The MLS Round of 16 is finally over, and only one team (SKC) managed to defeat a higher seed. As the conference semi-finals kick off after Thanksgiving, I am starting to feel emotional investment in wishing the best for the Houston Dynamo and their head coach.

USWNT makes it official, naming Emma Hayes head coach (Pro Soccer Wire): The USWNT now have the highest paid women’s soccer coach.

Dallas-Fort Worth area to host Concacaf Nations League Finals, Copa América playoff (SSFC): Fans in Arlington coming down from the high of the Texas Rangers World Series will have the opportunity to witness international soccer.

Chattanooga FC to Join MLS NEXT Pro (MLS): Fresh off leading the NISA 2023 regular season, Chattanooga FC flee the league in favor of MLS NEXT Pro.

Washington Spirit Owner Michele Kang Relists DC Home for $13.5 Million (Urban Turf): Who wants to split the bill and own a piece of Washington Spirit history? I’ll contribute the first ten dollars.

Troy Lesesne not returning as New York Red Bulls coach (MLS): D.C. United was so ahead of this curve of laying off coaches.

The Cricket World Cup is coming to a close. The semifinals have begun, and we might know the first finalist by the time this Freedom Kicks goes live as undefeated India faces New Zealand at 3:30 AM this morning. Tomorrow sees South Africa and Australia compete for the other spot in the finals that take place this Sunday.

That’s all this morning. Get kicking in the comments!

ByKerry Hess

Contributing Author for The District Press

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Talonesque #

News/spoilers for the u17 journey below!

The US team rotated a large portion of the squad, but clearly held onto some key players, and that’s probably wise, as their opponent, Burkina Faso, had them on their heels for the first ten minutes with high pressing and dynamic one vs one abilities. I was expecting a relative minnow effort, y’all, Burkina Faso were a dangerous prospect for the rotated side, but the US maintained composure and built up well enough twice to score 2-0 going into the half, largely against the run of play. The two goal cushion was eaten into late in the second when Burkina Faso finally broke our resolute defense, and finished with aplomb- no goalie mistake here. However, the US boys held on and secured their path through the group. Shoutout to a figure y’all might remember from his MLS playing days, coach Gonzalo Segares. He’s done a hell of a job managing this squad to advancement before meeting powerhouse France

Last edited 17 days ago by Talonesque #
Brendan Cartwright

So, we’re all looking at GM and coach hires, but, uh… how about that MLS Next Pro franchise? Having Loudoun was all well and good, but United has sold that franchise off, and it’s a much more independent concern than a cultivating crucible for future DC United players now. It’s not quite the same as when we were partnering with the Richmond Kickers, but it’s a lot closer to that then having our own MLS Next Pro franchise.

I think that every other MLS team has an MLS Next Pro team too, except for maybe Montreal. It’s getting pretty late in the game to assume that there will be one in place for the 2024 season, so United once again is lagging pretty significantly behind the rest of the league.

Some teams are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. United’s owners haven’t really proved that they can do either one of those things, let alone simultaneously.

Will Nelson

Sounds like the ownership of any DC area team except for the season when the Nats won the World Series and the Caps won the Stanley Cup….


7 days until bona fide offers have to be made to folks with expiring contracts. Options must be exercised before the end of the calendar year. College draft in December, transfer window opens in January and these munchkins are over a year without filling the GM spot. Levien is the new Snyder substitute in DC sports. Maybe not quite as personally vile, but just as incompetent and utterly clueless about soccer culture, club culture and how to build an organic supporter and player culture. It’s not just Sports Marketing 101 you moron, cheap beer and trinkets do not trump a quality product on the pitch. And BTW, maybe stop hiring racist players and trainers while you’re at it.

Bryan McEachern

Thank you for noting, “not personally as vile..” Totally different personalities and interpersonal behavior patterns. Few can match Snyder’s vileness, thank goodness…

Actually, another distinction: Snyder was very much hands-on, whereas I get this feeling that Jason just isn’t in the room. No personal evidence of that, it’s just something feel….

Nonetheless, results are results….with you there….


It really seems like there’s no one in charge of a huge chunk of important team functions. No GM for senior roster building or hiring the coach. No one in charge of assembling a youth/feeder team. Obviously no coach to lay out a plan for the off-season or next season.

Talonesque #

It is indeed disturbing. Even heartless rich parents hire a nanny to give the love and care they’re incapable of, Levien and co seem to not even care that much. Hire someone to care!

Last edited 16 days ago by Talonesque #

Well for 10 years, they had a guy who provided that care and love so they never bothered to learn how to take care of their child on their own. That guy left and well, now they have no way of masking their absence and neglect anymore. No Ben to use as a shield.

Talonesque #

Fair point.

Bryan McEachern

Actually, the way Ben has his guys going he may grab a shield down the the line…..sigh..

Happy for Ben, great job…


Very happy for him. I want him to win it all. The one hesitation I have with Houston is that often times they get tangled in the beauty of the game and they forget to be decisive. So they can dominate a game, in possession and cohesion, talent, but they end up losing because they tried the extra pretty pass instead of taking clear shots.


Their lack of a decisive shot-taker is definitely their Achilles heel. That they’ve gotten this far without and explosive attacker is really impressive. I can imagine it’ll be addressed in the off-season.

Brendan Cartwright

And because we refuse to actually fire Dave Kasper, even though there are promises that he’ll be “sidelined,” this decision making is going to end up falling to him.

I am in total awe of this man’s ability to survive and maintain power.

Bryan McEachern

I had the same feeling.

Brendan Cartwright

Marcelo Gallardo took a job coaching in Saudi Arabia. That’s one former player/potential coach off the market.

Brendan Cartwright

Because no contract decisions have been made, let’s pretend everyone’s coming back! What are some milestones we might hit?

Steve Birnbaum has played 248 MLS games for DC. If he plays 31 games, he’ll pass Bill Hamid for second most games played by a player in DC United history.

Andy Najar has played 152 MLS games for DC. If he plays 31 games, he’ll pass Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Santino Quaranta, Richie Williams, Nick DeLeon, and Clyde Simms, which would get him to 8th most games played in United history.

Russell Canouse has played 137 MLS games for DC. If he plays 33 games, he’ll pass Santino Quaranta.

Getting over 100 games played is a hard thing to do, even though it’s less than three full seasons. Fred Brillant had to retire sitting on 99 games played. Chris Durkin has played 96 MLS games for United, and should get to the century mark with 4 games.

Yamil Asad has played 90 MLS games for United. He needs ten to get to 100.

Donovan Pines has played 87 MLS games for United. He needs 13 to get to 100. Nobody else on the roster is within 34 games of 100.

Brendan Cartwright

If Christian Benteke scores another 14 goals, he’ll have 29 goals for DC, which would tie him with one Benjamin Olsen for 9th most goals in club history. He needs 9 goals to tie Quaranta and Lucho Acosta to be part of the top 10. He needs 8 goals to tie Wayne Rooney.

Bryan McEachern

Wayne who?????

Talonesque #

I’ll never forget the time that the one game I got to see at RFK in person for a season was when I convinced my dad to take me to DCU vs. the Bruce Arena era Redbulls. That squad that featured Jozy Altidore, who came in off the bench, but the thing that made that game notable was definitely Ben Olsen scoring a hat trick in absurd fashion. One of my favorite games ever.

I used to have a knack for knowing when DC would have a fun game, and seeing that one, but then, this club used to be stronger, or at least have better parity.


If Yamil Asad plays another 10 games for DCU, it will be a Wooden Spoon season.

Steve Comer

Not that we have any other leading indicators to tell us otherwise.

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