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NWSL Challenge Cup, MLS is Back, and more: Freedom Kicks for 16 July 2020

Soccer, go!

MLS: D.C. United at Toronto FC Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! I had a wild dream last night where an MLS offered a 2021 first round pick and a 2022 first round pick to FC Cincinnati in exchange for Cincinnati’s head coach, Jaap Stam. Stam received the trade offer, but was baffled both by the concept of trades and the mechanics of a draft, and so he dismissed the trade offer out of hand.

I don’t know why my brain does this to me.

Anyways, to the links:

Ted Ku-DiPietro on taking the next step with Loudoun United - Black And Red United

Our Ryan Keefer talks to Ted Ku-DiPietro about the transition from the Academy to Loudoun United and much more.

Speaking of Loudoun United, Kevin Paredes told our Jason Anderson about how essential D.C. United’s academy and Loudoun United were in getting him to D.C. United and playing minutes for the first team.

Something to like about every team at the NWSL Challenge Cup so far - All For XI

We have reached the knockout phase of the NWSL Challenge Cup (which is still a much better name than the MLS is Back Tournament), and it's time to say nice things before the teams start getting eliminated.

NWSL players, staff grapple with mental health challenges of isolated tournament – Equalizer Soccer

It is very hard to be away from your family, friends, and support systems for weeks at a time, and so NWSL players and staff are figuring out how to cope.

One way they might be coping, like Washington Spirit defender Kaiya McCullough, is to start a YouTube channel.

Memphis owner/player Tim Howard continues his MLS run of form in the USL Championship. Gold don’t rust, I guess.

An Open Letter About My Health | By Elena Delle Donne

The WNBA is being really awful about this, when they modeled a lot of their negotiations after what the NWSL was able to agree to with its players. Importantly, the NWSL is still paying any player who decided not to participate, whereas the WNBA is weaponizing withholding pay versus a players health. It is gross to see, and I hope they change their minds.

That’s all I have today, what’s up?