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D.C. United’s Kevin Paredes & Washington Spirit’s Ashley Sanchez in the spotlight, & more: Freedom Kicks for 9/4/2020

Home games this weekend for two-thirds of our teams!

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MLS: D.C. United at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Something weird’s gonna happen this weekend: I’m going to see soccer, in person. The Washington Spirit play tomorrow, D.C. United is at home on Sunday, and unless I start feeling Covid-19 symptoms between now and then, I’m covering them. It’s going to be completely odd to be at a game in this era, and also just being at a game at all. I’m not bringing this up to brag. I don’t know how to feel about it, to be honest. All I know is that it’s gonna be bizarre.

And with that, let’s get to the links:

Kevin Paredes is starting to get some attention after breaking through as...a starter? I think we might be there, yeah. Here’s a complete list of teenagers in MLS with more minutes this season than Paredes:

Frankie Amaya
Brenden Aaronson
Luis Binks
Gianluca Busio

Aaronson and Busio are attracting major international interest, Binks is apparently going to head to Serie A once this season ends, and all four of these players are 19, while Paredes is 17. Big things ahead for the youngster, is what I’m saying. Listen to the full episode with him and the Cooligans on their site.

Washington Spirit’s Ashley Sanchez on her NWSL welcome, getting better game by game, and nutmegging Julie Ertz | Black and Red United
The chances that Ashley Sanchez is gonna nutmeg someone tomorrow feel high. André Carlisle talked to her about the mentality that leads to dribbling people at such a high rate.

White NWSL players’ silence is failing their Black teammates | All For XI
André’s been busy, and over at All For XI he made a crucial point about how NWSL players have gone silent after making some mild moves towards supporting their Black teammates and calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

The representation of Black and Latinx communities and women in U.S. Soccer | Fare Network
This is an academic presentation, with some excellent data viz work, on just how far American pro soccer is from representing the population of the country, especially in positions of authority.

Sarah Gorden’s nonprofit HoodSpace focused on creating space for girls of color to prioritize mental health | Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden is looking to help young women of color in Chicago by starting a non-profit focused on mental health.

The NWSL community continues to show up and give back | Equalizer Soccer
The spirit of contributing to the community in NWSL extends to supporters groups, who raised over $27,000 for Utah’s Native American population during the Challenge Cup.

If Columbus Crew SC can host fans on Sunday, why can’t FC Cincinnati? | Cincinnati Enquirer
Columbus health authorities told the Columbus Crew to not allow fans...and they’re doing it anyway. Even FC Cincinnati — you know, the team that seems like Sideshow Bob amid a field of rakes — knew enough to listen to the experts.

How USL players made statements on race, whether they voted to play or not | The Athletic
Here’s a look at how the USL’s Black Players Alliance (including Loudoun United captain Peabo Doue) came to be.

What is the correct number of basketball points? | Secret Base
I respect the amount of work that went into this, but personally I think the answer is 101.

Alright, I’m gonna wrap it up now. Before I go, check out Plex Weather on Twitter later today, I’ll be posting the latest episode that was recorded just before some genuinely bad weather actually had me in the crawl space for about 20 minutes. Stay safe out there friends!