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D.C. United’s new kit, Atlanta United smoked by Herediano, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/22/2019

Bet you weren’t thinking we’d bring up Jose Guillermo Ortiz today

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Courtesy of D.C. United

Let’s kick today off with my take on D.C. United’s new away jersey (see above). I know we’re all down on white shirts across the board these days because MLS has apparently decided that every team must have one no matter what, but that’s not really my problem here. United has always had a white away jersey, and it’s not D.C.’s fault that everyone is doing the same thing now.

Aside from my standing disdain for having prominent patches of gray on any United kit (gray has never been one of our colors), the issue I have here is that there’s no design element involved in this particular white shirt. There’s no District of Columbia iconography, there’s no sublimated print nodding to some past jersey. There’s nothing, beyond the United badge, that makes this a United jersey.

OK, with that off my chest, let’s move on:

Chris McCann on pre-season and joining United |
Here’s a brief interview with United’s newest (for the time being, anyway) addition, Chris McCann.

Season Countdown: 9 days until #MLSisBack featuring No. 9 Wayne Rooney
Look, I know this might be controversial, but I thought last season was fun, and I’d like to see Wayne Rooney do more of the same this year.

Washington Spirit announce 2019 NWSL schedule | Black and Red United
The Washington Spirit are probably quite pleased to have so many Saturday evening games, as they’ve been saying that’s their sweet spot for attendance and revenue for years. However, it just so happens that those Saturday evenings are right when United is playing, which is not great for some of us. Hard to blame the Spirit for choosing to do what’s best for their interests though.

Washington Spirit is eyeing at least one match at Audi Field | Washington Post
Steve Goff has a source telling him that the Spirit aren’t sure if they’re going to play one or two games at Audi Field. That’s a departure from what club officials have told B&RU in the past, but obviously these situations can evolve over time.

NWSL split with A&E Networks welcomed by team owners | The Athletic
You probably heard about the NWSL and A&E suddenly ending their broadcast partnership. Here, Caitlin Murray has some details that might soften the blow.

Mission Accomplished and then some: Sporting KC beats Toluca FC 3-0 in CCL opener | The Blue Testament
Sporting Kansas City looked close to their very best, steamrolling Toluca in their Concacaf Champions League first leg. If not for a couple of Krisztian Nemeth misses, this could have been an even wider margin of victory.

Recap: Atlanta United Drops First Leg of CCL Tie with C.S. Herediano, 3-1 | Dirty South Soccer
Atlanta United looked nowhere close to their best: Frank de Boer made some odd choices (I’d looooove to see Michael Parkhurst playing on the right of a back three on March 3rd), and their previously sturdy central midfield duo of Jeff Larentowicz and Eric Remedi made absolutely no impact. This looked like a team trying to play a new style the coach dreamed up the morning of the game. If de Boer pulls off his mask and reveals that he’s really been Jurgen Klinsmann all along, please spread word of my soothsaying.

Anyway I feel confident about the opener, that’s for sure. After all, Jose Guillermo Ortiz managed to do more damage (1 goal/1 assist) in this game than he did in his entire United tenure (1 goal/0 assists).

The Geography of American Player Development: a look at where talent originates | American Soccer Now
A fascinating breakdown of where American professional players come from, including high marks for the District, Baltimore, and Richmond, plus appearances from both Russell Canouse and Chris Durkin.

Finally, while I haven’t had a chance to watch this video just yet, you can bet that I’m going to before the weekend is over: