Hello and happy Friday! Apologies for missing last week; I was on vacation and lost my Wi-Fi access. Hopefully there’s plenty to discuss today, though.

Nominees for The 2023 Best FIFA awards have been announced and voting is open. Notable names include Lindsey Horan, Sam Kerr, and Jenni Hermoso for the women and Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Kylian Mbappé for the men.

Sports Business Journal took a look at Washington Spirit’s increased attendance numbers in their first year completely at Audi Field. Even not counting the poorly-attended Segra Field matches, they’ve improved on average attendance by almost 2,000 fans (with two home games to go).

Loudoun United FC’s Kalil ElMedkhar won the USL Championship’s Fans’ Choice goal of the week for an arching shot from outside-the-box. Video at the link since “X” apparently isn’t letting me embed them anymore.

In case you thought there wasn’t enough drama in MLS: CF Montreal’s Miljevic moonlights in amateur league under false name. Truly a wild story. He didn’t even change his name that much! Just added one letter.

As the NWSL returns from a week off, here’s a snapshot of each of the teams now and their remaining paths to the playoffs. Just four games left in the season, but somehow I think it’s still possible for any of the teams to make it out of the regular season.

Finally, here’s the schedule of games this weekend:

Loudoun United FC vs. Charleston BatterySat., Sep. 16 at 6:45 p.m. ETSegra FieldESPN+
D.C. United vs. Charlotte FCSat., Sep. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET Bank of America StadiumApple TV
Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FCSat., Sep. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ETRed Bull ArenaParamount+, NBC Sports Washington

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s cool about Miljevc. And that’s great news about the Spirit and Audi Field. That should become the home for soccer in the DC area. If only it was big enough to draw some bigger events besides NWSL and MLS matches.

Horan is the only American on the list. I think if you’re honest and make a list of the 25 best female soccer players on the planet, probably none of them are American right now. That can easily change. But if the USWNT are going to return to being a force at the WC and Olympics, that must change.

Bryan McEachern

Bayer Neverlosen. Truly glorious.

It’s coming, Oktoberfest, make great choices, people. Prost!

I think the best way to pick the top 25 is to ask yourself: Do I want this player on my roster? I think you’ll find most people might grab 3-4 USWNT players (Lavelle comes immediately to mind, Horan, sure…a toss for the incredible Ertz as well.)


Some might grab a few US players. I think mostly because she was mis-used, Lavelle didn’t impress in England. Given her injury history, I don’t know if a really good side would go for her. Obviously Horan has found a home at Lyon. I think she’d depend on the formation you play–she’s not a D-mid, not an outside mid, not an A-mid. Prior to the WC people would have said Smith and maybe Morgan but both underwhelmed. Mewis when she was healthy was a lock (but her career may be over now). Ertz is proof aliens walk this earth–but she’s retired–1 USWNT testimonial left and it’s all done. I think the American woman who came out of the WWC with the best rep is Naomi Girma. And as good as she is (and she was excellent), there are a bunch of women center backs (probably 3-4 for England, 1 for Sweden, 1 for France, 1 for Spain) who are as good or better.

Quite simply, in the last 4 years, a number of nations have improved their player development and the best clubs are now in Europe.

Bryan McEachern

Girma is a great call. I love the proof of aliens regarding Ertz. She had an outstanding career.


Ertz didn’t just have a great career. Her combination of judgment (few reds or yellows, few stupid fouls), range, ability to win balls (in play or on restarts)–all just best in-class.

Will Nelson

Now if only a deal could get done to also get Old Glory DC playing home matches at Buzzard Point (aka Audi Field). Admittedly that’d put more stress on the grounds crew in the spring and make scheduling through late June/early July interesting.


Big game for DC tomorrow in Charlotte. I know some folks here barely care if the team makes the playoffs, but I think they should go all out for it. Charlotte is a direct rival for DC and its playoff aspirations. They are 3 points and 2 slots behind us in 11th place but they have 2 games in hand to make up ground. So a DC win would go a long way to killing off Charlotte’s hopes for postseason.

It will be the first game for DC of a 3 games in 8 days stretch. The other 2 games are against Eastern rivals, too, as we host Atlanta Wednesday, then Red Bulls a week from tomorrow.

Other important games tomorrow will be NY/NJ clash in Yankee Stadium, Atlanta hosting Miami in front of a huge crowd (go Fake United! …at least tomorrow), Montreal hosting Chicago (I think we should root for a tie or a Chicago win).


I definitely would love for us to get a post season game even if it’s one and done. That’s not to say that’ll be a wild success story, but we should be establishing some sort of culture for the young players that it’s the minimum requirement for the team. Get some more minutes for them and the newcomers.

Brendan Cartwright

I’m always happy when the team wins, so I want to be happy. There’s not a lot of benefit to missing out on the playoffs, like in terms of draft order or whatever. Even if there was, the team doesn’t really look to get a lot out of the draft anymore. We dealt our #2 pick this year, after all.

There’s also not a ton to be gained from making the playoffs. The team can show up on any given day and look pretty good, and we’ve been handling things defensively recently. But the team can’t put together consistent results, so a deep Cup run seems, shall we say, improbable.

The biggest bearings seem to be on what the playoffs mean for Rooney, and possibly for Kasper. If they miss the playoffs, it seems like a pretty easy decision to say good-bye to Rooney. Given that the team hasn’t had conversations with him, perhaps they’ve already made that decision, but missing out when nine teams get in with a “win now” roster would absolutely be the end of it.

Similar to Kasper. Supposedly they’re picking up the GM search again in the fall. Kasper hasn’t really been held accountable for any of the team’s failings on his watch, so it would be easy enough to see him retaining his hold on power somehow. If the team makes the playoffs, it makes it even easier for him.

But fuck it. Vamos United. Win as much as you can!

Talonesque #

I hadn’t thought thought about your point about where teams fall, and the incentive structure of MLS, but it probably needs to change with the times. The league should realize the draft is almost pointless now, and figure out a way to reevaluate what to reward teams with.

Brendan Cartwright

The Allocation List order is basically useless these days (although Cincinnati sat on their top spot a couple years back and made a lot of Garberbucks by doing so).


This is truly a 6 point match (against Charlotte). And while we can say “I hope X wins and Y ties and Z loses and B gets hepatitis” I think the best approach (to quote Al Davis) is “just win baby!”

Will Nelson

Milton Haig has been appointed the interim head coach for the US Women’s Eagles XVs fall test match window. In this fall test window the Women’s Eagles will play a friendly against Wales in South Africa on Sept 30th. before partaking in the WXV 2 series in South Africa. The WXV 2 series matches will be Samoa on 14 Oct, Scotland on 20 Oct, and Italy on 28 Oct.


For more on 2023 WXV Series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WXV_2023

Will Nelson

US Soccer to build new national training center and HQ in Atlanta.


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x