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Julian Gressel, D.C. United agree to contract, NWSL allocated players announced, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/21/2020

DCU gets a new trialist, and the CCL gets wacky once again

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Xavier Dussaq/Courtesy of D.C. United

Yesterday featured a veritable deluge of news. It was too much news at once. You know those green/red two-sided cards you get at a churrascaria? I needed one of those yesterday. But unfortunately life does not work on churrascaria rules, so gorging is the only escape.

Does that make sense? I don’t know. Let’s get to the gorging and start with something a few of you have already asked about: B&RU’s fantasy leagues are back! We’re doing a Classic league, and a Head-to-Head league. Join, and either maybe have a tough game against me in the first month, or clobber me once I start forgetting to update it.

Julian Gressel signs long-term contract with D.C. United | Washington Post
Not that there was much doubt, but a potential 4-year deal that brings Julian Gressel around $2.8 million over the lifetime of the deal is good for him, and it also sounds like good business given his status as one of MLS’s best chance creators.

As for the trialist news, Jonathan Campbell is solid depth, and I’ve heard more than once that D.C. United was interested in drafting him. However, moving from two trialists down to one, when you need more players...uh, maybe not ideal.

With Paul Arriola’s injury, what now for DC United and the US men’s national team? |
According to Tom Bogert, United and Arriola had just started contract talks before his knee injury.

MLS, Liga MX announce 2020 Leagues Cup details | Black and Red United
Everyone loves a mid-week game in the height of the summer, right?

D.C. United and Caesars Entertainment Announce Partnership |
If you love activations, well by golly, here’s some information about activations.

USWNT domestic league allocated players for 2020 | Stars and Stripes FC
The NWSL announced its federation players (whose salaries are paid by US Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association), and the list is...odd. It’s not great news for the Washington Spirit, who only have Rose Lavelle on the list. It would have made a ton of sense for Andi Sullivan to be on the list as well, but for some reason, she isn’t.

Maryland SoccerPlex lands a new sponsor | Washington Business Journal
Among the changes at the Plex: the Discovery Center (that building attached to the stadium) is now the Adventist HealthCare Fieldhouse. I will probably get this wrong at some point this season.

Loudoun United FC have acquired Abdoul Kairou Amoustapha and Massimo Ferrin |
Loudoun announced two moves yesterday, adding Niger under-20 Amoustapha (described by head coach Ryan Martin as a winger) and Ferrin, a Canadian who posted good numbers with Syracuse last year.

New York City 5, San Carlos 3 — as it happened! | Hudson River Blue
If you missed NYCFC’s CCL game last night against AD San Carlos (who were missing Alvaro Saborio due to injury), you missed a preposterous 90 minutes.

Olimpia vs. Sounders, recap: Two away-goals and a point | Sounder at Heart
The Seattle Sounders scored early, watched an Olimpia player kick Stefan Frei in the ribs and not get sent off, scored again, should have scored a third...and then the guy who didn’t get sent off scored twice late to give Olimpia a draw. It was an extremely CCL game.

Black History Month: Kim Crabbe becomes first black woman called into USWNT | Stars and Stripes FC
Pretty cool story here from our own Donald Wine II.

Spanish women’s footballers secure historic league-wide contracts following strike | The Telegraph
Good for the unions representing the players in Spain’s top women’s division. Players are now guaranteed minimum salaries in line with the NWSL, plus maternity leave and other things they should have been getting in the first place.

Liga MX se jugaría sin descenso en los próximos cinco años | AS Mexico
Liga MX is doing away with relegation for five years. I’m sure this won’t cause an uproar.

What we really mean when we talk about needing more Black players in American soccer | Stars and Stripes FC
A deeper look at what should go into the common calls for increasing diversity in American soccer.

OK that’s it. Red side up, I need to digest.