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USWNT advance at Women’s World Cup, Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash, & more: Freedom Kicks for 6/21/2019

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If you want to watch soccer in person this weekend, the Spirit are the ticket

Nikita Taparia

With D.C. United off this weekend (and, for that matter, yesterday, as it was a recovery day after Wednesday’s loss which is still grating on me), there’s not a whole lot of news out in the world, so this might be a short round of Freedom Kicks. Nonetheless, here’s what I’ve got:

The Washington Spirit have a lot going on for their home game tomorrow night against the Houston Dash: it’s the club’s first-ever official Pride Night, they’ve added new food and beer options, and Joanna Lohman’s #15 jersey is being retired. It’s also apparently going to be a rare summer evening with comfortable conditions (upper 70s, tolerable humidity), so it should be fun.

For Loudoun United, Andy Lubahn’s rocket at Audi Field won the USL Championship’s Goal of the Week:

They’re off this weekend too, but will be playing at Audi Field next Friday night against Atlanta United 2.

Let’s move on to the World Cup, which is...wait, today there are no games? What am I supposed to do, actually accomplish something this afternoon?

Anyway!

USA 2-0 Sweden: Women’s World Cup recap - the US wins the group | Stars and Stripes FC
The USWNT’s win yesterday over Sweden felt assured for the final 40 minutes, and Alyssa Naeher had to make one save of note. For any other team, this would be an impressive performance, a statement win. For the United States, it was...fine. They can be a lot better than this, but at the same time they should feel good about ending a long streak of frustration against the Swedes.

American Girl | The Players’ Tribune
Pretty cool first-hand account from Crystal Dunn, with her thoughts on representation and the weirdness of wanting the USWNT to win during the 2015 World Cup while also ruing the fact that she was left out.

At the World Cup, the players do not care about your complaints anymore | All for XI
Someone somewhere is always going to have an issue with women playing soccer, so it’s been fun to see the players not trying to be everything to everyone.

It’s not too late to join the NWSL party | Sounder at Heart
You know what else has been cool? The NWSL is strong enough that the level of play has been good even with the World Cup depriving teams of incredible players. Last week’s goal of the week candidates were so good that Andi Sullivan pulling a rabbit out of her hat and Kristie Mewis hitting a banger from 25+ yards didn’t make the voting...and it was fair!

Official: Philadelphia Union announce Andrew Wooten signing | The Brotherly Game
One admittedly lazy idea of mine was to connect United’s need for a forward with the rumors that Andrew Wooten was coming to MLS. Well, he did come to MLS, but he’s signing with the Philadelphia Union instead.

So let’s build immediately off of that: United needs attacking speed...Fafa Picault was already third in the rotation before Philly added Wooten...it might make some sense?

Landon Donovan, Warren Smith Team to Bring USL to San Diego | Sports Illustrated
The many adventures of Landon Donovan continue, as he takes charge of the soccer side of the expansion USL Championship team coming to San Diego in the next year or two.

Alright, that’s about all I’ve got. There are Gold Cup games tonight (El Salvador vs. Jamaica and Honduras vs. Curacao, both in Houston) and one Copa America game (Ecuador vs. Chile), so at least someone’s kicking a ball around tonight.