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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and women's soccer links for Wednesday December 30, 2015

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Good and bad news for the Black-and-Red, plus some odds and ends from around MLS and some changes in the world of woso.

Let's just jump into some D.C. United news, shall we?

Sigh. Jumping first thing in the morning was probably a bad idea. Do we have any good news? Well, yes:

SA Positional Rankings: Beitashour gets nod at right back | SoccerAmerica.com
Soccer America's positional rankings are usually interesting - sometimes I disagree strongly, but interesting nonetheless - but since they're starting with forwards and moving back, United hasn't been involved much (Chris Rolfe was their 5th best forward, and Perry Kitchen was their 9th best defensive midfield), but they've got Sean Franklin at #4 among right backs. That's pretty fair in my book.

Speaking of United fullbacks, Taylor Kemp made a big move off the field:

No prizes for guessing the ending.

Arsenal battling with Fiorentina to land South American winger in January | Express.co.uk
"South American," in this case, means a different place. I don't put much stock into this rumor - the Fiorentina part may be true, but the Arsenal part is almost certainly an invention by an agent - but it's still nice to hear that Andy Najar is potentially approaching his next step up the ladder.

This is also pretty important for United, who apparently were smart enough to insist on a cut of any transfer fee Anderlecht gets for Najar.

2016 MLS Mock Draft v 1.0 | Top Drawer Soccer
The draft is less than three weeks away.

Roy Miller signs with Deportivo Saprissa | Once a Metro
Everyone's favorite Red Bull has moved on to Saprissa, so if United can get back into the CCL during the 2016 season we might see him again.

Whitecaps FC acquire Japanese striker Masato Kudo on free transfer | WhitecapsFC.com
This looks like a great move on paper. Kudo, at just 25, was already longtime J-League club Kashiwa Reysol's all-time top scorer and has 49 goals over the last 4 seasons. Of course, there was barely a reaction on soccer twitter because no one seems to pay attention to Vancouver.

This also means Darren Mattocks is more easily acquired than ever before. Hint hint.

Real Salt Lake Signs Academy Product Danilo Acosta | RSL.com
RSL's Arizona academy continues to produce. From the quotes here, they seem to hope that Acosta can become Kyle Beckerman's successor.

Could MLS come to San Diego? | The San Diego Union-Tribune
It sounds like ownership is in place at least. On the other hand, there is talk here of that owner - John Moores, whose investment group is apparently close to purchasing a controlling stake in Everton - treating a San Diego MLS team as a "partner" team for Tim Howard's current employers. How many times do we have to see that idea fail?

Veljko Paunovic Discusses His Plans for Chicago Fire | American Soccer Now
Sounds like Veljko Paunovic wants to get away from Frank Yallop's style of play.

Former W-League teams join WPSL for 2016 season | WPSL.info
The Washington Spirit Reserves are among the teams moving over to the WPSL.

Sources: U.S. Soccer set to launch girls’ Development Academy in 2017, likely relegating ECNL to second tier | Soccerwire
Charles Boehm has an interesting report here. US Soccer apparently is doing this without giving the ECNL - a league Boehm says has previously been happy to collaborate with the USSF - much in the way of a heads-up. Still, it is a sign that US Soccer understands that their position in women's soccer worldwide is by no means invincible.