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Ben Olsen to Sheffield Wednesday?, D.C. United coaching update (sort of), and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/1/2021

Happy new year, here’s hoping for better times ahead

MLS: New York City FC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning and happy new year! Or at least, good riddance to the old year, which was thoroughly miserable for so many of us. Keeping it just within the sphere of this soccer blog, it was rough. Limited schedules all around, uncertainty, two-thirds of our teams were downright bad, the other had an old ghost come back to haunt them again, and virtually no one got to see any of it in person. I did not like it one bit, but I’m glad y’all stuck with us, and I’m glad we kept putting out work. Here’s hoping 2021 is better on all fronts.

What’s coming from B&RU this year? Well, a series looking at the D.C. United roster in terms of setting goals for the entire squad this year, for one. Plus hopefully an expanded staff on the site, and more ideas that I have on a piece of scrap paper on my desk.

Let’s start with some weird D.C. United coaching news, since we haven’t yet gotten any straightforward “they hired someone” news:

That Ben Olsen/Sheffield Wednesday rumor started as an addition to a bookie’s line of odds, but we know now that there’s more to it. Given how Europe generally doesn’t have much respect for American coaches of any kind, I would think the chances are long, but here’s hoping it works out.

Sources: Chris Armas interviews for Toronto FC head coaching job |
I bet this news will be greeted with some joy in the comments.

I was going to link to a Washington Spirit story of mine, but I spent most of yesterday with a tension headache and ended up going to bed early. Look for it later today.

In Loudoun/academy news, Jeremy Garay is going to play college soccer at NC State:

On some level, United’s club-wide abundance of central midfielders may be contributing here. And of course, this doesn’t mean United’s interest in Garay is done, so keep an eye on him when you’re looking at the ACC men’s schedule.

Charlotte FC will sign a Mexican legend for its first MLS season ever | El Futbolero
One of the many players once connected to United (at one point I heard this got further than simply a name on a wish list) now connected elsewhere. I’ve gotta say though, right now the former El Tri midfielder I have in mind for United hung up his boots in 2015.

Lastly, because 2020 couldn’t let us go without one last kick in the teeth, we lost MF DOOM (apparently back on Halloween, but only announced yesterday). I’m not sure what segment of the commentariat is into particularly out-there hip-hop, and I said my piece on Twitter yesterday, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that the world is a lot less interesting without the greatest lyricist the form has ever seen. A completely inimitable artist, and a total mystery in a lot of ways.

(DOOM-style inhale from the start of this song) Alright, let’s have a better time this year.