DC United

Getty Images

Former DC United keeper sues club plus Espindola, Olsen

Leave a comment

Former DC United goalkeeper Charlie Horton has filed a lawsuit naming D.C. United and Major League Soccer defendants along with Fabian Espindola and manager Ben Olsen.

The lawsuit alleges assault by Espindola which left Horton with career-ending concussion symptoms which he claims still haunt him today. Horton, born in London, was on D.C. United’s roster in 2016, but never saw the field as he failed to crack the pecking order which boasted Bill Hamid, Tally Hall, and Andrew Worra. Eventually, Horton was sent on loan to the Richmond Kickers to gain playing time.

According to the lawsuit, Espindola attacked Horton at the team training facility in late March of 2016 after an argument involving an incident in training weeks earlier. Horton did indeed officially miss seven weeks with a concussion that season, the first of two injuries he suffered that year (a broken hand ended his season).

However, the lawsuit states that Horton was not entered into MLS concussion protocol immediately, instead allowed to practice that day and only entering protocol and missing time when he reported his symptoms the following day. Horton was cleared to play in May, and was then sent on loan to Richmond.

The lawsuit states that the lingering concussion symptoms caused the end of Horton’s career. “Due to the severity of his ongoing post-concussive neurological symptoms, which directly inhibited his ability to perform at a level necessary to continue his professional career, Mr. Horton was forced to officially retire from professional soccer.”

Horton claims that Espindola’s attack was a blindsided attack, an elbow to the temple after Horton had turned to walk away from the altercation.

Sorting through the 2017 MLS kit unveils so far

@LAGalaxy
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer teams have slowly but surely been rolling out their new primary and secondary kits for the 2017 season, which is just weeks away.

It seems clubs are taking less chances than ever before, going straightforward and simple. The term “clean” continues to dominate sports fashion.

[ MORE: Slumping Spurs “have to be clever” ]

When the oddest parts of unveilings are triangles on jerseys and an upper chest six-pack, well, again, clean.

You can find all of the released shirts here, but we’ll highlight some of the more interesting ideas on this page.

Vancouver Whitecaps

The aforementioned triangles look like a fashion-forward formal shirt more than anything. It’s a bit distracting for me, especially given Vancouver’s status as one of the better modern crests in sports.

van-primary-front-back

Sporting KC

The high collar is an interesting touch, a bit of Peaky Blinders era top. It’s a different enough style for KC while also maintaining their look.

nvasjdoiadsoih

Orlando City SC

The textured look of the shirt almost has a violet denim look to it. orl-primary-front-back

Los Angeles Galaxy

Similar “texturing” here, and I like the separate blue hue on the sleeves and stripes. la-secondary-front-back

DC United

I like the working of all three colors into the shirt, although I can’t help thinking “ab workout” with the chest design.

dc-secondary-front-back_abxu5kfmsjs3l3nvmi899endf

Report: Ian Harkes expected to sign with DC United

Twitter/ @MacStLouis
1 Comment

D.C. United didn’t have a top 10 selection in the MLS SuperDraft, but the club is likely to end up with one of the most talented collegiate players in the game.

[ MORE: Robinson, Ebobisse headline latest U.S. U-20 roster ]

According to the Washington Post, D.C. United is expected to sign Wake Forest attacker Ian Harkes to a multi-year contract.

[ MORE: Galaxy keeper Rowe replaces Frei with USMNT ]

Harkes, 21, came up through D.C.’s academy system before playing all four years for the Demon Deacons. The midfielder has gained significant notoriety over his college career, which concluded with Hermann Trophy honors following his senior senior.

As a former member of the D.C. academy, Harkes didn’t have to declare for the SuperDraft and is expected to sign a Homegrown contract with D.C. United in the coming days.

Harkes has also been considering his options abroad, which included second-division sides in England, where he was born. Ian is the son of former U.S. Men’s National Team star John Harkes, who played both in the United States and England over his professional career.

DC United holds off European suitors, keeps Birnbaum

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Despite links with transfer destinations in Germany, the Netherlands and Israel, USMNT center back Steve Birnbaum is staying with DC United.

The Cal standout, 25, has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Black-and-Red, helping Ben Olsen’s quest to move up the Eastern Conference pecking order yet again.

[ MAN UTD: Schweinsteiger could stay ]

Birnbaum has nine caps and a goal for the USMNT, and has a good chance to further his import to the national team set-up under new coach Bruce Arena.

“Through his work ethic and unwavering competitiveness, Steve has developed into a top central defender in MLS,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “Steve has become a leader in the locker room and has made a strong connection with his teammates, our fans and the city of Washington, D.C., and we are thrilled to have secured the long-term future of another talented young player as we move into 2017 and beyond.”

DC landed loan star Luciano Acosta on a permanent deal earlier this season. Their only Desginated Player is Kennedy Igboananike, acquired from Chicago in late July.

Follow @NicholasMendola

MLS Cup Playoffs Thurs. preview: Seattle, DC riding hot streaks

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The 4-5 match-ups in each conference are set for Thursday’s MLS Cup Playoffs, with two of the league’s hottest teams set to hit the pitch.

[ MORE: MLS Cup predictions ]

Both Seattle and DC are at home for their “play-in” matches, and face road teams with plenty of veteran experience and firepower in what should be a pair of beauts on each side of our country.


DC United vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET

The Black-and-Red have hit their stride under coach Ben Olsen, and seem on board the plan.

Montreal, however, has not seen tranquility in Quebec. Ignacio Piatti has been fantastic, but the headlines have revolved around Didier Drogba‘s unhappiness at not starting under Mauro Biello.

Drogba is not expected to play, while DC was able to rest the majority of its starters on Decision Day. The combination of those two facts bodes well for the hosts.


[ MORE: Nyarko says DC can aim high in MLS Playoffs ]


Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC — 10:30 p.m. ET

Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris have helped Seattle make up for the absence of transferred Obafemi Martins and injured Clint Dempsey.

The duo has been simply fantastic in “rave green”, and Sporting KC is going to have a whale of a time slowing Seattle. Consider the ability and season of under-the-radar MVP candidate Osvaldo Alonso in the center of the park, and all bets are off.

Of course, the thing about KC is there’s little question it has the mettle to not just win on the road, but win a tournament. Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Brad Davis, Benny Feilhaber… who in that locker room is going to shrink under the bright lights of the playoffs?