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USWNT wins in Vlatko’s debut, Seattle & TFC meet in MLS Cup, and more: Freedom Kicks for 11/8/2019

The American soccer calendar for 2019 is just about done

By the time you read this, it’s gonna be unreasonably cold. I’m against it, but I suppose if it’s time for MLS Cup and college soccer playoffs, then it’s time for it to get down around 40 degrees outside. That’s just how life works, right?

D.C. United Announce Postseason Tour Presented by Events DC in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands |
This post is not presented by Events DC, and no one’s sending me to Bermuda to cover it, so that’s just great.

We’ll try to find out whether this game will stream.

Here’s something we do know: Dave Johnson is great, and like United, we stand with him as he battles MS:

RFK Stadium Once ‘Had A Holy Feel To It.’ Now, Its Days Are Numbered | DCist
United’s near quarter-century there barely merits two sentences in this piece, which is really failing to look at the history of the building, but it’s otherwise worth a read. I am glad that it gets into its history as a football stadium, especially in mentioning the odious statue of absolutely horrid man George Preston Marshall that somehow still stands out front. I’m going to mourn the day RFK Stadium is torn down, but seeing the Marshall statue demolished? That’ll be nice.

Offside Remarks: Getting ready for my personal MLS Cup No. 24 | Front Row Soccer
Michael Lewis is the only reporter to cover every MLS Cup final, and in this piece he looks back on every single one. As such, there’s plenty of United in here.

Carli Lloyd, Casey Short make big cases for themselves in USA’s 3-2 win over Sweden | Stars and Stripes FC
In Vlatko Andonovski’s debut game coaching the USWNT, the U.S. were totally in control for about 70+ minutes, only for one bad attempt at breaking out from a set piece and one extremely unlikely mix-up gave Sweden a chance to make this look closer than it was.

Rose Lavelle went about an hour, looking very dangerous in her typical attacking midfield role. Andi Sullivan came on at halftime and got a lot right as the number 6, while Mal Pugh put in some work on the left wing in the game’s final half-hour.

Concacaf’s draw for the women’s Olympic tournament in Tokyo next year took place yesterday afternoon:

Venues and opponents set for USWNT at Concacaf Olympic qualifying | Stars and Stripes FC
Group A, featuring the USWNT, will play in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium, while Group B will play at HEB Park in Edinburg, TX. The semifinal and final will be at the terribly named Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. The tournament runs from January 28 to February 9, so don’t be surprised if Cheyna Matthews (Jamaica) and Rose Lavelle, Mal Pugh, and possibly Andi Sullivan and Aubrey Bledsoe (USA) miss the first few days of the Washington Spirit’s preseason.

Two sides of the same coin: An MLS Cup tactics preview | Sounder at Heart
MLS Cup is Sunday, so let’s dig into it. Here’s a comprehensive tactical preview looking at both teams and how they go about their business.

Nick DeLeon sparking life into Toronto FC | Waking the Red
Call me crazy, but I’m guessing that B&RU readers are leaning towards Toronto FC rather than the Seattle Sounders, and Nick DeLeon is the reason why.

Fancy stats preview of MLS Cup | Sounder at Heart
Data! Bill Hamid also gets a brief cameo here.