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D.C. United, Washington Spirit talk racial injustice, USWNT wants repeal of kneeling policy, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/8/2020

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Folks around the D.C. soccer scene are speaking out

2020 NWSL Draft Photo by Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Good morning, friends. We don’t have a ton of big news to talk about, but I can say that I’m heartened by seeing people continuing to protest, continuing to build for a better future. It’s something we’ve seen people back off of in the past, but the hard work continues. I hope to do my part in keeping it going.

Speaking of which, our local teams are not just doing a statement and moving on:

D.C. United painted Audi Field over the weekend, and now they’re gathering some familiar faces to talk about racial injustice. Obviously this can’t be the end of their work, but it’s a sign that the talk about doing more as a club isn’t just talk.

When the NWSL returns, this Spirit rookie will be taking a knee | Power Plays
The Washington Spirit, as of late 2016, played the national anthem 20 minutes before kickoff to avoid Megan Rapinoe’s kneeling protest. It’s a testament to the progress the organization has made that now, they’ve drafted a player (Kaiya McCullough) who knelt during the anthem throughout most of her collegiate career, and is going to continue that protest with the Spirit. This was a really good interview with her.

At long last, Loudoun United will be able to hold small group training. Between local regulations and DCU holding sessions at Segra Field, it’s been a long, long wait for Ryan Martin and his squad.

Staying with USL news, it looks like every USL Championship and League One club will get around $120,000 from the league as part of a financial relief package:

The US Women’s National Team Is Demanding US Soccer Apologize To Black Players For Banning Kneeling During The National Anthem | Buzzfeed
US Soccer’s anthem policy was particularly restrictive, and was passed with no reported dissent just a few years ago. While the move within the USSF to reconsider it seems like the right thing to do, that shouldn’t be mistaken as a sure sign that they’ll repeal it ASAP.

Earthquakes Provide Update on Assistant Coach Benjamin Galindo | SJEarthquakes.com
San Jose Earthquakes assistant coach (and former Mexico national team midfielder) Benjamin Galindo is making progress after suffering a stroke just under two weeks ago.

Brasil retira candidatura à sede da Copa do Mundo Feminina FIFA 2023 | CBF.com.br
After being unwilling to meet FIFA demands, Brazil has dropped out of the running for the 2023 World Cup and thrown their support behind Colombia’s bid. That leaves us with three competitors: Colombia, Japan, and a joint Australia/New Zealand bid.

Let’s wrap it up with this: As some of you know, I am a relentless stan for Kazuyoshi “King Kazu” Miura, because he keeps playing pro soccer despite being much older than everyone else that plays pro soccer. Had to check up on him as the J-League comes back, and guess what? Dude’s still kicking. He’s 53! He was born in 1967! He has a contract to play soccer on a top-flight team! He should win the Ballon d’Or if he gets even one single minute of playing time this season.

Approach your Tuesday with the spirit of King Kazu!