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Down the Final Stretch - Catching Up with DC United


The Inaugural League’s Cup is winding down and both MLS and Apple TV are ecstatic about how it played out. Now that the Final match set, the rest of the league is ready for the final stretch of the MLS regular season and the final push for the playoffs.


The Black & Red are on the edge of the playoffs, currently sitting in the final spot. Their last MLS match was not encouraging, as the team was trounced on the road, beaten soundly by the New England Revolution 4-0. This match had lots of repercussions that have reverberated through the League’s Cup break.


The biggest repercussion of the match were the allegations that Taxi Fountas directed a racial slur towards Nigel Robertha. Both Taxi and Robertha were

This was the second time that Taxi had been investigated for allegations of using a racial slur, and it was apparent that it was time to move on from the talented but obviously troubled player. This writer and other podcasters decided it was time to step aside until the team did the right thing, which fortunately DC United did.

On August 10th DC United and Taxi Fountas reached an agreement to mutually terminate his contract, and just like that the team opened a Designated Player slot.


Another aspect of the match against the Revolution was it was the last game Lewis O’Brien played for DC United. The young Englishman’s loan ended and he returned to Nottingham Forest.

United is currently in a playoff spot going into the final stretch. The team desperately needs to start playing with confidence and consistency. If they can, the team will make the playoffs. If it doesn’t it will again just miss them,


Incomings & Outgoings


Incoming Éric Davis

DC United signed Panamanian National Team defender Éric Davis to play Left Back. The 32-year-old defender is comfortable playing both offense and defense, and gives the Black & Red cover for the left back. United signed the defender through 2023 with options for 2024 and 2025.


Incoming José Fajardo

DC United signed Panamanian National Team forward José Fajardo from Club Atlético Independiente in the Panama first division. The Black-and-Red have signed the forward through 2023 with options in 2024 and 2025. The 29-year-old forward offers DC United another scoring threat to play off Benteke and take minutes that would have been Taxi’s.


Incoming Gabriel Pirani

DC United have signed Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Pirani on loan from Santos FC of the Brazilian Série A. Pirani is signed through Dec. 31, 2023 with an option to buy. The 21-year-old midfielder is expected to take some of the minutes Lewis O’Brian played, though he is expected to be more offensive minded.


Returning Jackson Hopkins

DC United brought Jackson Hopkins back from his loan to Loudoun United. Hopkins was sent down to the USL Championship Club to get more playing time, and build his confidence. It was a very successful loan spell, where the attacking midfielder scored 4 goals, and picked up an assist in 12 matches. Back for the League’s Cup matches, Hopkins was one of the best players on the field for United.


Outgoing Victor Palsson

Victor Palsson transferred to K.A.S. Eupen of the Belgian Pro League. Palsson was signed with the Black & Red from FC Schalke 04 in Germany on July 27, 2022 and made his debut for the club on Aug. 13. 2022. In the year he was with United, Palsson recorded 3 assists in 28 MLS appearances (27 starts), most as a Center Back.


Outgoing Taxi Fuantas

Enough said.


Outgoing Lewis O’Brien

Unfortunately DC United was unable to work out a deal with Nottingham Forest to extend the loan deal for O’Brien. In his time with the Black & Red, O’Brien showed the talent he had, and helped give United a strong midfield. He played with passion and skill, and was fun to watch. His presence will be missed.


Leagues Cup

DC United was knocked out of the Leagues Cup in the round of 32, losing 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Philadelphia Union. United exited the tournament having won in Montréal (0-1), a loss to Mexico’s Pumas (3-0), and then the Philadelphia result. Despite the score line against Pumas, United looked good for this tournament. The team was heavily rotated against Pumas, with a very depleted bench. Between injuries, transfers and suspensions, Rooney didn’t have a lot to choose from. Yet the team looked better. There is some hope of a strong finish in the regular season and making the playoffs.



Return of a Legend


DC United announced the addition of Black & Red Legend, Marco Etcheverry, to their Academy coaching staff. Etcheverry will coach the Under-15’s and work closely under Academy Director, Patrick Ouckama.


Etcheverry was part of United’s inaugural season in 1996 after signing from América de Cali in Colombia. He was a major part of leading the Black & Red to 3 MLS Cups (1996, 1997, 1999), 2 Supporters’ Shields (1997, 1999), a CONCACAF Champions League (1998), a Copa Interamericana (1998), and a U.S. Open Cup (1996).

DC United’s Academy program will now have U-14, U-15, U-17, and U-19 age groups for the 2023-’24 season.


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