Namaste. Ok, I still kind of cringe saying that because of the strange overuse of the word in North American yoga, but that is how one says “hello” in Hindi, so I’m calling fair game after having returned from India. I did manage to bring a DCU scarf to the Taj Mahal, so that was cool. But now… I woke up at 7:00 AM on Friday in New Delhi and somehow didn’t get to sleep until what would have been 6:00 AM in New Delhi on Monday, so I’m still kind of recovering from the jet lag. I am also still trying to figure out what’s happening in the soccer world since my absence, though I have finally figured out the rules of cricket, so that’s neat. As such, this Freedom Kicks will look rather empty.

MLS Cup Playoffs tiers: Favorites, underdogs & dark horses (MLS): The MLS Cup Playoffs begin tonight with Charlotte visiting the Redbulls and San Jose flying to Kansas City. This list of playoff tiers is a long one… a harsh reminder that 62% of the league is in the post season and D.C. United is among the more distinguished smaller 38% that has begun their offseason early.

Which teams are hot (or not) entering the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs? (MLS): D.C. United’s season ended well before Decision Day by virtue of being the odd team out in scheduling, so some of us might find this read refreshing to learn how some teams look entering the playoffs.

For those of you who love calendar congestion and conflict, this CCL CCC schedule will make you happy.

The USMNT coach took a nonchalant trip to Juventus. Surely fans wouldn’t think much of it or use the visit as an opportunity to voice opinions on his coaching tenure.

Finally, for those interested, this Cricket World Cup is in the thick of it in India. Strangely, only three teams have (dominating) winning records so far. Note the position of defending champions England. Stay tuned.

That’s all for now. Get kicking in the comments below!

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Jet lag kicks my butt–you have my complete sympathies. And yeah, given how we finished once other teams played 2 more weeks, saying we’re in the 38% who didn’t qualify overstates our season performance.

Brendan Cartwright

Let’s go Charlotte!

Bryan McEachern

Berhalter signed with Juventus??? Must….have…coffee….

I am glad you enjoyed your trip KH! Thanks for repping DCU and becoming a student of cricket!

Speaking of Scotland…one of my old footie teammates there is dropping his son, who is a tennis pro, and his coach on me this afternoon. Coming in from Glasgow, and I will have the Celtic match on TV when they arrive. I’ll skip the haggis. I’ll charge the Glencairns, however. They are staying over and I will give them a lift to Charlottesville tomorrow. Great weather and foliage for the drive!

Bottom line: I can still dish assists!!!! on both sides of the Atlantic!!!

Talonesque #

At this point, in a place where I’m emotionally distant from my club, and the owners need to leap a high bar with the GM hire, the (hopefully) subsequent coaching hire, and the squad reformation to lure me back.

I fully expect them to fail. And I have my finger hovering over the Apple TV cancel button.

Last edited 1 month ago by Talonesque #
Brendan Cartwright

I’m kind of back in the rosy, romantic period. A new GM, a new coach, a new DP, other new players. Right now it’s all potential.

I’m also binging the new season of Welcome to Wrexham, and that does wonders to help me remember what’s good about being a fan of a soccer team.

I dunno, I’ll have plenty of time to feel bitter and pissed in the near future. Today… at least today I’m feeling peaceful.

Talonesque #

There’re a lot of reasons I’ve gotten to this point, I will say briefly that the connection to my club feels much closer to a transaction than a relationship. Part of that is AppleTV, another is just how the owners view those who have been here from the beginning, or at least long term. We’re truly nothing. If the stadium was decently filled, they wouldn’t notice our absence.

Bryan McEachern

They do not care about us. 96er means nothing to them. Wrong demographic for Darth Garber.


I find that I’m not at all “emotionally distant” from DCU. Far from it, I became even more annoyed by our failure to reach the play offs when I saw the game between Miami and Charlotte and then got even more annoyed when I learned that the New Jersey team made the final spot. This was mainly due to the fact that when playing with purpose we were superior to all those three teams and shouldn’t have dropped points against any of them. So I’m clearly not done with DCU yet, if I were I wouldn’t give a sh8t but I still do. But this of course comes from someone who waited out Snyder for 20+ years without abandoning ship. Then again, I never paid money to watch the Skins play so the only punishment for my enduring support was emotional abuse. Maybe I’m a sports masochist.


Agree 100%. I don’t think I have an inflated view of our team and talent. But we’re not in the bottom 5 in the league. And we were one of the top spenders.

Talonesque #

Well, I suppose I’ve made a few posts today that allow for fans to do the layup of “I love United, despite its flaws.” I just don’t recognize it anymore, don’t see a reflection of any values or a whiff of institutional integrity. We can call the stadium Buzzard Point all we want, and try to imbue it with some value or mystique, it’s never been more clear to me that this is Audi field, and the only genuine part is the vehicle they display at times up the stairs. This blog is more of a community than that space. This is not to say that soccer isn’t great, but there’s nothing to this organization but what the players occasionally come up with on their own.

When the owners spoke of making this a global brand, I thought, oh, cool, they’ll make this something the world loves for what it is as much as I do, or at least that’s the goal. Now we’re certainly not global, but we are a brand, and Cheez-Its might have more heft.

Talonesque #

Ah, well. I just wanted to make it clear that this club has almost lost me in a space where it might resonate. I’m not trying to bring down anyone else, just saying I can no longer lift my own spirits on the subject, and unless a number of things happen this offseason, won’t even watch.


I’m afraid that what brings you down is not something that only afflicts DC United but the entire worlds as a whole. Everything has become corporate and a brand. Welcome to global capitalism. I don’t think you’ll ever, ever, recover/regain the DCU experience you are yearning for, even if we miraculously turned into the Man City of the MLS and all we do is win for years and years. The sole purpose of every single corporation is to make money while doing as little as possible in terms of customer experience. WFT fans will never ever have the original RFK experience, even if the new stadium is built in the same place. Not saying is impossible, I’m saying don’t hold your breath. Very few things remain organic where things like values and integrity can take hold. I’ve seen this corporate change in everything, from the health care system, to the transportation system. We are in the age of corporations, it will implode one day but not yet.

Talonesque #

You’re not wrong, I do hate that this phenomenon is only increasing and has made my own league team in my own country unrecognizable. I will continue to scan the world for teams and trends to root for, it’s a shame I won’t find consistent comfort, or even frustration, in a DC United game.

I will say, not every ownership group, even the eye-wateringly rich ones, devalue the fans or neglect the club standards like the regime we currently have. I knew something was wrong with them when they didn’t roar into a response from the Taxi debacle, and now the indifference has spread.

I don’t think I’m incapable of rooting for a corporate entity owner DC United, I have certainly lost faith in the ones we have.

Last edited 1 month ago by Talonesque #
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