Good afternoon! D.C. United was in the news on multiple fronts yesterday, the Washington Spirit lost a fixture of their squad to the NWSL Expansion Draft, and Trinity Rodman was recognized for being really friggin’ good. Let’s talk about it:
DCU says: "He's not going anywhere. No interest from us in moving him at all." https://t.co/Gj5Oq6TYCp— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 16, 2021
We start with United pouring a 5 gallon bucket of cold water on those Paul Arriola-to-LA Galaxy rumors. Beyond Arriola’s California links, the proposal didn’t really make a lot of sense, with Arriola stylistically much more of a Hernán Losada sort of player than a Greg Vanney player.
However, the rumors surrounding Arriola apparently aren’t completely out of steam:
Also, LA Galaxy aren't the only North American West Coast team with interest in Paul Arriola. Liga MX's Club Tijuana would also be interested in bringing him back, per source.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 16, 2021
Arriola made 116 appearances with Xolos, where he started his career before moving to DC for a $3m fee
Silly season is upon us, I guess.
Let’s get into more concrete possibilities:
Getting word that D.C. United is preparing to sign Ted Ku-DiPietro, a 19-year-old midfielder at Loudoun United, to an MLS homegrown contract. #dcu— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 16, 2021
Ted Ku-DiPietro came up through the academy, but didn’t quite convince the club to give him a homegrown deal at the age MLS clubs often opt for them. Good on him for turning the chance at Loudoun into a deal after all. It’s also no accident, as Ku-DiPietro was one of the best players in the USL Championship last season.
NWSL Expansion Draft: Spirit lose Paige Nielsen to Angel City FC | Black and Red United
The Spirit lost Paige Nielsen to Angel City FC last night in the NWSL expansion draft. It’s not great news, as is the case with any expansion draft. Nielsen’s a tough loss, both on and off the field. Plus, who will step up and fill the gun show vibes?
However, narrowing the view to purely about roster build: Given that Washington has Saori Takarada and Karina Rodríguez as depth at center back, they were probably better set up to lose a player at that position than most others.
The news is bad. Let’s have some good news to balance it out:
She’s just getting started!— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) December 17, 2021
@trinity_rodman is your 2021 @ChipotleTweets Young Female Player of the Year! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/udEh1FbtGj
Frankly a little surprised that Rodman didn’t just win (Catarina Macario is playing regularly for Lyon, after all), but won by a wide margin. But, I think it’s the right call, especially given the relative strength of NWSL as compared to D1F.
“To see my name alongside the list of amazing players who have won this award in the past is unbelievable,” said Rodman in a release from U.S. Soccer. “It’s an honor to receive this award from U.S. Soccer and our amazing fanbase. This year was a journey for me both mentally and physically as I settled into my new life as a professional. I want to thank my family, teammates, coaching and medical staffs for everything they have done for me on and off the field. It truly takes a village. I am so incredibly proud of what my Spirit teammates and I accomplished this season, and I would be humbled to get an opportunity to play for the U.S. again and represent our country in 2022.”
The NWSL chaos attached to the expansion draft continued into today, thanks in part to a brief trade window opening at a time different from the one stated publicly, and that closes at 8pm tonight, and then opens again for tomorrow’s draft:
Clarity on the #NWSL trade window:— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) December 17, 2021
1) Reopened as soon as expansion draft ended, and apparently that was always the plan despite 9 am ET Friday being listed publicly
2) Window closes again at 8 pm ET Friday to lock a draft order
3) Reopens at 2 pm ET Saturday (start of draft)
I’m wiped out just reading that.
OK that’s what I had. Enjoy the spring-in-December weather this afternoon, winter will be back very soon!