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Luciano Acosta, PSG, D.C. United, Miguel Almiron to Newcastle, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/1/2019

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We still don’t know what to make of yesterday

Like D.C. United fans of all stripes, I’m just trying to recover from yesterday, a day in which both nothing happened and everything happened. One way or another, the Luciano Acosta to PSG odyssey may end up a defining moment for this team in 2018. It was still January! It’s too early for things to be this important.

Details emerge on Luciano Acosta’s failed transfer from D.C. United to PSG | The Athletic
We even have dueling stories as to what exactly happened in Paris yesterday. Here, Pablo Maurer notes that Miguel Almiron (we’ll get to him later, important stuff first) going for $20 million may have influenced United’s valuation up beyond what pretty much anyone was expecting.

PSG, D.C. United fail to strike transfer deal for Luciano Acosta | Washington Post
Steve Goff has United expecting $10 million, but being offered about 20-30% less. The main unifying detail in both versions is that Acosta is upset, which is understandable but also troubling when you think of club and player trying to hash out a new contract.

Look, at least we have some good news to share:

Here’s hoping Chris Odoi-Atsem bounces back quickly from the draining process of chemotherapy and is battling for minutes in the near future.

Speaking of the battle for minutes, United might have found a new option at center back:

I don’t know, seems like the new guy ran out of gas pretty quickly there.

Speaking of center backs, Washington Spirit draft pick Sam Staab made the ACC All-Academic team for the fourth year running:

OFFICIAL: Miguel Almiron completes MLS record transfer to Newcastle United | Dirty South Soccer
Whatever.

OK, fine, it’s actually a huge deal that may change the landscape for MLS forever.

MLS lost several of its biggest stars this week. This is a good thing. | For The Win
Nate Scott lays out the case that sales like Almiron’s are good for the league.

Life Without Giovinco: Why TFC had to move the best player in franchise history | The Athletic
Toronto FC sent Sebastian Giovinco to Saudi Arabia for a couple million bucks. Here, team president Bill Manning lays out the case for why they did it.

Peter Vermes talks Sporting KC’s new additions and how he evaluates trades | The Athletic
Peter Vermes discusses some new players and his roster-building strategy, but mostly I share this because I think his call for a preseason that begins earlier is dead on. You know how every year, we try not to read much into early-season MLS? It doesn’t have to be this way. More time means sharper players, which means that the whole regular season can be played at the level fans really want to see.

2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup format and schedule finalized | USSoccer.com
The Open Cup’s final qualifying round (including a Maryland vs. Virginia match-up between World Class Premier Elite FC and Virginia United) is in early April, the first round proper is a month later, and United will enter in the fourth round (scheduled for May 30). Along with WCPE FC and Virginia United, DMV representation includes FC Baltimore Christos (NPSL), the Richmond Kickers (USL League One), and the Black-and-Red (MLS).

Team Daryl Grove | GoFundMe
Daryl Grove has hosted Total Soccer Show, and is a fixture in the Richmond soccer community. He’s battling cancer, and unfortunately surviving that fight for your life can threaten to wipe anyone out financially. If you have the ability to help, please consider chipping in.