really revved up. And the Tanner turbo-charged everything. At least from my perspective.

Brendan Cartwright

It’s a shame that Earnie Stewart didn’t have any connection to DC United.


I would think if you offer a good contract to the second-in-command of a successful franchise, you’ll get some decent results out of it. Though someone made an anonymous comment saying there are only a handful of good GMs in the league, there are plenty of people worth giving a shot over the 20-some bozos in charge now.


I think Rooney has to win some games here to get the kind of offers he wants from England. He may need one more year to really put his stamp on the team. I agree that he is frustrated with the players brought in during the summer break, and I feel the same way. Also, he may not want to spend one more year away from his family. I would hate to see Robinson leave as he is a competent replacement for Rooney if he decides to go.

Matt Glad

As far as bringing more players in. The FO is a bit hamstrung given the number of players on the roster and understandable lack of clubs wanting to buy any of DC’s players. Rooney overhauled the roster pretty substantially going back to last summer and some of those puzzling contracts are why DC is having trouble bringing more guys in. DC just replaced outgoing players (Palsson and Fountas) because that’s really all they can do. Not to mention, is DC looking for guys that can fit a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-5-2? Rooney needs to sort this team out before he starts complaining about getting more guys in. I like Wayne as a coach, but sometimes he just needs to focus on coaching and not talking to the press or writing his column pieces.

Ryan Hunt

There’s also been a fair amount of bad luck with injuries. If Rodriguez, Jeahze, TKD, and Robertha were healthy all season then we might not have to spend on Dajome, Davis, and Hurtado/Fajardo. Sure, two of them could be placed on IR but the club owners still have to pay their salaries and that might have made them less willing to shell out for a high TAM player this window.

Najar and Santos being injured frequently shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to the team, but Ruan has spent a fair bit of time out and, without Jeahze, the team has been in a bind (See, Durkin at RB/RWB). Taxi, ethics aside, was a poor roi as a DP with only ten starts of a possible 24 this season. Williams and BHI started the season hurt, forcing Palsson to switch positions and not giving him an extended chance at his preferred spot.

Maybe it’s poor physios, poor training grounds, or just bad luck. But not having five (BHI, Jeahze, Rodriguez, Najar, Taxi) of your seemingly first choice XI players not available for more than half your games would force any team to have to panic buy a bit with depth prioritized over quality.

David Rusk

Re your predictions, Kerry. England best Australia 3-1 in hard fought match that was even up until 80th minute. So it’s England vs Spain for World Cup. I’ll be pulling for Spain though their national federation doesn’t deserve it.

Nashville indeed ousted Monterrey 2-0. Miami beat Philadelphia 4-1 with only five total shots, four on frame, all goals that Andre Blake didn’t touch. Goals by Messi (9 in 6 matches) and Jordi Alba. So it’s Nashville vs Miami for Leagues Cup.

I’m shedding crocodile tears for Liga MX. Yes, MLS has always had home field advantage for what it’s worth but greater factor in my view is that for the first time MLS clubs are playing Liga 🏆MX clubs in midseason form.

And Messi. What can I say? What a transformation he has made for Miami! I predicted that despite his magic, Miami would still not make the playoffs but nobody’s beaten Messi yet.


There is not a single word in your post I would disagree with. Spot on David.


Can I just say that I enjoyed watching Philly lose last night just a bit? Philly tend to be arrogant for a team that has only one a SS and 0 championships in 13 years. They look down on DCU and they look down on NJ, without understanding that at some point they will be at the bottom too. This is how sports work, nothing lasts forever. And to top that, they tend to play dirty. Having said that I was truly surprised at how bad Blake was last night. Honestly, the first two goals, a keeper with good positioning stops those two shots without much trouble. I mean, Messi scored from far outside the box and it wasn’t even a bullet of a shot, Blake had enough time to react and he just stood there out of position for too long. It was not like this was his first time playing against Messi. Speaking of positioning, if we somehow, for some reason, get to play Miami this year, I suggest we play Bono and not Miller.


Blake clearly got a heavy suitcase with an Apple sticker on the handle (/s)

Agreed about Philly playing dirty. Losada and this year’s Rooney aside, we’ve struggled against them in recent years because of what I feel is a physical disadvantage, much like how Houston crushed us over and over while Linear was coach. Refs let the play get hard and we weren’t up to the task (again, minus Losadaball and our improved morale this year). They’ve also had Blake bail them out time and time again, but Messi might’ve sniffed out some sort of weakness in his game.


Yes, they’re arrogant. But here’s the deal: as long as they have that academy (even at reduced levels) they are going to be no worse that middle of the pack. Philly is the model we need to embrace with this ownership. Grown most of our talent, sell some to generate funds, use those funds to afford 1-2 really big names that we can’t get domestically.


They could have the best academy in the world and I still think it is unbecoming for a team like them to literally disrespect teams that have much more history than they do. Didn’t Curtin said that the RedBulls were like Philly’s “little brother”, I mean dude, it’s NJ but the have more Shields than you do. They feel the same way about DCU, completely patronizing of them and they are not even the best or most consistent team in the league.

Brendan Cartwright

Yeah, but then it’s up to us to shut them up, and we just haven’t.

Brendan Cartwright

They also are excellent at nailing their international signings. They don’t often go “big,” but they don’t usually miss either. And they got their goalkeeper from the draft (we traded with them so they got Blake, and we got Birnbaum. One of the great “what ifs.”), as well as one of their starting CBs in the 4th (!) round.


It’s not that big a what-if. We had one of the best keepers in Hamid, and got the best CB (and best player after Blake) in Birnbaum. Getting a starting-caliber player in the 4th round is about as likely as winning the lottery though, so congrats to them.


That came to mind too. Blake is good but I wouldn’t change Hamid. Hamid was our most consistent player for more than a decade, he was a game changing player and in his prime, better than Blake. So I’m glad, DCU didn’t consider Blake over Hamid. And Birbaum for all the hate he gets, has contributed to this team more than most players that have come and gone in the last several years.

David Rusk

I agree completely with Sunspot and DannyMS comments.

Will Nelson

Even reading through how Miami’s roster construction is apparently clean and in regs I still have doubts.

Matt Glad

I’ve been vocal that it doesn’t make sense. I don’t think there’s enough GAM/TAM/Salary cap to keep all the non-DP players from breaking the salary max, but MLS will be happy to look the other way as long as Messi and co. are in town. Hard to blame them, to be fair. Apparently Apple TV subscriptions have sky rocketed since Messi’s arrival. I know a lot of my non-MLS watching friends have since subscribed.

Will Nelson

But let me guess they are only watching Miami games?


All the teams still get paid just the same for those subs.

Ryan Hunt

Don’t forget the million plus dollars they got for Duke/Lassiter.

I think it’s possible they’re within the rules this season, but they’re screwed if the rules aren’t changed by the beginning of next season.


Well, Pirani is training with the team so perhaps he gets to play this Saturday?




Multiple sources indicate Andonovski is resigning his position as USWNT coach. He’s likely to be the head coach of the KC Current. The USWNT will likely have an interim coach for their two games scheduled in September.

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