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D.C. United Open Cup draw, USWNT & Women’s World Cup, & more: Freedom Kicks for 6/14/2019

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Chloe Logarzo scores, & we fix the Open Cup format

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

I don’t know how to start this post, so I’ll talk about breakfast. Lately I’ve been on a repetitive kick: Greek yogurt, granola, berries, a croissant from the grocery store, and iced coffee. I don’t know how I got here, but it works for me.

And now you know what I do while otherwise utterly unable to communicate or function, bleary-eyed and standing by a counter hoping nothing comes up until I finish eating and get a shower.

With that image in your minds, let’s talk about soccer!

D.C. United to host NYCFC in USOC Round of 16 | Hudson River Blue
You’ve hopefully read our piece on D.C. United’s cup draw, so here’s the complementary NYCFC angle. Note the availability of some starting midfielders who weren’t around for their win on Wednesday.

Armchair Analyst: U-20s post-mortem, and what’s to come for the USMNT | MLSsoccer.com
Chris Durkin’s under-20 World Cup wasn’t a roaring success, but the verdict here isn’t all bad.

Washington Spirit sign Grace Cutler as National Team Replacement | WashingtonSpirit.com
The Washington Spirit (who are still in first place!) have added the versatile Grace Cutler to their roster ahead of tomorrow’s game at Reign FC. I don’t have any inside info, but it makes me wonder if the Spirit — who had 20 available players at last check — might have a knock or two to announce on today’s NWSL injury report.

Speaking of the Spirit, Chloe Logarzo had a goal and an assist as Australia came from 2-0 down to beat Brazil in a game they had to have in the World Cup. Here’s more from her:

The ‘Superwoman’ inspiration behind the ‘phenomenal’ matchwinning performance of Chloe Logarzo | FoxSports.au
A pretty cool story from how a phone call from an injured teammate helped inspire Logarzo just before kickoff.

How Sam Mewis stepped in as a starter and had a dream World Cup debut | The Athletic
My analysis of Sam Mewis is that she’s extremely good!

If you want to be mad about the USWNT’s 13-0 win, blame FIFA, not the players | SB Nation
FIFA has flat-out not done enough to push countries to actually fund and support their women’s programs, and that leads to a situation where teams like Thailand and Jamaica (both who rely more on individual benefactors more than their federations) are not on an even remotely even footing with the USA/France/Germany sort of teams, and that opens the door to 13-0 scorelines.

In light of past ugly incidents, is FIFA doing enough to protect teams at the Women’s World Cup? | Yahoo Sports
I have to admit, I hadn’t thought about this angle at all, but it’s sadly something that has to be considered.

The problems with the US Open Cup Format | US Soccer Players
I’m on board with the changes proposed here, particularly avoiding a scenario where MLS teams enter the tournament and instantly make up about 23 of the remaining sides.

Using this year’s format, here’s my fix for 2020: the 23 American MLS teams (21 current teams, plus Miami and Nashville) and 24 independent American USL Championship teams (there are 25 today, but Nashville is among them) enter in the second round, which has 64 teams. That leaves us needing 17 teams, so the round before that should have 34 teams.

Essentially, the first round could be on the smaller side, setting us up for a 34-team second round, which would give us the 17 we’d need for the third round. If we need to fiddle with the numbers to get down to 17, expand the pool of amateur entrants. That part of the tournament being fluid from year-to-year isn’t a big deal, but the end goal should be to have MLS teams not make up most of the field when they enter the tournament.

Anyway that’s it for me. Looks like a sunny Friday, so get outside! Tell your boss I said it was cool.