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Mallory Pugh injured, Marco Silva takes over at Everton, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/1/2018

No D.C. United game this weekend, but we’re ready for the Spirit hosting Chicago on national TV

Caitlin Buckley

Good news: it’s Friday, it’s June, and the sun will be out! Bad news: it’s going to be a humid garbage day today followed by two days of constant rain and possible thunderstorms, which the region does not seem to need. Keep yourself surrounded by refreshing beverages, don’t let the mugginess get you down.

Everton confirm Marco Silva as new manager | Royal Blue Mersey
The latest development in the Wayne Rooney saga is that D.C. United’s top target has a new manager...for the moment.

‘I Have A Point To Prove’ - Mattocks Targets 20 MLS Goals After Hot Start | Jamaica Gleaner
Laugh all you want, but Darren Mattocks has scored just under 0.67 goals per 90 minutes played. United has 24 games left this season, and if he played every minute of those games while maintaining the same goalscoring rate, he’d add 16 more goals to the 5 he already has.

Now, obviously he’s not going to play 24 straight games without ever subbing off, and Rooney (or some other huge transfer) is going to come in up top, but it’s still worth noting that Mattocks doesn’t actually need to improve his strike rate to remain very dangerous. And given the easy chances he has missed, there’s actually a possible argument that he’s managed this rate while under-performing.

Connecting these first two stories: Ben Olsen has a challenge on his hands, because Mattocks is clearly confident and feeling good about being a sure starter. How will he react after the summer window, when Rooney or whoever is a sure bet to start?

Luciano Acosta bicycle kicks at training |
Let’s move on to something more simple: the inevitable Luciano Acosta bicycle kick bonanza against North Carolina FC.

Mallory Pugh suffers knee injury, will miss time from USWNT and Washington Spirit | Washington Post
It’s not clear what the exact injury is yet, but Mallory Pugh never returned to last weekend’s game after a (clean) collision with Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell, and a joint announcement from the Washington Spirit and US Soccer has only said she’ll be out for a few weeks. Steve Goff is reporting that she won’t need surgery, which is at least something.

Want a preview of the Spirit’s game this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars? Follow Your Spirit and Southside Trap are the podcasts for you.

In the meantime, the Spirit have announced the coaching staff for their Maryland DA team:

They’ll also be matching donations for Playing For Pride if you buy a Spirit Squadron shirt:

An open letter to Jaelene Hinkle | Stumptown Footy
Last year, North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle turned down a USWNT call-up for “personal reasons,” and just a couple days ago decided to clarify on The 700 Club (that’s Pat Robertson’s show, in case you’re wondering about their ) that her choice was made based on her interpretation of Christianity. Here we have an eloquent response to that from Katelyn Best.

Orlando City SC Suspends Atlanta United FC Supporter Groups’ Privileges |
Orlando City SC Doles Out Three-Match Ban to Atlanta United FC’s Supporters Group Privileges | The Mane Land
Atlanta United responds to Orlando City Stadium ban | Dirty South Soccer
Here’s a bunch of stuff on two often problematic fanbases having a dumb conflict over some dumb people doing dumb things.

Don Garber, Brad Friedel, Tiffeny Milbrett head U.S. Hall of Fame class | ESPNFC
Tiffeny Milbrett’s nod was long overdue, and Brandi Chastain surprised her with the news.

After excruciating recovery, Gaston Sauro returns for Crew SC |
This sounds rough. Multiple surgeries, an infection, screws being inserted and then removed...yeesh.

Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin has made a bet:

Push this one over the line, folks.

UEFA’s Investigators Recommend Booting A.C. Milan | New York Times
We’ll see if UEFA actually has the guts to follow through on an actual ban of a big-name club due to financial fair play. I feel like a “surprising” last-second settlement is far more likely.

The Save Heard ‘Round the World | Japers’ Rink
If the Washington Capitals finally, finally win a Stanley Cup, there should be a statue of Braden Holtby’s save with 2 minutes to go in game 2 on Wednesday. I’ve been a fan of the club as long as I can remember, and it’s precisely the kind of play the other team usually makes against them. I still can’t believe it happened.