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Mohammed Abu to D.C. United?, Wayne Rooney coming back to town, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/25/2020

D.C. United, D.C. United, and more D.C. United

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Bristol City v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Yesterday was busy, and outside of a briefly dramatic Premier League game, the broader soccer internet appeared to be preoccupied with other topics. Since the Washington Spirit and Loudoun United are both quietly gearing up for the season, let’s do a very old school Freedom Kicks, centered entirely on D.C. United.

First up: Paul Arriola had surgery on his ACL yesterday, and things went about as well as these things can go:

Arriola was well enough to give a smile once he awoke from anasthesia. Also, again, he gets one single day to rest up, and rehab starts on Wednesday. Pro athletes are a different breed! I’m still recovering from eating two unhealthy meals and having a couple beers on Sunday.

‘The language of soccer’: How players communicate on the field | The Athletic
Speaking of Arriola, he’s a major player in this piece, which also has a Bill Hamid anecdote. This takes me back to trying to explain soccer terms to non-soccer friends when we put together an indoor team. Turns out some people did other things with their youth, and will not just automatically understand why their buddies are yelling “MAN!” at them.

Ryan posted a link yesterday about United’s interest in former Columbus Crew midfielder Mohammed Abu. Here’s the update for today:

Abu’s a 28-year-old Ghanaian central midfielder with 6 international caps, and is apparently no longer in the coach’s plans at Valerenga. In terms of style, he’s a possession facilitator who can run for days, but he’s not necessarily a ball-winner a la Russell Canouse. If it happens, it’s an...interesting pick-up. He’s certainly a solid MLS player, no doubt about that, and he’s familiar with the concepts United was putting to use in their final preseason game. It’s just that it would be an addition in one of the spots United’s depth seems to be just fine, while we’re all wondering whether this team is going to only have 2 forwards and 3 center backs all year.

Wayne Rooney, Derby County planning to face D.C. United in friendly | Washington Post
This is really not all that surprising, given that Wayne Rooney said he wanted to keep connections between himself and United going. What is surprising is the “when,” because the timing here doesn’t necessarily make obvious sense for either club.

Here’s what I’m listening to once I get back from today’s training session in the rain at the RFK auxiliary fields:

And I’ll answer the questions in the tweet: No, and no.

Black History Month: You can’t hold him back | Stars and Stripes FC
You know the story here, but nevertheless, let’s celebrate the best dang goalkeeper in the league.