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D.C. United loses to FC Dallas, NWSL TV deal, USWNT in World Cup final, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/5/2019

At least this weekend can wash away last night’s unpleasantness

Hey folks! Forgot to write these after last night’s game, and now it’s after 7am. So, prepare yourself for a very short round of Freedom Kicks:

Hapless D.C. United falls 2-0 at FC Dallas | Black and Red United
D.C. United was rough last night. The only good news we got (Joseph Mora is back already, and Griffin Yow got his first MLS start) came an hour before kickoff. United barely created anything, Wayne Rooney was nearly sent off, Luciano Acosta was definitely sent off, and everyone had a bad time. After the game I felt like Winnebago Man:

Note: This video is a deeply frustrated man swearing for about 7 minutes, so if you’re in a place where f-bombs aren’t allowed, don’t just hit play.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, here are recaps from Pro Soccer USA and

NWSL and ESPN reach broadcast deal for 2019 season | Stumptown Footy
Good news: NWSL, at long last, has a broadcast deal. It’s also a theoretical path towards having all games on ESPN+ in the future, like we see in the USL.

Bad news: We’re talking 8 games on ESPNews and 6 (including the entire playoffs) on ESPN2. This deal was necessary, but it’s just barely clearing the bar. And maybe more importantly, there’s nothing actually guaranteeing a place on ESPN+ or anywhere else going forward. The positives of this deal are, as I said, theoretical.

From a Washington Spirit perspective, this barely makes any practical impact on the season. The Spirit, even with two games at Audi Field and a better broadcasting set-up at the Plex than at least one other team in the league, are the only NWSL team that will not have a home game shown. Their only assured appearance during this deal is September 25th’s road game against the Houston Dash. Washington will have to get to the playoffs to get on an ESPN network more than once this year.

Rapids unbeaten streak broken in the longest game of all time | Burgundy Wave
The Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution had a farce of a game last night. It was delayed by an hour before kickoff. They got in 28 minutes, then had another delay. The teams came out after that delay and played a whole 7 minutes before having another delay (all due to lightning).

Finally, the last 55 or so minutes of the game was played without any more weather stoppages, during which the Revs (United’s next opponent) went on to get a road win against a Colorado team that has been in good form lately.

Scouting Revs target Gustavo Bou | The Bent Musket
Speaking of the Revs, I hadn’t heard this rumor until just now, looking for stuff about their game last night. Big if on whether it actually happens, but this would be a really good move for them.

USWNT tactical breakdown: aggressive gambles and a touch of luck against England | Stars and Stripes FC
I wrote some tactical thoughts on the USWNT’s win over England. Alex Morgan’s defensive positioning and yet another switch into a 541 are both given a look.

At left back, Crystal Dunn is getting it right for USWNT at World Cup | Washington Post
I don’t think Crystal Dunn has been quite as good as people are saying, but she is giving it everything while having to play out of position in a spot where small mistakes can become goals against.

Alright that’s it. Stay cool out there!