Well I’m recovering from hosting a birthday party for a newly minted seven-year-old, hydrating accordingly!

Bruce Arena a candidate for D.C. United coaching vacancy: Sources (Athletic, $): Not sure why they’d hamstring whomever their new GM would be, but hey, sure I guess.

Swansea City’s Michael Duff eager to get eyes on ex-Man United trialist after stunning run of form (Wales Online): Kristian Fletcher’s been racking up goals with the Swans’ U21 side, and may be coming to the first team before the loan runs out at the end of the year.

Speaking of homegrowns doing well in Europe, Griffin Yow finally opened his Westerlo account:

Wayne Rooney interested in studying law | ‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do’ (Sky): ‘I would have gotten to law school too if it wasn’t for that meddling D.C. United’ is a helluva rejected Scooby Doo phrase.

IMPARÁVEL: Gallo age na calada da noite e 3 EXCELENTES reforços são confirmados para a reviravolta do Santos… (OTV Foco): This says Gabriel Pirani will return to Santos while I’ve seen MLS Multiplex say he’s going to be bought by D.C.. It’s October, long time to go for this to shake out one way or another.

The pros and cons of the Washington Spirit in Black & Yellow: Donald looks at what this rebrand could be.

Anyway, go do some nice things today!

ByRyan Keefer

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

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’d give Coach Arena a chance for three years. He still has it after what he built in New England after inheriting a mess from Brad Friedel. Just make sure he has a couple of years to build. He needs to build a system rather than just signing players.

As for the nonsense that caused him to be fired from New England, I shrug my shoulders as we still don’t know what happened and it seems that it’s only between him and an assistant coach. The players seemed blindsided by it and still don’t know why he was fired.

As for the GM, I am on with letting Bruce Arena have great weight on the GM. It worked in LA and NE.


I’m a hard pass on Bruce Arena. If he wants to be honored at half time or something sure, but let’s move forward not back.


Hasn’t Coach Arena also moved forward in the last 25 years? He has kept learning and updated his knowledge to keep building winning teams since he left DC United in 1998.

It’s been long enough and the context is so different compared to 1998 that it would be a fresh start.

Ryan Hunt

Arena has evolved over the years, but he’s also 72 years old and would want a lot of say in roster/GM moves. Maybe that helps our new GM find their feet, but maybe it undermines them some instead. It could be really hard to say no to Arena if we get a younger GM (and if his remarks were sexist, then what happens if we hire a woman at GM?)

Arena has also not really been great at youth development from what I’ve seen. Noel Buck is really the only youngster showing promise with NER and maybe that’s down to the academy, but Bruce’s great LA teams never developed talent that much. (From what my Monday morning brain can recall at least)


He’s shown that he’s still the best in league history…as a coach. The bigger issue is he definitely did something that forced the league’s hand in suspending him (indefinitely) and doing the greatest coverup I’ve ever seen. I half-jokingly said I’d like him to be interviewed and go through the “beg Garber for forgiveness” process just to find out more about what happened.

The team seems to want to do this right anyway, so it’s probably all moot.


He had one good season at New England and the rest were more or less the mean of where New England was before he got there (7th, 8th, 1st, 10th, middle of the table when he was effectively let go in mid-July). Not really an outstanding, irreplaceable coach. And especially not one with a lot of baggage he’ll be bringing along.

Last edited 1 month ago by jmauro2000
Talonesque #

Arena is 72. He has been fired for statements deemed too prejudicial to be professionally retained. Whatever other murkiness surrounds the issue, that’s not a recipe for bringing him to DC.

It would be a revolting decision to hire him, interviewing him is enough to further fray my own attachment to this club.

And I really have nothing good to say about anyone who wants him to come here simply to increase our points in the table. At that point, it’s both playoffs and moral bankruptcy.

Brendan Cartwright

United needs to be doing things really cleanly right now too, following the debacles of Taxi and the trainer. Even if Arena got railroaded (and the investigation found that he did say something), United needs to be avoiding that kind of controversy. And yes, Arena is a very good coach, and is also good at player acquisitions, but for a team that’s jettisoned its “Tradition” motto and is signalling on making a break with the past and a new beginning, I think they’re setting themselves up pretty well with the trio of identified GM finalists, and then that GM can lead the coaching search. I am a pass on Arena.

Talonesque #

As you intimate, it’s an aggregate effect here. This club should be doing everything it can to distance itself from overtly prejudicial figures, and that includes reinforcing standards. Interviewing Arena, WTF

Brendan Cartwright

Happy for Yow, and really glad that Fletcher is thriving with some dedicated time that could merit a promotion. I think he’ll be taking a big step as a contributor to United next season, so long as there’s not a transfer over to Swansea. A lot will depend on the coach that DC gets, and what kind of new signings they bring in.

Brendan Cartwright

Should Pirani stay or go? A lot of factors, including what Santos wants, what Pirani wants, and what the new United GM and coach will want. Pirani looked to have plenty of potential, and was pretty good at combining in the attacking midfield. His shooting is not great, and ability to play a killer pass isn’t quite there, but I would suspect that with maturation and proper coaching, plus the addition of some better attacking talent around him in DC, he could really thrive.

That said, he’s definitely not a sure thing. If United decides they don’t really rate what they’ve seen, I think that’s fair. I still like the idea of pursuing a Young DP and maxing out our U-22 slots as the easiest way to get as many talented players as possible on the team, and potentially building a core to take us beyond the Benteke and Klich years (as well as truly putting the stamp of the new GM and coach on the team). One of those U-22 players could be Pirani, or maybe it would be three other guys. With those ages, there’s definitely risk involved. But if some of them come good, you’d have to think that Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan would like the idea of being able to sell some young players that they developed. Or, keep them around to be the nucleus of a really good MLS team for awhile.


