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MLS leaks continue, NWSL details return to play, and more: Freedom Kicks for 5/26/2020

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Gonzalo Higuain’s list of suitors has expanded beyond D.C. United

Nikita Taparia / Black and Red United

Today looks like it’s going to be pretty nice, so I guess I need to get myself outside for a walk. That’s about all I have for you as an intro, so let’s jump into the links:

Newcastle and Wolves ready to offer Chelsea flop Gonzalo Higuain transfer - EXCLUSIVE | Daily Express
Your latest Gonzalo Higuain update links the 32-year-old to Newcastle, Wolves, River Plate, or “the MLS.”

While we’re here, and since I haven’t really talked about this whole thing just yet: I think he’d do pretty well in MLS, but I’m also still very high on the idea of trusting Ola Kamara to get up towards 20 goals in a full season and using the money that Higuain would require elsewhere. D.C. United does need another forward (remember when they were heading into week 3 with 1 total forward available?), but I’m not convinced they need to add a win-now sort of DP in that role more than they need to address other areas.

Life Kicks On For D.C. United’s Griffin Yow | District Fray
A quick check-in on Griffin Yow.

NWSL to allow small group training starting Monday | NWSLsoccer.com
The NWSL is certainly in a hurry to get back on the field. Teams have to get through just five days of these expanded small group sessions without incident before they can begin full-team training.

The Washington Spirit, despite the Maryland SoccerPlex still being closed through the rest of May, have gone on a barnstorming tour of open sites in the exurbs to keep themselves up to speed with the protocols in place:

NWSL documents reveal details on return-to-play plan and player concerns | The Athletic
If things remain on track, the Spirit would likely have just under a month of normal training sessions before arriving in Utah for what’s being called the NWSL Challenge Cup. The plan hasn’t been finalized yet, but we’re at the point that, per this piece, the league has made a detailed proposal to players.

NWSL plans to be first American sports league back, but some USWNT players might not be on board | Yahoo Sports
Remember when I said there’s a rush to get back on the field? NWSL is getting a cost-effective deal to play in Utah, but those facilities are booked from late July into August. The window to use them may be driving the schedule right now, which I can’t say is the greatest news.

Garber claims MLS hired firm to investigate leaks, citing The Athletic’s reports | The Athletic
Some days MLS gives us a gift, and this was one of them. Don Garber threatened heavy punishments for people leaking information on several points, and then the information about how leaks would be punished was leaked. What a league!

LA Galaxy president Chris Klein confirms central tournament as likely MLS restart plan | LAG Confidential
And here’s a bonus: the LA Galaxy are out here confirming leaked details even as the league rattles their sabers.

Armchair Analyst: What MLS managers can take from the Bundesliga’s return | MLSsoccer.com
This largely dovetails with my own takes from the handful of games I’ve watched. The soccer has been sloppy, blunt, and hurried, but you know what? We’re used to something along those lines in the first month of any given MLS season.

Also, I’m a big advocate for subbing earlier and more aggressively. Got someone important who can only give you 30 minutes? Start them, have a chat with them about your rationale, and tell the media post-game that it wasn’t a case of giving a player the hook as punishment for poor play. Get them out there to give yourself better odds of a favorable game state.

FA formally ends 2019-20 WSL and FAWC seasons | Cartilage Free Captain
Over in England, the FA Women’s Super League is calling it a season, though they haven’t determined what their plans are for Champions League spots, or for promotion and relegation. Seems like something you’d want to know before making declarations about a league being cancelled, but that’s just me.

Liga MX continue unilateral restructuring: Monarcas Morelia to reportedly become Mazatlan | FMF State of Mind
Liga MX’s policy on moving teams is more aggressive than even American sports, and that may well mean that Edison Flores’s old club is heading to the west coast.

Happy Tuesday!