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US Soccer Development Academy gone, MLS start dates, and TikTok: Freedom Kicks for 16 April 2020

Soccer, go?

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MLS: FC Cincinnati at DC United Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, friends. I hope you are having an alright week, as time ceases to matter and we lose track of what the days and weeks actually are. We watched some actual soccer on Filibuster this week, a 26 year-old indoor soccer game, and had a lot of fun doing so. If you’d like to watch along with us, everything you need to know is over there.

Now, to the links:

US Soccer officially dissolved the US Soccer Development Academy after 13 years of operation on the boys side. It was an attempt to modernize, streamline, and standardize the training of young soccer players in the United States and pipeline players for the national team and for professional clubs. On the boys’ side, the results were definitely mixed: a bunch of MLS teams did develop and sign exciting young players, but pipelining to the national team hasn’t gotten there yet.

On the girls side, it has mostly been a cluster, with US Soccer coming in late and proclaiming their setup inherently better than the ECNL which already existed. With the shuttering of the USSDA, many of the NWSL academies who hadn’t already are returning to the ECNL.

Major League Soccer Leads Domestic Player Development with Launch of New Elite Competition

After US Soccer’s announcement came out, MLS launched their announcement, saying that they were going to start a new academy league. Interestingly enough, they stated that both MLS academies and non-MLS academies will be a part of their league, so by what criteria that is established is yet to be seen.

After Development Academy’s demise, MLS and others will seek to fill the void

In addition to MLS’s league, a bunch of teams announced that they were joining the boys ECNL, including Richmond United, Virginia Development Academy, Loudoun Soccer, BRYC Elite, and McLean YSA.

Seems highly unlikely that MLS will play soccer games in June, at least ones with any fans in the stands. Even though MLS gets a larger amount of its money from gate revenue than other soccer leagues, at some point they’ll have to decide if it is worth it to play more games with no fans or potential just lose the whole season.

Most of what I said above about MLS also applies to the NWSL.

Give me all the tik toks of D.C. United players doing hilarious things while in quarantine.

Lionel Messi’s 73-goal season was an individual triumph, and a disaster for Barcelona

Go read Kim McCauley’s piece on the wildest season for the world’s best player. Just do it.

USL considering splitting conferences for shortened season

USL is considering a split into four divisions for its shortened season. For a good idea as to what MLS should do with its season, go read Adam’s piece from a few days ago. Or weeks? Like I said, time is meaningless.

D.C. United’s Chris Odoi-Atsem appreciating health care professionals

We all are right now, but Chris Odoi-Atsem has a special connection to health care professionals.

Bilingual access to kids’ workouts (called Talon’s Workout Tapes), bilingual story time for kids, and more!

The Spirit interview Dr. Abdul El Sayed for how fans and the general public can stay safe during this strange times.

That’s all I have today; what’s up?