He’s young and has potential. Hopefully he wants to and will stay.


I’d let him go. He was easy to defend, predictable on the dribble, and couldn’t shoot from outside the 6. He’s all right foot so the defenders only need to stick their left foot out to take the ball. Pirani always cut back right even when the defender gave him left. We didn’t see any special through balls or combinations either.

He has some tools but they just aren’t there yet, especially for DP money and slot.

Brendan Cartwright

He wouldn’t be a DP. He’d be a U-22 signing (like what Durkin was).

Will Nelson

I keep thinking Young DP and U-22 are the same thing and they aren’t.

Brendan Cartwright

They are linked, because if a team has a Young DP, it can sign more U-22 players.


Absolutely agree. For someone wearing the “10”, his chance creation percentage in MLS was in something like the second percentile. In reality, he’s an inferior version of TKDP. Hard pass.

Will Nelson

The US Women’s Eagles XVs are participating in the first year of the WXV league in the 2nd division. They fell in their 2nd of 3 games last Friday to Scotland 24-14. They are now 4th place on tie breakers. Japan and the US both have 5 points with 1 win 1 loss and 0 draws. The last game in this years WXV 2 league for the US is on Saturday when they take on 1st place Italy.

Each division is a cross pool league with 2 pools in each division. Cross pool means you play the teams in the other pool. So that’s how the US ended up with games against Samoa, Scotland, and Italy.



First, I think the “Arena to DCU” rumor is either being leaked by Arena or his agent. When Arena was fired from NYRB, instead of saying “yeah, I sucked, I need to take a break and recharge” (what Ben did), he’s a proud guy. So he leaked that he was a candidate for some Premiership jobs (of course he wasn’t). This “departure” from NE has got to sting for Arena. And I think he wants back in. And I don’t see how Gerber would allow that to happen–this had to be bad enough that it didn’t warrant a one month suspension or a hefty fine and press release “from Arena” (written by his agent and lawyer) apologizing and promising to do better. I think Arena has to sit out for at least a full year before Garber would consider approving his application to be allowed to coach again.

Second, I’m sure Arena can still be successful as a coach. But his focus is not on growing youth (which we need to place more emphasis on). He’d insist on bringing in his own team (Onalfo, etc.). The GM would be subservient to him. And he’d be gone in a couple of years and again, no foundation. That happened when he left NYRB, it happened when he left LAG, and New England is looking to be cleaning house.

If there is anything we’ve learned over the past decade and a half in the wilderness, it’s that we can be sporadically good if we catch lightning in a bottle (health, big season by a key player, good coach). But that isn’t consistent and it isn’t sustainable. The path to more than a “hey, we made the playoffs 3 years ago!” involves real development of the academy, real focus on either MLSNext/Pro or a USL side, alignment between the GM and Coach (without the coach being the dominant figure so the GM is just the college scout). And then a coach who intends to be here more than 1-2 seasons. And then a braintrust that is going to tap in to all resources (draft, youth, MLS availability, foreign bargains, and 1-2 big money signings to play key roles on the team) rather than just 1-2 of those talent streams.

So as someone who started attending DCU matches in 1996 and admired much of the work Arena did, I don’t believe he’s a candidate for the job here. And if he was, I’d say “no.” His actions that got him fired in NE are big in my mind. And other than being a good coach who knows MLS, he’s a terrible fit for this job.

David Rusk

I agree 1000% with JoeW’s observations.

Bryan McEachern

You left out that he’s kind of arrogant. At 72 that is a liability. Agree with you 100%.


No, he’s not “kind of arrogant.” When you look up “arrogant” in the dictionary you see his picture. And while that’s not the kind of person (or coach) I really like, I can live with arrogance–if you back it up with performance. And Arena usually does. But I think he’s a bad fit in this situation.

Bryan McEachern

You crack me up! I do think that he is incredibly accomplished, but I also agree about the fit. We could do worse, but the fit doesn’t feel right. Besides, Darth Garber would also have to be involved.


John Harkes left his position as head coach for the Greenville Triumph. I have not seen anyone of merit note it, but I would be a bit shocked if he doesnt at least have a conversation with DC given his success in the lower ranks

Brendan Cartwright

Yeah, just saw that. I think if United is going to be looking into its past for glory, that seems to make more sense. I have no idea what kind of preference the GM would have, but yes, it seems like at least a conversation would be in order.


Yeah, personally, I think Harkes has a bit of a better shot at landing the coaching gig than Arena does, but I think it’ll really come down to who the GM wants. Coaches like Adrian Heath are still currently available, and if we end up hiring the technical director from Orlando, I don’t think we can overlook the possibility that he brings Pareja with him, given that Pareja is also out of contract

Brendan Cartwright

That would say a lot about ownership’s intent as well, if they make a big play for that Orlando package.


When Ben Olsen took the MLS coaches course, he spoke extremely well of Pareja. He said that Pareja was a real contrarian, had insights that others didn’t have. I’d love to sign Pareja if we could. If they drop to Nashville in the first round, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ownership there figures they can do better and let him walk.

Let’s put it this way: among MLS coaches that are extremely good, have shown it in multiple situations with different owners and talent, and are underrated, my top two would be Wilfried Nancy and Oscar Pareja.

Bryan McEachern

Good take!

Will Nelson

That would be United’s FO doing a savvy piece of business. Therefore, I don’t see that materializing.

Will Nelson

New annual tournament for the US Men’s Eagles XVs. Just as their is a Pacific Four competition for Women’s Rugby made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. Starting next year there will be the Pacific Nations Cup tournament with 6 teams: Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga, and the US.

The annual tournament will be played in 2 stages. First will be pool play then a playoff style tournament. For more information go to the link below.


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x