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D.C. United vs. Orlando City, Christian Pulisic injured, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/29/2019

Game tonight! Game tomorrow! Game the day after that!

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Today’s weather should be nice. Tomorrow’s should be even nicer! This is all I have in my brain at this early hour, so let’s move along to the soccer. We’ve got 3 games this weekend, and it’s one of the rare occasions where our teams are not all playing at the same time. Loudoun United plays tonight, the Washington Spirit are up tomorrow, and D.C. United is on national TV for their trip south to face Orlando City.

[editor’s note: This was wrong, Loudoun’s game is tomorrow.]

DC United’s latest Argentine star? Get to know Lucas Rodriguez |
Given that Titi Rodriguez’s transfer to United apparently happened at head-spinning pace, it sounds like he’s adjusting well to life in the DMV.

Old teammates Rooney, Nani to face off in competitive match for first time |
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wayne Rooney and Nani swap jerseys after Sunday’s game.

Four D.C. United players see international action |
Catch up with what Junior Moreno (Venezuela), Chris Durkin (USA under-20s), Donovan Pines (USA under-23s), and Paul Arriola (USMNT) did during the international break.

Orlando City’s Underlying Stats Show Significant Improvement | The Mane Land
Orlando hasn’t exactly been good in terms of expected goals and some other underlying numbers, but they haven’t been the disaster they were in 2018 either.

W-League/NWSL Quick Guide – Washington Spirit | Beyond 90
Here’s a quick, Aussie-centric preview of the Spirit, who play out in Leesburg tomorrow evening against UNC. I am mentally prepared for the arduous drive all the way out there.

Loudoun United Formally Breaks Ground on Stadium |
That’s a good segue into Loudoun’s groundbreaking, which took place Wednesday basically a stone’s throw from where the Spirit play tomorrow. I was mentally prepared for that arduous drive, but couldn’t get on the road in time to overcome worse-than-normal (but not worse than yesterday’s hell-drive) Beltway traffic.

Loudoun United FC roster |
Loudoun had striker Orlando Sinclair in uniform last week after apparently getting his transfer paperwork cleared at some point. It’s the same story this week for attacking midfielder Ariel Fantoni and defensive midfielder Jack-Jean Baptiste.

Match Preview: #TBRVLDN |
You might recall D.C.’s preseason game against Tampa Bay, and if you do, you know what Loudoun is in for tonight: very physical, high-pressing, and high-tempo soccer. So far Loudoun has managed to go on the road and effectively slow the game down to a grind, but Nashville and Memphis aren’t pedal-to-the-metal teams like the Rowdies are.

United States star Pulisic out 3-4 weeks with muscle tear - source | ESPN FC
The “source” is Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, so I’m going to guess that this report is accurate.

Also, since this article uses ominous European injury terminology, I’ll note that Christian Pulisic’s “torn muscle fibre” is what we’d call a strain. Similarly, Weston McKennie’s “ruptured ankle ligament” is a sprain.

That FC Cincinnati stadium orange glow is a go -- but with a new architect | Cincinnati Enquirer
No word as to why Cincy made the change, but the same folks who designed Audi Field are now the chief architects out there. Also, the stadium will glow orange?

Brad Friedel is having trouble getting the most out of Revolution players | Boston Globe
The reason Brad Friedel can’t motivate the New England Revolution is that his players all know he’s a bad coach with no idea how to fix things, and who yells at them whenever his bad plans don’t work.

United star Darwin Quintero obtains green card, opens international roster spot | The Star Tribune
Minnesota United’s Darwin Quintero just got a green card, which is to say the Loons got this done in under a calendar year. Gotta wonder why D.C. hasn’t been able to do the same with Zoltan Stieber.

13-year-old Olivia Moultrie debuts for Portland Thorns in preseason game | The Oregonian
In case you hadn’t heard, Olivia Moultrie is a 13-year-old prospect who has already signed a contract with Nike, and whose family has essentially set her life up with the aim of making it as a professional player. She moved to Portland to train with the Thorns, and got some time in their preseason game earlier this week.

Of course, she can’t go pro any time soon (NWSL rules don’t allow for players under the age of 18 to sign contracts, and FIFA rules don’t allow players to sign abroad unless they actually live in that new country for non-soccer reasons), so it’s a little odd.

Bayern Munich may have just saved Lucas Hernández from even more serious injury | Bavarian Football Works
Hernandez’s MCL has holes in it from irritation due to repeated cortisone shots. I have precisely zero minutes of medical training, butthis seems bad!

‘10 Things I Hate About You’: When Heath Ledger Was Just Breaking Through | New York Times
I am a member of the late 30s cohort that will absolutely stop whatever they had planned to watch 10 Things I Hate About You whenever it comes on, so obviously this article was right in my wheelhouse.