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USWNT World Cup roster, D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, and more: Freedom Kicks for 5/3/2019

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It’s another busy weekend for your local soccer teams

The walk to my car is more like a swim after last night’s storms, my left eye has been irritated for days due to allergies that keep getting ever so slightly worse each year, and I overcooked the fish I had for dinner. It’s time for an escape. Let’s talk about soccer.

D.C. United has Wayne Rooney, Luciano Acosta and a frustrating scoring drought | Washington Post
There’s a quote in here from Wayne Rooney pertaining to composure, and it’s not the first, or even the second time he’s said something similar. D.C. United has been sloppy in transition pretty frequently in the last month or so, and they’ve wasted some pretty good opportunities to either start a counter or, at the very least, spend some time on the ball. Fix that, and we go a good way towards the kind of form everyone wants to see.

After on-field dispute, Luciano Acosta says he ‘loves’ Paul Arriola ‘like a brother’ | Washington Post
Beef? Squashed.

D.C. United picks developer for site adjacent to Audi Field | Washington Business Journal
This stuff is important, but it’s also like having to eat your vegetables at dinner as a kid.

Crew have a shift in focus, mentality after four-game losing streak. | Massive Report
While I have to scoff at the Crew’s claim that they were the better team when United went there and won 1-0 (DCU had the better chances and owned the first half, while the Crew just hoofed a bunch of crosses in after halftime), I do think it’s notable that they had a long meeting between team leaders and Caleb Porter. This game is going to be tougher than the first meeting.

USWNT 2019 Women’s World Cup roster announced | Black and Red United
The United States unveiled its roster for France 2019. The Washington Spirit are being represented by Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, but team captain Andi Sullivan was among the very last cuts.

Women’s World Cup roster: the 23 players who will represent the United States | Stars and Stripes FC
Here’s some more quick analysis after yesterday’s roster dropped.

Ranking all 23 USWNT players by how important they are to winning the World Cup | SB Nation
If you don’t know much about the USWNT roster, consider this your Cliffs Notes.

Also, while I agree with just about everything in it, the section on Sam Mewis is one I give a particularly strong endorsement to.

Ali Krieger’s return to USWNT is an indictment of Jill Ellis’ player pool management | All for XI
As the sub-headline says, the issue isn’t Ali Krieger, but rather Jill Ellis. After spending over 2 years searching for a replacement (which includes such highlights as misusing a great attacking midfielder there for just long enough to oblige her to pursue a trade, and constantly calling up a top-notch defense-first fullback but never ever letting her get into games), Ellis decided she had made no progress and went back to Krieger. Suffice it to say, the entire process should not fill you with confidence.

Casey Short a surprise omission from USWNT’s World Cup roster | Equalizer Soccer
Casey Short is that top-notch defense-first fullback who never got to actually play. Short made 20 of the last 21 rosters, but was almost never given real minutes, leaving the reasons for her exclusion a mystery.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Group Stage Points Simulator | Ultrazone
I’m goofing off with this while writing this very post, it’s fun! But also, I see no way to remain honest while also avoiding a gargantuan USA vs. France quarterfinal in Paris.

Sources: Omar Gonzalez in negotiations with Toronto FC | The Athletic
This might not be great news for United, given that the main flaw holding Toronto FC back in the East is that they can’t stop letting in goals. On the other hand, it’s been a bit since Omar Gonzalez looked elite, and it’s hard to say how much he’ll actually change things. Could be no real difference, could be the thing that carries them up the table.

So that’s a Canadian team trying to address a problem. What about the Vancouver Whitecaps, who are having a myriad of issues involving extremely bad hires and lackluster reactions once the problems came out:

Well, that’s sure not great!

The Rapids needed to fire Anthony Hudson, but true problems lie higher up | The Athletic
What we usually say about the Krafts and their negligence towards the Revs, we should really say about Stan Kroenke and the Colorado Rapids.

PC on the Wing, Reyna’s Injury Status & the Coaching Change in Colorado | Eighty Six Forever
There’s an MLS game tonight...but it’s the Rapids against the Whitecaps.

And So It Begins: Utah Royals vs Chicago Red Stars, NWSL Week 4 Preview | Hot Time in Old Town
Honestly if you can’t make it to Audi Field tonight, and you want to watch live soccer, you should probably watch Chicago Red Stars vs. Utah Royals FC. Both teams are well-coached, and the Red Stars are so deep that, even after having 4 USWNT call-ups off to training camp, they can put a borderline playoff-caliber lineup on the field. This one might have postseason implications down the road as well.

Alright, that’s enough. I’ll be on Buzzard Point tonight for Loudoun vs. Bethlehem, and then again tomorrow, and if I had a clone to boss around I’d send that clone to the Plex tomorrow to be at Spirit-Reign as well. So, yeah, if you have a cloning machine, hit me up.