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2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft, US Soccer president changes, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/15/2017

We’re overwhelmed by all the MLS moves to keep up with

Normally I’m just fine with our region having four distinct seasons, but I find myself wanting to skip this particular winter and go straight into spring. Maybe I’m just tired from the avalanche of MLS moves in the past few days, a trend that isn’t going to stop. The Re-Entry Draft is this afternoon, free agency is coming soon, and I’m left with the sense that this is going to be a wild offseason.

MLS releases player list for 2017 Re-Entry Draft | Black and Red United
Speaking of the Re-Entry Draft, here are the details. We’ll be ready to cover it later today.

New York City FC trade Khiry Shelton to Sporting Kansas City for Saad Abdul-Salaam | Hudson River Blue
I audibly groaned when I read this deal was done. Saad Abdul-Salaam would have been a great signing for D.C. United, creating major competition for the starting right back job (in fact, I’d have rated him the slight favorite if United had managed to make this deal). I had been working under the assumption that Peter Vermes was demanding a massive amount to get one of the better fullbacks in the league, and frankly it’s a surprise that the cost was only Khiry Shelton.

It’s not that Shelton is a bad player (I know some of our readers probably saw this deal and got upset that he, rather than Abdul-Salaam, was moving elsewhere), but he’s not essential to NYCFC, and there are more players like him floating around than there are good, young, domestic fullbacks. I think both teams are going to be quite happy with this move, but I know it makes me want to sulk.

The Pigeons also picked up Columbus back-up goalkeeper Brad Stuver for a 2019 4th round pick.

Jack McBean joins the Rapids | Burgundy Wave
Another low-profile move saw Jack McBean moved to the Colorado Rapids for a conditional 4th round pick in 2019 (a.k.a. a promise to buy a round of beers the next time Colorado visits). McBean will look to rebuild his career after never really breaking through in seven seasons with the Galaxy. He’s still just 22, but the goals he scored for them in the CCL seem like ancient history.

LA Galaxy acquire defender Jorgen Skjelvik |
The LA Galaxy need a ton of additions, and Jorgen Skjelvik appears to be the first move in a long series. Skjelvik has won 3 Norwegian league titles and has 7 caps for Norway, which is (probably) good. He’s also known for having speed, which separates him from Minnesota’s disastrous choice last winter to sign Vadim Demidov, another Norway national teamer.

Sounders acquire veteran Costa Rica international in trade with Crew | Sounder at Heart
More moves? More moves! The Crew didn’t seem interested in keeping Waylon Francis around, and even after losing Jukka Raitala in the expansion draft they moved the Costa Rican left back to Seattle for some GAM. I think Garth Lagerwey referring to him as “an All-Star level player” is quite a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s a solid move to shore up their depth considering Joevin Jones starts his contract with SV Darmstadt in two weeks.

USSF set to revamp president's role, create GM position - sources | ESPNFC
Jeff Carlisle with the scoop on a (in my book, BADLY needed) change to what the USSF president actually does. Funnily enough, it also probably appeals to several people running for president more than the actual presidential position would.

“Our Fans Serve As Extra Sets Of Lungs”: One-On-One With Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez | Hot Time In Old Town
This is pretty cool: HTIOT made a public offer for Rodriguez to address some issues between the Chicago Fire and their fans, and he took them up on it. Among the subjects up for discussion: why the Fire prefer to do their business in the winter window rather than the summer, and the club’s attempts to eliminate homophobic chants at Toyota Park.

Francisca Ordega, currently on loan with Atletico Madrid in La Liga Femenina, got to talk about her path to the Nigerian national team and trying to set an example where young women are sometimes discouraged from playing soccer:

Spirit Academy – Virginia Technical Director Tom Torres joins NWSL coaching staff |
Tom Torres should be a familiar name to United fans due to his time with the Black-and-Red’s academy program and coaching their U-23s. He’s been the Washington Spirit’s technical director for their Virginia DA branch for over a year, and will add a role as an assistant coach for the senior team to his portfolio. Per the Spirit, Torres will focus on video analysis.

The Reviews Are In | Rose City Riveters capo Hailey Kilgore becomes star on Broadway |
Cool story here about a young Portland Thorns capo who is now the lead in a Broadway play.

Football Manager 2018 includes gay players, but in a world that doesn’t really exist | Howler
Allowing game-generated players to come out as gay in Football Manager was probably a gesture meant as a positive statement, but as James Bridget Gordon argues here, it rings pretty hollow when players justifiably fear major repercussions in the real world.

I am about to fall asleep in my chair, so that’s a good time to stop typing. Pick a good movie or two for the weekend!