Happy Friday! Today is my last day of work before I head to the beach for a family vacation, and I am looking for any and all excuses not to do real work today, so let’s talk some soccer.

D.C. United goalkeeper Tyler Miller out 4-6 weeks because of rib injury (Washington Post)
Backup keeper Alex Bono is expected to take over for Miller starting this weekend.

USWNT’s Julie Ertz announces retirement, two-time World Cup winner concludes 10-year career (CBS Sports)
Ertz hinted at her retirement after the US was knocked out of the World Cup, but now she’s made it official. Ertz is likely to go down as an all-time great in women’s soccer, but it feels a little strange that she came back just for the tournament and is retiring before the end of Angel City’s season.

Loudoun United FC announce Capelli Sport to become the official uniform and team gear supplier (Loudoun United FC)
Shortly after announcing a new kit sponsor, Loudoun United have a new provider for those kits. Capelli will also provide training gear.

Bonmatí, Wiegman speak out at Rubiales at UEFA awards (ESPN)
Especially cool that England’s Sarina Wiegman, whose team came in second to Spain at the World Cup, took this opportunity to support Jenni Hermoso.

Champions League group stage draw: USMNT stars into group of death (Pro Soccer Wire)
Champions League is a thing I assume some of you are interested in.

No Loudoun United game this weekend, but we do have two games at Buzzard Point against Chicago teams, which I find interesting. Maybe the home teams should have coordinated to make some kind of event out of it.

D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire FCSat., Sep. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ETAudi FieldApple TV
Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red StarsSun., Sep. 3 at 5 p.m. ETAudi FieldParamount+

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Will Nelson

The last link is broken. The href of the anchor tag (hyperlink) is “https://thedistrictpress.com/2023/09/01/miller-out-for-several-weeks-ertz-retires-and-more-friday-freedom-kicks/http://Champions%20League%20group%20stage%20draw:%20USMNT%20stars%20into%20group%20of%20death”. That won’t go anywhere not even to a bookmark within the same page. I’m pretty sure this is the link you meant to use: https://prosoccerwire.usatoday.com/lists/champions-league-draw-uefa-2023-24-americans-abroad/

Will Nelson

By the way if you’re wondering what the “%20” are in link those are the spaces. Every time you put a space in a link be it a file name or url it gets converted to “%20”.

Also I just found that I still can’t edit a comment.


First, absolutely cool about the support for Hermoso and the Spanish Women emerging. And the “Revenge of the 15”–it now looks like the Spanish coach Jorge Vilda–is likely on his way out as well. He was the primary reason you had 15 players 2 years ago write to the Spanish Federation demanding changes (and 12 of them got blacklisted). Very classy of Wiegman–I thought her statement was superb. Bonmati’ was one of the 15.

Second, Rooney indicated that he had been unhappy with Miller for some time and was contemplating a change. We’ll see how this works out with Bono. Both Bono and Miller have shown they can be very good GKs at the MLS level. What neither has shown is consistency. I think with Bono we’re going to a less direct style–he simply doesn’t have the distribution that Miller does. And I think our backline won’t play as high too.

Ertz was a pretty unique situation. And you answered a question that I couldn’t see in any of the official releases/articles–was she retiring immediately or at the end of the season. I’m guessing that the time away from family for the WWC combined with perhaps her perception that Angel City wasn’t anything special this season led her to conclude “nah, let’s pull the plug.”

Bryan McEachern

Ertz has a kid and the NFL season is starting (husband plays for Cardinals). I would speculate it is a family decision.


Kasper Schmeichel is now a free agent — out of contract. So, if we need a new goalie…


Also, it’s sort of conventional wisdom that Rooney is gone at the end of the season. Except Goff just posted (on X-twitter) quotes from Rooney that he’d reached out for a contract extension and is pissed that action hasn’t moved forward on this. That does not sound like someone who was planning on a 1.5 year stay here.

Brendan Cartwright

I know De Ro was upset about the way his exit was handled, and I know Gressel was upset about the way his exit was handled, and while those weren’t very nice, it’s not that uncommon for athletes to experience. But the fact that you have Wayne Rooney, who frankly did you a favor by agreeing to step in and coach, and he wants to talk about an extension or at least a plan and you’re ghosting him?!

