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MLS extends training moratorium, D.C. United & Washington Spirit notes, & more: Freedom Kicks for 5/15/2020

Interviews, tricks, and a look back on Man City’s weird years

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

I hit the grocery store last night, and for the first time since coronavirus threw off the supply chain, I saw a completely full aisle of paper products. Granted, the entire aisle was full of just one kind of paper towel, but it was full from end to end. Meanwhile, on the weird shortages end of the scale: are people hoarding orzo? And if so, can we barter so I can make dinner tonight?

There are obviously far greater issues impacting our lives during this pandemic, but the formerly mundane act of going grocery shopping has become a reliably bizarre part of life these days. Longtime readers know that if I see something odd, I’m probably going to ponder it at length, so here we are.

Major League Soccer Extends Small Group and Team Training Moratorium |
MLS’s suspension of anything resembling a normal training session now runs all the way through June 1. And since D.C. United’s facilities are in the District and Virginia (where the sort of “alone, together” training sessions some teams have been able to put together are still banned), that means training at home for another 2+ weeks.

Canouse, DC United ‘anxious’ to return to action | WTOP
Dave Johnson had a 13-minute chat with Russell Canouse, covering topics like United’s plans concerning that isolated training, what he’s been up to outside of his own individual practice sessions, and more.

The Washington Spirit are in roughly the same boat as United, but as you can see below, they’ve still managed to stay pretty sharp on the ball:

Before you bring up social distancing, that’s a set of roommates (Paige Nielsen, Dorian Bailey, and Bayley Feist from left to right), and when you put 3 professionals together but keep them off the training field, it’s only a matter of time before some skill videos go up online. This one’s setting a high bar for sure.

Sporting KC has Procured Tests for Players and Staff for COVID-19 | The Blue Testament
With testing a long way from being commonplace for everyone, I’m not exactly thrilled about the prospect of teams getting taken care of way ahead of regular folks, but I will concede that ultimately it’s a drop in the bucket when we need tests in the millions rather than the dozens. It is intriguing to me that Sporting Kansas City got this done, and apparently may have been a real driver in planning how MLS teams are training right now.

Analysis: What equal pay in sports really means, as the fight goes on for U.S. women’s soccer | ESPN
One of the deepest dives I’ve seen on this topic. Set aside some time for this one.

Let’s cast Netflix’s 1999 World Cup movie | All For XI
You may have seen that there’s a dramatization of the 1999 USWNT squad coming. Why not assemble an all-star cast?

FC Cincinnati general manager confirms top candidate for head coach vacancy | WCPO
FC Cincinnati has confirmed that Jaap Stam is their guy...except they haven’t actually signed anything yet. It’s a curious choice from a club that seems hell-bent on making curious choices, though Stam’s experience at the top levels of the game would make him a big-name hire if they do actually sign him.

Let’s finish up with a weird one. Way back when, Manchester City were not really a rich club compared to their peers in the Premier League, and in that era, they did some pretty weird stuff. For example, how about pulling off Claudio Reyna to sub on their back-up goalkeeper, so they could hand starting GK David James a field player’s jersey and send him up front?

2005 Man City belonged in the CCL, that’s all I’m saying.

On that note, have a weird weekend, orzo hoarders!