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D.C. United continues adjusting to coronavirus, Premier League considers summer plans, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/31/2020

Training alone is the new hot trend

Xavier Dussaq / Courtesy of D.C. United

Morning! I fell asleep at around 8pm last night, which is partially why this post is around an hour late. Now, why didn’t it get done earlier this morning? Look, I’m unstuck in time, I don’t know when the appropriate time to do anything is any more, and that’s probably not going to solve itself until I find some kind of outside source that requires a structure to my days.

From a teenager living at home to a father of five, D.C. United players face new realities | Washington Post
D.C. United players Steven Birnbaum, Griffin Yow, Erik Sorga, Chris Seitz, and Russell Canouse all talk about what life is like for them during this pandemic.

When will MLS break the gender barrier and hire a woman as a coach? | The Athletic
Ben Olsen, among others, talks about the fact that no MLS club has hired a woman in any sort of coaching role.

Let’s look back on one of the only good moments of United’s 2002 season, which was otherwise a long, rough slog:

A quick story from my own experience as a fan in 2002:

This was the season that solidified my status as the kind of diehard who would tolerate some deeply, depressingly bad soccer. 2000 and 2001 were real bummers, but you could explain them away as salary cap-related debacles; 1999 finally saw United’s run of success hit the absolute ceiling in terms of players getting raises they deserved, and things went wrong.

2002 saw Ray Hudson, a huge personality whose 2001 Miami Fusion had been among the most stylish in MLS history en route to a Supporters’ Shield, come aboard. It was supposed to be a return of sorts...and it wasn’t. United finished dead last, with the lowest goals scored in the league, while icons like Marco Etcheverry (age) and Jaime Moreno (a chronic back injury) both finally appeared to be mortal.

And yet, this is the year my personal investment in this team moved from “attend all home games, watch all televised games” to “I’ll drive alone in my junker of a car to Giants Stadium/Crew Stadium/Gillette Stadium, and then drive back that night because I can’t afford a hotel room.” The 2002 team was obviously bad, it was obvious that I had better options in terms of entertainment, and yet the first thing on my schedule for a given week was whatever impending loss was on the schedule.

Moving back to modern times, ask Donovan Pines some questions this evening:

If you want to hear from Washington Spirit players, check their Twitch channel at 8pm tonight:

Lauren Barnes on Playing in the Australian Final and Escaping to LA; Dr. Celine Gounder on Coronavirus Latest | Planet Futbol with Grant Wahl
The NWSL players who stuck it out in the W-League played one of the strangest finals in recent memory, and then barely got back to the US before flights stopped being available. That story, plus some coronavirus advice from a bona fide expert that we could all use, are both here.

We want your opinion! Take our NWSL supporters survey | The Athletic
If you’ve got NWSL/Spirit opinions and have like 2-3 minutes to spare, fill out this quick survey.

Premier League discusses isolated camps for hosting remaining games amid coronavirus pandemic | The Independent
It’s still very much in the “here’s an idea” phase, but the possibility of the Premier League actually playing games and finishing their season is still out there. One thing not mentioned: what’s the plan for keeping giant crowds from gathering at the stadium, or just outside the isolation area?

The world’s biggest David Beckham memorabilia collector is Thai pop star Tae | ESPN
This piece on buying too many shoes was a journey.

Filling the void: The absence of soccer, community and the rise of esports | The Athletic
Coronavirus has made nerds of all of us. But, since I was already a nerd, I guess I should be welcoming the rest of you.

New England Revolution alum begins as attending ER physician in New York-area hospital | MLSsoccer.com
Former UVA and New England Revolution wingback Marshall Leonard is now Dr. Marshall Leonard.

That’s it for me. Here’s a challenge for you in the comments: what season, or game, or moment, is your version of me and the 2002 season? How did your fandom get to the point where you’re here reading and commenting on a team site that covers a team that hasn’t played in a month, and whose next game is a total unknown?