Happy Friday! I am finally over my cold and looking forward to getting out and enjoying the warm weather this weekend. Until then, there’s plenty of local soccer news to chat about.

D.C. United’s Ted Ku-DiPietro scored a game-winning goal for the US Youth Men’s National Team against Honduras in the Pan American Games. With 3 points, the Men are now 2nd in their group and face Colombia on Sunday for a chance to move on to the semifinals.

The USWNT tied Colombia 0-0 in a friendly that showed how little they’ve changed since exiting the World Cup in August. Trinity Rodman was a highlight, as always.

Goalkeeping coach Diego Restrepo is leaving D.C. United after two seasons “to move on to [his] next challenge.” No word yet on what, if anything, Restrepo has lined up for his next gig.

In other (potential) departure news, the Washington Post warns Donovan Pines could be leaving the club for Europe. Pines will be a free agent at the end of the season, and his agent told the Post he is talking to teams both in the MLS and overseas. United say they would like to keep Pines in D.C., but it seems they might be having trouble negotiating without a GM or head coach in place.

MLS announced finalists for their year-end awards yesterday. Former Black-and-Red player Luciano Acosta is up for MVP, against Thiago Almada and Dénis Bouanga. Meanwhile, there’s apparently some grumbling about Messi being a finalist for Newcomer of the Year despite only playing in 6 matches.

Finally, fan voting for NWSL end-of-season awards ends at 12 p.m. Washington Spirit’s Sam Staab is up for Defender of the year (although Paige Metayer was ROBBED in the Rookie of the Year category). Please see this highlight video for reasons why you should go vote for Sam immediately. (Not pictured: her absolute cannon of a throw-in. Get this woman on the USWNT.)

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Brendan Cartwright

The Athletic has a breakdown of DPs for the league up now. Taking a look at production and cost outlay for each team.

United did pretty well. Christian Benteke was the third best striker in the league by their metrics. Klich was only 45th out of 64 CMs by their reckoning, and Taxi was 41st out of 64 strikers.

United’s DPs ranked fifth overall in terms of minutes played, which is especially impressive when you consider that Taxi was a) hurt for awhile, and then b) left halfway through. Benteke and Klich were HORSES. The trio was tied for seventh overall in terms of goals scored. Benteke had a good year with 14 and Klich came on with goals in the last two games. They note that he could be more productive if he’s played in a more attacking role by the next coach. I think he was certainly productive all over the field last year, and if the team does sign another DP attacker, and if Pirani comes back and matures or another person is brought in to facilitate the attack, it’s not a bad thing to have Klich playing a bit further back, too.

The article also looks at total spend, piecing together what’s known about transfer fees. Levien and Kaplan have been trying to shift the narrative a little bit when it comes to United not spending. And this is true when it comes to salaries. All three DPs are paid pretty handsomely, and United has had a number of highly paid TAM players as well. Where this is less true is when it comes to transfer fees. According to the article, they paid $3.5 million to get Benteke, but Klich came on a free. Taxi also would have been on a free, but the club decided to pay $400,000 and get him earlier. That’s nice and all, but the total of $3.9 million in transfer budget is less than what, say, Sporting Kansas City paid to bring in Gadi Kinda (who ranked 42 slots higher than Klich in their CM metrics). And SKC also paid $8 million to get Alan Pulido, who had nearly identical numbers to Benteke.

Overall, between the paltry transfers and the high salaries, United’s DP spend was tied for 21st in the league at $12 million. That’s equal to FC Dallas, for instance, and lower than Houston. So yes, the team is “spending,” but still 75% of the league is spending more than they are, and coincidentally that almost seems like the number of teams that get into the playoffs.

United will have the opportunity to get another DP this year. A big spend doesn’t necessarily correlate to good results, but it doesn’t hurt. And if they do go my preferred avenue of getting a Young DP, a bigger spend helps to lessen the risk that that player will be a bust. As in, a young player that’s already providing demonstrable results will probably cost more than one that’s just got loads of potential.


Lots of good details here Brendan–excellent post. My reactions:

  1. I think Benteke and Klich were superb acquisitions. I don’t think Klich is a great A-mid anymore–he’s a better D-mid/box-to-box midfielder given his all-around game, his legs, his work rate, and his leadership. So I think the metrics undervalues him–he doesn’t match as an A-mid what Almeda or Zela or Muktar bring (or even what we’ve had in the past with Gomito or Etcheverry). But that said, he’s a superb teammate and an excellent midfielder, he just doesn’t have the A-mid chops anymore.
  2. I really want to keep Pines. I thought we’d extended him earlier but obviously I mis-remembered that (it was just negotiations). I think he’d be highly valued in Europe: very tall, a leaper, very fast–they’ll figure he can grow in to the other stuff so worth taking a flier on. I hope this is just his agent using the threat of leaving as a negotiating tool.
  3. Teddy KDP–given his late-game “daggers” I think we need to start calling him the “baby faced assassin.”
  4. USWNT-Colombia: a lot of the public conversation for the WWC and the US has focused on Vlatko not being a good coach and the roster. Yeah, those were factors. But watch the Spanish women play–at no point in US history have the US Women ever had technical skills and/or possession like that. I think that if USSF is thinking they just need to get the right coach and everything will be copacetic, then we’re talking about elimination in the quarters (or worse) probably the next time around. The USWNT right now is a collection of some find talents (though none that are probably in the top 20 female players in the world) and a very good counter-attacking team. But we can’t break down someone in a low block, we don’t handle pressing/high block well, we don’t problem solve on the field well. That a 38 year old defender is talking about still being part of the team (granted–that depends upon the new coach) is a sad statement.

I believe DCU still has an option for Pines, as well as Najar, but as of now it hasn’t been executed. I don’t believe they have to make a decision until mid-November.

Last edited 1 month ago by jmauro2000
Brendan Cartwright

They have an option for Najar. Pines is a free agent when his deal expires at the end of this year. United can sign him to a new deal before he hits the free agent market, but once he does, anybody else could sign him too. Or he could try to make the jump to Europe. If he does that, United would not get a transfer fee, but would apparently retain his MLS rights.

Bryan McEachern

Well, it’s all about development. We are now seeing the rewards of gated community talent pools. I hope the USWNT makes me eat my words.


Speaking of development and maybe community talent pools, looks like we lost another one.

19 y.o. who was trialing with Southampton and Brentford, decided for better chances at playing time, hooking up with Port Vale in League One. Adeteye Gbadehan.

Not 100% sure where he’s from but it seems to be around Laurel or Lanham. As a young boy he was a swimmer with a Laurel team. Played his soccer with a Catholic school in Potomac and with local academies. Namely, Baltimore, Celtic, and winning a national title (Dallas Cup) with Future SC Monarchs in ‘21.

Anyway, he has an English passport (and maybe Nigerian) and apparently declined to join any MLS academy (tho I haven’t found any specifics). Tall and really powerfully built for someone his age, who plays in the midfield.

Maybe we never had a chance at him, but it would be transformative I think, if we had an Academy that was really attractive to the best players in the area.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fischy
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