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Messi talks Barca departure, USWNT opponents for SheBelieves revealed, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/29/2020

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Vamos Super Pepino!

Leganes v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

There’s not a ton going on in the soccer world, or for our local teams, but I promise that this article includes more on the giant anthropomorphized cucumber above these words.

Messi ‘Always Had the Dream’ to Play in US, Could Leave Barcelona for Free in 2021 | NBC 4
Full credit to NBC 4 for having the gumption to actually write the “could Leo Messi come to D.C. United?” speculative piece, and I mean that. I don’t have the wherewithal right now, but you’re not a soccer market in the US unless someone writes about the prospect of Messi playing for your local.

It’s a nice dream, right? It’s also all we really have to talk about when it comes to the District’s men’s soccer concern, because it feels like everything is in a holding pattern until the coaching hire gets made. Maybe it’s today? Let’s hope.

Greetings from Doha: The Final Message | WashingtonSpirit.com
We’ll have more on the Washington Spirit’s trip to Qatar in the coming days, but here’s Baldwin’s perspective on wrapping the trip up.

How the Seattle Sounders plan to keep contending for titles through 2023 | The Athletic
I read this hoping to hear some sort of DCU-related information on Gonzalo Pineda, but instead what I got was Garth Lagerwey’s assessment of the international transfer market. Given his talent at building a roster in MLS, it’s one worth reading.

Duda Luizelli diz que lista de Pia não está fechada para Tóquio, fala sobre Kerolin e desenha calendário de 2021 | Globo Esporte
According to the Brazilian federation, the SheBelieves Cup is coming back in March, with the USWNT, Brazil, Japan, and Norway on the schedule.

White’s Ferry river crossing in Montgomery Co. ceases operations after court decision | WTOP
Not great! While taking the ferry to Segra is not actually a time-saver for yours truly (and on a busy day, it can actually take like 30+ minutes longer), it is so much easier on the psyche than grinding it out on the Beltway and through Fairfax County.

Football: Beleza defeat Urawa 4-3, win 4th straight Empress’s Cup | Kyodo News
NTV Beleza took the Japanese woso version of the Open Cup yesterday, and in dramatic fashion. Urawa equalized in the 86th minute, only for Beleza to still manage the winner before full time.

Yesterday was also Dia de los Inocentes, which means things like this get posted:

Look, I have tremendous respect for MLS’s weirdest mascot (Rapidman), but let’s be real: we still have a way to go before we can match Super Pepino.

Maryland men’s basketball stuns No. 6 Wisconsin, 70-64 | Testudo Times
Adam got in a very polite dunk on me after Purdue held off the Terps, and I had pretty low expectations for this one, so: yeah boy.

Alright I’m in need of some eggs and a shower, so I’m off. Enjoy your Tuesday!