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D.C. United updates, MLS & NWSL news, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/14/2020

We’re officially in Waiting For Edison territory

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MLS: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Is today the day we hear about Edison Flores signing with D.C. United? The biggest move of the offseason seems like it could be completed today or tomorrow...but here’s hoping it’s not Thursday, when yours truly will be covering the Washington Spirit’s moves at the NWSL draft in Baltimore.

Come to think of it, that’s probably exactly when it’ll be. Anyway, let’s get to everything that went on yesterday:

MLS Draft 2020: D.C. United select Michigan goalkeeper Andrew Verdi | Black and Red United
Andrew Verdi is the second goalkeeper United, a team with three goalkeepers already under contract, drafted this year. Most likely, we’re talking about major competition between Verdi and Simon Lefebvre to make Loudoun’s roster, and then more competition between that player and Colin Miller.

If you think that’s too many goalkeepers, wait until you hear about how they took PASS three different times!

In bigger roster news:

We knew Junior Moreno was in the “any time now” category, so consider his gaining permanent resident status the expected news, and Ulises Segura getting his at the same time a pleasant bonus.

By my math, that leaves United with 4 available international spots...for now. Flores could officially be signed as early as today, and Erik Sorga is supposed to be “promoted” once the CBA is sorted out. It’ll come back down to 2 in no time.

B&RU reached out to United to 100% confirm the total number of international spots in the team’s possession, but we haven’t heard back. Once we do, we’ll make sure to get it out on Twitter.

Transfer window update: WTF MLS | SmarterScout
There’s underlying data that points out that United losing Luciano Acosta for $0 was not great!

Here’s something that is great:

Dave Johnson was named the D.C. Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association yesterday. Congrats to Dave, who should also be named the Hardest Working Sportscaster of the Year.

How Nike, Adidas and E-commerce threaten the survival of mom-and-pop soccer shops | The Athletic
As someone who has never enjoyed a job more than my time working at Soccertowne (which, sadly, is now closed as far as I know) when it was in Crofton and then in Towson, this one hit home. If at all possible, shop at your local soccer store.

Orlando City Officially Announces Signing of Brazilian Midfielder Júnior Urso | The Mane Land
If Orlando City is actually going to be any good under Oscar Pareja, signings like this one are probably going to need to work out.

De Boer: Central Midfielder addition is top priority heading into 2020 season | Dirty South Soccer
Frank de Boer’s plan to dismantle Atlanta United as they were seems like a bad plan. Here’s hoping it somehow ends with Julian Gressel or Hector Villalba ending up here. Or hey, how about both!

RUMOR: Colorado Rapids have reportedly signed French winger Nicolas Benezet | Burgundy Wave
The Colorado Rapids, for once, appear to be a Team of Interest heading into an MLS season.

What it’s like to go from a last round NWSL draft pick to a contract player | All for XI
Draft day is surreal, and as this piece illustrates, it really comes with few guarantees even for players who do get picked.

How a trailblazing female general manager transformed the worst franchise in the NWSL | Power Plays
A look at the work of Alyse LaHue, who has had a massive impact on Sky Blue FC’s improvement on (and more importantly off) the field.

George Mason hires Elmar Bolowich as men’s soccer coach | Washington Post
This isn’t the first time George Mason has hired a big-name coach (Elmar Bolowich replaces former MLS coach Greg Andrulis, after all), but it sounds like they want to compete with the other big local men’s soccer programs.

Speaking of new hires, former Chicago Fire left back Gonzalo Segares is now the head coach of the US under-15 boys national team:

The Sneak | USA Today Sports
Nate Scott is a friend of the site, but even if he were an enemy of the site, this would be a really interesting podcast. True crime, sports, and a story that turns out to be completely different from the one everyone’re on the internet, this is right up your alley.