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D.C. United, Audi Field, Loudoun United, LAFC Open Cup win in question, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/20/2018

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So many things happened yesterday

Yesterday was a straight up barrage of interesting stories on D.C. United and American soccer altogether. It feels like this is the case all the time lately, but yesterday took it up another notch or so. And we haven’t even really gotten to rumors about any of the promised 2-3 moves to improve the team’s back four! Let’s get right into it:

D.C. United finally got a new stadium, but did it sell its soul in the process? | SB Nation
I think Kim McCauley’s piece on everything going on with United and its fans (not just supporters groups, but everyone) puts into words what fans have been thinking and feeling for a while now. This is an important one for the fanbase to read.

D.C. United Staff Member Suffered Concussion in Audi Field Accident | Washington City Paper
Speaking of important reads, Pablo Maurer has been covering the issue of the falling object that struck Lindsay Simpson pre-game.

He also had some potential good news about the supporters group dispute:

Fans, stadiums, and questions for American soccer |
Charles Boehm notes that the building wasn’t as packed as it could have been, and that this isn’t just a United problem.

D.C. United’s opener at Audi Field could have been perfect. It wasn’t. | Black and Red United
It took me a while to put my feelings into words about Saturday’s game, but here they are.

Jason Levien says D.C. United needs to expand their front office staff | Black and Red United
Steven Streff talked to United’s managing general partner Jason Levien at yesterday’s unveiling of Loudoun United.

Inspired by rivals, DC United aim to nurture young talent with new USL side |
Ian Quillen notes that while United didn’t create their USL team to simply copy the wildly successful program the New York Red Bulls have built, it’s impossible to ignore how important NYRB2 has been to that club.

Ben Olsen talks Loudoun United |
Staying with Loudoun United, Ben Olsen points out that he’s been doing a lot of “big day for the club” kind of chats lately.

MLS Works Community MVP Contest |
DC native and former MLS player Amir Lowery founded Open Goal Project, a non-profit designed to help lower-income kids keep playing soccer even when top teams are pay-to-play. Give him a vote here and help him win $25,000 for charity.

Ulises Segura says he’s been cleared to train at full speed. No word on whether he’s back on the active roster yet:

Who are the top 5 most valuable players on the summer trade market? |
Greg Seltzer lists Russell Canouse among the best trade chips to have for the summer window. Personally I think the idea of trading Canouse would hinge entirely on the team deciding that Chris Durkin is not going to be sold until after the full 2019 season ends. It’s a big call, because it might mean turning down some decent offers this summer, but this is what it’s like to have more than one good player at a given position.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Atlanta United, I joined the guys from 5 Stripe Final to give them some perspective on the Black-and-Red:

MVP Watch |
Crystal Dunn is atop this list because of the alphabet, but she should also be the first name on the list because she’s the best player in the league.

2018 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal and Final draw postponed |
LAFC’s 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers was wild enough, with a constant string of goals on either side of halftime, plenty of hard tackles, and plenty of acrimony. However, the new guys are alleged to have fielded as many as 7 international players in a competition that only allows for 5 in your gameday 18. Why do I say “alleged to have fielded” instead of just, you know, they did do that? No one seems to know whether Dejan Jakovic and Mark-Anthony Kaye qualify as domestic per Open Cup rules (which, naturally, are different from MLS’s rules for reasons). The Timbers have filed a protest, and knowing American soccer, this will drag out for longer than necessary.

Report: LAFC claim U.S. Open Cup roster vs. Timbers was approved | Angels on Parade
Like the man said, it’s a mess. US Soccer appears to have told LAFC that their roster was in compliance, which would reduce the possibility of an outright disqualification and increase the chances of a replay.

LAFC forward Adama Diomande claims he was called racial slur on field | Angels on Parade
As if all that weren’t enough, LAFC striker Adama Diomande (who appeared to have a running battle with multiple Portland players in the second half) says he was racially abused during the game. If the allegations are true, obviously US Soccer has to act, but shouldn’t there also be some pressure on Portland?

Toronto FC Statement on Fan Incident in Ottawa |
The incidents in LA weren’t all from Wednesday’s cup matches. In Canada, the Voyageurs Cup match between Toronto FC and the Ottawa Fury saw TFC fans light flares that ended up causing a fire in Ottawa’s stadium. TFC has temporarily pulled all SG privileges while trying to sort out who bears responsibility. In the midst of all that, TFC won the first leg 1-0.

Bayern Munich fly in LA Galaxy, Sporting KC talents for secret trial | Bavarian Football Works
Cameron Duke and Ulysses Llanez are the latest USYNT starlets with a shot at landing with Bayern Munich, which feels like it could be a big deal. Also, this is why you see FC Dallas and others signing 15 year olds to Homegrown deals.

Alright, we’re approaching 1000 words, so I’m going to shut up. Enjoy your weekend!