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Luciano Acosta contract talks with D.C. United, Julia Ashley rejects Sky Blue FC, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/25/2019

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DCU’s preseason is just beginning to heat up

You know we’re out of the offseason doldrums when the majority of a given day’s Freedom Kicks are focused on D.C. United. Let’s jump right into it:

Podcast: Dave Kasper On D.C. United’s New Reality | Pitch Pass
Start your day with an interview with GM Dave Kasper that includes a scoop regarding a player and a different scoop about tomatoes.

Dave Kasper: D.C. United has re-signed Oniel Fisher | Black and Red United
OK, so the player is Oniel Fisher. Tried to add some context to the news here, including a current roster summary.

Mailbag: Audi Field set for upgrades; why Loudoun United’s progress slowed | The Athletic
Safe standing, and a fix for Audi Field’s sunlight issues, are both addressed along with a few other questions that have been hanging out there for United fans.

Entering year two of a new era, D.C. United hopes to maintain momentum | The Athletic
Here’s more from the first open training of the year, which includes talk of an ice treadmill. Thankfully, no one seemed to see any D.C. players on what sounds like a death trap.

The latest in the Leonardo Jara transfer saga would appear to be good news:

Luciano Acosta and D.C. United are in talks for long-term contract | Washington Post
Lots of tidbits in here, including that United is in talks with Luciano Acosta, has nearly landed a sponsor, news on the Loudoun United coaching search, and an injury to DCU’s goalkeeper coach Zach Thornton (who we hope gets well ASAP).

New “Magic Triangle”? DC United enthused about newcomer Lucas Rodriguez | MLSsoccer.com
I’m very hesitant to ever comparing anyone to the original Magic Triangle, but Lucho + Wayne Rooney + Lucas Rodriguez...maybe we get there? We’ve been through some lean times, so hopefully we can feast now.

Anyway, here’s someone who knows all about the Magic Triangle putting on a show:

Sebi Salazar is leaving all of the rest of the D.C. soccer media corps in the dust.

The Oak Hills High School community is proud of soccer standout Bayley Feist | WCPO Cincinnati
Should Washington Spirit draft pick Bayley Feist make the roster, she’ll give the club no fewer than four players from Cincinnati.

Sweden-bound Julia Ashley discusses decision not to join Sky Blue FC | The Equalizer
The latest damning development for Sky Blue FC is that Julia Ashley, a prized defender who grew up within driving distance of their home at Yurcak Field, has chosen to play in Sweden instead. Good reporting here from John Halloran, who spoke to Ashley directly.

Canadian teenager soccer star Jordyn Huitema opts to forgo college and turn pro | Toronto Star
More big woso news, as Jordyn Huitema (a 17-year-old striker who is already a regular for Canada) is going pro. It would be great for NWSL to land her, but it sounds like they’re the underdogs at the moment.

Raso: It was a struggle | The Women’s Game
Former Washington Spirit winger Hayley Raso suffered a horrific injury playing against the Spirit at Audi Field. After wondering whether her career was over, she finally made her return to action this past weekend in the W-League. It’s great to see her back playing, and hopefully winning a spot at the World Cup (which is less than five months away!).

Interesting questions for MLS and US Soccer in the player development space | USsoccerplayers.com
Charles Boehm sets the stage for the coming decision on training compensation and solidarity payments, as well as a final note on some MLS clubs wanting to get out of the youth development side of the game entirely.

Watch Guillermo Barros Schelotto nail free kicks during training | LAG Confidential
Well damn, Guille!