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D.C. United vs. Atlanta United, 2019 MLS season begins, Concacaf Champions League, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/1/2019

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Plenty of Washington Spirit news to go with United’s season opener

I ate too much for dinner and am trying to fight off the desire to doze off on the couch to bring you some words this morning. If only we had something to talk about. I guess we’ll just have to make do with plenty of D.C. United vs. Atlanta United reading material, which...oh yeah, that’s right up our alley. Let’s do this thing!

Chris McCann made abrupt move to D.C. United. Now Atlanta is coming to visit him. | Washington Post
Chris McCann wants a win Sunday.

D.C. United seek to build on last season’s magic | Washington Times
Wayne Rooney is going to let Luciano Acosta do the dribbling this year.

Ben Olsen on trying to stop Josef Martinez ahead of their season opener | MLSsoccer.com
Ben Olsen’s secret plan to shut down Josef Martinez...is not in this video. But still, go ahead and watch.

It’s Luchoroo Round 2 for D.C. United: Acosta, Rooney duo returns to MLS | ProSoccerUSA
You know what would be cool, is if we’re talking about a bunch of LuchoRoo highlights on Monday.

March outlook: A cold start with more snow chances | Washington Post
This applies to us, people who go watch a soccer team play games in March. The current forecast on my preferred weather app for Sunday’s game: 38 and snowing at kickoff, 38 and raining at full time. Sounds lovely!

Coaching controversy in the NWSL is bigger than Richie Burke | Equalizer Soccer
Claire Watkins puts it better than I could, so here’s a snippet: “The federation’s relationship with the league has been one of general tolerance, if not enthusiasm, but if the NWSL is supposed to act as an incubator for upcoming U.S. women’s national team talent, U.S. Soccer has to take a more active interest in who is given authority over their talent.”

Francisca Ordega: Nigerian seals China switch | BBC
Reggae Girlz Clip Chile In Friendly International | Jamaica Gleaner
We’ll have more on both of these stories later today, but in brief, the rumors linking Francisca Ordega to a departure from the Washington Spirit aren’t going anywhere.

Washington Spirit announce new and improved Fan Experience platform | WashingtonSpirit.com
The Spirit are adding some features to the gameday experience this year, including a “fan zone” outside the stadium that will have games, food, and a merch stand.

Recap: Atlanta United advances to CCL Quarterfinal with 4-0 win | Dirty South Soccer
Atlanta bagged 2 goals in the first 9 minutes against Herediano, and never looked back. Much was made out of their performance, but I’d offer that this was more about some absolutely awful play from Herediano to throw away their first leg lead, and then Atlanta simply starving their opponent of the ball from there. The Five Stripes (who no longer have five stripes, thanks Adidas) went over 54 minutes without conceding a shot attempt despite Herediano needing a goal during that entire spell.

Sporting KC dominate Toluca and advance to the CCL Quarterfinals | The Blue Testament
If you want a truly impressive performance, Sporting Kansas City went to Mexico and dismissed Toluca with casual ease. A 2-0 second leg win (5-0 aggregate), sparked by an exquisite opening goal, saw the Sporks getting cheered by the home fans. That’s something that just doesn’t happen, even when MLS clubs do manage to beat Liga MX opposition. I think Peter Vermes may have his best-ever team this year.

Frontrunners, the Pack & all 24 MLS teams by tier | MLSsoccer.com
United is in the 2nd tier here, which I suppose isn’t a surprise. His concern is that the Black-and-Red’s defense is not as strong as the other top teams...which isn’t a surprise either.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for you this morning. We’re a little over 58 hours from the start of the season. Try to use your Saturday to live your life to the fullest, like Brek Shea: