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Landon Donovan, Hope Solo, moth jokes, and more: Freedom Kicks for Thursday, 12/29/2016

Various MLS signings and rumors, the USWNT’s fight for equal pay, and some other stuff

I did some late-night shopping to pick up stuff to make fajitas, and along with seeing a kid puke at Target, I realized that I’ve adjusted to the cold temperatures. 34 and breezy was no problem with just a light coat and short sleeves on underneath (and, you know, pants). Just in time, I guess, since today is going to be cold and rainy. Welcome back, standard mid-Atlantic winter weather! I look forward to becoming very tired of you around when January becomes February.

Anyway, let’s talk about some things.

LD rumors: Might Landon Donovan keep playing after all? | Soccerwire
Charles Boehm broke this rumor late last night, and it’s a doozy. The return of Landon Donovan? In claret and cobalt? With Burrito Martinez heading back to Argentina, there’s a major opening in the RSL attack on the right wing. RSL probably needs to get younger rather than sign a guy who turns 35 around the time of the 2017 season opener, but they’re also in “just find some good players, period” mode.

Our Fight For Equal Pay Is About More Than Just Soccer | Good Sports
Hope Solo is calling US Soccer out again, and she’s getting specific. This includes talk of how Sunil Gulati operates and claims that the USWNT has agreed to strike more than once over the years only to lose their nerve at the last moment.

Minnesota United Officially Introduces Francisco Calvo | E Pluribus Loonum
The Loons bolstered their defense by completing the long-rumored signing of Francisco Calvo. They’ve still got a ton of work to do, but at least now they could actually field a back four made of players in their natural positions.

It’s Official: Orlando City Announces Signing of Midfielder Will Johnson | The Mane Land
Some United fans were interested in Johnson as a free agent signing. I’m comfortable with either going young in the #8 role (Ian Harkes, or perhaps looking to Julian Buescher to evolve into a viable starter there) or finding someone a) better and b) injured less often than Johnson, who commands a hefty price tag to boot. That said, he will probably help the Orlando midfield - which was often too soft and immobile - out in the ball-winning department.

Top 5 Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs Goals |
Taylor Kemp’s bombazo in the waning moments of United’s playoff defeat may not have meant anything, but it was a lot better than most of these goals. The Morris finish is just a normal goal. In the words of G.O.B. Bluth, “come on!”

Dando sopa no mercado | Globo Esporte
This is a list of Brazilian top flight players about to become free agents. The name that jumps out to me is Edwin Valencia, a former Colombia national team defensive midfielder who will be a free agent in three days. This isn’t me uncovering a transfer rumor for United, but rather just saying I would greatly enjoy a world in which this level of player is signed to solve United’s issues at defensive midfield. Since United has successfully built a dangerous attack with just one major international signing, they might be better off spending TAM or even DP money on a #6 that can shield the defense while adding more fluency to their passing game.

Pivoting towards DC soccer’s other pro side, I am of the opinion that the best twitter follow among United and Spirit players is Katie Stengel. Here’s how things are going in Australia:

NASL exploring expansion to San Diego, Orange County | LA Times
I take no joy in the NASL’s troubles. Those cities deserve strong professional teams to support. But man, I can’t imagine being able to put together the money to own a professional sports team and having any interest whatsoever in taking a meeting to enter the NASL.

I’m out of links, so I guess this is the end of the article. Everyone should watch The Thing to adjust to our shift into full-on winter.

Wait, one last thing. It’s always nice to end with a joke: