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Freedom Kicks: MLS and USWNT links for Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Some strong drink has put us in a nostalgic mood.

I'm writing this after drinking one 5.80% ABV beer followed by 2 9.0% ABV beers. Since the latter beer also has Rasputin in its name, I am in a strange place.

New York Red Bulls' Jesse Marsch wins 2015 MLS Coach of the Year award |
In yet another MLS award that was wrongly given, Jesse Marsch is this year's Coach of the Year. Marsch saw his team endure few injuries and largely runs a coaching playbook put together by RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick, but the voters pretty much just looked at the standings and made their vote.

For my money, Oscar Pareja clearly, clearly deserved this award. His team endured more injuries - including to his key player, Mauro Diaz - and is cobbled together from players Pareja either scouted in CONMEBOL or developed himself in building the FCD academy. Ignoring him here is, in my book, about as ridiculous as Sebastian Giovinco not winning the MVP (though it's admittedly less of a surprise).

Chicago Fire hire former MLS player, Serbia U-20 boss Veljko Paunovic as new head coach |
In something of a surprise move, the Fire went with the former Philadelphia Union attacker Veljko Paunovic as their new head coach. Paunovic sounds like a left-field name, but he very recently coached Serbia's under-20s to the U-20 World Cup title. An underrated factor here could be Paunovic's ability to speak fluent Spanish, which could be very big in Chicago.

Veljko Paunovic selected as new Chicago Fire head coach | Hot Time in Old Town
More on the move from the good folks at HTIOT.

Ellis names WNT roster for final leg of World Cup Victory Tour | Stars and Stripes FC
The Washington Spirit's Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn unsurprisingly maintained their places within the USWNT squad for the final set of Victory Tour games. Christine Nairn was dropped, but that's likely related to the fact that she's on loan with the Melbourne Victory for the Australian season.

Goal Setting with a Soccer Coach |
A quick interview with former United striker Alecko Eskandarian, who coached the NY Cosmos B team to an NPSL championship while also fulfilling his assistant coach duties for the senior Cosmos (who won the NASL's Soccer Bowl).

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 set | The Brotherly Game
A rundown of the NCAA men's D1 tournament, which starts back up on Sunday. Local fans can head over to Georgetown to see the #3 seeded Hoyas host Boston College at 1pm Sunday, while the #10 Maryland Terrapins are on the road to face #7 Notre Dame (a rematch of the 2013 title game) an hour later on WatchESPN.

Vela quiere ser Colorado |
Carlos Vela ending up playing for the lowly Colorado Rapids is one of the silliest rumors out there, but the Rapids do have the top claim on the dangerous Mexican striker. This piece basically features Claudio Lopez saying that talks have started about bringing him in, but "started" means very little here. The author speculates that Vela would cost about $16 million.

Gabriel Brener on verge of Houston Dynamo majority ownership |
We might not think about it much, but the era of multiple MLS clubs being owned by one group or person has carried on from 1996 to today. However, if Gabriel Brener and his new partners successfully buy out AEG's shares of the Dynamo (and the Houston Dash as well), we will finally - finally! - be at the point where no investor controls more than one team.

New Sons of Ben president Ami Rivera wants to welcome all fans to the fun at PPL Park |
A good, progressive sign from a couple hours up 95 as the Sons of Ben name a female president.

Lastly, I made this because no one had ever bothered to do so:

Boskovic no-look pass

Go forth and do Branko Boskovic things today. Let his no-look passes and his leather jacket be your north star.