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Wayne Rooney to D.C. United, 2018 World Cup, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/29/2018

I guess a lot of stuff happened yesterday

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Courtesy of D.C. United

For the purposes of this site, yesterday was about Wayne Rooney signing with D.C. United. It’s obviously gigantic news for the team, a move that will shape at least this season and 2019 and will probably define the team locally for the next half-decade or so. It’s huge.

But before we get into that, we need to talk about Big Rob, a Barra Brava member dating back to forever ago. Big Rob has a rare form of cancer, and paying for his treatment is a truly daunting task. If you can help, consider giving via YouCaring, buying an item from Big Rob’s personal collection of memorabilia, or attending tomorrow’s watch party and buying some raffle tickets.

3 reasons Wayne Rooney to D.C. United won’t work out | SB Nation
Call this the case against Rooney. These are all very worthwhile points from Kim McCauley that United is going to have to grapple with.

Tall tasks, great expectations await Wayne Rooney at DC United |
Charles Boehm lays out the complicated list of tasks on and off the field that this team is hoping that Rooney can help them solve.

It’s Official: Wayne Rooney Joins D.C. United | DCist
I am choosing to believe that it’s telling that Ben Olsen quickly referred to “an outside back that can lock a side down” in talking to Pablo Maurer. Rooney is a big deal, but this team’s problem (on the field at least) is very much its defense.

Wayne Rooney arrives after signing with D.C. United | Black and Red United
Steven Streff and Ryan Keefer braved the trip out to Dulles, and the former made sure to mention some other big names that have signed with United in the past.

Wayne Rooney May Be Past His Prime, But His Impact on D.C. United Could Be Huge | Washington City Paper
Here’s another report from Maurer, and another from Dulles, and another on Rooney.

D.C. United has Wayne Rooney and a new stadium. Now comes the tricky part. | Washington Post
(rubs eyes, squints) Is this an article from the Post about United from one of their regular sports columnists?

D.C. United sign English Premier League star Wayne Rooney, interrupting a quiet day at training | Pro Soccer USA
Paul Arriola, United’s record signing before yesterday, mentions work/hard work/work rate quite a few times in this piece from Emily Olsen, so you can guess where his head is at.

Wayne Rooney - an underwhelming end to an underwhelming Everton career | Royal Blue Mersey
Our Everton sister site wishes things had gone a little better with Rooney returning, but they don’t seem all that sad to see him go.

Anyway, like the man says, let’s get to work:

Actually wait, before that, let’s get all (thinking face emoji) about a new rumor:

Washington Spirit acquires first round pick in 2019 NWSL College Draft |
In case you missed it, the Washington Spirit followed United’s lead by having a trade that involves international spots with Portland. Our two teams now have 5 international spots that are either held by or on loan from the Timbers/Thorns.

Sources: U.S. Soccer extends contract of USMNT interim head coach Dave Sarachan | The Athletic
Meanwhile, with the world focused in on Rooney, Paul Tenorio is reporting that U.S. Soccer is going to extend Dave Sarachan’s interim USMNT contract through the end of 2018. And while I don’t believe Sarachan (who was on the bench as an assistant to Bruce Arena when “Couva” became a dreaded word in American soccer) is actually a particularly talented coach, the fact is that he’s playing the kids, and they can still end his contract whenever they hire the boss of the future.

In other words, this is fine. Get mad about something else.

Verizon Is Shutting Down Go90, Its Ill-Fated Mobile Video Service | Variety
NWSL fans have long had to endure Go90’s spotty, malfunctioning streams, but those days are over as of July 31. NWSL will stream games on their own website and via the NWSL app.

An open letter to Seattle from Reign FC players | Sounder at Heart
Speaking of the NWSL, this weekend we see the league’s biggest rivalry, as Seattle Reign FC hosts Portland Thorns FC. Setting aside the wickedness that is having an obnoxious FC tacked on to your American soccer team’s name, it’s pretty cool to see Seattle working so closely with our friends at Sounder at Heart.

Courage trade for former UNC, national team standout Heather O’Reilly | WRAL SportsFan
The North Carolina Courage, who are leading the NWSL table by 11 points, just gave up a player who won’t see the field in 2018 and a 2019 3rd round pick to land longtime USWNT winger Heather O’Reilly, who had been playing in England with Arsenal. They’re going to lap the field.

The first ever match between an NWSL team and a Liga MX Femenil side is coming up next month, as the Houston Dash will play Monterrey:

“It’s something we need to do:” Minnesota United plays for pride | E Pluribus Loonum
Ex-United homegrown midfielder Collin Martin has been Playing For Pride up in Minnesota.

Senegal deserved better than being eliminated on World Cup fair play rules | SB Nation
I said a couple of weeks ago that I was hoping Japan would do well in this tournament, but after yesterday they can go screw.

Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi blasting a ball into his own face is the World Cup highlight we can all enjoy | SB Nation
The unquestionable highlight of yesterday’s games was Michy Batshuayi’s, uh, celebration.

Aly Wagner Is the First-Ever American Woman Announcing the World Cup for the U.S. Broadcast, And She’s Killing It | Vogue
Can’t remember the last time I linked to a soccer-specific article in Vogue, but here you go. Aly Wagner has been well ahead of the other color commentators on Fox throughout the tournament.

OK, that’s probably enough. Be good to each other.