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D.C. United gets MLS is Back Tournament draw, USSF repeals kneeling ban, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/12/2020

We’re getting closer and closer to actually having games to talk about on this site

Xavi Dussaq / Courtesy of D.C. United

Good morning! I watched the movie Good Time back on Tuesday night, and it’s absolutely stuck in my head since then (in part because it focuses on some issues that we’re all thinking about right now, and in part because it was just really good). I also realized yesterday that it’s the first movie I’ve seen in 2020 that was new to me, which is not ideal for someone who loves movies! Gotta stop rewatching things.

Let’s get into the soccer, and we do actually have things pertaining to soccer to discuss:

D.C. United learns MLS is Back Tournament draw | Black and Red United
D.C. United has confirmed future opponents! You might even remember teams like Toronto FC, the New England Revolution, and the Montreal Impact from the distant past.

Since this is MLS, naturally we also had a draw featuring Charlie Davies, a punch bowl, Twitter jokes about it being rigged, and a lack of valuable details like: When are the games?

What to expect from the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando | The Athletic
This was done before the draw, but there’s a ton of reporting here, including quotes from Don Garber on the league’s testing protocols, and talks of win bonuses.

Washington Spirit Rookie Kaiya McCullough’s Life as an Activist | Washington City Paper
We’ve been hearing a lot about Washington Spirit rookie defender Kaiya McCullough’s activism, and as this piece from Kelyn Soong makes clear, it’s based on a lifetime of experiences.

Ben linked to my appearance on the Spirit’s podcast, but if you’d like to watch the video version, here it is:

Try and figure out the moments where I had to remind myself to stay in the frame, and when the heckling from other NWSL writers nearly made me laugh. Or, you know, get to know more about this year’s team and the expectations for other clubs around the NWSL.

CJ Sapong blasts former Chicago Fire teammate Aleksandar Katai for racist behavior | Hot Time in Old Town
CJ Sapong was not holding back in his appearance on The Cooligans. This piece has the quotes and a video clip, and you can listen to the full episode (you should, Sapong is nothing if not interesting even without being on a great show and having something major to discuss) here:

“MLSification” in Mexico? Liga MX wrestles with problems of old and new | USSoccerPlayers.com
Some details on Morelia’s move to Mazatlan, including a note that the Mexican federation was told by FIFA that they shouldn’t eliminate promotion/relegation forever.

Oficial: Andy Najar le confirma a Diez que es nueva jugador de Los Angeles FC de la MLS | Diez.hn
The Honduran press has missed on Andy Najar news before, but a) he’s been training with LAFC for a while, and b) they’re quoting him saying the deal is down to Anderlecht affirming that he’s out of contract. It’ll be a bummer to see him playing for someone else in MLS, but I think we all want to see him thriving after so many injuries.

The Women’s ICC is definitely more interesting to me than the men’s, and it’s not a surprise that they’re going to have to skip it this year. I do quite like this NWSL vs. UCL idea, whenever that comes to pass.

Power and Pressure | Washington Post
This is a huge piece, with video, photos, and more on the USWNT’s win at last year’s World Cup. I haven’t even gotten far into it, but it’s been great so far.

U.S. Soccer president: Anti-kneel policy ‘missed the point completely’ | ESPN
USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone summed up the federation’s decision to repeal the ban on kneeling during the anthem pretty well: “We missed the point completely.” The change at the federation in the last couple of months has been wild.

Why the USL is returning to play in its home markets, not a single-city format | The Athletic
I still think this is kind of nuts, but USL president Jake Edwards explains the steps the league has taken in its plan to return to play in each club’s home market rather than by clustering in one place.

Alright folks, that’s what I had waiting for me when I got in here. Have fun out there!