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MLS is Back, NWSL this Saturday, and more: Freedom Kicks for 25 July 2020

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Soccer in the United States is this weekend!

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

Down here in Richmond, the middle of June means that it is now the season of Hanover tomatoes. I love a good tomato, and I’ve recently gotten back to eating the humble tomato sandwich: bread, mayo, and a couple of thick slices of tomato with kosher salt sprinkled on them. It is a delicious summer treat, and I recommend them with any locally grown tomatoes that you have available to you.

To the links:

D.C. United’s MLS is Back Tournament schedule confirmed - Black And Red United

D.C. United’s games for the MLS is Back Tournament have been announced, and there will be some #MLSAfterDark for United and their fans. The players, however, seem to prefer this to the possibility of playing in the morning:

Revealed: The MLS is Back tournament schedule, change to format – The Athletic

The Athletic has the details on all of the other matches in the tournament, in a format that is much easier to read that MLS’s official schedule page. Side rant: the “new” schedule page (that is a couple years old now) on MLS’s site is not good.

With the Covid numbers in Florida looking like they are, I can’t blame any player who is hesitant.

Washington Spirit and the Challenge Cup: The Spirit are back

The Spirit begin play this Saturday, and previews are starting to pour in across the internet.

USL Championship Health and Wellness Protocols:

USL has made its guidelines for returning to play and trying to keep their players healthy available. The league is not doing a bubble tournament like the NWSL and MLS, and so they may blaze a trail of how to (or how not to) conduct league play with travel until a vaccine comes.

Multiple MLS teams have not publicly disclosed positive COVID-19 tests – The Athletic

Even if they haven’t announced which player, I am glad D.C. United has been up front about the positive test. Some teams are, like the Colorado Rapids (see below), FC Dallas, and the Philadelphia Union, but there’s been stark silence around other parts of the league.

Colorado Rapids Player Tests Positive for COVID-19 | Colorado Rapids

DC United coach Ben Olsen: Olsen: We can’t let conversations about race lose any steam | MLSsoccer.com

Black Lives Matters protests continue unabated, even if they have dropped down the list of things the media are regularly covering, but now is the time to push from symbolic gestures to real change. Ben Olsen looks to be on board as well.

Washington is in the mix, but I am curious to know what stadium they are using for their bid. Is it FedEx Field, or are they submitting an as-of-yet unapproved potential new stadium on the RFK campus, which has been rumored for as long as the D.C. United stadium search took.

I think this is really cool. There is no inherent reason why the National Anthem has to be played before sporting events; instead, playing a song by a noted anti-fascist that talks about us, instead of ideals, is a cool idea and much more relevant to the current day.

That’s all I have, what’s up?