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Leonardo Jara to D.C. United, USWNT vs. France, McKennie to Liverpool?, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/18/2019

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There is too much news right now

What a boring time of year. D.C. United hasn’t started preseason, the Washington Spirit are over a month away from theirs, and there’s nothing to talk about.

Just kidding, I feel completely overwhelmed by the number of things going on right now, and we haven’t even gotten to training camp yet. Big moves, new players, all that good stuff. Plus

Report: Boca Juniors right back Leonardo Jara moving to D.C. United | Black and Red United
The big news came late last night, with United very credibly being linked to a loan move for in-his-prime Boca Juniors right back Leonardo Jara. This is a potentially huge move, as it both shores up right back and pushes Paul Arriola back up the field (significantly reducing the blow of potentially losing Yamil Asad).

D.C. United close to acquiring Boca Juniors defender Leonardo Jara | Washington Post
Steve Goff’s report points out that United is probably going to use some dTAM, something we’ve been calling for since the moment MLS added it as an option for teams.

D.C. United extend Ben Olsen’s contract until 2021 | Black and Red United
Why do I suspect that people have very strong feelings about something that we all knew was coming?

The pressure is on Olsen to take this team beyond merely making up the numbers in the postseason. The days of being able to point to the roster as the problem are over.

DC United’s Russell Canouse making a claim for USMNT No. 6 role | MLSsoccer.com
What’s cool about having a respectable coach in charge of the national team is that good players don’t get overlooked. Russell Canouse will hopefully be getting his first cap in the USMNT’s upcoming friendly against Panama.

EXCLUSIVE: DC United In Talks To Develop $200M Mixed-Use Project By Audi Field | Bisnow
You know what I love about soccer? Talking about mixed-use developments near the stadium!

RUMOR: Goff reports defender Kofi Opare is coming to Colorado | Burgundy Wave
It’s probably good that Kofi Opare isn’t in the East, but I had hoped he’d end up on a better team than the Rapids.

Former United midfielder and Maryland native Collin Martin was on TV last night, which is not your usual MLS news:

Weston McKennie linked with Liverpool move | Stars and Stripes FC
Weston McKennie, Schalke’s do-everything USMNT player, may soon be joining a much stronger team in Liverpool (sorry Schalke, I see you in 13th in the Bundesliga, we both know this is true). That’d be two young, key United States players making the move to big English clubs in very short order. Remember when we used to get excited about a USMNT player signing in, say, Norway?

Official Statement on Agustín Rossi | MNWonderwall.com
You know how we’re happy to be bringing in a Boca Juniors player? Well, Minnesota United is doing the same, and they are definitely not into it (and for good reason).

Going to women’s soccer, or woso adjacent anyway, here’s the most recent episode of Furtcast, a podcast that I am often on but was not on this time because I simply couldn’t stay up late enough to record. As always, we’re sorry:

Coffee & Valkyries, Episode 19: The One With Shea Groom | Sounder at Heart
A far more coherent and focused woso podcast has Shea Groom, one of the more fascinating players in the NWSL, on as a guest after her move to Seattle Reign FC.

Assessing the USWNT roster heading into the 2019 World Cup | Fansided
Checking in with the USWNT before tomorrow’s friendly against France, which is kind of a really big game to start your year off with.

The perception of inactivity hurt the NWSL at the 2019 College Draft | Equalizer Soccer
We don’t know if the NWSL has failed to address the problems at Sky Blue, but the not knowing is itself a problem for the league.

As US U-20s prep for World Cup, Ramos talks MLS minutes and call-up conflicts | The Athletic
Do I think Tab Ramos is a particularly remarkable coach? No, not really. Do I think he should have gotten the interim US job over Dave Sarachan? Yeah, absolutely. Ramos also makes a good point about the perception that his inexperience with pros is disqualifying.

That’s it for me, as there is a Spirit piece to write, and then another, and then United is probably going to do something as well. And as I type this, I just remembered there’s still a whole Loudoun roster to come! We are truly in the middle of the gauntlet.