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D.C. United coaching search updates, Nagbe and Santos to miss MLS Cup, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/11/2020

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Gonzalo Pineda will chat with United soon, and some major changes might be coming to CONCACAF soccer

MLS: MLS Cup-Seattle Sounders FC Training Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! I spent yesterday assembling one desk, cleaning off and disassembling another, and then moving them to their various new homes. On one hand, I made a couple of movements that have left me feeling beat up even after a good night’s sleep. On the other, there was low-key a lot of dust involved with all that cleaning, so I spent most of yesterday sneezing as well. Big fun! And very interesting I’m sure.

Soccer!

D.C. United to interview Seattle Sounders assistant again for head coaching vacancy | Washington Post
Steven Goff with the latest on D.C. United’s coaching search, which is mostly that Gonzalo Pineda will interview again shortly after MLS Cup tomorrow (dude’s been a little busy with the whole “being in the playoffs” thing).

Now retired, Nick Rimando finally reveals his penalty-stopping secret | The Athletic
First of all, I never thought Nick Rimando would divulge the precise method he used to become a penalty kick stopping master. While I knew some details — he picked up this knowledge while playing with United thanks to Ryan Nelsen — the exact method is a surprise.

Crew to be without Nagbe, Santos for MLS Cup Final; what this means | Massive Report
Extremely bad news ahead of MLS Cup, as Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos are not medically cleared to play. With the Columbus Crew saying they have two new Covid-19 positives, and those two (both starters) being the only new additions to the “out” section of the injury report, it’s pretty clear what happened. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for both players.

On a related note:

I haven’t counted exactly how many players there are in the league, but if each team has 27 players, we’re talking around 140 players. Not great!

In potentially league-altering news, one report from Mexico says that a “Liga Norteamericana” has approval from FIFA and CONCACAF:

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t immediately impact United (this season was rough, so unless they want to have a 44-team monstrosity league, we’re probably staying in MLS for the time being), but it could be wild if this is actually true.

Here’s CONCACAF’s plan for women’s international soccer for the next few years. Vitally, we’re not just talking about World Cup and Olympic qualifying, but a full Nations League set-up in 2023. This could be huge for many of the federations around the region, who in nearly every case don’t play enough games to get better.

Former Whitecaps women’s coach arrested on sex charges | The Province
This took over a decade, but Canadian police are charging former Vancouver Whitecaps Women/Canada u20s coach Bob Birarda with a litany of sexual offenses. Full credit to the victims for speaking out, because without them this guy would have remained a coach in the Canadian women’s youth scene for who knows how long.

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Renewed for Four More Seasons at FX | Hollywood Reporter
I look forward to being able to watch Always Sunny next year, and 30 years from now.

That’s it for me. It seems like it’s gonna be nice outside, so I’m gonna figure out some sort of reason to go for a walk.