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Wednesday Freedom Kicks: Moment of silence

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The world mourns those lost in the Chapecoense tragedy, NASL and Cosmos fighting to avoid collapse, Steve Birnbaum re-signs, and oh yeah...Canada stops for MLS playoffs. That and more...it’s the Freedom Kicks.

Fans Pay Tribute To Brazilian Football Team Chapecoense Following Fatal Plane Crash Photo by Heuler Andrey/Getty Images

Morning, Black and Red community. Yesterday was an incredibly sad day of soccer news, with the world waking up to the tragic news of the plane crash that killed over 70 people, including almost the entire delegation of Brazilian side Chapecoense that were traveling to compete in their first-ever Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. The world mourns this senseless loss and pays tribute to the fallen, while the small Brazilian community who called this team their own will be reeling from this event for a long time.

Brazil clubs ask for rule changes to help Chapecoense after plane crash | Fox Soccer

Immediately in the aftermath of the Chapecoense plane crash, the rest of the Brasileiro Serie A clubs called on the league to allow Chapecoense to avoid relegation for the next three seasons. Many have also offered to loan players for free to the club so they will be able to field a team in the coming seasons while they try to rebuild. Classy move from the Brasileiro sides.

Atletico Nacional asks that Chapecoense be given Copa Sudamericana title | Fox Soccer

Atletico Nacional, the team that Chapecoense was to face in tonight’s first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, has asked CONMEBOL to award the title to Chapecoense. All CONMEBOL activities have been suspended, including both legs of the final, but this is one of the nicest moments to come out of this tragedy so far. Respect to Nacional for this gesture.

New York Cosmos and NASL working to survive as league meetings open | ESPNFC

Amid reports that the New York Cosmos had folded and several NASL teams were left to scramble to avoid their own demise, the future of the North American Soccer League is bleak.

Report says D.C. United has agreed to a new contract with Steve Birnbaum | Black and Red United

As first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein, D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum has inked a new four-year contract to remain here in Black-and-Red. Great news for all of us that the USMNT player will be with us for a long while!

Toronto-Montreal preview: Canada’s eyes turn to BMO Field | NBC Sports

The 2nd leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals are tonight and Toronto FC and 36,000 of its fans will hope to overcome a goal deficit and move past the Montreal Impact on their way to hosting MLS Cup at BMO Field.

Gareth Southgate to be named England manager on Wednesday | BBC

Looks like England has a permanent manager, as Gareth Southgate will have the interim tag removed today and assume the role full time.

Pulisic to Liverpool rumors heat up amidst Coutinho injury | Stars and Stripes FC

With Philippe Coutinho out until 2017 due to an ankle injury and with other key pieces, Liverpool seems set to go after United States prodigy and Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic. The price tag is rumored to be a minimum of $31 million for the 18-year-old.

Bruce Arena’s U.S. Soccer agenda: World Cup qualifying first, roster changes later | Soccer Insider

Bruce Arena is focused on getting the USMNT to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In fact, that’s his sole focus: qualifying. He says he’ll worry about tinkering with the roster later. He has the backing of many U.S. Soccer veterans, and all eyes will be focused on those March World Cup qualifiers to see how the squad will rebound.

Well, that’s the news for today. One very important thing: 34 years ago today, the greatest album of all time was released. So, give it 34 listens today for me. Oh, and if you see this guy around today, it’s his 34th birthday too and he’s proud to share it with the GOAT. Comments are open, y’all...get that cake.