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D.C. United retains international players, Deadline Day, Gunnersaurus fired, and more: Freedom Kicks for 10/6/2020

Arsenal, how could you?

Atlanta United FC v DC United Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Good morning! It seems like a nice day for a walk, so at some point I’m going to get out there for a long stroll. I know this is desperately boring, but I don’t have much else to tell you about what I’m doing on this Tuesday. Pandemic life is boring, among other things.

Let’s start with the big D.C. United news of the day: the club, citing FIFA’s Covid-19-related exemptions based on quarantine length, is not releasing its international call-ups for upcoming games. Here’s the club’s full statement:

D.C. United have announced that players selected for upcoming international play, including World Cup qualification and UEFA Nations League matches, will remain in the United States due to local government regulations around travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Midfielders, Edison Flores (Peru), Junior Moreno (Venezuela), and Yordy Reyna (Peru), along with forward, Erik Sorga (Estonia), will stay with D.C. United and be available for upcoming Major League Soccer matches.

This decision follows a FIFA regulation, which provides for the decline of the release of a player when the government mandates, without exception, a return quarantine of five or more days.

Per local government policy, Washington, D.C. currently requires all persons traveling to or from “high-risk areas” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to self-quarantine for fourteen days following their return to the District. All of the countries that the club’s selected players would be traveling to for these matches are designated as high-risk and the club have not been granted an exemption by local government.

I didn’t have time to turn this into a full article, so here’s the tl;dr version of my take: CONMEBOL and UEFA shouldn’t be playing national team games right now, because there’s a pandemic. Once they decided to do so, FIFA should have told them they couldn’t. But as always, the federations have failed to look after players, so clubs all over are in this pretty bad situation.

From United’s perspective, though, there’s a different player safety issue: not grinding players into dust due to MLS’s compressed schedule. Allowing these players to go abroad would result in just 18 total healthy, available players to gut out four games in 11 days.

26 Takeaways: Week 15 observations for each of the 26 MLS teams |
Steve Zakuani has tipped Ola Kamara as the key for United to get results tomorrow and on the weekend, and I can see his point to some extent. If United can’t start finishing chances (particularly early in games), they’re not going to get out of this rut.

On the other hand, I’m not sure what Kamara is supposed to do when the group doesn’t carve out more than one look a game for him. Providing the service that Kamara has thrived on in the past has been a huge problem for DCU all year.

The huge Swansea City boardroom shake-up and the questions that now need answering | Wales Online
I try to keep the idea of Swansea City having the same owners as United out of my head a lot, because a) I just don’t have the bandwidth for most soccer happenings in England, and b) ownership there is radically different from ownership in MLS. However, this seems like it’s a situation that might have ramifications for United in the future.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, it looks like Maxi Moralez won’t be around to do cause the Black-and-Red trouble like he usually does:

What about Alexandru Mitrita, you ask? Well, amid a very convoluted situation (an international call-up that may or may not just be a trip to tend to family matters in Romania), there are reports that he’s going to be loaned to Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia. However it turns out, he’s probably not going to be on the field tomorrow.

Washington Spirit, 50 East Remodeling, Madhaunter’s Madhouse donate Playground to Mobile Hope Loudoun |
The Washington Spirit had said they planned on donating the playground that they had up in the opening game of the NWSL Fall Series, and now we know it’s going to Mobile Hope Loudoun, a local non-profit that supports unhoused young people in the region.

Speaking of good causes, the Black Players for Change were at the opening of the first of twelve mini-pitches they, the US Soccer Foundation, and their corporate partners are opening across the country:

Arsenal let Gunnersaurus go | The Short Fuse
Arsenal, whose men’s team plays at least one game every 23 hours in my opinion, has sinned further by ditching Gunnersaurus.

Deadline Day as it happened: Arsenal land Partey; United sign Cavani, Telles and Diallo | ESPN
Deadline Day was not nearly was wild as it normally is, because teams are reeling financially due to there being a pandemic, but there were still some big moves.

That’s just about all I’ve got for you this morning. Let’s close up with a song that taught me a lot about life: