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Bundesliga grapples with Covid-19, NWSL allows individual training, and more: Freedom Kicks for 5/5/2020

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Plus a look back on an unbelievable D.C. United game

Timbers v D.C. United Chuck Myers/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Good morning! I had a completely uninteresting Monday, so I have no real introduction to offer you fine folks. Let’s just roll right into the good stuff:

Virtual happy hour with Ulises Segura, Felipe Martins, and Junior Moreno? I might join in if I handle today’s errands (for the first time since the isolation times began, I have a lead on a store with paper goods) in a timely fashion.

Wayne Rooney: a manager-in-waiting | The Athletic
There’s a D.C. United segment here, including a note that Wayne Rooney played through a rib injury for a significant chunk of his time with the Black-and-Red.

The Day a Hurricane Postponed a Timbers Game | Rose City Review
First of all, this piece serves as a reminder that our history of games being imperiled by lightning and hurricanes and whatnot is not something everyone else knows about. Up until the outbreak of coronavirus, the only Portland Timbers game to ever be postponed (at least in the MLS era) was a 2011 road trip to face United at RFK.

Some of you will remember the game in question, which still holds an MLS record for most shot attempts in one half:

It was a must-win for United, and essentially the same for the Timbers. With the score 1-1 in the final minutes, both teams managed to create, and waste, an amazing array of chances.

These two chances do not include a United goal called back for offside in the 90th minute, or Portland hitting the crossbar (and having the ball bounce down on the goal line) in the 84th minute, or like 8 other chances. This game should have ended 5-4.

I always tell people to make sure they get to Open Cup games to see the weirdness with their own eyes, but I should probably also throw in “always go to games that have been postponed from an earlier date.” United and the Washington Spirit both have a knack of playing very strange games once the weather gods have caused a postponement.

NWSL to allow individual training starting May 6 | NWSLsoccer.com
Speaking of the Spirit, from a league perspective, they’ll be allowed to start holding individual training sessions tomorrow. Of course, since Maryland doesn’t have a stated end date to its stay-at-home order, this probably won’t change things for the Spirit immediately.

Aubrey Bledsoe to compete in first-ever NeuroTrainer Charity Competition | WashingtonSpirit.com
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here, but it’s a competition for a good cause. My upbringing in the 90s taught me to mistrust any sort of VR gear as either a) not realistic, or b) a portal for sci-fi villainy. Things have probably progressed in the 20 years since then, though.

Staying with virtual competition, Allexon Saravia of Loudoun United will face someone from NYRB2 tonight in the USL eCup, which will for whatever reason mean a game between Denmark (Loudoun) and Chile (Baby Bulls). We’re all Danes tonight.

1.FC Köln, Bundesliga pressing on despite players testing positive for COVID-19 | We Ain’t Got No History
I don’t think anyone realistically expected the Bundesliga’s planned return to happen without someone catching coronavirus (which is probably grounds to not have attempted a return to play at all, in my book), but there’s a level of recklessness involved in Köln’s situation that seems to hint at more positive tests to come.

Statement on Salomon Kalou’s Facebook Video | HerthaBSC.de
Speaking of reckless, Salomon Kalou posted a video that included lots of handshakes and other activities that could easily spread the virus, so Hertha Berlin suspended him.

A private boarding school for future soccer stars? N. Va. natives pitch one for Loudoun. | Washington Business Journal
Hmmmmmm.

And that’s a wrap for me. I need to go make breakfast!