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2020 US Open Cup format change, D.C. United and Washington Spirit news, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/13/2019

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Good times, bad names, and the largest air-supported dome structure in the country

Good morning! I put too much water in my oatmeal. Let’s talk about soccer.

But first: the District Ultras are raising money for Maryland’s Special Olympics program by participating in the Polar Bear Plunge on January 25. If you can, donate to the cause right here!

D.C. United re-signings and rumors: Filibuster! | Black and Red United
Our latest episode covers D.C. United finalizing Bill Hamid’s transfer back to the club, Frederic Brillant’s new deal, and eating horrible pizza.

“Soccer In The City” aims to tell a new story of the American game | USSoccerPlayers.com
Amazon Prime has a new documentary with a ton of connections to the region (Hamid, Briana Scurry, local coaching legend Lincoln Phillips, DC Scores, and even some support from the District’s government).

USWNT, Mount Notre Dame soccer star Rose Lavelle giving back to Cincinnati, Mason Dec. 21 | Cincinnati Enquirer
Not that too many people reading this are going to be in Cincinnati, but if you are, next week you can go meet Rose Lavelle, who is doing a toy donation drive/meet-and-greet.

Rose Lavelle and Andi Sullivan host soccer clinic at Greater Binghamton Sports Complex | BU Pipe Dream
Lavelle and Washington Spirit captain Andi Sullivan just held a soccer camp in what is apparently the largest “air-supported dome structure” in the country.

Utah Royals re-sign Jonsdottir, Lytle, Barnhart; waive Farquharson | RSL Soapbox
Kind of an odd one here, as Utah Royals FC have both picked up and released former Spirit midfielder Cali Farquharson in the space of about a month.

Restructured competition format for 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup provides opportunity for more “David vs. Goliath” matchups in 107th edition of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship | USSoccer.com
Some major and needed changes to the Open Cup here. Last year, MLS teams all came in at the same time, giving us a ton of MLS vs. MLS pairings that were a lot less fun than having some potential big upsets. This year, some MLS clubs will enter in the 3rd round, and some (including, by virtue of being one of the four best non-CCL-qualifying American teams in the East, United) will be waiting for them in the round of 32.

The Open Cup will also start much, much earlier, with the first round coming in late March. That might raise some real issues for teams in the NPSL and USL League Two, both of which feature many college players:

Speaking of MLS, apparently the new Charlotte team has picked a truly terrible name from the pile of terrible names they restricted themselves to:

Don’t be like Charlotte. Have fun this weekend!