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Supporting Number Six

There was a touching moment in last Saturday's DC United game against Seattle. The story behind it deserves its own special blog.

Russell Canouse is DC's second longest tenured player (behind Steve Birnbaum). Canouse grew up in Lancaster, PA, and played for the New York Red Bulls academy, the US Under-20 team, and Hoffenheim and Bochum in the German Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 before coming to DC in August of 2017. He has been a defensive-minded midfielder who has played well in 6 1/2 years with us.

Canouse was sidelined with an ankle injury to start the 2024 season, and then with an undisclosed problem that had many fans both curious and concerned. Finally, an article by Steven Goff of the Washington Post late last week gave us the details: Canouse has had ulcerative colitis for the past 3 years, and he had surgery on March 22 to remove his colon. He is scheduled for further surgeries in May and July, and will miss most or all of this season. Heavy stuff.

In a supporter groups chat last Thursday night, the groups decided to make a banner and hold up the number "6" (Canouse's number) around the 6th minute of Saturday's game. Our own Kim Kolb (whose picture graces the top of the blog; thanks, Kim!) printed 500 number 6's to contribute to the cause.

The tribute was a nice way for all the groups to welcome themselves back full-throttle after the Audi not Saudi protest from the first 4 home games.

Russell was quite touched by the gesture and tweeted his thanks to the fans and supporters groups. After the victory, he came out on the field in street clothes to walk down to Sections 135 and 136 with the rest of the players.  He also sent a separate tweet to the Screaming Eagles. Russell has helped us shop for holiday presents for our Toys for Toddies event years ago, and also spoke with SE leadership earlier this year (before the colitis got worse) about improving player/supporters groups relationships.

We hope Russell has a full recovery. We want to see him back in the uniform, but more importantly we hope he has a full recovery and lives a full life. People (and groups) can squabble sometimes, but it's important once in a while to remember the big picture and that at the end of the day we're all in this together.

Cheers, Russ.


The Nest Liner

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