Strictly as a coach, it’s understandable to sort of take a wait and see approach, especially since the team is still apparently searching for a GM (I’d honestly thought they’d abandoned that pursuit). As Goff notes, a GM is going to want to have a say in who’s the coach, and like we talked about yesterday, it’s important to have a GM and coach that are aligned on vision. But why the fuck have they been searching for ELEVEN MONTHS to find a GM (and still aren’t going to have one in place until “the fall,” if then)?

The fact that Rooney wants to stay is kind of a miracle. But the fact that the team won’t be candid – or even communicative – with him, and doesn’t have their ducks in a row as to how they even want to proceed for 2024 is so goddamn embarrassing. What an absolute mess!

Matt Glad

Personally, I wouldn’t be over the moon for Rooney to continue coaching. DC got burned by him leaving early before, despite having a contract, and from a coaching perspective, this team hasn’t shown anything resembling good soccer since the start of the season.

Many of the commenters have noted that the team has lost confidence and fight and Rooney hasn’t seem to have inspired this group to go for it and earn a playoff spot. I’d much rather a 100% clean slate. New FO, new coach. Start from scratch. But that’s just me. Not to mention, Rooney will probably overhaul the roster again in the winter and still complain that the team isn’t giving him enough good players.

Brendan Cartwright

This is a fine opinion to have, and the team should communicate it to Rooney if they’ve got it. Or at least say something like, “We appreciate what you’ve done and your desire to see the project through. We’re not quite certain, based on what we’re seeing on the field. We have to make a decision, and getting the team into the playoffs is really seen as a goal that must be met.”

Say something!

But of course, the bigger sin is that they’ve gone all this time without hiring a GM.

Matt Glad

Agree 100% that the organization as a whole doesn’t do itself any favors really ever under its current regime. Was just speaking on Rooney being upset about not getting a response on his contract. He hasn’t earned one in my opinion. It’s also possible that his desire to stay is a complete 180 from what he originally pitched to the club, and now they are like “well do we really want to let Wayne Rooney leave if he actually wants to stay?” I’m taking a lot of liberties and making assumptions with this, of course, but it’s possible.

Talonesque #

This is indeed a reasonable place to be, I’m somewhere very similar. Rooney refuses to grasp the concept of value over individual quality, and how in MLS, outside of the DP slots, you can’t have the latter without sacrificing a lot of depth in terms of down the roster salary. On top of that, his individual players, Benteke is arguably the only one to have some fan support, and even his numbers are pretty dreadful lately. He also doesn’t demonstrate a decision to develop younger players who are on small salaries to get that value. I think Rooney May one day be a wise and competent European manager, but I doubt he will ever make a good MLS one, at least not in its current iteration. Strangely, we starved and burnout one that got all this stuff intrinsically, cuz he was DC United and, more importantly, MLS through and through. Benny might not have been able to continue as he was season after season with what he was given, but I rage at how he was handled.

Bryan McEachern

So they hire a guy to fix a miserable team; he has gotten them to mediocrity, and they aren’t interested in further developing things into the future with him?

Gosh, I’d be loath to think where they would be if he wasn’t on board. Is Chad Ashton available?


It’s too bad the early MLS game will likely be over before we get to the stadium Saturday – early in the season Chad was often standing watching the early game in that area behind the food trucks under the club level. We could just ask him if he’s ready to step up.


I’d like to note the last few years have clearly shown that the problem isn’t the coach, but the GM. As long as Kasper is there I don’t think it matters who’s the coach.


This is the dysfunctional shit from the FO that made it easy for me to decide not to renew the season tickets I have had for over 20 years. Embarassing, incompetent, goat rodeo, the list of adjectives for poor and incompetent performance can’t even begin to comprehend the utter ineptitude and cowardice of this FO.

Bryan McEachern

Sadly, since 1996, I may make the same decision. I may cherry pick a few games, but the dollar layout vs return is really on center stage now.

