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USMNT beats Ecuador, USWNT roster includes Ali Krieger, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/22/2019

Mostly good news today, save for extremely terrible voting by jerks

Thanks to various engagements followed by an escape to watch March Madness over some Korean tacos, I was mostly away from the soccer world yesterday. Still, we have some things to discuss, including some good news as far as call-ups and some diabolical news about voting.

Get To Know Griffin Yow |
Enjoy this interview with D.C. United’s newest signing as you dig into your breakfast.

FC Cincinnati’s Allan Cruz wins AT&T Goal of the Week for deft backheel |
Do not enjoy this terrible news about how a bunch of dummies did something dumb by not voting for Lucas Rodriguez’s Goal of the Year-caliber volley.

Ali Krieger returns to USWNT as Jill Ellis names April training camp roster | Stars and Stripes FC
The USWNT has needed to look at options at right back for a while now, given that recent rosters have dealt with the lack of depth by just hoping Kelley O’Hara is invincible. Finally, in the last window before the World Cup roster is announced and with O’Hara out due to an ankle injury, Jill Ellis has opted to give Ali Krieger a recall. If Krieger plays in April 4th’s friendly against Australia, it will be 2 days short of 2 full calendar years between caps for the Virginia native.

The Washington Spirit have 3 players in the squad, with Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, and Andi Sullivan getting called up as expected. Sullivan may have some surprise competition, though, as Allie Long — another player who was previously on the outside looking in — has gotten her first call-up in months.

USA 1 - 0 Ecuador: Gyasi Zardes gives the US a promising result | Stars and Stripes FC
Not really sure what Ecuador was doing other than showing up to try and prevent a game of soccer from happening, but what they got was a 1-0 loss on the kind of goofy goal you give up if you sit that deep for that long.

Paul Arriola started on the left wing, playing 77 minutes. Good news: he had 1 of the 6 key passes in the game (that’s for both teams combined, which...yeah). Bad news: he would probably be the first to tell you that he should have buried his 26th minute look at goal from inside the box.

‘A good starting point’: Gregg Berhalter begins putting stamp on USMNT in win over Ecuador | Washington Post
Last night’s game was a snoozer, but the USMNT isn’t getting too excited after winning some friendlies.

That said, our own Donald Wine II was clearly excited about the lone goal:

In other DCU call-up news, Chris Durkin and the Under-20s face France at 10am today, followed by Junior Moreno and Venezuela playing Argentina in Madrid at 4pm.

Maryland basketball outlasts Belmont, 79-77, to advance in NCAA Tournament | Testudo Times
This was stressful! Also no other notable basketball games happened anywhere else yesterday, this was the one game.

Both D.C. and Loudoun are off this weekend, but you can still get yourself up to the Plex to see the Spirit face Bordeaux in preseason action. I recommend you do that, and also try not to get blown off the face of the earth by today’s terrible winds.