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Paul Arriola extends D.C. United contract, LAFC clobbers Sounders at MLS is Back, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/28/2020

Good ideas, bad ideas, and a partying champion

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MLS: LA Galaxy at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! I have no intro to offer you. We’ll have a piece on Paul Arriola’s contract extension later today, but until then:

John Maessner’s holds storied career from his time on the pitch |
Checking in with John Maessner, who won three MLS Cups with D.C. United back in the day.

Takeaways from the NWSL Challenge Cup | All For XI
A look at what each team can take away from the Challenge Cup. For the Washington Spirit, I maintain that they were among a group of three teams (North Carolina and Houston the others) who were dead set on winning the tournament, but they did get to develop some bonds for 2021.

Maryland Bobcats FC Apply to Join NISA |
The DMV is about to gain another pro soccer team, with the Maryland Bobcats making the jump from NPSL to NISA. The current plan is for the Bobcats to play out at the Plex. Once we get back to live sports being safe to attend, it should be fun.

‘I never win anything just let me live!!!’: Kristie Mewis savors her moment | The Athletic
I was talking to some woso friends about exactly what this piece centers on: Kristie Mewis absolutely living it up as an NWSL Challenge Cup champion. The Houston Dash won the tournament, but it appears Mewis won the celebration.

Don’t let outside factors stop you from supporting LA’s new NWSL team | LAG Confidential
A call for unity among LA soccer fans to back their future NWSL club, citing the example of Lakers and Clippers fans both backing the LA Sparks in the WNBA. If you can do it at national team games, you can do it at an NWSL match.

Let’s move on to last night’s MLS is Back knockout results:

Great eight: San Jose Earthquakes 5, Real Salt Lake 2 | Center Line Soccer
The San Jose Earthquakes may or may not have a system that works in MLS over the year-long grind of a full season, but Matias Almeyda did damage in Liga MX’s playoff system, and the Quakes are such an unorthodox match-up that they’re causing fits down in Florida.

Why Kyle Beckerman saw red after final whistle in San Jose loss | RSL Soapbox
Crofton represent.

Also I hope this isn’t it for Kyle Beckerman, who is playing in his 21st MLS season.

Feeling better: LAFC 4, Seattle Sounders 1 | Angels on Parade
Sounders vs. LAFC, recap: Yikes | Sounder at Heart
LAFC made the Seattle Sounders look absolutely terrible in the late game, and could have easily turned this into a 6-1 with just a little more precision in front of goal. That’s even with no Carlos Vela, no Adama Diomande, and Bradley Wright-Phillips going off injured at halftime. LAFC was pretty dang good, but also everyone that played center back for Seattle did something catastrophic. Even Gustav Svensson, moved back there for less than 10 total minutes after some white flag subs from Brian Schmetzer, managed to hand LAFC their fourth goal.

New Concacaf Qualifiers announced for regional qualification to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 |
The region’s World Cup qualifying format on the men’s side has changed again, with 30 teams vying for just three spots in the final round, which can no longer be called the Hex. I think The Octagon is the best name, but there’s also a push for The Ocho going around. Either way, by hinging it on FIFA rankings, CONCACAF has virtually guaranteed a permanent place in that final eight for Mexico and the USMNT. On the other hand, giving the teams that are trapped in the middle — able to post 5+ goal wins over the true minnows, but also likely to concede 5+ to the powers — more legit games will help those countries develop.

Concacaf announces World Cup qualifying format | Stars and Stripes FC
More details, including a breakdown of roughly when the big dates are for the USMNT.

Concacaf sets Nations League, Gold Cup dates | Stars and Stripes FC
It’s hard to get happy about hearing that United’s late preseason/first few games of 2021 will be interfered with for the lofty goal of trying to win the Nations League, but that’s what’s gonna happen.

Birmingham Legion FC taps into city pride with promotion of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute |
USL side Birmingham Legion auctioned off special, one-time-only jerseys to raise money for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and ended up raising over $10,000 in the end. It’s a great idea that more teams can follow.

And that’s it! I wrote this in the past, so I’m going to bed!