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Washington Spirit make moves, USL gets D-2 approval, and more: Freedom Kicks for January 17, 2018

Happy Wednesday folks! A lot of stuff dropped yesterday, including the Washington Spirit just making move after move after move. Let’s get into all of it:

Washington Spirit trade Crystal Dunn’s NWSL rights to North Carolina Courage for Taylor Smith, Ashley Hatch | Black & Red United

Bombshell trades involving the Washington Spirit yesterday, as they sent Crystal Dunn’s NWSL rights to the North Carolina Courage for United States internationals Taylor Smith and Ashley Hatch. They also packaged Lindsay Agnew and the 6th pick in Thursday’s NWSL Draft to the Houston Dash in exchange for the 3rd pick. Now, they possess 2 of the top 3 picks in the draft. Breathe...that was a lot!

USL granted 2018 2nd-division sanctioning by U.S. Soccer | NBC Sports

The USL was granted Division 2 status by U.S. Soccer, with the NWSL acquiring Division 1 status on the women’s side. Both teams must become fully complaint with U.S. Soccer requirements by 2020, but they had shown the Federation enough to get full status now. Status of the NASL: unknown.

MLS approved for 14% of U.S. Soccer presidential vote | ESPNFC

MLS was granted a major chunk of the votes in next month’s U.S. Soccer presidential election. Don Garber and the rest of the MLS owners will have a lot of clout in the room as candidates try to secure enough votes to win the presidency.

Ronaldinho: Brazilian World Cup winner retires from football | BBC

A world soccer legend announces his retirement as Ronaldinho hangs up his cleats. He was one of my favorite players to watch ever, and there may not be another player with the skills he possesses come on the world stage again. Thank you, Ronnie.

Which soccer leagues should you be watching more? | Black & Red United

Need to watch some more soccer before D.C. United starts back up? You know I got you covered! Check out some leagues you need to experience outside the Big 5.

Tevez on $850k per week move to China: “It was a vacation” | NBC Sports

Carlos Tevez recently returned to Boca Juniors from a stint in China, where he said he treated it like a 7-month vacation. A well-paid vacation, I might add, with his salary at Shanghai Shenhua exceeding $850,000 per week.

Breaking down D.C. United’s roster needs ahead of the 2018 MLS Superdraft | Black & Red United

Want to know what D.C. United should be looking for in Friday’s MLS Superdraft? Our very own Jason Anderson drops some knowledge on the masses.

There you have it, the news of the day. Hit the comments and let us know what news hit your timelines, and have a good one!