Good morning, everyone. These are getting out quite late this morning, my bad! Let’s give you some stuff to discuss from yesterday:

D.C. United lacks a finishing touch, settles for a costly draw (WaPo)

Atlanta United took an early lead, but Gabriel Pirani was able to salvage a draw for D.C. United last night. They still cling to the 9th and final playoff spot, but they need some wins ASAP.

Messi, Alba injury update: What is latest after Inter Miami exits? (MLS)

Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba both were subbed off last night in the 1st half, with Messi’s injury being described as “muscle fatigue.” They both will miss this weekend’s game at Orlando City.

Boston’s NWSL ownership made ‘full sprint’ for its bid: An investor explains how it came together (The Athletic)

We will get the return of Boston to the NWSL in 2026, and it was announced yesterday by the league. Facilities are still a concern, but more Northeast trips for the Spirit are coming.

USA’s Julie Ertz on retirement: ‘Not because Momma can’t play’ (ESPN)

Tonight, the USWNT takes on South Africa in what will be Julie Ertz’s last match. She tells the media that it’s not because she can’t play, but parenthood is taking priority at this point in her life. We’re going to miss #8 in the middle.

St. Louis CITY SC clinch Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot (MLS)

St. Louis is in the playoffs in their first season, becoming the first in the Western Conference to clinch a place in the postseason. Last night, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Columbus also punched their ticket to the playoffs.

How Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham’s career has taken off (ESPN)

Jude Bellingham does it again, scoring a goal in minute 4 of second half stoppage time for Real Madrid. As a Madridista, I’m loving what Jude has done for the club in his first month there.

Mohammed bin Salman: ‘I don’t care’ about ‘sportswashing’ accusations (BBC)

The leader of Saudi Arabia isn’t concerned with the rest of the world labeling his reach into sports as sportswashing. He’s just concerned about making money.

The first day of Fall is this weekend, so looking forward to hoodie season coming real soon. But for today…

Happy Earth, Wind, & Fire Day to all! Enjoy it!

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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David Rusk

Last night’s match was truly aggravating to watch. 19 DCU shots to 6 for Atlanta but only 4 of ours on goal. (Ditto for Atlanta.) At least 6 of ours far over the bar. Fajardo’s shot over the bar instead of laying the ball off to Benteke (or a hard charging Pirani) in a 2 v 1 against GK was unforgivable.

OTOH, defense was sharp again but for Durkin’s stupid giveaway that led to Atlanta goal.

Our guys are supposed to be professionals. Can’t anyone put a shot on goal?

Kerry Hess

I’ve watched so many matches this year where I was frequently saying “Just shoot the ball!”

Now I know why they haven’t been doing that. They’re terrible at it.

Talonesque #

I could have used a recap this week to vent, talking about it in the freedom kicks is doable, but I’d have loved to be able to compartmentalize this one.

All I know is, I deeply dislike Fajardo for what he has shown in the games I’ve watched, and it’s a shame we’re “trying out” someone like him when the rubber really needs to hit the road for the playoffs.


In retrospect, despite agreeing with not keeping Taxi, it has really hurt the team in the playoff run. They need a competent 2nd forward. Ku can fulfill this role but he is constantly injured.

Talonesque #

Yeah, our playoff hopes took a massive dent, and the departures of O’Brien and Palsson (who was expensive, but certainly effective defensively for much of the season), I didn’t think we’d do much. The recent 4-0 win pulled me back in, but I need some healthy distance mentally from this squad at this point.

Really wish TKD would figure out the healthy formula, indeed


Ted could probably stay healthier if he took more time to get back to 100%. I’m sure neither Rooney nor he wants to wait that long, so they roll the dice that he’ll be fine after the acute injury heals.

Talonesque #

It will be interesting to see how soon Messi and Alba can return, cuz without them, and everyone KNOWING they’re without them, I see it as very hard to make up that ground.

Ryan Hunt

Tough draw that felt like a loss. Our offense has just been too hit and miss this season, probably because of the rotating cast/formations we’ve gone through. KDP and Benteke are our only consistent goal threats and we really need other players to step up (especially since KDP can’t stay healthy). Klich has been particuarly wasteful, from a stats point of view, with only 2 goals off of 37 shots (half the average rate of 1 goal every 10 shots).

I know Fajardo has been getting a lot of grief after last night, but he still passes the eye test for me. Runs hard/fast, makes the right runs into the right spaces, and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger. I am more optimistic that he will score/create a goal then when either Robertha or Dajome are on the field.

Talonesque #

Pay tribute to Julie Ertz, and watch this surprisingly poignant Men in Blazers video interview:

Will Nelson
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