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MLS expansion draft, Diego Alonso possibly out at Inter Miami, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/15/2020

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Monterrey v Tigres UANL - Final Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Well this post has been sitting here mostly done, just missing this intro paragraph, for about 2 hours, so let’s fix that. See, now it’s done!

D.C. United announces protected player list for Austin FC MLS Expansion Draft | Black and Red United
I have a much deeper look at what D.C. United’s choices on the protected list mean for them when Austin FC starts picking players at 6pm today, but in the meantime: what do you think of United’s protected list? Do you think anyone’s heading to Texas?

Marco Etcheverry se recupera de un cuadro crítico por hiperglucemia | El Deber
Marco Etcheverry is recovering from a scary situation, after needing hospital care due to hyperglycemia. Thankfully it sounds like he’s doing better now, and here’s hoping he’s in good health for a long while.

Washington Spirit Delegation to Visit Qatar |
This one’s a complicated situation for the Washington Spirit, who have a belief in the sporting exchange involved here, but who will also have to answer to fan concerns (which were all over Twitter yesterday) about Qatar’s track record on human rights and anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Mock MLS expansion draft: Who Austin FC might take with their five picks | The Athletic
I’m not sure these are the picks I would make, but this is the best mock expansion draft I saw, and since I didn’t do one of my own I can’t really complain.

New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson out for Concacaf Champions League match against Tigres |
The CCL returns, sort of, tonight, and NYCFC will have to face Tigres without Sean Johnson. The veteran goalkeeper was ruled to be a close contact with someone else that tested positive for Covid-19, and for safety’s sake he’s quarantining rather than traveling down to Orlando for what is now a centralized and very strange tournament. NYCFC, who played their home leg at Red Bull Arena, are kicking off their away leg against Tigres in Florida down 1-0.

Montreal, who play the first game of this double-header, are in a similar boat, as they lost the first leg to CD Olimpia by a 2-1 scoreline back in March. At least they played their home leg at home...ish (the game was at the Big O rather than Stade Saputo).

If you think that’s confusing, LAFC and Cruz Azul is now a one-leg battle on Thursday, because their game fell after the world opted to shut down in the face of Covid-19.

Inter Miami’s Diego Alonso believed he was fired, has not been let go: Sources | The Athletic
This one’s completely nuts, and marks Inter Miami as a new chaos club in MLS. Diego Alonso was so sure Miami had fired him after an end-of-season meeting that he apparently told people he had been fired...but according to the team, he hasn’t been fired (yet). If this sounds like a bad way to run your sports team, well, yeah it is! People should know if they still coach the team or not.

Sources: Seattle Sounders set to re-sign pivotal Nico Lodeiro to new contract |
Sounds like Seattle’s going to stay good for a while.

Tigres UANL defeats Rayadas in penalties for their third Liga MX Femenil title | FMF State of Mind
This game was pretty wild, but neither team could grab a goal until Monterrey, facing a loss if they didn’t score, finally got the ball over the line with virtually the final kick of the game. Then, just moments after their celebration, they had to watch as Tigres got the trophy after Ofelia Solis saved Monterrey’s last penalty.

The Tongue-Eating Louse is a prime example of Nature’s affinity for body horror | Secret Base
If you think I’m not up on my tarantula hawk knowledge, you have underestimated my penchant for Wikipedia rabbit holes about parasites. If you don’t want to see how one creature replaces another’s tongue as an act of parasitism, maybe don’t read, but this is fascinating and I’m doing the post, so I’m sharing the link.

That’s it, be good to one another!