So after being hit by a wave of unbeatable sleepiness, I didn’t write Freedom Kicks last night. And then I woke up, and started making breakfast, and then there was a loose dog in the neighborhood that I clumsily tried to help shepherd back to where it belonged, and before you know it, it’s now and I’m just starting to write. Hope you’re having a good lunch!
Let’s start with D.C. United, who confirmed a trade while I was in the middle of writing this actual sentence.
D.C. United acquires Axel Sjöberg, trading Emmanuel Boateng to Columbus Crew | Black and Red United
So I stopped writing that sentence, and finished up this piece about the trade. Adding Sjöberg isn’t the whole shopping list, but make no mistake: United needed a center back.
It looks like they’re still considering other defensive moves as well:
DCU was also pursuing a defender in English Championship. Unclear where that stands. Attacking help also on radar.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 13, 2020
Pure speculation added by me: DCU rumors past had linked the club with Ashley Williams and Angel Rangel, who are both Championship defenders that appear to be out of contract right now. On the other hand, those rumors were of the dubious English tabloid variety, and those two players are both over 35, so we’ll see. Maybe the money the club had set aside for Bakaye Dibassy is still available, and we’re not talking about a free transfer? Or maybe nothing actually comes of any of this.
D.C. United is headed back to the MLS regular season: Filibuster | Black and Red United
The latest episode of Filibuster sorts through our overall MLS is Back thoughts before moving on to United’s schedule and the trade. Plus a lot of enthralling talk about Erie, PA.
Moving over to United apparel in the wild, here’s Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson in a Unite The District shirt:
Tom Wilson was wearing a DC United "Unite The District" t-shirt during his video conference— Ian Oland (@ianoland) August 13, 2020
All proceeds of the shirt go directly to feeding first responders through the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation. https://t.co/xM0Zka6cU1 pic.twitter.com/rTZFXH7gNw
Short story time: Back in 2018, Wilson attended a United game with several Caps. He is a very large man, and this is very easy for normal-sized people to notice, as are VIPs on the path from the press box to the locker room. Being a lifelong Caps fan, you’d expect me to have noticed Wilson as us media nerds went in to do interviews, but nope! The legend Steven Streff had to tell me after the fact.
You guys like to talk about branding, right? Well here you go!
We got a leak on the St Louis Team name and crest. pic.twitter.com/hTpQ4uWIU3— Jonathan Slape (@JSlapeSSP) August 13, 2020
I’m glad it’s not an FC! And it’s not a circle badge, that’s nice. The colors are also a pleasant change. Beyond that, big shrug emoji.
Life in quarantine: Inside a pro sports team’s enduring of a COVID-19 outbreak | Yahoo Sports
Great reporting here from Henry Bushnell, who got an FC Dallas player to give him a first-hand account of testing positive for Covid-19 and being stuck in quarantine at MLS is Back.
Major League Soccer Announces Schedule for Canadian Teams | MLSsoccer.com
Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact, and the Vancouver Whitecaps finally find out what they’re supposed to do while all the US-based clubs play 6 games in 3 weeks.
Christy Holly on his Racing Louisville FC hiring | All For XI
NWSL’s 10th club made a pretty curious choice for their first head coach. Here’s an interview with Christy Holly on how he got hired and his record with Sky Blue FC.
‘Exhaustive search’ led to hiring Christy Holly, Louisville’s James O’Connor says | Equalizer Soccer
And on the Louisville side, former Orlando City coach/current Racing Louisville
GM “executive vice president of development” James O’Connor explains their thought process.
Q&A: Ali Krieger on her new broadcast role with Orlando City | The Athletic
Ali Krieger did a little live TV during her time with the Washington Spirit, and is now going to be part of Orlando City’s broadcast team (provided there aren’t conflicts with NWSL, which...maybe there will be NWSL games???).
We don’t want our kids dealing with this in the future: Chicago Red Stars’ Sarah Gorden on why the fight for racial equality is so important to her | Newschain
Chicago defender Sarah Gorden has emerged as one of the strongest voices on racial justice in NWSL, and is always a good interview to boot. Plus, she says here that NWSL’s Black players are working on a coalition of their own headed up by Maryland native Midge Purce.
Watch: Tyler Adams sends RB Leipzig to the Champions League Semi’s | Stars and Stripes FC
Tyler Adams came in seemingly to help RB Leipzig defensively, but ended up scoring an 88th minute winner in their Champions League quarterfinal. On one hand, seems cool! On the other hand, ex-Red Bull scores goal for different Red Bull team somewhere else.
And on that bitter note, enjoy your weekend!