Brendan Cartwright

Kristian Fletcher is going on loan to Swansea City. He should really be getting playing time here, and I don’t know that Swansea is really a healthy environment for him to grow either. But hopefully he at least gets playing time there.

What a goddamn mess.

Ryan Hunt

This is bonkers. I’m so mad that Rooney seems to not really be committed to developing youth. It was supposedly one of his big strengths but there hasn’t been much sign of it here. Even if we assume most of the homegrowns (Greene, Garay, Fletcher, Hopkins) aren’t ready yet, Pirani is his only signing under 23. Absurd.

Brendan Cartwright

We’re going to Win Now!


What does DC’s academy program even look like. We only sort of have a lower division team at this point.


He’s gonna rot on the bench, he’s not ready for MLS and definitely not for a club that’s been going through a hard time in the English pyramid.

Talonesque #

Ironically, this may well be Levien dangling a “new player” to Swansea’s fanbase. That, or they just refuse to get them any, and are plopping this on them. Either way, Levien would be wise to keep the Atlantic Ocean between himself and Wales.


This just adds more to the list of reasons our club isn’t being managed properly. Everything is reactive. Fletcher isn’t getting minutes, loan him out. Akimboni was a deer in the headlights last year, send him to Loudoun. Garay and Greene are 20, I guess we’ll just stash them.

But we should be in a position where we can be giving them real game experience and development. When MLS made it clear 3 or 4 years ago that they wanted to create an MLS only development league, we did nothing until we found a buyer for Loudoun. Now, every so often, we hear rumbles about an MLS Next team in Baltimore or elsewhere, but nothing actually happens. Meanwhile, most other clubs have reserve teams playing competitive games and actually getting real development time while we can’t figure out how to get our promising youth what they need to turn into actualized professionals.

It took 4-5 years to do the ‘finishing touches’ on the stadium. Not to mention the supporters club issues on opening.

Rooney ‘hasn’t had discussions’ on his contract, even though it expires in 2 months. Losada got fired early in a season in a reactionary move, even though you cannot tell me that most of what was complained about hadn’t come up previously.

Chad’s been an interim several times. That’s not pro-active, that’s bordering on (well paid) abuse of staff. Here, Chad, this squad’s been crashing for a month or two, good luck! x3 or x4.

This is diametrically opposed to the Spirit’s new ownership. Michell Kang came in, and almost immediately worked to get them off of Segra Field’s problematic turf (and substandard infrastructure), communicates regularly with fans, and next year, is reducing costs for supporters and offering good deals to those that pay for the expensive seats too. She didn’t wait. She asked questions, made decisions, and acted.

When I was first in consulting, we were on-site at a particularly sensitive, challenging and profitable project. In the conference room, there was a phone. If that phone rang, and it was someone other than the taxi service, the partner would be angry with all of us because it meant we didn’t anticipate, or ask ahead of time, what the client needed, so they had to seek us out to get what they wanted. It was extreme, but real success comes from being one step ahead, not waiting for problems to come to you. Our club’s phone is ringing off the hook right about now.

Bryan McEachern

Wonderfully written and a terrific metaphor at the end. I just read the WashPost article. Ouch. Not a good look at all.

But take heart: Inter Miami is included in next year’s season ticket package!


DC United hosts Chicago on Saturday evening in the most winnable game since the Taxi Fountas Era.

It’s hard to get eliminated from MLS playoff contention. At least it takes a long time. DC can stay in the conversation by getting points off the teams most likely to be in direct competition: Montreal, Chicago, Charlotte, NYC, Dead Bulls, and even Miami. DC won’t play many of these teams but it still helps DC’s chances if these rival teams drop points.

We don’t have to be better than Miami, just need to finish one point ahead of them. I still half expect DC to get enough results to at least give some false hope to fans who care. A win against Chicago tonight would be the first step in that direction since the debacles that began to pile up before the All Star Break.

“All Star Tyler Miller” won’t play but Bono isn’t much of a dropoff. Pirani, Eric Davis and Ted KDP could do enough with Benteke to help us eke out a victory. Which would be 3 points against a direct playoff rival.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x