Nationals lost Soto, DC United is last… 2022 is a year to forget for Washington’s sports teams!
It’s not a year to remember for Washington sports fans. In fact, it’s a year that many probably can’t wait to be over.
From baseball to basketball and not forgetting soccer, the capital has had a miserable 2022 so far. But some teams haven’t been as bad as others and for some, there are signs of life even in a tough run of form.
Sportsmail takes a look at where things have gone wrong.
DC United is last in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference standings in a tough season
For a large part of the Major League Baseball season, the story of the Nationals was intertwined with the story of Juan Soto. The Nationals threw everything at keeping its star man – making a stunning 15-year offer worth $440million. And he still said no.
The 23-year-old, who has 22 home runs to his name and counting eventually left before the trade deadline for San Diego Padres.
And he returned to DC over the weekend for a series of games against his old team. San Diego won two of the three but Soto got a warm reception from his former supporters.
‘It feels pretty cool,’ Soto said about being back. ‘It’s kind of sad in the same way because it’s still the Nationals and you were there and it was a really good team by the time I was there.
‘But it is what it is, it’s a business now, and I’m on a winning team. I’m really happy. I’m happy for myself that I get to play with Manny (Machado) and Jake Cronenworth and all those guys that are here.
‘They are really good guys. So, I’m happy to be here.’
But while Soto and the Padres size up the world series, the stark reality for the Nationals is that it has won 39 and lost 79 of its games this season and is last in the National League East standings.
It has lost more games than any other team in MLB and there’s still two months of the season left.
Juan Soto left the Nationals for San Diego, even after being offered a $440m contract
It’s probably going to get better at DC United now Wayne Rooney has become the coach. But it’s not going great so far.
DC were beaten 1-0 by Western Conference leader LAFC on Tuesday night and has scored five goals in its last eight matches and failed to hit the net in its last four. It is last in the Eastern Conference, seven points adrift of 13th-place Atlanta and 11 points off the playoffs.
But there are reasons for thinking things will get better. Rooney has proven himself an astute coach and worked well on a shoestring budget at English third tier team Derby, before he returned to Washington.
He has moved quickly in the transfer window – Victor Palsson, a defensive midfielder, joined on a free transfer from Schalke and looked good on his debut in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by New England Revolution.
The big talk, however, is on Christian Benteke and his impending arrival from Crystal Palace. The former Liverpool and Aston Villa forward is a coup for Rooney and DC and exactly what a goal-shy team needs.
He could be eligible to make his debut Saturday night, against Philadelphia Union. It can’t come quickly enough – but he needs to hit the ground running.
DC United hasn’t even scored in its last three games, let alone won, but it should improve with Wayne Rooney as coach
The Washington Mystics have enjoyed the best year out of all the teams in DC
The women’s basketball team in DC is doing the best job for the city in sport this year. Perhaps it isn’t a surprise.
At present, its third in the Eastern Conference after a 22-14 record and is heading into the playoffs, where it meets Seattle Storm.
The first game between the two is Thursday.
The Mystics and Seattle made the 2018 finals and Seattle ran out winner that time and the last four WNBA championships have been shared between the two teams.
This time, Seattle is favorite to win again with the Mystics fifth seed in the playoffs and the Storm fourth.
No pressure on Mike Thibault’s side, but its the best hope the city seems to have for sporting success this year.
Where to start with the Spirit this year. Technically its doing better than the men’s team – Rooney’s DC United – in the sense its 10th out of 12 teams in the NWSL and not last.
But it has won once this season, out of 16 games. The two teams below it have three and four games in hand respectively and are just two points behind.
The Spirits’s 12 points mainly come from nine draws – credit where it’s due, its a team that almost finds it as hard to lose as win – but with sixth-place Chicago 11 points ahead and in control of the final playoff spot, it seems unlikely the Spirit’s campaign will extend beyond regular season play this year.
The Washington Spirit has had a hard season and won just one game out of 16 so far
DC United coach Wayne Rooney won’t find much to get excited by in Loudoun United’s season
The reserve team to DC United, Rooney is unlikely to look at his second tier team and find too much to be excited by as he tries to rebuild the club he recently joined.
Loudoun is 11th out of 14 teams in the USL Championship Eastern Conference, a league which houses a number of second teams to Major League Soccer outfits.
Loudoun has won only five of its 23 games, losing 15 and drawing just three. A sobering record.
The NBA season was over months ago but the Wizards slumped after a promising start. The opening to last season was excellent and it topped the standings with a 10-3 record but then spiraled and finished 35-47.
As it stands, the Wizards is considered a possible contender for a low-end playoff spot in the upcoming season, which starts in October.
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