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2020 MLS Expansion Draft results, Messi to Paris St-Germain rumors heat up, and more: Freedom Kicks for December 16, 2020

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And Concacaf Champions League has one semifinal set.

MLS: Toronto FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Today is a big day, with MLS opening their free agency period and hosting its Waiver Draft, Concacaf Champions League will finalize its semifinals (with Atlanta United facing Club America, and Los Angeles Football Club playing Cruz Azul to see who joins Tigres and Olimpia), and there’s European league soccer in the afternoon. So, before all that, let’s catch up on yesterday.

2020 Expansion Draft results: Austin FC makes picks - MLS

Danny Hoesen from the San Jose Earthquakes was the 1st pick in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft for newcomers Austin FC. The Anthony Precourt-owned team also drafted Jared Stroud (New York Red Bulls), Brady Scott (Nashville SC), Joe Corona (LA Galaxy), and Kamal Miller (Orlando City). Miller was immediately sent to the Montreal Impact for $225K in GAM and the 11th pick in the 2021 MLS Superdraft. D.C. United escaped the draft without losing a player, meaning they will have to make players eligible for next year’s Expansion Draft.

Exclusive: PSG tell club stores to be braced for Messi signing announcement - Football Transfers

Paris St-Germain is telling club stores in the Paris area to be ready for extra traffic associated with the potential signing of Lionel Messi on a free transfer. It’s likely Messi signs a pre-contract with the team of his choosing in January, but would not join that team until the summer.

Washington Spirit partnership with Qatar is troubling - All for XI

The Washington Spirit is doing a diplomacy trip to Qatar, but people shouldn’t be happy about it.

Soccer’s craziest kits: Meet the designer behind jerseys based on a tuxedo, human anatomy and The Hulk - ESPNFC

My favorite topic: jerseys. Hat tip to Jason Anderson for sending this great article with some of soccer’s quirkiest uniforms.

Tyler Adams forms UPSL team in Hudson Valley - SSFC

This is awesome. Tyler Adams is forming a UPSL team in the area where he grew up. 21 years old and already investing in the future of soccer in his native area of Hudson Valley, New York. You gotta applaud this kind of move to bring soccer to an area of the country that doesn’t really see it and bring with it more hopes and dreams for kids in that area to play for the local team.

Spain, Mexico federations join forces to share ideas, practices, promote women’s game - ESPNFC

Spain and Mexico have entered a partnership to possibly have friendlies between the two nations’ men’s national teams, share best practices, and help promote the women’s game in those countries.

USA v Iran: The historic 2000 friendly match planned to bring countries together - BBC

A great story on how the important friendly between United States Men’s National Team and Iran back in 2000 came together...and almost disastrously fell apart.

Doesn’t look like we’re going to get snow here in the District today, so I remain jealous of you all reading from parts west that will get all the snow. Stay safe, y’all.