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D.C. United vs. Atlanta United, Washington Spirit preseason, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/9/2018

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Just keep reminding yourself that winter is almost over

References to “lousy Smarch weather” are old hat for the internet, and for me particularly, but man...this Smarch weather is actually lousy. I’ve been fooled by the seemingly annual late February burst of warmth, having been to a Spirit training session in shorts, and am deeply unhappy with this betrayal from Mother Nature.

And now that I’ve got my morning complaint out of the way, let’s get to it.

D.C. United’s acquisition of Dane Kelly has not yet been announced, and Steve Goff has reported that the hold-up is a bit of an odd one:

I’ve asked a couple of people who watch more USL soccer than I do, and it seems that Kelly might be able to play wide as well as up top. I’m hoping that’s the case, because if Bruno Miranda is spending significant time on loan with Richmond, there’s no real option to add speed on the flanks from the subs bench. We’ll see when he gets here.

Return to Atlanta “strange” for D.C. United’s Yamil Asad | MLSsoccer.com
Yamil Asad says he won’t celebrate should he score on Sunday, which...I mean, the rules of DCU vs. ATL oblige him to score.

Atlanta United says it needs to fight harder on set pieces | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
There are some issues with this piece (for example, Houston didn’t score twice on corner kicks; one was a free kick), but it helps make an overall point that United needs to take note of. Atlanta United’s set piece defending was horrible against Houston, and United (who scored on one free kick and probably should have had a second on a corner at Orlando) should be very interested in taking advantage.

Ben Olsen, Tata Martino - odd couple of MLS coaching face off again | MLSsoccer.com
Charles Boehm looks at how United has managed to defeat Atlanta every time they’ve met despite having an obvious disadvantage in terms of roster strength.

Will DC United remain Atlanta United’s bogeyman? DC working on it | MLSsoccer.com
Ian Quillen, meanwhile, finds Ben Olsen downplaying the idea of a secret formula to beating Atlanta (a secret formula that I’ve been referring to as “The Knowledge” whenever asked about it by ATL fans).

What went wrong against the Houston Dynamo? | Dirty South Soccer
The phrase “...this could take a while” appears early on here, which is apt.

Washington Spirit to host UNC Tar Heels on Saturday at Northern Virginia’s Evergreen SportsPlex in preseason opener | WashingtonSpirit.com
Before Sunday’s United game, the Washington Spirit will be in Leesburg hosting their first preseason game.

Résumé vs. reality: Does Tab Ramos hold the answers to the USMNT’s problems? | FourFourTwo USA
This is a pretty great piece on Tab Ramos, who has done some things the right way (e.g. starting at the bottom and climbing up as a coach).

A British Organization Is Hosting A Charity Game At Toyota Park— And Women Aren’t Invited | Hot Time in Old Town
This is a weird one. A UK-based organization that puts on charity games wherein donors can play on their home team’s field is holding one in Chicago, but women are barred from playing. The reasons cited include regulations in England and Scotland, which last time I checked are not the United States.

Come to the B&RU Watch Party at Dock FC | Black and Red United
The nerds that bring this site are going to be at Dock FC for United’s game against those impostors from Georgia. Come out, there are drink specials and you could win some free stuff! Hope to see you fine folks there!