Not a year to remember for Washington sports fans. In fact, it’s a year many probably can’t wait for it to end.
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 slump.
Sportsmail takes a look at where things have gone wrong.
DC United is last in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference standings in a difficult season
For much of the Major League Baseball season, the history of the Nationals was intertwined with the story of Juan Soto. The Nationals went to great lengths to keep their star man, making an impressive 15-year offer worth $440 million. And he still said no.
The 23-year-old, who has 22 home runs to his name and counting, finally left before the trade deadline for the 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 received a warm reception from his longtime fans.
“It feels great,” Soto said of his return. “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 when I was there.”
‘But it is what it is, now it’s a business, and I’m on a winning team. I’m really happy. I’m happy for myself to be able to play with Manny (Machado) and Jake Cronenworth and all those guys that are here.
‘They are very good guys. So I’m happy to be here.’
But as Soto and the Padres weigh in on the World Series, the stark reality for the Nationals is that they have won 39 and lost 79 of their games this season and are last in the NL East standings.
It has lost more games than any other team in the MLB and there are still two months left in the season.
Juan Soto left the Nationals for San Diego, even after being offered a $440 million contract.
He’s probably going to get better at DC United now that Wayne Rooney has taken over as manager. But it’s not going very well so far.
DC was beaten 1-0 by Western Conference leader LAFC on Tuesday night and has he has scored five goals in his last eight games and has failed to score in the last four. He is last in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of 13th-place Atlanta and 11 points out of the playoffs.
But there are reasons to think things will get better. Rooney has proven to be a canny manager and worked well on a shoestring budget in the third-tier English team’s Derby before returning 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 loss to the New England Revolution.
The big talk, however, is about Christian Benteke and his imminent arrival from Crystal Palace. The former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker is a blow to Rooney and DC and exactly what a timid team needs.
He could be eligible to make his debut on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Union. He can’t get there fast enough, but he needs to get going.
DC United haven’t even scored in their last three games, let alone won, but they should improve with Wayne Rooney as coach.
The Washington Mystics have enjoyed the best year of any team in DC
The DC women’s basketball team is doing the best job for the city in sports this year. Maybe it’s not a surprise.
Currently his third in the Eastern Conference after a 22-14 record and heading to the playoffs, where he meets the Seattle Storm.
The first game between the two is on Thursday.
The Mystics and Seattle made it to the finals in 2018 and Seattle went without a winner that time and the last four WNBA championships have been shared between the two teams.
This time, Seattle is favored to win again with the Mystics seeding fifth in the playoffs and the Storm fourth.
There’s no pressure from Mike Thibault’s side, but he’s the best hope the city seems to have for sporting success this year.
Where to start with the Spirit this year. Technically, it’s doing better than the men’s team, Rooney’s DC United, in the sense that it’s the 10th of 12 teams in the NWSL and not the last.
But he has won once this season, out of 16 games. The bottom two teams have three and four games respectively and are just two points behind.
The Spirits’ 12 points come mostly from nine ties – credit where due, it’s a team that finds it almost as difficult to lose as it does to win, but with sixth-place Chicago 11 points ahead and in control of the final playoff spot , seems unlikely. Spirit’s campaign will extend beyond the regular season this year.
The Washington Spirit have had a rough season, winning just one game out of 16 so far.
DC United manager Wayne Rooney won’t find much to get excited about in Loudoun United’s season
DC United’s reserve team, Rooney is unlikely to look at his second-tier squad and find too much to get excited about as he tries to rebuild the club he recently joined.
Loudoun ranks 11th out of 14 teams in the USL Championship Eastern Conference, a league that hosts several second Major League Soccer teams.
Loudoun has won just five of his 23 games, losing 15 and drawing only three. A sobering record.
The NBA season ended months ago, but the Wizards slumped after a promising start. Last season’s start was excellent and he topped the standings with a 10-3 record, but then soared and finished 35-47.
As it is, the Wizards are considered a possible contender for a low-end playoff spot next season, which starts in October.