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D.C. United gears up for NYCFC, Marta to NWSL?, & more: Freedom Kicks for 3/10/2017

Spirit season starts soon, Galaxy suspensions, and an invitation to start your Friday off

I wish I had something odd to tell you here, or funny, but I don’t. Instead, for those of you not going up to New York for D.C. United’s game on Sunday, come out to our watch party at Dock FC over in Ivy City! A bunch of our staff will be there, there will be drink specials, and it should be fun. You like fun, right?

And even if you don’t like fun, the food is good. You can sit and eat and not enjoy the fun happening.

For those of you going up to the game, prepare yourself for the brutal return of Actual Winter and also the hooligan LARPers that stream into Yankee Stadium chanting “Who are ya?!” and their dangerous sandwich board usage.

Now that I’ve insulted United’s next opponent, let’s pivot to some Red Bulls trolling:

Keeping it DC for a minute, the Washington Spirit dropped by United’s house for a little while, and it looks like their 2017 uniforms might be more heavily red (a la their first two seasons):

Or, at the very least, there’s enough red for me to start jumping to conclusions. More importantly, the first Spirit preseason game is just eight days away!

Orlando Pride have reportedly signed Brazilian mega-star Marta for 2017 season | Women’s Soccer Weekly
Marta has been FIFA’s world player of the year roughly 80 times, so this is kind of a big deal. If the signing is made official, this will also be Marta’s NWSL debut. She hasn’t played in the US since the 2011 WPS season, when she scored 10 goals in 14 games for the Western New York Flash.

Of course, her current club FC Rosengard has a different take:

SheBelieves postmortem: three back to the drawing board | Stars and Stripes FC
The USWNT’s big tournament - well, it’s a friendly tournament, but everyone seemed to take it seriously - of 2017 did not go well at all. Hopefully these lessons take hold.

It’s time for USWNT coach Jill Ellis to go | Black and Red United
Or, maybe there’s a bigger change to make? These are strange days indeed for the USWNT.

Christie Rampone reflects on her USWNT career | Once a Metro
At least there was one pleasant moment from the SheBelieves Cup. Also, note that Rampone will be playing this season for Sky Blue FC. She will turn 42 in the middle of the season. If you’re working on a post-apocalyptic survival epic, you should probably just include Christie Rampone as the eventual leader of humanity.

LA Galaxy's Jermaine Jones, Dave Romney each suspended one game | the MLS DisCo actually going to apply the rules to the LA Galaxy? What bold new world is this?!

Also, the Galaxy continue to delight me with their current state. Bad coach, bad tactics, getting suspensions. I guess now is a good time to note that I listed them in 8th place in the West when our MLS sites were polled? They are bad. Savor it.

Views From Your Seats - TCF Bank Stadium | E Pluribus Loonum
Minnesota fans are getting pumped for MLS games at home, and the folks at E Pluribus Loonum did this extremely extensive look at the view from each section of their home for 2017.

Atlanta United’s remaining matches at Bobby Dodd Stadium to have lowered capacity | Dirty South Soccer
If you’re making the trip down to ATL for United’s first-ever game there, there won’t be 55,000 people joining you. However, that number isn’t falling by much, so expect a raucous atmosphere anyway.

Portland Timbers defenders Liam Ridgewell, Alvas Powell and Vytas all dealing with injuries | The Oregonian
PTFC’s defense this weekend might legitimately be Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Rennico Clarke, and 18 year old Marco Farfan.

Oh, but don’t worry, Roy Miller might arrive to save the day!

Elsewhere, one of the greats of the modern era is hanging his (spotless?) Copas up:

What a player. And what clean shoes! I’m sorry, I can’t get past those pristine white soles. I know players cycle through shoes fairly quickly, but damn.

I’ll close with a note that Little Dragon has a new album coming out a week before my birthday, so that’s something to look forward to while winter does its best Jason Vorhees impression this week.