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MLS is Back is gone, long live MLS is Back: Wednesday Freedom Kicks

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Somebody lifted a trophy last night, and MLS resumes “regular season” play tonight.

Portland Timbers v Orlando City SC: Championship - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

I’m writing this particular opening during halftime of the MLS Is Back final. Taylor Twellman and John Champion are interviewing Don Garber, with the Portland Timbers and Orlando City tied at a goal apiece. I feel like Moe Szyslak here, just putting in a placeholder here for the animators to fill in tomorrow morning.

So, what I’m saying here on Tuesday night is, congrats to your MLS Is Back champions, the Atlanta Falcons!

The Portland Timbers Win the Weirdest Trophy in the Scariest State in the Worst Year | Rose City Review

Fast forward to Wednesday morning, thanks to the magic of animation and/or the internet, and we know that the Timbers won 2-1 thanks to a couple of set piece goals. As expected, Orlando had the lion’s share of possession (I’m sorry, I’m so sorry), but the Timbers were able to create more danger through the combination of those set pieces and counter attacks.

For the Central Florida perspective, check in with the Mane Land.

Black Major League Soccer Players Speak Out in Documentary Protesting Racial Injustice | The Root

Bill Hamid speaks in this documentary produced with Black Arrow about the legacy he and the Black Players for Change are working to realize. Go, watch it. Be moved, and then think about what you can do to contribute.

After ‘absolute chaos’ in Orlando, FC Dallas can’t wait to get started again | The Athletic

The two clubs that didn’t participate in Orlando this past month restart the MLS regular season tonight in Frisco, Texas. And there will be fans in attendance! For some reason!

Go read Sam’s piece on the interminable waiting and anxiety and uncertainty the teams have gone through since their aborted entries. And if you can’t be bothered to pay for good reporting and storytelling (which, come on), go check out MLSsoccer’s story.

Elsewhere in MLS Is Back To Normal* (*But Not Really) news, Harrison, N.J., is the bubble after the bubble, with as many as four teams setting up shop there according to various reports:

Big Ten Conference Announces Postponement of Fall Competition | UMD

The Pac12 followed B1G’s lead pretty quickly yesterday in cancelling all sports for the coming fall season, including both flavors of football. It sucks for the players. It sucks for the fans. It sucks that it’s obviously the right decision. Pandemics just suck!

Report: Racing Louisville FC have hired Christy Holly as new head coach | All for XI

Holly returns to NWSL after working as a scout and sports psychology consultant since he left Sky Blue FC back in 2016. Now, there’s a reason I’m not a Soccer Decider, and I haven’t been paying the closest attention to the expansion outfit—except for their near-perfect name and logo reveal—but I’d have expected somebody who managed to win more than 14 of the 38 games he had Sam Kerr available at his last gig.

I’ll leave you with Jose Andres, who continues to be a gift.

Enjoy your Wednesday, friends.