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Chicharito to D.C. United?, Clint Dempsey suspended, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/13/2018

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Does it feel weird to have huge names being mentioned as United signings? Might have to get used to it.

D.C. United and the Washington Spirit have games tomorrow, a bunch of big-name strikers are being linked to the Black-and-Red and to MLS in general, the NWSL season might take a very unexpected turn, and the Washington Capitals...I don’t want to talk about it.

D.C. United sale could make fans anxious, but it’s the right move | Washington Post
The potentially big United news keeps coming. Steve Goff adds Javier Hernandez and Carlos Tevez to the list of Big Names that United might be adding this summer. Tevez, at 34 and having only just ended a spell in China that saw him criticized for being out of shape with a move to Boca Juniors three months ago, seems like a bad idea. Chicharito, though? He could win the Golden Boot, regardless of how USMNT fans might feel about him. Plus, United has never had a Mexican national team player in their ranks, and a name as big as his is a huge deal off the field.

I’m working on something more broad about the ownership change and the big signings that are apparently coming. Hopefully I can have it for y’all later today.

The Challenges of Moving to Buzzard Point: A Conversation among Supporters | Black and Red United (fanpost)
David Rusk brings us the details of everything that went on at last weekend’s supporters’ group meeting. It’s lengthy, but fans should definitely give this a full read rather than just a skim.

Bill Hamid makes European debut | Stars and Stripes FC
Hamid and fellow former United man Markus Halsti both went 120 minutes as FC Midtjylland advanced to the Danish Cup semifinals.

Gregg Berhalter evaluates Crew SC through six matches | Massive Report
Gregg Berhalter is pleased with how Columbus is playing, but wants to see his team carve out more chances. Let’s hope he is less pleased tomorrow.

In Washington Spirit news, Yanara Aedo scored what turned out to be the game-winner in Chile’s final first round game, sending them to the final round of the Copa America Femenina (which is also CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying and Olympic qualifying tournament).

Estefania Banini and Argentina play Venezuela today with the last spot in the final round up for grabs. With both teams on 6 points and Venezuela ahead on goal difference, the math is simple: win, or go home. The final round starts on Monday.

Asia is holding their 2-in-1 championship/qualifying tournament as well, and yesterday two countries clinched their spots at France 2019:

Meanwhile in NWSL, the North Carolina Courage may be in hot water after fielding midfielder Debinha when she should have been away with Brazil:

As of yesterday, MLS is moving away from MLS Live to ESPN+. There’s no FAQ from the league as I write this, but here’s a start.

Fernando Torres on Chicago’s discovery list, team has interest | MLSsoccer.com
Paul Tenorio reports that the Chicago Fire have the MLS discovery rights (it’d be helpful and more accurate if MLS just changed this mechanism to “dibs”) to Fernando Torres, who is Veljko Paunovic’s former teammate. It would be an extremely odd move for them given that Nemanja Nikolic is in the fold.

Here’s hoping Chicago signs him and then trades Nikolic to United for peanuts.

RSL legend Javier Morales retires from professional soccer | RSL Soapbox
One of the best to ever do it in MLS has called it a career.

A look behind murky MLS disciplinary system that took 25 days to further punish Sounders forward Clint Dempsey for red card | Seattle Times
MLS’s Disciplinary Committee remains inefficient, opaque, and strange. Even if you accept that Clint Dempsey’s allegedly slow response to further DisCo inquiries slowed the process down, why not have a hard cut-off for such inquiries? Why allow for the absurd possibility of 25 days before announcing further punishment?

Second Round pairings and host scenarios set for 2018 U.S. Open Cup | USsoccer.com
Among other pairings, the Richmond Kickers will face the winner of the first round game between PDL side Reading United AC and last year’s Cup darlings Christos FC. Christos plays at Reading in the first round on May 9, and yes, I’m considering a ~3 hour drive each way on a weekday to attend.

Why all 4 remaining teams might win the Champions League | SB Nation
I’m all about rooting for chaos when it comes to the Champions League, so sign me up for Roma and “the surprise and the glee and the cartel-busting hell of it.”

FIFA keen on expanding World Cup to 48 teams for Qatar 2022 | AP
CONMEBOL and Gianni Infantino want FIFA to do dumb stuff, like expanding a World Cup that is already being held in a country struggling to put it on, at the cost of many lives. So that’s cool.

Game 1 Recap: Twozy From Kuzy Aren’t Enough, Columbus Tips Caps in OT 4-3 | Japers’ Rink
The Caps wasted a 2-0 lead, then a 3-2 lead (after committing a late penalty), and losing in overtime. For another team, this would be a scarring loss. For the Caps, this is like waking up and finding that gravity still works the same way it always has.

That’s it for me. Hopefully I’ll be seeing a bunch of you in Annapolis tomorrow!