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D.C. United venues, Hope Solo’s U.S. Olympic Committee complaint, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/2/2018

Get nostalgic of weird games at the Plex all over again

Yesterday I had a dream that someone got access to my checking account and was slowly spending the money. After each purchase, they’d send an email reading “hahaha :)” with a photo of the receipt for whatever they bought, but despite this information I was unable to do anything to stop them.

Here’s hoping your Friday is not filled with feelings of helplessness!

D.C. United finalizes venues for games against Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo | Black and Red United
Behind the scenes here, we have access to a couple of photo services, which means when you search “Maryland Soccerplex” you see wonderful sights, like Becky Sauerbrunn playing for D.C. United Women and many photos from the night Cuauhtemoc Blanco decided to assault everyone in his vicinity (though somehow, none of him actually doing so).

Mullins, Mattocks battling to become United’s starting striker | Washington Times
One of the most intriguing positional battles for United at this point is up front, where two very different players are vying to be the starting striker. Let’s hope they both get to their ceilings rather than stay near their floors.

In Washington Spirit news, there were no major trades or player acquisitions today, which feels unusual. However, there is one positive: forward Arielle Ship, who tore her ACL late last season, has been cleared to run again:

United Premier Soccer League Announces Partnership with Maryland Major Soccer League |
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here.

The UPSL and Maryland Majors Soccer League will collaborate on a number of league related issues including player and team integration between the two leagues, Promotion- Relegation, Sponsorship, Marketing, Communications, Player showcase events and more.

Could be something cool, or it could be another in the long list of American soccer partnerships that don’t actually mean anything tangible (see also: MLS teams entering “partnerships” with clubs in Europe that we never hear about again). But I’m hoping for cool.

Black History Month: Eddie Hawkins breaks the USMNT color barrier | Stars and Stripes FC
Pretty fascinating stuff from Donald Wine II here, and a month-long project that I’m looking forward to.

The end of the Boston Breakers highlights the conflict between owners and fans | Howler
Some thoughts on the idea of who a club belongs to in the aftermath of the Boston Breakers folding.

Latest ripple of missing the World Cup: USMNT can’t seem to find good teams to play | Washington Post
American soccer is a mess, and now the USMNT is going to have a year of difficulty lining up good opponents that might help them get better. Fun times!

Breaking down Hope Solo’s US Olympic Committee complaint against USSF | Stars and Stripes FC
Hope Solo does raise some good points in her complaint, but the chances of it actually changing anything are about the same as me beating Paul Arriola in a 40 yard dash.

Influential Athlete Council to Speak With Half of U.S. Soccer Election Candidates | Sports Illustrated
With 1/5 of the vote and a tendency to vote as a bloc, the Athlete Council could swing the USSF presidential election, and they want a lengthy talk with four candidates. Not on the list: Eric Wynalda.

Brief interviews with the Soccer Gods: The god of cynical fouls | SB Nation
The god of cynical fouls probably phased out his 2012 San Jose Earthquakes shirt for a Felipe NYRB jersey in the last year or so.

Let’s close with some music. Enjoy your weekend! The Super Bowl is a great time to go to the movies.