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Federico Higuain joins D.C. United, Chicharito’s MLS debut, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/3/2020

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Say hi to the new guy!

MLS: Knockout Round-Columbus Crew SC at D.C. United Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s going to be a spring-in-winter sort of Tuesday, but don’t worry, it’ll be winter again just in time for the one day of the week that everyone here would most likely be interested in sitting outside at D.C. United’s game against Inter Miami. Just like last week, the coldest day of the week is looking like it’ll be gameday.

This is a cover for a lack of having other things to discuss, so let’s get to the soccer:

Four thoughts on D.C. United’s opening day loss to the Colorado Rapids | Black and Red United
I said some stuff about D.C. United losing to the Colorado Rapids. Hopefully this weekend we have more fun stuff from the game to talk about than the opener provided.

D.C. United signs former Columbus Crew captain Federico Higuain | Black and Red United
I’m into this move. Federico Higuain was already at work before the official announcement, talking tactics with a couple players after the game in the locker room. I’ll be even more into the addition when United has Higuain available on gamedays, whether it’s as a change-of-pace off the bench or as a starter.

26 takeaways from Week 1 of the season | MLSsoccer.com
Russell Canouse returning to central midfield would probably make a few folks around these parts pretty happy, and most likely it’d be his preference as well. It’s going to be interesting to watch how Oniel Fisher and Chris Odoi-Atsem make their case for time at right back. Effectively, they have to play well enough that Ben Olsen decides to drop one of Junior Moreno or Felipe to make room.

Breaking down the tactics behind Miami, Nashville’s MLS debuts | The Athletic
Here’s a little on Inter Miami’s team shape (4231 going forward, 442 defensively) heading into this weekend’s game.

Out at the Plex, the preparations are under way for the start of the Washington Spirit’s preseason:

We’re just four days away from Loudoun United’s season opener against the former Bethlehem Steel (now just Philadelphia Union II), and the squad has been working hard at training:

A D.C. Dream Day with the District’s go-to singer for the national anthem | Washington Post
Some good food choices on here, and shout out to D.C. Washington for bringing up doing the anthem at Audi Field as part of a hypothetical anthem double header for him.

MLS task force monitoring coronavirus outbreak | ESPN
This is probably a good idea for MLS, and for US Soccer (which has both the upcoming SheBelieves Cup games and the USMNT’s planned friendlies in the next international window to think about).

Anyway, wash your hands with soap, and don’t touch your face!

MLS won’t be the same without Josef Martinez | SB Nation
I hadn’t thought about Josef Martinez’s place in MLS from a narrative perspective, but this is a pretty interesting idea.

Breaking down Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s debut with LA Galaxy | MLSsoccer.com
This is a pretty cool breakdown of Chicharito’s MLS debut, which ended up being a dud in part because the LA Galaxy couldn’t figure out how to get him the ball.

Kevin Payne: U.S. men’s national team programs have backslid dramatically | Soccer Wire
I know United fans have mixed feelings about KP, but I can’t say I disagree with his thoughts on the Development Academy, USMNT, and a tendency to coach personality out of players on the men’s side of the game.

One Weird Thing: MLS is back, and so is RapidMan (potentially) | The Athletic
Look if you write an article about RapidMan, I’m going to share it.