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Calls for NWSL change continue, John Brooks out for USMNT, and more: Freedom Kicks for 10/5/2021

Open letters probably aren’t going to cut it

MLS: Inter Miami CF at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! We have a little D.C. United content as the international break really gets going, plus some USMNT news, and most importantly a few thoughtful pieces on the ongoing fallout from the NWSL’s various troubles.

United part-owner Mark Ingram II is straight up yelling “Vamos United!” on Houston Texans media segments, which is fun:

That’s the energy.

Ep. 26 | Youngest MLS Coach & D.C. United Manager - Hernán Losada | Mastering the Mind
I didn’t have a chance to listen to this last night, so this is a blind recommendation, but it sounds like a very fascinating interview with Hernán Losada on the psychological side of coaching.

We also have some possibly surprising Loudoun United news:

Pure speculation on my part, but this is the kind of move you make if you hear you’re not going to get a chance at the next level...or maybe Cancun just came with the right offer. Plus, you know, it’s Cancun.

There’s no major Washington Spirit update to offer (though I’ll be in the building for their game tomorrow against Gotham FC), which is understandable given that there were no games over the weekend in the wake of the nightmarish allegations against Paul Riley. However, around the league? Plenty of things to think about, which is frankly just about all I’ve been doing lately:

The NWSL Was Working As Intended | Defector
Great point from Claire Watkins here: NWSL’s troubles are baked into how it operates. Major structural change is required to not keep running into serious mistreatment of players and staff.

NWSL players want accountability in Portland after Lisa Baird’s resignation | Just Women’s Sports
Some details in here noting that at least some NWSL players want the kind of major change at the Portland Thorns that protestors called for over the weekend (i.e. Gavin Wilkinson fired, and even Merritt Paulson selling the club).

Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson apologizes, announces independent investigation in wake of Paul Riley allegations | The Oregonian
Speaking of Paulson, he posted an open letter yesterday that detailed some of his planned response...but made no mention of Wilkinson’s status. Seems to be missing a big part of the whole “accountability” thing.

For you early risers, there will be more as Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, and Alex Morgan will be on the Today show this morning:

In Minnesota, supporters’ groups are demanding a proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 test, and they’re ready to go to the mat over it:

John Brooks withdraws from USMNT due to injury | Stars and Stripes FC
John Brooks has a back injury, and is out of the USMNT squad for this round of World Cup qualifiers. With four center backs in the fold and the option to call more players in later, no one has been added as a replacement.

Well, that’s all that’s here, so that means I’m out of things to link to. Enjoy your Tuesday!