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Mesut Ozil to D.C. United rumor returns, MLS extends training moratorium, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/24/2020

We don’t have soccer games, but we do have soccer rumors

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Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

It’s absolutely pouring, I’m out of enough food that I probably need to go risk it all just to buy bread and napkins (I’m so low on napkins that I’m tearing individual rectangles of paper towel and tearing them into napkin-sized squares), but my problems could be a lot worse. Especially right now, it’s good to have a reminder on things like that.

Let’s talk about soccer, or at least things adjacent to soccer!

Totally not a surprise, but MLS’s training moratorium now extends to May 15, which almost certain means no games until June at the earliest.

Of course, we’re probably a few weeks from this moratorium going into June, and no games until July, and so on and so forth. We’re still a long way off from having genuine D.C. United games.

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil tipped to seal move to MLS outfit DC United - but there’s a catch | Daily Express
Mesut Ozil to United, but only once his Arsenal contract ends? Shocking, I know. The only way he’s ever coming to the District is on a free, which means it’s not happening until summer 2021 (if ever).

Diego Fagundez and John Oliveira bring the Revolution to eMLS | Boston Herald
The Revs are who United face in this weekend’s eMLS event, with Paul Arriola playing Diego Fagundez before the team’s actual gamers face off. Apparently Fagundez played the New England gamer quite close, which either means the gamer is bad, or Fagundez is really good.

Washington Spirit rookie Kaiya McCullough was on a UCLA sports podcast last night, but I haven’t been able to find a link to the archived version. Keep an eye out for it on Twitter, I’ll try to retweet it or add it here:

FC Cincinnati throwbacks: Loudoun United FC manager Ryan Martin on first USL season | Cincinnati Enquirer
Ryan Martin worked with John Harkes when United’s first captain was coaching FC Cincinnati in their first season, and so much has changed for them and for him despite this happening in 2016.

Meet the current-day MLS broadcasters who were calling matches back in 1996 |
You know the star of this piece: Dave Johnson, who’s been calling United games locally since the first time there was such a thing.

The Art of Broadcasting |
The above piece is one of a set in this new series from Charlie Boehm, which gets deep into something that’s crucial to our experience as fans. This will get you through the weekend for sure.

If MLS launched today: How our writers would do it differently | The Athletic
An alternate history with an MLS1/MLS2? Yeah, I’m into it. United gets in unscathed, while the all-too-brief existence of the Baltimore Bohemians is re-imagined as something that could be a lot of fun if it were real (like, if you’re a very rich person interested in soccer in this region, spend your money to build a soccer stadium in Baltimore and bring them back...and send me some money for saying this, thx).

Seattle Sounders’ Jordan Morris is managing his diabetes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic | ESPN
Here’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart (hi dad!), and will probably remind you of someone in your life too. Please keep staying home if you can, wear your mask, wash your hands, and all that stuff. It’s huge.

The Soccer Club as Sovereign State | New York Times
Imagine a world in which your favorite soccer team is being charged with major malfeasance, but the courts might be so full of judges that are diehard fans of your fravorite team that it’s reasonable to wonder whether anyone can actually preside over the trial. That’s the story here, with Portugal the setting.

One last thing: I am a huge fan of The State, and one of their iconic skits is a musical called Porcupine Racetrack. It’s exactly what the title indicates: a racetrack where porcupines race.

The cast got together and, from their respective homes, remade the entire skit 25 years later. It’s absolutely delightful, if also possibly a bit NSFW (at least visually...the song itself is completely clean):

And that’s a wrap for me. Here’s hoping you all have a good weekend free of anything even sort of resembling the rona!