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D.C. United at Audi Field, USWNT news, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/22/2017

The Rapids are apparently about to make a terrible mistake, while your faithful author is at war with himself

I fell asleep very early last night, and woke up hungry for pulled pork and a soda. My body is entirely confused and cannot be trusted. Here are some links while I fight this internal battle.

D.C. United’s new stadium is coming along, but its home schedule is ‘a Rubik’s Cube’ | Washington Post
Steve Goff talked with D.C. United club president Tom Hunt, and we learned some things as a result. For example: the possibility of playing a home game at a non-Buzzard Point venue (but not at RFK) is on the table, though the team is still aiming to play all 17 home games at Audi Field.

Stejskal: Source quashes reports of Nigel de Jong joining DC United |
Big sigh of relief to hear this is less likely to happen. Signing Russell Canouse makes more sense from plenty of angles, and I’m not sure our comment section could bear Nigel de Jong actually ending up here. Plus, with Paul Arriola a Designated Player, Luciano Acosta joining him next season (unless DCU again opts to pay him down with TAM, but as of today he’s the second DP), and a glaringly obvious need for a top-tier goalscorer, there’s just no way to make such a move work.

Let’s move on, and never speak of this rumor again.

Chris Durkin makes final roster for the U-17 World Cup | Black and Red United
Here’s another reason to never speak of the rumor we’re not speaking of. Chris Durkin should be a major factor for the USYNT team headed to India for next month’s under-17 World Cup.

The Journey: Mal Pugh |
US Soccer is doing video profiles with USWNT players in the build-up to next year’s World Cup. That is, videos on players for a roster that hasn’t been picked, and a team that hasn’t even started qualification yet. Regardless of that USSF hubris, here’s a glimpse into Pugh’s life.

Personally, I remember being 19 and making extremely questionable dietary choices (e.g. Pizza Rolls or boxes of mac and cheese) while barely knowing how to cook. And I was ahead of the curve! I legitimately impressed a date once by making fettucine alfredo, and my sauce was pre-cooked chicken and a jar of sauce from the store. Meanwhile, Pugh is out here making cilantro lime chicken with vegetables from scratch like it’s no big deal. Dang millenials being capable and good at things and actually not being a problem like the thinkpieces claimed.

New Turf Fight Has U.S. Soccer and Women’s Team at Odds Again | New York Times
There are a wide range of reasons (attempts to play games all over the country, having more friendlies than the USMNT, for example) the USWNT could end up on turf at an unequal rate without a lack of equal treatment being solely to blame. However, when the numbers are as glaring as the USWNT finishing 2017 with three of six games on plastic while the USMNT has played a home game on turf just once since the start of 2014, it’s awfully difficult to conclude that genuine efforts have been made to treat both teams even sort of equally.

Latest heartbreak may signal another wasted generation for Red Bulls | FourFourTwo USA
Heartbroken? I think it’s great that the Red Bulls failed to win a trophy. This article about the sad sacks from NJ being sad warmed my heart.

Source: Rapids have interest in former Union head coach John Hackworth | Metro
Colorado what are you doing?! Do not do this! Hackworth’s time in MLS proved he was way, way out of his depth coaching pros. I sincerely think retaining Mastroeni would have been a significantly better idea than this. An even better idea? Exploring the NASL/USL/NWSL ranks, or NCAA, or letting fans manage via voting online.

Why NWSL's winningest coach is eyeing new challenges and greener pastures | FourFourTwo USA
Speaking of potentially available coaches, Colorado Rapids, one of the sharpest minds in the NWSL may be a free agent very soon. A Vlatko Andonovski-coached Rapids would definitely be a better idea than giving Hackworth another shot.

Down in the USL, a major error has ended with a refereeing crew being suspended:

DCU Olds may recall a somewhat similar incident way back when, as Brandon Prideaux was given 2 yellows but not ejected by Jair Marrufo in a game United went on to win. Ah, Marrufo.

Finally, take in the soothing sight of Peter Vermes emphatically arguing something or other at length while Ismail Elfath ponders his post-game Netflix options:

Actually, finally finally, my friend Kevin is taking part in Extra Life, in which folks raise money to benefit children’s hospitals throughout the country by playing video games for 24 hours. If you can spare a few bucks, here’s his donation page.