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MLS opening weekend, U.S. Soccer’s anthem policy, and more: Freedom Kicks for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

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Quick! You have a lot to catch up on.

Buckle up, folks, because I actually got a lot to share this morning. Wouldn’t you know it, soccer is busy right now!

In fact, it’s busy enough that I’m organizing today’s Kicks into categories. Here we go!

On MLS:

Armchair Analyst: Atlanta get an expansion lesson & more in Week 1 | MLS

Key takeaway: Maybe no more penalties for Marcelo Sarvas.

Kaka's injury fast-tracks a makeover for Orlando City's attack | FourFourTwo

Kaka, by the way, is expected to miss six weeks.

MLS scores, Week 1: Atlanta United’s wild debut had plenty to love and hate | SB Nation

Atlanta United FC (ugh) generated a lot of talk this weekend. Some of it has been good...

Crowd Count: Atlanta opener fifth largest in world | SoccerAmerica

I grew up in Atlanta, and I saw a lot of people on my Facebook timeline posting about the game. It was kind of surreal. MLS in Atlanta! It’s really happening! But not all of it was good...

Atlanta United condemns anti-gay chant heard at debut MLS game | ESPNFC

Just like, maybe don’t chant homophobic things? Is that so hard??

On U.S. Soccer’s new policy that players must stand during the national anthem:

U.S. Soccer banned Megan Rapinoe's national anthem protest without caring to understand it | SB Nation

This piece is spot on.

USSF’s new anthem policy was done in a pretty shady way | Stars and Stripes FC

Coooooooool.

U.S. Soccer's anthem rule isn't just anti-American -- it's anti-soccer | ESPNFC

“So what is this really about?” <— This is a good question.

On the USWNT and USMNT:

The U.S. national soccer team is moving on without Hope Solo | The Washington Post

“The former ‘Dancing With the Stars’ contestant is also pursuing opportunities in the entertainment industry, signing a deal to develop unscripted TV content.” Oh no. HARD pass.

Christie Rampone isn’t done with soccer | Stars and Stripes FC

Great to see Rampone still leading, even if she’s no longer captain of the USWNT.

U.S.'s Bruce Arena will be cautious with Dempsey, Howard, Cameron | ESPNFC

FYI, roster for World Cup qualifiers is coming March 15.

Phew, that’s all from me. Discuss and share more in the comments!