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:
If supporters want to send Paul cards to wish him a speedy recovery and tell him why he means so much to the Black-and-Red family, please address them to Paul Arriola @ 100 Potomac Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024. We will post some of the best and most creative cards here! #DCU pic.twitter.com/aVJUalAQAN— D.C. United (@dcunited) February 24, 2020
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:
Source close to negotiations tells me that #DCU are in indeed in talks to potentially acquire midfielder acquire Mohammed Abu - no deal done as of yet. Formerly played for the Crew several years back, was last at Vålerenga in Norway.— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) February 24, 2020
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:
Eastern Conference preview! All 13 teams! Are Miami a playoff team? Can FdB get the best out of ATLUTD? https://t.co/PuqYC3JVhb— Extratime ⚽ (@Extratime) February 24, 2020
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.