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Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup again, Utah Royals officially move to Kansas City, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/8/2020

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Kelley O’Hara and the MLS playoffs are on our minds today

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

I meant to write this last night but my attempt to assemble a desk dragged on too late, so now we’re talking about a brunch Freedom Kicks instead of breakfast. Since I still need to move all the junk off my very old current desk onto the new one, let’s get moving:

I’d have some D.C. United news for you here, but it was an extremely slow news day on that front. As in, nothing new on Twitter, nothing new on Google. Tumbleweed.

USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara, Washington Spirit finally able to look forward to ‘fun times’ following trade | Black and Red United
The Washington Spirit had plenty to say during Kelley O’Hara’s first media availability. O’Hara’s thoughts on the District, Richie Burke discussing a possible shift in system next year, and team leaders Andi Sullivan and Tori Huster both offered thoughts on their newest teammate.

Official: Utah Royals FC transfers ownership to Kansas City group | RSL Soapbox
Dell Loy Hansen’s odious tenure at Real Salt Lake came to a sudden end, and unfortunately the situation left no time to sort a new owner out for Utah Royals FC, who confirmed that they’re going to cease operations, with their squad, staff, and everything else transferring to a new Kansas City ownership group. It’s not great!

Hopefully this note means this is more of a San Jose Earthquakes situation (for newer folks, the Quakes you know today are an expansion team; the Quakes that played in MLS’s first-ever game actually moved to Houston and became the Dynamo, with San Jose having no MLS team for a couple of years):

Sounders vs Loons, recap: Historic comeback puts Seattle back in MLS Cup | Sounder at Heart
Minnesota United took a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute, and looked for all the world like they were going to ride some luck and Emanuel Reynoso’s incredible playoff performance to MLS Cup...and then proceeded to simply stand off the Seattle Sounders for the next 28 minutes or so and wait. Bad idea! Not only did the Sounders manage to score three times in that spell, but they also hit the post and had a stone-cold penalty ignored because MLS refereeing.

They’ll travel to Columbus Saturday to take on the Crew in what is both MLS Cup and the final game at Mapfre Crew Stadium.

M-V-Pozuelo: Recapping Alejandro Pozuelo’s dominant second TFC season | Waking the Red
It’s not a complete season obviously, but Alejandro Pozuelo’s start-to-finish dominance (and statistical production) are up there with some of the great individual seasons in league history.

Offside Remarks: The end of a streak: Why this writer won’t attend this year’s MLS Cup | Front Row Soccer
Michael Lewis, the only writer to cover every single MLS Cup in person, is opting to sit this one out. In related news, Covid-19 sucks.

MLS clubs unclear on reason for starting in March; Manotas to Xolos: Notebook | The Athletic
Notes here on why MLS might be doing something that seems very foolish, and on the upcoming “youth fund” initiative that may well change how teams structure their rosters.

OL Reign acquire Ally Watt in trade with North Carolina | Sounder at Heart
This is an interesting trade. Despite OL Reign giving up the more established players (including the rights to a current England national team player), I think they got the better of this deal hands down.

The life and career of Briana Scurry | The Black Sportswoman
Really good interview here with USWNT legend Briana Scurry.

Angel City FC wants to break all the records | All for XI
A look at Angel City FC’s business plans, which include lofty ambition and a desire to give back to the community. They’re not shy over there.

Hristo Stoichkov’s friends and foes: From Romario to the Chicago Fire | The Athletic
It’s not perfect (Stoichkov’s time with United is completely omitted), but read this for the fact that Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez gets bodied by Hristo Stoichkov.

Is Cruz Azul’s epic failure worth costing Siboldi his job? | FMF State of Mind
If you missed it on Sunday night, Cruz Azul were up 4-0 after the first leg of their Liguilla clash with Pumas, only to give up three goals in the first half of the second leg. And because it’s Cruz Azul, they managed to actually get themselves together during the second half and have the better of it, only to concede an 89th minute goal that completed their humiliation.

Alright back to work for me. Have a good Tuesday!