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Boston Breakers fold, D.C. United moves?, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/26/2017

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We’re not trying to bum you out, but this is a downer round of Kicks

SOCCER: AUG 04 NWSL - FC Kansas City at Boston Breakers Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Normally I try to open Friday with something funny, or goofy, or just weird. In light of yesterday’s news that the Boston Breakers are going to fold, I’m not really in the mood. All signs point to this being an avoidable outcome, and it’s very likely that when all the information comes out we’re going to be disappointed in US Soccer, the NWSL and their partners, and those in New England who had the power to help but opted to do otherwise.

Boston Breakers fold after ownership deal falls through | The Bent Musket
Terrible news for the fans, players, and staff of the Breakers as well as fans of professional soccer in the United States. In Stephanie Yang’s own words: “A damn shame indeed.”

The End of the Breakers: How did it come to this? | Backline Soccer
Some really great points in here about how a) we don’t yet know enough to go after specific parties for this failure, and that b) we do know enough to lose confidence in US Soccer and the league’s ability to navigate challenges. It’s not like the Breakers went from wealthy to insolvent yesterday. Point A is why we haven’t published an angry diatribe about the whole thing (yet).

The Boston Breakers’ demise is another step toward an unrecognizable NWSL, but in which direction is the league headed? | FourFourTwo USA
A reminder of Boston’s problems, and that when MLS hit this point in its lifespan, they had a plan in place to make real progress. NWSL, meanwhile, has gone over a full year without naming a full-time, fully empowered commissioner. League owners can say the NWSL is on stronger footing, but there’s reason to not fully buy in to that assertion.

Heart Breakers | Her Pitch
It’s fair to spell out how everyone attached to the Breakers organization was let down at some point in this unfortunate process.

The hurt reached the Washington Spirit, too, as Joanna Lohman thought back to her previous club:

I’d be remiss to not mention the long list of current Breakers who played for the Spirit and now find themselves wondering about whether they have a job. For Megan Oyster, Tiffany Weimer, Katie Stengel, and Angela Salem (not to mention the entire Boston roster), this is a brutal time for this kind of uncertainty. The long wait has made it very difficult for these players to arrange moves to Europe or elsewhere, and it is entirely unknown how the NWSL will handle dispersal.

Armchair Analyst: Roster build status for D.C. United | MLSsoccer.com
Matt Doyle sees all that GAM and TAM D.C. United has acquired recently ($700,000 in under two weeks, though $100,000 of that is 2019 TAM) and expects a substantial move. He’s very likely right, because there’s no way Dave Kasper is just putting together a war chest for fun.

One player that we’ve been pretty sure is not going to join United...appears to be joining a club that is not United:

This is not Gonzalo Veron re-joining the Red Bulls. It’s an old photo attached to new news that he’ll sign with Independiente in Argentina.

Soccer United Marketing Fact/Fiction: Garber Opens Up on SUM’s Role in U.S. Soccer, MLS | Sports Illustrated
Don Garber goes on the record and at length here about Soccer United Marketing. One segment of this that really sticks with me is that Eric Wynalda, who has brought up the desire for “competitive bidding” for TV and marketing rights repeatedly, is being backed by Riccardo Silva...who is a founding partner of MP & Silva...who specialize in media rights distribution.

It’s a fine mess we’ve found ourselves in.

Lee Nguyen wants New England to trade him, saying he’s paid his dues | ESPNFC
Would you be surprised if I told you that the New England Revolution have botched something?

Atlanta United sells Carmona to Colo-Colo in Chile | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta United is doing right by Carlos Carmona, whose wife can’t travel by air to the U.S. due to pregnancy complications. But man oh man, does this leave them soft in the middle. Their midfield picks itself (Jeff Larentowicz and Julian Gressel holding, with Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron, and Darlington Nagbe attacking), but there’s no ball-winner in that group. Larentowicz is an anchor who doesn’t rove around, and Gressel is an attacking player.

This should be a huge concern for ATL, though if there’s any MLS team prepared to address such an issue before the season starts, it’s them.

Columbus Crew SC signs left back Milton Valenzuela | Massive Report
The Columbus Crew have added a Young DP at left back. Might be risky to enter the season with a 19 year old and a utility guy (Hector Jimenez) as the entire group of left backs on the roster, but then United has just one LB right now, so...

“They had the wrong information”: Norwegian agent explains why Jerome Philip is in Norway, not New York | Once a Metro
This is the second in a series of pieces involving the New York Red Bulls trying to sign a player who may not have been available to sign. This may hinge, bizarrely, on whether a club owner’s claim that he signed off on the NYRB move not realizing that the player in question had been acquired by another club.

Anatomy of a Student-Athlete | The Players’ Tribune
Being a woman online is rough, and being one in the public eye is even rougher. Mercifully, Morgan Reid found out on draft day that the North Carolina Courage see her as a human being and a soccer player rather than an object to leer at.

You know what? Today’s Kicks have been a bummer. Let’s try to end on a pleasant note: we’re just a few hours from the final steel beam being installed at Audi Field. I’ll see some of you there!