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Alex Morgan to San Diego Wave, UEFA Champions League draw, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/14/2021

Amid all of the news, D.C. United is prepping for an accursed expansion draft

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USWNT Training Session Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Good morning! I just had a donut. Here’s the soccer news!

D.C. United announce protected list ahead of 2021 MLS Expansion Draft | Black and Red United
There are two expansion drafts Thursday at the exact same time, because of course we had to get in one more double-dip. No more expansion drafts, and no more overlapping times, MLS and NWSL!

Anyway, some notes on D.C. United’s list and the MLS roster mechanisms to come.

[editor’s note: looks like someone can’t tell Tuesday and Thursday apart. MLS’s expansion draft is today, not Thursday]

Are these 2 players worth D.C. United’s interest? | Black and Red United
In one case (Argentine attacker), it does sound pretty plausible. In the other (30-year-old Panamanian goalkeeper), not so much.

It seems safe to expect some Washington Spirit news in the very near future, hint hint, but in the meantime, a bunch of folks have bought Spirit championship gear from Breaking T via our affiliate link, and now that merch includes coffee mugs! You might be drinking literally the kind of beverage that belongs in that mug right now, but does your mug commemorate the Spirit’s first championship? Probably not!

Also you can still get a hoodie or a shirt, or 62 hoodies and 62 shirts. Or other numbers!

U.S. Soccer, USWNT Players Association extend current CBA through March | The Athletic
Not only have the USSF and USWNTPA agreed to extend their CBA to continue negotiations on a new one, but the end of the NWSL allocation system is, at long last, here. USWNT players who were on allocated contracts (in the Spirit’s case, that’s only Kelley O’Hara, as Emily Sonnett and Andi Sullivan both have deals directly with Washington that begin in 2022) now have to reach a deal with their clubs to stay in the league.

San Diego Wave FC acquire star forward Alex Morgan | LAG Confidential
Orlando Pride Trade Alex Morgan to San Diego Wave FC | The Mane Land
For reasons well beyond my understanding, San Diego Wave FC announced that they’d acquired Alex Morgan in a trade that no one knows the details of, and that comes during a trade freeze. It’s so odd that Orlando even felt compelled to make a statement about how they were sticking to league rules.

Champions League: Chelsea v Lille, Man Utd v Atletico, Man City v Sporting, Liverpool v Inter | BBC
Speaking of odd, UEFA bungled the Champions League knockout stage draw and had to re-do the whole thing.

Likely no. 1 pick Jaelin Howell enters NWSL College Draft | Just Women’s Sports
There’s a lot in here that the headline kind of leaves unclear: Jaelin Howell, an absolutely dominant college player who figures to be a rookie of the year frontrunner next year, has registered for the draft, but is still also considering the possibility of playing for European clubs. Perhaps most notably, this story states that San Diego plans to draft Howell, which would — along with their previous moves for Abby Dahlkemper, Tegan McGrady, and Kailen Sheridan — further establish a foundation based on defense.

Update on Search for New Chicago Red Stars Head Coach | ChicagoRedStars.com
Details on a search committee for Chicago’s head coaching gig after Rory Dames resigned a day before extensive allegations of abuse came out, including a note that the team’s preseason planning at the moment is in the hands of the remaining coaching staff (Rade Tanaskovic and Julianne Sitch).

That’s all I’ve got. Enjoy your Tuesday!

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